Latest EOFire Podcast 163: How to Make This Your Most Productive Year Ever

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

most productive year ever

Whether it’s your most productive year, month, week or day, we all want to master the skill of getting our most important tasks done in an effective way. In doing so, you’ll be able to move your business forward, actually see the impact you’re making, and feel great about the work you’re doing.

But unfortunately most of you are currently spending your days in a much different way; the feeling of accomplishing a big task or project every single day is somewhat foreign to you.

I know from firsthand experience the frustration that comes with spending hours spinning your wheels on a task or project that, when it’s all said and done didn’t even provide the results you wanted – that frustration will quickly and easily turn into you throwing your hands up in the air and giving up.

I don’t want that for you – and I know you don’t want that for you either.

So let’s break this down into something super doable – a set of steps you can follow in order to accomplish a big task or project every single day.

THAT is what is going to help you experience your most productive year ever, one day at a time.

5 Steps to your most productive day ever

Learning how to become more productive is simple: all it requires is that you commit to practicing productivity every single day with these 5 steps.

1. Winning tomorrow today

One of the biggest mistakes we make every single night is not setting ourselves up for success the following day.

You win tomorrow today by laying out what you want to accomplish in the morning:

  • Your morning routine (including actual times, like when you’ll wake up so you can hold yourself accountable), and
  • The ONE goal you want to accomplish tomorrow.

Planning out what you’ll accomplish first thing in the morning with your routine and giving yourself a place to start when it comes to what task or project you’ll work on first sets you up for success because then you don’t wake up, sit down at your computer, and wonder “what’s next?”

2. Creating a plan for everything

Let’s say you’re working on creating your first online course.

You have an idea of the content you want to create, but you haven’t put anything together yet, and you’re not quite sure the exact ways you’ll market your course to your audience.

So… what’s your plan?

I can already tell that several of you are probably thinking things like:

  • This course is going to be so much work;
  • How will I ever find the time to put it together?;
  • How will I market this and the other things I have going on in my business?; and
  • I’m not sure where to even start…

Here’s the deal: this is not rocket science.

Creating a plan for everything you’re working on starts with breaking down your bigger, sometimes complex goal (like creating your first online course), into smaller, more manageable steps that you can accomplish during your Focus sessions.

You know how to create an outline for your content, you know how to create a video tutorial out of the lessons you’re teaching, so why aren’t you just doing it?

Your plan for anything and everything you work on throughout your day starts with:

1. Writing out the steps

2. Then:

  • Determining dependencies;
  • Identifying team members;
  • Delegating;
  • Putting a timeframe / deadline on each of your steps; and
  • JUST STARTING

3. Setting Focus and Refresh sessions

Now that you have all the steps written out and you can see what needs to happen first, it’s time to create your first Focus session and start doing the work.

Your Focus session might be 45 minutes, which will allow you to create an outline for your course (it’s important that your Focus sessions has a specific outcome – what will you accomplish during that time?)

This will be followed by a Refresh period – maybe 10 minutes where you can give your mind a rest.

Then, your next Focus session might be 30 minutes, and your goal or desired outcome during that 30 minutes will be to record the first video tutorial for your course. Follow that up with 5 minutes of Refresh time.

And the cycle continues.

Now I’m not saying you’ll create your online course in a single day, but do you see how putting a plan in place and breaking down your bigger, more complex goals into smaller, more manageable tasks will help you conquer your plan one step at a time?

4. Keeping score

As you move through your Focus and Refresh sessions, it’s important that you keep score. This means grading yourself on your productivity and your discipline during each of your sessions.

By keeping score, you’ll not only be encouraging yourself to do better each and every time you set your Focus sessions, but you’ll also be giving yourself a baseline to gauge your progress and improvement over time.

So from 1 – 10 (10 being the highest level of productivity and discipline), how productive were you? How disciplined were you?

