Monday, February 27, 2017

What is BBG?

January Sydney CBD Forum  
BBG is much more than a run-of-the-mill "Networking" or "Referral Marketing" group. In a very real sense it is a "Collaboration". One that helps SME owners and leaders to develop and grow their businesses.

Each BBG Chapter of 20 - 30 non-competing members meets once a month at a breakfast forum; where they network, mastermind, learn and co-operatively overcome business challenges in a way that helps them get to know, like and trust one another.

Each Forum is run by a professional facilitator,  and is supported by best-of-breed referral tools and training resources.

From the first Forum you attend, you will walk away with new skills and insights that will help you grow your businesses.

Then, over time, as the other members get to know like and trust you, the collaborations will begin to flourish and the referrals will begin to flow.

BBG members own or manage cashflow positive businesses and are looking to take their business "to the next level". They are not solo operators struggling to make a profit.

If this sounds like your business and you believe in "the spirit of generosity" and the concept of "paying it forward" we would love to hear from you.

Membership is by invitation only, and all applications are carefully screened to ensure complementary, non-competing businesses are grouped.
Geoff Hirsh talking about paying it forward 
If you are interested in attending a bbg forum, and see how we can colloaborate, join me as our guest at the next forum. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The New LinkedIn Connection Request Rocks 3-Ways!

Brynne Tillman shows us some  new features on Linked-In

The learning curve with the new LinkedIn has many missing some of the most wonderful features. LinkedIn's connection invitation being one of them. This big change has a significant impact on the way we can now connect and engage with targeted decision makers, influencers and stakeholders.

Here is why I am so excited about the update:

1. You don't have to say how you know them. Having to check off how you knew someone when requesting to connect often intimidated users who became reluctant to connect. While your invitee never actually saw what you chose, it still held people back from inviting people to join their network. Now, when you ask to connect with someone from their profile, you don't have to say how you know them. Your only choices are to send a note or not; please send a note. The only exception to the ease of connecting is if the recipient has set their settings to ask for an email or if you have received too many "I don't knows".

2. You can add a link in a connection request. Big win. The ability to add a link to a video, blog post or article is a powerful way to add value to your invitee before you even connect. In addition, you can add your email which you were never able to do prior.

3. The new connection appears in the Messaging tab. If you personalize your note, which you should always do, when someone accepts, there will be a notification in your messaging (inbox). If you don't see them, click on the filter bars and choose unread messages. Now it is simple to follow up with a welcome note and keep the conversation moving.

These new features are great improvements for social selling with LinkedIn. Share your thoughts on the new LinkedIn experience in comments below.

Interested in learn more about the new LinkedIn, WATCH the New LinkedIn Tutorial video.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

How Kicking Angels Help You and Your Business Grow


You've heard of a guardian angel, haven't you - but what on earth is a kicking angel ?

Well, it's exactly what it sounds like - it's an angel that does the job of giving you a swiftie on your rear to get you moving to actually DO the important things you say you are trying to do or going to do for yourself or the business but just don’t ever seem to get around to finally putting them in place  eg like -
  • Formally putting written goals in place
  • Having regular team / management meetings
  • Terminating those unproductive workers who are costing you heaps of money
  • Employing better people to grow your business
  • Developing some new marketing strategies to increase new business enquiries
  • Delegating out all those tasks that you are currently doing that belong to other team members (that you pay) as part of their position
  • Engaging a book keeper to maintain your financial records every month in one tenth the time it presently takes you
  • Updating and improving your website
  • Getting those important written testimonials from happy customers
  • Send out that annual survey form to your valued customers to get their feedback about you / your business performance
  • Arranging a holiday with the family
  • Permanently reducing your weekly working hours to get a healthier work / life balance
  • Committing to a regular weekly exercise program
…….surely you know what I mean, don’t some of these things ring true for you ? 
Basically you have been giving lip service to these things and generally doing diddly-squat about them for some time even though you have AGREED that they are important to get done / be put in place.
Then along comes the 'kicking angel.'

This kicking angel in the case of Ted and Pam from the Main Town Home Improvement Centre happened to be a Business Builders Group (BBG) of 20 like-minded business owners and leaders - and in the spirit of generosity they promised to help them.

"But here's what you have to do first," the Chairperson of the Group said.

"We will assist and guide you for the next 90 days (just like for each of the members of our Group) to ensure that you get in place everything on your list of important outstanding things (as outlined above) and then we’ll develop the next 3 month stage in your business growth plan.

