Your Main Dish

There are six human needs we all have to have in life.

I’ve done posts about them in the past, but today I want to focus on the first two..

  1. Certainty

  2. Variety

They are opposites, but compliment each other.

There are certain aspects of our life we want to be certain about.

Food on the table, roof over our head, money in the bank, etc…

But even on a smaller level, certain experiences you need certainty in.

For example, there is a certain expectation you have when you walk into a business you frequent…

You want a warm greeting, a certain service level, etc…

You need to be certain that happens every single time.

There’s a certain expectation of food quality at your favorite restaurant.

If you walked into Starbucks and ordered your favorite drink you get every week and all of the sudden it had all different ingredients thrown in for variety, that would definitely throw off your need of certainty.

On the flip side, you need some variety.

If it never changes, if it’s never different, you get bored.

It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about…

If your work day is the same thing every single day, you’d get bored….

If your fitness routine was the same every single day, you’d get bored…

If you ate the same food every single day, you’d get bored…

You need variety for the spice of life, and we know that when we get bored with something the success rate of completing it goes way down.

Keep this in mind for yourself, as well as for your business.

Your clients and customers have a certain need for a consistent experience.

If the experience is not consistent, not certain, the need won’t be met.

At the same time, if it never changes, never evolves, it will get stale, they’ll get bored, and they’ll go somewhere else.

As a business owner, we have a lower need for certainty, we are typically more risk-averse, and probably crave variety more, but most of your clients and customers need both.

I challenge you to look at your business and determine what areas you need certainty in, what your clients or customers need for certainty, and then, think about ways you can add variety.

Also, outside of the operation, what about for yourself and your personal development.

You have to create some daily habits, some daily consistencies that produce certainty, but also assure that you’re fitting in variety.

Although running a business day-to-day typically gives us enough variety. :)

Certainty and variety.

Which one do you need more of right now?

What about for your clients or customers?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Final 25%

Today marks the start of Q4, the final 25% of the year.

How are you doing with your business goals?

If you’re off track, what are you going to do differently in this quarter to get a different result?

Here’s a question to reflect on…

If we were sitting together on January 1, 2020, what would your business look like?

The answer to that question becomes your goals for Q4.

From there, take each goal and create a scoreboard so you know if you're on track or off-track throughout the quarter.

Also, focus on creating leading indicator goals, not outcome-based goals.

For example, if your goal is to get 30 new customers this quarter…

That’s 10 customers a month.

However, what is the leading indicator for the customers?

Typically, for most businesses, its’ how many leads or inquiries you get.

Meaning, you might need 20 leads per month, knowing based on historical data, that 50% become customers.

So now the goal becomes 20 leads each month.

How are you going to do that?

What are you going to do for your marketing?

Do you have the operations and team to support those customers?

You get it.

So as you can see, you don’t just wake up with a better business at the end of the quarter.

You have to systematically work backward, reverse engineer the goals, and focus on what you need to change if you want a different result.

Here’s to a strong finish to 2019!

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

How To Stay Ahead...

Earlier this month our gym business, Spurling Fitness, was recognized for not only “Best Fitness Club” in the community, but “Best Customer Service.”

As much as I think some of those awards don’t always mean everything, I thought it was a great reminder for a foundational business lesson to stay ahead.

In today's fast-paced world, social media changing every day, and your customers lives busier than ever, how do you stand out?

What has gone by the wayside in the last decade?

We have the ability to automate almost everything...

We can post something from our phone and have it seen by hundreds or thousands of people...

What's missing?

Good customer service.

Actually, great customer service.

Good is no longer good enough.

So, how do you stand out?

Nail the basics.

Excellence in the ordinary.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

When someone calls is the phone answered in three rings or less?

If I don't get an answer, is my call returned promptly, ideally in the next hour.

Again, in today's fast-paced world, if I don't get what I want, I move on quickly to the thousand other options.

The same thing applies to e-mail.

Do you e-mail me back right away, or do I have to wait three days for a response?

The longer you make them wait, the higher the chance they are going somewhere else.

I can think of three vendors this year that lost my business, easily 5 figures a year for each business, not because they don’t do good work, but because their customer service was subpar and their response time was slow.

Heck, I’m in the middle of some negotiations for a project that is a multiple 6-figure project, and I’m most likely dropping the business I was going to use because of lack of communication and customer service, not because their product is bad.

Everything matters today.

Do you greet every customer, every single time?

Do you remember their name?

Do you remember when they had a birthday?

When was the last time you wrote a handwritten note to your customers?

Think about it...

When was the last time you received a handwritten note from a company that you bought from?

It allows you to stand out, it allows you to show up differently.

You have a customer that is a repeat buyer, they've spent hundreds or thousands of dollars with you.

They've given you their most valuable asset, their time.

The least you could do is send them a handwritten thank you note or a small gift, right?

It's not going to get any slower...

Things are going to keep changing and evolving...

Peoples lives will get busier and busier...

Go back to the basics, excellence in the ordinary, and grow your business by being memorable, creating an experience, and having such good customer service that people can't stop talking about you.

No Complaining...

It’s amazing how much “mindless complaining” we do as humans.

We complain when it’s hot…we complain when it’s cold.

We complain when we’re busy…we complain when we’re bored.

We complain about traffic…we complain when someones driving fast.

You get it.

Today, I wanted to share with you three “No Complaining” tools and challenge you to see how you can fit them into your personal life, home life, or work life.

