5 Things Your Business Can Learn From Millionaires

First off – never get too excited about money. If you’re hungry for more money, go after it, but it’s a long grind. You also have to forget about other parts of your life in the pursuit of dollars. Having said that, they’re are many things you can learn from those who have made many dollar bills through their business(es).

Canadian Money, Money

Whether you’re content with grinding it out in a large corporation or if you want to hustle day-in and day-out as a scrappy startup – here are some things to consider:

1) You are in charge of what you want

Fate or coincidence or hard work. You may believe things happen for a reason, but you also have to understand you have a choice in the matter. The rest is left up to chance, but you can sway things in your favour by how much you’re willing to put in. You don’t have to accept the circumstances as they’re presented to you. You can choose what you want to do with your life, business, family, love life, etc… YOU HAVE A CHOICE!

2) You probably know a millionaire, but don’t know it

If money is what you’re after – you’d probably be surprised to see who has money and who doesn’t. Quite a few ‘flashy’ people I know are in HUGE amounts of debt. From the outside – they look like billionaires, but they’re living pay cheque to pay cheque. Don’t be fooled by looks. In fact, in the book The Millionaire Next Door they lay out some interesting stats about millionaires:

  • 20% of the affluent households in America are headed by retirees
  • Of the remaining 80%, more than ⅔ are headed by self-employed owners of a business
  • In America, fewer than ⅕ households is headed by a self-employed business owner. However, these self-employed are 4 times more likely to be millionaires

No flash, just gaining the fruits of their labour. No need to shove it down your throat. It pisses me off to see the amounts of money being thrown around by those ‘successful’ entrepreneurs. I’m assuming here, but 99% of those who have money, don’t flaunt it. Unfortunately, the social world has made it cool to show off your dough. You don’t have to be one of these people.

3) If you want to make it big – you’ll have to work for it

Nothing is given to you – unless you come from an extremely well-off household. Even then, you may not know it, and you’ll have to work for it. When you see successful businesses or ventures you mustn’t forget those are many years in the making. The best athletes and business people in the world didn’t get to where they are by luck. Yes, a bit of that helps, but so does hitting the gym every day, so does not being afraid to take a risk and get out of your comfort zone. Hustle will always win.

4) Passion is BS – most of the time 

There are so many la-la stories about finding your passion. For the most part – your passion doesn’t pay. I’d like to golf 100% of the time. That’s my passion. Unfortunately it doesn’t pay the bills. Here’s something to keep in mind from Illusions of Entrepreneurship:

  • 63% of new business owners admit their ventures don’t have a competitive advantage.
  • There’s no evidence that entrepreneurs select industries where profits, profit margins and revenues are higher.
  • Only a third of those surveyed say they really did a search for a good business idea.

Aka – if you don’t have an idea, think you’re special or don’t know what you’re passionate – that’s okay. If you currently like what you’re doing, and it pays the bills, then maybe there’s something in that line of work that can help you. My wife loves to write fiction. Unfortunately it doesn’t pay the bills. However, she freelances on the side as a writer doing odd jobs from writing descriptions of bird cages, to being a word-smith for one of the largest branding companies in North America. THAT PAYS!

She had to hustle on sites like ODesk (now UpWork) for a few months until she landed a big fish. Hustle always wins.

5) Understanding delayed gratification

Everyone is a victim of this including me. You and I always want that instant gratification. We instantly want a return. We put in – we get out. That’s it. Unfortunately, when starting your own business, or working for YOU INC (aka yourself at your 9-5) you have to put in the hours. I started working at the age of 12 filling out scorecards for Men’s Club Championship at the golf course I was a member of. I also cleaned clubs. I did this for 2-years until I worked my way up to handling the junior program, scheduling other staff members, and selling items in the pro-shop. I didn’t go from 0 – 100 overnight. It took years of hustle, and me being as reliable as they come.

The same can be said in business. If you have the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality – you will die a slow, bank breaking death. You have to keep in mind there’s someone else out there who’s just as hungry for success as you are…if not hungrier. It sucks, but you have to put in the work.

Since we started our online fashion business (Ever Rose) back in January – my wife and I haven’t had a single day off. We work 7-days a week. We work 9-5 jobs then come home and work on the store. We just had our best month of the year in one of the slowest months for fashion. We’re also ranked in the Top 5% of store traffic on Shopify out of all the stores that were created around the same time ours was. Why? We hustle. We’re exhausted, but we hustle. And the money is starting to follow.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

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Crafting your ‘different’ message

Last week I touched on how you need to get the word out about your business because no one really cares about your business until you give it meaning. This isn’t the 1800’s where you knew the blacksmith, tailor, farmer, etc…Today’s market landscape is soooo crowded you’re going to have to spend some money to get your message heard.

Today we’re going to talk about crafting that message. 

You’ve finally come to the realization you’re going to have to market your product, service, whatever. Now, what medium to choose? Print, radio, TV, direct mail, social media and the list goes on. It can be quite tricky to figure out what to use. Some business folk will choose to sprinkle their cash in each. DON’T DO THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE A TON OF MONEY TO SPEND. Stick to one medium and test it. Don’t spread yourself too thin using a bunch of mediums. Put all your eggs into one basket, especially when you’re starting out.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which medium you choose, as long as you choose one. Once you’ve chosen the medium, it’s time to start crafting the message.

Your message can only say ONE thing about your business. That’s it, that’s all. Find the core of your message and beat people over the head with it.

For example: Army Commanders will ask themselves, “What is the ONE thing we want to accomplish tomorrow.” This really simplifies the message that they will pass down through the ranks. The message could be, “We will destroy the bridge leading to the castle.” Think about that for second…it doesn’t say how it’s going to happen or bog down the objective in details. If all goes to hell, the men on the ground will know EXACTLY what the objective is.  DESTROY THE BRIDGE!

Police will often use this tactic for undercover missions. “Infiltrate the dealers and find the supplier.” Does the Police Chief care about how it’s done…kind of, but at the end of the day all he/she cares about is finding out who the supplier is.Pretty simple marching orders for those who are going to carry out the undercover operation.

Here’s a way you can find out what your core message is.

Fill in the blanks: My (business) is the ONLY (business category) in (city / town) that (whatever it is your business does).

For example: My hot dog cart is the ONLY street vendor in Charlotte that offers ballpark Frank’s.

From there – you can relentlessly promote and market the fact you have ballpark Frank’s (or whatever you have that other’s don’t). And don’t say, “we have the lowest prices, best customer service and the most experience.” EVERYONE SAYS THAT! I’m sorry, but you will not be cheaper than the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart. If you get into a commodity battle the BIG GUYS WILL DESTROY YOU. Go for the heart and the mind will follow.

If your customer service is better…PROVE IT. If you can’t think of a story about how your customer service representatives went above and beyond with a customer than you don’t have the best customer service. Treating customers with respect and greeting them with a smile is expected. It doesn’t mean you have the best customer service. Now, if it’s raining outside and you walk every customer to their vehicle with an umbrella over their head…then we can talk. Until you can prove it, don’t mention it in your advertising.

Once you’ve picked the medium and figured out your core message, you can start working on your creative. And that’s when the fun starts…

The above isn’t an exact science. It takes time and plenty of thinking to come up with a medium and core message. It’s best to bring in an outsider who will challenge your thinking. As a business owner, you’re too ‘inside the box’ to realize what other’s think about you. If you need help finding a medium and breaking down your core message, shoot me a note at effumarketing@gmail.com

Next week we’ll discuss CREATIVE or how your message will be seen and promoted.