“Discipline is not sustainable.” What?

“No more to-do lists…” Say again? My life revolves around to-do lists!

When I heard those words from Kris Ward on my pal Erik Fisher’s excellent Beyond The To-Do List podcast, I knew I had to find out more.

That’s why I’m so excited that Kris Ward, author of Win The Hour Win The Day, came on the show.

If you’re interested in not just trying to find more hours in the day but actually have strategies for clarity and focus, then keep reading!

Discover how to make more money working fewer hours!

How To Win the Day with Kris Ward

Hey there, folks!

Welcome back to Social Media News Live! It’s Jeff Sieh here, and today we have an episode that’s going to blow your mind. Seriously, if you’re looking to up your productivity game and scale your business, you don’t want to miss this. We had the incredible Kris Ward, a leading productivity coach, join us to share some game-changing insights on boosting productivity and effective time management.

Say Goodbye to To-Do Lists: Alternative Productivity Tips

When I first heard Kris say she’s not a fan of to-do lists, I was blown away. I mean, I live by my to-do lists! But Kris explains that to-do lists are just a bunch of “percolating emergencies” that keep us stressed and running in circles. Instead, she uses a calendar system and her Signature Super Toolkits, which are far more effective for managing tasks and staying productive.

Kris broke it down for us: to-do lists create a sense of constant urgency without clear prioritization or structure. It’s kind of like a carnival whack-a-mole game, where you’re frantically trying to hit the moles as they pop up randomly, but you can never quite get them all.

Another interesting point Kris mentioned is the “Zygarnik effect,” which explains why unfinished tasks linger in our minds, causing stress and interrupting our relaxation time. To-do lists can exacerbate this by keeping those loops open and unresolved, making it hard to truly unwind.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by your never-ending to-do list, you’re not alone. Luckily, Kris is here for us and has some great insights on how to tackle this challenge and find a better way to manage our tasks and reduce stress.

Mastering Calendar Management: Scheduling for Success

Alright folks, let’s talk about calendars. If you’re like me, you might think to-do lists are the way to go. But after chatting with Kris Ward, I’ve seen the light. Ditching the to-do lists for a calendar is a total upgrade. To-do lists? They grow endlessly and create chaos. Calendars? They help you visualize your time and commitments, letting you prioritize your day better and avoid overcommitting.

We had some great questions from our audience about how to manage important vs. urgent tasks. Kris shared that the key is to schedule everything on your calendar, even the routine tasks, to avoid overcommitting. She put it beautifully: think of your calendar as your “time bank account.” We all schedule external appointments—meetings, doctor visits, you name it—but often forget to block out time for our own work. Kris made a great analogy here: it’s like ignoring your monthly car payment just because it’s automatic; the money’s still gone! Without planning your own tasks, you might think you have eight hours available when you really only have five. No wonder you’re running around like a headless chicken.

By not planning our own work, we end up constantly reacting to what’s urgent instead of focusing on what’s truly important. This approach ensures that you’re proactive about managing your time, giving priority to tasks that matter most.

She also talked about working backwards from deadlines and breaking tasks into smaller segments to stay on track. This way, you’re not overwhelmed by the big picture but can tackle each step methodically. For instance, if you have a major project due in a month, break it down into weekly or daily tasks and schedule them on your calendar. This not only makes the project more manageable but also allows you to track your progress and adjust as needed.

Kris emphasized that our calendars should reflect all of our commitments, both personal and professional. This comprehensive approach helps us see the true scope of our time and prevents overbooking. By treating every task as an important appointment, we respect our own time and maintain better control over our schedules.

Speed vs. Efficiency: Why Slowing Down Can Boost Your Productivity

My trusty co-host, Conor Brown, brought up a great point about how trying to work faster can actually make us less productive. Kris emphasized that taking deliberate, well-paced actions leads to better results than rushing through tasks. There’s a quote from the SEALs that goes: “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” It’s about being deliberate and thorough rather than quick and sloppy.

Kris shared her personal journey of realizing that speed was not her superpower but rather a hindrance. She found that by slowing down and focusing on quality, she was able to achieve better outcomes. This resonates with many of us who feel the pressure to move quickly and get more done, often at the expense of quality and creativity.

The idea here is to work smart, not just fast. By being intentional with our actions and taking the time to plan and execute tasks properly, we can avoid mistakes and rework, ultimately saving time in the long run. It also reduces stress and allows for more thoughtful and creative work.

The Myth of Discipline: Sustainable Productivity Strategies

I was really curious about Kris’s take on discipline not being sustainable. I mean, isn’t discipline key to success? Kris explained how discipline can drain our mental energy and lead to decision fatigue, which makes it hard to maintain long-term. Instead of relying on sheer willpower, she suggests setting up systems and processes that support your goals without depleting your energy.

Kris used the analogy of having too many apps open on your phone, draining the battery quickly. In the same way, constantly relying on discipline to power through tasks depletes our mental energy. She highlighted studies showing that decision fatigue can significantly impact our ability to make good choices and stay focused.

By setting up supportive systems, like her Super Toolkits, we can automate parts of our workflow and reduce the need for constant decision-making. This not only preserves our mental energy but also ensures consistency and efficiency in our work. It’s about working smarter, not harder, and building a sustainable approach to productivity.

Super Toolkits: Streamlining Processes for Maximum Efficiency

Kris introduced her Signature Super Toolkits, which are designed to streamline processes and reduce errors. But what exactly are Super Toolkits? Well, they’re a step up from traditional SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). SOPs are detailed, written instructions aimed at achieving uniformity in the performance of specific functions. They provide a standardized way of carrying out tasks to ensure consistency and quality.

However, traditional SOPs can be static and cumbersome. Super Toolkits, on the other hand, are dynamic and continually improve efficiency. They make it easy to delegate tasks and ensure consistency without the usual hassle. Kris described them as living documents that are constantly updated and refined, making them highly adaptable to changing needs and environments.

Traditional SOPs are often static and complicated, while Super Toolkits are dynamic and continually improve efficiency. They make it easy to delegate tasks and ensure consistency without the usual hassle. Kris described them as living documents that are constantly updated and refined, making them highly adaptable to changing needs and environments.

One of the key benefits of Super Toolkits is that they eliminate the need for micromanagement. By providing clear, concise instructions and workflows, team members can execute tasks independently and confidently. This frees up leaders to focus on higher-level strategic work, knowing that the day-to-day operations are running smoothly.

Virtual Assistants and Team Building: Scaling Your Business Effectively

Conor asked about the right time for entrepreneurs to start building a team, which is a crucial step in scaling a business. Kris advised starting early with team building to free up your time for high-value tasks. She emphasized that hiring doesn’t have to be a huge expense. You can start with part-time virtual assistants (VAs) to handle routine tasks, allowing you to focus on growth.

I brought up the challenge of balancing cash flow while expanding your team. Kris shared some great strategies for this, highlighting the importance of seeing hiring as an investment rather than an expense. By freeing up your time, you can take on more clients and projects, ultimately increasing your revenue.

Kris also addressed common fears about hiring, such as losing control and finding the right people. She reassured us that with the right systems in place, hiring can be a smooth and rewarding process. She even shared her 12-point hiring process, which boasts a 90% retention rate, emphasizing that preparation and clear expectations are key to successful team building.

Conclusion: Implementing Kris Ward’s Productivity Tips

This episode was packed with valuable insights that can help you transform your productivity and scale your business. Whether you’re a solopreneur just starting out or an established entrepreneur looking to optimize your workflow, Kris’s tips are gold.

Her insights on moving away from to-do lists, embracing calendar management, and utilizing Super Toolkits are about working smarter and living better. By treating your calendar as a “time bank account,” scheduling your own work, and tackling demanding tasks when you’re freshest, you can transform chaos into calm. Working backwards from deadlines and breaking down tasks into manageable chunks ensures you stay on track without feeling overwhelmed, while Super Toolkits streamline processes and boost efficiency.

