MA Business Success 37: How to Get an Extra Hour Each Day

Watch the video podcast below Listen to the audio podcast below Phil: Welcome to Martial Arts Business Success. My name's Phil Britten. Graham: And I'm Graham McDonnell. Phil: And we're here in version 2.0 to basically give you guys the tips, tools and strategies on how to turn your school from surviving to thriving. Graham? Graham: Look, Phil, it's exciting. I can't wait. You're getting to see this is the very, very first time we had the podcast but also we've got some videos, so you guys actually get to see what we're talking about, us live and having a great time sharing some really great stuff. Phil: So as things go on and go forward, we're going to inform you this particular podcast will be where we get some information to you about what we're going to be doing and how we're going to get this medium to you guys. But for today's particular topic, we thought we'd kick off with, "If you want more, you have to do more." What does that mean? Graham: Well, look, I know a lot of guys who just do barely enough. And speaking to a lot of the coaching clients that we have, Phil, over the times, they wonder about our success and what we do. And to be honest with you, we are productive with our time. We're just not busy, we're productive. But we do need to make sure that we fill those time slots with things that are going to get us that return on investment, and really that's what it's all about is you've got to do some more stuff but quality stuff as well. Phil: I guess also, from my point of view, I'm always thinking about not expecting or accepting the standard or the level that we've set on ourselves. We always blame external activities, external environments, external people on where we're at, and we blame. And I think that's a very big limiting belief when this whole thing about, "If you want more," they find it too hard to go get it. Graham: Look, to be honest with you, Phil, I know from personal experience and speaking to a lot of time, Paul. We're in a society where they trying to jam-pack things in. But at the same token, too, there's also a mismanagement on their time where...I know personally myself I've got a project that I want to work on, guess what? I'm going to get up earlier. I'm going to fit that in just to make sure I can manage my time and be productive with it as well. Phil: So how do we take this into martial arts terms here? We're in the business. We want more students. How do we do this concept of, "If we want more, do more." We want more students. What do we do? Graham: Again, we got to think, "What's the meaning that we're going to get? What's our time that we’re going to put in?" And I really look at the stuff that we're doing actively - fights...we've got certain brand specialists outside of our premises. Gone are the days of sitting back, doing a traditional marketing and waiting for the phone to ring. You've actually got to be out. You've got to be out in the community. You've got to do more to put your business in the forefront of peoples' mind. Realistically that's where it's at. You've got to go get them. Phil: Yeah. I think another thing for that as well was when we started up our schools, when you've got that downtime, rather than waiting for the bloody phone to ring, get out there and litter the place with flyers and letter box drops. All the things that you probably don't focus a lot of attention on, they're still going to bring one or two people to the door. It's still brand exposure. It's still getting your message out there in front of people. You never know who's going to walk through your doors. So look at your time and look where you're spending your time. Obviously you can't change the classes that you're doing. That's a fact. But where's your spare time? Is it during the day? Is it during the night? What things can we do that is above and beyond what we're doing? So I urge you, if you're thinking about this, "How can I do more?" look at what you're actually doing and see about how can I do an extra hour or two hour that will get me the result that I want. So what is the result? Let's say it is more students in this particular case. What can I do that's above and beyond what I'm already doing? Is that, "Oh, yeah, we're not doing letter box drops," or, "We haven't done that for 12 months. Let's give it another turn." Other ideas of getting new students in, and we're going to be talking about that in further podcasts as well. Graham: Hey, Phil, do you have tips around categorizing or identifying what are high-return-on-investment items? So we can all get busy. We can busy for two or three hours, but realistically it didn't pay any dividends in our time, was it well-spent, whatnot. And I know you're very, very good at this. If we want to do more, it's good to be cluttered with rubbish, but how do I be more productive with those tasks? What do you focus on? Phil: Well, I'm actually in that phase right now of really collating where I am in my life. It's always that self-analysis that I think we all got to do. So I look at the time table, just a week, for example, and I'm blocking out my must-dos, which are class times, or management meetings or whatever it may be. These are things I can't shuffle. Then where's me time, where's my time? So going to the gym, training, etc. And that's important, because as I often say, just like the safety briefs in the airplanes before you take off, you've got to give yourself oxygen first before you give anyone else oxygen to help them. So number one is, what can't you move? Classes, management meetings, etc. What are the things for you? Training, gym work, whatever it may be or your personal growth. And then where are all of the gaps? There's obviously family and all that sort of stuff. Where's your actual gap where you could actually do more in? Because it's going to take time. And this is a tough thing, guys out there. It might mean waking up freaking early. It might mean going to bed late. But this is the thing: if you want to be successful, you have to want it as bad as you want to breathe. That's a fact! Graham: I couldn't agree more. And for you guys who actually get a chance to actually see us at the moment, there's something myself and Phil have done in the past that has been really, really beneficial for us. And that is write down all the tasks that you're currently doing and the potentially new ones you want to add in there. So again, "If you want more, do more." And what we've done is we've categorized those as an A, an A1, an A2, an A3, a B, a C, and a D. D, delegate. Get rid of that; that's not something you want to do, because I know there's going to be a lot of business owners listening to this and even managers and whatnot that are doing tasks that realistically it's not something they should be doing. They should be spending their time with things that are really going to give them that return on time investment or financial investment. We all have to do certain things, but as a school owner, sweeping the floors and all the rest is important, but would you agree that getting out there and marketing your business is probably a little bit of a higher task. Could I delegate that sweeping the floor, that cleaning? What is that trade-off there? What are you looking for? So understanding, again, we do this a lot with ourselves. We have our to-do lists and understand, "Okay, what's urgent? What's important?" With those, we categorize A1. "What's the first thing? Tick. What's the second thing? Tick. Third thing?" So I certainly want to make sure that you're not just cluttering your time table with things that distract you, but things that are going to be really productive. Phil: Something that we've done recently with our staff also is utilise the four quadrants. I think I can remember it. Quadrant 1 is urgent and important. Quadrant 2 is not urgent but important. Quadrant 3 is... Graham: Jesus, we don't operate in our own. Phil: I can't remember, but basically it's categorizing your to-do list, and what we find is that we generally get stuck on a certain to-do list that is really not productive for us. So you really want to make sure that you're doing the things that are not urgent but important. You've got to deal with the urgent things, of course; get them off your list. But you want most of your time on this thing where that's just important and that's the key. You want to spend your most time there. And if in your school or in your business, whatever it may be, your focus is student retention, then you need to focus in on that area. If it is getting more members, you've got to focus in on that area, but keeping in mind you've got to make sure you're plugging all the holes. You can't focus on one area and forget the other. Graham: Hey, guys, just a really quick tip as well, too, is understand we've been doing it with our managers. They talk about being time-poor or being busy. Look, we understand that they do get busy. But to be honest with you, that's not a good enough excuse for us. We want to be productive. So walking in and opening your email as the first thing in the day is not always a productive thing because you get distracted. Schedule that time. Phil talked about that before. It's important to answer emails because you need to keep up to date and answer what people are doing, but is that very first thing to get you off track? So understanding what first things are first. Then also, too, what about Facebook? What about you guys with social media? Some of you guys put that prime time slot that, to be honest with you, could be scheduled. I know, Phil, we've used this many times with our business. What are some of the tips with regard to the social media scheduling services that are out there? Phil: There's plenty. Hootsuite is one of the ones that I use. I know a lot of businesses do use that, where you can post on one platform and it goes to many. ScheduleOnce is a good meeting platform one that we use. So there are plenty out there. It's really just, "Go out there and figure out which one's best for you." But at the end of the day, it's still time involved, but you're reducing time spent on all those areas. If you had the time and the resources, I'd be outsourcing social media to somebody completely so you and your staff don't have to bother about that. Graham: So just re-capping, I guess, is if you want more, you've got to do more. That doesn't mean filling your day with more rubbish. It means being more productive. And I guess something you've identified for this that's really great is that mindset and understanding, putting