4 Pillars of Business

Your business is supported by 4 pillars. Just like a strong foundation, without these 4 pillars in place, the business will eventually crumble.

1. Strong Marketing & Sales

You can have the greatest product around, or provide the best service, but if it's not visible, and no one knows about you, you'll never last. We need to have a 12-month marketing plan in place, strong sales skills, and a relentless follow-up and close process.

2. Strong Operations

This is the "how" of your business. The actual procedures, the process, the "thing." The better you can make this, the smoother you can make this, the stronger the pillar.

3. Strong Finance

Similar to marketing and sales, without strong finances, it doesn't matter how good your product or service is. We need to understand the P&L, understand cash flow, and always have money in reserve.

4. Strong Team

If you plan to have an operation that is bigger than just you, this is crucial. Having a good recruiting process, strong interview skills, a rock solid training & development program, and good leadership skills.

All 4 of these pillars are crucial.

When we look at building a better business, a stronger business, we need to make sure we're improving all 4 pillars.

Which one is the leading pillar in your business?

Which one is the lagging pillar in your business?

1% Better.

10 Business Lessons From My Trip to Disney

I’ve been to Disney a few times, but mostly as a kid and other than a few rides, I didn’t remember much.

I’ve been studying the business of Disney for the last five years or so.

I had some business meetings down here in Orlando this week, and decide to take the family down a few days early and do a couple days at the parks before our trip.

To say it was magical was an understatement.

Here are 10 tips I observed, and I hope you look at your business and decide how you can implement them as they have certainly done wonders for Disney.

1. You don’t have to compete on price. At ticket prices north of $100, Disney clearly doesn’t compete against price. They just overdeliver on value. As you’ll see in the rest of tips, and as you know from Disney, the value is 10x that. In your business, you don’t always need to compete on price, compete on value, compete on the experience.

2. According to Jay Abraham, there are only three ways to grow your business, increase the number of customers/clients, increase the average transaction, or increase the frequency of transaction. We always think about number one (more customers/clients), but Disney is a great example of how to crush numbers two and three. Not only do they get you in for $109 in admission, throughout the day you’re buying parking, food, gifts, and souvenirs. I’m sure they more than double most peoples average transaction from the $109 price of admission. How can you do this in your business? What else can people buy from you? Do you make it easy? Can you offer additional services or products?

3. It’s about the SHOW. Disney is a magical experience. Every detail matters. From the detail of the architecture to the lights and music to the cleanliness of the park. It all matters, and it’s all a part of the show. How can you add more to your experience? Do people just walk in, make a transaction and leave? How else can you make it enjoyable for them? Make it something they’ll remember, make it something they’ll talk about…

4. Everything is easy. I’ve talked about reducing friction in business in previous posts, and again, Disney is a great representation of that. From things like the magic bands, to the mobile app to having designated areas of parking strollers, they make everything so easy. How can you make buying easy? How can you make the journey your customer follows easy?

5. What is your businesses version of the guide map? When you walk into the park you’re given a guide map. It instantly reduces the stress of where things are, and what to do. It becomes not only a visual map but a checklist that you can now go through as a customer. What is your version of this? Does the customer know exactly “where to go?” Do they know what’s next, or what to take advantage of?

6. Constant cast member (employee) training. Everywhere I looked there were groups getting trained up on best practices. Learning never stops. If Disney can train 200,000+ employees, I think we can train the handful in our business. You could tell that everyone wanted to be there, they knew what to do, and they were working efficiently. Isn’t that what we’re all after in our business? Hire smart, and constantly train your employees, every day.

7. The work efficiencies were incredible. I had my jaw hit the ground when I saw how they seamlessly cleared up hundreds of feet of cones and rope after the parade, the system and workflow was so fast and efficient. The rate at which they move people through lines, the design of the stores, the routes the employees take. It all comes back to improving workflows. You most likely have several dozen workflows in your business, how can you improve them?

8. You’re called a guest. The employees are called cast members. They have their own font, their colors, and their icons like Mickey. That causes you to remember them easier. Anyone can recognize the Disney “D.” When you hear Mickey you instantly think of Disney. What is your icon? Do you have words or phrases that are specific to your brand so it creates that “exclusivity”

9. Disney is not in the amusement park business, it’s in the entertainment business. Why did blockbuster go bankrupt? They were in the business of renting movies through stores. As soon as that changed, they died. Are you in the amusement park business or the entertainment business? Think about train companies. If they were in the “train” business, they died. If they were in the “transportation” business they can constantly evolve to what’s next, and have different sectors. Just like Disney, there are several ways to deliver entertainment. It can be amusement parks, movies, resorts, cruises, and so many more. They have endless expansion opportunities as we’ll always need entertainment. What industry are you in? Have you painted yourself into a corner? Can you diversify, adapt, and look at ways to generate more business.

10. Think bigger. This is the one that stuck out to me. Walt was a shy and insecure illustrator who just had a big dream, and a really clear vision. Just think of everything that he created, and has since laid the foundation for what is today. We can all do more. We can all think bigger. We can all have whatever we want in life if we work hard and think bigger.

I hope these lessons were helpful, and like any successful business, there’s always a lot you can learn just by paying attention.

Let me know if you have any questions.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

How I Generated Over 2,000 Leads

I knew that headline would grab your attention :)

The reality is, I want to share how I consistently get 30+ leads every single month for the last 6+ years.

30 leads per month, 12 months a year, for the last 6 + years.

I looked back at my numbers, and since I’ve been tracking them (since I met Pat), there has never been a month where I didn’t get at least 30 leads, and it’s typically closer to 50.

One lead a day.

These “Facebook Guru’s” will try to sell you on 2,000 leads in 20 days, but the reality is I think we can all agree that we would rather have one quality lead a day than get flooded with people that just have a pulse and a credit card.

So, with that being said here are 10 strategies I use to get at least 30 leads every single month.

