Are you an Expert that wants to boost your revenue?

Are you an Expert that wants to boost your revenue?

A SMART Business Does This…

Most business owners are just survivors in a zombie move. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it to you.

Do you know why zombie films are so popular now?

Zombie films are, arguably, more popular than any other type of horror genre. I’m not kidding. Zombie movies stand the test of time and almost always make more money in the box office than any other type of film. 

And there is a reason for it… we relate with the survivors in the zombie plague scenario.

The zombie plague is one that resonates with every single human, because it’s really about living in the mundane during extraordinary times. We all understand that at some point in a zombie movie, there is this moment where the survivors, you know, survive – because zombies are slow or because they’re not really intelligent.

Zombies are not the worst threat.

We are literally better than them in every single way. We’re stronger, we’re faster, we’re way more intelligent. We have better weaponry and we can prepare all the things that zombies cannot do. But at some point there will be a moment where we will decide that we have to hold up.

Because you need the basics to survive, right? Food, shelter, water, these basic things. And humans like to have homes. We like our creature comforts.

Everything goes back to normal… almost.

There is a point in the middle of almost every single zombie movie where everything goes back to normal, except for the fact that there are zombies outside.

There are two types of people in these scenarios: Type one is the lazy person. They sit back, relax, and they’re living the good life. They’re drinking alcohol. And they’re using too many resources while giving sarcastic comments indicating that they shouldn’t have to lift a finger to help.

Type two: are the other characters who think life could be better and they are bored of the mundane. And this is the thing that us humans resonate with.

People resonate with these two types of characters. Maybe you’re somebody who is irritated by people who just sit back and live off of your efforts to make your community or world better.

Which type of business leader are you?

Alternatively, maybe you feel this urge that everything is okay, but you really want to upset it, change it, and break the mundane because you’re bored of that same old routine.

But at some point, you know you need to change things up.

You decide as a leader that you’re going to go to a bigger, better place, or you’re going to try and find more suppliers, or you’re going to do something that’s a little bit too risky.

In doing so, the entire thing collapses and that which was once safe, and sacred, is now filled with zombies.

The haven that they once enjoyed has now been destroyed.

Business Leaders Are Like Zombie Film Survivors

Many who own their own business are guilty of this.

You finally get your business idea to a point where everything is okay.

Then you have to change it up. You’re just going to break it down to start all over again. 

And before you know it, you are in shambles, everything’s falling apart, and you don’t know what to do.

This is why zombie movies are so popular: because we resonate with them.

We understand them, because we create the same situation in our lives and businesses.

S.M.A.R.T. Business Systems

I know all about feeling like a survivor in a zombie movie. I found myself in this business owner turns his business into a zombie survival scenario situation years ago. I didn’t have any business systems and it almost ruined my business. And life.

Back in 2006, I was running a dating coach business. When I first launched this business I was passionate about it and I wanted it to succeed. I was really good at dating after learning a whole bunch of psychological techniques to improve my own dating life.

I wanted to be the best.

I worked hard.

I was featured in documentaries in England and throughout Europe. I was in the media all the time. Everyone was talking about me. I wanted to make it happen.

Success Led to My Complacency

I was so thrilled with showing off how good I was at dating that I lived the wild life. I enjoyed my freedom. I was going to nightclubs every single night, partying with Pharrell, P. Diddy, and Beyonce and lots of celebrities that were enjoying the London nightlife.

Life was great and exciting, but I did not have any business systems.

Life had no regularity, and more importantly no guaranteed annual income.

One of the biggest problems of not having any business systems is that I didn’t have a regular income. It didn’t matter that there were newspapers writing about me and that I was on TV all the time. That doesn’t necessarily translate into actual money.

I was also spending all the money that I received. It’s expensive to go out and party every single night. I was living a wild lifestyle and wasting every single penny. I didn’t have any kind of structure or systems to hold it all together.

And to be honest with you, the idea of that certainty just sounded boring and I didn’t want to be bored. I just kept thinking, why can’t somebody else do this for me? Why can’t there be somebody else out there that can just handle the boring side of my company? I constantly would say: I just want someone to do it for me.

The Competitor With Systems

Then I found a competitor who had a different problem with his company. He was frustrated that I was getting all of the attention. Meanwhile, his company, which was built on very good business systems and business processes. It didn’t matter though. He wasn’t getting the attention that he felt the company deserved. And so we decided to strike up a business deal.

I would get all of my leads from his company. Now, I didn’t have to worry about any of the marketing end of the business systems. I would travel to America and live the high life. I would teach courses and talk about how amazing I am at dating. That was the plan.

