Would you believe me if I told you it’s possible to be a high earning web design entrepreneur while working less than 30 hours a week? If so, you’ve likely already heard about my guest in this interview and if not, then this is just the episode for YOU!
In this episode, I’ve brought in the author of the book “Work Less Make More” and my personal business coach, James Schramko, who shares how to practically, through challenges and tactical examples, how to work less and make more in your business.
After listening to this, I have no doubt that you’ll be much more clear on the tasks that you need to focus on, which ones you need to drop completely and which ones you might consider handing off in order to legitimately Work Less and Make More.
Quick story: Shortly after I became a father, I realized I really need to make a lot more but I didn’t want to add more hours to my day. And for me, coming across James’ book Work Less Make More was the start of this amazing journey to working less than 30hrs a week on average.
I’m excited for you because I believe this might be the start of that journey for you as well!
In this episode:
05:01 – Greeting to James
07:27 – Some history
10:15 – Helping others
12:20 – Being a seasoned vet
15:54 – Getting stuck on tools
17:46 – Moving the needle
20:25 – Task inventory
21:34 – Time equals money
23:20 – Love spreadsheets
24:52 – Smashing ceilings
27:44 – 64/4 Principle
30:39 – Keep finding what works
32:22 – Surf or edit
33:57 – Listing the unnecessary
37:48 – Going to a restaurant
40:44 – Kryptonite
41:31 – Start small to delegate
42:47 – Taking responsibility
47:31 – What do you love
49:17 – To younger James
53:27 – Take care of a team
1:00:20 – James’ final thoughts
You can also view the full transcription of this episode below.
Connect with James:
- James’ Book “Work Less Make More”
- James’ LinkedIn Profile
- James’ Instagram Profile
- James’ Facebook Profile
- Super Fast Business YouTube Channel
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #101 Full Transcription
Hey, everybody, welcome into the show. This is Episode 101. And while Guys, do I have a good one for you, in this one, we are going to be diving into a topic that I have been really, really working at hard for myself over the past couple of years. And that is the the topic and the idea of working less, but making more and let me give you a quick story before we dive in. This was let’s see, probably like early summer of 2018, my wife and I had just had our first daughter. And I was at a point where I had struck pretty good work life balance up to that point. But I was still working a lot at least 40 to 45 hours a week. More importantly, though, because we just become parents, I really felt the need to have a bigger income, we just had a lot more bills and a lot more expenses. And a lot of you know that we had went through a two month Nic use days. So there was a lot of medical expenses coming in. And I was at a place where I wanted to make a lot more. But here’s the trick. And the kicker I didn’t want to work more hours, I wanted to spend more time with my baby girl, my family. So I was on Facebook, and one of my good buddies, James rose, who’s been on the podcast a couple times before, was reading a book. And the book was called work less, make more. And that title really intrigued me. So I picked up the book, I love the book, I started implementing things right away, it made such a big immediate impact on my life that I found out that the author also was an online business coach. So I checked out his website, and you’re gonna hear from the author of work less, make more, James Schramko, who is also my personal business coach, I’ve been with him for two and a half years at this point. And he has completely reshaped my mind with how I think about work and hours and focusing on the right tasks. And in this episode, we dive into how to practically work less and make more in your business right now. Even no matter where you are in your business, whether you’re you know, fairly new, and you’re just getting going or whether you’re more established, and you feel like you’re just working way too much and not getting enough, this talk is going to be for you. The thing I love about James, among many other things, is he he thinks outside the box. And he makes things very practical. And you’re going to hear in this interview, why I’ve chosen him as my business coach for as long as I have he is he challenges you. And he makes you think about stuff differently. And this interview is almost kind of like a coaching session. So you’re almost getting like a free coaching session here. And for those of you who are in this position, you want to make more but you don’t want to work a bunch of more hours. This talk will literally give you the practical steps to help you focus on the right tasks, know what to delegate, cut out what you don’t need in your business, and more importantly, create a lifestyle you love and have your business support that lifestyle. So needless to say it was an honor having James on the show. He’s also if you don’t know James, he is a world class entrepreneur and online business coach. He’s actually he’s coached some of the most prolific entrepreneurs in the game today. So there’ll be more about him on the bio, in the show notes in this page. So you can check that out. But I’ll just tell you right now, he’s the real deal. He’s the man, he lives outside of Sydney, Australia on the beach, he surfs every day, and he loves his work. So I was super excited to bring him in.
Now one thing real quick before we dive in, if you’re building your web design business, working less and making more is going to be very hard if you don’t have a proven path to follow. Because you’re going to have to learn about sales and onboarding and off boarding and project management and Content Collection and, and pricing and all these aspects that can take a lot of time, it can make it really difficult. And I experienced this myself because I took way too long in the early years, instead of learning from somebody else on how to do this stuff. And if that’s you, if you in fact want to work less and make more, and you’re just thinking how the heck am I going to do this if I have to learn all this stuff, I want to invite you into my web design business course my business course is your proven path. It is my playbook on how I built my business to six figures and beyond. And that can be yours. You can literally take everything that I’ve learned and you can apply it right now to shave literally years off your journey. So join that today if you’re interested, you can go to the show notes. There’ll be a link on the show notes for this podcast episode. You can also go to Josh Hall co/business and that’ll zip over there and I would love to welcome you in to help you build your business while working less and making more. And without further ado, I want to welcome in Jas and I do want to say he mentioned this at the end, but he’s got a 30 day work less make more challenge for you that I highly, highly recommend you check out there’s no gimmick you can sign up for free. He gives you up one email and video a day for 30 days to help you work less make more. I just went through it. It was freaking awesome. So I want to highly encourage you to do the same. And again without further ado, welcome in my business coach, the man, the myth, the legend James Schramko.
James, welcome to the show, man. It is such a pleasure to have you on.
Well, thank you for having me here. And I love our dialogue back and forth over the years, we’ve certainly helped each other. I always learn something when I’m discussing things with you as well, Josh.