1. The But—> Positive Technique: This simple strategy helps you turn your complaints into positive thoughts, solutions, and actions. IT works like this. When you realize you are comparing, you simple add the word but and then a positive thought or action. Example:

“I don’t like driving to work for an hour but I’m thankful I can drive and that I have a job.”

“I don’t like that I’m out of shape but I love feeling great so I’mg going to focus on exercise and eating right.”

2. Focus on “Get To” instead of “Have To.” This was a big one, and I have written on this before. Too often we complain and focus on what we have to do. We say things like “I have to go to work.” “I have to drive here.” Instead, shift your perspective and realize it’s not about having to do anything. You get to do things. You get to live this life. You get to go to work while so many are unemployed. You get to drive in traffic while so many don’t even have a car or are too sick to travel. Focus on what you get to do. Focus on feeling blessed instead of stressed. Focus on gratitude.

3. Turn complaints into solutions. The goal is not to eliminate all complaining. The intent is to eliminate the kind of mindless complaining that doesn’t serve a greater purpose and allow complaining that is justified and worthwhile. Mindless complaining is negative, justified complaining is positive. The difference is intent. With mindless complaining, you are mindlessly focusing on problems; however, with justified complaining you identify a problem and the complaint moves you toward a solution. For every complaint represents an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

I like that the tools and book overall didn’t just have this “tough guy” mentality that you can never complain, because the title certainly gives that feeling.

However, instead, it drove home the point that we quite often complain mindlessly, and instead need to provide a solution if we’re going to complain.

Overall a lot of lessons you can hopefully apply to your personal life or work life.

I hope it helped.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Business Growth In 100 Days

There are 99 days left in 2019…

Are you ready to buckle down and join me to get some really great results in the next 99 days?

Today I start my final 100-day sprint of 2019, and I'm going to make a good case for why you should join me. 

The next 100 days takes you right up through the first of the year.

What's a 100-day sprint?

In a 100 day sprint, we really dial things in for 100 days, and then take it easy for a few to recharge. 

No, easy doesn't mean we're not working, it just means everything is on cruise control and we're just getting 1% better. 

On the 100 day sprint, we're working extra hard, have everything super dialed in, and we're after very specific goals. 

You'll be amazed at how much you'll achieve during the next 100 days if you write it down and take relentless action. 

You see, none of us can "sprint" all of the time. 

You can't be super consistent all of the time, and crushing goals left and right. 

Why?

Life. 

Life gets in the way, and you'll most likely burn out. 

During the other breaks, your growth isn't stagnant and you're still working hard, you're just more in a "cruise-control" mentality.

You can't always have the pedal to the floor. 

But you can for 100 days, right?

So my action item for you...

Take a few minutes today and make a list of everything you're going to get done in the next 100 days. 

Be specific. 

Don't just say more revenue.

How much profit?

How much revenue?

What projects are you going to complete?

How many customers are you going to get in the next 100 days?

Again, be specific. 

Map this all out on a doc called "100 Day Sprint."

Make it specific so you know what success looks like at the end. 

Get it all down. 

Then, take relentless action. 

It's about waking up every day and making sure you're sprinting. 

You're going as hard as you can to move the needle on whatever is in your 100 day sprint.

The results of 100 days of dialed in, focused action, is simply amazing. 

Got it?

I'll be doing it too, so I hope you can join me. 

Who's ready to sprint?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Does It Do?

People do not buy things for what they are; they buy things for what they do. 

If you can remember one line when marketing your small business that would be it. 

People don't buy the thing, they buy what it does for them, the benefit. 

We don't buy a haircut, we buy relaxation, confidence, and the feeling that a new haircut gives us.  

We don't buy a realtor, we buy a safe home for our family, a place to raise a family, and a place to kick our feet up at night and relax. 

We don't buy beauty products or fitness services, we buy the result....more confidence, boosted self-esteem, happiness, etc. 

If you can remember this when marketing you'll win. 

In your messaging don't talk about what your  product or service is, talk about the benefits that the buyer receives.

What does it allow them to do?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Consistent Lead Generation

It's probably the most common question we hear from fellow business owners...

"How do I get more customers or clients?"

First, let's define what a lead is. 

A lead is someone who expresses interest in your product or service. 

It could be someone that calls or e-mails, it could be someone that you see at the grocery store, or it could be someone that sends you a Facebook message. 

A lead is anyone that reaches out to you. 

We need to track these leads and work on turning them into customers or clients. 

Let me start with this....

How many of you have a busy business right now?

For some, you might be slammed right now. 

For others, you may be wondering when your next customer is going to walk through the door. 

When things are busy we tend not to market. 

We things are slow we freak out and start marketing. 

That's usually what I see as the gap between consistent lead generation.

When things are quiet in the business, you slingshot market, and then when the business gets busy, you stop marketing.

Here's how we consistently generate 50, 60, and 70+ leads per month, year round.

We follow my marketing blueprint.

1. Know your target market, and speak to them. 
2. Have a unique message
3. Have a nurturing plan across 3 channels 
4. Have 3 offers: lead magnet, evergreen, and deadline driven.

So here's what it may look like AFTER you've defined your target market and your unique message.

If you don't have that clearly defined, you need to start there.

From there, we approach marketing and lead generation as an everyday thing.