1.Your product has to be good. I don’t think we talk about this often enough. Everyone is all about getting more and more leads, and I understand you want to pay your bills and grow. However, when was the last time you looked at your “product?” Do people actually love it or are you just saying that because your bias? Do people get great results? Have you created a super-tight community that keeps people coming back? Is your facility clean, are people greeted properly, and do they get 10x the value compared to what they’re paying? I believe you first have to start with this before you starting bringing people in on empty promises.

2. A daily e-mail. I hate to say it, but a lot of these are just “do what Pat says” type stuff. We all nod our head when we hear “follow up at least 3x per week with an e-mail and super signature.” But how many of you do it…consistently? I firmly believe this is our local base. A large percentage of my local market gets an e-mail every day, and there’s no marketing that can compete with that consistency. I mix it things like the Super Signature, 13-word e-mails, and other deadline driven offers, but 90% of it is just adding value to their inbox. I do believe there is magic in building it up to emailing every day as clients now expect it to come, and I have dozens of people that look forward to reading my daily email as soon as they get on lunch break. You can’t beat that.

3. Charity Workouts. We host 6 charity workouts per year. We do them every other month. We have them dialed in at this point, and they typically bring in close to 100 people, with 20% being new people. Inevitably, we always get 10-15 leads from it, and a couple always become clients. This is a win-win because we’re helping the community and exposing the community to what we have to offer.

4. Bring-A-Buddy Weeks. All of your clients know someone that would be a good fit for your gym, they just need super clear directions on how to bring them in. We host 6 Bring-A-Buddy Weeks a year, on the opposite months as the Charity Workouts. People love showing off where they go and what they do so this is always a win-win.

5. Track & Follow Up. I’ll use the halfway point of this list to stress the importance of tracking your leads and having a relentless follow up system. It’s amazing how many gym owners I talk to that don’t track their leads. Keep it simple, just a basic excel spreadsheet. Track how they heard about you and where they are on the pipeline of becoming a client. Follow up until they say no or become a client.

6. Video Testimonials. We know social proof is one of the best marketing efforts around. We also know that people are preferring video over anything else right now. So why not combine the two? We pick one client a month and get a video testimonial from them. It’s about 2 minutes long and it’s a combination of them answering questions, spliced in with some action shots of them working out. The cool thing is we now have over 50 video testimonials that we use on our website, on social media, and display at events. As an evergreen marketing effort we always have one running as a FB/IG ad, 365 days a year, rotating it after it goes above .08 a view (a Scott Rawcliffe tip), and we have a lot of them sprinkled throughout our website.

7. A really solid brand. At the core of all these ”tactics” has to be a really solid brand. To keep it simple, just use Pat’s One Page Marketing Blueprint. Who is your person? What is your message? If you’re looking to go deeper than that, make sure things like your colors, your font, and your language are consistent. It all matters. If your colors are blue and yellow, are those the colors that I see on your website, on your flyers, and in your facility? Start to “own” certain words in your local community. A great example of this is how Justin Yule owns the word “Transformation.” All of these details are what take you from a a tactic based business, to a business that has a brand that stands for something, that has a strong message that resonates with a target market, and is known for something in the community.

8. Become a local celebrity. I believe I got that tag line from Vince Gabriele. For most of you, you’re not trying to build a national brand, you’re just trying to make sure everyone knows you within a 10 mile radius. So, put all your focus on making sure everyone in that radius knows you. That means things like chamber events, public speaking, joint ventures with other businesses, charitable work and volunteering within the community, and just being where they are. Do everything you can to become the “mayor” of your town.

9. Rock-Solid Referral Systems. We have a point of sale referral system where everyone that signs up gets a metal gift card that they can give to a friend. That friend gets a 30 Day VIP Experience on us. When people sign up, they are the most excited they’ll ever be. They are in the “honey moon” phase. The mistake we make is that we either don’t ask for referrals, or we don’t make it simple, clear, and “no-brainer” enough for them. What person is not going to go home and on the drive home and think of someone to give the metal (I believe that detail is key) gift card to? We also have 6 week, 6-month, and one year letters that go out to clients, handwritten to them talking about how awesome they are. At the PS, there is a call to action to give the gift card that is paper-clipped to the letter to a friend. These two tactics alone easily generate us 10+ leads per month.

10. Paint a really clear picture of what the first 30, 60, 90 days are going to look like. I don’t know about you, but I have at least one person a month that tells us “I sat on your website 10x before filling out the form.” They are scared. They are intimidated. They don’t know what to expect. The better you can get at painting a clear picture of what is going to happen, the less scared they’ll be. Things like having a great and simple website that outlines the steps or journey a client will go through. Have a visual infographic of the “success path” of what the client experiences in the first 30 days. Have a lot of “how things work” videos on your website. If they have a really clear picture of what to expect and feel safe, and don’t feel stupid (humans biggest fears), next time they do see that Facebook Ad or whatever offer from you, they’ll be more likely to actually hit that submit button.

I could keep going on, but this is enough to take action on.

I guess I’ll end with this.

As Pat says, “win the day.”

Just try to get one lead today.

Don’t fall for the gimmick stuff because we know it doesn’t work long-term, and the bigger thing that people are not talking about is how bad it hurts your long-term brand and can literally kill your business.

Have these outlined on a 12 month marketing calendar, execute daily, track, follow up, and your biggest pain point will go from…

“How do I get more leads?” to…

“How do I grow a team to handle all these clients?”

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Your Operating System...

YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM

How are you viewing this right now?

It’s on a device (phone, tablet, computer, etc) that has operating systems running in the background, right?

Those operating systems are crucial for your device to run, and as a customer, you hopefully don’t even know it’s going on, you just know that your device runs smoothly.

What is your business operating system?

No, I’m not talking about the softwares you use (an example of detail most people spend far too much time on that doesn’t make that much of a difference), I’m talking about your overall business operating system.

A business operating system is a machine behind your business.

However, you have to create it.

It takes time, just like any machine.

We’re constantly tweaking the “machine” and messing with ways to make it run more efficient, faster, smoother, etc.

