The Difference Between Writing Fact And Writing Fiction…

Fiction has to make sense! This was written by a writer of television series. Over the past year if I’ve learned anything, and I’ve learned A LOT, fact is often much stranger than fiction. Who would have thought when the Governor told us we’d need to shelter in place for 17 days we’d still be sheltered almost a year later? Certainly the professional painter I met with by the name of Jed didn’t!

Jed and I sat down last week, face to face, to talk about changing the direction of his residential/commercial painting business in 2021 from the direction it took in 2020. When 2020 was all said and done Jed’s revenue in 2020 was down a little over 31% from what he’d done in 2019. This revenue drop took him from being profitable to a slight loss and that included losing one of his more reliable and well paid painters due to cost cutting. Jed was seeking my help to make 2021 a better year. When we got down to specifics and I learned how much better he was expecting I suspected there would be a problem.  

Jed’s “line in the sand” goal was to increase 2021 to at least 50% above his result from 2019… not 2020. This was a must have. The goal meant we had to return the business to the 2019 level and then we needed to add an additional 50% to that! Growing 30% would not be easy but is possible. I was all in on this goal. Growing another 50% on top of that and delivering a quality product (which he does!) while having lost his best painter was a fool’s game. When I told him this he wasn’t happy. I love helping an owner deliver what’s realistic and possible. I felt good about a 30% increase.

Since this wasn’t a good fit for either of us we went on our way. I gave Jed some marketing ideas he could use along with promising to stay in touch with him. On the one hand I’d love to be able to help him realistically grow his business and on the other hand I don’t want to be involved in pushing someone to attain what’s likely unattainable in a single year. What advice would you give Jed?      

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

Did You Know That 6 Of The 8 Female NFL Coaches Are Working Sunday?

Many purists are borderline apoplectic due so many new coaches in the NFL being women. To be clear, these are women who have likely never played a down of high level tackle football in their life. What could they possibly bring to the table? I’ve been asked that question a lot during my own career about how I can help my potential client and my ability to learn and solve problems has taken me to a lot of unexpected places. From what I’ve read it’s taking many female coaches to places they may never have expected.

When the only tool someone knows how to operate is a hammer everything needs to be a nail. The NFL has always been a game reliant on size, strength and power and these attributes will always matter. In 2021 the NFL has evolved to the point where finesse and problem solving skills are more important than ever. Defeating a complex offensive scheme demands different thinking. Complex game plans on either side of the ball demand thinking in a very different way. Imagine how differently a 5’ 6” police officer must think when they work to enforce the law in any gang infested neighborhood just so they can go home after their shift is over? The thinking that got her the job won’t get her home!

People from all walks of life, all ages, all colors, all sexual orientations and all backgrounds learn to be great lawyers, skilled surgeons, accounting geniuses, and anything else you can think of. Others who have the talent to excel at these professions are complete failures for many different reasons. Some of the common traits of anyone who excels at anything comes down to hard work, the willingness to learn something new and someone who said “What the hell do we have to lose?” From my side of the desk I know more about how to successfully market a business than my potential client does and when they let go they see the results. There are 8 female coaches in the NFL and six of them work for the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Kansas City Chiefs. Coincidence? Finding and retaining world class talent matters now more than ever! I Guarantee I Can Help You!      

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

Did You Know That 6 Of The 8 Female NFL Coaches Are Working Sunday?

Many purists are borderline apoplectic due so many new coaches in the NFL being women. To be clear, these are women who have likely never played a down of high level tackle football in their life. What could they possibly bring to the table? I’ve been asked that question a lot during my own career about how I can help my potential client and my ability to learn and solve problems has taken me to a lot of unexpected places. From what I’ve read it’s taking many female coaches to places they may never have expected.

When the only tool someone knows how to operate is a hammer everything needs to be a nail. The NFL has always been a game reliant on size, strength and power and these attributes will always matter. In 2021 the NFL has evolved to the point where finesse and problem solving skills are more important than ever. Defeating a complex offensive scheme demands different thinking. Complex game plans on either side of the ball demand thinking in a very different way. Imagine how differently a 5’ 6” police officer must think when they work to enforce the law in any gang infested neighborhood just so they can go home after their shift is over? The thinking that got her the job won’t get her home!

