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Dissing Plan B

success_and_failure Here’s a great quote by entertainer Steve Harvey …

“Don’t live by old sayings that don’t apply to you. For instance – ‘Have a Plan B.’ Having a Plan B means you believe that Plan A might fail. Having a Plan B requires that you put time and energy into what you could’ve been doing for Plan A to make it work. And if Plan A doesn’t work, guess what, get a new Plan A.”

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There’s some real wisdom in his quote. We’ll look at it line by line:

“Having a Plan B means you believe that Plan A might fail.”

Believe

He’s emphasizing how much we have to believe in success, not in failure. We have to believe, in ourselves and in our plan, in order to succeed. The first person who has to be on board with our plan – the first person who has to follow us so to speak – is ourselves. If we’re not in line, we’re in trouble!

Throw away the security blanket

There’s another thing that comes to light with this quote. Think Linus van Pelt, Charlie Brown’s best friend and Lucy’s younger brother. He never went anywhere without his security blanket. 

We can’t succeed if we hold on to our security blanket, or blankets, as the case may be. We have to throw it away once and for all if we’re going to succeed bigg.

A lot of times we hold on tightly to that security blanket just in case. Just in case, things don’t go as planned.

Well, here’s the brutal truth – no matter how good we get at planning, things never will go as planned.

That’s when we have to hunker done. We have to double our efforts to make our plan work. We have to overcome all the obstacles that we will face and keep the faith.

The covenant with Nature

We must keep on believing that we will succeed because we have no choice but to succeed. When we reach that level of resolve, the forces of Nature begin to conspire with us, instead of against us.

It’s not a miracle. It happens too frequently to think of it that way.

It is no accident. Because that implies a randomness that doesn’t exist.

It’s isn’t luck because it happens more often to people whose thoughts lead to certain behaviors. The more determination we have, the luckier we get!

It’s more like a covenant. Nature says, “This is how much you have to believe. Here is what you have to let go of in order to have my blessing.”

Now, let’s look at the next line …

“Having a Plan B requires that you put time and energy into
what you could’ve been doing for Plan A to make it work.”

Setting priorities

Since we only have a certain amount of time, we can’t afford to waste it if we’re going to succeed bigg.  It’s all about priorities.

We tend to think that:

  • we’re super-human
  • we can do ten things at once
  • we don’t need to focus on just one or two major objectives at a time

The bare naked truth is … all of that is a lie!

We do have to determine what is most important right now in pursuit of that bigg success of which we dream. Then we have to focus all our energy on only that.

In the last part of his quote, he says,

“If Plan A doesn’t work, get a new Plan A.”

So the question is, how do you know if Plan A isn’t working?

One way to judge it is if you keep running into the same wall over and over again.

You’ve tried to climb over it.

You’ve tried to go around it on one side.

Then you tried the other side.

You tried to dig under it.

You even tried to blast through it.

You’ve tried five times, but the doggone wall hasn’t budged.

Plan B is like Step 2

It may be time to start thinking of your alternatives. And here’s where we deviate slightly from Steve Harvey. Because we think Plan B is like Step 2 on your path to bigg success. You have to have a clear picture of what bigg success looks like to you before you start. Then you need to map out the steps to get there.

With your plan in place, you’ll focus all your time and energy on Step 1 before you begin to take the second step. So we’ve thought about it before we start, but we don’t worry about it until it’s time.

We think Plan B is just like that. Before we start working on Plan A, we should have thought about Plan B. We’ve prepared for the contingencies. But that’s where we stop.

And the important distinction is this ….

Plan B doesn’t send us back where we were before. Plan B moves us ahead in a way that Plan A didn’t. It makes that wall insignificant.

The only path to bigg success

But it doesn’t pay to spend too much time thinking about Plan B because the wall we face probably won’t be the wall we expect. So now we’re back on track with Steve Harvey.

Think about it a little, but don’t dwell on it. While you’re pursuing Plan A, keep Plan B out of your head. Because you have to if you want to succeed bigg.

Your mindset has to be, “This is my only path to bigg success.” By thinking that way, you will find bigg success. 

