6 Steps to Financial Freedom for Businesses – Step 1August 31, 2023
I’ve been speaking and consulting for 20 years in the small business world. And I’ve seen a lot of people make a lot of money. And frankly, I’ve seen a lot of people struggle. And I’ve had a ton of success in my own small companies as well. So I sat down recently to write the primary keys to my successes. And I came up with six simple things that I’ve done in every business of my own, every project of my own, every consulting project for other companies and their clients.
This series will cover the six simple steps to create wealth and prosperity in small businesses, regardless of the industry.
Develop a Prosperity Mindset
Step one is to develop a personal prosperity mindset. Now, when I talk about a personal prosperity mindset, I’m talking about a mindset that is geared and programmed to thrive in the face of adversity.
If I were to ask, “Do you have adversity in your small business?” 100% would answer YES. Every single day, there are personnel issues, cash flow issues, operational issues, tax issues, accounting issues, and so forth. We must have a mindset that thrives in the face of those challenges.
The reality is people who are successful in business are able to overcome these adversities. And the unsuccessful aren’t able to.
There’s a reason this is #1 on this list of 6 steps. It’s that important to have the entire team pulling the rope in the same direction. I’ve seen companies that have adopted the prosperity mindset firsthand, and I can tell you those are the companies that will last and make it big. But here’s the critical thing to remember: Not everybody in your company will buy in.
But they do need to understand the basic guiding concepts and the language of a prosperity mindset at the very least. Here’s why that’s important.
In my book, The Power of Consistency, I write about this emotional neurological wheel of life. Everyone’s brain contains a vast amount of thoughts at any given time. Whenever you have a thought, an impulse is sent across your brain to a part called the hypothalamus. When the hypothalamus receives that impulse from the thought, kind of like a little lightning bolt across your brain, it starts secreting chemicals that trigger the corresponding emotion.
So what that means is that if I have a frightened, angry thought, if I get mad, for example, then my hypothalamus will start producing epinephrine/adrenaline, causing me to have a frightened, angry emotion. Your emotions do not happen in a vacuum. They’re a chemical reaction to the thought.
If I have a happy, warm, loving thought, my brain starts producing dopamine and endorphins. That will produce a happy, warm, loving emotion. So it’s critically important to understand how human beings (you, your family, your employees, everybody) are feeling at any given moment of the day is simply a chemical reaction of their thoughts.
And then once they experience these emotions, that drives their behavior, which of course, produces their results at work.
But here’s the problem.
Everyone in your office has actions and emotions that are reflections of their thoughts, even if the thoughts are wrong or inaccurate. In other words, you can even believe something that’s not true, and it will affect the way we feel, the way we behave, and the results we produce.
MMA (Many Mistakes Ahead)
Let me give an example. Suppose you take the family to the movie theater one night. When the movie ends, you leave the theater around 10 p.m. While walking across the parking lot, a stranger comes running around the corner. He’s running towards your family, covered in blood, screaming, and carrying a knife. And within a nanosecond, your brain says, “Danger, danger, danger.”
Within another nanosecond, the hypothalamus starts producing adrenaline and epinephrine, and now what’s your emotional state? Your emotional state is heightened. You are angry and frightened emotionally, right?
Now, what actions do you take? Well, it’s fight or flight. You have to decide what you should do in the blink of an eye. You can’t run because you have little kids with you. So your fight response wins out.
You run to intercept him before he gets too close to your family. You swing at him and connect with his jaw. He falls to the ground, incapacitated.
What was the result? Well, the result was that you protected your family. The thought triggered the emotions, the emotions triggered the behaviors, and the behaviors produced the results.
So far, so good. That is… until the police arrive and the guy regains consciousness, just as you realize your thought was actually wrong. It turns out you had a false thought. The guy was no threat to you at all. The blood turned out to be fake. The knife was fake. It was a teenage kid running across the parking lot to meet some friends for a Halloween party. But because your thought was wrong, you assaulted a stupid yet innocent teenager.
