Taming the Whirlwind - Growing Your Business
All. Right that's ready get started, all. Right, so. If you are, a, person, who works with clients and you constantly find, yourself, putting. Off your own work to do client work you're in the right place that sounds weird any money, all. Right so, my, name is Nathan Ingram I'm from Birmingham Alabama, one. Way from here is they don't make my slip in the yellow. I'm. The lead organizer for work in Birmingham, which is in a couple of weeks and, we have the best hashtag knowledge, wpe all right. I'm. The host and iTunes drainage, by do two or three live webinars a week most, of them are surrogates like women working all year long we're training by themes calm I personally. Am going to let business owner working with clients since 1995. I've built and sold my first website I've been doing this forever I've. Worked with all kinds of clients big and small great, and that's. Okay and I. Am, the business coach for WordPress freelancers, as well that's one of the favorite things that they do for the last four years or so so. I'm used to started to talk like this with the slide that says I am NOT an expert and then, I found that quote by the physicist, dr. Niels Bohr who said that, an expert, is a person who, has found out by his own experience, all. The mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field so by that definition I'm absolutely, an expert, what. I can offer you today is all the stupid stuff I've been wrong and then, you can avoid some of the mistakes that I've made especially, when it comes to personal productivity. So. If you owner communities. Is your first word camp first word camp, also. City. The. Chances, especially if it's your first work you coming, into a place like this and wondering about the, only lemon has the problems in that face. Am. I the only one who struggles, with the issues that I struggle with. Maybe. You have already been, in. This life you, know moving, around conversation. This is a breakfast. Area over here and people are using acronyms, you may be not quite sure what they mean and, everybody sounds a lot more intelligent, than you if that's been your experience so far let me encourage you to say that's pretty funny we. All start. With different areas and we all have strengths, and weaknesses we all face, common, challenges in. Four. Years of coaching conversations. I've found very few, unique. Issues, so let's just do a quick poll how. Many of you guys have it all together in, your time work. Never. Struggle. With problem quiets. Yeah. And. You've, totally got the pricing thing figured out. Having. Any of your site creation, processes, bulletproof. Those. People don't. You. Never struggled. With isolation, or feeling alone. We. Did know, how. Many under your income a stapler, doesn't do like this. Okay. See we're all cut from the same side where if you are in a community of friends that is that's one of the great things that I work in so, by all means do, not eat lunch alone today, find. Some people around you and just simply has plenty of use WordPress and, start the conversation you. Are in your own tribe here no, matter if you feel alone right now. And if you want to meet some friends and you, will have so much in common it'll. Blow you away so. Here's. What we're going to talk about today we're going to spend a little bit of time talking about one, of the common struggles, that we've all faced is freelancers, which is personal. Productivity, company, if you work from home, yeah. Me too and my kids are at home because we come in to get our children and, yeah, right so, it's a little challenging personal. Productivity, is a common, issue then, most people struggle, that when you're working with clients especially if you're freelancing, so, I'm going to spend some time talking about why it's a common struggle we're gonna understand, the problem, we're gonna develop a strategy to deal with the problem, and I'm gonna offer you some suggestions for success that sound okay and, in the middle of that I'm going to give you a tool that you can use that, will hopefully amp, up your personal productivity all, right so that's where we're headed today and let's, start off talking about the common, struggle, the. Common, struggle, is strategy, versus, execution, so. The first part of this talk today is going to be putting some terminology. To a struggle, that I believe every, freelance. Web developer faces, oh by the way I'm, going to get you into all these slides at the end okay. So if you are scribbling. Furiously or, typing furiously that's okay, just, soak, it in and now I'll give you a link to everything. So. We need to put they turn, to. The struggle, that we face because I love, the opinion if you give a name to your challenge, it's a lot easier to deal, with it right if you can put a label on it and deal with it it sort of looks at the box with better so.
