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Advertising whiz kid Siimon Reynolds (who’s now no longer a kid) once wisely told me  that everything you do in business is advertising.

(For those who’ve forgotten, as a youngster, Siimon, — yes, with two ‘i’s’ — created the bowling ball Grim Reaper aids commercials. It won international awards and his reputation went skyward. He now has an ad and PR operation called LOVE.)

A walking talking advert!

What he was saying was that from the way you design and present your business card, to the way you answer the phone to the way you dress and groom yourself, it all ends up being an advertisement for your business.

Don’t get caught in the tracksuit!

Marketing experts, in fact, advise business owners to do an audit on their business as an outsider would, to note what’s wrong. If you run a home-based business, the gate that’s hard to open is a negative for a customer. The barking dog, which scares away a client of a home-based business isn’t a great asset. And your tracky dacks that the odd customer catches you in really sucks, to steal a younger person’s apt description.

Let your passion flow

Just imagine how you could boost your business if you really became objective about all of your weaknesses and then did something about them.

To me it’s all about the ‘F-word’ for focus. If you find such a word offensive, let’s call it the ‘P-word’ for passion.

Creating a great business or career is about watching your P’s and F’s. The Ian Thorpes of this world don’t happen because a guy with big feet jumps into a pool each day and swims 14 kilometres.

There’s a whole bunch of swimmers doing a Thorpe routine but there’s only one Thorpe and around the world there are only a handful of swimmers who give him any competition.

Work comes before success

High achievers are 24/7 performers and they don’t let distractions get in their way. By the way, I’m not saying you have to be one of these types but what you have to remember is some of your rivals will be Thorpe-like and it’ll mean you’ll have to settle with a lesser prize.

I recently came across someone who’s trying to build up a business, but has a number of factors that take him a way from his business success goals. One is his passion for golf and when you talk to him on a Monday you know he’s more focused on his golf handicap than he is on his business handicaps. And to be objective, he has plenty of them to overcome to get his business zinging.

Beer or water?

Now, I’m not saying that people behind business success stories only live and breathe business. Thorpe has a life beyond the pool but I bet when he has a choice between a beer and water at party when he’s training, it’s water.

List your priorities

It all gets down to priorities. Is building the business the most important goal to be kicked? That’s the question you have to face everyday. Some people need to be reminded of why they’re in business, so they put the reasons on a noticeboard, their screensaver, their diary or even on their fridge.

Take a good, long look at yourself

In looking at the ‘below par’ performance of my golfing buddy, I put myself in his shoes and started asking how could he be better? And the more I changed identities for the sake of coming up with ideas, the more I could see the value of being more passionate and focusing on the business dream.

You can’t just cruise

This guy was waiting for a marketing drive driven by his partner to start in order to see the leads come in, but he hadn’t researched his local area for business groups, networks and associations. He hadn’t gone to business breakfasts to hand out cards. He hadn’t even talked up his business at the golf club!

Passion shouldn’t ebb and flow

In a sense, he was a part-timer distracted from the main game and that’s why the results weren’t coming.

Someone like him should have been reading every marketing book he could get his hands on, such as Purple Cow by Seth Goddin to a book written by yours truly called 350 Ways To Grow Your Business, so he could build up his arsenal of weapons that he took to business each day.

To win the match

What follows could upset some people but the reality is that anyone living with some kind of failure has to accept their role in the poor performance. Woody Allen in his film Match Point examines the importance of luck and it does play a role in many of our endeavours — but too many people, too often, use it as a cop out to stop them taking a long hard look at their own efforts.

Do you want to win?

The bottom line is everything you do in business defines your business. If your effort is second rate that’s what your business will be — second rate.

Work on your business, not in it. To learn how, book a complimentary business assessment today with a Switzer Business Coach.


Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Friday, January 08, 2010

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