In a service-based business, It’s built on three pillars

What you “title” these three pillars is not important, but the premise is the same.

-Marketing & Sales
-Operations & Customer Experience
-HR & Team Development

Under each pillar, we need a series of systems in place.

Together these systems are what keep each pillar running smoothly.

When all three pillars are running smoothly, we have a strong and efficient operating system.

*An important note: When some people hear the word “system” they think we’re removing the “personal” out of the business. Here’s a good line I always try to remind myself of…

“Automate the process, not the relationship.”

In a service-based business, the people behind your business are your biggest asset.

You need to give them guidelines and procedures to follow, but at the end of the day, your goal is not to automate the relationship so you need to allow them to bring their personality, allow them to make smart choices, and hopefully, you have trust in them because you hired them.

So, back to the three pillars.

1. Marketing & Sales

This is where you have all your calendars and checklists for any of your marketing.

Your 12-month marketing calendar outlined…

Your sales process outlined so you can repeat it and track close rate…

etc, etc…

2. Operations & Customer Service

This is probably the biggest pillar.

This pillar holds all your systems for operations and the customer experience of your business.

This includes things like:

Customer Journey (outline everything that needs to happen from start to finish when a customer starts with you)

Lead Tracking

Follow up scripts

Cleaning checklists

Opening/Closing checklists

Facility Maintenance checklists

Sessions Standards (what does a perfect session look like and what are the minimum things that need to happen)

etc, etc, etc

3. HR & Team Development

As I mentioned earlier, if you run a service business your people are the most important asset to your business.

Yet we often just leave it up to luck once we hire them.

This pillar includes things like:

Hiring & Onboarding Checklists

Weekly Reviews (5-15 Reports)

Staff Development Calendar (a calendar of when they get continuing education, etc)

Meeting Flows (holding meetings to keep them accountable, check-in, etc)

Big picture things: Quarterly goals, annual goals, the business vision, etc

I like to think of these three pillars as a 3-legged stool.

Without one of them, the stool will tip over, just like your business.

The stronger we make each “leg” or pillar the more the stool can support (more team members, more customers, etc).

However, what often happens is we add more customer and more team members to a broken operating system or a broken stool, and that’s when it crumbles.

Work on your operating system.

Just like anything else, it takes time and energy, but by making your operating system as efficient as possible you automate the process and put the team in the best position to create awesome relationships with your customers.

Equally important, it allows you to spend more time on the things that you want to spend time on, whether that’s more personal time or more time on areas in the business you enjoy more.

Spend some time this year fine-tuning your operating system and it will launch you and your business light years ahead.

1% Better,

Doug Spurling


Friction

A good operating system for a business removes as much friction as possible.

Let’s take a look at the typical journey.

How clear is your marketing?

Is there any friction in the messaging?

Is it really smooth, clear, and consistent?

We need systems and processes to make that happen.

How about the ability to inquire or purchase for your services?

Is it quick, easy, and slick?

In today’s fast-paced world if there is any friction in the buying process the consumer is most likely going to move on to something faster, easier, and more convenient.

As the journey continues, how does the onboarding feel?

Is it smooth and easy for the client?

Do they get handouts or videos so they remember everything you told them?

Which platform do they receive information on like scheduling updates, announcements, etc?

If there is any friction during this process it could leave the client confused and thus, a less than stellar initial first impression of your business, decreasing the likelihood that they’ll stick around.

What about the experience in general?

Does the session flow smoothly?

It starts from the moment they walk in the door.

Is it clear and clean as to where they put their belongings and where they check-in?

How is the design of the facility?

Friction in your facility design could mean clients walking around not knowing where things are, not optimizing the space you have, or not putting things in the proper spot as to maximize the traffic flow of the facility.

All of this needs to be documented and clearly outlined.

Your delivery system, your sessions, your programming?

Any friction?

What about the team?

Any friction on the team?

Is the on-boarding process clear?

Do they know what’s expected of them?

Do they know what the vision of the company is, what the goals are for this quarter, etc?

Spend time looking at how you can reduce friction here as this will strengthen the team, allow them to deliver a better experience, and give you more freedom.

Finally, what about friction in your own personal life?

How do you manage your time?

What’s your morning routine and self-care rituals?

Are you spending the time doing the things that are going to move you and business forward the most?

It’s all about removing friction.

When we hear the word “system” it can often mean multiple things.

I think of them as documentation of every single process in your business so that you can clearly communicate them to your team and to your clients, reduce friction and make things run smoother, and thus, allow you to grow more, live with a little less stress, and have some more freedom.

How can you reduce friction in your business?

Two Mistakes We Make With Systems...

We throw around the word a lot.

System.

We want to systematize our business.

But what does that really mean?

It means we’re able to create more freedom for ourselves because we’re no longer doing everything.

It means we can delegate better.

It means we can hire better, set clearer expectations, and ultimately…

They are one of many tools that help us move closer to our ideal business.

A system is just a repeatable process.

It organizes your business and allows you to hold your team accountable to a repeatable process.

Most hiring or “people” issues in our business come back to not setting clear expectations.

You think it should be done a particular way, and they either don’t agree and want to do it their way, or they don’t know what success looks like so they never meet expectations.

A system is just a documented way to set the expectation of how it should be done.

It removes the “gray” and makes it “black and white.”

There are two common mistakes I see when business owners want to systematize their business…

First, they overcomplicate it and/or don’t create them.

My team is big sports fans, so we use football for almost all our business operations.

We have a scorecard to show what winning looks like.

We have clear roles, head coach, position coaches, with clear expectations of what they need to do to win and help the team win.

Play sheets.

That’s what we call our systems.

Every system is just a one-page play sheet.

Want to know how to onboard a client?

Run the play on the onboarding checklist.

Want to know how to run a good session?

Run the play.

Whether you use a Google Doc, a video, or some other format, don’t over complicate it.

Done is better than perfect.

The second mistake they make is they create the system, but then never lead/coach their people on the system.

So, you create the system.

Let’s say an onboarding checklist.