People from all walks of life, all ages, all colors, all sexual orientations and all backgrounds learn to be great lawyers, skilled surgeons, accounting geniuses, and anything else you can think of. Others who have the talent to excel at these professions are complete failures for many different reasons. Some of the common traits of anyone who excels at anything comes down to hard work, the willingness to learn something new and someone who said “What the hell do we have to lose?” From my side of the desk I know more about how to successfully market a business than my potential client does and when they let go they see the results. There are 8 female coaches in the NFL and six of them work for the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Kansas City Chiefs. Coincidence? Finding and retaining world class talent matters now more than ever! I Guarantee I Can Help You!      

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

The Economic Explosion Resulting From The Coronavirus Vaccine Or Do You Want Fries With That???

CVS, Rite-Aid, Walmart, Sams Club along with just about any place that has a pharmacy cannot get the Coronavirus soon enough and for reasons that may not be clear to everyone. This morning on Stuart Varney I saw the statistic that 41% are ready to get the vaccine as soon as possible, 44% want to wait a bit and 15% said they would never be willing to get vaccinated. While these are the highest acceptance rates I’ve seen I don’t doubt them. Why are so many companies in line to provide this service? The reason is selling fries with that vaccine.

McDonalds became very profitable after training their counter staff to ask “do you want fries with that?” This simple question raised the average ticket by only $1.79 (the cost of a medium fry). While $1.79 may not seem significant on its own merit you must consider McDonalds sees 62,000,000 customers every day! If only 20% are upsold to that means an additional $22 million in sales daily and $8 billion in sales annually! This all comes from asking “do you want fries with that?”

When you know what you can sell your ideal customer and you combine that with what else you can sell them you enter the Zone Of Pure Genius! These companies know that 41% of the nation cannot get the vaccine soon enough. In these stores the place where you will physically get the shot is at the back of the store. They’re betting you’ll do some shopping for other things while you’re there anyway. This is a very solid plan. I’ve already had e-mails from two of these named companies reminding me that they will be offering the vaccine and asking to place me on their list. It gives them a reason to contact me with the expectation I will open and read it. The initial e-mail also contained coupons for products related to colds and the flu. As a friend who is a CPA tells me “whenever the IRS announces a tax simplification measure it is the same as a full employment act for accountants!”

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

The Latest Trend… Tutor Shaming

Parents Who Pay $100 To Hire Tutors For Their Children Drive Up Demand For Tutors And Increase Inequities…

During the pandemic some parents are hiring tutors in an effort to get their kids a step up on their competition. Some see hiring tutors as increasing inequalities… I think this is the express purpose! These parents intend to keep the playing field uneven for their children for life if possible. A $100 per hour tutor may not help anyone’s child rise to the genius level but consider if you’re hiking with a friend and encounter a bear, you only need to be faster than your friend to survive. Their kids just need to be a little smarter than the competition to excel.

I hired my first business coach when I had no money to do so. I had everything all figured out. I knew where I wanted to position my practice, I knew who I wanted to serve, I knew how many people I wanted to serve and when everything was said and done I was wrong on almost every detail. My first business coach was Chuck Gibson and he systematically upended everything I thought I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it and how I wanted to go about it. I listened. Starting from my very first month in business I was profitable and it only got better. He knew things I didn’t and helped to educate me as we went along. He was 100% correct.

Now I get to be that guy. I love the impact I have on my clients. In the last month a client moved into their dream home based on the profits he created from our work together. I’ve had clients take their first ever family vacation where they actually had a chance to reconnect with their children based on our work and the systems we implemented. I don’t take credit for these results. I expect these results going in.

