THE TOP AND STAY
THERE 10 STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING A
BY DAN SULLIVAN
How To Get To The Top And Stay There: 10 Strategies For Developing A Multiplier Mindset Sullivan, Dan (1944- ) Entrepreneurship, coaching, business, self-development TM & ÂŠ 2010. The Strategic Coach Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form, or by any means whatsoever, without written permission from The Strategic Coach Inc., except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Published in Toronto, Canada. July 2010. The Strategic Coach Inc., 33 Fraser Avenue, Suite 201, Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3J9. This publication is meant to strengthen your common sense, not to substitute for it. It is also not a substitute for the advice of your doctor, lawyer, accountant, or any of your advisors, personal or professional.
Why A Multiplier Mindset?
Focus On Vision And Multiply Progress
Focus On Free Time And Multiply Productivity
Focus On Delegation And Multiply Income
Focus On Relationships And Multiply Opportunity
Focus On Strengths And Delegate Weaknesses
Focus On Habits And Forget About Discipline
Focus On Cleanups And Multiply Energy
Focus On Value And Deepen Relationships
Focus On Results And Transform Obstacles
Focus On Capabilities And Multiply Confidence
Whatâ€™s Next? About The Author About The Strategic Coach Program Contact Strategic Coach
Why A Multiplier Mindset? s a successful entrepreneur, you are exceptional. That is, you are literally an exception because of the fact that you work for yourself and have achieved a level of personal success the majority of people working in jobs will never achieve. You’ve proven you have the ability to transform your ideas into reality — inventing or adapting the structures you need, forging new relationships, and creating value for an audience that shows its appreciation by writing checks.
Like most entrepreneurs, however, two other things are probably also true about you: You know you could go further, and you know that to get there, some things would have to change. But what? How do you transcend the obstacles — the complexities and pressures, the bureaucracy and limitations — that have accumulated as your business has grown? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition and position yourself to take advantage of changes in your industry, the marketplace, and the world? Ninety-five percent of the business owners in any given industry will be stuck achieving an average kind of result. No amount of working longer or harder will take them above it, and there’s no wisdom within their industry about how to get above this level, because most of the people in it haven’t done it themselves. The industry was designed specifically to safely reproduce the averages. But there’s an upper echelon — a top one percent — of entrepreneurs in every industry who are experiencing
something very different. They have what I call a “Multiplier Mindset,” and this enables them to bring in a lot more money, act with more freedom and creativity, and enjoy their experience of being an entrepreneur a lot more. True to its name, this mindset is about multiplying your results in every area where you’d care to do so. I call it the Multiplier Mindset™ because it’s a way of thinking that naturally increases results. When you think in terms of multipliers, you’re always finding ways to get bigger and bigger results from the same or less effort. It’s about both productivity and leverage, and it happens both consciously and unconsciously. Strategic Coach® is designed to step in where the education system and industry training stop short, to show entrepreneurs how to transcend their current limitations, build enormous success for themselves, and positively shape the future of our society through the value they create and contribute. Twenty years of proof The entrepreneurs in the Strategic Coach® Program represent the best of over 60 industries. They are the top performers and producers, and the most innovative leaders, who bring new business models and approaches to everything from financial services to dentistry to manufacturing to health care, education, marketing, and virtually any other industry you can name. And, since many have been in the Program for ten years or more (some for as long as 20!), we can report that not only do they get to the top, they stay there. The reason they’re able to do this is the Multiplier Mindset they’ve cultivated within the Program.
What follows are ten multiplier strategies that are at the heart of the Strategic Coach Program. Any entrepreneur who concentrates on doing these ten things will develop a Multiplier Mindset, which they will use to multiply whatever results matter most to them. This might mean growing their business ten times or more in ten years, scaling the world’s highest peaks, being a great parent while also running a thriving business, or making a unique mark in their industry or community.
