Latest EOFire Podcast LeadPages vs ClickFunnels 2017: Winner, ClickFunnels

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Here’s our story of why we chose ClickFunnels over LeadPages.

In mid-2012 John had an idea: to create a daily podcast interviewing today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs – 7 days a week.

He had zero online presence and zero knowledge of how to start a podcast.

What he did have was determination, drive and FOCUS.

As he worked towards knocking over his ONE big domino, which was launching EOFire, there were a lot of other things suddenly popping up on his to-do list.

He was learning the steps to launch a daily podcast, and at the same time he was having to figure out how to create an entire platform to help support it.

Creating a platform to support a podcast

If you’re reading this post, then you already know the importance of a platform; regardless of whether you’re creating a blog, a podcast, a video channel, a product, a service – anything – a platform is required.

The building blocks were many, but John was determined to put the pieces together, knowing that one step at a time would result in him accomplishing his goal of not only having a daily podcast, but also a platform to support it.

Pieces of a platform built with LeadPages

Things like building a website and creating an email opt in form were foreign, and without CSS or design knowledge, many of our very first site pages were bare bones – to say the least…

landing page

It wasn’t for about a year and a half – in 2014 – that we found out about a platform called LeadPages, a landing page builder. (That link is our affiliate link.)

Well that sounded nice: no CSS or design knowledge necessary?

We’re in!

The whole idea behind LeadPages is that you pay a monthly fee, and in exchange you have access to opt in and landing page templates built by professionals that you can plug your information into.

Here are some examples of the templates we found when we first joined LeadPages:

LeadPages Dashboard

We were huge fans of LeadPages, and we even became affiliates of the software.

Any time anyone would ask “how’d you create this page?”, nine times out of 10 our answer would be: with LeadPages.

They even featured us on their blog as a case study, which proves our love for the platform and how it helped us grow our business.

As LeadPages continued to expand by increasing their client-base and growing their team, they started adding to the many features and benefits available.

A couple of years into us using the software they launched LeadBoxes, a code builder that would allow you to insert a light box pop up within a page or post, like this:

LeadBox

This was incredible because it allowed for email opt in’s and conversions on your own website without your potential subscriber ever having to leave the page.

Next came LeadDigits, a text message opt in option where you could have people subscribe to your lists simply by texting in a code word.

This was especially huge for the podcasting world because how are a large majority of listeners tuning in to your show?… On their mobile device!

There were of course other services out there offering a text message service, but LeadPages was really starting to corner the market when it came to a platform that offered a lot of different options all in one place.

Like when they created a Webinar page template we felt was made JUST FOR US and that we used to present over 100 webinars:

Webinar Templates

In the three plus years we used LeadPages we uncovered a treasure chest filled with opt in templates, landing pages, thank you pages, 404 pages, webinar pages and more.

During that time we created over 100 pages on EOFire.com using LeadPages.

Then, in mid-2015, we were introduced to ClickFunnels.

A platform reimagined with ClickFunnels

Our first experience with ClickFunnels was reading Russell Brunson’s book DotComSecrets, where he gives away multiple step-by-step guides for creating the most commonly-used funnels in online business.

Together with the resource library he created for the book, the free value and the know/like/trust built was enough to make us want to check out ClickFunnels.

Once we did, we realized that ClickFunnels offered so much more than we ever could have imagined.

While LeadPages was getting the job done, we were ready to start customizing the look and feel of our funnels so that our opt in and landing pages didn’t look like every other opt in and landing page you see on the Internet.

(As you can imagine, with the popularity of LeadPages sometimes it seemed like it didn’t matter what Webinar you opted in to or what Thank You page you hit: they all looked the same.)

Plus, we were looking for a higher level of organization and tracking tools, which exist on some level in LeadPages, but not at the level we were looking for.

After experiencing the backend of ClickFunnels thanks to their 2 week free trial and seeing the layout and funnel organization capabilities – in addition to the tracking and page customization options – we were sold.

Funnel Organization

You can see below that the funnel organization in ClickFunnels is super clean. In LeadPages, the only option is giving your pages a “category”.

Without the option to view all of your funnels at once, or organize the pages within a funnel (for example, having the opt in page, thank you page, and sub pages sit in different categories within a funnel), LeadPages made it really difficult to stay organized.

Organized Funnels in ClickFunnels

Page Customization

ClickFunnels offers you tons of templates and recommendations for how to set up your pages, but it also lets you choose exactly how you want your page laid out and designed – without any knowledge of CSS or design.

This allowed us to really start differentiating our landing pages and free course funnels.

Customized pages in ClickFunnels

Funnel Stats

Stats and split tests all originate from the same page in ClickFunnels, making it super simple to compare stats and pages without having to go to a different view or leave your funnel dashboard. Whereas with LeadPages, seeing stats and comparing split tests required multiple pages and clicks.

Conversion Stats in ClickFunnels

Why we chose ClickFunnels over LeadPages

What ClickFunnels offers us that LeadPages doesn’t is a higher level of organization and flexibility with the same ease-of-use. In addition, ClickFunnels has an affiliate platform, which is something we’ve been thinking about switching over for months now (we currently use Infusionsoft).

Don’t get us wrong: we love LeadPages and for many entrepreneurs and online business owners, LeadPages might be the way to go.

The purpose of this comparison is to help you understand the reasons why we chose ClickFunnels so that if you happen to be deciding which one is best for you, you can learn from our experiences over the past four years using both platforms.

If you want a deep dive on exactly what ClickFunnels has to offer, check out this Webinar we hosted with Russell where he walks through exactly how ClickFunnels can help you grow your business!

The post LeadPages vs ClickFunnels 2017: Winner, ClickFunnels appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2mibf66

Latest EOFire Podcast EOFire’s February 2017 Income Report

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

February 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for February: $247,651

Total Expenses for February: $55,845

Total Net Profit for February: $191,806

Difference b/t February & January: +$75,379

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

This monthly income report is created for you, Fire Nation!

By documenting the struggles we encounter and the successes we celebrate as entrepreneurs every single month, we’re able to provide you with support – and a single resource – where we share what’s working, what’s not, and what’s possible.

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re just starting out. The most important part of the equation is that you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here at EOFire.

Let’s IGNITE!

CPA On Fire’s Monthly Tax Tip

What’s up Fire Nation, my name is Josh Bauerle. I’m a CPA and the Founder of CPA On Fire, where we specialize in working with entrepreneurs to minimize their tax liability while keeping them in line with the ever-changing tax laws.

I’ve been working with EOFire for years now, and John and Kate have included me in these monthly income reports with unlimited access to all their accounts so I can verify that what they report here is complete and accurate.

And because they believe in delivering an insane amount of value to you, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level; I’ll also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!

Josh’s February Tax Tip: Tax Time FAQ’s, part I

Alright Fire Nation, as you can imagine I get asked a TON of tax questions this time of year.

So for the next few months we’re going to do something a little different: I’m going to be answering the most frequently asked questions I’ve been getting from my clients this tax season! Let’s dive right in…

1. Should I file separately from my spouse?

When you are married, you have two filing options:

  • Married filing jointly and
  • Married filing separately

I’m constantly asked if it makes sense to file separately from your spouse, and while it seems to make sense on paper, it doesn’t always make sense in real life.

You file separately, split up your income, enter lower tax brackets and pay a little less on taxes, yes. BUT it’s not quite that simple.

Filing separate can cause you to lose several deductions or change the way they are taken, and as a result you will likely end up paying far more in taxes separately.

For 95% of married couples, they will be far better off filing jointly than separately.

Typically, the only time it makes sense to file separately is if you have a large amount of expenses that are tied to income limitations, such as medical or job related expenses.

So how do you know for sure which way is best?

Hire a great tax preparer to walk you through the options!

2. Should I purchase my vehicle through my business?

A business owner is looking to buy a new car, and they figure they can get some serious tax savings buy purchasing and deducting the cost in their business – and maybe even get a little fancier of a car with those tax savings!

Again, this appears to make sense.

We talk here all the time about turning personal expenses into business expenses.

BUT, you want to operate with caution here. If your car is not being used almost entirely in the business, then you do not want to purchase it through the business.

Why?

Because if you purchase it as a business vehicle and use it a good chunk of the time for personal use, then you are opening yourself up to having to pay taxes on the personal use of the vehicle.

