In continuing our discussion on EXECUTION 2015 -how to make this year work, let me shed more insights on the two kinds of execution discussed previously.
This is the most common type of execution in the world of business. As a matter of fact, it’s what 99% of entrepreneurs use and that’s why the 1% who succeed are those who use the other kind of execution.
In other words, this is what powers majority of businesses.
Let me tell you a story to practically explain the meaning of energy-driven execution. Sometime in 2012, a fellow entrepreneur who I had just met online publishes an entrepreneurial newspaper [EntrepreNEWS] and needed my help in selling his papers at a large business convention [Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship] hosting over 3000 business people.
It was a massive crowd and his hopes were very high in terms of selling so many papers. In his view, these target audience were business people and suddenly showing up with a taxi load of an entrepreneurial newspaper and a team of salespeople to sweep the convention ground would lead to huge sales.
Against my initial warning, he went ahead to print exactly 3000 copies of his publication and got a taxi to bring all copies to the convention ground.
It was a 3 days convention; the first day was for registration which started in the afternoon, so we didn’t come with the papers. By the end of the second day, which was a full day, we had sold less than 20 copies. Meaning he had to go back home with 2980+ copies of the paper. On the second day, having learnt from his previous mistake, he came with only 1000 copies and a promotional tactic to sell 2 copies for the price of 1.
By the middle of the second day, sensing that the promotional tactic didn’t increase sales. And not wanting to go back home with the leftovers again, he decided to do the worst, give them away for free!
You would think this would really help reduce the leftovers, but it didn’t. To our greatest surprise, some people even turned down the free papers and rather chose to buy an “end time” gospel paper which sold at the same price as the one we were giving away for free.
In Business, Energy is NOT a Strategy!
I used that particular story because it was exactly the same response I gave to the publisher as we jumped from one tactic to another, desperately trying to push the paper.
To be fair, he did his best to make that particular edition of the paper more appealing to the target audience. As a matter of fact, he interviewed the national president of the fellowship and had his picture on the front cover of the paper with a compelling caption.
All these, he did to help improve the conversion rate. But in the end, none worked!
Because there was a missing piece in the execution. And that missing piece was the lack of a sound strategy!
Coincidentally, this was about the same period we launched our flagship digital marketing brand –Differentiate Online. We had also printed some fliers to help spread the word and I had considered sharing a few during the convention.
But unlike my friend, I didn’t bring the whole copies we had printed down with the high hope of spreading it to everyone who attended the convention. I had a different game plan –strategy.
Going by the name of the convention, I already had my reservations about the quality of leads to expect from such target audience.
- This was first a gospel convention, not necessarily a business convention even though it was organized by the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship. Meaning, the intent of the audience is predominantly spiritual rather than intellectual.
- Secondly, I needed to qualify the target audience before launching out into the deep blindly. I wasn’t a member of their fellowship, so I had no prior knowledge of the kind of people it was made up of. So I needed to first do my own market research on the convention ground.
- Thirdly, I understand that no matter how great a product/service is, it would never appeal to everyone. So it was no use targeting everyone, with the hope of converting them all.
Backed with these 3 strategic insights, I came to the convention ground on the first day and carried out my own mini-market research during the registration process. Right there and then, I came to the practical conclusion that it was best to save myself the headache of sharing the fliers and money spent to print them.
The crowd wasn’t just it!
Strategy VS Energy, The Analysis
A successful strategy is a course of action, not just arriving at a single decision. In order to achieve a positive result, you need a detailed course of action [strategy].
In strategy, everyone starts from a different position in a different situation. When it comes to strategy, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach. You need a combination of alternatives based on what worked for somebody else or for you, both now and in the past.
Only the strategist [you] can identify what combination best suits your situation. The situation dictates what strategy to use. That is; the situation dictates the course of actions you take.
Energy is the determination, the brute force, the will or courage to act and the persistence to continue to act in the face of uncertainty.
Energy is the degree of your ruggedness and resilience as an entrepreneur. As it’s commonly called, your staying power. It’s a good and necessary trait for every entrepreneur to have, but it’s never a substitute for strategy.
You will need energy to follow through your strategy, just as much as you will need strategy to align your energy.
Alignment is the key to a successful execution.
Without it, all your execution will be scattered and there’s very little impact a series of scattered actions can make.
The best way to grasp the significance of strategy over energy is this; imagine you had 5 stones and you wanted to hit a bird some distance away. What would be your best course of action?
- Throwing all the 5 stones in every direction all at once
- Throwing one stone at a time towards the direction of the bird
Without ALIGNMENT, there’s NO Strategy
In life and in business, the bird in this analogy is the ultimate goal, objective, or vision you want to achieve. And the stones are the available resources you have with you per time. These resources also include your energy.
So my question for entrepreneurs who simply rely on their energy is this; would you rather use up all your resources to chase several goals OR define one goal and use all your resources to pursue it?
The reason several entrepreneurs only make use of their energy, running from pillar to post in their business, is because they haven’t yet clarified and defined their goal, objective or vision.
The goal, objective or vision is what creates that alignment you need to successfully execute your strategy using your energy. If it is missing, you’ll only keep running round in circles. Trying your hands on several tactics, not knowing if they align or not, since there’s no defined goal to benchmark it against.
Here’s the brutal truth, to be successful at anything, not just only business, you CAN’T do without a strategy.
Until you take the pain to always think through first and carefully plan out your course of actions, backed by real life information, all the energy you will expend will be futile.
This is where so many entrepreneurs miss out in business. While you cannot do without either of the two; energy or strategy, it’s crucial you understand which one must come first and the magnitude of its impact on your eventual outcome.
The moment you try to put your energy first before your strategy, you’ve already lost out on your opportunity to succeed. The most that will happen is to end up with a stroke of luck. In the end, the results achieved will be nothing compared to the energy expended.
In a very simple terms,
- ENERGY = the usual approach –doing the same things [activities] in the same way [processes]
- STRATEGY = the unusual alternative –doing different things [activities] in different ways [processes]
This is a new year, and we’ve only just used up 33 days so far. You can still get it right with your execution. I am going to be very busy this year, and I cannot guarantee a very regular posting schedule here on naijapreneur.
So I am launching a new coaching program tagged “EXECUTION 2015” for only 20 serious minded entrepreneurs who want to execute differently this year. No matter how much I try to explain in my unusual articles how to execute differently this year, it can never be compared to a one-on-one 1 year coaching with me tailored uniquely for your business.
The EXECUTION 2015 coaching program is the only first of its kind all inclusive business growth program for entrepreneurs that is not only affordable, but also offers 4 very flexible discounted payment plans;
- Monthly Payment Plan = N10,000/month [12 Installments @N120,000]
- Quarterly Payment Plan = N25,000/3months [4 Installments @N100,000]
- Bi-Annual Payment Plan = N40,000/6months [2 Installments @N80,000]
- Annual Payment Plan = N60,000/12months [1 Installment]
So, if you are one of such entrepreneurs who really mean business this year, click here to register for EXECUTION 2015 –a 1 Year Business Growth Training, One-On-One Coaching and Group Consulting Program for Entrepreneurs who Mean Business!
After registration, I will send you further details by mail.
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