Do You Have a Fixed or Growth Mindset?

 This is a test! Read each statement below and circle the ones that most represent the beliefs you have about yourself:

  1. No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit.
  2. Your intelligence is something very basic about you and you can’t change very much.
  3. You can always change how intelligent you are.
  4. You can learn new things but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.
  5. No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change substantially.
  6. You are a certain kind of person, and there is not much that can be done to change that.
  7. You can always change basic things about the kind of person you are.
  8. You can do things differently, but the important parts of who you are can’t really be changed.
  9. When things don’t go your way, you take ownership, accountability and responsibility for your part in the situation.
  10. When things don’t go your way you use blame, make excuses or go into denial.

If you circled the odd statements, you have a Growth Mindset. If you circled the even statements, you have a Fixed Mindset.

If you tested positive for a Growth Mindset then congratulations! You have the “Right Stuff” for success in business and life! You understand that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to what happens to us. When you make a mistake or have a failure, you challenge yourself to get better. You look at failures as opportunities to learn and improve. Growth Mindset People embrace failure as a necessary part of growing, the same way an athlete will build muscle by tearing down the muscle, then building up it back up stronger.

Growth Mindset People are in the company of greatness. They share this mindset with the likes of NBA Great Michael Jordon, who was cut from his high school varsity basketball team and was not recruited from the college he played for. Michael Jordon used his Growth Mindset to work harder and get better. If he missed a shot in a game, he would reshoot the same shot 100 times. Growth Mindset People NEVER give up.

Growth Mindset People keep their pride and ego in check. They know that the only way they will continue to learn is by being humble, asking a lot of questions and realizing that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. They know that growth is a function of being a consummate learner.

If you tested positive for having a Fixed Mindset, you CAN make the decision to change the way you think. You can BECOME a Growth Mindset Person!



6 Steps to Building a Formal Referral Program that Work Every Time!

When it comes to customer referrals most people leave little to be desired. By the way, what is the number one reason most people don’t receive a referral from a customer? It is simply because we don’t ASK. What is the second reason we don’t receive a referral? When we do ask for a referral, we do not ask it the RIGHT WAY.

Here are the 6 steps to building a Formal Referral Program that will work every time:

referralsStep 1: Make the commitment to being a “Referral Based Business”. If you are in business, you are in the relationship business. What better way to grow your business then by building strong relationships with your best customers? A referral-based business should have as one of its core values the idea of taking care of its customers in such a way as to earn the right to ask for referrals. Lastly, since 80% of traditional advertising does not work anymore, referrals work amazingly well and the best part is they are free!

Step 2: Set up a meeting or a phone call with your best customers, keeping in mind the notion that “birds of a feather flock together”. We would like our best customers to refer us to people just like them. When you set up the meeting, let them know that you would like to ask them a couple of questions about your service and it will take less than 5 minutes.

Step 3: Ask the customer service question this way: “Mr./Mrs. Customer, during the time we have been doing business together, what would you say have been the top 2 or 3 greatest benefits to you (or your business)?”

Thank them for their answer, then ask this question: “How has (their answer) affected them (or their business) specifically?”

For example, let’s say my client’s answer was their greatest benefit has been gaining more time. I would then ask: “How has more time affected you specifically?” They may answer they now have time to watch their son play baseball or take a vacation. Once you have their 2 or 3 greatest benefits of doing business with you, thank them again.

Step 4: Ask for the referral this way: “Mr./Mrs. Customer, who do you know who would appreciate (their top 2 or 3 greatest benefits of doing business with you) the way you do?” When we use our customer’s own words to validate our value proposition, almost always they discover a friend or acquaintance whom they believe can benefit from our business.

Step 5: Engage the customer in bringing the referral to us. Thank the customer for the referral, then ask: “How should we go about introducing me (or my business) to your referral?” The customer might agree to call the referral, or arrange a meeting. Be prepared to coach the customer on ways for you to meet the referral.

Step 6: Follow up with customer who gave the referral. If you begin a relationship with the referral, make sure you follow up with your customer with a nice handwritten card and perhaps a small gift to show appreciation. If you have been unsuccessful in doing business with the referral, then by all means politely let your customer know. Often the customer will offer to help you make contact with the referral.

In today’s high tech, low touch ways of marketing, relationship based sales is still the most effective way to grow any business.



One of the most common business terms today is KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and rightfully so. Imagine you are playing a pickup basketball game and not keeping score. Then imagine someone shows up with a scoreboard, a scorekeeper, and a couple of referees. How would this change the way you were playing the game? Predictably, because people are competitive by nature, the intensity of the game would instantly increase and each player would play to the best of their ability in an attempt to win! This dynamic of measuring performance has the same effect in business.

When I meet with a business owner for the first time, I often discover they have not been measuring or keeping track of the fundamental KPIs in their business.

The question is what are the KPIs that are on YOUR scoreboard?

For starters, here are 5 basic KPIs that all businesses should be measuring, tracking, and using to evaluate their team’s productivity:

  1. Conversion Rate:The conversion rate is the % of prospects who “convert” to customers. For example, If you have a retail store, and 100 prospects came in and 60 bought something that day, your conversion rate for that day would be 60%.
  2. Leads by Source:Let’s say we invested $20,000 in marketing and in our marketing plan we have tv, radio and direct mail. We also have a customer referral program and a customer loyalty program. The question is, do we know how well each of these 5 strategies are working? We do ONLY if we are measuring the results. The easiest way to accomplish this is to ask each customer “how did you hear about us?” and record their answer on a simple sheet that lists all of your lead generating strategies. You’ll be thankful you did this when it’s time to consider renewing your marketing plan.
  3. Average $ Sale: The average $ sale is the average spent by each customer who bought something. If our total sales for the day were $5000 and 60 customers bought from us, the average $ per sale would have been $83.33.
  4. Average $ Sale Per Employee: Let’s say we own a restaurant and we have a wait staff. The average $ sale per employee (wait staff) would be the average $ per customer served for that day.
  5. Break Even Point: The break even point is the amount of sales necessary to break even so that revenue beyond the break even point goes to profit. A business owner should know their break even point for the year, quarter, month, week, and even for each day.

It has been my experience that what we measure gets better! There are plenty of other KPIs to consider and I’ve given you 5 to get started with. If you want more customers, more sales, more profit and marketing strategies that work, start by inspecting what you expect!