Coronavirus Small Business Warriors

Coronavirus Small Business Warriors

Coronavirus Small Business Warriors

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

6/16/2020

As business coaches, the first thing that we’re seeing the challenges that a lot of people are facing, especially nowadays, when we’re all going through a pandemic.

So many businesses are trying to adapt. It’s one thing to go through a challenge on your own. It’s different when other people are going through the same thing as you at the same time.

Government officials have recently advised businesses, especially those in the food industry, to start accepting dine-in customers, but the groups shouldn’t be more than 10. You have to maintain social distancing.

The hardest part is making your employees feel secure in some way. It is weird, but at the end of the day, you’re thankful that your business is still viable right now.

It’s never going to be the same as it was. There’s a new normal that will define itself over the next period. You have to strike a balance between your physical establishment (if you have one) and then your new working setup, which is now at home.

You have to think about strategies that will create a cohesive company-wide synergetic situation so you and your team members can maximize what you can do.

Don’t get hung up on making the right decision because there are no right decisions right now. Nobody knows what will happen in the next few weeks or months. It might get better, or it might get worse. Just decide what you think and feel is the best at the moment.

Part of leadership is making top unpopular decisions, and no one will be thrilled with the output of this thought process. We need a set of rules by which we’re going to make these cuts that we can defend, and we feel as good about as possible.

It would help if you keep yourself in tip-top shape, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I know the current events can be draining, and anxiety quickly creeps up on you. You have to be mindful of the information you’re consuming. Take a break from social media if you need to.

The critical thing is knowing what do you and your business need to do forward. And this is something that I think made people more aware than ever.

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The ONE Online Marketing Advice You Need | Jay Abraham

The ONE Online Marketing Advice You Need | Jay Abraham

The One Online Marketing Advice
You Need

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

6/10/2020

I believe most people don’t appreciate, understand, and respect their market.

I think I was gifted in one respect. I had great empathic appreciation and intrigue for the mind and the passion and drive of an entrepreneur.

So I was very focused on understanding, examining, appreciating, exploring what drove them, their hopes, their dreams, their values, their definitions, and it gave me a much higher empathic connection.

I believe that you have two paths you can take: superficial and genuinely engaged. When you say engagement, the normal reference definition is your audience engaging with you.

I think the opposite is what you need. You got to be willing to engage authentically with them, and you can’t do that just throwing crap out.

If you take the time to immerse yourself in a profound connected exploration and examination of the market, you serve hopes, dreams, values, drives, goals, references.

Two things happen:

ONE. You’ll be able to relate to them in such an authentic way. 

TWO. That authenticity will bring three or four advantages. It will bring much more response. Whether it’s leads or initial purchases, it’ll shorten the timeline. It’ll build rapid and more immediate trust and make people gain more out of what they bought from.

You have to have a genuine and authentic desire to be deeply and permanently connected to your market. 

What we defined in the strategy of preeminence is that you want to be their most trusted advisor in whatever category you suit for life.

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Why NOW is THE Time to be Location Independent: Remote Working Tips

Why NOW is THE Time to be Location Independent: Remote Working Tips

Why Now Is The Time To Be Location Independent

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

6/08/2020

I had an excellent conversation with Johannes (Founder of Nomad Cruise), and he shares a lot about being a digital nomad.

Working remotely has changed over the years. You can have a great internet connection everywhere that is good enough for Skype or do phone calls and to keep your business running.

However, some areas are challenges to be expected, such as being in a hotel or guesthouse where you are sharing the internet connection with 20 different people.

According to him, there are different stages in the nomad life, and this is based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s normal for people to need a kind of belonging, safety.

What are some of the biggest challenges with being in other countries?

The nomadic lifestyle is not just about the need to travel all the time. Johannes believes that with traveling, you can immerse yourself with the different cultures and activities while combining these with work. That’s where the challenge lies.

How to keep work-life consistent.