There was only one problem. After a few years of this business agreement and making a lot of money, I got lazy. I had consistent successes: I had a fat paycheck coming in every single month to the tune of a very large five figures. And I only had to work two to three weekends out of the month.

The rest of the time, I was completely free to do whatever I wanted. It didn’t take very long to get bored of the wild and crazy life. I spent most of my time relaxing on a sofa. I watched zombie movies and The Walking Dead and reveled in my success.

No Business System, No Future

This is when the zombie business scenario came to life. I was the person sitting back, being lazy, sitting in my chair, enjoying the leads that were coming in and living in constant monotony. It’s the same kind of monotony you might experience if you had a job and a salary. You’re comfortable in your position while you complete tasks at your predictable day job.

The business owner of the company I partnered with decided he didn’t want to run the business anymore. Rather than sell it, he broke it into tiny little pieces and sold off all the different parts. This meant I no longer had leads coming in. I was not ready to handle all of my lead generation, so my clients simply vanished overnight.

I didn’t know what to do. I found myself in a situation where I was down to my last $5,000. And while that may sound like a lot of money, my bills each month were $5,000. I had 30 days to come up with a very real solution, or I was going to be in serious trouble. 

At this point, like many entrepreneurs, it crossed my mind: maybe I should just give up this life and get a normal job. Some job that will pay me enough to maintain my bills and be okay. But deep down, I knew what I really wanted. And if I was going to get what I wanted it was going to require a business system. 

Setting Up Your Business Processes and Standard Operating Procedures With an Expert

I had learned before that it wasn’t about being motivated. And it wasn’t about passion, because I had that before too. My career to that point never provided the guarantee and security that everything was going to be okay. The thing that I needed was the thing that I resisted so much: systems. I needed business systems. 

Specifically, I needed my own business systems and process. 

I couldn’t rely on anybody else because they might get bored or they might destroy the system. I needed business systems for absolutely everything that I did. We call one part of these business systems an SOP – a standard operating procedure

An SOP is something that you can follow consistently, in order to get consistent results. Now, at the time, I had no idea how to develop standard operating procedures. I didn’t know what kind of business processes I needed. I did the one thing that anybody should do in that situation: I hired an expert. I found somebody that had already built a dating company and sold it.

I reached out to them and I asked this person if they’d be willing to help me develop great business processes that would include: consistent leads, consistent sales, and help me have the one thing that I’d resisted so long – the boring monotony. I knew I needed it and this mentor responded.

He said he was absolutely ready to help me. “It will cost $5,000 USD,” he said. 

I was at the crossroads. 

Create a Business Process or Get a Day Job

On one hand, I could get a regular day job and that $5,000 would cover my bills for another 30 days. Within that time, I would have just under 60 days to get a job and fix my life. On the other hand, I could take every penny I had and give it to somebody that I knew would help me set up the business system and standard operating procedures I needed.

I needed to take a leap.

The funny thing about a leap of faith is nobody can push you. Think about it like this: imagine someone who wants to jump into the ocean, but there are rocks in the way. If you push them, they’re not going to get the power they need behind the jump to clear those rocks. The chance of an accident is very high.

On the other hand if they jump as hard and far as they can on their own on volition they’re almost sure to succeed. The jump has to be made with the force of their body weight, and maybe with a bit of a running start to make sure they make it. They have to make that leap of faith themselves.

And so I decided to take that leap of faith.

I hired the expert. I gave him $5,000. I realized that giving him the money wasn’t the only thing I was going to be doing. I would have to do everything that man says – everything. I took every word he said as absolute gospel truth. I applied and implemented it all. Within two weeks, I made $38,000 USD in sales. I followed the business system that he’d given me.

Systems Beat Salaries

I was hooked. I realized that the $38,000 I made within two weeks was far more than I was ever going to make at a day job. I decided I was going to take the drive and passion that I’d had before and combine it with developing my own business processes. I was going to find experts to teach me everything I could learn about systems. I would finally have the consistency I desired.

More importantly, I would be bored, but bored in the most amazing way possible. This time the boredom would come with consistent growth. Instead of building a business, getting bored and tearing it down again, I would only ever develop new a new business process to improve on old ones. The consistent success would continue.

I am not built to naturally desire systems. If you met me, you would think that I am somebody who is a little bit disorganized, a little bit creative, and a little rough around the edges. Despite that, I have managed to teach myself consistency. I use these systems because they lead to the thing that I truly love: freedom. 

It is only with systems and a consistent business process that you can be efficient and get lasting results. All the time you have left over due to those efficiencies, will provide you the freedom that you really, really crave. 

