Don’t you just love passionate people?
Yesterday was the first meeting with a lovely lady supported by her husband on their start-up business.
From the moment we started talking, the passion she felt for the product she wants to sell was very evident and extremely infectious.
The couple described the origins and the inspiration for their new product. They shared details about their joint African background and how their roots are what made their product special.
And they talked about the reason they had decided to turn this passion into a product – to raise money for their local charity.
And the product?
Well, it would be inappropriate at this stage to go into details, but it was absolutely delicious and is sure to be a hit.
Who knows, this budding entrepreneur could become the next Levi Roots.
She has a fantastic product, a great story and a passion to make it work – but not the slightest idea how to make it happen!
So, we’ve agreed 4 steps to build her very own Breakthrough Process;
- Get the message right – we’re not selling a product, we are telling the story and telling it in a way that prospects see the passion, understand the value and are excited into wanting to engage.
- Plan the marketing – this is a start-up so there is not much money to play with, so once the message is sorted, we will agree what strategies would be best, then build a tactical plan around those strategies to includes all the usual elements (website, social media, product branding and packaging, sampling, referrals, joint ventures and the many other tools available).
- Implement the plan – we’ll do this quickly and professionally. However, the biggest concern is that this lovely couple will get over-whelmed so we will implement in a simple step-by-step way.
- Review progress – at every step of the way I will teach them to constantly re-evaluate what they are doing. If something doesn’t work and shows no sign of working, we’ll stop and do something that will work. They are on too tight a budget to waste money and time on things that don’t produce clear and measurable results.
Time will tell how they will get on, but one thing is absolutely clear;
Passion is the first step on the road to success!
I would much rather work with a person who has limited knowledge but boundless enthusiasm, wouldn’t you?
So, if you get stuck building your business, try our FREE test drive and let us help you build your own Breakthrough Process.
Audrey Hepburn once famously said;
“Everything I learned I learned from the movies.”
I think she might just have been right!
If you have never seen the movie Cool Hand Luke played by Paul Newman, you are missing a treat. It’s a gritty, story of a man who refuses to accept the rules and will not conform to the ‘norms’ in a rural prison set in 1950’s US.
You might argue about the rights and wrongs of Cool Hand Luke’s behaviour. But you can’t help becoming entranced by the determination to escape, the boxing scene and the infamous boiled egg eating challenge – 50 boiled eggs in one hour!
In reality, this is actually a story of an passionate determination to succeed against all the odds, despite all the perceived wisdom telling our hero to conform – saying don’t escape, don’t rock the boat and stay down!
When we are running our own small businesses, harnessing that passion, determination and being prepared to break the mould are critical components of success – every small business owner knows that. But it’s not always easy to find differentiation, especially when you struggle to find time to think about anything other than the constant day-to-day pressures!
Success doesn’t have to be about luck – success is about hard work, challenging yourself and having a good system!
And sometimes a good system means challenging the norm and not following the crowd … and eating boiled eggs, of course!
Have you been watching the recent BBC Planet Earth II? If so, you might have seen the jungles episode with the magnificent Sword-Billed Hummingbird.
If you didn’t see the programme, like all hummingbirds, this bird lives on nectar from inside the flowers.
But unlike most hummingbirds, the Sword-Billed Hummingbird has evolved a magnificent beak and it is the only bird to have a beak that is longer than it’s body.
It might be cumbersome, but this specialist beak allows this bird to access nectar deep inside the flowers that other pollen-eaters can’t reach. As a result, this bird flourishes!
It occurred to me that this is exactly the same for us in business and especially those of us running small businesses.
When we try to be all things to all people, we struggle. Our message isn’t clear and our audience sees little or no difference between us and the other myriad of companies offering the same thing – so the conversation defaults to ‘who has the best price’.
However, when we specialise (or in our business context, we innovate and differentiate) and find an approach that is focused on solving a customer problem, then we too thrive.
So, stick your beak out, focus on what makes you different … and perhaps hum a little!!
There was a old joke that went something like;
A mans arm starts buzzing and he presses a button and explains to his two friends that he’s just had a message on the pager chip inserted in his arm. The second friend puts his thumb to his ear and his little finger to his mouth and said “no, sorry, bye then”. He then explains to his friends that the call that came through on the cell phone implanted in his fingers was just a wrong number. The third friend suddenly drops his trousers as he explains that he thinks he has a fax coming through!!
I know, I know, it’s not a great joke.
But then the excellent Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC published a fascinating story last week about an office in Sweden where staff are being offered the opportunity to have an identity chip implanted in their hands, to allow them to access their office building and to use their photocopier.
A building security card can be lost, stolen or forgotten, but an implanted identity chip is a different proposition.
Let’s assume for a moment that this Swedish experience is a successful one. So, where does it go next?
You will walk into the coffee shop and swipe your hand with your impregnated payment chip over the payment sensor, and your bank account is automatically charged. Then after your coffee, you will jog back to your office listening to music on your ear chip with your fitness chip recording your exercise while it monitors and uploads your health data to the interactive screen in your contact lens.
This isn’t really a huge step – after all, don’t many of us have our pets chipped?
And then there’s the massive investments being made by many tech companies in advanced voice recognition applications. Facebook recently bought a headset company for $2bn and within the past few weeks bought a voice recognition company.
There have long been rumours of a tie-up between Samsung and voice recognition specialists, Nuance Communications.
And Toyota recently announced their intention to incorporate voice recognition in their cars, to allow drivers to talk to their cars.
It’s not a very big leap to imagine how the convergence of implanted chips and advanced voice recognition systems could completely change how we will interact with gadgets in the future.
Who knows, we may look back in a few years and see this time, this year, this BBC story perhaps, as the start of a completely new technological landscape for the next few years that will look very different to what we’ve been used to.
To paraphrase what Harry Potters’ friend, Ron Weasley once said to Hermione Grainger; “Brilliant … but scary!”
This feels like the stuff of science fiction – but the BBC story shows that this is rapidly becoming science fact and this change is happening right now – so, you had better prepare yourself if anyone says to you that they are waiting for a fax to come through!