Well, James, you’ve been just a massive part of my journey, particularly with what I do. Now I’ve been with you, I think the time that this release is, it’ll be about two and a half years. And I was on Facebook and a buddy of a mutual friend of ours, was reading a book called Work Less, Make More. And that title intrigued me so much. Because I was at a place where we had just had my first daughter, I was working more, and I wanted to work less. So that’s how it all started. I went through the book, and then you’ve been my coach ever since so. So thank you, man, you’ve been a huge impact on me. And I’m really excited to pick your brain about this topic, because I think it’s more important than ever. And I’m really excited to share some some really good information and your experience with this topic to my audience. Before we dive in, though, I would love to ask you the same question that I just asked Pat Flynn, who was recently on my podcast, because you’re an author, you’re a podcaster, you’re a business coach. And I want to know, for somebody who doesn’t know James Schramko, when they ask you, what do you do? What do you tell them?
I’m a surfer, who runs a business on the side that funds my lifestyle. It is a hard one for me to answer that. But it’s much simpler than it used to be because I have about 10 or 12 different businesses. So these days, I’d say I’m a coach to online businesses. And I’m especially good at taking businesses from six figures to seven figures.
Perfect. Well said, Yeah, I was. I was telling that as well. I found it very hard, especially because you know, now that I’m full time with my personal brand, I try to figure out what to say without it taking 10 minutes, because I’m like, Well, I’m a I’m a YouTuber, and I’m also a podcaster, and also a course creator. So I think that’s a great way to phrase it to kind of put some context in there. And actually, speaking of that, speaking of a little bit of context, for those of my audience who may not know you, James, I would love to do maybe just go over just a summary of the backstory about what you were doing before you started your entrepreneurial path. And then I’d love to talk about when work less make more came to came to be. But yeah, What did it look like in the early days for you? What were you doing before he became an entrepreneur?
The short story is I grew up in a fairly well off household. Then I started an accounting study, my parents lost their wealth during a recession in the early 90s in Australia, went into the workplace, I ended up in a job in debt collection. And I went through from debt collection, into finance, into technology. And then eventually, I started producing a family. And I needed to increase my income. So I went into sales. I landed a job at BMW. And I was there for a couple of years. And I excelled at selling. I was really good at that. And I switched from that to Mercedes Benz after two years, and I was with Mercedes Benz up until I finished my career. And I worked my way through from sales to sales management, to general sales manager, to General Manager. And the last two jobs I had, I was pretty much sent by Mercedes Benz to privately owned dealerships who sell Mercedes Benz products, to turn them around. To take them from a poor performance to being a top performer. And so the last two jobs I did were where I probably learned most of my lessons. And in the last two and a half years of my last job as a general manager, I decided I really need to have my own business. I wasn’t sure what it could be. And I thought it would be a good idea to learn how to build a website. And I’m sure that would resonate with a lot of your audience, Josh. And it was very difficult. I’m not a technical person. I’m not a developer. I shouldn’t be allowed near code. And I’m definitely not a designer. So it was really quite a Mt. Everest.
And this was before like WordPress and everything hit right?
This was it was well before WordPress, it was this we’re talking about 1990 1990 2005 Okay, 2005. So, even though I actually learned about the internet in 1995, I was very, very early on the internet. And then I didn’t have a computer for many years. And then I started again in 2005. Back then people were using front page and Dreamweaver. And there were a couple of wiziwig tools popping up that were pretty clunky and didn’t do much for SEO. They’re very, very limited for payment options, and it was really, really hard to stream audio or video back then. So I found it quite challenging. And when I’ve Finally tripped over a software tool that made it easy for me to build a website, that became my thing, I became an affiliate for that program, I sold a lot of it, I learned all my skills as I went on that path to sell more of that product. And then over time, moved into helping other people figure this online thing out. And then I realized a lot of the skills I had, as a general manager, were applicable to the online world because a lot of these people who coming through had, you know, basically started computers from their dorm at university, they had no life experience and never worked for anyone else. So all this stuff, I’d learned about building teams, looking at financial spreadsheets, selling, marketing, just general traps to avoid, you know, when I started to tip those things into fledgling entrepreneurs who had maybe been an employee, but certainly not a leader, became valuable. And that’s where I center myself now, a lot of the audience I’ve built up, tend to be people coming through at a early stages, and are about to make a lot of the mistakes that I can stop them making.
That’s a good, that’s a great way to put it, that’s definitely what you’ve done with me, man, you kind of set me straight with some stuff that I was about to get into. And you’re like, don’t do this, don’t do this. And I’m telling you don’t do this. So that’s much appreciated.
I’m kind of like a one man bought a director, you know, I think as an entrepreneur, most people would realize that it’s quite lonely. It’s a lonely sport. You don’t have many people you can talk to, you can talk to your wife, or your husband, or whomever, in your family, Mommy, Daddy, sister, brother, but a lot of them don’t have the context or experience to be able to give you a solid answer or support. They’re supportive, but they don’t really know how to help you. And then in the sort of p2p networking space, there’s a lot of people who are kind of frenemies. They kind of give you advice or help, but they don’t really want you to be successful, because that sort of lowers their rung on the on the totem pole. So then there’s all these places you can get information, but the quality of information is questionable. So where can you go to get really good advice from someone who’s in your corner, who’s already tried the path, you know, that’s where you get a seasoned veteran of the game, to just be in your ear and help you. And that’s what I’ve had my most success. And it’s typically been the slightly younger than me, people who have probably a lot more talent than I have, actually. But I can coach them to unleash that talent. Without sort of falling off the tracks. I’m kind of like the bumper bowler. In the 10 finale, I want them to knock over all the pins, so they got to keep out of the gutter. And that’s where I found the online community aspect of it has helped me a lot. Because people don’t have to be lonely anymore, they can go through with that support. And I love that role as a parent. It’s very similar. Actually, I’m sure you can relate to that.
