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Edition 343 – Whistler 2.0

Following on from last week, one of the main purposes for my recent trip to Canada was the chance to catch up with my fellow members of SMEAGMG – the Small & Medium Enterprise Advisers Global Mastermind Group. Seven of us from three countries and six cities last met in person in Whistler, British Columbia in October 2019.

Throughout the COVID pandemic, we continued to meet regularly, virtually, including holding the 2020 and 2021 two day annual events via Zoom. The strength of this group, for me, has been powerful in terms of providing support, guidance and feedback at a time when the world was plunged into great uncertainty and the ban on international travel prevented us meeting in person.

Some of my takeaways from our fantastic two days together in Whistler included:

  1. Whatever your industry, being a niche player is critical to not only differentiating your service or product offer, but to higher profits and returns.
  2. Being a part of a group of like-minded people who trust each other enough to offer honest feedback is important to our own self growth.
  3. Being very, very clear about your business model is crucial to taking control of both your business and personal life.
  4. YouTube can be a great marketing tool for business, so much so that for one of my colleagues, it’s where all his new business leads come from.
  5. If you’re looking to evolve your business into a new model, it’s important to phase one in as you’re phasing the other out, rather than toss the old one out the window. If you don’t phase, you’ll trip up.
  6. Be prepared to walk away from a client, whether it happens to be the constant haggling over price or as a result of the fact there’s not a fit between you and them. The “smell of a cheque book” should not be the only qualifying criteria for taking on a client.
  7. Be yourself. When you’re authentic with who you are and what you do in your business, clients and potential clients will respond. Try and be someone else and you’ll find you’re perceived as a fake.
  8. Rather than always casting the net wide, look for the diamonds in your own client base. Often, business owners overlook the clients they currently work with, what their needs are and how you can help them further.
  9. A stable personal life is crucial for business success. Any turmoil in your personal relationships will always, without fail, impact your business.
  10. Build your business to suit your lifestyle. Don’t build your lifestyle around your business. Being in business is all about creating the type of life you want to live. Remember, there are plenty of others that can’t, or won’t.

To Phil Symchych from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada who is the leader and convenor of our Mastermind Group, a very big thank you for bringing a fabulous group of business consultants together and keeping it that way since our first event in Washington DC in April 2019.

To Dan Weedin of Poulsbo, Washington, USA, Gary Furr of Portland, Oregon, USA, Tim Forrest of Satellite Beach, Florida USA, Kim Gerencser, also of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and David Ogilvie of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, thank you for your vulnerability, candour and support. By far, this is the best mastermind group I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of.

This Week’s Tip

“Confiding in people you trust, about your business and your life,
is powerful in terms of setting your business journey, then sticking to it.”