Silicon Valley Billionaires say a Startup grows at a rate of 5%-7% every week. And I did that maths, at that rate it grows 1000x in 123 weeks. That is really accelerated!
Do you want to grow accelerated? Then these are 3 Super Powers you need to develop:
1. The power to choose your relationships
One of the recent scientific discoveries is that people don’t have the power to choose who they are attracted to. This is why you find someone falling in love with an abusive and even a drug addicted partner and they still go ahead and marry this person and it ruins not just their life but also the children they give birth to.
We all change and some evolve. And when people evolve their values, their core nature also shifts. And we can’t really change the people in our lives all the time. Yes, we can change some of our friends and associates. But there are some people with whom we would rather change the kind of relationship we have with them. Because sometimes, you cannot change the person in your life but you can change how you both relate to each other. As we evolve, choice is to be able to change the way we relate with each other, so that you are happier interacting with each other more often and you are building each other uP!
I heard about this girl from a client who she loves her single father, and her husband is kind and supportive and welcomes the father home to stay with them. They tried it for a while and then the father moved out. Because sometimes, people can love each other but they can’t help themselves to feel different and relate differently with each other than how they have been doing all their life. The daughter feels guilty, the husband misses out on weekend work they were doing together, the grand child lost a wise mentor and the father lives lonely. What would have changed this equation in that family? If the father could have learnt to relate to his daughter slightly differently and if the daughter didn’t get so disturbed every-time the father misunderstood her. But, the sad part is that, in most parts of the world, even when people consciously understand the underlying emotions that is coming in the way of their relationships, they feel helpless to change the way they respond in certain situations. This is why I have so much respect for the methods that John Grinder developed with Neuro Linguistic Programming. For the first time in Human History, there is a method to break old patterns and develop new habits in minutes, not days or months.
What if you can choose who is your teacher? A lot of people learn from their immediate boss. Or the nearest expert in the area. What if, instead, you can learn from your super super boss? And from the best in the world instead of the nearest available expert.
One of our participants who doubled his 20 Million Dollar business after being stuck in a plateau for five years achieved what he achieved because we was able to change how related to the senior management and how they in-turn related back to the organization.
I can easily say that the growth of an already successful business is easily proportional to the quality of relationships within. And key qualities like trust and ownership are things good leaders can observe. However, developing the power to change what is not right and to choose a different culture for the organization, requires a completely different level of skills altogether. And I recommend that one needs to be able to develop layered relationships and deep insights of what drives people to be able to develop this power to choose.
Some people say that it takes two hands to clap. And that it requires both the people in the relationship to evolve personally, for them to relate to each other differently. As much as I agree to that, I have also seen the power of one person developing new choice and how it changes the other person over time. There was a lady who had an abusive husband. And when we helped her overcome her fear and develop a zero-tolerance attitude, the husband evolved to become a better person within a few years. And when we helped a father become overcome his anger and have choice over how he responds when he is irritated, he found his daughter opening to him and sharing things in her life that she didn’t for several years. An Entrepreneur who developed new choices to trust his key leaders found them developing new sense of ownership and respect for his vision.
Sometimes you must be patient, and sometimes you must demonstrate zero-tolerance with affirmation, sometimes, it is a thin line of difference there. And that calls for wisdom to make the right shift in you at the right time. This also calls for personal power because one of the things we have noticed is that when one person changes, their people around them do everything to get them back to their old behavior. There was a senior director who went back to his organization as a new and evolved person with new personal choices and capabilities, but his boss tried to get him to slow down. The good thing is that this senior director he was able to hold his frame. And if you have the personal power to hold the frame long enough, people will join you in your model of the world and adapt themselves to your frame. If you are gifted with such personal power, it is very important to also have the insights to validate that your frame creates a win-win-win consequence in the long run. Holding frames is a concept a lot of people who are exposed to conversational programming will be able to relate. In a super simplified sense, a frame is why you do what you do, and holding frames is your ability to hold on to it, even at a cost of a temporary strain. Like, a parent who says no to a child who is stubborn that he/she wants to watch a particular TV show may, and this act of saying ‘no’ creates temporary unpleasantness but it may result in positive character development for the child. Some parents can’t hold their frame for more than 5 minutes, and some parents hold onto the wrong frames! To change your relationships, you need to develop the wisdom to have great frames and the personal power to hold on to it.
