A blog isn’t a blog unless there is an end of year wrap-up or list of some sort… so let’s get straight to it…
Here are 7 valuable business lessons I learned in 2010.
1: Multi-Leverage is key to getting big results from your time and energy.
My good friend James Schramko taught me this… basically, he believes that if you are going to put your valuable time and energy into anything, you need to ensure you get as much out of it as possible.
See lesson 2 for further info on this..
I do this in two steps:
a) If an opportunity, task or project arises, I ask myself if the likely results are going to be worth the likely time and energy… if not, it gets scrapped, or, added to my “some day” folder.
b) If I decide to do it, I look for ways to get additional leverage…
For example, if someone wants me to speak on stage at their event, a great way to get extra leverage with no extra effort, is to ensure they are filming the event, and get permission to use the content. Bingo, no extra effort, and now you have content, or even a product.
There is software that will strip out the audio from the video, and bingo, you now have an mp3 of your presentation… you now have an upsell at no extra effort.
If you are just getting one benefit from your time and energy, you may be missing out.
2: Public Speaking simply isn’t leveraged enough for me.
I got into public speaking because I wanted to push my comfort zones, but whilst it is a lot of fun, and I am pretty good at it, it is frankly a LOT more time, effort and risk than it may appear.
Here is one example from this year:
Flights & hotels: $2,000-$3,000
Other expenses: $1,000 (I was there 10 days)
Preparation time: 10 hours
Total flight time: 34 hours
I was also stuck in an airport overnight, spent 11 hours waiting in airports for flights, and lost 3 days due to severe jet-lag. The hotel wifi was terrible, so very little productivity happened during my stay, so that was 10 days away from my business.
Anyway, whilst I have no regrets, I have come to realise that I can get the same leverage for just 90 mins sat at home drinking a coffee, with zero expense… see lesson 7 for details.
Lesson 3: Coaching is a lot of fun, and provides massive value (if done at the right level)
This year I have been running a behind the scenes group coaching program with John Morgan, I have dabbled with coaching prior to 2010, but never really took to it… in 2010 I realised that I was doing it at the wrong level.
Teaching people what a blog is, or how Twitter works wasn’t getting my juices flowing…. so we positioned the Inner Circle at a higher end client… and it has been a LOT of fun, with big results.
The moral of this story is that I could have discounted coaching as something that wasn’t for me, when in reality, I am extremely strong at it… it is just a matter of tweaking to fit your own strengths and preferences.
Lesson 4: “Information is a one-way street”
I got the above quote from Tim Ferriss… James Schramko says it as “You are either creating or consuming”… both are essentially saying that trying to multi task is a productivity killer… if you have a product to create, don’t be reading eBooks or playing on Facebook… if you want to consume a new training program, that is fine, just don’t try and build a website on the same day.
I created by far my best EVER product recently, I was expecting it to take 3 months, and I did it in 10 days… how?
1) I switched off gmail, Facebook, my phone etc… I didnt read a single blog post, or book, I watched no videos, and thought of no opportunities or ideas…
2) I broke the project down into small, specific chunks… always focusing only on what the NEXT action item was.
3) I outsourced the stuff I suck at and hate.
4) I combined an unrealistic deadline with massive, unmovable accountability… specifically, I did this by arranging a live webinar with my friend Phil Henderson where I would sell said product.
This removed all excuses, and gave me massive accountability… I couldn’t make excuses or extend the deadline, it was all or nothing.
Remember, a task will expand in size to fit the time allocated to it… if I had given myself 3 months, it would have taken 3 months.
Lesson 5: Despite a few bad eggs, people in the online business world are nice, warm, friendly and fun.
We have all heard the horror stories, and I know of a few people who seem to have no shame or morals, but on the most part, I find the people in this industry to be quite simply awesome… I could name hundreds of names, but that would be dull, so quite simply, if we met in 2010, or spoke or chatted in any way, then consider yourself awesome
Lesson 6: The comfort zone is like a muscle.
I strongly believe that very little in life or business is done from within a comfort zone…
Think of your comfort zones as muscles, that if stretched, will grow and expand.
In 2010 I have spoken at a Dan Kennedy event (I was terrified), spoken in Sydney twice, the first time I was averaging 60 mins sleep per night, I held my own event in Nashville, a first for me… I did numerous interviews, including one for CNBC, consulted with celebrities, did live webinars (see lesson 7), and on a personal level, sold ALL my belongings, moved home and country to be with the girl I loved (We are now getting married), I also jumped out of a plane for charity.
From the outside looking in, it may seem that I live a charmed life… but look at the above list, this is a tiny sample of things that scared me, heck, some of them terrified me, but I did them anyway… and that is what gets results.
If I had been too scared to do my first ever event, then I wouldn’t have been in Nashville, and therefore I wouldn’t have met my soon to be wife… you create your own luck in life.
Lesson 7: Webinars are THE most underrated business tool on the net right now.
I have taught everything from blogging to buzz, content to copywriting, social media to social psychology… but there was always one big missing piece to the jigsaw….
A solid, converting sales method.
I am not a fan of long, traditional sales pages, they have their place, and they work for some… but I believe they offer no real value, they take a ton of time and effort to produce, they all look the same, and ultimately, most people don’t like creating them, and most people don’t like reading them… it is a lose/lose.
So when I started doing webinars, everything changed…
I now had a medium that delivered MASSIVE value, even to the non-buyers, it is fun to do them, converts x10 better than written sales pages (I have converted up to 44% on webinars), and the leverage points are huge too….
At no extra effort you can build:
* An email list
* A product
* A brand
In 2011, webinars will be my main focus… I am opening the doors to a few more people in January to On Demand Cash Vault… which teaches EVERY step in success with webinars… so if you are not already on the early bird list… then I tut in your general direction.
Another year has passed by, and once again, we wonder where the time went… we ponder and dream for the year ahead, we lick our wounds, and tally up our achievements… we look to what can be done, and what could have been done better, we thank those who helped us on our journey, and give thanks to those who made us love, laugh and even cry.
To all my friends, I hope you had a great year, let’s make 2011 the best yet.
To our journey.
Me and my future wife.