You’ve got to do the work.

It’s as simple as that.

I know some business owners that frequently read books, go to seminars and workshops, or attend conferences.

If only they could find the answer, they could get results and stop all of this pain, both in the financial and emotional sense.

The problem is they’ll never find it. Not if they carry on this way.

In some cases they are spending money they don’t have in search of the ‘magic bullet’ that will make them successful.

The truth is, attending an event to find the magic bullet is easier than actually doing what is required to succeed. Reading a book can be entertaining and enjoyable, but it won’t change anything on its own.

Work things out

Does that mean I’m anti-books, courses and conferences? No way. It makes perfect sense to find out how to get results from someone who has been there and done that. I read widely, buy online courses, and attend conferences and seminars regularly.

But then, guess what?

You’ve got to do the work.

That’s the tough part - doing the follow-through and implementing one or two good ideas that you picked up along the way. It comes down to doing the boring grunt work that’s often essential to either get a project started or, more usually, to get one finished.

Nick Murray writes about it in his book The Excellent Investment Advisor. His formula for prospecting success is just about making the calls. In Nick’s view it doesn’t really matter what you say or how you say it, it’s simply about doing the numbers.

The reality is, by doing the numbers you get better. You learn as you go, and eventually find the right things to say and how to say them. That’s doing the work.

I know cold calling is old school (this book is from 1996 after all), so I’m not recommending you run out and do that. However, Nick’s point about the process is still 100 per cent valid.

Even if you are considering other more modern forms of marketing, there’s still work involved.

The starting point is completing a detailed 'ideal client avatar' that gets you inside the mind of your target clients. It’s about an hour of difficult, brain-aching but endlessly worthwhile work. Yet most businesses never do it.

Firms that want to engage in content marketing will often skip the most important bit – writing the content. They want to outsource it, because they find it hard. They won’t do the work.

The truth is, without a completed ideal client avatar followed up by content that you’ve written, or at least been heavily involved in creating, it’s unlikely to generate the results you are seeking.

It’s not that the content created by third parties isn’t of good quality – it often is. But it’s not written specifically for your audience. It’s generic, and generic doesn’t get results in marketing.

I’m by no means against working with a marketing professional to help you do this well. I recommend them to clients regularly, when the client is ready to do the work that will be required. It’s tough, and it hurts, but it’s worth it.

Teamwork

I’ve recommended adopting weekly leadership team meetings for the owners or partners and managers within your business, using the Level 10 meeting process outlined in Traction by Gino Wickman. Many readers of this piece will be using it and seeing great results; for me, it’s a game changer.

Other firms I know skip their leadership team meetings or hold them infrequently. Or they shortcut the process, trying to do it in less than 90 minutes each week. Then it doesn’t work so well.

Do the work.

Someone once told me years ago: “Don’t bother learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade”.

Just do the work that’s necessary. No shortcuts. It’s the fastest and most satisfying way to the results you’re after.

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