Business owners often know they have to work on their business and not just in their business. They tell me with their next breath they aren’t sure what to work on or how to work on it. Not knowing what you need to work on is no better than being unwilling to do the work. Abraham Lincoln said the man who can read but won’t is no better off than the man who cannot read. Prove him wrong! My personal business coach lives in Arizona… his name is Martin Howey. Feel free to google his name. Call him if you’d like. Yes, he taught me a lot of what I know. If you want to expedite the process of getting from Point A to Point B you and I should talk. If your business is getting you everything you want (the ability to do what you want, when you want, as much as you want, as often as you want and with whomever you want) why are you even reading this? If not, pick up the damn phone and let’s talk.

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

A Business Without An Active Mailing List Isn’t

      If you’ve been in business more than a few hours and still don’t have a mailing list you’re using at least twice every month I wonder what you’re waiting for. After the start of this pandemic I was getting calls from business owners I’ve met with who poo pooed the value of a mailing list…. who all of a sudden wanted to create a database really quick without the raw material to do so. A truly heartbreaking case was a family owned restaurant with great food and a not so great location. When we initially met a couple of years earlier they didn’t want to bother with a mailing list or an active social platform (which could work as a secondary mailing list). Today they have closed their doors permanently and filed bankruptcy. The reason he didn’t want to take the time or spend the money to create this list is they were “too busy” and based on the level of business it wasn’t needed. 
     I’ve seen so many businesses spending money on advertising to get a new customer then balk at spending less money to keep the customer they already have. If a business makes a sale to their customer twice a year on average and they increase that average to three times per year they have increased their business by fifty percent (50%)… How would accomplishing this be a bad thing? People who already buy from you know what it’s like to do business with you and are the easiest to get a return visit from. These same people are easier to get an increased dollar value sale out of as well.
     Few owners make the connection between the value of their business and how it relates to having a database. True Story…  Several years ago I was working with an HVAC company who maintained their customer database within their billing system. They weren’t using the database for marketing purposes. Everything was kept on a tape back-up which was left in the back-up slot in the office computer. Nothing was ever taken off site. I suggested they learn how to restore from a back-up and also recommended the back-up be taken off site. A tragic fire happened late on a Sunday night several months later (not suspicious in any way) and the physical business burned to the ground… A complete loss. Some technicians took their vans home and they were unaffected. Monday morning I had them go to a local office supply store and buy a computer with a tape back-up already installed. They went about restoring the data. By a little after 11 am that same morning they had their database reinstalled along with their A/R and A/P and due to remote call forwarding were already taking calls for service. They had a database, knew how to restore it, knew how to use it and leveraged that information. They continue to use it even today and most of their marketing is driven from their internal database.
     How do you use your database? There are several businesses who have already come out of this and doing better year over year compared to 2019. Great! Top Of Mind Awareness is critically important right now. Create, use or enhance what you have and you can move from a market participant to your market leader. Being the leader is what this is all about! I have a few suggestions so you can move in that direction!        
 If I you want to talk let me know at www.speakwithsteven.com

Most People Work On The Symptom Not The Problem…

I spoke to a business group recently and ended by taking questions. This was a group of legal and accounting professionals and their questions were many of the same questions general contractors ask. All questions were symptom related and avoided the actual problem. A symptom question would be “How do we get busier?” and a problem question would be “Our director of outreach is getting more potential customers in the door and I want to know how to change the demographic they are reaching?” Symptom as opposed to problem.

To make the shift from symptom to problem requires better questions. Great questions define the actual problem. Poorly framed questions produce only tactics. Tactical answers don’t have the ability to change the result but make you feel like progress is being made toward a worthwhile goal.

Here’s cheat sheet on asking better questions. Start with a question that outlines the actual thing you need to repair. Once you have a clear and true understanding of the actual thing work on simplifying the thing to the greatest extent possible. The last action is to expand the different ways you can get there. In 1958 Dr. Robert Schuller needed to raise $1 million dollars to build his church and that was a lot of money in 1958. If he could find 1 person with $1 million it would be easy… Finding that 1 person would be very difficult. Then he looked at 2 people at $500,000 which was still hard and he finally settled at $100 from 10,000 people. He outlined what he needed, simplified what was needed and expanded the possibilities until he got the right answer.