These strategies aren’t just theoretical. They’re practical steps you can implement right now to see real improvements in your productivity and reduce your stress levels. Remember, it’s not about cramming more into your day—it’s about making the most of the time you have. So take a page out of Kris’s book (literally, check out “Win the Hour, Win the Day“) and start making these changes today. Your future self will thank you.

Kris also mentioned where you can find more resources from her, including a free gift! You can check out freegiftfromkris.com to get an audio version of her book. This is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to dive deeper into her productivity strategies.

Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to share this episode with your friends and colleagues. Let’s keep the conversation going—drop a comment, share your thoughts, and let’s all get better together. See you around the interwebs!

P.S. Secret Code: VZHYE4


This transcript is automatically generated by Descript.  Any errors or omissions are unintentional.

[00:00:00] Jeff Sieh: Hello, folks. Welcome to Social Media News Live. I’m Jeff Sieh.

[00:00:03] Conor Brown: I’m Connor Brown, and this is the show that keeps you up to date on what’s happening in the world of social media.

[00:00:11] Jeff Sieh: You ever question what it really takes to boost your productivity and scale your business effectively? What about when you should hire someone to help you out with your business? Or maybe you’re seeking ways to transform your daily operations into a well oiled machine? If you want some productivity strategies that work, then today’s show is for you, my friend.

[00:00:31] We’re excited to welcome a guest who has mastered the art of productivity. Chris Ward is a leading productivity coach, and she’s going to be sharing her journey, some insights, and some top techniques for optimizing your workflow. So sit back, clear schedule, clear your mind, and get ready for this week’s episode of Social Media News Live.

[00:00:49] Chris, how are you doing today? This is going to be so much fun.

[00:00:52] Kris Ward: I am excellent. I am pumped to be here. I can’t wait to dive in.

[00:00:55] Jeff Sieh: Yeah, this is gonna be amazing.

[00:00:55] Conor Brown: We are so excited and if you don’t know who Chris is, you should. Chris Ward is the leading authority in leveraging your time and scaling your business. Chris is the founder of Win the Hour, Win the Day philosophy. She’s helped entrepreneurs create their win team so that they can get to what is next. And she helps entrepreneurs implement the 60 40 win formula so that they can be in execution mode 60 percent of the time.

[00:01:23] of the time. Chris has also been featured on award winning podcasts, radio and TV shows, and she has her own podcast, Win the Hour, Win the Day, where she has engaging conversations with dynamic guests, covering a variety of business topics, so you can get to your next win now. Chris, thank you so much again for being on the show today.

[00:01:46] Kris Ward: Thrilled to be here.

[00:01:47] Jeff Sieh: So I wanna do really quickly a big shout out to the sponsors of our show, EAM. You can find out more about them by going to ecamm.com/jeff. You can say 15% by using the code. Jeff, 15. And by the way. Creator Camp is coming up, my friends. Uh, it’s gonna be amazing. Creator Camp is actually, they only have three tickets left.

[00:02:06] So if you want to find out more, you need to go to ecamm. com forward slash camp. I’m gonna be there speaking. Connor’s gonna be there. It’s gonna be a blast. Last year was fabulous. Uh, if you want to have a chance to win a ticket to camp, because there are only three of them left, you can go to my website, which is at jeffsieh.

[00:02:24] com forward slash win, and you have a chance to win three tickets. Uh, uh, Ticket to Creator Camp. We’re going to be drawing that, uh, right before the camp starts about a month before, so if you want to have a chance to win a ticket, go to JeffSieh. com forward slash win. I got tons of things scattered through my website, uh, bonus codes.

[00:02:37] I’m going to give a bonus code at the end of the show today, but JeffSieh. com forward slash win. All right, so I want to jump right into this because this is going to be exciting, and, and Chris, I heard you first on my friend Eric Fisher’s, uh, social, I mean, his, uh, Twitter account. Beyond the To Do List Podcast.

[00:02:55] And one of the things that you said on there, which was interesting to me, was that, because it was Beyond the To Do List Podcast, is that you’re not a big fan of to do lists. So tell us what that is about, because that, I was like, what? I live off a to do list. So talk about that for a little bit.

[00:03:10] Kris Ward: Yeah, to do lists are excellent. If you’re looking to add stress to your life, um, if you really want to be running in different directions, um, they’re really a list of what I call a list of, uh, percolating emergencies. Okay. That’s all you do. And they don’t, they’re not in chronological order. There’s, there’s no sequence there and it’s really hard to assign to somebody else.

[00:03:30] Right. So it really is just. A hot mess, a to-do list. It’s not something you can scale or you know, leverage or improve your efficiency. So they really, frankly, if you wanna do something productive with your to-do list, burn your to-do list set fire.

[00:03:46] Jeff Sieh: That’s hilarious. So, that, I just, that just blew up most of the comments. I just know it’s going to happen. Um, so what do you use instead of a to do list? And I know you talk about this in your book, but give us kind of a bird’s eye overview because you really dive into it in your book.

[00:04:00] Kris Ward: Yeah. So I’ve done videos on this where I’ve shown like, oh, here’s a to-do list. Doesn’t this look. Great. And what’s going to happen is you’re going to go through, as you know, and check off a couple of things to shorten the list, right? But I took that same to do list and then I made another copy of it.

[00:04:13] And then I showed the timeframes like, Oh, let’s say organized Dropbox. And then all of a sudden on the second one, that was like 2. 5 hours. So how do you plan that? Right? So really, Yeah. Great. A to do list to me is almost like when you get something, like you build something, a cabinet from Ikea and at the end you look down the floor and there’s all these nuts and bolts and you’re like, well, these are extras, right?

[00:04:35] What am I, where do these come from? Why do I have these? That’s what a to do list is. So really the to do list is eliminated when you know how to use your calendar effectively. And when you have things, I will, I’ll say SOPs, but there’s a problem with SOPs and we’ll talk about that for, in a minute. What you have is like our Signature Super Toolkit, which has an execution process that you don’t need a to do list because they just all are implemented either in how you navigate your calendar or your Signature Super Toolkit.

[00:05:07] Their to do lists are extra nuts and bolts and you shouldn’t have them and you don’t need them and they’re not productive.

[00:05:15] Jeff Sieh: Wow. My brain is melting. Go ahead, Connor.

[00:05:18] Conor Brown: I think that’s so interesting because It is this thing of you, you put the to do list together at the beginning of the week, the beginning of the day, whatever, and then at the end, if you didn’t do all of the things on your list, you almost feel bad about yourself, right?

[00:05:32] Kris Ward: Not almost. No, almost. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:05:35] Conor Brown: yeah, yeah, yeah, you do. So like Chris asked, you know, what about to don’t lists? He says his to don’t list is the size of a CVS receipt, uh, which are inherently Way too long for, for anything, but what about to don’t list? Like the things that I should not be doing right now.

[00:05:51] Kris Ward: Yeah, that’s a fantastic thing. Now, tapping back to the to do list just for a second. I mean, we, we know from the Zygarnik effect that it adds stress and loose ends. And that’s why when you’re getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, you’re walking and all of a sudden you’re like, Oh, I forgot something.

[00:06:06] And you’re now wide awake, right? So it, it just has an open loop and it’s really damaging to the brain. So the to don’t list would be don’t have a to do list.

[00:06:17] Jeff Sieh: That’s good.

[00:06:19] Conor Brown: It’s as simple as that. And, and I think too, like this whole notion of when we do have the to do list, you were talking about, you know, you have all the little tasks on there and then we’re just trying to fill in how long is each going to take, right? So we want to work as fast as possible as, as, you know, hyperdrive as possible so that we can get all this stuff done.

