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14 Tips Joel Brown Taught Me For Contacting And Interviewing Influential People

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Before I became an author on Addicted2Success, I didn’t really know much about contacting influential people. Joel Brown taught me the art, and now I am teaching you. Most of what Joel told me made sense, but I just wasn’t consciously aware of it. Having done hundreds of interviews now, Joel has mastered the art of contacting people that are normally quite hard to reach, and he is at a world-class level.

Below are the fourteen tips Joel Brown gave me on how to contact influential people.

1. First contact is crucial

Always try a warm introduction first

– Before attempting to contact any person of influence, it’s always best to see if you know anyone in common first. When someone is in common with the influential person you are trying to contact, you can ask for an introduction. What this does is almost guarantee you a response and provides leverage. When someone who you know asks for a favor, you feel obligated to at least hear them out even if you can’t meet their request because of the connection you have. Reaching out cold doesn’t work because there is no leverage or obligation for the influential person to respond to you.

The best way to find out if you know anybody in common is to have a look on LinkedIn. If you haven’t already learned yet from previous articles, LinkedIn is the key to almost any form of networking or connecting. Once you identify someone in common, reach out (ideally via phone or worse case, email) to that person and ask for an intro. Try and offer something in return if you can and always give them an out in case they’re not comfortable.

Don’t forget to ask them how well they know the person. I had a situation recently where the person introing me hadn’t spoken to the person of influence in a while, and it was awkward. Given how famous the person, was though, I was willing to take the risk.

If the mutual connection says yes, then get them to send an intro email and CC you.

Ring their personal assistant

If you can’t get a warm introduction because you don’t know anyone in common, try and find the number of their office so you can talk to their personal assistant. Always be respectful and acknowledge the influential person’s time and then do your spiel about why they should get the influential person to be interviewed by you.

If all else fails, write to them in this format

Once you have tried the above methods, if you haven’t been successful, try and write to them via LinkedIn or email. Like with previous methods, make sure you mention anyone that you know in common.

The subject line should is very important and should outline the opportunity and grab their attention. Something along the lines of “Exposure for your new book Sales Mastery in front of an audience of 5000.”
In this short sentence, you have explained how you can help them and what your reach is which is the most important thing. It’s a good idea to mention their name or product title in the subject so that it doesn’t come across as a generic message.

In the body of the message, you should keep it to three short paragraphs. In the first paragraph, you explain who you are, and your audience reach. In the next paragraph, you mention a few names of people that you have interviewed before to help build credibility. It’s also a good idea to give them a link to a recent interview that you feel best represents your work.

In the final paragraph, you mention your ask and state the time commitment. You will find that if you start out asking for 20-30 minutes, you will get a lot more responses. You can always ask for more time later, but a small amount of time (like twenty minutes) is almost rude to decline someone who wants to promote your brand. Out of the entire paragraph, the thing you should spend most of your time articulating is what’s in it for them.

Be clever and write something like “I saw you have a new book coming out in a few weeks, and I would love to line up our interview in line with that so we can promote the book and help get you more readers.” The key is to tie the interview into something they are doing that’s important to them. They may not necessarily be selling something; it could be simply helping them to get exposure for a charity they work with. You then finish the paragraph with “let me know if this is possible and I look forward to your response.”

In your email signature, you must clearly list your full name, email address, direct phone number and ideally a link to your website or Linkedin page to give some further credibility. Write the message a few times and get a friend or partner to look over it for you to make sure it reads well.

Tell them why you do what you do and what inspires you

Throughout all your communication with a person of influence, it’s important to articulate why you do what you do and what inspires you. If a person of influence believes that you just want to talk to them because they are famous or so you can promote yourself, they probably won’t be that interested.

2. Your first reply needs to have the detail

In your first reply you can be a lot more detailed with your response. Often at this stage, your request may have been forwarded to a PR person or marketing firm so you have to communicate with that in mind. Highlight again the benefits in more detail and send more of your previous work.

The purpose of this second message is to secure a topic for the interview. I will usually put forward three topic ideas and then ask if they like any of mine or whether they had one they were keen to do. Ultimately, it’s important that you make the final decision on the topic. Tell them that the wording of the headline might change later but the topic won’t.

You then want to end this second message with a request for a date and time to do the interview. Make sure you find out where they will be on the date in case the local time is different to yours. There are lots of websites that will convert the time for you to your local time.

