Customer Perception Is Reality!

"A business exists to create customers." - Peter F. Drucker

One of the very best ways to differentiate your business is by offering legendary service. While a reputation can be built, enhanced, and even achieved with sales and marketing, at some point your reputation is going to be put to the test.

You may be the fastest gun in the West on all the wanted posters, but when the other guy staring you down draws, that’s not going to count for much unless you really are fast. When you can back your reputation up with legendary service you immediately vault yourself to the top echelon of whatever industry you are in.

Why Most Business Contracts Are Worthless

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

For most of the time that I have been in business, I have done business—including some really large deals—without contracts. At various times I have tried contracts, or others have insisted upon them against my wishes.

I tried them in the karate business when I was selling licenses. I had what I thought was a simple yet complete five-page contract drawn up at great expense by a contract-law attorney. The majority of people signed it without any fuss, but about a dozen sent it to their attorneys. All of these came back with numerous paragraphs they wanted changed on the advice of counsel. But you know what’s really funny? None of the 15–20 paragraphs in question were the same.

After trying to appease a couple of potential licensees whose attorneys were doing nothing more than TRYING to justify their fees, I finally just said to sign it as is or don’t, I am not making any changes.

Eventually, they all signed.

My web business took off no upfront fees or contracts, I began to use contracts as my product became more and more powerful it took far longer to set up, so I changed to contracts again. People signed them, dated them, faxed them back, and then completely ignored them five months later when a new manager showed up who demanded a cheaper solution.

In my experience, it just doesn’t make a difference having or not having contracts, as the results are the same.

FACT: When someone wants to break a contract, they will lie, steal, cheat, dream up nonexistent problems, and blame you and your staff for every ill in their lives.

This person is not someone who will bring joy or prosperity to your life. Forget the indignity of it. Forget the lies. Forget the fact that you are 100% in the right and the contract breaker is wrong. It simply doesn’t matter. If you sue them, you MAY win. (The lawyers always win!) It will cost you a large amount of time, money, mental energy, and lost opportunity, and even if you win that’s just where the fun starts.

IF you win, you then have to collect. Ask the Brown family how much they ever got from multimillionaire and “presumed” double murder O.J. Simpson and you will begin to get an idea of what chance you have of ever seeing a penny from your judgment. Yes, you should have things spelled out in as much detail as possible to avoid confusion down the road. You can even go to the trouble and expense of having an attorney draft a solid letter of agreement so you both know what you should be doing, or just write something up yourself so it’s clear to both sides what the deal is. Just don’t expect it to mean much once a person has decided to no longer do business with you. If you have a good attorney—and I have had a few—they will give you exactly the same advice as above when it comes to pursuing contract settlements through the courts. People who want to screw you will try, and people who don’t won’t. A piece of paper, no matter how well written, won’t stop either party from acting the way they act.


Contracts kill more deals than they save; use them only when you have no choice.

Please consult your attorney before following this sage advice (LOL).

For more great sales, marketing and business growth advice read or listen to

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Don’t Put All Your Money in One Place

If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem. - Jean Paul Getty

One of my best friends lost $30 million to Bernie Madoff, just about every dime his family had amassed in thirty years in business. But you don’t have to be a victim of the greatest fraud in history to get in deep financial trouble at the drop of a hat. It can just as easily happen at your local bank.

When I was in the martial arts business I had my personal account, my business account, a line of credit, and a credit card with Bank of America. When I moved back to Florida from California, I obviously changed all of my addresses. I was slowly winding down one business and starting a new one when, out of the blue, $30,000 vanished from my bank account, making it impossible to make payroll.

Why Businesses Often Fail When They Expand

"If they don’t fail outright, most businesses fail to fully achieve their potential. That’s because the person who owns the business doesn’t truly know how to build a ompany that works without him or her...which is the key." - Michael Gerber

Other than the very obvious problems of stretching themselves too thin, both from a cash flow and talent point of view, the number-one reason that causes second locations to fail is simply the lack of business systems. When an owner opens up a second store, he or she naturally assumes that the second store will be run just like the first. The only problem is they forget that you can’t be in two places at once.

Business methods and protocol that the owner takes for granted are not followed at the second store, or if the owner opens the second store, they soon go by the wayside at the first location. With systems, this cannot happen.

The Change Factor

"When you’re finished changing, you’re finished." - Benjamin Franklin

Of all the things that will test your patience and resolve, change is perhaps the hardest to deal with. Yet change is the one thing in business that is constant. Change will always affect your business, be it changing tastes, changes in competition, changes in technology, or changes in the general economy. Sometimes that change may help your business, other times it will hurt it.

Imagine being in the video rental business in, say, 1984.

Gold Mine!! You could open a video store on any street corner for the cost of the videos and be profitable by the end of the month.

Imagine being in it in 2017.

Prepare Before You Expand!

If they don’t fail outright, most businesses fail to fully achieve their potential. That’s because the person who owns the business doesn’t truly know how to build a company that works without him or her...which is the key. - Michael Gerber

Other than the very obvious problems of stretching themselves too thin, both from a cash flow and talent point of view, the number-one reason that causes second locations to fail is simply the lack of business systems. When an owner opens up a second store, he or she naturally assumes that the second store will be run just like the first. The only problem is they forget that you can’t be in two places at once.

Business methods and protocol that the owner takes for granted are not followed at the second store, or if the owner opens the second store, they soon go by the wayside at the first location. With systems, this cannot happen.