Every single day we do the following 5 things:

1. Every day an e-mail gets written to our list
2. Every day that e-mail gets copied over as a blog post on our website and shared on social.
3. Every day, we post a picture/testimonial/video, some piece of content on our Facebook page, and boost it to our audience we've defined as our target market
4. Every day we ask for referrals at point of sale
5. Every day we have an offer out there, whether it's the free lead magnet to get the e-mail every day, an evergreen offer like a trial or our business, or a deadline driven offer like joining an upcoming program. 

The key there?

Every damn day!

The key to consistent lead generation is, you guessed it, being consistent.

It's excellence in the ordinary things.

It's showing up, every single day.

I always tell biz owners, there will not be a single day that every female between the age of 35-65 that lives within a 12-mile radius doesn't see something from my company because that's our target market.

We show up every single day, add value, and give them an offer that solves their problem.

When they’re ready, they self-select, and they have an offer in front of their face.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Free Marketing Masterclass

I just opened up registration for my free Fall Marketing Masterclass.

==>> Free Marketing Masterclass

In this free workshop in Kennebunk, we’ll spend 90 minutes breaking down exactly how you need to market your health or hospitality business.

For the better part of the last decade I've run a fitness business here in Kennebunk that has a world-class reputation. We've been able to do it through a strong community, impeccable customer service, and top-notch marketing.

I now have the great fortune of consulting other gyms, health clubs, medical practices, hotels, and tourism business owners on how to scale their business, get more customers, make more profit, and ultimately, have more freedom and flexibility to do what they want.

It all starts with marketing. You have to be able to get your message out there to the public so that they know who you are, what you do, and how you can solve their problem.

In this free workshop I'm going to outline all of that for you, step-by-step.

==>> Free Marketing Masterclass

Here's What You Will Learn At This Free Workshop:

  • Master the 3 M's of Marketing

  • Learn the One Page Marketing Blueprint, a simple step-by-step system to outline your marketing

  • Attract the right customers and fill your local business with people you want

  • Create a simple yet powerful marketing calendar

  • Scale your business so you're not stuck doing everything!

Plus, as a thank you for taking the time out of your busy life, you'll get a free copy of my book, One Percent Better.

In this book, I show you how you’re just “1% away” from a better business.

I break down 50 powerful lessons that will change your business, and change your life

And it’s yours…for free.

Here are the details:

  • Thursday, September 26th

  • 6:30-8pm

  • Hampton Inn, Kennebunk, ME

When I offered this workshop in the spring, the seats filled in less than a week.

The hotel conference room that I rent only holds 40 people, and I do first come first serve, so please register today.

==>> Free Marketing Masterclass

I look forward to meeting you and helping you market your business better.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

PS: I’ve helped dozens of businesses get more clients, attract more customers, and fill their spots faster. It all starts with marketing, and I’m going to teach it to you at this workshop…for free.

==>> Free Marketing Masterclass

PPS: Some may ask…what’s the catch? Normally these workshops are hundreds of dollars, but I typically do 2-3 of these free workshops each year. You see, I’m a fan of value exchange. I deliver this workshop to you for free, you get all kinds of good information out of it to help grow your business, and if you really love it, you’ll reach out to me for private coaching. And if not, no sweat :)

==>> Free Marketing Masterclass

A Circular World...

People buy in circles….

Or to be more visual, picture your two-year-old scribbles on a piece of paper, that’s how we go through the buying process...

And it’s so important to understand that.

You see, it’s not unique to your industry, we’re not the only ones with “tire-kicker” leads.

It’s humans.

And last time I checked, we all sell to humans.

Our buying process is not linear anymore.

We don’t see an ad and then buy.

We have 12 tabs open on the computer, our Apple Watch blowing up, two kids crying in the background, and dinner on the stove.

Do you really think you’re going to sell me directly from a Facebook Ad?

Let me give you an example…

Last week my wife and I spent $5k on furniture for our bedroom, a new mattress, and misc furniture for the nursery for our baby girl coming at the end of this year.

But here’s the thing…

We first started researching it months ago.

I looked into the best mattress.

Started getting targeted by Facebook ads, e-mails, etc.

Still didn’t buy.

Same thing with the furniture.

We spent weeks researching, reading reviews, running through different colors.

What was the tipping point in the buying decision?

An argument with my wife on a Thursday night about “why haven’t we just bought this stuff already.”

I didn’t want to argue, so I cracked open my laptop, clicked on an e-mail the company had sent me three days ago with a coupon, and spent $5k in furniture and decor.

It took me about three minutes.

I also bought it all from the company that was top of mind, always sending me e-mails, always follow up, Facebook ads, the whole gamut.

My point?

It was a very circular buying process.

We looked at it a couple times, forgot about it for a few days, went back at it did some research, let a few more days go by, did some more reading of social media comments, and then finally in a matter of minutes, spent a crapload of money with them.

And to some degree, this is true for every buying process.

The same clients that complain to me about how they have “tire-kicker” leads and how people never answer their e-mails, are the same ones that I need to follow up with just as much, if not more, to get them to commit to consulting.

It’s the same thing….

Why?

Because it’s not an industry-specific thing, it’s a human-specific thing.

People are wired to procrastinate.

We’re more distracted than ever before.

Something like 85% of people want to buy your thing, they just don’t want to buy RIGHT NOW.

So…

What do you do about this?

