I could not believe he refused!

Last week my wife and I went shopping as some of our favorite places – second hand stores. I was preparing for total knee replacement and I needed some durable medical supplies (canes, walkers, ice packs, etc.)

The store we visited is called Kathleen’s Kornor. As you can imagine Kathleen is the owner and a friend. She is on West market Street in Akron, what is referred to as the Highland Square Area.

While visiting, the internet went down and Kathleen could not take credit cards.

This individual wanted to buy a roll of shelving paper and had no cash. He wanted to use his card, which could not be processed because of the internet problems.

I offer to pay cash and only ask that he pay it forward. He actually refused.

Not wanting Kathleen to lose the sales, I gave Kathleen the money. He offered to reimburse me $1.

As I walked out the store I simply asked him to pay it forward.

As I walked out the door I wondered why he resisted our simply request.

This got me thinking about all the times I refused help because of pride, time, embarrassment and other strange things we humans sometime do to ourselves.

So now I have a request I would like you to pay it forward. My Coauthor Dr. Tony Alessandra if offering a DISC assessment at no charge ($79 value). Here are the details. You can receive some great information and help someone at the same time.

To Your Success,

Ron Finklestein

Learn why so many smalll businesses fail! Please join me

DocFred Presents Ron Finklestein-

Why does a small business fail?

                             Sept 20, 2013


Friday, Sep 20, 2013, DocFred with Ron Finklestein-Why does a small business fail?You will learn:

1- Why do so many small businesses fail?
2- What are the business issues business owner’s biggest weaknesses?
3- What prevents them from seeking help?
4-  What they can do immediately to start making a difference in their success and much, much more…

The Amazing Women and Men of Power Network and Raven International presents this Friday’s- Amazing Men of Power & Music

This show will broadcast twice Friday, Sep 20, 2013, 10AM and again at 4PM CST.

You can also listen in: Friday, Sep 20, 2013 or any time by going to Visions of Success Talk Radio. All links below:
http://amazingwomenofpower.com/radio/amazing-men-of-power/ (for Friday’s show on ITunes also, AWOP 24.7) or even today at


If you found this interesting, pass it on to a colleague, family member, or friend.
DocFred would love to hear your feedback on this subject. Email: fredsimkovsky@yahoo.com 



Dr. Fred (DocFred) Simkovsky, CMCP

Make a Difference: From Being Successful to Being Significant

Make a Difference: From Being Successful to Being Significant

As I get ready to go to Washington DC to testify in a court cases, I received notification that my next book is being released. It is called Make a Difference: From Being Successful to Being Significant.

It is short read about a successful business owner who forgot why he is in business.

He lost a major sale and was on his way to the account to save the deal when he is in a car accident. A special teacher shows up and helps him understand that he can be both successful and significant by making a few simply changes in his life.

It is a story modeled after the many clients I had who struggled in growing their business and finally understood there is really no difference when you are successful because you are significant.

I invite you buy this book and incorporate these powerful lessons in your life. My hope is it will change how you think, what you do and how you do it.

If you want to learn more about implementing these concepts in your business please go to Business Growth Experience and download our free report. It is a good start.



Ron Finklestein




Is the Amercian Dream Dead?

I was asked recently if the American dream was dead. I wrote a blog post and I wanted to share it with you.

I posed it on my business blog and instead of duplicating it, I am sharing the link.

I value your comments and the question is a legitimate question. Please share your thoughts. Here is the link.

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Advisor





Choice Points!

What is a Choice Point?

A Choice Point is a point in time where you choose – make a decision to do something different.

In one of my mastermind groups, we were on-boarding a new member and each member discussed the value they received as a member:

  • I am lonely because there is no one I can discuss important issues with. My wife doesn’t understand, my employees have hidden agendas, and others simply do not understand the complexity of what I do.
  • I need someone to hold me accountable. I know what to do but many times I won’t do it.
  • When I am making a big decision I ask myself what questions would my mastermind group ask me. I make better decisions as a result.
  • There are no hidden agenda and I know the feedback I receive is real. The members only have my success in mind.
  • And I could go on!

Each member came to a point in their career where they made a decision to get involved, to be committed. They came to a Choice Point and made a decision to do something different.

Choice Points can be the results of external events (the economy, death in the family, divorce, etc.) The can also result from internal events (decision to get married, have a child, change jobs, etc.) A Choice Point comes from the need to do something different. It can be embraced as a positive event and proactively embraced or actively resisted.

One choice suggest acceptance. One choice suggests struggle.

It is a choice – a Choice Point!

Some members join the Mastermind and actively embraced the change. Others joined the Mastermind and resisted the groups’ participation. The ones who resisted are no longer members. The ones who proactively embraced the Mastermind are growing personally and professionally. It is just a choice!

To Your Success,

Ron Finklestein

Check out http://www.businessgrowthexperience.com and download our free report: Six questions Prospects Want Answered Before they buy.

If you work in Northeast Ohio and want to attend our Sales Lunch & Learn events please click here http://saleslunchandlearn.eventbrite.com.



Why you don’t want to move away from pain?

