Sometimes, It Requires More Than You Think

Working Sessions – Episode 27 – It Requires More Than You Think---IVY (1)

[00:00:00] James Sowers (Castaway): Let's see. What were we talking about today? We're talking about the idea of doing more, and the way I phrased this, I guess in my mind was like sometimes it requires more than you think, right? Or more than you assume. This got me thinking about Grant Cardone's book, the 10 X Rule. I don't know if you've read it.

[00:00:18] It's been a little while since I've read it, but. The general premise of the book is like whatever you're trying to do, whatever goal you're setting, multiply it by 10 x and do the activities that would get you there because ultimately like you'll end up ahead. And so it's basically just like add a zero.

[00:00:31] If you wanna make a hundred thousand dollars this year, do the activities it takes to make a million dollars this year and you'll end up way past a hundred thousand dollars and you'll surpass your expectations. So that's kind of how I was thinking about it. But I think you had a couple of specific use cases or scenarios where you wanted to apply the, it sometimes requires more than you think.

[00:00:49] Idea. So I don't know, did you have any specific examples in your head when you brought this to the table?

[00:00:54] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yeah, I did. And it's partially inspired by Ed Millet and his book Power of One More, and then Alex Hormo is kind of on the same like wavelength about it as well. And I've thought about it just like over the years.

[00:01:07] Basically Hormo Z's thing is like doing more volume early on helps you learn a lot faster and you find the things that work a lot faster and then you're gonna succeed a lot faster. My lets is like, basically. His power. One more, which I've been listening to on, on Audible recently, and not all the way, two thirds of the way through.

[00:01:23] It's actually really good. I was like, I don't know. He's this like guru guy, but it's actually really good. And his thing is don't be normal. Don't be common, right? Mm-hmm. Too many people James put in, this is my. Rant. This is me getting on stage. So, you know, too many people think that they can get uncommon results by putting in common effort and doing the things that everyone else that has gotten common results has put in, putting in that same amount.

[00:01:48] But we think that we're a unique snowflake that we can get uncommon results by doing the same things. Not true. You want to get uncommon and I mean, maybe one in a million will. Right? Or one in a hundred thousand will. But like yeah, fooling ourselves that we're gonna be that not smart, right? If you want to get uncommon results, Live an uncommon life.

[00:02:06] You need to put in an uncommon level of effort. So more effort and also more of better effort. So some of this is like prioritization, right? If you work on the same thing, you just do more of the same things aren't gonna get your results, you're not gonna get any more results, right? So part of it's like working on the same thing.

[00:02:20] But the thing that I've been seeing a lot, and I've seen this over the years with Credo especially, and then like other friends, like running businesses. There's a lot of inaction, right? So I think it's really good when people will, like a coach or whoever will tell people, just take action. Just get started, right?

[00:02:35] Just start on $10 a day on Facebook ads or Google ads or whatever. I don't disagree with that. What I disagree with is staying there. Like you can't just start. Someone told me recently that best practices too many people look at best practices as like, that's all I have to do, and then I can move on.

[00:02:50] Versus like, best practices should be the baseline of you don't do any less than that. But that is the baseline of what you should do, right? You need to do a lot more. The example I'd like to give is you're starting with $10 a day. To Facebook ads. Right. Times, 30 days in a month, $300 a month, right? We've seen a lot of people at Credo over the years be like, but yeah, I've tried Google ads, but like, I didn't really get results.

[00:03:13] I'm like, well, how much are you spending? Oh, $10 a day, $15 a day. I'm like, so you are spending, let's say $500 a month? They're like, yeah, okay. But your like average sale is. $15,000, right? And they're like, yes. Okay. How much are you willing to pay to acquire that? They're like, well, usually we end up spending revenue divided by total annual marketing budget.

[00:03:34] We're spending like $3,000 to acquire a customer. Okay. And so can you take six months to, you know, acquire a customer through Google Ads? Like if you've given it six months? No. Okay. But if you're used to spending $3,000, 500 times six is $3,000. So it's gonna take you on average, six months to get that right?

[00:03:51] Yeah. They're like, oh. Like Right. If you have the budget, quit being basically like, and then Ho Mosey says this in so many words. It's like, this is what I tell people. I'm like, you just need to spend more. Honestly, and also, okay, so maybe you spend more, I would rather spend that $3,000 in one month and know that we need to adjust than spend $500 over six months.

[00:04:13] So the same amount of money, but it takes me five months longer to learn the same lessons. Right, right. Sometimes we need to pay. We need to pay in order to learn faster, we need to pay more in order to learn faster. We're taking on a little bit more risk, but we're gonna find the things that work a lot faster.

[00:04:27] So anyways, that's where this came from for me, is the like, and even just at utter injury recently, I was like, I was talking to someone and then I went, holy crap, I'm doing that too. I'm spending $15 a day and I'm wondering why I'm not getting the results right? So like, dude, I for Xed my Google Ads budget short term, and guess what?

[00:04:44] Leads dramatically increased and. I just landed a big whale of a customer buy a Google Ads that like knew me from my SEO days. Right? But they found Editor Ninja through like a campaign I spun up last week and they were like, oh, that's why I, I hadn't heard of Editor Ninja before. So I came to Editor Ninja and I looked at the about page and saw it was you.

[00:05:03] And so I booked a call. They would never have found us cuz they were searching for a competitor. They never would've found us. Without that Google ad campaign that I spun up last week that I'm spending like 50 bucks a day on or something like that. And it's like cranking on leads,

[00:05:16] James Sowers (Castaway): right? And that will probably pay for your next few months of the same ad campaign at the same spend rate because it's such a big client, right?

[00:05:23] It just takes one of those to kind of return them. Closing one

[00:05:25] John Doherty (EditorNinja): customer per month off of this thing makes it like I'm making back what I spent on that campaign in a month. Like our average customer size at this point is with our price raise a couple months ago. Like if I close one customer, In the next 30 days, I have more than paid for what I'm spending on that campaign.

[00:05:42] Yeah.

[00:05:42] James Sowers (Castaway): So I mean, there are a couple of interesting, so

[00:05:44] John Doherty (EditorNinja): I'm getting paid to acquire customers, right? Which is how you infinitely scale.

[00:05:48] James Sowers (Castaway): That's the dream, right? That's the flywheel. Yeah. Yeah. That's the virtuous cycle. I mean, there are a couple different threads here that I think we could go down. The first one that jumps out at me is this.

[00:05:55] You don't get common results with common inputs or common actions, right? Yeah. And I kind of had that in my notes too, of stuff I wanted to make sure I cover because. Have you ever watched these like day in the life videos on YouTube of high performers and sometimes it's like a medical student, sometimes it's like an Olympian in their training program.

[00:06:10] Sometimes it's a player in the nfl. Sometimes it's c E O or something like that. I know these things are edited specifically to be impressive, but even if you discount 30% of the stuff that they're doing, if you just watch what the schedule looks like for these top five, top 1% performers, it's pretty insane and like, yeah.

[00:06:27] They are committing and dedicating their entire life, basically to the single pursuit of whatever it is they're trying to do. And so I think, I'm not saying, I think we can get danger close to like hustle culture in here and you know mm-hmm. I think it can definitely go too far in terms of like how hard you wanna work, but that's a personal decision.

[00:06:44] I don't fault anybody that does wanna hustle 24 7, 365 and chase big dreams, like go for it. I certainly don't want anybody to burn out or have mental health issues or anything like that. So I wanna be sensitive to that. But at the same time, it's like the issue for me comes when you have expectations of yourself or desire to be at one level, but you're not willing to put in the work required to get there that other people are doing.

[00:07:07] And I think that misalignment between. What you're expecting of yourself and what you're actually putting in where problems rise because it's like, man, why don't I have a multimillion dollar agency yet? And it's like, well, you're either not investing enough time, money, resources, energy, whatever. You're not giving the same amount of effort in some format that the people who have already gotten there are.

[00:07:28] And so therefore, You either need to step it up and give more, or if you're not willing to do that, you need to make your peace with like setting the goal a little bit lower. And there's nothing wrong with either approach, but I think when you hold yourself to those standards but fail to act in accordingly, that's where you start to get these issues of guilt, right?

[00:07:44] And disappointment and depression and all that kind of stuff. So, I dunno, maybe I'll pause there cuz that's the first thing is that uncommon actions are required to get uncommon results. So if you only wanna put in common actions, you need to make your peace with like a common result.

[00:07:57] John Doherty (EditorNinja): That's right. No, I completely agree.

[00:07:59] You know, I follow like some pro athletes and that kind of thing. There's this one. She's a skier cross, like a pro, like skiercross racer skier. She's in Switzerland. She actually is from the ski town that I lived like just down the mountain from when I lived over there, and she's like world class. I think she got a silver in the Olympics last year, but I've followed her for a number of years on Instagram and like when she's in training.

[00:08:23] She's training, like she's training hard, right? She's doing two a day. She's like driving down the mountain, going to Loon, which is like, you know, halfway around Lake Geneva morning workout, and then like huge breakfast, morning, workout, lunch, literally nap, and then like evening workout. And then she goes home and she does the same thing again.

[00:08:39] But she's doing that basically from July to November. To get ready for the season. And then she's in the season, she's like, she's still training hard, but she's racing and she's maintaining like all of that. And then as soon as the race season, season is over, she goes to like the Maldives for two weeks or three weeks, something like that.

[00:08:54] Right. And like builds in these times. And then she'll also do it again right before she goes back into heavy training come like July, August. So like hustle culture. There are no breaks, right? But there's a difference between hustle culture and hard work. And I completely agree that you have to put in the time.

[00:09:08] I mean, Chris Lima told me this recently where I was like talking about, I. Business results and whatever. And he's like, but John, you've been not working a ton for the last few months. He's like, in order to like grow the business, you actually have to work. And I'm like, oh. Oh yeah, that's true. That's true.

[00:09:22] Right? Yeah. Fair point. And so as I've worked more over the last couple months, Guess what? Results have gotten better. So yeah, we shouldn't be afraid of the hard work, but we also have to build in the breaks, the vacations, whether it's like a long weekend away or you know. I know I'm very fortunate to like have our cabin that I go to from Thursday night to Sunday, and I feel like I've just taken a two week long vacation.

[00:09:42] I'm that rested coming back, you know? Yeah. But we have to build that in as well. But yeah, we have to put in that effort and it's not hustle culture. It's not toxic to say you have to put in the effort. I just wanna state that for the record, that like I do not believe it is toxic to say that, that like you need to work hard in order to get the results that come from working hard.

