We’ve all heard of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the groundbreaking book by Dr. Stephen R. Covey. In it, he lays out in detail the seven habits he believes can make you perform at a more efficient level. That book has influenced many people over the years while simultaneously changing the self-help industry forever.
I was recently thinking about how this related to what we do in the Agency Mavericks community. In particular, how those that have successfully elevated their businesses using the Blueprint program have leveraged a unique set of habits to become more effective and profitable.
Don’t get me wrong: Dr. Covey’s suggestions are essential words of wisdom for anyone who wants to be better in business. However, when it comes to the community in which we work, something very special is needed in order to succeed. And the most successful and highly effective Elevators have truly unlocked the secret to that success with these seven habits:
Habit 1: Establish Positioning
All good Elevators establish positioning from the start. This means that you use a series of processes to help set the right tone with prospects. The tone that says:
“I am the expert.”
“I am in charge of this project.”
“I am the right person for this job.”
The Blueprint helps you do this by setting up some “hoops” for the prospective client to jump through, which shows you they are willing to trust your process. For instance, one of the hoops demonstrates that you know the right questions to ask and are capable of delivering a result that is chock-full of value for them.
By properly positioning yourself from the get-go, you’ll ensure that the project starts off on the right foot and continues to flow in a positive direction until it’s completed.
Habit 2: Show Added Value Right Away
Great Elevators know that you must show you can add value before a prospect will hire you for a project. The Blueprint’s Go Wide Go Deep process helps to do just that.
In the end, the Go Wide Go Deep method allows you to prove your depth of knowledge in the industry, their business and the process. This ensures that prospects understand the value of their investment in you before you even give them the proposal.
Learn how one of Agency Mavericks’s most successful Elevators, Jasmine Andrews, has productised the Go Wide Go Deep process for her business.
Nervous that you’re losing prospects at the proposal stage?
There’s no need to be. Download this free proposal template and start winning better and bigger projects.
Habit 3: Learn the Fundamentals
Obviously, in order to be a great Elevator, you need to know what you’re going to deliver and how. So, let’s assume that if you’re building great websites for clients, you’re a master coder. If you specialise in design, you’re a pro at that. Strategy, maintenance, SEO, copywriting… Whatever it is you do, you got it covered.
But you need to have the fundamentals for running a business, too. This includes skills like:
The Blueprint Program lays out the plan for how to do all of this and more.
We coaches are often asked if someone should implement every little piece of the Blueprint before applying it to their business. The answer is a resounding “no”.
Just learn the fundamentals of the process and implement those first. You’ll continue to reinforce those fundamentals as you adopt more of the Blueprint, evolving your process and business into a stronger, faster, more effective machine.
Habit 4: Take Imperfect Action
It is so important to not get hung up on perfection. As Troy says:
“It’s important not to confuse refinement for perfection. Your processes will never be perfect, so don’t waste time obsessing over every little detail.”
Too often people freeze or stall out because they believe they need to do something 100% right in order to do it at all. But that’s faulty thinking.
Your processes will iron themselves out over time. Most of the processes needed to run your business cannot be defined until you try them a few times anyway. It takes time to refine things and season them to fit your clients, your team and the way you really want to do business.
So, don’t wait for perfection. Imperfect steps are better than no steps at all.
Start now. Think about what you can do in the next five minutes and get it done. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t have an Under Construction website. Just get a one-pager up and evolve from there. It will be okay, I promise.
Habit 5: Continued Education
Nothing is more important, especially in tech fields than continuing education. You should always be learning — and by that, I mean purposeful learning. Give yourself a plan for what you’re going to focus your education on and make sure there’s a really strong “why” behind that plan.
When you first start out in business, you probably need to spend 80% of your time focused on learning the fundamentals and processes and the remaining 20% on executing them.
Once you’re moving, you need to flip that and spend 80% of the time on execution and 20% on learning new things or deepening your knowledge of others.
As Dr. Covey preached:
“Sharpen the Saw.”
In other words, stay sharp and do it with purpose. And, if you have a team, build a culture of learning and growth!
One of the best lessons you can learn for your business?
How to get better clients, work on better projects, and get paid better fees. Strengthen your knowledge and your business with this free online course.
Habit 6: Carve Out Time for Working ON the Business
We’ve all heard the saying:
“Make sure you work on your business, not just in your business.”
It’s true. We need to always keep pushing to make the business better.
But when? Doesn’t it seem that there are never enough hours in the week? This is where Dr. Covey had it right again:
“Put First Things First.”
Schedule out the things that are important, but not urgent first. Those are the Quadrant 2 Tasks, according to Covey.
At the start of each week, plan ahead and create time in your calendar to focus on things that will help your business grow. This should include networking, education, content creation (for your business), and anything else you usually put off and know you shouldn’t.
Put them in the calendar and treat them like actual appointments. Don't move them or cancel them unless it is truly an emergency. These tasks are just as important to your business as client work is. They are building your future and, as the business owner, that should be a very high priority for you.
Habit 7: Have a Support System
One thing so many people in our industry are missing out on is a true support system. The Agency Mavericks and, now, Mavericks communities have taught me the importance of having a sounding board — a group of like-minded people who are willing to help me, mentor me and hold me accountable.
Every great business owner has such a support system. If you haven’t already, make sure your own is comprised of the following:
A group of people who are in or have been in the same situation as you.
The Agency Mavericks community is a great example. A private, online group of people who are knowledgeable, doing the same things that you’re doing and have a true abundance mentality.
A local group of business people from different industries.
Think of your local chamber or networking groups such as BNI. Or maybe a group you can find on Meetup. People in other businesses face the same challenges you do, so they need the same support. This is also a great way to find referrals and clients.
A couple close, personal friends who have good business acumen.
I meet every week for coffee with a friend who is in the travel industry and we talk business. She’s a great sounding board and accountability partner and I recommend that everyone have such a friend they can bounce ideas off of.
When I first started my business I didn’t have any of the above, but, now that I do, and I have developed an abundance mindset, I know I could not survive without them.
Bonus Habit: Find Your Sweet Spot
Okay, I am a rule breaker by nature, so I had to include an eighth habit: Find your sweet spot.
These are the only tasks you should be working on.
Make a list of everything you’ve ever done for a client (even if you didn’t get paid to do it). Then:
- Go through the list and put a checkmark next to everything you do well.
- Go back through the list and put a check next to the items you love to do. These are the things you get out of bed for.
- Put a check next to the items that make you a profit when only you do them. This is a tough one, but be honest.
Your sweet spot are the items that have three checkmarks. With everything else, you have a choice to make:
Remove anything you can’t do from your list. Delegate the essential tasks that are missing a checkmark and delete the inessential time-wasters.
Turn down business so that you have enough time to commit to the essential business tasks you need to own.
You don’t have to do everything a client wants you to do. For instance, I refuse to handle anything related to email. I have a list of people who will, though, and I refer clients to them. This way, my plate stays clear of those tasks and my clients remain happy because someone is taking care of that task for them.
Ready to Become a Highly Effective Elevator, Too?
If you want to elevate your business, then I strongly recommend that you develop these Elevator-approved habits. Of course, as we always say, “season to taste”. Make each habit your own and make it work for your specific business and situation.
Oh! And one more thing:
For those of you who are new here or who have been on the fence about the Blueprint, Agency Mavericks is hosting a special live round of the Blueprint program at a one time only discounted price. It’s a seven-week course (with some juicy bonuses) and enrolments will take place June 24 – July 1.
Interested in signing up? Click on the image below and join today!