Efficiency Exercise: Easy as Peanut Butter and Jelly

As a funny example, I would like you to just take a minute and pull out a pen and paper. Write down the step-by-step process to making a peanut butter sandwich.

Seriously, stop and do it.

I’ll wait…

This is the simplest way to help someone learn how to make a standard operating procedure (SOP).

Typically, someone would say, “Well, you grab some bread, uh, you put some, some peanut butter on it, and then you put some jam on it. And then you, uh, you know, you put another slice of bread on top, or you cut it in half and then you eat it.” 

At that point, it’s fairly easy to start pulling apart the directions. Check out all that they missed:

An SOP is often far more detailed than you want it to be. And this is why people don’t do them. What you will find on this page are my standard operating procedures to save time, money, and countless frustrations and headaches. 

Likely, you skipped over some of the details that I outlined in the sandwich exercise, which is why I’m bringing it up now for these standard operating procedures. They have to be fully effective. You need to go through them, you need to use them, and you need to tweak them on a regular basis.

Don’t Skip Your Most Valuable Asset

This could work if you’re a freelancer looking to standardize instructions for subcontracting some of your work, expand to do more, or maybe just have consistent results for your clients. You may need standard operating procedures for finding freelance clients.

Perhaps you run a massive corporation and you are frustrated that your team doesn’t do what they’re supposed to be doing.

The solution is to create and implement standard operating procedures. It is absolutely possible to use these as a foundation to build upon, and to make sure that you have unique standard operating procedures that help you have the kind of success that I am able to enjoy today.

It is only through these standard operating procedures that I have been able to build the lifestyle that I enjoy with my family today, living on my 43-acre ranch just outside of Austin, Texas, with exotic cars, livestock, and all of the toys, gadgets, and hobbies that I could possibly imagine.

Most importantly, I have the freedom and free time to spend with my children, with my family, going on vacations, spending time in our swimming pool, hanging out, and doing all the wonderful things like teaching my children painting. Making your work standardized is boring, but it definitely buys you freedom.

If you succeed in making your work boring, you will have succeeded in taking all the steps necessary to build a solid foundation for growth that will get you where you want to be.

Three Business Mistakes That Kill the American Dream 

I used to run a small business out of Africa and I made a lot of business mistakes.

The small business was a factory that specialized in making movie props. I had a partner, and the way it worked was my business partner owned the factory and we ran the business 50-50. I designed the movie props and handled all of the sales. He provided the employees and the factory.

Most importantly, he had all of the money.

We specialized in making sword props for movies. These are the cool swords you see in most movies, similar to the background swords that the extras and stunt people use. One of the worst things that can happen is when an extra is handling a metal sword and accidentally cuts someone.

During big fight scenes in movies like the Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, or Troy, you want to make sure that the extras are using lookalike swords, but you want them to be safe – so we made them out of a type of rubber material. My company specialized in making those because I used to be a professional fencer.

When I was younger, I was ranked in the London youth games. At one point, I was one of the top fencers in England. When I moved to Africa, I ended up being the number one fencer in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Eventually, I was ranked number six in all of South Africa on the fencing team.

I was a prolific and competitive fencer, and I really enjoyed it. One of the things that I used to gloss over back then were the rules. One of the reasons business owners struggle in business is because they don’t actually know the rules of business.

Before I get into the story, I want to ask you: do you know the rules of your business?

Rule #1: Know The Rules of Business

If you do not know the rules, you’re going to have a bad day. One day I was sitting there testing the balance of one of the swords we had produced. I was swinging the sword, and one of my employees walked up to me and said, “How do you know how to do that?”

I replied, “What do you mean, how do I know how to do this?”

He said, “That thing you’re doing with a sword, how do you know how to do it?” I explained that I learned how to do it as a professional fencer.

He said he knew how to handle a sword that way, and I expressed that I was surprised he was a fencer – after all, I hadn’t seen him at the fencing club.

“No,” he said, “I’m a stick fighter.” We sized each other up. We were both champions.

“Do you want to stick fight?” he asked. 

We agreed that we would fight with the inside rod of the swords that are made of carbon fiber. It is the same carbon fiber rod that you would use to make white water rafting oars. This is an incredibly durable, strong material, designed to take insane amounts of strength and pressure. 

We went downstairs to sword fight and suddenly all of the factory workers were outside, surrounding us. This was a surreal moment but also one of my favorite moments in life. I was surrounded by these Africans who are essentially descendants from Zulu warriors. 

