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Time To Move On

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Three weeks ago I posted here about selling one of my businesses.

I became the local Chicago “Certified Independent Business Advisor” for a small business marketing company, and promoted their company full out for years – until it was sold, and – amazingly enough — its new CEO launched an all-out attack to compete with me and put me out of business.

I’ve been known to be loyal to a fault, and the past two years is a prime example of that, as I continued to pay the company my monthly fees and even won awards for promoting some of their products, all the while hoping they would turn things around and return to the honorable and trusted position they once enjoyed in the marketplace.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people – both online and in person — questioned my decision and urged me to give up on them.

Many even shared their own horror stories with me of being mistreated by the company’s new ownership. I used to heartily defend the company through all of its questionable actions, suggesting to injured parties that they should be patient and give the new ownership time to figure out how to run a respectable business. But even I finally lost the energy and desire to do that.

I spoke to a few people who expressed interest in taking over my exclusive Chicago area to promote and support this company, but in the end they told me they just couldn’t bring themselves to spend any of their time, energy or money promoting this company (and I couldn’t blame them).

Many people also pointed out the prevailing belief that this company may not even be able to stay in business much longer.

Then, to top it off, a friend and fellow marketing consultant sent me a copy of his new book for my birthday. Rob Anspach’s “Share” is overflowing with golden gems of money-making ideas, and included this Facebook post from another colleague, a co-author and trusted advisor of mine, Lee Milteer:

Lee Milteer Facebook quote

That was a perfect description of what my relationship with this company had become, and it was the final push I needed to take the action so many people have been telling me to take for years.

Last Friday, I called, emailed and faxed the company my official resignation as their Certified Independent Business Advisor for Chicago.

*NOTE: Despite being personally responsible for bringing this company several hundred thousand dollars worth of revenue over the past few years, as of this post I have yet to receive even a phone call from them in response to my resignation.

Time to let go of the old and move on…

Over the last two posts I’ve shared six ways to multiply the resources that you’ve worked hard to maximize. Today I’ll cover three more.

VII. Go Big Online

There are businesses with only physical addresses, those that operate only online and there are those that do both. Those that do both – especially in an integrated fashion – are by far more successful than those that neglect one or the other. When you take the time to establish an online presence you open up your business to the entire world, through just a few clicks of a mouse.

To succeed online, you’ll need to…

  1. Offer high-quality products or services that people want
  2. Build an attractive, effective, user-friendly website
  3. Generate high-quality traffic at a profitable cost

VIII. Let’s Make A Deal

If you’ve ever gone to a yard sale and paid the full sticker price for an item, then you need to up your bartering game!

Everything is negotiable, and you need to take the time to barter with your suppliers. Sharp businesspeople are always open to bartering, and when all is said and done you could find yourself saving significantly on the things your business needs to operate smoothly.

IX. Give Away The Farm

Of course I don’t mean that literally.

However, you have to be willing to stay in contact with prospective clients and continue to offer them products and services they might want. You won’t know exactly what they want until you offer them everything you’ve got, and then work with them to put together your “Irresistible Offer” that they won’t be able to resist.

When you invest your time, energy and money into keeping yourself at the forefront of your prospects’ and customers’ minds, they’re more likely to start or keep doing business with you.

You should do this by offering free newsletters, reports, videos, consulting sessions, samples or anything else where your prospects can get to know you and experience the value you have to offer them.

Next week, I’ll finish up this series with my last three ways for you to multiply your maximized resources. Put these to use for yourself, and you too will be able to walk away from any business relationships you may have that once were promising, but have now gone sour.

So…

What do YOU think about my decision to walk away from this business and move on?

I’d love to read your thoughts in a Comment below.

47 Responses to Time To Move On

  1. Ace Luciano Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Sometimes, it is better to walk away…
    As you are well aware, I walked away from a silly large compny’s 5-figure bonus to not miss a better opportunity.
    It was a difficult decision.
    You helped me in that case. As I recall your convincing argument was, “20k in three months from now could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. What are you even thinking about?”
    That was a company that was ungrateful of the MILLIONS of dollars we made it and put a clearly inept leader in place as well…
    Isn’t it absurd how all companies are the same??

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks, Ace. Yes, I do remember coaching you to make that move.

