Taking The Time To Understand The ‘No’

I wanted to take a moment and pull back the curtain on my business endeavors over the last 10 years. As well as help you get started or push forward in your own business. Small business ownership is often romanticized and i’m really not a fan of that, because it is hard work, has massive risk and let’s be honest, you’ll miss out on things in life. Still, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change this life for anything!

Towards the end of 2015 while going over the company’s reports I made a very conscious decision that in 2016 I would 2x our revenue. This would be no easy task and like all things in life, we need help to achieve our greatest results. I had been a Secret Entourage member for a little over a year, but had just heard about the business challenge. The objective was to set a 6 month goal and work in a small team to meet/achieve that. I quickly signed up, in mid-January I was placed on a team of like-minded individuals and was ready to go!

Leveling Up
I’m no stranger to business, in fact i’ve been in the web/mobile space for over 10 years. In this time i’ve worked with a multitude of clients and verticals. I decided to join the business challenge for the networking opportunity and knew how valuable multiple inputs are when growing/building a company. While I do have mentors and advisors, I always welcome input for varying perspectives.

While the company has been profitable since the early days, i’ve always been driven to grow and level up year after year. I refer to this as the entrepreneurial bug, and I was bit by it at a pretty young age. As a quick back story, I created a graphic design company my sophomore year of high school, which later turned into PixelBit (my current company).

Beginning Stages
As I mentioned before my graphics company was profitable since the early days, which sounds great, i’m sure. However it wasn’t that glamorous, the truth is a web company doesn’t require too much startup capital. The problem was in the early days I was unable to take a paycheck, so I had to offset my efforts in other freelance ways. I also am very fortunate to have a loving and understanding wife that took on the lion-share of the financial responsibility.

About 2 years into the company I was building great relationships with clients and starting to see an upside to all the effort being put in. I then decided to expand my company into a full service agency, which is where it is today.

I guess the point of telling you all this is to show the process of starting/growing a business is not an overnight process, in fact it can take years. However, if you put in the effort and take on some risk, you can create a life which isn’t possible working for someone else.

Video that dives deeper into my beginnings.

Hacking the Business
Most people know the word “hacking” to mean breaking into a computer, often illegally. I of course am not referring to that hacking in this section, but more the process of doing things a little different in business. Here are my top 3 actions that are sure to bring you better results in your bottom line.

  1. Never stop learning — Business is a journey, stay thirsty for knowledge and you’ll always be able to grow/expand over the years.
  2. Don’t take “No” — When hearing “no” from a prospect you’d naturally think to move on. However the truth is a No isn’t always the worst thing. You can use that No to better explain your position, learn their pain points and provide an effective solution. Additionally, maybe it’s a No today, but could be a Yes in 1 week, month, year. Just follow your businesses timing and keep tweaking.
  3. Work happens when you least expect it — While you can certainly find prospects at business meetings, conferences and other professional networking events, there is other options. Though this may not work for everyone, be sure to keep your ears open while attending events centered around various hobbies. For me it’s car events, being that cars are a passion of mine, I go to many events. I have landed many great clients as a result of talking about cars/business during these.

Taking Action
If you’ve gotten to this point, hopefully you’re fired up and ready to take action. While you could download an ebook, tweak your website or refine your sales copy, those really don’t help in the short term. Instead, do these 2 things TODAY!

  1. Contact 5 new prospects, secure meetings
  2. Reach out to older customers and provide an up-sell or update to their project

Don’t have a business already? That’s okay, start brainstorming what you’re good at and would like to continue doing on good AND bad days, as there will be many.

Okay, now… get going!

140 Character bio :: Matthew Keefe is a loving husband, father, entrepreneur, software developer and founder of @pixelbit and Dealer Copilot.

You can find me on YouTube, Instagram & Twitter and follow along on my journey of cars, bikes, business and fun.