get stuff done

Focus at Work – Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing and Get Stuff Done!

In the last post, I wrote about how deep focus might be the key to actually get stuff done in your craft or industry. Focus on the 20% of the effort that makes you the 80% of your income. You simply don’t have the capacity to do everything under the sun.
Since that post, I’ve had a few readers of that post message me and ask why I was going against the traditional advice of building an online business.

And as I thought about it, I realized that while I might be going against the more traditional advice of building a digital business, there are examples in the real world that suggest that less can be more.

So in this post, we’re going to look at just a few such examples.

Is Less Always More?

Now you might be thinking, there are plenty of examples of businesses that have grown after they offered more products and services. One such example is Amazon. Without knowing their history, you might think that they’ve always sold all the products and online services that they offer today.

However, this wasn’t always the case. When the company first started, it was an online book store based out of Jeff Bezos’ garage. Did he know that it was going to become what it is today? Probably not. But as the company offered more products and brought more people on to help manage those products, it is definitely an example of “More is More”.

Sometimes Scaling Doesn’t Always Work as Expected

But for every Amazon who scales correctly from the beginning, there’s also going to be examples where adding more to the menu might not be the best course of action.

Example 1: McDonald’s

Take McDonald’s for example. I remember in the late 00’s when McDonald’s was losing out on customers because people started to get smarter about what they were eating. It was during this time that chains like Panera, Starbucks, and Subway grew like bandits. In fact, it was pretty common to hear about places in large cities that had a couple of Starbucks on the same street.

These companies were eating McDonald’s lunch. So what did the golden arches do in response? They grew their menus and model to include some competitive products to what these other places were offering. By 2013, it had 145 items on its menu.

This was nuts and completely unsustainable. It’s no wonder that they were losing money at this point.

In an attempt to right the ship, they hired their most recent CEO, Steve Easterbrook. What Steve ended up doing was removing the items that weren’t selling as well and went back to the basics of the business. This seems to have worked because in the last year or so, their stock has actually risen.

Example 2: Apple

While this might not be the best recent example, it wasn’t too long ago that Apple was the tech company to watch out for – as an investor and a competitor.

In the Beginning…

Personally, I’ve always been an Apple user. My first computer was one and currently I’m writing this on a Macbook Pro.

During that time, the company has seen its ups and downs. I remember when I was first learning about computers, I found out the hard way that Windows 95 would not work on my Mac. How could this be? I thought everyone was going to be able to use it!

Nope, I was in the minority. Windows based PCs were what everyone else had. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had in high school answering questions about why I had a Mac… even when Steve Jobs came back as the CEO!

As I got involved in the Purdue University Mac Users Group (PUMUG), I started to learn how awesome of a group Mac users actually were. I had found my people! But interestingly, we were still a small group. All the clones had been taken off the market by that point. Those of us who were still users were because we were creatives or simply loved the Mac.

The Epic Growth of Apple

However, it was also during this time that the iPod was released. And interestingly, this was about the same time that I started paying attention to the stock market. I remember in 2001 watching the AAPL stock rise almost 50% until 9-11. 

Of course, stocks were down for just about everyone at that point. But as new and better versions of the iPod came out, their stock rose. And then, the point where everyone became familiar with Apple was in 2007 when the iPhone debuted. Wow… I really should have got some shares then. (Unfortunately, I thought I had already missed the boat. Ha!)

But there’s a point in me telling you this personal story of watching Apple rise. No one would have believed it would happen when I first got my computer – an Apple Performa 575. Had they stuck around trying to compete directly with Microsoft PCs, I think the company would have folded. Even to this day, but especially back then, they were known to jack up the price on products that were matched by less expensive PC options.

But it was because Steve was able to focus on building the next best thing (as he originally did with the original Mac) that they were able to be as great as they did during his time as CEO.

On a Smaller Scale

So, there’s a couple of examples of large companies that righted their ships after bloating to try and be everything to everyone. But it’s not something that just companies that size have to deal with. There are much smaller companies that struggle simply because they don’t focus on keeping the main thing the main thing.

