I spent the first part of this week at a seminar in San Diego where the focus was on the psychology of building and maintaining wealth. We heard from several pretty interesting speakers, including Keith Cunningham, Michael Smorch, Joe Williams, and Scott Harris, in addition to some market specific people like Joel Comm and Frank Kern.
Frank Kern was pretty interesting. If you don’t know his story, he was pretty poor, working in direct sales, and got so he really did not like working with people. He sent for many “how to make money” products, and ultimately started an internet business selling people books about how to teach your parrot to talk. No, really!
That web site made him some $3000 or more per month. Subsequent web sites made him many millions. So I was pretty interested in what he had to say. It was something I have heard many times, from other speakers, in other ways. Keith Cunningham says it like this: Get in line, stay in line. If you get bored with being in line, or if the line isn’t moving how you want, then you will probably get out of line, and you will have to return to the end of the line. The people at the front of the line started at the back.
Keith also says “Ordinary things, done consistently, produce extraordinary results.” Frank Kern, (paraphrased), says that you have to quit sitting on the couch watching TV. You need to want to succeed more than you want to sleep. Most people would rather sleep.
Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds, said that the key to success is to find a good idea and take immediate and massive action.
Most of us have great ideas, but never do anything with them. We do not need to have a great idea, though. For every business, there are people who have succeeded, and people who have failed at the same business. If you want to take a date to the very best restaurant, you probably will not be taking them to the most profitable restaurant; McDonald’s does not have the best hamburgers in the world, but they have one of the best business models and management teams.
Entrepreneurs (and I include myself here) are usually in love with their idea, their product — and this is a problem, because they should be more concerned with how the business works, not the product. Another gem from Keith Cunningham: Anything worth doing, is worth doing BADLY. He says this because most people who want to do something really well, will never actually do anything, because there is always some way to do it a little better.
A company I worked for at one time created a new type of product, and we pre-sold thousands of them. When we finally shipped them, they were, well, version 1 and had a 100% return rate. But version 2 was much better. We crushed the market and kept market share, because we had excellent customer service and took care of every customer and got them a version 2 unit as fast as we could. We did something badly and got our foot in the door. It was something worth doing.
Sometimes we just need to hear what we already know.