Why is it that some businesses take off like a rocket while others can languish for months or years without creating explosive growth?
Why do some businesses plateau at a certain level and struggle to break through, while others are able to grow consistently?
In my experience, it boils down to three things we’ll discuss in this podcast.
Recently, I was reminded of a story about how Chinese bamboo trees grow very slowly underground, for years, completely unseen.
The people who plant these trees water and fertilize the soil every day, even though there are no signs of life.
Sounds tedious, right?
Watering the same patch of dirt for years?
I mean, that HAS to feel pretty unfulfilling at times.
But the amazing part of the story is that roughly five years after planting — when the bamboo finally breaks the surface of the ground — it can grow up to 90 feet tall in just five weeks.
That is a great example of creating explosive growth!
And while a typical bystander might see that and think, “wow, that grew really fast!”
The people who actually do the work — those who plant, water, fertilize and cultivate these plants — know EXACTLY what it took to trigger that growth.
I love this analogy because it tracks so closely to the work I’ve done with promotional product businesses over the past 20+ years.
Some of the people I work with might start out feeling a bit like the bamboo gardener — tending, nurturing, and cultivating a business that seems like it might never break through the soil.
In fact, some are stuck for more years than it takes for a bamboo tree to crack through the dirt and see the light of day.
But the good news is that promo businesses AREN’T bamboo trees.
They’re not subject to the same restrictive laws of nature.
Instead, there are very specific steps we can take to prep the environment and TRIGGER explosive growth much faster.
In fact, when I work with clients, we operate in two primary modes:
First is Stealth Mode
This is where we lay the groundwork that no one else sees. It’s what’s happening beneath the surface. In bamboo terms, it would be the equivalent of supercharging the seeds, soil, water, and fertilizer to create a better, stronger, faster-growing plant that is heartier and more resilient than the other plants.
Second is Intimidation Mode
I know that sounds obnoxious. But the simple fact is that when you initiate explosive growth in a business, people notice.
Their prospects are excited to see something new and different. Their clients are excited to be associated with a winner, OUR clients are excited to have their businesses attracting the right people and growing the way they want…
And their competitors? Well, they just get intimidated.
It’s not the intention. But it’s often a side effect.
So each month, we offer a small group of promotional product distributors the opportunity to work with us to plant the seeds.
Our goal is to help you quickly:
- Lay the groundwork
- Plant the seeds and
- Trigger explosive growth
And we do this using our proprietary, proven framework.
It is NOT cheap, but it is EXTREMELY effective.
So what does creating explosive growth actually look like in a promotional products business?
Well, let’s start with what it doesn’t look like…
It doesn’t look like 10 to 20% annual growth.
I mean, think about it. If you start at $50,000 in sales your first year and settle for 10% annual growth, it would take you more than 32 years to hit $1,000,000 in sales.
Even at 20% growth, it would take more than 17 years.
So if you’re serious about growth — particularly in the early stages — 10% to 20% annual growth is not going to do it for you.
Ask yourself this. Are your current year-over-year numbers getting you to where you want to be?
And if so, are they getting you there fast enough?
Usually, creating explosive growth requires at least doubling your revenue multiple times over.
Growing from, say $50,000 to $100,000 to $250,000 to $500,000 to $1,000,000+.
Of course, the larger you get, the harder it is to continue to double like that.
But in that example, with year-over-year doubling, you can get from $50,000 to $1,000,000 in four years. If you can achieve those doubles in less time, you can get there even faster.
Of course, not everyone in our industry is interested in achieving that sort of growth. And you don’t have to be. I know many people who are happy to generate whatever sales they can in the time they allocate to it.
But that’s not who this particular message is for…
Instead, this is for you if you WANT to achieve exceptional results but have been struggling to get there… It’s for you if you KNOW you are capable of reaching your goals, but you’ve been unable to blast through your current sales plateau… It’s for you if you have been in the industry for months or years, and you’re still not triggering the growth you need to reach your desired levels of sales and profit.
If that’s happening to you, it indicates a problem that time is unlikely to fix. Because, as the old saying goes, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
So what does it take to trigger the kind of growth we’re talking about?
We’ll start with mindset.
Of course, you need the mindset. Because if you don’t believe you’re capable of achieving that sort of growth, then you’ll never even look for the specific actions it will take to make it happen.
For some people, mindset is a little too “woo-woo.”
And there’s a good reason for that. There have been a lot of books and videos and an entire subculture built around the law of attraction and the idea that if you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it.
Now that is not a terrible message, but it is woefully incomplete. And there is a segment of the law of attraction crowd who try to make it sound like that’s all you need. Which is absolutely false, unless you just happen to get extremely lucky.
But most people can’t and shouldn’t rely only on mindset and luck.
So yes, in my experience, you will need to maintain a positive mindset long enough to determine the specific actions that need to be taken to achieve your goals.
That means having a plan.
2. A Plan
Having a plan starts with knowing what to do, and when to do it. Most people achieve this through trial and error, which can take an exceptionally long time.
Vernon Law once said, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” And I completely agree.
In fact, the reason I have been able to help so many people in our industry to succeed is not that I’m particularly smart. It’s because I feel like I’ve made every stupid mistake you can possibly make. By keeping my clients from making those mistakes, they end up years ahead of the game.
So instead of implementing trial and error, they can implement a proven success plan.
But in addition to the mindset and the plan, you also need the persistence to take specific action.
In our bamboo analogy, you have to maintain the vision and the motivation to keep watering and fertilizing that plant until it breaks through the soil and you get the results you want.
You have to persist through your doubts and disbelief.
When I went to college, my mom got me a plaque with a quote from Calvin Coolidge on it. I still have it here in my office on my bookshelf. It says,
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
So ultimately, it takes the Mindset, the plan, and the persistence to make it happen.
We don’t engage in positive thinking in place of action, we engage in positive thinking so we can identify the plan and take action on it. And we don’t take action just once, we exercise persistence to maintain our action, adjust our course when necessary, and continue until we achieve our goals.
If that sounds good to you… or better yet, if it actually sounds exciting and FUN to you, then we should definitely talk. Just go to topsecrets.com/call to schedule a time to talk with me or a member of my team about working with us.
The call will be totally confidential, so you can fly under the radar, in stealth mode as we talked about earlier. So go to topsecrets.com/call.
I would love to have the opportunity to work with you to take new actions, accelerate your results and get you to your goals. Talk soon.
Are You Ready to Start Creating Explosive Growth in Your Business?
If so, check out the five primary ways we help promotional product distributors grow:
- Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help.
- Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here.
- Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry.
- Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to hire others to grow your promo sales, click here.
- Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.