You know what they say guys –
Success loves speed.
And this is a fundamental approach that will see you ascend in life.
It’s what allows me to work on multiple things at (I hope) a pretty decent level –
And I want to walk you through how I do this in practice:
The first and most critical thing is to reduce the gap between ‘thinking/planning’ and ‘doing’.
The goal of many of the ideas that you have is to get to ‘plan zero’.
This refers to the amount of time that you practically dedicate to planning.
And it happens at virtually EVERY level of your life.
I’ll give you a real-world example of it right now.
The time of writing is 8.18 am and I have until 8.38 am to leave the house to make sure I get to my 915am appointment.
That gives me 20-odd minutes to get out of the door.
And here’s what I’m doing with my time:
I’m taking the opportunity to capitalise upon my time as much as I possibly can.
We all have WAY more time than we realise. It’s ultimately a matter of getting to ‘plan zero’ where as soon as you think about doing something – you do it.
And then it’s done.
This is why I use Whatsapp for almost all of my work (which is somewhat ironic given all of this that I’m writing).
For example – last night I signed off on building a website (a kind of experimental project) in a bid to win some longer-term SEO work.
It’s actually for my Forex broker.
Now they want some brand colours, domain name ideas and a potential vision of what the site could look like.
I run an SEO agency and therefore this isn’t quite in my ‘ball court’.
But here’s what I did anyway:
I immediately created a Whatsapp group with 2 members of my team that I do think could do a pretty good job of planning on this before I pass it over to our designer:
I gave my trading partner’s team a deadline for Monday (which they thought was fast as that’s a couple of days away).
I then gave my internal team (Ellen and Lydia) 24-36 hours to get this rolled out.
Notice not a single word was written in terms of the brief – I just voicenoted the entire remit of work.
So I went straight from ‘signing it off’ to just doing; and >>>
Plan zero is also a lot about ‘writing zero’ as well.
The more you need to write in general – the less you’re able to get things done.
And the more voice notes and videos you produce – the higher your leverage.
Think about how this applies to your working world.
I apply this as best as I can with clients:
As well as with absolutely anyone I meet/work with.
Whatsapp voice notes allow me to create time by reducing the number of hours I spend writing/explaining.
‘Meeting zero’ is critical also.
This part you may find hard to believe….
I have less than one team meeting per month.
I don’t even think I have one team meeting every 3 months – if I’m being honest I’d really need to think about it.
Between recording Useloom videos and sending rapid-fire Whatsapp messages – you can pretty much gain back 10 hours a week.
Right now I’m out of time I’ll continue this later today!
(But still managed 563 words written 🙂
Some 10 hours later (it’s 18.06 now)
And I want to continue to break down my Whatsapp strategy to you:
I focus on short-form communication in ‘broken English’ in combination with voice notes to a very wide range of people.
As you can see I talk to all reaches of my network on the platform as I find it the most effective way to send continual micro-communications to everyone I need to talk to.
Furthermore, I’ll use one person (and I’m moving away from WhatsApp now somewhat) across multiple channels.
In this case, Madalena worked across several businesses (Dr Hidden, Word Pigeon, Pearl Lemon, 1 More Rep) whilst she was doing an internship.
I try at the same time to set up groups for different purposes as well – introductions, client groups as well as internal groups for work
And then when you combine voice notes with finding and hiring an ‘internal marketing director’ such as Lydia.
Then you can really start creating MASSES of time.
Everyone (bar no one) needs someone like Lydia.
She’s a single mother in education that lives with her family and has an absolutely unparalleled work ethic.
Like you, throughout my day I have various brainwaves and things that I think need working on.
Lydia is hungry to learn and hungry to do. And she doesn’t really mind what she’s doing as long as it’s challenging and it has a business and marketing orientation.
And she’s based in the United States so is 4 to 5 hours behind me.
What that means is during my ‘power hours’ – i.e before 9 am – I’m typically thinking about Pearl Lemon Groups’ wider business development. And I’ll have various ideas.
Or someone will give me great ideas like this man did today:
And then I’ll shoot shed loads of voice notes to Lydia with action items like so:
So by the time my day is wrapping up (like now at 18.40) – Lydia’s day is gearing up and she’s working on and across all the projects I’ve got running.
This really for me has been the ultimate productivity hack.
People ask me ‘what CRM’ tool do you use.
I don’t use any.
For me, they get in the way of progress. Use tools that have the least path to resistance.
And by finding someone like Lydia (I’ll go on to talk about my hiring process down the line) I am able to be active in multiple fields at once when I combine a Lydia with showering out voice notes on WhatsApp.
Now I’ve focused heavily on voice notes here – and it’s because of the speed of communication.
I’ll be in a meeting and send off an assignment a client requests in REAL-TIME such that before I leave the meeting – the work has already commenced.
You (as you may well know) can send voice notes absolutely anywhere.
So when I am out all day – as I was today with my father – I was still able to work almost uninterrupted because I just keep sending voice notes whilst I’m on the tube, on a train, in a queue, waiting for someone to arrive, on my way to meet someone….
Some things, of course, aren’t as easy to communicate with voice notes.
And in those cases…well why say it with words when you can SAY it with video.
Useloom is a Google Chrome app (and now a desktop app) that allows you to record videos on the fly and then they instantly upload.
It’s very slick and very fast.
So again as you can see – I combine Uselooms (and request them) with WhatsApp and voice notes to create as much efficiency of communication as possible.
And I thought I’d finish with an actual example of Useloom in action haha:
Here you go!
Well almost finish as you see…
This process is ever-evolving – but at the heart of it is building a team that can activate the ideas you have in your mind and then just get things done.
The latest iteration has been to ask Lydia to find someone who works 7 days a week or rather ‘can work at weekends’.
This has been a huge game-changer for me in terms of being able to get work done on the weekends as well – and moving forward will be a prerequisite for working with anyone.
Business for me is 7 days a week and long term I may even move to the model of another company I met called Trackimo.
They have a 24-7 day a week staff (not that they need to) – but it just means someone somewhere is always doing something to drive the company forward.
And if you focus on finding excellent people ‘offshore’ i.e don’t pay them in £; and identify people that are driven by passion and are in some form of education/live with parents – you can also find amazing people that won’t break the bank.
Much of this also depends upon the opportunities you have on offer – and with the range of businesses being worked upon inside Pearl Lemon then there is real scope for an intern to get a range of excellent experiences.
So it really is a ‘win-win’.
Interns and building a team were big parts of the businesses I built throughout my 20s – and in the next email, I’ll be talking about the #1 mistake I made when building out the companies I have during those years.
Catch you then 😛