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Thank you for checking in with us today. Join us next time as we begin a two-part series on the ten early warnings of a business in trouble. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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The Deal of Your Lifetime

sale We have an idea for your personal finances. Now if you’re one of our regulars, we may surprise you a little with what we’re about to say …

Go out and spend some money!

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Markets go through cycles. Sometimes it’s a seller’s market. But right now, we’re in a buyer’s market for almost everything!

Now, before you take our advice and rush out the door on a quest for that perfect item, consider these four questions:

  • Do you feel relatively secure in your job or your business?
  • Are you debt-free except for your low-cost mortgage on which you’re current?
  • Are you funding your long-term obligations (e.g. the kids’ college, your retirement)?
  • Do you have a nice stash of cash set aside for emergencies?

If you clear those four hurdles, you’re good to go … to go get the deal of your lifetime.

Spend, baby, spend!

It’s good for the economy, but even more important, it’s good for you. Because we’re seeing deals right now that we will probably never see again in our lifetimes.

Like the car dealer who is offering a two-for-one sale – buy a car and he’ll throw in a second car of equal or lesser value for free! That’s right … free! Did you ever think you’d see anything like that?

Many contractors are starving for work. It’s a great time to remodel your home – get those improvements done you’ve been putting off, add that room, remodel that bathroom or kitchen.

While we normally don’t suggest building a new home, for financial reasons as well as the emotional strain it can put on a relationship, it’s a fantastic time to think about having that dream house built.

And let’s not leave out businesses. Vendors in so many product lines just want some business. It’s a great time to expand or upgrade your business.

The paradox

Here’s the irony in our current situation – spenders are faced with great deals, but they often can’t clear the hurdles above. So they can’t spend!

Many savers have seen the value of their investments fall back ten years. So perhaps the lesson – live a little now, too! It will go against your grain to go out and shop. But look at it this way – you’re saving money because, by doing it now, when suppliers across the board need the money – you’ll get the deal of your lifetime! 

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we diss on Plan B. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00346-030909.mp3

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Critical Keys to Business Success – Part 2

success Today we continued our discussion with Deb Neuman, host of the Back to Business Radio Show. Last time, Deb shared four of her keys to business success, which all happen to start with the letter “P”. Today, she will share her final three. Let’s get back to the conversation …

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People

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marylynnSo far we’ve discussed Passion, Product, Persistence, and Planning. Now Deb, you say we have to think about People – surround yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses.

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debAnd look beyond your friends, family, and significant other. They are important people to have on your team, but you want to have other people who can be objective, who don’t have any emotional ties to you as well.

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marylynnOften, to get someone to take care of a weakness, you have to pay them to do that. If you don’t have any money, what is the answer then?

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debA lot of people barter. I have a friend who is a massage therapist who needed help building the web site for her business. So she and the web designer now trade services. The web designer gets massaged and doesn’t even have to pay for it … he’s happy! A side note to that – check with your accountant to make sure you’re accounting for it properly when tax time comes up. A lot of people I know really enjoy helping small businesses. They may be an accountant or an attorney. They’re looking for new businesses as future clients. Sometimes they’re willing to give you a few hours of service at no charge or give you a reduced rate. They recognize that, if they help you get your business started, you’re likely to become a future customer for them. Talk to other business owners and see who they’re using as providers.

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Promotion

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georgeNext up on the list is something that many business owners are cutting back on because of the tough economic climate – Promotion.

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debI just did some research into The Great Depression, what businesses survived, and how they did it. Some of the businesses that made it through the depression very successfully include Procter & Gamble, Camel cigarettes of all things, Kellogg, and Chevrolet. What they all had in common is that they scaled up their advertising during The Great Depression. They stayed visible in the minds of consumers and they were able to continue to do business throughout the depression even though people were spending less money. And when the economy did turn around, and it always does eventually, they had customers loyal to their brand. So now is not the time to stop promoting your business. Now is the time to kick it up a notch because people still have money to spend. They may spend less of it and they may be more choosy about where they spend it. But if they don’t know you’re out there, you’re not even going to be considered. Few of us have the resources to just advertise here, advertise there, and just throw money around that’s not going to pay back. So you really need to sit down and identify who your customers are. Be specific. Are they men or women? What age range? What kind of profession? Where are they? What are they reading? What are they listening to? What are they looking at online? Then think about how you can best reach them. Successful promotions, marketing, and advertising don’t mean you buy an ad in the newspaper and run it once. It has to be a long term plan and commitment.

