Listen in as Tim Conley from FoolishAdventure.com shares his TIM formula [Time Income Mobility] with James Schramko. This is designed to help you set up your own life better by filtering your TIM.
In this episode we discuss:
- The Toyota 5 Whys
- How to design your lifestyle around business,
- Dan Andrews
- Pick the destination in advance and be happy with in advance,
- Ensure there are enough options for you when you get there,
- Action Steps To dial in your TIM,
- How to be clear on what your life is,
- Why is better to build an asset before you travel,
- How to consider your EXIT prior to starting,
- Why ‘eventually’ is a bad word,
- Get a management team early on,
- If you are already in a business determine the points in your business where you need to change,
- Why the conductor of the orchestra is a great role,
- ‘Two is better than one’ rule of managers,
- Question everything and remove assumptions from your life,
- Think about why are in the situation you are in now,
- much much more….
James: James Schramko here. I know you get busy with your day-to-day business and for that reason; I wanted to go back to my good buddy Tim Conley from FoolishAdventure.com and have a chat about his team technique. It doesn’t actually stand for his name. It’s just a coincidence, I think. So I’m going to introduce Tim now, and we’re going to dig right into this topic and have a little bit of a discussion around it. Welcome back Tim.
Tim: Yo! What’s up, James?
James: Hey! I’m just kicking back here in lovely Sydney weather. I’m wondering what it’s like over there.
Tim: I’m actually wearing a hoodie because it’s a little chilly here in Phoenix. Normally, we have nice, warm temperature at this time of the year, we’re the equivalent of other people’s summers, but today has been just a little too chilly for me.
James: Nice. Well, I’ve got some lightweight hoodie here so we can still wear them all year round because it’s in keeping with the job description, especially the white nighters. So, could you introduce us to this idea of TIM that I’ve heard you talk about, and I think it is going to really touch a nerve with our average listener who’s probably struggling with some of the aspects of this from time to time.
The idea of TIM
Tim: OK. So TIM is my little acronym for Time, Income and Mobility, maybe I’m a little clever. That’s about as clever as I get though by making it off my name. But this whole idea of time, income and mobility was a way to make the concept of having freedom, be a little more concrete because when I started looking at the way I was going about trying to gain personal freedom, I was looking at it as one, big concept of this idea of freedom and it’s so abstract. And most people can’t even identify what they mean when they say they want freedom. And so that’s what TIM was about. It was about to identify the three core elements of personal freedom, not political freedom or other forms of freedom that you hear out there. Just yourself. I broke it down to having time freedom, income freedom and mobility freedom.
James: Right. That is a nice, little formula to master if you can. I think the closest I’ve come to something like that in all of the things that I’ve encountered with business is the acronym that people use for SYSTEM, which when you think about systems, they’re kind of freedom from having to do things you shouldn’t have to do more than once, etc. SYSTEM stands for Saves You Stress, Time, Energy and Money. I reckon that time, energy and money is pretty close to the concept you’re talking about when you’re thinking about freedom.
Tim: Right. Right. So these would be the building blocks and SYSTEM would be the way that you would implement it into your life.
James: Right. So have you got a framework that you step through with this?
Tim: Well, more about trying to define it in your life because people take this idea of freedom and they make it way too abstract to put it into action in their life. So you need to figure out what elements of your time do you really want to free up? Because a lot of people, they just say, “I need more time. I need more time.” But they don’t understand where to prioritize to gain that time. With income, they say, “I want more income.” But then they go off and they get a job, or they get some form of income, build a business that generates income that does not give them the ability to have more free time or the ability to have mobility, and they feel like they end up trapped.
James: So they’re doing the classic difference between preference and performance. They will just say something but do another, and you’ve identified what’s causing that is that maybe they haven’t given it enough definition.
Tim: Right. Most people don’t actually provide definitions for the words that they use. I annoy a lot of people, especially my members and my clients, where they’ll say something to me and then I will go back and it’s like, let’s define that word that you’re using so that we’re both on the exact same page and can understand one another. Most people have not actually given definitions to the words they like to use like freedom, and income, and revenue and things like that.
