Follow These 14 Rules To Ensure Long-Term Success...
If you’ve been paying attention to the online entrepreneur space for a few years, you’ve probably noticed that quite a few businesses and people have come and gone.
There are only a handful who have continued to build a lasting brand and legacy past the 10 year mark.
Well today I’d like to share some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned during my ten year career as an entrepreneur, so that you can create a thriving, successful business that will last the test of time…
These words of wisdom will help you navigate bad partnerships, protect your reputation, build valuable relationships, and much more…
1: Forget About The Money And The Money Will Come.
If you do something for money, you're going to fail.
Making money is the by-product or the result of helping other people solve a problem or achieve a result the’re after.
When I finally stopped worrying about making money years ago and I just started focusing on helping others, that's when the money came and when everything really changed for me.
Don't look for ways to make money, look for problems that you can solve for other people and you’re on the right track.
2: Always Deliver What You've Promised...
You only have one chance to make a great first impression, and that impression will define the relationship (or lack of), you have with your customers moving forward.
If you sell a product to somebody make sure it's delivered quickly. If you say that it's going to be there in five days, deliver it in three days.
If you're not sure if you can meet a deadline, then either don't set one, or set the expectation in a way that allows you to exceed that expectation when the time comes.
Getting a new customer is the most expensive and difficult part of building a business. Exceed their expectations, or they will take their business to someone else who does.
3: Be Authentic.
I've been told dozens of times over the years that the reason people do business with me is because I'm very real, I'm very genuine, and I'm authentic.
In fact, every event that I've ever been to, I've been approached by somebody who says, "Wow, Mike, you're exactly the same person in real life as you are in video and on the internet."
Some people love my personality. Other’s think I’m pretty damn boring.
It’s extremely tempting to look at the rockstars of your industry on Facebook or Instagram, and tell yourself that you need to be more like them.
That will never work. Instead, identify the unique qualities that you have, and shine a light on those.
I will never be the most energetic or entertaining personalities in my industry, but I am certainly one of the most authentic and genuine, which is more than enough.
At the end of the day, people want to buy from a friend they can trust, and the best way to create trust, is to be authentic.
4: Deliver 10X More In Value Than The Price You Charge.
Whenever you produce a product, do your best to make sure the customer is going to get 10X more value from that product than the price they paid.
This is extremely important if it’s one of your entry-level products that will be experienced by first-time customers.
If you can over-deliver on that very first experience and you leave them saying, "Wow, this was amazing. I can't believe I got all of this for that little money," then you've just set yourself up to have a customer for life.
5: Never Make A Decision Based On Money.
You’re going have many opportunities to promote products and services to your audience that might not be the highest quality, but they can put a significant amount of money in your pocket.
Don’t do it.
Do what’s right for your customers, and you’ll never have to worry about money.
Sell them out for cash, and you’ll quickly find yourself with very little of it.
6: Find Your Business, And Then Stick With It…
During the past ten years, I’ve started three companies. The first two exceeded $25MM in revenue each within five years.
In both cases, I’d gotten bored and lost interest in them around the five year mark, and walked away.
Now I’m starting over from scratch with my third company.
And yet I’ve had some colleagues who started their companies ten years ago as well, and they’ve stuck with it year after year.
Today, they’re sitting behind the wheel of substantial businesses that are worth incredible amounts of money.
It takes time to build something truly valuable. Have patience.
7: When You Screw Up, Admit it And Apologize.
While I strive to be the best that I can, I am not perfect. I'm human just like you and mistakes are going to happen.
When they do, just admit them.
I can promise you this.. Your customers are going to forgive you and respect you that much more if you acknowledge what happened and apologize for it.
In fact, this is your single greatest opportunity to build the highest levels of trust imaginable with your customers because so few people or companies will have the courage to be completely honest and transparent.
Tell the truth, apologize, make it right any way that you can, and you’ll turn your biggest challenge into your biggest win.
8: Provide The Best Customer Service Possible.
This is pretty simple… Treat your customers as you'd like to be treated.
Make sure it’s easy to reach your customer service department, and make sure your customer service department is trained unbelievably well, because they are representations of you and your personal brand.
9: Never Argue With A Customer.
If a customer is angry or rude, give them a refund and respectfully say thank you.
You don't know what's going on in their life.
