How Does Your Business Acumen Score?

I came across this at the back end of last year and thought I’d share it with you. I was making notes while listening to this presentation so it’s not word-for-word transcript but the gist and meaning is accurate.

Score yourself whichever number most closely describes your situation then we’ll look a little more closely at this exercise 😉

  1. You’ve studied a lot, done nothing and made no money
  2. You’ve studied a lot, done a few things and made less than you’ve spent
  3. You’ve studied a lot, tried several approaches, made some progress but no real money
  4. Some things are working, you’re making some money but doing everything yourself
  5. Some things are working, you’re making decent money, you’re gathering momentum but you’re flying solo
  6. You have a business that’s not growing enough; you’re making decent money but working too hard
  7. You’re working 80 hour weeks and growing a good business but you have no life
  8. You’re growing the business; it’s a full time job with weekends off
  9. The business is growing; it needs little attention, you’re making great money and you have a good life
  10. The business is growing without you; you have more money than you can spend and you’re loving life

What do you notice?

It’s very hard hitting and very obvious: Not much in the way of subtlety here! Unless you score yourself a 9 or 10, or possibly an 8, this little beauty is designed to make you feel uncomfortable and thoroughly dissatisfied with your lot.

But, and for me it’s a big but, it’s a very masculine approach. As an aside yet following the same thought, I don’t know if any of you have been following the Dan Kennedy Renegade Marketing video series recently? If you have it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that each of the people giving testimony to his brilliance is a bloke – there’s not one female entrepreneur in the line up! I wonder if that’s a comment on the number of successful male entrepreneurs versus female or the number of male clients he has versus female? I’m not questioning DK’s ability to help his clients make money but he certainly comes from an era when major buying decisions were made by men. Heavens – many women didn’t even have a bank account! :-(

All change!

I’ve heard data that cites up to 80% of buying decisions are now made by women. So, even if you think your target audience is male – you’d do well to address the feminine ‘hot buttons’, too. That includes your approach.

With regard to the questionnaire, I’ve been on this particular guy’s mailing list for a few years and there’s no doubt he’s made a name for himself as a successful entrepreneur who’s made the majority of his money selling programmes to help other entrepreneurs become successful. Yet over the last few months his communications come across as one who’s trying too hard: not far from coming right out with it that: if your business isn’t precisely where you want it to be, you’re an idiot if you don’t take him up on his offer – and pretty quickly, too as there are only so many places… yes, that old chestnut is still being trotted out! 😉

To be fair, the newer ‘kids on the block’ – blokes and, increasingly women – are taking a softer line. Their approach is more: “If this resonates with you and feels a good fit, let’s explore working together!”

I guess that’s a lesson for us all and it’s one I may explore some more in future posts because it’s not as straightforward as it may seem. For example, does it mean the questionnaire I’ve shown here should no longer be used?

What do you think? Leave your comment and share your view with us!

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2 Responses to “How Does Your Business Acumen Score?”

  1. Hi Mary

    I suspect you’re right!

    What I’m highlighting here is that the balance of the decision making scales is shifting and that anyone responsible for marketing and selling the company’s offering would probably prefer to be aware of that.

    Also, what I should make quite clear is that Dan Kennedy and the presenter (I don’t know whether he was the creator) of the questionnaire are two different people 😉

  2. I suspect the 1-10 scorecard is valid for either sex.

    Here’s what I think about marketing experts: their approaches are as different as their personalities. So perhaps Dan Kennedy’s style tends to appeal more to men or to specific kinds of customers, whether male or female. And if Dan does skew toward men, maybe that’s the audience he prefers and chooses to go after. Nothing wrong with that.

    I think there’s room for plenty of variation among marketing gurus. If I don’t care for Dan Kennedy, I am free to choose Sonia Simone or heaven knows who.

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