Be honest with yourself, because recognizing the roadblocks you’re coming up against and the struggles you’re having throughout your Focus sessions gives you the opportunity to find solutions for those roadblocks and struggles. And when we can find solutions, we can increase the progress we’re making towards accomplishing our biggest goals.

5. My biggest tip for FOCUS

Schedule it.

DO NOT use distractions as an excuse and DO NOT procrastinate because you don’t have a plan in place.

Entrepreneurs get stuck in the mud way too often.

We love to over-complicate simple things like planning ahead and actually writing out the simple steps we need to take in order to accomplish a bigger, more complex goal.

In doing so, we’re killing our productivity.

So just stop. Schedule your Focus sessions and start making your progress REAL.

The Mastery Journal

Need a little help with winning tomorrow today and setting up your Focus and Refresh sessions?

We create a guide to help you with both: The Mastery Journal.

Master productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days with your own Mastery Journal!

The post 163: How to Make This Your Most Productive Year Ever appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast 162: A system for your marketing and promotion

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

marketing and promotion

When you’re creating systems for your business, it’s likely you’re creating those systems around specific tasks and projects you’re working on rather than something bigger, like marketing and promotion.

For example, rather than creating a system for your social media, which is this big massive thing you do in your business, you’re creating smaller, more specific systems for each social media platform you use – like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

This is how I’ve always broken down systems when I share the way we do it here at EOFire, sort of as a way to give more in-depth examples.

However, when I saw this comment on the post that accompanies Season 2, Episode 1, it got me thinking: Why haven’t I talked about systems as it relates to the bigger picture things we do in our business?

systems for marketing and promotion

I love Casey’s question, but initially, all that was going through my head was, “How am I ever going to explain a system for something so massive?

The bigger system

Then I realized there is a bigger system at work here – one that we follow every time we market and promote something in our business, regardless of what it is.

That said, ultimately, the smaller, individual system that is born from following the 5 steps I’m about to cover is going to be different based on the thing you’re marketing and promoting (as Casey mentioned, she’s juggling her podcast, her website, her videos, her mentoring…), and it will also be different based on how your business is set up.

Let’s take a look at the 5 steps that make up the bigger marketing and promotion system, and then I’ll share some specifics based on Casey’s current situation.

Marketing and promotion system

Step 1: Who / what / why

The first step we always take when we’re sitting down to figure out how we’re going to market or promote something is to write out who it is we want to market or promote to.

This may or may not end up being your avatar, so make sure you spend some time figuring out who your ideal audience member, customer or consumer is.

Figuring this out is going to be based on what it is you’ve created, and putting these two things together – the who and the what – should result in you understanding and being able to communicate why it is they want what you have to offer.

Question to ask yourself: Who will find value in what it is I’ve created and have to offer, and why?

Step 2: Where

Now that you know who you’re going to market and promote to and why they want what it is you’ve created, it’s time to start a list of the places you can find them.

These places will ultimately be the platforms you’ll use to market and promote what you’ve created.

Question to ask yourself: Given who will find value in what it is I’ve created and have to offer, where can I find them?

Step 3: When

Now you know who you’re going to market and promote to, why they’re going to want it, and where you’re going to reach them.

Next comes when: a timeline.

This is going to include both the prep time and the actual marketing and promotion time, and therefore, it’s really going to depend on the specific thing you’re marketing and promoting.

For example, if it’s a one-time bigger launch for a product or service, then the time you spend preparing for the launch is going to be a lot greater than, say, if you were preparing to market and promote something like a new opt-in giveaway.

For the one-time bigger launches, I would recommend setting aside at least 6 weeks for your preparation and marketing and promotion, with a solid 4 weeks just for the marketing and promotion piece.

Question to as yourself: When am I going to start marketing and promoting what I’ve created (give yourself an actual hard date as a sort of deadline), and based on that, how long in advance should I start preparing?

Step 4: Assets

Once you know all the details around the who, what, when, where and why, it’s time to create the actual assets you’ll use to market and promote what you’ve created.

This will vary depending on how many places you’ll be marketing and promoting, and the specific types of marketing and promoting you’ll be doing.