Focus on these three things:

  1. Follow up with leads, and never stop following up with them, you never know when they’re ready.

  2. Build your list, e-mail consistently, and incorporate the super signature

  3. Offer something like a gift card where they can “raise their hand” now, but can use it when they’re ready, and then keep following up with them.

We have to remember that we’re dealing with busy people, busy humans.

If you look at your behaviors and your buying patterns, you can look at what you have to do for follow up, and how long you have to do it for (forever is the right answer).

1% Better.

Lights, Camera, Action

Yesterday Kim and I recorded Episode 25 of the One Percent Better Show and we talked about procrastination.

Today, I’m not here to share the podcast (it takes a couple days for us to edit it and get it published), you’ll see it on Thursday, however, while recording I referenced this idea…

“Imagine if everything you did was recorded.”

It was in reference to Tom Brady and the “chip on his shoulder” he has to prove after being drafted 199th.

He has certainly been “accountable” to performing and showing up, but how much of that is because he has something to prove and, oh by the way, almost every move he makes is recorded.

But that begs that question…

How are you held accountable?

I think we all need/want accountability but quite often we don’t know what holds us accountable.

Some people need regular check-ins, some people need to know that someone is counting on them.

For me, I thrive off of social accountability.

I know that there are a lot of eyes on me at all times.

Whether it’s eyes on a post like this, eyes on me when I’m at the leading the team at the gym, consulting a business, or eyes on the community that we’re curating.

That’s a good thing because it keeps me accountable.

That’s also the reason I’m so public about the things I’m tackling (like this 75Hard Challenge, for example) as I don’t want to let anybody down.

But it got me thinking...

How would you act if you were being filmed 24/7?

The more you think about it, it's actually a great accountability mindset. 

There is no denying it, when the lights are on us, when we're on stage, and when the camera is rolling we probably act a little different, just like the athletes on TV, or an extreme example, shows like Bachelor in Paradise.

So, why not use that to your advantage?

Imagine that you're being filmed...

Would you sleep in and hit the snooze button five times?

Would you scroll social media for 30 minutes instead of moving your business forward?

Would you not go to the business workshop, but instead sit on the couch and watch TV?

One of my favorite lines is...

"The hardest thing to do is to work hard when no one is watching."

Well, what if everyone is watching?

I always remind my team at the gym that the gym floor is their stage, and we're always "on."

People are watching you, listening to you, reading your body language, and noticing things out of the corner of their eyes. 

We only have good days and great days, there are no bad days because this is our show. 

What about your business?

We all have a stage that we’re on, our employees are on, and customers are watching.

For some, this mindset tactic may not work, but for others, it could be a game changer. 

If you're on stage, spotlight on and camera rolling, you will make better decisions. 

If you want to have success you have to work hard when no one is watching, and that's not easy. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Be A Stonecutter...

Have you heard the story of the stonecutter?

A stonecutter starts out with a big hammer and whacks a large rock as hard as he can, trying to split it.

The first time he hits it, there's not even a scratch, not as much as a chip.

He pulls back the hammer and unleashes another blow to the might stone once again and again-100, 200, 500 times and still nothing.

After all the efforts the rock does not show even the slightest crack, but he keeps hitting it anyway.

People pass and laugh at him for persisting, but the stone cutter is wise, he doesn't concern himself with what other people think.

He knows that just because you don't see immediate results from your current actions, it doesn't mean you're not making any progress.

He keeps hitting at different points in the stone, over and over again, relentless in his pursuit.

At some point, possibly on the 800th 900th, or quite possibly the 2000th strike, the massive stone doesn't chip, it literally SPLITS IN TWO.

Was it this one single hit that broke the stone in half?

Of course not.

It was the constant focus and consistent effort the stonecutter applies to the challenge at hand that created the ultimate result.

Sounds like a fitness journey, huh?

A great story for your clients.

But how about our businesses too...

Quite often you feel like what you're doing is not making any progress in your business.

The daily e-mails, the daily social media posts...

The creation of systems, the training of your staff.

It seems like you're just swinging that hammer and nothing is happening.

However, day in and day out of showing up, eventually you look back and realize how much of a difference all of those things made.

Just like results weren't from the workout the day before, it was from the consistent effort.

Business building is the daily pursuit of moving the needle, people telling you your crazy, and continuing to swing that hammer and move forward.

1% better.

Keep swinging your hammer! Don't let anyone get in your way.

Doug Spurling

People & Processes

They might just be the two biggest keys to business.

Without them you’re not going to go very far.

People seems to be the biggest pain point for business owners.

How do you find the right people?

How do you keep them?

Train them?

etc, etc.

We’ve been pretty fortunate (with a crap load of daily hard work to back it up) that we have a rock solid team.

We have a full-time team of coaches, which is super rare in the fitness industry.

They are bought into the vision of the company, work hard, make smart decisions, and actually give a crap.

Now, they are not perfect, none of us are, but it’s solid.

I also now that didn’t happen by accident, and it didn’t happen overnight.

Here a couple highlights on the “people” part of a small business…

  • Be really clear on the job description of the type of person you want. I’m not talking skills, skills can be taught. I’m talking about personality types, outgoing, extroverted, detail-oriented, etc. Those are unique abilities, and you can’t change that about a person. I’m not saying you want those specific ones, but my point is, be clear on who you want, and it’s a bonus that they know the skills of the job.

  • Phone interview first. As a business owner you’re busy. You don’t have time to interview dozens of people. Hop on a call with any applicant for a 15-minute phone interview. Just ask them to tell you about themselves. If you feel like you can have a friendly conversation with them, if you feel you might want to spend 40+ hours a week with this person then you can bring them in for an interview.

  • Let the rest of the team have some say. I’m not saying that you can’t make the final decision, but let the team have some votes, they will be more bought in to making sure this new team member is a solid fit.

  • Have a solid (we do 90 days) onboarding program. By far the most common mistake I see people make is they hire someone and then give them zero formal training. They just expect this person knows the expectations, they expect them to be perfect, and they don’t think they ever have to train them. A strong 90 day onboarding program will fix this.

  • 1:1 Meetings. If you agree that your employees are your best asset then why not invest more into them. Just like a financial asset, the more you invest into it the more you’ll get out of it. Depending on the size of your team this will vary, but some regular 1:1 time with them to check in and see how they’re doing, chat goals and visions, and make sure they don’t have rocks in their shoes can go a long way. For context, our team meets with their Director once a week for 15 minutes, and with me over lunch for 2-3 hours once a quarter.

  • Clear expectations and roles. Again, by far the biggest mistake I see owners make is not making roles and expectations crystal clear. Most people are good human beings and they want to do work. 9/10 times the reason they’re not is because they didn’t know what “good work” looks like.

If you want to grow past a one woman or one man (it’s okay if you don’t) you’re going to need a team.

However, you can’t just expect them to be self-sufficient.

It takes daily management, daily leadership, and a lot of time.

That being said, Team Development is one of the 4 Pillars of Business, so without it, your business will crumble.

Now, let’s say you have great people, next up is great processes.

A process is anything that happens in your business.

How is the business open?

Who and how do you answer the phone?

What is a client or customer journey look like?

If you’re a product-based business, how is the product made.

Processed can basically fall under these 4 Pillars

  1. Sales & Marketing: What is your process for attracting new business? Do you follow a Marketing Calendar? How often and what do you post for content? What is your sales process? etc, etc.

  2. Operations: This is by far the biggest section and will vary greatly based upon your business. This is everything from how the phone is answered or how the business gets cleaned, to everything that has to happen with a client or customer once they start doing business with you.

  3. Finances: What is your process for daily sales? What weekly reports do you pull and analyze? What does wining look like financially on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis, and how are you keeping score of that? Who does your books and what is that process? What about quarterly and/or year-end tax prep?

  4. Team Development: This is everything we talked about above. This is how you onboard a new employee, how you train them, what your meeting rhythm is, roles and responsibilities, etc.

Now, just like you can’t bring people on and forget about them, you can’t just create processes, stick them in an “operations manual” and call it good.

In fact, I personally don’t care for operations manuals.

Instead, I like 1-2 two page “play sheets” for each process.

So…you may have your four folders above, and in each folder there are a couple dozen individual “play sheets,” each one outlining a specific process.

This is important because although creating these is step one, the real work, and the work that never ends is training and holding your team accountable to these processes.

So, on a regular basis you can pull out one process (play sheet) and train the team on it.

Next week, pull out another one.

People and Processes.

Two keys to business success.

1% Better.

What Are You Willing To Change?

A lot of people hate change. 

I actually crave change. 

Focused change usually means better, and I'm all about getting better. 

1%. Right?

We spend a lot of time talking about change, and I think that's good, but I think we can get caught up in the details too quickly. 

What I mean by that is we're very quick to want to know how to grow our Instagram following, or how to market better to get more clients, but we haven't even asked the most important question...

How much are you willing to change?

Just like anything else, the bigger the change, the bigger the result. 

There is no right answer. 

Some people are only willing to change a few things, some people want to overhaul everything. 

I think it's important to reflect on what you are willing to change. 

Here's why. 

What you change is a direct reflection of your results. 

Sure, we all want results, but what have you changed?

The same input will always equal the same output. 

We all have this desire to have a better business but are you willing to make the necessary changes and sacrifices to get there?

I don't know. 

That's up to you. 

We need to think of it as a spectrum. 

On one side of the spectrum is no change at all. 

No change = No results. 

Pretty simple. 

On the other side is extreme, every hour is spent improving the business.

Some may want the results that come from that, but they're not willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

Are you willing to spend time every day to train and develop your employees?

Are you willing to stay consistent with your marketing and do it daily?

Are you willing to set up a “profit-first” accounting system and stay 100% strict with your budget.

7 days a week. 

365 days a year. 

No exceptions. 

That's what it takes.

Not to mention it probably took ten years of doing that 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

That's that extreme side of the spectrum. 

Now, I don't know about you, but there’s probably a happy medium, towing the line with some time to recharge and have some personal time, but also spend time daily building my business.

However, with that mentality, I also can't expect to walk around with a perfect business.

Most of us probably fall somewhere in the middle of no change and the extreme example above. 

If you want to double your business you're going to have to make a lot more changes than the person that just wants to grow by 5%.

Just make sure that the desired result you want matches the change you’re willing to make. 

That's always the biggest disconnect I see. 

People want these grand results but their actions don't match and they are not willing to change as much as they need to. 

So, the question will always be, how much are you willing to change?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

How I Generated Over 2500 Leads

I knew that headline would grab your attention :)

The reality is, I want to share how I consistently get 30+ leads every single month for the last 8+ years.

30 leads per month, 12 months a year, for the last 8 + years.

I looked back at my numbers, and since I’ve been tracking them there has never been a month where I didn’t get at least 30 leads, and it’s typically closer to 50.

One lead a day.

These “Facebook Guru’s” will try to sell you on 2,000 leads in 20 days, but the reality is I think we can all agree that we would rather have one quality lead a day than get flooded with people that just have a pulse and a credit card.

So, with that being said here are some strategies I use to get at least 30 leads every single month.

1.Your product has to be good. I don’t think we talk about this often enough. Everyone is all about getting more and more leads, and I understand you want to pay your bills and grow. However, when was the last time you looked at your “product?” Do people actually love it or are you just saying that because your bias? Do people get great results? Have you created a super-tight community that keeps people coming back? Is your business clean, are people greeted properly, and do they get 10x the value compared to what they’re paying? I believe you first have to start with this before you starting bringing people in on empty promises.

2. A daily e-mail. I firmly believe this is our local base. A large percentage of my local market gets an e-mail every day, and there’s no marketing that can compete with that consistency. I mix it things like the Super Signature, 13-word e-mails, and other deadline driven offers, but 90% of it is just adding value to their inbox. I do believe there is magic in building it up to emailing every day as clients/customers now expect it to come, and I have dozens of people that look forward to reading my daily email as soon as they get on lunch break. You can’t beat that.

3. Track & Follow Up. I’ll use the halfway point of this list to stress the importance of tracking your leads and having a relentless follow up system. It’s amazing how many business owners I talk to that don’t track their leads. Keep it simple, just a basic excel spreadsheet. Track how they heard about you and where they are on the pipeline of becoming a client/customer. Follow up until they say no or become a client. It amazes me how many businesses don’t ever call you back, return your e-mails promptly, etc. Follow up is king.

4. Video Testimonials. We know social proof is one of the best marketing efforts around. We also know that people are preferring video over anything else right now on social. So why not combine the two? We pick one client a month and get a video testimonial from them. It’s about 2 minutes long and it’s a combination of them answering questions, spliced in with some action shots of them working out. The cool thing is we now have over 50 video testimonials that we use on our website, on social media, and display at events. As an evergreen marketing effort we always have one running as a FB/IG ad, 365 days a year, rotating it after it goes above .08 a view, and we have a lot of them sprinkled throughout our website. It doesn’t matter your business, you all have clients or customers that would be willing to hop on camera for two minutes and share their success.

5. A really solid brand. At the core of all these ”tactics” has to be a really solid brand. To keep it simple, just use the One Page Marketing Blueprint. Who is your person? What is your message? If you’re looking to go deeper than that, make sure things like your colors, your font, and your language are consistent. It all matters. If your colors are blue and yellow, are those the colors that I see on your website, on your flyers, and in your business? Start to “own” certain words in your local community. A great example of this is how we own the phrase “1% Better.” All of these details are what take you from a a tactic based business, to a business that has a brand that stands for something, that has a strong message that resonates with a target market, and is known for something in the community.

6. Become a local celebrity. I believe I got that tag line from Vince Gabriele. For most of you, you’re not trying to build a national brand, you’re just trying to make sure everyone knows you within a 10 mile radius. So, put all your focus on making sure everyone in that radius knows you. That means things like chamber events, public speaking, joint ventures with other businesses, charitable work and volunteering within the community, and just being where they are. Do everything you can to become the “mayor” of your town.

7. Rock-Solid Referral Systems. We have a point of sale referral system where everyone that becomes a client gets a metal gift card that they can give to a friend. That friend gets a 30 Day VIP Experience on us. When people make their first purchase with you, they are the most excited they’ll ever be. They are in the “honey moon” phase. The mistake we make is that we either don’t ask for referrals, or we don’t make it simple, clear, and “no-brainer” enough for them. What person is not going to go home and on the drive home and think of someone to give the metal (I believe that detail is key) gift card to? We also have 6 week, 6-month, and one year letters that go out to clients, handwritten to them talking about how awesome they are. At the PS, there is a call to action to give the gift card that is paper-clipped to the letter to a friend. These two tactics alone easily generate us 10+ leads per month. It doesn’t matter your business, you can always ask for referrals.

I could keep going on, but this is enough to take action on.

“Win the day.”

Just try to get one lead today.

Don’t fall for the gimmick stuff because we know it doesn’t work long-term, and the bigger thing that people are not talking about is how bad it hurts your long-term brand and can literally kill your business.

Have these outlined on a 12 month marketing calendar, execute daily, track, follow up, and your biggest pain point will shift away from lead generation.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Be A Bee

I remember when I was a kid, I use to HATE bees. I would kick and scream as I ran away from them. 

At my uncles house one afternoon, he decided to gather some of our cousins to take down the shed. Being a big kid, I was obviously nominated.

As you can imagine, things went GREAT!

We started knocking down the old shed and out came a swarm of bees. We all ran, and most of us had a few stings to make the memory last. 

You see, stories like that are what most people have in their mind when they think of bees. 

But in business and in life, you need to be a bee. 

Bees are awesome. 

Think about it...

What do they do all day long?

They hum along, pollinating, giving, giving, and giving some more. 

Did you know 1/3 of our fruits and vegetables are pollinated by bees?

165 out of the 168 hours in a week bees are givers. They give, they give, and they give. 

And guess what? They expect nothing in return. 

But every once in awhile they have to sting you. 

And you probably broke the rules and pissed them off. 

Be a bee.

Give. Give some more. Give some more. And most importantly, expect nothing in return. 

