STANDOUT agencies want to BE a Black Belt not own a Black Belt.

Don’t strive to own a STANDOUT agency, strive to BE a STANDOUT agency.

In martial arts there is a grading system where different coloured belts denote your skill level.

The Black Belt is the highest level, and most people practising martial arts want to attain one. Many people do, many more people don’t.

Here’s the thing though, anybody can get a black belt. You don’t need any skill or accreditation to walk into a shop and buy one.

In reality, the belt has no value in itself. The real value of true Black Belt martial artists is the amount of training they’ve done. The skills they’ve learned, honed and practised. The fights they’ve won (and lost). The injury setbacks they’ve sustained and recovered from.

I talk to a lot of agency owners who have lofty goals. They want their business to be worth £X. They want to sell in Y years. Many people do, many more people don’t.

I’m a big believer in goal setting, but I also love nuance. Here’s one for you…

STANDSTILL agencies want to GET a Black Belt
STANDOUT agencies want to BE a Black Belt

The real goal is to be a valuable agency, not to achieve a certain valuation. You don’t really want somebody to write you a cheque for your business, in the same way you don’t want somebody to give you a black belt. Real satisfaction comes when you acquire the skills, knowledge and reputation, not when somebody gives you something for it.

Your mission is to be the best. If you are then people will be fighting to buy your agency.

Have a great Friday.

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