WORK LESS MAKE MORE - WITH JAMES SCHRAMKO

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EPISODE 22

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ABOUT THE SHOW

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Today on the show I talk to online entrepreneur and mentor James Schramko about his new book Work Less, Make More.

James is based in Sydney Australia and has started, developed and sold multiple successful businesses. 

A passionate father, investor, surfer, husband, coach, mentor and lover of freedom, James excels in making the complex world of business simple so that your quality of life can improve. 

When James started online he was a General Manager working with Mercedes-Benz commanding a large team of employees in a multi-million dollar business by day and an online marketer by night. 

Since buying his first laptop in 2005, James has sold well over TEN million dollars online.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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  • The first step is to get yourself in the right environment when setting your goals
  • What he learnt from working for a car dealership to now surfing everyday 
  • Why it is less risky to have multiple income streams 
  • How the choices you make generally dictate your results  
  • The black hole of personal effectiveness 
  • Why working more isn’t the answer 
  • The importance of tracking time and working out your effective hourly rate 
  • The talent trap 
  • Knowing that all tasks are not equal 
  • The importance of having an offer that converts 
  • Why the shiny latest software isn’t always the answer to business efficiency 
  • Cashflow, tax and the profit formula 
  • The benefits and growth of the recurring subscription model  
  • Identifying compromises in your business 
  • Understanding the importance of owning the racecourse – that is the asset that you can control and using other platforms to bring people to your asset 
  • The problems of building on someone else’s land.

 

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

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Jason:
You’re on episode 22 of the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast. Let’s do this, Mia.
Mia:
You’re on the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, where we make business easy.
Here’s your host, Jason Skinner.
Jason:
G’day, g’day and welcome to the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, where we
make business easy. Jason Skinner here, your host for today and I have a
fantastic episode for you today. I interview James Schramko from ‘Super Fast
Business’ and James has just released a new book actually, called “Work Less,
Make More.” And we have a fantastic discussion around all the themes of
that book. It’s really is a fantastic book for anyone wanting to scale their
business, it gives a great framework. In terms of building out a lifestyle
business that is sustainable and all about leveraging your time and coming
down to this concept of effective hourly rate.
So we get into all that. It is a great episode so I’ll hand you over to that very
shortly but before I do, if you haven’t already joined our Facebook
community. Please feel free to go over and do that, it is free to join and we’re
having some fantastic discussions over there on all things business and
maximising your business and profit and also your business life. Giving you
back a better business life is what it’s all about so do that by going over to
www.businessmadeeasypodcast.com/facebookgroup and if you type that in,
the group will come up there. Just click the invite button and I will be there to
let you in. The only criteria for being in there is that you are genuinely
interested in being in business and it’s a good supportive environment. Feel
free to go over there and do that.
But let’s get into the interview with James, it’s a great interview, as I say,
talking about his new book which is “Work Less, Make More” and I’ll talk to
you after the interview.
Well hello everybody and James Schramko is in the house. G’day James,
welcome to the show mate.
James:
Thank you for having me, it’s always great to speak to a professional, like
yourself.
Jason:
Mate, you’ve got a new book coming out. Which we’re going to talk about
today, which I’m really looking forward to getting into. Which is called “Work
Less, Make More”. But before we do, I just wanted to get a bit of a
background on your journey so far in business and particularly the days
where you were working for the man, as you reference in your book. And that
single source dependency, as opposed to what a typical day looks for you
now. Can you give us a bit of an insight into that?
James:
Yeah, well I used to run a Mercedes Benz dealership as a General Manager,
by day and then for about two and a half years at the end of that job, I was
building my online business, on the side, after hours. If you wanted to take
that snapshot in that last two and a half year period, it would be – get up
pretty early, put on my suit and tie, head into the dealership, run that
business during the day and cope with all the demands that were happening
on that. Which was a lot of the Sales Managers, Service Manager, Finance
Manager, Parts Manager, the owner of the business occasionally and then
the Head Office. Of course, they have their requirements and then I would
hop in the car at the end of the day, drive home, have dinner, tuck my kids
into bed and then hop onto my computer from about nine thirty at night till
two or three in the morning.
And then do the whole thing over again and it was like, by the time I got to a
Saturday or a Sunday, if I could squeeze a day off, I would just sleep. I was
exhausted.
