I got an email from a long-time customer the other day. He reminded me that seven years ago when he started using our software, he told me he would “double his sales” and work from the beach whenever he wanted. Now, seven years later, he has doubled his business a few times, is well over a seven-figure business, and is enjoying life with his wife more than ever before.
He sent me his annual sales growth by year, which showed consistent growth of 30 percent-plus. He’s profitable, has more free time and is able to travel like he wants.
As you might imagine, I’ve talked to many entrepreneurs who say they’re going to grow like crazy and find their freedom. Many never make it. Some do—like Ian, my friend who emailed me the other day. The statistics say less than 5 percent will make it. But, what’s on my mind this morning isn’t statistics. It’s Ian. It’s the things he’s done to get there.
Ian, like all seven-figure business owners, has done a few things entrepreneurs everywhere can learn from:
- He was clear on his goals and commitment to his goals, way back in 2007 when I met him.
- His reasons for building the business were a constant motivation. He and his wife have a “why” bigger than the “what.”
- He wasn’t looking to get rich quick; he was willing to sustain his effort over time.
- He consistently put in the work to effectively market and sell his product.
- He looked for ways to automate everything he could to grow revenue AND profits.
I love seeing the success stories. I am fortunate to hear the stories of small business success every day. There are common threads running through each story. The most common of all is the first point I mentioned above: clear goals and commitment to those goals.
SBS Idea of the Day: Are you looking at your goals every day? The ones I asked you to write down and make crystal clear a couple weeks ago? If you haven’t done it and you aren’t committed to the goals, you are missing the most important common denominator of successful small businesses.