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How to run your business while on vacation [PODCAST]


Marketing podcast, PreneurCast, is for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. Author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.

Pete Williams talks to Dom Goucher about keeping his business running while he’s on vacation, and they discuss Dom’s use of the podcast as a form of “Productivity Therapy.”

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Pete and Dom discuss running a business while on vacation

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Episode 004:
Holiday Preparation

Pete Williams:    I’m on the little heart-looking thing on the penis-looking device.

Dom Goucher:    I’m keeping that.

Pete:                   That’s going to be the start of the show, isn’t it?

Dom:                   Yep, that’s awesome. The really worrying thing is I know what you’re talking about.

Pete:                   That’s the Yeti microphone, if we keep this in for people playing along at home. The phallic-looking device, that is the Yeti from Blue, which is an awesome, awesome USB microphone that does look like a penis.

Dom:                   The pretty heart-shaped is the cardioid microphone pattern, which is correct for what you need it for.

Pete:                   You’ve lost it, haven’t you?

Dom:                   Almost, almost. There’s a brief blip there where I really did have to think carefully about what you were talking about. And then I was quite disappointed when I knew what it was.

Pete:                   Sorry, dude. We’ll talk about that later. So what are we talking about today, fine sir?

Dom:                   Well, I know you’re going away soon. You have more than a few businesses and business concerns running around. I just have the one — the video production/media production company that I run. But I’ve just been away to the UK for five days. I did that big thing that all the big internet marketers did last year. They all said, “I’m leaving my laptop behind. I’m running my business from my iPad. Okay, I’ll give that a go.”

And it went okay. Obviously, what I do is I’ve got big dependency on heavyweight gear to do the actual video production because I’m still heavily involved in it. So, I’m interested from your point of view. You’ve just been talking about this on a few emails and blog posts that you’ve done. You do a lot of the source material for the video production. Obviously, I pick up the backend. But I’m more interested in general about how you’re going to handle the fact that you’re going away. And you’re supposed to be properly on holiday, aren’t you? You’re not supposed to be kind of checking in every five minutes from your iPhone.

Pete:                   It depends. The conventional word of a holiday is yeah, I wouldn’t be doing that sort of stuff. But my beautiful fiancée Fleur whose 30th birthday it is that we’re celebrating in Bali, knows what I’m like. She knew exactly what she got into when she started dating me. So, I will be taking my laptop with me and I will be probably doing work poolside for maybe an hour and a half or so a day. Knowing me, that’s probably what I’ll be doing because that’s just who I am. I don’t find work ‘work’ as such. There are certainly tasks that I won’t to be doing while I’m away, which I consider the crappy side of having to run a business and do work.

But the stuff that I do enjoy — consuming information and communicating, I’ll still definitely be doing that. I haven’t made my mind up. We just recently moved all our email, which I think we’ve talked about in the last show, to Gmail. From a consumption and a communication perspective, I’ll be able to operate completely on the iPad or the iPhone which should be great. There would be certain things that I wouldn’t be able to do that I would normally do if I have a laptop with me. I haven’t made up my mind whether I’d take my laptop with me or not.

Every half hour, when I think about it, I kind of keep hopping back and forth because I don’t think I really need my laptop with me for what I’m going to need to do while I’m away. Although if I’m still going to be working on the book and write, which is what I really want to try to do every day — spend about an hour by the pool writing. Hopefully, the sea salt air will help me come up with some creative words. I’d rather do that on my laptop than the iPad. As much as you can type on an iPad, I just would find that a little bit annoying.

However, it might be a good excuse to go and drop 100 bucks on a wireless keyboard. I haven’t really had an excuse to do that before. And as much as I like cool and fancy tech, I’ve taught myself recently, or probably over the last couple of years actually, to be honest not to buy stuff for the sake of buying stuff. So, I need an excuse to buy a wireless keyboard and I think this could be a good excuse if I decide just to do that. I can type and write a Simplenote on the iPad. With the keyboard, I can still do that sort of stuff. That might be a way to get around not going away without my laptop to do that stuff. That’s my gut feeling right now. But if we keep talking, by the end of the podcast, I’m probably back on taking my laptop with me. I’ll do a show from overseas.