Yeah, no, I totally agree. And to be honest, I mean, you know, you really encouraged me to get my membership going, which is still very new at this point. And I echo everything you just said, it’s so rewarding. And I would have never thought that I would be in that situation to be in a coaching type of situation. Even as a course creator, it’s a little bit different than a coach. So I totally back you up on that. And it’s, it’s been a heck of a journey for me to see what you’ve done. And I’ll be honest, James, I was a little leery about getting a business coach who wasn’t in web design, because I thought I should probably get a coach who knows web design and is active in it. But I know you have experience you had a web design agency and SEO company, you did sell them. So you have…
If you really if you really want punishment, the good a web design business, I found that one of the most challenging businesses I’ve ever had, and I’ve had plenty, because the customer can never appreciate the beauty of the code underneath. They never understand what art has gone into saving a few lines of code here or there. They don’t understand the SEO factors that have been built in. All they do is look at the design. And it never seems to meet their requirements of what vision they had in their mind and they want it to pop more.
Pop is the term. Okay, can you make that button down that?
Yeah, it’s like that cartoon on oatmeal that that I used to sometimes send to my worst nightmare costumers.
You you know, it has its challenges. I will say I uncovered some secrets in my decade of doing it. And that’s what I share with my students because there are some there’s a roundabout ways, particularly with, with what you do a big thing you talk about is focusing on your best clients and not worrying about you know.
That’s just it I probably needed someone like you if I was going to be serious about that business and develop it well, who figured out all of the traps and secret But it was a challenging business. And we did well with it, we made lots of profit, it was a solid six figure business. But when I sold it, it was one of my happy days. Running, running some of my other businesses.
Since you’re not a techie guy, I probably made it even worse to have to deal.
Part of the secret of being a real business owner is not getting stuck in being the technician and not getting stuck on the tools. – James
I had no ability to comprehend the, the level of the coding or the quality. And, you know, the the irony of it was, when I sold the business, the guy who bought the business as a customer of mine, and we were just sitting together chatting on a coaching call, and I said, how is it that I don’t know how to do a line of code. I’ve got this team of seven people, we have a six figure business, and you’ve you’ve got pretty much no team, you’re one guy, you had coding genius. And you’re still not quite making the revenue or the profit that we can? And it came down to part of the secret of being a real business owner is not getting stuck in being the technician and not getting stuck on the tools. And I learned this almost by accident from some of my clients who are very untechnical. There are some people out there who don’t even know where their domain is hosted. They don’t even know how to log in. They need someone to do everything for them. And those people taught me well, gosh, if they can be successful and not even know where their domain is located, or who’s got their website or where it’s hosted or anything, then there’s, there’s got to be something to that. And that the more overtime, the more I got away from the tools, the better my businesses become. And the easier it is for me to have a good income. And the less work I have to do. Because I think it’s a huge temptation for people who are very talented at technical thing. Yes, whether that’s a plumber, electrician, or a website developer.
I think that’s a great point, James. I think it’s harder for web designers, maybe over any other industry to become an entrepreneur, because we’re good at the tech stuff we like we can set up a nice word WordPress website, we can do some coding, we can figure out the domain and email where we’re used to doing that for clients. And that was the big hurdle for myself that you helped me get over is, you even told me at some point, I think early on, you were like, Josh, you gotta stop doing all this stuff, you need to start delegate, you need to start getting people to do that. And it’s not that I’m above those tasks, or they’re not worthwhile. But I needed to focus on only what I could do in the business. And I think that’s the key of maybe one of the keys to working less and making more right is to focus on the tasks that you’re best at. And only you could do what you say that’s true.
Yeah, I’d say there’s only a few things that that really moves the needle in almost everything else, you could put into several categories. One major category is that a lot of things that we’re doing, do not need to be done by anybody, or at all. And that’s pretty amazing. When you think about it it sounds counterintuitive. But it is true, we waste a lot of time on things that just don’t matter. And then the second category is all the stuff that other people could quite happily do that, that we shouldn’t be touching. So for most of my clients who are not website developers, I say to them, like, you should not be working on your website unless you plan to be a website developer. Yeah, and even if you plan to be a website developer, there may be a point where you want to transcend that job like activity and become a business owner, all the way to investor level. So yes, I think there’s only a few things that that we get the most impact from and we should focus on those. And for me, that is real time coaching with my students. And some content creation, they’re the main two activities that I do that no one else in my team is doing. And they do everything else from bookkeeping, through to editing, publishing emails. Basically, every every other function in the business, my team will do and I just do the things I want to do. And then that means that I really don’t have to work as many hours as a lot of these hustle and grind entrepreneurs who are trying to do everything, or haven’t yet found a good vehicle for their business that allows them to pay for people to do things and that’s usually goes hand in hand. Whenever I find someone who says I can’t afford to hire people, then I look to their business model and it’s not brilliant.
What would you say? Cuz that’s, that’s the big trick is you can work all day you can be an email you as a web designer, you can do all this stuff. And at the end of the month, it’s like, Man, I’m still not getting ahead. I’m making exactly what I made for the past year. I just can’t seem to to break over this, but you hit the nail on the head there, James, it really all comes down to the tasks that are going to move the needle forward. How do you How would you say particularly in web design, how do you know or how do you decipher what those two are I mean, you kind of outline a couple keys there? But is it something that, you know, is just gonna, you know, land a bigger project or landing opportunity? Or how do you know exactly how to pinpoint those most important tasks, because this is what I’m working through right now, in my journey. I’m really focusing on what is what are the absolute most important things that are going to move me forward. And I’m really working at getting rid of the rest.
