3 Big Things I’ve Learned About Marketing from Michael Port

michael port mentoring program

At the live event! (Can you find me?) // Photo credit: Ana Melikian

When it comes to marketing, do you sometimes feel like you’re shouting into the wind? You know you have a great product or service but you’re having a tough time being heard?

I did, too.

Then six months ago, I joined a group mentoring program led by Michael Port of Book Yourself Solid fame.

If you haven’t read the book, I can’t recommend it enough. We all know the pet industry is highly competitive and the thoughts, ideas and system he suggests can help give you the edge, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a large corporation.

I first picked up the book a couple of years ago. Then in January of this year, I took a four-week intensive on the Book Yourself Solid system. A couple of months after that, I decided the next best step was to join his mentoring program.

It was absolutely, 100 percent, no-doubt-about-it the best thing I’ve done for my business up to this point. I find myself living my dream of working with smart, successful, amazing clients with good hearts who respect my abilities and what I have to bring to the table. It’s both exhilarating and a little surreal.

One key aspect of the mentoring program is the opportunity to attend three live events a year. I just returned from my third one where, for three glorious days, I had the opportunity to work with Michael, his coaches and the other entrepreneurs who are part of the program.

You might notice that there were a lot of threes in that above paragraph. So continuing with that theme, here are my three biggest takeaways on how to create a life/job/business you love.

1. Have a plan

The entire first day of every live event is spent working on a 90-day plan. The focus is on four main areas: financial, marketing, systems and projects.

Like many people, I’ve always had goals. Mainly vague ones like “get clients” or “make money.” Good goals, yes. But getting specific about what your goals are and then having a plan in place to reach them? Well, that’s where the magic happens.

The shorter time frame of 90 days (versus, say, a year) makes the goals seem achievable and doable. It also identifies the areas in which I might try to do too much. That 90-day window (which is really more like 60 when you take out weekends) forces me to get very clear on the most important things I need to do to move my business forward. All the other things get cut or go on the back burner for now.

Think about your own goals with your business or career. Are they specific and actionable? Do you have a plan with projects and processes that will help you achieve them? If so, great! If not, make the time to put something down on paper in the four areas I mentioned above.

And then remember that just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you should stop planning. As Josh Patrick, one of the expert presenters, put it, “The process of planning is what is important. Are you going in the right direction? Are you testing various scenarios?” While Josh’s area of expertise is in financial planning, the statement holds true for marketing and business plans as well. Planning is active. A plan is passive. The key to making the plan work is to work the plan.

2. Be open and ask for help.

You know the best thing about Michael Port? He surrounds himself with great people. He doesn’t pretend to be an expert at everything. That’s why much of the live event is led by his elite level coaches and other experts. They were all incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, and the information they provided was invaluable.

Even more valuable to me, however, is the support from the other mentorees. The group ranges from those just starting out with only an idea to wildly successful business owners with years of experience. Their professions range from deejays to wealth managers to life coaches. And every single one of them was eager to help, to offer advice, to lend an ear, to give a pep talk.

In both our personal lives and our careers, it can be tempting to try to figure it out all by ourselves. But — breaking news! — we don’t have to! Apparently, there’s an insane number of people out there who want to help you and support you, and who will celebrate your successes with you. All you really have to do is ask. And of course, don’t forget to return the favor whenever possible.

3. Serve who you’re meant to serve.

One of the reasons I was so attracted to Book Yourself Solid is that the system isn’t “salesy.” Michael’s emphasis is on creating connection and serving who you’re meant to serve. When you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, when you’re being helpful to others, when you’re serving who you’re meant to serve, everything else falls into place.

When I started my business, I knew in my heart that I was meant to serve people in the pet industry. But going through this program has shown me why it’s important to serve who you’re meant to serve. It’s the why that gets me up every day. It’s the why that makes me work incredibly hard for my clients. It’s the why that makes every bump and challenge along the road worth it.

So what’s my why? Why the pet industry? Because almost to a person, folks in the pet industry have remarkably good hearts and they truly want to make a difference for pets and their people. They get into this industry because they understand the important role animals play in our health and happiness. And above all, they’re determined to make their little corner of the world better.

I honestly believe I work with the best people in the best industry in the world, and I feel so blessed and privileged to be part of it.

Your turn: Why do you do what you do? Who are the people you’re meant to serve? Tell me about it in the comments!

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  1. Love this, Amber! I especially love the “be open and ask for help” takeaway. I’m such a DIYer that I constantly need to remind myself of that – I don’t need to do everything myself and there are wonderful people who are capable and happy to help me. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thanks, Jenna! I tend to be along the lines of “oh, I don’t want to bother them.” And like you, I have to remind myself over and over and OVER that this isn’t the case.

  2. You really captured the spirit of why BYS is so special. Really like your writing!

  3. How wonderful to share your story and how it got you on your way to your true goals.
    I would be happy to receive mentoring from an expert like Michael Port!

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