These workers started to summon the spirits of African kings into my opponent. All I could think about is that this was a little bit unfair. It’s not like I had someone summoning the spirit of Queen Elizabeth in my corner.

New Business Owners Miss The Hints About The Rules

I was just some random guy about to have a duel with a stick. I was just about to fight an African stick fighting champion. As my opponent moved towards me, I did what I normally did in fencing matches: strike as fast as possible.

I like to get the first hit.

Unfortunately for me, in fencing, we do something called the lightest touch. The goal isn’t to hurt the opponent. The goal is to just strike them. So as the African warrior moved towards me and I gently struck his shoulder, he pulled his stick back and landed it with full force into my thigh, causing my leg to collapse.

At this point, I realized my mistake. 

A New Business Owner Often Realizes Too Late They’ve Made a Mistake

I didn’t know the rules. 

If you don’t know the rules for something, you’ve got no idea how to prepare yourself for victory. What I thought was going to be light touch following fencing rules turned out to be a full-on fight to the bloody submission of African stick fighting.

I lost the first round. He gave me a breather and then he moved back in.

At this point, I adjusted the game and realized that I had to fight for my life with the African warriors chanting him on in the background. I moved to swing and attempted to hit him in the shoulder where I had hit him before.

Instead, I dropped my weight, hit his leg and then hit him back exactly where he hurt me. I wanted to teach him a lesson. This time he collapsed and he realized he was dealing with somebody who now knew what they were doing. 

Small Business Owners Learn From Their Mistakes

Then he came at me one more time.

This time I raised my stick to aim at his leg again, to threaten to hit the same point. He reacted and went to defend. I changed the angle of my blow, striking his head, almost knocking him unconscious. He was angry at this point, charging towards me at full strength. 

I aimed for his head.

He blocked my attack on the head. I hit his leg in the same spot, causing his leg to collapse. As his body collapsed, I struck him on the head. At this point, the battle was mine. He fell unconscious to the ground and the African warriors started cheering. 

I was beaming; I was so happy. I could not believe that I defeated an African stick fighting champion and I went back upstairs to my office.

I Still Didn’t Know The Rules

I was not only the number one fencer in KwaZulu-Natal, but I also beat the African stick fighting champion.

Then, I heard my business partner screaming, “Adam, what the fuck did you just do?” 

Suddenly all of my happiness was destroyed. I looked to see him storming in, and this guy was huge. He was an Afrikaans man.

If you’ve never seen an Afrikaans man, they are a combination of Dutch, German, and native Africans. They are very large and can be very aggressive people. He screamed at me.

“Did you just have a stick fight with that guy?! The stick fighting champion?”

And I said, “Yeah, I did.”

“What did you do?”

“You never stick fight with the African champions. Did you know that you were fighting for ownership of the factory?” 

Nope.

Once again, I didn’t know the rules. If you don’t know the rules, you are likely to have a very bad day.

Successful Business Owners Learn The Rules

Eventually, we worked it out and continued on as normal.

Let me add some perspective about how my partner and I ran this small business… You see, on average, I knew how many sales we made because I was in charge of the sales and we were making $50,000 USD per month as a company.

I was paid $1000 each month, meaning my partner was paid $49,000 in our 50/50 relationship. Every time I expressed that I thought it was unfair that he made a lot more money than me, he would always say, “Well, I have so many more expenses than you after all the bills, trust me.” 

This was exactly fair. I didn’t see any of the books because I didn’t set up any of the accounting. I didn’t have my own accountant and I didn’t have my own contracts. In essence, I didn’t know the rules. 

After two years of working at that small business, and making just a thousand dollars per month, I decided to quit. I let the factory owner keep the entire business and I walked away with absolutely nothing.

I learned that you have to know the rules of the game you’re playing.

Do you know how many small businesses there are in the United States? If you don’t know the answer, then you don’t know how much competition you have. 

Rule of Business #2: Determine Your Level of Competition

While you may think that not every small business in America is your competition, you are all fighting for the same salaries. You are in fact competing with every other small business in America. Each individual American is choosing where to spend their money.

If you average it out, it’s the same $50,000 a year salary, with the same amount of disposable income, from the same people, deciding where to spend their money.

And the same is true for any country in the world.

There are 31.7 million small businesses in America at the time of writing this, but how many of them are likely to fail?

According to data from the US Bureau of Statistics, within 10 years, 66% of all small businesses will fail.

Sixty Six Percent of Small Business Owners Fail

That means your chance of succeeding as a small business owner is roughly one in three.

Ask yourself, are you going to be the one small business owner that survives? Think of two other business owners. Of the three of you, which one of you is the most likely to succeed?

