Getting Ready to Change Starts with the Decision to do so

Dear readers, it’s time for some tough love. It’s the second month of the new year, and no doubt many of you have big plans for how you want this year to be different. This is the year you’re going to achieve new success, reach your financial goals and grow your business by x percent. Fantastic, I love the positivity and determination.

But, are you actually doing anything about it?

In the past year of coaching business owners, I’ve noticed an alarmingly common pattern. Clients come to me full of ideas and talk about how they want to achieve x, y and z. Yet, when it comes time to commit to attending coaching calls or personal development events and to putting new ideas and approaches into practice, there is resistance. “I don’t have time to make the webinar this month,” they say. “But we’ve always managed things this way,” comes the reply to an alternative suggestion.

Keep doing Matt Alderton, Bx, Business for Life, B-xponentialwhat you’ve always done, and you’ll keep getting the same results

Sorry guys, but success isn’t going to magically land in your lap. If you want to get different results, you need to be prepared to change your approach and try new ways of doing things. Ultimately, change is a choice. You need to decide to change direction or change what you are doing. You need to be willing to push through any barriers and discomfort that might be in your way.

Because ultimately, change is inevitable, whether you actively seek and embrace it or not. Your business is not operating in a vacuum. Competitors are constantly progressing and threatening your territory. Technology advances and enables new ways of doing things that you hadn’t imagined just a short time ago. By doing things the same way, at best your business will get the same results and stagnate; at worst, you will become irrelevant and eventually obsolete. Imagining the outcomes of not embracing change can sometimes be the motivator you need.

The three P’s of change

Instigating a change in our lives involves focusing on three key areas: the people around us and who we interact with; our psychology and the programming of our mind; and our physiology, including how we think, act and express ourselves.

  • People: Seek out mentors to learn from and be open to different ways of thinking. Spend time with people who display the attributes you wish to develop in yourself, and identify successful people whose behaviour and habits you can model from.
  • Psychology: Remember to take time to pause, stop and clear your mind. Focus on the right now, not the past and the future. Taking slow, deep breaths can help to bring you back to the moment, rather than worrying about what you should have done or should do later.
  • Physiology: Try visualising the behaviour and results that you want to achieve, and then articulate this as positive facts in the present tense. Physically, act and move the way you would if you were achieving what you wanted.

Are you ready to stop talking about making changes and start making them? With our Business for Life coaching program, we’re ready to help you beyond talking and into action. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.

Failure is just a Stepping Stone to Success

What do Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, JK Rowling, Henry Ford and Oprah Winfrey all have in common? Before achieving amazing levels of success in their respective fields, they all experienced varying levels of failure, including being fired, losing large amounts of money and dealing with countless rejections.

I get knocked down, and I get up again

So often in life, it’s not what happens to us that is important, but how we choose to react and respond. This lesson was reinforced for me in 2008 when I discovered that my business partner had fraudulently robbed the business of over $500K by taking money from the business, not paying taxes and so forth. He used the money to prop up his own failing businesses, and in the end went bankrupt anyway. I found myself with an enormous debt of nearly $750K by the time penalties and interest were applied and staring down two equally unappealing choices – declaring bankruptcy or trying to repay such a huge amount of money.

In the end, there really was no choice – my business, my problem, despite the circumstances of how we got there. So my wife and I sold our family home and did everything we could to pay down the debt. We struggled through the global financial crisis and devastating personal and family tragedies.

And then, after working and working, we made it through. At the beginning of 2015, I signed off on an amazing equity raise with one of our businesses. From a start-up IT business in 2006, it had grown to be the largest of its kind in Australia.

It’s not a failure if you learn from it

Nobody likes to fail, there’s no doubt that it’s an unpleasant life event. But the risk of failure should be acknowledged as an accepted part of taking a risk. An important part of moving beyond a failure – and hopefully using it as a stepping stone to a future success – is taking the time to analyse what went wrong and how you can learn from the experience.

It’s also really important to make sure your team know that the process of reviewing a failure isn’t about finding someone to blame. It’s about identifying the things that can be done differently in the future and using the experience to set plans and goals that will allow you to move forward.Matt Alderton, Bx, Business for Life, B-xponential

As Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” And that’s the most important element in turning a failure into a success – having the courage to move beyond the hit to your pride and to try something different. The only true failure comes when you give up trying.
Do you have a story to share about bouncing back from failure? Or are you struggling to dust yourself off and try again? We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to move beyond this blip into success. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.

How to Hire New Employees to Help your Business Soar

Taking on new employees can be a scary decision for many small businesses. There’s a sense of responsibility that comes with committing to pay someone on a regular basis and the worry that your business might not grow enough to support another team member.

