“I’m amazed at how much you get done.”
I hear this all the time from clients and friends. Actually, I’m the one who’s amazed. Not because of how much I accomplish, but because they are impressed. It doesn’t seem like I’m accomplishing that much to me. All I see is the long list of unfinished projects left to do.
Still, I’ve picked up a few insights I can share about getting things done.
“The do-it-yourself movement ruined America.” My friend Rob Berkley said this at a recent mastermind meeting. His comment really struck me. In the drive for independence, costs savings and the feeling of accomplishment, we strive to complete projects by ourselves.
Years ago my wife and I tiled our bathroom and kitchen floors. We rented the expensive masonry saw, but we had to buy several other tools. Plus, we had to learn a lot of new skills. I was the one who had to learn how to cut tile with a saw. The results were fine, but it took us days to complete the project as well as several (inevitable) trips to the home improvement store to ask questions and to pick up items we needed but had no idea we were going to need when we got started.
I see this all the time in business. I’ll get a question about some tool, a WordPress plugin or something. It will be from a “do it yourselfer” who is trying to figure out info-marketing while also learning how to build websites. My advice? Don’t learn how to build websites! (Or at least wait until you have your business well established.) All of the money in info-marketing is made by identifying what a market wants and giving it to them. It’s easy to find dozens of people who can do the web work for you. Let them figure out the website; this will give you time to focus on what’s really important.
To accomplish what I do, I have an entire team around me who helps me be more productive.
I’m a bad speller. Even with spell check I often make mistakes. Therefore, I have an editor read everything I produce. This allows me to write quickly, without worrying too much about grammar and spelling. The editor reviews what I write before it goes out to ensure everything reads well. Thus, I do what I’m good at, and where I’m not as skilled, the detailed editing, a member of my team steps in.
I have team members handle other day-to-day tasks for me as well.
Denise answers the bulk of my email. She’s able to answer all but two or three questions each day. In the beginning we built a question and answer reference document. She keeps that document handy to answer the questions she receives from members. When we come across a new question, she adds it to her guide. Each day she takes the questions she cannot answer and emails them to me. This way I can answer the two or three messages in one sitting and move on with the rest of my day.
Suzanne does a great job handling my phone calls. She, too, has a question and answer document. Plus, she also schedules telephone appointments. She takes care of all of the telephone tag, saving me a lot of time and aggravation.
For years I haven’t posted anything on my own websites. I know how to do it, so I could do it myself. I choose not to. Denise posts on my blog. Doug handles the IMA website. Rather than fussing with the editors to get the posts just right, I let Denise and Doug take care of it.
My team allows me to accomplish a lot more than I could possibly do by myself. There is no disadvantage to relying on others to do some of the day-to-day work in my business. I am still supplying all of the creative ideas, the writing and the marketing. Those are the things that attract customers and keep them coming back. I focus as much time as possible on those profit-producing activities.
Whether you are doing a job yourself or using team members to do some of the work, you always want to make it appear easy.
I attended an info-marketer’s conference, and he did a good job in his presentation. The only problem was he and his staff were frantic at the back of the room. They weren’t organized and had to improvise. A lot of emergencies came up as members of his team tried to figure out what they were supposed to be doing.
It’s important to invest the time to choreograph everything that needs to happen throughout your events. It’s not only more efficient and effective, but you always want to portray that you are in complete control of the situation. If your staff is frantic, your attendees will notice. Even if your content is the best, a lack of preparation will create doubt, undermining your attendees’ confidence in you.
You always want to make what you do appear effortless. Make it look easy.
It’s important to me that the Insiders’ Update always get delivered at 3 p.m. Eastern on Tuesdays. To make sure my messages always go out on time, I write them several days in advance. This gives me plenty of time to get them edited, loaded into an email and sent by the deadline. Although a lot of work goes into writing, editing, designing, proofing, list selection and posting, it looks effortless.
Planning ahead and using systems will allow you to do more—and make it look easy. This will increase your efficacy and effectiveness while amazing your customers at how much you are able to accomplish.
What do you think? Are you a recovering do-it-yourselfer? Or are there good reasons why you and I should be doing more ourselves? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to leave me a comment. I read every comment and reply when appropriate.