[00:09:58] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah, no, I agree. I think that's fair. I think it's, you know, there's this concept of working like a lion, which you're probably familiar with, but just in case the listeners aren't, it's like lions basically lay around and sleep all day until they have that one right opportunity that gazelle comes by and then they give everything, they've got to chasing down that gazelle.

[00:10:14] Hopefully they catch it, they're fed for another day or two, and then they're just L about. So it's like these work sprints, and I think that's a fairly healthy relationship to have is like when you have something that's high priority or that you think it has a lot of potential. It's often justifiable to go all in on that one thing as hard as you can.

[00:10:31] And that doesn't mean like you're gonna go all in and succeed every time either. Because the lions certainly sometimes don't catch that zebra, that gazelle like they sometimes miss and they still give it their all right. But you always like learn something along the way so it's not a total waste. And you know, I think this like idea of doing certain sprints is really compelling.

[00:10:48] And I also think this idea of like, it's not just about doing more activity, cuz to your point, Chris said, Hey, you haven't been working a whole lot recently, so why would you expect rampant growth to be taking place? But you can't just come back and just quote unquote work, right? Like you have to work on the right things and protect the time to work on the right things, because work often feels like cleaning out that email inbox or responding to customer support tickets or.

[00:11:11] You know, fixing bugs or whatever, and sometimes that is the work, but sometimes the work is like, actually, I need to let that stuff marinate for a couple more days and I really need to focus on this Google Ads campaign and ramping up the budget there and getting the targeting dialed in and rewriting the headlines and CTAs because I think that can provide an outsized return.

[00:11:26] Like you need to do more focused work on the right things, and that's where you get the big results.

[00:11:31] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yep. And I think a lot of that too, I mean, that really resonates. We talked last week about, like, I just hired an assistant a few weeks ago. I've worked slightly more hours over the last month than I did like the previous month.

[00:11:43] Just like not traveling as much, but also just having Lily on board. I. Like she is taking a lot of that minutia. She's managing my email inbox for me. She's managing my calendar for me. She's rescheduling things. She's doing research that I was previously doing. She is doing that. She's way cheaper per hour than I am, and she's doing it better than I would and it's just getting done right.

[00:12:03] And so then I have more time to focus on the bigger strategic stuff. Like dude, I'm going to a coffee shop a couple mornings a week right now just with my iPad and like my notability like app and my Apple pencil and just drawing. I'm like drawing and like conceptualizing stuff and workflows and trainings and like that sort of stuff.

[00:12:21] And that's the stuff that's gonna move the needle, right? Not me checking my inbox. Sometimes we rather need to like get out of our inbox or for me just hiring someone to handle that for me, so stuff doesn't get missed. But like, you know, I've also just become humble enough that like I don't need to reply to all the emails that are in my inbox, right?

[00:12:39] I don't even need to see 'em. I don't even wanna see 'em. And yes, I can set up rules and whatever, but some stuff just like. She just needs to get out of there and someone has to do it and doesn't have to be me. And then by me it not being me, I then have more mental bandwidth. Cause we all have a finite amount of mental bandwidth.

[00:12:54] We can train more, but at the end of the day, we still have a finite amount. And if 50% is going to like minutia, Then if we can offload 30, 40% of that and then only 10% is going to like minutiae and details. Yeah, we just got 40% more, like more than that. I think I, I can't do the middle math right now, but like we just got a lot more time to focus on big strategic stuff and you better believe if you're putting in more hours on more important stuff, you're gonna get more

[00:13:20] James Sowers (Castaway): results.

[00:13:21] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I always think of it like a role playing game or like a board game, like Dungeons and Dragons or something. I don't play Dungeons and Dragons. That was a bad example. But like you get experience points for like Competings. I have no Dungeons Dragons is how it works. No idea. Yeah, I don't either, but it's a tabletop game or whatever.

[00:13:34] But what I'm thinking is like, and a lot of these video games, You'll complete missions or whatever you get experience points xp, and then you can spend those points to increase your attributes, like your strength, your speed, your intelligence, your magic, whatever you've got. So it's like at the beginning of the day, we all get 10 experience points to allocate.

[00:13:49] And if you decide to allocate three of them to getting to inbox zero and four of them to putting out fires with clients, we've only got three left. And if you only have three to give to that ad campaign, that whatever SEO strategy piece, whatever, it's like. Well, why would you wanna put seven instead of three into that most important bucket?

[00:14:08] I think that's where a lot of people make the mistake is they think that more work just means more hours in the day in front of your desk. But it doesn't have to be that way. It can be no more of the focused work. And sometimes you gotta get creative in how you free yourself up to pursue that kind of stuff, you know?

[00:14:22] John Doherty (EditorNinja): And I think there's also something too, and this is why like bringing it back to, you know, our original like productized services thing is, this is why I think productized services are so great, whether you're a custom work agency that's like making something into kind of productizing something or you're just start with us.

[00:14:38] Like starting from the idea of we're gonna productize and, and scale it, right? Mm-hmm. Um, free shout out for you there. Um, alright. There's definitely like something to the thinking from the start about how this scales and how you're gonna put people and processes and whatever in place, whatever tool you're using, right?

[00:14:59] Whether it's like you run it off in notion or you run it off, you build your own software or whatever, that doesn't matter. It's more the like, okay, as you're doing it, you're thinking about how do I turn this into a process that ultimately somebody else can do. You know, and if you're just doing custom work, then it's really, really hard to do.

