My business http://www.making8.com/ turned 6 years old today. It’s not the same as raising a kid but you do go through a lot with it. I’ve learned a ton over the years but the one thing that stood out is that while I’m pretty good at what I do people bought from me for a number of reasons. Years ago I stopped going to meetups because everyone would just ask me questions and I wasn’t getting anything out of it. The thing about it is just about every person I ever met from those few meetups I ended up doing business with down the road. One speech numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Imagine, 15 minutes of your time amounting to that. My rankings on search engines were top but that didn’t matter so much as the relationships. When you work in the top tier of things it’s all about relationships. It took me way too long to figure this out but it’s been one of the most profitable lessons of my life. I might be fortunate enough to get invited to speak in Las Vegas this year. If I don’t that’s ok as it’s on every year.
If I was to change one thing again it would be to go out and network a lot more again. You don’t need to sell anyone anything. Just talk about what you’re passionate about and be yourself. Most of my clients I never had to sell them much. They were already sold and their friends had referred them over. That’s one thing everyone seems to mistake. If you’re passionate about something you probably know a lot more than most do about it. Share your passions and talents. I used to think it was all about the results but more than anything it’s the way you leave someone feeling. Years ago I might not of agreed with Arlene Dickenson on the sentiment around this but it’s so true. You really have to engage and connect with your audience. Apple’s able to do this like nobody else. The user experience UX is what makes them stand out. It’s not about price, or so much about quality so much as how they’re left in awe. To be good in business you have to see someone’s values and make them shine in what you do. That will make them feel great and you will too.
My second business http://www.oilauthority.com/ a search engine and oil & gas network I’m working on has taught me so many things. More so than anything is how significant it is to really hit the consumer with what everything is. Impressions are formed in 1/20th of a second and click from search to site is around 8 seconds (hence Making 8 Inc). In my rebuild of Oil Authority now over 3 years old as of May 1 I will really define more accurately the benefits of what it does on a feature for feature basis. I’ve watched startups with features the same as Oil Authority focusing on other markets generate millions of dollars in VC cash including a network I thought of 3 years ago based on Oil Authority’s model. I recently pitched a friend who was interested. We will see how that goes. The same remains and that how you leave others feeling by making it theirs is what defines your business. A DJ doesn’t play music for themself but the audience. Cater to your audience and leave them feeling amazing.