The much safer option here is to just buy it personally and then reimburse yourself from the business for the business use.

And NO, putting a business advertisement on your car doesn’t make it 100% business use!

3. Can I deduct athletic club, gym or golf club memberships in my business?

Let’s say you get a golf club membership and are frequently taking clients and other business contacts golfing at the club.

Or maybe you buy a gym membership because keeping in shape is paramount to your business.

Seems like the costs should be deductible, right?

Unfortunately they aren’t.

The IRS has determined that gym, club or golf membership fees are not deductible in your business, even if you use it for business reasons a good chunk of the time.

You can, however, deduct the specific costs associated with a business outing at the clubs.

So if you have a client out for a round of golf, the costs involved, such as green fees, cart rental, lunch, etc. would be deductible as meals and entertainment.

As always, your tax situation is unique to you and you should always seek advice related to your specific situation. But these general guidelines will give you an idea around what to expect with the most frequently asked tax questions.

Next month we will tackle three more! If you have any specific questions you would like us to tackle, then send them on over!

And as always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss what would be best for YOUR business. I LOVE chatting with Fire Nation!

*Bonus* If you haven’t checked out Josh’s FREE course on business entities yet, you can get it here!

Our Kahuna Accounting Monthly Tax Tip

Frank Lunn is Founder/CEO of Kahuna Accounting, the accounting service we use here at EOFire! They’re a virtual entrepreneur accounting team assisting Entrepreneurial Victory Achievers to Achieve Entrepreneurial Victory!

Frank’s February Accounting Tip: A “Frank” Conversation

For best effect, read to yourself in the voice of a storyteller…

Meet Frank.

Frank is an entrepreneur.

Frank started a company.

Frank worked hard and had a great team.

Frank and his team built a successful business.

Frank sold his company and made several million dollars for himself and his team.

Frank was happy!

Frank loves entrepreneurs and wanted to help them be more successful.

So, Frank built a new team assisting entrepreneurs with outsourced accounting to accelerate success and build wealth.

Although not an accountant, Frank discovered accounting was more important than he ever imagined. Frank learned about accounting as a foundation for wealth.

Frank was still happy!

Somewhere along the way Frank discovered something alarming, though…

Although he made millions in his exit, he realized he left several million dollars on the table – unclaimed. Frank was still happy, yet also a bit sad for what he wished he had known back then.

To be fair, Frank didn’t have Josh Bauerle as his CPA strategist, or EOFire as resources.

And now, Frank’s new mission is assisting entrepreneurs to NOT be sad.

So let me be ‘Frank’ with you…

Although an entrepreneur for more than two decades, building a company with revenue over 20 million dollars per year, I didn’t understand bookkeeping and accounting as the foundation for profitability and the value of my exit.

I understood bookkeeping basics – P&L, balance sheets, cash flow, and basic components of business valuation – but not how basic accounting was the foundation of my wealth.

Good accounting is good business… Just being Frank.

Visiting Kahuna Accounting to see how Kahuna’s team can help YOU get your accounting in order.

What Went Down In February

The Mastery Journal Crushes it on Kickstarter!

Well, we did it! The Mastery Journal campaign on Kickstarter officially wrapped at midnight on Friday, February 24th, and we were blown away by the support we received throughout the entire 33 days.

THANK YOU Fire Nation!

Final tally: 3,659 backers and $280,852 total revenue pledged!

Plus, we personally wrote a $10k check to Pencils of Promise on behalf of Fire Nation and everyone who pledged to The Mastery Journal campaign.

Looking back at the many milestones and accomplishments along the way has been quite a treat.

Everything from forming our internal team, to sending final files to print, to receiving the first hardcover, to launching on Kickstarter has been a somewhat familiar journey.

However, we have experienced our fair share of new lessons over the past several months; even though we launched The Freedom Journal on Kickstarter, too, The Mastery Journal launch was a whole new experience.

Before we dive into The Mastery Journal campaign in review, did you miss The Mastery Journal on Kickstarter?

If so, you can click here to jump on the notification list and be the first to know when The Mastery Journal is available to non-backers, PLUS get the first 30 days free!

The Mastery Journal campaign in review

We talked a bit about launch day in our January Income Report and the importance of never taking your foot off the gas.

We also covered what our “Launch Day Blitz” looked like, including our own interview on EOFire, the multiple emails we sent out to our segmented lists, and the multiple guest podcasting and guest posting opportunities that all went live on launch day, Monday, January 23rd.

Now that we can see the whole picture, we have a few new lessons to share…

1. Launch Day Blitz’s DO work

Creating buzz is important given the level of noise in the online world.

You can’t assume that a few Tweets and a post or two on Facebook are going to get the word out about what it is you’re creating – whether that be a blog, a podcast, a product or a service.

If you’re going to take the time to create something you’re proud of, then be prepared to shout it from the online rooftops! It’s up to YOU to let people know it exists, and oftentimes people are so busy that even though you may think you’ve done a good job of promoting, people still don’t know about it.

By enlisting some of our great friends to help us spread the word about The Mastery Journal campaign, we were able to end our first day live on Kickstarter ON FIRE!

Here’s a screenshot I took from my phone when I woke up on Tuesday morning – just about 24 hours after The Mastery Journal went live on Kickstarter:

The Mastery Journal on Kickstarter

Along with the momentum we received from our own following – meaning, those who had already raised their hand and told us they were interested in hearing more about The Mastery Journal – we also received incredible visibility from those outside of our reach.

Check out this screenshot of the social shares from our guest post that went live on MichaelHyatt.com at the end of week 1 on Friday, January 27th:

Michael Hyatt Guest Post

This screenshot was taken the same day the post went live, and if you check out the increase in engagement at the time we’re writing this post, you’ll see that the comments are now over 40, the Facebook shares over 400, and the LinkedIn shares nearly 500.

And this is just one of well over 30 posts and podcast episodes that went live throughout The Mastery Journal campaign on sites like Forbes.com, Mixergy.com, ChrisDucker.com, 100MBA.net, TheCheeryChef.com, on Jeff Goins’ site, and many more…

All of this combined grabbed the attention of Kickstarter, too!

Just about 48 hours into the campaign Kickstarter named us a “Project We Love“, which resulted in us ranking incredibly high in search within the platform.

We hit #1 under Publishing when looking at listings by popularity!

The Mastery Journal Ranking

2. Facebook Live vs. Kickstarter Live, and the power of engagement

Last year when we wrapped The Freedom Journal campaign on Kickstarter we did a mini-marathon on Blab.im. We invited Fire Nation and those who had backed the Kickstarter campaign to join us live for four hours straight to close out the campaign strong.

Questions, brainstorming, feedback – it was simply a way for us to offer up our time to hangout and chat about all things goal setting.

The final four hours of The Freedom Journal campaign were massive. Not only did we have someone snag the last Day w/ JLD for an additional $10k in pledges, but we got to ENGAGE with those who were in this with us.

Since Blab is no more, this year we decided to go with Facebook Live to close out The Mastery Journal campaign.

Why not Kickstarter Live?

We were really excited to check out Kickstarter Live when we first found out it would be available during The Mastery Journal campaign, but after testing it out a few times – with a decent amount of success – we realized something we teach often: you need to go where your audience is.

In order to engage and connect with Fire Nation, we needed to go to a place we knew they’d be hanging out at, and that wasn’t on Kickstarter.

While we didn’t have anyone snag the last Day w/ JLD this time around, the Facebook Live did create some incredible engagement and a strong connection with our audience and those who had backed The Mastery Journal campaign.

As you can see below, John went live for over two hours and welcomed over 1,000 viewers live, not to mention stop-in’s from Chris Ducker, Michael Hyatt, Sally Hogshead, Michael O’Neal, Aaron Walker, and many other top-notch entrepreneurs who have supported the campaign since day one.

The Mastery Journal on Facebook Live

3. Street Team Success: Digital vs. Hardcover

When we first came up with the idea to create the Street Team for The Mastery Journal campaign, we decided our ‘Thank You’ would be free access to The Complete Digital Pack.

But when we got word the ship had docked and that we’d have access to The Mastery Journal earlier than expected, we took a sharp left: we decided to up our ‘Thank You’ and offer to mail a hardcover copy of The Mastery Journal to those who went all-in with us during our 33 day launch.