2. The power to choose your customers
Chasers can’t be choosers but more on that at the bottom of the section.
When it comes to business, the power to choose your customers is everything! I have seen people with a great product, great service but stuck with the wrong customers. And eventually the business fails. The customers you need to attract if you are running a lottery service is different from the type of customers you need to attract if you are running an investment service.
One of the enablers for 7% weekly growth is a concept known as Product Completion in the growth hacking community. Your product is complete ONLY when the process of delivering your product also becomes the marketing channel. In other words, you product markets itself. And this is why having the right customers is so important because your initial customers are not about how much money you can make but about how fast can you grow.
These are 5 Filters that works for our business:
Have such a filtering criteria for our customers, increased our total sales revenue by 400% in one year and reduced the cost of acquisition by 50%.
It will be a bit of a struggle to let go of some type of customers but you do the maths, doesn’t your car or bike slow down a bit when you are shifting gears? The acceleration that comes after that is worth the pause between gears. (if you drive an automatic you may not know this happens, but it does)
1. Driven and Motivated but not Desperate
A driven person wants to improve and incrementally develop their skills, qualities and capabilities and allows that to change their career, quality of life and everything else. A desperate person on the other hand is looking for career growth immediately and personal development as a long term outcome. A driven person prepares ahead of time for what is going to come. I have helped and continue to help desperate parents who want their children to stop drugs, or a teen who is addicted in love, but those I do as a personal favor and not as a business outcome.
As a business, we are better off, dealing with people who are highly motivated and have been highly motivated but they know they can accelerate to the next level really faster.
2. Curious and Not a Skeptic
We love it when people do their research before they come to our events. We want people to check the facts to the point that my sales team only talks on phone to people after they have done their independent research. In 2017, we tried an experiment to drop all sales calls. This meant, only customers who came through their own independent research. And our sales revenue stayed the same. The difference between a curious and a skeptic is that a curious person is invested. And a skeptic is a time hogger.
Curious people also get Fascinated. They see something at the events that they have not seen in all their life and even if it is not about them, they get fascinated, they explore what happened, they learn better, it’s such a great vibe around and everyone in the eco-system benefits.
By dropping the sales calls in 2017, the team that was doing sales was able to use their full focus to create content that fed the curious. And this way from a mixed bag of customers we moved to a set of highly curious customers. And the end outcome, they continue to be curious after the events. And this leads to better results for them and for our business. In 2019, though my team does talk to people, still maintain what we learnt from this experiment. And instead of a 100% no call policy, the team uses several ways to educate the curious prospect and then gets on a call.
The point here is this: Does the above strategic decisions result in missing out on some clients. Absolutely Yes. But what would you rather have? A 30% increase in clients or the 400% increase in revenue. (from the figures explained above).
3. Are willing to pay the price
Our programs are very inconvenient to say the least. There is upto 2 months of waiting time for consultation if you are on a priority list. And even if you get a consultation, the pre-process before the consultation takes 3-4 hours. The events happen for 6 days and some events go on for 14 days. And if you are doing a residential event, you pay for the stay in a 5 Star. And even during the event, people stay back and do their activities till 12:00 am and travel all the way back after that to come back at 7:00am in the morning. And some people spend a bomb on travel and stay for every event and consultation. And mothers with infants have to make arrangements in great length to make it to these events. But at the end of the day, if it saves you 10 – 20 years, and you achieve within months a new level of personal power and you taste the life you didn’t even dream of within that time frame, it is all well worth the effort. There are people who make the effort to come to the event from any part of the world wherever they are because it is important to them. And that is the type of customers we want. For 90% of our customers, they acknowledge that what they have got from these events, they can’t get anywhere else. Some have tried different things around the world and some have been stuck with certain things for 20 – 30 years.
These customers want what we have to offer so much because of their priority to correct the things in their life, and most importantly, develop new capabilities and accelerate their growth, that they are willing to go that extra mile to make it happen.
