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Do you follow a business guru?

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by James Burke, May 26, 2013.

  1. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I’m curious to find out how many people follow any of the so called business guru’s out there. I’ve spent several years “sampling” what some of the bigger names are saying, and I’ve come to the conclusion that a good many of them are nothing more than a lot of hype.

    The biggest complaint I have is that the products and services they offer mainly center around their persona, their most recent gimmick, and dare I say…their overly inflated ego. They tend to “re-brand” and “re-package” the obvious, and then sell it to the hungry masses as their own ideas.

    Some of the best books on my shelf were written by "no name" hard working people who worked in their industry for decades before attempting to write about it. Their claim to fame was (and still is) their dedication to their work and a good sense for business matters, rather than the ability to endlessly spin a good yarn and market all sorts of swag.

    I’m curious to find out if anybody thinks the same.
     
  2. Kootchy

    Kootchy Member

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    Jay Abraham and Mike Wickett also quite like Dana Peng too. I bought the Mr X Book few years back and its paid for its self over and over again with hidden gems every time I open it.
     
  3. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    I listen to no one except for others that have worked hard and started from nothing. All this zig ziglar bs is for those losers in pyramid schemes and those that jump from fad to fad their whole life. These are the same people that are always posting "think positive" bs on their facebook pages.

    dont get me wrong i love what i do and i love this business i wouldnt trade it for anything. My advice is find what you love to do no matter what and there will be sucess. It wont happen overnite but it will happen
     
  4. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I'm looking for the "ditto" button here....
     
  5. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

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    Before getting into this business we spent 2 years doing research and came across several great resources that did give some free time. These were not generic business gurus but specific to industries. That is where I think the value is.

    So here we are on a forum in an industry we work in or own a business in and the gurus are right here. Some more than others, some more successful but all have the experience and the knowledge.
     
  6. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    what...
     
  7. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    "Ditto" button...basically, I agree...
     
  8. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    I subscribed to several of them over the years,

    Their message is NOT BS. some of the info I gathered from them has increased my income many times. However this comes with a caveat. None of us have all the answers in what we do. Our mission is to find a guru that fills the gaps in our experiences.

    Each of us has a personality style that will fit or not with each guru.
    There are industry specific and there are generic gurus.

    Some are excellent cheer leaders that can give us hope to make changes.
    Some have the strength and wisdom to tell us when we are acting in way not in our best interests.
    Some will guide us into changing our attitudes about charging a proper price for our work.
    Some can give us specific techniques to build our business , or gain clients, or more importantly to raise the average value of our clients.
    Some give us stack of generic business techniques that fit all of us but we have to select those that fit our style and personality.

    In my case I do not do yard signs, parking signs, or any other item that brings in less than $three figures per order. I work tons less and make the same as before.
    All of them can give us something if we open our minds. One particular consultant didn't have a lot of new things to say. But he did give a large vocabulary that expanded my ability to speak with new clients.

    Anyone who simply dismisses a guru because he is a guru is making a huge mistake. Some of those spend all day every day gathering statistics, evaluating data, and discussing with business owners all over the country. They have an edge and will sell it to us. Often they are thinking up ways to help us stay ahead of the latest trends.

    For example. years ago one was mentioning the failure of the yellow pages and the growing power of the internet just on the cusp of when it was happening. His data confirmed what many of us long suspected. However as a single case we could not prove it. Collectively we all compared notes and found it to be true for so many others. Many people were abandoning the ypages and focusing on internal marketing. It worked for them before it became common knowledge.

    A couple of years ago Face Book was all the rage. But, the real guru's saw beyond it and predicted that FB would not be a magic bullet but just another tool that must be used with care. Today we know that to be an accurate assessment.
    In the end we should at take a look at their messages and gather techniques and terminology so we can at least discuss our needs and wants and to uplift our businesses. ITs like a bowl of strew. Some of it just what we like and some is pushed to the side.
     