Have your team run through the process next time you need to onboard a client.

Have them follow it to a tee, exactly as it’s outlined.

That is a “systems test.”

Tweak it, adjust it, update it.

Now, monitor to make sure they follow it every time.

Now, the work just begins.

We typically stop there and assume they’re going to keep following it.

Things get busy, and they are no longer referencing the system, they miss a couple of steps.

You need to catch that, drive home the importance of following the system.

When they follow it, catch it, praise them, recognize it.

It’s relentless.

You constantly need to audit your systems and keep a strong leadership presence, praising when they follow it and using it to set clear expectations when they don’t.

I don’t think this is something you can just “set and forget.”

Go back to the sports analogy.

You have the play-sheet.

It tells the player exactly what to do on that particular play.

But they still practice every day, right?

They run the plays.

They practice.

Roleplay your systems, test your systems, practice your systems, and be the leader.

Hope this helps.

1% Better.

Doug Spurling

6 Keys To Delegating More, Building Your Team, & Having More Freedom

If you want to grow to be bigger than a one man or one woman show you’re going to have to learn how to develop a team.

Too many fitness entrepreneurs just hire trainers and expect them to be rock stars, do everything you want them to do, and exceed every expectation.

Finding, keeping, and developing a team can be a business owners biggest headache if you don't go about it the right way. 

Here are six keys to building and developing your team.

1. It’s not their baby

This took me a long time to learn, and it’s still a frustration I find myself in sometimes.

As much as we want to grow our team, develop them, and have them work hard when they are representing us, it is not their business, it is not their baby, so they will never care about it as much as you do…and that’s okay.

But you have to get past that mental block.

2. Have a really clear vision

How big do you want your business to be?

Who are you going to serve?

What’s your purpose?

It all starts with this, as you need to have a really clear goal of how many team members you’re going to have to hire, otherwise you’ll just catch yourself hiring more and more, and just building a bloated business, and you’re piece of the pie becomes smaller and smaller.

Get really clear on what you want to build.

3. Hire character, train skill

I always say that I can train you on anything that needs to be done in our business, but I can't train you to be nice.

 It may seem smart to hire the guy or gal with 20 years experience and all the certifications in the world, but that can potentially mean 20 years of bad habits you have to change. 

You have your way, your system of doing something. It's much easier to teach a nice person specific skills and protocols, then it is to teach a person that has a bunch of irrelevant skills to be nice. 

Hire based on character, hire based on your core values, and then train the skill. 

4. Clear Expectations & Systems

We have one way of doing things in our business. It's our system. 

From day one, and every day after that it's important as the leader to set really clear expectations and have a system for everything you want to be done. Quite often I hear frustrations from business owners that their employees aren't up to snuff, and I ask them about their systems. 

Crickets. 

If the standard isn't set, if the expectations aren't clear, if they don't know what right looks like, how can you get mad at them?

Extreme Ownership. 

Set clear expectations by having systems for everything in your business. 

How are people greeted?

How is the phone answered?

What happens when someone inquires?

What does the client journey look like?

What happens when someone leaves your business?

What do the service standards look like?

These and more are all things that should be clearly documented for all to see. 

We have ours stored on a cloud that everyone can access at any time from anywhere. 

You create them, get their feedback, tweak, and then hold them accountable to it. 

If you want the business to run without you, to run smoothly and consistently, every single thing in your business needs to have a system. 

5. Hold Them Accountable & Train Relentlessly. 

So you've brought on the right people and you set clear expectations through systems. 

Great, you're just getting started. 

The hardest part is the daily, yes daily, training of your team. 

Just like the famous Ziglar motivation quote, staff training is like bathing, it's required daily. 

Every day is an opportunity for a learning experience or a moment for positive reinforcement. 

We set up our formal training and accountability through daily meetings.

Bad meetings suck.

They're boring time wasters, and people hate them.

A good meeting can be a game changer.

Get good at holding valuable and engaging meetings.

Read the book Death By Meeting and everything else by Patrick Lencioni. 

Our meeting flow looks like this:

Daily Huddle: Each morning a preview of the day and what people are working on. 

Weekly Individual Meeting: Each week every employee meets with their supervisor to discuss their specific role, responsibilities, tasks they're working on, and how they're developing. 

Weekly Team Meeting: Each week we meet as a team to dive deep into one particular topic. 

Weekly Coach’s Meeting: This is specific on the training side, programming, etc.

Weekly Marketing & Membership Meeting: This is specific to what we’re planning for marketing, membership role playing, and other issues and training under the umbrella.

Quarterly War Room: Each quarter we recap the previous quarter and set 2-3 big rocks we're going to accomplish for the coming quarter. This is blocked off as a half day each quarter.

Annual Vision Meeting: Each year we map out the coming year, set goals, and everything above (quarterly, weekly, and daily meetings) is a breakdown of the goals we set at this meeting. 

It was not like that in the beginning, so don’t just try to copy and paste these.

Start with one.

Start with a daily huddle or a weekly team meeting.

Get good at that and build from there.

It may seem like a lot but these meetings alone will change your business. 

It allows you to build team rapport, hold them accountable, and keep communication clear. 

6. Build Autonomy and Lead From The Back

This is where the magic is made but you can't do this until you have the first four keys down pat. 

Once you've found the right people, set clear expectations, have concrete systems, and have a cadence of accountability, it's time to let them do what they do best. 

Your job as a leader is to make them better people. 

I don't lead from the back with a whip like you see in those cheesy leadership photos, I lead from the back by challenging and inspiring my team to be 1% better every single day. 

I push them to get better at their craft, to develop as better spouses, friends, and just better people in general. 

Involve them in decisions, get to know them outside of work, let their personalities shine, and treat them the way you want to be treated, not as a dollar sign. 

It’s amazing what happens when you actually treat them as people, listen to them, and care about them.

I meet with each member of the team quarterly for a “personal development meeting” where we grab lunch and talk about how they’re doing, how life is going, and what they have for personal goals.