4. Who will Impact the Society
We understand the psychology of buyers. This is the business we are in. We help people learn the psychology of people that is not taught in psychology or in business schools. So, we know there are different triggers to attract different type of customers. There are some people who want to make a lot of money, some people are hungry for fame, some people are hungry for social recognition, some people are hungry to impact the society. And our communication automatically filters and only appeals to the category of people who are hungry to impact the society. The people who are hungry for social status is the easiest cash pot but those are not the customers we want to attract.
One of the things I was concerned about when we were doing NLP Certification programs was that there were a lot of people who came in because they could get a hike in their salary or training gigs because of the certificate. So, when we introduced uP! I systematically got rid of the certification process, this ensured we filtered away those people and only got people who are committed to their own personal growth and development. Yes, we did get a push back, we did miss some customers, but as an eco-system I am so much happier about the customers we have now.
5. A Kind Heart and a Grateful Attitude
A driven and super motivated individual who is curious and has a kind heart and a big vision if my ideal customer. This is the person I want to meet for consultations because when Harini and I help such an individual compress time, the impact they create is exponential.
The kind heart and gratitude is difficult to filter at the beginning. But, since we are in the business of evolving people, we know the cues to read beyond the thank you’s and the gifts and the smiles and the hugs to actually discern who is grateful from the heart. I believe people who have a sense of gratitude pay things forward. They enable people around them. My team is not equipped (yet) to filter participants for uP! based on this criteria but they have definitely done the filtration with great accuracy for the Fast Track membership. And for Excellence Installation Specialization, Harini and I get involved in the filtering process and this is a key criterion.
And also, the beauty of uP! is that some of these things change after the event. There was a girl who had zero sense of gratitude for what her parents had done for her. And after 6 months, everything about her attitude towards her parents changed. When people evolve it also seems to have an impact in their character.
Is it necessary for a business to expect their customers to have a kind heart? No, not at all. We have some business verticals within our business like the Breakthrough product, where we filter exclusively based on commitment. But the business of Fast Track Membership and EIS, this has my involvement over time and if I am dedicating my time and energy to building relationships with some people at the cost of not being available for some other people, then I rather choose carefully who I want to invest that time with. And I like to have in my close set of customers, especially EIS and Fast Track members, people who share some of these basic value systems at a core level.
You have to make your choice about who you want as your customer based on your business. But remember you cannot choose, if you don’t have the power to choose.
I have seen so many good people, go broke. People with such great products shut shops, quality services going unnoticed. Great entrepreneurs stuck with vulture capitalists. I think business education around how to close quality deals and how to improve your personal power to communicate, let go, take risks, has to take a top priority in our educational system. Because these are the qualities that lets a quality service to achieve the status of choosing their customers. This is what I try and address in my Close The Deal like a Pro! program. Because when you can close the right deal, you will develop the power to choose. And you will know you have arrived here when you no longer have to chase your customers. And having the right customers and filtering out the not so useful apples, will grow your business at an unprecedented speed! Your customers are your brand ambassadors. Choose them wisely.
I mentioned above about how having a filtration process helped us multiply our revenue but what is more important to me is that I love even more what I do, because it is blissful when you have the right participants to engage with. And your mind is focused on things that creates a win-win-win for everyone.
Some of you may think big companies don’t filter their customers. No, everyone does. Facebook doesn’t allow pornography or hate movements. Apple clearly has its market segment divided in polarities. Google certainly launched gmail with invite only passes. Think again. These are things done subtly and every growth hacking company does it. And that is what marketing has to evolve into, it has to attract the right fit.
For some of you, it may help to think of the customer in a broader sense. For an employee, this could be your boss. For certain startups, this could be your customer. When it comes to business, the power to choose your customers is everything!
3. The power to choose your Capabilities
There are things I can do exceptionally well. And there are things that I just can’t do, no matter what, as of now. I need to know that difference. Just knowing your strengths and current limitations in itself can accelerate and bootstrap a significant success. Some people are good engineers but they don’t know that their business strategy needs help. Some people are good influencers but they don’t know that they need to tweak their products.
After you get into the habit of playing to your strengths, another opportunity that opens up for you is to work on some of your current limitations. And strategically choose which of these limitations are you going to work on and convert into a strength.
