Your website and marketing messages talk about excellent horse care, outstanding customer service and certified instructors.
Yawn, you bore me.
What I want to know is what are the three things you’re really good at?
Things like: Maintaining good health of horses that are hard keepers requiring extra care, Polishing the show ring presence of serious riders for them to be in the ribbons every time or Helping riders fearful of injury feel more confident in the saddle.
Come on, if you don’t toot your own horn, who will?
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Business legend has it that an advertising executive suggested adding the simple instructions- Lather, Rinse, Repeat to the client's shampoo bottle to double consumption and sell more product.
Millions of shampoo users dutifully followed the simple instructions as they washed their hair. Their actions were validated by "More is better" a flawed logic often also used with chocolate and horses.
The extra shampoo doesn't get hair any cleaner, but it sure helps sales. Regardless of roots in fact or fiction, when you see or hear something often enough, it becomes a perceived truth.
Perceived truths in business often appear as faux pearls of wisdom:
"You have to spend money to make money."
"If you build it, they will come."
"The customer is always right."
Proficient at ignoring the latest business buzz phrase, the wise in business remember this simple piece of advice: Test what you think you know.
Some jobs have a choice of start and stop times of the work day as well as scheduled breaks. The work is compartmentalized, segmented with a flexible timeline.
But, not your job. Your day is filled with uninterruptible tasks of half hour training rides, multiple and consecutive one hour private and group lessons and horse care tasks on a regimen.
Nothing waits until tomorrow.
- You can't skip feeding tonight and double the morning ration to make it up.
- Students won't take two lessons back to back
next time for the one you cancel this afternoon.
- A three hour horse training session on Sunday morning won't substitute for the six half hour sessions missed Monday through Saturday.
Your productivity and financial success is a function of your ability to say NO when you need to.
- NO to lunch invites that deny you the most productive hours of your day.
- NO to unnecessary phone calls filled with idle chit-chat when you're on a mission.
- NO to the impatient whose selfish urgency won't wait for an answer or help when YOU can offer it.
Not silver, gold or diamonds, Time is your prescious commodity. The best way to protect it is with the power of NO.
"Just like Aristotle's observation, "Nature abhors a vacuum", Nature abhors an empty stall, too. An empty horse stall usually doesn't stay empty very long. Are you filling your empty stalls with horses that generate immediate income for you from boarding, lessons, training or sale to others?