But when the time comes, you're going to have to sting. 

That could be putting your foot down in a relationship. 

That could be asking for something.

That could be leaving a job that you're miserable at. 

The point is, most people see a bee as a stinger. But in reality, they give more in most days than most people give in their life. AND, they expect nothing in return. 

Give until you can't give any more. 

Give someone a helping hand. 

Call up a friend and chat with them.

Give away valuable content. 

Give someone your time. 

And expect nothing in return. 

But when the time comes, don't be afraid to sting. 

How are you going to give more?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Don't Be All Things To All People...

Maybe this is a life lesson too, but in business, you can't be all things to all people. 

As much as we want to help everyone, if you want to make a stamp on this world, make an impact, you have to hone in on who you're going to help.

Being all things to all people will not only water down your message, but it will spread your efforts thin. 

You'll end up mediocre at a lot and great at nothing.  

The $10 buffet restaurant talks to certain people compared to the steakhouse that charges $90 a steak. 

The iPhone has never been advertised as cheap, yet it has a cult-like following, compared to the "smartphone" you get for free if you sign a contract.

The environment you need to create at a boutique clothing store compared to a department store is completely different. 

What's the difference between the $2 gallon of ice cream and the $8 scoop of hand-churned locally made ice cream?

A story. 

A message. 

A brand. 

People. 

Not right or wrong, just different. 

The restaurant that has Italian, American and Chinese options all on a giant menu is sitting vacant in 2019 while the specialty restaurant that has just five dishes has lines out the door.

Focusing on one market and one product allows you to dump all your efforts into it and become the best in the world at it. 

That's what's needed to make an impact. 

Plus, you'll sleep better at night not thinking you have to have a solution for every Tom, Dick and Harry. 

1% Better.

Which One Are You?

We talk a lot about mindset.

But what does that actually mean?

For those who are readers, I highly recommend the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.

Basically the book talks about how there are two mindsets; the fixed and growth mindset.

The Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is one where you believe your talents and abilities cannot be improved by any means,  that you are born with what you have and no part of you can be improved.

A person with a fixed mindset believes challenges and less than ideal outcomes are negative.

A person with a fixed mindset attaches themselves to outcomes, e.g You haven’t done $500,000 in business, and the mindset that you’ll never hit that milestone.

A person with a fixed mindset would believe they can’t do it, ever.

It’s important for you to understand that if you have a fixed mindset, its not your fault. It’s likely something from your past that molded your thinking without you knowing.

The Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is where you believe that all aspects of your life can be improved through embracing discomfort, hard work and persistence.

A person with a growth mindset does not attach themselves to outcomes, e.g You haven’t made $500,000 yet, but with the right coaching, the right business skills, you can do whatever you want.

A person with a growth mindset would say, welp I’ve been expecting a different results without changing anything, so why should I get mad?

How You Can Transition From a Fixed to Growth Mindset

It’s important for you to understand that you were born with a growth mindset…or otherwise you would have never learned to walk.

There are two important points I want you to know:

  1. You are not stuck with a fixed mindset

  2. Even if you have mostly a growth mindset, from time to time you will slip into the fixed way of thinking…this is normal and its okay.

Catch yourself!

Replace I can’t, with I can I just need to work at it. 

Trust me, you can do 99% of things you would ever want to do.

This is not to say you will be close to good at them without any practice but you can do whatever it is to some extent.

When you find yourself setting limitations or letting others set your limitations, snap out of it.

Remember, YOU are the greatest miracle…no computer or anything else has as much ability as you have.

Just realize to do those things you need to progress small steps forward each day and that it will be an adventure; unexpected things will happen, you will have to alter or maybe even change your entire course, there will be highs and lows – embrace it all.

And if you do something and it doesn’t workout the way you wanted it to, feel good about yourself because you just over came a challenge.

Next, look at it, whether it’s something new or a recent failure and think, what did I learn from this?

Remember that failure is an event, not a person. Zig Ziglar

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Friction In Business...

A good operating system for a business removes as much friction as possible.

Let’s take a look at the typical journey.

How clear is your marketing?

Is there any friction in the messaging?

Is it really smooth, clear, and consistent?

We need systems and processes to make that happen.

How about the ability to inquire or purchase for your services?

Is it quick, easy, and slick?

In today’s fast-paced world if there is any friction in the buying process the consumer is most likely going to move on to something faster, easier, and more convenient.

As the journey continues, how does the onboarding feel?

Is it smooth and easy for the client?

Do they get handouts or videos so they remember everything you told them?

Which platform do they receive information on like scheduling updates, announcements, etc?

If there is any friction during this process it could leave the client confused and thus, a less than stellar initial first impression of your business, decreasing the likelihood that they’ll stick around.

What about the experience in general?

Does it flow smoothly?

If you’re a brick and mortar business, it starts from the moment they walk in the door.

Is it clear and clean as to where they go and where they check-in?

How is the design of the space?

Friction in your design could mean clients/customers walking around not knowing where things are, not optimizing the space you have, or not putting things in the proper spot as to maximize the traffic flow of the facility.

All of this needs to be documented and clearly outlined.

What about the team?

Any friction on the team?

Is the on-boarding process clear?

Do they know what’s expected of them?

Do they know what the vision of the company is, what the goals are for this quarter, etc?

Spend time looking at how you can reduce friction here as this will strengthen the team, allow them to deliver a better experience, and give you more freedom.