What resulted was not only incredible gratitude, but also some really amazing stories from members of the Street Team who wasted no time diving straight into their Mastery Journal.

On February 13th, just days after receiving her Mastery Journal, Trista Signe Ainsworth of The Cheery Chef posted this in our Private Facebook Group:

The Cheery Chef

With the help of our own team, the Street Team, the numerous individuals who helped us spread the word about The Mastery Journal via guest posts and podcasts throughout the campaign, and the thousands who supported the campaign by backing The Mastery Journal, we finished day 33 STRONG!

productivity, discipline and focus

We hope the lessons we’ve shared about launching a physical product on Kickstarter in our January Income Report, here in our February Income Report, and in the massive recap we shared about our experience with The Freedom Journal will serve you on your journey!

Post Campaign

So now what?

Well, we’re FIRED UP to get The Mastery Journal campaign fulfilled as quickly as possible so that everyone who backed the Kickstarter campaign will be able to start their journey to Mastery in March.

But there are a few things you should know about how Kickstarter handles the backend once a campaign wraps:

  • The creator must put together a survey that asks backers for their address
  • The cards on file will be run; if they’re expired or declined, the backer will be notified to update
  • Digital Packs are on us to deliver

Luckily, John’s level of productivity, discipline and focus when it comes to most things in life is HIGH, and with the help of the best virtual team around we’re nearly finished fulfilling the entire campaign!

This has resulted in a few things we didn’t expect right off the bat, like a huge rush to our Private Facebook group!

The Mastery Journal

Since the campaign wrapped, we’ve been quite busy accepting new members into The Freedom & Mastery Journal group, and we can’t wait to hear about their journeys!

…What’s next?

A question we’ve been getting a lot, which started before The Mastery Journal campaign had even wrapped, is what’s next?

Our immediate answer: fulfilling the Kickstarter campaign so everyone who backed The Mastery Journal will have their physical copy as quickly as possible. Again, we’re hoping to fulfill the campaign in early March.

Then, next steps are to get TheMasteryJournal.com live (a Shopify site where we’ll open up sales post-Kickstarter).

Finally, to get The Mastery Journal listed on Amazon.

And then…

How to Finally Win

Hi! JLD here 🙂

Once we wrap up fulfillment for The Mastery Journal campaign, my next project is to write my first traditionally published book, How To Finally Win: Create your dream life one step at a time.

I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to write a book, but now I know I have a book in me and I hope it will help Entrepreneurs around the world create their dream life just as Kate and I have created ours.

Sign up here to be added to our ‘behind the scenes’ newsletter, and besides getting the first chapter of the book free, you’ll also receive updates, gifts, and sneak peeks along my journey of writing this book!

IGNITE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $156,496

The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $22,657 (377 Freedom Journals & 154 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $40,528 (991 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $63,185

Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!

  • Recurring: $16,072 (2 annual, 199 monthly)
  • New members: $16,575 (53 new members)
  • Total: $32,647

Podcast Sponsorship Income$53,833

Podcast Websites: $5,000 Your all-in-one podcast website peace of mind

Free Podcast Course: A free 15-day course on Podcasting

Free Webinar Course: A free 10-day course on Webinars

Free Goals Course: A free 8-day course on Setting & Accomplishing Goals

Funnel On Fire: A free 8-day course on Creating a Funnel that Converts!

WebinarOnFire: $1,344 Learn how to Create & Present Webinars that Convert!

Skills On Fire: $99

The Fire Path: $198

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$148 | eBook: $42

Affiliate Income: $91,155

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $73,098

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $15,371

Resources for Podcasters: $915

Other Resources: $1,771

  • Amazon Associates: $1,227
  • Other: $544

Total Gross Income in February: $247,651

Business Expenses: $53,500

  • Advertising: $3,184
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $2,062
  • Accounting: $350
  • Cost of goods sold: $8,166
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $45
  • Legal & Professional: $
  • Meals & Entertainment: $796
  • Merchant / bank fees: $1,383
  • Amazon fees: $11,191
  • Shopify fees: $359
  • Stripe fees: $6
  • PayPal fees: $631
  • Office expenses: $478
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,689
  • Promotional / events: $210
  • Paradise Refunds: $1,280
  • WebinarOnFire Refunds: $0 (invoice total)
  • Sponsorships: $5,500
  • Show notes: $408
  • Travel: $207
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $7,031
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,407
  • Website Fees: $3,137

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,345

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $80 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $209
  • CCBill: $20
  • FastSpring: $40 (one-time fee)
  • Feedblitz: $15
  • Google Storage: $9.99
  • Go2MyPC: $12
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $9.95
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $359
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $203
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $2.99
  • Shopify: $20
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $4.99
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Wistia: $25
  • WPCurve: $29
  • Zapier: $15
  • Taxes & Licenses: $77

Total Expenses in February: $55,845

Payroll to John, Kate & PR Team: $17,140

In our May 2014 Income Report and our June 2016 Income Report, Josh focuses on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check them out!

Total Net Profit for February 2017: $191,806

Biggest Lesson Learned

Step back, breathe

It’s easy to get overwhelmed, worked up, emotionally entangled, frustrated and any other number of emotions when you’re running your own business.

You have a huge responsibility!

But sometimes what’s required – amongst the range of intense emotions we come in contact with on a daily basis – is to take a step back and breathe.

Fitting since breathe was one of my three words for 2017, right?

February taught us a lot of lessons – both personally and professionally – when it comes to taking a step back. Whether it was the excitement of The Mastery Journal Kickstarter campaign, the pressure of multiple big projects coming due, or realizing over and over again what it means to be the owner of a 5,000 square foot home, we took several moments to step back and breathe.

You can control your responses to situations, but sometimes it requires that you give yourself space from the situation, and that’s okay.

Take that space; the result, overtime and with practice, will be that you’ll no longer allow that range of emotions to dictate how you respond to the sometimes tough, sometimes overwhelming, and sometimes frustrating situations that equal life.

Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!EntrepreneurOnFire

Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!

~ Kate & John

Note: we report our income figures as accurately as possible, but in using reports from a combo of Infusionsoft & Xero to track our product and total income / expenses, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error. 

Click here for all of EOFire’s Income Reports

This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Implementer at EOFire. Follow Kate on Social:

Facebook FollowGoogle Plus FollowLinkedIn FollowTwitter Follow

The post EOFire’s February 2017 Income Report appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2n6Hczg

Latest EOFire Podcast 160: The importance of finding and focusing on your strengths

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

How to find your strengths

Your time is best leveraged when it’s spent working on the things that will move you and your business in the direction you want most. You not only feel great about the tasks you’re working on, but you also feel great about the impact your work is making on others.

Since I was about eight years old, I’ve struggled with not wanting to be in the spotlight and living life incredibly small – at times, even invisible.

For twenty years, I played the victim role.

Not being responsible, not making decisions, and ensuring at all costs that I wouldn’t have to speak up was my focus.

My huge breakthrough

In early 2014 everything changed: I had a huge breakthrough after attending a transformational training.

That same year, I took a huge stride: I started showing up in a whole new role. My focus became being a strong and confident individual.

This was a conscious choice I made. No one gave me super powers, and I didn’t receive thousands of kind notes from others telling me how wonderful I am. In fact, I heard a lot of quite the opposite.

Using what I had learned about myself through that transformational training, and taking the lessons I’ve been taught by others, I made a conscious choice to start showing up exactly how I wanted to live my life.

Guess what? As soon as I started showing up that way, I started feeling that way.

Shifting your focus

My focus shifted, and as a result, my entire life shifted.

Everything that I put out into the world came back to me from those I was surrounding myself with, and for the first time in as long as I could remember, I actually felt those things: strong and confident.

As a result, I started to see massive changes in my life.

I started stepping into the spotlight through things like:

  • Being featured on others’ podcasts;
  • Speaking engagements; and
  • Launching my own podcast.

I enjoyed every second of it, and putting myself out there helped me realize how much knowledge and experience I have to share, and further more, how big of an impact that can have on others.

Facing doubts and fears with recognition

But after I had tackled my challenge of putting myself out there and being in the spotlight, I started to wonder: is this where I’m supposed to be?

Doubts, fears and everything in between came crashing down on me, and I started to second-guess whether or not what I had to say mattered.

Luckily, I know recognition is the first step to breaking through limiting beliefs; as soon as I recognized what I was thinking and feeling, I gave myself the opportunity to choose how I would respond to those thoughts and feelings.

