Getting Clarity On The Things You Do

Today we’re going to talk about getting clarity in your projects.

And really, it doesn’t even have to be a major project. I can be a minor project – anything you’re doing that requires several you should be looking to get clarity on.

I believe there are two questions for getting clarity on a project that we can ask.

  1. The first is, “Q: What does done look like?“. The big overarching question.
  2. The second one is, “Q: What does doing look like?

In other words, when it’s complete, what will it look like? And, what are all the steps involved in getting it done?

Let’s look at these questions separately.

Are You Done Yet?

Q: So how do you determine what “done” looks like?

A: The way you surface the answers to that is by asking a series of questions like, “if this project was incredibly successful, how would it turn out?” “If it was everything I wanted it to be, how would I know?” “If this was a smashing success, how would it end up?”

So those are the types of questions that you ask to get extensive clarity about what does done look like. Obviously if it’s anything that is more than just a few steps, it requires that you actually spend a few minutes at the very least writing out your answer to that question so that you can have greater clarity.

Now once you understand that, the next step is to figure out what “doing” looks like. To do this you need to really start listing all the steps that will get you to “done.”

I think I’ve probably shared this before, but what I like to do to determine what “doing” looks like is to brainstorm all the steps.

I don’t try and make it linear – first step, second step, etc. – because if I do that, I box myself in too quickly. So what I try to do is just brainstorm all the steps first.

Then as I’ve kind of exhausted all the steps, then I put them in order. As I put them in order, I realize I might have forgotten certain things.

Once I get all that down, I’m able to put it into a step-by-step plan that will lead me to this outcome that I’ve already defined by determining what would this look like if it was an amazing success.

Make sense?

A Harder Question:

How do you know the questions to ask?

That brings up a more difficult question of how do you know what you need to know, to get clarity on anything?

To answer that, I’m going to go a little bit more global here for a second; a little bit more meta-level.

The answer is really pretty simple, but it’s not that easy to do. I’m talking about the ability for you, as an entrepreneur, to trust your instincts.

Why is it so hard to do?

Well you see, you’ve been trained ever since you were a child not to trust your instincts; that somehow your instincts were bad or wrong.

When you were a baby you wanted all your toys and your parents made you share them. When you went to school, you might have wanted to stand up and walk around; but you were forced to sit in class and pay attention. If you decided that something was interesting to you if it wasn’t necessarily interesting to your parents or your teachers you might not have been able to study it or get access to it.

You’ve been taught over time to trust outside experts to give you certain answers that ultimately you should be developing yourself.

The bottom line is, and this is just my perspective, because people don’t trust their instincts, they don’t know what it is they want or need.

They end up looking for answers without knowing what it is they need to know.

The problem with getting answers to questions you don’t know.

So they end up joining a program, they buy some books, they listen to an audio but they’re not really clear what it is they’re hoping to get out of it. So they go to wherever it is they’re going; the program, the audio, the course, the book, etc. hoping to find out what’s there and what potentially they need as opposed to walking in knowing exactly what they need and what they’re there for.

When you don’t trust your instincts you end up deferring to others to tell you more and more of what you need for the clarity. Ultimately you’re not getting your own clarity. You’re getting other people’s clarity.

Most of things that you want right now, whether you really want them or not, have been ingrained in you. Someone else has told you that you need to have it. It’s obvious what those things are. You want more money. You want a good relationship with someone who loves you. You want a good business that makes you feel like you’re making a contribution and getting the security and freedom that you desire.

So here’s another big question. Do you think you need something that you currently don’t have in order to get something you want? Do you think you need something that you don’t have right now in order to get more money; in order to have a good relationship with someone who loves you; in order to have a good business where you feel like you’re making a contribution?

And if you do feel you need something, what is it exactly? If you don’t know what it is you need to have in order to get that, how will you ever find it?

Unless you’re hoping that someone else takes responsibility for knowing what it is you need and therefore giving it to you. That is a very dangerous position to put yourself in.