      My case is even worse, because not only did I not walk away from a positive situation, but I was characteristically loyal to a fault and stayed with a negative situation FAR longer than I should have.

      p.s. Thankfully, not ALL companies are the same!

      But I do love Dan Kennedy’s saying: “The bigger they are, the dumber they are.”

      (Of course, even some very small companies, like the one I just terminated my independent position with, have completely clueless corporate leadership, too.)

  2. Scott Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 7:24 am

    GKIC is about making money for Dan Kennedy, first, last, only.

    It is a credit to your character that you stuck it out as long as you did.

    The current regime over there is a joke. They are mailing and calling, trying to hawk their stuff. People are waking up to the GKIC con.

    You’ve gotten what you can out of them; time to reciprocate with the crummy conduct towards you.

    You don’t need them. You know more about biz ops and marketing than most of them, and more than you will ever need to know from that organization.

    Good luck.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks for your support, Scott.

      I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet and get to know you through our membership in that company years ago.

      You’re right, of course. My exit is loooooooooooooooooooong overdue.

  3. Felicia Slattery Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Well it’s about time!

    I’m happy for you & at the same time disappointed with you that the new ownership of that once magnificent company is driving it into the ground by not recognizing the people it already had in place. Instead of working with you in a combined effort to move forward together, they chose to work against you.

    I hope you can take a deep breath & look to the future. When you release the old & what isn’t working, you make room for the new, fresh exciting bigger & better to come along! I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for you 🙂
    Felicia Slattery

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks, Felicia.

      As you know, I’ve been working on a whole bunch of “new, fresh, exciting, bigger & better” things that will benefit you and all of my clients and followers.

      I always say “I can take a hint, if you hammer me over the head with it” — and now I’ve finally put this ugly, disappointing company behind me…

    • Russ Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      I agree, Felicia.

      Steve, this is a sad time, as I see it. I’m not crying much these days on the outside, but inside my heart is aching for you.

      Russ

      • Steve Sipress Reply

        July 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

        Thanks, Russ, but while your heart may have ached for me for the past two years while I was under attack from the company I once supported with my heart, soul, time, energy and money, I would think you’d be rejoicing for me along with everyone else now that I have *finally* made the decision to stop waiting for them to learn how to run a business properly and move on from my relationship with them. This is a VERY good decision for me and my present and future clients!

  4. Mark Klipsch Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Congratulations Steve! I couldn’t agree more with the decision you’ve made. Often times, the hardest thing to do is to throw in the towel when you’ve worked so long and hard. I’ve been down this road myself, even had the big dumb company drag me through years of litigation, not because I’d done anything wrong but merely to make a example of me to anyone else who was thinking of leaving them. It is my sincerest hope that you and they can part company without issue.

    Best luck to you. You are a true entrepreneurial leader and will undoubtedly be even more successful moving forward. The world could use more guys like you! Please say hello to your beautiful wife Michelle for me.

    Mark

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks, Mark!

      Michele says hello and “Wow. We haven’t seen him for a year. I always liked and respected him.”

      Don’t be a stranger!

  5. Mike Lewis Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I’m so glad to hear that you have let that company go! You gave them way more chances than I would have. Your tribe will be pleased with what is coming now that you have dropped that millstone.

    I’m glad to be along for the ride, my friend.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks, Mike.

      I do feel lighter already!

      Looking forward to continuing working together to help more business owners accomplish big things.

  6. Terry McCormick Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 7:46 am

    When you seek someone’s approval you become their prisoner

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks for reminding us all, Terry.

      I guess the new leaders of that company didn’t want to become prisoner to any of its members, because they have certainly acted as if they don’t seek anyone’s approval.

  7. Patrick Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Rock on Steve…

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks, Patrick.

      I FINALLY made the move that you did back when the new ownership took over — It took me two long, frustrating years to read the writing on the wall that was so plain to you from the start.

      You must be so happy not to have promoted and defended all the nonsense that company has perpetrated over the past two years.

  8. Everte Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Good move Steve! In Orlando at one of the national events, I mentioned to the CEO how it must be hard to connect to her market considering her substantially different background (hint hint).

    Her response was that she had sold lots of things to lots of people and it’s not hard at all…just a matter of knowing her market.

    She missed the part where I am that market and they weren’t connecting.

    I’m not a peak member anymore…I’m a silver member.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      That sounds like both the former CEO and the current President. Both clueless about direct response marketing and a personality-driven business.

      That may be OK for brand-newbies, but anyone with an inkling of the strategies the company teaches sees the hypocrisy that the company’s leaders (other than its remaining co-founder and namesake) are completely clueless about just about everything they themselves teach.

      It was VERY difficult to promote and defend such obvious incongruence.

  9. Phil Brakefield Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Old Henny Youngman joke: (given that it’s Henny, it HAS to be old).

    Henny: “Doc, it hurts when I raise my arm”.

    Doc: “Then don’t raise your arm”.

    Steve, ya done good by cutting loose, and you can feel great about it because you did everything in your power to make things work…at least from your side.

    For what it’s worth…we BOTH will now have some extra funds each month to invest into worthwhile marketing initiatives.

    One thing you have reinforced to me over the years is to not invest in snake oil, and last week I, too, unsubscribed from that company.

    Feels pretty good to kill a cobra!

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      A lot of great things came out of my relationship with the company’s co-founders (including meeting you and many other great people), but unfortunately almost nothing positive (and a whole boatload of negative) came out of my relationship with the company over the past two years since it was sold to its current owners.

      It felt extremely strange for me to cancel my membership after all these years. I guess it will sink in when my credit card stops getting hit and my monthly newsletters stop arriving (those non-stop, awkwardly-written, constantly-trying-to-sell-me-something I don’t want or need emails are likely to continue, however).

      Snake oil indeed!

  10. Beverly Singleton Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Hi Steve,

    I say good for you. At some point every upstanding person has to “shake the dust from their feet” and move on.
    Say hello to Michelle.

    Best, Beverly

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks, Beverly. Michele says hello.

      I hope things are going great for you!

  11. Janelle Nagy Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

    You have my utmost respect both personally and professionally. You have never lacked guts, brains or heart. Between you and Michelle, this company just lost two true warriors who shine among the crowd and yet are humble in their service to others. I thank you for the hours you spent teaching me how to maximize the return on my advertising dollars and to refocus our marketing to our primary strength. The relationships you have made will continue to grow and referrals will come from all of your “raving fans”. Whatever is your next step, I’m in.
    God bless you, Michele and “dog with us”.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks, Janelle!

      I’ve always treasured our relationship, and think about you often.

      Michele and Emanuel say hello!

  12. Marty P Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Steve
    I think Lee put it Perfectly .
    Sometimes in life you just have to let go of whats not working. Let go of the Things that don’t make you happy.
    Make things happen
    Be well Always Better n Better Marty P

    PS Say hi to Michelle for me

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Marvelous Marty, My Main Man!

      Michele says hello.

      Please give our best to Dottie, and have a super 4th!

  13. Christine Neal Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Good for you Steve! I’m looking forward to seeing more great things in the future from you and your new company.

  14. Phil Brandon Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Steve, I know that what ever your next step is you will do well. I could not agree with you more about the new management(?) I sent several emails to them regarding my membership but never got a reply so I just let it go. I figured if they didn’t get back to me they really didn’t care about me only themselves and how much money they can make. The only time I hear or heard from them is when they wanted me to spend money either going to or showing at their events so I guess I know where you are coming from. Best of luck in what ever it is that you do and if I can help you in anyway just let me know.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks, Phil.

      Yes, that’s the kind of “Anti-Sales Department” behavior I finally got really tired of defending.

      I’m grateful to have met you through my relationship with that company, and I’m still jealous of your “Paradise” lifestyle!

      Working on getting there myself — but first, I still have a lot of work to do to help a lot of people…

  15. Janak Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Steve,

    Congratulations!! Welcome to other side!

    Urvi and I have both stopped going to their events starting 2011 ( I do miss meeting awesome ppl like you);

    This is a classic case of trying to turn personality based small business into Dumb MBAs and bean counter “Executives” run corporation.

    Best of luck in your next endeavor and I’m sure we will bump into each other at other events.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks, Janak!

      Yes, meeting you and Urvi is one of the highlights of my time with that company.

      I enjoy following your continued growth and success as entrepreneurs, and do hope to see you again soon.

  16. Sydney Barrows Reply

    July 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I applaud you for doing the right thing for YOU. I know you put your heart and soul into building the Chicago chapter, and it was one of if not THE most successful chapter GKIC had. So now you have a strong base of businesspeople with whom you can continue to serve, as well as a proven formula to attract more, if you decide to continue using the same business model.