As I continued moving forward, despite my doubts and fears, I discovered something else. Through a lot of brainstorming, thinking, talking, and sharing with others, I discovered what it is I’m best at.

Embracing what you’re best at

Learning to embrace what you’re best at is important, and while it doesn’t mean everything has to suddenly change, it will lift a weight off your shoulders when you know how your time is best spent.

Once I realized what it is I’m best at, I started working on projects that, while still challenging, called on skills that are almost like second nature to me. And so while I worked towards accepting – at its core – that what I’m best at doesn’t necessarily lend to being in the spotlight (not all the time anyway), it can still make me feel strong and confident.

Turns out, it was just a matter of shifting my focus.

Associating the skills I use in the backend with strength and confidence was a new thing for me. Ten years ago, being in the backend meant I was playing small.

But now I see how a variety of skills can represent whatever you want them to, as long as you’re making the progress you want in your business and life.

It was through this experience I’ve realized the true power of what it is we choose to focus on.

The mind is everything. What you think, you become. ~ Buddha

3 Ways to find your strengths

1. Ask

Ask the 5 people you’re closest with: “What do you think I’m best at?”

What’s a recurring thing or similarity in what they tell you?

2. Brainstorm

Brainstorm for 30 minutes on the things peoples come to you for the most.

What do people always as for your advice about?

3. Reflect

What are the things that come naturally to you?

Don’t let the curse of knowledge keep you from discovering what it is you’re best at!

The post 160: The importance of finding and focusing on your strengths appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2mdDki8

Latest EOFire Podcast 159: A plan for accomplishing one-time projects

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Accomplishing one-time tasks and projects

There are likely a lot of tasks and projects you manage for your business that are recurring, like maintaining your blog, building a presence on social media, and connecting with your audience (whether that be via an online community, email or otherwise).

These recurring tasks and projects are easy to identify because they’re the types of things you do in your business all the time and that you’ve hopefully created some type of system around, or at the very least, things you already have a plan for.

One-time tasks and projects

But because you’re an entrepreneur steering your own ship, there are always going to be those great ideas or new partnerships and opportunities that require you to manage one-time tasks and projects, in addition to all the other things you have going on.

These one-time tasks and projects can really throw a wrench in things for several reasons, including:

  • This is your first time doing it, so you don’t know what to actually do;
  • You have a lot of recurring projects you’re working on, so finding the time will really be a challenge; or…
  • You’re not sure what to actually do, and therefore, you’re also not sure who needs to be involved.

For these reasons and so many more, one-time projects can easily become a source of overwhelm and fear for entrepreneurs, and as a result, they become a lot more difficult to execute.

The great news is, you can put a series of steps together just like you do for your recurring tasks and projects that will help you successfully create a plan for your one-time projects – regardless of whether you’ve done it before or not.

And once you have a plan in place, execution becomes a whole lot easier.

The planning process

I’m going to share with you the plan I use, along with the specific tools I leverage, for putting a plan in place for my one-time tasks and projects.

The first 3 steps below really cover what comes before the plan, just so we’re on the same page.

Step 1: Planning 

I have what I like to call “the planning board”.

It’s an actual, tangible board where I keep track of my one-time tasks and projects and also my progress on each of them.

If you practice SCRUM, then you know the type of planning board I’m talking about.

I usually reserve my planning board for tasks that I know will take me more than a day or two of dedicated time to accomplish, and it has been so helpful for me because it gives me visual documentation of what I need to prepare for plus the progress I’m making.

Step 2: Priority

Once you have all of your one-time tasks and projects on your board, it’s important to arrange them by priority.

By giving your one-time tasks and projects an order of priority, you’ll save yourself from later having to make this determination. Going to your board and immediately knowing which you’ll work on next will save you a lot of time in the future.

Managing one-time tasks and projects

Step 3: Selection

This step is super simple: you’re just selecting your top priority one-time task or project so we can start creating an actual plan for execution.

And now, we get into creating a plan for one-time tasks and projects…

Step 4: Brainstorming

In addition to my planning board, I also have another board that’s for brainstorming, and this is where I go to actually draw out the plan I’ll use for each of the one-time tasks and projects I want to accomplish.

While my actual planning board is tangible, my brainstorming board changes from time to time; sometimes it’s a Google doc or spreadsheet, other times it’s a piece of paper or maybe something like Asana, and sometimes it’s a combination of a couple of these things.

Brainstorming is the first and most important step for creating a plan for your one-time tasks and projects because this is the foundation.

Once you choose the tool you’ll use for your brainstorming session (Google doc, piece of paper, or some type of online software), it’s time to write out the steps you already know you need to take in order to accomplish your one-time task or project.

During your brainstorming session you might also write out the resources and potential team members you’ll need to help.

Basically, anything goes during your brainstorming session: alternative ideas, different ways of accomplishing a certain step, questions that have come up about how to accomplish something, tools that could potentially help, etc.

Step 5: Research

Now that you’ve gotten all your ideas out on paper and you have notes and questions and the steps you know you need to take in order to accomplish your one-time task or project, it’s time to do some research.

What questions came up for you during your brainstorming, and how can you get answers to those questions?

  • Google search
  • Asking a peer or friend who has experience in that area
  • Going to your online community to request feedback / support

You don’t have to find answers to every single last question you came up with; don’t let what you don’t know hold you back from finding out through taking action.

At the same time, this can be a time-intensive step; don’t cheat yourself. Be resourceful and gather as much information as possible so you can put together the best plan possible.

It will be very important to practice discipline during your research. This is primetime to get sidetracked, see something on the Internet that looks interesting and get distracted, or remember that you were supposed to do this one thing that’s really important…

Stick to the task at hand: research for your one-time task or project.

Step 6: Steps = the plan

You’ve done an amazing job of preparing by the time you get to this step, which is going to be so incredibly helpful when it comes to actually putting your plan together.

You’ve selected your one-time task or project, you’ve brainstormed how you’re going to accomplish it by writing out the steps you know you need to take, you’ve done your research to answer any questions you may have had, and now it’s time to put it all together.

Putting your plan together

My tool of choice for creating my plans is Asana, which allows you to create super simple tasks, in addition to complex, multi-step project plans.

But you could also simply take out a piece of paper and start writing your plan out, with the most important piece being: your next most important step.

Your plan starts with the steps you know you need to take in order to accomplish your one-time task or project. This is the difference between actionable steps (your plan) and the results (your outcome).

Here are a few one-time task or project examples and the first one or two steps that need to be accomplished to get your project started:

  • If you want to launch your website, what are the things that need to happen in order for that outcome to be a reality?

First step: Figure out what platform you’re going to use

Second step: Create a wireframe or outline for your site layout

  • If you want to create an evergreen webinar, what are the things that need to happen in order for that outcome to be a reality?

First step: Figure out what your webinar will be about

Second step: Create your webinar outline and slides

Third step: Practice your presentation

  • If you want to create an email opt in giveaway, what are the things that need to happen in order for that outcome to be a reality?

First step: Confirm whatever the giveaway is is something your audience sees value in

Second step: Determine the format of the giveaway

Third step: Create the actual content and lay it out

Even if you’re only able to write out the first and second step of your plan, that’s okay – at least you have an action item to help get you started.

Setting boundaries and holding yourself accountable

Another very important part of your plan is boundaries.

If you just have a list of X number of steps, but no timeline or deadline for when you’ll accomplish your one-time task or project, then how are you ever going to hold yourself accountable to doing what you’ve said you’ll do?

Once you have your plan together, make sure you put it up against a timeline, with an ultimate deadline for completion so you can check your progress and stay on track.

Step 7: Execute

Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to execute.

The most effective format for this is setting aside a specific amount of Focus Time where you can begin to make progress on your one-time task or project.

Take the first step you’ve written out, set a timer for the amount of Focus Time you’ve chosen (for example, 30 minutes), and begin.

FOCUS on that single step of your plan until your time is up; then, take a break (for example, 10 minutes).

Once your break, or Refresh Time, is up, get right back into it. Move to your second step, set a timer for the amount of Focus Time you’ve chosen, and begin.

Based on the Pomodoro Technique, this is the exact format we laid out in The Mastery Journal so that you can crush productivity, discipline and focus every single day.