We Are all cut, from the same fabric. So. I put a word to. This whole idea that's. Going to help us to start working towards. A solution and, that word is whirlwind. Whirlwind. Growth. Is a great word because that looks like life of business doesn't it you've. Got a million emails and I believe demands a million things. Then you ought to do and did you suppose. With them already and, they're all swirling, around even all at the same time and, sometimes it's harder to make him to tell how to things right. So. Let's spend a little bit of time understanding, this, whirlwind, the whirlwind. Is the energy, and attention that's. Needed to run your business the, whirlwind. Is the urgent. The. Whirlwind, are the 15, emails or clients that are waiting on you in the morning, all with demands of things have to be done by minute the. Whirlwind, is that customer, call that happens, right, as you are just about to work on your own website, for a change the. Whirlwind, is that one hour meeting with the client expects, in 2/3. The. Center. So. You come to your desk with the best of intentions, it's going to finally, be a baby when I work on my stuff, for a change and it lasts about 10 minutes because you open your email and the, whirlwind was waiting I. Spent. Hours, and hours and. Seminars. And webinars and, reading books all. Excellent. Information, that, could really help my business and I never implemented. Any of it at all it, was great stuff, but, it ended up making no practical, impact on, my girl and it wasn't the author of the books fault it wasn't the presenters. Fault it's, because when I got back to my desk there were all those emails and all those phone calls and a hundred of the things I'm doing that day, or. Maybe. I got fascinated that elution, he's a technology. That's don't have that they worked on something that really didn't work sticks, I'm. Sure you would do that that's a little. So. Here's the problem with, the world where. We. Know that goals and strategy, are important, but the whirlwind, is the urgent. Franklin. Company Franklin. Covey company, as a strength statement, when, urgency.
And Importance, clash urgency. Wins every. Time doesn't, it. Strategy. Is important. Those. Customer, demands are urgent, and urgency. Wins, every. Time so, what we do we. Say oh I'll. Get to it later. Tomorrow, next, week. Here's. The problem. Delaying. Strategy. Doesn't work, because. What. We never seem to realize, is. That I'll say I'll work on it tomorrow I'll, get to that next week I'll do it next month when I finish this project, and what. We don't realize, is. That tomorrow, next. Week next month, the. Whirlwind, is still gonna be waiting on us. The. Whirlwind, never, goes, away. Now. Before. You get a bad taste in your mouth about this whole concept of the whirlwind, let me just remind me the one that is not bad, because. It is what it is, the. Ruin, is actually, pretty good it's your business it's your, work that you have to do I mean if you try to ruin you couldn't pay your bills. But. The whirlwind is the stuff that makes us money generally, speaking. It. Isn't bad it just is what it is it's a fact of life if you're running a business if you're working appliance so. We have to accept, the world one and consider, it as we. Figure out how to make our businesses forward in the middle, of the world. So. Now that we've done how to do is that a. Strategy. To deal with the, whirlwind. Need. A plan, we. Need a plan to, accomplish our goals while the growth into the swirling around us so, if you're freelancers you're a business, owner you're. Smart person, you have some, level of discipline otherwise you wouldn't be working for yourself. Your. Challenge is not accomplishing, your goals. Your. Challenge, is accomplishing, your goals in the middle of this whirlwind, that you're in, now. Here's a foundational. Principle. Without. A plan the. Whirlwind, always, wins it always wins. Urgency. And importance, right I've got to have a plan or, the whirlwind, is never win and, you sing this happened right you see now you, get great intentions, but you get sidetracked.
