The 10x Business Isn’t Working 10x as Hard

People earning $1,000,000 per year aren’t working 10 times harder than people earning $100,000. In fact, they are sometimes working less — but they are working differently. – The 12 Week Year

Which one are you?

Which one do you want to be?

Those earning 10x you are planning their weeks. They measure their lead and lag indicators. They’re budgeting.

Those people that have the relationship you want are dating their spouse regularly. They’re having the tough conversations. They’re getting professional help when it’s needed.

If you’re not doing these things, then you’re getting exactly what you’re putting in. Don’t expect to get more.

Start planning your week. Start saying no to tasks that aren’t critically important to you.

Start measuring your lead and lag indicators, especially when they are not going the way you want.

Stop fooling yourself into thinking that mediocre efforts will yield exponential results.

Have an awesome day

Curtis

PS: If you’re ready to start doing the hard work, check out The 8 Week Business Bootcamp, or hit reply and let’s talk about coaching.

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You Have to Finish Something First

After Brendon Burchard’s first book didn’t do as well as he hoped, he started interviewing bestselling authors to see what made them bestselling authors. He describes his findings from these authors in High Performance Habits on page 199. The first point is the crucial one:

  1. Finish writing a good book. Until that’s done, nothing else matters.

If you want to start selling plugins, finish a plugin.

If you want to start selling themes, finish a theme.

If you want to become a podcast editor, finish editing a podcast. Have one yourself if you don’t have anyone that’s willing to be the first to take a chance.

Point two is also good:

  1. If you want a major publishing deal, get an agent. Or just self-publish.

Note the second sentence. Don’t wait for permission. It’s not coming. Finish your thing and start telling people about it.

Tell people about it as you do it.

If you’re not going to finish something, stop wasting everyone’s time telling them about it.

If time for that thing isn’t on your calendar, you’re not going to finish it. If that time on your calendar isn’t sacred and can’t be moved. You’re not going to finish it.

Stop fooling yourself.

If you are going to finish it, put it on your calendar and don’t let anyone move that time. Stick to it and make forward progress.

Have an awesome day

Curtis

PS: If you’re looking at time blocking, we talk about building your idea week in The 8 Week Business BootCamp. Get your time on track.

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Do you view opportunities as a child or as an adult?

Children expect opportunities to be handed to them; maturity is understanding you have to go out and make them. – Perennial Seller

I’ve said before that if you’re struggling with contractors it’s probably your fault. That good consultants take control. To stop trying to blame your screw up on something the client did.

I’ve told you all of this because you’re not a child. You’re an adult if you want to do business for yourself and you need to act like one.

Clients don’t fall into your lap; you are in the business of sales.

If you’re not getting clients, then you need to do something about that. If you’re not getting leads, then your marketing isn’t speaking to your prospects.

To run a great business, you need to take control. You need to own your results. You need to not focus on some nebulous ‘future’ in which clients treat you well. You need to focus on the actions you’re taking now that will get you to that future.

What are you going to do this week to bring in more clients? What are you going to do this week to raise your profile?

Who are you going to reach out to, to see if they have overflow work that suits you?

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: I did write a book about finding your niche and marketing to it. Check that out as a starting point.

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When You Stop Trying, Progress Plummets to 0

Any endeavour worth doing is hard. What looks effortless from the outside is the result of thousands of hours of previous practice.

I can write 3000 words in 90 minutes because I have published more than 200k words in the last 12 months.

I’ve published something like that every year for five years. It’s only effortless now because I’ve spent years with writing not being effortless.

Staying on the treadmill is one thing, and I do think it’s related to staying true to our commitments even when we’re not comfortable. But getting back on the treadmill the next day, eager to try again, is in my view even more reflective of grit. Because when you don’t come back the next day — when you permanently turn your back on a commitment — your effort plummets to zero. As a consequence, your skills stop improving, and at the same time, you stop producing anything with whatever skills you have. – Grit

Some “failures”

A few years ago I released a product called “Hope is Not a Strategy”. I still think that the content was great. I think that it would have helped lots of people run a better business.

But no one bought it.

So I got back on the treadmill and released Effective Client Email, then Writing Proposals that Win Work, and then Finding and Marketing To Your Niche.

All of those had modest success, but none of them have come close to replacing any part of my income. They’re simply some nice side income.

And yet, despite all of these products that either didn’t sell at all or weren’t wildly successful, I get back on the horse.

I’m writing this on Oct 30 at 0730 in the morning. At 0900, my 8 Week Business BootCamp goes on sale. I have no idea if it will be a huge success or not1.

I’ve even run it for a year as a coaching-only program. I know that it works. I know that people have transformed their business with it in 8 weeks.

Yet, it may not sell at all.

And that’s fine. I’d love it to sell a bunch and to cover a number of months of income, but it may not.

And I’ll still keep releasing products. In fact, there should be two more products in 2017 alone.

What Treadmill are you on?

What are you trying? What are you going to try and try again? What are you going to practice so that you can become an expert?

What is going to be your focus?

What are you going to do to ensure that you don’t just get better by meandering your way through the work, but that you have intentional practice built into the work of creation?

If you have no idea what you’re practising, it’s time to start figuring it out.

It takes years of practice to become an expert at anything. If you’re continually waffling around between things, you’ll never be the expert you want to be.

As Angela Duckworth said in the quote above:

when you permanently turn your back on a commitment — your effort plummets to zero.

Stop dipping into something and then abandoning it when you don’t see instant success.

Start sticking with things.

So you can become the master you want to be.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: I wrote a book about what it takes to Become a Master in Your Field, and you can get it on Amazon

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  1. Update: It was more successful than many of the other products. I’m not retiring or anything, but I’m happy. 

Consistent NOT Rigid

There is a difference between consistency and rigidity.

Consistency is sticking with your schedule for optimal work. It’s only taking calls one day a week so that you can get stuff done.

Rigidity is not watching one of the kids for an hour while your spouse takes the others to the doctor because “it’s my time to relax”.

Rigidity is not working with a client in a different time zone. Taking a call an hour early or late so that they aren’t up at 2 am.

Consistency will help you build a great business.

Rigidity will help you scare off customers. It will help you injure your relationships.

Go for Consistency not rigidity.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you need some help building a consistent business that leaves time for your relationships, let’s talk about what you’re struggling with right now.

photo credit: curtismchale cc

If you don’t have these 3 hours, your business is broken

Your business is broken if you don’t have at least 3 hours a week set aside for personal improvement.

That’s reading books about business or learning some new design technique or some new code.

If you tell me that at some point in the future you’ll have the time.

You’re lying.

The best predictor of what you’re going to do in the future is what you’re doing now.

Raise your rates a bit if you need to so you can get that 3 hours. Start turning projects around faster so they’re more profitable.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you need help finding that time or figuring out what to use it for, book a free strategy call

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Only Read This if You’re Ready to Take Action

Money is the most perfect expression of your creativity. If your bank account is low, it’s a reminder that it’s time to get even more creative. – The Prosperous Coach

This idea goes well with Profit First which says that if you can’t afford an expense out of your business expense funds, it’s your business screaming that you spend too much.

If things aren’t going as you hoped, get creative.

Reach out to more people.

Get in front of those you want to serve.

Or, stick with the status quo of a mostly empty bank account. But if that’s an option for you, please unsubscribe. You’re wasting your time reading my emails.

These are for people that are going to take action.

Have an awesome day

Curtis

PS: If you’re ready to take action book a FREE strategy session.

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It’s time to have an opinion

There is an interesting study that looked at how effective managers are. If you were rated as having no distinguishing strengths you were in the thirty-fourth percentile of effectiveness.

If you had just one distinguishing strength, you jumped to the sixty-fourth percentile.

That’s the difference between the bland generalist, who is good at everything and a specialist who picks out their niche.

You need to have one distinguishing strength if you want to stand out from the crowd. You need to have an opinion.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: Don’t miss a day, subscribe to make sure you get a daily dose of advice to build the business you dreamed of.

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What is commander’s intent, and why does your team need it?

In July 2015 I was in Mexico, working with a team building a house for a local church leader. This is not the ‘nice’ part of Mexico where there are big hotels with slides and pools. This is the part of Mexico where they pick the fruit you eat out of a can. This is the part of Mexico where walking left down the street instead of right will get you mugged at gunpoint. The part where at night seeing a truck carrying a bunch of men with guns is a real possibility.

The sweet pastor that we were building for was very concerned about the building supplies we had to leave out at night. Concerned enough that this 60-year-old lady was going to sleep in her car next to the building supplies to make sure they didn’t get stolen. My friend and I couldn’t bear that thought, so we went out and slept in the team van next to the building supplies.

One comment was made as we went to sleep that really stuck out to me.

Our ultimate goal is to make it home to see our kids, right?

That lone sentence — and its affirmation — uttered into the night set the tone. If that truck with men shows up to steal the lumber and our presence getting out of the van doesn’t stop them, we help them load the wood and then offer them the keys to the van. We both knew that less than $800 in lumber was something we could replace with cash the next day if it came to it, and that our lives were not.

We knew what the ultimate goal was.

Commanders Intent

In Episode 206 of the Art of Manliness Podcast we get the treat of talking to Jocko Willink about what it means to be a leader in all circumstances. He tells us a great story about understanding the commander’s ‘intent’ and how knowing the intent is crucial to executing plans.

Imagine your instructions are to storm a building, clear it of hostiles, then go secure the roof to make sure that it’s all safe. You storm the building and then head up to the roof. But, you have no cover. You’re fully exposed to any of the baddies that may be lurking around. But you follow orders and put your team in danger.

Now imagine the same scenario, but add the intent of the commander. You are told to set up on the roof so you can watch the north road to ensure that no one comes in on it. Knowing this and then seeing the roof with zero cover, you can make the decision to head down one floor to a room with the windows facing north. From this room you can watch the road (achieve the intent of the order) and keep your team out of obvious sight from everyone in the area.

How much freedom do you give your team?

On every project you have going you have some final intent. You’re generating content to build leads. You’re building a new site for a client to increase sales.

There is always an end reason for an action, but how often do you let your team know what the end goal is? How often do you let them know what their role is in the wider picture of the project? If you don’t work on a team, have you and your client made it clear what the final intent of the project is, and how each phase fits in, as well as the intent of that phase?

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy. – Helmuth von Moltke

Every project you work on is going to have problems. Something won’t go as planned and you’ll have to adapt. If you’ve nailed down your commander’s intent, then you can make a decision on how you proceed, given the new issues, to achieve the desired outcomes.

Far too many business owners keep their teams in the dark about projects, expecting their teams to just follow orders. Far too many business owners aren’t even clear on the final intent of the project at hand.

And then when things don’t go as planned they wonder why the project failed. It failed because they were never clear on the final intent of the project. They couldn’t adapt their plan in the midst of difficulty to deal with the new constraints. So they made guesses about what the project should be, and in the end the project was a failure.

Develop a habit of writing down the final intent of every project. Write down the intent of each phase of a project and how it fits into the overall intent. Then give your team freedom to make changes to the plan as long as they achieve the desired outcome.

Once you start doing this, you’re going to have more successful projects, with less management required, and more profit.

Sounds like the intent of any business. One might even call it the commander’s intent.

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What is the ‘ideal life’ anyway?

Do you know what your ‘ideal life’ is? The life that would leave you fulfilled daily because you’re working on awesome stuff?

Note I said working? Some of you may have been thinking of lounging on a beach, drink in hand and not a care in the world. I hate to break it to you, but that’s not an ideal life — that’s a fantasy land that will leave you unfulfilled.

How I will be

Meet future Curtis. Not only is he good looking (wait — he is already), he’s smart (check), has a beautiful wife (check) and kids who always listen and never fight (okay, that’s a fantasy).

He gets to spend a few days a week in the mountains. He travels to awesome spots around North America and gets to experience the beauty around him. He participates daily in the homeschooling of his kids.

Yes, he works — mostly writing, but he really only needs an Internet connection two days a week to catch up on email and to take some coaching calls with his clients.

He travels to speak, but takes his family with him most of the time because he hates it when he’s away from them.

Most of his money comes from a business model that is one-to-many. So that’s books, courses, a few plugins. Things he builds once and then many people can benefit from.

He actually does web development still but he’s super picky and charges much more than he currently does. That means he only does web development a couple weeks every quarter.

He does still dig into development of things he finds interesting, but as he wants, and usually for personal projects.

How will you be?

That’s my story of where I will be. What’s your story? If you’re not sure ask yourself:

If I didn’t need money what would I do with my time?

As I said above, I’d spend more time in the mountains (or in the great outdoors) and I’d still help people because I simply can’t stop myself. I want to see people succeed.

There is a problem with that question of how you’d spend your time, even though it’s a good starting point. Money isn’t really a predictor of happiness and an awesome life.

If only I looked that way, if only I had more money, if only I got that job…but since I can’t get that, oh well, it wasn’t meant to be, and I’ll just stay stuck in this lousy place. – Shift for Good (Amazon.ca)

Asking that question gets us too focused on money, and implies wealth being a place of happiness. But happiness is a choice, in large part. Just like being busy is not a sign of success. You can be happy with no money to your name, happy barely making it, and happy with lots of money.

You can also be unhappy in all those states of your financial journey.

Another question to ask yourself is:  What tasks do you currently do that leave you more energized? I know that when I talk to people about how to run their businesses better and help them take steps to earn more without simply adding hours to the day, I get breathless.

Yes, I literally talk so fast and pace so much that I have to stop to take a deep breath as we talk.

Knowing that I get so energized by that I want to do more of it.

Finally do you know what your purpose is? Do you know why you’re around on this earth?

Mine is:

To help people run an awesome business so they can live the life they want to live

Knowing that allows me to make decisions about what I’m going to do.

If you haven’t figured out what your purpose is then get my free PDF with 10 questions to ask yourself to find your purpose.

The rest of this month I’m going to talk more about how to get to this ideal life in your business.

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