Question from a reader --
Checking in. I've been working on the 90 day productivity challenge. I haven't been able to reach my main goal, which is to create my first profitable business.
I tried and quickly gave up on freelance web design. Now I am attempting to create a Spanish language course aimed directly at Car Salespeople (this is incredibly relevant in California, where I live). My three tasks for accomplishing first iteration are 1) creating a minimal product, 2) setting up a website selling the product, and 3) marketing it through a Google AdWords campaign.
However, I am finding that I have little time, or more accurately, little energy outside of my job to pour energy into my own pursuit.
I therefore have two questions:
1) What would you do (or have done in the past) to fit more energy in your day to get projects done?
2) How would you direct my attempt at building my first business (whether with this idea or another) so that I can GET THE FIRST ONE (success or failure) under my belt?
1) This is "the fundamentals" stuff -- wake up earlier, work before work. Exercise when you get home, go for a run, take a quick shower, and immediately start working. Dozens and hundreds of good articles have been written about this, but sadly, none of them are magic. You just have to try a number of things until you find your rhythym, and then repeat that diligently.
*Try waking up at 4:30AM or 5AM, and working before work.
*Try exercising after work intensively, showering, and then getting right to work. (That's what Dan Andrews did when he was employed, worked for him)
*Write down your most important 3-5 things to do the night before. Just do those. If you do those, the day is a win.
*Other productivity stuff -- self-management, time tracking, good diet, etc. Not rocket science, just takes some discipline.
2. I'd get a list of all of the car dealerships within 50 miles of you. This shouldn't be hard. Then, I'd send them this email.
Subject: Do you sell cars to Spanish-speakers?
Body: I was wondering if you sold cars to Spanish speakers, and sold in Spanish?
Are you really good at it?
I've been working on a course on how to do that... I think it could be huge for your profits if you're not already killing it in this area... I'd love to show you what I'm working on for free and get your feedback, it'd really help and I might be able to make some extra money. Can we do a quick coffee at your dealership?
The only goal of the email and first line is to get the email opened.
Then you want to get them thinking.
Then you want to meet with a strong offer. The offer there is kind of weak actually, I wrote it in like 10 seconds. You could definitely do better, but I think it's good enough.
Follow that up with a call two days later to every dealership, and go in and meet all of them. Bring pad and paper. Ask questions, get all their goals, note how they talk, note how the profession works, etc. Share something valuable. Stay in touch with them. Maybe you could sell a few copies directly from these meetings.
This will give you feedback on if your idea has legs and could work a lot faster than Adwords... small sample sizes being what they are, with a small budget Adwords might take months before you have statistical significance if your idea is working. And there's so many places in the process that your conversion could be broken, so you might have a good idea but you aren't communicating it well on your site. In fact, I'd say that's more likely than not. It's easy to screw up selling things online, and a single "multiply by zero" at any of five stages means zero results... even if your execution is 95% incredible.
So yeah, I'd recommend...
*Make a list of all dealers within 50 miles of you (this won't be hard at all, car dealerships want to be found)
*Send an email to all of them, use the one I wrote verbatim if you want
*Followup two days later with a call
*Visit, ask questions, gauge interest, take copious notes... ask what they'd recommend you price it at, and if they'd buy a copy if it were polished. Be helpful and useful, and grateful.
That should let you know if you've got legs or not. Godspeed,
Edit: I gave up on financial goals in late 2011 after some huge financial and artistic wins... money shouldn't be taken too seriously. For the record, they were all basically on track, some were being massively exceeded, others were a bit behind schedule, but were all happening.
I set my next 10 years of financial goals on June 28th. That was exactly a month ago.
1 year - Critical Thinking [my first book] out. Blog income trickling. Some info products. Some freelancing. Something else, some X-Factor thing bringing in cash. Net monthly income positive. Health insurance. $50,000 in the bank. Expenses = income per month minimum.
3 years - 3 to 5 books out, many products out, blog income robust, some working on big exciting deals. $10,000 per month total, $5000 passive at least. First property owned. $300,000 in the bank.
5 years - 7-10 books out, many many products out, many passive income internet properties, working on big exciting things, $50,000 per month total, $40,000 passive at least. $1,000,000 in the bank.
I have a big project I'm working on (secret for now, haven't decided if I should write about it yet or not), and I've been seriously procrastinating.
It's not that I don't want to do it. It's something I arrived at myself, is very inline with my Life Nomadic goals, and will be very exciting to complete. It's my perfect project.
I'd been working on it for a week, though, and had been getting very little work done. To use a rough estimate, I had done maybe 5% of the work in a week. Twenty weeks until completion is way too long.