1) Sales Before Systematize
2) Do You Really Need To Offer That New Service
3) Trick To Immediately Improve Your Energy Level
4) Trello – It’s FREE!
A book I read years and years ago is E-Myth by Michael Gerber. I highly recommend the book. If you read this book and if you talk to a lot of people that will say you should read this book, you’ll be convinced that you need to immediately systematize your entire business and build processes around everything so that you can build a real business, which I’m a big fan of. The problem is that most of the time, systematizing your business is an absolute and total waste of time, and here’s why.
When you first get started in your business, the only thing that really matters is sales and marketing. You’ve got to go grow this thing. If you don’t do that, you’re over really fast. If, instead, you spend your time trying to write processes and employee profiles and systematize everything and you don’t spend almost all your time on sales and marketing, you’ll never get to the point of needing your systems. Oftentimes, systemization is a really easy excuse for us as business owners to procrastinate on doing the stuff we don’t want to do or that’s painful, which is often sales and marketing and putting ourselves out there and growing the business and getting rejected. You should systematize your business later, later in the process.
If you’re a half-a-million-dollar company and you’re saying I should systematize everything in our business, that, too, is absolutely wrong, because when your business is half a million, it doesn’t look anything like it was at half a million when it’s a million and a half or when it’s five million. It keeps changing. My recommendation isn’t that you try to systematize everything too early. Yes, you put systems in place, rough procedures in place, and some things the procedures will hold up, but don’t try to do everything. You just do enough because your business is this evolving organism that’s going to change and change, which means the systems and processes are going to change.
Within that first one million in revenue, you do need to start putting systems and procedures in place, but your goal is not to be McDonald’s, not yet. That’s my personal opinion. Not in the service business. You want the processes and procedures. After you get past a million, it really starts to pay dividends to spend more and more time on systematizing but not in the very beginning. The very beginning is all about sustainability, sales and marketing. Make a mess, create a disaster, fix it later. All you need to do is survive. Sell before systematize. Then, as you work yourself out of the many jobs and hats that you wear, then you focus on systemization.
As business owners, it’s so easy for us to all get so excited about the next shiny object, the next great service, the next new thing that we’re going to do in our business, and that is me to a T. There are so many things I want to do. I’m probably better than I’ve ever been at this, but I’m always wanting to push, push, push, one more new thing; oh, if we just do this thing. As service business owners, it’s so easy to add one more service offering, one more line within our business because a client is asking for it, because five clients are asking for it, because a few people are begging for it, because a few people are complaining you don’t do it.
Every time you add something, a service offering in your business, some service that you perform in addition to the other services you’re already performing, there’s a learning curve, there’s a heightened expense to offer and provide that service because you’ll be inefficient. You might have to hire some specialized people that are going to be expensive and you don’t have enough work to keep them fully busy. There’s a lot of different reasons why this new service offering is a distraction. It takes away from what you’re currently doing. It’s expensive and it’s an investment in the future.
Here’s the problem. All of those things are a problem, but here’s the real problem. If you are not one hundred percent committed and ready to go, your marketing is ready, your messaging is ready, your team is trained, on and on and on, when you implement that new service, this is probably the service where you’re going to drop the ball. What I find, and I found it in every service business I’ve been in, you could be doing five things fantastic for the client, but when you botch it on the sixth thing, that new service offering, when you screw it up a couple of times, they don’t usually just fire you for that. They fire you for everything. Before you get the shiny object syndrome and you offer this new, really awesome service that’s going to change our whole business and make our lives better and make me rich, before you do that, remember that there are about twenty-five million things you have to do to execute that service perfectly so that it doesn’t cost you clients and money.
That’s today’s reminder. Think about or think twice before adding another service offering to your business, and only offer it when you’re totally ready to go full in on that service offering.
Other than Gmail and Service Autopilot, the piece of software I use most, and it’s free, is Trello, T-R-E-L-L-O.com. I’ve got a link here if you want to get a free copy of it. It is a fantastic piece of software, and it’s free. I use it to keep up with to-dos. I use it for brainstorming. I use it for all project work. I share it with other people on my team. I can have what’s called a Trello board. We can be working on a project and I can share files, updates, information. I have probably thirty different use cases for this software. It’s on my mobile device. It’s on my Mac. It can be on any computer or basically any mobile device there’s an app for it.
Check it out and think about how you can use it for your to-do list, for your daily action list, for your project planning, for your long-term goal list, for brainstorming. You probably have a bazillion miscellaneous ideas floating around in your head. On your mobile device, you can just type them in at any moment. Or you can set up a means to e-mail yourself, and when you e-mail yourself, it will automatically put it into Trello for you. Fantastic piece of software. I highly recommend it. I use it every single day, multiple times throughout the day. I hope you find value in it.
I hope this tip is helpful for you. It’s been helpful for me. It’s helped my general attitude. Basically, it’s that I like politics and I like topics of politics and religion and money and all these different topics. If you like that stuff, then you probably listen to talk radio and you probably read the news, whether it’s CNN or Drudge Report or whatever. I’d look at Drudge Report; I would listen to talk radio. It generally just beats you down. There’s hardly anything positive. Almost everything is completely overblown. Almost everything mentioned that’s going to destroy us all and end the world never happens.
The more I’ve read and studied, the more I’ve realized that the things that are happening now that seem so catastrophic and world-ending, we had the same craziness and worse in the eighties, in the seventies. There was crazy stuff going on back then. Everybody says the economy is going to end. Things are falling apart. Everything is so horrible in the economy. The eighties, in the early eighties, the late seventies, was not exactly a rosy period of time. Inflation was crazy. You couldn’t get loans. The interest rates were insane. We have so many advantages now. Unemployment was way up.
All this stuff that’s overblown, all it does, all it did to me was drain my energy, made me worry about things, possibly made me make bad investment decisions, possibly hold me back in business because I was afraid to do this or that because this or that was going to happen. Stuff will happen. There’s nothing you can really do about it. At the end of the day, this is my take on it. Whether you agree or not, I hope it’s of some value for you. Stuff is going to happen. I think your energy level, if you’re anything like me, will go way up if you refuse to look at Drudge Report, refuse to look at CNN, refuse to listen to talk radio most of the time. I think you should be educated. I read books and I pay attention, but I really don’t listen to this stuff much anymore.
With that, I highly recommend to prove my case a book that I read about a year ago. It’s called Trust Me, I’m Lying. It’s by Ryan Holiday. He’s got three books out. I recommend all three of his books. He is a fantastic author. He’s a young guy in his twenties. His books are great. This is a must-read book. Read this book and you’ll have a completely different perspective on all the stuff that you’re paying attention to. I had already stopped paying attention to all this stuff before I read the book, and this book convinced me that that was the right move.
This one little tip, if you practice it, will give you a lot more energy in your day and you’ll just generally be a happier person.