Dom:                   I would be interested from a tech point of view. Obviously, I’m as big a geek as you are, if not more. So from a tech point of view, I would be interested. I have to say, I didn’t even think twice. I bought the keyboard when I bought my iPad.

Pete:                   You see, it took me about nine months to get an iPad after they were released. I just couldn’t see it fit into my workflow the way my workflow was at the time. I thought it would be a really cool device to consume stuff on because it’s amazing for that — to watch video, check your Google Reader. That sort of consumption stuff, it’s amazing for that. That’s all I saw it for when it first hit the market. I thought, “I don’t need another consumption device. It’s just more noise. I won’t get it until I can see how it’s going to benefit my workflow and make me more efficient, then I’ll get it.” Any of the cool consumption stuff that comes along is the icing on top, so to speak.

After Ed Dale and Rob Somerville, two of our very close mutual friends have been playing with theirs about six or nine months, I went over to Rob’s house for dinner one night over pizzas and red wine and basically said, “I bought an iPad today. What do I do?” And for about three hours he just said, “Okay, this is what you do. This is the app to run this here. This is how it works with this workflow. This app does this. This is how you can do it.” I just basically leeched off his trials, tribulations and learnings.

Dom:                   That is the way to do that and those guys really are the masters of beating a device until it does… to make sure it’s going to work in their workflow.

Pete:                   They enjoy that.

Dom:                   Oh yeah, they do. They’re great for you. I did exactly what you did. I sat there. I looked to this iPad and all the brouhaha. Ed gets on a plane from Australia just to go and buy one in America and all that. Paul Colligan, meeting him in the street and blah-blah-blah. I’ve watched that. “Oh, that’s entertaining and it’s nice for you that you can do that.” And I watched it. I watched it all calm down and I watched these guys fit it into their workflow and show me why I needed one and how it would fit in because I was exactly the same as you.

It was like, “What a cool device. I don’t need one.” And I sat and I looked. The moment that I realized that it was going to benefit the workflow, that it was going to enhance and add value, I went and got one. I did see it, a little bit further forward, more than a consumption device so I’ve got the keyboard. I tell you, it makes such a difference.

Pete:                   See, I don’t write a lot on it, and it’s probably because I don’t have a keyboard and I always find it annoying. So, the only stuff that I do from a writing perspective, so to speak, at any length on the iPad is just working with OmniFocus and the occasional note-taking on Simplenote. But I don’t really sit there and write for hours and hours and hours. Whereas, if I had a keyboard, I probably would. So it might be a good excuse to get one for the plane and for Bali, and leave my laptop at home and see how I go. Fleur will probably freak out, but we’ll give it a shot.

Dom:                   That’s the thing. I’ve had to train myself in the past few years. I used to fly with everything. I used to take everything just in case. And when I say everything, I mean I had ridiculous amount of gear. The video gear alone used to exceed the carry-on weight on most domestic flights. My other half, Keavy, she’s a photographer as her big hobby and kind of semi-professional thing. Her camera gear used to exceed basic carry-on weight. We would check bags just to go to the UK, which was ridiculous. In the end, very few people believe me but my primary camera is a Kodak Zi8.

Pete:                   How do you find the audio on that? I’ve heard rumors that it has a very teeny audio.

Dom:                   Don’t start with the audio on the Zi8 just because you guys have got them on your Creative Vado’s

Pete:                   What’s better?

Dom:                   It comes down to this for me — it’s a $100 camera. It’s like bitching your domestic internal flight doesn’t have free drinks when it cost you $40. It’s like you’re in a chair in the sky for $40. Let it go. Both Rob Somerville, and again, another mutual friend Eugene Ware have both said to me there’s noise introduced on the signal path when you plug an external microphone into the Zi8. We’re getting really geeky here. But you and I, we both know if you can’t plug an external microphone in, it’s not worth buying the camera.

Pete:                   Agreed.

Dom:                   Okay. If something’s actually then degrading that quality of the audio, maybe it’s not that great. Personally, I had my Zi8 before anybody else had their Creative Vado’s and I’m pretty critical. Yes, there’s noise in the path. In the audio signal, there’s noise. Let me tell you, everybody else who now owns a Zi8 is going to go and listen for that noise because they didn’t notice it beforehand.

Pete:                   Yep.

Dom:                   You really wouldn’t notice it under normal conditions. It’s a run-and-gun camera. Yes, okay, you get two of them and set them up on a tripod. I defy most people with decent lighting to tell me that you didn’t use a $700 camera to shoot that footage. As I say, it’s my primary camera. It’s a $100 camera. I haven’t personally come across a piece of Vado footage yet that has better audio than my Zi8. Now, I don’t have a Vado and I’m not going to go buy one just to prove people wrong.

Pete:                   But for most people, unless you’re shooting a Hollywood film, the audio would be fine, wouldn’t it?

Dom:                   It would and I’ll just reflect that somebody has already shot a decent-length film on an iPhone. It’s all about horses for courses. As Chase Garvis says, the best camera is the one you got with you. The Zi8, to me, meant that I can carry literally about five kilos less gear everywhere I go.

Pete:                   That’s awesome.

Dom:                   By the way, I’d happily scrap it for an iPhone 4 because the quality of the video is equivalent. The only issue with the iPhone 4 is plugging in an external microphone, an issue I have discussed before.

Pete:                   However, I was trying to find, and for the life of me I can’t find it… One of my consulting or coaching clients actually found a company in the States, that for I think it was for less than 10 bucks, had a cable you can buy that actually plugs in…

Dom:                   That was me. It wasn’t…

Pete:                   It was someone else, but okay. Yeah, you?

Dom:                   Okay. I have already sent you that.

Pete:                   Have you?

Dom:                   I’ll put a link.

Pete:                   All right.

Dom:                   Yeah. We talked about it and then I went and found you a cable.

Pete:                   Did you? Okay.

Dom:                   Yeah.

Pete:                   I completely obviously ignored your email.

Dom:                   That’s quite all right.

Pete:                   Sorry about that one.

Dom:                   That’s what I’m here for.

Pete:                   What is the go with that? Give me the run down. Did it work? So you basically plug it in and then plug in your normal lapel mic with 3.5 mm jack into that adapter cable? Is that basically what happens?

Dom:                   That’s it. It’s that simple. Basically, I don’t know really why it doesn’t work in the first place because it’s a three-pole jack on the iPhone. It’s got a microphone and a headphone built into that jack.

Pete:                   Yeah. Strange.

Dom:                   You can’t just plug a regular microphone in. I think it just shorts out, too many connections or it’s the wrong configuration or whatever. I found a supplier, and they do two actually. They do a direct domestic microphone socket adapter and they also do a microphone and headphone.

Pete:                   Ah…

Dom:                   But I don’t know if it lets you monitor the audio that you’re recording.

Pete:                   So it actually got two ports and it basically splits it?

Dom:                   Yeah.

Pete:                   Very cool. Well, I might have to actually go and buy one now. I’ll look out for the email and I’ll actually go and buy one.

Dom:                   Now, we’ve gone way, way off track of what I was actually interested in. There are two things really that I’m interested in from the business point of view here. One of them is the difference between you and I. The major difference is that your product, your content is predominantly text-based or mind maps, or things like that with the odd bit of audio. And you really, really can get away with an iPad for pretty much every piece of content you want to create and maybe an extra bit of iPhone here and there to record some run-and-gun video.

Pete:                   Yeah. I guess if I want to create some content exactly, I hadn’t really thought about that. While I’m away, I could mind-map it on the iPad and just check the iPhone next to me in a relatively quiet room. It would be more than adequate for some quick video.

Dom:                   Yeah, exactly. The audio on the iPad, you could just do an audio recording with a headset into the iPad and that would be fine.

Pete:                   Through the Camera Connection Kit?

Dom:                   Your iPhone headset works on the iPad.

Pete:                   And that will be a fine audio? Okay, cool.

Dom:                   That will be a fine audio. Or, yes, you could put the Camera Connection Kit in, that really funky bit of a hack that allows you to plug some USB microphones into the iPad, which I have done and works wonderfully. I actually use a Plantronics headset into the iPad.

Pete:                   Did you happen to buy that from SimplyHeadsets.com.au?

Dom:                   Do you know what? I did not happen to buy that from SimplyHeadsets.com.au.

Pete:                   Terrible plug.

Dom:                   If I had known that a well-known internet marketer and a very good friend of mine runs a company that was the major distributor of Plantronics high-quality audio headsets in Australia, I would be sure to recommend it. In fact, Plantronics headsets as far as I’m concerned are the bits.

Pete:                   This podcast is brought to you by…

Dom:                   Sorry?

Pete:                   This podcast episode is brought to you by…

Dom:                   Yes, They could be our first sponsor. Pete takes his hand out one pocket and puts it…

Pete:                   So yeah, I have a Plantronics sitting right next to me here as well. I don’t know what model it is. What is this model? I have no idea.

Dom:                   Have you gone the way of Ed and gone with a Bluetooth headset? Because that would also work with the iPad.

Pete:                   No, I don’t like them. I don’t know, for whatever reason, I might prefer it being connected of… I never had a great luck with the Bluetooth headsets. Myself personally, I think I have only tested one. Yeah, I had this headset. It’s a Plantronics USB one. It works perfectly fine for what I need to do. So I’ve got no issue with the whole standing up and walking around, and feeling like you’re actually moving your hands and stuff. It doesn’t really bother me. So, yeah, iPad kit with the wireless keyboard and a USB headset could be the perfect tool kit.

Dom:                   There you go. I mean this is a conversation that I have with a lot of people, usually on the inverse. They say, “Oh, can the iPad do this? Can the iPad do this? Can I do this and this?” It’s like, “No. It’s not actually a computer in a traditional sense. Yes, it’s got some grunt and yes, you can do these things but it’s not built for it. But in the space that we operate in, it truly is an awesome device. With a little bit of thought, I’ve just basically collapsed your tech into a very small bag.

Pete:                   Yeah. Very, very cool. The only thing that I couldn’t really do is video capture stuff. I was actually funnily enough just doing a list today for a little article or a blog post. It’s something that I thought to be kind of funky which I might write up for the blog at some point. The working title is ‘How I Manage My Crazy Busy Life: The 27 Applications and Services I’d Be Lost — No, Really Screwed Without.’ I just started writing down and categorizing everything I use on a daily basis, all the tools and apps and stuff.

And just looking at this list right now, there’s not a lot I couldn’t do on the iPad or the iPhone because it’s either going to be web-based or it’s app-based, and it just synchs between all my Macs. Things like the ScreenFlow recording-type stuff is about the only thing that I couldn’t really do, so that’s pretty cool.

Dom:                   Yeah. You don’t actually do that much of the ScreenFlow, screen-recording stuff anyway.

Pete:                   No, that’s what you’re for.

Dom:                   Yeah, thanks.

Pete:                   That’s what you’re really, really good at is probably a better way of putting it. Rather than saying what’s you’re there for, it’s what you’re really, really good at. I’d rather leverage your skill.

Dom:                   Why thank you, sir. I think that would be an awesome article or series of articles. I think 27 things that you do and how you use them is quite a lot of information.

Pete:                   Well, let me run through it for people who got a pen handy. Xero and Shoeboxed for my finances. iCal, OmniFocus and LaunchBar to manage my time and attention. Communication tools are Skype, Skype Call Recorder, Gmail with Mailplane, Twitter, QuickTime Pro, Dictamus, Say it & Mail it. When it comes to writing notes and documents: Notational Velocity ALT, Simplenote, MindNode, Scrivener, TextExpander, Dragon Dictate, ScreenSteps, ScreenFlow, Skitch and Videocue.

From a consumption perspective: Instapaper, Eyercize, MySpeed and Google Reader. And then other random stuff I use that can’t be categorized in the above categories include GarageSale, Market Samurai, VMware Fusion, Transmit, StrongVPN and Mozy. What that’s backup? Mozy, that’s it. There you go. That’s the list in 25 seconds.

Dom:                   Cool. I can’t actually type that fast so you can send me that for the show notes. Did you have Dropbox in there?

Pete:                   Yeah, you just didn’t hear me say it. No.

Dom:                   Okay.

Pete:                   No, I didn’t. Why didn’t I have it in there? That is…

Dom:                   That’s infrastructure-level…

Pete:                   Maybe it’s just so ingrained that I forgot about it. I thought it was a standard feature of every computer. Yeah, Dropbox.

Dom:                   Cool.

Pete:                   There you go. So obviously, I’m taking this off track again as I always do.

Dom:                   No, that’s okay. That’s what I’m here for, to bring it back. I’ll, in fact, come right back to the books as well, which is part of my job. But back to the going on holiday. The other side of what a lot of people certainly in the internet marketing space, a lot of just entrepreneurs who work for themselves, work on their own, one of the biggest problems they have is keeping everything going while they’re away.

Now, part of the things that you’ve talked about, of the things that I think you do talk about in your various presentations that I’ve seen you do live is just your overall business infrastructure that allows you to basically run your business from your iPhone. Let’s face it, most of the things you were talking about, we digressed about the iPad and about content creation — that’s all really the internet marketing stuff that you do because you’re interested in it. That’s not really your businesses.

Pete:                   No.

Dom:                   Your businesses are kind of over on the side. And from what I’ve seen, they kind of run themselves.

Pete:                   Yeah. I lovingly call them ‘the babysitting businesses,’ because they’re the ones full of staff that seems to take up a lot of my time. I guess there are a couple of things that make up those businesses: Two awesome business partners which means I can go away and the babysitting still gets taken care of. No baby is going to scald themselves or drown themselves in the bath. I’m using some really bad analogies, I don’t know. Like the staff are going to still have some management there, so that’s comforting to know which is good.

The beautiful thing of the partnership-side of stuff in certain instances is that you can have someone that you can rely on when you need to take a time off or vice versa, which is really handy. A lot of the management of the staff, which tends to take out a big chunk of an owner or an entrepreneur’s time if they have staff is still managed by them, which is great. In terms of the projects that I’m working on, it’s actually worked out really well. One other thing that I’ve been spending time in the business doing, it should actually be finished in about a week and a half or hopefully about half a week really.

So, it’s actually going to be a good time for the trip. I set myself a deadline to finish a product before I go, so I would otherwise somewhat be in limbo, which is kind of handy. That’s really good. But from a high-level, just owning a business position, yeah, absolutely. The businesses have been structured to minimize my time and the other guys’ time as much as possible. Obviously, primarily, one of the biggest things that we have is a series of online websites — various products and services through the e-commerce shopping carts. Fundamentally, that can be pretty streamlined without us being there. The sell get made day in and day out without us having to do a whole lot.

We’ve got staff that support those businesses through phone calls. Because one thing that I find a lot of people are doing when they’ve got an e-commerce site is just leaving a lot of money on the table by not having a phone number on their site. I won’t go into specifics, I’m actually about to record a video which will probably go into specifics about our business and what we do and that sort of stuff. We can talk about it maybe in the next episode. But you get a significantly higher conversion rate by simply having someone on the phone answering calls for people who don’t want to buy online.

Even in this day and age, there are still plenty of people who don’t want to buy online. They want to feel that there’s someone there they can talk to. They might have some questions before they purchase or they just don’t trust online shopping yet. There are definitely people out there. Even if we got rid of those roles in that position, we’d still be making money in the business. But it’s just a great way to boost it up. So, to answer your questions and to be more specific, yeah, absolutely, those businesses run without me being there. They’re mature businesses. They’ve been around for five or six years.

The ones that are bit more hands-on are the phone system business. So there are sales guys and a service manager, and that sort of stuff happens without me really doing a whole lot which is really, really good. My day-to-day role as an owner of those businesses is pretty much just communicating. It’s not actually on the tools — banging the nails or I got my hand up a cow’s backside being a vet or something like that. It’s just communicating with the staff and stakeholders, suppliers and things like that. Most of that can be done over the phone or via email. I can do that when I’m not in the office — whether I’m at home, working from the home office or in Bali, sitting by the pool with a piña colada in my hands.

I think that just comes from two main things. To sum it all up, structure the business from Day 1 to really give you the outcome and lifestyle you want. That’s why we’re going towards this e-commerce-side of things stronger and stronger and stronger, and also just the majority of the business, which is really handy. Unfortunately, there are times when you are down and dirty working in the business as much as you need to. But as long as you got that outcome and that goal in mind that what you’re working towards is to be working on rather in, you should be fine.

Dom:                   Cool. You basically quoted The E-Myth.

Pete:                   I did, didn’t I?

Dom:                   Yeah. That was, I think really, without any prompting what I was hoping you were going to say, having looked at this from the outside and having, to my embarrassment, recently read The E-Myth. You say that your business is mature but there are a lot of businesses out there that have been around a long time that still aren’t running efficiently because the owners never set out with that vision. As you’ve just said there, you set out with a vision: whether it’s the lifestyle you want or whether it’s just a simple as ‘I don’t want to be working in the business all the time’ or ‘I want to be working on the business and have all the people work in the business.’

Pete:                   Yeah. I think the distinction is, are you self-employed or are you a business owner?

Dom:                   Yeah, exactly.

Pete:                   Two very, very different things. So many people don’t really make that conscious shifting. A more recent book than The E-Myth that sort of touched on this which is really, really good is John Warrillow’s Built to Sell. I actually had a conversation with John only a week or so ago, and we actually recorded a part of that conversation. That’s going to be on the blog shortly as well, which should be really cool.

That whole book is just about how to build a business that’s sellable or saleable, depending on how you pronounce it. But underlying that whole thing, which is what we spoke about primarily, is that the principles that make a business attractive to an acquirer are the same things that make a business attractive to an entrepreneur who wants a lifestyle. If you want to sell a business, you should be applying these to have the lifestyle and have an income stream without you.

Dom:                   Absolutely. That was the thing that I took away from The E-Myth, the whole thing that it doesn’t matter whether, as you say, you want to sell the thing. He uses the idea that the concept of a franchise, which is a really good way of imagining what you need to do, to systematize it and everything like that.

Pete:                   Absolutely.

Dom:                   But he says it doesn’t matter whether you want to keep the business, whether you do want to sell it, whether you want to franchise it, as you say. Those things work the same whether it gives you the lifestyle, or it gives you a business to sell, or it gives you something you can put in a box and franchise. The method is the same and there is a real method in that madness. One of the things that being away on probably my first vacation of the year and possibly my only one is that I’m still working in my business. I’m still one of the primary operators of what I do. And if I want to have the lifestyle, if I want to have free time etc., etc., then that’s something I’ve got to get away from.

Having been a really kind of self-employed single person working in the business for so long now, that’s quite a big shift. But I’ve now got a lot of people around me that I can model, I can get advice from and get some mentoring from that can help me with that. So, it’s quite a positive thing for me.

Pete:                   Is this podcast also a bit of therapy? You’re sort of sitting on the couch while talking? Is that what I’m hearing?

Dom:                   Might be, might be. So, in the last few minutes of the call I better check on how you’re getting on with the book.

Pete:                   We have a cover almost done. That’s very exciting.

Dom:                   That seems like procrastination to me.

Pete:                   Yeah? I guess you could define it as that. However, that’s what’s apparently the most important thing to the publisher right now. So, I’m just doing what the man says. No… Now, realistically, we’re actually down to two cover designs, which is good. We’ve got to try and finalize those in the next 36 hours. I’m really, really happy with one, which is hopefully where we’re going to go. The other one I would be happy with. But I think the other one’s got a bit more pizzazz, which is pretty cool.

From a writing perspective, I made some progress, definitely not as much as I anticipated, promised slash declared in previous episodes. But there is definitely progress, which is good. So, it’s a continuous battle which I’m getting towards. How’s that for an answer?

Dom:                   Go get that iPad keyboard.

Pete:                   Yes.

Dom:                   I just need to remind you of something. You being pretty well-ingrained in the internet marketing space, real physical books aren’t like internet marketing information products. When somebody buys it, you do actually need to have finished it at that point. You can’t kind of sell them the cover and then deliver the content in bits. It doesn’t work like that.

Pete:                   No. Are you having a go at me or are you making a statement? Is that meant to be a lesson for the listeners or a go at me, or a bit of both?

Dom:                   I’m not having a go at you, I’m just kind of encouraging you to maybe complete the book.

Pete:                   No. You know what, funnily enough though, this is probably worth discussing actually. I think one of the biggest problems we’ve had is we’ve had, which I might have mentioned, a great publisher who’s been I’d say very lenient with us in terms of saying, “We know the book’s going to be great. We know it’s going to sell really well. So if you can get it to us, we’re happy to work with you on it.” That’s been part of the downfall. Setting deadlines make shit happen.

With anything, when you have a set deadline, it’s just human nature that you work better towards it. Because we haven’t had a physical deadline, a stake in the ground, it’s been a bit hard not to go, “Oh, look, I could do that tomorrow.” So things with deadlines obviously are prioritized, and things that don’t have deadlines are always pushed back.

So having a deadline will help. The reason the book cover is actually not a great procrastination thing, not truly a procrastination tool in the true sense of the word is because the reason they want the book cover is so they can actually start sending it out to bookstores and get it listed on Amazon for preorders and all that sort of stuff. As soon as it’s at that stage, we’ll start from the book cover and it’s actually going out and the world’s starting to be told about the book, then we talk about a release date. Once that release is put in place, we have to work backwards to when the book has to be finished.

As much as I’m saying that it has distracted me a little bit, it’s actually a good distraction to have while I have been willing to put off some of the writing and to fine-tune the book cover is because I know that by agreeing to that, it’s going to set a stake in the ground that will make me more accountable at the other end. So that’s a good thing about getting the book cover in place. It will be available in the market and the world will know about it in more of an official capacity.

Dom:                   So, in fact, you’ve actually created more accountability?

Pete:                   So, it’s a good thing.

Dom:                   Yeah, it’s a good thing. Good save, good save. Okay. We’ll, we’re about out of time. Excellent call.

Pete:                   Beautiful.

Dom:                   Excellent, excellent chat. Really, some good topics. Still not totally on track, but covered some interesting stuff. Definitely, from my therapy point of view, I think we’ve covered some good ground today.

Pete:                   Beautiful. No, I think it was good. And I think definitely it’s all about putting stakes in the ground by setting deadlines and putting stakes in the ground towards your own outcomes too, whether it’s to ship a book or whether it’s just to ship a business that works without you. And those sort of stakes can be defined as, “Hey, by November this year, I want to have every Friday off.” And that means just putting systems in place around your business so you’re not in the office or you’re doing your work or you’re working in the business on Fridays, or whatever it might be, plan those goals.

It’s important to start working on the business and really even take a step backwards in terms of your income and things like that. It might be hard for a couple of months if you start doing less in the business stuff, which will result in less income. But it’s for a quicker exit at the other end where in six months’ time you’ll be having the income of your own without having to actually work. There’s that short-term pain for long-term gain typical saying that everyone says. But I think it’s true and I’ve been through it. If you haven’t started planning from Day 1 like that, you have to actually be willing take a bit of hit right now to get the… You’ve gone silent on me, dude.

Dom:                   That’s because you didn’t finish the sentence.

Pete:                   What would I say? That’s how I finish sentences. I just stop talking.

Dom:                   No, no. Ed does that. You don’t do that.

Pete:                   Oh, oops.

Dom:                   Great tip there, Pete. Excellent. Yeah, that’s a really good thing to end on. But no, really, seriously, good summary of the thing. Yes, I hereby place my accountability marker on the table in an episode because yeah, I need to set a goal that I need. Let’s say Fridays off by November. I need to set that goal and I need to do the things that are going to get me towards it. It’s okay saying, “Hey, I’d like to have some more time off, some really vague not well-defined goal that I can avoid accountability for.” But really, you do need to put a stake in the ground and say, “That’s what I’m going for.” And every day, look at it and say, “Am I any nearer?” And if not, why not?

Pete:                   Absolutely. Nice work.

Dom:                   Cool.

Pete:                   See you next time.

Dom:                   Pretty cool, mate. See you next time.

Pete:                   Bye.

Dom:                   Bye.


Show Notes + Links:
The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber
Built to Sell– John Warrillow

Other links:
Simplyheadsets.com.au – Pete’s headset company ;o)

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