I guess you could call it a personality flaw… but I love to get stuff started… but not huge on sitting down and writing down a specific plan. Ideas fall out of my ears and I tend to implement fast on getting stuff rolling.
But, the problem I realized a little while back is that sometimes the benefits I get from the speed of implementation can be offset by the lack of really clarifying what the heck I’m trying to build.
What’s the end game?
- What do I want this THING to look like in a year?
- What benefit do I really want to get out of this THING?
- Who am I trying to help, impact, or work with on this THING? (being very specific)
- What changes will I have to make personally to make this THING be successful (and not just a time-suck)?
- What resources will it really take to get this THING launched the right way?
- Is this THING directly in line with my passions and life purpose… i.e. – will it help me live that or is it a distraction?
… all need to be asked.
My flaw up to this point has been that I haven’t taken the time to ask these questions on a few big projects recently and am coming to regret it.
Have you ever wondered when too much as an entrepreneur is too much? Or heck, even if you haven’t started a business yet… have you ever wondered when taking on too much in life is too much?
Ya, I think we all have. And, most of us have probably at one point or another looked at what we have going on in life or business and thought… “damn! I’m doing way too much stuff… so much that I can’t get anything done”. Heck, this might even be you right now.
I know I have. In fact, just in the past 18 months I’ve gone through this struggle and while the answer seems to be clear and right there in front of your face (that you should be working on fewer “things”)… for some reason it’s easy to justify all of the stuff we’re doing and say that “I can handle it all”.
You see, a funny thing happens when you see a bit of success… or even before you see success but everything clicks mindset wise and you see everything out there as a legitimate opportunity that you know you can take advantage of. Heck, after I had a couple business successes… people started coming to me with ideas… ideas that I loved and knew that if I would get behind would work and be home runs.
Opportunity breeds optimism. And optimism breeds opportunity. They feed off of each other. The more you see the world for what it is… FULL OF OPPORTUNITY for those of us looking for it and optimistic about the outlook of the word… the easier it is to fall into this trap that I’m about to lay out below.
Ever Heard Of Too Much Opportunity?
It sounds like a contradiction right? Too much opportunity?
It’s like too much ice cream (I have had too much ice cream before, it wasn’t pretty). Some people struggle seeing opportunity in anything (if that’s you, you can turn it around. It’s all mindset, gratitude, and surrounding yourself with the right people). Some people see opportunity in everything… almost to a fault (that’s me).
Going into last year I had 2 thriving businesses (by thriving I mean both providing a more than full-time income on a fraction of the hours normal people work each week). Then half way through that year my income dropped by nearly half.
It wasn’t a lack of opportunity. It wasn’t that customers weren’t there. It wasn’t that the industry had changed. None of that.
What it was… was in the previous year I had seen so much damn opportunity… and said YES to so many projects… I flooded myself with a workload and responsibilities I couldn’t keep up with.
Deadlines here. Deadlines there. Getting missed.
Splitting my focus on project A with projects B, C, and a new D project.
If you can picture a juggler juggling 1 ball… it’s easy for them right? You add another ball… still easy… the juggler needs to concentrate a bit more… but even 3 balls that juggler can do pretty much without problem. But, as you add on new balls into the mix… the juggler starts to lose focus on each individual ball. Balls get dropped… the arcs the juggler throws the balls on get sloppy… and before you know it, every single ball the juggler is tossing in the air gets less and less attention and eventually they all fall down.
That was me.
So, How Do You Know When It’s Too Much?
I always struggled with this until a mentor and mastermind member told me this.
“Always be working on the main thing and 1 big thing”.
What he means by the “main thing” is whatever you’re doing that is bringing in the money right now. For me, the business that was my “main thing” had slid down the list to number 2 or 3 on the focus ladder sometimes. So my income there started to hurt.
And since I was working on 2 or 3 “main things” at once… the “big thing” I wanted to work on really never got off the ground the way it should have.
So, this past 4 months has been my time to remove balls from the juggling routine… and to really decide what is my “main thing” that will get the vast majority of my attention… and what is the 1 “big thing” I’ll be working on on the side to do something big.