Each entrepreneur is different in their goals but very similar in some fundamental ways in terms of what it takes to get them there. It’s this similarity that we’ve learned to focus on at Strategic Coach. Over the past 30 years, more than 13,000 entrepreneurs have proven the effectiveness of these principles in their businesses and their lives. The creativity, wisdom, and heart with which they’ve applied them have been an inspiration to me and to the Strategic Coach team. I hope you find them useful too. - Dan Sullivan
Focus On Vision And Multiply Progress n order to multiply your results in all areas of life, it's critical that you have a compelling and exciting vision of your future. If your future vision isn’t significantly better than what your life looks like now, why change anything?
Entrepreneurs with a clear, well-articulated picture of the future have a distinct advantage. Vision, especially a vision of something bigger than yourself, has a way of drawing the most useful talent and resources to you and igniting the passion of like-minded individuals who can contribute to making it a reality. As an entrepreneur, your ability to take advantage of the endless multipliers available through technology, systems, structures, and relationships is dependent on having a concept of yourself and your future that’s bigger than where you are right now. Progress depends on your ability to see a bigger future in any situation. When you know where you’re going, you instinctively
start looking for — and finding — the multipliers that will get you there. The most direct and powerful way we’ve found to evoke a compelling vision of the future is to ask a very specific question: "If we were meeting here three years from today, looking back over those three years, what has to have happened, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress?" Why three years? It's the year after the year after next. One year can feel a bit too short to make major improvements, and five years can seem too far away and unpredictable. Three years feels about right: You can imagine life being a lot better without it being a complete mystery. Unless it's something you revisit regularly, your vision is going to get lost in the shuffle. It just happens. There are so many day-to-day concerns demanding
your immediate attention that staying connected with your vision can be a real challenge. Regular, focused attention on, and conversation about, your vision has a dramatic effect on your progress. Without this focus, you can still grow, just more slowly. With it, you'll experience exciting improvements in your client
base, your health, your personal relationships, the quality of your support team, and your satisfaction with your work and your life. That’s why, every quarter, participants in the Strategic Coach Program articulate, clarify, and discuss what's most important to them with other highly motivated, growthoriented entrepreneurs.
Focus On Free Time And Multiply Productivity ne of the major issues for almost all entrepreneurs is increasing their revenue, cash flow, and personal income. We’re going to say something here that may be shocking, even scary, to you. Are you ready? The secret to dramatically increasing your productivity and your income lies in taking more free time away from your business.
It may seem counterintuitive or even crazy to think of free time — time away from all business-related thinking and activity — as essential to productivity. However, over 20 years of experience with entrepreneurs from over 60 industries has shown us that entrepreneurs are at their most creative and productive when they’ve had real time off. They make better decisions, see opportunities more clearly, and make more money. How does this happen? Taking free time allows you to recharge your mental batteries and approach problems and opportunities with renewed ingenuity on your return. Conversely, when you’re tired, everyone else seems stupid, and even simple tasks take longer.
Imagine it this way: If you looked at your whole year, 365 days, then took a number of days for working completely off the board, you’d have to be a lot more focused and deliberate in order to accomplish your goals in the remaining time. You’d find more strategic and efficient ways to get your work done. You‘d say no to time-wasters and to activities and people who don‘t deserve your best attention. Too often, we live out the adage, “Work expands to fill the time allotted.” And when any day can be a workday, it’s easy to find yourself working all the time. In today‘s knowledge economy, doing things the same way over and over again doesn’t give you a competitive edge. You get that edge from combining ideas and technologies in new ways and coming up with original solutions that clients and customers are willing to pay for. If you‘re tired, how easy is it to come up with a creative, innovative approach? Fatigue, burnout, and a lack of energy decrease communication, originality, and risktaking. If you really want to grow your business, you actually need to get away from it. As scary as taking time off may
be, it shifts your thinking, your motivation, and your capabilities in important ways that help you accomplish more in less time and raise your whole company to a new level of productivity. And while we’re on that subject, let’s talk more about how this affects the rest of your company. One of our sayings at Coach is, “You never know how good your team is until you leave.“ If you‘re always there as the go-to person and decision-maker, your team will never exercise their decision-making muscles, and never gain the confidence from having true responsibility and accountability. When you take time away from your business, you give your team members an opportunity to gain confidence and capability in your absence. After all, your greatest innovations as an entrepreneur were probably a result of learning from mistakes! When you go away, and your team finds ways to handle whatever situation arises, they feel a tremendous sense of ownership
over their growth and become personally invested in the contribution they make to your organization. You might be surprised at how often we hear entrepreneurs who’ve figured this out say, with a big grin on their faces, “My team is happy when I’m gone — they get more done!” It’s a tremendously liberating feeling to know that your team has the day-to-day running of the business under control and that you can focus on strategizing for growth, creating new solutions to bring in more revenue, or doing whatever you love most that creates the best results in your business. Though it may seem like a radical concept, the time you take off is always more than made up for in the productivity gains that result. We’ve seen this in virtually every industry and with every size of entrepreneurial business. One of the first things we do with every entrepreneur in our Program is help them plan and take more time off, even if it’s a leap of faith at first.
