In this episode, James and Phoebe share with listeners the 7 essential ingredients to planning a product launch properly so you can actually accomplish your goals, while enrolling your entire team in the process.
Planning is the key in doing this. James quotes Brian Tracy:
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution”
Phoebe’s former basketball coach has a saying:
“Proper planning prevents p*ss poor performance”
The bigger your team gets, the more essential proper planning becomes. For James, planning was the opportunity to enrol everybody else in the goals and intentions for the launch.
Step #1: Set the intentions for the first meeting
Identify the strategy beforehand, so everybody knows what their roles will be. This way, they can be responsible, held accountable and have clarity. This will get them onboard with the “big picture.” To Phoebe, the intention was the most important thing as it showed her that everybody was heading in the same direction.
Step #2: Ask everyone on the team what they want to get out of the launch
Not everybody is motivated by money; it’s a job, but sometimes people want prestige or acknowledgment. By involving the entire team in the planning process, James gives people the opportunity to choose for themselves what type of outcome or benefit they will get for themselves. He finds that team members want to grow, or be a better person by the end of the launch. For Phoebe, she wanted to be a confident leader who is delegating effectively, as well as having it be a stress-free process. James himself wanted to be a more effective leader.
Step #3: Determine what is the intention, or commitment, to the audience
James asked everybody in the launch committee this question, individually, and blended together the results to come up with the following:
“We are committed to changing lives by inspiring entrepreneurs to what’s possible through easy and effective strategies”
Phoebe adds that when you come up with something together, it’s so much more powerful. Everyone feels like a bigger part of things.
Step #4: Set your goals
James shares his goals with the entire team, and believes it is important that they know “the game you’re playing.” In order to perform better, your people have to be informed. He sets three goals: “Middle-Of-The Road”, “Hairy-Scary” and “Wimpy-Wimpy.” This is meant to stretch you, without making you feel like a failure if you don’t hit the goal.
He comes at the goal from a place of confidence, knowing he’s done it before.
“If you go into something with zero confidence – good luck”
Step #5: Share and create the launch plan
Show the team what the entire process is going to look like when it’s actually in the launch period. James’ team intentionally left holes so that the entire team could come together to fill in the gaps. He considers this step as the “meat” of your plan.
Step #6: Identify the roles and responsibilities
Everyone has different talents but look at it from a project standpoint, rather than a skills standpoint. The meeting determined the responsibilities for every task of the launch: the videos series, emails, Facebook ads, etc. James’ responsibility was affiliates, while Phoebe was assigned the marketing funnel.
They share with listeners the concept of the RACI chart (responsible, accountable, consult & inform).
Step 7: Ask the team what it is going to take to achieve the goals
This could be getting enough people on the webinars, or watching the video series. It could be related to the organization; having more structure as a team.
James creates a follow up question, “what is that going to look like?” They created two types of calendars, one visual and one in list form, for example.
Daily “scrums”, or short meetings virtually, was part of the team’s launch (see “INTERVIEW LINKS” for book referenced in episode). They note that the scrums were only done during the launch period, when everyone was focused on the exact same thing.
James concludes the show with:
“If you want to make an impact on the world, and grow as an entrepreneur, you can’t do it alone.”
James and Phoebe will be recording a follow-up to this podcast, with specific results from the launch that was discussed.
James and Phoebe discuss the Law of Attraction in this episode, and include helpful resources and simple steps on how to manifest things you desire into your life and business!
James recommends two great books that look at The Law of Attraction, “E-Squared: 9 Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality” by Pam Grout and “The Vortex” by Abraham Hicks (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
James defines The Law of Attraction in the following ways:
1) Like attracts like
2) You bring close to you what you focus your attention on (not necessarily
what you focus on, but what you make it mean)
2) Thoughts create things
Manifesting is simply physical evidence of an existing vibration that you have. Everything is the vibrating energy, and that vibration is indicated by our emotions.
James talks about a great video on YouTube called “Happiness Is The New Productivity”, by the CEO of MindValley (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”). It shows how business isn’t about strategy; it’s about mindset first. The concept of a “flow state” is important, and you need to be happy in the now, but have a grand vision for the future.
James shares his story about starting a successful business with a partner, and having the partner end the relationship. It put James in a state of “free fall”, but the events opened up the space for him to create his next steps. He now considers it a chapter of his life that he learned so much from.
“I would never trade that experience in a million years”
It also made him realize that he didn’t want to be building a business for someone else. He wanted to build his own.
“Your success as an entrepreneur is contingent on your ability to reframe the problems, or the unwanted, that occur in your life or your business”
Phoebe always looks for the lessons in the things that happen in her life.
James adds that what is happening right now, is a direct result of what you’ve been attracting in the past.
When you aren’t attracting the right things in your life, there is always tomorrow and you can start again. You need to take responsibility for everything you attract into your life, which can be hard at first but you become more mindful of it as you practice awareness.
A criticism of The Law of Attraction is that you can’t just close your eyes, visualize and have something appear. James says that you need to hustle, or take action, but you can’t do this from a place of fear. Dial up to that positive vibration first, then take inspired action from there.
One example of taking inspired action is this podcast. James had been thinking of starting one and just reached out to Phoebe to begin the process.
“It has come together so quickly and so easily”
Phoebe adds her example of wanting to move to California. After living in Germany for 7 years, with intention, the move was easy and happened quickly.
James manifested his new office when visiting a friend in Maine. After seeing his friend’s office, he looked online and found his current office right away.
3 Simple Steps On How to Manifest Magic Into Your Business
1) Identify what you want
2) Get to the core feeling; why is it important to you?
3) Feel the emotion (it’s all about your decision to feel a certain way)
When people get discouraged, they have to remember to start with the small things. James attracted foreign money into his life, and advises to “build the muscle” when it comes to The Law of Attraction. He also reminds listeners that beating yourself up is a negative emotion, and a vicious cycle that gets you nowhere.
Feeling gratitude is the way to manifesting and attracting. James and Phoebe’s homework to listeners is to write a list of 20 things every morning that you are grateful for. Do this, until you feel it, and notice the things that will come into your life.
In this episode of the podcast, James and Phoebe discuss the 7 tips for overcoming self-doubt and owning it, so you can become the authority in your industry!
James feels that everyone goes through this process at some people; some people just don’t vocalize it. Even 7 years later, James still deals with the issue. The question is, how are you supposed to go forward if you’re feeling this way?
Phoebe shares the paradox that you can’t sell if you’re not an authority, but you’re not an authority if you haven’t done it yet.
James adds that you have to be perceived that you know how to do the stuff that you’re saying you can do.
According to James, an authority is:
Someone with knowledge
Someone with experience (you don’t really learn it until you apply it)
Someone that is able to get others to replicate what you do
James says he is a natural introvert, but started using YouTube as a tool for promoting his various businesses. He started with a bartending product that he sold online, and then started teaching other people, who saw results.
His first video product, “Video Traffic Academy”, did over $400,000 in sales as a $97 product, in the first 30 days. In doing so, it became a staple in the industry.
His friend Lewis Howes helped James by promoting him as an authority to his own followers. Since then, it’s been a “leapfrog process”, with one thing leading to another.
7 Tips for Overcoming Self-Doubt & Owning It So You Can Become The Authority In Your Industry
Tip #1: Worrying about “Who Am I?” is selfish.
You have to shift it to being about the message, not you.
Tip #2: If you’re not an authority, you’re creating your authority
When James was struggling, he would tell himself all those times were going to be part of his story. He says you can’t have a story without a hero, and a conflict.
Tip #3: Declare it - no one will do this for you
Growing up, it’s been engrained in us that someone else has to declare you as an authority (such as in school).
Tip #4: Make your goals and mission bigger than yourself
Determine what your mission is, and help other people.
Tip #5: Replicate your system to give others results, and then highlight them
You’re not an authority until you can get someone else to do what you can do. James feels that more people should be offering their services to others in exchange for them being a case study, as you measure their results along the way.
Tip #6: Teach and share freely on what you already know
Being an authority is a perception, and part of a brand. Don’t “hoard” your expertise.
James says, “the more I give away for free, the more people will buy from me.”
Tip #7: You don’t have to be the best to be the authority
It’s a misconception that being an authority means that you are better than everyone else. Be yourself, because you’ll know yourself if you’re not being authentic. It all starts with how you see yourself first.
James has built his business on outsourcing. In this episode, he and Phoebe share the 7 mistakes that entrepreneurs commonly make when outsourcing, and what you should do to maximize your results!
Both he and Phoebe considering outsourcing to be “absolutely essential.” They advise other entrepreneurs to stop trying to do everything themselves.
Tip #1: Assume that no one will ever do it as good as you
Ask yourself – is this a thousand dollar an hour activity, or a $10 dollar an hour activity?
Not only do the small tasks time up time, but Phoebe also adds that they take up mental space.
James believes that your energy is even more valuable than your time.
Tip #2: Give up if you’ve had, or know someone that’s had, a bad experience with outsourcing
Any business that is successful doesn’t have just one person doing everything. James gives the example of a restaurant, with its servers, bus boys, kitchen staff and management.
Don’t make the assumption that outsourcing doesn’t work, or that all the “good people” are already taken.
Tip #3: Hire fast!
Hire slow and fire fast is the mantra that you should use.
James and Phoebe recommend OnlineJobs.ph (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”) for virtual assistances in the Philippines (general task management, data entry, etc.)
Recommended Steps When Hiring:
- Improve the screening process. Be clear about what you’re looking for in the job post, and give a “call to action” (a specific instruction) to ensure that the applicants are paying attention to detail and can follow directions.
- Set up a Skype call and ask specific questions.
- Don’t just hire them; use a 7-day probationary period.
- Interview at least three people before selecting.
Tip #4: Get one person to do it all
Find someone that has strength, or a “sweet spot” and put them in that specific area. Have different people do activities such as data entry, editing, content creation, SEO and graphic design). Have each person focus, that way they’ll be really good at something as opposed to average at everything.
Tip #5: Don’t bother training them and don’t use processes
You MUST provide training. Blame the process, not the employee.
James recommends people read “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” by Jeff Sutherland (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”)
You need to create an environment that sets people up for success.
James recommends using SweetProcess (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”)
Phoebe films videos for her virtual assistant, to show her the exact process she uses for specific tasks. Using process maps and screenshots can be helpful.
Tip #6: Don’t trust them
Show the people that you hire that you trust them. Remember, “Innocent until proven guilty.” James advises that employers don’t go into an arrangement with scepticism, as that just doesn’t help.
Tip #7: Don’t pay them
Pay weekly, and have them send you a reminder. Remitly is a great resource for paying assistants in the Philippines. Toggl and Time Doctor will help them measure and keep track of their own time (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
For project work, if using Upwork, you can set up a contract with milestones. There is also an option to pay a bonus to the person if the job is completed ahead of schedule.
RECAP (What You Should Actually Do):
Know that other people can do it as well as you can.
Even if you’ve had a bad outsourcing experience, or know someone that has, give it another go.
Take your time when hiring and have a process set up to choose the right person.
Make sure you have a few people that can do a specific task each, as opposed to getting one person to do it all.
Train your people, and provide good processes.
Pay your people!
In this episode, James shares with Phoebe and listeners how he shifted his mindset to generate over $1 million in annual sales! The massive breakthroughs he discusses include creating the capacity to think bigger, learning to redefine your relationship with criticism, and the importance of working smarter - not harder, or longer!
2014 was the first year that James generated 7-figures in total annual sales. He had a goal to do this by the age of 30, and achieved the goal 4 days after this birthday.
He started his business 6 years prior, and his revenue was doubling every year up until that point (starting at about $20,000 per year).
In September 2013, he achieved $50,000 that month, for the first time, and says he literally felt “unstoppable”. His goal for 2015 is $2.5 million.
“It’s baby steps; you’ve got to get here before you can get there. What got you here, won’t get you there.”
Three Massive Breakthroughs To Get To The Next Level
1) Creating The Capacity To Think Bigger
It’s not just about thinking bigger; it’s about creating the space to think bigger.
James gives the analogy of a potted plant. The very thing that helped it grow, the pot that holds the soil, will eventually be the thing that limit’s its growth. With this analogy, the pot is your brain, and way of thinking. If you want the “tree” to grow, it’s not about watering it more or putting it in the sun more. It’s about getting a big pot, giving it the room to expand.
“I have fear of complacency. I’ve always had that”
He recommends listeners read the book “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz.
James explains that people have limiting beliefs, and often don’t know that they are there.
“The same thing that got you to where you are could be the very thing that’s limiting you from that next step.”
2) Redefining Your Relationship With Criticism
It’s important to spend time with friends that support you, and get rid of those that don’t support you.
Criticism from random strangers can sting, but James realized if he wanted to think bigger and expand, he couldn’t allow the fear of criticism and judgment from others to stop him.
Identifying the fear is the first step to stopping it. Realize that if you’re putting yourself out there, it’s inevitable that people will try to put you down. However, it’s also a great signal that you’re on the right track.
Anybody that criticizes others, it’s about their own “stuff” that they have going on. People that are happy, successful and fulfilled aren’t criticizing others and wasting their time.
It’s a skill to be able to tell the difference between hate and constructive feedback.
3) To Increase Revenue, It’s Not About Working Harder, Longer or Faster
James recommends entrepreneurs outsource, to the right people. To do so, stop focusing on the $10 -$100 per hour tasks and focus on the $1,000 - $10,000 per hour ones. In his case, he switched his focus to strategy, being on camera, being the brand and anything to do with selling.
An exercise that he challenges listeners to do is to write down your goals (for example, revenue), then ask yourself what number it would be for your friends and family, to think you’re “absolutely crazy.” This exercise will help expand your limits and help identify your own limiting beliefs.
James has wanted to start a podcast for years now, but didn’t do it because he thought he needed to reach a certain level of success in his business first. He sees the podcast as a milestone in his journey.
For the past 7 years, his business has primarily focused on teaching others about his one of his biggest passions, online video. This podcast won’t be talking about that subject, which he reserves for YouTube.
2014 was the first year that his business hit 7-figures, in the process tripling his revenue from 2013.
James was beginning to question the way we glorify hard work. He wondered how trying to work harder than you did the previous day was sustainable, especially if you are a lifestyle entrepreneur working online.
“This whole thing on hard work, I think people like hearing it. It justifies what they are already doing, which is working harder and working longer.”
If you’ve never done something before, like build a 6 or 7-figure business, how are you suppose to know how to do it? It takes stepping into a whole new way of being, thinking and behaving to get what you want.
James shares that if you want to make a million dollars, you act like a millionaire that already has the mindset of what it takes.
He says he is coming out of what he calls “the spiritual closet” for the first time ever. He typically talks about “left brain stuff”, such as what cameras to use when filming, how to do conversion rates and opt-ins, sales funnels, etc.
James meditates daily and visualizes everything in his life and business. He is a strong believer of using The Law of Attraction to manifest things, and he uses his intuition for practically every decision he makes.
Phoebe started studying and applying The Law of Attraction in the last year and she used visualization during her latest product launch.
“When you’re on track to do the things that you’re meant to do, it should be easy, it should be light and it should be effortless” (James)
He stresses that spirituality doesn’t replace religion. It’s about having understanding, and applying, what people consider “universal laws.”
The first few years of his business were filled with frustration, anger and impatience.
“Stress is the entrepreneur’s word for fear”
Through his inner work, and by working with a healer, he achieved a feeling of confidence and trust, while learning to use his intuition. James shares his story about how he was able to attend a Tony Robbins event years ago using these principles, when he couldn’t afford to buy the ticket.
The goal of the podcast is to share the application of a blend of spirituality, or manifesting, with effective business principles and strategies.