[00:15:16] If you're going back and reinventing the wheel every time, then it's gonna be really, really hard, you know, to grow it. To grow beyond a certain amount, you're never gonna be able to get out delivery and that kind of thing, which is how a service business really scales or. You need to offload the other things, the admin, whatever, the account management, like that sort of stuff, so you can focus on the delivery if that's what you love to do, right?

[00:15:34] To scale a service business, you don't have to get it completely out delivery. You can if you want to, it's a beautiful thing, or you can just get off all the other stuff that you don't love to do. If you wanna be doing SEO audits all day. Be my guest, right? But like, if you actually want to grow it, don't complain to me that you can't grow your consulting practice when you're not willing to go and get other people to do things for you.

[00:15:53] You know, it's a mindset shift. Turn into a process, record it, teach someone else how to do it. That right there is a skillset to like teach someone else how to do it, and then get them onboard them, make sure they're doing it right, and then like ultimately trust 'em and hold 'em accountable. Very different from like holding yourself accountable.

[00:16:08] James Sowers (Castaway): For sure. Yeah, I think that's a great point about the productized service piece because some of the advice that folks will give you about putting in more effort or whatever is like, okay, so aim higher. Back to my original example, if you wanna make a hundred K in the next year, like aim for a million and you'll probably end up well above a hundred K.

[00:16:23] So you start to say like, okay, what would it take for me to get. From where I am today to a million dollars in revenue next year, that's a hell of a lot harder to do when every project is custom and bespoke and you don't know what the dollar amount is to attribute to that. You don't know what the cost to acquire those customers are is because you know they're coming from all different places.

[00:16:40] Like if you have a productized service that's repeatable. Fixed scope, fixed deliverables, fixed pricing. It's like, okay, well now I can start to backwards plan, and I can say, if my engagement is $10,000 a month, the annual value of a new client, if they stick with us all year is $120,000. How many $120,000 engagements do I need to get to a million dollars topline?

[00:16:58] If it becomes a whole hell of a lot easier? And then you're like, okay, so I probably need. 10 clients for 12 months consistently to get me there at my current rates. All right. Now, what is the team I need to facilitate all that? Mm-hmm. Like do I need a project manager? At what point do I need to step out of the project management role and bring somebody on full time to handle that?

[00:17:14] Is that at five clients or is that at seven clients or is that at three clients? But it's a hell of a lot easier to do that. When everything is structured and repeatable and documented. To your point, if you're still doing custom work, it's a lot harder to even backwards plan from the goal to where you're at today and make those stair steps or those milestones clear to understand because like mm-hmm.

[00:17:34] That's really what's gonna be required to get you to grow where you want to be is like, Unlocking the ability to bring the right people onto your team to help you get there. Because often if you have anything above six figures, even low six figures, it's hard to get there by yourself. Right? You need some kind of support system.

[00:17:49] You need fractional help or something.

[00:17:50] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Mm-hmm. Can I just say something there real quick? Yeah. I think to that point, like I think it's good to ask the questions of at what point am I gonna need an account manager, or like in my case, it's, are we gonna need another. Editor or a project manager, like that sort of thing, we don't know.

[00:18:05] And we can't wait to start until we know because you're never gonna like figure it out. You can have other people cuz someone's gonna be like, oh, I did it at five, oh I did at 15. And you're like, well I still don't know. You know? If you're waiting for an answer like this, you're just not gonna find it.

[00:18:16] Like I was talking to Lima, Chris Lima a few weeks ago and we were talking about me getting out of the day-to-day delivery of this big like SEO content updating project that we have going on and. He said something we were like working through kind of how to get it going. Get me out of it. He's like, but I gotta be honest with you, John.

[00:18:31] I'm like, what's that? He's like, we don't know the model yet. Yeah. We don't know like who you need, how much you need to pay him to put together a brief or to QA this work, or how much you need to pay a writer to get the right work that. Balances with not having too much admin and QA work and that sort of stuff.

[00:18:46] He's like, we don't know, so let's try a bunch of things. Yeah, right. I like to think it was like, oh, we're doing, you know, whatever, 15, 20 K a month. Oh, we figured it out, bro. We're just getting started. We're barely started, you know, and yeah, I don't know when we're gonna need an account manager or project manager or something like that.

[00:19:01] We have, you know, at the current level, I can handle it. But if we sign on five more, will I be able to handle it? I don't know. I know how many customers we have per editors and like how much capacity they have. So like I actually know that model now. How many words to how many editors and like how much can they actually handle?

[00:19:17] Cause at first we were like, oh, is it 60? Is it 80? Is it a hundred thousand a month? Like what is it? We know that number now. So I know like, all right, with this pipeline, this many are gonna close and that means we're gonna need another editor at this time. I know that now. Great. That part's solved. Now we, let's move on to like the other roles.

[00:19:31] But we couldn't do that without having processes around it. Yeah. And without being 14, 15 months into this model and you know, a couple million words under our belt, like it's literally taken 1100, 1200 documents. Like it's literally taken us that much time to learn one part of the model. Right. And I think some of us don't know how much work it is to figure it out.

[00:19:54] You know, and we have to be okay with, oh, I got that wrong. Oh, I overhired, I under hired. Like we have to be Okay. Especially early stage, making those mistakes.

[00:20:02] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah. I think that's where a lot of that paralysis by analysis comes into play, where it's like people just don't wanna get started because they think about all these different pathways they could go down and like, is it gonna take me 25 people to have a million dollar agency?

[00:20:13] Do I want to be in charge of 25 people? I was like, I don't know. Worry about that when you get to 10 people, you know, and then thinking, right, if you're on a path to getting to 25, but like you gotta get started first and then. You can get better. The great part about entrepreneurship is like if we don't like where we end up, we just walk it back or we shut it down, or we pivot and do something different, right?

[00:20:30] That's part of being the business owner is like you get to make those decisions. You're not at the whim of somebody else. So if you end up building a business you don't love, then. Divest yourself of that in some way. Change the business, sell it to somebody else. Mm-hmm. You know, close up shop, whatever you wanna do, but like the only thing you can't do is nothing.

[00:20:45] Right. The only thing you can't do is stay static and not chase it. Or you just gotta let it go. But if you wanna do this, yeah. Take it seriously. Yeah, go all in. You'll figure it out along the way. You're a smart person, right? Yeah.

[00:20:54] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Well, the thing is like you can stay static, but don't tell me that you want it to be bigger when you're staying static.

[00:20:59] Yeah. You know, it's the whole like uncommon results for common input. Like if you wanna get uncommon results, you wanna grow it, guess what? You're gonna have to work more or you're gonna have to do different things. Cause what you've been doing has gotten you to this point and it's not gonna get you any further.

[00:21:10] So then guess what? It's gonna be a bunch of work to change that. And like, if you're not willing to put in the work, that's fine. You know, there's no judgment, but like, don't tell me you wanna get different results without putting in different work. Like, that's just not acceptable. I

[00:21:22] James Sowers (Castaway): wonder if there's a cultural component to this.

[00:21:24] I just came, somebody showed me like a Castaway competitor. They do some of the stuff that we do. They're not like comprehensive and they actually had a YouTube channel, the founder did. So I went and checked that out and I'm just like watching, you know, morbid curiosity or whatever, and he had this video about how he went from zero to 6k M R R in 30 days.

[00:21:40] And I was like, oh, this is interesting. Let me see how he got there. And he said the basic premise of the video was that he sent 10,000 cold emails. Two people asking to do, yeah. Clips for their podcast or their YouTube channel, and I was like, talk about outsized activity or actions, like who is gonna sit down and send 10,000 emails?

[00:21:57] I'm like, I'm certainly not advocating for automating that and doing it in a spammy way. That's not the part I'm advocating for. But the part I'm advocating for is like he wanted something, he wanted to get there quickly. And he went all in on one channel not knowing if it was gonna work or not. Right.

[00:22:12] And I think that's a lot of the objections that you'll hear from people is like, okay, if I increase my ad spend from $500 a month to $3,000 a month, like you're saying, John, what if I don't close a single deal on that first month? And it's like, you might not, right? Yeah. But would you rather wait six months to figure that out?

[00:22:25] Would you rather figure that out in 30 days and try something else and write off the expense and like, yeah, that hurts, that stings, but you've got a business you'll recover. But at least you know that at least for you right now, or the way that you approached it, paid acquisition probably isn't a good fit for you because you did put a substantial amount of funding and energy and thought behind it and it didn't shake out, and that's okay.

[00:22:43] So try the next thing. But you found that out in 30 days instead of six months.

[00:22:46] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yeah. Well, there's also so many things that go into it. I mean, I'm thinking about like Hormel's story of when he was first getting his gym off the ground as someone was like, oh, you should test mailers, right? Like mail postcards to people.

[00:22:57] And he's like, all right. And he sent 300 and didn't get anything, or didn't track anything directly back to that. And he was, a couple years later, he was talking to someone at a mastermind and they were like, oh, you should try this. He's like, ah, you like you should do mailers. He's like, tried that. And they're like, well, how many did you send?

[00:23:10] He goes, 300, and they were like 300. So I don't test an area for less than 5,000. And he's like, this was actually what inspired this topic where he's like, I just had to do a lot more, but then. You can't change one part of the process without also knowing it's gonna affect the others. Like you start spending, say you're spending 500 bucks a month on Google ads and you're getting two leads, you should, the math should work out that if you spend six x that you're gonna get 12 leads.

[00:23:34] But if you're driving people to schedule a demo with you and you don't increase the number of slots that you have open, you've had enough slots for two, not 12. So you need more slots open because you might be generating these leads, but not getting more scheduled calls so you don't have times that work for them.

[00:23:48] Right. Right. So you can't just say like, oh, I I six X my ads budget, but I also doubled the amount of slots that people can book on my calendar. Right, right. So that people can get going. So it is not just like, oh, I did one thing and it didn't work. It's like, did you do more and did you also think about the downstream effects of what it's gonna take?

[00:24:06] You know, like, okay, I got 12 leads now. And eight of 'em are scheduling calls as opposed to two leads and one scheduling a call. So I need to be able to do six calls a week. They also need to have the time to do the follow-ups, and then if half of those closed, then we're onboarding three customers a week as opposed to like one every two months, right?

[00:24:21] Like, okay, everything else is gonna need to scale up as well. Like all of these things kind of bang on and we need to remember that as well.