Now here’s the question. Even though your thought was wrong, how real were the emotions that you felt when it was happening? Very real. How real was your behavior, your actions of hitting the guy? Very real. The results of his broken jaw. How real was that? Very real.
You see, this is the scary part about business. People have these thoughts, these preconceived notions. And even if they’re bullshit, they drive how your people feel, how they behave, and the financial results of your business.
MIND Your Business
For example, let’s say you have a sales team or counter workers. Your employees have this foundational belief: “All customers want is the cheapest price. They don’t care about quality. They don’t care about service. They just want the cheap price.”
If that’s the primary thought of your sales team, then what are the very natural emotions that come from that thought? Very negative, disempowering emotions. People don’t care about quality. They don’t care about service. They just want the cheapest price. That is dangerous thinking, dangerous to your bottom line.
What behaviors will that employee engage in? Will they do an exciting, dynamic, value-based sales presentation? Of course not. Why? Because their emotional state is that people don’t care about the details of my presentation because they’re so vested in the price of it. The belief causes them to take shortcuts and not really try to sell or upsell the prospect. So what’s the result? Prospects are very uninspired by your sales team and are not convinced to purchase. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because the employee feels vindicated. In reality, people DO care about value. People DO care about service. People DO care about quality.
My job as a salesperson is to show prospects why my company is better. My job is to show them why we do a better job. In turn, what emotions come from that thought? Empowering positive chemicals. Now, I feel optimistic. What behaviors come from those emotions?
Well, I’m doing a dynamic value-based presentation to my customers. I’m showing them why my company is better and why we have a superior-quality product or service. What’s the result? People buy from me. And the funny thing is that’s also a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like the old saying, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
You have to understand that your people are the single most important asset you have. And those people must have a mindset that is consistent with success in your business.
A shitty attitude is going to affect your business. And you just can’t let that happen. So you have to talk to your people. I do it every single week in my company. Every single week in my company, I’m talking about mindset.
A Terrible Thing to Waste
What are your beliefs about our customers? What are your beliefs about quality and service? What are your beliefs about price? What are your core beliefs about our company? Who are we, and what are we trying to do out there? Because if they don’t believe or have the right thoughts, they’re going to go out there and probably do more harm than good. And I’ve worked too hard to let a simple thing like mindset ruin my business.
You cannot expect to build a prosperous, successful, awesome business with people with poor attitudes and negative thoughts. It’s never going to happen. And if you think you’re just going to find rock stars that are all positive and energetic, you won’t. You have to teach every employee so everyone is on the same page.
You have to get them to think about what they think about before they think about it. And when I look back at my companies, every company I’ve built personally, every company I’ve been involved in building from our clients, the first thing I do is teach them the mindset, the entire company. In fact, I do not skip this step even for a multi-billion dollar company. And whenever I teach my sales process, I always teach the mindset first.
I remember the manager of that multi-billion dollar company saying, “Well, our salespeople don’t need the mindset training. We just want you to teach them your sales process.” And I said, “No, I’m not going to teach the sales process without the mindset process. One is useless without the other.”
Here’s a test you can try in your office. Gather your salespeople and tell them you’re all going to do some word association. You’ll give them a word, and they’ll write down on paper the first one or two words that come to mind. Give them the word “salesmen.”
What word associations do you think they’ll come up with? I guarantee you that it will be negative 80% of the time. They’ll come back with words like pushy, lazy, greedy, snake oil, and so forth.
And that’s just asking your salespeople. If your salespeople have the core belief that salespeople are seen as sleazy, dishonest, lazy, and high pressure, how will they ever break past this stereotype and believe that salespeople are really here to give something to the customer that they need? So we have to teach them the core belief that sales is an honorable pursuit, that sales is about solving problems and improving the quality of life for people.
They must understand this is all part of a healthy mindset for your company’s success.
That’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a really deep subject like prosperity mindset. We’ll pick it up next week with Step 2. Do you know what it is?