Risk – the fear of loss

Risk is fear of loss but that fear is not the same for everyone.  This makes risk a subjective concept.  What is perceived as high risk and uncomfortable by one person may be perceived as low risk and feel very comfortable to another.

When financial advisers offer advice or recommend a financial product, they must do so in written statement of advice, but not before they take into account the client’s risk profile.

Product and service providers in other industries could well take a leaf out of this book.  All vendors should show a deeper interest in what a customer is likely to be comfortable with and what is likely to keep them awake at night.

Risk analysis is one very useful tool I have taken from my financial planning tool kit and applied to my business coaching services, and with great results.

It takes a little more time and effort but it basically involves understanding a customer’s perception of risk, identify the most serious risks and introducing information or strategies that helps overcome the risks, and enables the customer to confidently move forward.

Until next time


Could you finance 30 years retirement?

Whether we are employed or business building or both, we all face the same problem.  That is, how to finance that period of our lives from so-called ‘retirement age’ to the day we die.

For many, superannuation will only be part of the story.  For the majority of Australians approaching retirement age, work super will not be sufficient regardless of whether it is in an industry fund or a retail master trust.  Most who struggle with low super balances now would have still faced the same problem, albeit not so severe, even if the GFC hadn’t occurred.

Let’s face it!  The period of time in retirement these days could be 30 years or so.  Even a seemingly healthy $500,000 in superannuation is not likely to cut it over that time span.

We all need to accumulate enough income earning assets to see us through to the end of life.  That requires a pro-active approach to wealth building with sufficient lead time.  The alternative is to rely on work super and the age pension and hope for the best.

Those unable to be fully self funded retirees or who find the age pension inadequate, may have to keep working in some capacity, even on a part time basis to accommodate traditional retirement activities, such as travel and sightseeing.

Business owners might choose not to sell out so soon and stay longer in their businesses, perhaps decreasing their direct involvement.  Others might choose a sea-change, living and working in a different location, or a career change which could include running a home-based business, online or offline.

The point is that whatever the post-retirement strategy is, it has to be planned.  If a new career or business building are to be part of the retirement solution, common sense suggests that they should be planned and in place before existing income sources are terminated.

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Is your business bigger than you?

Are you business building or are you simply self-employed?  Is your business bigger than you, or are you the sum total of your business?  It is a critical question and I ask it because it matters a lot if your health, for whatever reason, fails you.  Heath events happen to the best of us and the ability of your business to survive your ill-health depends on the quality of the enterprise that has been built or bought. 

The engine of your business is you.  The smaller the business, the more vital is the engine.  A bigger business with staff has some chance of generating some back-up propulsion.  So the critical question for you is whether your business vehicle can still travel without its main engine – you!

If your business building strategy is right, be patient

Business building aiki style 

When you start a business money is usually short and enthusiasm is usually high.  You are in a hurry and you want to get going.  You implement your business building plans and you want everything to happen immediately, if not sooner. 

If that doesn’t happen, you become impatient and a little desperate and wonder why this great idea and all your best-laid plans are not working.  Then you change something!!  That can be a mistake because too often it will be a compromise in the interest of expediency.  You have just compromised your original intention.

You need to be committed to your original plan and be patient.  If it is well thought out, it will be a logical and cohesive plan.  When you implement, your actions need time to propagate and you need to hold your nerve.  So maintain your centre and extend strongly.  That is, maintain rock solid intention.

If you believe in your original intention, then let it run and wait for the result.  If it doesn’t work, find out why and then make the adjustment.

It could be the case that your original plan may have been a great idea but for some reason it is not working.  For example, you get the best brochures printed, distribute them to your target customers and the phone doesn’t ring.  The brochure part was fine but people generally need more than one contact before they buy.  So the idea was good but the strategy may be underdeveloped.  Therefore, a good strategy simply stops short.

Deal in facts, not fear!!  You are in control of your destiny and the power lies within you.  So when you are business building, stay in control.  Don’t abdicate that power to someone else, and especially not to those success saboteurs in your head – ‘fear’ and ‘self doubt’.  Trust your instincts and maintain you centre.

If you would like to see more of Aikido-in-action in everyday life, check out my Aikido Secrets blog at

Gary Weigh

Business Coach

Mobile: 0408756531

Businesses don’t compete, customers do!


Whether people realise it or not, everyone competes!  It is just part of life.