Focus On Delegation And Multiply Income rank Sinatra didn’t move pianos. Most top performers spend only a relatively small percentage of their time achieving the results they’re known for. The very best spend the rest of their time doing things to prepare them to be the best when they’re “on stage.” Delegation of all the other “stuff” that isn’t contributing to your doing what you do best goes hand in hand with being able to take more time off and multiply your results in
all the most important areas you’ve identified in your life and business. One of the best ways to simplify your life is to restrict the number of things you do. If you don’t, here’s what you’ll probably end up doing: You’ll compile a list of 15 things you have to do today. You’ll get ten of them done, which might seem like it should be a good day, but you won‘t feel any sense of accomplishment
because you missed five. Guess what? If you don’t change your approach, tomorrow’s going to be the same. Even if you‘re enormously successful by other people’s standards, you won‘t feel it on the inside. And that undermines your energy, your confidence, and your ambition. How about focusing instead on accomplishing just three crucial results? If you took off 155 Free Days™ — 24-hour periods free from all work-related problem-solving, communication, and action — you would have 210 days left on your calendar for working. Multiply that by three important results each day, and you would be aiming to achieve 630 crucial results in a year. That would be a pretty good year, wouldn’t it? Try this: Start your day with the intention of getting three important things done that day. If a fourth gets added, you put it on your list for tomorrow. If you finish all three by 1 p.m., you’re finished for the day. You don’t change the rules of the game while it’s under way — which is
what many of us are guilty of doing. When you restrict yourself to just three key priorities, your mind focuses itself: “If I’m just doing three important things, what deserves to be one of them?” And if you’re not going to do all the other things that don’t make your top three list, who is? Somebody else is! This is how you determine which activities to delegate. Building the skill of delegation allows you to have a clear mind and be fully present in your activities. Delegation also helps you grow, because your standard of what qualifies for your “important” list keeps going up. Your measure of an important activity now is much higher than it was ten years ago — and your current income will demonstrate the effect that has had on your growth. If you want your company to grow ten times over the next ten years, you have to focus on doing three things and delegating the rest. As you grow, your three things will be of a different nature, a different quality. But it will always be three.
Focus On Relationships And Multiply Opportunity ne of the biggest limitations on the size of your future is getting locked into a certain type of relationship — a particular quality of client base and centers of influence that don’t grow or get any better. You may have big goals, but if you’re pursuing them while maintaining the same kind of relationships, they’re not going to happen.
