053: My Top 10 Takeaways from The Launch Conference – And One Surprise Takeway [Podcast]

I spent much of last week at The Launch Conference in Orlando. The conference was mentally challenging, and Disney with the family was physically challenging. It was worth it.

The LaUnch Conference - JOHN C. MORGAN

John C. Morgan working as George Bush at Launch

For those not familiar with Launch, it is a conference put on by Michael Hyatt and Ken Davis to help speakers maximize their business. But, the principles that apply to speakers also apply to anyone who is trying to create products and services. So, I go to learn, mostly so I can teach. In today’s podcast, I give you my top 10 take aways from Launch.

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My Top 10 Takeaways from The Launch Conference

Launch was amazing. It challenged all of us to act faster and listen more. Here are ten things I learned.

  1. I am not the product. People often tell me that they hate to sell themselves. So, they should quit trying. This was a very freeing thought. People do not buy you, they buy what you can do. You have to get emotionally unattached from your products. Whether doing a job, selling a product or service, or pitching a talk, it is not about you as much as what you deliver.
  2. Markets determine the value of products. As much as we might want to determine the value of what we do, we have no control – the market does. While this sounds negative, the truth is most people devalue themselves by selling BELOW what the market will pay. Think about what the market will bear, and then add value to get to that number.
  3. When I hear the same question three times, that is the market talking. Dan Miller from 48days.com really hit this point home. His comment was “when I hear the same question three times, that is the market talking. I create a product to meet that need!” Wow. This goes back to the idea of creating your first information product in 30 days. You too need to listen to the questions you are asked and realize, the market is talking.
  4. You do not have to plan perfectly. Just launch and continually correct. Perfectionism is a trap. Nothing is ever perfect. Be aware that no matter how much you plan, you are wrong. Get it as close as you need to get it, then launch it into the world.
  5. Systems, not just talent, create success. No matter what you are doing, learn the system of success. Raw talent is never enough. Think of a sports team with many talented players. Often it falls apart if they have no system or proper coaching. No matter what you do, there is a system or a recipe to help you succeed. Learn the plan, follow the plan.
  6. Getting started is the key. Michael Hyatt hammered this home with the quote ”The biggest danger is not that you will get it wrong, the biggest danger is that you will not start.”
  7. We do not live in a world of scarcity. I saw many WOW moments when this hit home with our group. Scarcity tells us that if other people are already doing what we want to do, we should find a new idea. Not true! There is still plenty of market for what you do. And no one will do what you do they way you do it.
  8. Do not expect every product to hit. Throw products out fast and see what sticks. When something hits, go with it.
  9. Never wait till it’s perfect! Deliver product. When Bill Gates sold MS DOS to IBM, the product had never been created. He sold it, and then built it quickly. I can 100% guarantee you that no matter what you do, your product will NOT be perfect. Even in space travel, with all the planning and money, mistakes are made and things are overlooked. Fortunately, your mistakes will never create as much risk as space travel.
  10. Dream with the faith like a child. While not technically part of the conference, we heard the story of how a homeschooling mom wanted to teach her six year-old daughter how to live out her faith by serving others. Todd and Erica McNeal challenged their daughter to come up with a way to serve. When six year-old Jordyn wanted to send a very sick girl and her family to Disney World, Todd and Erica were shocked. Erica told me “I thought she would want to bake pies for people.” But Todd and Erica decided God could make it happen. He did. Now eight years old, Jordyn has her own ministry called Faith Like a Child. What about you and I? 

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Question: What is your Jordyn dream? What can you do to serve others? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Speaking in two sessions during Focus On You!

Date: May 17, 2014
Event: Focus On You
Topic: Company of One
Venue: Pelham Civic Complex
Location: Amphitheater Road
Pelham, AL
USA

052: Getting Started in Business | Establishing Authority [Podcast]

There are two times you find yourself getting started in business and struggling: 1) When you are struggling with what to do because you have too many ideas or, 2) you have started a business and have income, but feel like you cannot grow. There is a lot of advice on what to do in both of these situations. But, I have found that often the advice is overwhelming. So instead, I like to focus on the simple next action that can propel me (and you) forward.

Getting Started in Business

Getting Started – Overwhelm of Information | Photo courtesy of Flickr/Creative Commons/CR Artist 

Over the next few episodes I will address simple orderly steps you can do to start or grow. Simple things focused on the main problem you will have in business – getting the word out and getting known.

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NOTE: If you are reading this in email, you will need to go to Itunes or my blog to get access to this show.

Getting Started in Business – Start with a Web Presence

Every business needs a website. Some of you may have one, and you may even be paying some company a monthly fee. But for most of you, you either have no web presence or you might as well not have one because you have no content of value on your site.

Here I will outline some simple steps to start a website and start generating valuable web content for less than $100.

If You are Exploring Business Ideas, Start Here

1. Start with a Web Presence. If you are exploring ideas, this gets you moving. Remember, this step should cost you less than $100. Really. Do not go hire a developer or sign up to some service that does it for you with a monthly fee. Just start with a simple website. The way to do this is a self-hosted wordpress blog (even if you do not really want  a blog, this format is perfect.)

The following link shows you how to do this!

How to Setup a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog

And since you likely do not have a domain name (such as dalecallahan.com) then I would suggest using your own name. The video above will tell you how to do this.

2. Start Writing Ideas. If you are exploring, start writing and posting about what you know and possibly about what you would like to do. Do not worry about how many people are reading it – just get thoughts formatted so others COULD read it. This forces you to think through your idea. For this, just start answering your questions.

Example – If you are thinking about doing something to help others with diabetic kids, start by listing out all the questions people ask you and then answering them. Simple.

3. Focus on Adding Value to Others. Keep answering the questions. Keep talking. Share with others. Again, you are not trying to make money now, you are trying to get ideas out of your head and onto paper. Then the next time someone asks you  “how do you make sure your diabetic daughtier is eating right at school” you can point them to a blog post where you addressed this question.

4. Do Not be Afraid to Write About Other Ideas. If you are also considering a vintage dress shop, then write about those things also. It is your blog, do whatever you want.

5. Share Your Content. Here is where magic starts to happen. When you share your posts, you will get feedback. Those posts that are totally ignored might be duds, but something you write about will hit. So, either on Pinterest or Facebook, share your ideas.

 

If You Have a Business and Need to Grow – Start Here

If you already have a business with income and need to get more attention and grow, the following strategy will work for you.

1. Create or Modify Your Website. If you do not have a webpage, create one! How to Setup a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog.

If you already have a site such as www.joeslawncare.com and you have one of those paid for sites, then you could just add the site blog.joeslawncare.com. You can call the hosting company of your choice and they will talk you through it. For details, see How to Setup a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog.

2. Answer Your Customers Common Questions. Suppose you are a pest control company. Start writing content that answers your common customer questions. For example, I had a termite inspector at the house the other day and he took me to his truck and showed me a piece of interior molding that had termites. From the front of the molding, only a crack and some small holes were visible. But, from the back, it was destroyed. What a powerful photo this would be for a website where you tell your clients how to spot termites.

No matter what you do, answer every common customer question in so much detail they do not need you.

Yes, you read that right, in so much detail they do not need you. This might be scary, but instead of working on the hard sale, you are building trust. When a carpet cleaner writes posts telling me how to clean my own carpet, I might try it once, but soon I will be calling that person who educated me.

A great example of this kind of giving attitude and how it can help you grow your company can be found in Crush It!

 

Note some of the examples below might make you nervous because you might think you say too much. But fact is, you offer a great service. If they trust you to show them how, when they do call, they will call you.

  • Carpet Cleaner – Develop website that teaches customers how to clean stains, deal with pets on carpet, and how to pick carpets that clean easily.
  • Software Consultant – If you are often helping clients with software issues, pick those common questions and answer them. Also, review products your customers might like to have. Look for affiliate or partner relationships where you review the product and get a cut of any sale. (Make sure you REALLY believe in the product first.)
  • Human Resources Consultant – You know most companies that hire you have no idea what to do. Teach them. Even show them how to do what you do. What steps must employers do as they hire people? What does new healthcare law means to them?
  • Reseller of Appliance Parts – Here is an actual site I love. Repair Clinic. They provide videos to help you diagnose your household appliance issues.
  • Manufacturer – Teach people how to use your products and common issues with your products.

Warning About Getting Started in Business with a Web Presence

Content before Beauty - Do not worry about the look of the site – just create content. For now, skip the headers, artwork, etc. Just start creating relevant content for your customers. Cleanup can come later. Just go for a clean enough look and make the content usable. Once you know customers like it, then start moving to a more polished site.
Use Equipment You Already Own – Do not think you need a better camera, recorder, etc to make this happen. Use what you have to create image, audio, video, or plain text. Getting sidetracked into waiting on better equipment is a mistake at multiple levels.

