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EXECUTION [Progress] Helping professionals execute and grow.

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Rabby, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Rabby
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    Rabby Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Attended Synapse Summit this week and interacted with the market a bit. I discovered new customers for my management system. And more interesting, new uses and applications. These don't require changing anything. They just require applying the same tool to different problems.

    I have meetings set up for next week, and will be following up for more.

    Interestingly, I was originally thinking of the management system as separate from the content site and forum. However, it solves a problem for (a segment of) the audience of that site too. I was surprised to learn this.

    Also, the management system "helps professionals execute and grow" in more ways that I realized... and that's the title of this thread.

    Some unexpected leads for the software:
    • A trucking company
    • A non-profit focused on STEM education
    • Insurance agents
    • Corporate HR departments
    Had I just gone about "marketing" I would never know that these diverse clients share a set of problems and experiences. It might seem obvious to some, but the value of just going out and talking to people is enormous, especially when you have a new solution that's not already commoditized.
     
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  2. Rabby
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    Rabby Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Lunch later today with the owner of a training company. Friend of a friend. Who knows what I'll find out? My guess is that I can give him something of value, since I know the business of teaching/training 'knowledge workers.' One thing to find out will be if he or his corporate customers want the benefits my software can deliver.
     
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  3. Rabby
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    Rabby Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Life of the Project Juggler

    It must be time for an update. How do I know? An odd sense of guilt, this thread calling out to me. I have a lot of irons in the fire, so I'll update them her as I think of them. This will be pretty stream-of-consciousness.

    As a refresher, here are the projects "I" have going on... I'll put a *** next to the ones that can't progress without my direct involvement (yet):
    • Business #1
    • The Technology ***
    • Authority Site ***
    • Quick Info-product ***
    But Rabby, that's a lot of ***'s... aren't you over-reaching? Ahem.

    Thank goodness nobody noticed that I added a "quick" info-product to that list. If I told them I have a whole site and potential other business in queue based partly on that product, what would they say? I'm sure they would judge me...

    Wait, did I say that out loud? Uh oh.

    Business #1
    My sales and marketing VP is really getting into a good routine, I think. And his efforts are paying off. We had the best January since I've owned the company. February is up 24% so far. Will this keep up? That would be nice :)

    Here is what I did. First off, I have to tell you that for the first year of having someone dedicated to outbound sales and marketing, I wasn't really sure how to manage. Why weren't you sure Rabby? Well, because I had gotten fairly used to working on my own in business development. My default assumption is that people will do what I would do if I was dedicated to that task full time. They don't necessarily.

    So, along with my wife who works on management things with me, we re-designed his job. It is now a specific set of strategic actions that are tied to base compensation. This helps him know when he is following "the strategy," and it makes it possible to make fairly brief checklists for our weekly reports. The theory is that, if he makes most of the strategic activities happen, he'll end up making plenty more than the base compensation because our sales will go up. Well, they seem to be doing that.

    Example check-off-the-list items:
    • Documented in the CRM (which we didn't have last year) x number of conversations with prospects or business development partners.
    • Sent targeted email to targeted group (say 100+ people) about specific product.
    • Attended x events related to our acquisition goals.
    Once he has done this for a while, I envision him pulling new hires along a similar process. We've already edited some of the original "plan," and I suspect it will get better over time. Then we can have specialized people implementing parts of that future-version plan, and the process will become more self-managing over time. Why? Well, because everything is implemented with controls.

    What I think is fun about this is that, while I've made plenty of money and built respectable assets, this is the first time I can think of where I've gotten the outbound sales and marketing aspect of a business running smoothly from scratch, without me doing the work. It's a thing I've known I needed to do though. I just get distracted by automating other things, and sales and marketing either don't get as much attention as they should, or they take up my time.

    In Business #1, we really only had an order-taking department and referrals from happy customers, before Mr. R came on. Those are good things to have, but proactively acquiring new customers from "who the heck are you guys" is also a good thing for a business to know how to do.

    Oh, one other thing just happened for Business #1. I have for a long time had a desire to diversify its offerings somewhat. I mean, not have them all in exactly the same industry, for the sake of resilience. Well, I have two people in another industry (same as guys below under The Technology) who are very motivated to develop a course. We'll sell that course through Business #1.

    The Technology

    I met with two partners in an IT business who have a use for "The Technology." As a reminder, that is the code name for our internal management system, which has become robust enough that we can sell it. Our goal is to be selling it by the end of March... or at least offering it and getting rejections and reasons.

    Instead of rejections, I'm getting, "You should talk to Sara and Bob at Company." Or "you said this is for <business type>, but would you consider making it work for <my business type> too?"

