- Blogging for Hippo
- Schedule Sales with WooCommerce
- The Problem with Focus
- Give Thanks
- Be Thankful for the People Who Inspire You
- Give Yourself Space
- Build Resources From Support
- How Hard Can Membership Be?
- Adding Social Media Icons to WooCommerce Product Pages
- How to Export WooCommerce Subscriptions
- Upgrade Your Contact Form With Ninja Forms
- Why I Write
- Blog Comments Policy
- Content Marketing Works – Even with Furnace Filters
- Making Email from Your Website More Reliable with Email Delivery Tools
- A Happiness Podcast?
- Podcast Compensation
- Wishlists Done Right
- Enable Free Shipping on a Per Product Basis
- Improve Your Writing with the Hemingway Editor
- Tell Users What You're Doing
- 2014 Business Review
- Mind Your Own Business
- Think Different to 10x Your Business
- Let Projects Die
- Maximize Your Creative Energy
- Use Git Bisect to Find Bugs in Your Codebase
- My Personal Value of Remote Work
- Don't Spam Email Receipts
- Make Your Own Luck
- Cold Showers and the Power of Challenges
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.
I really like the idea of dropping the bottom performing plugins. At the very least it would free up any support time for them and give you time to build another top performing plugin.
Great insight here! A lot of freelancers get caught up in the “feast or famine” mode of freelance and are willing to take on any job even when it’s not right for them. Some jobs you need to have to pay the bills but sometimes holding out for a better opportunity can do wonders for your sanity. If you do 2 small jobs, for example, in that time, you could have done a bit more business development and landed one that pays 10 times as much as those 2 smaller ones did.
That also reminds me of back when I worked for someone else, my boss would take on virtually anything if he could make a buck on it, even if it wasn’t in our core competency. One of our potential clients had an ASP.net based website and they needed some additional programming done on it. Like other PHP guys, we did primarily LAMP. I told him point blank I don’t know ASP and we shouldn’t waste our time on it.
He did happen to know somebody that could do the work and wanted to have her do it freelance—so he could take a 50% cut no less—but IIRC client ended up passing on the job and the whole thing just ended up being a huge waste of everyone’s time.
So I guess the TL;DR version of this is be careful what you get yourself into. There’s nothing wrong with leveling up and learning something new but do it for the right reasons. Clients know when you’re faking it.