If I told you that you had to fight for your life for a chance to be the winner, would it be you that wins?

The key to victory in business and sword fighting is very rarely how strong you are or how fast you are. It’s almost always what system you’re using for fighting. Your success comes from learning from the most common small business mistakes and implementing a business plan that works.

The Key To Victory is What You’re Using for Fighting

When I broke down how I beat the African warrior, you’ll notice that most of the time I was making the choices on how to attack based on how I was attacked in the last round. Each time, my opponent was reacting to what he thought I was going to do based on what I had done previously. Then I altered my approach.

That is the standard operating procedure for defeating an opponent who has never seen you fight before. Humans have a habit remembering most clearly what they just witnessed. Therefore, he predicted I would do what I did last time, enabling me to stay one step ahead, once I made that adjustment.

Likewise, in a business, you need to have a business plan to keep you from failing. You have to trust the systems that are going to help you succeed.

If you don’t know why companies fail, how are you going to build the right systems to keep you alive?

Do you know the rules Small Business Owner?

A better question would be: do you know the rules of your business?

Do you know the rules that stop one in three companies from failing while the other two completely collapse?

According to data from CB Insights, there are three major reasons why companies fail. 

  1. No demand for product. The first reason businesses fail covers 42% of the collapse of companies, which is there is no real demand for the products or services that the company is selling. (You’ll get a standard operating procedure for that in chapter 7.)
  2. Cash flow issues. The second common reason that 29% of companies fail is because they have cash flow issues. (I’m going to give you the standard operating procedures for that in chapter 5 in this book.)
  3. Wrong talent. The third reason most businesses fail is also the most common one: they don’t have the right talent on their team. (I’m going to give you standard operating procedures for that in chapter 6.)

Ultimately, if you do not have a system for every single process in your business, then you are highly likely to fail. Of all processes, though, you definitely need these three. Without them, like most new business owners, your business may collapse within 10 years of formation. 

Rule of Business #3: Get Your Bread and Butter

After living in Africa and running the factory and then walking away from it, I found myself at a loss. I didn’t know what to do. I dabbled with a few careers. I was a realtor for a while, then ended up working in public relations. After that, I finally ended up as a janitor.

I liked the janitor job because once again, I found myself sitting down with nothing to do. It wasn’t out of laziness this time. Instead, it was out of a desire to ponder. I wanted to find myself. I wanted to find a business idea that I was as passionate about as I used to be about fencing.

I had time to kill. I didn’t know how to do market research or even know how to start a new business. I literally spent hours waiting for someone to have a problem, take out the trash, or to collect the mail.

During all of this down time I realized that my dating life sucked. I was at the age where dating was extremely interesting for me. I spent hours thinking, learning and reading about dating. It didn’t take long before my dating life became very good.

In fact, I became so good at dating that when I would go out to bars and nightclubs, people would follow me around. This happened because they saw that what I was doing with dating was really working, and they wanted to learn more. It didn’t take long before word spread. One of these people eventually told For Him Magazine (FHM) that I was someone to watch. They said I could literally walk up to almost anyone in the world and have them go on a date with me.

While that’s not exactly true, it’s definitely said about me and the media loved it. FHM sent a journalist out to follow me around. Sure enough, in seven days of watching me go out for seven nights, I succeeded in getting dates with people on all seven days.

People were talking about me all over the internet. Journalists were featuring me, and others in the industry invited me to speak at different conventions around the world. Long story short, I realized I wanted to be a dating coach, but I was still nowhere near making any money from being a dating coach or owning my own business.

I really didn’t know how to build a business. Around that time I remembered a lesson from my step father, who raised me: you must have your bread and butter. When you first get an idea for a business, the desire to just quit the day job and throw everything into the business is incredibly tempting.

Your First Business Plan: Have Your Bread and Butter

Forgetting this lesson is one of the most common small business mistakes. The idea of running a successful business is fun. It’s very exciting. However, you do not have any security. Whether you’re an employee today, or whether you’re just running a business that is taking all of your time, if you truly want to grow, you need to find more time than you currently have.

What’s your bread and butter?

Make sure you can pay your bills.

Do you have your bread and butter?

You should be able to make enough money during your nine-to-five, whether that’s working as an employee or running your business, so you can pay your bills.

My dad would call this your ‘bread and butter’. He’d remind me to “make sure there’s bread and butter on the table.” The goal is to find extra time around the nine-to-five you can use to create a successful business.

The problem is, whether you’re an employee or a business owner who is working full-time , the only way a business is truly going to succeed is if you can find a way to create the six big systems that help companies create true consistency and freedom.