KEYS TO WEALTH AND FULFILLMENT YOU WON’T FIND IN BUSINESS SCHOOL!
Last week I shared lessons learned from Peter Sage at the Success Summit in South Africa. In teaching about wealth and fulfillment, he approached it from a different perspective than most people I have heard. He says, the economy is not the problem, the prevailing circumstances are not the issue, but that “the biggest challenge in business is the skill and mindset of the entrepreneur“. So the question to ask then, is “who do I need to become in order to make my business a long-term success?”
In looking at the “who” you and I will be “becoming” in order to be successful and fulfilled, the first point Peter shared was to develop the right mental foundation and the second one, was don’t just get financing, get a better strategy, so that you get what you want/need for your business without paying for it- this he called Capital versus Incentive! As I have discussed all of these in my previous post, we will go straight to the 3rd competency you need to become that entrepreneur whose businesses generate a lot of income and transcends generations… (Read the first part of this in my post called “Keys to Wealth & Fulfillment You Won’t Find in Business School (1) here.
3. Develop a core story! As an entrepreneur, start to think “what do I want to achieve over and above the sale?” When you know what that is, that is what you should be selling! He illustrated this by asking 2 business owners to come on stage (before an audience of 4000) and sell their “product” to the audience in 1 minute- let’s call that a Stadium Pitch. We the audience, were told to stand up at the start of each presentation and to sit down as soon as we lost interest. The first person got up and said I have a company called XXX and we have this amazing product called YYY, in 3 seconds flat, the entire hall was back in their seats- which means that most people were not interested and would not be buying the product and the business will shut down. The second person got on stage and said “according to the World Health Organization, 20,000 children will die of pneumonia this winter. Did you know that these 20,000 deaths can be avoided if these children had better accommodation? My company XXX creates low-cost accommodation…” 30 seconds in, three-quarters of the hall was still standing… Meaning sales… (These are not the actual words of the pitches made at the Success Summit by the way, these are just for illustration purposes).
Do you see what just happened? It’s something we know of but don’t really know of, on a conscious level- remember that knowledge is not power, applied knowledge IS power! So, when you see an advert, with a beautiful super model wearing her dress, walking down from her hotel room, all the guys gawking at her, and she walks into the sunset, into the arms of the most dashing fellow who just happens to be driving a BMW… You see them laughing as the car speeds off into the sunset and the words “the Ultimate Driving Machine” flashes on your screen, they have just told you a story! They have said the most handsome guys, who get the prettiest girls, and who can afford to stay in the best places in the world drive BMW’s. The laugh was to show you that they are also happy! Long and short, people who drive BMW’s are happy and successful and have exciting futures -the sunset and the mystery it evokes! Lol! I haven’t seen a BMW advert like this by the way, that was just for the sake of analogy.
But do you see what Peter is telling us? When you go out to sell your product, sell the dream of it… Sell what people long for, can relate to, then tie your product in to the fulfillment of that longing- to relate it to the BMW advert above, after seeing that, you may not go out and buy a BMW, but in your mind the association between success and BMW’s has been made even if on a subconscious level. This is more important because research has shown that for any given product, given let’s say 100% of your target demographic- 30% of people are not interested in the product at all. The next 30% think they are not interested, the next 30% are not thinking about it- that’s 90% of your target market. 3-6% of your target demographic are open to it and 1-3% are interested in buying now! That’s why you develop a compelling story- a story that appeals to something beyond the product itself- to a human need… Of the 90% not interested in the BMW (still sticking with the analogy), let’s assume that the demographic is mainly male- how many men do you think are interested in being successful? Still how many do you think are interested in “scoring” the most beautiful chic? Do you see what I mean? How by that story that BMW sold us, they have increased the number of interested buyers? Imagine if they sold a BMW by saying, shinny car, brakes react quickly, amazing speed, leather seats and a big dash-board. This may all be true, but does any of that make you want to make a buy decision? No!
I would have stopped at that point because I think there’s great food for thought here. How can you position yourself and your product so that it is compelling- that people seek association with it- think Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft is great and most commonly used but Apple users are raving fans! Somehow, Apple is woven into their identities, it represents something to them, how do you explain queuing up for 4 days to get a new phone which one week later will be in every store and you can walk in and pick it up?
But so that I give you good value, I share a final point. The 4th competency that a successful entrepreneur must have is pre-eminence! To make your business, your product, your brand superior, notable from all the others! Outstanding! Pre-eminence transforms everything! Think on that, and let me know how you have applied it or how you intended to do so.
In wrapping up Peter admonished us never to confuse your self-worth with your net worth! You make money! Money doesn’t make you! “Be willing to risk letting go of what you are gripping onto, to get what you want!” And I add, for success to be meaningful and fulfilling, it has to be success according to you! For some people, success is 60 hour work weeks and a fat paycheck, for others, it is flexibility- freedom to travel, raise the kids and work on their terms… You will not be fulfilled living someone else’s dream and your own dream will keep chasing you, asking to be fulfilled! Don’t struggle up a ladder- kick other people down, claw your way up, only to find out the ladder has been leaning up the wrong wall!