Jason:
Catch up.
James:
It was unhealthy and a difficult phase. And one of the motivations for me to
put together the book was to help people avoid most of those things, if
possible. And also, to make an awareness that if you are relying on a job
income, which a lot of people used to consider as a safe bet. I would say that
it’s very risky and I wanted to put forward that point of view that it’s better to
get paid by multiple people and put yourself in a position where you could
survive if one of those income streams stops. And that was really my fear.
When I was running that dealership, I knew that I might go in one day and
find out that I have no job. And especially with that financial crisis looming in
the United States from the subprime lending. It was a real risk.
Jason:
Particularly with a young family and yeah it’s all reliant on that one thing. And
you’re not really your own boss at all, either are you? Even with the internet
side of things, whilst you can feel you’re running your own show. You’re really
not, are you? When you’re a slave to it.
James:
Well I think it’s kind of like that franchise philosophy where some people buy
themselves a job with the worst boss, like themselves.
Jason:
Yeah.
James:
I think there is a point of view, I certainly feel that you have a lot of control
over your life. More than you probably think.
Jason:
Yep.
James:
And I cover that in the chapter about no compromise, it’s the choices that you
are making that will dictate a lot of the results you get. Now there might be
some elements of luck and there might be some timing issues that are beyond
your control. However, you really can position yourself way better to deal
with them when they inevitably come.
Jason:
The book is really about taking all the hard work that you’ve actually put in
place and been through. The trials and actually then extending that out so
people have a framework to build upon. Is that the concept behind it?
James:
The concept behind this is, firstly, I dedicate it to my kids. I wanted to be able
to hand them something and say, “Hey, this is what your Dad’s learned and if
you read this book for a couple of hours, it will put you in a better position to
navigate through the next important phase in your life. After school and as
you build your business.” It is on the next layer of purpose, it was to help
people become aware of me because I’ve been quietly working in the
background with high-level people building their businesses. Whether it was
that first, the last job I had building that guy’s business through to my own
business. But also importantly, helping a lot of online business owners in the
last few years, grow their businesses.
I wanted to step out from behind the covers and say, “Hey, here I am.” I
wanted to put together a collection of the most important lessons as my
introductory book to say, “Look, please read this. Go through these things,
act on the action steps at the end of each chapter and you will have a
transformation. And that will put people in a much better position to receive
whatever comes next. Whether that’s my coaching or another book that’s
more technical but I just wanted a collection of my ideas. Because they were
all over the place, over the last…
Jason:
Sorry James, I’m losing…
James:
. and mostly…
Jason:
.. James, I’m losing you there mate sorry.
James:
It’s okay, I am recording my side so I can give you a perfect record of my side.
Jason:
Oh cool.
James:
If you do lose me at some point.
Jason:
Cool. Yeah, it’s to say, “Hey, I am, James is here and I have been working on
stuff and this is the stuff that I’ve learned along the way. And what I’ve been
up to.” Is that fair?
James:
It’s not just the stuff I’ve learned along the way but there’s stuff that I’ve
helped other people with and they got results too. It’s all been validated and
some of it, I think will be news to some business owners because they’re not
aware of it. And if that’s the case, it’s very exciting, they’ve got a lot to gain
from it and other parts will be reminders or a bit of a jolt to say, “Hey, maybe
you’re not paying enough attention to this area and you should revisit it.”
And that’s some of the feedback that I’ve had from early readers. They have a
new awareness of where they should put their attention.
Jason:
In reading the book, it just follows a great logical path and I say that, because
when I’m advising clients in business. Any change that we’re going to make
with people, the very first thing they say, “Oh, I don’t have time to do that.”
Or, “Where would I get time to do that?” they’ll stick with the status quo.
What you raise in the book very early in the piece, is that people do have time
and do you want to flesh out the ideas around what you’re talking about
there with people’s inboxes and the noise around these days?
James:
Right. Well, the whole first chapter’s about personal effectiveness because
that’s where the black hole is. If you can’t get out of that, it’s like quicksand
and you just won’t progress and it puts you in an unfortunate situation. No
matter how fantastic your plans are and what sort of business model you
want to do, you’ll never get there. You’ll never be hiring a team because
you’re just stuck. I mean, some people in Japan literally work themselves to
death.
