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Don't worry about selling your skill or time

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Andy Black

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Don't worry about selling your skill or time


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Gosh, there's a lot on. You know what they say? If you want something done, give it to a busy person.

I spoke a couple of days ago about tips I've given to a business person whose revenue had plummeted. My own revenue is at an all time low or not all time but pretty damn low at the minute but I'm okay with that. I feel like I'm taking a dip so I can go higher than I was before.

The way I'm thinking about it is that I've spent a few years and I've acquired a skill that other business owners will pay for - the ability to generate leads. Then I've got good at selling that skill to businesses and getting hired effectively. Now, I'm in stage three, which is I'm scaling that skill. I'm building a team. I'm focusing on specific types of work.

It means I've stopped doing contracts where I'd go on-site for a day a week. September 2014 to September 2015, I'd three contracts where I was going on-site. My revenue was higher than it is at the minute, but I couldn't scale because I was constrained by the number of days in the week.

In September 2015, all those contracts popped in the same week. The reason I have three contracts was to prevent the peaks and troughs. I had a few side gigs, smaller clients at the time and those kept me going a little bit. I had to hustle. I had to hustle and get a few more of those just to pay the mortgage and the rest of it. Now, in October 2016, things are still tight but I'm on the right path. I'm happy I'm on the right path.

(Listen to www.tropicalmba.com/services)

The quickest way to get into business is to sell a service. Sell your skills. Sell your time as well. I know this seems the opposite of creating a business. Go freelance. Be a contractor. Go freelance. You're selling a service. Once you are able to sell a service, get better and better at selling the service and then work out how to scale selling it. Before you know it, you'll have a business instead of creating a job for yourself.

Don't worry about creating a job for yourself. Get out there. Do it. The way to scale will appear.
 

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Lex DeVille

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Don't worry about selling your skill or time


TRANSCRIPTION

Gosh, there's a lot on. You know what they say? If you want something done, give it to a busy person.

I spoke a couple of days ago about tips I've given to a business person whose revenue had plummeted. My own revenue is at an all time low or not all time but pretty damn low at the minute but I'm okay with that. I feel like I'm taking a dip so I can go higher than I was before.

The way I'm thinking about it is that I've spent a few years and I've acquired a skill that other business owners will pay for - the ability to generate leads. Then I've got good at selling that skill to businesses and getting hired effectively. Now, I'm in stage three, which is I'm scaling that skill. I'm building a team. I'm focusing on specific types of work.

It means I've stopped doing contracts where I'd go on-site for a day a week. September 2014 to September 2015, I'd three contracts where I was going on-site. My revenue was higher than it is at the minute, but I couldn't scale because I was constrained by the number of days in the week.

In September 2015, all those contracts popped in the same week. The reason I have three contracts was to prevent the peaks and troughs. I had a few side gigs, smaller clients at the time and those kept me going a little bit. I had to hustle. I had to hustle and get a few more of those just to pay the mortgage and the rest of it. Now, in October 2016, things are still tight but I'm on the right path. I'm happy I'm on the right path.

The quickest way to get into business is to sell service. Sell your skills. Sell your time as well. I know this seems the opposite of creating a business. Go freelance. Be a contractor. Go freelance. You're selling a service. Once you are able to sell a service, get better and better at selling the service and then work out how to scale selling it. Before you know it, you'll have a business instead of creating a job for yourself.

Don't worry about creating a job for yourself. Get out there. Do it. The way to scale will appear.
I feel you on this. Reaching that scaling point now and it's tough to manage. Also feel you on taking a dip to make more in the long-run. To me it just makes sense to focus on specific types of work/clients. More specialist = more value = more money.

For anyone just starting, I think it's a great idea to jump in with freelance and just get going. Get that cash flowing and grow from there. The time/money equation won't break loose overnight anyway - at least not for most. Without the experience to bring that reality to life, it rarely happens fast.

More likely an entrepreneur ends up giving more time for less money when they have to get a job because they shot for passive income as a first-time-go and it didn't work out. At least with freelance/contract work you get to choose your pay!
 