[00:06:40] When in reality. That might not be the most effective use of our time. And you say it perfectly. You say that speed can hinder productivity. I assume that it kind of dovetails into that notion of a to do list, just filling the time that you have, uh, throughout the day, but can you provide some examples of that and why you think that speed can just hinder your overall productivity?

[00:07:02] Kris Ward: Yeah. So, you know, after working with so many entrepreneurs over the years, I found that they fell into one of five categories, right? So we have, if you go to free gift, free gift, G I F T from chris. com, there’s some goodies there, but there’s also a business personality quiz now and, and check out, it takes a couple seconds and it’s customized results.

[00:07:24] I am a recovering Russia holic. Now here’s the thing. I thought speed was my superpower. I truly did. And I could move faster than anybody and I got things done and I was a go to person for a lot of people in my life. And that’s the thing. The clients that I work with, they look great on paper. They’ve been in business five, 10 years and they’re doing amazing stuff.

[00:07:43] It’s just they’re working too many hours for where they are at this point in their journey. And because they’re so effective. And, of course, I want to make sure that you get a message out to your friends and family that you are doing a wonderful job. And what I would say is I was skimming over things. I wasn’t getting traction.

[00:08:13] And when you’re in a constant race, the brain cannot be creative. It’s just like, you’re jumping hurdles. You’re thinking of the next thing and the next thing after that. And science shows us again and again, the biggest, Impact on humankind as far as discoveries and inventions. Those were all done in times of relaxation and play.

[00:08:34] So the pacing, the clarity, this free thinking space, the not rushing is your best friend and your biggest business partner. And we so just don’t even invest in that in any capacity. We’re just always rushing to the next thing.

[00:08:51] Jeff Sieh: Yeah, you know, when you were talking about this whole thing is about being deliberate in your actions and not rushing. It came, what came to mind is there’s a, there’s a quote that the SEAL, the SEAL team here in America uses. It’s called slow is smooth and smooth is fast. And I love thinking about that and applying that to business because if you’re going, like you said, hectically across everything, you’re dropping balls, things are getting missed, clients you’re not connecting with.

[00:09:18] So, um. You, you also said, um, something about discipline, about, like, discipline is not sustain, sustainable. And that, that’s another one that blew me away, because all up my life, you know, you, you’re trying to, to get discipline and, you know, you, you know, you want to have strength in certain areas of your life.

[00:09:36] So I want to be disciplined, then I’m going to get up and have my morning routine. I’m going to be disciplined in, um, All these things like I’m gonna eat better. That’s a discipline that you’ve got to do. And you said it’s not sustainable. So once again, my brain melted. Talk about that and what you mean by discipline is not sustainable because I think this comes into all this kind of productivity and focus we’re talking about.

[00:09:56] Kris Ward: So the beauty of what we do is that’s the thing. When you, we focus on your team, your time and your toolkits. And when you have those things in play, they support everything that you ever wanted to do and make everything just like smooth sailing, because here’s the thing. What we don’t understand for most of us is we think, oh, this is a personality character flaw.

[00:10:15] I wish I was more organized. I wish I was more disciplined. I was all these things, but discipline erodes your battery. It’s like having all your apps open on your phone. It just wears your battery down quicker. And studies have shown us that again and again. Um, and, and to that point, Also, not only discipline, but using your brain, which is running around in different directions.

[00:10:34] There was a study where they had a large group of people, I think it was like hundreds, and they gave one group a four digit number to memorize and another group a seven digit number to memorize. And all they had to do was walk across the street and then go sit in a waiting area. The people that had the seven digit number to memorize, They had junk food in there, donuts.

[00:10:57] They were all adult things that people knew they shouldn’t have been eating and they had all just eaten and the significance of them having to memorize a seven digit number versus a four digit number, those that had to memorize that seven digit number, it was astronomical how many broke and had You know how to donate how to treat their discipline eroded Because also using up your brainpower decision fatigue all that other stuff chips away at any discipline You’d be trying to hold on to anyhow But what you’re trying to do is white knuckle your day and that zaps your creativity your productivity It doesn’t last and it’s counterproductive.

[00:11:33] Jeff Sieh: in fact, um, Ian, uh, my friend Ian Harrison Gray says he has no idea how long each task will take, but he tends to work through his to do list based on how he’s feeling or his energy and he delegation and he, and he loves his VA. And we’re going to talk about VAs in the next section, but I would also bring up some other comments from our friends.

[00:11:50] Uh, Tatiana says, um, she loved that comment about, um, Two to do lists are great if you want to add stress to your life. Yeah, I love that one too. And also, I want to bring up this question or comment by Chris. He goes, what about, um, nope, that’s not it. He asked, um, about the signature toolkits. Yeah. Signature super toolkits sound amazing.

[00:12:10] Can you dive into what you talk about? Because we all have toolkits, but signature super toolkits, what are those?

[00:12:16] Kris Ward: Okay. So first of all, shout out to Ian. Good. Ian’s been on my show. He’s a spectacular human being. And I want to jump in there really quickly and address what he said too. And then I’m going to get right to super toolkits. So Ian brought up a good point. And I hear this all the time. All the time. And you know this too, Jeff, like, Oh, my business is different.

[00:12:33] Oh, my work is different. I don’t know how long it will take. You don’t know how long it’ll take because you’re not using your calendar effectively and you cannot improve what you do not measure. And if you don’t know how long it will take, even creative work. Creative work. You can have a bandwidth. You can say, well, this should take between this and this amount of time.

[00:12:50] So how do you bill accordingly or how do you know the value of your worth and what you’re selling and all these things? So when you know how to use your calendar effectively And when you have these super toolkits in play, you will know and you can readjust all the time when something takes longer because you’ll have your inventory clear on your calendar and you’ll have super toolkits that build on efficiency, right?

[00:13:14] So that will take care of that. So here’s the thing about our super tool, super toolkits. Standard operating procedures where we all historically have learned them from the corporate world, right? They are very seldom written by the end user. They’re static in nature. They’re mostly there to cover liability and they often have training muddled in amongst them all, right?

[00:13:35] They become outdated really quickly and there are a lot of work to build. And so this is why you think, Oh, it’s just easier for me to do it myself. I have it in my head. You don’t understand. I built the company. It’s all whatever. Right? Right. Right. Our signature super toolkits, they’re dynamic documents that constantly improve your efficiency.

[00:13:55] They all but eliminate human error and may have frozen. So I’m not sure if, here we go, what makes him, what makes him different than SOPs is is that their ease of use, their simplicity and how quick, how easy they are to make. So almost like think about if you’re in the kitchen and you’re cooking, we just come in and give you, sharpen your knife so you can chop faster.

[00:14:11] So super tool kits, you’re just constantly editing. We call it cueing, C U E. Creating, using and editing. So when you’re doing something, it takes seconds to edit, refine, or even build out a super toolkit. And there is a whole process to that, but you don’t need extra time. And then the beauty of it is when I had somebody on my team, I was interviewing her on my show, When the Hour, When the Day, and we were talking about this and she said, you only need to know one thing.

[00:14:41] You only need to remember one thing. Cause I always say business is not run in memory. So, Oh yeah, I forgot I was supposed to do that. Whatever. Right. She said, you have to remember one thing. You just go to the super toolkit. So everybody just goes to the super toolkit to do anything. And the beauty of that is.

[00:14:56] On a dime, you can change anything. So quick example, I saw somebody on LinkedIn and they did a fantastic job of, they were just a guest on the show and they, the way they did the screen capture and did this little write up. I’m like, Oh yes, I, I, that’s a great idea. Why am I not doing that? Add it to the super toolkit.

[00:15:13] Done. It’s done. Like now it’s permanent, right? So the super toolkits, it’s really when you see them, it’s, it’s how efficient they are. And then also the language, the power and the simplicity and the clarity and the direction of the language. Most SOPs have vague directions and long worded sentences that you almost have to interpret like instructions on how to build something before you get to the real work.

[00:15:39] And that takes up a lot of brainpower. Don’t get me started on super toolkits cause I’ll go all day.

[00:15:45] Jeff Sieh: So, just real quick, like, the initial setup, how long does it take? Like, can you estimate time? How long does it take? Or does it vary between what you’re trying to do?

[00:15:53] Kris Ward: like anything you start new, it like if we started something new this morning, what were we? Oh, so for our VAs, we, we often find hire and on board for our clients virtual assistants. We’re not an agency and there’s a reason we tell you that because agencies, there’s a whole billing thing and you don’t know how much they’re The VA is getting paid.

[00:16:11] And then if you stop paying this big, super big bill, you lose your VA. We just find, hire, and onboard a virtual assistant for you because we need to get to the real work, which is the super tool kit. So we do that for you for speed. And then we show you how to do it for independence. Okay. So now we’re adding to our leadership program for the virtual assistants.

[00:16:32] We’re, we’re doing this whole other thing right now. So we just started, Hey, let’s, we came up with this idea. So the moment you come up with something, you just start a super toolkit. It’s your rough draft. And then you’re just, as you’re talking, instead of going, we should do this, we should do that. You just start the super toolkit.

[00:16:47] It might take an extra minute. Then every time we’re building on that idea, we’re queuing, creating, using, and editing. It takes seconds. It takes. As much time to edit that as it does to say it out loud. And that’s the beauty of the efficiency instead of this whole thing where people keep saying, I need a week off, I need a month off to get all these SOPs done.

[00:17:08] And it’s not like that at all.

[00:17:11] Jeff Sieh: Gotcha.

[00:17:12] Conor Brown: We have a couple follow ups from IAG, Ian Anderson Gray here, uh, around SuperToolkit. So first, is the SuperToolkit, in addition to SOPs, he’s just trying to get his head around this. And he also has a follow up to that. saying, who is the super toolkit for? Is it for VAs, us, or, or both of us? Yeah. Hmm.

[00:17:51] Kris Ward: lose this job because I can’t speak.

[00:17:52] Stay Awake. Right? Cut to like four days later, they’re expecting me to, Oh yeah, you had the manual. Like, I don’t even know what page that’s on. Right? So it’s crazy talk and they don’t work. And that’s why so many of us, whether we realize it or not, completely abandoned it and said, Oh, it’s going to be different when I start my own business.

[00:18:13] So that’s a big thing. It’s the ease of use. I mean, here’s a quick story. Somebody, a previous client of ours had recommended us to somebody else. She came, um, actually let me back up even further. This is not okay, but it happens a lot. Usually the people I’m dealing with, they’ve just been grinding it out so long they’re spent.

[00:18:32] And so sometimes it’s not okay. They missed the first appointment. So she said, I’m so sorry, please. I really do need your help. Clearly, I need your help. Look, I missed the appointment. Could we meet? No problem. She missed the second time. All right, I’m out. Right? She begged me, please, Chris, please meet with me.

[00:18:47] I promise. I promise. I’m like, okay. So I met with her. Now, here’s the thing. She said, I don’t know how you’re going to help me because I help companies get ready to sell. I put their systems in place. I set up all their SOPs. This is what I do. They’re five, 10 million companies and the owner’s getting ready to sell, but I’m working too many hours because there’s just too much work to do.

[00:19:08] I said, well, I’m, this is what we do. So she told me later, and I’ve got clippings from our sessions and things like that, didn’t know this at the time. She was on a sleeping medication because her adrenaline was just through the roof. She was working insane hours, all this stuff. She told me that her income went up four times and her amount of hours went down to one fifth of what she was working.

[00:19:30] And the VA that we found her within the year, she went to Costa Rica for a month with no wifi. And the VA managed the business. And this was all on our super toolkits. So it’s just, it’s so clunky. SOPs are heavy. They’re just, even just reading them zaps your brainpower. When you start to see the clients, we’ve got a whole glossary of words you don’t use that are traditionally used in the VA.

[00:19:57] In SOPs that are not clear or directive, it’s like review or like they’re all interpretive, right? So it’s really just getting stuff done. I’m a big proponent of no fluff. Big results.

[00:20:10] Conor Brown: Yeah, I remember getting an SOP when I worked on a rollercoaster in Walt Disney World, and it was like this big, like, and they were like, could you read this all? I’m like, how about you just tell me what I need to do to not crash the rollercoaster? Cause all of this seems way beyond anything we’re doing.

[00:20:26] I would think that, that, uh, uh, these super toolkits would also help in kind of this notion of balancing quality over quantity or, or kind of both. Cause. In today’s day and age, we need to produce a lot, I guess, to get our name out there or to be successful, whatever it might be. But we also want to do really, really good, high quality work.

[00:20:46] So, when it comes to that, the need for high quality work with the pressure to produce a vast amount of work, Chris, what are some strategies that people can implement or think about that to kind of navigate that balance?

[00:21:01] Kris Ward: Yeah. So here’s the thing. You should be able to start your workday refreshed. And leave fresh. You should be able to do anything that requires a lot of brain power at three o’clock in the afternoon, right? And so that’s where we get into knowing how to manage your calendar, having a win team. I call a win team what is next team so you can get to what’s next, and then leaning into these super toolkits.

[00:21:24] So for example, I was on a Facebook Strategy call, sales call with somebody yesterday. So we have a super toolkit. This is what happens after that. Somebody on my team looks at the calendar and they start this process of following up with them. And then, Hey, here’s some things people are saying about Chris.

[00:21:39] Here’s this, and here’s that. Every time they go in to send that out, they check the super toolkit and they, of course, take a quick glance at the email before it goes out. So here’s an example. This is a really great interview. On our fifth email, I know Jeff’s work. I know your work, Connor. I know this is going to be, as it already is, a thoughtful interview.

[00:21:58] So on the fifth email, we start saying, Hey, here’s some resources that you might want to check out of Chris and her experiences. Then we might now go, Oh, it’s all there. It’s all for us to see. We’re going to upgrade. So, we’re always upping your game, upping your game from good to great excellent to super, and it takes less time.

[00:22:19] But the quality of my work is going up. And so you not only get more efficient, you’re in quality increases, But the work decreases.

[00:22:30] Jeff Sieh: See, that is, I think is so key. Cause I was thinking just the other day, you know, like if you go to like my LinkedIn page, my profile, it’s got old, like they’re great episodes, but they’re old. I need, I need to do what you just said is like have a process, like, and have my daughter or whoever I went to work with.

[00:22:46] for me go and do that and upgrade it and like every week after the show that needs to be the first one on the list and that’s one of those things that needs to be updated in my super toolkit so we think that it’s got to be this big huge thing and it’s these little tasks Like you say, Chris, that move you to the next level.

[00:23:02] I mean, one of my, uh, Jay Klaus is a, uh, one of who I really like to, he does creator, um, creator labs, and he talks about the flywheel. Like, it takes a little bit of effort to get that flywheel going, but once you start it going, it kind of, it keeps moving. It does kind of some stuff by itself, and tapping on that flywheel is kind of what you’re talking about.

[00:23:19] Like, there’s one more little thing, a little, little more spin, and it keeps kind of spinning faster, so.

[00:23:24] Kris Ward: often they say, I’m going to sit down and write out all these SOPs, which never works. Right? Because you’re missing steps. If you’ve ever had the horror of teaching somebody to drive, right? All of a sudden you’re, you’re realizing, Oh, I have to tell you this and this and this because it just, we’re just doing it all the time.

[00:23:42] So naturally. Right? Right? So when you write out these SOPs, you’re missing steps. So also want you to understand that when we first start with our clients and they’re like, I don’t even, I have nothing, Chris. I’m like, okay, what do you, what are you working on today? Great. Then just do a loom video. Talk as you’re going through it.

[00:23:58] We can turn that into a transcription. The VA, we can just start making, we can start making super toolkits, they just start raw and they get more and more refined. So that’s huge, right? Now, to your point, Jeff, I want to add something else that we do that’s incredibly different is we talk about a job bio versus a job description.

[00:24:17] So what happens is, uh, like this podcast, you’re going to have a follow up process Hopefully, you know, eventually a super toolkit that’s going to make this process more and more efficient so that the level of it goes up and the demands of the work continue to go down. Cause we know there’s a staggering amount of podcasts that do not make it past three weeks and it’s because of the workload, right?

[00:24:41] It just sucks up all their time. So my podcast, my process part takes me about four minutes. The team, the rest of it takes them about an hour and 15 minutes, right? Boom. The average podcast production, you’re looking at somewhere between four and six hours. It’s insane. And I’ve even helped podcast management companies that just were snowing under and you’re paying them and they’re just all over the place too, right?

[00:25:05] With our super toolkits. Now, so you’re having your super toolkits. Great. This takes care of itself because. We know we’re doing the show and then we can say, Hey, do Chris’s show. Here’s the super toolkit. But then there’s sometimes there’s work that just happens every week. Like my broadcast email broadcast just goes out on Fridays.

[00:25:24] It’s, I don’t have to ask somebody to do it. The calendar doesn’t trig, trigger it. The problem is. You’re supposed to remember. And I don’t believe that any business or element of business that is successful runs on memory. So we have a job bio. So a job bio would be, Hey, my action manager on Monday, she does this.

[00:25:45] On Tuesday, she does this. Things in the job bio are what more people would describe as routine stuff that are not, not new adventures that were initiated by a new deadline. Too often in the corporate world, we have this job description that is utterly useless. And then they say something at the end, like, And you will do anything else we boss you around and ask you to do.

[00:26:06] Don’t talk to us for more money, right? So it’s just this bleh, vague blanket thing. So the job bio also says, Hey, that if somebody on my team is away or something, we can look on Fridays and say, Oh, she’s away. Uh, so then somebody else has got, we’ll just move it. Somebody else has got to get the email out.

[00:26:23] Cause it’s all clear. You don’t then wait for somebody that’s either resigned or moved on or got promoted or got. Sick to go, Hey, what’s happening? Oh, we haven’t done a broadcast in three or four weeks. Why did we stop that? Oh, because remember, she was sick. And there’s always that, oh, remember story. So all these little efficiencies just take care of itself so you’re not catching mistakes.

[00:26:47] So that’s another big thing that our clients really like is the job bio.

[00:26:51] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. I, this is a great question from Tommy Ellison. He goes, he goes, I don’t remember where I learned, learned it, but I have to distinguish between the important and the urgent. Important items need to appear at the top of the list. Urgent for others may not be urgent for me. How do you, you know, in your, in your calendar blocking, because we don’t have to do lists anymore, how do you prioritize where you put things on your calendar?

[00:27:15] Kris Ward: That’s a great question. So what I would say to you, first of all, is a number of things happen on the calendar. So I call it your time bank account. So, so many people will put outside appointments on their calendar, outside forces. So, Oh, I have a meeting with Jeff, we’re going to do this podcast. It’s on my calendar.

[00:27:31] But then they, Don’t put their own work on it. So people will say, well, Chris, I do that every day. I don’t need to remember that. And even like email work. And I’m like, okay, so let’s say your car payment comes out of your bank account every month. You don’t get to say, um, I don’t count that because it just comes out every month.

[00:27:47] The money’s gone, right? So what I say to people is when you don’t have your own work planned out, then you might be stumbling into the day thinking you have eight hours and you might only have five and then you don’t know why you’re running around like a fool and, oh, it’s, you know, I’m just not working hard enough.

[00:28:05] I’m just not focused. So first of all, you’re at a huge deficit because you’re not using it as a time bank account. Another thing I would tell you is the work that requires the most attention or focus should be first thing in the morning. You are just bleeding yourself out when you do emails first thing in the morning because there’s attention residue, decision fatigue, you’re all over the place mentally, and you just burn down your battery.

[00:28:28] You can do that at 11 or 12, and it would just be a totally different game. Think of it like, like this as well. One thing I tell people is they don’t do is they don’t work backwards. We do this in life. Jeff, if you have to be at the in laws on Saturday at one and you’re like, okay, they’re an hour away, I gotta leave at 12, I gotta do this at 11.

[00:28:45] And so

[00:28:46] Jeff Sieh: drinking. I start drinking at 10 is what happens. Yeah, that’s what I do. No, just kidding.

[00:28:50] Kris Ward: So when I was writing my book, When They Are, When They Day, I had to have it to the editors by June or she couldn’t do it to September. So I worked backwards and I did the math and I figured out that I had to do five pages. So, I did it Monday to Friday to get that book done.

[00:29:06] Now here’s the thing, I did it first thing in the morning because I was freshest and also then I can’t make the excuse of, Oh, well this happened, that happened and it kept getting pushed in the day, but tomorrow will be a better day and I’m just going to get more done. That’s how books never get written.

[00:29:20] And then sometimes I was like, Oh, today’s just not the day. I don’t think I have five pages in me. And then I’d go, well, if I don’t have five pages in me today. I’m not going to have 10 in me tomorrow. So that kept me on the path, but more importantly, it showed me really quickly when I derailed where people would go like, Oh yeah, I’m going to have this book out by summer or September 1st.

[00:29:41] And there’s no plan. People, we know the difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline. But my argument is a big step in there is missing a plan and working backwards is huge. And so many of us, like Ian said, well, I don’t know how long this work would take. What I would say, this is not your first rodeo, this is not your first project.

[00:30:01] And so you should have things that you could build it upon the projects that were similar. Even if it’s a new project, it’s based on previous experience and you said you could do the job. And so what would happen is. Let’s say, um, let’s just take this podcast for example. You know, let’s say there’s three or four stages to getting this podcast ready to air.

[00:30:20] Well, then you might realize, okay, uh, the promo, we have to get the promo stuff ready two weeks before we’re going to air it. And we have to do this three weeks before, and then we have to have guests lined up four weeks before, right? So you know, these things should be on the calendar and then they show you like, okay, right?

[00:30:38] These are the steps. These are the steps. And if something else comes up that’s urgent, when you’re clear with everything on your calendar, when you have super toolkits, when you have a team in play, when something that comes up as urgent, then it’s like being in a hospital with a triage. Then you can go, Oh, this is no longer a priority today.

[00:30:56] This is a situation. We’re going to focus on that, but now we see where we’re going to move it on the calendar. We see where it’s going to go. So it’s not a pile up later, three weeks down the road when you start remembering everything that happened because you were spun out of control that one week and now these things you didn’t get to start getting on that list of percolating emergencies start becoming a problem because you were distracted three weeks earlier and then it’s just a pile up again.

[00:31:23] So, yeah. Does that make sense? Am I making sense there?

[00:31:25] Jeff Sieh: yes. And so, uh, yeah, that’s, that’s really good because, you know, I think all of us at one point, and I love what you said about doing emails in the morning, not doing them in the morning, doing them in the afternoon because they are a time suck. You know, Gary mentioned in the comments, like, meetings are another, uh, time suck.

[00:31:41] That’s a whole nother show, uh, Gary, because I, I can’t stand meetings that don’t, aren’t productive. But one of the things I want to talk about before we move on to the next section is, Are there any, like, techniques that you use? Like, I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro technique, I think that’s how you say it, where you, you work for a certain amount of time, take a break, more time, you know, and, and really focus.

[00:32:00] Because a lot of your book, you talk about, you know, we are such a distracted society and focus is what you need to do to really take your business to the next level. Do you like those kind of techniques that you use? Do you work them into your systems and processes? What do you think about that?

[00:32:15] Kris Ward: So two things. One is beatings also are a corporate problem and a corporate sore, I would call it. We operate under the mentality of scrum formula. And so scrum sessions are about 15 minutes and they’re highly collaborative and highly effective. And with our leadership program, with VAs, if you’re watching one of my scrums or one of my clients scrums, you would have a hard time.

[00:32:36] See who writes the checks because it’s really just it scrum comes from the philosophy. Jeff Sutherland’s book of getting the ball up the field in rugby. So it’s moving the project forward quickly and effectively, and now it’s really being leaned into, you know, in the info and technology world where they’re really always in a race against time.

[00:32:55] This is how they really get stuff out quicker. Using the scrum mentality, we’ve taken that mentality and we build upon it with with the scrum formula as well as super toolkit. So just, you know, you don’t have to have meetings either. The Padorma effect and a whole bunch of other things I just think is busy work.

[00:33:11] Now, here’s what I think. There’s all these things and they hurt my soul when I see these videos of, Hey, the night before, go through all your lists and then prioritize for the morning and do this. We’re just shuffling papers, people, right? And that’s the last thing I should be doing before I end the day is looking at my to do list, beating myself up and now saying, okay, I’m going to Clear my head and relax like that doesn’t work.

[00:33:33] Right. So I think the PMA effect and other things like that, it’s too much work. It’s too segmented. It’s like every 20 minutes, it’s five minute intervals, it’s all this other stuff. Science shows us that we have about six hours of productivity in us a day, and that really, after it’s. It’s somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes, you lose your sweet spot.

[00:33:52] That’s why we break it down to an hour, one hour increments, right? And yeah, get up every hour, go get a drink, use the bathroom, do whatever. What I would say to you is we really do find great success in winning the hour wins the day. So let’s say, um, Jeff, you were kind enough to say wonderful things to me about my book and you’re like, you should get on the second one.

[00:34:12] No pressure. Okay. Um, so if I’m. If I was going to say, Hey, I want to start working on the outline for my book. Another big mistake people will make is say, Oh, I’m going to do that Friday afternoon, or I’m going to take two hours. Oh, I’m going to hear what Chris said and take two hours to do that. You still want to break it down to hour by hour.

[00:34:30] Cause so you can see when you are successful and when you fall off the rails. So maybe the first hour I’m working on basic chapter outline and maybe the second hour I’m working on. Getting my idea bank and implementing them into the structure, whatever. Maybe the third hour, I wouldn’t go to three hours, but I’m Is proofreading something?

[00:34:49] You wanna break it down, even if it’s one project, break it down into segments so that you’re shifting gears. You know where you know when you’re on course off course, and then you get this false sense. I used to do this many years ago, my dark years. I would hit Monday morning with my to do list in my hand, and somehow I thought Monday was three times the length of, like, at least Sunday.

[00:35:12] Sunday’s this that long, and Monday’s this big, right? And I would be going so hard and so fast. And, you know, I would have no idea when I was making progress or off course or do whatever because it was just get out of my way. I am going to go guns a blazing. And I just thought going fast and hard was the answer, but I had nothing to clarify where I was as far as productivity or success because I couldn’t say, yep, here’s the calendar for today.

[00:35:39] Boom, boom, boom, all done well. And with clarity and focus and efficiency, boom, right? So you cannot improve. What you do not measure.

[00:35:48] Jeff Sieh: That is really good. And man, I could dive into this, but I want to get into this next section, uh, uh, really quickly, but I want to do, uh, once again, a shout out to our sponsor of the show, Ecamm. You can find out more about them at ecamm. com forward slash Jeff, use code Jeff15 to save 15 percent on your first purchase.

[00:36:04] Um, we talked about this in the mastermind last night and This is something that I wish I would have done earlier. Um, I think it’s a big struggle from people I’ve seen in the chat because a lot of us are solopreneurs. A lot of it is we don’t want to give up control. Uh, there’s a lot of things that, that come into play when you’re trying to build a team.

[00:36:22] So, Connor, I’ll let you take this first question because I know this is super important to you as well.

[00:36:26] Conor Brown: I think this is super important to everyone watching right now. Uh, Chris, I would, I would guess that, uh, when someone comes to you looking to start building their team, uh, a good advice would be they should have started this a year ago or six months ago or whatever it is. It seems probably like people who get to that point, they’re just finally, Exhausted, right?

[00:36:45] They, they need a team, but they really needed to do it so much longer ago, but they didn’t want to give up control or they were worried about setting it up or they worried about finding the right people. So when do you think is the right time for an entrepreneur or solopreneur or whatever to start building their team and, and what are those kind of initial steps to get it going?

[00:37:06] for

[00:37:11] Kris Ward: of one, right? It’s, it’s how it’s set up. And what I would say to you is hiring is a whole thing on its own. And so when, you know, this is something I’ve been working on for a really long time. We have a 12 point hiring process with a 90 percent retention rate.

[00:37:25] This is not something when you finally say, okay, this is enough. I’ve burned, I went through my burnout budget and now I can’t do this anymore. And so I’m going to run off and hire somebody in between carrying this to do list and all the other things that I’m inefficient at. Right? So what you want to do is you want to think about hiring somebody the moment you would like to make more money and work less hours.

[00:37:49] Right? Because you are your most, we talk about the three D’s, damaging overhead, delayed income, diminished opportunity. Damaging overhead is you. Whatever it is that you could sell your services for, let’s say it’s a hundred bucks for something. The fact that you are not focused on bringing in that hundred bucks, doing what you need to do to get that next client means you’re charging that to your company.

[00:38:12] So you are the most powerful, damaging overhead. You’re messing around with these tasks that you should be bringing in your revenue, right? Then there is delayed income. What about that client you got in June that you could have had in January? How much did that cost you? And what if they referred you to one person?

[00:38:31] And then there’s diminished opportunity. And that’s the most painful of all. When they say, Oh my gosh, Connor, I wish I knew you did this. I just locked in with somebody like, you know, I didn’t know, right. The lifetime value of that customer. It’s huge. So I hear all the time from people that more. I think people are smart enough to know it’s not about giving up control, but they always think their business is unique, right?

[00:38:56] And that once they get past this next thing, if you hear yourself say, once I get past this next thing, ding, ding, ding, ding, that’s an alarm because there is always that next thing. So I had a client and she was a designer and she said, Chris, Yes, I know there’s other designers, but my specialty is often people have too much furniture in the room.

[00:39:12] I just go in, I see stuff. It’s a gift. I can’t get help. So we looked at her workflow and she spent about two hours, two hours and 20 minutes with the client. There is always pre and post work. I don’t care what magic you do. I don’t care if you’re a brain surgeon, there’s always pre and post work. So we looked at her work and we started to realize not all those forms need to be done.

[00:39:34] Not everything needs to be done when she was there. So we started to break this down and we got our virtual assistant, we did all these things, and then we got her appointments down to on average from 40 to 65 minutes. Well, now she stacks all her morning appointments. Now she’s doing all these big events, emceeing like home garden channel network things with big hub nubs in her industry.

[00:39:57] Like it’s a huge deal. And she said, Chris, not in a million years would I’ve ever had the brainpower or the space on my calendar. I just ran from appointment appointment for 15 years. So it’s not about control. It’s you always think. That, Hey, I’m the only one that can do this because it’s my specialty, but your specialty is swollen up to include a lot of admin that you don’t need to do.

[00:40:19] I

[00:40:19] Jeff Sieh: So, Chris, I know, I know what people are thinking. They’re thinking, okay, this is great. You know, Chris, that you can build a team and like all this stuff, but building a team takes cash flow, right? So how do you manage like, okay, I built this team, but then like you lose a client like the churn around cash flow and scaling the companies.

[00:40:40] Like what are some strategies that you found to be, you know, effective? Because I know that’s a big thing is like, you know, I can either pay myself a little more or I could buy, get a VA. And that’s a struggle for a lot of people. Like they’re like, I, you know, I’ve been sacrificing for so long. I just want to, I want to take that vacation or I could hire a VA.

[00:41:00] You know what I’m saying? So what do you tell people like that when they’re, they’re struggling with

[00:41:03] Kris Ward: think it’s, I don’t think it’s or, I think it’s a because. So what I would say, first of all, we live in a magical time, right? You can get extremely high Go to my website, www. ecamm. com, and I’ll see you there. us and our leadership program, everything we’ve set up. And they’re like, this is not Chris.

[00:41:36] I’m paying this person five, six bucks an hour that they did such an amazing job. I would have been prepared to pay the 50. I would have kept the last person if they were this good. Right? And so that, and also, I don’t care if you’re a millionaire. When you start working with us. You’re not set up yet. It takes a little bit of time so that you can stop running around with your hair on fire or your beard in your case, Jeff, right?

[00:41:59] And what I would say to you is we’re also, we always start off slow part time hours. So you might be looking at somebody 10, 15, 20 hours a week for a little while, and You’re looking at like a hundred bucks a week. You’re spending that on coffee. And every single one of my clients would say that pays for itself because you get all this noise out of your way and you get onto the stuff that really brings in your revenue.

[00:42:22] That next And also the thing that actually is why you started this business, because really being an entrepreneur is about getting ideas to execution. That’s it. Anybody you have professional jealousy about you, they’re crushing it. It’s because you’re just getting their ideas to the marketplace quicker.

[00:42:38] That’s it. So it’s really pays for itself. And because you have a team, which again is a philosophy, not a number, be one person. That story I told you about Christine, In Costa Rica, that she had one person, right? So because you have them, then you can go on vacation and then you can pay yourself more.

[00:42:59] Jeff Sieh: That’s really good.

[00:43:00] Conor Brown: Yeah,

[00:43:01] Jeff Sieh: I’m going to take a vacation.

[00:43:04] Conor Brown: I take vacations all the time, but

[00:43:06] Kris Ward: It’s a game changer. It breaks my heart. Your business should support your life, not consume it. You know, and I’m not, let me tell you where this all started, Jeff, if you want, because I think it would resonate with people. Then they understand. Cause I think when you look at someone and you think, Oh, she’s just annoying.

[00:43:22] Organized. Like who wants a part of that? Right. It’s like those people that are just fit and like, Hey, whatever I want. Okay. You need to find new friends because I can’t

[00:43:30] Jeff Sieh: That’s

[00:43:30] Kris Ward: Right. So,

[00:43:31] Jeff Sieh: Yeah.

[00:43:34] Kris Ward: business 14 plus years ago, my focus was on market messaging and I worked insane hours when I started.

[00:43:40] My husband said I was always stealing from sleep, getting up earlier and earlier, staying later and later. About the two year mark, I was told I was losing a little bit of my charm, right? Apparently if you’re exhausted for two years, you’re not as fun as you used to be, right? So I literally went from working 16 hours a day down to six.

[00:43:56] Now that did not happen overnight. That’s a whole story on its own. But luckily I did because just a couple of years after that, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer and I was pulled away from the business for about two years. When I returned after his passing, my existing clients had no idea of my absence.

[00:44:14] It was just not how we navigated his journey. We were very positive in nature, right? Local business community, nobody knew, right? And so they started to say to me like, how could we have not known? And if you could do that, maybe you could help me start spending time with my friends and family and get to that kid’s soccer game.

[00:44:31] Like this is crazy. And so we started working with them under that capacity. And I realized so many of them looked like me. Good on paper, they had accolades, they’d been in the business a while, they were making money, but they were just still working way too many hours for where they were in this journey.

[00:44:45] And what I would say to you is if you take the emotion out of my story, I also lost an income. So if I had to come back and now look for a job, be charming in an interview and learn a new position, I did not have the headspace for that after losing my best friend. So life has interruptions. Your business should support your life, not consume it because things do happen.

[00:45:08] And if the moment you have an interruption, you’re at risk. Oh my gosh. Gosh, all the years and the heartache and stuff you put into this and how vulnerable you are and who wants to live like that. So I’m incredibly passionate about what I speak about is getting this freedom. This whole idea of grinding it out is ridiculous.

[00:45:29] And I would also argue so often you hear all these grinding out stories and, Oh, and you know, when I started my business, I worked all these crazy hours. If you listen to the story, the story takes a turn when they cross that bridge and they start systematizing and they have a team. That, that stuff in, in the grinding it out and gutting it out, that’s the pain point.

[00:45:52] That’s not how they created this business. But that’s the part they celebrate because they’re trying to make a hero’s journey out of a, And so they never talk about the bridge when things turned around for them. It’s because they did work less hours and they got more productive and they streamlined things.

[00:46:09] That’s the sweet spot. That’s the story. And no one talks about that. And that’s why I go on like a crazy person is because we’ve all been lied to, misinformed, and this is where it’s at.

[00:46:20] Conor Brown: there was one thing you said in there that just like a light bulb went off for me too. It’s when you see the people that are crushing it, it’s not that they’re doing anything better than you in a sense, but it’s just that they’re getting their idea to market first. And that’s so true. And it could be because you have so much on your plate and you’re not delegating or whatever it might be.

[00:46:38] But taking your business and accelerating it seems like A team, again, not a number, but, but a word could be one can help you get to that point. And. Amanda brings up this great point. Like we talk about how much it might cost a VA, like five, 6 an hour or more, whatever it might be, but there’s still a cost associated with that.

[00:47:00] And knowing that, is it going to be good ROI on it? So Amanda says as a part time solopreneur. Who is just starting to generate income, who also has a full time job. My struggle is justifying that investment in a VA, but I do need help to meet my next growth goals. And Amanda is not a unique situation. You know, she’s accomplished so much.

[00:47:22] I’ve been following her since the start. She has a full time job. She’s doing this thing on the side by herself. She’s starting to just bring in money. What would you say to Amanda looking to maybe start taking that next step? Investment. Sounds

[00:47:45] Kris Ward: well, I got a bicycle and now I’m saying, should I invest in a car? Well, the package is I can deliver 10 a day, but if I had a car and it’s probably a really bad analogy, because let’s say the car is actually cheaper than the bicycle.

[00:47:59] So now I’m like, do I invest in a car and I can deliver a hundred packages a day? Like, so what I would say is, Yeah. So Amanda, more than anybody needs this because she’s already putting in a full day. So she’s got very little time to get stuff done. So what about when her VA is doing all this stuff? And then she shows up tonight at six o’clock to start doing her three, four, six hours and everything’s prepped for her.

[00:48:20] So she gets to the next place faster. And again, we’re talking like five, six bucks an hour. I mean, this is coffee money for most. I’m not minimizing the expense, but whatever you must be charging more than five bucks an hour for your services, Amanda, you know, so what I’m saying is it pays for itself right away.

[00:48:39] I can’t stress that enough. My clients will tell you that over and over again. I have one video, uh, clipping from a session and she said, Chris, And one day she paid for herself for the year. There was all these things in LinkedIn that had been neglected. And she just went through and set up a couple appointments.

[00:48:55] And this woman got this contract from this, you know, a DM that was like, I don’t know, eight weeks old. And they got this huge contract for the year. She said, this VA paid for herself. It’s done. Like, you know, it’s crazy. And, and, and you may think, Oh, that’s not my business. I don’t have these big contracts in the DMs.

[00:49:12] I check every day, but there’s stuff everywhere being missed, being overlooked because you’re just running yourself ragged. And you, you cannot also be good at all these different things. The other thing makes me a little crazy. Cause there’s a lot of crazy in here. is when people ask for carbon, I need a carbon copy of me.

[00:49:31] No, you don’t. You need people with all your, you know, weaknesses. You, you got your zone of genius. You just are, you’ve diluted it. Think of it like taking a glass of water. I can take a sip of it. I can water plant. I can clean the table. I can do so much with that glass of water. But when I spill it over in the floor. There’s your energy. It’s really not about time management. It’s about energy management.

[00:49:55] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. Amanda says, Oh, she goes, Oh, I have a laundry list of things that I can give a VA. No question. Um,

[00:50:00] Conor Brown: think with energy management, like, it’s just relieving you of stress, right? And there’s also this notion, like, this isn’t forever, like, you can hire a VA now and if it works out great and it’s great ROI, awesome, but you’re not signing up for 10 years of your life to be paying this person for 10 years, right?

[00:50:19] So people can just try it out, right, Chris? Like.

[00:50:22] Kris Ward: That’s another beauty of it. You’re not bound by the legalities of hiring somebody and you know, that they’re an official employee, depending on what part of the world you live in. There’s all these criterias to an employee that in order to, even when they’re not doing their job, you have to follow protocol and do all these warnings and have, you know, justified reason for firing them.

[00:50:41] You can just have a contract VA. And try it and you test the waters and you’re like, this is great. And then you renew, like you just keep going or you don’t, you know? And so, I mean, it just can’t, it can’t get better than this. It just really can’t.

[00:50:55] Jeff Sieh: so one of the things is, uh, I know that, that took my business to the next level is one, you know, when I had Shannon start doing help me with podcasts, then I was able to hire my daughter. I did some, uh, VA work or help me with videos. And then I hired my daughter to do that. And so it almost gets to this thing.

[00:51:11] Like you can’t wait to grow, to hire another person because you see how that kind of. Um, what I haven’t really seen is you know, a lot of people constantly, you know, ups your company. You know, gets that flywheel like we talked about. Keeps spinning faster and faster. Um, the other thing, and you mentioned, you know, what sometimes the gurus say Chris is, you know, they’re like, I made six figures by doing this well, it took five figures to get where you’re at.

[00:51:32] Like really, like when you figure your team in and all that stuff. So I have a little bit of problem when people like humble bragging on the interwebs. Our friend Rich says, um, from Addicted2Dirt says, I like Amanda’s point and question. I’ve had the same feelings and dilemma. I’ve gotten some help, but it feels like a fine line to walk.

[00:51:50] Expense versus reward. So what would you tell Rich there, Chris?

[00:51:55] Kris Ward: Two really powerful things. So when you talked about hiring Shannon, Jeff, here’s the other thing that nobody talks about is when you do have staff. Even still, you sometimes, let’s say Amanda or Shannon is managing this podcast, and then there’s other elements to this podcast that probably, I hate to use the word, are beneath her skill set or what you’re paying her for, but somebody has to do them, so she might as well do them.

[00:52:19] Right? Um, so let’s say, here’s a better example. Maybe you have a video editor and they’re highly skilled, but they still have to prep the video. If you bring in a virtual assistant of some sort, they could be doing the prep work or doing things off different, like I work with teams that have bigger teams as well, and they bring in a VA to sort of take the pre and post work off the other people on their team.

[00:52:40] It gives them more job satisfaction, and then they’re getting better bang for their buck on that person. Right? Does that make sense? Am I clear there? So what I would say when that fine line of risk and reward, I would say your setup is probably not effective. When you think, Oh, do I hire or I have hired in the past, I’m not sure of the return on my investment.

[00:53:00] I think it really lends itself to you’re running meetings, not scrums. You’re using SOPs, not super toolkits. And you’re not using your calendar effectively. You’re running your business off its do list. So a VA will just be a beautiful addition to a well oiled machine, but this is not the 50s where Ethel, who knows, you know, the, your husband’s secretary knows where your keys are.

[00:53:23] And it’s like his wife work and he runs around, she cleans up after him. That’s where it goes wrong. You’ve turned these into tasks. You’re actually trying to have them manage you and they can’t parent up. That’s another whole thing we talk about in our leadership program is the corporate world is very parentified.

[00:53:40] And so often people will delegate work, which is very time consuming because the work still has to come through you. And then they look at their work like a parent or a teacher, the way the corporate world does. And that takes extra time. We’re the super toolkits in our leadership program. All the things we do eliminate that because if you were really good at sales, Connor, and you were in a corporate job and they said, you’re so good, we’re going to make you the sales manager.

[00:54:05] What’s the first thing you would do? You’d stop doing sales. You’d be managing the team. And we don’t have that space in the entrepreneurial world. That’s not what we want to do. We want to get to the real work. And so these things where the, if you feel you’re not getting return on your investment, I would just say you’re the choking point and the set up.

[00:54:30] Jeff Sieh: Wow. This has been so good, and we have a whole nother section that we’re not gonna be able to get to. Would you do me a favor, my friends? I don’t ask for this a lot, but would you share this out? Uh, especially when it comes out on a podcast, but you can share this link out because I thought there was so much good stuff.

[00:54:44] Uh, that Chris gave us today, and, and make sure that you, um, you know, go to all her stuff, and we’re gonna give her a chance to talk about that, but if you would share that out, that would help, and I think we should have her on the show again. Uh, let me know in the comments, because she’s such, she gave so much great things today.

[00:54:57] Uh, Chris, I want to give you plenty of time to tell people, you know, where to get your book, where to find out more about you, all the stuff that you’re going, that you have going on. Uh, tell us where we can, we can find out all that stuff.

[00:55:07] Kris Ward: You know what? Tell me anywhere that you heard me on this fantastic show and we will become best of business buddies. Um, I hang out a lot on LinkedIn. I tried to show my, you know, give my support there to anyone that will pay attention to me. And yeah, you can check out free gift. Free gift GIFT from chris.

[00:55:26] com and I put a little goodie in there for you Amazing listeners because Jeff I know he’s a quality man. So I wanted to make sure that we had something good in there So it’s the audio version of my book grab it quickly won’t be there too long But you can get a free audio version of my book and there you go Free gift from chris.

[00:55:42] com.

[00:55:43] Jeff Sieh: We’ve got, uh, people who are saying they would love to have Chris on the Small Business Matters podcast. So, uh, that’s Gary Stockton. Make sure you go and connect with Gary ’cause he is got a quality podcast as well.

[00:55:53] So Chris, I’ll make sure that you talk to Gary Stockton ’cause he is amazing. Thank you guys so much for this show. Uh, thank you so much for watching in your comments.

[00:56:00] Conor Brown: Yeah, put up, put up the, uh, oh yeah. So

[00:56:02] Jeff Sieh: remember you can go to. To win a, uh, a free ticket to Ecamm at jeffsieh. com forward slash win, and the secret code for today is 3H3WXX.

[00:56:13] H, that’s three h, three WXH. That will give you a ton of more entries, uh, to have a chance to win the ticket to the amazing, uh, camp, uh, creator camp. So if you want to go do that, three h three WXH. And with that, I think Chris, I think Gary. I think Connor. Connor, where can people find out more about you?

[00:56:31] Conor Brown: go to vacationkingdoms. com to learn more about me and we’ll see you on the next show. Hopefully Jeff will be able to join us. So

[00:56:37] Jeff Sieh: Connor, what do you got going on in here? Like, what do you do? Like, what can you do? Summer’s coming up.

[00:56:40] Vacations are coming up. What do, what vacation

[00:56:42] Conor Brown: are coming up? If you wanna plan a Disney World, universal Orlando, Disney Cruise Line vacation, uh, you want to check out all of my stuff. I have new podcasts, launching new blogs, launching, um, so much new stuff. Go over to vacation kingdoms.com to learn all about that and follow me at Vacation Kingdoms across the social medias.

[00:57:00] Jeff Sieh: Alright guys, thank you so much again for watching. Thank you, Chris, for being such a great guest, and we will talk to you guys next time. Bye everybody.

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