Each day of The Mastery Journal has four sessions for you to fill in, and having that accountability in your daily routine is what will help you take your business and life to the next level.

Remaining distraction free in the process

Once you begin execution, you’ll have powerful momentum that will help you continue to crush your one-time task or project!

But of course, we will always face distractions in the process.

Knowing exactly what’s standing between you and your biggest goals is important, because only then can you start to find solutions.

The post 159: A plan for accomplishing one-time projects appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2lLD4GU

Latest EOFire Podcast S5E8: A finale on Productivity, Discipline and Focus

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Productivity, Discipline and Focus

What will it take for you to accomplish your biggest goals and create the life and future you want for yourself and for your family?

As we close out Season 5, I encourage you to take a step back and truly give yourself time and space to visualize what you want your life to look like.

About four years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend; he asked me what my perfect day looked like.

I told him that it would start with an early morning workout while listening to my favorite podcasts, followed by a cup of coffee and sitting down to write and create.

In the afternoon, I would spend time with the people I love and be outside as much as possible going on hikes, bike rides, and exploring.

In the evening, I’d let my mind wander and not be caught up or stressed out by whatever the day had brought my way; I’d think about places John and I could travel together and trips for me and my family.

I’d end the day by cooking an amazing meal while listening to music, and then snuggling up on the couch, switching between great conversation and funny television shows.

Today, I have my perfect day because of the productivity, discipline and focus I’m able to put into accomplishing my biggest goals, which over the past four years have given me freedom.

Freedom to choose what my day looks like.

Putting plans into action

Knowing this, throughout Season 5 I’ve shared several of my plans with you, including one for productivity, one for discipline and one for focus.

I share these plans with you because I know firsthand the impact they can have on your life. But it’s up to you to put these plans into action.

To wrap up Season 5, let’s review what it means to be productive, what it means to be disciplined and what it means to be focused so you feel 100% confident you’re ready for action.

What it means to be productive

Accomplishing tasks that matter to you and your business in an efficient manner.

Remember, productivity isn’t just about checking things off your to-do list – it’s about checking things off your to-do list that are helping you move forward based on the goals you’ve set.

True productivity requires a plan; each night, wrap up your workday by writing down the ONE goal you will accomplish the next day so you know exactly what to start working on when you wake up the next morning.

What it means to be disciplined

Setting and sticking to a plan of ACTION.

Remember, being disciplined isn’t about being perfect; it’s about committing to – and actually doing – the things you say you’re going to do.

We will be faced with endless opportunities. True discipline equals your ability to immediately visualize your why and what it is you want for your future, and as a result say no to the things that aren’t going to help you get there.

What it means to be focused

Follow ONE course until success, and remain distraction free in the process.

Remember, being focused is one of the most difficult challenges we face as entrepreneurs, especially today with an infinite number of notifications, distractions and all those shiny objects we just love to chase.

True focus requires a commitment to the task at hand.

The Mastery Journal

If you’re ready to start creating your future by putting your plan for productivity, discipline and focus into action, then head over to TheMasteryJournal.com for your own physical copy of The Mastery Journal.

The Mastery Journal is your daily guide to mastering productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days.

The post S5E8: A finale on Productivity, Discipline and Focus appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2l2S5Al

Latest EOFire Podcast S5E7: Why keeping score is important for accomplishing your goals

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Keeping Score Accomplishing Goals

Have you ever noticed when you get yourself involved in a game or a friendly competition that things like the timer and the score can have a huge impact on your motivation and drive to keep going?

Regardless of whether you’re competitive or not, a timer and a score can and will change your actions.

So what if we were to apply this knowledge when it comes to accomplishing our goals?

Keeping score

I’m currently working on a big project that’s been on my mind for quite some time. The goal: to move the Podcasters’ Paradise membership site over to a new platform.

This project has a lot of moving pieces, and all of these moving pieces will have to come together at some point in order to make the move successful.

So far, here are the steps we’ve taken:

  • Research platforms and compare
  • Choose platform
  • Engage with new platform
  • Test new platform
  • Identify parts that will be moved

We still have several more steps to take, but we’re making great progress. I know, because I’ve been keeping score.

Here’s how to keep score

When we first started this project I wasn’t very involved in the research portion. It sounded like one of those steps that would be a good thing to delegate. So for several weeks, I took myself out of the equation and was focused on other things.

Turns out I did it wrong.

All of the time that was sunk into researching returned platforms I knew existed, but that I hadn’t already chosen for a reason.

It was when I started having conversations with others in our space about what they use for their membership platforms that I realized the answer was right in front of us.

We talk about the power of connection and masterminds all the time – how could I have missed this?

After reflecting and realizing the way I had approached the first step in our masterplan was not something I was proud of, I gave myself a score:

  • A 3 out of 10 on productivity (while I had good intentions, me delegating this step was not productive)
  • A 5 out of 10 on discipline (even though I didn’t get the result I wanted as quickly as I wanted it, I didn’t give up by settling for a platform I knew wasn’t right)

I was not super proud of my scores on this first step, to say the least. But because I had a baseline for my productivity and discipline moving forward, I was excited to approach our 2nd step with a whole new energy.

When it came time to choose a platform, I was not only confident given the conversations I had had, but I was ready to crush that step with full productivity and discipline. I also realized that choosing the platform was so simple at that point, why not dive into the third step at the same time?

After reflecting on my second and third steps, I uncovered a couple of things:

  • How critical it would be for me to take ownership of this project to keep things moving, and
  • That the engagement piece was going to be a lot more involved than I had anticipated

I gave myself a 10 out of 10 for both productivity and discipline for the second step (choosing the platform was easy), and as I got further into the engagement piece – even though it was a lot more involved than I had anticipated – I become more and more confident about the platform we chose.

I haven’t scored myself on the engagement piece yet because I’ve realized that will continue until the project is complete; however, I was able to dive into testing recently, and I was excited to take that step on with full focus.

Unfortunately, it ended up taking me two weeks to get to this step, which is a lot longer than I wanted to wait to dive in.

However, once I did dive in, I was able to give testing my 100% focus, and I even completed the entire training course on how to use the platform!

Once completed, I gave myself a score:

  • 9 out of 10 on productivity (finishing the entire training course & getting to test it out was awesome!)
  • 7 out of 10 on discipline (I shouldn’t have waited that long to start testing, but once I dove in, I was on a roll!)

Looking ahead

As I continue working through this project, I can see us making massive progress in a short amount of time as long as I can keep the project moving.

By keeping score I’m able to motivate myself not only to do better on the next step than I did on the last, but also to keep my focus forward and my pace steady.

You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. ~ Shirley Chisholm

Keeping score is easy to do, but like most things in life, it’s also easy to not do.

The Mastery Journal

That’s why we’ve built keeping score into The Mastery Journal itself.

At the end of each session there’s a space for you to give yourself a productivity score and discipline score, which is added up and averaged at the end of each day.

Then, during your 10-day Review you’re able to average your scores again to set a new standard for your next 10 days.

Always remember: the only person you should be comparing yourself to is you, yesterday.

You can use this same scale for scoring yourself on any number of skills or tasks, just like I’ve laid out above. If you’re ready to start crushing your tasks and making meaningful progress towards accomplishing your goals, then head over to TheMasteryJournal.com and grab your physical copy today!

The post S5E7: Why keeping score is important for accomplishing your goals appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2mdXBkD

Latest EOFire Podcast The 5 reasons you’ll FAIL in 2017

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

(But not you because you’re reading this 😉

1. You’re scared to NICHE down till it hurts

In my experience, EVERY Entrepreneur (myself included) starts their journey TERRIFIED that we might (GASP) not resonate with EVERY POTENTIAL client/customer/listener/fill in the blank.

The OPPOSITE is true. If you try to resonate with a broad audience, you’ll resonate with no one. You’ll be another Entrepreneur screaming into the wind that no one is listening to, because they’re screaming too.

Find a niche small enough that you can dominate, then CRUSH IT.

Once you get momentum, aka a few raving fans, THEN you can start to explore what it would look like to broaden your niche, one step at a time…

If you’re looking for world domination, you’re following the wrong guy.

If you’re looking to carve a special place in this world in an area you LOVE and can provide VALUE in, you’re home…welcome!

2. You’re gonna give up too quick

WOW was this almost my kryptonite.

