Small business owners are inundated with entrepreneur mentors promising success.  We’ve all heard it. They’ve made $100,000 in six weeks, or their “first million” in just one month.

I’m sure you know what I’m going to tell you.  You know.

You have that prickling thought in the back of your mind throughout the day, though, about where you could be if you just bought in.

You know you’re competent. You know you’re capable. You know this millionaire advertising to you on Facebook is just an “average guy” who “found the secret” and wants to share it with you.  So you think about it every once in a while. You click through to see their free webinar, you read the comments to see if it’s for real, and you see nothing but raving success from real people who have made real money.

So why are you skeptical? One of two reasons:

  1. You’re doubting yourself – You’re just too busy or you don’t really understand what’s being sold
  2. You are realistic about the danger of ego

Here’s the confirmation you’re looking for.  “Mentors” sell their courses for a lot of money.  Some people make a lot of money off of what they learn.  The mentors profit off of those who do not, and off of their “real” work.  Period.  Maybe you already knew this – but this message is for those still considering spending $10,000 to go on that business retreat to learn “secrets.”

Here’s how you’ll actually find success:

  1. Find your competitive advantage.  Your competitive advantage isn’t something that will be taught to you.  It’s something that’s already been taught to you – something that you’re better at than most others.  The good news is, that you’re probably already doing it every day, either for work or for hobby.
  2. Find the people willing to pay for what you do well.  There is a market for everything.  There are market research techniques that WILL find your market, and show you how to communicate with them.
  3. Understand sales, or partner with someone who does.  You can market all day long – you’ll fail if you can’t close a sale.  Sales as a practice is a different ball game for different cultures, demographics, and products.  Base your closing strategy off of your target market.
  4. Hire people who have the skills that you need to succeed, but that you yourself don’t have.  Negotiate outside of the dollar if you need to.  Do trade work, try out profit sharing, and network.
  5. Tell everyone you know what you’re doing.  “Transparency” isn’t just a business buzzword. Transparency is the key.  Tell everyone you know what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and what your goals are.  Do not be afraid of your ideas being “stolen” because YOU have the competitive advantage, not the copy cats.
  6. Keep unnecessary costs down.  You’ll be bombarded with sales calls from services, software companies, and your own ego, if you let it, to spend money.  Know what you’re paying for and seek advice from experts who practice transparency on what works.  Always ask for case studies proving return on investment (ROI).  A good investment will appreciate the transparency, and will have statistics that prove their worth.
  7. Don’t work too much.  If you’re working all hours of the day and night, fighting to make it work, you need a hand and that’s okay.  If you find yourself working 50 hours per week, and realizing that you have another insurmountable stack of catching up to do,  call Hour51.  That’s what we’re here for.  We will find a way to reduce your workload without costing you valuable business, so you can get back to doing what you do best.