I hope you blazed through January and established some positive momentum for 2016. In sports, momentum is a tangible benefit for teams and athletes and when it's there, they MUST leverage it. We saw this in the Super Bowl where the Denver Broncos established momentum early in the first half and kept pressing it. Carolina never established momentum. It works this way in business, too. Get 'Big Mo' on your side, and you find that good things seem to keep happening and achievement becomes easier. Your key is to get it going and keep it going. If you did so in January, don't rest in February. Press it. If you didn't, then work hard in February to get the flow of accomplishment going. It takes considerable effort to achieve momentum, but it's so powerful once you do.
Are You Agile?

Start-ups are all around us in the Bay Area. A recent research study from NBER pointed out that we are more likely to be entrepreneurs if we grew up around a density of firms. That makes sense. One thing we can learn from the start-up crowd is agility. Did you know that many start-ups make significant changes to their business within 18 months of launching? It's often because what they think the market wants or needs is just plain wrong. In the start-up space it's crucial that business owners are able to pivot and make adjustments quickly lest they run out of cash. Are more established businesses really that different? Sometimes larger and older businesses miss the forest for the trees and don't make important changes to product mix, staffing, leadership, business model, and so forth until long after they should have. Action steps: Look at your business from top to bottom. What big hints at necessary changes are you overlooking? Want to read more in to this subject? Here's a great post on the topic from Steve Blank. 
The Total Transparency Email

One of the number one questions I get from salespeople is this: "How can I get a response from a prospect that won't get back to me?" Prospects going silent is a really common issue in sales. In my experience there are three primary reasons for this occurrence:
  1. They've found someone else
  2. Their attention has been shifted to a higher priority
  3. They're not sold on your offering
So, how do you break through? I recommend the Total Transparency Email (TTE). This is where you drop the fašade and seek a real answer on what's happened. As an example, when I don't hear back from someone for some time (which almost never happens to me of course, right) I'll send a very short email like this: 

"Hi, {name}, I haven't heard back from you for a while. Are you still interested in discussing {name of service offered} or have you found another provider you think will be a better fit?" or "When we last talked it sounded like you were nearly ready to move forward in working together. Now I can't seem to get in touch. Has something changed?"

The TTE almost always gets a response. It lets them know it's okay if they've found someone else or have some other issue that's arisen. Hubspot calls these Breakup Emails and has some other suggestions on the topic. Try it the next time you're in this situation and let me know how it works for you.
Advocamp Coming to SF in March

Do you believe that your happy customers could be your best advocates for your business? Would you like to learn more about how to make happy customers great advocates? Advocamp is all about that very topic. 

I love the idea. When you know you're offering a great service or product, then you should want to enhance your processes (or create some) to turn happy customers in to effective advocates. You can learn more about Advocamp here. You can also get lots of video content from last year's event on this page. That's probably a great place to start learning more on this topic. 

Two things I learned by watching Rob Meinhardt's video was: 1. Don't just make run of the mill giveaways, make really cool ones that people will use and talk about. Rob's company made a hat so cool skateboarding kids would wear it. (They just put their cool logo on the hat with no company name.). After that a marching band asked if they could use their cool logo on their band uniforms. That's a different point on making sure your logo is awesome.; and 2. Have a challenger that your clients can get fired up about beating by advocating for you. Just like sports fans love it when their team beats their evil competitor, your fans can get rabid about your brand when it beats your (ideally, much larger) competitor in some way. Interesting points. 
Business Growth Series a Hit!

The Business Growth Series happened last Friday. The room was full and many excellent discussions were had throughout the day. Two areas that got a lot of interest were time management and cash flow management. Based on feedback received I plan to create a new class soon on managing email using my proven process. The Business Growth Series will run again in April. Stay tuned for registration to open soon.  
177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class

In last month's Australian Open Novak Djokovic faced Roger Federer in the semi-finals. They had previously met 44 times and split the victories right down the middle. Who got the win? Novak. Here's what he said after the match, "It's important at the end of the day that your convictions are stronger than your doubts." What that quote says to me is that Novak is mentally tough. To be at the top of your game you can't be squishy mentally. You need to be tough enough to keep fighting through challenging situations and moments of doubt. You can read about the match here. In this book on mental toughness by Steve Siebold he shares 177 secrets of world class thinkers who are mentally tough. I consider Steve a mentor and an excellent resource. Secret #7: The Great Ones Know They Are Unaware. While average people seek mental comfort, the world class believes mental comfort is the death of growth. They live by this phrase: "You're either growing or dying; stagnation does not exist in the universe." I agree.

Ken's Married!

I was out last Thursday afternoon attending a very special event. Ken, my faithful right-hand man, has put a ring on his longtime sweetheart. It was a real joy to be there. 

I wish he and his new wife the very best in this next chapter of their journey through life together. He's off enjoying his honeymoon now. You can congratulate him when he's back to work next week.
That's a Wrap!
That's it for this edition. I hope you discovered a thought or idea that will be useful for you. Your next edition will be out on the 24th

Michael Neuendorff | The Growth Coach | 650.373.2022