Peter Lawson on Clarity, Power & Follow-through
Marni Melrose 0:01
All right, today we have Peter Lawson from Down Under. He is my first Ozzy speaker. I have a special place in my heart for Australia and New Zealand because I lived six years in New Zealand and spent a little bit of time in Australia. Peter, tell us a little bit more about yourself.
Get to know Peter Lawson
Okay, well, I guess things all started way back in 1980. I, that's that's when I started my first accounting practice, actually. I was very young age 25 quite young to be practicing accounting in Australia. So that's where I started. That's where my roots are in accounting. I'm a numbers guy. And I'll tell you a little bit of what happened after that. But when I started accounting, I, I actually practiced for 22 years, I built and sold three accounting practices during that time. I quite enjoyed building them up. I didn't like managing them. Simple as that. But I sort of give myself a break every seven years or so good that you know, you get the Seven Year Itch. I sort of give myself a break every seven years and the third break I had was permanent, so So yeah, and that's basically what I did. I quite enjoyed there, but I got to We went through a period we had a recession in Australia was pretty daunting recession. And during that period, a lot of my clients were suffering. And I, that's where I got my big wake up call money. I felt personally responsible for the fact that they shouldn't have been suffering. Right up to that point, always count, like a typical accountant says, I minimize the tax. Everybody wants to talk about minimizing tax. It's a great load of rubbish. Is eminent domain, small businesses? Yeah, we'll minimize the tax but let's make the money first. Yes. And you know what, during a recession, I could tell it, there's no talk or text because there's no income. Simple as that. So I felt personally responsible. And you know, the reason my clients are pretty good businesses, but the fact was they taken their eye off the ball a little bit, and their customers weren't able to pay them. They weren't out to pay their customers. And so it's a domino effect that happened. So I took it on Personally then to help them round the outside of that. And I managed to do so. But it was at that point I said, Forget about text, I've got text people in my office, they can deal with it. I am going to help small business, I'm going to help them with fiscal management. It just became so obvious to me see, money, had I been on the ball had been talking to those clients about their their debt as accounts receivable, the age of them collecting them, had I been talking about this stock. And had I been, you know, nailing him about the numbers every month on a regular basis, keeping them accountable. None of that will happen, I can assure you, and that's what I'm about. Now, I don't want that to happen. So then I had a practice purely, you could not be a client of the practice unless you had regular accounts prepared. And we charge a little more than most of course, because of that service, but all my clients deemed my coaching fees not to be a cost but to be an investment.
Marni Melrose 10:57
Yeah, that's me, you want to be on the right side of it.
Peter Lawson 11:00
will correct. When I am when I retired from accounting from practice, it was 2002 I decided to help accountants. I helped accountants with making their practices a bit more efficient, with a view to them helping the small business owners more, you know, with fiscal management. I did that for a while. I mean, I still tend to do it but honestly trying to teach accounting something is I herding cats, it's just not gonna work. My categories, you know, but anyway, I've read, I'd go on go into that. But I'm really annoyed with the accounting profession for not taking this ball and running with and I hope that with this crisis will go on there, which is worldwide, they will get the picture. The thing is, I wanted to help them to help small business. So then I decided I'm going to practice what I preach and what I taught and then I bought a couple of businesses and I bought those businesses not very long after I bought those two business which were really down in the dumps and not going so well. The little thing called the GFC happened, you might recall that in the history of America and but during that time, that four year span that we went to a hill, those companies, all those businesses, I managed to build them and sell. One was sold for three times more than what I paid for. bragging about things, but I'm just saying, practice what you preach, you know, and so I did that. I had I quite enjoyed that and I quite enjoyed the day I bought and I quite enjoyed the day I left I was fine. I still stayed in touch those people but so then I went on from there, I thought I want to go and help small business like they, they need, they need our help. And I decided to start coaching. So then with that in mind, I was going okay, you know, but and helping them mainly with their, with their numbers, you know, talking about the numbers, keeping me on track and managing and giving him honestly So keeping them accountable, I think they say. So that was all well and good, but it can't kept coming back to the point Pete, you keep telling us we've got to put our gross profit ratio up, it's got to increase. And then all balls, we've done everything we can we've looked at reducing the stock. We've talked to our purchase supplies, we've done all that, that take the last big lift to sale. How do we how do we increase that? I couldn't answer the question. So I thought I better have an answer to that question. Okay, so, Marni, I mentioned I, I had to find some tools. And I searched worldwide to find the appropriate tools for coaching and some marketing content and everything. I had no idea about how I grew those business anyway, the the classic years, I did get those resources, I did get that training. And that was going back more than eight years now. And on with the same organization, the beauty of it is I can now combine some marketing instincts, some business growth strategies, some goal setting items, etc. and combine that with looking at the numbers. And yeah, I look I even went further from there, right? had a meeting with the chairman of our organization. I decided I wanted to coach more coaches so I could get to more small business owners. And now I teach business coaches in the USA in Canada. That's, yeah, I have 22 coaches. And there's Yeah, there's 19 of those are in the US, and Canada. And three of them are Australia still. So that's what I do now. That's what I really have a passion for doing. I have a marvelous group of coaches. My coaches are now saying, we're so busy, we've got more demand than we've ever had. And it's great people are realizing I need a coach, a good coach, but we're getting our case also, there's some business owners that are really struggling and they are giving them free coaching for three months.