Don’t move away from pain?

Many people decide to make a change. Change is good.

The problem I have seen is that they people move away from want they don’t want –pain, not towards what they do want. This approach causes problems with long-term motivation.

For example, if I try on my clothes and notice they are a bit snug, I might decide to drop a few pounds. The desired outcome is for the cloths to fit better.  As a result, I decide to move away from wearing uncomfortable clothes.

As I lose weight and the clothes start feeling comfortable again, the tendency for me is to stray away from what works and start eating the junk that made me fat to start with. This happens because as I move away from pain (tight-fitting clothes,) the motivation is not as strong (because there is not as much pain because the clothes are starting to fit better.)  As I move away from pain of tight-fitting clothes, I think it is ok to stray and again eat food that are not good for me.

If we take that same example and move toward our goals of achieving and maintaining our ideal weight (say 200 lbs.,) as our clothes start fitting better, we are motivated to maintain the changes that helped move us in the right direction, making it easy to stay on the diet and resist temptation to start eating junk. Since we are not moving from pain (though the pain is what started the change), we are moving toward a specific outcome (weighting 200 lbs.) we can continue along the path that is working without worrying about slipping back into the old behavior the caused us to gain weight.

How does this concept apply to sales and business?  

Let’s discuss cold calling as an example. If we focus on the possibility of rejection, it will be difficult to make the call. Let’s shift our focus on why we need to make the call. One of my clients would rather lay off an employee that pick up the phone and solicit new business. Once he got clear on “why” he was picking up the phone (to provide a great living for his family,) He was able to solicit enough business to generate more proposals in 30 days they he did in the prior five years. We needed him to focus on what he wanted, not on what he did not want.

Try it. Pick something that is hard for you and focus on the positive you will experience when you perform the action. Stay focused on the positive. Watch how motivated you become. Watch how much easier it is to stay focused.

I invite you to try out our www.businessgrowthexperience.net/ron  membership site. Our goal with this site is provide actionable contents to help you grow sales, increase revenues and retain happy customers. You get a two-week trial for only $1. If you chose not to continue the free gift is yours as a thank you for trying us out. Why reinvent the wheel. For only $1 you can learn and implement best practices that work. Go to www.businessgrowthexpeience.net/ron to learn more.

Ron Finklestein

Have a Hero – Be a Hero!

Have a Hero – Be a Hero!

I am planning to do a series of posts on what people to do to make positive change in their life. I asked many people their tips and strategies for making change and have received over 100 good comments. Over the next several months I will be posting these tips and strategies. I am not sure if I will do all 100 but I will share some very good ones going forward.  

Before I post the first tip, let me give you some background. I wanted to help a client make some personal changes and I was getting stuck in helping him through some personal changes so I asked for some help. I sent out an email to several trusted advisors asking them how they introduce change in their lives and the outcome they experienced in introducing change. Their responses were incredible.

The most notable outcome they experienced in creating personal change is the expanding of their three foot circle. They created a more global view of the situation. They saw thing differently and they are better able to choose their response for the situation.

These articles will occur in no particular order. I am writing about them as it makes sense for me. I would encourage you to share with me you particular strategy for dealing with change, creating changes or helping others deal with change.

Here goes. The first one is – Have a hero, be a hero! (Special thanks to Joe Smucny for this one!)  

Can you imagine how you will live your life knowing you are a hero to someone: a child, employee, coworker, wife or husband? What if you knew someone would ask you why you did something. What would you say? How would you say it?

Can you imagine how you would live your life if you had to answer to your hero for every action you took: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Ben Franklin, Jesus, Buddha, or any of the thousands of people who could qualify as heroes? How would you answer their questions?

This raises the bar. It requires that you think about your actions and the impact they have. It requires that you take action, ownership, and responsibility for all things in your life.

This set the bar high and I like it.

Who is your hero and what action do you take to be like them?

Who do you want to be a hero to and what examples will you set for this person?

Please share your strategy for personal growth and change. You can email it to me or you can post it here. Please know if you send something to me you are giving me permission to use it.


Ron Finklestein
ron@ businessgrowthexperience.com



Food Almost Killed Me and my Business

This is a true story and I struggled with sharing it. It is confession time. For years I was sick: migraines, fatigue, joint pain, gas, bloating and the list goes one. I knew I would die (I am totally serious here) if I did not get this under control.  Running my business (and my life) was a desperate act of pure will power. For over two years everything hurt. I did not have the energy to try to grow my business. It took all my energy to get out of bed in the morning; it was all I could do was maintain some semblance of a normal life. I just could not understand what was going on.

This is not an exaggeration.

Let me give you the short version of the story. I tell you this not for sympathy but to help you understand the value of good health in growing a healthy business, enjoying life and making the most of every situation.

I took three naps a day.

I eliminated all activities except the bare necessaries of meeting only with customers.

I woke in the morning with so much pain I dreaded getting out of bed.

I had two spiritual visions in six month that I was dead and my wife was in mourning.

I was forty pounds overweight.

I experience four migraines a week.