I remember it as clear as yesterday…

I was two months into EOFire.

I was driving home from Ryan Lee’s Dot Com Expo event outside NYC as the featured ‘Podcaster‘, with Daymond John, Marie Forleo, David Siteman Garland, Noah Kagan & many other great speakers.

Everyone at the event looked at me as a ‘subject matter expert‘ of a subject (Podcasting) that I barely knew anything about…

I was getting over 3,000 listens a day, and was pegged at the #1 spot in New and Noteworthy for Business Podcasts in iTunes.

I thought I was riding a rocket-ship to the moon, then suddenly, I wasn’t.

I pulled over for gas and as I was filling up I checked my stats.

**GULP**

I was at 20% of my normal downloads. Something was wrong.

I might have exceeded the speed limit a few times trying to get home fast to figure this out.

The reason?

I was at day 57 of EOFire, and I was NO LONGER ELIGIBLE to be featured in New and Noteworthy.

Apparently, that was how most people were finding out about the show…

At that moment, I thought about quitting.

In my mind, it was ALL downhill from here.

No more N&N feature meant no more new listeners.

My show was going to be swallowed up in the sea of iTunes, never to be seen again…

Luckily, I didn’t quit.

I had 40 shows prepped to go, and my show (slowly) started to recover.

Today, EOFire generates between 1.5 to 2 million listens a month.

If I had let that one setback lead me to quit, the thousands of impacted lives, the 10 Million Dollars in revenue, the incredible journey; all would have vanished in an instant.

So many quit too quick.

So many give up too early.

The sad thing is, they’ll never know what could’ve been.

Don’t let this be you in 2017.

Success is a journey.

Success takes time.

Success takes guidance, and in 2017 there is no better guide than

The Mastery Journal: Master productivity, discipline and focus, and quitting will be the FARTHEST thing from your mind this year.

3. You’re not gonna get up the 8th time.

Fall down 7 times, stand up 8. ~ Japanese Proverb

We ALL fall down in life.

I fall down daily with EOFire.

I’m always trying new things, pushing the envelope, some work, some fail.

WINNERS keep standing up after they get knocked down.

Life is about HOW you react WHEN you get knocked down, not IF.

Superbowl 51.

Patriots got knocked down 7 times in the first 3 quarters.

Late in the 2nd half they were down 28-3.

No team had EVER come back from being more than 10 points down in the SB.

The Patriots were down 25.

Final Score?

Patriots 34 Falcons 28.

Not a Patriots Fan?

Not a Football Fan?

Irrelevant.

We can learn from almost every situation in life, and in this situation, the Patriots got up 8 times, and won a Superbowl ring.

In the above example and in most LIFE examples, when you WIN by getting up the 8th time, it ERASES all your previous losses.

That’s why I’m FIRED UP to write my first traditionally published book in 2017, How to Finally Win.

Because it’s not about how not to lose, it’s about How to Finally Win.

But that’s the future, and I want you to WIN NOW.

There is no better way to win in 2017 than mastering productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days.

The Mastery Journal: Over 2000 people have committed to WINNING in 2017, will you?

4. You refuse to do things that ‘don’t scale’.

Scale.

Leverage.

Don’t trade time for money.

People LOVE quoting the above. It’s all the rage.

Guess what…the rage is WRONG.

I do things that don’t scale EVERY day, and I made over 2 Million last year.

The KEY component that people miss is that by ‘doing things that don’t scale‘, they can learn priceless information that can be scaled into products, services, communities, fill in the blank.

ALL of my greatest ideas have come from one on one conversations.

John, I struggle accomplishing goals.

Me: hmmmmm, that’s interesting, I’m gonna investigate this further.

Result: The Freedom Journal and over 19,000 sales and counting.

I struggle w/ productivity, I’m not a disciplined person, I can’t seem to focus.

Me: hmmmmm, that’s interesting, I’m gonna investigate this further.

Result: The Mastery Journal and over 175k in sales in two weeks.

Every day I do things that don’t scale, and by doing so I’ve built a business that allows me to be financially and location independent.

You can to.

DON’T believe the hype.

DO things that DON’T scale.

Daily.

5. You’re scared to ‘lose’.

Every day I receive emails from Fire Nation with some variation of:

John, I’m scared to put myself out there…

What if I fail?

What if I look silly?

What if I lose?

My one response to these questions is:

It’s not about how not to LOSE. It’s about how to finally WIN.

I lose EVERY DAY.

Do I let that stop me?

No.

Because I know all I need is ONE WIN, and ALL the losses are erased.

More so, I NEED those losses to learn from so I can achieve my WIN.

EOFire was my first big WIN.

I had many losses before EOFire’s launch, and MANY after. But the WINS are all that matter in the long run.

Fire Nation, don’t be scared of losing. Be focused on how you’re going to WIN.

The Mastery Journal will guide you in mastering this FOCUS.

Give it a chance. It’s my best work ever and will guide you to YOUR win.

The Mastery Journal. Invest in yourself.

The post The 5 reasons you’ll FAIL in 2017 appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2lcPYOF

Latest EOFire Podcast Preparation and planning

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Preparation and planning

Amidst the launch of The Mastery Journal, managing our team, creating new content, running our communities, maintaining our systems, and looking at a growing list of one-time tasks and projects, I have a really exciting week coming up: my girlfriend of 20+ years is coming to visit with her husband!

This has actually been one of the greatest previously unknown perks of moving to Puerto Rico: everyone wants to come visit!

A few weeks ago – just after the holidays – my sister came down for 5 days to visit and we had an absolutely blast. And since we moved to the island in May 2016, we’ve hosted nearly 10 different sets of guests!

Hosting family and friends is one of my favorite things – it means we’ll get to do lots of exploring and try new things, catch up, and of course, have tons of fun.

This is the beauty of owning and running your own business, right? You get the freedom to choose to take a Monday off, or have a 4-day weekend when your friends are in town.

However, it doesn’t go without a lot of preparation and planning because everything I just described – while incredibly amazing – is exactly what can derail your productivity, discipline and focus.

So, I thought it would be helpful to talk about some of the ways I prepare and plan for something like this so that my productivity, discipline and focus isn’t completely squashed.

Whether you apply these ideas the next time friends or family comes to visit you, or before you head off on your next mini-vaca, you’ll be prepped to the max when it comes to staying on top of business.

1. Productivity

I like to think of super-charging my productivity in situations like these, which means I’m going to create a very specific list of the individual things I need to get to done over the next five days.

When I don’t have to waste time trying to figure out what I’m going to do, then I have more time to make progress. Plus, then I won’t get caught spending my time on O.P.A. – other peoples’ agendas.

I create this list in Asana and that way I know where to go to find the specific tasks I need to work on.

Take the guesswork out of what you’re going to do so you can be most productive on the things that are most important to you and your business.

2. Discipline

There’s nothing like an amazing treat waiting on the other end of your hard work.

This is the reason people always talk about how important it is to know your “WHY”.

Your why is sort of like the biggest, most important treat of them all: it’s what drives and motivates you to work hard every single day, even when the outcome or progress doesn’t look exactly how you had hoped.

Same idea here: when I know that in X number of days my girlfriend of 20+ years is going to be here, I want to work my butt off to get as much done ahead of time as possible because this means I have more time to spend with her.

3. FOCUS

There are a lot of tasks and projects that I work on here at EOFire, but because of my preparation and planning, I know that each of them has a time and a place.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed – like you have too many tasks to work on and you’re not sure which one to work on first – then let’s take it back to step 0: create priority for your tasks and projects and give them a time and a place.

Again, this can be done in Asana: enter in the task or project, give it a due date, and it’s as easy as that when it comes to giving yourself peace of mind that you won’t forget about it AND you’ve just cleared your plate to be able to focus on the most important task or project for you RIGHT NOW.

When you prepare and plan ahead, it’s incredible what you can do. Leverage the opportunities you see in your everyday life to help you accomplish what matters most to you and your business.

It doesn’t meant the rest won’t get done, but remember, everything in your business should have a time and place.

When you prepare and give yourself a plan in the way I’ve just described, productivity discipline and focus become biproducts of your work. You can do this.

The post Preparation and planning appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2l6ymEc

Latest EOFire Podcast S5E6: How your “productive” is different from someone else’s

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

How to be more productive

You may have noticed by now that I kind of like to put plans together, schedule things, and that I’m very detailed-oriented.

