When I refer to making it a habit to study success I am not talking about reading motivational or self-help books in this context although reading those kinds of books are essential and important. What I am referring to is a technique I use in my business boot camps with my students. On day two of our boot camp I take the entire class on a field trip to a business that by all apparent reasons should not be succeeding and then to a second business that should be succeeding but is not and in fact failing.
Our mission is to figure out the “Why” factor in both businesses. Most of the time success and failure is not open to the naked eye and therefore many misconceptions are formed on what works and what does not work. My early mentors taught me “Become a Serious Student of Life and Business”. That wisdom has served me well over all these years. To give you an example, we went into a franchise yogurt shop to enjoy their tasty treats and to evaluate their business. This was one of those businesses that by all appearances should not be succeeding but in fact was booming with business. Let’s take a look at them from the naked eye.
They were located in a non busy hard to reach business area with not much traffic. The parking was mediocre at best. The yogurt was average of all other yogurt places. Two other yogurt places are less than a mile away located in a very populated high foot traffic mall. They only had one restroom for customers, a very small eating section, the chairs and table were hard and very uncomfortable and their prices were higher than the other franchise yogurt places. Yet this store out performed the other yogurt stores and no matter what time or day you went, even in the winter time the store was jammed packed with customers. To the natural eye this does not make any sense. Oh, if you are wondering about the staff, they were typical teenagers with a job… (Need I say more?).
Their success is not a by-product of luck, it is not a temporary fad of good fortune. Their success is a by-product of very sound, predictable and concrete principles that overrides all the other factors of should be failure challenges and allows them to enjoy the unparalleled amount of success that they do. Once you understand the underlying principles of business success it was not hard to spot and understand why this company in spite of all natural appearances of challenges was in fact succeeding. I have not yet had a business student in my class that could figure out the correct answer on the first visit. Some came close however. They could not figure it out until I showed them the reasons of why that yogurt place was so successful and it was sitting right there in front of them all the time we sat there eating our yogurt.
Knowing that information is what takes any business or career into the highest earner bracket of their industry, not knowing this information is the reason why most companies and professionals never reach their full potential. Now I know many of you reading this want to know what this information is, but I am also sure you wouldn’t want me to revel it to you for free since each student that comes to our business boot camps pays three thousand dollars to attend. Sharing it for free would not be fair to them…right? I knew you would agree.
So make sure from now on every time you go out to eat, or go shopping start evaluating why that business is succeeding or failing. What are the mechanics that drives success or failure in that company? Make sure you do not let your eyes fool you, because most of the time what you think the answer is, is not the answer at all. Just like that yogurt shop in our town we evaluated. The saddest place to be is to fail in business and not know the real reason why. Oh you will have a million and one blame excuses why you failed. The second saddest place to be is to succeed and not know why. Success is never permanent, and the reasons that got you there must be repeated continually. However, if you have no clue of what really got you there how can you repeat them? The answer is you can’t and that is why most people fly high in the sky only to fall out of the sky like a lead balloon.
Whatever results you are now experiencing in your life and business is a direct result of your daily actions and current business plan and methods. I always ask people if what they are now doing giving them the results they want. When they answer no, I ask them if they expect continuing doing the same thing they will get different results. They all say no. Then I sit back and wait to see if they do anything about it and most of them…don’t!
Melinda asked me why people do that. I said I have no more of a clue than I have of how a brown cow eats green grass and makes white milk. Human behavior, it can drive you to drinking. There have been many occasions after watching human behavior better known as down right stupidity I have slammed my head on the table and said…”I need a Beer”! (And I don’t even drink).
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Don and Melinda Boyer