“Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.”
― Winston Churchill
Recently this quote came to my email box from one of those inspirational daily quote sites and this quote along with a suggestion from one of my students, David Clegg of The Social Sherpa, started me thinking about what business people do on a daily basis for their businesses. Better yet what they think they are doing that is productive, but is it really?
Winston Churchill, in my opinion, looks at ‘Entrepreneurship’ like I do; as the steady action that keeps a country going. I believe it is the thing that will bring America back to a healthy state. It will take a lot of these productive, brave people to go into business for themselves, work it every day and appreciate their ability to make that choice in this great country. They then will pass that good fortune on by hiring local people and utilizing products and services from other locally owned businesses for the restoration to be complete.
In order for those brave entrepreneurs to succeed, there are guidelines that they must fully understand, so that brings me to another question; ‘What are entrepreneurs doing on a daily basis to make their business stronger than yesterday?’ A better question is; “What do they ‘think’ they are doing on a daily basis to make it better than yesterday?” Yes, that is the real question, because is what they are doing really productive and getting results or is it filling that space in their mind that makes them feel like they did something. Let me give you an example. A person goes to a networking event, let’s say a Chamber event, and they meet a lot of people, gather a lot of business cards. That seems productive right? Then they get back to their office and enter all those business cards into their database. That seems productive too, right? Then they email or even send a note to those people who are now in their database, to let them know what a pleasure it was to meet them. (By the way you get points for this on the Referral Institute Scorecard) So, this has to be productive right?
The answer is ‘yes’ these are all steps that could help your business, but the problem about these were, it is all about ‘me’. These are the steps that make you ‘feel’ like you did something. In this example, this person was doing everything they could for their business. But, what if they turned the tables around? What if the things they did on a daily basis for their business was really about others businesses? This person in the example needs to add one more step after sending the notes or emails. They need to call that person they met and ask the simple question; “How can I help you?” and be interested in the answer! Whatever the response they receive, they then need to follow through on that response to the very best of their ability to do so.
Stephanie Potter of Rob’s Kids is a pro at this. She has learned the value of Referral Partners and works with them on a daily basis, but not for her, it is about what she can do for them. She is in contact with her Referral Partners, in some cases, several times a week to find out how she can help them. What does this do for her? Well, a little foundation her family started to help kids with Depression and PTSD has grown much faster than they ever dreamed and this was all because Stephanie put others first and those others reached back to help her 10 fold and more. And yet, Stephanie never feels like she has done enough for her referral partners.
You see, entrepreneurship can be the healthy horse that is pulling a sturdy wagon. That wagon should be filled with things like:
- Learn how to promote others and their businesses
- Understand who your Referral Partners are
- Who are their target markets
- How do you communicate with them
- What are they passionate about and why
All of these things and other tactics can be learned so you can become an expert at these. Once you do, your Referral Partners will be pulling a sturdy wagon and carrying the same things for you too! Then watch your businesses grow.