[00:24:27] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah, like abandoned cart or retargeting or, yeah. Yeah. It's everything and capturing that extra attention, right. If you're gonna pay for it, you have some kind of nurturing sequence set up for folks that don't commit right away, and it's like if you don't build that on the front end, then yeah, you might waste some money because you're not making the most outta that attention, I guess.

[00:24:43] Right. Well, hey, I was thinking about the 10 X rule book, and I went back and I looked at a book summary. Like I said, it's been a while since I read it, and I pulled out a couple of interesting ideas. Maybe we'll close with touching on those. The related, I think the one concept in there is that you have to be obsessed, right?

[00:24:55] The 10 x rule is all about outsized returns. So if you're not looking for like top 5% outcomes, maybe this doesn't apply, but to be truly great, right, to do something truly remarkable, grant argues that you have to be obsessed. Nobody ever accomplished something incredible without obsession. Right? And then the, the related comment to that is that if people comment on your level of action, Then you're doing something right.

[00:25:14] And that's something I've noticed again and again is like even that phrase of obsession like Tom Brady has said publicly, like I am obsessed with being the best to ever do it. I am obsessed with winning like Michael Jordan. I'm obsessed with winning. There's this guy named Cameron Haynes. He's a ultra marathoner and bow hunter and stuff.

[00:25:31] He runs like a marathon a day. He'll run like 11 miles in the morning and he'll get the other 15 in the evening. It's like

[00:25:36] John Doherty (EditorNinja): the iron cowboy or

[00:25:37] James Sowers (Castaway): whatever. Yeah, yeah. And so like, I'm not advocating for any of these people. I have my reservations about Grant, I have my reservations about cam. But conceptually, I think what they're saying is like, if you want to be elite in any area of life, you have to go all in.

[00:25:50] And you have to be obsessed. And what obsession looks like is, is it's lonely, right? And then people who aren't as obsessed as you, they start to criticize your level of action that you're taking there. Like somebody might look at that example that I mentioned earlier of the 10,000 cold emails and be like, why are you spamming people like that?

[00:26:04] Man? Why you? And it's like, well, People who criticize you are almost never doing better than you, right? They're somebody who's like sitting on their couch wishing that they had something in their life that's making them unhappy, and so they're reaching out because they want you to hold yourself back too.

[00:26:17] And so that stood out to me as interesting in this conversation because it's like, yeah, if you're gonna invest more time, energy, budget to get something done, somebody's gonna say, Whoa, you're spending way too much on ads for how old your company is, right? Or you're spending way too many cold emails.

[00:26:32] You're gonna get your email address, like blacklisted or whatever, and it's like, yeah, there might be some truth to that if you're doing it the wrong way, but maybe, yeah, I think there's some level of like, you have to expect that to come, especially if you're being public about what you're doing or sharing it in masterminds or whatever, because some people just won't get

[00:26:48] John Doherty (EditorNinja): it, you know?

[00:26:49] Yeah. Yeah. Well then the skill, and this comes with I think, experience and maybe age and wisdom. Kudos to the younger people than me that figured this out earlier. Like, you're gonna do way better than me. But the skill then is ignoring those people and parsing through the, why are they saying this? Do they know something that I don't?

[00:27:08] Or is this like a, oh, I don't like the general idea of cold outreach, and so therefore I'm gonna like shit on anyone that's trying it. Right? Like, well, if you haven't tried it, Why am I gonna listen to you? Right? Yeah. If there are things that you know that I should be aware of as I'm getting going so my ips don't get blacklisted, great.

[00:27:25] Would love to listen to you. I would love to learn that. But if it's just, oh, I don't like that. Well, who cares? Like, are you like crazy ahead of me to the point where I should listen to you? Cuz you've like tried it before, but man, if you've never tried it, go away. Yeah. Thank you, sir, for your opinion, right?

[00:27:41] We all know what opinions are like. Right? I'll let you know how it goes, you know? Yeah. This is why mute buttons exist on Twitter.

[00:27:47] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah. Tell later. You imagine professional athletes feel, you know, they have all these like Yeah. Podcasters and people on ESPN that are dissecting their performance every Monday, like the Monday morning quarterback, and it's like, dude, if you never played in the N F L and you never like had to take a sack from a 350 pound defensive lineman coming at you at full speed, like, please don't criticize my decision making there.

[00:28:06] At least I'm in the arena trying to make something happy. You know? That's right. That's right. That was the one concept. The other concept I wanted to talk about, which I think relates to our last episode actually, is Grant says like when people and businesses start cutting back spending and they focus on saving, so like in this kind of economic environment that we're experiencing now, they also almost always save their energy, effort, and creativity as well.

[00:28:26] So he's saying if you're dialing back, you're spending to try to save some money and be more conservative there. It's human nature for us to also kind of hold back. The level of energy or activity that we're devoting to the cause as well. It's almost like a subconscious bias. Like we're spending less on this, so therefore I'm gonna give it less attention.

[00:28:42] I'm not gonna give it my all. And I just thought that was interesting because if we think about like maybe what clients are experiencing or whatever, it's like, yeah, if budgets are smaller and they're starting to cut some of their agency spend or whatever, I just wonder if they're also dialing back or their internal team is being a little bit less productive in the same area.

[00:28:58] I dunno if I necessarily like buy. Into that a hundred percent. But I do think it's an interesting idea as we think about spending, if it's like, Hey, things are getting a little rough. I think I'm gonna dial back my ad campaign. It's like, okay, well then am I subconsciously dialing back all of my lead generation efforts because I'm just being more conservative in general.

