In another episode featuring the “Listener Question of the Week”, James and Phoebe dive deeper on the topic of finding the time to build your business when you have outside commitments and variables to consider.
When James feels himself getting overwhelmed, he stops working. This can be seen as being counterintuitive to what most people do.
When time isn’t in your control, or you believe that you have a lack of it, you will feel a lack of power.
“When we’re holding on to something that continues to make us feel powerless, there’s an opportunity for us to feel powerful”
James believes strongly in the phrase, “As within, so without”; meaning the external world is really just a mirror reflecting our inner world (thoughts, feelings and emotions).
If you recognize that something keeps showing up in your life, you are provided the opportunity to address something internally.
The more you believe that you don’t have control over your time, the more it will become so.
It’s important to remember that you chose to make your commitments (such as getting married, having children, etc.), and the most powerful thing you can do is to simply chose them again, and not resist the experiences. Resisting the experiences that we consider external variables will cause them to become bigger issues.
“The way to get empowered, is to chose it”
When you’re in a moment when you feel like you’re resisting a situation, such as being stuck in traffic, try saying, “I choose to be stuck in traffic; I accept that I am stuck in traffic.” This exercise can powerfully put you into the present moment.
In your acceptance of the present moment, you will feel that you can get your power back, with a possibility to create a future where you get what you truly want, with resources you have.
In the final installment of “The Time Chronicles” series, James and Phoebe discuss how you can take leveraged action so you can make more impact in your business, with less effort.
Leverage can be defined as “to use something to its maximum advantage.” James says using leverage will allow you to put just one thing on your “to-do” list, and have it get you multiple results with no additional time or work required.
“Do it once; use it again”
He used a lot of hacks in college to make the experience easier for him. He gives an example of doing a business profile on Walmart for a business course, and reusing most of the content for papers in courses the following year.
“I just started realizing over time that most people don’t do things like that”
Three examples of how James uses leverage in his business:
1) “The Outsourcing Mini-Course”
James needed a video edited and hired a video editor overseas to complete the job, adding music and animation. In order to make it a leveraged activity, he recorded the entire process, including the Skype call with the editor.
The recordings became a course on its own, as well as becoming content within his membership community. He also started offering the mini-course as a bonus to any launch he and his team did, giving the original activity multiple uses and providing many benefits to him and his clients.
2) “The Launch Lab”
James was doing a promotion as an affiliate for Marie Forleo’s B-School, and decided to offer a live, 3-day workshop, as a bonus.
This generated extra revenue, as the bonus for someone else’s program, and resulted in him getting new coaching clients from the people that attended the event. He then recorded the event and turned it into an online course, “The Launch Lab.” The course then became another bonus that he has used, as well as becoming the framework for his newest program.
3) Video case studies
Video case studies of Inner Circle Mastermind members highlighted their success stories, and became content for other members of the group. These videos will remain in the vault for use by future members, and were used to create PDF content for James’ membership site, Reel Marketing Insider. By adding the videos to the membership site, the Inner Circle Mastermind is indirectly being promoted as it’s introducing more people to it, and the case studies give others something to aspire towards.
Four ways to have leveraged thinking:
1) Leveraged content – Podcasts, videos, screen captures and more can be reused or repackaged. As an example, James is turning a powerful excerpt from a previous podcast into a video, with animation, and pushing it out on Facebook and other platforms in order to promote the podcast. He and Phoebe also created a podcast equipment guide and provided it to members of the membership community who would be interested in started their own show.
2) Leveraged training – You can use process maps, standard operating procedures and instruction manuals to train new team members, both locally and virtually. It takes time upfront to do this, but saves you in the long run by making the onboarding process for new employees much easier.
3) Leveraged promotions – If a previous promotion already worked once, you don’t need to “reinvent the wheel” and create something that is brand new. James’ program “48 Hour Film School” used much of the same content for both launches, but generated about $600,000 in sales.
4) Leveraged assets – What are the things that you own or rent that could be used in multiple ways? James’ office is one example and is used for work by the team, as well as meetings with clients and as an event space. It also houses their film studio, and can be rented out and used by other entrepreneurs.
In this latest “Question of the Week” episode, James and Phoebe show you how you can find the sweet spot between doing what you love, doing what you’re good at, and doing what makes you money. How do you validate your idea? It’s all here!
Doing what you love
To James, doing something that you love, for money, is an affirmation that you’re doing something right. As Phoebe notes, you can have different loves at different times in your life though.
James got his start online selling a “How to Bartend” course. He loves sales and marketing, but actually doesn’t enjoy bartending, which he use to do.
“That was my way out; to become the teacher of it”
He says if you don’t have a passion for business or marketing itself, you’re going to struggle with everything in an online business.
People often don’t talk about the “downsides” to being an entrepreneur, like working non-traditional hours and not having income certainty.
The mind of an entrepreneur immediately goes to “what’s possible?” In a “traditional” job, the entrepreneurial-minded person would become bored and would not like having his or her revenue capped.
Phoebe believes that your business can do one of two things. It can be your passion, or it can fund your passion.
“I love having a passion fund a passion. That’s an ideal situation.”
Doing what you’re good at
There are a lot of things that you don’t know that you’re good at, because you’ve never done them before. By diving into entrepreneurship, James feels that you get to discover all these things that you may have not known you are good at.
For him, he was able to discover that he is an effective teacher, with the skills and ability to get a message across to people in a way that they understand.
Phoebe was an education major in college, but had no idea that she was good at selling and getting people onboard with her vision. Once she figured this out, she immediately changed her major to business and marketing.
James adds that if you’re good at sales, you’re going to make money.
Phoebe polled her friends in business and asked them what they thought were the five things she’s good at.
Starting out, James helped someone at a conference with uploading a video to YouTube. Her positive reaction and gratitude allowed him to learn what he is good at.
“For me, it was the opportunity to discover how much I take for granted what I know”
Doing what makes you money
A business exists to make money and to generate a profit. This happens when the business solves a problem. For this reason, you need to figure out where the problem is and if you’re good at solving it, someone will pay for the product or service.
The biggest problems to solve right now for people are related to time and money.
People will try to overcomplicate things, but it really just takes modifying what’s already working. While in college, James paid $800 for a two-week bartending course. This gave him the idea to make a cheaper, digital version.
“I don’t validate an idea and then try to make it profitable. I try to make the idea profitable, which inherently validates it.”
Phoebe did something similar with a course on Canva, building it as she went along. She says this was a stress-free way to launch a product and validate an idea.
In the third installment of “The Time Chronicles” series, James and Phoebe give 11 strategies that you can implement in your business in order to be more effective, and get your time back.
James believes that often, doing work creates more work, and people will try to combat busyness by doing more. The goal of this series isn’t to give you more time so that you can get more done.
“Let’s just focus on results. It should be results-oriented work.”
You need to define what results you are looking for, and achieve them with the least amount of effort or output possible.
11 strategies to help get your time back
1) Spend more time playing, planning and daydreaming
Abraham-Hicks has a quote that says, “Leverage your time by spending a little more time every day imagining and a lot less time every day doing; just imagine yourself into the success and watch what happens. Imagine a little more, and act a little less…”
Phoebe says you need to ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” and James reminds people that leaders need to take more time to do what they enjoy, guilt-free, to recharge themselves and inspire creativity.
2) Get really clear on your “one thing” and do that first
In Gary Keller’s book, “The ONE Thing” (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”) he asks, “What’s the one thing you can do to make everything else easier or unnecessary? Do that thing first in your day.
Trying this strategy for even just one week, and you’ll see positive results. Practicing doing this will help you develop your priorities, until you’re really clear on what you want.
3) Get your team clear on their “one thing.”
It’s important to get everyone approaching business from the same vantage point!
4) Drop everything that isn’t important
James notes that saying “No” to things is really one of the secrets to getting more time.
5) Let go by outsourcing and delegating
A previous episode of the podcast focused on how to (and not to) outsource (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”). For an entrepreneur, it’s important to remember that almost everything in your business can be done by someone else, and there’s no need for the business owner to be doing task that could be outsourced for $10/hour (or less).
6) Remember “Parkinson’s Law”
Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
Phoebe allows herself time off to do the things that she enjoys, and that aren’t business-related. She even blocks off this time in her calendar to do this each week.
7) Master communication
James shares a quote he heard to summarize communication, or lack of, between leaders and their teams:
“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you don’t blame the flower, you blame the environment in which it grows”
The environment plays a vital role in the behavior and performance of your team, and as the business owner, you alone are responsible for creating the environment.
Using a customized version of the “Scrum Method” by Jeff Sutherland (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”), James has created an environment whereby communication is paramount.
8) Create better systems
The last episode of the podcast discussed systems, and James has implemented project management software, password protection/sharing tools and file sharing programs to make day-to-day operations as efficient as possible for all team members (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
9) Set clear deadlines
To realize what you are working towards, you need to ask “Who, What, Where and When” in relation to the project.
Phoebe adds that so many deadlines get missed because no one is taking responsibility for certain tasks getting done.
10) Prioritize and create a “minimum viable project”
To do this, you need to look at every single thing on your to-do list and ask yourself if you really need to do it. You then can get clear on the things that are the very minimum needed to get the results that you’re after.
In a recent promotion, James’ team directed potential customers direct to a sales cart, without setting up a sales page, and achieved strong results.
11) Use leverage
Leverage is about doing one thing, and figuring out how that one thing can be used in multiple ways. For example, you could record a podcast and then use it in a future blog post, or as a bonus for a course.
“There’s all these different ways that you can leverage one piece of content”
In the near future, there will be an episode dedicated specifically to the topic of leverage!
In this latest “Question of the Week” episode, James and Phoebe address the topic of systems in your business. Want to learn how to manage your time and your team? If so, this is an episode you’re not going to want to miss!
If your tendency is to improvise in your business, no amount of systems will really help, as there is a bigger problem. Phoebe notes that you can improvise a little within the system though, and the system is just giving you the direction.
James adds that running a business takes some discipline, and the larger your team gets, the more that discipline becomes a necessity.
In Gary Keller’s “The One Thing” (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”), he advises that you start asking the little questions that put structure in your day. James likes to identify one to three things for the upcoming week that he needs to accomplish in order to get him and the team closer to the results that they’re looking for.
People can’t read your mind, which can set your employees up for failure.
“It’s a game of how we become more efficient and how we become a more well-oiled team”
James’ team uses dapulse (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”), a tool for managing projects. Within this tool, there is a color-coded weekly task board where the tasks are identified, assigned with a due date and given a status. Using this, by the end of day Sunday, he is clear on what the upcoming workweek is suppose to look like to advance the business.
They have a team meeting every second week, which is important since James can explain why he’s making the decisions he’s making.
“What’s the vision, where are we headed and what are we up to?”
The team exchanges emails every Friday, in which each member tells the others about his or her biggest wins, high and low points, and more, along with a random question to help with team building.
There is a distinct difference between running the day-to-day operations of a business versus creating something new, like a launch or promotion. When creating something new, the team uses Jeff Sutherland’s “Scrum Method” (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
James has the team run in “sprints” and focus 100% on a project, with a specific start and end date. During this time, they get on a call at the same time every day to have a meeting, and each team member answers what they did yesterday, what’s getting in their way and what they are doing that day. Knowing what is getting in the way for each person is the most important question, as it will give an indication of how communication and efficiency can be improved.
James always looks to see if a process can be automated, as the more you can remove the human element, the less likely there will be errors. For example, they use SamCart, which links to InfusionSoft and automatically applies a tag if a payment is rejected. With this tag, Infusionsoft then automatically removes the customer from the members’ area, until payment is received. Automatic emails from both programs also save the team time and energy in the process.
Using a plugin that integrates with Infusionsoft, SendOutCards is another tool that provides automation. When a sale is made, the customer can automatically be sent a “thank you” card. Phoebe believes that extra touches like this are often missing, especially in online business (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
There are a number of screen capture tutorials that can take the guesswork, and skill required, out of the equation of training new employees (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
In the second part of “The Time Chronicles”, James and Phoebe discuss the limiting beliefs that are eating away at your time and give you practical advice while showing how you can stop time!
James says we have more power and control over time than we might think. He talks about an experience he had in which he was able to catch a flight he was going to be late for, and the circumstances that led to this happening.
When we approach issues such as being late using The Law of Attraction, you will get what you expect.
Gay Hendricks says when we switch from “Newtonian Time” to “Einstein Time” (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”), you can realize the power and ability to create what you need to and stop becoming a victim to time.
James notes that to do this, you need to consider that you are the actual source of time.
“Realize we are the source of all those stories (about time). We’re the ones creating that relationship with time.”
When you resist a moment, such as being stuck in traffic, it actually will seem to go much slower.
“The best way to accept it is to acknowledge that you choose that moment in time. Really get present to where you’re at.”
We can affect our experience on time, based on our ability to accept or resist our current situation, and time doesn’t have to be a barrier we face.
Limiting beliefs that are eating away at your time
1) More time equals more money
Working more to make more money can be a very dangerous concept for an entrepreneur or business owner, as there are only so many hours in a day. When this is someone’s way of thinking, his or her default action becomes to work longer.
“If you want to make more money, it’s not about time. It’s about solving bigger problems and reaching more people.”
2) You have to be doing it all
A lot of people online have a guilty need to be on every social media platform, all day long. They have a fear that they will be missing out if they’re not somewhere, and their business will die.
“When you’re trying to do it all, you’re probably not doing any of them very well”
James focused on YouTube first, which he spent years mastering, and he used other platforms to promote his channel.
3) I can’t afford to outsource/No one can do it all well as I can/It’s quicker if I just do it myself
Phoebe reminds people that you can’t afford not to outsource, and if you give others the opportunity to do the work they might actually do it better than you would have.
James adds that in a true business, everything is able to be replicated using systems, and can be done by others.
It may take a bit of time to train someone else in the beginning, but by looking long-term you’ll realize that you’re building something bigger, and not just focusing on the assignment in front of you.
4) It has to be perfect the first time
Trying to be a perfectionist will really eat at your time and you’ll delay launching your course, program etc. James adds that the actual feedback and experiences your customers and users will have will allow you make improvements.
“Get really good at prioritizing and not trying to be perfect”
5) My email is my “to-do” list
This way of thinking causes you to be reactive in your business as it lets your email dictate your day. Phoebe uses Boomerang to help her prioritize her emails (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
James says that you can’t develop good habits if you still have a poor relationship with time. We can’t do everything, and we’ve got to choose to do the things that we really want to do. It’s a continual practice, and in the next episode, you’ll learn how to get your time back with specific strategies, tactics and practices.
In this “Question of the Week” episode, James and Phoebe explain how you will know when your idea, project or business has wings to fly, or it’s time to call it quits.
James reminds people that you don’t “have” to do anything, and the beauty of the Universe is that it’s there to help and guide you. The Universe is never going to tell you to stop chasing what you desire.
“When you have a desire that comes from within, I believe it is a possible reality in your future”
The key is not to approach it from a place of uncertainty or worry. Step back and get really clear on what you want.
Many people will say that they don’t know what they want. The easiest way to determine this is to ask, “What is the essence of what I want?”
The Universe will give you the most direct path to getting what you want, and it’s actually you doing the stopping.
“What it takes from you is an absolute feeling, knowing, being and resonating of trust; of knowing and expecting beyond believing.”
It’s important not to wait until everything is perfect. If you’re denying yourself that feeling and experience now, you’re also denying that thing you believe is going to be given to you.
People tend to get too attached to how something is supposed to show up. Phoebe had a breakdown around a move to San Diego, when it didn’t turn out the way she thought that it would. When she decided to move to San Francisco, she immediately knew that was where she was really supposed to be.
You need to ask yourself if you truly feel that you’re worthy of receiving what you desire.
“The Universe is saying if you ask, it is given”
James notes that we’re taught all of our lives to be employees and to “fall in line” while following directions from others. He says that we need to unlearn 90% of what we were taught in the public education system.
In 2007, he realized he could create an online business and launched his first course. He didn’t know what his desire was, but he did know he wanted to run his own business while building something from his computer.
For some time, his revenue from the course was stuck at a certain level and he then started to created videos for other people. This “leapfrogging” then led him to teaching how to use video online.
“Whatever you’re doing right now could just be one step that leads to the next thing”
If you don’t feel worthy enough, you need to replace that feeling with a more empowering belief.
“If you have a beating heart, if you have a pulse, you are worthy”
When you see someone that has achieved success, thank that person as he or she helps show you what’s possible.
Once you know what you want and have absolute trust that you can get what you desire, the goal is to just step into it fully.
“You will not know until you do it and if you’re going to do it, you might as well go all in”
Phoebe concludes by reminding others that once you make a decision, you need to get really excited about it!
In the first episode of a brand new series called “The Time Chronicles”, James and Phoebe take a look at time at your relationship with time to show you how to be more productive and effective at work.
James shares that our relationship with time is the biggest thing that’s affecting us as business owners and entrepreneurs.
On Amazon.com, there is even a “time management” category with 4,068 titles dedicated to this subject.
A recent study shows that the average person gets an interruption every 8 minutes, or about 50 to 60 in one day. The average interruption can take up to 5 minutes, which totals four hours, or 50% of the average workday. Most of these interruptions are typically labelled as “little to no value.”
“Until we address the actual problem, we’re just left with a lot of really cool tips and tricks, but never get to the source of it”
James says that it’s possible for us to change our relationship with time, and he believes that we’re all meant to live a happy and extraordinary life.
“You are worth of that, you are deserving of that, and you can have that”
It’s not time, or lack of it, that’s keeping us from getting the things that you want. It’s your relationship, or story with time, that’s doing this.
“Whatever is going on outside could be an indicator for whatever is going on inside”
The stories we have around time show a lack of power, personal responsibility and ownership.
“I believe what this comes down to is a lack of self-worth and value”
It’s important to note that when time and energy is used up, you don’t get it back. Money can be spent, but made back again. However, most people link time to money.
Phoebe adds that many entrepreneurs starting out in business think that the only two things they have control over are their time and money.
James thinks this is ingrained in our thinking at a very early age. There’s a pull for entrepreneurs to add more time, to justify the money they receive.
Usually when you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, rushed or anxious, your relationship with time isn’t serving you you’re thinking with a scarcity mindset, or not having enough time. This is because we tend to experience time as absolute and linear.
However, time is relative and James feels that there is a way to experience time differently.
“Is time this thing you have no control over, or is it just a big excuse that keeps you from actually reaching your goals?”
If you feel a sense of guilt when receiving money, one of two things is happening: you’re feeling that you’re not worth the money, or you’re perceiving a lack of abundance on the part of the other person that’s giving you the money.
Many people feel like the have to take on more clients, work harder, or put in more time in order to make more money. The key is to separate time and money.
“If we can start to separate these, then we may be able to take back and have a little more power with our relationship with time”
If you’re burnt out and exhausted, it’s more difficult to provide value to others.
If you want to make more money, you need to either solve bigger problems or reach more people, or both. The answer doesn’t involve spending more time. James notes that with the Internet, you can do both of these things with time being irrelevant.
Craig Ballantyne’s 5% rule says, “5% of your activities are the ones that yield 95% of your revenue and results”, and James reminds others:
“Your passion is fuelled with profit”
In the next instalments of “The Time Chronicles”, we explore:
Submit Your Question!
In this “Question of the Week” episode, James and Phoebe discuss how you can determine if people are trustworthy in today’s information age where everyone is the “guru.”
First of all, you need to always trust yourself and your intuition, which was explained in a previous episode of the podcast (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
Entrepreneurs that are growing and looking to become high-performers have to be coachable and open, as a lot are trapped and don’t see their “blind spots.” In order to get beyond them and have a breakthrough, a lot of trust is required when seeking help.
“You need to be willing to do what you’ve never done before”
Sometimes, who you trust is just a matter of trial and error. Phoebe always asks, “Whose shoes do I want to be in?” When she first started working with James, she saw where he was at in his business and trusted him that she could have that breakthrough she was looking for.
James advises that you look at how long a person has been in the marketplace.
“Time is the ultimate indicator”
A quick Google search and more research will help you find the answers you are looking for on the credibility of a person.
James has followed the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, who has a 30-year track record (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
“I listened, I looked; finally after my own investigation, I accepted it. It worked and I became a scientist to it.”
He doesn’t take it lightly that people trust him.
“I really do acknowledge everybody for doing that. For taking action on it, I thank you guys”
Despite your best efforts, there’s no guarantee as to who you can trust, as there will always be “scam artists.”
“The beautiful thing is there is a lesson in everything, even if someone does mislead you”
On the question of who do you share details of your business with, he advises not to share the method, but to share the results.
“There is power in sharing”
You should share what you’re up to and what you’re excited about, as well as your goals. If the people you share with come back with doubts or criticisms, this is an indicator that you had doubt yourself.
“You actually activated the doubt that they are sharing back to you, because we’re just mirrors.”