So working more is not an option ‘cause there is a finite number of hours that
you can actually work and you do become blunt if you just keep pushing the
limit. I help people to track their time and discover where it’s actually being
spent and then using that information to redeploy that time into more
effective purposes. And there’s a great metric that I use to do that, it’s called
‘effective hourly rate’ and that’s basically looking at each task that you’re
doing and measuring, using a filter, is this the sort of task that I should be
doing at the kind of effective hourly rate that I’d like to be earning?
By slowly removing low-value tasks and putting more of your attention on
high value tasks, you can increase your worth. The time is worth more to you
and therefore you’ll make more profit in the same amount of time. Or you can
actually work less and make more, which is the whole premise of the book
and using that effective hourly rate as a filter, you can track the progress as
you go through the chapters.
Jason:
In terms of that, it’s looking at saying, “Okay well, if I want to make x dollars a
year and I only want to work so many hours per week, per say or per day.” I
think you break it down into a monthly formula in the book that gives you
your hourly rate that you’re going to use as a filter over any task. Is that on
the right point there, with that?
James:
Yeah, you simply take the amount of profit you want to make, which if you
had a job, most of your salary is profit right? Because you don’t have any
other expenses. Maybe sunglasses and sun cream, if you work outside right?
Jason:
Yep.
James:
Speaking to the Accountant here. Or you have your monogrammed shirt and
you can claim your laundry.
Jason:
That’s it.
James:
But the thing is, you take your profit, you divide it by the number of hours
that you use to get that profit. It’s a pretty simple calculation and the goal is,
yes, to figure out if you could actually hire someone to do some of those tasks
for less than the hourly rate that you could be earning on other tasks, then
you probably should do that and leverage up. Now we already do it in life, we
just forget to do it in business.
Jason:
Yep.
James:
For example, you may have had somebody go out to the markets and source
food for you, take it back to their kitchen, cut it up, cook it, serve it to you on a
plate and then wash up afterwards. And that’s called a restaurant. And we
forget to do that in our own business, we start somehow, we think, “Oh, I
should be building my own website. I should be sending out my own emails.”
These are things that other people can do for you at lower rates than what
you could be earning doing something else.
Jason:
And the other play on that too is, sorry. The other thing on that is the actual,
people actually doing things in their business that they like doing because
they think it’s fun to do etcetera. But is still not a good use of effective hourly
rate because you’re not actually working on what you should be working on.
James:
Well I cover this a little bit later on in the book that sometimes you just have
to do the hard thing. It’s fun and exciting playing around with fonts..
Jason:
Yep.
James:
.. and colours on your website but that’s not where the money comes in. So
sometimes you just have to tackle the boring stuff or the difficult stuff and
my book is a great example. That was hard work for me, it’s actually pretty
boring editing each chapter for a few hours of my own material, that I’ve
already spoken about many times before. But it was a necessary thing to get
the book to where it got to and it was worthwhile as a leveraged activity.
That was more important than doing my bookkeeping, which I pay someone
else to do.
Jason:
Yeah and I think we’re just, it’s just so easy to fall into that trap and I guess it’s
the procrastination trap, isn’t it? You know the challenging things you’ve got
to do, particularly if you’re working on new stuff that’s not so exciting. Or it
might be exciting but it seems daunting or frightening, we tend to regress
back into, like you said, muck around with the fonts on your website and
think you’ve been busy for the day.
James:
And the other trap is the challenge trap if you’re actually good at something
you might be drawn towards it. You’re an example, as an Accountant, you’re
probably good at balancing up ledgers and even things like filing. I’ve bet
you’ve had plenty of practice.
Jason:
Yeah.
James:
And it’s actually harder to let go of things that you’re not, that you are good
at. It’s easier to let go of stuff that you’re not good at. If you’re not
mechanically minded, it’s easy to pay someone to service your car but if you
like tinkering with tools, you might be tempted to wheel it into the garage
and start pulling it apart and you’d be spending time on something that may
not pay you as well as a higher level activity. So there’s a choice involved
there.
Jason:
Yeah and it’s recognising that and I know in the book, you give some good
methods to sit down and work that out with the post-it note examples.
James:
Yeah that’s like the first step, is just to acknowledge what you’re actually
doing and then to put some priority to know that not all tasks are equal. Some
tasks are far more important, so we want to highlight what those are and put
our attention there and take away all the distraction. And for us, even on a
normal surface level, if we were to just turn off Facebook for a week, we’d
probably get a lot more done.
