Wow. It’s been an interesting three weeks since we got back from Vegas! We had the usual catch up to do with emails and phone calls, but we also faced more challenges than normal….and one of them in particular could have been avoided.
Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | Social Coach | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk Fanatic | Sushi Addict | Cancer Volunteer
In early October, Jason and I took our wives, Trista and Missy, to Las Vegas for four nights for the 1st Annual Blue Gurus Retreat!
We wanted to get away for a few days to relax, have some fun, see some shows, play some craps and celebrate what has been a rewarding and productive year for the company.
A BIG THANK YOU goes out to our friend Paul Buchheit for hooking us up with wonderful rooms that had incredible views of the Bellagio Fountains and the Strip! We enjoyed a couple of cocktails with him when we got into town and it was a great way to start the trip.
Here are a few of the highlights from the trip as well as a few correlating business tips to think about:
1. On the night we arrived, the four of us went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay. It was a great show with lots of sights, sounds and music.
Business Tip: Don’t wait to start having fun. Jump right in.
2. On the second night, Jason and Trista saw Terry Fator at The Mirage and Missy and I took in O at The Bellagio. Jason and I both had high hopes for the shows and both walked away a bit underwhelmed.
Business Tip: Be optimistic, but know that sometimes people and companies just can’t live up to your expectations.
My friends at Karbank Real Estate Company let me use their corner office today… I thought I would share the great view of downtown Kansas City from the 39th floor. And that is what gave me inspiration for my blog post today… sharing the perspective.
Best month ever… again.
Back in July, Blue Gurus celebrated the best month of revenue in the history of the company. It is an awesome feeling to hit a milestone like that. Just two months later, here at the end of September, we’ve beaten the July number by 31%. We have hard work and great clients to thank for that… but the most interesting result for me is the realization that I still have a lot of work to do!
Make sure you celebrate the wins along the way.
I know quite a few business owners that are never satisfied with their wins. They don’t take the time to celebrate their wins along the way and are left feeling burned out. I don’t want to make that mistake, so Mic and I are taking our wives to Vegas this week for the Blue Gurus annual retreat.
Before I started Blue Gurus, I had been in the world of hourly consulting for more than a decade. It was what I knew. It seemed fair to me… get paid for the amount of time you put in. If you have to do more for a client, they pay more. And yes, if you don’t have the meeting because of things outside your control, they pay less.
My mindset was all about hours and not about VALUE.
Mic has been challenging me for years about our pricing model. I remember having the discussion with him in the first 6 months of him starting to work with me. That was more than 3 years ago.
I had to see it to believe it.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve focused on adding retainer clients to Mic’s book of business. Our pricing for those retainer engagements is based on the value that we are providing, not how long it takes to get the work done. It is more profitable work and we are getting fantastic feedback and kudos from the companies that we work with. We have enjoyed some great successes over the last two months. The ironic dilemma for me is that Mic hasn’t had to work as many hours to generate the same amount of revenue. What a wake-up call.
Around 5 years ago, right as the Great Recession was picking up steam and the markets and world economy were in a tailspin, I was unemployed, sitting alone in the basement of my house, and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do next in my career.
I was scared.
I was embarrassed.
I was ashamed.
I was alone.
I was lost.
I was depressed.
I had no idea how to get out of the funk that I was in.
Ironically, I didn’t take the advice you so often get when you’re in a situation like that. I wasn’t “pounding the pavement” looking for my next opportunity. I wasn’t going to “get back out there” and get a job just to have a job. I wasn’t going out and meeting people every day. I didn’t make it my job to find a job. I wasn’t scouring the job boards every day. I wasn’t going on informational interviews.
By now, you’re probably asking yourself “Mic, why weren’t you doing any of those things? What were you doing? How did you survive?”
The answer isn’t easy, but I want to share it with you in case you’ve been in that situation, find yourself in that situation in the future, or know someone who may be there right now. But before I do, let me preface this with a couple of very important points:
1. All of those things I mentioned above are often good and necessary things to do when you’re looking to make a career change.
2. Everyone has financial challenges and realities they have to figure out during the career change process.
So why wasn’t I doing all of those things? Because I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living and I felt that I was starting to lose myself because of the career choices I’d made.
You see, throughout my career, I worked for big companies, small companies, in a home office, and in cubicle farms. I made good money, had good benefits, and so much more. I had been in customer service roles, inside sales roles, worked in communications, and eventually worked as a recruiter for several years.
But I wasn’t happy.
We have been doing business with the Downtown Council of Kansas City for years. We created their current website. We trained their entire team on LinkedIn, WordPress, social media best practices and more.
We help them execute their weekly blog posting. We meet with them on a monthly basis to work on new projects online and offline.
But that is the Downtown Council for us as a client…
We joined the DTC this year and I wish we would have done it sooner. If downtown Kansas City is important to you, whether for business or personal, you should seriously consider getting involved. If it’s for business reasons, your company should be happy to cover the annual dues out of their sales and marketing budget.
To learn more about being a member, check out the Become a Member page on their website.
At the DTC Board Meeting in July, I learned a ton about the streetcar initiative. I also heard some crazy statistics… did you know that housing in the downtown area is at 97% occupancy??? Things are growing so quickly downtown that people are having a hard time finding a place to rent!
I met Scott Rowe with Arvest Bank on the elevator as I was leaving. We followed up with a coffee meeting and now Blue Gurus is doing LinkedIn training for a group of Arvest producers in September. There is no question that the board meetings are a great way to stay connected to downtown businesses.