    Second only to Dan himself, it’s been my personal experience that you are an incredibly smart and savvy strategist, marketer and business-builder. I have no doubt that you will continue to be very, if not more, successful using your own model, and I look forward to watching you do that.

    You are blessed to have such a wonderful partner and helpmate in Michele, and between the two of you, the sky’s the limit! I wish you well and if there’s anything I can do to support you, please do not hesitate to let me know.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      I am humbled and honored by your kind words and support, Sydney.

      I’ll never forget all the fun we had together at that company’s events, especially when we somehow managed to put together a fun evening at an otherwise disastrous event the new leadership held a year and a half ago.

      I appreciate your offer of support. I’ll have my editor contact you about publishing your content in an upcoming issue of my magazine and on my soon-to-be-launched multi-contributor blog for entrepreneurs.

      Keep up the great work, Sydney!

      • Sydney Barrows Reply

        July 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm

        Not only did we have a great time – all orchestrated by YOU! – we ended up with fabulous hats as well! I lost count of how many people took photos of that pink cowboy hat with the maribou feathers trim! I’m still trying to figure out how you got yours home on the plane, it was so big!

        You have it all, my friend: smart, successful, savvy, and a helluva lot of fun! Oh, and a terrific wife, who you care for deeply and go out of your way to show her that, so I guess I should add that you have a wonderful and special soft side, too.

        I would be honored to write something for your magazine, Money-Making Monthly, which is always full of very insightful, useful and actionable information that I have enjoyed reading since the first issue.

  17. Steve Reply

    July 4, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I tolerated and forgave everything at the changeover but have recently decided enough is enough as well.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 5, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Well said, Steve. It was great to meet you in person when you flew half-way across the globe to attend one of their events a few years ago. What a shame the new ownership is too clueless to know how to treat its best supporters, like you once were. I’ll continue to keep in touch with you and Pam through the magic of the internet, and look forward to seeing you in person again sometime in the future.

  18. Lynn Reply

    July 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    It comes time to walk away, when the tolerating starts to really outweigh you’re little golden slice of business… Or you have realized that you really don’t need that slice of business, or others can fulfill it for you. Or, the slice has all but disappeared because the dysfunctional stuff has just grown to a point that you can’t access the little slice anymore. All your time and energy is around navigating the scary jungle of the STUFF. I think that is the tipping point. I think you have made a wise decision.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Well put, Lynn. I think it’s “all of the above.” Sometimes it really pains me to be so stubbornly loyal — obviously I should have recognized the facts you pointed out and walked away from them a looooooooooooooooooooooooooong time ago, like so many others did.

  19. Adam libman Reply

    July 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I am a member of Craig valines local iba for gkic. He also recently gave gkic iba-hood the middle finger. Glad to hear you said “enough”. Good luck to you. I hope Dan got enough money for the new gkic to destroy his name

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Yes, Craig was another of the overly-loyal ones. It was very painful for me to see the way that company treated him (and so many of the long-time members of his group) almost as badly as they did me and my members. He and his members (including you) are already so much better off since his decision to stop supporting and promoting the company one month ago. I see the same future for me and my members. Tell Craig I said hello!

  20. Janet Green Reply

    July 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Regardless of the time it took, Steve, ‘Lesson Learned.’ Now it’s time to put on your sunglasses for your very bright future. I’m very happy for you!

  21. Chris Reply

    July 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Good things can’t last forever….unfortunately.

    It was great while it lasted, but consider it a stepping stone to bigger and better plans. I am confident you will be happier not having to stress over their stupidity.

    Stay focused and keep us all informed whats next!

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      July 5, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Thanks, Chris. You are 100% correct — I am already happier and less-stressed, which means my family, friends and clients all benefit, too. Speaking of “what’s next”: BIG things are coming. I will definitely let you know…

  22. Craig Valine Reply

    July 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Steve,

    I love what Lee said. Funny, I think I heard the same thing from someone else right around the time I decided to end my relationship with them.

    Perfect words for our very similar situation.

    I wish you great [continued] success. I am always a call or email or FB post away.

    My best to you,

    Craig (aka “Maxi-Me”)

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