01:32 – How focused are you?
03:12 – A 4560 percent growth story
05:58 – Is more really more?
09:29 – Rocking the 100-hour work week
10:39 – The wake-up call
12:41 – Toppling some big assumptions
15:10 – What can be dumped?
20:12 – Thinking bigger
21:11 – Using proven frameworks
23:10 – Improving on the webinar model
25:51 – What apps can do
28:26 – Where Jarrod’s at now
29:22 – The four steps that did it
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James: Our next guest is one of those really interesting individuals. Do you ever bump into someone who’s got so much more talent and ability than they even realize? You ever find that? I speak to a lot of people, I’ve coached people for many years, I travel a lot. Occasionally, I trip over someone who has got spectacular, super power abilities, and they don’t even realize it, kind of like a Cinderella story.
So what I’d like to do, instead of me sharing the sort of tips that I could share with you for you to go and work on your business, I want to show you what happens when you take some of the concepts and ideas from my way of looking at things, and you apply it. Just a regular school teacher, who’s a bit geeky. I’d like to introduce Jarrod Robinson, the world’s only and greatest PE Geek.
Jarrod: Thanks, James.
How focused are you?
Alright, really appreciate the opportunity to speak today, but I need some help first, and that’s going to come from all of you in the audience. So if the answer to the question that you’re about to get asked is “Yes”, you simple just need to stand up in the spot where you are. Understand that? Pretty simple.
OK, the question is, stand up if you’ve actually had a moment in your business or your life where you’ve lost focus, where things seem a little bit out of control. (Audience laughter) Stand up.
OK, good. Probably got the desired effect that I hoped for. This is absolutely what my business struggles with, and I think we all sort of definitely struggle with it. And my contention is, the reason we lose focus is because we’re doing too many things. And to emphasize that point, what I want you to do is to grab your right hand and put it on your left ear, so you got to work out what that one is first, and then make a point with your left hand and tap your nose. So just like that, really simple. And literally, all you need to do is uncross your hands and do the opposite. And try and do it as fast as you possibly can. (Audience laughter) Take a seat.
So as I look around the room, I mean Ezra poked his eye. It’s a really simple task, but when you add more layers to it, it becomes really quite hard. And I think it’s exactly the same with our business. You know, we add more things, and we don’t necessarily see an improvement. And this is what I’m going to share with you today. More specifically though, it’s how I’ve been able to grow my business by over 4,560 percent, bit of a weird figure.
But it’s all come back to this idea of doing less and focusing in on what actually really matters.
And it’s the story of then…
…and now, that hasn’t really taken much time to actually eventuate. It’s all in the same calendar year. Pretty massive growth, lots of change, and in fact it’s all taken place between May and July, so what, 3 month? It’s not long.
Really quite achievable.
Where Jarrod was
But to sort of paint the picture of what I was like, this picture really sort of tells a story. And based on you, you all stood up when focus was a bit of an issue. That’s me. Lots of things going on, lots of troubles, lots of things that I’m trying to do, execute in my business, and lots of shortcomings as a result of that. And I think that’s the same for all of us in the room.
To really articulate that, I want you to have a look at this video from a movie you may recommend or may remember, I do from my childhood. And let’s just see if you can pick it up.
Lady: (Taking child’s hand) I’ll take care of her.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Thank you.
Lady: You know, kindergarten is like the ocean. You don’t want to turn your back on it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Oh, they’re OK. Don’t worry, everything is under control. (Turns to look inside classroom and is shocked to see kids rampaging inside.) No. (Opens door and enters.)
(Various scenes of out-of-control kids; teacher and principal peer through door horrified; kid pulls a wagon that slams into Arnold’s leg.)
(Teacher and principal walk away.)
Teacher: Aren’t you going to break it up?
Principal: No. Two more days of this, and he’ll quit.
Jarrod: Alright. Now besides being a classic movie, Kindergarten Cop, there’s so many parallels between that classroom and I think our businesses. All you need to do is literally replace the kids with business units, and think about them in that context of a classroom. They’re all running around, they’re all vying for attention, they’re all impacting on one another, there’s things over here that are demanding the attention of the person. And even the best products in your business are probably getting neglected by the things that really don’t matter.
So for me, this has been the biggest trouble that I’ve had. Now for a bit more context, I run a website solely focused on teachers. That’s my audience, PE teachers, and I try and help them use technology more effectively. It took me 3 years to make my first cent with that particular venture.
Thinking more is more
And it was 93 cents, and I was pretty excited by it. It was great. But what I did was, I made this connection between more products and more income. So what I kept doing was building more and more and more.
If you can make money with one product, then just do the same thing again, and you can make more and more and more. And in the end, I ended up with 8 eBooks. That was pretty quick to market, so I put them in 3 languages as well, because that will be a great idea, if you’ve got 8 eBooks, then you may as well make them in Cantonese and Spanish as well.
So think of this metaphorical classroom that I had, filled with all of these crazy things running around, and you can sort of get an idea of how you can lose focus.
It gets worse, though. Somewhere along the line, I thought it would be good to build apps.
Couldn’t program to save my life. Ended up with 60 of them. Just kept churning them out, because the same connection between more products, more sales and more impact. Some of them quite successful, others really not so, really not successful at all.
Got an email from someone later on, and they said, “Why don’t you build Android apps, Jarrod? I’ve got one.” So I went after that, too, built 20 of them.
Here I am right now in my metaphorical classroom with about 80 different kids running around, all with attention, and my best work is really not part of what we’ve talked about so far.
I caught on to this craze of startups, so I built 4 of those, too.
And these are full startups, SAAS products, $30,000 plus ventures. And they’re like special needs kids in my classroom. Like they’re really attention-centric. It’s out of control, and I don’t even realize it.
To top it all off, I actually visit countries and do teach training.
So I would do that in conjunction with those other things, hop on a plane for the weekend, fly to Dubai from Melbourne and come back in the same weekend. And that was my sort of most profitable venture, but it was being sort of ignored by all these other things that I was doing.
Ten video courses.
It continues on, it gets worse. Most of them, people never actually saw. I’ve made so many things that never appeared.
Forty podcast episodes.
And then I thought I’d make a T-shirt range.
Right, why not? That’s a good idea. PE teachers need shirts. Got them designed, never sold one, great. On to the next idea.
I made a comic book.
We’ve all been here, we’ve all had these ideas, got up in the middle of the night and registered a domain. That’s what I did, it was like, pecomics.com. Got them all authored, spent lots of money and time away from my core venture. But it does get worse.
Seriously. I made an album for PE teachers. The worst thing you can ever imagine. (Music plays) That’s my album. I hired a guy in Romania, with orchestras, and this is what we came up with. No one ever, ever downloaded or bought it because it was terrible, absolutely terrible. Took me away from my best work.
The 100-hour work week
Now I did all of this, I should point out, on the side of actually a full-time job.
So this was like complete side hustle. I had a hundred students running around in the classroom, was in the classroom, literally, between these hours, 6 a.m. till 6 p.m.
It means there’s not a lot of time to work on your business.
So I would get home and work on it from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. I think we can all attest to this late night work and this hustle. I was definitely doing that, because I did hundred-hour work weeks. Hashtag nolife.
Like I seriously did. And I did that for like 3 years, made up of travel and all these making albums and ridiculous stuff. I wasn’t far away from authoring the follow-up to the 4 Hour Work Week.
Yeah, the 100 Hour Work Week: How To Kill Yourself. That was pretty close.
And I thought I was going along really well. Because you know, I don’t talk to people in the business space because I was dealing with teachers, have a look at all my products, they’re good. No one buys them, but that’s all good.
And then I actually stumbled across a person on a surfboard.
And I proceeded to tell him exactly what I’ve just told you now. All my products, all the things that I did. And I expected what most people would say, that yeah, that’s pretty good. Awesome. That’s what he told me. “You need some help.” I’m like, that’s intriguing. No one’s ever said that before. Like people usually ask, “How do you build apps?” And he was right. I did. I had no focus, I was doing too much, and really the best work was lost. It wasn’t clear and apparent what that was.
How much an hour?
So we started here.
And anyone who knows James knows the effective hourly rate. It’s a really good measure of what you’re worth, and what you’re producing. So let’s do it for me, in my business back then.
That’s what I was making on the side of my teaching job. So I was pretty happy with that. It was good, I was pretty content. But I was doing about that many hours.
Across the course of the year. And anyone who knows how to do maths right now can probably figure out what my effective hourly rate was. There it is.
It was $5 per hour. So I was more than happy to produce albums and comic books and even do my best work for $5, which I look at now, and I think, “Wow”, because I would turn down jobs in my best work when they were 10X that. But I was happy to do stuff all the time for $5. So James did, he added an extra word there, which was, “You need some serious help.”
And I definitely did, seriously did.
So what did we actually do, how did we get to this particular stage in my business in a really short time? Well the first thing is identifying that tuning was needed. There was already raw ingredients, and I think if you look at your businesses, there’s things that are really working well.
