The Only “Guarantee” In Business

A Winning Formula To Give You The Best Shot

In business, everyone looks for a guarantee. Customers want guarantees of good service, speedy response time and satisfaction, or their money back. As business leaders, we look for guaranteed success, influence and wealth.

We ought to know it doesn’t work like that, but we try to find it anyway. The truth is a little more alarming: there’s only ONE guarantee for an entrepreneur. It’s this:

There are NO guarantees

It’s frustrating, I know.

As the intrepid Captain Jean-Luc Picard said in Star Trek: The Next Generation, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.”

There is no magical equation for business that guarantees victory. There are no cheat codes, despite what some “gurus” may try to sell you. If somebody claims they can guarantee you wealth and prosperity, chances are they’re exaggerating. Either they want you to believe you can succeed if you just imitate their life, step-for-step … or they’re hocking snake oil.

If you want the truth, it’s this: Instead of waiting for a guarantee, give yourself the highest chance possible to succeed. Become the best leader you can be – not by taking a shortcut, but through good habits paired with good strategy.

Speaking of strategy, I have a free resource called the M.I.L.K. It Method, a guide to convert your next idea into a major cash cow.

Why Habits and Strategy Work

The formula for (nearly) guaranteed success is the right habits, plus the right strategy.

Integrity and habits are where you start. They serve as a foundation for personal and professional development. You won’t get where you want without them. I know that I would not be the business leader I am today without healthy habits, cultivated over time.

However, you can have the best habits and highest integrity and still not find success, because of flaws in your strategy. Nice guys indeed finish last, when their niceness isn’t accompanied by the right set of moves.

Just don’t forget your character along the way. You can have a winning strategy, and then watch your business implode because of an integrity issue. This happens all the time, even in top companies. 

The business leader fails to cultivate their physical, mental, and emotional health, and then they fall apart through bad decisions. At best, they get benched; at worst, they take everyone and everything down with them.

Neither the person writing this, nor the person reading it want that for you. Fail to address both of these categories, and you’ll get outmaneuvered … or sabotaged from within.

Whether you’re looking to improve your inner life or your business, the insights we offer at the “What’s The Secret?” Podcast will guide you in the right direction.

How To Get As Close As You Can To Guaranteed Success

Do both!

In your personal life as well as business, cultivate habits of excellence. I have a whole post about excuses we make to resist meaningful change. It also includes a step-by-step guide to change your habits, one at a time.

This is where it has to start. Whenever I coach a new entrepreneur, I ask them about their internal life first. As business coach Daryl Murrow says, “People don’t have ‘business problems.’ They have personal problems they bring into their business.”

Clients arrive, expecting to hear about marketing, networking, launches, and so forth. But that comes later; I want to get to their core beliefs and values, before filling their head with knowledge that won’t be useful to them if they don’t change on the inside.

If you don’t believe that you can win, then you won’t. If you don’t gain unshakeable discipline, the first real obstacle you encounter will take you down. (That first obstacle, by the way, is usually YOU.)

Take a good, hard look at your own physical, mental, and emotional health. Be honest about what works, versus what doesn’t. Find an area that isn’t aligned with your stated values, and you’ve found your start point to make incremental changes. 

Without the right kind of leader, the right strategy won’t help you in the long run. If you can take a Star Wars analogy, it’s sort of like asking Darth Vader to pilot the lead X-wing fighter to destroy the Death Star. No one would argue Vader was a great pilot and combat strategist .. but somehow, it wouldn’t be enough.

Once you’ve committed to working on your inner life, you can focus on the right strategy. I’ll give you my tried-and-true strategy for converting your skill, knowledge, and ideas into cash. It’s known as the M.I.L.K. It Method.

  1. Market

Start with the right market, not the right idea. Many entrepreneurs put the idea before the market, and end up with a quality product nobody wants.

Identify a large group of people with common problems or pain points, who are willing to spend money on a solution. That gives you an ideal “testing ground” to validate your idea. Hint: These groups are everywhere.

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, for beginners. You can also search for the real questions people ask about your chosen topic.

  1. Idea

A winning idea solves someone’s problem and makes their life easier. When a customer shops for a product, what they really want is a solution to a problem in their lives. Sometimes, the solution solves a problem invisible to the naked eye.

This means coming up with an “idea” means identifying the problems your market faces, and not necessarily the ones you think they face. What keeps them up at night? What frustrates them? The first person to see the problem and offer a solution gets to write their own paycheck.

  1. Launch

Once you gather enough information, take action. Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and do it quickly. Don’t wait until you’ve created the “perfect product,” to get your offer in front of people and test the market. When you get a positive reaction, the next step is to “milk it” for everything it’s worth, and reinvest your energy and resources into a slightly better product.

You don’t need to be an “expert.” I can’t stress this enough. You need to pay attention, learn about problems, and share a solution. Most “experts” are far too impressed with their own reputation and knowledge base to care about great solutions for ordinary people.

For more on successful product launching, listen to Season 4 of the “What’s The Secret?” Podcast.

  1. Ka-Ching

After your first product launches, don’t relax. Celebrate the win, but get back to work. The fourth step involves systematizing and supercharging your profits.

Take inventory of what worked, and what didn’t. Delegate everything you’re not good at to a partner or assistant. Pay someone to automate everything that can be automated. Eliminate tasks and practices that aren’t necessary. 

Then, wipe the sweat off your brow, crack your knuckles, and get ready for round two. This just scratches the surface of the treasure trove of information I have for you on my website. Click here to get access to the rest.

Remember, in business, there are no guarantees. But the person with the strongest combination of the right habits and the right strategy is bound to get somewhere better than where they currently are.

About the Author
Tom is the host of What's the Secret podcast and co-founder of Offlinesharks.com

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