Tell them the means in which you will do the interview (phone, Skype, Facetime etc) and request for their contact information. The moment you get their contact details make sure you save them in your phone so that you are pre-prepared for the interview and not looking around at the last minute to find their details. Some of the people you contact might be a bit more old school and expect a face to face interview, so consider doing this if they are local to you.

3. Your second reply is the interview confirmation

Now that you have your final reply from the person with a topic and time, send them back a third and final message thanking them for doing the interview and make sure you reconfirm the time. It’s a good idea to send them a calendar invite as well so they don’t forget about your interview. A day or two before the interview, you can choose to send them another message to reconfirm the time. I generally don’t do this but if they are really famous, it’s a good idea.

It’s good to consider telling them what they need to do on the day of the interview. I tell them that I must call them so that the conversation is recorded and that they need to be in a quiet area with a strong Internet connection. While talking about Internet, mention that it’s always best to be hardwired rather than use wireless, to get the best possible quality audio.

4. Send them the questions in advance

You will still need to send one final message to them with the questions that you want to ask. This is quite important because it helps give them some background on what you will be talking about. I find that when you send the questions before hand you get much better responses. The other reason you need to do this is that depending on how famous they are the questions may need to be checked with a marketing or PR team beforehand.

The other reason you need to do this is that depending on how famous they are the questions may need to be checked with a marketing or PR team beforehand.

5. Use the right tools

To conduct interviews Joel taught me to use these tools:

– Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype or Facetime
– A lightweight laptop so you can do interviews on the fly
– A Blue Snowball Microphone
– A pair of comfortable headphones so you can hear the other person
– A quality internet connection with a major provider

One tip that I will give you after doing lots of these interviews now is that Facetime quality is a lot better than Skype, and it’s much less likely to drop out. Always try and use Facetime if you can.

6. Be prepared on the day

Make sure on the day of the interview you are prepared. Have your laptop battery charged, do a sound check, make sure you have their contact details and know exactly which quiet spot you are going to be doing the call from. It’s also critical to be on time to the interview so be ready to hit record five minutes beforehand.

Have a bottle of water with you in case you get something in your throat, you don’t want coughing to end the interview – this happened to me once before.

7. Research beforehand

It almost goes without saying that you need to research the person before the interview. What you want to find out is the basis of their story so that the person does not have to tell you the basics, which they will expect you to know already.

I like to listen to other interviews that they have done so that I can try to cover things that haven’t been mentioned before. There is nothing worse than an interview that covers exactly the same ground as previous interviews.

8. Ask great questions

I usually have three paragraphs of questions. The first lot of questions is about them and the massive success they have achieved in their field, the second is the questions for the topic, the next lot are questions around the particular thing they want to plug and then finally, I ask them their favourite book and their favourite quote.

Joel taught me to have one final killer question that is the best question you will ask. His is “if you were to deliver your last 30-second speech to the world, what would that last 30 seconds sound like?” Try to narrow your questions down to a few gems rather than lots of short questions that are not interesting. Keep them as open as possible so the person you’re interviewing has a chance to direct their response in their way.

9. Think on the fly

Joel taught me that the best interviews are the one’s that occur on the fly. There is nothing worse than a pre-rehearsed interview. Even though I have the questions ready beforehand I always change them on the day and think of a few on the fly. You will also find that sometimes more than one of your questions gets answered in a response, so nothing ever goes to plan. It’s this spontaneity that makes the interview interesting.

10. Keep the interview on time

As the interview is occurring make sure you keep an eye on the time. If you find that you’re halfway through and haven’t even got onto to the topic questions, politely get things back on track. Assume that if the person has told you that you only have 45 minutes that you must stick to this.

If you get some bonus time at the end, that’s great but often they will have another meeting straight after so be conscious of the time otherwise you will have no good content at the end.

11. Try and get one light bulb moment

During every interview I aim to get one light bulb moment. Some that I have had so far are – when the person I was interviewing didn’t know their age, when I learnt that you had to be truly dedicated to social media for it to work and respond in real time, to when Andrew Morello taught me that sales is even more human than I thought it was. When you have found the light bulb moment in the interview, it’s best to highlight this later when you write your article and perhaps put it as your first, most important point.