I’ll share a personal story about that in the next post.

The $600 Million Dollar Marketing Secret

I want to share one final marketing tactic with you in this post.

Like I mentioned in your last post, a consulting client of mine – Agora Publishing – is set to break the $600 million mark this year. Much of that success is due to this technique I want to share with you now.

It’s a powerful technique that will let you leverage your current assets to their maximum potential.

In internet marketing, when a promotion’s success started to wane and an entrepreneur felt they needed a new one, they usually created a new product to go with it.

New promotion = New product.

Agora does it very differently.

Rather than creating a new product every time they need a new promotion, Agora keeps the same product and just creates a new promotion around it. If they have to, they might create a new premium, some kind of bonus that they’ll attach to some need, desire, or want on the part of their prospect that ties back into their product.

That may sound simplistic, but it’s not. And the key secret to their massive success is how they keep each new promotion fresh and interesting to their list while still promoting the same product over and over.

I’m going to show you how you can do what they do.

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Two Powerful Marketing Ideas

1 Little Words Make a HUGE Difference

We all make this mistake. I’m sure that you could find numerous examples where I’ve made it myself. But nonetheless it is important and something you need to keep in mind when creating a marketing message.

I’m talking about the power of certain words you use.

You see, there are words that increase the chances of a sale and there are words that will work against you in that regard. Let’s start with the biggest offender.

“Buy.”

Buy is a word that is simply not ideal. People don’t like to be sold, so telling them to buy is a big turn off for your prospect.

So what can you use instead?

How about “claim?” Think about:

Discover how you can claim your special report

…as opposed to:

Buy your special report here.

Can you see and hear the difference?

You can use the word “invest.“. For example:

Your investment in this special report is backed by our iron-clad guarantee.

Or how about “enroll“…

When you enroll to get the information in this special report…

This isn’t the be-all-end-all list, but you can see how they are an improvement over the word “buy.

Don’t Make Your Prospect “Work”

Another word that can always be generally improved upon is “learn.”

People generally don’t like to learn. Learning is work. People much prefer to “discover.” Discovering is exciting. It implies “newness” or something that maybe no one else has seen or heard of before.

Or even better, if you are talking in kind of conversational tone, you could say “find out.” “Here’s how you can find out…

Both words are less threatening to the prospect.

I sometimes see people use the word “things” in sales letters. As in “The five things you need to become…”

“Things” is a weak word. It’s very important to be specific in your marketing message. “Things” is just too vague. Tips, tricks, techniques, insights, secrets, strategies, insider tactics, etc. are all much better options than using “things.

This list could go on forever. And I’m not going to spend the entire post trying to create a comprehensive list. Suffice to know and understand that you have to be aware of the words you are using in your marketing.

If your words imply work on the part of your prospect or anything confrontational (like the “buy” example,) you should think twice about using a different word in its place.

2 The Secret Reason Everyone Buys…

Now, I want to share one more important marketing concept with you.

I’ve saved it for last because it can be immensely powerful. It can really be your ticket to multiplying how profitable, how big, how successful your business can be. And also accelerate how fast you get to your goals.

But before I get into it, I want to kind of give you the right context here. There are two important pieces of information that I want to share with you that I think will help you appreciate the value that I’m about to give you.

The first is from Porter Stansberry. Porter runs the largest division of Agora – Stansberry & Associates. His division has grown to nine figures in a very short period of time. That’s over $100 million dollars. Thanks to his division alone, Agora will break $600 million this year.

Porter once told me that people buy for emotional reasons, but those emotional reasons never get full satisfied. That’s important. Once you know what a buyer has bought in the past, you have a pretty good idea of what they will buy in the future.

So for example, I buy a lot of books. There are a lot of good business reasons why I buy them. But there’s also some emotional baggage I carry around.

Let’s say I buy all these books because my mother and father thought I was stupid. That’s not true but let’s just say that it was as an example. If that were the case, then I’m really buying all these books because I’m unconsciously I’m trying to prove that I’m smart.

