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What I Learned From Two Days Talking To Distressed Businesses


So I have just spent two days solid running a "Clinic" talking to HVAC business owners - all of whom were distressed in some way. So I thought I would share what I have learned with you.

No business, too much business, lots of sales but no money in the bank, feeling out of control - trapped and one guy told me he felt like his business was a prison.

There are people hurting out there - all good hard working family people that for whatever reason have lost their way.

A lack of some form of business education was the root cause of the issues I heard. Lack of strategy, thinking, planning.

Some simple yet critical things missing or done badly in their business causing them significant pain.

Here is what I know....(and it makes me happy that they all start with a C - simple things please simple minds)

1) Culture - poor culture is a killer. It leads to bad attitudes and poor performance from your people. And that was the number one biggest issue. Poor culture = piss poor people...

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Your Four Forgotten Friends

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

The thing is though that what you learn from your failures will always outweigh the temporary loss or the cost of not getting what you originally wanted over the course of your lifetime.

You hear this all the time - fail forward, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Get back up just one more time than you fall down.  

It is all true.  

But when you are in the thick of it, these can seem like pointless words spoken by people who don’t know shit about you or what you are going through.  You are living in the moment and dealing with the world falling in around you right now..

When you are almost out of ammo, pinned down by snipers, bleeding to death with no sign of the cavalry - the last thing you need is loads of experts telling you to think differently and it will all be alright.

I totally get it.  

I have been there in life and in business.  I have been in life or death situations in...

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Nobody Likes A Salesman - Right?

Everyone I know loves to buy stuff.  My wife loves to buy stuff. My kids, my business partner, my neighbours, my friends.

Everybody has stuff in their house or home that they wanted and went out and bought.  Buying stuff we want is not a problem for any of us.

If you won the lottery today - how much shit would you buy tomorrow?  Some people have even planned it all out just in case they get lucky.

Imagine just booking a vacation?  We love to sift and sought through what is available - that is part of the experience.  What we really want, where to go and where to stay. We are mindful of the price, but in general we can’t wait to get it paid off because we want the vacation!

It is not just buying stuff we want we like doing.  Buying stuff we need is also not a problem. You need a new car - you sort it out and get one.  You need kids school shoes - you make the trip and come back with some. Your printer breaks - no problem - you go straight on...

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What Is The Point Of Strategy Anyway?

“How does having a business plan and a strategy help you run your business anyway?  Isn’t that just for city slickers or bigger businesses? This is the real world here - I am way too busy for that shit.”

This is a very common view of strategy and planning from the average business owner.  And it is heartbreaking.

Here are some interesting questions that every business owner needs to consider…

  • What is your break even point in dollars every month?
  • How many jobs do you need to do to make enough profit to cover all your expenses and break even?
  • What money will you have available next month to promote your business?
  • What about every month through the winter?
  • What exactly about your business are you promoting?
  • What is your compelling offer - your reason why your customers will choose you over everybody else in your town?
  • How will you achieve the maximum competitive advantage in your local market?
  • What resources do you have to utilize to help you get...
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It's Actually Never About You!

Whatever business you are in currently, or trying to get in to, you will encounter other people.  How you connect with the people around you will directly determine your level of success.

An important lesson I learned from a much younger colleague of mine some years ago is this..

"It doesn't matter how you feel about them - what matters is how they make you feel."

He went on to say "If they are not bringing you love and laughter, hope and inspiration or contributing to your personal growth or uplifting your spirit in some way, then why do you allow them to stay in your life?"

As simple as that one is, it had a truly profound effect on me, and as a result I actually cut some people out of my life - (including my now ex - wife).

But thinking about this in another way has really changed my thinking and enriched my relationships with the people around me.  

Instead of considering this from my own personal point of view, I realised that every other person is thinking this as...

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Imagine your life has suddenly ended.  It just happened right this very second.  There was no warning, no time for goodbyes or anything at all.  It was just one of those things - in an instant you were wiped out unexpectedly.

You were once alive and living on this planet, but somehow now you are no longer here.

No matter how much you were loved, life will go on without you.  The world will keep turning and there is nothing more you can do.  You have left your life exactly as it was a few seconds ago before you started reading this.

As you are now dead, here are three questions to ask yourself… Take a minute to consider each one, one at a time….

1 What did you truly love about the life you have just lost?

2 Do you have any regrets about your life?

3 If you were given just one more chance - what would you do?



It's too late now though - remember you have just died and left your life exactly as you were previously living it.



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Want More Freedom From Your Business?

How many people got into business because they wanted more freedom? Everyone!

How many people who are now in business actually have more freedom? Very few!

Why is that? Well - the ability to manage the balance of working ON your business rather than IN your business comes down to a level of clarity you have on why you are doing it in the first place. Your bigger vision. Your purpose.

If you are measuring how busy you are by the number of hours you work - or by how much activity you are involved with, then you are probably missing the bigger picture, and will spend your working life on a hamster wheel needing more hours in the day, and more days in the week in order to actually grow your business.

So many business owners think that everything in their business needs to be done "their way". Because of this, they wear all the hats. Because they wear all the hats, they do stuff that they are no good at because it falls outside of their core skills. Because of this - they end up on a...

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The Size Of The Prize

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Advertising Insights

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The Compound Effect

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