Things that you can amplify and so on. And it was about identifying those. Like a car, how do you add more to it to supercharge it?
First big assumption
This is what we did. The first thing was, identify, remove the idea that my worth was tied to teaching. It was a massive assumption. Absolutely not true. James said, “You’ll have more impact if you actually get out of the classroom.”
So you can actually benefit people. Because if that’s what you do best, then you’re not really making that happen for your audience.
So I quit my job. Left it. Nine to 5 no longer, see you later. Quit my job. One of the best feelings I’ve ever, ever done, to be sure. And my question to you is, what assumptions are you actually holding on to right now? Like, I assumed that I had to be a teacher to teach teachers. That’s a complete fallacy. I would imagine that there’s assumptions in your business that are very similar, like, do you have to have a physical office for the things that you’re doing? Is there something that you always do just because? Challenge it, because there’s some serious growth opportunities that may exist.
How to sell more
The second thing was, I had sort of reached this workshop ceiling.
I thought. Like I’d reached the capacity of selling to my ideal customer. And I thought I could only sell to 20 of them at a time. And James said, “That’s another assumption.” How can you sell more to the person who wants to get your work?
Having you repeat that process over and over and leverage it on a grander scale.
And all I did was pretty simple. I just increased my attendance.
Two X’ed it. No change in the result, massive change to me. Sold more to my ideal customer. My question to you is this one.
How can you sell more to your ideal customer rather than going out and trying to find albums for people, and try to make a whole new industry with T-shirts and so on, like what can you do that is already sort of at your disposal? Massively impactful for me.
“What can you do that is already at your disposal?”
Third one, which I think applies to all of you, if you don’t know your effective hourly rate, then I seriously recommend you should check it out and sort of use it as a filter.
So for me, I had to get this filter on board, because I would take on board any ideas. I haven’t even put up the worst ones I would do all sorts of ridiculous things. And from now on, if it didn’t match that filter then we didn’t go ahead.
What can you dump?
And this whole idea that less is actually more. You know, I want to really focus in on the stuff that’s most leveraged and is going to provide value for my audience.
“Focus on the stuff that is most leveraged and is going to provide value for your audience.”
So what I did is I dumped all those dumb projects, the T-shirt industry’s finished, the album industry’s finished, and I just amplified all the things that actually really worked, the things I ignored because I was spending all my time on T-shirts and so forth.
And my question to you all is, what should you dump from your business?
Might be a hard exercise, but honestly, like what’s in there right now that really doesn’t provide as much value as you might imagine in your head to be? I’m not saying don’t do new things, but I reckon there’s opportunities immediately apparent to us, just by eliminating some stuff.
Letting go of what you do well
This is a really big one for me. I had to personally do all the training. It’s a bit of an expertise curse, like I was the expert, so I have to do it. Again, that’s completely wrong as well.
So what we did is we started hiring out other experts who could actually be more leveraged. Who could actually bring about more impact for our audience.
It turned out to be pretty phenomenal, because we’ve got these people now who maybe aren’t as knowledgeable as myself in my particular area, but 2 of them are quite still greater impact than just one of me.
So 2 people running at 50 percent is 100 percent, 3 people, what’s that?
A hundred and fifty percent. So I’m getting much more benefit from having others, and I completely assumed that it had to be me.
So my question to you is, and this is a really hard one: Is it time to let go of the thing that you actually do really well, so that you can build capacity in another area? For me, that’s actually standing and talking to teachers who are Phys Ed teachers. I do that better than anyone. However, it’s probably time to let go of it if I actually want to see growth. And I challenge you to think about what is it that you do well, because we tend to replace the things that we don’t do well. This is way harder to achieve, and I’m still sort of getting to grip with that.
I have a couple of quick tips of things that are working…
…since making these major changes to my business. It all comes back to one thing, and that is focusing in on the 20 percent of the things that are bringing about the results, and sort of ignoring the rest. And it’s a really hard lesson for me. It’s so simple, but it’s quite disciplined in its approach.
So what that looks like for me is, it’s leveraging the most profitable unit.
And I mentioned it a few times, and that’s new workshops, amplifying it as much as I possibly can. And how I do it was already apparent to me. It was already there, these systems and processes were in place, but I just never really used them because I was thinking about all this other ridiculous stuff.
Targeting your best customers
This is how I go about being surgical with my best unit.
So I have a list of PE teachers, you can see it’s not the biggest list in the world, it’s good because it’s really highly targeted. But I know a lot about them. I know where they live, I know the sort of skill levels they all have. So what I tend to do now, because I have time, because I’m not doing albums and nonsense, is search through and find out as much as I can about my contacts, where they live.
