While it might not be one of the most exciting topics in the world at first, knowing how to increase productivity – and income – doesn’t have to be boring.
Today I was reminded of one of my favourite videos, from the late, great Andy Jenkins.
Andy Jenkins was a seasoned digital marketer and entrepreneur, widely recognised for his influence in shaping the landscape of the online business world. He had a wealth of experience and a knack for innovation, as well as a wicked sense of humour and a heart of gold.
In this video below – Personal Productivity. The Most Boring Subject in the World – Andy gives a great explanation of the common loop many entrepreneurs fall into when trying to progress with their business.
I love his emphasis on the importance of focusing on execution and creating systems to avoid getting stuck in endless research and decision-making processes. This is such a game-changer if you want to increase productivity. Real productivity, that is… the stuff that achieves outcomes.
Watch this video today and then see where you can start applying this strategy in your business:
“So in this video, a little change of pace. Instead of talking about some “amazing secret” that you must know in order to survive today, we’re going to talk about the most boring subject in the world. Yay.
Yes, and what I’m talking about is productivity. In fact, productivity ranks right up there with root canal and income tax in terms of its sheer sexiness. So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to talk about different types of productivity today, because one type of productivity is simply not boring enough.
But here’s the thing, in all seriousness… if you don’t have the right productivity working in your business or in your daily life, the fact is you’re probably a sad, sad puppy with very little zeros attached to the number that’s in your bank account.
So let’s talk about productivity.
You excited now?
Up here on my board, I have something that looks probably very similar to Wheel of Fortune, and that’s on purpose.
What I’d like to do is help you unlock these vowels to discover the secret of infinite wealth and riches.
Up here we have our very typical and in fact, common type of process that most people like you or I, go through.
And down here we have a different type of process, which looks far more complicated and scattered.
So what we’re going to do is we’re going to fill out these processes and you’re going to be able to determine which one that you want to embrace. Okay?
Let’s just start from the beginning. See right here we have something called VISION.
Yes, vision. Folks, this is usually something, believe it or not, that you get when you wake up in the middle of the night and decide, “You know what? I’m going to do that thing that I’ve always wanted to do.
More often, however, it comes from you looking at a series of sales videos or sales letters that describes somebody else’s vision and give you the desire – nayyy the need… the want and need – to fulfill their vision.
So what happens next?
Let’s say that you decide that you are going to publish the best training course of all time based on some information that you have locked up in your head.
What usually happens after the vision stage?
Normally what happens is you go through this stage, and this is where we get to play Wheel of DIS-Fortune.
What’s one of the first things that we do?
Well, we determine how we’re going to create our product. So let’s just put a big C here for Create.
So what does that mean exactly?
Are we going to write a book?
Are we going to do an audio program?
Are we going to do video tutorials?
Are we going to have a membership site?
Are we going to do some sort of live event, a webinar, perhaps a Google Hangout?
Are we going to use a Canon camera?
Are we going to shoot this on an iPhone?
Are we going to use a U S B headset mic?
Are we going to use our webcam mic?
Are we going to be on camera at all?
Are we going to have a studio?
Are we going to draw on a whiteboard?“
The Rabbit Holes
“And so what happens is, we start to go down these little rabbit holes, you know, just like a little rabbit (that’ll be a frame grab on Facebook before long!)
But the problem is we get caught in this loop and we end up back in the same place that we started, not knowing exactly what we’re going to do.
And that’s just the beginning. Then what happens is we spend time trying to figure out, oh, I don’t know… what our shopping cart is going to be.
So are we going to use one automation whiz?
Are we going to use office autopilot?
Are we going to use Infusionsoft?
Or are we going to use PayPal?
And then we start doing research.
That’s right, research. We start searching the Google for reviews… Office Autopilot reviews, One Automation Whizz reviews, and then we find ourselves in forums.
And what happens when we find ourselves in forums? We see it a little link and a signature of somebody that’s posted a review about a competitive product. Now we add that competitive product to our list of things that we need to research.
And of course, when we click on that link, we go to a page and then what do we see up on that page?
Bam, the little “3,000 other people like this” Facebook icon. And then we remember, “Oh my God, I haven’t checked Facebook in nearly 16 minutes!”