The muscle and joint pain was so bad I did not want to move.  

I was not absorbing the medicine I was on and needed larger and larger doses. Nothing helped!

Emotionally, I was tired, depressed, frustrated and angry about the situation.

Fortunately, I found a doctor who helped me understand I was allergic to gluten in wheat. As I got better and tested other foods, I found I also had a negative reaction to soy, corn, dairy, eggs, and rice products. In the last 12 months my diet has changed to mostly meat and vegetables.

Because of the way I eat and how careful I am about what I eat and potential of cross contamination, I have been laughed at, ridiculed, and made fun of. Most waiters and waitresses are not familiar with people who deal with this problem and they think I am being ridicule. As a result, I tend to avoid most social occasion where food is the reason for people to get together: chamber lunches, business lunches, breakfast lunches, etc. I am tired of explaining. I am tired of being the only one at the table of eight paying for food but not eating and having people wonder why.

As a result of this dietary change, my life has changed for the best. I am happy again. I have energy. All my physical problems are gone. My relationship with my wife is great and I now can smile again. My hair is gradually changing color (from gray to brown) and I dropped 40 pounds.  I actually started exercising again after 15 years.  

I enjoy meeting people again. I am actively prospecting for new client and I am enjoying my work as a sales coach and trainer again.

I did not write this post to complain but to ask you to think about the food you eat. Is it helping you? Is it sapping your energy? Does it give you gas? Is it making you miserable? What impact is the food you are eating having on your energy and relationships? It is hard to have a good life and a strong business when you don’t feel well. For the first time in my life I finally understand the value of a proper diet and power of eating the right food.  

Because it can take from a few minutes to a few days to understand if food you eat is giving you problems, it is hard to make the connection. Keep a food diary is a great place to start.

I always sign of my blog post with, “to your success.” Today, I will sign off with to your health.

Ron Finklestein


ron @ businessgrowthexperience.com       

This is why I do what I do!

This is an unsolicited email from a client in my sales training program. It helped me to remember why I do what I do.

Good Morning Ron;

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I wanted to take  a few moments out and write to you because I had one of; if not the best holiday I have EVER had.  I was sitting here this morning reflecting over my weekend trying to figure out what was different this year so I could recreate it for Christmas! My realization is I was what was different this year.

To give you a brief history I come from a very broken home.  I have actually been on my own since I was 16 years old ( I left on my birthday) I had a lot of abuse both mental and physical from my parents and step-parents alike.  My father was an addict (recovering since 2003) and my mother is still an alcoholic, a functioning one but an alcoholic none the less

I love my parents but one could say I wasn’t dealt the best hand in life.  I have always tried very hard to look at things in a positive light and honestly I just never wanted to end up like my family.  I have always wanted to be the “one who got away” as corny as that sounds.  The way I see it is some people get parents and families who guide them in the ways of life. I figure I was given people who showed me what NOT to do in life.

Enough of that…Going through the program I really have been changing.  I have changed the way I am speaking and most importantly the way I have been listening.  I have learned that my mother is a socializing socializer to the extreme it is her show and if you just sit back and watch the show for a bit it doesn’t drive you crazy and she tends to tone it down some,  if she thinks she is getting the attention she so clearly needs.

My father is a director to the Hitler extreme and as long as he feels he is running the show life gets A LOT easier .  So in short thank you Ron.  Thank you for bringing some calm to my life and an understanding of my parents that I have never been able to have.


Thank you for the email

Ron Finklestein
here is the program this person is in http://www.businessgrowthexperience.com
ron @ Akris.net

Can You beTrusted?

Are you trustworthy?

Building trust is the fundamental building block for everything that we do, the successful relationships that we build.

I recently saw a report (by Watson Wyatt)  that stated:

  • 61% of people do not trust senior leaders.
  • Only 36% believe managers act with honesty and integrity.
  • A whopping 76% observed actions that their firm is involved in illegal or unethical activities.
  • The study goes on to say only 34% of American can be trusted.

Are your trustworthy?

Most people would answer yes. I think people are trustworthy.

But is their consistency between what you say and what you do? If no, that is a problem.

Do you communicate effectively with others? If not, that is your problem.

Do you do what you say you are going to do and then do it? If not you are not giving me a reason to trust you.

I think the world is tired of marketing hype. Be authentic. Let people follow you who share your values. It takes guts to let people know what you are about. Be brave. Be strong. Be yourself.

I want to help you address this issue. In the near future I will be announcing a marketing membership site that will help you communicate your trustworthiness to your prospects and customers. Stay tuned and I will provide more details shortly.

To your success,

Ron Finklestein

ron@ businessgrowthexperience.com


ps. Go to www.businessgrowthexperience.com and download my free eBook entitled “Answering The Six Questions Your Prospects Want Answered Before They Buy From You.”

Choosing a Legal Structure for Your New Business

We have a great article today from guest writer James Kim. Take a look at the pros and cons of your legal structure. If you do not feel you have the correct structure for your business, contact a lawyer who can help with either implementing a legal structure changing an existing structure. Thanks James for this great article.

