Something to Think About
Hey there, Conscious Entrepreneur…
Over the last couple of weeks I presented you every day a strategic question to ponder…
Under the daily question I included the following instructions:
Write down in the comment box below any answer that comes to your mind for this question AND even more important – if you’re going to implement anything as a result of your answers/insights…
Maybe you didn’t read the instruction, maybe I wasn’t clear, or maybe you missed the point… In any case, reading your answers every day, I’m afraid you’re missing the real power of the questions – so I want to try again.
The purpose of asking yourself strategic questions is to transform your mindset and thinking habits AND come up with new ways of DOING things.
If you ask yourself a strategic question, and the answer confirms what you’re doing already… then something went wrong in the process…
Maybe the best way to demonstrate it is to share how I used the same questions in the last years, what DIFFERENT actions I took, and what results I saw…
Let’s take a look at the questions (those are just some examples, I keep asking myself these questions year after year after year):
What does success mean to me?
Deeply pondering about my definition of success – I changed the way I used to define success as “achieving my goals” to “giving my 100%”.
Can you imagine the huge impact this had on my life – when I really internalized it…?
Now… I’m NOT asking you to take my definition. I’m asking you to find your OWN definition of Success. Or, at least, explore it.
What if I did the opposite of what I did so far?
You see… there are a lot of possible “opposites”… I could have been watching TV all day, or working as an employee, or teaching high school math.
But those “opposites” don’t necessarily lead to breakthroughs in your business/life.
I always look at the things I already do, BOTH what works and what doesn’t work – and ask myself that question…
- I always refused to offer any free stuff. After asking myself in 2005, “what if I did the opposite?” – I started offering the one-day Leef Lekker event for free.
That year – we multiplied our yearly income 10 (TEN) times – just because of that one decision. And it transformed our business model.
- After years of giving 40 events a year for (on average) 100 people, I asked myself, “what if I can give 4 events to a 1,000 participants each?”
Within 48 hours the idea for the Business Bootcamp was born and 8 weeks later the first Business Bootcamp took place with almost 900 participants.
- I firmly believed (and “aggressively preached”) that I need to give first and keep giving free stuff. Lately I asked myself, “what if I would do the opposite?”
The result: I decided last month to only work with paying clients.
Last week we removed 11,000 people from our mailing list.
Our business model changed to “You have to pay to play”.
What would I do differently if I wouldn’t care about the money?
I asked myself this question last month in my last Vision Week.
- The answer: I wouldn’t do any marketing, sales, offers, promotions…
I would communicate a simple, transparent message and price and let those who are in the right place in their life to raise their hand and say… “I want THAT”.
- From now on I only work with those that are extremely committed.
If I have the slightest feeling they’re not giving their best in the process – I fire them.
No second chances and I have no problem returning their money.
What would I do If I could only work 2 hours per week?
This one is exciting for me… in the last vision quest I came up with the idea for a fantastic product I’m going to offer in January.
I will invest 2 weeks (2 hours per week) on collecting my thoughts and creating a remarkable session, 2 hours on week 3 delivering the session, and 2 hours on week 4 answering questions.
What could I do that no one can/would/does?
No business guru did as much personal development and spiritual work as I did, and no personal development guru did so much business growth work as I did.
From that realization I developed the concept of Enlightened Millionaire.
What if I could only solve problems by removing stuff (not adding)?
Here is a simple one, but oh, so powerful…
We always had problems with email deliverability. So after asking myself this question last month – I decided to stop sending emails and move to use WhatsApp.
Here’s the funny thing… After 2 weeks of trying it out – we found even a better way.
We are simply going to give our clients a URL to a page on our website – where the links to everything they need to know will be updated regularly and we leave them the responsibility to check it daily/weekly.
What if I could only solve problems by throwing money on them?
I would focus on simplifying and reducing the number of problems to minimum, and then find people to solve those problems and pay them per results.
My best example – when Open Circles Academy was at its peak – we were bleeding money like crazy. We made millions and spent millions.
Just before it was too late we fired our CEO (paying over €100,000 in compensation for breaking his contract) and hired a promising but inexperienced “kid” as our CEO – tasking him with one thing… cutting our costs to minimum so we maximize our profits.
We promised him a percentage of the profits by the end of the year as a bonus on top of his salary.
That year was our most profitable year, ever, by a large margin… and our CEO got a €150,000 bonus… These were the best €250,000 we ever spent (€100,000 compensation to the old CEO + €150,000 bonus to the new CEO).
What could I do to make maximum impact?
I would work with those that can make more impact.
That’s why I was looking to work together with people like Richard Branson.
What would it look like if it was easy?
When I answered this question a few weeks ago, I came up with “I would work with a small group of people I love, that are committed and eager to learn AND teach, spending with them a couple of hours a month on a cup of coffee, teaching them everything I know about becoming and being an enlightened millionaire… no marketing, no sales, no begging for attention…”
This is the basis for the new mentoring program for next year.
What makes me happy in my business?
When I feel that I really make a difference in someone’s life.
What makes me unhappy in my business?
When people don’t do what I tell them to do.
The solution that came from both last questions is what we do now:
I will only work with people who commit to do exactly what I tell them to do.
We will monitor them closely and as soon as they stop – we say goodbye.
It’s already making me extremely happy – just thinking about it.
What am I complicating too much?
Trying to make my clients happy and successful. I don’t have that power.
The solution – my only focus will be on qualifying the right people, telling what to do, and making sure they actually do it (and letting them go if they don’t).
This is what I’m doing from now on in the new program (Working ON My Business), and I guess in any new program from now on.
What would I do if I’d earn all my income from only one client?
This question forces you to think about the value you CAN give as compared to the value you DO give right now.
A coach I knew ask himself that question, and came up with “I’ll charge that client $100,000″ (that was twice his yearly income at the time).
“For that amount I will fly to that client and stay with them for a whole week, being with them in every waking moment – in meetings, in meals, in conversations… In the evenings I will give them feedback and suggestions for everything I saw”.
Two years after he introduced this concept he had 10 clients EVERY year (and a waiting list of a few years). He was making one million dollars every year by working 10 weeks a year.
Now it's your turn:
I hope you can see the real power behind these strategic questions. They are so much more than a mental exercise.
In the coming 2 weeks – we will post every morning (in the usual place) one of the questions, and I’ll ask you to confront it with this new understanding.
AND… I expect you to come up with at least one idea for each question – that you are willing to commit to implement in your business/life.
Live fully, stay awesome,
If anything is unclear, or you have a question – please let me know in the comment box below and I’ll answer as best I can.