For me, it wasn’t easy. My passions have changed in the last 2 years and what was once my “main thing” is now being taken completely off the table by me making the tough decision to sell the company (even though it’s a great company and can be highly profitable). Now I’m forced to focus on growing the main company only… and still be able to push forward 1 epic project at the same time. All without overwhelm… and with a clarity I haven’t had in 2 years. It feels darn great
What’s Your One Big Thing?
So I ask you… do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Do you feel like you’re working on a lot of great high opportunity projects but none of them are getting pushed forward like you know they can and should? If that’s the case, you’re probably juggling too many balls.
Sit down today and figure out what your 1 “main thing” is that you’ll spend the vast majority of your time focusing on. Then, what is the 1 “big thing” you want to push forward on the side? It could be another business, a book you want to write, a non-profit, etc.
Always be working on something big, and something that brings home the bacon today. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, the past 3 years I’ve had a project “on the sidelines” waiting to launch.
You probably ask… “For 3 years? Seriously? Why’d you wait so long?”
Truthfully, I never intended on it. Originally I had planned on launching this new service (more on it later in this post) in 2010.
Until last week.
How Many Rabbits Are You Chasing?
Today I was reading a post from Tim Berry on his blog. Great post by the way. You should read it.
He shows a quote from this article... which reminded me of really why I’d waited so darn long to launch this service that I know will absolutely crush it with the approach we’re taking… in a market that needs disrupting.
To boil it down, this passage says it well…
Remember this: More companies die of indigestion than starvation. When you look back five years from now, your success will based much more on the times you said “no” rather than the times you said “yes.” As the old Chinese proverb states wisely, “Chase two rabbits and both will escape.”
When A Business Idea Is Ready To Roll
For me, this idea was ready to roll in 2009. But the problem was that I wasn’t ready to roll until the last couple months.
There’s a big difference.
In 2009, 2010, and 2011 my team wasn’t built out enough to be able to handle it. I was working on running my online publishing company (which I sold actually June 1st of this year to my crazy awesome business partner Patrick Riddle who is taking it over 100% to grow and prosper), starting our software company Automize, our entrepreneur co-workspace The Loft here in Roseburg, and just couldn’t add another rabbit to the mix.
But, once the sale of my publishing company happened… the timing was right. 3 years after I not only had the idea but a fully working beta system with 300 beta users in the hacked together system. 3 years.
When I was 12 I remember my mom driving up to this drive through ATM machine off the busiest street in our small town of Klamath Falls, Oregon. She drove up, put in her card… punched some numbers… and out popped some cash.
But, 15 minutes before that we were at the video rental store getting a movie.
While at the ATM the idea came to me that it would be really cool if I could drive up and get a movie the same way people drive up and get cash. Cool right? Ya, Redbox has made a billion dollar industry out of that one idea.
The idea was right, but the timing for me when I was 12… wasn’t (but I wish it was .
What I Need To Be Ready To Launch A New Business
I didn’t realize this when I started my first company… really I didn’t realize this stuff until the last year or so. But, now after starting 4 companies… selling 1… and currently growing 2… I’ve figured out what I need to keep me sane in the business, having fun, and make it profitable.
- Focus: For me, I get distracted pretty easily by new ideas. I’m getting better now… but still am a pretty darn optimistic guy who sees opportunity everywhere. So, for me I can’t have more than 1 main focus… and no more than 2 side projects. That’s it. Anymore and I start to drop balls everywhere and end up wasting time juggling stuff and buried in planning and email all day. It sucks. So, for me… it’s one main project that I focus 80% of my time on (or more)… and at most 2 side projects to grow… with a team helping me. Right now Automize is my main thing (we have big plans for it)… and my 2 side projects are this new service currently called REItheme and my local entrepreneur things (the Young Entrepreneur Society and The Loft entrepreneur co-workspace).
- Help: I used to get off on thinking I could do things myself. I’m a quick learner and tend to do a pretty darn good job at most things. But, it took me a few years to learn that asking for help is a good thing. Especially when I can solve the problem with a bit of money… that would give me leverage so I could focus on better stuff. Now, I can’t launch a new venture without having a team ready to take on the bulk of the dirty work. This new service is a software as a service currently aimed at the real estate investor market (we’ll be quickly growing outside of this market in the next 18 months too). Before I was ready to launch it this year I recruited my brother, Kyle Mauch to dive in as the head of operations, secured our lead tech person for the build outs and tech side of the support, and the next move is bringing in support staff and then eventually a sales/marketing lead so I can step away and just run the business from the strategy side of things.
It’s not easy for me to pass things off. I’m getting better at it… but this new business would never have been ready to launch last week if we didn’t have at least a skeleton of a team ready to roll so I wasn’t doing everything.
- A Leverage-able Advantage: For me this is a biggie. This new service would have fell by the wayside long ago if this didn’t exist for me. It’s not easy to launch a new business or service into a market that you don’t have a foothold in already. Can it be done? Yep, I’ve done it. But it took some damn hard work and didn’t happen quickly. But, now I look for places where I have leverage in the market that I can play toward my advantage to get the business launched more quickly. In this particular market, the real estate investor world, I’ve built up a lot of knowledge in this world as an investor myself (so know the product and customer inside and out), I’ve built up a lot of goodwill and relationships with people in the market who have influence, and we have assets (i.e. – websites and email lists) in this market already that we can immediately spread the word to about our new service. But, let me be clear on this… the real estate investor market isn’t our main goal with this service. In fact, we see it being a small part of the business long-term. But, it’s where we can come out of the gates quickly… grow the business and the team… provide a lot of value to the customers… then we can roll out in a bigger way with the momentum we’ve already created in a market I know well.
For me, thats what I look for now.
It makes starting a new business or launching a new service a heck of a lot easier, quicker, and more profitable.
Time To Grow.
So, here on my blog I’ll chronicle the growth of this company as we go. It should be fun. It’ll be my first business working with my brother which will be awesome. This business has a huge upside exit potential (you’re probably thinking “how?”… we’ve got some big plans. More on that later). And I’m excited as heck to roll this puppy out in a big way.
We’ll be learning a ton as we grow this company… and I’ll pass on the good stuff to ya.
So, are you waiting for the right time to launch a new company? First off, if you already have a company or two… wait until you don’t have so many rabbits in the race (or until you have more people with you on your team to chase the rabbits) to launch. If you don’t have a company yet… that’s called procrastination . Get started, hit it hard, and stay focused.
I was reading a study recently (don’t ask me what study because I can’t remember where I saw it that talked about how productivity here in the U.S. has gone down in the last 20 years to the lowest points in our country’s history.
By productivity I mean… how much the average worker (or citizen) gets done in actually producing economic growth each day. In the 50’s our nations productivity was high as heck. People flat got stuff done.
Today, we’re lower than most other large economies in the world.
We “work” more and get less results per person today then we did 60 years ago.
Well, I’ve got one reason… and it’s something you’re probably all too familiar with.
THE MONSTER IN THE ROOM… THAT YOU INVITE INTO YOUR HOME
I’m going to ask you this question and I want you to give an honest answer.
What would you do if someone came into your home every day and interrupted your thinking time and hypnotized you nightly and turned your mind to mush. He sabotaged 40%-80% of your free time away from your job and left you with nothing to show for it. He nagged you, told you all of the things wrong with you and this world, and destroyed your family time because he had almost spell-like control over everyone in your house.
I could go on… but what would you do if this person was staying with you? Would you let them stay forever or kick them out? I would hope you’re saying “I’d kick them out!”.
Well, if you’re like the average American… you’re actually letting this “person” into your house right now… 100% voluntarily and willingly… and even pay a pretty penny for the “privilege” of having them there.
If you haven’t guessed already… I’m talking about TV. Yep, that big box that the average American has in their living-room (all 60 inches of LCD HD glory)… in your bedroom… maybe even in your kitchen and kids rooms.
TV’s are a harmless box by themselves. They just pump out a picture and some sound and keep people entertained.
But, when combined with our human makeup… they’re the most destructive force in your home today to your wealth, health, prosperity, happiness, creativity, and more.
What Is Your TV Costing You Right Now (You’ll Be Surprised)
Now, I’m going to get this out of the way because we have a big ol’ TV on our wall. We watch some TV… more than I’d like. So I’m not saying that TV doesn’t have value. I just want to open your eyes to the destructive power of the TV and how you can double your own productivity and happiness with a few quick steps.
Here’s some stats:
- The average American watches about 7 hours of TV a day. Lets say you’re part of an elite group and “only” watch 3 hours of TV a day.
- Lets say you value your own time at $50/hr (which is low, but is the hourly rate you’d have to make to make $100,000/yr working 40 hours a week).
- Lets say you don’t watch any TV on weekends… just a few hours after work
So, lets do some math now:
- $50 x 3 hours a day = $150 in your time watching TV each day
- $150 x 5 days a week = $750 a week in TV time
- $750 x 52 weeks = $39,000 a year in your time spent watching TV
- Lets assume you lived this life for 50 years (from 20 – 70) = $1,800,000 in your time watching TV
Now, you can see where I’m going with this. All of those assumptions were very conservative. If you watch more than 3 hours of TV (most people do) a day… you should increase your numbers. If you want to make more than $100,000 a year… increase your numbers.
But the amazing and eye opening thing here is… looking conservatively… watching only 3 hours of TV 5 days a week… you’re costing yourself over $1.8 million. And the really scary thing is that if you account for the time… you’re spending over 4 years of your life in front of the TV. Crazy eh? I thought so too when I heard these numbers.
Could You Use An Extra $1.8 Million and 4 Additional Years? Here’s How To Get It
Simple. Do what my wife and I did last year… cancel your cable TV. Yes, it’s going to hurt at first. Your favorite TV shows will be gone. You may have to find other things to do every night and morning (more fun things like actually spend quality time with friends and family, work out, work on your business, read, get stuff done around the house, volunteer, a whole bunch of stuff opens up), and your kids may think you’re the weird family.
If being wealthy and living a happy and fulfilled live is weird… then I’ll take weird over “normal” any day of the week (especially since the normal nowadays is broke and tired).
Once we cancelled our cable, things changed BIG TIME in our marriage, energy, my creativity, my business, and every aspect of life. The only thing I lacked was knowing who was voted off on The Bachelor on Monday nights Take a risk and regain your life and productivity (not to mention the $100/mo in cable fees)
So, question for ya… what if you had to live without checking email for 30 days? I mean… 100% zero email. Not online. Not on your phone. You couldn’t check email at all.
What would you do? Could you even do it with the way things are right now?
185 – That’s a pretty accurate estimate on how many emails I get every day. And the funny thing is that’s a pretty low number compared to the amount of emails other people I know personally get.
In fact, yesterday I was catching up on emails from the previous couple of days and I was in my gmail account for about 3 hours straight… half of my workday (I don’t usually work a full 8 hours. Sometimes less… sometimes much more if I’m working on something big). But being in email for me just feels unproductive, uncreative, and there are probably 139 other things I could think of that I’d rather do with my time… including running down main street naked with a siren strapped to my back (lol).
But, most of us treat email like a newborn baby treats milk. We think we gotta have it otherwise the world will come crashing down around us.
Killing Email – Email Productivity Tips
Before I talk about why I’m considering killing email I want to say that I don’t think email is evil. It’s kinda like TV. It’s a great technology, it does a lot of good, but it’s also like crack… addictive and can put you into a hypnotic like state if you let it…. and destroy your creativity and results.
Yesterday after I spent 3 hours camped inside my inbox “getting a bunch of stuff done” I felt a sense of accomplishment when my inbox got below “10”. But, the thing that I realized is that while my email was down… I didn’t push forward anything truly worthwhile in my life or business during those 3 hours. It was mainly maintenance and responding to other people trying to control my agenda. Plus, right after that high of getting to “inbox zero” was gone… I knew I’d have the same issue 3 days from now. A never-ending cycle… it feels kinda like a hamster wheel you know you will never get to the end of.
So, I now realize something has to be done. And I’m going to experiment w/ killing email (or at least part of it). Here’s why… and how.
7 Reasons To Kill Email
1) It’s highly unproductive – even though you feel like you’re being productive
2) It’s a drain and sucks the life outta me being on email longer than 30 mins a day
3) It’s a great way for other people to assert their own agenda on you
4) It creates a dependency on “instant feedback” for both you and other people
5) It’s a darn rabbit hole… never ends so your mind continually has it in the back as something that has to be done (creating a massive open loop)
6) Turns into a fire-hose of information that just keeps coming, distracting you from what’s really important in business and life.
7) People got along without email just fine for thousands of years… I’m sure we’ll get along just fine without it too.
When you really think about email for what it is, it’s about as important as having a Facebook account is. Yes, it’s cool and can make communicating with people easier… but that’s half of the probem… too many people can too easily communicate with you whether you want it or not.
How To Live Without Checking Email Yourself
Ok, so on my quest over the next 90 days to eliminate email by 95%… I’ve got some ideas on ways I’ll do that. But, when I say “kill email”… I’m not saying delete my email accounts and live the life of a technology hermit. I’m just saying that I’m going to cut the time that I spend on email by 95%.
1) Today I spent 20 minutes unsubscribing from every newsletter (except 2 that I really love and resonate with) and turned off all email notifications from stuff like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. Everything. This right here is 60% of my email. It’s now gone. Whew! It feels good already. I’ll keep doing this over the next month every time I get a newsletter in my inbox. It’s goneski forever.
2) I’ve set up in my gmail account automatic filters for emails that I still need but that don’t need to be in my inbox. Things like receipts, emails about certain topics that I can have automatically filtered to my assistant or someone else, my mastermind groups group chatter list, etc. I can just check out the folders once a month and the stuff that’s really important will stand out, the other stuff will seem much less important a month after it came in J
3) Over the next 60 days my assistant and I will be working on setting up systems and responses for common questions… systems for setting up phone appointments for important stuff w/ people (so I don’t get stuck in never ending email threads), and she’ll be taking over the day to day monitoring of my email.
4) I’m transitioning everything over to skype calls or quick chats, phone calls w/ appointments, and training people that they can’t get a hold of me quickly by email… so if it’s actually important they can give me a call.
Now, I know this kinda looks like I’m being a diva. Making people jump through hoops. But the thing is, over the past decade we’ve all given up our own personal freedom. We’ve let technology – which was invented to make our lives easier and happier – overtake us so we rely on them to fill time… rather than to truly make us more productive and happy in life. Would you agree?
So, should I kill email? My decision is yes. I probably won’t be able to 100% kill email. I’ll still check it a couple times a week… but I’ve made the decision that using email as a crutch to fill time and to fill my agenda has to stop. It’ll open up a ton of time, creativity, more personal interactions with the people who matter. Now, I pose you the question… will you kill email with me?
How To Earn 2x More Income and Work 33% Less – Part 2: How To Find People To Do Work For You On The Cheap
When I got started as an entrepreneur and investor I didn’t have a ton of cash to pay people for everything. I had to do a good bit myself still… like mowing the lawns at my properties, doing my books, buying stamps, etc. But, if I would have known what I know now… I would have found someone to do all of that for me years sooner, earning me tens of thousands more (and making life more fun and fulfilling).
FIRST, we need to root out the wrong thoughts you have on “outsourcing” or “hiring” that are holding you back.
1) It’s expensive to pay people to do things
WRONG: It’s more expensive for you waste hours doing a task you could pay someone $8-10/hr to do for you. Your hours should be spent marketing and bringing in revenue, not doing medial tasks. Don’t worry about creating a logo, updating your website, or stuffing letters because it’s “cheaper”. Nope. I’ll show you ways to get it done cheap so youcan spend that time creating new marketing, talking to sellers/buyers, making offers, so you can earn 10x more new income than it costs you to pay for your new outsourced workers.
2) I don’t have any money to pay people
WRONG: I’ve had people work with me for free for up to 3 months before… as interns, or just because they wanted the experience in the real business world. Upwards of 22% of working age Americans don’t have a full-time job right now. They’re motivated to earn anything, and many are motivated to just get any new experience they can put on their resume… even if they don’t get paid for it.
3) I don’t know what I would have people do for me
WRONG: It’s not usually that you don’t have enough things to hand off to other people, its that you’re not CLEAR enough on your goals and what you’re doing (and why) to be clear on what steps you need to be taking in your business… to be clear on what you should be doing yourself (high value stuff that makes you money) and what you should have someone else do. If this is you, you need to get clear on your goals, your “why”, and your specific 30-60-90 day plan for what you need to do in your business. Once you’re clear and your taking action w/ a clear plan… a billion things will show themselves that you need to find someone else to do for you.
4) I hate managing people
WRONG: I read in a book recently, the roles of a leader are to “ predict the future/set the vision and to delegate”. If you’re not charting out the vision and path of your company and delegating tasks to other people… you’re not a leader. If you hate managing people, find someone who you can partner with in your business who can manage people. Or even better, if you’re going to be successful in business and really take hold of your life, you NEED to sharpen your leadership skills. I find working with the right people is actually fun and MORE rewarding than working by myself. The “fear of managing people” I feel is more of a fear that you won’t live up to your or their expectations as a leader… so you blame it on the other people being tough to manage. I’ve done that myself, that’s why I know.
How and Where To Find People On The Cheap
Most people tell you that you need to look “online” on places like elance.com or guru.com. Those are good places for specific things (random low skill web work, decent logos, finding someone to update your website for you, etc.), but I’ve found other places are better. Here are some great places to start.
Small Online Type Tasks – Image editing, editing audios, simple logos, random stuff
- § Fiverr.com – Can get quick image edits, mp3 recordings cleaned up, etc for $5.
- § Craigslist.org – Tons of local people w/o work who can edit videos, post content to your site, help run your facebook and twitter, post properties to listing sites, etc… for under $10/hr.
- § 399design.com – We use them for many of our new sites now. Under $400 and you get great sites and great service
- § Your Local College – If you have a college in your town, find the department in the school that teaches what you need to get done (graphics, writing, web work, etc.) and talk to the teachers in that department, have them refer to you the kids in those classes who want work. I did this, my logos now cost me $45 from a college kid… rather than $300 at a logo service.
Offline / Local Stuff – Personal assistant stuff, stuffing envelopes, mailing things, putting up signs, etc.
- Craigslist.org – Same as above. Tons of off work people eager to do your random tasks for under $10/hr. I have a gal doing my grocery shopping, mailing things, hanging art in my office, etc for only $12/hr. Frees me up to do high value work that earns me money (that I actually love doing)
- Local Networking Groups – Don’t have one? Create one. I hired 2 people recently through referrals from a networking group I created locally for young entrepreneurs. Referrals are the best.
- Local College – College students are looking for internships. Create an internship program (www.internprofits.com shows you how) and submit it to your local college. I’ve done that twice. Free work
- Mentor an Up and Coming Investor – There’s tons of people who want to invest in real estate. If you’ve done a few deals and have a bit of experience, go to the local REIA and find an eager person who wants to learn. Have them work for free for you learning the biz.
I could throw some more places at ya… but truthfully, all of the best people I’ve got to do work for me have come from those places above. The biggest thing is you have to make the mind-shift from what I call “victim hiring” to “empowered hiring”. Too many people are afraid if they hire people, that they’ll train them, only to have that person leave within a few months… wasting your time with them. It’s a valid concern.
The solution is just making sure to truly screen people well.
If you get 4 people that respond to an ad on craigslist to do a video editing project, create a “mini-project” (something easy that will take them maybe an hour or two) and have all 4 do that same project at the same time. Give them all the same specs, the same deadline, and hire the one that does the best. Then create systems in your business so you only train one time ever, then your systems do it all for you in the future. On the next “work less – make more” topic I’ll dive into the simple as heck systems we use in my businesses so I only train once, and our systems take over and do it for me if that person ever leaves my company. Great stuff. That training alone has saved friends of mine well over $10k and countless hours… you’ll get it in the SI Insider issue after next. So, get your goals down now (and your life list), get clear on things, and aim to outsource at least one tiny thing in the next 2 weeks. Once you do, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t sooner. This alone can cut your work time by 20% or more
It was probably 4 years ago… my wife and I lived up in Portland, OR at the time and I was growing my companies (multi-family rental units and my marketing company) mainly working by myself.
You know the gig. I’d wake up, go through my normal “morning routine” (which at the time probably did more harm to my productivity than good), I’d write out my long list of things to do that day,… then I’d get to work doing the things I thought I needed to do.
When you start your own company YOU are the man (or woman). Often times we take on a ton of roles. YOU are the marketer. YOU are the bookkeeper. YOU manage your properties. YOU run errands. YOU are your own website guy. YOU answer every phone call. YOU write thank you notes to people. YOU get your own coffee. YOU drive to properties to check them out. YOU try to make your own logo (don’t tell me you’ve never tried . YOU are the center of your company and YOU do everything.