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Facilitator

Choosing a Legal Structure for Your New Business

One of the first things that an entrepreneur has to do when
starting a business is decide on a business ownership structure. Here, we
outline the different structures, helping you find the business solutions
that best suit your startup and understand its tax implications.

1.  Sole  Proprietorship

A sole proprietor is someone who owns an incorporated business
on their own. In this structure there is no legal distinction between owner and
business and, therefore, the owner has complete control over and liability for
the business, including the debts and legal actions against the business. In
sole proprietorships the profit is “passed through” to the owner and the business
profits will be documented on the individual tax return, Form 1040.

Many people consider the sole proprietorship to be the most
simple and straightforward business organization because you don’t have to file
any specific forms (like income tax forms) or pay massive startup fees.
However, on the downside a sole proprietor is fully responsible for all debts, making it
difficult or impossible to raise capital from investors.

The taxable year is the same as the owner’s: a calendar year. As
mentioned above, a sole proprietor must fill out a Form 1040-ES (Estimated Tax
for Individuals). The profits or losses are calculated on Schedule C. Earnings
from the sole proprietorship are subject to the self-employment tax, Schedule
SE, Form 1040, which is a contribution to Social Security and Medicare. You can
calculate the self-employment by multiplying net earnings from self-employment
by the self-employment tax rate. The self-employment tax rate for 2011 is 13.3%
(10.4% for Social Security and 2.9 for Medicare). However, you can deduct half
of your self-employment tax contribution in figuring your gross income by
filing a Form 1040 Schedule C (line 27). You can visit http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=130102,00.html
to determine eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Other forms
include the Form 941 (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return) and Form 940
(Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return).

To find these forms see http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98202,00.html

2.  Partnership

A partnership involves two or more people who carry on a trade
or business together. This structure of business, like a sole proprietorship,
“passes through” profits or losses to its partners and these partners pay taxes
on their share of the profits in their individual income tax returns.

Instead of the Form W-2, the partnership must turn in a Schedule
K-1 and the Return of Partnership Income (Form 1065).Then, each partner reports
their profit and losses with the individual tax return (Form 1040) and Schedule

Forms: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98214,00.html

3.  C Corporation

In a corporation, shareholders exchange money or property for
the corporation’s capital stock and usually take the same deductions as a sole
proprietorship for its taxable income. C corporation refers to any corporation
that is taxed both in corporate income and shareholder income (as opposed to
passing through the income to the owners like a sole-proprietorship or
partnership). This process is sometimes referred to as the “double tax.”

In a c corp you can implement “income splitting.” If the owners
keep some income within the corporation (“retained earnings”), it will be taxed
at lower corporate income tax rate, not at the individual tax rates of
the shareholders. These retained earnings are reported on Form 1120. C corps
also have to file the Estimated Tax for Corporations, 1120-W, quarterly.

Forms: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98240,00.html

4.  S Corporation

In an S corporation you have both limited liability while paying
income taxes like a sole proprietor or partner. S corps are essentially
corporations that have chosen to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and
credit through to their shareholders; they are not subject to Self-Employment

The IRS defines an S corporation as one that is 1) a domestic
corporation, 2) has only allowable shareholders, 3) has no more than 100
shareholders, 4) has one class of stock, and 5) is not an ineligible corporation
(like an insurance company or domestic international sales corporation).

To become an S corp the corporation must first turn in Form 2553
Election by a Small Business Corporation. An S corp “passes through” its net
income to its shareholders via a Schedule K-1 in Form 1040 (Federal Income
Tax). The salary paid to the employee-owner is subject to employment taxes
(940), but the remaining income, the distribution from the S corp, is not subject
to employment tax. The IRS requires, however, that the salary allotted is
“reasonable,” to prevent shareholders from giving themselves extremely low
salaries, attributing the rest of their earnings to distributions, and thereby
avoiding high employment tax.

5.  Limited Liability Company

If your business will most likely engage in some sort of riskier activity (the use of hazardous
materials, selling of edible goods, caring for children or animals, requiring
injury-prone actions), you should opt for the LLC, which protects your personal
assets from business debts and claims. There are no tax advantages (or disadvantages) to forming
an LLC: LLCs with one owner file for taxes as a sole-proprietor, while LLCs
with multiple owners file taxes as partnerships.

This is because the federal government does not identify LLC as
a classification, so a member (and owner of an LLC) must file as a corporation,
partnership, or sole proprietorship tax return. A Form 8832 is filed to
establish a business classification. Owners of an LLC may also have to pay
additional state taxes, or “franchise taxes,” in addition to the income

While understanding the legal side of business can be
complicated and, well, “taxing,” hopefully this summary of the basics has clarified
it a little!

James Kim is a writer for Choosewhat.com. ChooseWhat is a company that provides
product reviews and test data for business services and products.  Their
goal is to help small companies make informed buying decisions on business
solutions that help their business.


Who Is Your Mirror?

I have come to the conslusion that what I see in others is merely a refelction of what is inside of me. Sometimes that is good, sometimes not so good.

When you see something you like and you believe as I do, it give you a good feeling.

