Archive for April, 2011
Posted in: Blog by scott_manning on April 27, 2011
You betcha. Oh, but that’s the punch line, let me tell you the story.
So, as you know – I travel. Not like some road warrior, my schedule is very controlled, but I go back and forth between two homes in Indiana and South Carolina often, and I go to Client events, Seminars, my own stuff, and of course Glazer-Kennedy events.
Which is how this all began; On my way to Chicago for the GKIC Marketing and Money Making SuperConference, a day early for a blitz of meetings.
Finishing up non-stop private coaching phone day I was pulling into the airport, valeted the car, and walked in – I immediately checked the boards and the security lines since Charleston is too small to have the “Expert Traveler Lane” as they now call it. Today, which is rare, I was flying United by way of US Airways, because they provide non-stop service to Chicago and I always fly US Airways, always. Because, believe it or not, I’ve learned the hard way that price shopping airlines is pointless and loyalty actually can pay off – if you know what you are doing.
Plus, US Airways is probably the most dominant, certainly the best Airlines in Indy and Charleston.
Okay – so, I look up at the board and notice “WEATHER” next to my departure time and of course, you know that’s bad, because they don’t even approximate a time. Cleverly I looked at the arrival slots and noticed that the inbound flight had not even left from Chicago yet.
Then, I did what any impatient, OCD, and man with a plan, would do – I check all other airlines for other ways to get to Chicago – I already knew this in advance, that I could either go US Airways through Charlotte or Southwest to Midway, direct.
I saw Southwest “boarding” on the screen, so I went to the ticket counter and I dropped $300 on a one way on-site purchase ticket or whatever the heck they called it.
Don’t misunderstand – I love the company. Love them.
I think they are brilliant marketers.
1 – memorable
2 – against the grain and industry norms
3 – they know what they stand for
4 – they make it fun and have relationship with customers
5 – something many people may not realize, they have stayed true to themselves, and you can only buy southwest tickets on southwest.com NOT at any discounter or price shopping website.
They are incredible. I just couldn’t bring myself to give them money because I had nightmarish visions of being stuck in the back packed in like sardines..
BUT NOW –
Because it was
- The cleanest
- Didn’t even realize there were 3 seats per side
- Vinyl seats
- Friendly staff
- No nonsense
- And, the captain talked to us more than any other plane, kept us informed and always referenced the time we were getting in versus the time we were projected
They were selling from minute 1, earning your money and loyalty.
It was a beautiful thing.
For the first time, maybe ever, I felt like they showed sincere appreciation for the passengers onboard.
I chalked today up to finally doing some live in person market research on the great airline marketers Southwest – a cheap $300
Making sure I got the hotel in time to pound out a few last minute projects that were on the schedule – a very very very cheap $300
I look to buy time where ever I can, minutes, hours, days, and I don’t want to be at anyone mercy – if at all possible.
I could have waited like everybody else on the plane did, and sometimes that’s the only choice, but when it’s not, then, to me, the answer is obvious.
And, there are a lot of things in life you can’t control, can’t do anything about, a lot of things that are going to happen regardless of what you do.
Then, there are those things that you are in complete control – if you choose to be.
Know this, if you don’t choose, someone will.
I am always at the mercy of the airlines, but I’m strategic whenever possible, because I got one life, just like you do, and I don’t want to be putting it on pause for nothing and nobody, if I don’t have to. $300, I bill out 3+ times that for a dedicated hour of work…ensuring that my projects were done, relaxing on the plane versus stressing in the concourse – all worth the money.
The Southwest experience, a nice surprise that I didn’t expect.
Have things that are so powerful, so important, so valuable, in your life and business, that you don’t think twice about decisions – and then build a lifestyle that supports those things.
Oh, and just for fun…I checked my original flight, it’s still waiting to leave Charleston…
SCORE: Scott 1 – Airport 0
I’m sure the message you’d have gotten if I were writing it while sitting would be quite different than this one…at least good news for Southwest, there’s a lot of people reading this right now.