    That latter quote is basically what happened at lunch. These guys can use my management system, built for educators, for a completely different use. I told Mr. G (code wizard and magical technology guru), and it cracked him up. There are PCI and SOx aspects to the new use case, and Mr. G has coded/managed compliance with these for a large financial institution... we know enough about it. And as far as we can tell, The Technology already meets most or all of the criteria for the new use case. I'm a born-again lunch meeting participant. Just talk to people about what they're doing, what you're doing, and things start to happen.

    In the new use case, we think an average company might pay $20k per year for The Technology. That's a number out of thin air though, so we'll see. The need and the money are there, anyway.

    Authority Site

    This survives, but I have not figured out how to drive traffic. The problem here is that I am doing things myself. I fumbled at the keyboard with Adwords for a few minutes, and then nothing happened. I hate to admit this, but I'm completely helpless in this area. I am meeting a guy next Tuesday to talk about marketing... maybe I can convince him to help. Or maybe someone on this forum will help? Not asking anyone to work for free ;)

    I suspect the Internet traffic will pick up over time as more content appears on Authority Site.

    Beyond the Internet traffic, the content there looks good. There is still only a bit, because I haven't gotten a second writer. It's Mr. T, myself, and nobody. Mr. T is doing an article every 2 weeks.

    I did talk to someone this week who might be able to help. His name is Mr. J, and he is an international best selling author, and widely read columnist, and most importantly a really humble and likeable guy. All we talked about really was an event he is doing in my city. But we will have dinner, and I'll ask him if he would be interested in writing for the site. He can always say "no thanks" and it won't hurt my feelings, but it's paid writing, pays even more if lots of people come read it, the contract is writer-friendly, and it's fun. So maybe?

    So in summary, the authority site needs both traffic and content. LOL.

    Quick Info-product

    This came up because my wife wanted to make a project. So we made a thing, got some excellent feedback, and are re-making it. This means "I" am re-making it, because I can write (when I need to) and illustrate (always, please, thank you). It seems like this quick info-product would be much better if it was really really funny, and illustrated. So that's what it will end up being. Of course, that means I have more work. At least part of it is doodling.

    What Do You Do When You're Bored?

    It turns out, I make things. So if any more side-projects pop up here, and it sounds like they will take months to get to market, would someone please yell at me? I need to resist the urge to turn every 1AM tinkering thing into a months-long development cycle. Or maybe I just need to hire more people to implement ideas... but then that's a months-long personnel development cycle, potentially.
     
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  4. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    “Talk to *everyone*.” was some great advice I heard. I’m a fan too.

    Also... holler if you want some help with that AdWords stuff. Maybe you could look over what I’m doing with my course and I could look over what you’re doing with AdWords...
     
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  5. Rabby
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    Rabby Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    @Andy Black yes! Let's skype whenever it's convenient for you. I have been thinking I will sign Mr. R up for your course when the videos are up to date and all that (if they're not already). He's more sales oriented, and I want to build up his digital marketing skills a bit. However, I'm not the one to teach him.

    I made one ad, probably not a well designed one, and scratched my head when Google didn't run it for whatever reason. I could figure it out, but then I wouldn't be doing the other things mentioned above. I think getting a head start might get me to where I can at least tell someone "here's what I want to get done with adwords" and have it be a credible request.
     
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  6. BigDaddyKane
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    BigDaddyKane Contributor

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    Rabby, It's funny as I read this today, this has been a personal understanding for me very recently as well.
    It's insane how these concepts cycle through various times in our careers, just when we thought we already knew them haha.

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of your progress this year.
     
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  7. Rabby
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    Rabby Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    @BigDaddyKane Right? We know everything, and then we don't. LOL. It keeps us on our toes, at least. Thanks for the rep!
     
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  8. Rabby
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    Rabby Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I may have some friends for "The Technology." I had a second meeting with some guys who really really want it. They are value-added resellers, essentially. It was interesting getting their perspective on the need for their clients, not to mention themselves, and what they thought the market would bear in terms of price. Now that I understand more about what they need, I will call some other people in the same business (who I happen to know anyway) and see if they perceive the same need.
     
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  9. Rabby
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    Rabby Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    The Technology - This is my main focus right now. The market is hot. Anyone I tell about it seems to want it (I'll post details here eventually). Anyway, we discovered another market-sector for it if we want to pursue it. Mr. G will have the initial modifications for market #1 done by the end of the month. I'm using 'pidoco' (freee!) to make drag and drop wireframes so I can test ideas with early adopters. It's like art lite!

    Business #1 - Doing fine. February ended up even with last year, so we're still ahead year over year, but not quite as much as I thought we would be a week before the end of Feb. Randomness.
     
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