Why Intelligent Self-Interest is Important to Your Success

What is Your Intelligent Self-Interest?

Intelligent self-interest is defined as choosing what the most important to you with the intent to take action. Let us explore how this concept applies to business.

Many small business owners try to be all things to all people. They do not understand the power of focus. Successful people know they have a limited amount of time, energy, and money and they stay hyper focused on actions that will help them implement their intelligent self-interest (ISI). They ask themselves if a specific action is taking them closer to their ISI. If not, they ask themselves why they are doing it. If it not something that is taking them closer to their ISI, but it needs to be done, they delegate it or do it after hours (i.e., payroll, filling, email, etc.) If it not necessary, they stop doing it.

Making these decisions can be difficult but these decisions are essential for success.

ISI is documented in detail on my book Nine Principles for Inspired Action: A New & Targeted Perspective (www.amazon.com). ISI was identified after studying over 500 successful small business owners and what they did to be success. I have tested this principle with my client and the clients who embrace this concept have achieved great results. An example will help. I have one client that owned a three million dollar business and he was in 11 different markets, none of them were being served effectively. We asked him to pull back to one market and become the expert in his niche. His fear of leaving opportunities on the table in the other markets would not allow him to commit to just one market. We were successful in pulling him back to two markets. His thinking changed when he realized how much easier life was working just two markets. He had more time. He could go deep into his primary market. He implemented new tools that allowed him to sell his products oversea using the Internet. In a very short time his bottom line improved.

Here is a second example. I working with a client right now and he is absolutely brilliant, but he doesn’t any focus. We have a 30 minute accountability call weekly. In the last 12 weeks we have been working together he has presented 14 new ideas to me, without really taking action on what he really wants to do. Being brilliant is both a blessing and curse. Being brilliant allows him to see things that others don’t see, to engage possibilities that others to see. But it also has a downside. This downside is that it is hard to stay focused. He has finally settled on his ISI and started taking action. The peace of mind he is experiencing has been worth the pain of getting focused.

The more focused on your ISI the easier it is for your customers understand when to buy your products and services, for your employees to understand their role is in the organization, for your referral partners to know when to give your referral. It makes it very easier for people to do business with you because they know what you do and what your business stands for.

As a business owner, you have to decide your ISI, how your ISI applies to your business and how your business will create a value proposition that will serve the market. If you’re selling on low price, your business model must focus on efficiencies. If you business proposition is value and higher prices, you must define this so others can easily understand. Ask yourself: Why is my service (value) better than my competitor’s service (value)? Why would they buy my product? If you cannot answer these questions, how can you explain your advantages to your customers?

Do not try to answer this question alone. Ask your customers. They will tell you why they bought from you. Ask others why they did not buy from you. You will be totally surprised by what you learn.

Intelligent self-interest helps understand why you’re in business and the value you provide for your customers. It helps you understand what you as a business owner want from your business. The answer to these two questions should drive your behavior. If helps you get clear on the legacy that you want leave behind as your organization grows. It helps you understand what kind of employees would be successful in your organization. It helps you understand what kind of customer value and thrive on your products and services.

ISI gives you permission to say no. If someone asks you to do something not consistent with your ISI, say no. ISI gives you permission to change your thinking. ISI gives you an opportunity to clearly ask others for help. ISI is you business compass and it can be your life’s GPS if you let it.

To your success,
Ron Finklestein

Are You a Leader?

A good friend of mine wrote this article for a local magazine. The article received great reviews and because of that I ask him if I could post it here. The author’s name is Dale Stefancic.  To find out more about Dale, email him at dale@dalestefancic.com or visit www.EntrepreneursOnCall.com



Leadership is a powerful word.  With it, there is an amazing amount of responsibility,  should you decide to assume the role of a Leader.  Often the question of are leaders born or are they made is frequently debated.  I believe both situations exist;  just as someone is born with a gift to be an artist, pro athlete, talented musician, actor or actress.  You can be born with the gifts to be a leader.  Can you become a leader?  I believe you can.

Leadership is reserved for those individuals that have vision, passion, compassion, drive, desire and unending will to attend to a higher level.  It may be as simple as having the leadership for your family.  To have them take the safe path, keeping them out of harms way, demonstrating through actions the correct and best way to get things accomplished.  Leadership is not attained by a title such as supervisor or business owner.

Leadership is a constant demonstration of one’s ability to lead through action with passion and purpose to illustrate the intended result.

