I love this time of year. I love perusing the blogosphere as everyone starts publishing posts about how their year went. I love the introspection. We're so go-go-go that we never take the time to reflect. That makes this time of year that much more important. I stumbled onto Curtis McHales' post about 10x-ing your business and I wanted to unpack the message a little more.
It's Easier to 10x Than 2x
The core message of his post is that it's much easier to 10X your business rather than 2X. And that makes sense to me. When you try to 2X something you look at doing the same thing but doing more of it or doing it harder. Unfortunately working harder is harder than it seems. It's like saying “I'm going to workout more” as a New Year's resolution without setting any sort of parameters. You might be motivated for a few weeks but then that enthusiasm dissipates. And then you stop going to the gym and nothing changes.
Instead think about changing your business entirely and dedicating yourself to it.
Change Old Things
I currently manage 10 premium plugins which takes up quite a bit of time. Most of the revenue comes from four of these plugins with the other six of them making money but not being the best use of my time. What if I sold those bottom six? Then I'd had more time to focus on the top performing plugins and make them even better.
Worst case scenario I don't do anything and I make 80% of what I did last year. As a worst case scenario that's not that bad.
Try New Things
Try to think of ways to revolutionize your business. If it doesn't radically change the way you're already working it probably won't make that much of a difference.
Try new things. Even if they don't work. I could better spend that time writing a book, creating a membership site, affiliate marketing, or producing a Lynda.com course. I won't really know how well they'll work till I try them.
This year I tried some affiliate marketing and I learned a valuable lesson. You can't half ass affiliate marketing. You can't write one or two posts a year and expect to get traffic. I now have the opportunity to revamp how I do affiliate marketing or cut it out completely.
How I'm Going to Improve My Business
I have a secret weapon that most business owners don't have and that's my full time job. That means that anything I do outside of my job has to fit in a couple hours at night or on the weekends. And you know what? It's a huge advantage because I don't waste my time on small opportunities.
If I was a freelancer I might value my time at $100/hr. But I'm not a freelancer and because I'm divvying up those very few hours in the evening it's probably closer to $400/hr. I'm not magically providing four times the value. That's how much those evening hours are worth to me. Could I make more money with affiliate marketing? Yes absolutely. Is it going to be worth $400/hr? Nope. Not gonna bother. I'll wait until a better opportunity comes my way.
When you're looking at your own business I encourage you to let the small opportunities go. There are opportunities everywhere and if you can wait for the good ones you'll be 10x better off.