Some people take a scattershot approach, figuring that if they simply have more relationships, they’ll have
more income. What generally happens, though, is that they find themselves overwhelmed trying to maintain all these relationships and give them equal service. As you grow your business, there comes a point where you’re no longer obliged to work with everyone who walks through your door. Some of those relationships are just too costly — either financially or emotionally. This is the Pareto principle at work: Twenty percent of your clients generate
80 percent of your income, while 80 percent generate only 20 percent of your income. Ironically, those 80 percent who provide so little also dominate 80 percent of your time. A small core of your client base represents the kind of people you want to work with in the future as you grow. One approach that’s worked well for entrepreneurs in the Strategic Coach Program is zeroing in on that core — the top 20 of their very best relationships, those current clients or prospects who truly appreciate what they do and are willing to reward them for it. These are the people who won’t just use you as a source of free information or as a provider of commodities; they’ll value you for your wisdom, and see you as a partner in making some important part of their life better or easier. So once you’ve identified your top 20, you can systematically find ways to delegate or download all the other relationships, freeing yourself up to devote focused time and attention where it will be best rewarded. Whatever income might be lost initially will be soon replaced many times over by the remaining, more valuable, more profitable clients. Many entrepreneurs are just one relationship or 20 away from an incredibly great opportunity, but they have to be willing to
focus their attention on maximizing their best relationships to get there. These are the clients, customers, prospects, connections, suppliers, centers of influence, and strategic partners who will respect your efforts, reward you for them, and refer you to other people like them. Another very important set of relationships we encourage entrepreneurs to invest in are the ones they have with their spouse and family. At the outset, these are the most important — the ones we actually stand up in public and commit to. Yet with all the demands of running a business, it’s all too easy to let these slip into the background. Focusing and restricting your time and attention with clients has the strategic byproduct of giving you more time to spend on the personal relationships that bring some of life’s greatest rewards. Many people who own and run a business think they have to choose among their relationships, and in a sense they’re right: You have to choose to have good quality relationships — in every aspect of life. The old saying goes, “Time equals money,” but this is not true. Time has never written you a single check. Rather, relationships equal money. All the checks you’ve received and all the new opportunities you’ve been offered have been because of the relationships you’ve developed.
Focus On Strengths And Delegate Weaknesses ost of us were taught in school to work on our weaknesses. The problem is that, after years of doing this, what you end up with is a lot of really strong weaknesses!
There‘s so much more to be gained by focusing on your strengths, the activities in life that you’re just great at. When you‘re working at them, you have confidence, momentum, energy, capability, expertise, and enthusiasm. When
you‘re spending time on activities you aren‘t good at, it drains your energy and saps your creativity, and you have little to show for all your time and effort in the way of results. Focusing on your strengths is one of the greatest multipliers at your disposal. Your strengths are built-in. The challenge is in recognizing these assets, because to you they seem so natural: “Can’t everyone do this?” In fact, no, they can’t. So there are huge returns to be gained by identifying your natural talents and focusing your time on doing just those things, leaving the rest to other people and systems. When you surround yourself with the people and technologies that excel at all the things you don‘t, you have a much more productive system — one that has far fewer bottlenecks, roadblocks, inefficiencies, and frustrations. So what stops us from just doing what we‘re good at and putting that support in place? Again, it often goes back to our early training and the belief that everyone has to do things they don‘t like doing. The problem with that belief is that we don‘t ask, “Why?” or “Who else could do this better?” or “How else could this get done?” It keeps us from getting resourceful, and keeps us from growing and expanding our gifts. The other thing that stops people is a fear of delegating — or of investing in people to whom to delegate. The solution to both of these blocks is developing a new set of habits that will allow you to spend more time in your areas of greatest ability. Recognize, assess, and focus on your strengths. Make good decisions that will put you into a position to fully use and leverage them. Pick the opportunities, relationships, and customers that make the best use of your strengths and talents, then delegate all the other parts of your process to people who have greater strengths in those areas.
For instance, if sales is where you excel, you’ll benefit from delegating the administration and maintenance of existing business and focusing on what brings in new money. If deal-making is your forté, don’t get bogged down in the implementation of what you’re selling; rather, build a team who can follow through on those details while you go out and secure more new business. Likewise, if innovation is your biggest contribution to the growth of your company, the expense of delegating day-to-day operations to team members is far outweighed by the opportunities you can cook up when you have the time to do that creative work. One of the things entrepreneurs work on in the Strategic Coach Program is identifying their strengths and putting strategies into place to allow them to spend more time working on what they do best, while delegating the rest to team members who have strengths in other areas. Both entrepreneurs and team members benefit from this partnership, which is something you might not recognize at first. Every time you hold on to something that’s not a strength for you but is for someone else, you’re actually depriving that person of an opportunity to do something they love and to excel at it. Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who loves to do everything you hate doing. It may be hard to think that someone could love filing or paperwork or cleaning up your messes and organizing you, but for a talented administrative assistant who’s in the right job, that’s just what lights them up. Focusing on your strengths and delegating weaknesses is an ongoing process, because as you do it, you keep seeing new areas where you want to focus even more and new things that you want to let go of. The trick is to make it a habit and train your team to help you, so you’re always making sure that you stay focused on the activities that have the greatest multiplying effect on your results!