“The key to good interviews is to try to think of yourself as a gold miner looking for golden nuggets that you can bring back to your audience”

The interview should be a reflection of what you have learned. I often like to ask things that I know the audience will be interested in or even just information that people haven’t had presented in a logical way before.

12. Request the interviewee to post on social media

At the conclusion of your interview you should ask the interviewee to share the final result on all of their social media platforms. One piece of advice I will give you is make sure that you double check they actually post it as sometimes they can forget. The other thing I have found is that sometimes they only post it on one social media platform or the one that doesn’t haven’t a very large following.

It’s important to insist when you’re setting up the interview that you get them to agree to post on their company page, not just their personal page.

13. Ask for original photos

To top off an excellent interview you need to have great visuals to complement the article. At the end of the interview ask the person how you would go about getting photos of them that haven’t been used before. If you want to be really bold, ask them if it’s possible to get a photo of yourself with them (if they live locally to you) to use with the article. A photo with you in it makes the content just that little bit more original and shareable.

I usually ask for a few photos of the interviewee, a photo of their office and one more photo of a proud moment in their life. The last thing I do after asking them for photos is to end the interview with, “is there anything you want to ask me?” Sometimes they will be dying to ask a few questions about you so make sure you let them do that if they choose and then say thank you and let them move on.

14. Send them a first draft

I don’t do this for every interview but if they are someone that is well known and have a very high profile brand, you are really best to send them a draft copy of the interview before you release anything. It’s very easy to get a few things wrong about their life, and you want to give them a chance to remove anything they don’t like. Surprisingly, I would be lucky to get more than three changes on the times that I have had to send a first draft.

***Final note – what I get out of it

I wanted to share with you the best part about interviewing other people. What I have found is that you get to learn things that you would never of known. By the end of the interview, you find that you have a bond and a permanent connection with the person.

The interview also helps you to believe that things that you thought were impossible are actually possible. Unconsciously you start to pick up new ideas and new beliefs, and it begins to change you as a person. You start to find the roadmap to success, and you now have references to back up your new beliefs.

If you would like to read the result of some of my interviews visit my Facebook Page and please Retweet this article.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Esther

    Jul 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you Tim for paying it forward what you learned from Joel. There are some principles in it that we can all use, even if we do not want to conduct interviews. My key takeaway is that let the outreach be about them, what they could benefit from the interaction.

    What I see is that people often are held back by limiting beliefs from reaching out to influencers. They often do not see themselves as valuable and do not think they can offer something.

    What is your take on that? How can someone find out what to offer to an influencer?

    Thank you,

    Esther

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Esther always happy to pay it forward and I’m sure you will do the same. Everyone has something offer. Think to yourself all of the things that people tell you you’re good at and whether any of them might be relevant to the influencer. As well as that, think to yourself about the community around you and people that you might know in common or that could be valuable to the influencer. If all else fails, just reach out, nine times out of ten the influencer is dying to give their advice and happy to help others. You just need to believe that you have something valuable to offer everyone. Hope that helps.

      • Esther

        Jul 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        Tim,

        Thank you so much for your answer. It makes absolute sense. You write
        “You just need to believe that you have something valuable to offer everyone.” This doesn’t happen automatically for everyone. It depends greatly on the narrative we tell us about ourselves. I help people to change that narrative so that they can finally take action. Like implement the action steps you gave us with your article.

        Keep up the good work!

        Esther

  2. Tim Denning

    Jul 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Thanks Lawrence. I agree that the sharing of value between two people is the best way to secure an interview with someone influential.

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    These are truly some great tips that can help someone who is podcasting, doing a youtube show, or just recording an interview with an influential person. The key things that you mentioned that stood out to me was to first find some leverage between you and the person you want to interview. This sounds very logical and like a very good idea because cold-calling rarely works with anyone. You have to have some leverage and trust built up and using someone you both know who can introduce you is a great tactic, but can be hard if you dont have a common individual in mind. Also, providing value for both you and the interviewee is the key to this whole thing. Great post will be coming back to read often.

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Success Advice

3 Steps to Overcome Your Brain Biases and Become a Better Leader

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If I asked you what time it was, you would likely look at your watch or a clock and read the time out to me. And if I were to ask you where you were, you would likely tell me the exact place, city, or state. If I were to then ask you who you were, you would likely identify yourself by your name, demographics, and perhaps a work description. On the surface, answering these questions correctly would indicate that you were not delirious. But are these answers technically correct?

