Transform Your Business in 30 Minutes
It’s time to transform your business. I’ve always been an advocate of reading, not just for pleasure, but to learn and experience the world in other ways. When I read business books I look for new ideas, books that are not just retelling and repackaging someone else’s thoughts. If I want to learn about Jim Rohn’s theories, I am going to read Jim Rohn’s books. What I appreciate about the book I am reading now is that the author, Lisa Larter is not repackaging information that we have all seen and heard many times over. She offers insight and guidance from experience. She openly shares her background, including her mistakes. She used that experience to create a guide for your business success. Her book is, Pilot to Profit: Navigating Modern Entrepreneurship to Build Your Business Using Online Marketing, Social Media, Content Marketing and Sales, by Lisa Larter. It’s time to order her book and grab a few highlighters. Get ready to transform your business, chapter by chapter.
Why Read Daily?
Can you really transform your business in 30 minutes? Reading the right books for just 30 minutes per day can have a tremendous, measurable impact on your life. I’m not talking about reading The Hunger Games or the latest romance novel. I’m referring to books that teach, guide, enlighten, enrich and improve your life. Two people I consider my go-to virtual mentors, Darren Hardy and Chalene Johnson, talk about how important daily reading is. It’s a daily ritual that is simple to add into your routine, and will absolutely have an impact. If you aren’t reading daily, start with Pilot to Profit by Lisa Larter. Trust me, you will thank me later.
I run a business, like most of you. I work daily to improve what I offer to my clients. In an effort to be able to help my clients in a more strategic way, I am also always learning. As a business owner, you know what it’s like. You should learn about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. That’s in addition to actually running the business, finding and keeping new clients, managing your website and knowing your numbers. As Lisa says, “you can’t take Facebook likes and comments to the bank and buy a new car or pay your mortgage.” You need to have a plan and an understanding to make sure there is a return on your investment with social media.
That’s where Pilot to Profit comes in. Lisa has an uncanny ability to break down information and present it in a manageable way. She is refreshingly honest. She does not promise to increase your revenue three-fold, just by reading her book. She does not suggest that you will become the next Gary Vaynerchuk, just by reading her book. But, what she provides are the tools that you need to work towards increasing your revenue or becoming the next great marketer. It’s up to you, but she provides the guidance and honesty that we all need along the way. You need to do the work.
Why read this book over countless other marketing books? Simple. Lisa. To know her is to instantly connect with her. She has an online community where she is active every day. She doesn’t automate her posts and have someone else respond to comments and questions. She walks the walk. She is actively engaged in marketing and building relationships. That is where most people fail. They don’t focus on building long term relationships. She has that 100% nailed. I had the opportunity to meet her in person this morning. We sat at a local coffee shop and talked for nearly two hours. She was very thoughtful, engaging and genuinely listening to what I was saying. It wasn’t a coaching session or a pitch for her to gain a client. It was just two women business owners connecting and sharing experiences.
Grab Your Highlighter
There are so many highlighted areas and notes in the margins of my book, it’s tough to pinpoint the top three takeaways. But, I’m going to try.
- SWIIFT. Likely the most important take-away is called SWIIFT. This is one of Lisa’s ways of explaining how to create real value for your community. It stands for See What’s In It For Them. It’s about a mindset. It’s not about proving to people that you know a lot. It’s not about self promotion. It’s about providing value in a way that makes your clients and potential clients see you as an expert and a valuable resource. It’s about building a relationship based on value and trust.
- Rocks, Pebbles and Sand. “Focus on the big rocks first. This is how you create leverage and grow your business the fastest.” What does this mean? Simple. In your business, you should focus on the area that will produce the greatest return on your investment – first. Here’s an example. You are a graphic designer and offer many services, from website design to social media images. When you create a website for someone, you also package it with other branded materials like a new logo, business cards, social media headers, posts and profiles. Let’s say a client pays you $5,000 for that package. Another service you offer is the creation of custom branded social media images. That package sells for $150 to $1,250 depending on number of images. Focusing on the big rocks first means that you would put more effort and focus on selling the website package versus the graphic design package for social media. That is where your greatest return comes from, and is the foundation of your business. As Lisa explains, you should have multiple revenue streams for your business, but you need to know where your priorities are and your greatest ROI.
- Don’t Overcompensate. Do you charge what you are worth? Are you uncomfortable billing a client so you give more to overcompensate for what you charge? This is a trap many business owners fall into. We all want our clients to be happy and to rave about our services. In an effort to do that, it’s easy to feel that we have to overproduce and do more than was agreed upon. Do you commonly contract with a client and throw in extras? If so, you are likely making decisions around your desire to please people, not decisions that are aligned with your business model. An example Lisa gives is, “If you walked into a store and bought a $100 pair of shoes, you would expect to pay for the matching handbag wouldn’t you? Your customers expect to pay for extras, too.”
Remember when you were in college and would spend countless hours in the library reading, absorbing and taking notes? This is a book that will make you long for a quiet place where you can read and learn. It’s also the type of book that will motivate you to make a plan and create action steps to improve your business. Do yourself a favor and have a hard copy that you can write all over. I’m a note taker and list maker. I have more information highlighted and notes in the margins that any other book I have recently read. It’s a true learning experience and a way to create an action plan. Based on each chapter, you will be able to make a list of what you need to do in order to help build your business. One of my favorite quotes is, “there’s a difference between letting life happen to you and creating a life you desire.”
Have you read Pilot to Profit? What was the biggest eye-opener for you? What did you learn that will truly transform your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.