Focus On Habits And Forget About Discipline ave you ever thought, “I wish I was more disciplined”? Here’s good news: Discipline is not the problem. You are totally, completely, 100 percent disciplined … to your existing set of habits.
Successful people have successful habits. Unsuccessful people have unsuccessful habits. The biggest factor in achieving great results is the quality of your habits. Your current habits produce the kind of results you enjoy now. If you want to see a different kind of results in your life, you don’t need more discipline; you just need different habits. So being aware of your habits, and understanding how to change them, is an absolutely vital part of being able to multiply your results. In the Strategic Coach Program, we help entrepreneurs become conscious of their habits — because most of us have many habits we never think about — and decide if those habits are supporting the future they want or not. If they’re not, there’s a proven process for helping to change them: If you take any part of your behavior and modify it — do something different — for 21 days, you will establish a new habit. That’s all it takes: 21 days. After doing something new for three weeks, it will begin to feel completely natural to you. People involved in language training, nutrition, and fitness rely on this principle. The challenge is that it works best when you change only one habit at a time. A lot of people get into trouble here, jumping in with both feet and trying to change dozens of interrelated habits at once. If you focus on changing just one habit, you’ll find that other habits will change
simultaneously. For instance, let’s suppose you have a problem with lateness. Well, for the next three weeks, show up ten minutes early for every meeting. Be waiting! To do this, you may find that you need to develop a better sense of how to watch the time or a system to have someone prompt you when it’s time for your next appointment. At the end of these three weeks, you’ll not only enjoy a difference in your performance, you’ll also have an increased sense of confidence and peace of mind. If you changed just one habit every three weeks for one year, you could fundamentally alter 17 key aspects of your life. Given how much one small new habit — like being prompt — can change your daily experience, just imagine the ripple effect 17 changes could have. Success in life is really a function of having goal-directed habits. The key to multiplying your results in all areas is to be constantly cultivating new habits that support these bigger results. These may include the habit of saying no to things you shouldn’t be doing, or taking time off regularly so you can be at your most creative and energetic. Maybe it’s trusting your team members to handle key aspects of your business so you can focus on growth or strategy, or not blowing up at them when they make mistakes. The truth is, there are thousands of habits that make up a Multiplier Mindset. By cultivating increasingly supportive habits, quarter after quarter, year after year, you gradually transform your way of thinking and acting into one where much more is possible and bigger things happen. Discipline has nothing to do with it. It all happens one new habit at a time.
Focus On Cleanups And Multiply Energy n the process of creating your current degree of success — by making changes and taking advantage of opportunities — you’ve probably also created a few messes.
Here‘s our definition of a mess: An obligation to something or someone you no longer have any commitment to. You can picture it as a formula: M=O-C Mess equals Obligation minus Commitment A mess is an unresolved issue in your mind, and usually, if you have one mess, you have more than one. Messes could be something big or just a lot of small things. For instance, maybe you started a project but didn’t follow through on it because you simply didn’t have any “juice” for it anymore. So you decided — consciously or unconsciously — that you didn’t want to do it, but you haven’t settled the matter, so it became a mess. Eventually, your brain gets bogged down with all this “stuff.” To free up the mental space your messes are taking up, you’ve got to go back and clean that project up, throw away the files, and get rid of it. Messes come in a lot of forms: legal issues, mishandled relationships, abandoned or waylaid projects, problems you’re avoiding because you don’t want the hassle of dealing with them, health issues that result from not taking care of yourself, and the list goes on. Something that contributes to messes for a lot of entrepreneurs is having a
delegation system that flows in the wrong direction: The staff go home on evenings and weekends, and since the entrepreneur is there all the time, anything that wasn’t finished gets taken care of by them — the “night worker,” the “weekender.” One unconventional structure for preventing messes from happening in the first place is something we call The NoOffice Solution™: By getting rid of your office, you eliminate the place where many of these things would pile up. The solution is to work off-site or in a boardroom. Your assistant gives you your work at the beginning of the day, then you give it all back to them at the end. If something comes up while you’re working, the team takes care of it. Few entrepreneurs make money from being in their personal office. In fact, for many, it can become a place to hide from opportunities! They can be endlessly busy in there, dealing with the piles of “stuff,” but they’re actually at their lowest level of productivity. Their best results happen when they’re up and about, creating opportunity with someone else or empowering them in some way. How much more productive could you be if you didn’t have any messes weighing on your mind? Think about what the quality of your days would be like if you were totally committed to doing everything on your plate — if, in fact, you looked forward to handling everything you needed to do. This is the benefit of focusing on cleanups. Though
it may take an infusion of energy at the beginning to tackle accumulated stuff and messes, once you clean them up and develop the awareness and strategies to keep new ones from taking their place, the influx of energy and freedom
you experience will more than cover the upfront cost. This is an investment in your future growth and freedom that pays off in countless ways from the moment you take action and do it.
Focus On Value And Deepen Relationships his strategy is a direct response to the danger of commoditization, which is present in every industry to a greater or lesser degree. In today’s networked, electronically connected world, there has never been more choice or more comparison shopping. Virtually all products and services are either already commodities with little or no differentiation in the eyes of consumers, or in the process of being commoditized. I probably don’t need to tell you that being an entrepreneur who is squeezed by commoditization isn’t much fun. Margins go down, competition goes up, and you find yourself working a lot harder for less, often focusing more on marketing at the expense of providing your clients with real value.
opposite, the possibility of gaining something; and S stands for strengths — the capabilities and resources they have, which they may or may not be taking advantage of. Value creation in the 21st century means providing direction, confidence, and capability where people are feeling isolated, confused, and frustrated. We like to say that the problem is never the problem; the problem is that people don't even know how to think about the problem. They feel isolated in their confusion and frustrated by their inability to make progress, and this erodes their confidence.
It is possible to escape from this trap and to find and stay in an area of the marketplace where there is no significant competition. The key is to understand what really creates value and to keep evolving your business to do that rather than just selling products and services.
When prospects come to you, they're not looking at your product or service. They couldn't care less about those. In fact, most people would happily spend their entire lives without learning about them, except that they’ve reached a point where they suspect that, somehow, you are the solution to their D.O.S.® issues in some area of life.
The three things every individual is most concerned about can be summed up as “D.O.S.” where D stands for dangers — the possibility of losing something; O stands for opportunities — just the
Most businesspeople are entirely focused on selling their product or service, and because of this, they miss the fact that potential or existing clients and customers are usually more than
willing to tell you what their D.O.S. is — if only you’d ask! And if you ask them about their D.O.S. and they’re not willing to tell you, that also provides you with extremely valuable information: For whatever reason, they’re not willing to have a relationship with you. If they are willing to tell you about their dangers, opportunities, and strengths, you have the chance to become one of the most valuable people in their life. Just by asking about the things that keep them up at night and the things they get excited about, you bring them clarity: Most people are too busy reacting to their issues to be reflective about them. But this isn’t just an interesting conversation (though it often proves to be the best discussion people have ever had with their clients); together, you are mining the raw material that will trans-
form their biggest issues and make it possible for them to achieve the future they want. All the best opportunities to expand your business and multiply your results are connected to your clientele’s D.O.S. issues. Ask, listen, and learn to act on what you hear, and their response will help you grow in ways you might not have imagined — and that your competition won’t be able to understand. The most genuinely interesting people in the world are those who are most interested in the growth and success of others. By being interested in making a difference for others, by being a dependable source of clarity, solutions, and confidence, you will naturally attract great people to you and enjoy deep and lasting relationships with them.