Posted in: Blog by scott_manning on April 20, 2011
I’m writing to you today fresh off of watching a recorded episode of ‘The Shark Tank’, which carries a lot of lessons in it each week. And a phone conversation with a client yesterday that ties in perfectly to what I wanted to share with you today.
The people who go on the Shark Tank often have very interesting ‘ideas’ and some businesses, most I wouldn’t even classify as Entrepreneurs. For this one very simple reason –
They do not realize, or accept the fact, that they are in the marketing and selling business.
Not the “idea” business, or the “in love with my own idea” business.
No question, I commend them for making it on the show and taking at least that initiative.
And so many of them have poured their life, money, and other people’s money into their businesses and are looking to get to the next level.
And that’s the place for the Shark Tank. But they don’t call it the Shark Tank for no reason at all. If you watch carefully, sometimes they do fair deals and other times not, but what they are really doing is looking for someone who has an good idea and no business experience, that they know they can take and leverage the idea.
In many cases they have no intention of being in the “running” of the business, but in flipping the idea and concept to another already successful business.
They are investors, not entrepreneurs, at least not all of them.
This is not the point of my message to you this week. It is this, the one common theme, the one ALWAYS ASKED question by the sharks is:
It all comes down to this: The real business in every business, is about money extraction from people in exchange for value.
No money extracted, no value present.
What’s frustrating is watching someone with a viable business, a great idea, a solid concept, that you know, and I know, we could make them rich with… sometimes saying, “geez, I’d love to get my hands on that business.”
The problem is, they focus on the wrong things. The think they are in the “create a great idea business” instead of the “selling something business”
Look, I know parents with kids who have sold more Girls Scout cookies in a couple years than what these people have in their businesses.
And I say, just go sell something dammit.
You could go door to door, carpooling with the Mary Kay ladies and sell more than half of the participants who show up there.
You want to know the best medicine for a bad day:
You want to know how to break your business out of a rut:
You want to know how to determine if you are serious about success:
SELL SOMETHING is the answer to everything… at least it’s not a place you should start. (How can you go wrong?)
Which brings me to my phone conversation yesterday.
My Client, actually one of my client’s sales-people (ha ah, another novel idea, someone dedicated to selling) said very astutely,
“I probably want to be careful getting in the habit of changing a bunch of things around, we’ve got a successful system, done a lot of work, what we need to do is just get out there and sell it…we can always make adjustments and changes as we go…”
BINGO – And he is/was exactly right.
Too many people fall into the trap of “fixing” “changing” “developing” instead of SELLING.
STOP what you are doing right now, and get out there and make a sale as if your life dependent on it, soon enough, if you don’t focus on this – you can be sure, it will.
P.S. You might be thinking how great of an opportunity it would be in The Shark Tank – but I’ve got a better idea…
Very few entrepreneurs ever ‘sellout’ to investors like the sharks, on the way up. You wait until you’re on top to cash out.
Posted in: Blog by scott_manning on April 13, 2011
The other day my brother, only half-jokingly, said when he saw Charlie Sheen doing his little rant on TV, he said he saw some resemblance to me…
Of course he was not referring to the drugs, prostitutes, family neglect, and abusive behavior.
He was making reference to his statements of absolutes, self-righteous talk, obsessive nature, unwavering self-assurance, and extreme pursuit of ‘Winning’.
And I responded, as I often do when someone points out these things –
That I’m well aware that for most of those issues there is medication available.
That thought has never crossed my mind, because I’m afraid it might work.
Fixing these issues isn’t what is needed, not for the rabid entrepreneur and hungry for success and to help other people type-of-person, such as you and myself –
No – not fixing – harnessing.
Dan Kennedy often talks about his “obsessive” nature and that he is careful what hobbies he takes up because anything he does he would want to master and that requires obsession.
You’ll be as successful as you commit to being. Period, end of story.
And it sure is easy for people to mistake passion with obsession, isn’t it.
Just as it’s easy to mistake confidence for arrogance too.
