Robbins, 53, is best known as an acclaimed life and business coach, author and motivational speaker. He is the face behind a broad network of books, products and events. His live seminars alone have attracted four million attendees from all over the world, he says.
At six foot seven, Robbins is a large man who has a deep passion for business and helping others succeed.
We caught up with Robbins to find out how people can be better entrepreneurs and grow their businesses. What follows are his responses, edited for length and clarity.
You say that ‘seven forces’ are the keys to business mastery. What can you tell me about these forces and what they mean for entrepreneurs?
They’re the seven parts of any business that have to be consistently managed to consistently grow and succeed. Most people know that 50% of all start-ups are gone within the first year and that 96% of all businesses fail after ten years.
Why do so many business fail? Because even a small business requires consistent improvement in many areas simultaneously in order to compete and win.
Often, entrepreneurs have some core skill sets – perhaps they’re great at writing code or creating extraordinary products – but their marketing skills are low. Or, their marketing skills might be off the charts but their inability to make effective financial analysis in the end destroys all they’ve built. They make poor decisions, and decisions shape our business destiny.
1. The first force that will shape a business is knowing where you really are and creating an effective business map
The biggest challenge for business leaders is that they’re not honest about where the business really is. They often see it better than it is, which keeps them going but it causes them to have blind spots that inevitably undermine or even destroy the business.
Knowing what business you’re really in, or what business you need to be in the long-term is critical.
Knowing why you’re in the business and ultimately what outcomes you want the business to serve is critical for a business owner. Then, you have to know who you are and who you need in order to have long-term success.
You also need to know where you are. Every business has a life-cycle, just like a human being.
- Is your business in the toddler stage?
- Is your business in its prime?
- Is it ageing?
- What to do if your business is completely controlled by where you are.
Then you can decide where you want to go.
2. The second force of business is strategic innovation
Find a way to meet your client’s needs better than anybody else. Some companies innovate so often that they put themselves out of business because they’re not being strategic about it.
3. The third force of business is world-class, strategic marketing
That just means having a process that gets a mass number of people to want to do business with you. Or, more importantly, the ideal client you want to seek you out. It’s something I call ‘value-added marketing’.
4. The fourth force is sales mastery systems
It’s great that your marketing strategy is attracting clients, but that doesn‘t mean anything unless you produce continued growth and sales.
5. The fifth force that business leaders must understand is the power of both financial and legal analysis
If you aren’t able to understand and analyse the financial condition of your business on an ongoing basis, you’re like a pilot of a plane who doesn’t know how to read the gauges in front of him. It’s easy to fly when there are clear skies (i.e. a good economy), but when you find yourself surrounded by storms and fog, if you can’t read the gauges, you’re going to crash. It’s only a matter of time.
6. The sixth force is where you can create explosive growth in your company
Most people think in order to have explosive growth they have to make giant changes. In reality, if you understand the force of optimisation and maximisation of your people and processes, you can grow your business consistently while others are taking wild risks that don’t always pay off.
7. Finally, The seventh force and ultimate outcome for any business is to create raving fan customers and culture
Satisfied customers leave you when somebody gives them a better deal. Raving fan customers are loyal, they know who you really are and they stick around even when you screw up because you’ve consistently added value to them in a way that nobody else can.