I’ll do everything I can to help them get closer to those goals, everything I can without putting the business at risk.

If you're in the service based business your team is your biggest asset. 

Your clients will stay not because of the service you give them, but because of the people behind that service. 

Running a business is hard, trust me, I know, but you can't do it alone. Follow these five keys as you look to develop your team. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

.1%

.1%

Do you know what that represents?

Not 1%.

.1%

If you live 30,000 days, (about 81 years), .1% is a single month of that.

One month of your life.

.1%.

Just think about that.

I’m going to take you down two paths.

Path one…

Just think about the mental frustration you put yourself through because you had a “bad month.”

Maybe you didn’t make your revenue goals, you missed a deal, you didn’t get done what you wanted to get done, or life is just smacking you in the face.

So what?

It’s .1% of your life.

We have the chance to make the other 99.9% awesome.

In the grand scheme of things, one month is a speckle on the graph of life, yet we beat ourselves up because we didn’t get the results we wanted.

When I hear people wanting to stop something, take a break, or give up on a journey because of a bad month, I continue to remind them that although in the moment it seems like such a long time, in the grand scheme of this life long journey we’re trying to build, it’s really just a blink of the eye.

If you had a bad September, if you didn’t get what you wanted out of it, if you didn’t show up enough, if you didn’t start what you wanted to start, don’t fret, it’s just .1% of your life.

Today is a new day, a new month, and the chance for something awesome.

Path two…

Just step back and think of everything you can accomplish in 30 days.

Think of everything you can see and do in just .1% of your life.

In 30 days…

You can start something new…

You can change bad habits…

You can make a difference in the world…

You can meet new people, make new friends…

You can see new places, visit family…

You can have a better business…

You can become happier, more mindful, and filled with gratitude.

You can change.

In .1% of your life you can change and make a difference…in your business and your life.

How freakin’ cool is that?

Imagine a few of those stacked together?

The possibilities are endless.

We overestimate what we can do in a single day and underestimate what we can in a single month.

Depending upon where you’re at in life and what side of the bed you woke up on this morning one of those two paths resonated with you.

Either way, it’s a new day, a new month, and it’s time to make a change.

A change for a better version of yourself.

.1%

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Will It Ever Be Enough?

The other night Megan (my wife) and I were sitting down for dinner and I was rambling on about some idea I had, I can’t even remember that idea.

She stopped me mid-sentence and said…

“When will it ever be enough?”

Wow.

That stopped me in my tracks.

I needed to hear that.

With a growth mindset, I always am chasing the next thing.

How can we make things better?

How can I do more in a day?

How can we make the business leaner and meaner?

What more can we do?

As soon as one thing gets accomplished, I’m immediately onto the next thing and conquering that.

As a business owner, I’m sure you may be like that too.

A strength for sure, but also a huge area of opportunity.

I’m also ashamed to admit that was not the first time Megan and I had that conversation.

As much as a lot of our goals align (family, travel, etc), she is very comfortable just doing her thing, loves her job, has never really expressed any concrete goals, and just wants to be a good mom.

I admire that, because I can never ask her the question she asks me “will it ever be enough?”

On the other hand, I’m 110% confident I was put on this earth to change the world.

Change how things are done.

Change what can be done.

Change lives…

However, that creates a constant tug-o-war of when is it good enough?

How big is big enough?

How much revenue is enough?

How many projects is enough?

What is enough?

How do we balance the goals of wanting to grow our business, wanting to get more done, and always wanting more out of our business with the question of will it ever be enough?

Hitting a goal does not equal happiness.

It’s great that we hit that goal, but quite often the first question out of that persons head is…

“What’s next?”

“Ok, now another $100,000 in revenue.”

When will it ever be enough?

I’m not sure.

I hope to keeping getting better until the day I die.

I hope to keep changing lives until the day I die and leave an impact beyond that.

But will it ever be enough?

I’m not sure I have an answer today.

I still do think the ultimate destination is not in fact a destination.

Happiness.

Be happy with where you’re at.

Be proud of how far you’ve come.

Be happy with what you have.

It could always be worse.

However, at least for me, part of constant happiness is to never stop, never stop having goals to chase, never stop having new ideas, and never stop changing the world.

But will it ever be enough?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Do I Turn Left or Right?

You're driving down a winding road and you come to a stop sign. 

You roll your window down and ask the guy on the street...

"Hey, do I go left or right here?"

What's he going to say?

"It depends on where you want to go!"

That's just about the perfect example of how we approach our business goals. 

We react to every bump, we don't know whether to turn left or right, we want to ask for help, but we don't know where we're going. 

Start with the end in mind. 

That's your vision. 

Imagine asking for directions without knowing where to go. 

What does success look like in three years?

Start with that. 

Too many of us don't know where we actually want to go, thus, we set some arbitrary goals that sound good, complain about the present, and then take scattered action. 

However, if you know where you're going, then we can plug that into the GPS and come up with a clear plan of action, a set of directions. 

So, we're sitting together and it's October 1, 2021. 

What is life like?

What time do you wake up?

What do you do before work?

What does your business look like?

Revenue?

Profit?

Team size?

Impact?

Where are you living?

What does it look like?

Who are you living with?

Who's a part of your family?

How do you spend your free time?

What do you look like?

What do you feel like?

What makes you happy?

What are you contributing?

Describe it all (tip: write it in the first person, as if you were actually there)

Paint a picture. 

Then from there, and only then, can we work backward and start to move towards that vision. 

Life is about constantly moving closer to your vision...and the vision of your business is part of that.  

We do that by being clear on what that is and then breaking that into goals. 

Take some time to paint your picture. 

Get clear on where you want to be. 

I like to go about three years out at a time, and every year refine the vision. 

Start with that and then you can set some goals to get you there.

That way you know whether you need to turn left or right...

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Amazing Business Growth In The Next 100 Days?

Are you ready to buckle down and join me to get some really great results in the next 100 days?

Today I start my final 100 day sprint of 2018, and I'm going to make a good case for why you should join me. 

