The smallest but most compelling book in my large and diverse business library is this one. It’s by a long-time mentor of mine, Dan Kennedy, and while the title is deliberately funny, the message is a serious wake-up call for any small business owner or entrepreneur.
Kennedy talks about the thousands of marketers and copywriters he’s mentored (including me) who have gone on to create extensive, proven marketing systems for their own particular niche markets (including me, in the salon & spa niche.)
( The farting cat title refers to the kind of business owner who blames everyone and everything other than themselves for their problems.)
The very first chapter sets the tone:
That Big Brick Building You Drive By
“There’s a little convenience store at the corner of my neighbourhood street and the town’s main street. One morning, as I stood in line, I listened to the counterman tell his tale of woe to the customer in front of me. The counterman is about 40,. His story, as Sinatra sang, is one too commonly told: hates his job, can’t get by on what he makes, has a car in disrepair, lives in a bad apartment building with biker neighbours, and rues his lot in life.
“When I got to the counter, I asked where in town he lived. After he told me, I said ‘You know, about halfway between here and your apartment, there’s a big brick building on the right hand side of the road. You pass it twice a day. In it are the answers to every one of your problems and frustrations. That building is called The Public Library’.”
He said he hadn’t been inside a library since high school. Precisely.”
(These days of course, hardly anybody goes to the public library. For most, it’s been replaced by Google. But the point remains valid.)
Kennedy goes on:
“You can divide the population into two main hunks. those who search, hunt, go after the information they need to fix whatever’s ailing them, and those who don’t. There are about 5% of the population in the first group, 95% in the second. And there are about 5% of the population who do very, very well financially, and 95% who never achieve wealth. Co-incidence?”
So how does Kennedy’s contention relate to you? It’s this: the information you need to succeed has never been more freely available. It has been collated and curated by many people, including me, in systems that take away the tedium of spending days, weeks, months gathering it and making sense of it yourself. Many years ago, I studied and put into practice the direct response marketing teachings of Mr Kennedy and others, and created a system for salons & spas that would make the marketing of their businesses a much, much easier and more effective process.
It was called The Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, and the main component of it, the Simple Salon Marketing manual, is still available today, instantly downloadable, here.
Key paragraph from Kennedy:
“The first thing you should know – ‘it’ works. Questioning the efficacy of these Systems is like insisting the world is flat. The time for such an argument has long since passed.”
He goes on:
“If you’ve gotten your hands on one of these Systems recently, it’s the perfect opportunity to wipe the slate clean, re-design your business, refresh your marketing, and rediscover your enthusiasm for your business.”