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Positive Attitude

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george
So the last “P” on your list is Positive Attitude.

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debYou just have to maintain a positive attitude, through thick and thin. That reflects on your employees. Your customers know it. I just heard from a colleague of mine who went into a retail store. She said she’d never go there again because the owner of the store was in a really bad mood, griping about the economy. She said that she wasn’t there to hear all of that. She was there to have a nice experience. It really turned her off.

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marylynn
Because shopping is my escape. This is me trying to stimulate the economy, so relax!

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georgeRight now, not just for entrepreneurs, but any leader … it seems like we’re hearing such dismal news from so many of our leaders from the highest levels in the country to the biggest businesses. And I think, in many cases, small business owners are buying into it and people don’t want to follow someone who doesn’t have a better vision for the future.

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debExactly. I’m seeing businesses, some who’ve decided to close, but others who are planning and taking a different approach. They’re being very creative about it. They’ve said that this is forcing them to not be lazy. When things are good, they do whatever they want. They can’t do that now so they realize they have to be really proactive, but they’re making changes that they’re really excited about, even if they were forced into making them. They think they’re in a much better position going forward, now and when things do turn around for the better.

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Thanks Deb for sharing your wisdom with us! Check out Deb’s site, debneuman.com for more great tips for your small business.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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And thank you for reading our post today. Join us next time when we’ll tell you how to find the deal of your lifetime. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00345-030609.mp3

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Critical Keys to Business Success – Part 1

(Image in today's post by k_vohsen)

Critical Keys to Business Success – Part 1

success Today on The Bigg Success Show, we were honored to have Deb Neuman as our guest. Deb is the host of the Back to Business Radio Show, talk radio for small business owners on WVOM, the Voice of Maine News Talk Network. Deb was recently named Small Business Journalist of the Year for Maine and New England by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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Passion

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marylynnDeb, you've talked with thousands of entrepreneurs and you've found some critical keys to business success and they all start with “P”. Your first one is Passion. You have to love what you do.

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debIt’s not unlike a relationship; it’s not unlike love. You have to be passionate about the person that you commit your time and your life to. It certainly doesn’t mean that you’re going to like them every second. Similar to operating a small business, you don’t have to love every part of it. A personal example of that … I used to own an inn in Bar Harbor, Maine and I cleaned more toilets in five years of inn ownership than most people would ever want to do in a lifetime. So that wasn’t my favorite part, but I was certainly passionate about my business as a whole and I was willing to clean the toilets to make it work.

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georgeWhen you’re on the outside looking in, Deb, do you think there’s a tendency to romanticize that vision of what it means to own your business? I think a lot of people who have never done it before are disappointed that it’s not easy. It is hard, so you really do have to love it, but not romanticize it.

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Exactly. I always suggest that if you do have a romantic dream of owning an inn, for example, or operating a restaurant, that you go and work in one for a while. Really experience it; really find out what it’s going to take. Of course, it’s different when it’s yours, but you have to understand what the job entails.

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marylynnYeah, you definitely have to make sure you know what you’re getting into. That you see that toilet!

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Product

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george
Moving on to your next “P” for business success – it is Product.

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debYou have to have a product or service that people will actually pay you money for. Oftentimes, I’ve seen entrepreneurs romanticize their idea for a product or a service or an invention even. They just think it’s the greatest thing … that everyone will want this. They’re in love with it, but they really haven’t tested the market to make sure that other people will be as passionate about it as they are. And that these people will actually pay money for it because that is really a key.

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marylynn
Yes, because there are bills to pay!

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debThere are … that’s the reality! It’s worth it to take the time to do the market research to be as certain as you possibly can be that there is a market for your product or service.

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Persistence

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george
Next on your list, Deb, is Persistence.