If you are running a business and traveling at the same time, it is always recommended to stay at a specific location for at least a month because changing destinations frequently will not allow you to focus.

Traveling is a part-time job that urges you to make many decisions. Knowing this, if you hop from one place to another, you are compromising the quality decision that you can make for your business.

Photo by Nils Nedel on Unsplash

Who is a good fit/not a good fit to live nomadically?

People working from home are growing like never before because of the current situation that we are facing right now. And this is the first step towards being location independent and able to work from anywhere you want.

If you’ve proven to your employer that you can work remotely in your city, they won’t mind if you go to different places as long, and you keep your discipline and perform with quality. So you don’t necessarily need to start your own business anymore.

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Get Customers Hooked

Get Customers Hooked

Get Customers Hooked

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

6/01/2020

Are you the type of person who gets distracted quickly? Is focusing on one thing a hard thing for you to do? Do you want to be empowered as a business owner?

Nir Eyal, the author of the books Indistractable and Hooked shared his thoughts during an interview I had with him.

Let’s think about the most immediate example before we get started.

Our handheld devices.

Elon Musk has said we are already effectively cyborgs because of our attachment to these pocket addictions.

When the devices in our lives become a part of our internal triggers, there is a constant and uncontrollable urge to continually check your device even if a notification was not received.

What’s interesting to note is that according to Gary Keller, four hours a day is what you need on your one thing. That one thing is going to grow your business or change your life. By doing so, you’re going to create the momentum you seek. 

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

This is where it gets wild.

Assuming you have a total of 120 sessions of checking your phone (which is currently the average for human adults) a day with an average of 2 minutes per session—there’s your four hours right there.

And this is why people become experts at using their phones and not necessarily experts at growing their businesses, improving their relationships, and flat out living their lives.

If you are feeling uncertain, fearful, or lonely, that only furthers the chances you will reach for that device to satiate that discomfort.

The more you form that neuro-link, it then becomes what we do to alleviate pain. Whether it’s too much booze, too much football, too much Facebook, whatever it might be. You have to realize the reason why you are turning to these distractions. It is likely to relieve some sort of deep, emotional desire.

Photo by William Hook on Unsplash

However, this does not imply that there is something wrong with you if you get distracted easily. It’s just that you haven’t learned how to regulate these emotions healthily.

There are two categories of people:

The Blamers

These are the people who blame external factors— technology destroys relationships, the workplace is the cause of depression; it’s because of the emails; that’s why you are angry at everyone.

We hear these types of things all the time. But blaming it all away does not help. For example, you complaining about the coronavirus isn’t going to make it go away.

The Shamers

It also doesn’t make sense to shame. Like how ashamed you are at yourself for getting distracted? How there might be something wrong with you because of it and how you must be broken in some way. That doesn’t work either.

Instead, you have to be what we call a claimer. And this is an essential point because people don’t realize that you cannot control your emotions. You can’t tell yourself to feel a certain way and then magically demand that it happen.

You can, however, decide how you will respond to that impulse. 

You claim responsibility being a claimer and react to them in a new and better way. 

“You have to be what we call a claimer. And this is an essential point because people don’t realize that you cannot control your emotions.

Nir’s work at Stanford about Apps that have people “Hooked.”

Attempts to democratize the techniques that are used by social media and gaming companies to get people hooked.

What if we could use those same methods to help people exercise more? And that’s what happened since hooked was published five years ago.

The world’s most extensive educational software went public a few months ago. They’re doing amazing things by getting hooked. A kid’s hooked too.

Companies like the New York Times, who used the techniques defined in “Hooked,” got people engaged in regularly reading the news.

So it’s really about how we can use these techniques to help form good habits in our lives through our products.

What to do if your business has Utility but not Frequency?

It is about building habit-forming products. The criteria that differentiate what prenup product can become a habit is Frequency.

So if your product is something that is a one-time use product or something bought very infrequently, that might not be the right candidate. 