Biological research indicates that superficial orientation to time, place, or person is actually far from accurate. Rather, leaders might benefit from tending toward a non-dual awareness of the world, or at least offer themselves the opportunity to see the world this way. For time, place, and person, the biological realities differ from what we might initially think.

1. Don’t let the past dictate the future

We are not ever-present in the moment, nor should we be. In the human brain, the past, present, and future are all represented at the same time. Although we consciously organize our experiences using this segmentation of time, each of these networks can intrude upon the other. In fact, what you remember can influence what you can imagine for yourself in the future as well.

As a leader, ensure that you frequently examine your memory for positive reminders and biases, take advantage of your presence circuits by incorporating mindfulness practices into your day, and use your “possibility” circuits to imagine or simulate future scenarios. In fact, in the brain, imagination is a lot like reality.

Using all three components at all times will help you to become aware of biases and could also help you escape traps or an impasse. For instance, when a possible solution for product development is vague, thinking in terms of what you want and then reverse-engineering this process to make what you imagine could be helpful.

Walt Disney saw great success after building Disneyland in Anaheim, California, but outside interests began crowding his theme park. When he decided to build another park in Florida, Disney didn’t let the experience of California dissuade him. He expanded his vision to something greater — a city of tomorrow. He created fake companies to secretly purchase acres upon acres of land near where Interstate 4 intersected with the Florida turnpike so his company could develop the area around the theme park.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

2. Think beyond your reach

We are not where we think we are. The notion of “place” has become increasingly irrelevant in a globalized world. With the increasing interconnectedness of societies, cultures, and economies, leaders need to be careful not to think of themselves too locally. When leaders are global in their thinking, they are likely to elicit more widespread cooperation from international markets.

Ask yourself, “What communities beyond my local community do I want to impact?” and “What communities am I impacting?” When you take this approach, it can help your advertising strategies, for example, become more congruous with specific or global markets. Also, leaders who think globally will be more aware of competition from afar and opportunities for collaboration, too.

Jack Ma can be credited with being a global thinker for founding Alibaba, allowing Chinese consumers to access domestic and international markets that they could not previously access. By moving into e-commerce, online banking, and cloud computing, Alibaba has expanded into India and Southeast Asia. Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform has even enabled farmers in Rwanda to sell coffee in China. This is a perfect example of thinking beyond your reach.

3. Connect the body and mind

We are not what we think we are. We are made up of 50% human and 50% bacterial cells. And water comprises 60% of our body weight. So we are basically bags of water and bacteria — with a dash of human cells thrown in for good measure.

Also, though we might think of ourselves as being separate from other people and things, many people or things you encounter in your life are stored in your brain’s memory centers. Our brain tissue contains images, voices, and other attributes of people and things, too. We are not actually as separate as we think.

Take care of your bacteria, and they will take care of you. Having the right balance of bacteria is of paramount importance to effective functioning because the wrong balance can make you depressed or anxious. Taking a probiotic can help restore this balance. Understanding that you are part human, part bacteria can change the way you take care of your moods by essentially reminding you to take care of your gut.

Mindy Grossman, the CEO of WW International — formerly Weight Watchers — is a good example of someone who understands the mind-body connection. Grossman has led the company’s focus from strictly weight loss to wellness through healthy habits. Part of the transformation includes a partnership with meditation app Headspace to help members maintain a positive mindset.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi

When you engage in non-dual awareness by recognizing that your brain fuses and connects time, places, and people, your leadership capacities might also be enhanced. As Warren Bennis, founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, suggests, “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.” And your “self” is more intriguing and mysterious than you might first imagine.

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3 Ways to Optimize Your Life for Success

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how to optimize your life for success

Welcome to the 21st Century! The era of the Internet and computers, lack of focus and superficiality. I know it sounds scary, maybe a little more exaggerated, but it’s true. We live in a world of short posts and 3-minute videos. We barely engage in deep learning, deep thinking, and deep focus to produce iPhone-level products or services. So, the majority of us are actually a failure, thousands of miles away from achieving our life goals and business visions. How do we turn things around? We need to optimize our lives.