  9. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    I disagree and the mistakes Ive made were to be no less as if a guru had forewarned me. As far as the research they spend on collecting data to become more in depth gurus, until they KNOW the sign industry and have been in it for several years, they can offer me nothing. No disrespect to your opinion but they as are all BS to me. They are glorified preachers IMO, preaching an opinion.

    Data and statistics are BS unless you get results from everyone. I have ofter heard "We interviewed 500 people and they said cigarettes are bad" So I guess because of that cigarettes are bad? BS

    In the years Ive been in business I have had to revamp 4-5 times. Revamping meaning to introduce or attempt new products and venture away from others. Like you, I dont do the yard signs, birthday banners and other low end PITA jobs. Things come with time. As time goes on we grow tired and bored with what we do and we have to change and grow. We will continue this cycle until another growth comes upon us.
     
  10. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    The evidence does not support your assertions.

    If it was all BS then the multi billion dollar consultant and seminar world would not exist.

    There are too many other intelligent and experienced professionals paying to get themselves and their staffs advanced training for those guru's holding seminars to be just BS.

    In fact there will be a 3 day guru meeting next weekend out in the middle of nowhere Indiana that is sold out at 400 bux a head.
     
  11. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    Although i agree with you... I also disagree.

    A lot of these expensive "seminars" are no more then trained speakers, delivering a common sense message. There's really no secret to what they tell you.
    It's simple stuff like customer service.. blah blah blah etc etc etc. And other simple tricks how to keep your overhead down. I mean seriously.. I think the best experience
    one can get is trial and error..

    The simple fact is.. not everyone is built to run a business, to do management... or any type of hold head position. Most people are lazy, and just count down the hours to go home at 5.. I know some business owners that just leave at 5, and don't care to spend any extra time to get ahead, and organize for the next day. These people will never be greatly successful. They might pay all their bills.. but at the end of the month.. there's no capital left. You pretty much own a business to have a full time job, and truly reap no benefits.

    Take the time to learn from your mistakes, work hard, and don't be lazy, go the extra mile.. I think you'll be off to a good start.
     
  12. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I think you have to differentiate between motivational/inspirational "gurus" and actual business "gurus". This discussion seems to be mainly focused on the first kind.

    In the course of my life I have found advice I've applied to both business and living life from tons of sources from Shakespeare to the Bible to Dale Carnegie. The thing that is the common thread here, IMHO, is that most if not all of us pickup on what we agree with or at least makes sense to our logic. Lots of statements and gems of wisdom fall by the wayside from the same sources.

    When Polonius says to Laertes in Shakespeare's Hamlet, "And this above all, to thine own self be true, and as sure as the night shall follow the day you can'st then be false to any man" the statement rings true to my logic. It may not to you. I incorporate the philosophy of it into my life and my business. But that only makes Shakespeare a guru to the extent of that inspirational statement. Other famous quotes from the Bard of Avon do not have the same effect on me but might on you.

    When my CPA suggests to me that I should track the individual profitability of each type of sign that I sell and consider dropping those that are the least profitable, she if functioning as a business guru. When J. Douglas Edwards talks about techniques to close a sale and says "When you ask a closing question, SHUT UP! The first one to speak loses.", he is giving me a practical technique that works. At least for me.

    In the end, your own logic, your own emotions and you own mistakes make you your own best guru.
     
  13. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    we had a business coach that came over from our parent company. there were a few meetings and one on ones that were helpful. but all in all i felt that i was being forced into a predetermined mold that was a bit canned. you'd here the same one liners here and there and quite frankly, being an OEM has a good bit of hierarchy. the "team" building approach hasn't worked because a start up needs a focused foundation in which later teams can be assigned for particular branches. so "gurus"...not a fan. the information is to vague to apply unless you have a standing business that needs special tweaking for a few more percentage points of margin or efficiency.
     