When I see something I do not like, I take a pause and ask myself, “What am I really seeing?” More often than not, if I am courage enough, I see something in myself that is just being mirrored back to me. Something that was always there but I did not see it before.

To see how this concept works, watch this short video and ask yourself if you are doing the reflecting or being reflected.

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Facilitator

Why Do People Buy Anything?

Why Do People Really Buy?

People buy for their own reasons. Here are two reasons that fits almost all situations:

1.       To Avoid Pain

2.       Create More Pleasure

If you are very concerned about what others think, you may be interested in the latest technology gadget. Buy buying the new gadget, you are moving into a pleasurable state of mind because you believe others will think you are cool.

Without getting overly complex, I believe people buy for only four reasons. People will avoid pain or create pleasure by knowing:

1.       You are the right decision

2.       You are the safe decision

3.       You make me more productive

4.       It appeals to my ego (how will I be perceived by others)

All four reasons specifically address the need to avoid pain and create more pleasure.

If they are convinced I am the right decision they do not worry about being wrong and taken advantage of. If they are convinced I am a safe decision they do not have to fear negative outcomes of their decision. If they are convinced I can help them be more productive (get what they want), they will embrace my solution because the pain they will experience by not achieving their goal. If it appeals to their ego and they believe it will enhance their image and reputation, how could it be wrong? Look how good I look!

How do you determine why people will buy from you?

There are six question prospects want answered before they buy from you:

1. What Do You Do?

2. Why Are You Different?

3. Why Should My Prospects Care?

4. What Do You Do Better Than Anyone Else in the World?

5. Why is That Important to my Prospects?

6. Why Buy From Me?

When you answer these six questions successfully, you will communicate the answers to your prospects in many different ways:

a.       Web site (use the outcomes to attract clients)

b.      Sales letters (use the pains to generate interest)

c.       UVP (unique value proposition). Sometimes referred to as a 30 second commercial (can be used in creating an effective 30 second commercial)

d.      Internet marketing (attracting qualified prospects)

e.      Email marketing

f.        Newsletters

g.       Speaking engagement

h.      Referral documents

i.         Build this into your sales process

j.        Create marketing strategy around attracting your ideal prospect

k.       Brochures

l.         Flyers

m.    Workshops

n.      Seminars

o.      Cold calling

p.      etc..

Good selling! It will be much easier for you when you tell your prospects why they should buy from you instead of letting them figure it out for themselves.

Ron Finklestein

Consultant to Small Business Owner Who Want Results
Follow Me On Twitter http://twitter.com/rfinklestein
Register for my newsletter http://www.rpfgroupinc.com
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Watch the One Degree Difference Video – Takes 8 minutes

10 Steps – Blue Print to Success

Jason Orman sent this out and it is so good I thought I would share it.

Here are the 10 steps. Enjoy the read.

Ron Finklestein
Consultative Business Coach

Increase your Productivity with Online Continious Learning

Increase your productivity and effectiveness with the most valuable product in my tool kit, dailysuccessstream.com.

Dailysuccessstream.com is a personal and business web site with training from some of the best and innovative minds in the world. The training videos are short (less than 10 minutes) and they are full of actionable tips. Training can be audio, video or PDF. They also have a guided path for those who prefer a more structured process.This is a great way for business owners to provide training to they staff very inexpensively.

I believe the only thing that holds us back is not our skills but our beliefs. Skills are easily taught when the mind is right.
dailysuccessstream.com helps keep my mind right.

To be fair I am both a user and an secondary instructor on the site.

The price is very reasonable: $39.95 a month with a five day free trial. No long term obligation.

They have a strong affiliate program of which I am a member.
For those of you who were familiar with Ilearningglobal, dailysuccessstream is new and improved ilearningglobal. I stayed with them from the beginning and through the transition. I am glad I did.

Take me up on this five day free trial. Dailysuccessstream.com , you will be glad you did.

To Your Success,
Ron Finklestein

Why Coaching Works

I received this unsolicited email from a client today and I wanted to share it.

Thank you for this introduction, but even more, I want to say Thank You overall. I left the meeting feeling good – and I am still on a high. I am excited about the process, about getting some structure and definition to my business to really set it in a direction for (to use the corporate but accurate cliché) strategic growth.

I enjoy working with you, and it’s great having someone with your knowledge and expertise helping me define direction, but even more, holding me accountable to it (though I’m sure there will be times I won’t be so thrilled with that : )
I’m even excited to taking action on the steps we defined — and bringing that back to our next meeting.


Your Business Coach

Ron Finklestein
Call me with your coaching questions for a free consultation.

Top Four Reasons Businesses Fail…

Businesses Fail Because

According to SCORE, businesses fail for many reasons. I listed the top four below.

