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Article Title:
How to Keep Big Opportunities from Tearing Down Your Business

Article Description:
It's the dream come true: "I love what you do. I want you to do 
project X, so we can reach a 1,000,000 people (or build that 
retreat center, or, etc., etc.)"  Pretend for a moment that I'm 
your mother, on email, and allow me to warn you about THOSE 
kinds of strangers. ;-)

Additional Article Information:
961 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Tue Mar 28 04:21:29 EST 2006

Written By:     Mark Silver
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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How to Keep Big Opportunities from Tearing Down Your Business
Copyright © 2006 Mark Silver
Heart of Business

It's the dream come true: "I love what you do. I want you to do 
project X, so we can reach a 1,000,000 people (or build that 
retreat center, or, etc., etc.)"

Pretend for a moment that I'm your mother, on email, and allow me 
to warn you about THOSE kinds of strangers. ;-)

A few days ago I was reminded of this dynamic again, when one of 
the current Focus on Marketing™ participants, using his newly-
developed marketing message, started getting some pretty amazing 
results saying it to people. One of those results was a 
successful entrepreneur who shared his dream, and wanted to 
support him in "going big time."

"What should I do?" he asked us in class. "Should I drop all of 
this step-by-step-by-step building I'm doing with my business and 
just go for the Big Thing?"

If you are even moderately successful in your business, you will, 
from time to time, experience Big Opportunities come your way. 
Television appearances. Enthusiastic would-be partners with 
access to certain markets. The Really Big Contract opportunity.

Question: What do you do?

Answer: Don't be fooled!

Mother Teresa once said, "No one can do great things. You can 
only do small things with great love."

Our culture is caught up in "lottery syndrome." The Big Thing 
that is going to save you and your business, and catapult you to 
instant fame and fortune. Be careful, because these opportunities 
have the power to disrupt and distract all of the great 
foundational, momentum-building work you've been doing on your 

Jim Collins, in his oft-quoted book Good to Great, writes:

"Then it began to dawn on us: There was no miracle moment. 
Although it may have looked like a single-stroke breakthrough to 
those peering in from the outside, it was anything but that to 
people experiencing the transformation from within. Rather, it 
was a quiet deliberate process of figuring out what needed to be 
done to create the best future results and then simply taking 
those steps, one after the other, turn by turn of the flywheel."

In my own business I've had a dozen or two "Big Opportunities" 
present themselves, and all of them, without exception, melted 
away. Not completely. Many of them did produce results, but not 
the kind I dreamed about.

Don't get me wrong. Big Opportunities can create big results for 
you. But don't mistake them for a lottery ticket. Generally, they 
will produce results that are in line with what your business 
already looks like. Be grateful, and keep building on them.

But don't expect a single one on its own to "save" you.

So, what DO you do when a Big Opportunity comes along? Don't 
throw it away!

Keys to THOSE Kinds of Strangers

* If the Big Opportunity is about a huge project with other 

Don't abandon the step-by-step process of building your business. 
Dream big with your potential partners, and get their support to 
build a prototype.

The international 3M best-seller- Masking Tape, of all things-
was developed through a series of $99 purchase orders by the 
inventor Dick Drew (it was all he had authority to issue without 
management approval), and released in a very limited way in a 
test market. When it worked wildly well, and the market demanded 
more and more of it, they rolled it out bigger. Then they rolled 
it out really big.

Do the same thing- build a small model. If someone wants to help 
you build a retreat center, first get them to help you hold a 
single retreat at another location, and see if the idea flies. If 
your business isn't big enough to hold a retreat, get them to 
support you in developing the core principles and activities of 
the retreat center, and offer them on a small, local scale and 
see if people bite.

The right kind of investors and partners won't scorn you for 
thinking small. They'll praise you for thinking practically. 
Mistakes made on a small scale can easily be corrected, whereas 
mistakes on a large scale may bankrupt you, or destroy your 
passion and hope.

* If the Big Opportunity is a media appearance.

Unless it's Oprah, don't expect miracle results. Don't expect 
millions of orders, a rush on your website, or overwhelming 
response. You will probably be underwhelmed, even with a major 
media appearance.

The best way to take advantage of a media appearance is:

- Have something free and very useful and germaine to the topic 
available on your website, and secure the opportunity to mention 
it as a public service. And, of course, your website visitors get 
it only when they give their email address to be on your list. 
This way, you can build a relationship with them over time, 

- If it's major media, and you've never done that, find a media 
coach immediately, and get some quick coaching on how to deliver 
your message in the strangely unnatural and quick-moving 
situation of a major media interview.

- Get copies of the appearance, whether in print, radio, or on 
screen, and strategize how to use them to help promote your 
business for years to come. You'll see the biggest results long 
after your appearance, with the repeated use of the materials in 
your own promotions.

* Remember Mother Teresa.

Keep love in your heart. Your business is about helping people, 
and is going to be around a long time. Don't let the Big 
Opportunities obscure your vision of Great Love, and know that 
you are in this for the long haul, and you don't need a lottery 
ticket to be successful. Know that bigger and bigger 
opportunities will come your way organically as your business 
naturally grows.

My very best to you and your business,

Mark Silver

Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your 
Business: How Money, Marketing and Sales can Deepen Your Heart, 
Heal the World, and Still Add to Your Bottom Line. He has helped 
hundreds of people in small business succeed without losing 
their heart, through integrating1500 years of spiritual 
tradition with down-to-earth business practices. Get three free 
chapters of the book online:



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