Meredith Carter


Inigo Montoya’s 3 Steps to Business Success

Inigo Montoya was in the business of revenge.

It’s not the best business to be in and is, in fact, fraught with challenges.

But he was successful at it, and his success—like success everywhere—left clues.

Here, for example, are 3 of the steps Inigo Montoya took on the way to meeting success in his business and which you can take on the way to being successful in yours:

  1. Target your ideal customer

Having a clear idea of your ideal customer is absolutely vital in the business world.

Yogi Berra used to say, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.”

Well, the same is true in business. If you don’t know who you’d love to work for, you’ll end up working for someone else.

A lot of people forget this. They cast as wide a net as possible, attract as many customers as they can, and then take what they can get.

This may seem reasonable in the short-term. It may even seem mandatory. 

But over the long-run it all but guarantees that the business doesn’t build up the experience and reputation that attracts its ideal customers—let alone pleases them.

So, start by identifying who your ideal customer is in as granular detail as you can. Note what makes them so, what their dream experience with you would look like, how you might exceed their expectations, and so on.

Then don’t be shy about searching them out. 

Inigo Montoya didn’t hesitate to ask a masked stranger whether he by any chance happened to have six fingers on his right hand. 

Why should you hesitate to ask whether someone is looking for what you have to offer? 

  1. Introduce yourself

Whether you’re a Spanish swordsman keen on revenge or a business owner keen on providing a service, good introductions do a couple of things. 

Put simply, they share who you are or what company you work for and what you offer or why someone might be interested in it.

Like this, for example: “I’m Sonya, with NC Poison Control. I assist people who have been exposed to poison in any of North Carolina’s 100 counties, and I do it for free.”

Or, in Montoya’s case, like this: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Both of these set wildly different expectations, but that’s exactly what they should do—because a good introduction is unique to who you are, what business you’re in, and who your ideal customer is.

  1. Focus on what matters

As a business owner it’s easy to get sidetracked. 

In fact, for a lot of entrepreneurs, it’s hard not to!

There is always something new and shiny to chase—whether that is a fancy office to do work in, a hot trend that seems lucrative, a new line of products or services to offer.

There is always something. 

But as Steve Jobs said, “Focus is all about saying ‘no.’” And the result of saying no to what doesn’t matter is that you can become very good, world-class even, at what does matter.

You probably remember how this played out in Inigo Montoya’s case.

Montoya just wanted his father back and, as that wasn’t possible, the person who had killed him to die.

When he found who he was looking for, the six-fingered man, he wasn’t sidetracked with promises of money or power or anything else. He was focused on one thing only, revenge—and that’s how he got it.

In the case of NC Poison Control, a similar focus on the one thing that matters most allows them to succeed in what they do. 

They don’t offer nature hikes on the side or try to interest people in a trip to some of North Carolina’s beautiful beaches.

That would be crazy, right?

Instead, they focus on helping people who may have been poisoned, on doing so 24/7, and on providing advice from board-certified toxicologists that prevents unnecessary hospital or urgent care visits.

This is how you execute on a plan, complete a quest, achieve a mission: by not becoming sidetracked–by focusing on what you’re after and not stopping until you get it.

How about you? 

What is it that you’re focused on and what keeps you focused on it? Who’s your ideal customer and what can you do to attract them?  What truly matters to your business and why?

These are the kind of questions that we’ve spent decades helping our clients (of which NC Poison Control is one) answer and clarify.

We love doing so because the answers lead to powerful brands and long-term relationships with people you and your team are energized, even grateful, to work for.

Do you want to get started answering them today? If so, whenever you’re ready, contact us and let’s set up a brainstorming session!

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