Well, the first step is a task inventory. It’s like listing down everything you actually do. And you could do that by literally writing everything down that you do on a pad for a day, a week, a month, however long it takes to go through a complete cycle. And then when you look at that task list, then you can start categorizing those things as like extremely unique and only you can do or extremely commoditized in anyone can do. So things like bookkeeping is a classic thing that entrepreneurs do. Again, non website developers tend to get bogged down on their website, which I’m sure probably drives you crazy how many of your clients break the things that you built for them tinkering under the hood, when they have no business? Right? It’s like the average person doesn’t really know the mechanics of their motor vehicle. And nor should they, the mechanic should know that. So unless you’re the mechanic, don’t be the mechanic. To do your task inventory, separate this stuff out into what doesn’t need to be done at all, what could be done by someone else, and what can only I do? That will be one indicator. But none of this matters if your business model is flawed to start with. So one of the first things I do the big mental shift, the hinge that swings the big door for most people is unlinking. Time equals money. Because we’ve been planted this seed and it’s a it’s a very misleading seed, that that hard work equals high pay. Yeah, and that low work equals low pay. There’s no actual relationship between the hardness of the work and the outcome. And in the same way, it doesn’t have to be a link between time and money in terms of the hour for an hourly rate, you don’t have to sell your services that way. Now, I imagine you’ve probably already educated a lot of your website agencies to sell in different ways. But there are still people out there who sell their time by the hour. And that doesn’t really scale, because you only have a couple of 100 hours a month you can sell. So even if you got $100 an hour, and you sold the 200 hours, that kind of caps your income at a quarter of a million dollars a year in revenue, and you’re exhausted. So if you want a $2 million a year income, that business model doesn’t actually scale. So you should identify that right now and say, Well, that doesn’t work.
That’s a shocker for so many people’s it’s like this literally cannot work. So I can Oh, yeah, like I found myself being so confused early on, because I wanted to make $100,000 or more. And I was like, Why can I hit this, it’s like, I didn’t realize that only charging $1,000 for a website, that was just not practical. That meant 100 websites a year, just to get to six figures. But that’s just like, that’s gross. That’s even…
It’s very hard to make a million dollars a year by yourself very, very hard. – James
That’s where the spreadsheet is your friend and I do this with any business model I consider and I do it with a lot of my clients, businesses, we actually look at the numbers. And I may have even said this to you before Josh, like, go and work it out on the spreadsheet, and then tell me what you discover. And that’s why I was able to run a website development business without being a website developer. And it’s why I was able to run an SEO business without doing any of the actual SEO work, even though I did understand SEO. Yeah. The thing is, you can you can calculate it, like you said, you work out how much you’re going to get per website, how many websites capacity Do you personally have, if you if you want to make $100,000, and you sell websites for $1,000, and you have to do 100 in a year, then you know, you need to be able to do one website every three days on average, without any days off, right? If you want days off, then now you probably have to do one every two days, then you got to actually get customers to fill that pipeline. So who’s going to do the marketing. So you’re all these all these ramifications could be actually figured out on a spreadsheet before you open the doors to your business. So probably an action step right now for anyone at this point in our discussion here is go and map out your business model on a spreadsheet and see if it actually scales and can achieve the goal you want. Or if it’s hopeless, and it needs a reconfiguration. And the good news is there’s so many different ways to do it as you’ve done Josh, you keep smashing through new ceilings. Because we’re changing the paradigm on what’s possible when you sell information then that that can have scale. If you sell services, but you have a team, and you have a marketing machine, then that can scale. So there’s, there are ways to do this. But typically, if you’re a solo operator, and there’s this term out there, solopreneur, that just is pretty much a synonym for job and kept income. It’s very hard to make a million dollars a year by yourself very, very hard. I was, yeah, you develop software, or write a hit song. It’s probably not gonna happen, even with a premium rate.
I mean, you, you know, I got, I got really good with my niche and web design. And I was I was charging a premium rate. But I got to the point where I knew I could not take it to the next level unless I scaled. And as soon as I started scaling my business, that’s when I started teaching. And here we are, a couple years later. So I’m in a whole different business model now. But you know, and for anyone who’s curious, I did talk about how to practically make six figures or more in web design. That was Episode 41 of my podcast for anyone who wants to revisit that because that’s I basically took what you laid out in the book, Jas and applied it to web design, which I still have the book right here. I’ve got a, an OG copy here with your picture and everything on it.
It’s different now. It’s a new, new cover. Somewhere there’s a book.
Yeah. Got a new cover. But there’s a there’s an example in the book. He talked about that I think articulate there it is. There’s the new one. Yeah, I like it. Maybe I’ll get the new one just for the heck of it. So I both copies.
It’s thicker, and it’s got cold out quotes. So
Oh, okay. All right. Well, you make a great example, in the book, I think it was a guy named Jared, if I recall, who was making $250,000 a year. And I love what you said in the book, because most people would say, Wow, you’re an incredible entrepreneur, but you said, well, let’s look at what you’re actually doing. And come to find out I think he was working like 80 or 90 hours a week, right? Like it was just it was just not sustainable. So in that case, I would love to transition to a topic. And one reason I love your approach, James is it’s always a little bit different than everyone else seems to pump out in the marketing and entrepreneurial world. Most people know of the 80/20 rule where 20% of your activities are making 80% of your income, but you take it to the next step with a 64/4 principle. So can you elaborate on that and explain what the difference is and what that means? Exactly.
Just keep finding what’s working, doing more of that, what doesn’t work, stop doing that. – James
Yeah, so we’ve all heard about 80/20. If we ever seen a Tim Ferriss book or number of books, even the book 80/20, by Richard Kosh, when I was reading those books, I was reading that it’s fractal and that it works upon itself. So in other words, it scales out. What it means is that you can 80/20 to 20%, that gets you the 80%. And when you do that, it works out that just 4% of the inputs get you almost two thirds of your outputs. And that’s kind of the mental tool, I needed to just scalpel away most things. So if you want to look at my business now, it is far simpler and more leveraged than it was five years ago, or 10 years ago. And that is because I’ve just removed things. I keep tuning the machine. Still, in the last year, in the year of a pandemic, I managed to get my workweek down to 15 hours, but also managed to increase my profit to the highest profit year I’ve ever had. Because I keep finding leverage. By using this concept of 64. Four, I just know that only a few things matter. And almost everything else doesn’t, which is why I don’t have a task lists anymore, I don’t have a to do list, I have a small team, we have a pretty consistent operating system of what outputs we want to produce. And then we just keep dialing little things on the machine, I actually cut a business division at the end of last year. And I was able to have a record month in December, you know, the month or two after making the changes, I had a massive increase in income. But I also dropped five or six hours a week of workload by finding that leverage. And it all comes back to identifying what’s absolutely critical, and we can look around our life to find lots of examples, we probably probably tend to gravitate towards the same t shirt, you know, out of our wardrobe, the favorite pair of shoes, or if you wear shoes, I hardly ever wear shoes these days. There’ll be they’ll be things that you use a lot, and they’ll be things you hardly ever use. And it’s the same for pretty much every aspect of life and especially in your business. If you have a team of developers if you had 10 people in your team, and they all had a similar role. One of those people will be five or six or 10 times better than some of the others. That is not just 10% better, or 20% better, but I’m sure you found This really great developer could be five or 10, or 20 times better than an average one. So once you hone in on that and support that, and you develop more like that, you can actually cut a big amount of workload in your business. By just zooming in on the things that really pay off across your marketing activities, one or two things will probably have a substantially bigger impact than everything else. So for me, that was podcasting. And then I added video marketing, those two things meant that I didn’t really need to run ads, when I added a book, that’s great. And that’s worked really well. So I’m adding a couple more books. So just keep finding what’s working, doing more of that, what doesn’t work, stop doing that. And just by stopping doing things, you can actually increase your income. Because your there will actually be customers in your portfolio who you lose money on by having around, they take up more resource and energy than your return from that customer. So if you just stopped dealing with those customers, your profit would actually increase by doing less.
I absolutely. And I’m listening to you. And I’m just thinking about all the times we’ve chatted with the coaching thread that I have with you. And you basically just told me, I mean, I’m just taking your playbook you’ve told me like, here’s what’s working for me. And I just do it on either a different level or a different way with web design. And it’s totally true, I just zoned in on on those tasks that are, you know, getting me the biggest ROI. The podcast is interesting, because for me, just like I’ve told you, this thing has been crucial over the past year and a half for just taking me to a whole nother level. But the trick is, I still have done a lot of work in it. And I just told you before we went live now I actually just today talk with somebody about editing the podcast, because I do have a VA who does the outlines and subscriptions and publishing but I’ve been doing the editing. Part of that is because I told you, I still kind of enjoy it. But I realized I’ve got to get past that to focus on the high level stuff that yields the biggest return and only I can do. So I think that’s a good practical example of something that is is really worthwhile thinking about because if I didn’t really think about this, and if I didn’t have you to say, Josh, you need to focus on this, I would probably just keep on editing the podcast. And that’s three or four hours a week. That’s However, what is that a year. That’s, you know, that’s like, that’s like a third of your work time, James every week. So.
You mentioned I think I’ve published 801 podcast episodes, and I haven’t edited the last 600. So that would be 1200 hours, if it took me only two hours to edit my podcast each. That’s a lot of time. That’s That’s a lot of surfing time I put it this way I could surf every day, instead of edit my podcast. And I can pay someone, they can edit their pod podcast as part of their role. So what it works out, as for me, is, you know, if I do two podcasts a week, and that was four hours of editing, I could surf for four hours a week, so I could literally surf every day of the week, and then pay someone about $300 to edit my podcasts a month. And that’s a good exchange for me. So it’s like, what else could I do? Now, if you love something, then do it. I don’t get paid to surf unfortunately, I’m still trying to figure that one out. But one day, I will I do have a surfing website, and we do make money from it, which at least makes it tax deductible, but and I’ve got my own brand, and it’s trademarked and we’ve produced some equipment. So it’s still it’s a passion that might pay in the future. And I possibly could sell that for something. But in the meantime, it’s a hobby. So if you’re real about if you just love editing a podcast, by all means do that. But don’t do the things you don’t love. And that’s really the first clue. What don’t you absolutely adore that you are doing that someone else could do or that doesn’t need to be done at all? If you can solve that problem, then you’ll start freeing up time.
Well, you’ll be proud of me, James, I made a list here recently. I’m looking at it right now there are six categories of tasks that I’m doing right now, which ranged from comments on my website, to technical questions to a lot of stuff in my membership, which my membership is still new, I’m intentionally working everything out. So I can create my SOPs and start to hand that off. But I’m still doing a lot with Facebook groups that I run the podcast stuff like I mentioned, there’s a lot of email that I’m ready to take off and there’s even stuff just managing like loom videos like I’ve got a stack of loom videos that I need to delete and organize. I don’t want to do that myself.
Is that so you don’t have to pay a membership.
For the loom. It’s more so I just I don’t I don’t want to have like hundreds and hundreds of videos stacking up, that should be deleted. Sometimes they should be deleted after somebody watches them kind of thing. Because I send like videos to my students welcoming into the course and stuff. So there’s a lot of little…
it’s a good point. There’s a few things you’ve just shared that are interesting. I think about that like emails, you know isn’t Okay, just archive them and just let them sit out in the ether. If they do need deleting, why don’t you create an SOP for someone in your team to just automatically delete videos after they’ve been watched, so you never have to touch it once? Or find a technology that sends an evaporating video that once it’s watched, it disappears. So instead, maybe send them on an Instagram story or something to the person. Yeah, disappearing messages.
That is a good point. Yeah, I’m kind of looking at these. These are the tasks that I’m, I’m finding that I’m actually spending a lot more time and it’s prohibiting me from work.
That’s, that’s a dirty word for me. Yeah, I don’t have a Facebook group. Because I know if I started one, then I’d have to be on Facebook a lot. So I keep my social media down to me hours a week, I think that’s a massive time suck. The other one where people get lost is in their inbox. And again, you can have someone go through and clean up your inbox and put them into categories, like a category could be for Josh to review. And then they go through and they find anything that needs to be reviewed by you. And then everything that doesn’t can just be archived for basically everything you can tell me that you’re doing, there’s probably a way that you wouldn’t have to be doing it if we looked at it through a different lens.
Yeah, I love that. And that’s, that’s exactly what I’m like in the process right now. And I really want to encourage everyone listening as web designers, because I know web designers might think well, I don’t know if this applies to me exactly. But it totally does. I mean, there are so many things in the in the web design world that once I started scaling, I thought immediately, God, I wish I would have done this five or six years ago. And I actually…
it’s okay for a web designer to actually be focused on the web design, but have everything else done for you. And that could even extend through to having someone mow, mow your lawn, do your washing, or cook your meals, if you really love web design. And by the way, before, I’m really just saying I have respect anyone who can run a good web design business. If you can do that, you’ll find other businesses will be much easier.
