Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Learn What You Don't Know That You Don't Know

Good morning, Successful People!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am.

I realized that some of you may not be into self-improvement. You like who you are already. So I'll add some bonus blog entries this week to help you have a great week.

During breaks at the Jack Canfield seminar, I'm meeting dozens of people. I ask each one to tell me what they are trying to gain that they haven't accomplished yet. Then I ask them to tell me how they plan to go about gaining what they want in the future.

Invariably, I find that they don't know much about how to accomplish their goal. So they are choosing a high risk, low reward pathway without knowing it.

I then tell them about what the low risk, high reward pathways are and answer their questions about why those pathways work better. In most cases, these brief conversations can save them years of effort and be worth a great deal of money to them.

Here's an example. One man wants to start a company. He tells me that his limitation is in raising the capital. I ask him what is the best source of low-cost capital, and he tells me it's friends and family. I tell him that's not a bad answer if he has no chance of failing, but if he fails that he will never have the same family relationships again. He looks uncomfortable. So I ask him what's a cheaper and more abundant source of capital. He mentions more expensive and less abundant sources like venture capital.

I share with him that raising capital from customers is a better route. Customers then have a stake in your success . . . which increases your chances of success. Many times this funding is simply in the form of advance payments against invoices . . . or a low interest rate loan with the option to turn it into some equity at a higher price. Once a large customer has made such an investment, everyone else wants to invest.

The man does the arithmetic and realizes that this pathway will make his company quickly worth $200 million instead of $4 million, and he will own over 50% rather than owning less than 25%. He's ready to shift focus and we discuss how to organize this by building a team with experience in this type of financing.

How can you apply this lesson to your life?

First, assume that you don't know something that's important to know about what you're doing.

Second, seek out people who have succeeded at what you are about to pursue.

Third, tell the people what you plan to do.

Fourth, ask those experienced people what you are missing.

Fifth, repeat the process with at least 25 people.

Sixth, check out any books on the subject to see what they suggest.

Although this may sound like a lot of work, if what you want to do is valuable to you, you'll be much better off in the long run. Notice, too, that you'll probably begin gaining better ideas very quickly in the process so your improvements will soon become available to you.

Please feel free to let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

Thanks so much for your support of this blog. I'm delighted that so many tens of thousands of people have made this blog part of their regular reading habit!

If you like this blog, please let others know who might also enjoy it.

Thank you to my many friends, students, clients and blog readers who are spreading the good word about this blog. If you are visiting today because one of them invited you, I'm delighted to meet you! Let's stay in touch.

May God bless you.

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell