Do you know the key differences that set successful restaurant and bar owners aside from the ones who are struggling or just getting by? In this episode Nick reveals the 7 secrets he’s found in his most successful clients and mentors that he’s learned from over the years. Apply these 7 secrets to success and you’re guaranteed to achieve everything you want in live.
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Welcome to episode number six of Bar and Restaurant Breakthroughs podcast, where I’m going to give you what I believe today to be the seven secrets to success in business and life.
Over the years of reading books on how to be more successful, going to Tony Robbins seminars, and just actually seeing the difference in clients that I’ve worked with who’ve been either really successful or the ones who’ve gotten either average or poor results, I’ve come up with seven core secrets, attributes, strategies, ways of living, or whatever you want to call them that make up what I believe to be the most successful people in the world.
Secret number one is taking action. The first secret is successful people take action. And I want to mention a few quotes here that really resonate with this, and both of them are by Thomas Edison, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time.”
The other one is “The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do.” This is all, again, about taking action. These are two quotes from Thomas Edison that I use quite a bit in different articles and things that I put out there, but they’re really powerful. Just don’t give up.
Now, me personally, I’ve always been an action-taker. However, I’ve not always been successful with the things I took action on. When I was younger, I started a coupon book for bars and restaurants. That was a flop.
I started a party bus business where we took trips to concerts and ball games. That was a lot of fun. I had a great time but didn’t really make the money that I wanted with that, and so I don’t really call that a success. The first bar I bought from my dad, I failed at that too until I took action to get help from a marketing coach who really taught me a totally different marketing and business strategy.
One thing I want to point out is that from working with so many owners over the years, the one thing that I’ve noticed that stops them from taking action, and the same thing that stopped me before in the past too, was fear. We get into this business, we’re taking action, and we’re doing all we can. We’re motivated, we’re driven, we’re excited, and then as time goes on – years go on and months go on – we’re spending money on marketing and we try these new promotions and we get bad results from it, and then we stop taking action.
We hit a brick wall because we think things aren’t working as well as they used to, because when you first open your bar or restaurant, you’ve got that honeymoon stage. But as time goes on, things kind of come to a standstill. That’s what happens to a lot of bar and restaurant owners, at least that I’ve talked to. And then really, they get down on themselves.
And then what happens from there? They do nothing, and then what happens? Nothing happens. Business doesn’t increase and it actually gets worse for those owners, and the business now runs them. They’re frustrated. The business is running them versus them running the business.
So for most of you, if you are nervous about failing, that’s OK. Failing is how you get closer to success, and that’s the one big thing I want to put across here. And I’m sure you guys have heard the story about Thomas Edison as well. They said that he failed making the light bulb 10,000 times, and they said he never looked at those as 10,000 failures. He learned that really, those 10,000 ways were how not to make a light bulb, and he got closer every single time until he was finally successful.
The main point I want to drive across here is that if you’re nervous, you’re afraid to fail, that’s something that we really have to get over in order to get to where we really want to be. It’s time that we have to start taking action. And if we fail, that’s OK. Just plan on failing at multiple points in your life.
But every time you fail, you do get one step closer to success. To this day – I’m not going to lie. I fail at certain strategies or promotions that are brand new. But I learned from it, and I learned what not to do.
But what works is I keep doing that, and I even try to make it better each time. Nobody is perfect, so just remember that, and don’t let any of this stop you from moving forward. That’s secret number one.
Secret number two is what I like to call the ‘six figure and beyond club’. The first time I heard about this was actually in a real estate marketing book that I bought when I was about 19 years old, but I also read a concept of the same philosophy in another book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. And within these books, they said that if you really want to be successful, if you want to make a ton of money, go find someone who has the income you want and do exactly what they say. Model them.
And this is really what led me to hire my first marketing and business coach, Dave, when I paid him $8,000 to fly out to Atlanta for a one-day consultation to really have him teach me how to be more successful in this business. And then I paid him $1,000 a month for ongoing coaching and support. But within the eight months of working with him, I did double my business and I learned a very effective marketing strategy that I had never learned in our industry, from our trade magazines, or from the websites.
That strategy was really how to craft offers, marketing messages, that got new customers to do business with me over the competition. The great thing is I’m still using that today. I’ll still use it until the day I retire.
I talked about this episodes ago on the podcast, but the first letter we ever sent out, the very first letter he helped me write, brought in a little over $16,000 dollars in sales from a $400 dollar marketing campaign. I was blown away with it, but this allowed me to make several hundred thousands of dollars over time, over the years, from his guidance.
And to this day, I spend at least $25,000 a year on my own marketing education, going to different seminars, being part of a mastermind group where we meet four times a year out in New York, but there’s so much value. This is the point I’m trying to get across. There’s so much value in listening to other people and masterminding with them, because just one idea can really change your life and your income forever.
The other thing is to think about having a mentor or advisor. I’m also a health freak, so I have a personal trainer that I hire at $25 bucks a session, four days a week, three to four times a month, to push me, to get me the results I want, because I know that when I go off on my own for three or four months at a time, I don’t push myself. I give up, and I don’t put all into it that I need to. But my trainer pushes me. I get better gains, and he doesn’t let me give up.
That’s the same thing in business. If you want to make that six or seven figures or double your income or whatever, find someone who’s more successful and learn from them. Find someone local, any kind of mentor or coach, just somebody who can kind of push you and guide you. Secret number six is really that all successful people, if you look at all the top CEOs and businesspeople in the world, have mentors.
They all have advisors. They don’t think that they know everything on their own. They do go get opinions and advice from other people. They don’t believe that they know it all. They seek advice when it’s needed.
And secret number two, having the mentors and advisors – the six figure and beyond club – is really what changed my life and some of my past clients lives forever, and it’s what’s changed every successful entrepreneur’s life as well. So again, nobody is successful without help or guidance from someone in their life.
Secret number three is there are no obstacles. Successful people really have a vision. They have dreams. They have goals. They put fear aside and do whatever it takes to get to where they really want to be.
And I’ve heard time and time again from owners in the past that say, “Oh, I don’t have time. I’m too busy. I don’t have money to market my business,” etcetera. And these are the owners that I tend to try to not work with anymore because it’s always just excuses, but I try to change and mold their way of thinking. I’m going to get into that later.
But successful people make time to reach their goals. They don’t make excuses. If they need the resources to grow their business, they figure out a way to get those resources.
I’m not sure if you’re a big Tony Robbins fan, but you’ve got to go to one of his seminars if you ever get the time to do it. I remember him saying at one of his seminars, “The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is successful people understand that they may not have the resources to get something done, but they are resourceful. They figure out a way to get those resources.”
I actually talked about this in episode number one, “Three Ways to Create Breakthroughs in Your Business.” I talked about how I was sick and tired of working for tips for my dad when I was younger, and I wanted to get a piece of the profits. To make a long story short, finally after a while, he was fed up with the place. He walked into the office one day and said, “If nobody cares about this place, I’m just going to sell the fucking place.” Those were his exact words, and I said to him, “Hey, I’ll buy it.”
It took me about 11 months to get it and come up with the financing. The thing is, I didn’t have the $250,000 grand just lying around, but I had lines of credit from when I was flipping houses in real estate, which again, was another failure I forgot to mention earlier. But I had $30,000 or $40,000 of credit worth of lines of credit, and I had about $50,000 grand in credit left on my credit cards. And again, like I said, the rest I found investors for and paid them 10 percent on their money.
And this is the good old OPM method I learned from real estate investing books. Use other people’s money for your investment properties. Well, this is another secret of successful people. They don’t use their own money. They use credit and investors to fund the deals to grow their business.
The lesson in this is I didn’t let the obstacles of not having enough money to reach one of my goals get in the way. And I’m sure you’ve been through this scenario too in some form or another in your life, but any obstacle really can be overcome, and there is always a way. So that’s secret number three. Successful people don’t let obstacles get in their way. They figure out a way to find those resources to make it happen.
Secret number four is going to be: ask the right questions. A few years back, I was finally making some good money in this business, and I didn’t want to work non-stop in my business like I was. And I wanted to spend more time with my wife and my son, and I wanted to take more vacations and just enjoy life.
And so I sat there and asked myself, “What can I do to work less often and have the business run itself while still supplying me with the money that I need to support my lifestyle and my family?” I knew that I would have to find a great manager and pay them well, which would also take away from the profit. I asked my business coach at the time about this, and he said, “Go out and buy the book The E Myth by Michael Gerber, and I highly suggest you get this book too.
