Today is May 1st. It is also a day I planned to go to yet another conference. Plus have an invitation to attend a private mixer. The mixer is later this afternoon, about 2 hours away, with some savvy business people, so I’d have to choose to miss some of the conference. This is in addition to the miles of emails with people requesting meetings and favors. I woke up at 4 this morning just to get computer work done before my boot camp style workout.
After exercising I was rushing back home in a frenzy trying to decide where my best use of time would be spent; the conference, the mixer, both, the office… I stopped to ask myself, “What is it that I am hustling for… What do I want in my life?” I feel the most fulfilled when I slow down, but most times slowing down seems impossible. I have a daily case of professional FOMO, as my friend Frank from TechCocktail calls it, (‘fear of missing out’). Anytime I even think about doing something for my personal life I am drenched in guilt about not doing something work related and when I can’t do it “all” for my professional life I freak out that I am not being “successful” enough. How is this any way to live?
My morning work outs have become a ritual I look forward to. I don’t feel any pressure to “get thin fast” because I decided by December of this year I would achieve the physical look I desire. A full year to achieve a goal seems reasonable To do that I simply have to wake up every morning and ‘show up’ to my work out and eat mindful foods throughout the day. Recognizing I am not perfect, sometimes I miss a work out or eat a cookie, but I know that as long as I keep it up most of the time I should have no problem reaching my December goal.
What if I apply that “long term” singular focus to my company? What do I need to do today that will create the results I want “tomorrow”? While ranting to my ex business partner last night, who is still one of my best friends, he said for years I have mentioned this thought… “I wonder what I am capable of if I focused on just one professional project for 30 days”. Luckily I have an awesome remote team to help me get things done for my company. I don’t know how I would get anything done without them. Right now my schedule is filled with events, speaking engagements, helping people, errands and with the time left over I do computer work directly related to my company tasks usually to the point of exhaustion until all I want to do is zone out and I am left with no time to socialize with friends. I meet more people than I can follow up with. I spend more time conversing than implementing.
A couple days ago I spoke to my girlfriend who works for Deloitte and asked what she thought I should do to reach my company goals. It all came back to consistency. Yes meeting connections is great, but consistency is what leads to success. At least it seems that way. There is only one way to find out if that method is what works for me. So for the next 30 days, starting today, I want to focus on just my company, on creating content for my company, putting systems in place, on stabilizing my start up. I already feel the jitters like a drug addict afraid of missing the high. That’s what mixers, meetings and conferences are, chasing the high meeting new people to potentially strike deals and engage in seemingly elite business conversations. That high can wait. 30 days from now the last thing I will feel is in a hurry because I will have already arrived.
Just a note: A month ago I was booked to speak at General Assembly on May 16th in Los Angeles for an Intro to Start Ups event to share how to connect with LA influencers. I won’t break a commitment and do look forward to seeing you there. This also goes for clients I am already working with of course.
I’ve been working with virtual assistants for years. There are a ton of business tasks I can’t stand doing because they take an immense amount of time and aren’t the things I need to be doing to push my company forward. Some of the tasks are data entry, scanning business cards, internet research, product comparison reviews. I don’t mind video editing, but it just takes so much time so I outsource that as well sometimes.
It all started when I stumbled upon elance way before outsourcing became main stream with books like “4 Hour Work Week”. I was trying to keep up with a ton of events and spending the time to find them and paste them into excel was driving me crazy so I searched for an administrative team on elance. I found the most incredible virtual assistant out of India who still works with me today. Since then I have used everything from Get Friday to Ask Sunday to oDesk to Task Rabbit to Zaarly.
Most people have all these concerns about being ripped off. There are definite rules to follow to make sure one, I hire a quality person/team and two, they will be loyal and communicate well.
Some of the tasks I have outsourced over the years… web development to the Ukraine, data entry to India, internet research to the Philippines, video editing to the mid west, book keeping to Canada, application development to India, high level mathematics to Spain, web design to Spain, video animation and the list goes on…
My funniest experience outsourcing was when I was dealing with scanning a ton of business cards. My in house assistant was scanning the cards into my computer, but they had text errors so she had to spend extra time correcting them for me. In order to reduce costs I had my team in India log into my computer using LogMeIn during the night and correct the scans rather than having her spend time doing it. The whole thing was just nuts. Luckily soon thereafter I discovered Shoeboxed one of my favorite companies for organizing business cards and receipts.