Lack of a well-developed business plan  78%
Not pricing properly  77%
Being overly optimistic – sales, money  73%
Not recognizing, or ignoring, what they don’t do well
 and not seeking help from those who do  70%
Ineffective prioritization  66%

Not having a business plan is the single biggest reason a small business fails and it drives all the other reasons a business fails.
A business plan has four primary objectives:
1.Defines what you do and why others will buy from you and your firm
2.Define the markets, companies, people, etc who can buy from you and how to reach them
3.Defines the road map to making money, where you need to spend your money (i.e., marketing, Internet, computers, fax, telephones, etc)
4.Defines weaknesses where you should be looking for help or areas to you need to address

A business plan is essential. You would not try to build a house with blueprints. Why would you start or run a business with the same type of blueprints.

The strange part is that if you don’t know how to do a business plan you need to ask. Number four above, really should be number one. If you don’t know what you don’t know, how do you know you don’t know it? How do you know to ask for help?

A business plan, depending on its purpose, can be a short as one page or more than 100 pages (venture capitalists want to know everything).

Just going through the exercise of writing a business plan will tell you more about what you don’t know about your business than any single exercise.

A business plan is a living document that should change as you and your business change. I will give you seven simple questions that you need to answer as part of your business plan:
1. Why are you in business? If you are not really passionate about your business, you will have trouble during the hard times and, most like you will lose interest and fail.
2. What are you selling? What problem do you think your product or service solves for your target market?
3. What is that one thing you do better than anyone else in my market? It could be as simple as free shipping to a lower price point using a new production break process.
4. Why would your target market care about what you do? Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself “what’s in it for me?”
5. Why would your prospects buy from you? Even if you are the best, will people buy form you and if so why?
6. How much money do I need to get started? Do not underestimate.
7. How will I make money and how long with it take before I am profitable.

I do not expect you have these answers to all these questions immediately (except #1). The answers to these questions will changes as you mature as business owner and you gain in understanding about your marketing, your industry, your products, your customers and your services.

The important part of this plan is to test everything. Ask your prospects and call your competitors, do research.  If you spend some time up front answering these questions, you will save yourself much pain and suffering.

Call me if you have questions and a free consultation.

Ron Finklestein

I Must be Nuts to Give Away so Much for so Little


I recently published my fourth book called Nine Principles to Inspired Action: A New & Targeted Perspective. A gentleman from New York read the book and called me up and he said “You are the new Napoleon Hill!” I was totally unprepared for his comments. 


I said: “Thank You. But want do you mean?” 


He started to going into details about my book as he talked about how I took the materials in Think and Grow Rich to a whole new level. 


Needless to say, I am flattered. Who would not be flatter when being mentioned in the same sentence with Napoleon Hill? I am only doing what I love: learning and sharing what I have learned. I do not what to confuse anyone, claim an identity that is not me or appear schizophrenic. I care deeply about my client’s success and I believe I need to stay ahead of them so I can continue to add value.  Some of the people who have impacted me the most, almost no one knows about. These are people who are my Business Mastery Advisory Board. Yes, I practice what I preach. Many of the concepts I write about hit my Advisory Board first, my client’s second and my blog third. 


My goal is to reach one million people with the concepts in this book. I am so passionate about this goal that I am giving away my methodology to any business coach, management consultant, small business owner or business executive that are looking for a way to get results, grow their business and generate more money. Though I am giving it away, there is a catch. You have to be trained in the process. The training is very affordably because I want interested parties to have some skin in the games so I know they are serious. 


The book Nine Principles for inspired Action took six years to research, test and write and it is the results of studying over 500 success small business owners (and many who were not successful). I choose small business because there has been much research done of very successful people but little that distills the behavior of the common man into action items that can be implemented immediately. The funny thing about this book is that it was never intended to be a book. I did this research for me and my clients, to help them and me be more successful. I want to continue to grow and prosper and get results. 


After I understood and distilled what I learned, I build several coaching programs to test drive these concepts. The results were powerful. So powerful that on one of my coaching programs I now offer a 100% guarantee. Simply put, if you do not recover the entire cost of the program, I will refund the difference. I can do that because the clients who followed the process get results; those who did not follow the process do not get the results. All I did was formalize what they were already achieving in a measurable, repeatable and predictable way. 


If you are someone who wants to achieve results, pick up the book. It is available on amazon.com. After you read the book, post your comments on Amazon so others can benefit from your efforts. I know some of the concepts in the book are controversial and will not be well received by some people. I am ok with that, because success, in today’s day and age requires us to think differently. 


If you want to learn more about using my methodology in your business call me at  330-990-0788 . I will answer any questions you have. 


Ron Finklestein




Using Your Advisory Board to Prevent Failure

I run several Business Mastery Advisory Boards (learn more at www.rpfgroupinc.com) that are designed to drive the nine behaviors all successful people implement. These behaviors are documented in the book Nine Principles for Inspired Action: A New & Targeted Perspective (available on amazon.com).

Many business owner do not know what needs done but not how to do it. When asked why they did not address the problem, the reason I hear most is: “I do not know how.”

I find this to be a lazy reason from not doing something. When I ask them to commit they say I will try. LISTEN UP LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! There is no trying. There is only doing. In this economy we need action that leads to purposeful results, not action that leads to trying.

That is why an advisory board is so important. You have your peers to help you. You share best practices that save you time, energy and money. You receive objective feedback from people who care for you and your success. There are no hidden objectives.