Jason:
Yeah it’s something I think we’re all guilty of. I know myself, I am. You get
back to where’s the day gone and then another day comes around, I think
that’s a common thing I hear with businesses, is that there’s just not enough
hours in the day anymore and the years are going so fast. But I actually think
it’s the technology and being driven by our inbox that’s actually making it go
fast. We’re not actually feeling like we’re achieving anything but we’re
actually just being steered by this technology that’s speeding up.
James:
Or you’re being manipulated by clever Engineers in Silicon Valley whose job
it is to keep you on their platform.
Jason:
Yeah, just leave you there.
James:
That’s it.
Jason:
So you’ve got the effective hourly rate and if we can and just sort of working
through the theme of the book if we can free up our time and look to get
away from being pinned down with social media and inboxes etcetera and
work out our effective hourly rate. Where to from there, would you go
James? In terms of, if we know what we should be doing and we know what
our hourly rate is. Is that where the profit formula comes in? Or do we look at
our marketplace first?
James:
Well I think the market’s a good place to look, I like to work on the offer.
Chapter five which talks about an offer that converts, it’s really the thing that
makes the biggest difference. That is having something that you can sell, that
people would happily buy. If you can find that thing, then the rest of your
business can hinge around that. That allows you to bring in money to the
business and then using that money you can start building your team, you can
refine your offer with different business models and then you can tune that
profit formula to really improve the amount of profit that you bring into the
business, by tuning some of the variables on that profit formula. But it really
does start with the offer.
There’s a simple example, if you say an Accountant, you might offer to help
people improve their financial situation by giving them proper
documentation of their bookkeeping, helping them with tax returns and
giving them ideas on the best way to pay for things that give them
preferential cash flow. So if you’re able to make that your offer then you can
build a practice around that. You could then hire people in your business to
answer the phones and to do bookkeeping and to clean your office.
And then you could focus most of your time initially on learning more about
your customer and finding out what other needs they have and you might
discover that a lot of them have $500,000 parked in a superannuation
account that’s not being put to good use or that you might discover a lot of
them don’t have any will or life insurance policy and you might decide to go
into financial advising, as a profit centre. So that allows you to expand and
you can just keep building your business around those principles.
Jason:
So there’s sort of concept of scaling, once you’ve got that offer down pat, we
then can move into, say scaling the delivery of that offer with effective team
members in the right seats on the bus, so to speak.
James:
Well it’s really two main elements, it’s the marketing and then the capacity to
deliver. So they’re the areas that you’re going to focus on, once you have your
offer that converts.
Jason:
Cool.
James:
So the team covers the capacity and maybe some software as well and the
marketing is definitely, it’s eased by having the right business model. For
example, if you have the same customer over and over again you can dial
more of your attention onto the capacity side then on the marketing side.
Jason:
On, you just mentioned software there and some software to, I was
interested to know that the majority of. You’re not using any, there’s a lot of
flashy tools and shiny objects out there which is one thing that I do see
happen in business a lot. I know I’m guilty of it myself, from time to time but
that next shiny object that you think is going to deliver you the magic pill for
business success. But I was interested to see that you’re not using a lot of
software really, a large majority of it’s done on just Google sheets. Is that
right?
James:
Yes that’s right. I think a lot of those project management tools sound great
but I don’t think it’s how humans work and having worked with a lot of
humans, I know people tend not to love their tools or systems. And they
definitely don’t always use them in the dream scenario that’s mentioned on
the sales pages and I remember this classic example. I tried several project
management tools and one day, I noticed it wasn’t updated and I’m like, “How
are we actually running our business?” and the team member said, “Oh, boss
we actually are just using a spreadsheet, a Google spreadsheet and we’re
updating the project management tool from that.” And I said, “Why are you
updating the project management tool?” and they said, “Well, because you’re
looking at the project management tool.”
Jason:
We’ll double up.
James:
That’s actually not, that’s not the point of the project management tool. What
I’m hearing is that we don’t actually need it and that we’re fine with a Google
spreadsheet. And they said, “Yes boss.”
Jason:
Oh no.
James:
Right then, let’s stop paying for this project management tool and let’s just
bring in Google platform for our running of the business and that was that.
And these days, we use a tool called ‘Slack’ is pretty much our office place,
because we’re a virtual team and I’ve avoided using tool names where
possible in the book because maybe that will change in the future. But if you
just have a virtual office place using a tool like ‘Slack’ and if you do have a help
desk for customer-facing interactions which I strongly recommend, instead
of trying to manage support from your inbox. And then along with your email
address that your team would get, they’ll get a drive account and a Google
account. You could probably do most of the things you need with a Google
Doc and a spreadsheet and the drive storage which I think is about $5 per
month, per person.
Jason:
Yeah, it’s really cost effective. And I know we use Google Docs in our practice
and Google sheets, using it more and more purely from the collaboration
qualities of it as well. Whereas Excel spreadsheets and Word documents, you
don’t get that collaboration ability that you can with the Google, with the
cloud stuff which is great.
James:
Well it’s very powerful and Google is a pretty switched on company and it’s
great where you can just share documents between the people who need it
and highlight things and flag them or tag them. That’s how we wrote the book
and it’s how we managed the launch of the book, just by collaborating with
the people involved with it into one document that we just all look at
together.
Jason:
I can relate to, I can relate to your story there with the update the
spreadsheet, the go an update the management software. Because it’s, and it
all works well until someone doesn’t update something and then it’s useless,
isn’t it? Sort of garbage in, garbage out.
With, if we’re moving through the theme of the book and I guess a topic that
sort of dear to my heart, is the idea of cash flow and the profit formula.
Particularly cash flow because in practice we see clients all the time, they
look at their profit of their business and say, “look, it might be $100,000 but
why don’t I have $100,000 in the bank?” and then you have to take them
through that.
James:
I had that, I had the exact same situation once. I had a $100,000 tax bill and I
said to my Accountant, “Why don’t I have a spare $100,000 sitting in my
company account..”
Jason:
Yep.
James:
“.. for this tax bill?” And when we worked it all out, it turned out that they
were double counting $300,000 that had been transferred from one account
to the other. And so I was paying tax on money that I didn’t actually earn.
Jason:
Nice.
James:
And it’s why I do pay attention to my numbers and it’s very important if
you’re not an Accountant, to make sure that you at least keep an eye on the
numbers and see if they seem about right. But yes, if you don’t have the
money there then that is a major problem because the key to survival in
business is to spend less than you’re earning.
Jason:
Yeah. I have this concept that the profit’s the size of your car and the cash
flow is the fuel that goes in the car, so if you don’t have the right amount of
fuel for the size of your car then basically you don’t get to the destination
that you want to go. And as that profit grows, that’s the size of your car
growing and you really want to make sure you’ve got enough fuel or at least
to get you to the next service station.
James:
Well, if you’re going to take on passengers you want them to pay you for their
fuel up front.
Jason:
Yeah.
James:
If possible.
Jason:
Yeah.
James:
So I did a whole chapter on it because it is, cash flow is really important and
I’ve seen most of the traps that people fall for especially about cash flow
timing, when they get paid and different business models that will give you
more predictable cash flow than other business models etcetera.
Jason:
Yep which is what we call the working capital cycle or the time that it takes
for the money to come back into your bank account, which is a critical
element. And the thing with cash flow too, is the money, and you mention it in
the book, the money that is in your bank account is not necessarily yours to
spend because there are taxes to pay, unfortunately. But that’s a fact of life,
you only pay tax if you’re making money.
But having that cash flow in your, the money or knowing what is making up
that cash, sorry what is making up that money in your bank account. What it’s
for, is critically important.
James:
That’s so true, it’s tempting to see a large sum there and think, “Oh, I could
just go and buy a house or something.” And then you will pay at least a third
of it, is going to be tax to start with. I think tax is probably the biggest cost
you’re ever going to have in your business unless you do a fifty/fifty
partnership with somebody.
Jason:
Yeah, that’s it.
James:
Which is very, very, very common. I call that the partner tax.
Jason:
Yeah, yeah.
James:
But it’s a form of tax but you definitely have to provide for it and it’s wise to
stay right on top of your tax returns and not let a lag build up because that
can wipe out little businesses.
Jason:
It can and I think one of the things that I do try and instill in business owners
is the understanding of, your Accountant really should be able to explain to
you where your.. So if you’ve got a profit of $100,000 they should be able to
explain to you exactly where that $100,000 is represented in your business.