  14. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    you just answered your own question. They exists because dumba$$es pay $400 per head. People are curious and are easily motivated to hear others stories and hope they can become like the ones giving the seminars.....truth be known they are just schooled puppets that have the art of speech
     
  15. xxtoni

    xxtoni Member

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    I've found something over the years. If you really want to you can learn business pretty quickly and if you ask some of the people that work with me how it is they will most likely tell you that I'm a pain in the *** and the reason that is, is because I always ask why you do something. What I found was that most of the time people will tell you, in one way or another, that's just how it's done. The reason they tell you there is either to just get you off their back as fast as possible, which can sometimes be the case or more commonly because people don't know why it's done that way. It's done that way because it's always been done that way and nobody ever questioned whether there is a better way to do it. Nobody thinks very deeply in business about why things are the way they are.

    Right about now you're probably thinking "Well why is that important" it's important because the whole point of business is to figure out ways to make your business work better and the way you do this is by taking a look at what goes on any finding more efficient ways to do it. This is probably a bad example but I'll use it anyway. We had a huge organization problem in our company and because I wasn't a part of day to day operations up to that point I inquired why we're constantly breaking deadlines and why everyone is staying late almost every day. They told me that it was too much work, tight deadlines. After observing the situation for a few days I suggested that once this project is done we start organizing our work better and one of the replies I got was, more or less - "You can't plan this work out, a lot of unpredictable stuff happens" and things like that. I knew that was ******** because I knew that none of them even, ever, tried so after a while we started working on organizing everything and once we got the basics right it sent ripples throughout the company. Deadlines were kept, no more staying late, some costs went down and so on.

    So if you are willing to ask a lot of questions and think very deeply about certain things and work really hard you can learn business pretty fast. It's not rocket science.

    The reason I don't follow any "gurus" (god I hate that word) is not because I believe that there isn't value in it, some of them do give some good advice, but rather because it doesn't apply to you. You are different, you different skills and the people you work with are different as well so what these "gurus" do is they give out broad general advice that covers as much area as possible and that's also the reason why they all sound so alike.
     
  16. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    I feel that is not a valid assessment,,,Dan S or Dan A who are leading members of the trade are schooled puppets?
    Oh yes, I've heard the duplicitous comments on how those guys are not real sign makers.. Sheesh... what a crock...

    How about Joe Crumley?

    So you are saying that all those SOLD OUT wall dog meets where hundreds of people attend are BS?

    are saying that master finishers such as doug diekman who speaks at my seminar who literally make hundreds of thousands per job yet give their knowledge freely to any one willing to make a trip to a seminar where he speaks is BS?

    saying those people who have actually attended a few seminars and taken the knowledge to a new level and made a good living are full of BS?

    A good business seminar with a few guru's giving out techniques are NOT just a bunch of people sitting around listening to someone drone on being yelled at and talked at about how to get up of one's butt and getting to work.

    Even this website where thousand of people visit each day is a guru. If it wasn't no one would be here.
     
  17. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Sometimes your best mentor isn't who you think. Over the past four months, we've been working through one of the largest projects we've ever been awarded. Just this week I had a friend who is in a similar business visit us for four days to help out. He lives 600 miles away and our business models and clientele do not overlap. He had very little experience with the type of job we were doing, but he asked lots of questions as to "why we do what we do". And feeling somewhat smirk, I replied confidently to every question he threw at me. After the third or fourth question, some of his ideas settled in, and I began scrutinizing our operation a little bit closer. After trying some things "his way", my jaw dropped in awe as I began to experience nearly a 50% time savings with some of his methods. Reality check: Your paradigms need to be challenged often...and shame on you if you don't think so. JB
     
  18. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    It appears to me we started talking about non sign making people and after I make comments about this world of speaking we now drag "famous" sign folk in it? We are not staying on topic. If you wanna talk about sign professionals lets start with it.
     
  19. xxtoni

    xxtoni Member

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    My thoughts exactly. I am not originally from the signage business so I always ask why things are done and it has been extremely beneficial to me in every aspect of business. Seems that we have had similar experiences.

    I honestly think if you're willing to ask a lot of questions, look deeply into things and work hard at it you can learn business pretty quickly, it's not the hardest thing in the world.
     
  20. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

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    Dilbert today

    thought of you guys....
     
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