Focus On Results And Transform Obstacles hen visualizing a goal, it’s natural for your mind to immediately bring up all the obstacles that stand between you and the achievement of your vision. This, in and of itself, is not a problem. The problem arises when people let these obstacles become a source of fear, frustration, or overwhelm, to the point that they put the goal aside, telling themselves they “just can’t think about that right now,” even though the result of achieving that goal would be a major win.
achieving them. If we stay focused on the result, really zeroing in on the measurable, tangible ways things will be new, better, and different when we get there, it’s easier to broach the obstacles with a sense of purpose. The first step is to acknowledge as many obstacles as you can come up with and tell the truth about how things are — which may conflict with how you want things to be, how you can imagine they could be. This brings me to something else I often say, which is, “All progress begins by telling the truth.”
Here’s the good news about obstacles: All those things that seem to oppose your goals are actually the raw material for
Looking at them one at a time, the obstacles are not as daunting, and it’s easier to strategize solutions. Because
you’ve clearly articulated them, you can also enlist the help of others more easily. Staying focused on the result reminds you and others of what the payoff is for this effort. Like all the other Multiplier Mindset strategies, this kind of thinking eventually becomes habitual once you do it enough. When this happens, obstacles no longer stop you, and any angst associated with them goes away. In fact, you look forward to getting them all out so you can create a plan. They just become material to be used to help you move forward.
And this is not just something you do inside your business. It’s also at the heart of what you do for your clients and customers when you’re creating value for them and not just peddling products and services. When you can help a client or customer focus on a result they’d like to see in their life, and then help them transform all the obstacles they see opposing them, your business with them transcends the transactional, and you become a trusted advisor or partner in some area of their life. When they know they can rely on you for this, you have a customer for life and a great source of referrals.
Strategy Ten: Focus On Capabilities And Multiply Confidence onfidence is the electricity of the entrepreneurial world. To get where you are now, you’ve probably taken on all kinds of things even when you weren’t sure you had the knowledge or skill to pull them off. But you felt confident, and you created the result. Seeing this, you gained even greater confidence, which allowed you to do even more.
When you don't feel confident, everything seems more difficult, and your ability to accomplish anything is greatly diminished. Because confidence is the foundation of all our other abilities, the number one responsibility of every entrepreneur is to protect his or her confidence. The way we do this is by growing our capabilities and giving ourselves credit for our progress.
Many people talk about confidence as a character trait, something you’re either born with or aren’t. Here we’re talking about confidence as a resource you can consciously develop through activities such as: • Reviewing your past achievements and using those, rather than ever-shifting ideals, to evaluate your progress. • Taking the time when you encounter a setback to review the experience and find new insights and improvements for the future. • Articulate your strengths, talents, and passions, as well as those of your team members, and establish new “capability goals” to take advantage of these assets. We’re living in a time when many people’s confidence is at an all-time low.
Many of the structures, industries, institutions, and environments that people once relied upon as the foundations that would always be there to support them are either disappearing or undergoing radical transformations with uncertain outcomes. Those who can inspire confidence amidst this uncertainty are able to generate loyal and grateful followings of trusting clients and customers. But to generate confidence for others, you first have to know how to do it for yourself. Learning to generate your own confidence allows you to be freed up from
the negative emotional influence of unexpected and unpredictable external change. Instead, you have your full faculties available to adjust and see the opportunity that almost always accompanies such change. When others are paralyzed, you can be clear and focused on your clients and on how to create value, even if the game has changed radically. Over the past two years especially, we have seen countless entrepreneurs in the Strategic Coach Program gain huge competitive advantages from having developed this particular facet of the Multiplier Mindset.
What’s Next? ou’ve now been introduced to the Multiplier Mindset. What ideas about your bigger future does it bring up for you? How would you like to multiply your own results, enjoyment, and impact as an entrepreneur?