And that could be, you may have bought some new plant and equipment
during the year, you may have paid some tax, you may have paid down some
debt.
So the cash actually goes to all various parts of your business, it just doesn’t
go flow straight to your bank account. You should always, as a business
owner, be able to identify where that has gone in your business. One of the
things I do James is set up, the way I set up profit and loss statements for
clients actually shows all that. It’s a different way of doing it rather than your
normal traditional balance sheet, profit and loss situation which can be a bit
daunting for people to understand. I break it down into a simple, this is what
you made and this is where your cash has gone.
James:
That sounds like a very handy service, it would be fair to say that most
businesses are not tight enough with their numbers.
Jason:
Yeah, absolutely. It’s critical and I’ve seen so many businesses actually suffer
as a result of, or go out of business purely because they didn’t manage cash
flow. It’s great, that was a fantastic chapter in the book. From understanding
the cash flow and the profit for me which, you raise the business model side
of things and having that right business model in your, to support your
business. The business model that you operate under is a subscriber model, is
that?
James:
Yes.
Jason:
Right?
James:
I have recurring subscription as the bulk of my income.
Jason:
Yeah.
James:
Because it’s so leveraged and you create predictability for yourself, also for
the customer and it implies that you are providing a great service because
they keep paying. I like looking after people for a long time and improving my
service and making sure they get results. It’s good for business if you have a
good reputation if you get results for people and you can manage your
growth really comfortably. I can support my team, I know that I can take a
day off work and still get paid as opposed to the selling your time for money
one which is a bit of a difficult one and certainly a challenge for industries like
yours and for lawyers where they charge by the minute.
It means that if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid unless you’re the
business owner and you’re hiring other people.
Jason:
I think there’s a risk there too of if you’re just charging by the hour you
become very quickly become a commodity. Because there’s a price there to
compare, you know you quantified that dollar spent by an hour or time factor
as opposed to a value factor for a set fee, so to speak.
James:
Yeah, so it’s great to sell on recurring if you can and you’ll see large
companies are doing this, like Netflix and Amazon, Apple, they’re onto it and
it makes sense. It’s the way that we buy music these days and content and
other things that we may not have considered are good for subscription
businesses can actually work on subscription. You’ll see them popping up in
all sorts of areas.
I’ve even seen in the surfing market, there are surfboard subscriptions.
Jason:
Oh wow.
James:
I think in Huntington Beach there’s a store where you just pay a subscription
and you can just go down and grab a board and then pop it back in when
you’re finished or rotate it around as a temporary quiver. Like a gym
membership.
Jason:
That’s fantastic and I think GoGetta are doing it with cars as well in the cities,
aren’t they?
James:
Yeah it just makes sense and I think we’ll see it continue and you can certainly
do it in professional services industries. I’ve helped a legal professional
switch from billing by the hour to having a retainer type program. You can
have that service on tap, I’ve done the same thing with designers. Instead of
designing per website or logo, they do it design on tap service where you can
just pay a recurring fee and just keep throwing jobs at them.
Jason:
Yeah, that’s fantastic. It’s certainly the way to go and I think it’s, as you say,
open to so many industries that aren’t currently already doing it. I think the
dollar bid club works on a similar sort of thing, doesn’t it? It’s a subscription
type model.
James:
Yep.
Jason:
Yeah, cool. Alright and then the final chapter of the book there James, is
getting into the having no compromise with what you’re doing and do you
want to talk us through what you mean by that? In terms of if we’re applying
these principles and working through that, getting our right business model,
we then get to the no-compromise side of things.
James:
This is something that was really heavily drummed into me by one of my
mentors that I think we are basically, often dragged into things that aren’t
ideal for us and we sometimes need to snap out of it. One of the things that
we can do is question everything, like why are we doing these things? One
thing, one example that comes to mind is Jarrod Robinson, who is a PE
teacher and he thought that he needed to be working as a PE teacher while
running his PE geek business on the side. Because he thought he would need
to be legitimately a PE teacher for them to take him seriously. But when I
explained to him, “Look, Jarrod, you don’t need to be the teacher anymore. I
think the hours you are spending as a teacher could be redeployed to help PE
teachers be better at what they’re doing.”