So you know what Ted and Pam did next, don't you ?

Yes, in 3 months they did everything they had been waffling about for well over 9 months and then they asked for ongoing assistance (as a new member) from the Business Builders Group for the next stage.

What Ted and Pam didn't realise was that this Business Builders Group wasn't a guardian angel at all - they were a guiding and kicking angel and they got them moving in the right direction and fast.

And that's when it dawned on Ted and Pam. A kicking angel isn't supposed to be there all the time to do the work for them. What they're there for is to make them ACCOUNTABLE to do the important things that they needed to ACHIEVEgood results for their business (just like every member was doing for each other) – and then give a kick when required.

It took Ted and Pan a little while to realise the role of the kicking angel – one of the main functions was to get them off their butts so they could get the important things done and done well.

The kicking angel is not a guardian angel by a long shot - the key thing is to land that swiftie at the right times.
And the funny thing is that they'll keep at it, until you listen .- Are you listening ?

So if in any way you and / or your business need guidance, support and assistance from a Kicking Angel to achieve your personal and business goals – please call Business Builders Group ( – I promise they will be gentle or NOT !

Greg Kay
Executive Director
Business Builders Group Australia
To view my profile and connect with me click here 

Monday, February 13, 2017

8 steps to build a business with a KISS

Great article by Geoff Kelly 
Keep It simple. And don’t be Stupid.
Most people seriously overcomplicate it, and that is very stupid. They also do a lot of guessing, and that is even more stupid.
Here’s the simplest plan to set up a new business, recover an existing business, or add a new product or service — whether you’re selling flowers by the bunch or high value business to business services.
1. Check out the Market 
First, look at the dimensions and quality of the market, and how you can reach prospects. Is it huge, or small? Do they already spend money on what you want to offer? Are they local or far flung? Is it feasible to reach them on the internet, or by various media, or personally?
Get a rough idea for how many potential prospects are in your desired market.
2.  Check out the Media 
Then, check for media to reach them. Are there digital or physical magazines popular with the group? Are they members of specific associations? Where do they show up? What do they often do?
If you believe there are enough good prospects and it is practical to reach them, go deeper. Ask others closer to the market. Check Government and other statistics. Go look and do your own sniff test.
3. Check out the Competition 
And then: How big and strong is the competition – including the option that they can do it for themselves (so many don’t consider this do-it-yourself option that is such a barrier to many business and retail services). Are you facing sharks or goldfish? How good are the outcomes they are getting for clients?
How do these competitors get clients? How are they attracting, selling and winning clients in different parts of the market? The best will use simple approaches – map their prospect to client funnels.
4. Check out  Price Points 
And then: What are the prevailing price points in the market?
What does the bulk of the market consider a fair price for normal service? What do they see as a premium price for a top shelf service? Or for a specialist service? What is it that they will pay more for?
5. Find  Prospects Pain and how are you going to solve it ?
Next: What do prospects need most? What frustrates them, stops them from doing what they most want? What stops them from getting more out of the products and services already in the market?
How can you fill these gaps? This will be the source of your compelling offer.
Line up all the benefits you can offer, and how clients will experience them. 
5. Prepare your Pitch 
From this, create your appeals and reality test them on real prospects. Your mother or your partner will be too kind to you – genuine prospects won’t be.
That’s your sales message.
6. Create a product or service that people want to buy and can do it easily 
And then: Make sure your product or service is:
  •   simple to create and describe
  •   easy to offer and fulfil
  •   offers obvious value in terms of outcomes to price
  •   gets satisfaction and/or outcomes fast (use milestones in longer term outcomes)
  •   is easy to buy

7. Over- deliver - and do it fast 
So when you get new clients, you can deliver fast. And simply.
And last: Start fast and build on early progress and learning with massive action. Do more of what works, and stop or change what doesn’t.
8. Keep your Customers and make them advocates 
Standout business thinker Peter Drucker kept it simple when he said that business is about creating and keeping a customer. And that the two most important things to do are innovation and marketing. Everything else is a cost.
Of course we need other stuff too – technology, staff, legal compliance, funding and so on. 
But Drucker’s advice is not to allow these things to divert focus from the main game. 
If we don’t get and keep clients, we don’t have a business.
So start simple. Take ONE existing service or product that needs resurrection, or a new one. And run the above process to create the business. Then rinse and repeat with another, and another as long as you want for the growth you choose.
No need to complicate – just KISS it.
Geoff Kelly is an experienced business mentor and coach working mostly with business to business services clients. He works with people who want to make real improvement, and he shows them how to make the few changes that make the most difference to the results they want. He hates complicated, and loves simple.
His other practice is also simple, but high impact. Geoff helps professionals matter to decision-makers. Whatever you need - more clients, peer recognition, getting a strategy or idea adopted – your ultimate competitive advantage is having specific people know and value you and your ideas.
You can phone Geoff for more information like this on 0421 112 112 or email