It’s all about systematizing your business so pretty much it runs itself while producing the most cash possible. After I read this and understood it, he helped me put these systems and processes in place that did take a lot of time out of the business for me. I stopped doing payroll, ordering, scheduling, the daily Facebook posts, and getting banners made and all that stuff. Instead, I focused on the promotions and learning new marketing strategies to keep growing the business, but also how to create more systems inside the business to where I didn’t have to do everything but I could outsource it to managers and other employees.
So the other difference between really successful people and unsuccessful people is successful people are asking better questions. When you woke up this morning, what questions did you ask yourself? As you’re listening to this podcast, what questions are you asking yourself to really be able to help achieve the real goals that you’re after?
I remember reading another book. It was Rich Dad Poor Dad. Maybe you’ve read it, but if not, it should be one of the top 10 books that you read this year. It’s by Robert Kiyosaki. He said that rich people and poor people look at things differently.
When a poor person sees something they want, they look at it and say, “I can’t afford that.” And he said that when a rich person sees something they want, they look at it and say, “How can I afford that?” So can you notice? Very similar, right? “I can’t afford that,” and “How can I afford that?” but the difference is the question.
At least to me, when you start asking that question, you start thinking, and your mind starts moving for it. And suddenly, now you’ve got a vehicle that you can actually go and figure out a way to achieve that thing. So the fourth secret here is you need to ask the right questions when you’re stuck. If you’re stuck, you’re frustrated, and you can’t get somewhere, start asking yourself, “How can I get out of this? What are the different things I can do?” and your mind will start bringing things to you.
And this is, again, asking the right questions and also having a mentor or advisor or business partner, someone you can go to. Maybe it’s even your spouse. By asking them certain questions, bringing other people together to help you will also help you find the right answers to these questions instead of you just trying to figure this out on your own.
Secret number five is: must build your own media group. Last year, I launched a 25-minute video that I called The Solution. And in this video, it showed how I took six ordinary bar and restaurant owners and made them between $8,100 dollars to nearly $60,000 dollars in sales from sending out just three emails. And the way that we did this was we used their email list and contacted them about a party package promotion, and some of these guys got 50 to 100 parties booked. One client booked 264 parties.
So when people come in to have parties at your bar or your restaurant, they bring 20 or 30 people, spend $20 to $25 dollars or maybe $30 dollars on average. It’s not hard to create $15,000, $30,000, up to $60,000 dollars in sales, depending on the size of your list and how many people take action on these parties. So that’s how we got those kinds of results. We focused on groups.
These results, their numbers, didn’t happen because they’re lucky or brilliant or smarter than anybody else. Well, I guess you could say that they’re smarter than most. I’ll explain it in a second, but the truth is anybody could get results like this, including you. The reason they had this success is they spent time building a list of customers, and they spent time building a relationship with these customers.
That’s important. They spent time building a list of customers, a customer database, and they spent time focusing on building a relationship with them. They focus on their customers more than themselves. They understand that the better the relationship they can build with their customers in-house but also through their marketing messages, the more loyal, repeat customers they will have and the more successful that their promotions are going to be when they kick off new promotions and specials.
So as of today, your number one goal should be focusing on building a list of customers. And if you have one, great, but build it more, every single day. And put automated systems in place to build valuable, long-lasting relationships with these customers, because when you’ve got a new promotion or a new special like I just said, the bigger the list that you have, the more customers you have, the more money you’re going to make with this.
By having your own platform, a way to communicate with these customers – it could be email. It could be text. It could be direct mail. I suggest having all three. You want multiple different ways to connect with your customers, your customer list, so you can deliver valuable marketing messages to them and continue to build that relationship with them.
This is why so many owners are really failing at marketing. They’re marketing to the wrong people with the wrong message. They’re trying to hit the masses, but if you can instead just focus on your own customer list, 500, 1,000, 1,500 or 2,000 people of the most profitable people on the planet to market to, you’re going to do way, way better and spend a hell of a lot less money.
So if we go back to secret number four, asking better questions, you should now be asking yourself, “Well, how can I build my list in the fastest way possible? How can I get more new customers to walk in my door? How can I build a better relationship with my customers through my marketing? How can I use my list to create some big paydays in my business?”