Here are 3 tried and tested tips that will help optimize your life for success:

1. Upgrade your sleep

When I started my freelance writing career—about seven years ago—I was passionate and excited at the beginning. I’d fill my To-Do list with 6-10 items, worked until 12 am, set my alarm to go off at 3 am, and had my running shoes close to my bed before I went to sleep. However, I barely accomplished anything. I usually became weak and bored before noon.

I noticed that I was putting a huge strain on myself. I was sleep deprived, which is the primary reason why I didn’t have the energy and the drive to accomplish my tasks. Many studies have shown that sleep-deprivation affects productivity.

As soon as I began increasing my sleeping time from 4 hours to 7 hours, my whole life changed. I started producing a lot and earning a lot more than before while also improving my health. With more sleep, I get the emotional energy and willpower I need to read, learn, and optimize my career.

“By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.” – Arianna Huffington

2. Read every day

I get it. You’re in the middle-class struggling to survive. You simply have enough to deal with. Reading? That’s not included on your to-do list. Well, if that’s you, then you’re not alone. The global literacy rates are at an all-time high at 84 percent, which means people don’t read as much anymore.

We already have enough on our plates. In fact, a study by the National Endowment for the Arts has found that the reading culture among American adults has drastically declined. That’s a big issue in our world.

Nothing can prevent you from reading, not even your plate that’s chock-full of other life’s priorities. If you want to produce more and impact the world around you, you’ve got to read more and learn more.

Take a look at the visionaries and business titans in our world. All of them are avid readers and avid learners. Bill Gates is a bibliophile and Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, reveres books. In fact, Knight customized his library to the extent that, before you enter into his library, you have to take off your shoes and bow.

So, what would you do next? Take Roald Dahl’s advice, captured in this beautiful line of the poem: “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray / go throw your TV set away / and in its place, you can install / a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

3. Use Pomodoro to time yourself

You can’t go far in life if you can’t stay totally focused on a task. If you want to achieve your goals, you have got to stay laser-focused on a single task before jumping on to another. Why? Because goals are not achieved in one session, they’re achieved in a series of tasks, one after the other.

To install the focus habit in your system; therefore, you need to use a time-management kind of “system” that will keep you firm and attentive on a specific project. Pomodoro is that time-management tool that will help you stay focused.

It’s an excellent app that lets you set a timer for a particular task. You can set it for 30, 60, or 90 minutes and stop working when it goes off. I use it all the time, and I can’t imagine my work life without it.

“I know when I stay focused, good things will undoubtedly happen.” – Marc Trestman

Optimizing your life for more power, passion, and productivity is not about working hard late at night or running multiple projects at a time. It’s about maintaining your health and recharging your energy (having a deep, quality sleep), updating your knowledge (by reading every day), and staying focused on a project—until you accomplished it (by using Pomodoro technique to boost your concentration).

Of course, developing these sets of habits is not easy. You’ll fail and get frustrated, but as the productivity guru Robin Sharma beautifully puts it, “all changes are hard at first, messy at the middle, and beautiful at the end.”

Which one of these three ways to optimize your life resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!

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If You Want Your Business to Grow, You Need to Increase Your Capacity in the Following 4 Areas

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Every entrepreneur must come face to face with the reality that there is only a limited amount of time, money, and people that you can use within your current position. The question is how do we increase or maximize the things that we find limiting?

As we walk through our hectic and often over packed ten, twelve, or fourteen hour work days, one of the questions that we should be asking is “What can I do to get more, to do more?” Instead, we just put our heads down and plow through the ever growing mountain of work. We are limited by capacity.

Webster’s dictionary defines capacity as “the maximum amount that something can contain.” As an entrepreneur, we have to be a little more creative than the average person and find ways to increase our capacity.

Below, we’ll identify the four areas where we need more capacity and ways to get more with less:

1. Time

Every human on this planet is granted twenty-four hours a day. That is it. Your capacity is a total of twenty-four hours. Within that amount of time you must manage several different demands. Our goal is to buy back our time, when we can, and operate at peak performance when we are accomplishing our daily task list.

First, without staying in performance shape, you will lose the ability to stay at optimal performance levels. Our bodies are truly a machine with an amazing capacity, but when it is abused by lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and lack of exercise, you are reducing the capacity at which you are able to work and function. The closer you are to peak performance, the more you are able to accomplish in a shorter amount of time.