So. We've got to have some sort of a plan so, I'm going to suggest, to you a very simple, plan that, they can actually get some traction in this issue it's. Going to start, with especially. Three phases there's, an initial, planning, there's. A weekly plan, weekly execution. Now. This is doable, I promise, I've been doing this for years and this, approach has transformed, my personal productivity. Transform. I tell, people that starting. Up a freelance business there, are three important, things you need to pay attention to number, one you, want to systematize, everything, you do get it this down as much of a process that you possibly can number, two you, want to build recurring, revenue, as quickly, as, possible number. Three you've got to get a handle on personal productivity. Because. There are only a few things about your business and working the price we can control and how do you spend your time is one of them we need to plan so. We need to start off with some initial planning, then there's a weekly planning and a weekly execution, let's. Talk about first the first step here which is this first planning, meeting and when we give you a tool to make that one bit easier. The. Initial, planning meeting is a meeting that you have with yourself. Where. You stop. Everything. London. Plug. And. You. Go somewhere, that you enjoy. Works. For you turn. Off all screens, because, what happens if you look at our screen. Or. The window, and right this is what happens the, screens are the key to the core windows, so. We turn all that stuff off I'm, going to schedule this. Priority. Lists. Suggest something very pratical in. A conference like this and that is get. A piece of paper and a pen. Because. Analog. Works, for. This sort of thing, I'm. Going to give you a tool and just a minute you can download that you can print out and take a pen or a pencil pen. It's for those of you who are a very self-confident, the principles like have that right stuff so I need a pencil whatever. Works for you and unplug. And focus on this stuff this needs to be on your calendar, with a couple of reminders so. You remember to do it because urgency, influence. Urgency. Wins every time so you have to schedule this and make it X urgent, as any other bit of client work that you're doing because, you aren't your most important client truth, you. Are the most important, client and if, you're worried about what I can't serve my client well if I take this time off the work on my business that's. A fallacy with, so many folks have if you're, not around in a year because you didn't. Do the strategy part of your business whether just, a dictators, like Stanley. Taking. Care of your business is one of the most important, things you need to the circumflex walk. So. It's kind of on the character with the reminder two hours unplug as a priority now, in those two hours you're going to do two tasks, two, hours two taxes. Identify. The issues, that you need to changing your business, in. Plans and action items can you do that, Jim, hour it's two tasks, one of the making, things I need, to do to grow my business and. The. 20 some action items actually accomplish, those. In. A finding issue what are the changes, I need the name and winter. Most immediate, results. Never, going to give you all these slides so don't worry about scribbling things down. Two. Hours two. Tasks identified, issues what. Glen need to change and what, our can agree the most immediate, results, and bit the top three. Why. The top three because, I you need to figure out three, most important, things that, are going to make immediate impact, in your business because when, you're trying to establish the, habits. Momentum. Is everything. So. You want small wins, things. You can do quickly that will radically make, a difference of your businesses, that make sense. Identify. Your top three, it may, be in fact builds, momentum and you're going to need that kind of momentum because you are fighting an uphill battle you. Are swimming upstream. You. Ever see those videos of the crazy ones were standing out everything.
In. Their standing, this is you the whirlwind and, use gotta think I'm gonna be walking directly, into that wind so, I need some momentum. I need some winds at the very beginning to get this thing started, now. By the way the. Three things that you pick out right here are. Probably, not going to be things. Because. She would have done them already, right. So. Just these. Are probably not going to be fun things but they'll get big things that, bring immediate impact the, second thing you're going to do the next you ever planning session is playing some action titles you're going to break those goals into three. Goals and a half Chinese, they're going to take you about two to four hours to complete so, when you figure out this is a thing I need to do I need to have for example of, contracting. My business. And. We have them print contracts. Okay. So I need to improve my internal, documentation, I need a better proposal template. I need whatever it is I need to learn when the world knew where it is and. I'm going to break those things in to choose our. Action. Items if there's a reason for that that I'll get to in a minute. Now. Unless this, starts, to dissolve, into, lots of details let me give you a tool you. Can go to Mason intercom / wcp, no hats that's the hashtag for today that's. Also the link on my website where you can download my, advanced, go worksheets, advanced. Is my coaching service for freelancers, this, is a tool that we use, negative. Comment, / WCPO. Goes. Up on the screen because, i'm going to show you what that looks like okay. Control. That screen while standing over here. Okay, so. How many have you have heard before the term SMART goals, again. SMART. Goals I think. It's the best way to go plan, the. Practice set your goals now, I did a little different, because I take the SMART goal and I turn it into a declaration, of total body this event so. Smart, is an acronym, it. Stands for specific measurable, attainable. Relevant. And tight now those. Are five characteristics, that make up a good goal a good. Goal for example isn't, I even. Think more money in my business next year a, good. Goal is I need to raise my first. Quarter, earnings by, 10%. That's. A smart goal there's. A big difference so, this. Is the tool that you're going to use when you identify the three top issues you're, going to put them into a this, smart goal template if you do this I promise the goal will be much easier to, execute. So. The s in smart global stands for specific and you're going to ask yourself what. About really want to accomplish these your questions and answer with, a food what when where, and how. But. Give you an example this is a set that, your goal means how do they're not making progress and if. Some things that I have much commit. Attainable. This ago I can actually achieve one of the obstacles, and I'm going to overcome those and where my next steps, attaining. The. Arts into a relevant, and this is maybe the most important, like this is where a lot of goal-setting falls off its why is it so important, why, am i doing this to begin with the.