The next 100 days takes you right up to the week before Christmas, the week where a lot of us need a break, enjoy the holidays, have family in town and use it to recharge before the New Year. 

What's a 100 day sprint?

In a 100 day sprint, we really dial things in for 100 days, and then take it easy for a few to recharge. 

No, easy doesn't mean we're not working, it just means everything is on cruise control and we're just getting 1% better. 

On the 100 day sprint, we're working extra hard, have everything super dialed in, and we're after very specific goals. 

You'll be amazed at how much you'll achieve during the next 100 days if you write it down and take relentless action. 

Plus, you get to look forward to a "jog" through the holidays and the end of the year, seeing the "end" allows you to sprint harder. 

You see, none of us can "sprint" all of the time. 

You can't be super consistent all of the time, and crushing goals left and right. 

Why?

Life. 

Life gets in the way, and you'll most likely burn out. 

During the other breaks, your growth isn't stagnant and you're still working hard, you're just more in a "cruise-control" mentality.

You can't always have the pedal to the floor. 

But you can for 100 days, right?

So my action item for you...

Take a few minutes today and make a list of everything you're going to get done in the next 100 days. 

Be specific. 

Don't just say more revenue.

How much profit?

How much revenue?

What projects are you going to complete?

How many customers are you going to get in the next 100 days?

Again, be specific. 

Map this all out on a doc called "100 Day Sprint."

Make it specific so you know what success looks like at the end. 

Get it all down. 

Then, take relentless action. 

It's about waking up every day and making sure you're sprinting. 

You're going as hard as you can to move the needle on whatever is in your 100 day sprint.

The results of 100 days of dialed in, focused action, is simply amazing. 

Got it?

I'll be doing it too, so I hope you can join me. 

Who's ready to sprint?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Does It Do?

People do not buy things for what they are; they buy things for what they do. 

If you can remember one line when marketing your small business that would be it. 

People don't buy the thing, they buy what it does for them, the benefit. 

We don't buy a haircut, we buy relaxation, confidence, and the feeling. 

We don't buy a realtor, we buy a safe home for our family, a place to raise a family, and a place to kick our feet up at night and relax. 

We don't buy beauty products or fitness services, we buy the result....more confidence, boosted self-esteem, happiness, etc. 

If you can remember this when marketing you'll win. 

In your messaging don't talk about what your  product or service is, talk about the benefits that the buyer receives.

What does it allow them to do?

Hope this quick tip helped. 

Reply and let me know if you have questions. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Your Garden

Every single action begins with a thought. 

The unconscious mind controls the heart rate, blood pressure, etc. 

The conscious mind is the "above the water" thoughts, such as logistical and emotional. 

But make no mistake about it, any action begins with a thought. 

Whether it's the choice to press the letters on my computer right now, or the actions of making a day a great one, they all begin with thoughts. 

And that's the best part...

We can control our thoughts, we can shape our thoughts. 

Our minds are a like a garden.

If we fill it with positive thoughts and dreams, we will live a positive and fulfilled life, full of bright and beautiful flowers. 

If we fill it with negative thoughts, our mind will be overgrown by weeds and we will live a negative life. 

Every day we have the ability to choose our thoughts, and those thoughts shape our actions. 

In every opportunity, you have the option to look at it through a positive lens, and that choice determines the subsequent actions. 

Business is surrounded by negative thoughts...

"I can't do that."

"This is going to suck."

"Look at them, they are so much better than me."

Remember, those negative thoughts lead to negative actions, and in business, a negative action is usually not taking action and just sitting on the sidelines. 

As an entrepreneur and business owner your mind, your thoughts, are your most valuable asset. 

Doesn't it make sense to fill it with positive thoughts?

What's the difference between the guy who is 36 years old and looks like he has a constant frown on his face and the girl who is 96 years old and is full of brightness?

Positive thoughts. 

If you're reading this you have the choice to make every thought a positive one. 

You can do this. 

It could always be worse. 

We only have good days and great days. 

Above every cloud is blue sky. 

Get off the complain train. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Plan?

Aside from coaching Maine Small Business owners how to run a more efficient and profitable business that makes a big impact on the community, I "practice what I preach" running a fitness business for hundreds of clients and a full time team of nin. 

Next week we're doing a major renovation. 

In just about 36 hours we'll be ripping up all the flooring, painting, moving equipment, and putting all new flooring down...and we have to get it all done in a week so we can be back in the gym. 

While all that's going on, we coordinated with the town to use the local park so clients can still get coach led workouts throughout the week. 

I've been joking around with clients this week who have asked me...

"Are you ready for the big renovation?"

My typical response...

"Yes, but I'm surprised my hair (brown and thick), doesn't look like Josh's (a confident bald)."

For those who know me well these next few lines will be no surprise to you...

I have a six page long spreadsheet that outlines exactly what needs to happen everyday and who is doing it...

I have annoyingly called all contractors and confirmed they will be here when they are supposed to be here...700 times. 

I have met with the team to assure they know their roles at the park...

...and I have run through what I think is every worse case scenario that can possibly happen and coming up with a plan of action should it happen. 

To say the least, I have planned for this thing to the extreme. 

It's been months in the works, and it has sucked up most of my mental bandwidth. 

But you know what?

It hasn't even happened yet!

And you know what else?

There is a very strong chance the electrician will not show up precisely at 8:30am on Monday, and a stronger chance that they will not be done at 11:30am, which will throw off the rest of the days work, causing it not to go as planned. 

Plans. 

That's my lesson today. 

As you can tell, I have planned for this week-long event excessively, and it has caused me an enormous amount of stress, yet there's just the reality of what is going to happen next week, and the ACTION that needs to be taken. 

The fact is, things just need to get done. 

Paint on the walls, rubber flooring glued down...ACTION. 

This is a renovation, not a mathematical spreadsheet calculation. 

So, as much as we need to plan and prepare for things, so much of it is just showing up and taking action

As Nike says...Just Do It! 

