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What Highly Successful Entrepreneurs Do That You Don't, And What to Do About It

I spend a lot of time studying and interacting with highly successful entrepreneurs from a variety of industries. If you were to come along with me and meet these "superstars" of business you'd have a hard time figuring out what they have in common. Sure they're all driven to succeed...that's a given. Some are educated. Others are not. They are a mix of men and women from every ethnic background. Most come from modest means, but a few come from money. Some look the part of the "dot-com" ultra-hip entrepreneur...most look like regular guys and gals.

But they all share one behavior that I know is the secret to their success...

They implement FAST!!!

The time between when they have an idea and when they act on it is very short and they're always trying to make it shorter. This is THE one success secret for a very simple reason. My entrepreneur friends make and IMPLEMENT more decisions then their less successful colleagues.

So in a year's time they have implemented 200 ideas, while "normal" business owners might analyze and agonize and only implement 20 ideas. Let's assume that in both groups the hit rate for ideas is the same...say 10%. So normal business owners might have 2 hits during the year, but the entrepreneur will have 20. The entrepreneur is more successful just by virtue of the numbers.

So let me give you a few examples of what I mean by fast implementation from my own recent experience.

• Driving back from South Florida earlier this week I was on the phone with a friend discussing his marketing. We had the idea to host a teleseminar to generate leads for this business. Within 5 minutes of birthing the idea, we chose a date (two weeks out) and a topic.

Today, we'll be reviewing his rough draft of the presentation and approving the postcard that will be mailed to promote it. It's been 34 hours since we decided to do the teleseminar. That's what I mean by speed.

• Last month I attended my CEO mastermind group (I meet with 12 other CEOs for one day a month to discuss opportunities and issues in our businesses...a very valuable exercise that I'll write about in a future article). I presented my opportunity and one of the members gave me the name of someone that could help me with our idea. On the next break (not when I got to the office, not the next day...the next potty break), I was on the phone with our local Economic Development official asking for an introduction to this person. Not only did I get the introduction, but I got a meeting set before the end of the day.

• Last month an entrepreneur friend got an email from the editor of his local business journal publication asking if he'd write an article for the upcoming issue. He responded with a phone call within 60 seconds...the editor said "I've never had anyone respond so quickly before." My friend turned that quick response into a monthly column in the journal which positions him as the expert in his field and is driving leads to him as a result.

Here's the real magic...successful entrepreneurs who implement fast have a HIGHER hit rate than slow implementing business owners. Why? Because opportunity is fleeting. By the time the slow business owner finally does something, he's often missed his chance.

Now for the good news. Fast implementation is a BEHAVIOR you can install in your life. Write down the following on a 3 x 5 index card and carry it with you for the next 21 days (it takes 21 days to create a new habit): "I will implement ideas FAST."

Read it in the morning when you wake up and several times during the day to remind yourself to speed up. When presented with a decision, idea or opportunity, do something about it immediately. Do anything...taking a first small step will start the ball rolling and you will gain momentum with each small step.

Going back to my teleseminar example. We had the idea and immediately said "let's set a date". We gave ourselves two weeks. If we had not set the date for the event right then it would have taken us a month or more to do the teleseminar. We took one very small step, picking a date, and it set the whole thing in motion.

What idea did you get while reading this article? Post a comment to tell us what first small step you're going to take...then go do it. Now!

Is Your Website a Lead Generation Machine?

Which phrase best describes your website: 1. Lean Mean Marketing Machine, Delivering Leads to the Business 24/7 2. A Pretty Brochure that Potential Clients Visit to learn more about you. If you picked number 2, you have some work to do. Why? Because you have invested money in a website, probably thousands of dollars, and all it does is sit there. Shouldn’t you see a return on your investment? The old approach was to build a website, because everyone else had one. If you did not have a website, you were behind the times and nobody could find you. Right? Today, a website should be a source of potential clients for you.

Now that you know the difference, let’s talk about how to make your website work for you.

First, make sure the language on your site is talking to your potential customers. Most websites are focused on what the company does, the qualifications of their employees and how to submit a resume. Potential customers are looking for a solution to a problem, so make sure your website is what your potential clients want to read.

Next, have a way to capture warm leads. Give away a report, coupon, or other item your prospects would want to have. In turn, they have to give you contact info, such as their name and email address. Now, you have a way to keep your company in front of the prospect.

Finally, use your website to filter leads from other online sources. You can use pay per click, search engine optimization, article websites, referral sites and so on. The possibilities are endless for sites that can refer potential prospects to your site.

One last note, a website should be continuously updated. If you go for more than a few weeks without adding new content to your site, you are slacking.

First, let’s talk a little about why it is important to update your site. I know you are probably thinking, that is going to be a lot of work…since the first site was an undertaking. I am here to tell you it does not have to be painful to stay updated.

You want to keep your clients coming back to your site, especially is you sell via your website. Having old/stale content does not make anyone want to come back to visit. Also, it makes new visitors wonder about the company.

Second, the more you add good relevant content to your site, the better your search rankings will become. Sites that are published and just sit there are not going to rank well within search engines.

Now that you know two good reasons to update your site, what can you change?

1. Stories/Blog: Yes, you need to have good content that people want to read. AND I AM NOT talking about your latest internal promotion. Most of your content should be focused on what interests your clients. Don’t be afraid to branch out, away from your industry for noteworthy news topics. People read more than one section of the paper, so your news should be equally diverse.

2. Links to your site: Most people say to get higher in search rankings you have to have LOTS of links to your site. While some of that is true, the important part is you want HIGH traffic sites pointing to your site. So, if you are not on LinkedIn, sign up and put your website on your profile. I get at least 2-3 hits per day from LinkedIn on our website.

3. Old Information: I know this may seem obvious, but I cannot count the number of times I went to a site and read old information. The company did not provide the service anymore, the contact was no longer there, the address was incorrect and so on. Make sure all your pages, that means your home page and any sub-pages (check you website directory) must be current. Black Belt Marketing Secret: Have a lower paid, tech savvy employee make the changes. They will enjoy it and probably complete it faster.

4. Have a way for potential clients to opt-in to marketing. It could be a newsletter or free report, but give them a way to stay in touch.

5. PLASTER your phone number on each page. So many times I have to hunt for a phone number…it should not be that hard. Make it so easy for someone to contact you they don’t even have to think about it. (same goes for email).