And then, I add on another layer, which is like lead scoring. I learned this from Barry Moore, so I know he’s in the room. If you’re not doing some sort of lead scoring with your contacts, then you absolutely should be. It’s untapped.
And the good thing about Active Campaign is, you can actually apply your own lead scoring to specific actions. So when someone opens an email they get a point, when they reply they get 3 points, and obviously the best people bubble up. So now I have 2 things to consider. I’ve got where they live, and how engaged they are. Really important for me in my job.
I find my most engaged people, and I send them literally a cold email and say, ‘Hey, thanks for all you’re doing and so forth. Would you be interested in having me run a workshop at your school, etc.,’ explain the process, and I just repeat that, over and over. Looking at the most engaged, where they live, and all because I know exactly those details about them, their engagement and so on.
I don’t assume. I wouldn’t send this email to someone who’s just got on my list. I think engagement’s really important there.
And as a result after I quit my job, I landed a workshop world tour. It was a pretty asleep title, but we did, we locked in 10 countries, all around the planet, doing the thing that I do best, ignoring the rest.
And I just took off on 6 months’ paid travel. Like just, off I went, 6 months, working around in schools doing the work that actually has an impact, and ignoring all the stuff that doesn’t.
The next thing is focusing on thinking bigger.
Now I think we could all benefit by this. I was in the SilverCircle mastermind yesterday and there’s people that think on a bigger scale than I, and it’s a great thing to definitely think about. So for me, what does that look like? That is my best work amplified.
Now for you, it’s probably something different. What is your best work and how do you leverage just that part? So what I did is I tapped into my connections, all the people I’d met along the way in 30 countries I’d worked in.
And what’s a bigger thing than a workshop? It’s a conference.
I wouldn’t have thought about this had I not had all this free capacity to think about what comes next. And I went literally from one day having no conference to literally that night having a conference and selling tickets for it.
And it was because of this free capacity that I’d had, and literally the tools that were at my disposal to do it.
Use proven frameworks
Finally, you hear this a lot.
And now I’ve heard it a lot. It’s implementing frameworks that work. If someone like James or another expert has showcased a proven framework to you, you would be silly not to use it. And I’m absolutely in that boat. I ignored them. I’m probably like you, I ignore things that do work a lot of the time. But this one time I did. I actually decided that I would copy, to the letter, a template which is available in the community. And it’s a sales letter.
“Implement frameworks that work.”
Basically, very simple. It took me literally 5 minutes to execute, it was an identical copy of something that is proven to make 6 figures ongoing, and it literally took 5 minutes to make. And as a result, I sent it to a potential sponsor, and sold a 10k sponsorship deal, off an email, instantly.
Proven frameworks work, and you should be looking to how you can introduce those into your business.
Following this, rinse and repeat. The framework sets how that happens, so you just keep doing it, and hopefully get the same results.
And it’s very different to my approach before, of just firing into the air and hoping that things land. It’s a step-by-step process.
I no longer do this. Like I no longer one-time sell. I was the king of one-time selling. Selling memberships for a one-time fee that had me doing ongoing work. You know, that little dilemma, where you’ve got to keep doing stuff even though they’ve paid you once? I did that all the time.
Put it all in a recurring membership. Even your best products, the things that people used to pay for. And charge a recurring fee for it. We’ve seen better results with our people in our community than we could have ever had, and it’s a testament, because they’re more ingrained in the experience. No longer just coming for a snack and then disappearing, they’re getting a continuing stay and learning.
This other little area that I’m seeing success in is leveraging automatic webinars.
Now this gets a bit of bad rep, like you say the word “automated webinars” and people think you’re trying to be fake live. You’re pretending that you’re live and you’re trying to make that whole experience. I just want to make it clear that I don’t do that. I try and just record the best possible thing I could ever do, way better than if I delivered it live, and I make it so that it’s automated.
Now it came out of necessity because I was so busy, but now I have time and focus to attend to this, it’s just been a monster for what I’ve been able to achieve. It’s pretty simple. Every month, I just record a new webinar.
I sit down, I plan it out, I’ve followed some frameworks of good webinars, and record the best work that I could possibly do. Put it up onto a landing page, like so, so that people land on it, and they hit, and they register in their time zone.
So people aren’t getting up in the middle of the night.
They’re not getting up in ridiculous hours because there’s only one time. They’re getting up when it suits them, and that’s really good for my audience. And I reckon it works in many others as well. The results are pretty incredible. I just watch people go crazy over automated webinars in my audience.
