What differentiates successful businesses from normal, average, ordinary ones?

Since 2001 I have coached and consulted with an estimated 437 businesses, without counting the thousands of business owners who attended my seminars and those who seek me out at business conferences all over the world. At this point, I would have to be pretty simple-minded not to see patterns emerge amongst successful business owners.

Today, I can state unequivocally that one of the things that differentiates successful business owners from the others is their mysterious ability to think outside the box at will.

I know, I know, you’ve heard it before. Let me put a spin on an old idea. It’s one thing to know about it, it’s quite another to do it. If you own a business and are buried in day-to-day activities, how can you momentarily step outside your box and get passed your current comfortable ways? Most people can’t.

How are successful business people able to command their mind to think outside the box then? How?

The answer is much simple than most think: THEY ARE FORCED TO. Necessity is the mother of all innovations.

Your mind and mine are lazy. Thinking is demanding; it requires a lot of energy. The mind doesn’t like to think for no reason. It would much rather repeat the same patterns over and over again.

However, when confronted with a difficult situation, the mind will almost always find a way out.

Burn the ships!

You have heard of the ship captains who ordered to burn the ships before invading a country, giving their men only two options, win or die. The human mind is very resilient. In most cases, when it feels cornered, it finds a way out.

I could tell you dozens of stories where business owners found a way to get out of a dire situation at the last minute. The problem is they waited until they were forced to. Some wait too long, and lose it all.

The secret of the most successful business owners is their ability to activate their innovative powers at all times, not just at the last minute when they have no other alternative. That’s how they build businesses 10x, 100x or even 1000x the size of their competitors.

Let me give you an example. Take me, I am a business consultant. Every time I meet with a new client, they expect huge returns on their investment. I know it, and it forces me to think outside the box. And because I am forced to find solution, I always do.

A few years ago I was working with Pamina and JP Valverde. They are the owners of the Valverde Eco Hotel just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. For about 10 years they had operated their business to the best of their ability and gotten some results, yet unsatisfying results for them. One day JP confided in me how scared he was after our first coaching call together. He said, “I remember hanging up the phone with you Marco, turning to Pamina and saying: You realize that Marco has just invalidated everything we did these the last 10 years and he’s asking us to move 180 degrees away from what we’ve always done?” Then he added, “Pamina turned back to me and said: I am scared too honey, but with all the money we are paying for his service, we might as well trust him.”

Although the moment was scary for both Pam and JP they took action because they felt forced to do so. Less than a year later their business was completely transformed. Their sales had soared. Their profits skyrocketed. They went from working 7 days a week to Pamina working one or two days and JP working no more than five days per week. The following year, their hotel won the Best Hotel award from TripAdvisor.com. They now have trustworthy employees. And their stress level is at an all-time low. All, because I forced them outside of their normal thinking box.

Just this last week I met with another business owner who is stuck because of her inability to see the world from outside the box. She owns a dance studio in Southern California, and although her business is already successful, like the Valverde’s she wants more. We spent a full day strategizing about her business and putting an action plan in place. At the end of the day she was exhausted. “Marco, I don’t remember ever thinking this much about my business” she said. My reply was, “That’s probably why your business is not where you want it to be after nine years of operation.”

For me, even though I contributed to much of the thinking, it was just like any other day at the office. But for her it was exhausting.

It was easy for me because I have trained my mind to think outside the box by forcing it to come up with innovative ideas on demand.

Building a successful business requires a different level of thinking. Why do you think two business owners can start the same type of business in similar markets and after 5 years one runs a $10 million per year business and the other is still struggling to make a comfortable living?

They think differently, that’s why.

Business is Simple – It’s the Business Owners Who Complicate It

I always say it: Business is Simple. It’s not easy, but it’s really simple. There are just a few basic rules to follow to succeed, the problem is that most people can’t make themselves follow those rules; either because they don’t know them, or because they are too comfortable in their old ways.

After turning around dozens of businesses, often inches away from disaster, I am often called upon to rescue businesses from all sorts of industries, all over the world. In many instances, my job is as simple as challenging the thinking of the business owners. Most of the time it is more complicated than that, but sometimes simply by changing the way the owners look at their business I can steer them away from immediate disaster.

If your business is currently struggling, or you want to find out how to move your business to the next level, I have developed a business model based on over 25 years of scientific research that lets anyone see their business from a different angle. The model is aptly named BOSS, for Business Optimizing Strategic Systems.

Equipped with BOSS I have been able to resolve business problems sometimes in minutes, where the owners couldn’t do it in years of trying.

I teach BOSS to my clients.

Contact me directly to find out how you too could learn to fix your own business issues and propel your business beyond what you previously thought possible.