By Brett Fox at www.brettjfox.com
I woke up and there it was: $1,000,000.
“I told you it was easy to make $1,000,000,” My friend Scott told me.
Scott was always coming up with a get rich quick scheme of one sort or another.
The problem is Scott’s get rich quick schemes never worked. Maybe it was the word, “scheme”, that was the problem…
Here’s the reality:
There are no shortcuts to making $1,000,000.
I learned that years ago watching my Mom build her business one step at a time. It was a master course in doing business the right way.
Mom came and visited us for her birthday last week.
It was good seeing her. And it was good for her to see us. It was especially good for her to see her granddaughter, Avery.
Avery takes great delight in seeing how close she is to Mom’s height. My guess is Avery will overtake Mom next year.
Avery’s next target is Blossom’s mom. Millette probably has another year of safety.
Tons of people are being displaced even though the economy is in “recovery” whatever that means.
The industry I’ve been in for the majority of my career, semiconductors, is going through a major transition. Companies are merging at a rapid clip. Those that aren’t are getting very, very lean.
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Recently Qualcomm announced a 5,000 person layoff. 15% of Qualcomm’s employees are going to be out of work.
Just one question:
Where are all those displaced employees going to land?
Many will retire. Qualcomm’s done well and many employees have prospered.
But what about the employees that haven’t prospered?
Sure, some of the employees will attempt to land at other semiconductor companies. Some will be successful; others will not.
And that’s the real question: What do these employees do?
It will not be easy.
Many of these employees will have to reinvent themselves. And that gets us back to the $1,000,000 and my Mom.
Mom decided to go back into the working world after years of taking care of my brother and me.
She wasn’t sure of what path to take. Eventually Mom decided to go into real estate.
Real estate looks like a real easy gig from the outside. People show up, you drive them around from house to house. They make a decision, and you get a check.
You barely have to work. Just fork over the $1,000,000 please.
Nothing could be further from the truth:
Succeeding in real estate is a grind! And Mom succeeded.
She became one of the top selling agents at the company she was with. She regularly spoke at company gatherings to share the keys to her success.
It didn’t happen overnight. Like I said, Mom had to grind.
Here’s the thing: Overnight success in any industry is built over a long, sustained period. Step by step.
I know there are exceptions. However 99% of us are going to have to grind.
I learned a lot from watching my Mom. Here are the six things that stand out:
- Take the long-term view. Mom never tried to maximize her revenue on every sale. Instead, she understood that the customer buying the small house today would be interested in another larger house tomorrow. She had lifelong customers that kept coming back again and again.
- Outwork your competitors. I’ve seen it in every profession I’ve been in: the elite performers are usually the most hardworking performers. Mom was working seven days a week and many times long hours. It paid off.
- Customer service is king in any business. Excellent customer service is critical whether you have a “me too” type product or a truly unique product. People keep coming back to you when you overdeliver. That’s what happened with Mom.
- Treat your customers right and they will refer you to their friends. Recurring revenue is what you want in any business. That’s what you get by treating your customers right. Referrals give you exponential growth. It’s much easier to sell to a customer that’s hearing great things about you than a customer that’s never heard of you.
- Always do the right thing. I never ever saw Mom take a shortcut. Even if it cost her money, she would do the right thing for her customers.
- Love what you do. It’s so much easier to succeed when you enjoy your work. That’s what helps you grind and put in the time and effort. Mom loved her work.
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Here's the best news: none of this is rocket science!
Business isn’t hard. But we tend to make it harder then it really is.
I remember developing business plans that were ridiculously simple. Then I would think to myself, “It can’t be this simple.”
I would be worried that I would be laughed at.
There’s still a part of me that gets worried because it just can’t be this simple.
Now, even though I still get worried, I realize that simpler is ALWAYS better!
In fact, it’s one of my business rules:
Be wary of complicated businesses and people telling you “it’s complicated”.
It’s usually not that complicated.
Why do we make things more complicated than they really are?
I remember thinking just after college that the VP's and CEO of the company I worked for must be super geniuses. It was almost like they knew the key to some complicated formula that us mortals could never figure out.
That led, at least for me, to the belief that complicated and difficult means successful. That’s backwards.
Complicated and difficult usually equals failure, not success.
Instead, work hard and work smart
I propose a different strategy to follow: grind and keep things simple.
We’re all looking for that one thing. The one shortcut to success that instantly solves all of our problems.
And we’re especially vulnerable when things aren’t going our way. I know, I’ve been there.
Here’s the thing: there are no shortcuts to success.
Keep grinding and follow Mom’s simple strategy for success:
- Take the long term view.
- Outwork your competitors.
- Customer service is king.
- Treat your customers right and they will refer their friends.
- Always do the right thing.
- Love what you do.
Do these six things every day and you are on your way to long term success.
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