PreneurCast is a marketing podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
This week, Pete and Dom finish off the Q&A questions from Episode 100, their live Q&A session.
Questions covered in this episode include:
- Should I focus on promoting myself as a leader in the field, or promoting my business?
- How do we find the time to do everything and spend time with our families?
- When’s the most productive time to write copy?
- How do you get interviews with leaders in your market place?
- What’s the best way to grow an audience online quickly for a new product launch?
- What do you do when you realize you’re in a rut and can’t seem to get work done?
Pete and Dom finish off the live Q&A from Episode 100
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Dom Goucher: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of PreneurCast with me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams.
Pete Williams: Hello, hello, everybody. Welcome to the show.
Dom: Hello, yes, definitely. Welcome, everyone. Interesting show for you folks this week. We are going to do that catch-up that we promised, where we finish off answering the Q&A questions that we started answering on our live 100th show. We’ve had a lot of other things that have come up that we thought were important.
We wanted to get those out. But people have asked us about their questions, they’re looking forward to the answers, so this show is all about that. Before we dive in, Pete, just a little bit of our usual little review of the week. I would imagine that any member of the Preneur Community would have to have been basically away on holiday or not paying attention to not have noticed the little challenge that you set me for the MagCast launch.
Dom: Thanks for that.
Pete: You’re doing all right. You’re still alive. You’re pushing through.
Dom: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We made it. Little bit out of the bag kind of thing. We’re going to do a wrap-up about the whole thing. But anybody who’s followed along will know that, against the odds, we made it. We published a digital magazine inside of a week for values of.
But it was a lot of work with a lot of surprises and a lot of just pulling a lot things out of the bag, definitely. But it was definitely a great experience, loved doing it, great feedback from everybody on it, really enjoyed it. But yeah, looking forward to getting some sleep.
Pete: Very cool, mate, very cool. Well, for those who don’t know, let’s just give them a quick recap. Basically, we’ve been supporting Ed Dale for a number of years with various projects. And his latest one, he’s making public for the second time with a second intake, is his MagCast Digital Publishing Blueprint.
It’s all about publishing a digital magazine, becoming a legitimate publisher of magazines through Apple’s Newsstand and, soon to be released, Android and Kindle.
We basically decided or – we’ll say we decided that you should do a challenge. We’ll be diplomatic about it, and show people how easy it is to become a legitimate publisher in this space within a week. You set out to create Making Online Videos Magazine, which is a big niche and passion of yours.
This, basically, is a video diary of you starting from nothing and producing this magazine, or at least a first edition of the magazine, within seven days. It’s been quite a fun little journey, a few highs, a few lows, and had a few pivots, as I’ve spoken about on the show before. But yeah, if you check it out on the blog at PreneurMarketing.com, you’d better see some of those videos up there right now.
Dom: You should know, with these things – I’ve finished the magazine, but there’s a delay with it being approved by the Apple Newsstand store. Hopefully, by the time you’re listening to this, if you’re one of those people who don’t listen immediately when we publish, I’ll have got my approval, and you’ll be able to see the real deal out there.
But if you want to know when it goes live, if you want to be kept up to date, firstly, go to the website, MakingOnlineVideo.com. There’ll be a box there. You can put your e-mail address in, and I’ll be sure to let you know, and anybody that puts their name in that box. There may be a little bit of a bonus for you when we go live. I’ll let you know. So pop over to MakingOnlineVideo.com and check out where I’ve got to.
Dom: So, Pete, while I was doing all that hard work, what were you up to?
Pete: Oh, just kicking back and listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new book, just living the good life. No –
Dom: Arnold Schwarzenegger, that well-known literary genius.
Pete: Well, this is the funny thing is that, for those who know the persona of Schwarzenegger being the bodybuilder, the actor, and the politician, you can laugh at him a little bit, but it’s an amazing story. Total Recall is the book title, which is a bit of a play on some of his movie titles.
But it’s just very interesting about how hard he worked to get his success in the three different areas, and he talks about it throughout the book. It’s 23 hours long, the audio version.
Pete: Yeah, it’s insane. So, even at two-speed, it’s still 11-and-a-half hour audiobook. It’s just incredible. And it’s amazing how hard he worked. People say he was lucky just to fall into these roles in the ’80s when the big, larger-than-life movie star genre came to be.
But something I didn’t know is he won a Golden Globe back in 1976 for Best Debut Actor, I think it was, in a motion picture. Like, blew my mind. That was the very first role he won a Golden Globe for. Then it wasn’t until six years later of continual late-night, after-hours acting classes that he got the Conan role, which is where he became mainstream famous beyond the bodybuilding world.
It’s just a really interesting story, see, like a guy who’s had a huge amount of success, some lows in recent times, but he’s a worker. It’s about doing the reps, which is a tie back into his bodybuilding days. But I think it is a really interesting story whether you’re interested in bodybuilding, interested in politics, interested in movies, just interested in what it takes to be this overnight success.
He didn’t just become a politician off the back of his movie brand. He worked hard at it, and so far, it’s been a really interesting listen. I haven’t got through it all yet, haven’t been that lazy this week to sit down and listen to 11-and-a-half hour or 12 hours of audio at two-speed. But yeah, Total Recall, it’s a really interesting listen.
Dom: Cool. I make a joke, but I’m aware, to a point, of some of his history. There have been various documentaries and things in years gone by, and I’ve always been aware of that thing, that he really did work hard, especially in those early years, the ones people don’t know about.
He just seemed to pop up out of nowhere if you don’t know the story, so it’s yet another one that will go on my list. That’s at least a week and a bit’s worth of dog walking.
Pete: Actually, at the time, I feel like giving him a bit of an honorary mention or membership to the Preneur Community because one of the first businesses he hustled and started when he moved to the States was a mail-order business.
Dom: I did not know that.
Pete: A lot of interesting facts about this larger-than-life, as I said, character.
Dom: Excellent, and is that from our sponsor, from Audible?
Pete: Absolutely. So, yeah, another one from Audible.com. So if you could head over to AudibleTrial.com/PreneurCast, if you’re a first-time Audible user, you can sign up there, and they will give you a free gift of a download. Any audiobook you could download. This week’s recommendation is Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, head over to the Audible site, the trial site, and, yeah, get yourself a free book.
Dom: Awesome, awesome. Great recommendation. Cool. Well, as people have been waiting a while for these Q&A questions, shall we dive right in and get on with it?
Pete: Let’s do it.
Dom: Okay, so we’ve asked people, where possible, to record their questions using our little SpeakPipe tool on the website. We’ve got a couple of people who have recorded their questions. Not everybody was available to do that, so we’ve taken them from the original chat log and things. But John in the UK is our first person that came through with a question, and let’s have a quick listen.
[Voice mail from John from the UK starts]
John: Hi, Pete. Hi, Dom. And firstly, a big thank you for doing the productivity podcast with regards to the productivity apps that you use on a daily basis. I’m using those now in my business. My staff are using those, most notably Evernote, which I couldn’t live without now.
One sticking point that I’ve got, though, Pete and Dom, when I listen to the podcast, (which I think, if I remember correctly, Brand Is a Byproduct) from there, (don’t quote me), but I started to focus more on building my online presence with regards to LinkedIn.
Again, there’s another great podcast on that with Wayne Breitbarth. I seem to push the online profile of myself rather than the business, which is a web design and online marketing business. From then listening to microDOMINATION with Trevor Young (I know it’s a long-winded question), but I’m in between the two with regards to where do I focus my time.
Do I concentrate more on myself as trying to be a leader in the industry or in the field? Or do I do that in the spare time and focus on building the business, build the community, build the brand, “grow your business and live the dream,” as another one of your friends says?
I just wanted to get your thoughts on that because it’s something that just irritates me as I’m trying to sleep at night. It’s just, I’m trying to get everything organized. I’m trying to take on board everything that you say. Is it push myself, is it push the business? Is it a bit of both? I just really want to gather your thoughts, both Pete and Dom, on that one, if you could, please.
[Voice mail from John ends]
Dom: So, really, what John’s asking about there is about his focus, about his promotion. He’s got these two entities. I think this is a very common thing, that he doesn’t really know, and he’s asking what you do, because this is something that, Pete, you very much are aware of. Should he focus on promoting himself as a persona and a brand, or on the business promotion? Or is there a way to separate the two?
Pete: I was talking about this recently with a consulting client. The example I gave, to a certain extent, is Gary Vaynerchuk. Now, everyone probably knows Gary V. Very, very larger-than-life character, as well, keeping with that theme of the show, with his social media commentary.
He’s a very big brand in his own right now, but you have to look back at how that came about. When he first started his business career – he took over his parents’ wine retailer, took it online and started Wine Library TV, which was the brand he used to create daily or weekly videos of him talking about different wine.
The brand was Wine Library TV, so as a byproduct of building his business, he built the Wine Library TV brand; and as a byproduct of the Wine Library TV brand, he created the Gary Vaynerchuk brand. This is the important thing, in my opinion, because it comes down to what type of business you are trying to build.
This is a bit of a strategy question to start with, and it really gives you direction when it comes to tactics. So thinking about, are you trying to build a business that can work and leverage and grow without you, that you can one day sell, that can give you some passive income?
Or are you happy to put that passive income lifestyle-type business aside and grow an ego-based business? Because they’re very two different things. Because, if you’re building a brand which is you, and you are focusing on you’re the social media, you’re the face of the business, your name is the business, everyone is going to want to work with you.
Every single client, every person who comes through those doors is going to want a piece of you because you’re the person who’s the face, so that can be a good thing, can be a great thing. But the problem with it is selling the business becomes very hard. Getting out of the business on a day-to-day thing becomes very, very hard.
Whereas, if you look at other brands out there where it’s the business is a brand, you don’t know the person behind it, you don’t really care. So, on social media, the brand has a social media page. Places like Evernote have their social media being around the brand of Evernote.
Then, what you’ll see, quite often, in some of these sites – and I don’t know if Evernote does this, so I might be mishy-mashing two things, but you’ll see the brand has the Twitter page, for example. And on the actual Twitter page, the background graphic will have two or three photos of staff members who look after the social media campaign.
You’ll have, like, Evan, and then it’ll have a little star-EV next to his name. So when they tweet out, they put a tweet and finish it with three characters being star-EV, so you get an idea of who is the person behind that tweet. It’s not a tweet from the brand directly, but it’s the brand’s social media presence, if that makes sense, and that is what I really suggest.
From a Preneur perspective, this is one of those times where you do what I say, not what I look like I’m doing. What I mean by that is the Preneur brand is very much me, and Dom as well playing along. So we are that, and Preneur is never going to be, as a brand, specifically with things like the podcast and the blog and stuff.
It’s never going to be bigger than me. It doesn’t need to be bigger than me. I don’t want it to be bigger than me. But things like Infiniti Telecommunications, Simply Headsets, Stitch Software, all those other business units and business products that we have here, those things are never going to be Pete Williams.
I’m going to talk about it, I’m going to be the person who writes the blog posts and appears in the adverts and on the online video. Like if you go to SimplyHeadsets.com.au today, for example, or our YouTube Channel, which is Simply Headsets, you’ll see the videos. I’m in all those videos for the product, but they’re not branded as Pete Williams.
It’s simply, “Hi, I’m Pete Williams from Simply Headsets.” So it’s, I’m employee, I am a part of a bigger entity because Simply Headsets is bigger than me. It needs to be bigger than me. It needs to run without me, those things. There’s a big differentiation based on the strategy you’re trying to build your business on, and then the implementation tactics come based off that.
Dom: At the beginning of your answer, you gave the option. You said you can do this, you could go the business-as-an-entity route, or the ego-based business route. But, really, as you closed there, from our point of view – and this is something that I’m working hard towards, it’s something that I think you’ve achieved with exactly the example you gave.
It’s like, anything that I start now is its own thing. If I refer to it, I refer to it as a project that I work on, like the way that you refer to Simply Headsets as one of your businesses, but you don’t spend all day talking about Simply Headsets. You talk about your world of all the different things that you do, and that’s one of those things.
So, to me, they are entities. You are an entity. Even if you don’t want to be a brand, you should still be an entity, I would say. And if you look out there, just to give you another example based upon yours before we come back, there’s a company out there that does customized digital printing. Excellent, excellent, product company called MOO, MOO cards.
Pete: You love MOO, don’t you? You love it.
Dom: I love MOO. Duh! They’re so slick, they’re great.
Pete: Actually, can I interrupt? Can I ask you a question? What do you love more, MOO cards, or the book that you love the most, The Lean Startup? If you had to choose one to go to bed with every night, would you choose to go to bed with MOO cards or The Lean Startup?
Dom: MOO cards.
Pete: Oh, okay. All right, back to your regular scheduled programming. Sorry to interrupt.
Dom: I mean, honestly, I can’t choose because I can make an argument for both of them, but I just wanted to shock you. MOO cards, their Twitter account is overheardatmoo, which is just a random thing, but they don’t do the thing that you say about the individual people trying to put personality on that account. It’s just news about the company. They use it for what Twitter’s about – it’s a broadcast medium for news.
So many software companies and service companies, and people like that have this company Twitter account; and also in a piece of advice from Jen Sheahan, who is very well known in the world of Facebook and Facebook advertising, and a good friend of both of ours and some other very well-known and important political figures around the world.
She has always said, when you set up a Facebook page (not an account, but a page), you should set up one for your business. One for you, and then one for potentially any product lines or groups of products and things like that. You can see this if you look at what bigger companies do. But there’s nothing wrong with you doing it as a smaller thing.
It’s all steps towards the stuff that we talk about all the time, which is not working in your business, but working on your business. By situating those entities in your mind and letting other people see them as entities (John expressed confusion and difficulty with what to do), once you get that entity thing, it becomes clear in the way that it is for you, Pete.
Pete: Well, something else, a very small side point that’s worth considering for a few people: I was having lunch (it was probably about 12 months ago now, actually) with a long-term friend of mine who’s the marketing manager for a national retailing chain here in Australia.
It’s not franchise, it’s all company-owned stores. They’ve got a hundred around Australia or something, so quite an important role. He was talking about trying to find someone to help with some social media management for the brand. They wanted to outsource it. I gave him a suggestion of a person whose brand was themselves.
It was one of the best, but a small, tame, small brand based on him. And his response was, I would love to, but I can’t. And I was like, what does that mean? Why can’t you? He goes, “because the Board and the group – although I’m the head person, I can’t sign off on everything myself.
It’s got to be signed off by a team. We do external,” blah blah blah. “We can only go with agencies.” Agencies are generally probably going to be worse than this person. However, it’s a perception thing that the Board won’t think that a one-name brand person is going to be able to give us what we need. They want an agency.
They always have, they always do, no matter what. And that was a very interesting comment to hear. Perception is reality, that’s a given statement in all other things. But you want to make sure, if you’re trying to go and get the big fish, that you are going to be bigger than who you are, and that’s very, very important as part of the strategy you need to think about.
Dom: It’s funny, actually. That’s exactly an example I was going to bring up after you. I wasn’t sure where you were going with that, but that was exactly what I wanted to bring up. This idea that, if you have your business entity and you as an entity, you’re suddenly bigger than just a one-man band, a self-employed person, a solo-preneur, whatever. You’re a person who runs a business and does other stuff.
It’s a tiny thing, but it can make a huge difference, especially in a context like you just gave there. Great example. This is going quite deep into social media, and, oddly enough, where Maria also asked a question about social media, but she suggested that we focus an episode on it. Now, interestingly, we’ve never done that, have we?
Pete: I don’t think we have, actually. Like how to incorporate social media into your business, which would be an interesting conversation to have, I think.
Dom: Yeah, and Maria asked, basically, she wanted to know what we do, and the people that we know, and what we think is a good strategy. I think that would make a great episode. There you go, Maria, we’re taking your suggestion. Look out for an episode on that coming soon.
Pete: Sounds great.
Dom: So, yeah, we’ve now got a second SpeakPipe message. This is from Kelly in the UK, so let’s have a quick listen to Kelly’s question.
[Voice mail from Kelly from White Crafts starts]
Kelly: Hi, this is Kelly from White Crafts wedding stationery, based in the UK. My question is related to productivity. I know, Pete, you’ve just had a new baby, and I’m sure that you’re feeling this, too. As I’m being self-employed, my husband’s self-employed as well, and having two very young children.
How do you find the time to do everything and spend time with your family without feeling guilty about not spending time on your business, and feeling guilty about not spending time with your family, and getting to bed before two o’clock in the morning?
Any tips would be very welcome. I hope that your newborn is healthy and well, and that you’re managing to juggle it a little better than we are. But I look forward to hearing your response. Thanks.
[Voice mail from Kelly ends]
Dom: So, Pete, I’m thinking this question’s going to resonate with you because it’s about somebody with a new family, with new demands on their time. She said she wants to know how you do it, how you get everything done.
Pete: I think the easy answer is an amazing wife who’s not entrepreneurial. That’s probably going to be not the answer most people really want. I remember making a joke in our wedding speech, and luckily, Fleur doesn’t listen to the show. But she did agree with it, and everyone did get a good laugh out of it during the wedding.
It was that I looked forward to my wife starting a family and living out her career goal of a lady who lunches. I am very, very lucky in that Fleur and I have been together for eight or nine years now, and she knew what she was getting into when we started dating, in that my work is a big part of who I am and what I do.
So I think the real personal answer is that I’ve got a very, very understanding and amazing wife who just loves being a mum, and that’s what she wants to do. It’s that more traditional relationship where she cooks and does the cleaning and stuff like that.
Some people who listen to this might think that’s very, very sexist and hate that, but it works exceptionally well for us. We’re both very, very happy with it. That, I guess, is the technical answer for me, personally. The advice answer would be a little bit different. I think it is about streamlining.
And I’ve definitely done that over the last seven months with Eli. I’ve realized there was certain stuff that I was doing that I’m just not doing any more, like I hardly watch YouTube videos any more. So it comes back to that core vs. mechanics-type assessment of what is it that you’re doing every day that has a direct correlation to profit.
And making sure that all the paraphernalia and superfluous (hopefully, I pronounced that right) bits and pieces that the busywork that you used to do starts dropping away. You don’t spend time chasing the new idea, the new course, the new whatever it might be.
That’s going to keep you busy when you haven’t implemented what you already know. I think it comes to being very, very clear on what it is you want, implementing what you already know. I would say a good chunk of people who listen to the show regularly would have a decent enough knowledge to take action without having to go and learn some amazing new ideas and jump from idea to idea.
So I think it is really just about being structured, getting rid of the crap that you’re doing, getting more streamlined, doing core vs. mechanics assessments. I spoke about something to you recently, this week. Someone was asking me about what is the biggest productivity tip I could give, and I think it applies here.
And that is, one day, or every day for the next 30 days, or at least for the next seven days, you start the day with a blank sheet of paper. And every time you do an action for your business, write down what it is. Then, at the end of the day, do an assessment, and get a red pen out.
Next to every single item on that list, give it an M or a C. M for mechanics, C for core, or W for waste. You just start going through it all. At the end of the day, assess. “Okay, out of my entire day, I did 20% of things that were wasteful. All right, cool, that’s fine. Accept that, that’s who I was.” Tomorrow, try and do 19%. Just make small, gradual process and progress.
The next thing is looking at the mechanical stuff. What is the stuff that you didn’t have to do? And look at outsourcing. We’ll be talking about outsourcing a lot throughout the month of September, so keep an eye out on e-mails and the blog. We’ve got a lot of outsourcing stuff planned for the month of October, so that’ll definitely help you get a lot of the stuff.
Because you’ll be very, very surprised. We’ve done this with a private group when we were in Florida last year, Dom, a consulting client. It’s amazing how much mechanical stuff you’re doing when you sit down, take a moment, and assess it. And the best way to do that is just work through your normal day. Don’t assess as you go.
Assess at the end of the day, and look at that to-do list or have-done list. More than a to-do list, the have-done list. Because to-do lists are always beautiful. You sit down at the start of the day, and you give your list. What you’re going to do during that day, and it’s all positive, it’s all core, very little mechanic.
But you get to the end of the day, and there’s a lot of other shit that hit your desk, so it’s better off doing a have-done list, and then assess that, and just stick with the core stuff. So that core versus mechanics versus waste assessment, the have-done list is a very, very important thing.
And the final thing I would suggest is positive constraints. It’s something that I still do, and I think, no doubt, it has helped the family and helped me get through stuff, is that the night before, I’ll plan the next day, I’ll do my to-do list for the next day. If I’ve got to go swimming, I will get my swimming gear out.
I will do that stuff the day and the night before, so that way, I have a positive constraint and minimal excuses the following morning, the following day when I had to get started. They’re the four or five big chunks that I would suggest you play with, Kelly, and see how they go. Then let us know, report back, how does that have-done assessment work? How does the positive constraints work? How does eliminating that waste work for you?
Dom: You mentioned the workshop we did last year, and yes, that was the core vs. mechanics assessment, I think, was one of the things we got the biggest result from – the biggest response from the audience. The realization about how much – it wasn’t so much the wasted time. I don’t think many people waste a lot of their day, or don’t feel that they’ve wasted a lot of their day.
But when they realize that the things that they’re doing are mechanics, or that they are not core to their business, they’re not moving the business forward, they’re not growing the profit, they’re not core business activities. That was a huge eye-opener for a lot of people in that workshop. Now, I have my own version of this that I’m going through right now.
Pete: As a side note, though – can we do that? I’m making a note right now. I’m going to try and drag out the old core vs. mechanics tracker that we produced for that private group. I’m going to try and find it. I have no idea where it is. It’ll be around somewhere. Maybe it’s on your external hard drive?
Dom: Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had a guy that kept track of that stuff for you?
Pete: And named files properly in good folder structure, that’d be super awesome.
