Business Mentor tip #84 – Be wealth positive not money negative

By now you’ll be familiar with my belief that the purpose of a business is to create financially freedom for it’s owner.  Of course, you can’t be financially free without money. For most of us, we can’t live the life of our dreams and add value unless we have a healthy attitude to money. Mother Theresa, Buddhist monks and other humanitarians might be able to fulfil their purpose in life without money. But they are not reading this blog. They are not small business owner-operators looking to create freedom and wealth from their business. For those of us looking to make our way in business in western society, we need to love money, respect it and want to use it wisely. You’ll be amazed how many business owners I work with who limit their own success due to an ingrained fear of wealth.

 Changing negative beliefs

Is there anything buried in your psyche that limits your ability to build wealth from your business? Have you ever questioned what might be limiting you from creating a business that makes you a lot of money?

Here’s an exercise to help you check in with yourself about your own attitude to money and wealth. Find a pen and paper, and draw two columns. On one side, write the heading ‘Positive Attitude to Money’ and on the other, write ‘Negative Attitude to Money’.

Positive Attitude to Money Negative Attitude to Money

List as many things as you can in each column. Put your positive beliefs and feelings about money on one side and negative thoughts and feelings on the other.

What does this list tell you? If you have more negative thoughts on one side than positive, it’s possible you’ve got some negative beliefs that are holding you back. This will be true for many people.  If that’s the case for you, you might want to do some work about that. You might want to reconsider your underlying beliefs about money.  Contact me at if you’d like to know more about this.

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies. 

Business Mentoring Tip #71 – Think like an alien

Imagine if you had to exit your life for 12 months (to go save the world because you are in fact a secret super hero… we are imagining here) and an alien version of you will be arriving to take over your household.  How will they know how to live your life in a way that doesn’t send everything and everyone around them into a complete spin?  You will need to leave them detailed instructions right? You will have to think of every single aspect of how your life runs – what you do, when you do it and how you do it.  From the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed, including what time you get up and what time you go to bed.  You will need to write down instructions (yes they can read) for how your household runs, including how to work all the gadgets, how to pay the bills, how to access your bank accounts and where to find things.  You will need to explain who is in your family and how the family operates.  You’ll write down the rituals your family needs to function such as your meal times and types of food you eat. What time do the kids go to school?  How do they get there?  Who takes them? What do they do when they get home?  What do you do on the weekends? You will also have to consider what things are really important to your family. How do you treat each other? What are your values? What are your rules, the expectations you all have to guide your behaviour?

The more you think about it, the more things you can think of to write into this ‘manual’ for your life.  You want to make sure the alien you will run your world as close to the way you do it as possible.  You don’t want to miss anything out.

Aliens in the workplace

Now imagine this alien is going to come to work and attempt to run your business for a year. If they walked in today, how would they cope?  Would they know what to do?  How long would it take them to get up to speed?  Would they be able to run things exactly the way you do?  Or would they have to make it up as they go?  How dangerous would that be if they were let loose on your clients and your accounts without clear instructions?

It’s a pretty basic analogy but it works.  The alien in the workplace represents a potential buyer looking at your business and wondering if it will work without you in it.  If the answer to this is ‘no’ they are either going to walk away or insist you stay in the business for some considerable time to help them learn the ropes.

The alien could also represent a senior employee that you hope will take over a large part of the running of the business from you.  You want this person (or this team of senior people) to be willing and able to keep the business running the way you want it run.  You know what works.  You know what sales need to come in the door to meet targets for the year. You know what your clients expect from your company.  You know what keeps your staff motivated and what will create upset. You’ve got everything working well with you at the helm.  But how do you share this knowledge?  How do you ensure someone else will be able to keep everything running as smoothly as you do?

The answer to all of these questions is of course… with systems.

You ensure nothing exists purely inside someone’s head, neither yours nor your key staff members.  If someone holds information critical to your business and they don’t show up for work tomorrow, you have a problem…especially if that person is you.

In the next few blogs I’m going to talk more on systems – which systems you need and how to create them.  Watch this space!

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and experts in small business exit systems.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.

OMG! How long can you own a niche?

Remember my blog a few months ago about the wonders of MGP scooters as a brand story?

Well now there’s Slamm scooters… you tell me the difference between the two.  And what lessons can we learn from this folks?

Business Mentor Tip #65 – The high performance formula

This tip comes to you from Antonia Haythornthwaite of Blue Dot Human Resources

Once you’ve made the decision to employ people you need to ensure you can get the best possible performance out of them.  Antonia outlines four key elements that need to be in place

1. Skills, Knowledge and Talents. If you’ve followed the recruitment steps outlined previously you can be confident that your people have the technical ability to do their job and the knowledge and attributes to do the work that they’ve been employed to do

2. Direction. Now you need to make sure that they understand the big picture, they know what’s expected of them.  These things come from the direction that their manager or leader gives them.

3. Opportunity.  This is the time or resources that they have to be able to do their job – have you given them the opportunity to excel?

4. Motivation. And finally is the motivation factor which is about ensuring people feel their work is important, that it’s worthwhile and they are making progress towards their personal goals.

Blue Dot is a leading HR consultancy specialising in performance solutions for small businesses.  Check them out at

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.