Create a network of people you know , like and trust

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How many times have you been told, ‘you really have to network’? That networking is ‘essential for your growth and personal success’?

Do you jump up and down with joy at this idea, eager to get out there and meet new people? Or do you cringe with horror, thinking you’d much rather be spending your time doing something else you actually like, is more fun or seems more worthwhile than notching up a couple more friends on your Facebook page?

The adage ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ has significant more weight now more than ever. 

Jobs are taken before they are advertised and previously unthought-of collaborations appear out of nowhere to create new and competitive markets and steal market share.

Add to this, the challenges and pressure of coming up with new ideas to help us remain relevant and influential in a saturated business landscape and it’s no wonder most of us hide behind our computers and feel paralysed with fear.

But here’s the thing:
  • Who is really in your network and how much input or influence do they have in what you’re doing or trying to achieve?
  • How much do they really truly know you?
  • How much can they help you?
  • Or are they simply a “friend”, a “connect” and or heaven forbid a filed business card?
Now I agree that building a sales lead generation list is critical for the growth of any business endeavor, and there is no doubt the explosive social media scene has made finding particular networks easier – this at the end of the day is Networking 101.

But what about the network of you? You see, the right network of you is about having the right people and the right relationships in your professional and personal life. The ones that will help you grow and achieve your dreams.

Without a network of you, opportunities are missed, new possibilities aren’t presented, your thinking gets stagnant and the dreams and career aspirations you once had become unreachable. We change jobs, we move locations and suddenly you have to start out all over again. We find it hard to push through tough times, to get that job or that promotion, to sell that idea – to get noticed.

Here’s the bottom line – we don't need more contacts, we don't need more ‘friends’ and we don't necessarily need to spend more time connecting online.

If all we needed was this, then every one of us would be basking in unparalleled success just from the sheer number of opportunities we have to connect.

It was leadership expert John C Maxwell who said,

Those closest to you determine your level of success, so choosing the right companions as partners in pursuit of your vision is an important decision. My advice is to surround yourself with talented people who will challenge you, help you grow and inspire you to maximize your potential.’
It’s time to create a new plan of action – one that puts you in control, identifies the right people for you and creates the right behaviours that will nurture your network for mutual success.

Get in control of your network and you will change your game, make the impossible possible and achieve your goals. You will find it easier to connect to people with ideas and dreams and to convert those ideas and dreams to action.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt, former USA president and one of the greatest leaders once said: 

‘I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues’.

Create your ripple effect

Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side. - Victor Webster 

No matter who you are, what you do, your title or area of responsibility it is up to you to make every connection count. You matter. Other people matter. It is only through the interaction and connections that you make does one ripple begin that can lead to many others down the line. The way you act, the values you share, your opinions and the way you communicate send messages about you to those around you. And like a pebble being thrown in to a pond, the initial ripple of connection has a far reaching impact as those ripples spread far and wide.

Whether it be a much loved, or even much disliked, CEO’s departure and the immediate waterfall effect that cascades rapidly inside and outside the organisation, the impact of a national vote or the super sonic speed with which an unknown audition on reality TV hits YouTube mega millions of views within what seems like nano-seconds – the impact of one action always has ramifications one to one, more to more and many to many.

Some may refer to it as ‘what goes around comes around’. Social psychologists call it the Law of Reciprocity, a social convention where we feel the need to repay in kind that which another has provided. Some call it a ‘value exchange’.

In his book Give and Take, Adam Grant shares that the people most likely to rise to the top are often the ‘Givers’, who give the most to others. The ‘Takers’, who try to get as much as possible from others, and the ‘Matchers’, who try to give and take in equal amounts, never experience the same success. But there is something magical that happens when ‘Givers’ succeed . According to Grant, “Givers succeed in a way that creates a ripple effect, enhancing the success of people around them.”