Marni Melrose 15:46
Peter Lawson 15:48
Yeah, that's that's what our community is like, we just get out there and help people you know, yeah. Everybody, NATO,
Marni Melrose 15:56
humans. Amazing when that when when it comes to down to it
Peter Lawson 16:01
Oh, yeah, it's, it's just a, you get the best reward you'll ever have. Yeah, my biggest consulting fee overhead was when somebody thanked me in front of about 10 people I was at a charity event I was I was the actual auctioneer, a charity, that black tie affair and, you know, or admin or who has and I was dealing with a group of people, this lady walked across the room, and excuse yourself and shook her hand and said, Thank you for giving my husband back. And then she's still about telling them what difference I made to her husband's life and, and took all the stress away and improved his business. And that was the biggest consulting firm ever received them a lot. Let us know ...
Marni Melrose 16:40
You know that that happened to me once as well. It was a little bit different though. This woman said to me, what have you done to my husband? Oops. I didn't do anything. He's so much better.
Peter Lawson 17:01
It was broken that you fixed it. I don't think
Marni Melrose 17:07
Yeah. Pretty crazy. That's wonderful. And so having your own business, how has that changed your life?
Peter Lawson 17:17
Well, I've never really been unemployed To be quite honest, man. I haven't been employed since age 25. And I'm 10 over 25 now. Yeah. So 20 225 you're gonna do it. Now. I've never had a job. What difference Am I not? Well, I've never known anything different than living on the edge. Mm hmm. I do not live in my comfort zone too. Well, I'm not comfortable in my comfort zone has always got to be something happening. Always. If If things are going along too smoothly, I want to rock the boat of it, you know? And that's why I love business. That's why I love dealing with coaches. I've got my coaches not on it so nice, but I've gotten thinking all the time. And you know, honestly, I do love the recession. It's a great time to sweep the floors tidy everything up. And people have got time on their hands to come up with ideas.
Marni Melrose 18:06
And they also are in a mindset of what do we do now? Rather than just doing the the, what's the word that I'm looking for? What is that word that means the same all the time. And it's?
Peter Lawson 18:24
Well, it's actually the definition of going crazy, isn't it? Then the definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result.
Marni Melrose 18:34
The status quo. That's it, that is correct. Oh, okay. That's what I was looking for. When everything breaks down, there is no status quo. Right? And so at that, at that moment, of, of complete breakdown, there's, well what else is there? What do we do now? And that's what I'm hoping you know, I'm actually really good. grateful that this summit is happening right now. Because it's really one of those critical times when we can kind of blow everything up and go, Okay, how do we put it back together again, so that it can be a better life for us. And yeah, absolutely.
Peter Lawson 19:22
We're seeing amazing results with some businesses. Yeah, as long as money that thought the business was finished is now their business have now lit up. That's wonderful. I'll give you an example. It was a butcher shop but one of my my coaches had a guy with a butcher shop and he said on gone retail shop boom. You know, nobody's coming. What cut long story short, we put it into an online business. Yeah, with a free delivery, just a drop off delivery sort of thing. And the the client now said to his case, well, you just maybe $80,000 because I'm not going back in the shop and leases expired and we're going to pay rent. I don't need to I can get This all from home even got better. They even this is this is what I love about people think he even got smarter than that he even got onto the abbatoirs and said, will you pack meat for me and send a direct? And I said yes. There you go. There's a guy. And now he sells more meat in four hours and he sells in a day.
Marni Melrose 20:18
I know. Isn't that crazy? That's beautiful, beautiful. So, so tell us in working with your clients and yourself. How do you help them or get for yourself? How do you get clarity?