Second is our mental condition. Here is what my experience has taught me. If I am mentally rested, I can think and make decisions faster because I can reason more quickly in addition to understanding the circumstances and information at an extremely fast pace. 

When your brain is healthy, it becomes easier to absorb and process information at a lightning fast rate. Taking the time to allow your brain to rest will give it the ability to function at peak performance.

Third is our ability to train and delegate. So often, entrepreneurs are control freaks. No one can do it as good, as fast, or with the same passion as they can. While that may be true in most cases, you are only one person with twenty-four hours in a day. 

You’ve got to delegate and accept people’s help. If you add one person that’s willing to give you eight hours of work a day, you have now bought back hours in your day to focus on activities that will generate more income and grow your business. Why wouldn’t you want to add more hours to your day by delegating out the appropriate task to qualified individuals?

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

2. Money

Money tends to be a sensitive topic. We all have beliefs that were formed through our childhood on the concept of money. With many different views and beliefs on this topic, let’s just focus on the fact that money is a tool that will either help grow the company or a tool that limits a company’s growth.

It is always amazing that the faster a company grows, the greater the challenge of money becomes, and this could potentially cause the company to implode on its own success. How do we then increase the capacity and have more money available to keep the company healthy?

Here are a couple of things to watch out for: 

  • Keep an eye on your budget and get accurate figures. 
  • Look at your Accounts Receivables. If they get too long, they could cause significant cash flow issues. 
  • Find investment opportunities. There are many private investors that are often willing to invest in companies that have true growth with solid foundations. 
  • Look at additional profit generators, products, or services that fit within your current business model. 

Each of these are ways to increase the capacity that money contributes to the growth of your business.

3. Space and Supply

I will never forget exactly where I was standing when I had a manufacture call and tell me they were unable to supply anymore products. They had sold us everything they had, and they weren’t going to have anything available to sell for at least another six months. At that time, we were selling customer printed t-shirts and had tens of thousands of orders that we needed to fulfill within the next thirty days.

Space and Supply are tied closely together. Space is often associated with the production. Do you have a space large enough to meet the demands of the supply? If production can only create 1,000 products a day and buyers need 5,000 a day, there is a conflict. 

A business needs to understand that challenge, and there are only 3 solutions to this problem: The business figures out how to increase production within the current workable hours, adds more workable hours with the equipment and space, or adds more equipment and space to increase production.

Space and supplies are assets that can be used towards the business advantage. Here are a few questions to ask when making decisions based on space and supply. 

  • Evaluate your supply channel. Are they able to maintain a solid supply of your raw product materials to match your growth as a company? 
  • Are there back up supply manufactures that can create a safety net for your raw products? 
  • Evaluate the amount of space you have available along with the time the space is usable. Can you run a second or third shift with the current space and equipment?

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. People

Your employees are likely going to be the most important way to create more capacity. We talked briefly about delegating to qualified individuals to increase capacity around your own personal time. The next phase is to create more capacity by adding additional, trained people. 

You need to create leaders of leaders instead of you being the leader of followers. Don’t miss this because the greatest of all companies focuses on increasing their capacity by training leaders of leaders and not just a loyal following.

Entrepreneurs tend to be a lonely bunch of souls. Too often, we are misunderstood and looked at with slight amount of annoyance. Others just don’t always know how to take someone that is passionately thinking outside the box. 

People skills are a must in order to have more than just yourself work to achieve that dream. As an entrepreneur, develop the social skills to work with individuals that are different than yourself.  

Here is a 3 step plan to have great capacity with people as your allies:

  1. Start by learning how to delegate your own tasks to buy back your time. Identify the tasks that are easiest to delegate and document how you do them. This will give you a specific job description, set achievable goals, and create a daily action plan that is now something that is teachable. 
  2. Use this system and apply it to the other things you are currently doing. I would suggest building out an organization chart and dividing the different tasks you do within the company. Then create a plan that will allow you to hire the right person and move you onto the next area in the organization that you will systematize. 
  3. Finally, create the culture. Culture is like a child, it will grow whether or not you pay attention to it. So be intentional. Learn what it takes to build a culture that attracts the employees that want to be there and grow with the company. 

Each of these four areas has an incredible amount of potential to increase your capacity, and allow your business to grow. Don’t attempt to tackle everything at once. Identify just one area that you will commit to grow within the next three to six months. Take action and implement. 