And when he quit his job as a PE teacher, his business just went out of control
good. Right now, he’s got a brand new baby and he’s at home with the baby
running his business and he’s just so grateful that he doesn’t have to go into
his job. The same thing, he had a limit on how many people he would run the
workshops for and he also assumed that he had to run the workshops
himself. But we’ve put all of these assumptions to the test and discovered
that they weren’t actually valid constraints so we let go of those
compromises and away he went.
That’s one thing, the other thing, of course, is the compromise of being too
dependent on a particular platform which can just at any time, stop you if it
switches off. We want to try and reduce that risk and spread our risk across
different platforms if possible and bring people back to it.
Jason:
And that’s your model, which is own the racecourse..
James:
Yes.
Jason:
..model.
James:
Which is the extra chapter that you get from my website that I wanted to
keep updating because it’s the most likely chapter to have technology tools
mentioned and I really didn’t want to date the book by putting that into print.
Jason:
Yep and it works on the concept of you controlling the landscape or the asset
that your business is built on. Is that fair to say?
James:
Yes absolutely. It’s saying, Look, build an asset that’s within your control and
then use other people’s platforms to bring people to your asset. At least get
people to subscribe to multiple subscriptions, so not just your email list but
also your iTunes, podcast feed, your YouTube channel, and your Facebook
page. That way, you’ve got the ability to reach people and to get in contact
with them.
Jason:
So go out from the central wheel, so I guess if you pictured a wheel, your
racecourse is in the middle, you go out from the centre to those things. To
iTunes, to Facebook and bring the traffic back to you rather than the other
way.
James:
Yeah.
Jason:
Yeah cool.
James:
Exactly, it’s still okay to play on those fields but the big mistake is to put
everything on there and like these YouTube celebrities or people who don’t
build their own website, just using a fan page on Facebook and then it gets
shut down. I’ve seen this happen a lot and then the next thing you know,
they’re crying about it, “Big bad, ugly, evil YouTube or..”
Jason:
Yeah.
James:
.. nasty Facebook.” And I’m like, “Well hang on, it was a choice and you’ve
built on someone else’s land and they’ve decided to close the land, who can
we complain about?” Really we have to look in the mirror for that one.
Jason:
It’s only temporary anyway wasn’t it? You’re only leasing it, as opposed to
having your own website or membership site.
James:
It’s about understanding how they make money, these platforms gather data
and the customer is the product. Creating all of that amazing content for free
for them and then they get to sell ads, that’s how they make their money. If
they decide they don’t want certain content which they will do it at some
point, it’s really not even a question of if. It’s just…
Jason:
When.
James:
.. when. And I’ve seen a lot of people get shut down for certain things, there
are certain topics you can’t have advertising for. For example, like the pills,
the porno, the gambling sort of stuff. In the early days, they might have been
able to run ads but then they can’t. Now I’m not advocating those markets,
I’m just using an example that for those people it’s much harder to find places
to find content. Which is probably a good thing anyway, ‘cause I don‘t think
we need any more of that.
Jason:
Yeah, true.
James:
But the point is you might be on a borderline, I wouldn’t be surprised if MLM
markets get smacked down. I think they’re already banned from some
platforms and certainly sits well with me because I’m not a fan of them
anyway but you’ll see more and more situations where, as people abuse a
platform, there will be pulsar rules. I mean look at Apple right now are
shutting down apps made with template builders.
Jason:
Oh right.
James:
They’ve just effectively wiped out entire small businesses and they’re
favouring custom made, high-level enterprise-level apps and that’s just a
sweeping change that came through last week, at the time of recording this
it’s a significant change. If you’re, it might even affect my app, I’m not sure but
it won’t put me out of business because I still have my podcast and I still have
an email database and I’ve got a book and so forth. Having multiple pillars is a
great way to reduce compromise.
Jason:
And I think the thing is with that too, is that you don’t know what Facebook, I
mean they’re well ahead of the curve in terms of, by the time the information
gets out to Joe Public or anyone in that business space you can never guess it.
It’s a really valid point about, and it’s something I advocate to business clients
too, is to always be in control of your world so you’ve got certainty, as much
as possible anyway.
James:
Absolutely, you can’t always have a hundred percent certainty but you can
certainly control a lot of the things that you may not have realised were
within your control. A classic case is if someone’s saying to you, “I don’t have
enough time.” Well, no one changed the clocks in the last however thousands
of years, right?