My friends are always asking me how I find these assistants. Like last week one friend asked me how he can have someone send 300 emails for him for a flat $500 dollars. I decided to write a cheat sheet like cliff notes to make it easy to do it yourself if you’d like. ebooks take too long to read so I wanted to create something I myself would find fast, simple, easy to implement and effective.
I put together step by steps instructions to follow which includes videos and mind maps. It’s really cool.
Driving in parking lot style stop and go Los Angeles traffic SUCKS…. usually. I was bummed I had to go to a meeting because I was eager to watch Nev’s video antics in a course I purchased an hour before about how he made $20,000 by selling a course online. Nev is the main course creator at AppSumo and hilarious. It never feels like I am studying business when I watch his content. It’s more like an informative comedy routine where I just happen to learn how to increase revenue while I am laughing my ass off. So this time, during my drive from Santa Monica to Hollywood in the 5 o’ clock rush hour I decided to use my smart phone with my beloved Bose earbuds to listen to fresh off the digital shelf “Course about Building a Course” pictured to the right.
Tony Robbins suggests doing something we love while doing a task we can’t stand will trick our mind into loving tasks we usually despise. My addiction to learning definitely goes into the same bucket as my love for sushi, house music on Pandora and indie movies.
I remember first watching Nev’s “Kopywriting Kourse”. There was one scene where he is talking about how addicted he is to copywriting, so much so that he doesn’t notice a top 10 Victoria Secrets like model sitting on his bed. I know what you are thinking… ‘business…how is this about business?’ The videos ARE completely about teaching us skills to be the best entrepreneurs we can be. He just makes sure the delivery of the education is engaging and never stale or boring. He actually has a mission that with every video course he wants us to be able to make at least 10x back what we spent on the course in a year and 100x back over our lifetime.
So next time you are about to go postal on the road maybe press play on a cool course first to distract you from the monotony. I know after my supposed 30 minute commute that in actuality took 2 hours completed I was bummed to press pause when I arrived to my destination.
Only this morning, on a business call, did I discover Dustin Maher. I went to his site to check out who was behind the voice and discovered yet another entrepreneur leading with the results that he has gotten his clients. I had to share this great example. And you can tell they are not some “paid to endorse” or “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” testimonials. They are from real moms who have used his methods to get fit. How can you not respect that?
I recently removed the term “social media” from everything I do. The misuse of that phrase makes me want to stick a fork in my eye, slit my throat and hang myself all in tandem. Self proclaimed “social media experts” don’t go around professing their results like how I got over 10,000 people to tune into a live panel in under an hour or sold over 60 test copies of an ebook without any brand recognition in just a few weeks. They don’t share the upfront truth with their clients that social is about building relationships, not quickie trigger sales. These experts usually go around name dropping some influencer like Chris Brogan and Robert Scoble, speaking some so called techie lingo and boasting their twitter following and facebook friend count. All that doesn’t mean they know how to utilize the online space to gain real traction for a company. Sadly, most of the time these gurus don’t know to even to ask their client what their expectations are.
Years ago I teamed up with the only social agency I trust, bigMETHOD, (recently acquired by BLITZ). They never pretended to have a crystal ball promising results nearly impossible to achieve. All the momentum they did gain for their clients they were able to back up with analytical documentation. They were straight up, no BS and it was refreshing. Clients signed up because of their success stories. In fact, the founders rarely focused on building their own brand name. They understood it wasn’t about them, it was about what they were able to do for others.
A few months ago bigMETHOD’s co founder, Greg Cargill, and I were asked to speak on online marketing to members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). In meeting with people at SAG I learned that actors build their career based on casting directors. And commercials were their bread and butter. Using the online social space it seemed so easy just to reach out directly to casting directors and form those relationships. Putting my words in motion I put together a video reel and I contacted a woman in my mastermind group, founder of Friends in Film, to critique it. She quickly said to do it right I need to take Killian’s Workshop. Upon clicking to Killian’s website I was blown away because he connected more effectively and authentically with his audience than any marketer I’ve seen in a long while and he’s not even an internet marketer. His whole site was based on his students return on their investment. His twitter feed and facebook page showcased results and reported resources.
10 plus years being an entrepreneur I have learned no one cares who we worked for, what we know or how cool we are. Those components may get us the contract, but at the end of the day what will keep us 110% booked and products sold out will be what we have achieved for others and how much we care. When I read through Killians site I knew, with no doubt in my mind, he’d deliver. I knew he was dedicated to the success of everyone who worked with him. That was proven by the insane amount of referrals he gets and how his workshops are consistently filled to capacity months out. Its incredible, but not surprising. If his clients achieve the results they wanted by working with him why wouldn’t they profusely promote his abilities to everyone around them and take his workshops again and again.
I decided to sign up for his class. I knew he was someone I MUST learn from. He understood business, he understood customer connection and communication, he understood value and credibility. Plus it would add to my speaking abilities to be the best I can be on stage and a new experience to potentially book commercials. There was too much to lose not to sign up. But as I mentioned before, his workshops are filled solid months out, so for days I pressed refresh on my computer browser hoping someone would drop out so I’d be able to snag their spot. A couple days before class number 1 started that’s exactly what happened and I raced to the billing page before I missed out.
He has been exactly as others have experienced him; to the point, no nonsense, no better workshop for commercial acting than his. Reminds me of Seth Godin‘s book “The Dip”, where Godin emphasizes that there is no point in building a company if your product or service isn’t the best in the world. Richard Branson says that you should be so proud of what you offer you want to shout about it off the mountain tops for everyone you know to hear.
If social media twitperts would focus on sharing what they have achieved for others and less time on their online cool factor this internets industry wouldnt have such a sham name.
The key to all this is defining oneself as being able to achieve X with absolute certainty and knowing you are the absolute best in the world at achieving it. That there is no convincing involved because your success speaks for itself and people would be gravely mistaken to not work with you if they are wanting X. This means if you are an independent without a huge team behind you to support all the work it takes to run a full blown social media campaign then just be excellent at one specific thing. Whether that thing is Facebook brand pages, Twitter engagement, Email list building, pick one. Because each one of these things has so much to it the learning is endless. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. BE a specific thing to specific people who have that need. Care about those people and they will naturally refer others to you. After all, isnt that what “social marketing” is - Referrals.
Go to Killian’s website and study how he communicates with site visitors. You’ll see what I mean. The easiest monetary investment for a potential client or customer to make is in certainty. To know what they CAN EXPECT from your work or product. That means you must confidently know what you are able to deliver. If you aren’t the best of the best today, that’s okay. We all start somewhere, but from this day forward focus on that very specific skill in order to BE someone of certainty. In the meanwhile be honest about your skill level with those who work with you so that you can build a long lasting relationship.
I was listening to this talk today with Gary Vaynerchuk. His points reinforced what I believe. He said that in today’s business landscape it is a must to genuinely care about the people and companies you work with. Not just their wallets, but their lives. Otherwise you’ll fall behind.
It's time to believe. I'm sick and tired of people making excuses for not going after their dreams. I'm going after mine and doing just fine. Crazy, sure. Manic, of course. Exhilarated, all the time. If you don't try then well... I am just sorry you missed out.
I’ve been working with virtual assistants for years. There are a ton of business tasks I can’t stand doing because they take an immense amount of time and aren’t the things I need to be doing to push my company forward. Some of the tasks are data entry, scanning business cards, internet research, product comparison [...]
Tonight I skipped a Friday night on the town in Los Angeles with Silverlake hipsters, Hollywood socialites and Venice Beach Dogtown skater boys to watch a video case study on how a company called AppSumo grew to 500,000 customers in only 18 months. The information in the videos was AWESOME. AppSumo is like [...]
Have you ever searched for a local business or service and seen google search results that look like this: These are called Google Places and if you are a local business or service provider with a real address you can grab one of these for free, courtesy of Google. In fact Google wants you [...]
About Gary: Im a life enthusiast with an insatiable hunger for more. I dream of what I want, go for it then analyze it after. This process is called dreamlining. Dreamlining has helped me through my whole life from skateboarding, language learning to transforming my body. I’m a serial investor that analyzes every opportunity presented. [...]
Zappos, a billion dollar online commerce destination, is known for their leadership in customer service. Insights was created as an educational forum to guide entrepreneurs to successfully attain milestones. It was a privilege to be a part of their LIVE event, a revolution in leadership and corporate happiness. One of the speakers at the event, social media maven Brian Solis, said it perfectly, “In the end we’re measured by our actions, not our words.”