James: Right. So they’re bandying around this broad terms. I love that definition exercise where you say to someone, “Think of the color blue.” And then you ask them to think about it, and then you say, “OK. Now tell me about your blue. What’s it like?” And they’ll go, “It’s light blue like the sky.” And then other times, they’ll be saying, “It’s deep blue like the ocean at night.”
Even one word can have completely different meanings to people. So I can understand how people get lost in that broad word like freedom. Something you did the other day, when we were talking about an exercise that I used to do, when I was learning about valuing my time better, I was talking about having someone come and mow my lawns, and you jumped on that.
I think you were excited by what I was doing because when that guy came to mow the lawn, I would go up to my office and create a website. I would do a business revenue activity that would justify the expense for mowing the lawns. I was doing this exercise in putting a monetary value on time, and you were all over that. And I can see you have a definite interest in matching up or correlating the activity and the definition of what that means.
Revenue vs. expenditures
Tim: Yeah. Partly because it removes abstraction. So a lot of people think, well, “I’ve got a housekeeper, and I’ve got someone who mows my lawn, I’ve got someone who cleans my pool, and yet all I do is seem to be working my butt off all the time trying to pay for all these things that have got going out” because they’ve never actually matched their expenditures to their revenue generating activities, they’ve never done that. And when you told me this framework that you had, I was like, that removes that abstraction. That gives you something definite, very concrete.
So if you see that all you do when you hire all this additional support is you just have expenditures going out and no additional revenue coming in to cover those expenses, then you know you’re in trouble.
James: Yeah. I’m having similar conversations with students when they’ll say something to me like, “Hey, I’ve got a deal where I can put a banner advertisement on a big website. If that goes well, I might look at doing it again. I’m like hang on a minute, what do you mean look at? You either know or not know. The answer is you’d put a trackable link and at the end of the campaign, in hindsight, you’ll garner a decision based on fact.
You’ll say, “It brought X amount of visits. Of those visits, X percentage of them made a purchase, which resulted in X amount of dollars.” And you balanced that amount of dollars versus how much it cost you to put that there in the first place and then you’ll actually have a hard decision that says yes or no instead of a vague, we’ll see how it works or maybe, we’ll do it again. There’s no maybe about it. It’s on a rough. So I guess that is exactly putting definition on each little micro activity that we do, wherever possible we should track.
Tim: Right. And as you said, it’s like, well, I don’t do that so much anymore because you know for a fact that when you free up your time, it does translate into a higher quality of life. But if you’ve never tracked it to begin with, then you can never know. You end up having this problem of causation versus correlation. Most people think the activities that they’re doing are the things that are making them successful or even making them unsuccessful. But it could just be a correlation. They take these ideas and say, “Oh, it was because I did this. That’s why I’m now earning this money.” It could be, “I hired this guy who’s mowing my lawn and now I’m making more money from my ad campaign.”
James: It’s like that research that was in the book Spin Selling by Neil Rackham, where the top sales performers didn’t even know why they were good sales performers. It took researchers sitting in the room and measuring all the data and statistics to figure out that it was a special questioning technique that was working for the top performers. It wasn’t what color tie they were wearing or the color of the shirt.
Tim: They thought it was those kinds of things and also it’s all about the closing questions.
James: Yeah, open or closed questions.
James: Every sales trainer has a module on closing. The book really explodes that whole thing, and it’s far more about the investigation mode of the sale that causes the result in large sales. I love that. Sometimes, we think we know, but we probably don’t.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. That’s usually what happens when you hear someone giving other people advice. I am always wary of the advice that I give to my clients, my members, and even on my show because it’s so easy to fall into that correlation versus causation paradox. I did this thing, the activity that I participated in, did that really cause the outcome that I said it caused? And it’s very hard to track many things.
I don’t want to get too esoteric in that, but it’s something to be aware of. That’s why definitions get you away from abstraction and the further away from abstraction you get, the better your outcomes are. They become more defined and then they’re easier to achieve.
James: So I guess it’s a little bit along the lines of that Toyota 5 Why system, where they just drill down. And on a similar plane, there’s the value-based sales methodology, which drills down into why something’s important, and you get down to the root cause rather than just accept the surface level answer.
