The #1 Reason Most Startups Fail

According to, with research from multiple independent sources, the #1 reason most businesses fail is…well, there is no good way to express this…

INCOMPETENCE (46% – mostly financial incompetence) followed closely by…

LACK OF MANAGERIAL EXPERIENCE (30%). I’ll just let that simmer for a moment…

(Don’t kill the messenger! See the full article at

In fact, 25% of new businesses nation-wide will fail in the first year with almost half gone by the end of year 3. Some do better than others, as you can see by the graph below. business-failure

The top 10 management mistakes that lead to failure are:

Going into business for the wrong reasons
Advice from family and friends
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time
Entrepreneur gets worn-out and/or underestimated the time requirements
Family pressure on time and money commitments
Lack of market awareness
The entrepreneur falls in love with the product/business
Lack of financial responsibility and awareness
Lack of a clear focus

These can be summed up by ego, positioning, and education.

This is where a good business coach comes in handy. A coach can create clarity, define goals, assist with planning and projecting, and keep you focussed on what matters most.

So that you don’t end up like one of these statistics, contact me for a complimentary evaluation.

If you found value in the article, please share.

Not the time to wait!

With only 24 days left until Christmas and Hanukkah, this is not the time to wait to order gifts. In fact, to order online and have shipping guaranteed in time for the holidays, you really should order by the 11th as after that date, UPS, FedEx and USPS can’t guarantee your orders will arrive in time.

The Holiday Gift Sets below are truly amazing, and at great discounts, but call me to learn how you can get some of these for free. I can send you a quick video that explains the deal or tell you about it on the phone. Either way, don’t wait!!! This offer expires at midnight on the 11th.


Asking for Referrals

referralstatsToday I had the pleasure of speaking with a young lady who is building her insurance business. She confided in me that she struggles with asking for referrals and, as we all know, the insurance business is built almost entirely on referrals once you make it through the beginning cold-calling stage.

She has attended many sales training courses where the presenters emphasized the strong and confident approach to asking for referrals. Often it is taught that you just ask directly using something like the following;

  • “Can you give me the name of a close friend or relative who I can talk with?”
  • “Can you give me 3 names of people you think might need their insurance reviewed”?

I have found that the reason so many salespeople don’t ask for referrals often is because strong and direct questions like this work better for those who are seasoned veterans and have built their business to the point where they approach this with more confidence. But, for the newer sales person, that level of posture doesn’t feel comfortable. In the martial arts, we say this is teaching through ‘black belt eyes’ to a group of white belts.

A much more conversational approach, and one that beginners can develop confidence with, is to be totally honest and little vulnerable in the approach. I recommend the conversation proceed more this;

“Thank you for trusting me with your business. I am new to this (industry/business/office/etc.) and I’m just beginning to build my client list. My business is built almost entirely on word-of-mouth from happy customers. I wonder if I could ask you for a referral? Do you have a friend or relative that you could introduce me to? I would be happy to offer them a free (review/consultation/evaluation/etc.) just like a did for you.”

If you like the idea of asking for 3 names, then add this “I have found that I can often help about 1 out of every 3 people I sit down with. Can you possibly think of 3 names?”

The basic formula for asking for a referral happens in these stages:

  1. Build rapport and trust, this helps if you just closed business with the person.
  2. Show a little vulnerability, you don’t have to pretend to be totally confident.
  3. Explain how you build your business.
  4. Ask permission to get a referral, don’t demand or expect it, and ask them to introduce you. It’s really a cold call if they don’t call ahead for you.
  5. Explain what you will do with the names and numbers.
  6. Thank them again, whether they gave you a name or not.
  7. Repeat this process every time you have contact with them.

I wish you the best of luck with your sales.

If you found value in this article, please share it with a friend or colleague.

Contact me if you have any questions – Matt

The Best Time to Start a New Business

If you have ever thought about starting a new business, then you have probably wondered when is the best time to get it running. While there could be many answers to this questions, and good reasons for all of them, NOW is always my favorite. Why? Because you can start a new business now and take advantage of all the tax savings that owning a business has to offer.

In the video below, Josh Denne and Jesse MacPherson give some great advice for why you should get started now and some amazing incentives. Whether you decide to start a business with Seacret or not is totally up to you, but their advice about starting a new business now is perfectly valid.

To learn the details on how to start your own business, the types of business entities available, the tax benefits, and the extremely low upfront costs just to get on the books with the state and IRS…contact me today. It’s not very difficult and can save you money this year then make you money next year.

AND, if starting your own business is not your desire, please forward this to a friend who has mentioned they would like to. I may be able to save them lots of time and money by preventing the most common mistakes people make.

It’s About Time

time-1024x861How often do you find yourself saying things like:

  • I’m soooooo busy.
  • Things are just crazy right now.
  • I don’t have the time.
  • I’m absolutely swamped.
  • I have too many projects going on right now.
  • I really can’t find the time.
  • Can’t see above the pile on my desk.
  • I’m behind on deadlines.
  • I’m so backed up right now.
  • I’m playing catch up.
  • Just can’t seem to get caught up.

