Ep 72: Eight Ways to Work Less & Earn More
Ep 72: Eight Ways to Work Less & Earn More
In this week’s episode, I’m going to cover eight ways to work less and earn more. It’s a biggie because I don’t know one person who doesn’t want to work less and earn more. Now, my passion is always about training, guiding businesses, and consulting on growth, and how businesses can really focus on maximizing profit. So, let’s get started.
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Here are the highlights from this episode:
(01:34) Planning – hone in on your specific goals for the business
(07:53) Look at what your offer ladder is
(09:55) A sales-first mentality
(15:42) Break the big tasks into manageable chunks
(18:06) Remember why you are doing this
(22:46) Be realistic with your time management
Welcome to Dawn of a New Era, a business and marketing podcast with a difference, ranking in the top 5% globally for people who want to start, scale, and grow their own business. Dawn McGruer shares tips to improve marketing, motivation, and mindset, as well as her own real life challenges and experiences as an entrepreneur. Guests includes some of the world’s most inspiring leaders too. So, if you are an aspiring, established, or serial entrepreneur, this is your go-to podcast to fast track results and rise to meet today’s challenges and master the art of online influence and business success and avoid common pitfalls along the way. Never miss an episode and subscribe and listen at dawnmcgruer.com.
Welcome to episode 72 of Dawn of a New Era, with myself, Dawn McGruer, author and speaker in the world of digital and online marketing. Now, my passion is always about training, about guiding businesses, and consulting on growth, and how businesses can really focus in on maximizing profit. So, in this podcast, I’m going to cover eight ways to work less and earn more. It’s a biggie, because I don’t know one person who doesn’t want to work less and earn more. So, let’s get started.
Planning – hone in on your specific goals for the business
The first one is about planning. I want to talk about planning. I don’t mean just crafting out roughly what you’re going to do, but really, really hone in on looking at what the specific goals are for the business. And be really careful that you’re not just putting goals down that are not going to scale the business. Now, we often call these vanity metrics or vanity goals, because there’s one thing focusing on, planning to grow your audience. There’s one thing planning on, starting a podcast, writing a book, getting more web visitors, getting better email opens, all of those things, or building a list, even on email. But we have to look at what’s going to really move the needle and it will be different for each person.
Now, I would not recommend if someone was really trying to improve, say cash flow and profit into the business, that every single day, they just focus on growing their audience. Why? Well, because these things are nice, but having 10,000 people in your audience is one thing, but having the right people in your audience is a completely other. But are those people going to move quickly? Are they going to be the quickest, fastest way of growing the business and pushing cash into it? Probably not. So, it’s about understanding, when you’re putting a plan together, what are the things specific to where you are at that you need to achieve, and then matching the activity to it.
So, let’s say I had a client who really wanted to get three, four, five new clients on board and it was critical to the sustainability and the cashflow of the business. What would we look at doing? Well, I know that some of the quickest, fastest ways of pushing cash into a business is through things like advertising, but then the business might not have the budget. And then if you were going to look at growing your audience, is this going to immediately turn that person into a customer? Maybe not. So, what could we do? Well, we look at the things we have and we learn from it. So, we look at the proof and we look at the evidence in the business.
So, let’s say you’ve got five clients. Where did the five clients come from and could we do more of that? Could we get the five clients that we have to refer a friend, a colleague, or could we get the people that we’re working with to do some promotion as a referral partner? Could we indeed incentivize or create a campaign for those customers that we currently have for them to spend more, more frequently? So, for me, planning has to be very specific and it has to be based on something that we know about. And certainty is not always going to be true in business, but we have to go from a level of success, and we have to plan to maximize on what we know has worked before. So, I see a lot of plans where people go, “Right, what I want to do is I want to increase our web visitors by 10% in the next 10 months or the 10 days,” whatever it’s going to be, but really, are these things going to be quick?
And often when cashflow is a pressure, it’s very hard for a business owner to think outside of that, because it’s all consuming. I meet so many clients who have got amazing businesses, fantastic products and services. And you may feel that you are one of those, but you are not reaping the results or getting the money into your business that you deserve. And it becomes a bit of a vicious cycle, because if you keep putting the plan together and you start using vanity goals, rather than specific goals that are actually going to move the needle, then you will find it impossible to get past that point. So, when we look at growing and scaling, the planning is the most crucial point. And you may think I’m laboring on this, but honestly, when I look at a business and I look at why it’s not working, it is nine times out of 10 the plan.
The plan is not right. The strategy is not in place. The goal does not obviously align to the tasks that are being carried out or the strategy, so it’s just always going to fall apart. So, it’s always just going to be slightly off. Now, you might be getting some really good results with something. So, if you’re looking to work less and earn more, you might be looking to really ramp things up. Now, it doesn’t go to say that if you double your spend on something, you’re going to get double the results back. Doesn’t always work that way, but we can look at increasing spends and seeing what happens. So, you could do this with advertising. You could look at drawing people into different stages of your sales cycle or into different products and services.
Look at what your offer ladder is
Another thing that I see when people are looking to work less and earn more, is that they’re going through this awful slog of trying to pull people in at the lower levels. Now, there’s a fine line and a balancing point to where this can work. So, if you are a brand new business and you’re thinking, “Right, I need to offer something at 27 pounds,” but you have to be putting a bit of spin behind that to reach a new audience. So, it’s one of those vicious circles again. How would you crack it? Well, you need to be pulling people in at your medium to high ticket before you can do that. And for me, it would be better for someone to have one really solid client that maybe paid 50% of the expenses and then maybe two lower clients. It’s harder to pull in 100 new clients and then scrape past the bills. The effort level is huge.
So, for me, if I was working with the business that cash was the critical part, that they absolutely just wanted to focus on getting stable so that they had everything being paid, they were being paid themselves, then my suggestion would be to look at what your offer ladder is. Now, I’ve done another podcast in one of my other podcasts. So, the episode is actually in Digital Marketing Made Easy. Now, yes, I’m crazy, I have two podcasts. But it makes sense for my brands because I have the digital agency and the academy, Business Consort, that’s totally focused towards digital marketing. And I teach a lot of online marketing strategies within there.
Now, within this podcast, it’s a about marketing, it’s about business, motivation, and mindset. So, we talk a lot more about how the entrepreneur, the marketer, the professional grows in terms of performance, as well as some techniques. Now, an offer ladder is when you look at the different offerings within the business, your different products and services. And let’s just say for argument’s sake, you add a 27 pound thing, a 97 pound thing, and a 297 pound thing. If you try and sell the 27 pound thing versus the 297, and you don’t have cash coming in, it’s going to be difficult. Because you need cashflow to be able to get out to a bigger audience, especially when you’re using ads to get the 27.
So, you would be better having a balance of the 97 and the 297 to make sure everything is paid, everything is ticking along nicely, then move into the 27 because then that’s more about brand awareness, bringing a larger number of people into your world. So, I hope that makes sense. And if it is something you just think, “Oh, I’ve just had an epiphany moment. Yeah, Dawn’s right. I’m slogging away, I’m trying to pull in a 100 people,” just think what you could do to pull in 10 and then think about what you could do to pull in one at the higher level.
A sales-first mentality
So, you could have 10 at 97, is a big difference to 10 at 27, 10 at 297, again is a vast difference. So, you have to really think quite strategically and hone in on the task in hand. Which brings me on to number two, which is a sales-first mentality. And this is about, nothing really matters in business unless you’ve got money coming in. Because the stress that I see people under, the panic, the worry, the sleepless nights, the relationships that are destroyed because of the immense pressure to pay bills, people, themselves, it’s just absolutely crazy. And it’s something that I really, really get upset about, because we’ve all been through the mill as an entrepreneur. There’s no entrepreneur that I know who hasn’t actually experienced that form of pressure in some way. It’s all relative, it’s all different, but people generally have. So, you know what I’m talking about.
So, when you think about sales first, it’s about going into work, thinking about nothing else. Literally, if you’ve got a to-do list, stick it on the floor, put it to the side and just get piece of paper and think, “Right, what would take this pain, this stress, this worry away?” And think really strategically. And I keep saying this, think about how could you move current leads, current inquiries, current customers into a place whereby they would spend more money and they would benefit from your amazing value, your products and services. So, this is about honing in on thinking about, again, what’s been working. What was the persuasive piece of information or thing that I said that got me my last client? What was the key selling point?
And really looking at this and thinking, “Do I have anyone right now who could refer and do I have anyone now who would potentially spend more?” So, it’s about really looking at your offerings and sense-checking the right for your ideal client right now. Because what I’m saying here is, is that consumer behavior and markets change all the time. So, sometimes, your proposition, your products and services need a lot better tweak and maybe slightly different messaging, because something is more relevant now. So, we do on the academy, we have digital marketing qualifications and courses. We have to zhuzh these up all the time to make sure they’re absolutely current.
I mean, the online marketing space as you know, is ever evolving. So, when you have a sales first mentality, you come in and look at what you have and how you can push those current contacts, those current leads, further into becoming a paying customer, and you operate at that level. So, the first thing you do is look at that, you don’t pick up anything else. It’s so tempting to do the trivial work, isn’t it? Like blitz through the to-do lists, get 10 things off of it, but do you know what? Would you not prefer or would your mind not be at more rest if you could just think, “Do you know what? I can’t believe I just rang someone, had a meeting, got a discovery call booked in, did whatever it was going to be to move that person into paying customer.”
It could even be that you look at getting the money in that you’re owed, to take some pressure off. And there’s loads of different opportunities. Quite recently, and it’s a sad factor really, that we’ve had to start using debt collection agencies, because people don’t pay and things like that. You have to be strong as a business owner to think that, “Do you know what? We will go and do whatever we can for our clients,” but then some people just don’t pay. And for a long while, I got really quite obsessed about this, because I was thinking we’ve offered everything, we’ve reached out, what’s going on, and you don’t want to do anything because it feels bad. And you think you put your belief system onto somebody else, and I think this is where you go wrong.
I’ve had to step away and think, “Well, actually, if that is the case, sometimes we’ll have to do it.” So, sales first is about getting the money in you’re owed, looking at where the current money is coming from and where your leads are in your pipeline. So, could you just do a couple of voice messages to these people and really operating at a point where that first 90 minutes of your day is just like sales, sales, sales, money, money, money, focus, focus, focus?
So, number three is about habits. So, this is something that I’m very, very into and it’s like a discipline that I have to live by. So, my habits are, I have three things that I have to do every day. Can’t go past that. If you write a list of 92 things you want to do every day, I guarantee it won’t happen. Three is the magic number for me, three habits I do and three things have to happen, and these three habits are around how I work in my day. So, my first habit is obviously my sales first. Second habit is check in with my plan. Does it still align? Is it pushing towards? Is it working?
And then my third habit brings me on to my next one, which is making sure that I respect my work time. So, I remove distraction. I make sure that number four, when I respect my work time and my work zone, I’m absolutely in the moment. So, I prep, I sit down, I’m focused and I work in 90 minute intervals, then I have a break and then that’s it. For me, I know energetically that, that is my super time. It’s the time that I’m just really focused in on what I’m doing. So, that time is dedicated to achieving my plan, it’s dedicated to making sure my habits happen and my sales first. So, you can see how they’re all interlinked. So, it’s so powerful when you put them together.