BUT! Don’t fret.

There are two ways to do this if you have a business where the product doesn’t have enough Frequency. Nir calls it as the two Cs—content and community.

Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

1. Content

Williams Sonoma is a great example of this. He has a company that sells cookware— pots and pans, and all kinds of cooking supplies. But they realize that people do not buy cooking supplies frequently enough to form a habit. 

So what did they do? 

They started a website called Taste.com, which has been rated consistently as one of the best cooking-related sites on the web. They have created this habit of creating and helping people consume their content frequently, twice a day.

They understand this mantra that monetization is a result of the engagement, not the other way around.

2. Community

If you can create a content consumption habit, you can also create a community habit. Take Christmas ornaments, for example; these are not something that people buy every week. 

 There are 300,000 Americans who are members of the hallmark keepsake ornament club. And believe it or not, in the middle of July, you will see people lined up in front of these hallmark stores to buy Christmas warrants.

 How can that be?

 This is because of Hallmark’s ingenuity. Part of the benefits of being a member of the Hallmark keepsake ornament club is that when they have a shipment of new Christmas ornaments, you as a member are invited to help unpack the shipment.

There’s that, and there’s the fact that your friends will be there as well. You will be more inclined to be there apart from the stuff that they are unpacking.

 Basically, they are selling Christmas ornaments products, but the value is the community of connecting with other people.

 Can you do this online?

 Yes, you can. 

 This is not limited to the offline community.

Apply the same principle online to achieve this so your consumer will inculcate your product’s habit of engaging.

 The byproduct of all that engagement with the community monetization is a result of participation when it’s time to get Christmas ornaments.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

What are some of the biggest mistakes with the Hook Model?

What do you think is your biggest mistake when it comes to consolidating ideas?

The psychology aspect is something that most people fundamentally came across. You have to understand human beings at a core level. That is vital information that you should note as a marketer.

A lot of companies are doing what the competition is doing or what the hippo said. They do whatever the hippo—the highest-paid person’s opinion says. 

Customer feedback is incredibly important. We can’t skip that step. But before we do any of that stuff.

Remember the first step:

Understand the psychology of why people do what they do so that we can come up with appropriate hypotheses. If you want just to copy what the competition is doing, you’re always going to be a step behind.

There are different factors in consumer psychology. If you want to test something based on this hypothesis, put it to the test.

That’s how we generate the kind of ideas that create results before anyone understands why they work, and we keep that a secret to ourselves. 

Now, not every idea is going to work, but the point is if you can be the person who generates more ideas and puts them through this build, measure, learn, loop faster than your competition, some of those ideas are going to be revolutionary.

They’re going to be amazing things. But it all has to start with where you generate hard prophecies.

Instead of even listening to your customer, go back to the fundamental principles of consumer psychology—Why do people do what they do?

How do you know if your Hook Model is working or not?

So, where the hook model is beneficial is either in the very early stages when you know there’s no product at all and before you commit any code.

Before you do anything, ask yourself if your product meets this archetype of a habit-forming product, and there are only five critical questions you need to ask to determine that. 

  1. What are the key parts of the hook model?
  2. What element is missing?
  3. Do you have an excellent internal trigger?
  4. Is the external trigger appropriate times?
  5. Is the action as simple as it can lead to a reward?

The next step is the reward fulfilling and yet leaves the user wanting more.

Finally, what work the user does to increase the likelihood of the next pass through the Hook? And you can see right away which part of your hook model is deficient in some way. Then what you do is generate hypotheses. 

When you think of the ways to improve the variable rewards or scratch the user’s internal trigger in whatever form, then the method you use is called cohort analysis—this is used by several companies now.

Companies like Amplitude, for example, provide these dashboards where we define what a habitual user looks like, and every product is going to be different.

So one company says, you need somebody to use this product multiple times a day.

If you’re a social network or a new service, you would expect a habituated user to use it many times a day. Other products might only be once a week, which is fine, whatever that level of Frequency is. 

