A passionate story starts with focus

By Jim Ruta | August 19 2011 03:24PM

How do I get a “Story” that is passionate enough to be compelling?

Without passion you will never be great in any business. Passion decommoditizes any business. Prospects catch your passion. Price becomes a secondary notion. Competition becomes irrelevant.

A passionate story starts with focus. My T.A.P. Analysis finds it by eliminating your low priority activities and markets to reveal your focus activities and markets.

I developed if from the Confucius philosophy: “When you find something you love to do and at which you excel and for which you are well paid, you never have to work a day in your life.” If you know your talent, its appeal and profit for you, you have the first step to a passionate story.

To find your most lucrative focus, simply make two lists: your weekly sales activities and your usual markets. Make the lists without much selection, so you get it all out.

Once you have a good list, subjectively score each one of them out of 10 on: Your Talent in getting the job done. The Appeal it has to you. And, its Profit potential well for doing the job often and well. Multiply the three numbers to get a total score for each activity and market. The ultimate score is 1,000 for each. The minimum could be below 0 if an activity costs you money.

You’ll find there will only be a couple of high scores in each activity and market. You’ll be amazed at how your best, most productive, activity and market will appear jump off the page.

You have a focus market and a focus activity. Match them appropriately and multiply one score times the other for a maximum 1 million points. Your highest score combination is your ideal focus or specialty.

Four types of specialty

There are four types of specialty: “The Generalist” – who does a little of everything for everyone. “The Product Specialist” who does something specific for everyone. “The Market Specialist” who handles a full suite of services for a special group. And, “The Experts”, who do something very specific for a very specific group. All need a story.

Once you have your ideal focus/specialty, you can turn it into a passionate story. Your “Story” is your “hook” to attract clients. You have to have one if you hope to catch any attention and business.

First, develop a “focus case”— the concepts/products that you enjoy developing, do very well and pay off best when you do it effectively for your focus client. Make it your best ever, most complete presentation.

Review and clarify the major problems your focus case solves and the lessons it teaches your focus clients. List those questions and the lessons. Build your story around those questions, your answers and the lessons. Use personal and client examples without names. Be authentic.

Teach prospects the important lessons your clients learn from you in your story. Give prospects the advice they need to avoid the mistakes of others. Put a stake in the ground. Be enthusiastic.

This story is your most passionate and compelling approach.

I hate setting and missing goals. Is there a better way to make goals so I can achieve them?

“Bucket lists” belong in the bucket. Just writing a list of goals is a good start but it isn’t usually sufficient to make them a reality.

You have to take action to get action.

Here’s an approach that turn dreams into reality. Use it for any goal you have in your personal and business life. Your kids can use it too. It’s a very handy tool.

First, clearly write down what your Goal means to you. List the detailed “Results” you expect. Generalities are not sufficient. For example “being a top producer” is not a goal. It’s a wish. “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride” as the old saying goes. You need specifics of the actual Result you want to achieve. Put a number to it.

Clarify your vision

By when exactly do you want to achieve this Result? When you’ve achieved this Result, what does it look like, feel like and sound like to you? How will your life and or business change when you make this happen? Be very clear. Unless you can “see” what you want exactly, you will never experience it. What Result means achievement for you?

Next, what are the Understandings you have to consider? Once you know what success looks like, you must set the operational limits for doing it. What are the ground rules in your business? How do your values and standards affect your vision of achievement? List the rules you want to follow.

Set Targets. With the Result and the Understandings clarified, determine the targets you need to meet in order to achieve your result. Without measurement there is no achievement. You need to know when you are making progress. What are the specific measurements that lead to the Result you want?

Finally, what Actions are necessary to achieve? Decide on the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly Actions you have to take in order to reach your Targets. If you keep doing what you’ve done you will keep getting what you have. If you want “different” you have to act differently. Make a list of the specific new actions you will take to reach your achievement targets.

Make it real

You don’t need a special form for this process. Just a piece of paper with the four steps written on it: Result, Understandings, Targets and Actions. And, write it out by hand first. There is something magical about thinking, dreaming and then writing by hand that makes things more real for the mind that makes it reality. Use a separate page for each goal you want to achieve.

There is one last key to achievement. I call it a “Goal’d Card” and hand them regularly. But, just write your three top goals on a small card like this: “By (date) I (name) will achieve: Personally: (goal), Professionally: (goal) and Financially: (goal). “ Fill in the blanks, date it and sign it.

Make these goals simple and let the card work its magic. It will.