I have one member in my advisory board (learn more at www.rpfgroupinc.com) that talks about quality of her product and the value her company provides. This is strange because she cannot define either in a way that allows the customer to understand or in a way that reflects the value of her product or services. If you cannot define it you cannot do it or achieve it – it is that simple.

She does not have to know how to do it, all she as to do is start doing something. Building the kinds of processes I am talking about requires documenting what you do now. If you do not know what you are doing, make something up and start doing it.

There is hundreds of training programs out there whose purpose is to help you acquire the skills you need. I use iLearningGlobal to help me when I am stuck and I use this tool to help my clients when they are stuck. To learn more go to http://www.ilearningglobalnow.net

Watch a few videos. Take some notes. Each video is only 6-9 minutes in length. That is one half of one percent of your day so do not tell me you do not have time. Listen to billionaire Bill Bartmann discuss how he used goal setting to go from bankruptcy to $500M in assets in five years. 

Begin learning from your mistakes and learn from the mistakes of others. Learning is essential to success; especially if what you are doing you have never done before. Success is nothing more the learning to fail forward. Let’s others help you to fail forward.

Ron Finklestein

How to Recession Proof Your Business


What’s the common mistake most businesses make in a recession?    I believe business owners, especially new business owners, make nine fundamental mistakes, especially in a market downturn.  


These nine common mistakes have been identified by interviewing hundreds of business owners: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good ones do things right. The bad ones have never been taught to be business owners. It is something they learn as they go. These owners probably never planned to be a business owner but through circumstances, they find they are running their own business. Many never make the adjustment. The bad business owners just don’t care as long as they made money. They will leave a trail of bodies behind them. They typically are people you want to do business for the long term.  


I took the best behaviors from the business owner I interviewed over the years and distilled them into nine specific behaviors. I compared them against my clients’ behaviors and the behaviors of other successful business people I met. I found them to be valid. I then introduced these behaviors in a coaching program that drives these specific behaviors.


When the economy gets bad, business owners lose all discipline and focus they had when they created a successful business. Instead of being more discipline they tend to go after everything. This is a problem because they dilute their already limited resources by trying to do too many things or being all things to all people. 


The key to success lies in how well you create an “attitude of success.” My studies have shown that there are nine behaviors that all successful people exhibit, especially in an economic downturn. When these behaviors are implemented in the highest levels of an organization and are combined with the correct attitude, they cascade down through the organization. Successful business owners understand that the organization they manage takes on the attitude of the top person in the organization, and they strive to ensure that their behaviors reflect this. To be successful you must implement these nine behaviors.    


1. Become Selfishness – Get Clear on What is Important  When I say successful companies are selfish, I am not referring to the childish behavior of everything is “mine, mine, mine.” I am referring to a mature selfishness that allows them to make decisions based on the outcomes they want to experience.



2. Stay Focused on What is Important. It is very hard for a company to be focused if you don’t know where you are going. The dictionary defines focus as “close or narrow attention; concentration.” Without a clear perspective, you cannot focus on the desired outcome. It is too easy to become distracted, unorganized, and inconsistent. When you understand what it is you are to be selfish about, you generate a clear focus—a sense of purpose. There are two questions you must always ask yourself. “Is what I am doing taking me closer to my goal (selfishness)? If not, why am I doing it?”


 3. Be Disciplined by Creating Corporate Habits that Work Discipline is controlled behavior resulting from training and self-control. Your mind is made up. You have decided to achieve your marketing goals.



4. Persistence – Stay the Course. Webster’s Dictionary defines persistence as the continuance of an effect after the cause is removed. Once you take the time to create a marketing strategy and implement a marketing plan, your goals will be clear. And when you are focused, disciplined, and selfish, your persistence allows you to see any unplanned obstacles not as problems, but as opportunities. After all, if it was easy, anyone could accomplish what you are accomplishing. But not everyone is on the field of battle with you. They see obstacles and stop. You see obstacles and opportunities.  You keep your eyes clearly fixed on your objectives; you try different things to overcome these obstacles. You know where you are going; you know you can’t be stopped. You know that your persistence is what drives you forward. You will find a way around any obstacle, and keep right on going. 


5. Ownership – It You Don’t Own It, You Can Not Change it.  Ownership is the state of being an owner. It is taking the legal right to the possession of a thing. Not only tangible things, but also your dreams, your goals, your business, and your life; if you do not take ownership for achieving your dreams, who will? You cannot blame the market or the economy for your problems. You must take ownership or you cannot take action to address the problem. Taking ownership is about change—making the change necessary to move forward, changing behaviors that are not working, and dealing with the world as it is and not as you want it to be. 



6. Measure Everything – Orientation toward Results. Results mean ending in a particular way. Once you define your goals—the outcomes you want to achieve—and how you want things to end, you can take ownership to create your desired outcomes. You can create the results. It is now a matter of implementing the behaviors that will drive those results.  When you don’t get the results you want, you fall back on persistence, ownership, focus, and discipline, and know that you have the skills, the drive, the desire, the knowledge, and the road map that will take you where you want to go. Results are simply a way of measuring your success. You either get the job done, or you don’t. If you don’t, because of your ownership, you go back and try something different. No excuses. No remorse. Only results. You understand that there is no trying; only doing. 