What percentage of your user base is currently habituated? 2% 5% 10% 20% what is it? Then you make the change.

You improve the hook model in some way based on those hypotheses that we generated, and then you’ll see, for this cohort of people who now we’re exposed to the new user interface.

After the changes, did that percentage of habituated users go up, go down, or stay the same? If it went down, then go back to the last version. If it went up well, then that’s great. Now you’re in the right direction.

I hope this enlightens you!

Nir Eyal just published the five-year edition of the new version of hooked didn’t change all that much in terms of the fundamental model. But there’s an additional case study in there, no ads and some other neat tidbits. It’s called Hook, how to build habit-forming products. His second book is called “Indistractable,” how to control your attention and choose your life. 

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We Made $50,000 In New York | Sak’s Story

We Made $50,000 In New York | Sak’s Story

We Made $50,000 In New York

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

5/26/2020

When I was in college, I was always doing stuff like mowing lawns or doing lawn care work to make money. I understood that there was something better than the hour pay model, at least for me, anyway.

And so I was always running around hustling and doing little side jobs. Those jobs even led to starting my own lawn care business in high school and hiring my friends and making like $16,000 in one summer.

A mentor of mine who is two years older than me called. He asked me to go to Atlanta, so we’ll go to New York the next day. I live an hour away from Atlanta, but I still went.

Next thing I knew, he already bought the plane tickets to New York.

To give you some context, we know someone who worked at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. We went there before the big Black Friday Sale, and Saks was gearing up for a big apocalypse of sales. They make the sale every year.

When we arrived in New York, I don’t know where we were staying. We took a taxi pulled up to the Carlyle Hotel, which is one of the five-star hotels in New York City. I think it was like $1,200 a night to stay at that time.

We walk in the front lobby to check-in, and the people were polite, but they were looking at us like we were going to solicit something. We were in our early twenties. They almost discouraged us from even being there.

So we said our reservation and they showed us around.

It was astonishing. So many famous people have stayed in that hotel. The Carlyle is unbelievable.

I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that we were in our early 20s, staying at the Carlyle and having $100 meals.

The next morning we showed up early in Saks. Our contact let us come in the back door.

As we were coming in, I saw that they were doing their team huddles and meetings in the lobby and areas like the jewelry section.

Our contact had called in advance, and he had pulled some pieces aside for us. There were $5,000 scarves and $20,000 bags – all men’s stuff. There were shoes, ties, blazers; you name it.

They pulled those things aside, and it was stuff that he recommended and that he thought would do well in the flip market.

Photo by Aaron Burson on Unsplash

We used credit cards and got deals up to 75% off on eBay.

When eBay was huge (I think this was 10 or 12 years ago), if you got stuff discounted enough, you could flip it and make a decent profit on the site.

Here’s the catch.

At that time, things usually sell for 50% of MSRP on eBay. It was 30 to 50% off, plus an extra 25% off if you spent more than $3,000. So, in some cases, we’re getting 75% off.

Now, what does that mean?

If we take it back to Atlanta, where we lived and put it on eBay, it’s going for 50% of MSRP, all we’ve done is the hustle work to go to New York and bring it back and then sell it.

Some people have the money to get a 50% discount, but they don’t want to fly the items to New York. So we were basically the middleman of that equation.

 

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The guy working at Saks had pulled stuff aside for us. My friend was able to have his credit limit increased from $50,000 to around 80. He spent $43,000 give or take. I spent seven or $8,000. So we came back to Atlanta, we were prepping to get this stuff ready.

Here’s the awesome part.

The items we bought in New York came, and it was everywhere. We bought so many things to flip. One of the other kickers was if you spent over $3,000, you got that extra 25% kick, but it was also interest-free —no payments for 12 months plus free shipping.

Here’s why that matters.

Let’s say we get things back to Atlanta. All the stuff’s all over my mentor friend’s mom’s condo.