In fact, a few years ago I had an ah-ha moment that led to me realizing that these are my greatest strengths.

Because I love to focus on my strengths and delegate my weaknesses, I know I’m most productive when I’m a project manager.

When I’m a project manager, I get to put plans together, schedule things, and leverage my ability to be detail-oriented in order to make progress on the things that matter most to me and my business.

My productivity does not equal yours

Perhaps you’re a project manager, too, and you can either totally relate to what I’ve just laid out, or you at least really want to relate to it (meaning, you’re not currently focusing on your strengths, but you know you should be in order to be more productive.)

Or, perhaps you’re not a project manager, in which case the things that I’ve referenced above as being my greatest strengths – the things that help me be most productive – aren’t your greatest strengths.

This probably means that when you’re working on creating a plan, scheduling things, or your responsibility is to be detail-oriented, you’re not being as productive as you could be.

Guess what? That’s okay.

Focus on your strengths

You see the book launches, the best-selling author badges, the huge launch numbers, the thousands of downloads, the millions of page visits, the number of likes and followers… and within two seconds flat your motivation is squashed.

It’s really tough not to compare yourself to others when pretty much everything we do is online and available for others to see.

But what you see online – the book launches, the best-selling author badges and the huge launch numbers – that’s not even a quarter of the story.

Whether the source is sharing the whole story or not is irrelevant for purposes of the lesson I’m sharing; what is relevant is how you’re responding to what you see and hear.

Compare and despair

Let me guess: when you see things like that, you’re feeling like you’ve got a lot of work to do – maybe even too much work to do… Which then makes you feel like you’re SO behind, what’s the point in even trying?

Then, your motivation plummets and your productivity, discipline and focus go out the window before you’ve even had a chance to start.

It’s okay to be different and to have different strengths.

It’s okay to not be on the exact same track, reporting the exact same results as everyone else.

Chances are, the exact things that work for one person aren’t going to work for you anyway, because you, what you have to offer, and your audience are different than theirs.

Did you know it’s actually a good thing to be different?… because that’s what makes you, your story, your business and what you have to offer unique.

Feel empowered by the fact that you will be paving your own way to success, and as you learn from those who have come before you don’t be afraid to try and implement something in a different way.

Stop comparing your productive to others and start focusing on how you can become a master of your strengths, and therefore, a master of productivity on your own terms.

The Mastery Journal

If you’re ready to stop comparing your “productive” to others and start leveraging your own strengths, then head over to TheMasteryJournal.com for your own physical copy of The Mastery Journal.

The Mastery Journal is your daily guide to mastering productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days.

The post S5E6: How your “productive” is different from someone else’s appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2kpIvIo

Latest EOFire Podcast EOFire’s January 2017 Income Report

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

January 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for January: $182,662

Total Expenses for January: $66,235

Total Net Profit for January: $116,427

Difference b/t January & December: -$28,671

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

This monthly income report is created for you, Fire Nation!

By documenting the struggles we encounter and the successes we celebrate as entrepreneurs every single month, we’re able to provide you with support – and a single resource – where we share what’s working, what’s not, and what’s possible.

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re just starting out. The most important part of the equation is that you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here at EOFire.

Let’s IGNITE!

CPA On Fire’s Monthly Tax Tip

What’s up Fire Nation, my name is Josh Bauerle. I’m a CPA and the Founder of CPA On Fire, where we specialize in working with entrepreneurs to minimize their tax liability while keeping them in line with the ever-changing tax laws.

I’ve been working with EOFire for years now, and John and Kate have included me in these monthly income reports with unlimited access to all their accounts so I can verify that what they report here is complete and accurate.

And because they believe in delivering an insane amount of value to you, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level; I’ll also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!

Josh’s January Tax Tip: Prep for Filing Your Taxes

My inbox is overflowing, my calendar is full, and my dreams are filled with income statements, balance sheets, W2’s and 1099’s.

There’s only one explanation… It’s tax season!

And while I know studies have shown that CPA’s are the only professionals people fear seeing more than dentists, it doesn’t have to be that way.

So this month, as we head into the heart of tax season, I’m going to give you some tips to make sure you have everything in order and ready for your annual tax filings.

1. Record Your Entire Gross Income

It doesn’t matter if some of the income you received went straight to another person or business as an affiliate payment.

It doesn’t even matter if you never actually saw the income yourself, because your merchant or third party seller took their fees before handing over your share.

You still have to include ALL of the income made from your sales of products or services.

You can then deduct those fees or affiliate payments out as separate expenses. It may not seem like a huge deal since the end result is the same, but it is.

Not claiming your full gross income is actually the #1 reason people are audited, so in order to make sure you avoid this, double check your gross income number against the 1099’s you receive from merchants and clients/customers.

2. Categorize Your Expenses

The #1 mistake I see businesses make with their accounting records is assuming they can just record all of their expenses as one lump sum number, like they do with their income.

It makes sense in theory; your income is reported as one lump sum, why shouldn’t your expenses be?

Unfortunately the IRS is going to make things a little more difficult here. They don’t just want to know how much money you spent, they want to know how you spent it.

In order to show them this, you’ll have to take all of your expenses throughout the year, separate them into various categories (think office expenses, advertising, travel, affiliate payments, contractors, etc) and then total them for the year.

3. Make Sure You Collect and Give Your Tax Preparer All Tax Documents

You may have recorded 100% of your gross income as we described here in tip #1, but if you don’t report a 1099 you received, even though the income from it is recorded in your gross income, the IRS will assume you didn’t report the income and send you a nice love letter.

You need to make sure you collect and give your tax preparer all 1099’s, W2’s, 1098’s, and any other official tax document you receive. Sometimes simply reporting the numbers isn’t enough – there are a few items that actually require the tax form they come on.

Your safest bet here is to talk with a professional tax preparer who can guide you through exactly what tax documents they do and do not need.

I know tax season can be scary.

I know preparing your numbers and documents can be a pain (especially if you didn’t prepare during the year).

But the 3 steps outlined above are not only crucial for filing your taxes, they are things you should be doing all year round to monitor the health of your business. Remember: you can’t improve what you aren’t monitoring.

Here’s to hoping you all made so much money in 2016 that you have a nice, fat tax bill come tax time. Remember, a high tax bill is a problem only the successful have to deal with!

As always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss what would be best for YOUR business. I LOVE chatting with Fire Nation!

*Bonus* If you haven’t checked out Josh’s FREE course on business entities yet, you can get it here!

Our Legal Advisor’s Monthly Tax Tip

David’s January Legal Tip: Rules for Using Images Online

Whether your business has a website, a social media presence, or both, at some point you’re going to want to use images.

But what are the actual rules around using images online?

I put together several True or False questions below to help you determine whether you’re in the clear, or you should do a little more research before posting that image.

True or False: If I Find It Online, It’s Free to Use

False! You can find images online all over the place – Google Images, Instagram, your competitor’s websites, you name it.

Those are not free to use.

In most cases, those images will be protected under the copyright law of the U.S. or another country. “Copyright” can be understood simply to mean “you can’t use it without permission.”

Under U.S. law, you can be fined up to $150,000 for using a copyrighted image without permission. Don’t do it.

These rules apply to all kinds of images – photos, drawings, GIFs, memes, emojis… any kind of visual file.

True or False: If Everyone Else is Using an Image, I Can Use It for Free, too

False! Copyright holders don’t have to go after every infringer. You don’t want to be the unlucky one who receives a Cease and Desist letter from their law firm.

True or False: This Also Applies to Memes

True! Memes, no matter how popular, are based on someone else’s copyright. You can get in legal trouble for using a meme on your website or in your social media channels.

True or False: If I’m Not Making Money Off It, I Can Use It

False! The law applies whether or not you’re directly monetizing as a result of the image.

True or False: If I Own the Copyright, I Can Use It Wherever I Want

True! This usually applies to images that you created or that an employee created for you. If you own the image, you can use it whenever or wherever you like.

Note that I said employee – if you paid someone else to create the image, but they’re not an employee of your company, then you need a “Work For Hire Agreement” – which we can discuss on a future Income Report.

True or False: You Can Buy or License the Right to Use an Image

True! If you want to use an image, you have two options:

First, you can buy the copyright. This usually applies when the owner of the image is an individual and the image isn’t very famous or valuable.