[00:29:14] Like, am I doing less outreach? Am I doing fewer podcast appearances? Am I publishing fewer blog posts? Whatever. It struck me as something that like could potentially be true and would make some sense and might be interesting as like, what is the psychology of. Our buyers as we're trying to get in front of them and present the value of our services to them in this economic market, basically.

[00:29:34] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yeah, I've not heard that before, but it would make sense. And just from experience, I used to kind of do like a, all right, we're gonna sprint hard for a quarter, and they we're gonna chill for a quarter and just like, Let it settle in is what I told myself and just see like what the results are. But then you've taken your foot off the accelerator and then it takes like time to get going again.

[00:29:55] Right? So like it's not actually spent for three months chill for three months. You actually end up chilling for about four and a half months because those next, those six weeks after the three months of chill are just getting back up to where you were before. So I like the concept of what's the base camp guys shape up, right?

[00:30:13] Yeah. Like six week sprints and then two weeks to like squash bugs and whatever. And then you get going with the next six week sprint. Two weeks is not enough time to really, it's enough time to cool off. It's not enough time for like results to not. It's not enough time off to then have to like spend time getting back up to speed, you know?

[00:30:29] Yeah. I mean, you think about a car if you're driving on, there's a reason why my car right gets double the gas mileage on the interstate than it does around town because it takes so much more energy, a k, a gas to get going from a. Stoplight then to keep going on the interstate and not have to stop, you know, stop and go like, I'm getting terrible gas mileage, but on the interstate I'm cruising.

[00:30:51] I think if we think about businesses kind of that way, that like, you know, instead of floor it and then back off, I'm staying consistent. Like, yes, I'm gonna have to slow down sometimes when like people are gonna go and slow ahead of me and sometimes I can go faster, but like you're consistently. Moving like that is just like, I don't know, to me a better way to think about it.

[00:31:09] And it's been more effective, honestly. Yeah. Yeah. But also with that too, the other thing I wanted to say there is, That six weeks to ramp up, like you're always gonna put in more energy ahead of time before you're actually able to chill and see the results, right? More gases required to get off the line from a stoplight before you get up to like interstate speeds and you're getting better gas mileage.

[00:31:28] So same thing with business. It's like the people that say, oh, well put more effort into it when it's getting more results. Well, where are those results gonna come from if you're not putting effort into it, you know? Yeah. Like you actually have to flip it and you have to say like, I'm actually gonna put more time into this.

[00:31:40] And then when I see the results, if I see the results, then I will, you know, continue to put that time into it or put more time into it. But you actually have to put it in enough effort, more effort than what it currently like condones or calls for in order to justify to keep putting time into it.

[00:31:56] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah.

[00:31:56] Yeah. I think it's like sprinting or something. It's like it takes a ton of calories and energy to go from zero to whatever speed you're gonna be going, but then once you're there, it takes significantly fewer calories to sustain that speed because of the momentum and everything that you have going. I think business can be the same way and any kind of like, When I got back into weightlifting, it took me forever to get back to the weights that I was previously doing, like when I was actually staying consistent.

[00:32:21] But now I'm here, it takes almost nothing to maintain there. Like now I can take two full weeks off and go right back in and lift the same weight because I've gotten to that point. So I think there's some truth to that. You know, the only other thing that's on my mind right now is like, as we. Get closer and closer to building out teams.

[00:32:34] I think there's an element of this where you gotta think about the psychology of the team around you, because even though you may have adjusted the goal or whatever, and you say like, Hey, I don't wanna hit the brakes, but I wanna take my foot off the accelerator a bit. The perception to your team might be, well, we adjusted the revenue forecast from one and a half million down to 1 million.

[00:32:51] I know what level of effort it takes me to grow that much. So I'm just gonna like coast a little bit. Right? And so I think we need to think about the messaging around this and just be careful about it's fine to, you know, catch your breath or whatever, but it's not always translated the same way when you have a team member who like isn't as tied to the spearhead basically for the business as the founder, ceo.

[00:33:10] Yeah, we are always thinking about. Forward progress, right? And growing faster and chasing our dreams or whatever. But as a frontline employee, it's not always clear that if the business backs up, you know, 10%, that you can't back up 50% and not be noticed or whatever. I think, I think it's easier for them to, um, misinterpret that right.

[00:33:27] And slow down a little bit more than you might be hoping that they would.

[00:33:30] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yeah. Well, and I also don't, at least at Editor Ninja, I've not been talking about like revenue goals. I talk about this is how many documents they're gonna have and that sort of thing. And like, yeah, they all know our pricing or can look at our pricing and kind of, you know, see how much it is.

[00:33:42] But I'm not saying like, Hey, we're driving towards like a million of dollars in annual revenue. Right? Cause like, It doesn't really affect them. Right. They're doing the same amount of work. Yeah. And yeah, maybe there'll be like more work if they want it, but it doesn't really affect them. It only really affects me, you know, as the founder, as the owner, as the person responsible for hiring and firing and managing and product and like all that stuff, right?

[00:34:00] Like I'm the one that that affects, doesn't really affect them. Them. But then the other thing there is, I was just having this conversation today with my managing editor where he was like, Hey, can we put in like documents submitted after X time in the evening? Like those can wait until the next morning to be assigned.

