According to J. Paul Getty, there are only three things you need to do to be successful: rise early, work hard and — strike oil.
OK. So success really isn’t that simple.
But Chuck Kocher, business coach for ActionCoach, likes to use Getty’s words to make a point — mindset and attitude matter far more than what’s happening with the economy.
Kocher was the keynote speaker at an Entrepreneurial Corner hosted by BiggsKofford P.C., and had enough energy and positivity to rejuvenate everyone in the room, and maybe half the city as well — had they been there to hear it.
He models his “mindset required for success” on the philosophy that, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind,” which James Truslow Adams, a Pulitzer-prize winning historian wrote.
Kocher has lived in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, and said that relationships are the key to doing business in Colorado Springs.
“They’re priceless and take a long time to build — you can’t just hand someone your business card and expect results,” he said.
Outcome (in business and in life) is determined by event plus response (E + R = O). Most of the factors that make a business or entrepreneur successful fall under the category of “blinding flashes of the obvious (BFOs),” or what he calls “aha moments.”
Actually, as Kocher said, his 8-year-old daughter puts it succinctly: “Duh, Daddy.”
He told the audience that he’s “going through the mental cement mixer of the last 18 months, too. If you have a great attitude — even in a tough time — you will pull through and your team will pull through.”
And, in another BFO, how your team reacts affects customers. But it starts with you — the owner/manager/entrepreneur.
“If you’re leading right — if your headset is right — it affects your clients. They will market for you and network for you in the community,” Kocher said. “But if you sit there and blame someone on your team who’s not performing — you’ll knock the air out of them and the team. As a leader, there’s only one place to go if something is wrong with your team — the mirror. Take responsibility and ownership for the problems.”
Taking ownership requires “a lot of work,” he said, but “it’s a winning attitude.”
Stagnation. (Uh, no, thanks?)
“Scientific principles show that you’re either growing or dying,” Kocher said.
So why do people stay where they are?
“Fear — it’s everywhere. In the media, on the Internet,” Kocher said. “Fear causes atrophy — paralysis. Nothing is forever, but fear will kill you.”
And here’s the ironic part: “85 to 90 percent of all fear is self-induced.”
Then, for those of you not yet clear about the concept: “Real fear is snorkeling in the Caribbean and coming eye-to-eye with a shark,” he said. “Fear creates chaos. Everything coming out of business owners’ mouths is fear-based. Fear is going to kill a lot of businesses.”
Notice that he said “fear” will kill them — not the economy nor the recession nor what the Fed/the Treasury/the president are or are not doing.
Control what you can control, and respond positively to whatever happens. The results will be amazing.
Try a new mentality.
Yes, it’s a “bad market, but guess what we’re going to do?” Kocher asked. “Own it!”
Lost a client? Perhaps you learned something and you won’t repeat that mistake — or, maybe they weren’t the best client anyway, and now you have an opening for a better client.
“You can make anything into a positive,” Kocher said.
Choosing faith will give you achievement, power and clarity — versus choosing fear, which brings paralysis, atrophy and chaos.
Once an entrepreneur or business owner has the right mindset, he or she can apply six steps to massive results: mastery, niche, leverage, team, synergy and results.
And the secret, as one might suppose, is not hovering over and micromanaging one’s employees, nor working 90 hours per week and ignoring family, friends, exercise or relaxation.
The “secret” to a successful business is no secret at all — or at least not now.
“It all starts with leadership (positive attitude, in case you missed that part),” Kocher said. “Get the right people on the bus doing the right things. Putting talented people in the wrong seat is disruptive.”
Next is “people plus culture.”
Create a healthy work environment in which your core beliefs and values are shared, so people can grow and learn and change. Then add “customer management process,” that is, building effective and efficient ways of doing the right thing.
Finally, add the “customer experience,” in which all clients and potential clients are not merely treated well — whether they call or walk in — but are actually hit (gently, of course) with the “wow” factor.
Clients who experience the “wow” factor will give you “raving referrals,” which build your reputation and brand you — positively.
And Kocher’s last famous-person quote of the day, to augment his philosophy that simple, basic principles and positive attitudes take a business much farther than fear or chaos, is from Warren Buffett, who once said, “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”