Dom: Because then you wouldn’t have to do it.
Pete: Let’s try and track it down, Dom, and we’ll throw it up on the blog at PreneurMarketing.com.
Dom: We will try and track that down, Pete.
Pete: Give us a couple of weeks.
Dom: But yeah, to Kelly; Kelly said both herself and her husband are self-employed, which makes the situation quite difficult, and a little bit different to yours. I’m going through a situation that’s similar in context, but very, very different. My girlfriend recently broke her ankle very, very badly while out walking the dog.
Prior to that event, she represented your Fleur. She was incredibly understanding, she managed the house and a lot of the peripheral tasks, cooked wonderful meals, looked after the dog and the cats and everything else. I got to get on with what I was doing, which represents in parallel with you, those household things.
She was very happy to do that, great setup for me, everything was awesome. She broke her ankle, was completely housebound, bedridden, got to have her leg elevated all the time. Literally, overnight, I went from – I don’t know what the process is to do that, like, walk the dog, and I certainly can’t cook.
I mean, I can burn water – to, I am now responsible for every last thing in the house. Literally. Every job in the house. Everything I was doing before, full-time job, everything else, plus the full-time household stuff, as well. So, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve gone through this transition.
And it’s like when Eli was born, you went through that shock moment a lot of new parents go through, which is the demands on your time. I have to say, we always say we talk about what we do. That’s what we do on this podcast. We don’t just talk about things for the sake of it. We talk about what we do.
And I can tell you that what has saved me, and meant that I’ve stayed able to keep myself afloat and keep going these last few weeks, has been assessing core vs. mechanics. Is what I’m doing valuable to my business? Is it core, yes or no? No? Drop it. Don’t even bother asking somebody else to do it, just don’t do it. Gone.
That’s Number One. Number Two, is it mechanics? Yes. Find somebody else to do it. As I always say, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And, in this case, trust me, every time I look at something now, and I go, do I need to do that? No? Right, find somebody else.
So the outsourcing, for me, has been the savior. The ability to just give other people these jobs, know that they’re going to get done, and then get on with something else. When my girlfriend is back on her feet again, my life, my work life will have probably just improved by an order of magnitude by this not-self-imposed positive constraint.
I’m going through this, and it’s incredibly painful. Don’t get me wrong, folks. This is hard work. The last couple of weeks have been very, very hard on me. But the positive side of this is that when everything goes back to normal and there is somebody else there to help me, that I’ll have been forced to put these processes in place, and the benefits will be phenomenal.
Pete: I am going to try and send an e-mail to Keavy, though. See if she can snap a photo of you in an apron at the sink. That would be awesome.
Dom: You know, if she does, do you know what the extra thing will be? It will be me wearing my headphones, listening to my audiobooks while I’m doing the dishes.
Pete: You see? That. That’s a photo worth having on the site.
Dom: I think we would lose readers hand over fist. And, on that note, I think, we’ll maybe move on to the next question.
Pete: Fair enough.
Dom: Awesome. Okay, now, Michelle was on the call, and Michelle had quite a few questions for us. We’re going to try and get through Michelle’s questions because they’re great questions I think that people will find the answers valuable, too. Michelle, in Tasmania, and her husband, Simon.
Pete: Hey, guys.
Dom: Hey, guys, so lots of wide-ranging questions. The first one is – I suppose this is personal because I’ve got my answer, and you might have yours: when is the most productive time to write copy? So we’re back to copywriting again.
Pete: When you’re sitting at a desk.
Dom: Oh, give over.
Pete: This is a funny thing, but personally, for me, I’m a morning person. I like to write in the morning. I know an ex-guest of ours, Tim Ferriss, he writes at night. I think it’s a personal thing, unfortunately. I’d love to be able to say that if you sit down at your desk, facing north in a room at 24 degrees Celsius at 9:38 on a Tuesday morning is the best time to write copy.
But, realistically, I think it is just when you write, and all the writers who write about writing, funnily enough, say it’s about habit, and you write at the same time every day, and you build that muscle. And over time, it comes. So personally, for me, I’m a morning person, I like to sit down in the morning.
Quite often, I’ll go for a run. I now know Michelle and Simon are runners. We’ve been for a couple of runs together when they’ve been in Melbourne. So I like to go out, get the blood flow, and then come back, and I’ll often write in my running gear. I’ll just come back.
My head’s clear, I’ll think about it a little bit while I’m running, and then just come back and sit and start churning stuff out whilst running. So that’s, I guess, my personal routine when I write copy. But it’s a hard question to answer, unfortunately, in terms of is there a perfect time.
Dom: I think you’re right. There is the one other thing. You mentioned habit there. I think we’ve both read Stephen King’s book about his writing, his writing habit.
Pete: Yep, On Writing.
Dom: And he says he goes to the same place at the same time every day, and he just sits there until something comes out. And if you have the luxury that you can do that, then that’s the ultimate habit, but you just have to find your thing. It’s like, I am a morning person, which is really lucky, because so is the dog. I’m getting up – I mean, you, you’re a crazy, crazy morning person. You’re up at 5:30 AM or something. Well, I’ve moved my clock.
Pete: That’s a sleep-in.
Dom: Yeah, yeah. I’ve moved my clock, and this is something else that, actually, a friend of mine mentioned to me. Great piece of advice, and maybe this refers back to what Kelly was asking. Maybe it’s relevant, maybe it’s not. But I used to get up when I got up, maybe seven, maybe 8 AM, and I’d get into my day.
Through this positive constraint, and also through a choice, I’ve moved my clock back, and I now get up at six, and I now have an extra hour in the morning before my world explodes, and before people come online and start wanting stuff (my outsourcers clock in and start sending reports or doing whatever they’re doing).I have this hour where there’s nobody. Nobody bothers me.
There’s no phone calls, I switch everything off, I don’t check my e-mail, and I use that hour in the morning because I’m a morning person. I’m like you. I go out, I take the dog for a walk, I come back, I go for my swim in the sea, and then I come back, and that’s when I do my writing. But I’m a morning person. Maybe you can make a slot in the evening.
Dom: Whenever works for you, but I have a couple of things to say about copywriting or writing copy on that, and the first one, we mentioned Ed Dale at the beginning of the call, and I just want to bring up something that Ed has said a number of times. You know, we’ve spoken to him, and also, he’s written about this, as well, because Ed is a prolific content creator.
And he always says, and I completely agree, one of the challenges with writing is, when you try to write something, is trying to get it perfect while you’re writing it, he said. And that’s a fatal, fatal, fatal mistake. What you should do is get it out of your head in whatever way possible, and he had lots of tricks for doing this, but, basically, get it out of your head, and then put it away, and then, the next time you sit down as a writing session, get it back out and edit it.
Because you’re not criticizing yourself, you’re not fighting with the words to come out, and I think that is – it’s a little bit more general about the topic of copywriting, but some of the things that people find a struggle sitting down to write is because they find writing hard.
Pete: Yeah, well, I think what you’re talking about there is – I think the first term I saw it spoken about was from Anne Lamott.
Dom: Anne Lamott, yeah.
Pete: In the book Bird by Bird, she’s a writer, and that book is about writing. Weird title, Bird by Bird. I guess it’s a play on word by word, I’m not too sure. But she talks about these things called downdrafts and updrafts, and I thought that was just an amazing way of articulating it, and what it’s about.
I know Neil Strauss, who’s a friend of mine who’s a huge writer, New York Times bestselling writer, he talks about it as well. He says that the first draft is for you, second draft’s for the editor, third draft’s for the reader. Any scenario is that the downdraft is just to get the thing down, just get it down on paper. Then the updraft is about cleaning it up. So you’re getting it down, and you’re cleaning it up.
Neil’s about the first draft’s for you, which is the writer, second draft’s for the editor, who’s going to clean it up, and the third draft is the final draft for the reader. You might have various iterations in between there, but that’s basically what it comes down to. So with copywriting, it is about getting it down, and then cleaning it up afterwards.
Dom: Absolutely, and I have to say I talked that up because I’m one of those people that critiques my own writing really badly. I’m really harsh. And I was struggling, and the downdraft, updraft thing, the ‘get it out of your head’ and then edit it – however you want to look at it, that really helped me. That made my process of writing and getting information out of my head so much easier.
But I have one other tip, which is a productivity tip. And again, maybe this might help Kelly and her husband, or Michelle, and that is that initial downdraft, getting it out of your head, you can do that anywhere, anytime, if you’re not focused on sitting at a keyboard or writing with a pen or whatever.
If you get out your smart phone and, wherever you are, you record audio, you can then get that audio transcribed, that becomes your initial draft. For example, Pete, you — whenever the mood strikes you, for example. You create content in the car. You record videos in the car.
You can just as easily turn on your phone and record a message to yourself. Ideas and thoughts about something and get that transcribed while you’re driving. You know certainly anybody who does any a commute. Years ago when I worked for the big companies and stuff, I had like an hour commute both directions.
And if I’d have been trying to do trying to move out of that world and into another one, trying to create content, that hour would have been one of the most valuable times I could have possibly had. I’d have to edit out the expletives from the other drivers on the motorway, but yeah. I know a lot of people have found a lot of success with that idea.
Pete: Yeah, very cool. Very, very cool.
Dom: First of all, experiment with different times and see what works for you, is short version of that one. And also, try different things. This downdraft, updraft, Pete, I think as you say, is a great way of describing it, is a great thing to do to free up the pressure on yourself as a writer.
So, Michelle, as I was saying at the beginning, Michelle is getting a value, we’ve got another question from Michelle. And this one, again, something I think you might be able to give some good answers to, is how do you get interviews with the leaders in your marketplace?
Pete: You ask. And I know that sounds really, really basic. We have a template e-mail. So if you’re interested in a copy of that that we use to get to when we do reach out to a guest here on the show, just e-mail support [at] preneurgroup [dot] com. I’ll let the team know that I mentioned on the podcast that you can get a copy of that, and we’ll shoot you a copy of the template we use, by all means.
Just at least change the spelling mistakes when you use it yourself. What I’m saying is don’t just rip it off verbatim, be sensible. I’m helping you out here, guys. Don’t just swipe exactly stuff word-for-word. But literally, it’s about asking and it’s about positioning.
You’ll see in our template we mention other guests we’ve had. Now, majority of the guests we have on the show these days are either personal friends or people who have reached out to us. Given the size of our community here and the listener base we have, people know that we can pack-a-punch when it comes to helping people sell a bulk of whatever it might be.
That’s because of you guys who listen, so thank you. We get a lot of people reaching out to us, but we do reach out to the occasional guest that we think would be a good person on the show. If there’s been a great book that we’ve consumed. The template we use has a couple of things in there.
It mentions our previous guests, just a bit of social proof. Hard to start with, if you don’t have people to interview or guests. You can leverage that over time. Even if you have some guests that you don’t think are famous, put their name in the e-mail. It just implies you’ve had other people.
They might go, “Well, should I know who these people are if they’re mentioning it?” It’s a bit of psychology in that. Listeners and viewerships and what sort of data you have. If you’re the biggest consultant in Tasmania, if you have an audience for the state of Tasmania. If you have 13,000 followers on Twitter, that is an audience of 13,000 people.
You could get creative a little bit with your copywriting in stuff like that. Say you have an audience of 13,000, because technically a Twitter following, by technical definition, is an audience. I think it’s about asking that. I think in the actual request for an interview, telling them what it’s about. It’s not like, I just want to interview you for the sake of interviewing you.
I want to interview you about this particular topic, answering these particular key questions. Show that you’ve got some intelligence, show that you’re going to take a different angle to every other interview that person’s ever done, and give them that in the request. Those two or three quick tips should be enough to get you your first two or three in the bag. And then you can leverage from there.
Dom: Great tips, mate. And yeah, definitely support [at] preneurgroup [dot] com, if you want to have a look at that e-mail. It has worked absolute gangbusters for us in lots of different contexts. Just to add a few things around what you were saying there, Pete. First of all, we started from nowhere. We’ve talked about this on a number of occasions on the podcast. This podcast started with me and Pete having a chat.
Pete: Four or five times before we published it, that’s a whole other point.
Dom: Yeah, yeah, that’s another point. But, it was Pete and I having a chat. And it grew to the point where we invited people on the show from different levels, to the point now where publishers reach out to us and ask us if we will feature their authors. But it wasn’t an overnight thing.
And, it’s something you can grow, or maybe it’ll take you some time. It’s not necessarily going to happen tomorrow, but there are some things that you can do. And this was something actually, I mentioned slightly jokingly that I’ve been listening and catching up on my audiobooks and things like that.
One of the things I read — I listened to recently was something by Dan Kennedy and he mentions this. He talks about it as being the person that owns the media, whatever that media might be. So if you are a podcast producer or, being a little topical, if you happen to be publishing a digital magazine.
We were talking about that at the beginning of the show, with Ed Dale’s digital magazine publishing platform that publishes into Apple Newsstand and soon out to Kindle and Android. If you own a magazine that’s going to be published into these platforms and you’re publishing this on a regular basis, that is an exposure medium for somebody.
Now, most people want an audience. If you offer them an audience, they will happily give you something. There’s two different things. One is any time that you can give them an easy in, like, “I’ll interview you, here’s what I want to know, would you be happy to have a chat?”
In the magazine space, if they’ve already published something, you can very often ask them if you can repurpose it. And that gets you that name. If they don’t have to do any work, the ask is even less.
Pete: I think that’s a big thing, is it’s what’s in it for them? Why would they say yes? Someone who is big, important, and busy is not going to give up an hour of their time to be generous, to be completely blunt about it. There has to be something in it for them. So if they’re promoting a thing at the time, a book, a product, a whatever, a widget of some at the time, it’s in their best interests to get the word out about that widget.
So timing is a big thing. Going to someone who’s very, very busy and saying, “Hey, I just want to grab a piece of your calendar and I just want to drain your brain of stuff for no other purpose than just to get information out of you to share with my audience, but just to share it,” the chances are, to be honest, that person saying yes is probably pretty slim.
Most people are going to be too busy, as we spoke about earlier, just to spend a bit of time talking for no direct benefit for them. It sounds selfish, but unfortunately that’s what the world of business is.
Dom: But that is core business though, isn’t it? Their core business is promoting their product. But this goes back to what you were saying about the e-mail, and about including evidence and social proof. If you can show them that there’s value because you’ve got an audience, or that your audience is targeted.
Never underestimate, by the way, the value — if you produce a podcast that is the ultimate widgeter’s podcast, then you’ve got a targeted audience that you can offer to somebody.
Dom: You might only have a thousand people listen to your podcast, but they’re a thousand true fans of widgeting. So yeah, that comes back to, as you said, the detail of that e-mail and the — not to just copy it word-for-word, but to understand what each point of the e-mail does, which is what we always say whenever you say, Pete, you say swipe and deploy.
What you mean is read it and understand what each element is doing. And make that element work for you. But yeah, but it comes down to what you opened with, Pete, which is just ask. Because you’d be amazed what you can get. Do you think we can manage one more Michelle question?
Pete: I love Michelle, I’ve known her for years. But do we have another question we should try to squeeze in to this episode?
Dom: We’ll go on then. I will, I’ll pass over. You can tell Michelle that we passed her over.
Pete: I’m going to get a nasty, nasty text message or a nasty, nasty e-mail.
Dom: Yeah, well, we are close to time anyway. Okay, I’m going to ask this one because I think a lot of people are interested in this for whatever reason. And, I’m sorry, but it is a Michelle question. I’m just going to squeeze this last one in please. Come on. Because it’s very interesting.
Can you give a suggestion or idea — because you are the ideas person, you always come up with some off-the-wall stuff and great suggestions, some ideas for growing an audience quickly online for a new product launch? Let’s say you’re going to launch a product or you’re going to do something. Any ideas for getting the word out?
Pete: The best two ways, the absolute, unquestionable best two ways is pay for advertising by media, or leverage and stand on the shoulders of giants and use joint ventures. They are absolutely, by far, the best two. And they have been for all eternity.
Think about it, back in the 1920s, the 1700s, whenever it was, the best two ways to get traffic for anything, foot traffic into a retail store, whatever it might be, it’s either you pay for advertising, you put billboards up, you do radio, you do online banners, you do pay-per-click, whatever it might be. Do Facebook ads these days.
And you pay for that. Or, you go down the joint venture path, which is an endorsement-based marketing. That’s all joint ventures are. When you do these big product launches and you’re doing affiliate offers and all that stuff, all that is endorsement-based marketing. And that’s been around for centuries as well.
Prior to the web, Dan Kennedy, you spoke about before, was a huge advocate and still is about getting endorsed mailing. So what you do is you go to your local chiropractor, and you say, “I’m a footwear store, and we sell good, sturdy footwear that can help people with back pains and it helps, fits their orthotics.
Can you do a mail ad to your client base with a coupon saying, ‘Come into our retail store and you get a 10% discount?'” This is the stuff we used to do in the footwear business, what, 10 years ago for me now. It was a lot of endorsed promotion stuff from podiatrists and physios.
That stuff worked then, and it works online now. Those two, by far, are the best ways. Because you’re going to be able to get a flood of referral endorsed traffic to your business through a joint venture affiliate-type promotion. Or, the alternative is just to pay for the advertising directly.
And there’s a bunch of other quirky ways, like guest-posting on other people’s sites, and doing SEO. They do work, they’re just going to be slower. And they’re not going to be as big a wave as a dedicated endorsed mailing.
Dom: Excellent. And I totally agree. The joint venture thing, we have done this, we have talked about joint ventures. The joint venture thing, I think, is one of those things that people just don’t think about, but it’s one of the most powerful things you can do.
If an authority figure in an industry, someone with an existing audience or client base or whatever that knows, likes, and trusts them pops a good word in for you, there you go. That’s it, instant traffic. It’s simple as that.
Pete: To be honest, so many people, I think, speak to — about this stuff and they’re very hesitant about spending money on advertising. And to me, there’s a couple of red flags, or things you need to think about. One, if you can’t figure out who your target audience is well enough to be able to work out where your advertising need to be, so it’s in front of those people, do you have a good enough clarity of what your business is all about and the product it’s going to serve?
Because so many people are like, “Oh, if I have a joint venture partner, they’ll mail on it because it matches their audience.” But then, where are those audience looking for other stuff, and advertise there. So many people can’t get clarity on, shoot, where does this product fit?
If someone has a problem and they’re looking for the solution, and this product I have is a solution to that problem, where are they looking for that solution? Just because someone’s on e-mail list or a client of someone else, and a JV affiliate promotion will work, there are people who aren’t on that list who are practically looking for that solution.
Where are they looking, and advertise there. So if you can’t figure out who that is and where they’re looking, that’s a big red flag from a business perspective. Secondly, if you’re like, “Well, I can’t cash flow this or I’m not willing to risk throwing $200 at a sale.”
Let’s say, hypothetically, that you’re product is a $200 product. You’re willing to give away 15% for affiliate commission. If you’re not willing to give $100 out of your own pocket and spend that to try to get that sale through advertising, for whatever reason, because you don’t think it’s going to convert well, shame on you.
You don’t believe in your product enough so it might be a success. Flat out, bottom line. So many people are like, well, I don’t know. There are two very fundamental questions you have to answer first and foremost. I’ve spoken to this many times, and I did an interview, it was probably a while ago now, with Ed Dale about how we grew our businesses.
When we want to test something back in The Challenge days when Ed was talking about the Thirty Day Challenge, it was all about trying to test a market over 30 days to get your first buyer, to make sure your product was profitable. It was all that doing SEO and a whole bunch of stuff to get that first sale and test your market.
That’s a great strategy if you want to take that slower path. In the interview I spoke about, I said anytime I’m going to test a market, we’ll take $1,000 and throw AdWords traffic at it. We want to fast-track that result, we want to know it’s going to be profitable.
We’re not going to wait 30 days and try to do it slowly and find it might not work and try and get a joint venture partner or wait for SEO traffic to bubble through. We’re going to go, no, we believe in this product, we believe in this service, we believe in this market. We’re going to throw $1,000 at it, $5,000, $100, whatever it might be, to test it.
You get quicker results, you get feedback loops shortened, and you should believe in your product enough to throw some advertising at it. Because unquestionably, advertising, paid advertising is by far the quickest way to get results when it comes to traffic generation. Next thing is joint ventures.
If you’ve got some people who will mail for you, and then you’ve got SEO and blogging and guest-posting and podcasting, that at the end of the day is noise. Let’s be frank here about it. This podcast, we’re up to 107, 108 episodes or so now, and it’s huge for us. We’re getting thousands of downloads of the show every single day. And it’s great.
But, it is not the best traffic generator we have. It’s people are out listening, washing their dishes, walking the dog, running, cycling, consuming great content, but it’s not giving us a direct traffic source. There’s plenty of other things we’ve done, like paid advertising, funnily enough. Joint ventures promotions. Blogging for so much time.
Facebook ads. All that stuff is the stuff that generates real traffic for a launch for a product. And we’re going to be doing some stuff, we’ve got some new launches coming up in the next couple of months of our own products. And it’s going to be interesting to see and show you guys what we’re doing to grow these things.
Dom: Absolutely. As always, we’re going to do what we say. We’re going to tell you what we do. But yeah, again, it’s that simple. There are some proven things in the history of marketing and advertising and all the rest of that, that have been true forever. And that’s definitely two of them.
Pete: But again, this is the thing as well. Probably a lot of people here first heard about me through the Profit Hacks launch last year with Rich Schefren (or Schefren, depending if you’re going to pronounce it correctly or not). A lot of people say, “Pete Williams came out of nowhere and it was amazing,” blah blah blah.
Let’s put this into perspective. I started my first business when I was 17, 14 years ago. I wrote my first book when I was 22, 23, which was nine years ago. I was doing stuff in the internet marketing space for a number of years. I hung out with Ed and his team while I was growing my real-world business because the internet marketing stuff intrigued me.
That was six, seven years in the making. It was after speaking at numerous conferences around the world, unpaid, that Rich sort of “found me.” It sounds as wanky as hell, because I’ve been in the media here in Australia with a whole bunch of success before that.
But a lot of people see that like it was instant. How did you get Rich to give you a promotion? Well, you work your fucking ass off for nine years in a particular space and then you’ll have that success. Read, listen to the Audible free version of Total Recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book.
He hustled his butt off before he became the bodybuilding champion that he was. He hustled his butt off in late night acting classes. He started a real-estate business, a mail-order business, a whole bunch of businesses to boot up his wealth. And then he became a politician. It wasn’t just he decided to become a politician.
He worked really, really hard, educated himself, and hustled. And that’s the thing. If you’re willing to pay for it, there are some shortcuts, like advertising. If you’re not willing to pay for that, then you got to work your butt off and get those relationships, and build the traffic organically.
Dom: While you just climb down off that soap box, I’ll just dig out the next question. You’re absolutely right, you are absolutely right. And it is important. I think, it’s important that people realize this stuff.
Pete: I know Michelle’s hugely successful in Tasmania, doing a great job. And I know that wasn’t her question. But for the listeners, we do get these questions occasionally. How do I make $5,000, how do I start a $5,000 business next month? How do I start a $20,000 business next month? I don’t know how to answer that, because I don’t know how to start a business that will make you $20,000 next month.
I know how to work your butt off, so then you have a business in a few years’ time. But realistically, if I said to you that here’s a three-year plan that in three years’ time, you’re going to have a business that’s going to give you $20,000 a month working two days a week, would you be realistically happy with that? On the surface, people would say yes, but no one’s willing to go through those three years.
That’s what it takes. Ask anybody. Even the outliers to a certain extent, like Mark Zuckerburg, who started Facebook. He started businesses beforehand, you read the books about him. He worked and hardly slept, and coded after hours on various projects before Facebook. It wasn’t just he had this one idea one morning (or potentially stole the idea, if you want to believe that crap), and then had his website become instant success.
Yeah, the site became an instant success but he wasn’t. And this is the interesting thing with outliers – Gary Vaynerchuk, we spoke about him earlier, he did 150 episodes of The Thunder Show, aka the Wine Library TV, before he became Gary Vaynerchuk the brand.
He did those videos to audiences of three every single day, every single week. He would just do them and did the reps for that. Now he can pick up the phone and say “Hey, I’ve got a new book coming out. Tim, can you post it on the FourHourBlog.com and get me 50,000 buys?” He can do that now because he did the reps, and that’s the thing.
Dom: I think that whole point is wrapped up really well in the book Outliers. Very, very briefly, folks. If you haven’t read Outliers, it didn’t make it onto our reading list that we talked about recently, but it’s a fascinating book about people that a lot of people that you will probably know and some people that you might not know, but they’re all leaders in their field or considered to be leaders in their field.
From sports to business to whatever. They’re people that a lot of people perceive as being instant successes, that they were always successful people. And it’s the story of the reality, the truth, the history. The hard jobs, doing the reps, all the rest of it. That’s it. The story of the book: do the reps.
We’re pushing for a long episode today, Pete. Let’s try and wrap up the last hour. I’ve got two questions left for you. I say I’ve got two questions left for you. I don’t think you will even understand the next question.
Dom: What do you do when you realize that you’re in a rut and you can’t seem to get down to knuckle down and do the work?
Pete: I understand that question.
Dom: Do you?
Pete: I understand it.
Dom: Never happened to you, has it?
Pete: Come on, let’s be serious about it, of course it has. I love it, I love being perceived as on this pedestal of greatness. But let’s be freaking honest about it, that’s not true. There’s definitely times where you just struggle. But I think I would love to hear your answer on this though.
Dom: Well, my perspective on this is slightly different to yours. So, no, go ahead with the Pete Williams official answer, and then maybe this is my soap box.
Pete: I don’t really have an official answer. I think it is about small winds, momentum. It’s going to sound really weird, but the one suggestion I would have, and I’ve seen this work numerous times, is get an accountability partner, and make promises to each other that I’m going to do this today. Don’t try and take over the world, just have that accountability.
And for me, that’s worked really, really well. For others, it might not be their psychology, their little bent that works for them. But for me, I found that having someone that everyday, I’m going to e-mail what it is I’m going to try and do that day, what I didn’t do today that I tried to, those just accountability questions which were spoken about, I’m sure, on the show before.
Just being accountable to someone else, for me, has worked really, really well because then I’m not throwing my little pity party anymore. It’s my reputation, it’s my ego, to a certain extent, on the line with a friend or a foe. Looking at something like stickK.com could be a way to put a financial thing around that.
Just changing the perspective and the frame and the context, I think, around that can be helpful. But I know there’s other circumstances where the rut can defined and created a different way. This is where I think it could be good to chat about.
Dom: I was joking. I know that all is not rosy and light in the world of Pete on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can struggle to get things done. We all struggle to get things done.
Pete: There’s definitely times you get frustrated with me for not doing something that we said we were going to do. Let’s be frank about it, I’m not perfect.
Dom: Yeah, but the thing you said there is get an accountability partner. Hello everybody, 108 episodes later, I am Dom Goucher, I am Pete’s accountability partner for the podcast. Folks, work it out. You’re literally listening to us living what we say. This podcast could possibly not have happened on a number of occasions.
Either through my not getting going, or Pete’s not getting going, or Pete’s life overtaking him or whatever. Just like any project, anywhere, we all have these things. Like Kelly’s question, she’s got a new family, both her and her husband are both self-employed. Being self-employed is hard, folks. It’s hard.
Being the person that, when you start the day, you have to decide what it is you’re going to do, then you have to do it, then you have to check that you did it. And you have to do that everyday. That is hard. Anybody that’s not tried it, try it. Because it’s hard. Sorry, this is Steve’s question. Steve, if you are a solo-preneur, if you’re self-employed, do not feel bad if you find this hard. Okay?
Dom: Do not feel hard. Anybody, if you have a job, if you work for a company, or you have a boss; the flip side of that coin, by the way, is be grateful that that’s their problem. You might not think that they’re great people and that it’s a great job and all the rest of it, but that’s part of what that work, the generic term was this idea of the factory.
A factory is anything that turns — that organizes people and gets something done. It could be an office, it could be a genuine manufacturing plant, it doesn’t matter. But that was the idea, was a couple of people have the idea about what everybody needs to do, and then everybody else just does what they’re told.
And the moment that you step into it on your own, all that work’s yours on top of getting it done. So don’t feel bad about that, that’s the important point. But basically Pete, everything that you said is what my response was going to be to this question.
The first thing is, and it’s a great fantastic thing, and this applies to everybody. Whether you find it hard to do something, you find it hard to get started, you find it hard to keep going, or whatever. The thing I heard the other day at what’s called the One Percent Solution.
Now, I think a lot of people, if you read any generic advice, all the armchair advice from people about managing a big project, everybody says break it up into smaller pieces. And it is good advice. If you’re looking at a big thing that you want to do, create something, get something started, get something moving, whatever it is, pick a small piece. Break it up into smaller pieces, until there’s something you can do.
That’s one thing I would say. But the One Percent Solution is very simple. Do something, anything at all, towards that goal each and every day. If that thing is one percent towards your goal, it’s not going to take that long and you’ll reach the goal. And one percent of anything is not big.
That’s the extreme version of this idea of chunking something up into smaller pieces. Again, this is the thing that people start in their own business, solo-preneurs. The self-accountability is a massive problem. So having an accountability partner, if it’s your life partner, or somebody you live with.
They don’t even have to understand what it is you do. Being blunt about it, maybe they need to understand that if you don’t do it, you won’t pay the bills. Maybe it’s like that. I’ve been there. I’m going to put my hand up, I’ve been there. I have been there, that it’s a do it or don’t pay the bills day.
Even in those circumstances I know the people, for whatever reasons, just can’t move. And having somebody, whether it’s your spouse, your partner, or whether it’s just a friend, work colleague, team member, whoever it is; and you say to them look, I’m going to do this, this is what I’m going to do.
I’m going to do it this, this is what I need to get done, and this is when I need to get it done by. Just to have somebody that you have to speak up to. The ultimate accountability was me and my big mouth, the magazine in seven days. I opened my big mouth and I said, that’s it, I’m going to do it.
Everybody was watching and I had to do it. I had to at least keep going, and I had to make a good go of it, yeah. If I hadn’t said that out loud, then I could have just sloped off. I could have just gone, “You know what Pete, I’ve done this for two days, I’m not sure it’s going the way I wanted it to go, I think I just won’t do it.”
But I put it out there, made myself accountable to the Preneur Community, and it helped motivate me when it got hard, and it got hard. The other thing, again, I talked about this earlier, is positive constraints. You talk about positive constraints a lot. Whether it’s all you really need to record an audio for something.
One of the tricks that we’ve talked about in the past about making sure that you get an audio recorded for something is to invite somebody onto a planned webinar or teleconference as an audience. And you do the audio as a presentation to them. You book it, you invite people. And once they’re booked on, then you’re going to have to turn up.
It’s a form of accountability. But those are the things. But I think the bigger issue is, to me, that people don’t talk about, is that they feel bad because it feels hard. I just wanted to say that because I think I’ve come across a few people that feel that way and you shouldn’t, it’s hard. That’s what it is. Yeah, kind of speaking back to what you were talking about, about doing the hard jobs.
So best of luck Steve, if you are finding it hard. Hopefully that gave you some ideas. And just keep plugging along. Go with that One Percent Solution. So the last question of our Q&A collection is something from Dave in Australia. Hi Dave. Dave has been taking our recommendations for Audible from the podcast through various things.
Now, Dave is somebody that, he mentioned this in his message, came to the podcast late and has been catching up. So, going through our Recommended Reading. But Dave asks if we have any books that we can recommend for people who are just starting out.
Pete: Well, clearly I’m going to say The Lean Startup, of course.
Dom: Yeah, you can pick on me if you want, but you already did that in an entire episode that we did, not so long ago, which was our summer reading list. And that summer reading list was exactly this, wasn’t it? It was whatever business you’re in, whatever position you’re in, these are the books we absolutely recommend.
Definitely, if you’re thinking of starting out, there’s a lot of mindset books, ways of thinking, perspective books, general business and marketing things in that list, in that show. So, Dave, and anybody else who wants our recommendations of the must-read books, I’m going to put a link in the show notes, as we always do, to the show.
It was a couple episodes ago, which was our summer reading list, and which covered those books. And yes, the first book I talked about was The Lean Startup, Peter.
Pete: I love it.
Dom: I love it too. As much as I love MOO cards.
Pete: You loooove it. Sorry.
Dom: Lots of very valuable lessons in that book.
Pete: I completely agree, it is a fantastic read or a fantastic listen.
Dom: Indeed, indeed. Okay, folks, so that ends our wrap-up of the Q&A questions. It started with our live 100th show. I just want to say thank you to everybody that came on the show and asked the questions live, and that we managed to answer them live.
Everybody that’s recorded their audio version of their questions. And just people that joined in that live show, it was a great experience. Maybe we’ll do one again soon. Pete, what’d you think?
Pete: Yeah, lovely.
Dom: Because we got great feedback about that. We love to answer questions fully, so it’s difficult to get a lot answers into the show length that we like to keep it to. But yes, thank you to everybody, and thank you to everybody as well that’s been commenting on the shows.
We do occasionally — if somebody leaves us an audio comment and gives us permission, we put that comment in the show. But we’ve been getting some fantastic feedback about the whole range of shows. Because people join us at different points and go back and listen and work their way through. And they’ve been leaving comments on iTunes and over on PreneurMedia.tv recently.
I just want to say thank you to everybody that’s been leaving us comments. You can, as always, leave us a comment on iTunes. Just go to the iTunes page for PreneurCast and leave a comment in your particular country. Pete, did you want to mention about PreneurMedia.tv?
Pete: Yeah, we’re killing it. No, well, we are technically. What we’re doing is, we decided to make it easier for everyone in the community and just basically pull every feedback into one website.
So, Noise Reduction, who a lot of you probably subscribe to, which is our weekly newsletter of the best things in the web to reduce all that noise that’s out there online, that newsletter that had a website over at noise.re is moving into PreneurMarketing.com.
PreneurMedia.tv, the home of the PreneurCast podcast, is going to move as part of PreneurMarketing.com. And, as part of all this, PreneurMarketing.com is getting a complete facelift as well. So, depending on when you listen to this show, it may have already happened.
We’re making it a lot more content-centric. We’re taking away a lot of the slide bars and stuff like that. Kind of going a bit, what is it, web 4.0 now, whatever the heck that number’s up to. Basically, yeah, PreneurMarketing.com will be the new home of everything revolving and incorporating and related to the Preneur Community.
The blog will be there, the podcast will be there as well, the Noise Reduction updates, and a whole bunch of other really cool stuff. We’ve got some awesome tools and new reports, and downloads, and calculators, and some other really cool things planned out for the next couple of months as we roll that out and really pad it out as well.
So yeah, it’s very, very exciting. If anyone’s got any books they’ve written, they want to publish an excerpt of that, we’re open to that stuff. The odd guest post, but more so, it’s going to be more about, got a book you want to promote? Let us publish a chapter on the site and stuff like that.
Reach out, if you’ve got some ideas: support [at] preneurgroup [dot] com. The e-mail address will be always support [at] preneurgroup [dot] com because that’s the group of all the businesses that we have here, not just Preneur Marketing and the PreneurCast.
But yeah, check that out at some point at your leisure. Comment, interact, it’s all good stuff happening over there at PreneurMarketing.com. Have I said that domain name enough now?
Dom: I think you might have said it, but just in case you haven’t said it enough, I will put it in the show notes along with everything else.
Pete: And those show notes will be on PreneurMarketing.com.
Dom: You beat me to it. So on that excellent wrap-up, folks, we will see you all next week.
Pete: With an awesome interview, that is definitely worth checking out. I’m going to give a bit of a teaser on this one. It’s the first interview where I got choked up and lost for words at the start of. It’s pretty powerful. So come and listen next week.
http://makingonlinevideo.com – Dom’s new digital magazine (launch issue out soon)
Total Recall – Arnold Schwartzenegger
Bird by Bird – Annie Lamott
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
Previous PreneurCast Episodes:
Episode 044 – Core vs Mechanics
Episode 092 – Core Business
Episode 063 – Joint Ventures
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