What is your right answer and how much more time will you spend asking the wrong question?  

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are  one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

You Can Only Learn When You Listen

Who loves to learn? Who loves to listen? I’d argue fewer hands went up with the question about listening. One of my best friends has an alphabet soup of degrees from Associates to Bachelors to Masters to Juris Doctor. His education level is almost intimidating. When he talks I listen. He has a wealth of information in many areas and he’s willing to share what he knows, what he learned, how he applied the information  and how it shaped him as a man and as a professional.

Who can you learn from and what can you learn? I have learned from my wife to be less serious and more fun. From my children I learned patience and that they will surprise me more every day. I learned unconditional love from my 3 dogs. I learned to ask for help when I hit a roadblock. In asking for help I’ve learned I don’t know everything.  

I know business owners and entrepreneurs tend to ask for help when their car breaks. I’ve also learned they will call a roofer to repair a leak. Sadly, many owners have too much self-esteem to ask for help with their business. Many think it’s simple or easy and they can do it alone. I have a friend who is a cardiac surgeon who specializes in bypass surgery who swears what he does is simple. I’ve watched him do 4 surgeries and it appears simple. Bypass surgery is simple if you know what you’re doing. He knows. What are you oversimplifying and how can I help?    

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out and you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the field playing because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

What Do You Need To Stop Doing To Get The Things You Want?

The majority of instruction I’ve read about how to be more successful and how to get more of what you want center around things you need to do. These are well intentioned and helpful to a selected few already inclined to take massive action. We love these people and want to be more like them. The reality is most people aren’t. If you’re in the group that won’t add something to your to-do list there may be a better way….

Take a minute and ask yourself what you need to stop doing in order to have the things you really want? Eliminating something is much easier for the human brain to understand. The brain provides less resistance to eliminating an action. If you feel sluggish in the morning try eliminating overeating and eliminating going to bed late. Eliminating just these two things will tend to help you lose weight and get sufficient sleep.

If you want to have a better frame of mind during the day eliminate watching the Evening News and instead turn on a mindless sit-com. My drug of choice is Two And-A-Half Men. I watch a few minutes every night. There is very little other than bad news on the Evening News and eliminating this has been a net positive for my clients and myself. The occasional person I work with who still watches the Evening News has yet to tell me what they get from the News that’s a net positive or instructional.

If you want to stop losing money or market share in your business eliminate complaining about how bad things are. Just eliminating complaining is a big win for your brain chemistry. When you replace complaining with Massive Imperfect Action you may become a force to be reckoned with. While complaining, overeating, being depressed from the News and not getting sufficient sleep may seem easier you need to know there is a better way. If you want my help just let me know!

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out and you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the field playing because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com

How Accurate Are You Thinking?

I asked a client why they hired me to drive their company’s revenue. They gave me the most terrifying answer I’ve ever heard. They hired me because I’m a positive thinker. He went on to tell me I was a positive thinker about everything and he liked being around that. I felt sick to my stomach for the rest of the day. I am not a positive thinker… I’m an accurate thinker. Give me accurate any day of the week.

Positive thinking destroys businesses and families. Think positive all you want and unless you’re accurate about what’s going on it won’t end well. Think positive about having a few hundred dollars in the bank and you’ll eventually get very hungry.

When you read the book “Think And Grow Rich” you learn there was a lot of action happening within that thinking. Hill was a very accurate man and took a lot of action. The book he wrote next was “Grow Rich With Peace Of Mind.” Even Hill thought it was a better book. Most readers of the first book have never heard of the second book.

How accurate are you thinking right now? Are you thinking you need to lower your expectations for the second half of the year? Is that accurate? They’re now telling us we’re officially in a recession. Are You? I’m not and I’m not planning to be. I’m thinking and acting my way through this and so are my clients. In fact one of my clients has created an income with a minimum of 200% over the first half of 2019 in what he was told was a “non-essential business.” He thought he was essential. His bank account certainly agrees with that. Think about calling me… Here’s a link to my calendar. My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out and you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the field playing because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit www.stevenclauson.com