So we run over to Facebook. First of all, we check our wall to make sure nobody’s posting anything derogatory about us. And then we go and check our newsfeed, and then we check our messages.
How many new friend requests do we have?
“Oh my goodness, it’s time to check my email again. I haven’t checked that in seven minutes.”
So I go and I check my email and I get an email from somebody that reminds me that there’s some sort of Twitter activity out there.
So I go to Twitter and take a look at Twitter and look at that stream.
“Oh my goodness, that person just said something really cool. I’m going to go look at that.”
And it’s for great t-shirts. Then of course, we haven’t even delved into things like autoresponders. Yes, because you know, we have to be able to send email. (Speaking of email, time to check my email again.)
What about content management systems?
Well, at this point, I think it’s safe to say that we can all just use WordPress and be done with it.
But what about the WordPress theme that we’re going to use?
How are we going to secure our content?
Are we going to use Digital Access Pass?
Are we going to use Kajabi? aMember? WishList?
Now that we’ve got CMS in another loop… and a loop… and a loop, and during this time we’ve managed to check our email 18 times, what do we do next?
Well, what about marketing? Yes, that’s right.
What kind of marketing are we going to do?
Are we going to make a sales video?
Is it going to be an ugly sales video?
Is it going to be a sales video that has pictures?
Are we going to make a sales video that has me on camera? Me against a white background… a whiteboard… a green screen?
Am I going to do a product launch?
Am I going to do a single campaign?
Is there going to be a squeeze page?
What is my freemium going to be?
Am I going to have a lead magnet?
Oh, that’s right, a squeeze page. So what kind of squeeze page technology are we going to use?
Is it going to be a video squeeze page… a tech squeeze page?
Are we going to do a survey?
Are we going to do a light box?
Is there going to be an exit popup?
What is the exit popup going to say?
Speaking of figuring that out, what about our conversion testing and tracking metrics?
So are we going to use Visual Website Optimizer?
Are we going to use Convert.com?
Are we going to use Google Analytics?
What does it all mean?!
See, here’s the problem. What happens is that we, as a culture, are conditioned to do this extraordinarily well. In fact, if you’ve ever had a job or even gone to school, one of the things that you may not know is that the people that are in those institutions are conditioned to work the process. They’re conditioned to work on the grind.
See, in your company, when’s the last time they asked you to really get behind an overall corporate goal?
No, really, for you, you’ve done your job well or not well, if you have it at the end of the day. And I don’t know anybody watching this video who’s ever done their job really well and not had their job at the end of the day.
The fact is you don’t really have much of investment in this outcome. You are more conditioned to do this when you’re employed. You’re more conditioned to do this when you’re in school. It’s only when you become a full fledged entrepreneur that you become invested only in the outcome.
The outcome is all that matters, and it is the driving force.
What normally happens is somebody who is trying to make the transition to some sort of full-time online, or even offline, entrepreneurial business growth is they spend most of their time right here. And this outcome for them is yes or no. It’s either a win or a not win.
You see, that’s the problem. When we’ve got either a success or failure after we’ve spent all this time putting together our shopping cart and our landing pages and our autoresponder, we have very little patience for whether it’s going to work or not.
You know, a good friend of mine, Matt Trainor, once said, “We get sick of our own shit quick”… and then he set that to music.
So then what happens?
We go back into the searching for a new vision, and then while we’re searching for that new vision, what happens?
Another product launch.
And that product launch, once again, reignites our vision for us to have something different… for us to have a purpose. So we go back to our vision stage and we start over in this loop again.
Okay, so that sucks, right? Here’s the difference between people that are caught up in these endless loops and people that actually get stuff done.
This is a successful entrepreneur, whether they’re online or offline. And you see what happens is this part right here, and I’m going to just lean off camera, this is all the vision that they need because they understand that vision, unless it is manifest in some sort of activity, is going to do nothing.”
What’s The Alternative?
“Instead of going through this long loop of endless research and email checking, all of these things are stuffed into something that they call A SYSTEM.
It’s the thing that’s going to get them to the most important part of their activity – EXECUTION.
None of the shopping carts are perfect, guys. None of them are. I’ve tried them all. But you know what? They’re all really good at getting the money.
None of the autoresponder systems are perfect, but you know what? They’re really, really good at sending email and capturing email.
In fact, none of the creation systems here are perfect either. Some of you are probably wondering what this little doodad on my chest is right now. Because I didn’t feel like breaking out my big fancy camera, this is a transmitter to a device called a swivel that is using my iPhone to shoot this video.
Yes, that’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The person well known for having lots of fancy gear and you know, doing, I don’t know, feature films, is using an iPhone to bring this video to you.
None of it’s perfect.
None of it’s perfect, but it gets the job done and it can be replaced later. So instead of stressing over whether or not it’s the best thing, we put it into a system because we know it’s the thing that will get us to execution.
So look at the difference. See the same block that we spend time up here doing research and analysis and becoming paralyzed down here, we’re spending that time executing, then we execute, and then we optimise that execution.
We take a look at what happened and we try to make it better. So what we do is we establish a PC or performance control, then we execute again. And then we’re going to optimize, because what we want to do now is introduce some variables… some split tests.
Let’s test the headline. Let’s test the colors, let’s test the price point…
So we execute on that, and then we’re going to optimise now so that we can start to scale.
Let’s try different traffic sources. People ask me, “What’s the best place to get traffic?”
It’s the place where you can get it on demand, whether it’s Facebook or AdWords, any form of PPC, retargeting.
Whatever it is, here’s what you need to know:
a) It’s going to react to different messages in a different way; and
b) You’re always going to be testing it.
Bottom line, there is no dirty little secret about traffic. The dirty little secret is try to get a lot of it as cheap as possible, that gets you the most money as a result of using it. So we start to scale it. We go beyond our Facebook ads. We start to do pay-per-click ads. And we start to do retargeting, which is tricky.
So maybe what we’ll do is get into another little performance control and versioning loop for that so we can optimise the best message for that. And then we optimise that until we do something called a rollout. And then we roll out wide, we make this permanent.
After we do our final execution of our rollout, we have now integrated that into our business. That’s the last step.
It now becomes a permanent funnel in our business.
And as a result of that, we have something called LEVERAGE.
That’s right, folks, because if we can turn this into a profitable funnel, this allows us to then once again return to our vision stage so that we can build another system to do it again, larger, with something else.
Look, they say that the key to productivity is getting things done. I disagree.”
The Key To Productivity
I think the key to productivity is doing less things.
We don’t want to spend time here in this system area. It’s rote. It’s known. It’s like stressing over what kind of tyres you should put on your car. Get the good ones. It’s like stressing over whether or not you’re going to have pizza or macaroni and cheese. Boy, rough life.
You have to get past these decisions, which will have no fundamental impact on whether or not you are able to make money or lose money with a vision.
So take some advice from me and everybody that has ever made a bunch of money in their business: get to the leverage point as fast as possible because we’ll take that and we’ll either put it in our pocket and go on and have a rich and fun and exciting life, or we’ll put it back into a business to create a new vision and new system so that we can go on doing the things that we’re good at, which is building cool stuff.
So I hope this video wasn’t too boring for you and that you got something good out of it. And maybe you’ll take a minute to think about what you’re doing right now in order to get to the leverage point in your business.
So now, somewhere around this page, depending on which service you’re watching it at – and whether it’s Facebook or Google, or maybe you’re watching this on my blog – there are probably some links or maybe an even an annotation that will take you to some more resources about productivity. I highly recommend them. Not exactly sure what’s there. I’ll make that up after I’m done editing this video. So guys, thanks so much and I will see you in the next one of these. Bye.”
The Tool To Do It All:
One of my favourite business tools that helps me to increase productivity, and stop going through the endless loops Andy talks about above, is KartraTM.
KartraTM is a software suite created by Andy and his team to help overcome many of the questions outlined in this post. Instead of trying to research all the different tools you need to run your business, KartraTM does it all. (Or most of what you’ll need at least.)
You can get a 14-day free trial of this software or check out my detailed review of it here.
(NB: This is an affiliate link. So if you invest in this software from my referral, I may receive a commission. But either way, I recommend it because I love it and know it might help you, too.)
There’s a small learning curve, as with any new software. But they’ve made it as easy as possible so you can get moving and into the execute and optimise phases as quickly as possible. 🙂