Maybe they had a death in the family. Maybe they've got a spouse in the hospital. Maybe they were fired yesterday. Maybe they've got a legitimate emotional disorder that they're on medication for.
You don't know who these people are, why they're being rude or mean, and there's no reason to reciprocate that. Just let them go, say thanks, do what you need to do to make them happy, and wish them well and on their way.
With that being said, if someone continues to treat you or your team with disrespect, by all means fire them.
Give them a refund, remove them from your database, and wish them well.
They're never worth the money to deal with.
If someone shows up on any of my social media pages or my blog and wants to be a jerk, it's very simple... I block them.
If they send a nasty email, we remove them from our list and we don't let them buy our products anymore.
Basically, life is too short to deal with assholes, so don’t.
10: Say Thank You Sincerely And Often.
Tell your team and your customers how much you appreciate them. If you don't, they're going to go buy from somebody else who does.
11: Don’t Try To Please Everyone.
You're never going to be able to please everyone, and attempting to do so will make you look like some kind of politician who's one day saying, "I believe in this," and the other day saying, "I believe in that."
Your authenticity goes out the window, so stick to your beliefs even when that pisses other people off. (Because it will).
One of my favorite quotes from Dan Kennedy sums it up pretty well… “If you haven’t pissed someone off by noon each day, you aren’t marketing hard enough.”
If Jesus had haters, you and I are screwed. Stand up for your mission and what you believe in without compromise, and you’ll build a loyal following. The haters on the other side are the required proof that you’re succeeding.
12: Never Burn A Bridge Over Money.
I've seen partnerships and joint ventures often fall apart over a financial dispute.
At the end of the day, my philosophy on this is very simple: always give the other person the benefit of the doubt and the money that is in question.
It is only dirty paper and burning a bridge or screwing somebody over for that money is the quickest way to end up at the bottom from a reputation standpoint in your industry.
The person fighting for the money tends to be the one coming from the greatest place of insecurity. They’re afraid they won’t be able to make more, so they have to fight for what they’re losing.
If you have the ability and skills to start a new business and make more, let it go and focus on production and creativity as quickly as possible. The return on that will always be 10X more than what you were fighting over.
13: Stand Up For Yourself.
As you achieve higher levels of success, there’s a good chance you’ll become a modest celebrity in your niche.
When you become one of the top experts in any field, you're going to get attention.
Most of the people that you have contact with are going to be fans of yours who really appreciate you.
You're also going to have haters and trolls who show up. It comes with the territory. The more successful you become, the more these people tend to come out of the woodwork.
Should you find yourself the target of one of these mentally unstable people who wish to harm you or your business, here’s what you can do...
First, try to disarm the situation or to deal with their complaints in a really peaceful, proactive manner.
I'll reach out to them, whether it's a phone call or an email, and listen to their grievance.
The fit they’re throwing online is usually just a sign that they want to be heard, so hear them.
If there’s something I can do to try and make them happy, I’ll do that.
Yet there are some circumstances when that person really doesn’t want a solution. Their goal is to simply try to make your life miserable, because their life is miserable and they want you to share in the fun.
If you can't find a reasonable solution for the problem and they won't go away… If they’re they're attacking your reputation or harming your business, then your final option is to pursue legal action.
Unfortunately, I've had to do that a time or two. It's not fun, but at the same time your reputation is your business. You must protect it at ALL costs.
The good news is that these people are usually cowards. When they get a notice that they're going to be sued, they tend to go away very quickly.
14: Thank Your Mentors.
Finally, remember to thank your mentors. None of us can build a business or acquire new skills alone, and your gratitude is their oxygen.
The single best way to start a relationship with someone that you've learned from or that you look up to, is to let them know that they've made a positive impact on your life.
Don’t ask them for something. Don’t try to take more from them.
GIVE. Say THANK YOU. Send a testimonial, send a video, go shake their hands at an event.
Every single time I've done that, it's created the opportunity to build a closer, long-term relationship.
The people I once looked up to became my friends and my colleagues, and it always started with a “thank you”.
So these are my 14 rules for long-term success…
I’m confident that if you follow them, you’ll build a business and a reputation that will place you at the top of your industry.
If you enjoyed this week’s series, please reply to this email and let me know… I’d love to hear from you, and please tell which parts you found most valuable…