Some 26 years ago, I started on a venture that has taken me
around the world, up and down in the kitchen and bath industry, and
to the stage as a motivational/inspirational speaker. Best of all,
I became a legitimate trainer of sales, business development and
personal success. During that time I’ve learned how you can succeed
in creating a great business.’
There are three things that great business leaders do that
average business people do not:
Focus People who get what they want focus only on what they
want. Are you a great designer who can do anything with a space,
yet long for a business that will support and promote you as such?
It is not uncommon to meet great designers who are poor business
people, and who suffer mentally and financially for it. Check out
what you focus on. Every magazine on your desk and every program
checked off on your “to be attended” list at the K/BIS is most
likely on design. You get what you focus on!
Meaning Focus on those things that have meaning to your success.
Change your focus and you will change your world. Begin attending
business development success programs. Visualize yourself not as a
great designer, but rather as a great business person whose product
is design. Replace all of those design magazines with business
development magazines. Attend local Chamber of Commerce, community
college, K&BDN, NKBA and public seminars on meaningful business
Faith When you focus on the meaning of your life, the systems
and processes to achieve them will come to you. Spiritual books put
it this way: “Ask, and it will be given; Seek, and ye shall find;
Knock, and the door will be opened.”‘
The fishermen say, “Today, we fish for tuna.” Then they go where
the tuna are, out to sea not to the mall.
When you seek answers, the opportunities to learn will present
themselves. Focus on those things that are meaningful to you in
order to create a great business.
It’s said that faith can move mountains. If that’s so, it
certainly can move a designer from mediocrity to great success.
Similar to designing a kitchen or bath, creating a powerful
business is simply a matter of applying proven principles, process
and creativity. Over the last 25 plus years, I’ve discovered six
steps successful business people use daily. They follow these
steps, as a matter of habit, to achieve what they want. Oddly
enough, the steps are the same ones a designer uses to create a
prize-winning, customer-satisfying, career-crowning project.
Step #1. Visualization Learn to see what you want. Just as when
designing a project, you don’t buy into the finished plan until you
picture the completed project. You collect and surround yourself
with pictures, concept photos, colors, the needs and wants survey
sheet, and your education to create a plan. Do the same with the
future plan of your business. Decide what you want, then visualize
it as intensely as possible.
Step #2. Targets You get what you want by focusing on what’s
necessary to acquire it. When designing a kitchen, there are
certain things you must do; these are targets. When you set the
sink, it dictates the placement of the dishwasher and disposal. The
sink center directs the positioning of the refrigerator and
burners. These generate the serving, mix and preparation and
clean-up spaces, as well as drawers, doors and traffic. The target,
therefore, is simply “Where does the sink go?”‘
To identify the key issues for your business, start with the
image and income you personally want. This, like the sink, will
dictate the elements that comprise it. Begin to focus on what it
takes to create success in these areas. Just like in the design
business, there are magazines and spec. books for designing and
installing a great business.
Step #3. Planning Put the vision and targets into a plan. You
are no doubt an expert in taking ideas (like a kitchen project) and
turning them into reality. Creating a business is exactly the same
thing. The plan must be in writing. It must be detailed, and it
must be based on proven principles, elements and specifications. Do
the same with your business dreams.
(Note: a really good software program to lead you through this
is called BizPlanBuilder, by Jian.)’
Or, take a floor plan and change the words from sink to money,
range to image, refrigerator to showroom, etc. Give it the same
study, research and time you give to a kitchen. You will see your
floor plan to success develop right before your eyes, just as a
kitchen does. Have faith and go forth; you are an expert in
designing plans that come about in the future.
Step #4. Role Models Find and study those who have created great
businesses. You get what you focus on. Just as you study
“everything” about design, start studying “everything and everyone”
in the area of business development. You’ll be amazed when you
discover the number of self-made millionaires living around you. As
my wonderful grandmother used to say, “You become your friends, so
choose them carefully.”
Step #5. Recognition and Reward Recognize success as it unfolds
before you, and reward yourself every step of the way. When a
kitchen arrives, celebrate getting it in, and getting another
payment. As the job is installed, stop by to celebrate the good and
adjust the bad. Each step of the way you are conscious of the
domino effect how the parts fit together to make the whole. Do the
same thing with your business plans.’
Step #6. Persistence Don’t quit! I suspect the major reason
people don’t always enjoy the’
success they deserve is because when they get knocked down, they
don’t get right back up again. If a project falls down, you need to
look at the problem, find a solution and go forward. You can’t
continually gnaw on the mistake time and again. Instead, do
whatever it takes to satisfy the customer. In this case, recognize
that you are your business development customer. Create a happy
customer for life you!
Often, the best time to do all of this is when change happens.
When “stuff” happens, such as when you lose a great account, or
when your health falters, it’s time to take advantage of the break
in the normal routine, and change for the better. Use the wake up
call to begin a new, focused, meaningful life.