Ika

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As they say in the podcast in another episode it takes around 1000 days to build a successfull business (that can replace your day to day job).
They describe the process as following:
Year One: Learn a skill
Year Two: Sell the skill
Year Three: Scale the skill

When you create a service, it perfect to freelance in year one - you learn on the go, and you get paid to do so.

If anyone is interested in this, the guys from tropicalmba created a series about building, selling and scaling a productized service business. It is worth your time! :D
 

devine

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This is the most fatal and the most common mistake I see people making, which Andy just mentioned:
- "I couldn't scale because I was constrained by the number of days in the week"

To scale, you need to learn and improve.
Instead of following a common 70/20/10 model, which is an absolute, total, plague-like bullshit, you need to invest 70% in learning, 20% in building relationships and only 10% in actual work.
Otherwise nothing will change.
Your only asset is you, nothing else matters nearly as much.

If you have skills, you will easily make all kinds of realtionships, because your value is what relationships are all about.
You don't need to hang out with anyone to seek relationships, you simply call or write a message and everything is hooked.
Why? Because you're of value to people.

tl;dr: Invest in your own development. Look at any work as a chance to improve. If it's not giving you a chance to improve - skip it.
Then you will end up working only 10% of time even when you're doing your business.
 
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Andy Black

Andy Black

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Bump
 

Dovahjiim

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This is a terrific thread, and a timely bump there, too.

I'd convinced myself that I could just find a few hours here and there, outside of my regular job, to build a SAAS that would replace my income and then it would be safe to quit.

I'm worried that I'll end up working on an idea for 6 months, only to find it doesn't really solve a real problem.

I like the idea that with freelancing I have the option of scaling up to a full-blown agency/consultancy at some point.

I also think it will allow me to engage a lot more people that I do at the moment, which (I hope) will lead to discovery of real needs for a SAAS solution rather than just taking a stab in the dark.
 
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Andy Black

Andy Black

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This is a terrific thread, and a timely bump there, too.

I'd convinced myself that I could just find a few hours here and there, outside of my regular job, to build a SAAS that would replace my income and then it would be safe to quit.

I'm worried that I'll end up working on an idea for 6 months, only to find it doesn't really solve a real problem.

I like the idea that with freelancing I have the option of scaling up to a full-blown agency/consultancy at some point.

I also think it will allow me to engage a lot more people that I do at the moment, which (I hope) will lead to discovery of real needs for a SAAS solution rather than just taking a stab in the dark.
There’s a few articles on my blog about how I’m slowly doing this.

Here’s one:
 

Dovahjiim

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Just had a read. Thank you. I've seen some other posts that look interesting too!

So, by impacting one person, by providing them some value, you're starting to build relationships that could reward in other ways in future, either by referrals or further work from that person.
 

Gepi

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Nice thread!
This is totally my experience. Started as a freelance 3d designer specialized on jewelry last year after training every day for half a year to get really into the advanced knowledge, and am still learning more about it every day.
I provided something people needed and so every 10-15 coldcalls I would get one who was ready to give my service a try. Now I still search for more customers but I am at the point where I have at least basic cost covered plus some.
Writing my first post about 3D-printing for hobbyists now and will launch my blog soon.
If you're interested, I can update on that (keeps me also more pressed on finishing ;) )
But yeah, scaling seems to be a step that needs to be done at some point in the future.
Not 100% sure about how that's gonna go, but I guess I am going to find out soon enough if I keep at it.
Greetings
 

GoGetter24

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I always say exactly the same thing. Contracting is the best stepping stone between the slowlane and fastlane. A direct jump between job & business is unnecessarily risky. The guys I know who actually pulled that off: were in a job with one specific skill for a long time (the lucky few who don't get their focuses diluted by crappy companies or bosses); or got venture capital; or took a damn long time ( or were damn lucky).

Everyone wants a SaaS money making computer. But how are you going to be qualified to make it, if you don't have front-line knowledge in that field? How are you going to have the direct, up-to-date knowledge on industry demand (and potential market gaps), if you're not plugged in raw into the market?
 

focusedlife

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Still useful, and timely now more than ever especially during this pandemic.
 

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