As children we compete with siblings for toys and often for the affection of parents.  As adults we compete in sport; we compete in school and we compete at work.

In third world countries people compete for food shelter and basic medical attention.  Tragically, it is all too often the case that people compete for survival itself – the chance to stay alive!

In more fortunate societies where the basics of survival are taken for granted, we compete to be as good as the next person.  We compete to keep up with the Jones’s.  We compete for approval, promotion, and recognition.

Money is merely the lubricant that oils the social gears!

In our endless quest to rise to top of the social heap, or at least to get off the bottom of it, we compete in the social hierarchy.   Often we are not competing with anyone in particular.  We are mostly jockeying for position.

When we leave the parent’s nest, we compete because there is expectation to do well.  Parents and spouse expect it.  They expect that the basics of a reasonable Western lifestyle will be taken care of.  That means competing for a good job to earn money to buy lifestyle assets.

At the minimum, people want to look the same, be the same, have the same, and provide the same chance to their offspring as everyone else.  If one is to stand out from the crowd, it’s the norm that it should be for being smart, rich or successful.  It shouldn’t be for embracing abject poverty and failure!

Nevertheless, if it comes down to a ‘them or us’ choice, most will take the opportunity to climb upwards at the expense of someone else slipping down – every time!

It is this human competition in everyday life that generates business sales!  As I have said before, when it comes to competition in business, it’s the customers who compete to buy.  It’s the smart traders who allow them to do so.

Smart traders who understand business building also understand the human buying process and the underlying emotions that drive it.  They simply signpost the path to buying and remove every obstacle and roadblock along the way.

For more reading on business building check out the Paradox of Money on my Aikido Secrets site.

Until next time!


Business building – drill deeper into the buying decision


If you are thinking about business building, try thinking about your business as a club and think ways to increase its membership.  Consider the attributes that a club might have, other than its main activity.  For example:

  1. An identifying style of dress
  2. A jargon of its own
  3. A unique set of rituals
  4. Similar morals and values
  5. It’s own internal means of communication
  6. Similar ideas outside the 4 walls of the club
  7. A social aspect

It is essential to realise that the reasons for membership of a club are wide and varied, and the reason is not always the long held love of the specific activity in common.

For example, people do not always join a martial arts club because they are hankering to learn the specific art on offer.  They may join because they have been bullied; they want to be able to defend themselves; they want to lose their fear and feel confident; they seek to meet fit and healthy people; they seek a lifestyle regime of self discipline and self respect, or perhaps they seek a non-religious spiritual path.

People don’t always join a tennis club because they have a burning desire to play tennis.  The reasons include learning or improving a skill, getting out of the house, socialising, meeting new people, health and fitness.  The game itself might be quite a secondary issue.

The same applies to your particular products and services.  You can bet people are satisfying a much deeper need when they come to you.  It is not as superficial as having a burning desire for your particular product offering.

For example, what people are really buying when they sign up for a life insurance policy is peace of mind!   Always aware that the premiums ultimately buy nothing if there is no premature death and no claim, it is therefore a tradeoff against ongoing financial protection of loved ones.  The emotion involved in the buying decision is fear … that is, fear of loss.

More on business building next time!


Business building – add a club to your business


Business building is no different to starting a club.  After all, a club is nothing a group of people who come together to enjoy a common interest.  It is not very different from a group of customers who like all like your product or service.

Increasing membership is the name of the game.  However, members don’t necessarily have to be customers in the first instance.  Although a sale is the desired outcome, people still like to poke around a bit before becoming customers.

The noticeable difference between a business and a club is that members don’t all turn up to your clubhouse every Tuesday night to enjoy the common interest.  But they could!  If you let them do so.

Think about these seven (7) business combinations:

  • A financial planner who holds a free educational seminar (or uploads an online podcast) for existing clients each month or each quarter
  • A home interior decorator or renovator who provides customer online access to a 360-virtual tour of an exclusive ‘house of the month
  • A restaurant that provides customers with a weekly online ‘sneak peak in the kitchen’ and simple home recipes
  • A real estate agent who sends his or her investor customers the details of the latest property listings that fall inside each investor’s stated criteria
  • A nursery that uploads seasonal instructional videos about how, when and where to position and maintain the plants that they sell
  • A business coach who writes an original and instructional blog and uploads it as a free educational resource for both existing and potential business owners
  • A natural therapist who provides history and benefits about their products and services as well as education about the natural treatment of other health conditions

If you run your business like a club, people will go where they are invited if they are made to feel special.  So no longer will your customers simply try your offering and leave, they can now stick around as a member of your club, so long as you continue to deliver and hold their interest.