We had these Canon cameras, and we’re trying to get everything situated, so we can take pictures and put up these professional-looking listings on eBay. We even did custom HTML to make our listing stand out.

If it didn’t sell, we might double up if we got 75%, since it usually sells 50% MSRP. We still have free shipping, 12 months, no interest, and no payments to return before we’d have to pay.

It was like we got a loan from Saks Fifth Avenue because mostly everything sold out. My mentor friend ended up making $4,000 off his $43,000 investment.

So between the two of us, we made almost $50,000, and I think we sold our last piece like mid-December.

“Cash is king, but credit is crucial.”

I was young, and I was trying to figure out what I want to do in life. Then I watched this young guy fly to New York, live large, stay in a luxury hotel, make what someone would make in an annual salary in like a week, and eliminated a lot of the risk in the process. 

He taught me something I will never forget it. We’re walking back to the hotel, and I remember him saying, “Cash is king, but credit is crucial.” 

Cash is everything, but if he didn’t have substantial credit, we wouldn’t be able to leverage credit the way we did.

He used that money to start his business, which is still running today. Now, he sells $200,000 luxury vehicles. It’s the same game, the same process. 

There’s so much that I learned throughout that entire trip. It blew my mind as to the possibilities that are out there in the world if you’re just willing to be resourceful and look for opportunities. When there is one you don’t ask questions, you go for it.

One of the most amazing experiences and honestly, as an entrepreneur, that lesson alone, I would not be here today. That opened up my mind to the possibilities.

So put yourself out there. You never know what could happen with some of these things.

There are fantastic opportunities that sometimes we don’t think about because we don’t think outside the box enough or are too afraid to step outside of the box. 

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The Truth About Success

The Truth About Success

The Truth About Success

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer

5/21/2020

I had a great chat with Mike Zupursky in an interview, so let me share his thoughts with you.

Mike believes that society has conditioned most of us to think that more is better. We spend more time on different things, but we fail to realize that working harder is what wins. But if you look at the history of success, it comes not by doing more actually comes from doing less.

Focus is the keyword.

These days, we have more options than we’ve ever had before. But the reality is that when you try and do a lot of different things at once, you do all of them half-heartedly and get poor results.

“When you try and do a lot of different things at once, you do all of them half-heartedly and get poor results.”

The impact is significant, but Mike thinks the implications for each person will be different. What is the goal that you want to have? There’s no one way to achieve anything in life. There are so many options that we can all take. It’s about finding the right path for us, given our situation.

So what to do?

Start with the end in mind.

What does success look like to you?
What do you want to create?
What is meaningful?

Don’t look at things from revenue or a business perspective, but from a total lifestyle perspective. That includes the business and your personal life.

When you’re clear on what that end result looks like, you can then figure out and start asking yourself the question: “What do I need to do to get from where I am to where I want to go in the most direct way possible?”

Imperfect action is the key.

How do we know what we need to do?

Well, the only way to know is to have more data points. Mike is not suggesting a recommendation that everyone take blind action without thoughtful action. He recommends taking action because that’s where you then create data points where you can make better decisions.

Mike does not look at it as time equals money. He believes value equals money, meaning that it’s not even about how much time people spend.

The default belief that many people have is to work more hours when instead, you should work harder and smarter.

When you look again at people who are creating a lot of results, they’re usually still working a lot, but they’re doing it on the right things.

Every single day Mike looks at his list and thinks what does he specifically needs to do that is going to move the needle the most – the one that is going to have the most significant impact. And it’s not about time.

He doesn’t need to spend the full day working through everything on his list if he can knock two or three things out that moves the needle or even one thing that day, that could be significantly more powerful than trying to a whole bunch of different things.

It is counterintuitive to a degree, but getting very focused, reduces the number of options or variations or different points that pull your mind and your focus away and get you more concentrated, so you’re able to produce better results.

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