Peter on Clarity
Peter Lawson 20:38
How do we get clarity? Well, we have a number of ways that we get clarity really by drilling down and finding our superpowers. Yeah, yeah. You got to find your superpower, which is your market dominating position. I guess sometimes you call it a USP unique selling product. Yep. We determined that once we determine what why people Come to us and not to them, why people coming to me and not to you or whatever. Once we have that we got a clear picture where we what we are, and superpower. And then we have to get a clear picture on who we can help. And I think you and I had this, you and I've had this discussion before many people don't want your help you can help them know. Now, that point targeting people who don't want your help. Now we drove them. Therefore, our coaches are very efficient with what they do. They don't waste a lot of time or money for that matter, looking for something that that they shouldn't be looking for. Right. In other words, if somebody rang one of the coaches and said I want buy for tractors, they wouldn't say yeah, I'll get that organized for you. I'll just say a pencil tractor. So it's as easy as that. Yeah, so that's what I really get them to focus and stay focused. And that's part of what I really do with them. What I've been more time working on keeping strong up here and my strength and confidence in flows through its mind a lot of mindset. Yeah, yeah. I fortunately have my wife is a a an NLP master.
Marni Melrose 22:15
Yea i love NLP
Peter Lawson 22:18
Yeah and she's just unbelievable and if I have any of my my coaches that have got an issue I pay for this session with her
Marni Melrose 22:28
that's great i did NLP down in New Zealand when I was five years
Peter Lawson 22:36
old couple years ago a couple years ago
Marni Melrose 22:39
yeah a pack of cigarettes a day I did NLP over a series of sessions with this woman and I never smoked again a day in my life she was just phenomenal and and so whenever anybody asked me about that I will I go get NLP Now since it's the only way.
Peter Lawson 23:03
well, I guess it's not the only way. But the fact is, we all have these limiting beliefs. And if somebody's got them and you're trying to work with them, or you can't get them forward until you get the blockage out of the way, yeah, with the men or women to the professor and change it, they only have a few more sessions where they have to pay for their own sessions be on that one, but I pay for the first one, I get a little bit of a discount, I think. Anyway. The main thing is we got to do what we can to help people. And that's again, your clarity. You know, what you have available? You know, what these people need? They aren't aware of it, do it whichever way you have to, to get them I don't want to go.
Marni Melrose 23:42
Yep, exactly. So So speaking of getting them where you want to go? What about power? So when when I talk about power, like willpower, because as you and I know as business owners There are days when things are not going right. And where do you find the power to continue on? when things aren't going right or when you're having a bad day? What is it that that gives you your power back?
Peter on Power
Peter Lawson 24:17
Okay, let's face it 90 when you're in business, there's no hiding under rocks. You're having a bad day sort of turn up. And with a smile and everything else. I, I think the power we've got now, we've got a large organization with a lot of cases and we do have a lot of support there. But just within my, in my own business, my own coaching business, my coaches, I think we have power within. We have power in our community. There's no The other thing with my coaches too. I'll tell them Well, how do I get myself back on track I probably give myself a few slaps around the face inside, wake up. Get back in the chair.
I would tend to go for a walk in the head, don't have any headphones on or anything, just go for a walk, just clean yourself. I do a lot of meditation. Remind that that there is prevention better than the cure?
Marni Melrose 25:15
Peter Lawson 25:17
Yeah, I look, I you know what I don't have too many bad days, money because what I really do is I focus on getting the right people on board that I love, and I really want to help. And every day, every call that I have coming from my coaches, it's just all great. I'm going to talk to Santa. And here's what to do with Makoto. We do have full meetings, but we have what's called an SOS call. They can check into my calendar and my calendar link and book a 15 minute call. If they got something, there's an itch they can't scratch. Got it. They also have the pillowcases, but they come to me and there's not a problem. I had never had never been stumped to solve a problem in 15 minutes with any of the coaches. That's all Then I think, because I've got to be strong for them. I've got to be strong for me too.
Marni Melrose 26:06
And so I think, are you saying is that, um, by emptying your head, right with the mindfulness with the meditation with the walking. And it's interesting that this is becoming a common pattern with the speakers in the summit, is they say that the way they get clarity is by inching their head. And then that brings the clarity. And it's interesting the distinction that you put on it is get help if you can't get clear yourself. Sure. Yeah. That's really interesting.
Peter Lawson 26:52
Something you reminded me of the to money and what I've started doing is I on Mondays now, which is Your Sunday Okay, so nobody's nobody's calling me on on Sunday. But I have what's called a think tank. Do nothing on Mondays I think. I start the day by a meditation session. I'll go for war. Russia. Now headphones on no nothing. I read some books. I read regularly. But on the Mondays I generally tend to read for a bit longer. I just think all day. Yeah, I just think about stuff. I do a bit of I do all my administration on the Monday as well. So I don't do any administration any of this Monday. on it. What I do preach this to everybody. Have a day off of week two, You're so selfish and an awakened, it's a weekday, it is part of your business week, to have that day and be good for people that way. Prevention is better than the cure. You'll always have your power there to be there to help others.
Marni Melrose 27:52
Absolutely. That day for me is Wednesday. Normally, however, we're meeting on a Wednesday My Wednesday. And that's because this the summit's kind of special, but I don't.
Marni Melrose 29:11
okay, carrying on from that power. We've got clarity, and we have our power now, what structure do you put in place for yourself or even for your coaches to help with follow-through?
Peter on Follow-Through
Peter Lawson 29:30
Okay, I think that brings us down to having a system in place. Everybody thinks I've got a great memory now I've got a good system. Yeah, me too. Through. I implore anybody in business, the wealth of the businesses, its database. Yeah. And you've got to control and manage that database. Okay. So everybody made everybody talk to you. What do you come in touch with, that's on your target. Whatever goes Straight into what we call a CRM system. I'm sure you've heard of those things. Yeah. So you get it and get a proper one. Yeah, get one that reminds you that has a little call. Seven o'clock go to your computer you're at you're doing and again being paid. You got a call center. Yeah, you're talking about this. And, and that CRM system also saves the memory bank. So you can you mentioned before clearing it. This keeps my head clear. I rely on that. If it breaks down here, I'm uncomfortable, but that's what why bother spending three hours longer doing things or poking up my head when maybe a one hour mishap can be overcome. So we rely heavily on the theory. And I also rely heavily on my team around me. As they say in the classics. You know who you are very hard to soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys Dream Team. My dream team is a team that might My assistant conducts as well. She looks after that she makes sure I don't forget things. And we put everything on the CRM, you know, I'm having a chat with you, I'm gonna put this on the CRM. Absolutely. Because next time we pick up, I'm going to say, hey, did we get to that follow up thing? When you're talking about follow up and follow through, etc, you've got to have a system I've seen that makes sure that there's very little snakes through the cracks. Yeah, this I guess that's all I gotta say. I mean, I can tell you in relation to follow up proofs in the power in the pudding and the power of follow up. If you you, I mean, have a think about this money. You know, you've just done a workshop or whatever. And you send people a few emails and you send them a book or whatever. And then then you don't bring them up. So if you're in the back, you're going to have 75% gotta change them wanting to do more things with you. Yeah. Because people, I mean, people will take a few times to get the drip happening. I call it the seven drip theory in a mining game. He did the laundry single pump from Rob Bell, the seventh pump that goes clunk. Yeah. And it's and it's gone. That's what I call the seven grip theory. It really is seven to 12 touches with people on them, you're around. And that's all about follow up nurture. And important.
Marni Melrose 32:33
Absolutely no, and these days with messenger. No, that is the open rates and conversion rates are so much higher on messenger as compared to email text is really high as well. Oh, yeah, that's, that's, you know, all in in what I do on the other side, which is the tech side of stuff.
Peter Lawson 33:00
Yeah, and I know you're very technical.
Marni Melrose 33:06
It's good to know that, you know. And so many times in the summit, we have talked about having freedom and structure. Right. By having those structures in place, we get a lot more freedom.
Right? That's it. Yeah, absolutely.
people that see becoming a young relying too much on, on on technology, I mean, these videos are damn in it. Hmm. And so might as well just, you know, go back to the old one. So if you do it the old way, you'd still be doing it. You wouldn't be there, you wouldn't be where you are. Now. You've got to have a few breakdowns. That's okay. It's all part of the deal. And I never get brushed with that sort of stuff. Either. Call my assistant and she calls the it buddy or whatever. And the guy and they They sorted out. But I'm not about to learn how to work those things. That's not my forte. Yeah, I think about getting the people and helping them if I'm fiddling around Mr. And trying to work at an IT problem, and I can help anyone. You've obviously heard SWOT analysis. Yeah. Yeah, you know the W What does it stand for?
Um, I don't I can't remember off the top of
Peter Lawson 34:24
my head. Tell me you guys. strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And here's the situation. Everybody will say. They all say when they go through their process on how we're going to work on those weaknesses. I say you don't touch the bloody weaknesses. They stain they're gonna stay I don't want to play with him. I'm just gonna work on the vs model. I'm gonna reduce the threats and I'm going to take all the opportunities but the weaknesses all in all employ people to think that way.
Marni Melrose 34:49
Awesome. Thank you so much, Peter. It was such a pleasure having you on today and what time is it down there and in Australia.
Peter Lawson 35:59
See 11:41 I've been going for six and a half hours straight.
Marni Melrose 36:04
Is it in the ...
Peter Lawson 36:08
morning this morning. were ahead of you to see if you were going to races. You're going to the races today, I can tell you who is going to win the horse race. See 70 as a hit. So we 1140 I stabbed 530 this morning. Take any coaches on in April because I've devoted all my time to my coaches. I wanted to have every time available. I kept my promise there, but I put two coaches on the small end of this tactic in May. Awesome. Yeah. Oh, good. So thanks very much money. That was a pleasure. Always a pleasure to catch up.
Marni Melrose 36:47
Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you so much for coming on today.
Peter Lawson 36:52