In most cases, it’s either obvious someone, like Charlie Sheen is an idiot.
But, others, not so obvious, because people who aren’t pursuing what we’re pursuing simply can’t understand.
I could name the longest list of people who achieve success and significance and if you look closely that, they all have Charlie Sheen characteristics, just harnessed differently.
And, to be fair, it’s these same traits that led Charlie to being either one of, or the, highest paid sitcom actor in the present times.
It’s what’s required.
The point today, is simple, success is a fine line, what it takes to achieve it and what it takes to stay there. People will call you crazy and a lot of other things – they can’t understand.
Just know, minus all the negative, illegal, and harmful stuff – inside Charlie was a person who achieved success and couldn’t handle it, not because he changed, because he lost control of the same things that led him to the top, brought him back down.
What will due you in, hold you back, and keep you from achieving all of your dreams and ambitions is not being out there enough, not being crazy enough, not pushing hard enough, not being committed enough.
“Committed” what an interesting word. Don’t you think.
To be successful you’ve got to be.
And often times those around you think so too.
A little play on words – I know I’ve been committed and others have often thought I should be…
But I never subdue the things that make me successful, that make me, me.
You can learn a lot from Charlie, both extremes, exactly what not to do, and exactly what you’ve got to do…I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out the difference.
Whatever you do – don’t take what Charlie’s taking, and don’t take what anyone else suggests either.
It just might fix you.
Posted in: Blog by scott_manning on April 6, 2011
Everybody needs a little spring cleaning, like it or not.
There is nothing I hate more than stopping what I’m doing, halting progress, and taking a break to do spring, or any other type of cleaning.
I’ve had maid-service since the day I left my parents’ house, then a wife, and now kids (okay, easy does it, settle down… they don’t do everything, I trained my dogs to take out the trash).
Seriously though, I know you hate it too. I’m not talking about daily stuff and household upkeep, although you shouldn’t be screwing around with that stuff either.
I’m talking about cleaning up the messes you create in your business and life.
Dan Kennedy says “success is made in a messy kitchen” and of course, he’s damn right.
People worried about keeping things in order, pretty, neat, and ‘just so’never have a reason to leave the house, go to the bank, and make a deposit.
If you are reading this, you probably know that I’m more OCD than any of ya, and I’m a control freak with my time and my space. I hate dirt, germs, and anything that carries them. I don’t think I’ve gotten my hands dirty since high school and I’m proud of it. My mind works so my hands don’t have to.
So, I’m not talking about that kind of clean.
I’m talking about making room in your life for opportunity.
Making room in your business for more money.
Making room in your mind for more success.
If the enemy ever finds my hide-out, it will do them no good, because my files are so coded, and sticky-note-ed like a pirate’s secret treasure map. I’ve got papers stapled and clipped here, there, and every where.
And I’ve got piles dependent on value and work and timelines.
It’s a crazy yet lucrative giant pile of marketing and money making chaos.
And, despite all of that, every few months, you’ve got to stop, take a count, and reorganize what’s going on in your life.
Assess where you are investing your time, what opportunities are going well, what needs more attention, and judge those that are deserving of the chainsaw.
That’s one of the big benefits my clients and coaching members find in working with me, I provide a built in forced “check up” and “cleaning out” of all the accumulated un-necessities in their businesses and lives.
Regardless, you’ve got to do the same.
So – stop what you’re doing, reorganize the game plan, clean off your plate and only put the most important stuff back on it. Get rid of the loose ends, the un-dones, and the annoyances that hamper your productivity.
When this is all said and done, you’ll feel refreshed, focused, and be more productive than you’ve been since the last time you’ve did this little exercise.
Embrace this idea, and you’ll have a built in catalyst to achieve a leap in your income each and every time you do it.
Oh, and by the way, if you don’t feel the stress, pressure, and need for this routine “cleaning”, you’re simply not doing enough, trying enough stuff, or challenging yourself, probably just not working hard enough.
What a wake-up call Spring time can be. Enjoy.