[00:34:15] And I realized he was feeling, he constantly had to be on and like document comes in, like has to get assigned right now. And I'm like, oh wow. I've put in really good controls for myself around. When I'm on and when I'm off, like when I'm on, I'm working hard. When I'm off, I'm not working right, like I have phone call and text notifications on, on my phone.

[00:34:33] That's it. And my phone is on do not disturb 90% of the day as well. So I really don't see phone calls that come in. I also don't get voicemails. I don't check voicemails. So like I have put all these controls in place, but. He was getting pinged every single time that like an automated message was posted to Slack, that a new document had been uploaded at 9:00 PM his time.

[00:34:50] Mm-hmm. You don't need to see that handled the next day, like you're signing on at 8:00 AM to like, look anyways. Right. Like why are you seeing it at 9:00 PM and getting on your phone like, so I think your leadership thing is like as we're building out teams, we've done this work, we also need to like help them.

[00:35:03] Do that as well. Cause we don't wanna burn out our teams, or if they feel like they always have to be on. Cause if I'm not feeling like I'm always on, why should they feel like they're always on? Right? Like, they should work hard when they're working, but if you're not getting paid for working now, like why are you working?

[00:35:17] You

[00:35:17] James Sowers (Castaway): know? Yeah. Yeah. That's part of our onboarding experience is basically like, here's how to dial in your notifications if you want. Mm-hmm. Here's how to mute things in Slack. Here's how to set reminders in Slack. So if you see it at 9:00 PM you can hit that little ellipsis and you can say, remind me in 24 hours, three hours, whatever you want.

[00:35:32] And then the other thing I have is like I have a how to work with James, or how James prefers to work kind of document. And it's all my myself. It's like, I think this thing's like 3000 words. It's like here are my known weaknesses that I'm working on. Here are my known strengths. And then here's just like my general working habits.

[00:35:45] Like when I like to sign on, when I like to sign off for the day. And like one of my policies is if you're thinking about something, send it to me, but know that like I'll get back to you when I can. Right? And I can't expect everybody else to treat things the same way, but I wish folks would. I wish they would just say, It's fine for you to communicate with me whenever you want, but know that I'm gonna protect my attention and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

[00:36:06] And if it's super urgent and it needs looked at right now, use this channel or use this code name or whatever, like put urgent in the subject line, whatever, and I'll get onto it if I need to, if it's like a fire. But yeah, I think that's one of those little things where it's like if you equip people with the resources to protect their time and energy and set the expectations during the onboarding process or the training process, I think that can go a long way because that works well for me is like, Send it to me whenever you want.

[00:36:28] Like I don't expect you to bend your life around my preferences and save a message for later, right? Yeah. But just know that if I'm in the gym, I'm probably not gonna reply to it. I'm gonna leave it unread and I'm gonna get to it the next time I'm sitting in my inbox. And as long as we're both on the same page about that, it generally works really

[00:36:42] John Doherty (EditorNinja): well.

[00:36:43] That's right. Yeah. And for us, it's like the setting of expectations for people. They're like, I expect this, right? Mm-hmm. Hey, can you get me this feedback by this time? And I try to do that more and more. It's like, Hey, I don't need this right now. Like, I don't wanna be the hippo, right? Like, don't drop everything you're doing right now cuz you're focusing on editing this thing.

[00:36:58] But like by the end of day tomorrow, can you gimme some feedback? Great. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. One thing that I've seen recently with mmt, the mastermind that I went to Costa Rica with a couple months ago, everyone from that corporation, whatever the business of mmt, every email they send it ends with something like, my working day may not be your working day.

[00:37:16] Please know that there's space to not feel obliged to respond to this email. Urgently or outside of your working hours, let's be human together. I love that. I love that. Like, like, and I think the more we can do that and encourage those sorts of, hold that space for others and encourage that sort of like thinking we were recognizing the whole person and it makes it just a better place to work.

[00:37:35] Right? And it's also expected that like, hey, if you're in your working hours, I expect you to be working and focused, right? Not like running around and lollygagging and watching YouTube, whatever. Yeah. I expect you to be focused, but. When you're not working, I also don't want you working. Right. You know, if it's not your working hours, like don't do it.

[00:37:49] Which I think is like a good kind of anecdote to the hustle culture. I expect a lot, but I don't expect to own your life. I don't own your life and I don't wanna own your life, like that's your life. But the time that I get, I want that time, you know? Yeah. And that's not selfish.

[00:38:02] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah. Yeah, I think that's a great way to tie this up is basically we started by, sometimes it takes a lot more effort than we assume to get something done.

[00:38:09] And it can't just be broad strokes effort in all areas. It's gotta be very focused effort on the right thing. And then we talked about that concept of working like a line, right? Go all in. For brief sprints when you see an opportunity that you wanna take advantage of, but then take that time off to rest and recharge.

[00:38:25] And I think that's kinda what we're talking about here, is like as long as everybody has the right expectations, that we want to use our productive time to be productive and focused and we want to use our, yeah, non-productive time, meaning outside of work to be present in those other areas of life that we wanna be in.

[00:38:38] That's ultimately a win for everybody involved, I would say. Agreed.

[00:38:41] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Agreed.

[00:38:42] James Sowers (Castaway): Love it. We'll wrap it up. There and we'll call this Working Sessions number 27, I believe, and we'll look forward to doing another one real soon.

[00:38:50] John Doherty (EditorNinja): See you all later.

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