In the Beginning....
After my session with Alpha this week, I'm left with a feeling that Napoleon Hill has left a legacy, if only he realised how much.
When I set up in business, I had a clear idea of the service I was going to provide. It was simple, clear and eminently achievable. In my head, I had a grand vision that as I was almost unique in what I do (a gamekeeper-turned-poacher) that companies would flock to me; no brainer!! What I didn't see was that many would show interest, a LOT of interest, and would sit around to watch me, seeing if I'd grow. After all, success is measured by growth, right? And, if I didn't grow then how would they?
18 Month Threshold
Clients came on board, would try out the odd tender, with only a small number using me regularly for sustained growth. The first 18 months was hard, very hard. Suddenly, literally at the 18 month mark, BOOM! Business exploded and for some inexplicable reason I was heavily in demand, and almost everyone that I'd ever spoken to suddenly stepped forward to work with me. Now I'm working regularly past midnight, even though I'm employing a team of 6!! What changed? I think it was just being around for 18 months.
Being a thinker, I reflect on lots of conversations and decisions that I've made. Maybe if I'd have done this, or that? Would it have made a difference?
Throughout my time, I've evaluated my services and what I've offered. One fleeting thought was a one-stop service for business growth. It didn't last long, after all, I was a tendering expert, so why would I change my model?
In December, I had a 'Eureka!' moment. A good friend of mine, a skilled and experienced Head Hunter, was being undervalued in his job. To be honest his good nature was being abused, and his company were playing games with him. I decided to take him on, despite (at the time) not being able to afford to support an extra pair of hands. The benefit of hindsight allows me to say this as one of the best decisions I have made in business. My vision at the time was to help support some of the companies I was growing by placing quality employees. That leap of faith has repaid us both and he has brought so much value to my clients, old and new. My turnover this month will be MORE than my first year in business.
This week, I attended my monthly Alpha Group meeting in Cardiff (if you ever want to visit, contact me), and the delightful Cindy tapped me on the shoulder to advise that I would be the focus of the Mastermind session. (She has prepared me the night before that I was the backup, but I know Cindy well now!) Having thought of a topic, I decided to ask something like 'How do I Roll Out My Head Hunting Service?'.
Anyone that doesn't know what Masterminding is, it's where you are the focus of a brainstorming and think-tank session, to give you ideas and solutions. Napoleon Hill devised the technique, and it's used a lot more than you realise! (and for the record, this Napolean wasn't French, short, or married to Josephine)
Without going into detail, a conversation developed with ideas flowing from the group and I realised that the 'business growth, one-stop' idea wasn't as off-hand as I originally thought. There was mileage. Anyone that understands how I tick, knows that I'm a helper. Helping others succeed is my driver, and being paid is a bonus for it!! Those ideas I previously had started to flow back and the group were on fire with ideas and solutions!
This whole event has set me thinking. Where previously I saw a clear path, I have suddenly envisaged a widening of that walk way, and there are going to be more people treading the cobbled stones with me. Right now, I need time to reflect on the possibilities that this presents, not just from my point of view, but from my clients. Watch out for a whole new range of expanded services (some free to clients) that offer cost effective solutions to problems.
I wonder what Napoleon would have thought?