7.  Success is Dependent on Your People Effectiveness All successful people understand that their success comes with, and through, other people. Successful people recognize these individuals and appreciate them for their contribution to the results. Understand who your best customers are and treat them like gods. Determine who will help you (employees, referral partners, business associates, etc), why they will help you and how you can help them.


8. Only the Right Ideas- Not All Idea are Created Equal Most people have an abundance of ideas and this is the problem. Once they get selfish by focusing on one specific goal, they can generate ideas that allow them to implement their intelligent self-interest. This will move them to new level, both personally and professionally. If they are not clear, the abundance of ideas will just get further off track. Getting selfish is very important here. It is also important to understand that ideas typically come from others.  


9. Defining Success as Taking Action. Success, in the original sense of the word, simply means to take action. When in doubt, do something – anything. Successful people understand that they can always correct something that is not working. They also understand they cannot correct an action that is not taken.


Do not be confused by the outcome of success: new car, new house, more time off, money etc. These are outcomes of success. They are not success. Success, simply defined, is taking action. When you take action you can achieve the outcomes of success. 


Many time people have a great idea. They believe their idea will lead them to success but they have no idea how to move forward. Or, they have so many ideas that they cannot make up their mind. Successful people know they need people to help them implement their ideas.  


What are 10 methods you would use to survive and prosper in a recession?


Here are 11 actions you can take during tough economic times….


1. Create a Strategy. The first action you must take is to create a marketing plan. You must get clear on who is your best customers, where to find them, what problems you solve and why they should buy from you. This does not require a long document but clarity in thinking. All eleven actions are documented in 49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales. (This book is available on Amazon.com).  


2. Be Consistent. You must be consistent in your message and brand throughout all your marketing activities. Otherwise potential customer can get very confused. Most people do not lose an opportunity to the competition; they lose the opportunity to complacency of the prospect. When the prospect gets confused they do nothing. Be consistent in your message.  


3. Use Press Releases. Let the world know what you are up to. Use press releases to target specific locations. Write the press release with a unique angle that makes it easy for reporters and other readers to read your message. There is the possibility for a huge return with a minimal investment. 


4. Create Controversy. Take your message, your story and build some controversy so it is interesting to others. Take something that everyone is talking about–newspapers, magazines, industry blogs, etc– and incorporate that into your message.   


5. Write Articles. Writing articles is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to get your name out and increase visibility. There are hundreds of sites looking for articles. The key is to write about what your prospects what to hear about, provide value and have a clear call to action.  


6. Networking for Referrals. The quickest and fastest way to get new business is to ask for it; especially from your existing customers. They know your products and services so pick up the phone, take them out to lunch and ask them if they know anyone who they would introduce you to who could use your products or services.   


7. Create Your Business Mastery Advisory Board. Create your own advisory board. Many business owners think they can go it alone. You can’t and the sooner you realize this the faster you can the result you want. It is all about people. If you do not test your message with your peers and see what works, you are wasting time, energy and money.  


8. Generation Leads. Use Tele-seminars and Webinars as a marketing tool so people can find out what you are about. These can be free or paid. The key is to provide value so people listening want to engage you. The beauty of this approach is people who are interested in what you are promoting naturally opt-in to listen to your story.  


9. Use Electronic Newsletters. Electronic newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your audience. They opt-in so you know they are interested. Having someone buy your products and services is as much need as it is timing. Your name (product) needs to be at the top of their mind when they need something. A newsletter can do that for you.  


10. Speaking Before Groups. Public speaking is one of the best approaches to generating new business. You need to be professional and provide value but where are you going to get an opportunity to have 100 people pay to listen to you talk about what is important to you and how it can help them. If you are afraid of speaking, get trained. There are many different organizations to help you. 


11. Create an Event. Create an event and make it a party. People are social animals who love to be involved and find deals. You can do a grand opening, a grand reopening, an anniversary sale, holiday sales or any one of 100 reasons to have a party and invite people into your business.  


Ronald Finklestein, President of AKRIS, INC, is a small business success expert, business coach, consultant, speaker, author, and trainer, and has published three books, 49 Marketing Secrets (THAT WORK) to Grow Sales (www.49marketingsecrets.com), Celebrating Success! Fourteen Ways to a Successful Company (http://www.yourbusinesscoach.net/14ways.html) and The Platinum Rule to Small Business Mastery (http://www.rpfgroupinc.com/the-platinum-rule). Ron’s client have increase sales 35% year over year, experienced 150% return on investment, opened new markets and created new products that have transformed companies. Finklestein is available for coaching and consulting, speaking engagements, workshops, and seminars. You can contact him at ron@ronfinklestein.com or (330) 990-0788. Sign up for his newsletter at http://www.yourbusinesscoach.com/promotions.html. All the books mentioned above are available on www.amazon.com.