Tim: Right. If you can ask why, usually anywhere from five to seven times on something, you’ll get down, for a personal thing, the root emotional driver. That’s usually the most important part. So if you’re in sales and you ask somebody, well, why do you want this solution? And they’ll give you a surface answer. You ask again, then you’ll get an even deeper answer, and you ask up to five, maybe as much as seven times. Going beyond seven, it gets way too abstract and it’s not very useful. But somewhere in that five to seven range is when you actually get down to the root reason they want something.
James: Yeah. It makes me laugh when I think about the time when I was working with Mercedes-Benz and they had marketing classifications for each of the product ranges. For the SL Series of Mercedes-Benz, the label for that was called hedonist. I think they sort of tapped into the real reason why someone’s looking at those expensive, two-seater, convertible sports cars.
James: They say they want it for certain reasons, but really, they want it for pure hedonistic virtues. So tell me, how can we use this idea of TIM in our business?
How to use TIM in your business
Tim: OK. It’s more about you personally, I suppose to your business. What I mean by that is once you define what it is that you really want in life, what kind of time do you want? What kind of income do you want? And what kind of mobility do you want? Once you’ve identified these three things, it ends up informing you on what kind of business to build.
To get rid of abstraction here, let me tell you how I got to this point, and I’ll try to make it fast. Years ago, I moved from Portland, Oregon down to Arizona to just get out of the rain and just get in a position. I shut down my marketing consultancy. I had a marketing agency, and I got tired of kissing CEO’s asses and stuff to get a marketing campaign launched. It was just too much trouble sitting in board rooms and pitching.
So I moved. Just kept a handful of clients, and I got down to Arizona and discovered this burgeoning and growing market of swimming pool companies, and I started one. I invested in one, grew it, and was making a decent amount of money from it, but it ended up taking over my life. In that process, I was like, man, how do I manage all these people who are running around this valley. And the Phoenix metro area is just gigantic. So how do I manage all these and still have the kind of life I want, where I can travel, I can go do things? I started looking at portable technologies, and unfortunately, you still needed a ton of equipment to actually run in office from anywhere in the world back in 2004, 2005.
You couldn’t just do it off of a smartphone. Typing would be a pain in the butt, but otherwise, you have all the power in a smartphone to be able to run most businesses now. But back then, it was really difficult, and I started looking around, and I realized I built a company that ended up eating up lots of my time. It needed to grow significantly bigger to be able to have a management team in place so that it would truly free me of being geographically controlled because I could leave for a while. But I couldn’t stay gone for a long time because if a major problem came up, I was still the final decision maker. I would have to come back and solve major problems.
So when you’re redoing someone’s pool, and you’re putting a new equipment, doing all kinds of repair, you’ve got heavy equipment and stuff in their backyard, stuff goes wrong. Always goes wrong. And so, it always happens. I didn’t have a big enough company yet to afford having a strong management team. I had one office manager, who eventually left to stay at home with her newborn baby. But before that, I just had her and me, and I had a lead technician who could actually handle a lot of the stuff in the field, but not a true management team. I knew that I would have to essentially double the size of my company to get to the point where I could afford that.
I was at wit’s end and just decided to start selling things off instead of fixing it. It was all because I said, “Hey, look at this cool opportunity, I’ll invest in that.” But I didn’t take a look at what it would do to my personal freedom. I didn’t realize that until I had a management team in place; it would lock me into being in Arizona for as long as that company existed. I couldn’t just take off for long periods of time.
I could take short trips, but I knew I couldn’t stay away from Arizona for too long, or a major problem would come up, and then I would be losing tens of thousands of dollars. So that was something that I learned in the process. I built it, and then I found out, afterwards, I built it incorrectly because I did not put my personal preferences into place at the very beginning.
James: Got you. So when I’m sitting down with a brand new mastermind student, I have a diagnostic audit of their business. And we do put a heavy emphasis on lifestyle design. We start out talking about what is the point, what are they trying to do here? And then we create the lifestyle they want. I cover questions like do you want to work from home, or do you want to have an office? Are certain things very important to you? And then we build the business around on top of their lifestyle.
Picking your station
I was really mentored a lot in this by a guy that I worked for. He used to think of it as picking your station. You pick the station you want to get to, and you make sure that when you get to that station that it’s got all the things you needed to have. There’s no point getting there and finding when you get there that you don’t like it.