The list could go on and on for all the ways we tell ourselves and others each day that we are overwhelmed with tasks.

I’m going to keep this short – to respect your time – The reality is, these phrases all describe the same problem:


Sorry, did I say that out loud?

Sure, there are times when something fouls up the schedule or someone creates an emergency that is somehow now your problem, but when you find yourself saying these things day-in and day-out, then you have a problem with time management.

Would you like to learn how to manage your time better? How to balance work and family? How create time for the activities you enjoy? Create more time for family? Decrease stress?

Contact me and I’ll show you three different methods for taming your calendar and managing multiple projects. Let’s find the right plan for you and take back your life.

Wax on. Wax off.

Martial arts tip of the day.

Since 1984 we have been using the phrase “Wax on. Wax off.” from the original karate kid movie as a joke for soooooo many reasons. Few kids today would understand the joke, and few of the people using it would understand that the techniques Mr. Miyagi was teaching Daniel were actually sound, practical beginner level movements.

The real lesson behind what Mr. Miyagi was teaching Daniel is that karate (or TaeKwonDo, or KungFu, etc.) can found in everyday tasks. The more modern Karate Kid movie, 2010, explained it plainly, “Kung Fu lives in everything we do.”

Where can you find martial arts in your everyday movement? Think about it, and when you do, practice the movement 10 times while imagining that you are using it for self-defense. This is known as ‘being mindful and purposeful’ in your everyday movements. Most of all, have fun and use your creativity.

Does your business have a plan?

writing-a-winning-business-plan_0If you ask most people whether their business has a plan, they will say “YES”. If you ask them to show it to you, they will almost invariably say, “Well, it’s not written down anywhere”. I thought everyone by now had heard the saying, “Goals which aren’t written down are merely dreams”. So, why do so many people try to operate a business without a written plan? Because it’s a challenging process. Maybe this will help.

A Simple 12-Step Process for Writing Your Business Plan

Step 1 – Pencil and paper

Step 2 – Quiet location without distractions

Step 3 – Relaxing beverage of your choice. I prefer a nice cabernet.

Step 4 – Executive summary

Step 5 – Business description and mission statement

Step 6 – Service or product offerings and pricing structure

Step 7 – Market analysis

Step 8 – Organization and management structure

Step 9 – Marketing plan and budget

Step 10 – 5 year financial projection

Step 11 – Have good long cry

Step 12 – Call me. I’ll bring tissues.


Need a Wingman?

December is month full of parties and networking events, but, does networking intimidate you? In a New York Times survey of people’s greatest fears, death came in third, following walking into a room full of strangers and speaking in public. Networking is often linked in people’s minds with public speaking and elicits images of sweaty palms, nervous coughing, stuttering, and so much more. What fear of networking and public speaking are really all about is a fear of looking foolish.

But…what if I told you there is a simple solution that can cure this fear instantly?

groupYou see, most people are afraid of networking because they don’t know what to say or how to make an introduction and therefore are afraid to make the first move and end up wasting time at networking events watching everyone else conduct business.

In reality, these same people are terrific at what they do, enjoy sharing their knowledge, and have great conversations with other business owners or prospects…once they get the conversation started.

What they need is a WINGMAN.

As your professional Wingman, I will attend networking events with you, make the introductions for you, help get the conversation started, and guide you through to making appointments that can turn into business.

But wait…there are some details that you may not think of. Often at networking events, you get stuck in conversations that are going nowhere with people who show up just for the social benefit, which is total waste of your time. I will guide you away from time-suckers and towards better potential.

And, let’s not forget the amature networkers and card collectors that will attempt to sell you at this events. Yeah, I know how to deal with them also.

Networking events can be fun, but they should also lead you towards future business.

As your Professional Networking Wingman I can help you turn these events into solid appointments.

So…what does this look like?

Simple. Hire me to tag along with you at networking events (which I love to attend) and I’ll be right by your side guiding you through the entire event. Helping to introduce you to the right people, make the introductions, start the conversations, and follow through to the appointments.

There is a process to making a networking event profitable. I can teach you the skills you need to work the event like a pro. And, best of all, I will be there by your side until you are ready to fly solo.

Call me today so we can plan your next networking event.

~ Matt, Your Professional Networking Wingman

Let’s Party in December

don-t-keep-calm-it-s-party-time-4What is the best reason why you should host a Seacret party in December? Because you can get two of Seacret’s most incredible products for less than half price!!

Oh, and how about January? Well, how about double reward points?!?!

Hey, just because you may have hosted a party in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t do it all over again. What? Like you wanna be a one-hit wonder?

It’s so easy to host a Seacret party. Just give me a call and I’ll walk you through it. Scratch that. You just invite people and I do all the work. Really. That’s all. Just call me. 603-767-6500