Whether it's business and planning your marketing efforts or hiring a team member, or anything else in life, I know it's scary, and we want to have a plan, but the best plan in the world is useless if it's never executed. 

Action always beat intention. 

Sometimes we just need to suck it up, stop worrying about the plan, and the "what if's" and just take action. 

I'm right there with you. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Are You Changing?

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result...

That's the definition of insanity.

I'm here to ask you one question...

What are you doing differently in your business?

Seriously. 

Think about it. 

What have you changed in these last 30 days that you were not doing before?

If you can't clearly answer that question you're basically hoping that you'll achieve goals but still doing the same things. 

One of my mentors always tells me the line...

"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."

Now, we don't need to change things up like crazy, but if you're expecting a different outcome some variable needs to change. 

2 + 2 = 4

If we want it to equal 5 we need to change one of that variables. 

So, what variable are you changing?

Are you changing your marketing approach?

Are you leading your team better?

Are you clarifying your brand promise?

Are you improving your work flow efficiencies?

Are you mastering social media advertising?

I say this next line with all the love in the world...

Most people set new business goals and then never change any of their actions. 

So, my challenge to you is to really ask yourself what are you willing to change to hit your business goals?

If you didn't achieve a goal, don't keep trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole, change a variable and see what needs to change in order to make it happen. 

Unfortunately wishing and hoping is not an action. 

Don't get overwhelmed with it. 

Just pick one variable. 

One action. 

Execute on that for the rest of this month, then we can stack something else on top of that. 

However, don't let yourself get analysis paralysis and end up not doing anything. 

What are you changing in your business?

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

Don't Be All Things To All People...

Maybe this is a life lesson too, but in business, you can't be all things to all people. 

As much as we want to help everyone, if you want to make a stamp on this world, make an impact, you have to hone in on who you're going to help.

Being all things to all people will not only water down your message, but it will spread your efforts thin. 

You'll end up mediocre at a lot and great at nothing.  

The $10 buffet restaurant talks to certain people compared to the steakhouse that charges $90 a steak. 

The iPhone has never been advertised as cheap, yet it has a cult-like following, compared to the "smartphone" you get for free if you sign a contract.

The environment you need to create at a boutique clothing store compared to a department store is completely different. 

What's the difference between the $2 gallon of ice cream and the $8 scoop of hand-churned locally made ice cream?

A story. 

A message. 

A brand. 

People. 

Not right or wrong, just different. 

The restaurant that has Italian, American and Chinese options all on a giant menu is sitting vacant in 2018 while the specialty restaurant that has just five dishes has lines out the door.

Focusing on one market and one product allows you to dump all your efforts into it and become the best in the world at it. 

That's what's needed to make an impact. 

Plus, you'll sleep better at night not thinking you have to have a solution for every Tom, Dick and Harry. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Tightrope Walkers In Business

Tightrope walkers.

You know what I'm talking about...

Those crazy folks that walk across mountains or city buildings on a single rope, step by step. 

Imagine the mindset that takes?

It's appealing to focus on the destination, the end of the rope.

But what happens if all they cared about was the destination?

They'd lose focus of the next step. 

They are concerned about one step at a time, mastering that one step, then moving onto the next one. 

Eventually reaching the destination, but the thrill and technique is not at the destination, it's about taking it step-by-step, mastering each one. 

We can learn a lot from that. 

Don't focus on the destination, if you're so concerned about the destination, you'll lose focus of what's right in front of you. 

Instead, take it step-by-step, enjoy the thrill and the process of each step, and master each step. 

In business, it's easy to look at where we want to be, or compare our business to more established business, but it's important to focus on what you can to today, what you can control, which is just the next step. 

Be a tightrope walker. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Plant Your Failures...

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” -Napoleon Hill

One of my favorite people, and my favorite quotes...Napolean kills it in that quote. 

I talk a lot about mindset because I think everything starts there. 

There is only so much you can control in life and business, but do you know the one thing you can always control?

How you react to something. 

That usually comes back to your mindset about it. 

Failure is a common word in society, especially in the small business space.

"I failed to make enough money."

"I failed to get good employees."

"I failed to reach my goal."

For years, we've been taught that failure is a bad thing. 

Everything we're taught in school, everything we're taught growing up is that failure is a weakness. 

You are in the wrong if you fail. 

But isn't that when we learn the most?

If you plant your failures, they become the seeds to your success. 

One of the largest areas we can all improve upon is to not look at failure as a negative thing, but instead to look at it as a learning lesson, a chance to make a change and do it better next time. 

When we fail, we are proving that we are living life and taking chances. 

You can't be afraid to fail. 

Failure is not a negative thing. 

Albert Einstein once said, "Failure is success in progress."

Imagine how many of his ideas failed?

Without those, without learning from those failures, none of his brilliant ideas would have come to life. 

Whether you failed to hit your revenue goal this month...

Or you failed to get your product on the shelf...

None of that matters. 

Use those as learning lessons, use those as opportunities to make a change, to get better. 

Don't be afraid to fail, because failure is quite often the seeds to our success.

Failure means you're trying. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

5 Pillars of Productivity

In Small Business, it's all about being productive. 

The more you can produce, the more you win. 

Productivity is built on 5 pillars...

1. Planning & Preparation

This is something that seems so obvious, but how many of us actually do that. 

This is planning the night before what is the one thing you're going to get done tomorrow. 

This is mapping out your calendar on the weekend so you're not scrambling during the week. 

Planning your schedule to allow for a 45 minute stop at the gym to get a workout in to boost your energy, and being prepared for that by having your clothes packed the night before.

It doesn't have to be anything crazy, but all productivity starts with preparing and planning ahead of time. 

2. Professional Accountability

We all need coaches. 

I have a coach. 

My coaches have a coach. 

Steve jobs had a coach. 

Bill Gates has a coach. 

Tom Brady has a coach. 

So what makes you think you're special and don't need a coach?

If you want to get better with money hire a coach for that. 

If you want to get better at your craft hire an expert coach for that. 

