It starts with a thought. Turns into a desire. Then, it becomes all you think about.
It’s your dream. Your “What if…”
And then it happens. You take the leap.
You’re your own boss. You started that company.
You’re going to do all the things you want to do. Break all the rules. Do the right things. Treat your customers right. Really value your employees.
So now what?
What’s your first step? Second step? Third step? Oh, wait a minute, this is your company, you can do anything you want. In any order. Maybe you don’t need a roadmap or blueprint. You’re going to wing it. You’re going to move as your authentic self wants to move.
Where are your clients? Without clients you have no business. Without any business you have no reason to have a company.
What are you going to do to get cash coming in? How are you going to make money? Work with clients?
You need clients, right?
Where are they? How do you find them? How do they find you? How do you speak to them? You can’t just build it and they will come. This isn’t a movie. You’re not Kevin Costner.
Wait a minute. But you’re like Kevin, right? You’re willing to do whatever the voice tells you. Your voice. Kevin travels around the country. Approaches strangers and tells them his dream. Kevin does some pretty incredible things to make his Field of Dreams a reality.
What are you willing to do to make your dream come true? Who are you willing to bring on to support your dream?
Thank goodness Kevin’s wife supports his dream. Even while their house goes into bankruptcy. She can see the bigger picture. She can share his dream.
Who’s sharing your dream? Who’s telling you to continue on when even you think your dream is crazy?
What happens next is up to you.
You can give up your dream and go back to “the job.”
You can commit to making it happen. At any cost. You can build your Field of Dreams.
The successful entrepreneur possesses a few simple characteristics.
Success has nothing to do with having the best product. It never has anything to do with having the cheapest price. And, it certainly doesn’t happen if you believe that, “If you build it, they will come.”
Success is an attitude. It’s confidence. It’s being willing to do the right thing over and over and over again. Let me repeat…it’s being willing to do the right thing over and over. Success starts with action.
We all have the ability to create our own Field of Dreams.
Regardless of what our inner critic, or network tells us. Whether you’ve dreamed up your company or been forced into running a business by a series of events, find one thing you can do to start building. If you don’t know where to go from here, go back to the beginning. Create a goal. Determine a strategy. And, put a plan into action.
There is no one path to success. Find your path. Find your path and you’ll find your field of dreams.
If you have questions or would like to talk with me, please schedule a strategy call. Thank you for reading!
A business is a living and flowing entity. In order to grow and thrive it needs to be nurtured, loved, structured, and supported. The hardest part about owning a business, and being an entrepreneur, is to understand the gentle balance of these things.
Successful business owners understand this balance.
They support their business by thinking about it a lot. They plan for events. They structure their business by creating scenarios and setting milestones. They nurture and love their business by giving it what it needs as soon as the business owner realizes it’s needed. They start planning sessions with what if... And, they think about their business and prepare for unexpected outcomes.
With planning comes sacrifice. Why?
Because not all activities are created equal. And, because timing is everything. As business owners our goal is to create the best outcome for our business and that means making hard decisions. Sometimes sacrificing what we want for what we really need NOW.
The kiss of death for a business owner is becoming too emotionally connected to being right, doing things a certain way, or wanting to save time or money.
In order to look at our business objectively, we are always balancing the nurturing and structuring because it’s in these tools that get clear and focused on what our next best steps really are.
So, what does that sacrifice look like?
In our culture sacrifice has a negative connotation, but the definition is literally to “Give up (something valued) for the sake of other considerations.”
What do we actually need to sacrifice for our business success?
Commit to being more open the next time a challenge comes your way.
Think about something you dislike doing that you can outsource. Before you know it, sacrificing simply becomes trading one set of expectations for a different set.
When you consider sacrifice a good thing you’ll find it’s the first step in creating that business of your dreams.
Let’s be honest, we’re all a little proud of our ability to be all things promotional to our clients. We’re scrappy that way. We know the best way to start the relationship building process is to say “Yes” to a promotional products challenge, any challenge, because it allows us to show our clients what we do best.
But not every challenge is created equal. There are as many reasons to need a promotional item as there are ways to source it. Some challenges we accept with ease, and others we gulp and say “Yes,” but then get overwhelmed.
This is because every distributor has a super power. A business problem solving sweetspot. Something we do so easily that it excites us when given the opportunity to produce in that space. We know 1) What to do, 2) Where to start, and 3) How to deliver.
It’s not so much rote as it is simple. We get the concept. We get the process. And we understand our role in making it happen.
So what’s your super power? Below are some different types. Which one are you?
The Idea Person: You’re the creative thinker. You love the challenge. You hear the spark of an idea and you’re off. Clients love how you stretch them and present that “thing” no one else even conceptualized. You get frustrated working with simple-minded clients because they have no vision. It’s not even a budget thing. They just don’t get it.
The Problem Solver: While you love the challenge too, you’re about providing simple and practical solutions. You go from problem to solution quickly. You’re intuitive in your ability to offer simple ideas that will work and be successful. You’re a quick study. You expect to win more jobs because you moved your client quickly through the process. You’re disappointed when your clients make decisions by committee or get crippled by decision making.
The Sharer: You’re always talking about what’s new. You love being trendy and sharing what caught your eye. You’re great when your client asks for “something new” because you always know that first-to-market solution. You get frustrated when clients can’t see beyond same old, same old.
The Tried and True: You are consistent. You deliver on time, on budget, and always meet expectations. You’re the “go to” when something is needed quickly because you’re your client’s most reliable resource. You’re fast and efficient. You get repeat business because you stick to the same old, same old. You might be a mini problem solver if the client trusts you with ideas. You get frustrated when clients don’t know what they want.
The Order Taker: You’re always willing to steal a project by coming in less than other quotes. You’re there for the transaction. The more transactions, the more money to be made. You like sourcing the item because you know what you are sourcing and where you are sourcing it from. It may be fringe business for you. You’re always saying, “I could probably get it for you cheaper than you’re paying now.” You get frustrated when clients want to spend time discussing their promotional item needs.
Be aware that we all have multiple powers, but we traditionally lead with one.
Why is your super power important?
It’s a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition. Own your super power because working in your zone of genius is infinitely more rewarding than trying to be something you’re not! See it as a great way to realize a great client when you meet one.
Knowing your sweetspot lets you ask better questions because your best successes come when you’re in super power mode.
Finally, let it be an opportunity to see gaps in your ability so you can decide whether they’re important enough to work on. Or not.
Abigail Tiefenthaler is founder of Sweetspot Strategies, Inc., a marketing consulting practice that teaches small business owners, primarily promotional products distributors, how to brand their super power in order to authentically dominate their competitive space. She has 35+ years of branding and marketing experience, including 21 years running an independent distributorship that exceeded $1MM in revenue in less than 2 years. If you’re looking to up your game, get focused on success, and find the sweetspot of your distributorship, book your free Strategy Session today.
Abigail can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-804-9413.
Abigail's goal is simple, build a brand that positions a business as different and unique, then simplify marketing so it can attract the right prospects.