These are better results than most people get for live webinars. So you can see here that 93 percent of the people who actually came to my webinar saw the whole thing. About a 60 percent turn up rate, which is again better than most people get for live webinars. And all this is happening literally while I could be sleeping, or I can actually take it a little bit further, and run hybrid.
And what that means is, you get the benefit, the double-edged sword of the live component with the automated component. So I can be in the chat box while the video’s playing, and I can be sort of double engaged. It’s like a 2 for 1 for me, and it’s been really, really powerful for selling on automatic, literally, and delivering the best value for people in my audience.
You can see here, this is the growth curve of new members to my community which I launched, and the only thing we’re doing to sell it with is automated webinars.
And it’s convenient, people are somewhat committed to attending it, because it’s locked in sort of to a time. I actually get people who apologize if they can’t make them, like an automated webinar. I’m not even there, but they’re apologizing for the whole thing as well. So if you’re not experiencing or looking at that, it’s a tremendous opportunity.
Having a content app
The last real big idea I want to focus on is this idea of a content app.
I’m not just talking about a mobile-responsive website, which I think all of you should have for your business. This is the next step, and I think it’s absolutely not being done by anyone, and there’s some massive potential here. I’ll explain how I’ve been using it for tremendous results.
So what I did is I created a brand-specific app. Now, you may have seen a couple of people doing this. Most people are just ignoring it, and they’re just going straight for mobile-responsive websites. I say you do both. And you can do it really cheap.
So if your business is content and podcast and so on, then how can you create an app that brings all that together into one convenient hub? There’s some really powerful benefits as to why this has been useful for me, because I have my own podcast platform now.
I don’t say, “Go to iTunes and download my podcast”, I say, “Just download the app.” It’s one call to action. I control the whole thing. I control when the content gets delivered, the whole vehicle’s mine.
And I sort of ignored it for a long time, but it’s really quite powerful, because I basically treat these app downloads now as subscriptions to like an email list.
Using push notifications
I used to ignore it, now I don’t, and you get these anomalies all the time. You can see a couple of days ago, I had 10,000 downloads of my content-driven app. They’re all now potentially people who can access my content really conveniently because it’s in a native format. It’s on their device, and I can tap into push notifications.
Who gets these? Just put your hand up if you get push notification alerts.
Yeah, most people get them. I get to use these for their benefit. And what that means is, when I make new content, I don’t have to send an email. I do, an automatic push notification will go to the devices of the people who have my app, which is thousands and thousands of people, and all they do is tap their push notification, and they’re into my content.
No one’s doing this, but there’s higher rates of engagement on things like that than emails, and I challenge you to check it out.
You can get really specific too, like with your push notifications, you can say, “I want to target people in London”, because everyone’s carrying around a phone that has a GPS, you know exactly where those people are. I can say, target people in London, I have a workshop coming, send. And it goes just to the people who are in that particular place. And it’s untapped and no one’s really talking about or doing it.
Where Jarrod’s at now
So at the moment, I’m in a bit of a different stage. I sort of know that I’m going well, there’s always room for improvement, absolutely, but it’s way different to before. So we actually recalculated my effective hourly rate. We have an interesting exercise, to go back and… Remember what it was before? Five dollars, not much. So now, it’s looking like it will probably be round about that this year, which is, I’m happy with that, it’s pretty good. On the side of my teaching, no longer any more, so it’s all me.
But I’m only working about that, now. You know, much less. I still enjoy the work I do. I could do less, but I really do enjoy it. So my effective hourly rate has moved up to around about this.
And like I said, it could increase a lot more, but that’s a dramatic increase in what it was originally. Four and a half thousand percent.
The 4 steps that did it
In 4 action steps, this is basically what I did.
I turned off bad projects. Got rid of them. Hard to do but rewarding. Identified good customers, so people that I could repeat sell to, leverage, amplify, make them buy even higher-ticket stuff, like conferences and so on. I came up with a more leveraged solution, like through automation and systems and procedures. And the final thing was, yeah, automate and segment as much of it as I can. And that’s literally the 4 steps that have helped me have that 4,000 percent increase in a really short period of time.
So my question to you to finish off is, what’s your 20%?
And what should you be really focusing in on? I think that’s the key lesson, because essentially what we were doing before was all we were doing is this. When we see it up on the stage, (touches nose with right hand, then left ear) that’s pretty easy on its own. We had some serious troubles when we put 2 things together, and it’s the same for your business. Focus on the 20 percent.
Thank you. Appreciate it.
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