At the heart of successful collaboration and connection lies the concept of value exchange – a simple process that gives both parties the chance to bring something more to the transaction than just a product. By its very nature, the mutual benefit of a value exchange comes down to the individuals involved, their willingness to share insight, connections, knowledge and ideas. Because it is here that market opportunities become immeasurable, sales potential is unlocked and the value of the intelligence shared increases exponentially.

It is not about faking it till you make it or hiding things for fear of being copied. It is not about protection of self or even survival of the fittest.

The key to sharing what matters to others is trust, having faith in your expertise values and dreams. It is about facing outwards with an interest and willingness to connect with others, exchange value and support other’s growth. And through the creation of one ripple, many others will naturally form.

Make every connection count. Be a leader every day in every way, like it always matters. Because at the end of the day, it does matter – your impact can last forever.

As Grant says, “every time we interact with another person at work, we have a choice to make: do we try to claim as much value as we can, or contribute value without worrying about what we receive in return?”

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What is your unconscious competence?


When you are known for knowing something, your ability to cut through the crowd and get noticed increases exponentially.

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery or expertise in a field. He cites examples such as:

  • Bill Gates, who used to sneak out of his parents’ house at night to go and code at his Seattle high school
  • The Beatles, who played over 1200 times in four short years in Germany alone before they launched into America.

It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with Gladwell’s theory, the point is that every one of us is an expert at something because whether we realise it or not, we have built up time and hours practicing. Yet we often undervalue our thinking, our experience and our ideas just because we don’t believe in ourselves, we feel like imposters or we don’t think we’ve clocked up enough hours.

Each of you has an equivalent 10,000 hours in something, whether you realise it or not. This is what makes you unique. This is what you can stretch and develop further. This is what you can share with others, and use to create new and mutually beneficial opportunities. This is when the transformative results of true value exchange between people really kicks in.

Natasha Pincus, an uber talented creative and internationally-renowned storyteller (oh and she created the music video for Gotye’s, ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ which has been viewed by over half a billion people around the world) is the author of ‘I am not a Genius and so are you’. She believes that “there is more talent within you, and around you, than you have yet imagined.” She asks the question, “What would happen to you if you were suddenly told that you are a GENIUS?”

Think about this for a moment… how would being told you are a GENIUS affect your self confidence, your behaviour, your conversations and the decisions you make?

What is your area of expertise? Are you really owning it?

Until you own your expertise the reality is that you will never be able to maximize any connections or conversations to their max because you will never be sharing all you have or all you know.

Start standing for something. Start being known for something. Start speaking up and sharing your value and your dreams and what it is that you are looking for. You might be a digital marketing expert, a wordsmith, a philanthropist with a big purpose, an expert at branding who is looking to connect, collaborate and contribute to build mutual success. Equally you might be a skilled graduate looking for a new job, a CEO looking for a Board position or seeking help to navigate the complexities of global expansion. When you are known for knowing something the ability to cut through the masses and get noticed increases exponentially.

Over 20 years ago, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, saw something no one else could see. He has turned Amazon into the world's No. 2 Most Admired Company (after Apple) and despite being highly demanding, thousands are drawn to his vision and aspire to be work for him.

Bono, the lead singer of U2, uses his rockstar positioning and mass appeal to influence and drive worldwide change. His influence helped persuade global leaders to write off debt owed by the poorest countries. Through his ONE and (RED) campaigns, he enlists organisations and millions of people to combat AIDS, poverty, and preventable diseases.

Since joining forces with the UN's refugee agency in 2001, Angelina Jolie has undertaken 50 field missions to countries including Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan. Her decision to explain her preemptive double mastectomy in a New York Times editorial created much controversy and yet further illustrated her willingness to take a pubic stand and start the difficult conversation. Former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said "Angelina Jolie represents a new type of leadership in the 21st century. Her strength lies in the fact that she is able to influence governments and move public opinion at the same time."

The reality is this. You matter. Every choice and action you take, every word that you speak, has the ability to influence others and in turn, the decisions being made at that moment in time. Your views are unique to you. There is nothing wrong with making your own profile as strong as you possibly can.

Don’t be afraid to be brilliant. Have the resilience to shine and follow your dreams. Walk the talk, own your skills, strengths and goals, commit to the change you want to see and build a network of people around you that want to see you succeed.

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