Break the big tasks into manageable chunks
Now, number five is about breaking the big things, the big tasks into manageable chunks. So, this is so, so true. So, when you think about, why do we avoid a task? It’s because it feels too big. So, I avoid things like the plague. If they feel insurmountable and I just can’t think about how they’re going to happen, I don’t touch them. So, what I do is I break them into mini chunks and I look at when I have to have it done by. So, I set myself an end goal and then I work back. And how I do that is, I break down all the tasks onto just an A4 piece of paper or I use this amazing stuff, it’s like whiteboard. And it’s a bit like cellophane, it just attaches to the wall. Doesn’t stick and you just pull it on and off. It doesn’t mark the wall at all.
So, if I just map out everything I’ve got to do on that task, and then I start delegating, first of all. So, I think, right, take out all the tasks I can delegate and then I look at what I’ve got left. And then I think, right, if I’ve got to have that all done by this date, when do I have to do them by? So, then I take that task and I break it down into four or five, just little mini chunks, and then I do them bit by bit. And I do the next thing and then the next thing. So, I chunk it down, and by doing this, it’s crazy. We have at the moment, quite a few campaigns, where we’ve got a masterclass that we’re putting out. We just got some amazing bonuses.
Well, just sitting down and thinking what my ideal client really wanted from a bonus and what would just make this offer outstanding. That in itself was quite a big task. So, I just sat down in the afternoon and just blitzed through that, and that was fine. And then I went onto the next bit. So, if you’re doing things sales pages and bonuses, and emails, and oh my goodness, it just feels overwhelmed. So, delegate first then look at what you’ve got left, look at your timeline and just take one of those items and then chunk it down into four or five, even six mini tasks. Do those, tick it off, move to the next. Break that down into five or six mini tasks, onto the next thing. And then you feel super accomplished. Honestly, when you just tick off these mini tasks, it feels so good, rather than just seeing the same thing on your to-do list each and every day.
Remember why you are doing this
Now, number six, remember why you’re doing this? Sales mad does note, but how often are we plugging away, pushing away doing stuff, and we’re thinking, no idea why I’m actually doing this? And this is about reconnecting with your bigger why. So, commercially, if you’re thinking, “Do you know what? I really just want to go on holiday? I want to do this, this and this.” I get a piece of paper or use my magic board on the wall and I pot out what I want to do, and these are the things that I’m doing it for. So, I’m not just running a masterclass for the good of my health, I’m doing it because I want to help people, I enjoy it, but yeah, I want to make some money. So, think about the bigger why.
So, what I do is I have a game board. And I will share this with you over the coming months. My game board, I love it, it looks like a child’s drawing. It literally is a game board. Imagine Snakes and Ladders. I have little playing spaces, and each playing space has a target in it. And for achieving that target, I get to buy something and I get to experience something. And I also have what we call a VIP bonus as well. So, if I achieve more than that target in the square, I get a super duper extra. So, things that I have, I have some gold heeled Dior trainers that I need in my life, number one. And for an experience, I have, going on a retreat in Barbados. Sounds nice, yeah?
So, it gives me a very compelling reason to do these things, because I know that there’s a higher cause, there’s a bigger dream. Yes, I want to leave a legacy. Yes, I want to empower people. Yes, I want to leave my mark on the world. But yes, I want to enjoy my life too. So, you shouldn’t be ashamed of this. And doing a game board is a great way of just bringing back that inner child, the fun, and just making business nice again. And I think sometimes it just becomes a bit too stayed, a bit too boring.
Number seven, simplify. So, avoid the complexity. As soon as you get into complex plans, tasks, things like that, what happens? Oh, my goodness, you stop. And it’s confusion, it’s overwhelmed. It’s like, “Oh, my God, halt, halt, halt. Can’t move forward.” Your mind goes to absolute mush. You’ve no idea what you’re doing and you just walk away and you feel frustrated. Simplify, one thing at a time. Just really focus on what’s going to move the needle in your business. So, one of the things that we wanted to do is we wanted to really focus on looking at an amount of money. So, I’m going to say 50,000 pounds in a month. And I wanted to look at how we could replace doing one thing, switching the business around, and achieve that same money by doing something else.
