8 Business Hacks that Apply to Life
Personal improvement impacts many areas of your life. A good life hack should make a positive difference in more than one way.
Whenever you go to the gym to get healthier, you also become happier and more creative. When you learn about one thing, you discover new possibilities for something else.
Over the past few years, I've spent a lot of time (and money) on personal development. I've purchased books, enrolled in online courses, and attended conferences all over the country.
What I've discovered is that when I improve in one area, I see improvement in other areas too.
When I studied leadership, my relationship improved and I worked better with clients. When I studied time management, oddly enough, I became a better salesman.
After months of analysis, I've discovered 8 life hacks that come from an unlikely source: business. Here they are…
Split Test Everything
In business, we should test everything. If you wear a brown suit, try wearing a blue suit, and see what happens. If you make sales calls in the morning, try calling in the afternoon, and see if you get better results.
You can use this tactic at home as well. Try new foods and different exercises at the gym. If your daily commute hasn't changed in a while, take an alternate route. Maybe the new scenery will spark new ideas, or you'll discover something new!
Business Hack: Split test everything to improve results
Life Hack: Try new things to gain new experiences
Whether you realize it or not, you believe like your friends do. You (generally) like the same things, dislike the same things, and agree and disagree on the same issues. We hang out with people who we like and who like us. The people we like have influence over us.
In business, we forget all this. We want to be professional; sophisticated. We want to look smart, sound smart and act smart. We forget that real influence comes from connection.
Put more of your personality into what you do and how you do it, and you'll be more successful!
Business Hack: We buy from companies we know, like and trust.
Life Hack: We hang out with people we know, like and trust.
Minor Adjustments Makes All the Difference
It's not the big gestures that build relationships. If you want to make (and keep) your friends, or keep your spouse happy, you have to do small things consistently over a long period of time. Big gifts and vacations are nice, but they're no substitute for poor treatment the rest of the time.
A good customer-experience doesn't just occur at the checkout. It takes place from when they walk through the door the first time, to when they open their product when they get home, to when the dust it off the shelf months later.
A “we appreciate you” thank you card will do a lot more for your business than you think.
Business Hack: Treat your customers so well they never want to leave.
Life Hack: Treat people like you want to be treated.
Reputation is Everything
Remember the girl (or guy) who had a bad reputation in high school? Remember how she got that reputation?
And, how long has it been since you were in high school and you still remember it?
Just like in life, the reputation of your business is important. First impressions last.
Your reputation can open doors or shut them in your face. This holds true in both life and business. Trust is built over time, do everything you can to keep your good name.
Business Hack: Set up Google Alerts for your name, your business' name, and the name of your top products. And, don't talk bad about your competitors; that never works.
Life Hack: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
Where You Are Won't Get You Where You Want to Go
When I was younger, my mom would (often) tell me I was “cruisin' for a bruisin'”. She could tell I was gonna get myself in trouble and was trying to warn me.
By knowing where you're headed tomorrow, you can change
your actions today. Tomorrow's problems won't be solved with today's mindset. What got us where we are won't get us where we're going.
Business Hack: Outline your ideal business and building it right from the beginning.
Life Hack: Begin with the end in mind. Act accordingly.
Personal debt sucks the life out of your finances. Business debt is no different.
If you're a Shark Tank fan, like me and my good friend Catalyst John, you may have noticed a lot of entrepreneurs declining debt offers from the Sharks. These entrepreneurs know that debt kills your business. It eats at your bottom line and cuts your profits.
With the power of the internet, starting a business is easier today than ever before. You don't need a small business loan to set up your digital storefront; you just need a name, a place to call your own, and a guide to help you get there.
Business Hack: Build your business right and reinvest profits. Let your business fund itself.
Life Hack: Debt free is the way to be. If you can't pay cash, you can't afford it.
Your Friends Determine Your Future
When we're kids, we often have friends of convenience. As an adult, we have no excuse for not being more careful about who we spend time with.
A rotten apple will spoil the barrel. If you surround yourself with negativity, you'll never find happiness. To see success, you have to surround yourself with successful people.
And yes, there are several types of people you need to avoid.
You can't make a positive change with negative attitude, and it's hard to be positive when you've got a bunch of negative friends.
When I started changing who I hung out with I started changing what was possible.
If I'd listened to my Corporate co-workers, I'd still be sitting in a cubicle waiting for it to get better. Instead, I hung out with bloggers and podcasters. I attended New Media Expo and opened my perspective to new possibilities.
You can achieve any goal you set for yourself if you surround yourself with the right support (Tweet that!).
That's why I'm such a huge advocate for masterminds. When you bring people with you on your journey, you'll have no limit to where you can go.
Business Hack: Surround yourself with the right people and you'll go far.
Life Hack: Choose your friends wisely. Garbage in, garbage out.
Question: What's your favorite “life hack” we can apply to our business?