Parents and Business Owners, Students and Businesses: Timing is Everything

by John Zajaros on April 17, 2010

Consulting or Tutoring, Inbound Marketing or Chemistry:

Success or Failure is Phone Call Away

I tutor kids struggling with ADD and ADHD. I also work with students who are struggling with complex issues in their lives. I have been a tutor, teacher, professor, and coach my entire life, at least part-time, so I am not about to give it up now.

I have also been in sales and marketing most of my adult life, aside from a short stint in academia.

Whether in business for myself or working as an advertising and marketing consultant for a “big dumb company,” as Dan Kennedy would call them, I have learned a great deal about how to build businesses from the ground up. Over the course of the last 35 years or so I have become a black belt of sorts, understanding not only the nuts and bolts of business but how to get clients through the door; and, converting those prospects into buyers and, ultimately, into life long clients and friends.

Incredibly, many of the same behaviors I witness in parents exploring options for their failing sons and daughters, I witness in prospective inbound marketing clients, the business owners I talk to about their business’ advertising and marketing strategies or lack thereof, usually the latter.

Whether tutoring or marketing assistance, the similarities are striking!

Please understand, I don’t see it all the time, but enough to notice similarities in behavior, a definite pattern!

The pattern goes something like this:

  • Tutoring: I often get the call for help when the child is drowning. Rarely do I get a call at the beginning of the year, instead I get the call when the student is going down for the fourth and final time, often failing across the board, every class. I have been consulting and working with kids long enough that I can pull a student back from the brink, usually. However, had I been called sooner? Well, my job would have been a lot easier and there would have been a lot less stress all the way around.
  • Consulting: The same is true for many of the businesses contacting me for assistance. Unfortunately, I get the call when the business has a month to live and little hope that last ditch marketing CPR is going to do the trick. I am brutally honest with these business owners and, while I have taken on a few clients in this condition, I make sure they go into our relationship with their eyes wide open.

The kids and the businesses who do the best, have the best overall results, are the ones I get when they first start having issues. Recognizing and admitting that there are issues and they must be addressed, in other words being proactive, invariably leads to a good result.

Those parents and business people who are of a more reactive mindset?  Well, it hasn’t been as easy and it is always more expensive…often at a time when the added expense is a significant factor.

It’s like the Framm Oil Filter ad campaign spokesman put it, a marketing masterpiece in its own right:

“You can pay me now…or you can pay me later!”

Happily, in each and every instance thus far I have been able to save both, the businesses from going under with a solid inbound marketing strategy and the kids with a comprehensive tutoring program; and, both experiences have been pretty amazing!

But in every instance the difficulties were totally unnecessary, had the decision makers been proactive.

Ultimately, being proactive in your affairs is necessary for long term success. Interestingly, procrastination, inertia, pride/ego, and sales resistance are the major impediments in both situations.

I often hear:

“We have always done it this way before, why should I consider doing anything different now?”

A closed mind is a recipe for disaster and is the reason why most businesses fail and why so many children fall through the cracks.

For an interesting book dealing with my people do some of the things they do, read Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.

Sway is a must read! What an eye-opener when it comes to understanding human behavior.

If you are marketing to the affluent?

A must read is The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Rich.

Both of these books will open your eyes and add a new and often surprising perspective.

For those of you in business, those of you considering your overall marketing strategy?

Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin is a must read.

For those of you who have children who are struggling?

A must is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It is an excellent read for anyone with children!

Please feel free to comment or contact me any time.


Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
216-712-6526 (home office)
440-821-7018 (cell)
Skype: johnzajaros1

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