James: So you pick the station, you make sure there are enough options when you get there, and then you build the tracks to that station, and you steam up that train and keep taking logs off the tracks. So it’s a metaphor I keep coming back to because it works. So I guess what you’re saying is if you’re sitting there right now in front of a computer or you’re walking the dog, or doing your weights in the gym listening to the podcast, then what you should be thinking about is what do you have right now, and what would you really like and keep everything in perspective around your personal preferences. What sort of income you would like? What sort of time that you want to commit to the business? Where do you want to be doing it?
It’s a continuous thing
Tim: Yeah. So, I’ll take some of that out of some abstraction. I have to give some credit to Dan Andrews who really enjoyed this idea and he’s taken it a little further. He helped me define this problem that I was having, is when I tell people about time, income and mobility, and they would say, “Well, I can’t have complete mobility freedom or income freedom or time freedom all at the exact same time.”
It’s more like the recycle symbol, that triangle where the arrows go all the way around pointing at each other. Well, that’s what happens. It’s a continuum. It’s not a static thing. So a lot of people, what they do, is they give up their time and their mobility to gain income. That’s usually a job or most small businesses, people give up their time to work their tails off inside of a business, and they’re locked in. They can’t go anywhere because their business requires their presence. So they’ve given up those two things in exchange for gaining income.
Some people bought into the lifestyle design. They read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and they said, “You know, that’s it. I’m going to travel the world. I’m going to throw on a backpack and I’m going to take off.” And they do. They sell everything, and they take off, and they run around the world. And then a year later, they’re completely broke because their little AdSense niche site never made them any money. They just threw up some stuff, hoping that they were going to figure out business along the way, but they didn’t want to give up their mobility. So they traded their time and their income to gain mobility so they could go travel the world. But eventually, what happens is that the income runs out.
James: Yeah, and you know, it’s a great book. If you’re a young, single guy without a family, you don’t need a lot of money.
Tim: Well, if you only buy into the part where you take off before you’ve actually built an asset, a lot of people ignore that part in the book. The part where he says, “Build this, then go do whatever it is you want to do.” Most people just go do what they want to do, hoping they can build, as Tim calls it, The Muse, along the way.
James: Well you see, when I read that book, picture this: I had four kids, I had a couple of million dollars’ worth of debt that was funding the couple of million dollars’ worth of assets, and then I had this job fueling all of that and providing for the family. I was like as far away as you could get from a young, single guy with no ties. So it was a completely different compression chamber for me.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. You would’ve had The Muse that you would’ve had built would require a much larger size.
James: 300,000 a year was my target. That was my step off. I had to reach that before I could turn off that inconvenience of having to go somewhere else for nine hours a day.
Tim: Right, right. And Tim Ferriss is talking about making a few thousand to as much as 10,000 a month, and that would be sufficient for most people. Like in the United States, they bring up the fact that the median household income is $50,000 in the US, approximately. That’s the household, and most households in the United States are two income earners. So that means most people in the United States have two people working in the house, two or more, earning a total of 50,000 a year.
James: Yes. So it’s much easier for them to set up something independent of a job I guess, compared to people who have ratcheted themselves into such a precarious scenario as I had. This all happened when the US bad loans came out. And I could see the winds of change on the cost per sale. Like I had a ticking time bomb on my hands.
Tim: Right, right. That’s a terrible situation to be in when things outside of your control can come in and really destroy the life that you’re building.
Control and Work
James: I want to just jump on two things you said. One is control. My mentor taught be about control. He taught me that banks get you on the drip and that basically; the average person will just surrender themselves to other people or other corporations and give away their life. I would sit at that desk thinking, I am just deferring my life here. I’m just sitting here, listening to crap, dealing with people that I don’t enjoy, building up someone else’s empire, and I read about people travelling around the world. Tim Ferriss sounds like he’s having fun, and I was stuck.
The other thing you mentioned was work. I think people use that as a pretty broad label where they go to work or they do work. I think some people confuse activity with productivity.
Tim: Or effectiveness.
James: Yeah. And I was reading a book about willpower, and it estimates that most people are spending like a third of their day just spinning their wheels.
Tim: Well, a part of it is because we’re trained to. So anyone who’s ever gone out to get a job, you go there and you have to act busy because you’re required to be there eight hours a day. And there isn’t really eight hours of work for you to do that actually affects the ability for you to retain your job.
James: So they’re measuring the wrong thing, aren’t they? Because some guy, early on in the Industrial Age, decided that it should be Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, and that’s just became the convention. As you and I know, we truly know, because for me it’s been 5 years since I’ve stepped out of the job. I know how different it is when you can work your peak energy zones, and when you can work purely on things that excite you, where you can add the most value. You really can change that whole convention. And especially having just travelled around the world for about a month. I guess the majority of the population are droning about in a trance and at some point, they might not have even thought about what they’re doing.
Tim: Right, which is an important thing to understand that gets back to that idea of definition is that most people can’t define the things that they want in life, and they just want their life to be better. So anything that comes along, buy these clothes, buy this car, buy this TV, buy this food, junk food or whatever it is; these things will make your life better if you buy them. And they just do. They just unconsciously buy it. And that’s on the consumer side.
The other is on the job side. “Oh, I’ve got to get a job. I’ve got to get one.” And never once saying, “Will this job actually create the life that I want?” That was something that when I built that pool company, that was when I really discovered all these because I built a success that I hated, and I looked at it and I said, “Oh, the problem is, is that my income, it’s not the amount of it that’s the problem. It’s the way it’s derived. Where is it coming from? It’s coming from something that requires my presence.” Once I understood that aspect, I couldn’t have mobility because my income, the thing that allows me to pay for life, and to pay for travel, and to pay for everything that we want, required me to be some place. And that right there started to take away a lot of my time. That’s when I started formulating all this concept of the TIM.
James: So you had the actual scenario that most people have, and you came up with the TIM. But I think you should probably share with those what you actually did, like what were the steps that happened and where are you now?
Tim: OK. So the first thing I looked at was the most important part, which was income. And back then, I called it non-geographically based revenue. So I just made it a little simpler and just called it income.
James: So you’ve focused heavily on your NGBR issue.
Tim: Right. So I said, “OK. I’ll just call this thing income.” And what it was is that I wanted to make sure that any income that I earned doesn’t matter the amount of it, at first. It matters where it comes from. Does that require me to show up some place? So a lot of people, they look at the internet and they think, “Oh, I’m going to do that and earn passive income,” which they don’t even have a true definition of passive income. And they think, oh, because that’s what I want. And ultimately, that would give you the most freedom, is if you truly had passive income, which to get that, you’re going to need large financial assets that are earning you interest and capital gains so that you don’t actually have anything to manage. That would be passive income.
But business is not passive. It requires management. When you’re going to build a business, to build your asset base, then you need to make sure your ability to manage it does not require you to show up some place. So that was the very first thing. I needed to make sure my income was not geographically based. It had to be able to be earned anywhere in the world.
Tim: So that was the first thing that I looked at. And then since I had this business that required a larger management team, which meant I needed to nearly double its revenue to accomplish this, and at that point, I was just burnt out from the company. I really hated my success that I’d gotten from it, and decided I was going to sell it off. But I found out that there wasn’t any buyers willing to cough up nearly a million dollars for a company.
James: Because they’re buying a job?
Tim: Well, partly because they were buying a job, but partly because there wasn’t any big players wanting to buy a company.
James: So you didn’t have a look at that when you were setting it up, I imagine? Which is a pretty common thing.
Tim: Oh no, no, because I didn’t really think I was going to have an exit. I thought, hey, I’ll build this as a revenue source. It will be an asset. I’ll have a management team in place, and that’s what I thought I was going to end up building eventually. But that’s always a warning sign, when you throw in the word “Eventually, I’ll have these things.”
James: That is an interesting thing because “eventually” has quite a different effect. It can help people lose weight if they permit themselves to eat the treat later; instead of having to have it right now, they eat substantially less. It probably works the same with riches. If they eventually are going to have it, they actually end up being able to defer it for a long time.
Tim: Right, right. But unfortunately, the thing that I was saying “eventually” on was a management team. Instead of building it early, I should have built the management team as one of the first things I did when I invested in this company. Instead, I delayed it and just put in, like, supervisor-level people. Not people who are capable of actually managing a division of the company. That was a problem, and I saw this too late.