More than 13,000 entrepreneurs who have participated in the Strategic Coach Program have used the principles in this book to dramatically increase their income and free time, which in turn has allowed them to invest in delegations, cleanups, capabilities, and, ultimately, a life of greater freedom and satisfaction. This online book has given you an introduction to some core strategies of the Program. Your ability to apply these strategies is multiplied exponentially by participating in a workshop with a group of other successful, like-minded entrepreneurs, taking time out each quarter to strategize about your future, and learning how to use a vast array of tools to develop each aspect of your business and your quality of life as its owner. To build on what you’ve learned here, and to give you a better feeling for what it’s like to work with our coaches, we’re inviting you to take part in a free webinar with Shannon Waller, an experienced coach and one of the designers of the Strategic Coach Program. To reserve your place on our next webinar, please call Lisa Teeter at 1.866.343.2205 or 902.544.1396, or visit http://www.strategiccoach.com/events/webinars/
About The Author an Sullivan is the founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of the Strategic Coach® Program, which helps accomplished entrepreneurs reach new heights of success and happiness. He has over 30 years of experience as a strategic planner and coach to entrepreneurial individuals and groups. He is author of over 30 publications, including The Great Crossover, The 21st Century Agent, Creative Destruction®, and How The Best Get Better®, and co-author of The Laws of Lifetime Growth and The Advisor Century.
About The Strategic Coach Program ®
he Strategic Coach Program is known in entrepreneurial circles as the place where “the best get better.” The constant improvements that entrepreneurs experience within it are not just in business, but in all areas of their lives.
The Program consists of quarterly oneday workshops with a group of established, growth-focused entrepreneurs from a variety of industries, led by a coach who is also a successful entrepreneur and is using the tools and concepts of the Program to grow his or her own business. Our coaches are all current clients in advanced years of the Program, who, as a result of increased free time and income, are able to devote some of their time to coaching others. Strategic Coach operates hundreds of quarterly workshops in the U.S, Canada, and the U.K. and has coached over
13,000 entrepreneurs in its more than 20 years in business. The vast majority of participants join because of the progress they have seen in other entrepreneurs already in the Program. Many entrepreneurs consider Strategic Coach to be an ongoing process they participate in to encourage and support growth and achievement in all areas of their lives. One individual put it this way: “Until Strategic Coach, running my own business was always a lonely experience that was getting lonelier and harder the more successful I became. Now I have a place, filled with the best friends in the world, where I rejuvenate and refocus every 90 days. It’s what was always missing. Now that I’ve got it, I’m staying for life.” The Strategic Coach Program is designed for entrepreneurs who are already estab-
lished and who have reached a certain level of success. To qualify for the Program, you must be a business owner, high-commission salesperson, or professional in private practice with a minimum of three years in business and a minimum net personal income of $100,000 or ÂŁ80,000 in the past year. Workshops are offered at minimum income levels of $100K, $250K, and $500K+ in North America, and ÂŁ80K in the U.K.
Participants derive many unique benefits from Strategic Coach, but most report four big improvements: constantly increasing income and profits; significant and, in many cases, unbelievable jumps in the quantity and quality of free time; the ability to focus increasingly on their most productive activities; and an everincreasing impact on the world outside of their businesses.
Contact Strategic Coach Toronto: 33 Fraser Avenue, Suite 201 Toronto, Ontario M6K 3J9 Canada Telephone: 416.531.7399 or 1.800.387.3206 Fax: 416.531.1135 Chicago: 10255 W. Higgins Road, Suite 420 Rosemont, Illinois 60018 USA Telephone: 847.699.5767 or 1.888.872.8877 Fax: 847.699.5766 U.K.: Suite 8, Dunham House Cross Street Sale, Cheshire M33 7HH United Kingdom Telephone: 01625 545 600 or 0800 389 3206 Fax: 01625 545 601 Toll free from the U.K. to the Toronto office: 0800 051 6413 Email: email@example.com Website: www.strategiccoach.com