That’s a heck of a lot of YOU’s.
You see, I did everything in my businesses for almost 2 years thinking I was doing myself a favor by “saving money” and “learning cool skills to have”. Yes, when I first got started, I had NO money, so yes… I had to get creative and doing pretty much everything in my business myself was my only option. But, when I started to make some good profits… a weird thing happened… I was still doing everything.
Yep, I was still hacking away at my websites myself… I was still doing my bookkeeping for my properties and my marketing business… I was still taking tenant calls… I was still going down to the post office to mail letters. I was still doing it all… and was working more than ever (but I felt good about it because I was staying “busy” and thought “busy” = efficient).
Does any of this sound familiar? I bet it does.
Now, fast forward to today.
Today I make 3x – 4x more than I did 4 years ago… and I work literally 1/3 less hours than I did back then when I was working my ass off “saving money” left and right by doing everything myself.
What was the big change? What mind-shift and specific actions did I take that tripled my income and let me work less?
Simple, I figured out what I was truly worth… and started only doing things that paid me what I was worth, which were the top 5% of things I did every day. Sounds too simple right? Do you want to triple your income and work less at the same time? (ha, how fast did you mentally say “yes”?).
Alrighty, now… lets go through the same exercise I went through 4 years ago that helped me make that mindshift and realize what I SHOULD and more importantly… SHOULD NOT be doing in my businesses and life.
First, grab a piece of paper and at the top write down how much money you want to make in the next 12 months. Be realistic and make it attainable… but make it a goal that gets you excited. Just so I can work along w/ ya on this exercise… lets say it’s the nice round number of $100,000.
Next, ideally… how many hours a week do you want to work?
For me, I still work 30-40 hours a week, mainly because I want to. But, before I did this exercise I was working 60+ hours every single week and hating it. For this example lets say you stuck w/ the standard 40 hours a week number.
Now lets do a little math and work backwards to find out how much you’re worth each hour if your goal is to make $100,000/yr working 40 hours a week.
Fancy Dancy Math Time:
40 hours x 52 weeks in a year = 2,080 hours per year
$100,000 divided by 2,080 hours = $48.07 per hour
So, if you want to make $100,000 per year working 40 hours per week, on average you’ll have to make $48.07 every hour you work. Now of course some hours you’ll make way way more (like when you close a deal)… and some hours you’ll make way way less (like doing random crap tasks you shouldn’t be doing).
So, What Do You Do With This Number Now?
Now that you’ve got your number of what your time is worth if you want to reach those goals… you need to write down all of the things you do every day that can be outsourced to someone else for less than $48.07 (or in your case, the number you came up with for how much your time is worth).
For me it was… the technical side of creating my website or uploading my blog posts… answering phone calls everyday for my business… formatting my letters… going to the post office or running random errands… booking my hotels for my business trips… collecting rent checks and taking tenant calls… doing my bookkeeping… and a bunch of other things that someone else can do for cheaper than my own time is worth.
Now, this is the BIGGIE that you NEED to get 100% to make this work.
While you have other people doing the lower value things for you, you should be doing the things that bring in money for you. Creating a new marketing piece. Meeting with sellers or private lenders. Doing an interview for a new hire. Making offers on properties. Creating systems in your business that other people execute for you. Researching ways to invest your money so it grows. Test new ads and places to advertise. Call your buyers or private lenders to build that relationship. Create a referral campaign to bring in referrals from your current clients. That kind of stuff.
As a rule of thumb, about 90-95% of everything you’re doing right now in your business can (and a good majority of it should) be outsourced. Then that other 5% – 10% should be things that you love to do, are really good at, and directly bring in cash to your business that you focus on.
Now, post that magic number that you came up with in this exercise on your wall… and consciously start to track the things you’re doing over the next week that you know someone else can do for you for less than that number.
Focus is the biggest roadblock between getting what you want in your biz. I came across this video last week and watched it twice. As my own businesses grow I’ve found myself spreading myself in many directions… and this video has some awesome nuggets I’m applying in my own line now.
Check ‘er out.