Aria SMART goals the relevancy, piece is a, rule in repellents, because. This is going to help you remember this is why I'm going to, in. With. The. Tea is time-bound what is it going to be accomplished. Okay. Here's, an example I. Need. To create a social media service, to. Great advantage social, properties and content for my clients, that's, three specific right who. Look where you're bringing out yeah okay, so in this example our, goal is I need them to build a social media service because I need to do more difficult websites, I need to do some other stuff to, get some recurring revenue coming in to my business if that makes sense a pretty good goal if you can do that that you're paying possible. So, that's specific, the arm of the. Am. Sorry, measurable, well, how do I know making progress have to start with Facebook of an igloo in Chicago. Instagram. And Pinterest. The. Attainable, yes attainable, and the understand Facebook better develop a template for social marketing determine. The best platform, for management it's attainable and I think do you think there's a few first actions, listed. Replicants. Why, am i doing this to begin with because i need to offer more than just whether creation, services, in a given social media management services, the key to building recurring. Revenue by. The way all this is in the download. Time. Down i'll. Have this service right to devote by April 30th. Now. Here's, the thing, about this particular, worksheet. It, is the declaration. What. You're going to do is take the elements of the SMART goal and turn it into a statement, that you're going to put on your computer, on. Your whiteboards. Would stare at you all the time and, it's. Pretty easy to do I will, and you combine the specific, by. This, time because. Our so that the relevance, appears out of look I, will. Preventing the social media management service for my clients, using Facebook by, April the 30th because, it's a key to the balloon recurring revenue in my business. We, put that in this relative so it's staring, and nagging, and mocking, you every day and, when the world line comes up you look at that thing you remember no I've got to spend the, two hours working on this and I've scheduled, because I've got to build my recurring revenues that make sense, you put the so that right in front of you and that, helps, to put the whirlwind, in perspective. Now. Given you another worksheet, where I would spend tackling, this really because of time here there's, also a gold manager, and it. Said this one that you actually start the flesh to go out it's an economic, planning the demons are going to be doing these worksheets or each of the goals if you want to follow this method, so. You pull your goal in this is the declaration, from the previous worksheet, and. You start jotting down some things whereas some of the stuff I need to do I need to understand, please click conversion, all the stuff that I need to do these are the resources, and information I need to actually accomplish, this goal start. Making some notes so here's a competitor, that, offers, it for this much and this certain setup fee and. They each start listing some action items to the for our action, items in the list in. Your secret. Here is you're going to do one of these every week one, of two of these end early right. So you mark off some next actions, that make sense. This. Is normally a 45-minute talk we have to do each other. Okay, so that's a tool and, you can download that Nathan, thinkers not come. WCPO. S. Okay. So. That's. Your initial planning, two hours two, tasks, two. Hours two tasks, I've got my goals laid out and that's about shadows laid out now, we're, getting to a weekly planning session, this, is where those people fall off the wagon they get excited they, do that if something think I was stuff to do but, they don't take time each week to plan, the time to, execute they just think they can go straight into executing, it's a mistake don't avoid this take. A half hour before the Week starts and plan, your week yes, it is possible, to plan, your week even if you're a freelance web developer who, is constantly arrives by client requests, it, is possible, to plan your week, so, before the Week starts for me it's, all this Friday afternoon. Right. After minutes our CEO time for me, that's. When I spend the time working on my business I'm planning the next week if, I can't get the plan he's done I do it Sunday night but everything is right my house kids are going to bed I do, the planning of the week then, or.