James: Isn’t that interesting? Because we were speaking recently on FoolishAdventure.com, your show. We were talking about hiring staff, and I was talking about going for that more senior person quite early on.
Tim: Right, right. And this was something that I wish I had done and did not do until I got to a point where I hated what I had, and I couldn’t find a buyer for the company as a whole. So I just started downsizing the company by selling off pieces of it to people that could buy the different parts. I obviously was not getting as much money as I could have gotten and I definitely didn’t get it all in one lump sum.
James: Which is to say you sold it piecemeal.
James: The attentive listeners will have been getting some tremendous notes so far. So think about management early on, and if you’re going to build a company, think about who’s going to buy it before you even start building it, and you can make good decisions that way.
Tim: Yeah. Even if you think you’re going to keep this thing for the rest of your life, which is what I thought was going to happen when I built it. So I started downsizing it. Literally, my state of mind at the time, I hated my life. I hated getting up in the morning. I literally hated every aspect of my life, which then turned it on to my wife and my daughter, like my personal relationships were starting to suffer because I just did not want to face this company anymore.
So I started downsizing it, started getting rid parts of it, and I got to the point where I had one technician out doing pool cleaning. I didn’t have a part of the company that actually did the remodeling anymore. I didn’t have a repair person anymore. And I had a part-time office assistant and myself. I restructured the company. I had my one technician running around, doing some cleaning and stuff, so that brought in a decent amount of money every month; it’s steady, recurring income. The office assistant handled ordering things and making sure all my bookkeeping was taken care of, and all the government filings were handled, and sales taxes and all that stuff.
What I did, was I found other professionals in the industry and started subcontracting tons of work to these people. So anytime my customers or even the ones that I picked up, new customers, I would actually give the work over to these subcontractors. I would bill it, I would get paid, I would take my cut, and then I would pay them.
James: So it became a marketing business.
Tim: Yes. Yes. Because I was good at that part, that was the one thing I was actually good at, was getting customers.
James: Well it makes sense, you make that your strength, and that’s coincidentally the part that many technical businesses suck at.
Tim: Right, right. So what happened then was I got it to the point where I took that year that I started doing this, which was 2006. So that fall of 2006, I took 12 weeks off. But I could not take them off consecutively. So it was like every other week, I took off. So that would have been half the year, I took off like every other week, which was awesome. But, it still didn’t allow me to go and spend a month abroad, which is something that I like doing, like finding a new place in the world and hanging out there for a month. I couldn’t do that. I had to come back. I had to be around. So I still didn’t have the exact life that I wanted. So then, I eventually just sold that piece off and just said, “OK. I’m finally out of this business.”
James: Did you have to wait something else to come along before you let go of that one?
Tim: I just had to get my head back in. I was still doing consulting. Since I’m a business consultant mostly focused on marketing, I still had a handful of clients and I just went back into doing that. I just spent more time doing consulting, taking on more clients, and then that replaced my income, and I was a lot happier because I could do that anywhere in the world. I could just get on Skype, get on my cellphone, and I could handle everything that needed to be done anywhere. So that really freed things back up for me.
James: So what can people do if they’re not a marketing consultant?
What you can do
Tim: They can figure out how to get their control of their income. So again, it’s not about how much your income is. It’s about where it comes from. So that’s the first thing to look at. As I was saying, I was a consultant. So that meant I was selling time for dollars and still am. I still like doing it. I enjoy working on other people’s companies. So there is that.
Selling time for dollars. Some people are averse to that because they think it’s like a job. But when you can do it on your terms, and you get the clients to agree to your terms, you can do pretty much whatever you want. So that’s the first thing to focus on. It doesn’t have to be marketing consulting. It could be any kind of labor that people are willing to pay you for. That could be a start.
Or it could be that you focus on building a business that does not require you. That’s what most people are attracted to the Internet marketing world, is that they want to build an online business so that they can free up where their income is coming from. That could be from a dropshipping company, so that you don’t even have to worry about manufacturing products. It could be in affiliate marketing. That’s where you got your start, right?
James: Yeah, that’s exactly right. I built up my first 6-figures-a-year from one software affiliate website that I just went deep on. Then I leveraged my skills from that across into different business models, but that is exactly how I started. From all the TIM formula, it worked out pretty well because the website was doing the work, and I just had to steer it and grow it. So it was highly leveraged, and I still use the same business model to this day. It’s one of my favorite business models, is the affiliate recommendation model, and then you add a little bit of hot pepper on top, which is adding a bonus. That actually accelerates it because you have a massive advantage over your competitors, and you now acquire the customer’s details, and you turn them into a highly qualified customer list. So I was only ever focused on buyers, not on list building, not on blogging, just putting words on a blog for passion reasons or whatever. I was going for the commercial buyer.
Tim: Yeah. There definitely is a big difference between a buyer’s list and an opt-in list. That’s like a whole another topic right there. Back on to what they can do. The other would be, if you’re already in the business, then you need to figure out where the points in your business that can be changed that will allow you the freedom that you’re looking for, you may not want to go anywhere. You may not want to travel like I did. You may just want to be able to have more free time. That may require putting in the right software systems, or it might require the right human systems to be able to free up your time.
James: I think also it’s a strategy thing. I have this discussion a lot with people who start out on the path of dealing with local businesses. And their simple plan is sell them a cheap website, undercut the people out there in the market, build a website, hand it over and pocket that. They see that money as free money because they got no costs. But when I point out to them, they are just actually now becoming a high-paid Web designer. The better business model is to get someone else to build a website so they can go and sell five more instead of sitting there learning HTML, and then they can hire a project manager to deal with the customer, and now they’ve actually stepped a few layers back from the business, like it’s someone else doing the actual, technical work, someone else doing the customer service work, and their job is marketing, conductor of the orchestra.
Tim: Right, right. And a bit of management, team management, too. Hopefully, the project manager can handle that, but you still need to manage that project manager, and hopefully you’ve got more than one of those, as I’ve learned.
James: Yes. Two is better than one. For sure.
Some action steps
Tim: Yeah. So I guess it’s really the basis of this whole time, income and mobility. I know this conversation has kind of been all over the place, and it wasn’t like the system that I had kind of framed in my head before we sat down and just started chatting about it, but I think people should just look at where in their life can they get self-determination, and focus on those elements. Focus on building the kind of business that will actually allow them to get the life that they want, and not one where their life supports their business.
James: Beautiful. Well, I think that’s a good place to end. Hopefully, we haven’t dragged around in too many places. There’s been some interesting discoveries along the way in this one. And if you reference, this people might go and investigate to get further definition on that. But my overriding point is question everything, remove all the assumptions that have been placed on you, instilled in you from early age. I quite often, I guess, disrupt the teachers at the school. They start programming my kids from fifth class that they’d better do this, or else they’re not going to get into university, and then I question the whole theory behind that. Going into university leads to a nice job as a technical specialist and the handcuffs of society are well in place by then.
So question everything. Think about why you’re in the situation you’re in right now, and allow yourself to engage in activities that are going to get you a different life outcome than what the majority of people seem to put up with. Hopefully, there’s some inspiration in this. We’ll stick around and answer comments on the blog. I think we should get back together and talk about this in more depth about having your own business. I think that will be a great topic because having your own business is certainly what helped me get out of it. It was good to have an affiliate site but when I took a business approach and created a deeper structure, I found that I was still able to have a high “works without me” factor, which is my way of scoring the time and still be able to bring in good income. So we’ll have another discussion on this, I’m sure.
Tim: All right, alright. Yeah. I could talk ad nauseam about this stuff.
James: So Tim, until then. (laughs) I’m doing what you did to me.
Tim: I bet you don’t have a tag line for you to say.
James: I know. But you know, when you did that to me in your episode, I didn’t know there was a tagline. So it was…
Tim: That’s why I just plug it in and then I can edit the part out.
James: Well, I have to come up with a tagline for Internet Marketing Speed. “Until then, speed up your business” or something. All right. We’ll all catch you soon, Tim. Thanks very much. Now be sure to check out Tim’s blog, FoolishAdventure.com. There’s some great podcast on this particular topic that’s really Tim’s specialty. Until next time, we’ll catch you.
Tim: All right.
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