If you want to get better at fitness hire a coach. 

We all need accountability, and a good coach will give that to you. 

3. Social Support

Quick story. 

In Alaska, crabbing is a huge thing. 

Imagine you walk out onto a pier and see a bucket of crabs. 

As you watch those crabs it looks like one is climbing out and ready to escape. 

You grab the fisherman and say...

"Hey, one of those crabs is escaping!"

He says...

"Oh, don't worry about it, just watch."

As you look on, just before it looks like the crab is ready to tip over the edge, get out of the bucket and back into the cold water something happens...

Another crab pulls him back into the bucket. 

Crabs will not let one escape, if one goes down, they all go down. 

That's a great analogy for a lot of our social support. 

As soon as we want to have any kind of success or want to become good at something there's always that "friend" that becomes jealous and keeps us tied down. 

If you're looking to change your behavior, in whatever facet of life, you need to make sure you have strong social support.

Find strong social support, people that challenge you and lift you up, not bring you down. 

4. Incentive

What's the point of all this?

What's the carrot we're chasing?

What's the point of being productive, achieving a goal, if there is no incentive at the end? 

So maybe if you're really locked in for 90 days, and you increase your profit by X, you reward yourself with a mini vacation. 

Or, if you're trying to be productive with your savings after you hit a milestone you agree to take a small percentage of it and buy that thing you've been wanting. 

Whatever it is, there has to be some form of incentive to change the behavior. 

5. Big Deadline

This one, I think, is the most important. 

There's a universal law called Parkinson's Law

Again, a law, something that is not up for negotiation, we all fight it. 

Parkinson's Law states that work expands as to fill the time allowed to complete it. 

Meaning, if you have two weeks to complete a project,  it will take you two weeks. 

If you have a week to do that same project, it will take you a week. 

Use deadlines for everything you do. 

A goal is great, but if it doesn't have a deadline it will never happen. 

Any project you decide to take on, give it a deadline. 

Anything you need to get done, give it a deadline. 

We work off of deadlines, it's how we're wired, don't fight it, just set the deadline. 

So there you have it...

The 5 Pillars of Productivity.

Which one do you need to build up?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Small Biz: How To Build Your Team

If you're in the service-based business, your team is your most valuable asset. 

However, finding, keeping, and developing a team can be a business owners biggest headache if you don't go about it the right way. 

Here are four keys to building your company's dream team:

1. Hire character, train skill

I always say that I can train you on anything that needs to be done in our business, but I can't train you to be nice. 

It may seem smart to hire the guy with 20 years experience and all the certifications in the world, but that can potentially mean 20 years of bad habits you have to change. 

You have your way, your system of doing something. It's much easier to teach a nice person specific skills and protocols then it is to teach a person that has a bunch of irrelevant skills to be nice. 

Hire based on character, hire based on your core values (another post for another day), and then train the skill. 

2. Clear Expectations & Systems

We have one way of doing things in our business. 

It's our system. 

From day one, and every day after that it's important for the leader to set really clear expectations and have a system for everything you want to be done.

Quite often I hear frustrations from business owners that their employees aren't up to snuff, and I ask them about their systems. 

Crickets. 

If the standard isn't set, if the expectations aren't clear, if they don't know what right looks like, how can you get mad at them?

Extreme Ownership. 

Set clear expectations by having systems for everything in your business. 

How are people greeted?

How is the phone answered?

What happens when someone inquires?

What does the client journey look like?

What happens when someone leaves your business?

What do the service standards look like?

These and more are all things that should be clearly documented for all to see. 

We have ours stored on a cloud that everyone can access at any time from anywhere. 

You create them, get their feedback, tweak, and then hold them accountable to it. 

If you want the business to run without you, to run smoothly and consistently, every single thing in your business needs to have a system. 

3. Hold Them Accountable & Train Relentlessly. 

So you've brought on the right people and you set clear expectations through systems. 

Great, you're just getting started. 

The hardest part is the daily, yes daily, training of your team. 

Just like the famous Ziglar motivation quote, staff training is like bathing, it's required daily. 

Every day is an opportunity for a learning experience or a moment for positive reinforcement. 

We set up our formal training and accountability through daily meetings.

Bad meetings suck.

They're boring time wasters, and people hate them.

A good meeting can be a game changer.

Get good at holding valuable and engaging meetings.

Read the book Death By Meeting and everything else by Patrick Lencioni. 

Our meeting flow looks like this:

Daily Huddle: Each morning a preview of the day and what people are working on. 

Weekly Individual Meeting: Each week every employee meets with their supervisor to discuss their specific role, responsibilities, tasks they're working on, and how they're developing. 

Weekly Team Meeting: Each week we meet as a team to dive deep into one particular topic. 

Quarterly War Room: Each quarter we recap the previous quarter and set 2-3 big rocks we're going to accomplish for the coming quarter. 

Annual Vision Meeting: Each year we map out the coming year, set goals, and everything above (quarterly, weekly, and daily meetings) is a breakdown of the goals we set at this meeting. 

It may seem like a lot but these meetings alone will change your business. 

It allows you to build team rapport, hold them accountable, and keep communication clear. 

4. Build Autonomy and Lead From The Back

This is where the magic is made but you can't do this until you have the first three keys down pat. 

Once you've found the right people, set clear expectations, have concrete systems, and have a cadence of accountability, it's time to let them do what they do best. 

Your job as a leader is to make them better people. 

I don't lead from the back with a whip like you see in those cheesy leadership photos, I lead from the back by challenging and inspiring my team to be 1% better every single day. 

I push them to get better at their craft, to develop as better spouses, friends, and just better people in general. 

Involve them in decisions, get to know them outside of work, let their personalities shine, and treat them the way you want to be treated, not as a dollar sign. 

If you're in the service based business your team is your biggest asset. 

Your clients and customers will stay not because of the service you give them, but because of the people behind that service. 

Running a business is hard, trust me, I know, but you can't do it alone. Follow these four keys as you look to develop your team. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling