Something happened to me recently that I just felt compelled to share in the hope that other business owners may learn from my experience (and a special thank you to Tina my Business Mentor for allowing me to learn this lesson).
Now I’m sure we all like to feel as though we are committed in general. We commit to our spouse, to giving the best of ourselves to our kids, to paying our bills, to being a good person etc etc. But how committed are we really to our business? Here’s a quick checklist of how to tell if you are running a hobby or a business (and it isn’t about money either).
1. DO YOU HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN?
If you do, you lack commitment. Sorry folks, but that’s how it is. If you are already considering how you are going to quit, then chances are you probably will. My philosophy in bringing people on board to my MLM/Network Marketing opportunity is that if you are already asking the question of how you can get out, then I’m afraid I can’t work with you.
I’m not looking for people who just want to dip their big toe in and see if the water is warm. I’m looking for people who just jump in and work it out along the way. Isn’t that life after all?
2. DO YOU HAVE A STRONG WHY?
And I don’t mean to make an extra $1,000 a month – that’s not a why for doing what you do. It has to be bigger than that. I firmly believe that in order to be a business owner/entrepreneur you have to be a bit of a dreamer.
A visionary even. If you don’t have a vision or a goal or a purpose for your life, then guess what – life will remain exactly where it is for you right now. That is the Law of Attraction at work my friends.
I’ve worked with some amazing people over the years – people wanting to build orphanages, help more people to overcoming major illnesses, end poverty in certain countries etc etc. Now that is something worth working towards don’t you think, instead of just wanting an extra $1,000 a month?
3. WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
Now naturally this will be different for everyone, however if business and family don’t rank highly for you, then maybe your commitment levels need reflection.
If it’s more important for you to watch another re-run of “MASH” on TV tonight than make those calls to prospects, then you need to ask yourself what your priorities are and how strong your commitment level to your business is. What I have found is, simply saying you are busy is BS.
It’s all a question of where your priorities lie. Think of receiving an invite to a BBQ for example. If you’re already thinking of what else you are doing that day, then clearly your priority is not get ting to that BBQ is it?
4. ARE YOU COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH YOUR BUSINESS?
And if not, why not? If you’re waking up every morning and moaning and groaning about working your business, then I might suggest that maybe you’re in the wrong one. Life is too short and we are all creators according to the Law of Attraction and even the Bible.
We all have the ability to create our lives the way we want them. So why waste perfectly good ability? It’s become cliche the saying “turn your passion into profit” but it’s true.
The thing is, if you’re not passionate about what you do, then people will know. They will smell you at 500 paces, I promise you. Doesn’t it just make sense to do what you love? All day every day is too long to spend being miserable.
5. DO YOUR HABITS SERVE OR HINDER YOU?
Are you easily distracted? Are you a drama queen falling from one chaos to the next? Do you change your mind easily and often? Once again, if your habits are not in line with the commitment you would like to have to your business, next them. And I know that sounds quite difficult but it need not be.
I recently read a fantastic book called “The How of Habits” by Bri Williams. It’s a very concise book however it provides a wonderful road map on how to kick old bad habits that don’t serve you to creating new and positive habits. If you’re at the mercy of your bad habits, it will have a flow on effect to everything in your life.
Your discipline, your values, your ethics, your loyalties. And these are character building markers. Do you want to be known as that person who is always unreliable or would you prefer to be the dependable one? The choice is entirely yours. Now I by no means purport to making this a definitive list of how to be more committed.
These are just the main points I have found in both my personal and business experiences over the years. Without these elements, I have discovered commitment will be extremely challenging to master. Now commitment may not necessarily be important to you.
Unless you are wanting to see some semblance of results in your business. You can have great habits, but unless you have your priorities in check, a strong why, and passion then it’s just not going to work for you. Especially if you have an escape plan.
Likewise, you can have a very strong why, but if you have an escape plan, habits that don’t serve you, priorities inconsistent with your values and you lack passion, then again you will struggle. Just under stand that it’s a journey.
You won’t master all of these tomorrow, but if you can master one before moving onto the next, then consider yourself ahead of the game. Good luck with it and have fun in the belief that you can make this happen. You were created to.
Navigating a War of Words
Everyone’s a critic, and as an entrepreneur you are going to face plenty of criticism. No matter how hard you try, inevitably one of your customers will have a negative experience.
It’s a part of running your own business. The problem is one bad review doesn’t just mean one bad review anymore. Now if a customer has a problem, they use social media to vent their frustrations and tell all of their friends and acquaintances.
A bad customer review on Facebook and other social media can be very difficult to overcome. One bad review can turn away more customers than ever before. So how do you deal with a negative customer review?
There are three important things to remember when dealing with a negative online review. If you remember these tips and stick to them, your negative reviews can become powerful tools of customer engagement and can actually benefit your business.
1. Don’t put anything in writing you don’t want your entire customer base to see.
How you conduct yourself online is a representation of your business. If a customer leaves a negative review, offer a general acknowledgement of their issue and then offer to go over the specifics of how you can help resolve the problem in a private message.
Remember that dealing with a customer through social media creates an automatic record of your transaction. As you practice this tip, you will be more aware of how you represent your business online, which can be a powerful tool.
2. Don’t get defensive.
Some people just want to complain. They will attack your business, your values or maybe even you personally to justify their concerns. Don’t get upset or defensive but instead recognize what their motivation might be. Are they looking for a discount? Or did they have a genuine problem?
See the situation from their perspective. Acknowledge their problem. Most of the time people just want to know that they are being heard. If they’ve posted publicly on your page, respond publicly so other customers can see that you are willing to listen. If the matter escalates, resolve it through private channels.
3. Don’t try and prove the customer wrong.
The customer isn’t always right, but looking for ways to prove the customer wrong will only hurt your business. When it’s public and on social media, remember that you aren’t just dealing with that one customer. You are dealing with all your potential customers. Do you want them to see you trying to accuse a customer of something?
Or do you want them to see you as someone willing to listen, make changes and deal with customers in a professional manner? It’s far easier to simply resolve the problem and accept the loss of offering a discount or some other promotion than fighting with a customer, alienating them and your future customer base.
Remember never to get caught up in a war of words with a customer, especially through social media. Instead engage your customer with these tips, resolve the issue and allow your problem solving to be seen publicly. Then a negative customer experience can become a powerful example of customer service that may just gain you some new clientele!