Dude, that’s how I took courses, the six figures in the first year I was like, yeah, this. Now I’ve learned web design. Yeah, so but I want to ask you, so if somebody listened to this, and they’re getting inspired, they’re writing tasks down, they want to figure out what they can cut out or delegate. But here comes the pivotal point. It’s like, just like I did, I got nervous about paying somebody to do something, whether it was a pride thing, whether it was an OCD thing, just wanting to have all the control, or whether I was just nervous that it’s just weird to pay somebody and then it’s like, well, I could do that. Why pay somebody? What would you say to somebody that’s stuck in that salary? Or maybe Freelancer mindset that’s afraid to delegate, but you know, that’s the next step they need to do?
Well, have they ever eaten in a restaurant?
I’m guessing, so
Then they’ve already done it, you only have the skill, you just probably don’t know it. You have the skill to pay someone to go and do it, to grow the food, prepare, like transport it, prepare it, cook it up on a plate for you to eat, and then when you leave, they wash up. And if you don’t feel bad about that, then why would you feel bad about providing employment opportunities for people like putting money back out in the world, if you want to be if you want to be more of a contributor, employ people. Feed the economy, like, I love sending money over to my team. I know that they’re growing families that they’re consuming, they’re putting money back into the marketplace. And it’s creating goodwill. So I think it’s okay to hire people, I think you can do more, you’ve got a little more power to help more people if you can grow. And I’d say the number one thing that’s holding a small business back from being a bigger business, is they’re not spending enough. And if you switch the word spending to investing, then it probably starts to make sense. Because at the end of the day, what matters is come tax time, how much is left in your account. So all your revenue comes in, all your expenses go out how much is left in your account. So you could be the web developer who does everything yourself and you bring in $100,000, and you spend out $10,000, and you keep 90,000. Or you could hire a team to do everything, you could bring in a million dollars in the you could spend out even 400,000 or 500,000 to everyone else, and all the other things and be left with $500,000 in your account. And you actually didn’t even have to do that much because everyone else did it for you. So would you rather do everything yourself for 90 grand? Or would you rather do nothing and get 500 grand?
Well said and I love how simple you made that analogy Have you ever gone out to eat because I never thought about it like that. That’s a great way to phrase it and we’re all accustomed to doing it.
If you’ve if you’ve ever hired someone to do something for you, you don’t like hide, if you had a kid’s birthday cake made for your birthday, if you’ve stayed in a hotel where they did all the sheets and put all the soap and stuff for you, like, we already do this as consumers, why wouldn’t we do it in our business? Yeah.
And again, going back to what the point I made earlier with web designers with this being a big hang up is because I felt like when I started scaling, I never thought about hiring my own web design work out, because I just I’m the web designer, I can do that. And then it hits the hardest thing to hire out. Yeah,
Hardest thing to hire out is the stuff you’re good at. And, but it’s also the kryptonite that stops you from scaling.
Well, so that’s exactly what I found. As soon as I started hiring a lot of the team that I had built to work on my site, that’s when I got freed up. And it’s really, I was soon as I got a taste of some freed up time when somebody else was working on something and I realized, wow, I can stop working right now and go, I can hang out with my kids or I can sleep and then wake up and then stuffs done, like stuffs already done. Because my team is doing that. And I’ve given them opportunity, and it’s freed me up the mental aspect of this just not having every burden on your shoulders. I think that’s key. Yeah, I love that man. Do you have any other thoughts on somebody who’s just nervous about taking that step as far as hiring and become a business owner from a freelancer?
Just start, start small. Ask for help. Just see if you can practice by paying someone and see if you enjoy the result of not having to have done it.
That’s good. Yeah, start small for sure. Now, I’m curious. What would you say is the most important thing for web designers/business owners/entrepreneurs in my world, because I’m finding that most everybody listening to this, and everyone and a lot of people in my courses, and everybody in my membership are at heart entrepreneurs, but they’re trying to figure out what kind of goal they should set. Because when you hear goal, you generally automatically think of what you want to make that year. But I’ve been really, really thinking about this a lot over the past couple years with more of a lifestyle design approach. Like you talked about, James, you started this whole conversation off with when you tell people what you do you surf and then you build things around that. Is that the kind of mindset we should have as far as instead of a quote unquote, goal? I mean, I think that’s still important to know what you want to make and what you need to make at least and have a good goal. But is it the other aspects there that are just are not maybe more important to you, as far as what do you want your day to day look like? What do you want your projects and type of clients to look like? What would What are your thoughts on that?
Well, firstly, I don’t think it’s up to me to tell anyone what they should do, or how they should think that’s, that’s an independent thing. And I think this is very important. This really addresses the topic of responsibility. I take responsibility for my outcomes as much as possible. And I know I’ve had a good start here and there, and I live in a certain country, and, you know, all this stuff that set me up to be at an advantage. And I accept that that’s the case. However, there’s plenty of examples of people who have had a less fortunate situation, and still being able to turn things around. So comes down to controlling what you can control. And dealing with what you can’t control. You know, don’t spend a lot of time worrying about things that haven’t happened to you and work on on ways to let go of past grievances and, and bad things. Like one way that that helped me deal with that is to understand that the past no longer exists. And that everything happened the way it needed to happen, because it did happen. So I move on from that. In terms of goals, I don’t write my goals down anymore. I used to do that 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and I listened to a lot of the same sort of stuff that I imagine most of your listeners will be listening to that talk about goal setting and all of that. That’s very popular stuff. But really, the way I think about it is I visualize what I want things to be like I just spend time thinking about it. I imagine catching the perfect tube getting barreled on my surfboard. And I’m thinking about how can I spend more time surfing and less time grinding and hustling and doing things I hate? Well, the answer for that is I build a team. And I also make sure I don’t take on customers I don’t want to work with. I filter very carefully, who I work with, what expectations I set, how the training will be delivered, what kind of results that I have in mind for them. And then I get then I just get about to do it and roll up the sleeves and actually do it. So when I think of goals, I’m thinking more dimensional than just financial. And as I’ve realized, especially over the last five years or so, Over the last three years since I published my book, I don’t work Friday, Saturday, Sundays, or Mondays, I only work a few hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. And that reality was possible because I imagined what it would be like and then I started making the moves towards getting it. So, yes, there’s money, but there’s also health and that probably in the last year, that’s become a lot more of an important factor with the rollout of a pandemic. Yeah, health has been critical, because we know that the mortality rate is significantly affected by underlying health issues. And there’s a whole bunch of population who are walking around very unhealthy and at risk of a terminal situation. So what can we do individually to improve our health? I’ve, I’ve completely transformed my own views on food, exercise, a mindset around health, but there’s relationships. If you have all this extra time, who are you going to spend it with? What’s important to you? I know you’ve got children. I’ve got kids, that’s been a really important for me, especially through the first two years of my baby girls life has to spend so much time together. And it’s it’s the best, to me that’s important.