What is your next step? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

The Importance of Failure: Why We Should Fail Forward

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What Is failing forward? Will Smith said it best in a viral Instagram video that engaged the world. “You’ve gotta take a shot, you have to live at the edge of your capabilities. You gotta live where you’re almost certain you’re going to fail. Failure actually helps you to recognize the areas where you need to evolve. So fail early, fail often, fail forward.”

Failing forward is about using leverage on your mistakes and making a realistic assessment of the risks involved. It’s your ability to live with the downside, control your emotions and experiment with new approaches. When we fail forward, we need to look at the reason why we fail and understand that it’s all part of the process of achievement.

Here are 4 Reasons Why We Fail:

1. We Are Too Distracted

Distractions are everywhere. They can take us off course and could make it impossible to keep our mind on our goal or purpose. It’s important to be selective, strategic and supportive in our distractions. We all control certain aspects of our day, so be selective and prioritise tasks that are in line with your goals.

We should be strategic by understanding when we work best. Personally, I write more efficiently in the early mornings and late evenings. So that’s what I stick to. Try different things and see when you are least distracted. You’ll then be able to be supportive and generous with your time. Being supportive of others costs us little and drives our own success whilst boosting our health and happiness.

2. Lack of Self Belief

Lack of self belief runs differently from person to person. Our experiences, childhood history, genes, culture and life circumstances play a part in our self confidence. The truth is, we can’t alter the experiences that our past has given us. What we can do though, is change our thoughts to gain more belief in ourselves. Ways to increase our self-belief is to find out more about ourselves. We can do this by taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally. Giving ourselves a healthy support system and understanding our emotions are just a couple of ways to practice self-belief.

3. Fear of Failure

Failure often induces fear. When we fear failure, we allow ourselves to stop doing the things that can help us achieve our goals, help us move forward and open up possibilities we never thought were possible. We should have faith in ourselves and start to shift our inner dialogue from ‘not good enough’ to ‘more than enough’. If our inner critic takes the lead on self talk, then it’s more than likely we aren’t feeling good enough. It’s important to surround ourselves with positive people and positive thoughts.

4. Procrastination

Procrastination is a common reason for failure. It’s delaying or putting off a task or action to attend to at a later time. Procrastination is essentially giving in, to feel good. We prefer avoiding negative emotions and stressful tasks, which are the very things we procrastinate about. The first step to overcoming procrastination is recognising we do it.

We then need to understand why we do it and use appropriate strategies to prevent it from happening. We may not know that we are procrastinating and this can be damaging to reaching our full potential. With a solid understanding, we can get to the core of our reasons and make positive changes to fail forward.

Now that you know why we fail, here are the 3 ways you can fail forward:

1. Take Risks

When risks are taken, we generally overestimate the chances of something going wrong. What we focus on tends to magnify in our imagination and in return, causes us to misjudge an outcome of a situation. The reality is, the likelihood is often a far better return than we imagine it out to be. To take risks, we should not be afraid of failure.

2. Understanding Failure Should Be Your Motivation

It may sound comical but, be happy when you fail. We’ve been taught to believe that when we fail it’s because of bad attempts, bad judgment and bad luck at improving our lives. For example, we link failure with the colour red (to stop) and success with the colour green (to keep going). In reality, we are stronger and more courageous when we fail. It’s a sign of improvement, so we should recognise that failure is growth and if we’re not making mistakes, we are not really trying. Use failure as motivation and keep going.

3. Perseverance

Perseverance is the ability to recover from failure. Your chances of success is also dependent on your persistence and your willingness to persevere. You have two options when you fail: Become self-defeated or become resilient and encouraged. Perseverance requires a goal, a passion and patience. It’s important to set your own pace when persevering and not comparing your failures to others. In doing this, when we fail forward, we are more in tune with ourselves and more controlled with new approaches.

“Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.” – John C. Maxwell

Think of it this way. When we’re at the gym pushing ourselves in the weight room, the trainer would yell “One more rep!”. Our trainer wants us to succeed, but also wants us to fail. They want us to be uncomfortable to the point where our muscles fatigue. Why? Because of muscle adaptation. That’s where our muscle growth comes from. It’s the ability to learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This concept doesn’t just apply physically within our muscles, it applies mentally and in our minds. In understanding this perspective, we can fail forward with more awareness and are in a better position to achieve success.

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