While working in the business world, I have seen too many times  management just delegate responsibility or tasks without knowing first hand what it takes for the desired outcome  they look for.

Leaders are respected and listened to because they have demonstrated time and time again they have done what it takes to overcome and are willing to demonstrate to others through action and gain the respect needed to be valued and listened to.

The majority of leaders should know and understand that people are the core building blocks of their team and/or organization.  To be an effective leader, you need to understand the core building block of your people and their respective values.

Many organizations just look at their people in a professional capacity. This short sighting will miss the mark.  To ensure your leadership fits and attracts the right people, doing the right things take into account all the roles each person comes to work with, within and outside their team or organization.  You may have to address their personal roles outside of work such as parent, little league coach or volunteer.

Many times a person’s role shows up at work.  A leader is no different and you must understand and be aware of it.  The right leader will identify their own growth and development and prioritize them.

Keep in mind, you get the people you deserve.  It is our decision.  For you to attract and lead better people, you need to become the leader that those people need and deserve.  That means you first need to invest in yourself.  Keep improving one of your strengths and make your weaknesses strong.

Leadership begins from within.  Identify core roles, prioritize them and plan on development and then acting on them.  Any relationship begins with you.  Leadership begins with you.  To be effective, it is dependent on your ability to communicate well.

All communication begins with a thought before it is translated into words and messages. How many of us have allowed ourselves to speak first and think later?  What was the result?  In many circumstances, it created some unwelcome ripples in our life and in our leadership.  With sound leadership, our internal and external communication must be open, honest, clear and timely and at times radical.    When our thoughts line up with our words, our actions will follow in alignment.  You are congruent.  You walk the talk.  When you do that, people do what people see.

Be creditable.  This is who you are.  A creditable leader has quality of relationships and has earned the right to lead, versus it being a granted position.  Leaders are authentic, trustworthy, and compelling.

Be competent in what you do.  Leaders are expected to get it correct, which means problems need a proactive approach.  Usually problems will stem from three areas-people, strategy and execution. Your problem will most likely always fall into one of the three categories.  Identify which one and solve it.

Lastly, I want to mention consequences.  How do you do things and what was the consequence of your action?  How did you make your decision?  How did you choose to communicate your decisions and what was the impact on others?

Decide if you are a leader or if you need to work on yourself in some capacity to become a leader!

Dale Stefancic


To Your Success,

Ron Finklestein


Aboutbusinesssuccess.com is a web site devoted to your personal and business growth. It contains marketing articles, personal growth videos and relationship building strategies.

How do you spell RESULTS?

How do you spell RESULTS?

The word “RESULTS” is unique. It is unique because it means many different things to many different people; mostly psychological (more money, better relationships, more customers, weight loss, better health, etc.)

Though the word “results” means different things to different people, the way to results has not changed, if you are willing to do the work. Let me share with you a simple process I teach all my clients to help them get clear on achieving the results the want to achieve.

R – Results – Defining a specific outcome that you want to achieve. Think of this as your intelligent self-interest, your burning desire, and the end results you will achieve.

E – Enthusiasm. You must be passionate about what you want to achieve. This enthusiasm will provide the motion to get you over the bumps you will experience. Without enthusiasm, action quickly fades.

S – Singular focus. Every decision you make must focus the outcome you want to achieve. You must measure all your actions on how your actions (or lack of) are taking you closer to your specific outcome.

U – Unvarnished truth. There are no excuses. You own it. Don’t hide from it. Don’t try to sugar coat the results with excuses like it is the economy. If something is truly outside your control, it may not be your fault but it is your responsibility. You chose to how you want to respond. You can thrown in the towel or you can draw on your enthusiasm and passion to get you through the tough times.

L – Leadership. Show your personal leadership and just do it. Lead by example.

T – Test, fail quickly, try something else, and test again. I call this failing forward. Test until you find what works (repeat as often as necessary).

S – Start the process over. Do it again. Do more of it. Do it faster. Do it with greater focus.

In the next 60 days I will be announcing a 90 days to massive results program. Let me know if you want the details and I will include you in the formal announcement.
If you would like these blog post to be emailed to you, go to http://www.businessgrowthexperience.com and download the report. “Six Questions Your Prospects Want Answered Before They Buy.” Each time a new blog is written you will get an email letting you know.

To your results,

Ron Finklestein