Resources Mentioned

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Question: Ready to share your site and work in progress? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

051: 7 Powerful Questions (Number 5 Can Make You More Money) [Podcast]

I have learned to talk less and instead ask powerful questions. When I was in the corporate world, I realized quickly that I could not compete with those who spoke in corporate lingo. You know, those who say a whole bunch and sound smart but really they are saying nothing. It always seemed to me that people listened to them. It totally frustrated me, because many times I knew they were full of hot air. Then, one day in a meeting, I popped a question out of frustration which led me to an epiphany. I could control the conversation with simple questions. I spoke little and got just what I wanted.

Powerful Questions

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Creative Commons/Derek Bridges

I often find myself teaching people to ask questions. And, I have been told those questions have opened up doors, pierced to the core of strategies, and increased peoples salaries. So in today’s podcast, I wanted to share with you some of these questions and hopefully find interesting ways you have used them.

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Powerful Questions that Generate Powerful Results

Here are the questions. In the podcast I will provide examples of how I have seen these used.

1. Finding Opportunity - This simple question asked to the right person can open up the doors to money and opportunity.

“What keeps you awake at night?”

2. Finding Your Level of Ignorance - I like to call this “questions someone to their level of ignorance.” This is the question I was discussing in the opening. When people are rattling off great wisdom, ask for details and keep digging deeper. The situation might call for various forms of the question, but when I asked it in the corporate meeting I asked it this way.

”How does that work?”

3. Broaden Your View - When you are telling someone what you are working on or thinking about, ask them this question:

“What else should I consider?”

4. Finding Threats – This question you might have to ask of yourself – and I recommend you ask it now and often. There is an answer, something is destroying your career and your job today. You just need to ask until you find it. (More on this topic in Episode 004-Disruptive Innovation)

“What will displace me?”

5. Value Add – Find out what you do that serves other people, especially your boss, with value. Over and over I have seen this question, and the conversation it generates – increase a persons value and income. (More on this topic in Episode 29 – How to Determine Your Value at Work)

“What do I do that adds the most value?”

6. Grow Your Career – I love this question because people in the corporate world are almost afraid to ask it.

“How do I double my income?”

7. Strategic Perspective – When in the middle of planning or thinking about what you do, ask this question. If the answer is no, you have just defined a future direction.

“If we were to start over from scratch, would we do this again?”

 

Question: How have you used these questions to change the conversation? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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050: Finding Your Why [Podcast]

Finding your why? We might also say finding our mission or finding our purpose. But I like “finding your why.” The WHY gets to the core of things. Why do you do what you do? What would you do if you were really driven by your why?

Finding Your Why

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Creative Commons/Colin_K

Two of the most commons statements I hear from those I have coached are:

  1. I do not have any special skills or abilities. This issue is addressed through the How to Find Your Calling ebook (see the right side of the webpage).
  2. I do not have anything I really want to do. This issue is addressed in today’s podcast
These two statements, more than anything else, point to the emptiness of the corporate lifestyle and personal wealth many of us are experiencing today. But, how do you get out of this rut?
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049: Dealing with Ineffective Team Members | Are You Making These Mistakes? [Podcast]

I bet dealing with ineffective team members is something you struggle with constantly. Whether you are on a team, leading a team, or leading a group of teams, one of your greatest challenges is not getting the work done, but instead dealing with those team members who will not measure up. It may be teams at work or through some volunteer effort, but the results are the same. And sometimes, you and I might be that team member! Think about that. When you are the weak link, how would you like others to deal with you?

Dealing with Ineffective Team Members - Poison

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Creative Commons/shawnzrossi

In today’s podcast episode I will present some strategies for dealing with ineffective team members as well as the results from ignoring or improperly dealing with these team members.

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048: How to Create and Run a Mastermind Group | Interview with Jonathan Milligan [Podcast]

Mastermind groups are the magic bullet for success. I have found the only people who do mastermind groups, and continue to do them over time, succeed. But, over the years I have struggled to find good groups. Most people do not want to commit or will bail out soon after we start. But, I have now found the secret – or at last the person who has the secret formula.

Jonathan Milligan on Mastermind Groups

In this interview with Jonathan Milligan, he will uncover how he runs a mastermind group that not only keeps going, but prospers.

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