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debThis is so important. When you start a business or when you’re trying to grow a business, things often can become challenging. They may not go the way that you want. Certain things may take longer than you hoped. You just have to persist through those challenging times. But you need to know when to cut your losses. It certainly doesn’t mean that you should just keep going and going and going if things aren’t going well. Sometimes you just have to say, “This isn’t working.”

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marylynnGeorge just worked with an entrepreneur who had to do that. She had to call it quits. But what’s interesting is that she has a great attitude. She’s not calling entrepreneurship quits, just that particular business. There was really no place else to go with it. She’s taken the lessons learned and regrouping, but then she’s going to launch another business at some point. I admire that in her.

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debEntrepreneurs are born with that genetic gift, as I call it sometimes. At other times, I call it a curse! We will come back with the next great idea and constantly be creating something. We just take those lessons, good and bad, and apply them to the next great idea.

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Planning

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george
And another one of your P’s for business success is planning.

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debPlan! Plan! Plan! You really do have to develop a business plan. If you’re just starting a new business, it’s critical to determine many things, including if a market exists for your product. But also planning has to happen every day and every week and every month. You have to plan the small things out and you also have to plan the big picture. You constantly have to be in planning mode. When you’re the boss, there’s nobody else telling you what needs to get done this week.

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georgeI think that’s one of the bigger challenges for people who just start a business. Not having that person to answer to. It could be a coach. In my former businesses, I met with one of my partners every week to make sure that he kept me on track. We try to do that with our coaches. You need that outside person to keep you focused and working on what you say you need to work on.

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Get more small business advice from Deb Neuman on her web site: debneuman.com.

Join us tomorrow when we discuss Deb’s last three critical keys to business success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00344-030509.mp3

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Making Change Work

change2 Entrepreneurs see a problem and immediately start trying to find a solution. That’s why entrepreneurship has been defined as the science of change. And there’s a new concept starting to take hold – that we are all entrepreneurs. We must all be innovative in finding solutions for the problems that we each face.

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There is real value in seeing ourselves as entrepreneurs and in looking at change as an opportunity rather than something to be resisted. We should welcome change!

That’s a bigg step for a lot of people. But if we don’t change, it means we’re standing still. There’s an old saying that a rut is nothing more than a grave with both ends knocked out. We have to get out of our ruts; we have to change – either as a response to the change we see coming or by creating the change that we see needs to be made.

We’ve been talking about change in our last couple of shows. We started by talking about the lost art of making change. Last time, we talked about how saving our change can lead to bigg changes in our lives.  It occurred to us that we can think about change in our lives by thinking about change – pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

A penny for your thoughts

The change process begins with a penny for your thoughts. It’s important to generate ideas about where you want to go. Then check the validity of your idea to see if it plays to your strengths. If it passes that test, look at the customers (or employer) you plan to serve as well as the competition already serving them to see if this is a good opportunity.

If I had a nickel for every time …

But the idea itself isn’t worth much. It’s the actions that follow the idea that make it valuable. So think about the saying, “If I had a nickel for every time I (fill in the blank).” We’re usually making a joke or lamenting something we’ve done too many times to count when we say this.

But there’s some bigg wisdom in this little saying. It’s the key to moving the idea from inside your head to something tangible. It’s about inputs. You can’t control the outcome, but you can control your actions.

So if you think about the actions necessary to bring your idea to fruition and then mentally think that you’re getting a nickel every time you act, you begin to see that your inputs create the output you want. The more you perform, the more you eventually get back.

A dime a dozen

As you come up with your ideas and begin to implement them, stand out. You don’t want to be a dime a dozen. You need to be unique. If you don’t find a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you can’t expect to be seen as outstanding. Find your niche. Entrepreneurs do it. So must we.

Two bits

One bit isn’t good enough. Have a back-up plan. If your tactics don’t work, what will you do next? This is the advantage of action. You learn. Notice that we didn’t say you fail. But you may not succeed bigg at first. You must adapt. Think about how you will need to adapt before you have to.

So there it is … the change process. Making change work leads to bigg success. 

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks for taking time out of your day to read our post today. Please join us next time when we talk about the seven P’s of business success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00343-030409.mp3

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