And yes, there is no doubt that taking on a new employee is a balancing act. If you hire someone before they are needed, your profitability can take a hit. But on the flip side, if you don’t add a team member soon enough, how will your business grow?


Here’s some of our tips for taking the leap of faith to hire new team members so that your business can reach new heights.

When to hire new team members

It can be hard to know when it is the right time to hire a new team member. But ultimately, it all comes down to planning. If you have a plan for your business and the growth goals you want to achieve, that will help you to determine what resources you need to achieve that growth.

The immediate trigger for hiring a new employee is freeing up your own time as the business owner to retain your focus on high-level strategic decisions. For many businesses, including my own, a first hire is often a bookkeeper. This allows someone else to take on responsibility for day to day administrative tasks like invoicing and chasing bill payments, so that you can focus on reviewing the big picture and dedicating time to revenue-generating action.

By getting the right people on the bus – in the right seats (i.e. in the job roles that best suit their skills and experience) – you can concentrate on driving towards your ultimate destination. If you don’t know what that destination is, you need to take some time to plan and set goals for your business!

Don’t forget training

The other vital element in hiring employees is making sure that they have appropriate training. Just because somebody has experience in similar businesses doesn’t mean that you should leave them to sink or swim.

There are three key elements to any employee training program:

  1. Induction Training: This includes practical training on your businesses systems and processes. It should also cover background on the business and any HR policies. For example, how do you answer the phone or greet customers? What is the procedure for taking an order? Induction training should cover all the basic elements that will allow a new employee to have the best possible start.
  2. On-the-Job Training: Ideally, this is buddying up with another team member to explain any processes and procedures in more detail. In a café, this might mean watchinMatt Alderton, Bx, Business for Life, B-xponentialg the buddy serve a customer, then serving the next customer under supervision. Or in an office environment, this could take the shape of shadowing the buddy on a customer call.
  3. Ongoing Training: Providing ongoing training in a variety of areas to build the skills of employees helps to keep your team engaged and interested. Many businesses are reluctant to train people due to the fear that they will take their new skills and leave for a better job, but ongoing training has been demonstrated to improve employee retention. Besides, what’s the alternative – you don’t train employees and they stay? Do you really want unskilled staff? Provide training in the areas of personal development, leadership, specific skills like selling and customer service, or any other areas that are relevant to your business.

Are you wanting to expand your team but don’t know if your business is ready? Or have you delayed hiring and felt your business struggle to cope as a result? We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to improve its performance. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.

Plan like a Pro for your Best Year Ever

There’s lots of quotes about planning that we’re sure you’ve all heard, like “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And maybe right now you are rolling your eyes and thinking “I’m just so busy running around getting the day-to-day stuff done – I don’t have the time to plan.”

Well, here’s the tough love: not having the time to plan and focus on your business is EXACTLY why you do need to plan. Without a plan, it is impossible to prioritise your time and focus on what is important to you, your business and your life.

Put simply – you must plan for success.

Know and manage your prioritiesPlan like a Pro for your best year ever

Planning allows you to determine what is important. It helps you figure out the ‘big rocks’ – those important, must-do tasks, that will give you the greatest return for your time and drive your business forward. When you know what is important, you are less likely to fall into the trap of forsaking these tasks for what is urgent.

We recommend the priority matrix for managing distractions and regaining control of who and what gains your attention.  Using a matrix of what is important and what is urgent, you end up with four quadrants.

Quadrant 1 – Urgent and important: These are the tasks you do straightaway

Quadrant 2 – Important but not urgent: These are the tasks that you plan when you will do them. Set a date and create an item for them in a task management

tool, such as Asana.

Quadrant 3 – Urgent but not important: These are the tasks that you delegate to someone else, freeing your time to focus on the important tasks. Again, use a task management tool to delegate and track progress of these tasks.

Quadrant 4 – Not urgent and not important: Dump these items. Delete the email, throw out the letter, or whatever, and keep moving forward.

A practical approach to planning

Each day, week, month, year, you need a plan to prioritise and manage your time. This is how we do it.

  • 10 minutes at the beginning of each day
  • 30 minutes to plan for the coming week, typically at the end of Friday
  • 1 hour to plan for the coming month, during the last few days of the month
  • 1 day planning for the coming quarter, during the last week of the current quarter
  • 2 days planning for the year ahead, during the last few days of December
  • 1 day every year reviewing life goals

We recommend that your three big goals for the year, quarter and month are written down and stuck somewhere visible. The more you see and absorb these goals, the more you will take action to achieve them.


Are you ready to take back control of your time and your business? Do you need help figuring out where your business is going and how you’re going to get there? We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to improve its performance. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.