Second, and more commonly, you can license the copyright. This means you enter into a contract where you pay for the right to use the image. This is how stock photo websites like iStock operate.

Always be careful to read the terms of the license. Sometimes your license is limited to a certain number or type of uses.

If you have any questions, contact the company to make sure you’re following the rules.

Click here for a free 3-Step Checklist from David on Using Images Online!

What Went Down In January

The Mastery Journal Launches on Kickstarter!

We’ve been prepping for The Mastery Journal launch for almost a year, which is when John first came up with the idea to create it.

There have been a few bumps along the way, but for the most part, we were able to take a TON of the knowledge and experience we gained from launching The Freedom Journal on Kickstarter and apply it directly to this launch.

Here’s a rundown of The Mastery Journal launch: pre, during and post…

Pre launch day

The Mastery Journal Project Plan

With a solid project plan mapped out in Asana, we were able to stay on task and keep track of the several moving pieces and multiple team members who all worked together to make this launch a success.

TMJ Project Plan

Quick note: Asana is an incredible project and task management tool that you can use to help you keep track of your own projects and tasks, along with those you’re working on with your team.

I use the FREE version of Asana, and have been for over two years. No affiliate link here – I simply think it’s the best software out there for project management.

Translate our project plan into actual accomplishments, and you’ve got our Project Timeline!

Here’s a look at some of the major milestones and tasks we accomplished leading up to the launch…

TMJ Project Timeline

Marketing The Mastery Journal

We also decided to do a few things differently this time around leading up to launch when it came to marketing, including:

  • John doing all outreach himself
  • Enlisting The Mastery Journal Street Team
  • Investing in podcast advertising

It’s a bit too early to tell just how impactful these new marketing tactics will be on the campaign as a whole, but we’ll definitely keep you posted!

Launch day

As you can see from the pre-launch section, there was a lot of prep that went into launch day, so when it finally arrived we were more than ready to hit publish!

Our Launch Day Blitz

Here are a few of the main marketing pieces that went live alongside the Kickstarter campaign on January 23rd:

  • John & Kate’s interview on EOFire
  • Four separate email announcements to:
    • The Mastery Journal Campaign
    • The Mastery Journal Street Team
    • Fire Nation
    • The Freedom Journal Kickstarter backers

And we can’t forget all of the outside support we received on launch day!

Thanks to John’s outreach we were able to confirm support from over 600 of his 1,500 past guests, not to mention the podcast interviews that went live on shows like School of Greatness, $100 MBA and the Ziglar Show!

Testing out new strategies and tools

Another cool tool we’ve been able to implement this time around that wasn’t available when we launched The Freedom Journal campaign is Kickstarter Live.

Kickstarter Live allows you to hop on a live-stream video that runs directly on your Kickstarter campaign page! This allows you to give real-time updates, chat with those who are on your Kickstarter page, and also offer up some pretty sweet action-taker opportunities.

Kickstarter Live

Launch day results

Launch day was incredible; we hit our funding goal – and then some – and closed out the day with well over 600 backers and over $36k pledged!

The Mastery Journal launch on Kickstarter

Post launch day

Our #1 tip for anyone interested in running a successful Kickstarter campaign?

Never take your foot off the gas.

Every day post-launch has looked pretty similar to launch day.

John continues to send out emails to The Freedom Journal Kickstarter backers, in addition to The Mastery Journal campaign contacts, and to Fire Nation as a whole.

The results?

  • Kickstarter named us a “Project We Love” within the first 3 days,
  • We closed out our first week with more than 1,500 backers pledging over $110,000, and
  • Together, we’ve partnered with Pencils of Promise again and we’ve already personally written a $10k donation check, with another $10k coming at our next pledge level! BOOM!

Our biggest lessons learned

Even though the campaign was only live for one week in January, we were able to walk away with several lessons learned (and we expect many more to be on the way).

Here are a few of those lessons:

The Mastery Journal Kickstarter campaign wraps on February 24th, so we’ll have a full recap of the entire campaign in our next income report.

We’ll also be creating another massive Kickstarter post, like the one we created for The Freedom Journal, so that if you’re looking to launch your next idea on Kickstarter you’ll have a head start!

By the way, have you snagged YOUR Mastery Journal yet? There are still a few mastermind spots available for our upcoming Puerto Palooza!

Click here to learn more!

tmj-launchslide-1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

January 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $134,231

The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!

  • Shopify: $22,934 (390 Freedom Journals & 165 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $29,780 (748 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $52,714

Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!

  • Recurring: $12,961 (6 annual, 181 monthly)
  • New members: $17,475 (64 new members)
  • Total: $30,436

Podcast Sponsorship Income$44,333

Podcast Websites: $5,000 Your all-in-one podcast website peace of mind

Free Podcast Course: A free 15-day course on Podcasting

Free Webinar Course: A free 10-day course on Webinars

Free Goals Course: A free 8-day course on Setting & Accomplishing Goals

Funnel On Fire: A free 8-day course on Creating a Funnel that Converts!

WebinarOnFire: $1,344 Learn how to Create & Present Webinars that Convert!

Skills On Fire: $132

The Fire Path: $89

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$204 | eBook: $68

Affiliate Income: $48,431

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $30,750

  • Audible: $212
  • BlueHost$1,500 (Step-by-step guide and 23 WordPress tutorials)
  • Click Funnels: $22,701
  • Coaching referrals: $4,842 (email me for an introduction to a mentor for overall online business or a Podcast focused mentor!)
  • Disclaimer Template: $69 (legal disclaimers for your website)
  • Fizzle: $244
  • LeadPages$1,082
  • Virtual Staff Finder: $100

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $15,511

Resources for Podcasters: $511

Other Resources: $1,659

  • Amazon Associates: $838
  • Other: $821

Total Gross Income in January: $182,662

Business Expenses: $63,975

  • Advertising: $11,124 (includes The Mastery Journal launch ads)
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $2,569
  • Accounting: $1,752 (on-boarding PR CPA)
  • Cost of goods sold: $5,442
  • Design & Branding: $2,180
  • Legal & Professional: $525
  • Meals & Entertainment: $2,079
  • Merchant / bank fees: $3,165
  • Amazon fees: $7,725
  • Shopify fees: $414
  • Stripe fees: $8
  • PayPal fees: $654
  • Office expenses: $264
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,670
  • Promotional / events: $125
  • Paradise Refunds: $5,701
  • WebinarOnFire Refunds: $672 (invoice total)
  • Sponsorships: $5,625
  • Show notes: $240
  • Travel: $1,936
  • The Freedom Journal: $6,031
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $2,610
  • Website Fees: $1,464

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,260

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $80 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91.10
  • Cell Phone: $215
  • CCBill: $20
  • Google Storage: $9.99
  • Go2MyPC: $12
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $9.95
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $359
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $125
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PicMonkey: $33 (annual fee)
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $2.99
  • Shopify: $20
  • Scout: $10
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $4.99
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Wistia: $25
  • WPCurve: $29
  • Zapier: $15
  • Taxes & Licenses: $77

Total Expenses in January: $66,235

Payroll to John, Kate & PR Team: $17,683

In our May 2014 Income Report and our June 2016 Income Report, Josh focuses on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check them out!

Total Net Profit for January 2017: $116,427

Biggest Lesson Learned

You’ll never know until you take action

There were a lot of questions, fears and “what if’s” leading up to The Mastery Journal launch.

  • Have we done enough to prepare?
  • Should we have reached out to more people for support?
  • Will people see the value in The Mastery Journal?

For many entrepreneurs, these are the types of questions, fears and “what if’s” that will stop you in your tracks before you’re ever able to make any progress.

But for those who take action – despite the questions, fears and “what if’s” – they get to actually find out. They get to learn, pivot, experience and achieve the goals they set for themselves.

No one else can answer the questions, calm the fears or tell you “what if”; you have to take action to find out.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!EntrepreneurOnFire

Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!

~ Kate & John

Note: we report our income figures as accurately as possible, but in using reports from a combo of Infusionsoft & Xero to track our product and total income / expenses, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error. 

Click here for all of EOFire’s Income Reports

This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Implementer at EOFire. Follow Kate on Social:

Facebook FollowGoogle Plus FollowLinkedIn FollowTwitter Follow

The post EOFire’s January 2017 Income Report appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2lg7wtF