The one thing you should NOT do...
(especially not with your spouse)
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My wife looked very focused, when she walked into our office yesterday, I could see that I had to pay attention, so I stopped what I was doing, looked at her and said:
So, what are you up to?
I want to make a new teacher training course for my previous students or yoga teachers who took another training... An advanced Hands On Corrections class.
»Great«, I said...
»Do you want my help?
I knew she did, but I also knew that the last thing I should do is make her feel I am taking over the project – besides, it was her idea and I wanted her to keep that ownership, so we talked about it, and I want to share the plan we came up with. (Maybe you could benefit, who knows?). It's very simple, and it's only the first baby steps, but hey... doesn't any journey start with the first steps?
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Brainstorm and write down:
Who is your main audience for this course?
- What will they learn?
How will it benefit them and their customers/students?
- How many days will the course need to be?
How is it different (and better) from/than the competitions courses?
- What price point will reflect this uniqueness?
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We didn't for a second talk about landing pages, emails, yoga mats, catering or any other things along those lines. Just the big rocks. And in a few days, we will look through her notes, and dive even deeper into those essentials, because it's the focus on THEM, that will move the needle and create something, she can sell at a way higher price point than the competition.
Is she better than most of them out there?
But that's not the point.
Her focus when creating the product is essential.
I won't babble anymore about my wife's business, but if you can relate just a bit to what you're hearing, and if I could convince you to dive even deeper...
Then I would have you watch Calvin's video on the subject.
It's about... ESSENTIALISM
Community Manager at Simplero
Here is a transcript of the live video, if you'd rather read it:
Hey guys. It's me Calvin from Simplero.
I just wanted to check in on you with you on this Friday between New Year's ... Christmas and New Year's. It's a really special time of the year. I always really like this time of year. It's a good time to kind of slow down and rethink some things, set yourself up right for the new year, not work too hard, just be more like, who am I, where am I going, how was the year that's passing and what I want, who do I want to be in the new year, what do I want to do?
One of the things that came up for me is this book called Essentialism.
I've been reading that. I'm going to show you just a picture of a book because I'm reading it. Well, I'm actually doing the audiobook. But it's something that I've been thinking about these past couple of days, is like doing less and putting more energy into the things that I do do not just for me but also for Simplero as a company. We just had a chat about it this morning on a call that was supposed to be like 15 minutes and ended up being an hour. I was still in my bathrobe because I'd just come from the swimming pool swimming. What did I do? I think I did 60 laps to start the day, five minutes of steam and then like and up run to a meeting that was only supposed to last 15 minutes before I hit the shower, but ... It was really good.
It was like we preach this stuff, and it's kind of what's brought us to where we are. We've created this product that is competitive with everything else that's out there, and we've created it with two developers.
There's been more over the years, but let's say on average about two developers whereas where other companies have 10 or 20 or 50 developers, and zero dollars in funding where others have hundreds, millions of dollars in funding.
There's something there that we've done very right, and then now we're trying to figure out what's the next step. We've never invested in marketing. It's always been product and customer service and it's gotten us to a certain place. But we also know that we need to grow beyond that because just to keep pace with everything, there's more and more competitors, they're well funded, just to keep on top of everything we do need to grow and have more developers, more support staff, more everything.
We've been trying to figure out how to crack that. We actually, I feel like we've ended up doing more things and doing ... scattering our resources and our energy.
I want for us to focus more on what are the one or two things that we can just get 100% behind.
So for you, like what is that for you? Instead of looking like, oh, I need to do this, and this and this and all these different things, it's like what are the ... what is the one thing that's really going to move the needle, that's really going to make a difference for you that you can focus on right now, or what is the one goal that would really make a huge difference for 2019. And what are the least amount of stuff that you need to do to get done to do that.
Ideally we want to spend time just looking at all the options, figuring out where we want to go, and then be like, "All right, this is how we're going to get there," and then we just take those, what's the fewest number of steps, the least amount of work that we can do to get there. Then we're just going to do that and then we go to the beach and hang out.
Well, right now it's kind of ... I hope you can see it. It's kind of gray outside in Manhattan or in Brooklyn rather. So probably not going to the beach right now. But just go, hang out, just have a good time. Maybe cook. I have a whole duck in the fridge that I was ... We didn't do duck for Christmas. I was thinking of just roasting a duck because it's not something ... Like I can't remember the last time I did it, roasted a duck. I think it's been almost a decade. So I figured, let me, that's something I can do. It sounds fun. And just hang out with my wife and my dog or call my kids or something.
Yeah, that's really what we're about. Is like we don't want to try to do everything because we obviously can't. We're small.
We have to be very, very focused. In your life as well like where ... It's easy to get into and it's like, "I'll just do this too and this and this other thing and also this," and then like, "Oh," you have all these things. And most of them end up not mattering, not making any difference, not ... It's just not important.