Yeah, And again, I’m just so thankful that I got coaching with you at a very pivotal time in my life, because I was the seeds for me, would this work less make more mentality were planted around that time I knew and I had already struck really good work life balance, but I was still doing it’s fair to say 40 to 50 hours a week, when I had my first daughter, and when I really went through your book and started going through your stuff, that’s when it really dawned on me that you know what, I don’t have to work 40 hours, and I can still get done way more. Right now, I work on average. Usually right now at the top end, it’s 30 ish. On like, bigger, busier times, it might be 35. But there’s a lot of times like over the past December and January, I’ve been working 20 20 to 25. And I’ve just I found those leverage in those areas. And I haven’t even offloaded all the tasks that I’ve that I went over a little bit ago.
Plenty plenty to get
Imagine when I get this off.
You can still work 20 hours, that’s one people’s concern was that they don’t want to sit around do nothing. Fine. Why not work those 20 hours on really high level high leverage things that you love, like, yeah, absolutely love. So in terms of goal setting, it might be just a matter of closing your eyes a bit and thinking about what do you want your life to look like? Who do you want to have relationships with? How healthy do you want to be? How much money do you need to have to live a good life? Where do you want to live? What do you want to do on a day? Like, if I magically dropped $50 million into your bank account? And you no longer have to do any work? What would you gravitate towards? To me that exercise starts to lean into what people like? And then I say why don’t we move your business into that direction now, so that you can build up cash reserves, you can start working on things you enjoy more, spend time with the people you want to. Travel, whatever is important. So some people love things, some people don’t love things, I’ve been able to tick a lot of boxes on what I wanted to do. But I got in the driver’s seat. And I can’t emphasize this enough. You go back to the early days of my business, it was just as hard and difficult and overwhelming and and overworking as what most people are experiencing right now. But you can find a pathway through it.
Yeah. And the one question I was gonna have for you is, if you had to go back earlier in your journey, what’s something that you would have done differently? Or what would you have coached yourself to do differently? Because I have my own things, again, just delegation, for example. As soon as I started getting some help, as I was like, man, why didn’t I start doing this five or six years ago? Was there any anything that you would go back to that, you know, a decade ago until younger James, you know, what, do I do this differently, or maybe focus on this?
I would probably focus more on storytelling. And because I was very machine like and direct. And over time, I’ve been able to enhance my points with more of a story narrative. I want to spend a little more time on those on the platforms, we could get a little more authority earlier. So I was really late with Instagram, for example. And that turned out to be important. I would have gone to recurring business model as soon as possible. I was a couple of years behind where I could have been and do the main things. Yeah, no, I think that’s the the big leverage point for most people I work with is switching from one time payments to recurring payments. That is huge. That is massive. And then I would say build your authority so that you can charge more big like Jay Abraham talks about preeminence, if you can be more well known, life is just so much easier. People will pay, pay the money, whatever that is to deal with the best. And you also get better customers. This would be true for website developer.
I was just gonna say on that note for building authority, I think the first thought is, you got to become a guru or an expert or have your own YouTube channel. But for a lot of web designers, I encourage them just to be an authority in their own market, whether it’s a networking group or meetups, or there’s all kinds of forums and Facebook groups and stuff now where web designers can really make a name for themselves. That’s what I did. That’s how I started. Would you echo that? Are there any other like micro type of ways to build to become an authority?
Just have great product and have have such a good product, people want to talk to you and share it with other people they know. Or authority builders, like the easy authority builder, and definitely will work for website developers to publish your book. And you can be known as that that person who knows that market. You know, you’ve friends like Pat Flynn, he’s got his own effect. Now, like whatever he does, whatever project he does, will automatically fly out of the gates because he’s got a well known presence. And I think you could put a lot of that down to initially publishing a lot of content and really good quality content. So high quality, and tuning into your audience is a good advantage. So I’d say a lot of website developers tend to be introverted. And if you can start publishing a little more, storytelling more and doing more content marketing might be a pathway to becoming better, better known in your market space.
That’s great, James, and you’ll be proud a lot of my members, I’ve been encouraging them to do short videos, I’m basically passing everything down. I learned from you to them. And it’s working man, it’s working like, this works like a tee.The short videos, just yeah, so impactful. And, yeah, this has been a great man. I was just thinking, you know, what, Pat, are we talking about him, he basically where he’s at right now even told me when I talked to him. He’s like, I focus on my zone of genius. And everything else my team does, he learned to basically take the exact approach that you laid out for us here, which again, I know, we’re talking to a lot of people here who are early in the journey, and may not even think that having a team as possible, but it is possible, you can do it one step at a time and small. And I’m the perfect example of getting out of the comfort zone to do that. I actually wanted to ask you really quick, I want to be respectful of your time here, James, you’ve had a team for a while your team is freaking awesome. I actually got a little I was inspired and also jealous when I was on your podcast. I was on the the superfastbusiness podcast, Episode 752, if anyone wants to listen to that, and I think it was Matt, who came back with like the email with all the resources and the graphics. And I was like, oh, man, I want to do that for my podcast. So I’m working on all that. And then I’m gonna dish that off to my team. I say all that to say you’ve built a great team to give you that leverage to where you can serve, and you can spend time with your family and you can live the life you want to live. How do you keep your team happy, though, cuz that’s a whole that’s a whole thing right there. Do you do you put a lot of emphasis and priority on them along with staying fresh with business and stuff? What does that look like on a day to day level for you?