Some People I'm coaching through early Monday morning them the point is before, we hit the sugar, Monday. Morning, in. Your office you've, got the week planned because. Without the plan the. World is always gonna win it's always gonna win I promise you you're. Gonna try to do this without the plan in the row and it's going to win here remember that guy in Boston said, so work one's gonna win it on a plan because, it just, does. So. Take, that 30 minutes plan time, to execute, at least one action and then cool everything. To, make it so that when you sit down to accomplish, that you've got everything you need to do it. Okay. Here's. How my weekly planning typically, looks I've. Defined each day into, three walks. My. Family, usually it's one of those families. A big property for me. The. Family usually gets one of these so there's morning afternoon evening and. So. Weekly planning looks something like this. Yes. I planned a time for the whirlwind. Mondays, are all about the world because. For whatever reason the winds blew stronger than the weekend is right and, you come into there's like 87. Emails, in your inbox, on the day morning, so. Let me it's all about the whirlwind that even this, is just a for example and that, in this week my family it's the most nights generally, Tuesday. I'm, gonna spend some time in the afternoon working. On a project that needs to get finished, so, that's project time during project time I don't look at email I don't answer my phone I had to turn it off so. In. The morning from the afternoon family. Gets the evening same thing for Wednesday Oh first they boarded my kids got some stuff that maybe she wants me to be part of I'm gonna go to whatever this attributive, her class is doing on Thursday morning well that means I'm gonna be working that night probably. My, family always it's one of the blocks now. Sometimes, if I want a big project I'm working morning. After. You. Know how that goes right, this. Approach, lets you say wait a minute I owe my family three, blocks. So. I'm going to pay that back. Either. About taking a couple afternoons off for a whole day and then whatever, it is it's, sort of become life it's really good about reminding me how much that I have in two blocks here right and. So Friday afternoon. Is strategy time you open in the morning family in the heat in that sense I mean this is dirt simple, it's not simple it's not going to work the, personal productivity it's gotta be some of. The. Whirlwind, can be contained, I've been practicing, habits and being, deliberate, about your time. Scheduling. Calls and emails, don't, ever be well. That's. An absolute statement I would encourage. You to rarely, be available, on demand by, either email, or phone. Because. The clients will start taking off a lot of your time schedule, those calls don't. Respond to emails right away I mean unless society stay at home which is very rare. So. During that the weekly. Execution, that's what you saw on Friday the red one off the strategy watch in the four hours, I'm, going to schedule that time then. I'm going to execute one. Or two of those two to four hour or action items that we talked about I got four hours right answer, -. To our things are wonderful rubber thing that. Afternoon and, I don't think they're up there I don't schedule client, meetings on to go in front afterwards. Let. It happen that's, my time. It's my CEO, time that strategy comes with my business. How. Many times if you never put off your homework, because the client had an immediate demand. We. Do it right but, if you are the most important, client so don't over schedule that, time whatever time of the week that you walk office we're starting to try that's doers and don't, violate, again. If the server's they don't okay but that's a greater right usually, it's because, right.