So, we looked at the products and services and we thought, “Aha, okay, actually, we could switch this and do this. And we could replace that income by doing X, Y, and Z.” So, sometimes, you have to just step back and think, “Right, what’s going to get me to the financial figure that’s going to give me calmness and inner peace quickly? How am I going to get that done?” And you start to map out the process. So, you can’t just think one day someone’s going to come to you and go, “Right, I’m going to pay you 10,000 pounds.” Fortunately it doesn’t work like that. Not always, it could do. But in realistic times, we have think about simplifying it.
So, how do you recruit clients now? How could you push that forward? And what is the product that’s going to move the needle? So, again, it’s going back to this, like looking at your offerings and thinking, well, if you’ve got a 27 and 97 and a 297, and that’s just not moving the needle, you’ve been in business for a while. You’ve got some proven track record. You’ve got some social proof. Well, developing something that’s maybe 997. And then that’s getting one client in as a target, then two clients and so on and so on. So, you can start to see how you have to look at your offerings and then just go to the simplicity.
What things are you going to do each day to maybe get that 997 client? Do you have an online course? Do you have a product of service you offer? Is it a particular thing that people will buy? And really look at how you can use the people in your current world to get that client before you start thinking about the bigger picture. So, again, it’s just like being strategic, looking at what you’ve got, simplifying it down, and just thinking, if I just did this one thing and I could just get one more person, how would I do it? So, remove all the overwhelm. Remove everything else that doesn’t move the needle, take the to-do list, remember, discard it and put it to the side.
Be realistic with your time management
Now, the last one, time, being realistic. I am so guilty of this all the time. What I do is I’m like, “Oh, yeah, so what I’ll do is I’ll just map out that and then I’ll record this and I’ll do this.” And I’m like, “How on earth did I think I was even going to do it?” I did it the other week. I thought I was going to record 10 modules. I mean, craziness. I got through six. So, I did pretty well. But then I was like, “Oh, I’ve not done those four.” So, I had to plug in the time. The next time though, I was realistic. And I have to keep reminding myself, how long does the task take? If it takes this long in my head, double it. Because normally in my head it’s like, “Oh, it’s a simple process.” I’m not putting in any of the challenges or problems that I might have along the way.
So, sometimes I get ideas again when I’m creating, so then it takes me off kilter. I start recording extra bits of modules, which is exactly what I did. Because I was like, “If I was a person doing this course, I’d love to do it this way. I’m just going to go off and do it.” So, for me, I have to have that creative time. So, I have to just clear a day and assume I’ve got half of it recording and half of it for faffing around, planning and being creative and for overcoming any obstacles. So, those are my eight ways. Now, this for me was one of my favorite topics I’ve ever, ever talked about in my podcast, because I think it is just so close to everyone’s hearts, but I need to know what you guys are doing. So, I would love, love, love, love for you to come and connect with me. Come and see me on Instagram at Dawn McGruer. I’m trying to go onto Instagram and literally grow my channel.
I’ve always been a lady on LinkedIn and that is where I’ve grown my audience. Most people are influencers on one channel. So, I’ve got 30,000 connections on LinkedIn, probably about the same in followers, but now is the time for me to shine on Instagram. So, I would love your help and support, and come on over and connect with me on any channel you’d like. And yeah, tell me how you’re doing, and if you’ve managed to move the needle using my eight ways to work less and earn more.
So, join me on the next episode and don’t forget to subscribe to Dawn of a New Era. Take care, speak soon. Thank you for listening to Dawn of a New Era Podcast. And for your free checklist to find out how to boost your business for growth, profit, and success, and join our community, go to dawnmcgruer.com.
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Multi-award-winning speaker, strategist & best-selling author of Dynamic Digital Marketing - Helping to inspire entrepreneurs to rise to meet today’s challenges and be powerfully present to shine online.
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