Well if that’s the case, there is no book that’s ever going to fill that emotional need. There’s never going to be a book that I buy, read, and say, “Ah ha! Now I’m smart! I don’t have to buy any more books ever again.”

It’s that emotional need that never gets satisfied that a marketer can tap into time and time again. That’s important to realize. I think it’s pretty profound actually.

And what’s more, we’re all subject to these emotional needs in some form or another.

I want you to think about that for the next couple days.

What kind of emotional needs might prospects in your market have that you would be able to fill. Make a short list. When I come back in the next post, I’m going to expand on this in much greater detail.

Shatter The Five Barriers To Making The Sale

So let’s touch back on that original question from last post – how can I make money fast?

Like I said in the last post, when you don’t have a lot of resources to work with, that’s the wrong question. The better question is, “How can I quickly create value for some group of people that would be interested in paying for it?”

So last time we crawled into your prospects’ heads and answered a series of questions about the things they dislike or that frustrate them.

Before we move on (as a little bonus) I want to share a couple other general questions you can ask to target your market’s “value targets.”

These are a little more general than thinking through the answers that your prospects would give, but they’re just as effective.

  1. What problems are they facing?
  2. What are their needs and burning desires?
  3. Where does it hurt?
  4. What are their fears?
  5. What are their frustrations?
  6. What are their questions and doubts?
  7. What objections do they have?

So those are some other questions you need to fully explore.

You need to.

In fact, this type of thinking is some of the most profitable thinking you can do because it leverages your marketing. And that’s one of the most powerful leverage points inside a business. (A lot of struggling entrepreneurs underestimate the value of thinking as not productive or a waste of time. That’s a huge mistake.)

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How To “Make Money” Fast…

Over the next few posts I want to give you some important techniques you can use to enhance your marketing – and boost your bottom line. (Given that we’ve just spent a couple days talking about being resourceful, I thought this might further your ability to do just that. To help you succeed at the levels that you’re capable of.)

One of the questions (or some variation of it) I still get asked quite often is – “how can I make some money fast?”

The truth of the matter is that that’s a bad question for someone who is just starting their business to ask.

You see, if you have a business – if you have stuff that you’re selling and you have a list of prospects and clients/customers – then there are things you can do to accelerate that process. Because you already have leverage-able assets that you use to do it.

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The Power of Being Just In Time…

I have another simple but powerful concept I want to share with you today.

It’s something that I’ve taught for a long time. You may have heard me talk about it before. But since it’s such an important time-saving, speed-enhancing concept, and because it ties back into Tuesday’s letter about needing resources versus being resourceful as you’ll see in just a minute, I thought it would be great to share this concept one more time.

This is about information and how you learn. I’m not talking about how you absorb and process information – whether your a visual, or auditory, or kinesthetic learner. I’m talking about information and when you learn it.

You see, there’s an important distinction. It’s called “just in time” information and “just in case” information.

This distinction deals specifically with the type of information you go out in search of. Whether that information is immediately useful to you, or whether you’re just looking to amass knowledge.

When it comes to doing deep, intensive research, you should only be looking for information that relates to moving forward to the very next step you need to take in your business.

Spoiled Milk and A Sure Sign of Resource Dependency

“Just in case” information and learning is a clear sign of a dependency on resources. While “just in time” learning demonstrates your resourcefulness.

Too many people buy courses; buy products; get interested in topics for “just in case” reasons. They do this based on the belief that when they need it, they’ll have it. The problem with that belief and behavior, is that information is kind of like milk.

It tends to go bad over time.

So if you’re doing a lot of “just in case” research right now on let’s say, pay-per-click, everything you learn could change in an instant with the addition of one new feature by Google a month from now. That makes all the work you did pointless. And all the time you invested would be wasted.

You really need to approach information gathering, studying and learning as it relates to your business, in a “just in time” way.