So just eliminate all those and focus on what really is important and focus on the things that you're really committed to seeing through because most things end up taking 10 times as long as you think they're going to take. Are you really committed to seeing them through, to making them happen, to realizing them even when there are setbacks, even when things don't work out the way that you wanted them to work, et cetera.
That's kind of the question.
It's what we're thinking about here over this Christmas, New Year's holiday period.
The entire team and I we're like we have this percolating in our heads, like what are the things that we need to eliminate, what are the things that we need to not do? In the book he talks about like ranking things on a scale from, I think he's says zero to 100, it doesn't matter, zero to 10, and basically if it's a nine or a 10, then it's like, "Yep, let's do it." If it's anything below that, if it's an eight or a seven or anything below that, you're just like, "Scratch it, just drop it, just don't do it. Don't even do it."
You've heard me say a number of times I'm sure if you've listened to me before. It's one of the things that always pop up in my Twitter mentions. With this interview I did a while ago it was like the fastest way to do something is to not do it at all.
Like what are the things that we want to just not do.
Really what we're talking about here on our team is like investing everything into, just doing everything we can to make the customers that we have successful and happy, and just putting our resources there, as well as the people who are already coming in for a trial of Simplero and just making sure that they're taken good care of, and really putting our effort there on the customers that we have.
What are the things we could do to make you guys more successful, more happy, more excited, more ecstatic about everything in your life? It's not just the software, but you're looking for a boyfriend or you've like some kind of struggling with your relationship with your parents, or like whatever it is, what's stressing you, and let's see if we can help you address that and so that you can be more happy and excited and free.
That feels like the essence for us of who we are, is like taking care of ... Our customers are people. It's kind of what, yeah, it's what we're looking at. I see that there is a ... We have people watching and there's a like here. Yay. Yeah.
Let me see. It can be hard. He tells a story. I kind of feel like finding that now if you can bear with me for a minute. It's interesting. And when it comes to business, I think is a really good example of Southwest Airlines versus some other airline. Let me see if I can find it and then I'll pull it up for you from the book here, Southwest ... Yeah. Oh, it's a whole chapter. It might be too much to go through here.
Southwest Airlines says this thing where they don't ... There's no seating, no meals, they don't do hub and spokes. They only do point to point and all these things. And they're a great airlines. Everybody seems to love them. Here's the story. They're cheaper and they're really efficient and all that. He tells the story of how like Continental tried to compete.
Continental adopted some of Southwest practices. They lowered their fares. They got rid of meals. They stopped their first class service. They increased the frequency of departures. The problem was that because there's still hanging onto their existing business model, Continental Lite accounted for only a small percentage of flights offered by the airline. They didn't have the operational efficiencies that would allow them to compete on price. They were forced to skimp in other ways that ended up compromising the quality of their service. While Southwest had made conscious deliberate trade offs in key strategic areas, Continental was forced to sacrifice things around the margins that weren't a part of a coherent strategy. According to Porter, a strategic position is not sustainable unless there are trade offs with other position.
The essence there is you have to be really clear as a business on like what are the things, what is my strategy here, where am I going to be great and where am I going to suck?
Our proposition is we do everything that you need to for this business in one platform, except maybe for the webinar piece, but aside from that, we do everything under one roof that you need for an online course business or an online coaching business.
But we're not going to be, like every single feature is not going to be like miles deep. We're not going to be as rich in email templates and stuff as MailChimp. We're not going to be as rich in each of these feature areas. We're going to tie it together for you, make sure that you have everything that you need. And you might have to work a little bit with your idea to make it work with what Simplero can do, but then you get the benefit of one place to reach out for service, for customer support, and one product, and you know that things work together and is integrated.
That's what we're about.
That's the trade off that we make, is like, yeah, we can't go completely deep and implement every single feature in every single area that we service. But we do have it all, which I am getting like it's not exactly ... It's not exactly like an essential strategy. Essentially it was to be like, we have one feature and this is what we do. I just don't ... That's not where we've decided to be because it's not ... We want to make it really easy for people to do their things without having to put it all together from different sources.
Anyway. Yeah, what are the few things that you're really excited about?
Derek Sivers says it's either a hell yes or a no.
I don't think he came up with that. I've seen that before too, but like what are the things that you could eliminate from your business, from your life completely, just don't go to events or get rid of clubs and get rid of the office and work from home, or like whatever it is. What are the things you can eliminate, what are the things you cannot do, and what are the things that you're really excited about doing, really committed to seeing through and then focus there.
That's what I got for you for 2019, it's what we're thinking about, what I'm thinking about, and yeah. Centered on making our customers as happy and successful as we can really for us.
So what is it for you? Think about it.
All right guys, talk to you soon. Love you. Bye.