Jason:
That’s’ right.
James:
It’s still the exact amount of time and you’d have to think, well does Richard
Branson sitting on his island have the same amount of time as you, while
you’re packing boxes in your warehouse? Should you be packing boxes in
your warehouse or maybe you should hire someone to do that while you go
and talk to a customer. There’s so much within our control and we just have
to be responsible for that.
Firstly, be aware of it and the book will certainly help point out areas that you
may not have considered yet and then we have to take that action and
commit to it and sometimes do the things that are boring or difficult or hard.
Jason:
I think it’s that hard bit that many business owners are, they know what they
should be doing, what they need to do, deep down if you truly drill down with
them. But they just won’t let it come to the surface because of that hardship,
that bit of pain you might have to go through.
Very good, well I’m conscious of time James because I know you’re busy.
You’ve got another engagement but I really appreciate you coming on today
and going through that with us. The book’s out on Amazon, it’s coming out in
hardcover as well?
James:
I think it’s a softcover…
Jason:
Softcover, sorry.
James:
..but a physical book and Amazon in Australia are a little bit slower. I have to
get it from Create Space so we’re just getting a few shipped now that will be
available from my website for Australian customers who are in a hurry. But
from January onwards, you’ll be able to buy it on www.amazon.com.au but if
you’re on www.amazon.com you can certainly buy the physical version of it
right now.
Jason:
Oh, fantastic.
James:
Same with www.amazon.co.uk and but definitely the Kindle’s there right now
for Australians and the real books coming soon.
Jason:
Fantastic and if people want to know more about what you’re up to and
‘Super Fast Business’, where would they go to do that, or best place to get in
touch with you?
James:
I reckon, look there are some extra book resources at
www.jamesschramko.com that’s spelt s-c-h-r-a-m-k-o and you can get the
extra chapter and a workbook that goes along with the book from there and
keep up to date with my news.
Jason:
Fantastic. Very good, okay James. Well, thanks for coming on today mate, I
really appreciate your time, I know you’re very busy and particularly with the
book. Congratulations with that coming out, I have read the book and it’s
really well worth it. It’s a great read for anybody in business or wanting to
certainly get into business or leverage or scale their business. I think go
through this fantastic, logical things to consider and implement. That’s the
thing is lots of practical stuff in there to implement which is great, well-done
mate. It’s a good effort.
James:
Thank you and I’m impressed that you’ve read the book so quickly, I’m getting
some common feedback from people and I’m chatting with, have all read the
book which was one of the goals. If you’re going to make a book, it has to be
easy to get through and appreciate that you took the time to do that..
Jason:
Yeah.
James:
.. and hopefully that we’ve been able to talk about some things that will
stimulate some ideas and create some progress.
Jason:
Yeah, fantastic. Alright James, well thanks for that mate and we’ll talk soon.
James:
Thank you.
Jason:
Thanks James, bye.
Hey, hey there you have it guys. That’s James Schramko from ‘Super Fast
Business’ with his new book “Work Less, Make More’ and you can grab that
on Amazon, it is available on the Australian Amazon store as well, so check
that out there. But it is a great book, James certainly knows his stuff when it
comes to online business and scaling businesses and most importantly scaling
sustainable business. He’s coached some of the biggest names in the internet
space and online space, so check it out, great book. Thank you James and
congratulations on the success of your book and really appreciate your time
for that interview, I know you’re busy with the book launch, so thank you.
And thank you, everybody, for joining me this week on another episode of the
‘Business Made Easy’ podcast. I hope you’re enjoying the content. If you’ve
got any feedback or would like to leave an honest review on iTunes, please do
so over at iTunes. Your feedback and reviews are valued and really
appreciated because they do help me shape the content to bring to you as a
business community each week and I’m really passionate about growing your
business and you having a better life in business, as well. So anything we can
do to help you achieve that is what we’re all about.
I haven’t got anything else further this week, until next week I’m going to
hand you over to Mia to take us out. But you have a successful week,
whatever you’re doing out there I hope you’re kicking some goals and you’re
having a fruitful prosperous week. Until next week, take us out, Mia. To your
success, bye.
Mia:
You’ve been listening to the ‘Business Made Easy’ podcast, where we make
business easy.

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