So those would be the questions you want to ask yourself if you have this list, because there’s so much money that could be made with your list, so much value that you have there that I see so many owners not using. But the ones that are using it are making a killing and they’re keeping their marketing costs way, way down.
Secret number six is consistent communication. You must have consistent communication with your list of customers. And this goes hand in hand with what I just talked about, secret number five of building your own media. To turn these guys and girls into loyal customers and to keep them loyal, you’ve got to touch them with your marketing at least four times a month, and not just throwing out your specials and prices.
I suggest at least one text per week, one email per week, maybe throw in a direct mail piece here and there, and also keep consistent posts hitting them daily on Facebook and Instagram and so on.
You want to be in front of them all the time, at least four times per month, and letting them know what’s going on in your business. You might be saying, “Nick, well shit, isn’t that too much? Aren’t they going to get sick of this and get off your list?” The answer is no, not if you’re providing value and goodwill, not if you’re continuing to build a relationship with them and you’re being personal with your messages and you’re connecting with them.
If you’re just asking them to come in and spend money with you, saying, “Hey, here are our specials. Here are our promotions,” yeah, they’re going to sick of that. And they’re never going to open up your messages, because that’s what every other bar and restaurant owner is doing to their list. But when you can try to build a connection and build a relationship with them, it’s totally different.
Really, here’s the way that you’ve got to look at this. When you can build trust and goodwill with your list of customers, they will want to hear from you. They will be looking forward to opening your messages, just like they do with their own personal friends and family. That’s the way you’ve got to look at this. Look at them as friends and family.
So this right here is really the key to success in this business and every other business. It’s focus on the relationship, be personal, be helpful, and provide value, and boom, your life in this business will be simple. Again, we are, as you know, in the hospitality business for a reason, to provide great experiences. So that means in-house, in our four walls, and also through consistent follow-up marketing to our current customers.
Secret number seven is invest back into your success. Successful people invest back into themselves to gain more knowledge, become smarter in business and marketing and creating systems. They invest back into their business, and this is important, to better their customers’ experiences.
That could be buying new chairs, updating bathrooms, whatever it may be, buying new coolers, buying better equipment for the kitchen to get food out faster, whatever it may be. Successful people are not just taking the money and going and spending it. They’re investing it back into themselves, into their business, to make it more efficient and to give their customers a better experience and also for them to gain more knowledge, to be smarter, to be one-up on the competition.
Here’s a quote that I want to share from Warren Buffett. It says, “Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talent, nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They can, however, run up huge deficits and the dollar can become far less. You can have all kinds of things happen, but if you’ve got talent yourself and you’ve maximized your talent, then you’ve got a tremendous asset that you could return tenfold.”
So that’s huge coming from Warren Buffett. Again, investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. If you’re smarter than everybody else, if you’ve got the best resources, and things happen with the economy or whatever it is, as long as you have that knowledge and everything else for you, you’re going to have the advantage over your competition. It’s always about being one step ahead of the competition.
That’s what successful people do. They always want to keep learning. They want to keep investing back into their business. You have that attribute right now. You’re listening to this podcast. You probably listen to other podcasts. You want to learn more, so hats off to you for that.
So again these are the seven secrets to success that I believe the most successful business owners, bar and restaurant owners, in the world tend to focus on. I’ve read a lot of different books on success, and there are so many different things out there, but these are probably the seven core things that I see that most successful bar or restaurant owners have in themselves.
Again, if you guys want to, leave any comments or anything down below this on the blog. If you have any questions, comments, if you have any secrets to your own success that you would like to share, put those in there. Or, if you would like to be on the podcast and talk about some of the things that you do to be successful in your business, to be one step ahead of the competition, I’m always looking to find other smart, savvy, successful bar or restaurant owners who would love to share their expertise.
And again, if you have not yet received my book, Bar and Restaurant Success: How to attract new customers, turn them into raving fans, and become unbeatable in any market, there’s going to be a link here in the show notes where you can actually get that book for free. All I ask is that you pay for the shipping and handling to the fulfillment center.
Thanks again. Again, any other questions or comments, please leave them. And if you haven’t yet, please leave us a great review on the podcast if you’re getting a lot of knowledge and education from this. We will see you on the next episode. Have a great day, guys.
Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.