Every individual has a set of experiences that uniquely enables them to create something very meaningful for the world. But there are also invisible speed-breakers on the way. And missing ingredients. A good dish that doesn’t have salt isn’t complete even if every other ingredient is of the finest quality and in the perfect proportion.
And in order to create the impact that you potentially can, you will have to close the gaps on the missing capabilities that are important for you at this point in time. Because that changes from time to time based on the opportunities available to you and the people in your life, as you continue to evolve.
There was a point when I would get tensed and struggle in front of a camera. And a few years from then, videos of my content both recording from an ongoing event and interviews have become one of the key cornerstones of our business. I was once invited to the launch of a restaurant in Hyderabad. The promoters had spent a huge amount of money on the infrastructure and they made an executive decision to not have any pictures of the food and also went to great extent to avoid the aroma of the food fill the space. Think about it, the promoters didn’t realize that part of the eating experience is the anticipation, the neurology prepares and gets ready from the visual triggers and the smell, to enjoy the taste of the food even before it comes. Videos to us is what aroma is to a restaurant. And I had to work on it. It wasn’t enough I didn’t tense before the camera. I had to become natural and excellent. And I invested great amount of time and money to get enough experience and familiarity with the camera and then my neurology went “bring it on”!
There was a time in human history where people can only have the capabilities they came with. Or invest 10 – 20 years to get a new capability. Like, if someone is not a great story teller, the average time it takes for a person to have that kind of a personality is about 10 – 20 years. However, today, that is not the case. And especially, with Excellence Installation Technology, we have seen people get to excellence in new skills and develop a completely new layer, personality and vibe (in addition to all that they already have) in as fast as 6 months.
Here is a video of Sonika, who demonstrates the power of having the choice to add new capabilities and how it helped her become the future of her family business and get past the struggles of an industry in turmoil.
The power to choose and incrementally add capabilities will complete your rarity. And exponentially multiply the impact that you bring to the business. Some people need to add the executive presence NOW, not after 10 years. Some need to add the ability to connect with people who are different from them. Some need to develop more variations in their voice. Some need to develop the ability to build rapport. Some need to develop the choice to learn somethings they haven’t been able to learn. And some need to develop the capability to be firm. The list is endless and what you can develop also is endless but wisdom is to pick the ones that will strategically multiply and compound with time.
The tools of Neuro Linguistic Programming specifically the ones that John Grinder has tested and validated to work, are exceptionally powerful in giving the power back to you about how you feel. The situations and circumstances around you can change, but how you feel and emotionally respond is always your choice (in most cases). And in the last 40 years, we have been blessed with these incredible tools to sit in the driver seat of our emotions.
My focus has been, along with Harini, how we can leverage this wonderful technology to systematically go after a specific long term outcome. How, designing how we feel, will impact our power of choice in our relationships, customers and capabilities. And one of the key ideas for this also comes from John Grinder’s book along with Judith Delozier called ‘Turtles All the Way Down’, where they map this decision making process based on long term consequences.
What choice if I leveraged today in how I feel everyday about certain situations will lead to a long term consequence of this, that and that! This is how I knew that helping Harini to develop the choice to leave the lyrics book behind will exponentially improve her performance and growth as an individual. And this is the foundation of Excellence Installation Technology. You can watch this story along with the description of this model here.
Someone once asked me: Antano, where would you choose to live if you could live anywhere in the world, would it be near the beach, would you like a rainy place or moderate whether. And I said, I would rather choose to choose where I live based on the people I can have in my life. Choose what parameters you are particular about, wisely 🙂
Choice is power. Choice without Wisdom is a Crash. And Choice with Wisdom is Evolution. So, power uP! responsibly 🙂
Not every business can grow at a 7% every week. Some are just not tech enabled yet. Some are ahead of its time and needs a different yard stick like electricity and computers when they were introduced. And some of you can choose to be happy with just doubling your salary or a comfortable business that makes you a few millions in profit every year. Irrespective, When you develop the power to choose, even if you don’t actually grow at a rate of 7% every week. The power to choose, is in itself a feeling of abundance which is more valuable than 1000x.