What Happened?

Since I’m traveling this week, I’m without my dog (I “gave him” to my mom for Mother’s Day – nice gift, huh?), and that meant doing a couple of morning walks by myself.

So on Tuesday morning I grabbed my trusty portable CD player – yes, I own one of those beauties – and I listened to the latest CD from the Info-Marketing Association.

On these CD’s, two guys named Robert Skrob and Bill Glazer interview an expert and bring me great advice on building my website business.

This month’s call was with a coaching expert. Sometimes coaching experts get a little “out there” for my liking, but this expert had a great system for keeping you on track.

(I forget the woman’s name, and I apologize to everyone.)

Anyways, I call it, her “What Happened?” system.

Turns out, I’ve actually been using her system unknowingly, and it’s been the source of some of the biggest breakthroughs in my business.

First, let me share the 5 questions from the “What Happened” system that you should ask yourself on a regular basis…and then I’ll show you 3 ways I use this system in my website business.

The Questions

1) WHAT happened?
2) WHY did it happen?
3) What were the CONSEQUENCES of your actions?
4) What can you do differently in the future?
5) What action steps can you take right NOW?

Simple yet POWERFUL questions.

Unfortunately, most people, in business AND in life, screw up question #3.

Rarely do people think of the consequences of what they do, and most people go around making the same mistakes over and over again.  A perfect analogy is the world of fat loss, that I deal in every day.

So many people eat low-quality, processed foods, and have no energy.

But they never “connect the dots.”  They don’t recognize the consequences (low energy) of their actions (eating processed foods and junk foods).

And so they keep on eating bad foods, having low energy, gaining weight, and feeling terrible.

To break this cycle, they need to connect the ACTION with the CONSEQUENCE and make a CHANGE in their life.

When it comes to our website businesses, a lot of people mess up their time and energy management. For example, a lot of “online beginners” check their email first thing in the morning.

This wastes their time and best energy by taking them off on wild goose chases trying to put out fires.  As a result, the next thing they know, their day is done and NO progress was made on the important tasks in their biz.

So again, what they need to do is break the cycle by connecting their Actions with Consequences and making Changes.

Alright, finally, here are 3 ways that I use this 5 question system in my business.

Method #1 – I review my weekly sales numbers

Of course, I also review sales twice daily, but I look at a weekly spreadsheet every Tuesday for all of my products.

I compare this against average results.  And if the numbers are different, I ask:

What exactly happened?

– Was there a promo? Did we lose traffic?

WHY did this happen?

– Did I write a specific article that got PR?

What are the consequences of my actions?

– If I write controversial articles, I get more PR, and therefore more sales.

What can I do differently?

– I need to start writing more articles that generate more controversy and traffic, and therefore lead to sales.

What action can I take right NOW?

– I can schedule time to brainstorm a list of ideas and then plan out writing time for these topics.

BAM! That’s how you build your business.

I then do the same exercise with these two monthly reviews:

#2 – My monthly affiliate sales chart

Were there new affiliates? How did they find me? How can I help them? Did a new product make more sales for someone?

Did an affiliate STOP promoting me? If so, why? What can I do to change that?

#3 – I review my monthly traffic stats.

What changed? Why did a certain traffic source send more or less traffic? What did I do this month and what consequences did this have on my traffic? What should I do differently next month to have a positive effect on my traffic? And what can I do right NOW to start working on this?

That’s why you need to know your numbers.

Ask yourself the right questions for business breakthroughs,

Craig Ballantyne
http://www.InternetIndependenceUpdates.com – On Facebook

Think BIG. Hang around others who think big. Expand your peer group. Don’t be satisfied with the norm if you want more. It’s okay to want to achieve special results. The world needs folks who dream and achieve big things.

  • Hi Craig,
    I thought that looks uncannily familiar – back when I was training to work as an Instructor at police college, we spent a fair amount of time looking at the Experiential Learning Cycle as described by Kolb. This was something we then used consistently when training new police officers – encouraging them to develop their policing skills. Although the wording is slightly different, the principles are exactly the same.

    Regards
    Chris
    PS It was something I used all the time when working at the college and have gradually stopped doing on a regular basis. Thanks for the reminder – I will be more deliberate in my reflective practice from now on!

    • intind

      Nice, great to hear Chris.

      Craig