Finally, what about friction in your own personal life?

How do you manage your time?

What’s your morning routine and self-care rituals?

Are you spending the time doing the things that are going to move you and business forward the most?

It’s all about removing friction.

When we hear the word “system” it can often mean multiple things.

I think of them as documentation of every single process in your business so that you can clearly communicate them to your team and to your clients, reduce friction and make things run smoother, and thus, allow you to grow more, live with a little less stress, and have some more freedom.

How can you reduce friction in your business?

Got A Problem?

If you've been in business for more than a week, you know the road is not smooth. 

It's bumpy as heck. 

You’ve seen those graphics online of the “day in the life of an entrepreneur”

It goes something like this…

9:00am: “Today is going to be a great day!”

11:00am: “How the heck am I going to do this?”

1:00pm: “Did I really sign up for this?”

3:00pm: “Wow, that’s awesome!”

5:00pm: “Normal people are punching out and I’m still going”

That's why I preach slow and steady consistency, not beating yourself up, because, in the long-term, it's more about just showing up consistently. 

1% Better.

How can I do one thing today that’s going to move my business forward?

Ok, we get that. 

But, your business is growing, you’re making progress, and you still have "problems."

And that's the problem!

We think that once we get going, once we hit a certain goal, once we accomplish something all our problems go away. 

In his book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK", Mark Manson talks about how life is all about trading problems for better problems, but it's also an understanding that we'll always have problems. 

Let's think about it...

When you first start a business you're scared, you're intimidated, and you're not sure what the heck you’re doing…

That's a problem that you're looking to solve. 

So, let's assume things go great, you get into a routine, find a few customers, and things are starting to grow…

And guess what?

A new problem emerges...

You now have to balance work and life…

“Who and what do I say no to at home or at work in order to keep this thing going?”

Still a problem, but a better problem. 

Let's keep rolling...

You're crushing it, you've found balance in your schedule and you're starting to grow…

Another problem emerges.

How do I manage this team?

How do I find better help?

How do I learn social media marketing?

etc, etc, etc…

Again, a better problem, but still a problem. 

The problems I solve today running a business with nine employees, hundreds of clients, a consulting business, a kid, a wife, and all the other factors that play into it are completely different (and better) than the problems I had to solve eight years ago when it was a one-man operation and I just started dating Megan. 

But they’re still problems...

This is a great reminder, and something Mark preaches in his book, that we will never eliminate problems in our life…or business. If you set yourself up with that expectation you're going to fail. 

The goal is that you continue to grow and develop, in all aspects of life, so that you trade bad problems for better problems. 

But they'll always be problems....

And that's ok. 

That's what makes it fun. 

We are internally motivated to solve problems. 

As much as we dream of everything being perfect and going smoothly 110% of the time, we crave the ability to fix stuff that's broken, we crave problems. 

We just hope we're trading good problems for great problems. 

I'll end with my favorite quote from the book...

"There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances. We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond...

Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another....

Don’t hope for a life without problems. There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems."

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

5 Steps To Positive Change...

When we look to change something what typically happens?

We complain about it, fill our mind with negative beliefs, and instill fear that we’ll never be able to do it.

However, deep down, we know that’s simple not true.

We can do anything we want if we’re willing to put in the work, change our behaviors, and change.

If you're looking to improve or change something here are the five steps you can follow for ultimate success. 

Really what we’re talking about where is behavior change.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose 20lbs, save more money, or grow your business.

Currently, if you’re not where you want to be at in something, it is because of the behaviors and beliefs that you have done, or currently do.

But, the good news?

You can change anything you don’t like.

Here are the five steps…

1. Recognize The Need to Change: I've always said that being self-aware is one of highest skills we can learn as humans. Being self-aware of what motivates us, how we come across to people, and just generally being aware of how everything effects us and how we effect others. That being said, if you're looking to change you first need to recognize that you need to change. 

2. What Does Success Look Like: If you could wave a magic wand and you're living the perfect version of what you want to change is, what does that look like. Write down a clear picture of what success looks like so that you have a visual target to go after. 

3. The One Thing: What is one thing you can do today to start moving towards that picture you painted above. The biggest hurdle people face in change is they try to conquer it all, get overwhelmed, and end up not doing anything to help them progress closer to what success looks like to them. The one thing. It could be filling out an inquiry form on a gym's website, it could be setting up the bank account that you're going to automatically transfer savings to, it could be hiring that coach, or it could be going into your schedule and blocking off from 6 pm on so that you can be home with your family. The one thing is important not because of what it is, it's going to be tied to your goal, it's important because it's only one thing. 

4. Set Mini Milestones: Depending on what you're trying to change, it's going to be a long-term journey filled with ups and downs. In order to keep you motivated and on track it's important to break it down to mini milestones. For example, on your journey of losing 50lbs, maybe it's showing up at the gym 10x this month. For your journey of growing your business, maybe it’s one new customer this week.

5. Show up daily: 1% Better. I have yet to find anyone that shows up daily and does not see progress in whatever they're working on changing and improving. It doesn't matter if it's fitness, business, or life, it's about showing up daily and doing the best you can with the cards you're dealt that day. There is no magic pill, there is no shortcut, there is no secret, it's just showing up consistently, day after day, month after month, year after year. That's the secret. 

Change is hard. 

Follow these five steps and hopefully, it gives you some guidance as you go through the journey. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling