Get this wrong and you will struggle (speaking from experience). Get it right and you get to write your own ticket.
In the Internet marketing space… most simply think of “outsourcing” when discussing leverage. That is certainly a very powerful way to leverage other peoples’ time and expertise but that is not the entire picture. I am sure you know that but when the daily fires hit your desk it is difficult to think strategically.
Being self employed is difficult and at times frustrating. Everything falls on you. But there is hope and a never ending number of perks… like going to the grocery store at 10am while everyone is at work. However, without a clear understanding of your personal strengths, vision and productive action….. you will struggle and maybe even fail. Not much of a pep talk, but here is the answer.
Get your s#*t together now!
Have you ever met a self-made millionaire or person of significant influence? Did you notice how protective they are of their time?
There lies your biggest hint. The hidden key to success… time. When you are paid by a customer or employer you are being paid for time. It does not matter if your a sheep herder or a painter…. it takes time to produce products, provide services and manage people./p>
Owe someone money? Perhaps owe taxes?
In reality, you owe time and your ability to leverage time will determine your wealth. Increasing productivity, outsourcing and even partnerships are all ways to leverage and save time.
Ok… so you get it. Time is important and it is finite.
Time is Important, What Next?
Realizing that you need to protect time and leverage time is the first step. But what should you use your time for? How can you be sure your doing the right things in the limited time that is available?
One way to measure your efforts is to simply look at what your doing and forecasting the results. For instance, how much money will you make in the next 30 days mowing your lawn or watching TV? How much money will you make working for an hourly wage? How much will you make working on administrative tasks like answering the phone or stocking the shelves in your store?
You Need to Focus on Tasks that Produce Financial Results
Remember that currency is just a medium of exchange that represents time. When you work on “systems” and “processes” you are still creating wealth by saving time. Outsourcing is a fantastic way to create leverage, expand your capabilities and save time.
What should you focus on? .
Well…. the specific answer will depend upon your current situation, what cycle your at in your business and other variables. Regardless of your situation here is the BEST way to make a decision about what you should focus on….
The 80/ 20 Rule ( The Pareto Principle )
It is easy to overlook the 80/20 rule because it is mentioned so frequently but rarely discussed in depth. It is simple, 20% of your effort produces 80% of your results, 80% of your income is from 20% of your customers… etc etc. However this is only scratching the surface.
Thank you Perry Marshall for taking this topic to a new level and for writing a FANTASTIC book about it. After listening to his interview from the “I Love Marketing Podcast” I just went nuts… purchased books, sent them to friends and customers, wrote this blog post and rebuilt my entire plan for the next year.
Absolutely critical information. However, it won’t answer the questions that might be specific to your situation. You actually need to make that your decision for yourself. I have personally discovered that mastermind groups are the absolute best way to test ideas and get feedback on projects. If your not in some sort of mastermind group, your destine to struggle. There is a reason that Napolean Hill discussed the importance of mastermind groups in the book “The and Grow Rich”.
Focus On What?
At the highest level… you should focus on all forms of leverage. A more tactical answer would be…. marketing, sales, outsourcing, constant improvement (Kaizen) and the 80/20 division in each of those areas.
If your building a new business (just starting) then your focus needs to be validation. Are people already selling, buying or using what your offering? Does your mastermind group understand the offer and agree with you and the market? Have you sold one (maybe even before it is available)?
If you have already started and you have customers, products and sales… then you need to add leverage, outsource and bank time. Apply the 80/20 rule to every area of your business and create leverage in the highest producing areas.
Take Consistent and Productive Action
Nothing moves without action. Everything from weight loss to business growth requires action in order to produce results. You can’t sit on the couch, flip channels and wish for a smaller waist or bigger bank balance.
Massive change is not required. Eat the elephant one bite at a time, the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step…. in other words… TAKE ACTION. Consistent, focused and productive action.
I know… believe me. Easier said than done but what is the alternative. If you truly want change…. you need to make it happen. Others may support you but ultimately you have to get it done. So let’s get started and make this the best year ever.