MGP Scooters rock the world! What a fantabadooly MADD business! @mgp_scooters

You know I love to find inspiring business models to share with you.  And this has to be one of them…. MADD, best known (if you have any children age 7 – 12 right now) as the makers of the MGP Scooters.  You know, those colourful things that have condemned all other, perfectly good working scooters to the back of the shed or onto TradeMe.   Yes, every child has to have an MGP scooter and no other scooter will do.  The wild phenomenon that is MGP only became clear to me when my 9 year old son George insisted that he use his Christmas money to buy a new scooter.  There was some resistence from me as he already had a perfectly good scooter which he hardly used.  He didn’t even seem interested in scooters, hadn’t used his for months. But he was adamant.  He HAD to have an MGP.  Life depended on it.  Only when he scootered proudly into school with it did I realise how many other MGPs were in the playground.  I counted 30 lined up in the new scooter stand (which only seemed to have appeared in order to house the rapidly multiplying number of MGPs hitting the school premises all of a sudden).  From then on everywhere I looked there were colourful MGP scooters.  15 outside the dairy, 9 counted with country kid riders when we went over to our holiday home in Martinborough.  MGP scooters taking over the world.

But it didn’t stop there.  Soon George was talking about wanting to customise his scooter with different handlebars and wheels.  He started learning tricks on his scooter and watching videos on You Tube.  It seems MGP are seriously cool.  I began to realise something very special was happening from a business perspective here so I did a little digging.  When I googled MGP Scooters, the full scope of this great business became apparent.  We are talking cool gear – shoes, t-shirts, hoodies the like.  We’re talking merchandising onto kids’ collectable toys… mini collectible scooters, ramps etc.

 MGP stands for Madd Gear Pro… so I went to the website to discover even more to marvel at.  MGP has teams competing in and are sponsoring major scooter events all over the globe .  The business was started ten years ago by a guy called Mike Horne who had a vision to “create an Aussie Brand for Aussie kids”.  It seems he’s done a lot more than that.  He’s created a brand phenomenon for kids all over.  A company that is living its brand, loving its sport, getting involved in the community, taking its Pro Team on tour to ensure regional fans get to be a part of it.

It’s example to me of a business doing everything right… and a business owner clearly truly on purpose, driving a sporting culture with his MADD enthusiasm.   Mr MADD, if this blog happens to find its way to you, I’d love to interview you to find out more about your journey and your vision for this rocking company.  Thanks for the inspiration!  And in the meantime, I guess I know what will be on a 9 year old’s Santa list this Christmas…

Check out

Business Mentoring Tip#55 – Imagine your are Apple for a day

I was up at the crack of dawn to work on my book again this morning.  The chapter I’m working on is called “Driving value through your brand” and I find myself studying the great brands of our time to demonstrate some of the points I’m making.  You can’t really write a chapter on branding without looking at Apple.  And you can’t look at the Apple brand without thinking about the core driver of this brand.


Apple’s positioning line is ‘Think Different’  and these two simple words drive everything the company is about.  And in an instant they explain why this company is so successful.  Things are moving so fast right now in the world of technology and business.  Nothing is what it was six months ago even.   The companies who embrace change and implement new ideas quickly are the ones who will flourish.

Steve Jobs was exploring and looking new ideas right up until he died.  Here’s a quote from him I found,

“So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.”

My tip for you today is to spend an hour or two this week thinking differently about your business.  If you were to embrace the culture of Apple, just for a moment, how could you be the most innovative company in your industry?

Business Mentoring Tip #49 – Rock the royalty of your Universe

I thoroughly enjoyed having coffee with Glenn Baker, editor of NZBusiness Magazine yesterday.  We shared lots of business ideas and thoughts about how we can work together to help small businesses succeed.  Glenn gave me a tip to share and as obvious as it is, you always need to look deep in your heart and ask yourself how well you are doing this:

Your profits come from your customers.  They rule your world.  But how much are you interacting with them?  Do they feel like the Kings and Queens of your Universe?  Are they loved beyond compare?  Are you showing them the respect they deserve?

Yes? Good for you.

No? Get to it!

Business Mentoring Tip #45 – Budget from the bottom up

It’s budget time!  If you haven’t already set your budget for 2013/14 year… now’s the time.  There is an entire seminar in the liber8yourbusiness programme to walk you though the best way to do this.  Here are the key steps:

Decide what profit you want/need to make this year.

Then put in your expenses for the year, using last year’s expenses plus some extra for growth.

This will tell you what your Gross Profit needs to be (Gross Profit minus expenses = profit).

The put in your cost of sales based on last year’s margin (Sales minus cost of sales = Gross Profit.  The margin is the % difference).

This will tell you what your sales income needs to be to meet profit targets.

Then spread all the numbers out across the 12 months, allowing for a ramp up across the year as your sales and marketing plans kick in.

This is your budget.  Beside each budgeted figure each month there should be an ‘actual’ column. This is where you put in what actually happens each month so you can see how you are tracking against budget.

Of course you need an awesome plan to achieve your targets each month. That’s the game… set the targets, plan the attack and achieve them.

If you want to know more on how to do this and all the planning you need to achieve targets.. join the  liber8yourbusiness programme!

Watch #Sir Richard Branson talk about #Screw Business as Usual

“Do good, have fun and the money will come”. So says Sir Richard Branson. We are in the new era of business, where the lines between work and purpose are merging into one. Where all businesses need to be thinking about how they can become a force for good. I love this. Take a look at the video, buy the book. And let me know how your business is making a difference.

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies. Based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Business Mentor Tip #43 – Get real…

Here’s a quote from Abraham Lincoln:

“How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?  Four.  Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

In other words, don’t kid yourself you are something you are not.  In business it’s all too easy for us to convince ourselves everything is alright.  That we are running a wonderful business (just because you are telling the world you are doing famously, doesn’t mean its true) and will one day be millionaires.  Here’s the thing… you have to know what’s really going on with your business.  You have to know what your targets are, what your breakeven points are, what your margins are and how you are tracking against all of these.  Don’t leave it to the end of the year to find out if you are making money or not.  Do a reality check on your numbers right now.  Get your foundations strong… then blow your targets out of the water!

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.