Building a club around your business also gives you ample opportunity to up-sell other products.  There is nothing like a little free education and a few more reasons for customers to buy some of your other products and services.

Until next time!


Want to read more? Check out my article Online business building at

Business building by telling stories


According to Howard Bloom, author of The Lucifer Principle, the success of memes and those who propagate them is due in part to their clever use of the invisible world.  This is the world of story, legend and belief.   He refers to the invisible world that plays on our desires and fears.  Business building is no different!

Broadly speaking, the aim of marketing is to satisfy a need, allay a fear, or create a desire.  Here is an example of each:

  • Buying food to have a full stomach is satisfying the basic human need of hunger
  • Installing a home security system is allaying the fear of loss of safety and / or possessions
  • Joining a weight loss service is the result of creating the desire to look and feel good

Marketers know that all of these products and services are all best sold by use of stories.  People love stories.  Most of us have been ‘message conditioned’ by stories ever since we were small children.  People remember stories.  People repeat stories.  The take-home marketing message is in the story.

Three (3) everyday examples found recently on Australian TV are:

  1. A large supermarket chain tells the story of the ‘fruit & vegie’ manager visiting the farms to hand pick the freshest food for their stores.  By doing so, they enhance the value part of the ‘value for money’ proposition and avoid having to reduce the price.
  2. A home security supplier tells a story of thieves breaking into houses by kicking in the security screen door.  It creates fear and then proceeds with the story to allay that fear by offering their particular security door solution.
  3. A weight loss service provider tells story of an overweight celebrity who has used their products to achieve his or her dream of looking good and feeling good, with all the accompanying health and lifestyle benefits.  It is an autobiographical testimonial style story with ‘before’ and ‘after’ images as supporting evidence.

In all cases, it is very clever story telling.  Stories convey messages so much better than simply listing benefits.  Why?  Because no one is interested in what is logical!  Logic alone sells very little.  Marketers know that they have to drill down further than that and tap into feelings and emotions

For instance, the weight loss service provider knows that presenting the logical health benefits alone would sway no one.  However, if they appeal to vanity and desire first and then justify it later with the obvious health benefits, customers will come in droves. 

So logic does have a place.  It is second place!  Logic is used by a customer after the fact to justify and support emotional buying decisions.  But logic alone just doesn’t cut it.  For the initial grab, emotion outsells logic every time.

for more on business building read Dream Income Stream at

Until next time!


Lucifer’s Business building strategy


Looking for business building ideas?  If you want to take a leaf out of Howard Bloom’s book ‘The Lucifer Principle, a Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History”, imagine that building a business is like propagating an appropriate meme, drawing together an ever increasing interest / buying group who, in turn attract others by word of mouth. 

As the leader of this group you are then able to start climbing to the top of the business pecking order.  With popularity come riches, fame and power; until such time as you lose popularity and slide right back down again.

So what is a meme?  It begins with an idea that leaps from mind to mind.  It is the social glue that is communicated by the founder and binds the believers.  Eventually, a meme turns into a set of beliefs and behaviours that distinguishes one social group from another.  According to Bloom “It drives us to coagulate in cooperative masses of family, culture, tribe and nation.”

Bloom points out that ”the memes that count the most are the ones that assemble vast arrays of resources in startling new forms.  They are the memes that construct social superorganisms.”  Historical examples are the ideologies of Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler and the world’s major religions. 

I would cite Facebook as a recent business example – millions of people interacting with each other via a startling new form of social media.

So building business is not so different.  It relies on the same survival and competitive pecking order needs of human beings.  You see, competition in business is not restricted to rival businesses.  Much more competitive activity takes place between the collective billions of customers.

Some of the more obvious every day examples include:

  • People fight and trample each other in the annual department store sales;
  • People fight over the last item on a supermarket shelf;
  • Fads start because people want what others have; and
  • People camp out overnight in a queue to be the first to get the latest IPad or IPhone.

You only have to strike a chord or hit a nerve with a small group of people to attract a following, and for life to be breathed into your idea.  Transmission of that idea from mind to mind can occur at a phenomenal speed.  Just think about how many people have become overnight sensations on YouTube?

More “Lucifer style’ business building next time!


For more on Howard Bloom and his brilliant books, including The Lucifer Principle visit