July 23, 2015
Jack Covert Selects: The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes Per Day
The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes Per Day by Alex Goldfayn, John Wiley & Sones, 256 pages, $25.00, Hardcover, July 2015, ISBN 9781119084068
Business books are written for busy business people, which means they are written to be consumed in the few bursts of spare time we all have left. Chapters are short and easily skimmable so readers can quickly find and bounce around to the parts most pertinent to them. So, when a fellow traveler here at 800-CEO-READ said of Alex Goldfayn’s new book, The Revenue Growth Habit, “I really like it; the chapters are super short and you can pick it up and start reading anywhere,” I thought it was par for the course. But Goldfayn takes the formula to extremes.
The chapters, (46 of them in this 256 page book) are quick and concise, and it is easy to pick it up anywhere and find a nugget of easily actionable advice, but the kicker is that the actions he recommends are also quick and concise, so that we can accomplish them in the few bursts of spare time we all have left. The book’s many chapters, like the lessons contained therein, are simple yet formulaic. They are organized into four larger parts dedicated to The Growth Process, The Growth Mindset, Goldfayn’s Techniques for Revenue Growth, and instructions in Executing the Plan. But, taken as a whole, they are greater than the sum of their parts. And because of that, this is actually one book I would recommend reading in order, or at least beginning at, well… the beginning.
Goldfayn begins with a rather simple, yet sage observation: marketing, more than anything you can do, has the greatest impact on revenue growth, and your mindset has a greater impact on your marketing than anything else.
We can only communicate what we believe about ourselves. If we believe we sell products and services, that’s what we’ll talk about. If we believe we improve lives and companies—which is precisely what we do—we’ll talk about that.
Put simply, “how you think is how you market.” So the first step is to think more positively and sincerely about yourself, and that begins with getting to the core of why you work and who you’re working for, both as an organization and an individual. And when you do that, you will realize that you deserve to grow, because your business provides value and benefit to the lives of other businesses and individuals, especially those who you’re really working for—your family.
Goldfayn then dives into how you can communicate that value and benefit, quickly and consistently, every single day, to your current and prospective customers. Because he knows you’re already busy putting out fires and responding to emergencies, the reactive work that eats most of our days, he details ways in which we can do this in less than 15 minutes a day. Though it may sound a bit like a Geico commercial at first, Goldfayn details how if we dedicate just 15 minutes per day, and sometimes just ninety second or five minutes, but 15 minutes max, to do some proactive work, to do some good, effective, consistent communication, it will inevitably lead to the revenue growth we deserve.
These lessons, as straightforward and simple as they are, are also personable enough to bring the lessons home and make them stick. He’ll tell you why he not only works for his father, who brought him to the United States from the Ukraine when he was 2 years old, and his wife and twin children, but also the family of eight that lives in the tiny apartment his family left to come to the US. He’ll tell you how he lost 50 pounds in four months, and how growing your revenue requires the same discipline he used to lose that weight—the discipline simply to start and repeat doing what works. Again, it’s all rather simple:
You start doing something new today. Tomorrow you repeat it. The next day, do it again. After a week or two, assess results. You can either stop it or continue doing it. If you continue, you can think about adding in another new action. If you stop it, replace it with something else.
But not necessarily easy. And what “something new” should we start doing today? Well, Part Three of the book will help you there by giving you 22 techniques you can test out. And, as he says, “it doesn’t matter one bit which ones you do, only that you do.” That is because forming the habit is more important than anything else.
Golfayn’s specialty is business-to-business companies, so much of the book focuses on that. This makes it feel like a bit of a throwback, because instead of focusing on metrics and new media, he counsels against what he calls hypermeasurement and tells us marketing is as much an art as a science. Rather than delving into social media strategies, he talks about the importance of referrals, case studies, and hand-written notes. He teaches us how to tell our story by letting our customers do it for us, and to “Start telling customer stories instead of product and service stories.”
Again, simple right? But effective, and too often overlooked and undone because we feel that it can’t be that easy or simple. What we do is complicated, and therefore we feel that it must be complicated to communicate our value. But it is, if we’re willing to do it consistently, simple. In a business world filled with jargon, consultants, and complicated charts, it is incredibly refreshing to read lines like “marketing is nothing more than systematically communicating your value to people who can buy it.” And if you get hung up on the word systematically, he tells you soon after that “Systematically means repeatedly—again and again.” And that consistency, dependability, and discipline is key in your communication. For instance, he’ll tell you that it’s more effective to have no newsletter than a “monthly” newsletter that show up five times a year at irregular intervals. That seems obvious when we read it, but it is not always so in our busy everyday. The entire book is filled with this sagacious simplicity.
Goldfayn will teach you this and much, much more in short bursts of simple, actionable techniques and lessons on how to execute the larger plan. Most importantly, he will teach you to go beyond self-limiting beliefs, ask people for what are more than happy to provide you with, and make revenue growth habitual.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books, and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.