As I bang the drum about why the quality of your inner circle is so vital to the quality of your results – because it ultimately determines whether you play big or small – keep in mind that I’m a man who walks his talk every step of the way.
I don’t and won’t take people where I’ve not been myself. If I wasn’t drinking my own kool aid, I don’t see how I could I ask anyone else to. It just doesn’t stack up or sit right. I know a lot of people “out there” peddle all kinds of products and services they’ve never used themselves and really don’t believe in and many are successful at it.
It’s just not for me. I’m cut from a different cloth.
My first “real” sales job was for the American capital equipment company Pitney Bowes. Fine company, great training. Still, I didn’t really crack it much there. Certainly not to the degree I did later on in my sales career. I got by…washed my own face…but the most successful people in the business at that time (and we’re going back 27 years now) were “flipping” leases with business owners who hadn’t got a clue about the terms of their existing contracts.
They ended up signing brand new leases (although it wasn’t positioned to them that way) for a drastically extended period and replacing one or two-year-old, perfectly functional machines unnecessarily with brand new one’s.
All this for the sake of hitting a quota and making a fast buck.
I wasn’t cut out for that kind of “sharp” practice. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m proud to be a salesperson, always have been, always will be and I’m happy to sell until the cows come home…as long as I wholeheartedly believe in what I’m offering and know, through my own experience, it’s the right thing for the person I’m selling it to.
That’s why I smile whenever I get an email from someone having a “hissy fit” when I’m promoting any of my products and services. One person recently accused me of being “aggressive” and a “bully”.
Funny how some people really struggle with being sold to, yet they’re very happy to sell their wares to others – and fully expect the buyer to cough up without issue. What’s also funny is how the same kind of people struggle to differentiate between the complete and utter conviction that comes from being a product of the product, and “aggression”.
Ah, such is life.
It can’t be denied that I can be blunt and upfront about it at times, but that’s how I’m wired. I can’t be arsed with all of the superfluous and dressed-up language. Just say it like it is. I’m not a “faffing around” kind of guy. But you knew that already.
No one…and I repeat…no one does it alone…and yet, for some unfathomable reason, an astonishing amount of people still attempt to.
I guess you don’t know what you don’t know.
I used to be one of them. Locked inside my office all day…on my Jack Jones. I even did my own tax returns back then. I’d still be there if I hadn’t woken up to the need to get around the right calibre of people. Actually, thinking about it, it’s very likely I wouldn’t be there at all. Statistically my business would have gone under long ago.
The second most dangerous place a business owner can be is alone…where no one is challenging their thinking. The first is when the business owner has given no thought to the quality of their inner circle and is consequently subjected to (and often giving airtime to) the opinions of people who, quite frankly, haven’t got a clue.
Most people create an inner circle of some kind. Unfortunately, most people do it unconsciously. It just “happens” over time. There’s no intelligent thought given to it’s members, or the implications. And naturally we tend to surround ourselves with those we like, or people we’re comfortable with. That might pay dividends in the social life but it rarely pays dividends into your bank account.
The people we’re most comfortable with rarely stretch us. And as nearly every business owner I know has experienced for themselves, the people we’re most comfortable with rarely “get” us either.
We’re a unique breed. And unique breeds need to intermingle.
It’s always been critical for successful business owners to have an inner circle of like-minded, growth-centric, success-driven fellow entrepreneurs to feed off, contribute to and collaborate with. Leveraging the minds of others has always been pivotal to outstanding achievers in all walks of life.
It’s just in today’s precarious business environment, it’s become more critical than ever.
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here