And because they often don’t have the necessary resources or connections to keep going, they tend to not have the time to get their act together in time.

Example 3: Marsh

One such example is a local grocery store chain here in Indiana which was named Marsh. Like many local groceries, it folded in the last couple of years. It couldn’t find its niche in the market. I believe the main reason is that they tried to be everything to everyone. Instead of focusing on having its stores in certain profitable locations, it kept trying to keep open stores that were underperforming due to local competition – no matter what the cost.

Even after the company folded a couple of years ago, there are still locations that have not been bought by other chains. When I see them, I’m reminded of the struggles they had before going belly up. 

Interestingly, though, the places that were bought by other chains seem to be doing pretty well if not better than they did while they were under the Marsh banner. Some were bought by Kroger while others were bought by a regional chain called Needler’s. In fact, the Needler store in downtown Indy is considered by many to be one of the best groceries around!

Had Marsh realized that they should just cut anchor and focus on these stores that were actually making them income, they might be around yet today!

Action Steps

So, hope that gives a little more perspective on why it’s important to focus. If you’re good at building sales funnels, do that until you can outsource it. But don’t try to do that AND build a Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) business AND build a podcast AND build a YouTube channel.

Pick one, get a handful of clients. Once you’ve done that, scale that business using ads on social media. Then from there, you can think about doing something else when the first job is sustainable.

personal motivation

Andy Dix – Be the Best Version of You: The Importance of Understanding Our Own Personal Motivation (AoL 154)

Having the knowledge about different personalities is a bit of a super power. When you know someone’s personality and personal motivation, you can understand what makes them tick. However, a lot of people simply don’t have this knowledge. They get frustrated when other people don’t act the way they do or don’t set an importance on various things like they do.

Today’s guest, Andy Dix, helps individuals and teams figure out what motivates them through the Reiss Motivation Profile.

As a leader, it’s important that not only do we know the makeup of any one person, but we also understand how others are going to engage with them.

If you don’t have much knowledge about how personalities and motivations work, this is a great conversation to start at!

So, join Harrison and I as we learn why Andy chose to work in this field, what he’s learned, and why he started his The Hopeful Hoosier Podcast.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How’d Andy get into what he’s doing today? 8:40
  • What’s the Reiss Motivational Profile and how does he incorporate in his work? 13:01
  • Has he been surprised by the profile results of any one person or people? 16:13
  • Does the Motivational Profile prove the truth of “natural born” leaders and entrepreneurs? 25:12
  • What motivated Andy to start his podcast “Hopeful Hoosier”? 27:12
  • What kind of things is he looking forward to the rest of this year? 36:43
  • Who are Andy’s top three people he’s been influenced by? 38:13
  • One thing under $100 that has changed his life? 40:08
  • Is there advice out that he hears adults giving kids that he’d call BS on? 40:43
  • What does Andy do when he becomes overwhelmed or unfocused? 41:39
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 42:35

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Andy Interviewed by Engel Jones:

Steven Reiss on his book The 16 Strivings for God

Andy’s Webinar on Using the Science of Motivation Within an Organization

NPR’s Talk of the Nation: The Art and Science of Motivation


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

lifestyle entrepreneur

Corbett Barr – The Story Behind Fizzle.co – The Basecamp for the Lifestyle Entrepreneur (AoL 150)

If you’ve been following the show for awhile, you’re probably aware that I’m a big fan of Fizzle. Personally, I think they’re one of the best resources I’ve seen out there for the lifestyle entrepreneur.

Why?

Well, there’s a couple of reasons for that. For one, their library of courses available to their members are geared for those who need an Entrepreneurship 101 or 201 course. They cover all the fundamentals.

But that’s not all that’s there.

In fact, the creators joke with the idea that people come for the courses, but stay for the community.

Which is so true. In fact, I’m still interacting with several people I met on there 4 years ago. Including Veronica.

In today’s interview with co-founder of Fizzle, Corbett Barr, Veronica and I talk to Corbett about the founding of Fizzle and what he thinks about the online entrepreneurial space 10 years after he started his first blog Think Traffic.

It’s my hope that you get a bit of an understanding of why Veronica and I both believe Fizzle is such a great resource.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Corbett originally get started in the tech startup world? 9:11
  • What was his initial plan in starting Think Traffic? 17:29
  • How have things changed online since the start of Fizzle? 22:24
  • Where did the idea for Fizzle come from? 28:51
  • What kind of advice does Corbett have for those who want to get off the fence and develop the business they truly want? 36:23
  • What’s the future for Fizzle and Palapa look like? 41:37
  • Who are three influences that have helped him get to where he’s at today? 47:20
  • Is there something he’s excited about that’s going to affect entrepreneurship in the future? 49:06
  • What topic should more people be talking about yet hardly anyone is? 50:54
  • What is something Corbett believed as a 35 year old that he’s changed his mind on? 52:41
  • What does it mean to live a life of abundance? 54:53

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

7 Big Lessons about Entrepreneurship

Best Places to Work and Live around the World, FB Productivity, and Managing a Remote Team

4 Simple Productivity Practices and Apps

Chase Reviews the Evergoods CTB40


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

internet business

Generation Freedom: Telling the Story of Online Entrepreneurs & Internet Business with Michael Hall and Chris Sakr (AoL 149)

For many, internet business is something that is pretty simple to understand. Create a digital product or service, get a couple of clients, and then scale. If done right, you can build yourself a great lifestyle.

The problem, however, is that the majority of the population doesn’t know that this opportunity is available. In fact, your own family or friends might still wonder about “that thing that you’re doing”.

Today’s subject and interview might just help people you know get a grasp on that thing.

In the documentary Generation Freedom, creators Michael Hall and Chris Sakr give us an overview of what it means to be an online entrepreneur.

Does it look entirely the same for everyone? Of course not. But there are certain ideas and concepts that we all have to know to comprehend the true powers of internet business.

In this chat, Harrison and I have the opportunity to chat with Michael and Chris and find out more about why they made the documentary, how they made it, and why they started filmmaking in the first place.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Michael and Chris get into filmmaking so young? 8:54
  • What kept them from giving up on their aspirations? 12:35
  • Is there anything they would say to their past filmmaking peers who have put their dreams on the backburner? 17:06
  • What’s their view on the current state of Hollywood? 19:38
  • What do they think about leveraging Netflix and YouTube to get films out? 21:50
  • How did Shohawk Media get started? What kind of work can we expect from them? 26:59
  • How were Michael and Chris able to distribute the Generation Freedom documentary? 29:29
  • What kind of advice would they offer someone who’s struggling to make money from their art? 33:31
  • What was the process like for putting together the documentary? 39:12
  • Where does Michael and Chris see Shohawk in the future? 46:57
  • What song, book, and film should be added to the national curriculum? 50:08
  • Who’s their favorite filmmaker? 54:45
  • Is there an issue that more people should be talking about? 55:52
  • Something that has cost under $100 which has changed their life? 57:36
  • Are there any pieces of equipment that up and coming filmmakers should look into? 58:33
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 1:01:04

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Generation Freedom Trailer

Who is Shohawk?

WhiskeyFest Northwest Promotional Video

Episode 1 of the Make This Movie Podcast


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

be consistent

Engineered Success – What it Means to be Consistent with your Priorities, Time, and Intentions with Tony Whatley (AoL 147)

To be consistent. It’s a phrase that’s thrown around in all kinds of industries as a part of their success. But what does it mean? If you own an agency that relies on you to get the job done, then you have to show up everyday. If you own a website that sells certain products, then there’s a good chance you’ll need to go to various events to let potential customers that your site exists. Maybe you’re trying to build a personal brand on social media – then you’re going to have to commit to building that brand and showing up daily.

So, that being the case, consistency can come in different forms. It’s really dependent on what you want the end goal to be.

However, if you really want to shoot for the stars in the online entrepreneurial space, then today’s guest is some you’ll appreciate.

In this session, Tony Whatley speaks to Veronica and I about what it took for him to not only build a company outside of his day job, but to also sell that company for what it was worth. We also touch on the kind of work it’s taking for him to build his own personal brand online.

Join us as we pick the brain of the Side Hustle Millionaire!

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did Tony get into mechanical engineering? 10:41
  • What lead him to start side businesses outside of his day job as an engineer? 12:14
  • How was Tony able to scale his business so he could have a “10 hour work week”? 17:38
  • If he were to start over today, would Tony have used the same marketing and sales strategies he used to first grow his businesses? 22:24
  • After selling his first big business, what was life like? 35:20
  • What was the process of selling this business like? 40:32
  • What’s the future hold for Tony’s brand? 46:40
  • Who are three influencers who have helped him get to where he’s at today? 51:21
  • If he could ask anyone living or dead a question, who and what would Tony ask? 54:25
  • What is something that most people don’t realize is a huge waste of money? 55:56
  • Something that cost less than $100 which changed his life? 59:07
  • What does it mean to live a life of abundance? 1:00:17

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Tony Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube
Cohost: Veronica Kirin
Session Sponsor: Uncover Your Personal Mission
Blinkist (Book Summaries)
Mike Rowe Works Foundation

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Business Coach vs Business Mentor

Fear! (The Viper Crash Story)

Tony on Entrepreneurship at the Speakers Authors Coaches Summit

Tony on Heather Parady’s Show


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

Defining YOUR Business – Why 24/7 Hustle Isn’t the Secret to an Abundance Mindset with Alex and Sarah Dumas (AoL 144)

When starting a business, many people make building their business as complicated as improving themselves. The thing is that if you have a good business idea, it shouldn’t be all that complicated to get results. In fact, there are still plenty of multimillionaires out there that haven’t used social media to get their message out there.

That said, you should always be improving yourself. If you’re not, then you’re automatically going backward.

These concepts are examples which I learned from my Amway group, LTD, back in 2006. While I’m no longer active in the business, I can say that I learned a ton of great fundamentals there.

Likewise, today’s guests, Alex and Sarah Dumas, learned quite a bit from their days of being in the MLM (multi-level marketing)/direct sales as well. However, not all of it was awesome.

In fact, in this conversation, you’ll hear them talk about how much of what is taught today in MLM’s is only part of the story. And more interestingly, much of what’s taught to entrepreneurs as a whole – especially hustling 24/7 – might not be the best thing for YOUR business.

Learn from the Dumas’ experiences as they talk about these topics as well as what it takes to work and live abundantly.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How were the Dumas’ initially exposed to entrepreneurship? 9:46
  • What did they learn from their time in the financial service industry? 14:07
  • What was the one moment where they decided that there has to be a better way to building a business than what they already knew? 19:29
  • How has it been for Alex and Sarah to work together as a team? 29:03
  • What’s NLP and how does Sarah use it in her coaching? 32:48
  • What is Reiki healing? 35:20
  • What would they recommend to others who are bringing in their significant other into their business? 38:16
  • What’s the Abundant Life/Business Blueprint? 45:34
  • How can people connect with Alex and Sarah in 2019? 49:34
  • Who are three people who have help launch them to where they’re at today? 51:02
  • What’s one gift they like giving others? 51:18
  • In the last 5 years, what belief or habit has improved their life? 51:40
  • What issue should people be talking about yet anyone hardly is? 52:36
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 57:07

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Alex and Sarah Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube
Cohost: Harrison Painter
Session Sponsor: Fizzle – Get your first two weeks FREE!
Milk frother
NLP
Reiki Healing
Rinna Mai AoL Interview
LaVar Ball – ‘Stay in Your Lane’
Abundant Business Blueprint (formerly Abundant Life Blueprint)
Jim Rohn
Les Brown


Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

It’s OK to be Competitive, but not Combative

Keep Fighting For Your Dreams

Power of Affirmations

Power of Discipline


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

promotional email

What’s Old is New Again! – The Case for Using Promotional Email in 2019

In the fashion world, it seems like a lot of clothes that I grew up with are becoming popular again. Just the other day, I saw a girl at the movies that looked like she was straight from 1989. From a distance, you could tell she had Jessie Spano hair. But as my wife and I got closer, we realized that not only did she have the hair, but under her coat, she was wearing a white turtleneck and overalls.

I’m not really into the whole hipster scene, but is this a thing that us 30 somethings are just not aware of? I know when I was going to school, popped collars and wearing polos on top of long sleeved shirts was a thing. However, I can’t say I would suggest going back to that look. And to add to that, I never expected to see leggings or denim as items that would make a comeback!

It seems that what was once old is new again.

Business has Cycles, too!

In that same vein, I’ve noticed that business has its own set of cycles. For instance, in the 90’s, Walmart started taking off because of a few reasons:

  • They had everything.
  • You always knew you were getting the best price.
  • You get in and get out without hassle of sales people.
  • Because of all the above, you save time.

Today, however, there has been a shift back to a service centric model. There are many more specialty stores and boutiques opening up because there are certain things you don’t get at the big box stores.

Big box stores like Walmart seem to cater to everyone. They do this by having everything but not many options of one particular thing.

Take grocery shopping for example. Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods have a completely different vibe to them than the larger chains like Walmart and Meijer. For one, you have a lot more options in specific items.

But on top of that, help is fairly easy to find if you’re looking for something in particular. Not only that, but when I talk to people who work at these places, they seem to be a bit more educated in the products that are available.

When choosing between one or the other, it’s really a choice of customer service vs time/money. If expertise, help, and friendliness are things you care about, you’ll probably go to a specialty store. If being frugal is your thing – then Walmart might still be your choice.

Return of the Main Open Source Marketing Medium: Email

promotional email
Remember these words in the AOL days?

This month, I have a focus to figure out what’s going to be big and different in 2019. One of those things, I’ve realized, is marketing.

When it comes to marketing, which is important for any creator, we feel it necessary to be on social media all the time – posting and interacting with our base there.

It would certainly seem that this is the best way to get our voice out there in 2019. That’s where all the eyeballs are, right?

But how effective is this really? And is our message getting out to those who follow us?

Add to that this question – with all that’s been going down recently with privacy, should we continue to trust these large online companies with our information?

As these questions gain more attention, people are starting to wonder what the next big way of getting the word out is going to be.

And after reading this article over at the Wall Street Journal, I think the writing is on the wall.

One point that the article brings up is this question. Would you rather have your voice going out to 1000 or 10,000 people who have opted in your emails? Or would you rather have 100,000 followers on Instagram or Facebook?

Email Allows Deeper Connections

For me, the answer is simple. Email has an ability to not only allow us to reach all of our followers, but it allows us to connect with them in ways that not many utilize social media for.

In my recent chat with Avi Arya, one of the things he spoke about that he remembers having great success was when he personalized his emails to people he was marketing to. In fact, he would create a handful of videos to particular people each day.

This was back in the late 90’s when it took several hours to download one 3-5 minute song. It would take one of his assistants all night to upload these videos.


But it blew people away and made him well known in his industry.

In email marketing we can tailor our message to fit the size of audience we’re addressing and be direct. In social, we can’t do that. It’s a numbers game.

Action Steps

So at this point you might be wonder, ok, what do I do with this information? People just don’t willingly give up their emails today like they might have even a handful of years ago. They don’t want to add one more thing to their inbox which is more than likely already cluttered.

So how do you get over that hump?

The answer is not new by any means.

We simply need to add awesome value for their email. Like last week, below is a video from Pat sharing what he’s learned on this topic over the years. It should give you some great ideas in what you can offer.