Yeah, well, some of them have just clocked over 11 years. So I’ve been doing it on for a while. And my team are brilliant, I definitely have to acknowledge that. That email you got I got something similar from someone else when I was on their podcast. And I just sent that over to my team and said we should be doing this for ours. And then it happened the next day from then on. I didn’t have to do anything more than that. I draw a lot of the way that I lead my team from influence like Ricardo Semler, I read a book called seven day weekend. He also published a book called Maverick, he was on a Tim Ferriss podcast. But I think he’s got a similar style, the way I like to run a team from when I had a team and that is hire really well. And then get out of people’s way and let them shine. So everyone in my team came from pretty much came from a call center. They didn’t know anything about online or WordPress, or websites or marketing or any of the stuff that we do. They all learned on the job. I get people ask me all the time, where do I get someone like that? So my wife and I set up a business to actually supply those people. But they come like a blank floppy disk, you have to format them. So you need to be patient. So yes, I train my team in the beginning, the same way that I coach the students. So whatever coaching you’ve had from me, I would train my team the exact same way I give them time. I’m patient, I ask them questions that help them think they appreciate stuff, I give back and force feedback and develop them. So over time, they’ve been able to learn copywriting, they’ve been able to learn, editing, they’ve been able to learn even the things are not good at. So for example, when when we’re going to do bookkeeping, even though I used to be an accountant for a while there, I didn’t want to get involved in bookkeeping. So they use the support resources on the tool that we purchased for them to do the bookkeeping, so that they’re happy to go and learn about stuff, take courses, hit up the support desk, attend webinars from the tools that we use, and they learn it because we’ve created a good set of values within our business. And I guess an operational standard, everything that gets done more than once we have a standard operating procedure, we have a very simple setup for our business. So there’s only seven of us. There’s a flat hierarchy. So there’s no boss, or underlings. It’s pretty much everyone’s on an even platform, I pay the same amount, twice a month, every month, we don’t have sick leave, annual leave hours that they need to work, I don’t know what their hourly rate even is. Because I think that’s crazy hiring on tasks or hiring on an hourly rate. And, again, it’s it’s not ideal. But my people can take whatever time off they want, they can work whatever hours they want, they can even work on whatever projects they want. They can use whatever tools they need. So I give them this huge amount of flexibility. But I’m just clear on the result we’re trying to achieve. They know why we do what we do. They know what the results are. Because we report it every day. Together, we look at our visibility of the business. And I meet with them once a week for about 12 minutes. And everyone can can have a say. And we work on things together. And I’m I’m a team member just like they are we’re all a team. And it’s a very inclusive, transparent, responsible team. And and I think they’re good, because they do have a lot of pride in their work. And they’re part of something bigger than just themselves.
Well, that’s great. And I know like just to reiterate, for everyone who’s nervous about scaling or building a team, it really, I did it on a very small level. But I saw so much leverage in that. And I saw that it just freed so much time. And to be honest, it just it also gets rid of the feeling of loneliness, when you have other people working with you.
It’s not you, it’s not you versus them or the big boss and the little worker, it’s like it’s your work, mate. Yeah, our slack office is basically it’s a collaboration, we just work on the projects together. And we all do our bits, I do my bits, and they do their bits. And together, it all comes together like a great concert, you know, like I might be the conductor of the orchestra. And they might play the musical instruments far better than I could. But Together, we can make something that sounds good. And it goes out to the market. And if something’s not right, you know, it’s pretty much self fixing. It’s a self regulating team. And that’s almost sounds like a mythical unicorn for most people who don’t have experienced leading, or they’ve had very bad experiences. But I’d say you get the team you deserve, would be quite a true statement. And it’s a matter of hiring very well. And I’ve built a recruitment system over many, many years. I’ve trained on it over 20 years ago. I’ve worked it and worked and work it through hundreds of hires to refine it to the point where you can eliminate poor choices early. And you can hire just the right people. And then if you train them and give them time and commit to them, you’ll end up with amazing people.
Yeah. Well said James man, that was awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing everything you have in this talk. I think every every one of these points and segments in this talk all leads to what we’re talking about working less and making more. Where can my audience find you? Or where would you like them to go? It maybe is a better question. I know you’ve got a lot of resources out there. You’ve got one of my favorite podcasts, where would you like them to go to to find out more about you?
I think on this topic, I would say get the 30 day work less make more challenge. It’s free, and you get a tip each day for 30 days. There’s no in cart upsells or anything like that. It’s at superfastresults.com forward slash 30. And you’ll get a tip each day, by the end of 30 days, you should have got a couple of ideas or made a few changes that will help you transform your situation.
Awesome. Well, I’ll make sure that’s linked in the show notes and I will say I encourage everyone to pick up work less make more to look a little bit different than everyone who’s watching this because it looked like James coffee but it was a game changer man life changer for me. So again, James sign off, I just want to take this time to publicly again, thank you, man for just the impact you’ve made on me and my family. I mean, I could not be spending the amount of time I have with my little girls. Had you not help reshape my mind? So thank you, man. And man, I’m pumped to, to basically share everything that I’ve learned from you with my audience as well.
I love that. And, you know, I think it was it was your daughter who was on social media, when I first started to become aware of you, you are spending time having to do things as a parent. That would challenging and I really had a lot of empathy for you because I went through a very similar situation with my own first child. And for me, it has a real impact when I’m when I’m helping a good family man, to grow his family and in security and sustainability. You know, it’s really meaningful work. And I suggest, that’s a good protocol for anyone on this call, like, do do what you do to genuinely help other people and others will take notice and you will find life becomes more enjoyable than just doing things because you’re going through the motions.
Beautiful. I was gonna ask you for a final thought, but there it is, is a great way to end it off. James, thanks so much for your time, man. super pumped about everything going on. Thanks again, man.
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