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Jan 18, 2019

You can find posts and podcast episodes about business lessons everywhere. They’re a dime a dozen. The reason I say that is that most of them are written just to get Google rankings, not to convey legitimate, valuable content you can use in your business.

This episode is NOT that. It’s the polar opposite.

If you will really apply the business lessons I share on this episode, you’ll see your business advance in ways you never knew possible. And here’s the amazing thing about this list: I learned them all from Ju-Jitsu.

BUSINESS LESSON ONE: To beat big, you have to go small

Many eCommerce sellers and brand-builders have the mistaken notion that they have to appear bigger than they really are in order to seem legitimate to buyers. I understand why they would think that - the brands that are perceived as “big” are trusted more easily. But what these people are not realizing is that being small has advantages over being big.

Really, it does. When your business is small, things are lean and mean. You can do things more quickly and with quicker effectiveness than the big brands in your niche can. What am I talking about? Things like, making better connections with your audience, getting product iterations to market faster, meeting customer needs more quickly.

You’ve got to learn to take advantage of the unique leverage you have as a smaller business. Thus ends business lesson number one.

BUSINESS LESSON TWO: Pay for mentorship: The almost secret to success

When I decided to learn Jiu-Jitsu I was a bit older than most of people are when they are starting out. I knew that put me at a disadvantage, not just in competitions but also in the development of my skills. So I decided that if I was going to do it, I would go all-in. So I found the best Jiu-Jitsu trainer around and hired him to help me get up to speed as fast as possible.

In your business, you’ve got to do the same. You’re not the first eCommerce seller out there. You’re not the first to create an offer, build a funnel, or scale a brand. That’s both bad and good. It’s bad because you’ve likely got lots of people out there trying to do things very similar to what you’re doing - even in the same niche. But it’s good for you because it means there are lots of experienced and generous people who can teach you how to avoid the landmines along the way.

Don’t let the expense of hiring a mentor deter you from growing your business faster. There are no secrets to growing a successful brand, but hiring a capable mentor is the closest thing there is. Thus ends business lesson two.

BUSINESS LESSON THREE: There are no shortcuts: it takes hard work and time

It seems like every day there are new apps, integrations, and tools designed to make product sales and brand building easier and more streamlined. I’m all for being smart in the way you systematize and organize your business, but many of the bright shiny objects out there are nothing more than distractions.

There are no shortcuts to business success. It takes hard work and time - and thankfully, you have both of those in ample supply. The question is this: are you willing to devote them to growing your business? If you’re not, go ahead and play with all the new toys that come out. You’re not going anywhere anyway. But if you are, get focused and do the work. It will pay dividends you can’t even imagine. Thus ends business lesson three.

BUSINESS LESSON FOUR: Technique matters, a lot

It’s funny, after being part of the Jiu-Jitsu community for a while I’ve come to realize that the newbies who scour Youtube looking for the coolest, most amazing moves are usually the guys who suck the most at Jiu-Jitsu. That’s because they get enthralled with the cool moves and forget to focus on the fundamentals

In every eCommerce business, the same thing is true. You’ve got to focus on the things that are proven to establish and grow your brand. I harp on these 4 all the time...

  • Are you building your audience?
  • Are you converting that audience into customers?
  • Are you working to increase the average order value?
  • Have you established systems to increase the frequency of customer purchases?

Ask and answer those questions and you’ll have the fundamentals before you. Then all you have to do is get to work. Thus ends business lesson four.

BUSINESS LESSON FIVE: The hardest part is showing up consistently

I find that once I’m at the gym, I get into the zone and actually do the work it takes to improve my Jiu Jitsu technique. That’s never a problem. It’s setting myself up to actually GET to the gym - to get into the position that I can actually do the hard work - that proves to be the challenge.

Growing my eCommerce brand is the same. I have to sit down at my desk with a determination that I’m going to focus on the fundamentals and make things happen - then it all flows. But if I sit down aimlessly, uncertain about what I’m going to work on, or distracted by social media, I’m going to waste my time all day long.

The hardest part is showing up. So figure out ways to make it happen for you that are easier than starting from square one every day. To get to the gym consistently, I had to pack my gym bag the night before and have it sitting out where I could see it and grab it easily. That removed much of the friction from making the decision to get in the car and drive to the gym for a workout. What does that look like in your business? You’ll have to answer that for yourself and take action. Thus ends business lesson five.

Listen, to hear my expansion of all 5 of these crucial eCommerce business lessons.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:35] Business Jiu Jitsu: 5 things I’ve learned from martial arts
  • [1:35] #1 - To beat BIG you’ve got to go small (here’s how it works)
  • [5:01] #2 - Pay for mentorship (learn how to identify the people who can help)
  • [8:03] #3 - Shortcuts don’t exist
  • [9:57] #4 - Technique matters. Learn to focus on the vital things that matter
  • [11:59] #5 - Showing up is the hardest part: consistent habits matter

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