Here It's. A lot easier to do work for a client than this garbo strategy, work right. So. Having, it go in the calendar schedule, that helps you together now one more thing what, do you do when you run out of action items, do. Another immediate another. Initial. Planning of things, so. I have to be picked and accomplish those top three goals, that's. Probably going to take you about twelve weeks to do. For. The next quarter comeback. Into duty you. Pick three more and, plan it out so, you get in the cycle, is a great book called the twelve week year if, you can actually finish that book if if. You've never read it I would encourage you to get it's. All about planning your here and it's. Wonderful to. Final. Suggestions, to leave you with you. Will always always, always, have, more goals than you have time so, prioritize, as well like. I said earlier focus on immediate. The momentum, there's, a psychology. To this small. Men's keep, you going and. Moving. Forward in the world when it takes a lot of small legs of political, beginning so immediate. Impact there's a great study the Franklin Covey did under. This whole comes up with the law of diminishing returns have, you heard that phrase before. Here's. What they found in, a corporate environment. If. A team had. Two three. Clearly. Defined goals they, would accomplish two, to three goals with excellence, if a, team had four and ten it. Would accomplish one, to two. If. They had eleven to twenty goals that, accomplished, zero, I think. About it looks like you're eating a pizza, if. You're trying to eat two to three pizzas you. Might be able to do that. More. Pizzas. You're. Gonna eat less and less there's, always so many bites a day you can take it right descendants. We're gonna fail. So. Most of us go into this one thing with gangbusters. Happened I'm going to do it I'm going to get productive it's all going to work and. We have so many goals, and all of a sudden we get nothing done, what. A choose three goals at the most at a time can you accomplish that day. That. Means that sometimes, that, idea somebody won't say. It's. A later, this year. The. Second prototype I would give you is taking. The whirlwind, takes time it. Gotta give yourself a break, there's. A great quote that is attributed that GK Chesterton. I'm not sure that's true he actually said it he's one of those people that people tribute to. I want. To but anything, worth doing is, worth doing badly, at first and I love that, you're. Gonna mess up on this and it's okay the. Whirlwind, is a strong, and powerful force, that you've been contending, with the wrong way for a long time, continue, some kind of develops we've had it that's okay it's worth doing so, it's worth doing badly, at first make. Sense just. Stick with it because the world had never ever ever goes away when, urgency, important / urgency. Wins every time so you've gotta keep and execute. That strategy to. Accomplish your goals in the middle of whirlwind no wrapping up in six. Months from now if you did this and you went there - orderly silence, if you do this for six months how, much would your business change, how. Much we've changed rather than think about it what could you get done how much would you grow, how many probably would you assault how much better would, your business systems be and then, as a result of that how much better we. Stabilizing. Started. Keeping problem clients in check. My. Name is Nathan Ingram you can find the attorney that I used up calm and, there is the link for today we have five minutes for questions any questions right. There I think they're saying very, scary microphone. They. Wonder box 4040. The. Questions or the recording is happening hours but I usually work in a week it depends on the week honestly I. Typically. Work 40, to 50 hours a week that's.
Pretty Long. Yes. What, would you suggest for people that are working. And. Also. As. I find that, to be my, biggest obstacle. At. What point should I consider. Transitioning. From my, full-time job that it's related. To. How. Many other people struggle, that same machine right now look around the room look around this. Is a common, question it's a common struggle so, look, at it was if you guys can have lunch together, seriously. Okay, so the question is how. Do you balance a full-time job of three licenses that's a tough goal, you. Have a very understanding, family if you have a family that's. On, board with that mission of transition. How. Do you do it build. Recurring, revenue as quickly as possible, that's. A broken record for me because, what will happen the, more recurring, revenue you have that revenue comes in every month no matter what WordPress, maintenance, contracts are the best fastest, way to do that every, single current. You want you want to have website management, attached to that that's, 50. 75 100 hundred whatever, you can charge a month that's, what it ought to be and, what. Will start to happen is should be able to start replacing a portion, of your paycheck. With that recurring revenue. For. A few years then I'll pay, myself exclusively, by the recurring, rather than everything else is graded so. You. Know that that's the recurring. Revenue as quickly as possible build, a good strong, client, base with. Watts. That's. A very short answer a very complicated question I'll be happy to talk more about after, yes. In. Their home floor a. Music, musician. In Nashville, and also a speaker for tomorrow I just wanted to take a second do a shameless plug, for my talk tomorrow because we're going to go over exactly a, lot of that and, also, some of the checklists of processes, you talked about I'm going to share exact processes. And things to stay really efficient, with the client work so some of these questions, are getting into we're going to talk about there as well. But. It's a. Running. A wordpress design agency, allowed me to follow my dreams of the kind of musician to 10.