first things first, identifying what are the most important tasks that are pressing and also to just making sure that you're not getting distracted with rubbish, really, because that happens. I know there's a lot of clients that we deal with that are busy, but you look at their time table and you look at their day and it's really not sequenced in the right order. They've got bits and pieces elsewhere. You're answering emails at home; that is, they come in, they're not actually structure in schedule, meetings are just all over the show. So really it is about being effective first and foremost, and then filling in those gaps with all those things that are going to make a massive impact in your business, too. Phil: At the end of the day, if you own a business where you have staff underneath you as well, they're going to look to you for inspiration. They're going to look to you, are you organized? Are you productive? Are you going above and beyond? Because your staff won't go above and beyond if you’re not going above and beyond. It's just fact. The saying that, "Bleep flies downhill." Well, you know what? It happens with inspiration and motivation as well. If you're motivated, inspiring, if you're pushing and guiding your staff, then they're going to be able to do that to the staff and make them as well. Graham: Hey, guys, you would've heard this phrase tons of times: lead by example. We say it in our teachings. It's what instructors do. Why don't you do that while you're off the floor as well? It's not just on-the-floor techniques. It's how you organize your life and your business and whatnot. And that's part of the reason why we have been successful at what we do, because we clear out the rubbish, the clutter and really put first things first. Phil: Right. I was going to shoot it to you and put you on a bit of a spot here, but this is definitely a hot topic on, "If you want more, do more." Now I know you've just started doing something, a 40-day challenge. Graham: Yep. Phil: And I know there's nothing wrong with your relationships at home or anything like that, but as you say, if you want to go to the gym and bulk up, then you go the gym and you work out. But if you want to supercharge your relationships, you've got to do some extra things and you're doing some extra things definitely early in the morning and throughout the day. And it's not because nothing's wrong, but it's more because you want more out of your relationships. Graham: Hey, it's a higher standard I'm holding myself to and "good enough" was not a standard I wanted to be. For me, on a personal thing, it was more about...hey, look, I've been married for...geez, I'm with my wife for nearly 19 years, and geez, you get into a routine and that routine was like, "Well, hey, how do we supercharge that?" So that was a personal thing with me. But therefore, what I've actually done is, if I want to fit in this time, I've got to do this before my day starts. So my day now, Phil, starts at 4 a.m. in the morning. Phil: Whoo! Graham: I know. Tell me about it and I am not a morning person. I've learned to be, and I've put first things first. But a 4 a.m. start for a 4:30 Skype call, I'm hitting the gym, relationship gym, reading and education gym up until 6 a.m., and then my day begins. And Phil, you know, we know, for any of the guys listening and watching this, we will sometimes finish work at 10:00 at night. So again, there are certain days that we work long and lengthy because we have to. If you want more, you've got to do more. Phil: That's it. Graham: Keep going back to that, but understanding, team, that hey, I could've made all the excuses in the world. "I don't have the time." Well, I do. I just needed to make sure what was important and sacrifice a few things. So again, in business, and this is a great analogy and segue there, is, hey, is your business performing the way you want? Are you just getting by? Is it just good enough? If you want to be exceptional, you need to shake some things out and actually do a hell of a lot more. So, guys, back at you. Keep yourself accountable because, hey, that's what we do and it's why we are sharing these great strategies with you guys, because we’re actually doing this stuff. Phil: Well, and as Graham said, throwing it back to you guys, we're going to wrap up. In version 2.0, we're going to throw it back to you! If you want more from us, if you want specific topics, specific subjects, we're going to put a little section called Ask the Boys. So if you want something answered in particular, a specific question, a problem that you're having, send us an email at [email protected] Last but not least, guys, obviously this is the podcast that is for you guys. We need reviews on iTunes as well. It just helps us with getting ourselves a bit higher on the list, so we can be accessible by all martial artists, and you know that it's all about raising the standard throughout and not just being the best but bringing everyone to the next level. But Graham, that's Phil Britten signing out. Graham: And Graham McDonnell here. Phil: Look, we're going to leave you guys with our phrase: "Believe in yourself, begin the journey, and become the person and business that you were born to be." Ciao. Graham: Take care.

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