My coaching programs, the Founders Club and BGS are sometimes considered to be “just in case” programs. But the reality is, they’re not. In fact, they’re sort of the consummate “just in time” learning because they are the essential elements to grow a successful business.

When you look at something that you might be buying or might be studying, the first question to ask yourself is “am I doing this because it’s just in case I’ll need it later” or “am I doing this because I need this to move forward right now.”

This is one of the key aspects of being strategic in your business. It allows you to do less while getting more. Of focusing on only the things that are absolutely necessary.

I think now you can see how these concepts integrate into what we talked about in the last post. Being resourceful leads you to search for the information that would be helping you solve specific issues, specific challenges, specific obstacles to getting to your goals.

If it’s something that’s being promoted right now and you’re thinking that well, I might buy that now because I’ll have it later – that’s just in case.

Putting the Car Before the Driving Lessons

Here’s an example. A while back I got a couple of questions about a content platform that was being launched. I didn’t really know whether it was a good platform or not. I could assume it would be a good platform. But it didn’t really matter. Because the questions I got were asking me if they should buy it now even though they didn’t have a customer acquisition process, they didn’t have a front-end product, etc.

My only thought was “Why would you even think about buying a content delivery platform right now when you don’t have the fundamental parts of your business in place? Delivering content is not really your problem right now. Getting customers is. And if that’s your problem, then you shouldn’t even be thinking about making an investment in anything for delivering content.”

Would you spend $50,000 on a car before you even knew how to drive?

So that’s the lesson for today. Whenever you’re thinking about spending time or money on any kind of information or product. ask yourself “am I getting this information from a just in time perspective or a just in case perspective.”

Focus on the just in time for a couple weeks and see how much faster you’ll start making progress.

More Important Than All The Resources In The World…

The idea that I want to share with you today is about a critical distinction you need to understand to succeed in your online business.

Many entrepreneurs think that their success is predicated upon the resources they have at their disposal. That achieving their goals has to do with the things they use.

And what I find common to lot of struggling entrepreneurs, is that they’re constantly on the search for more resources.

Focusing on resources becomes more of a crutch than anything. It’s a nice escape route when you surrender or fail at a task. It becomes the easy way out to say, “Well, I didn’t have the right resources.”

But here’s the key distinction. Success in business online (or anywhere for that matter) isn’t about the resources you have.

It’s About The Resourcefulness You Possess!

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Leverage: Your Highest & Best Use

Leverage – if you don’t maximize it in your business – you’re doomed to fail. In today’s video I’ll key you in on the two questions that you must be able to answer if you want to achieve maximum leverage inside your business. So, right now, are you achieving…

Maximum Leverage In Your Business?

If you can’t answer the 2 questions I share in this video, be on the lookout! Because it means the chances of bad things happening to you or your business are high. But if you can quickly and easily answer these two vital questions… your future (and your business’ future) is looking real good.

You see, the reason this is vital to your success is quite simple: As an entrepreneurial business you resources are scarce. Which means if you are going to succeed you have to get the maximum leverage out of every resource your business has. And in the early stages of your business’ life – you are it’s most precious resource.

So, can you answer the two questions? And if so, share your answers below…

To higher profits

Rich Schefren

Positioning: Get Paid For Who You Are, Not What You Do…

In today’s message I’ll share with you a single shift that can have you making more and working less. How? By shifting your positioning. In other words, how you are seen by your market place. At brunch this past weekend with Dan Kennedy and Michael Masterson, Dan said this: “It’s better to be paid for who you are, rather than what you do.” In other words…

Positioning Trumps The Product!

And if you truly “get it,” you realize how profound this really is.

You see, odds are that right now your positioning was not established strategically. In this video I’ll give your two questions that’ll set you on the right path to determining your ideal positioning (the one that gets prospects eager to spend their money with you) and make it crystal clear what you’ll need to do to achieve it.

So, what are you waiting for? Watch the video, answer the questions, and radically improve your…

Positioning

To higher profits

Rich Schefren