For example, if you’re going to be spending a day handing out flyers, or you’ve sponsored an event and have a booth to help you market and promote what you’ve created, then you’ll need physical assets like handouts, cards, maybe a banner, and so on.

But if you’re only doing online marketing and promotion, then you’ll likely be creating several design options for social media, your landing pages, and your sales page, along with a few opt-in giveaways or freebies that will logically lead up to your thing. These opt-in giveaways or freebies could be put on the backend of a blog post or a live video you’re doing, or simply on your homepage.

Question to ask yourself: What types of assets will I need based on the platforms I’ll be using to market and promote what I’ve created?

Step 5: Action

The last step is taking all the information you’ve gathered and all the assets you’ve created and putting it into action.

Question to ask yourself: What will my marketing and promotion plan consist of based on everything I’ve learned, and what timeline will I put in place to ensure I accomplish that plan?

Breaking down the bigger system

Pretty simple, right?

Hopefully several of the 5 steps listed above will be answered just in the pure creation of whatever it is you’re looking to market and promote, so going through these 5 steps shouldn’t be too difficult – but it will take time.

If you do find that going through these 5 steps is difficult, then you might revisit and focus on why you’re creating it in the first place.

One system at a time

In order to break this bigger system down so you can see how each individual system that is born from it will be different, let’s apply the 5 steps to Casey’s situation specifically.

Before I dive into one thing Casey mentioned she’s trying to marketing and promote, I will say this:

Creating systems for marketing and promotion, especially when it comes to things you’ll be marketing and promoting on a consistent, ongoing basis for your business (i.e. you’re not just prepping for a big, one-time launch), should be implemented individually and one at a time.

So, Casey, I think that arranging your marketing and promotion systems in order of priority for your business is your first step to making this work.

Of the things you mention (your podcast, your website, your videos and your mentoring), which holds priority in terms of impact for you and your business right now?

Remember, when we put systems in place we’re putting a recurring set of steps in order that we’re going to follow every single time we do something for our business to make doing that thing most efficient.

Once you have one system in place, you’re going to be freeing up time that you can now spend working ON your business, and eventually on creating another system for something else.

Marketing and promotion for your podcast

You’re getting ready to launch a podcast – this is exciting!

Launch day is an exciting time, and just like any launch in your business, it should be treated like an event.

And what happens when we put on events? We talk about them leading up to the date, we invite people to participate and we plan out what will happen at the actual event.

Your podcast launch should be prepared for in the same way.

Just through the act of creating your podcast, you should already know the who / what / why and when.

That is: you’re creating your podcast for your avatar, X, that will help them solve their pain point, Y, and you’re going to launch on [enter your date here] – let’s say August 1st.

What about the where, the assets and the action?

For your podcast launch, you’re going to want to put together a list of where you can find your perfect listener. That might be on Facebook in a niche group, at a local in-person meet up or at a conference that is coming up.

Given where you can find your perfect listener, your assets are likely going to consist of:

  • A banner for your Facebook Page and/or profile sharing news about your upcoming podcast;
  • 4 or 5 images and Facebook post text you can use to talk about your upcoming launch and where people can go to learn more about it;
  • A blog post and/or live videos where you consistently talk about what you’re working on;
  • some type of card or handout you can bring with you to the local in-person meet up and/or conference you’re attending;
  • an official ‘launched’ announcement you can post on social media and send out to your email list (if you have one).

Based on all the information you know about your podcast launch and the assets you’re going to need to create in order to ‘throw an event’ around your launch, what does your marketing and promotion plan look like?

Here’s an example of what your action plan might look like based on the example here:

systems for your business

Once you have your plan in place, then it becomes a matter of creating a process around each of the tasks and projects within your plan based on your timeline.

Create your plan, schedule specific times to work on the items you’ve listed as to-do’s, and stick to it!

The post 162: A system for your marketing and promotion appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

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Latest EOFire Podcast EOFire’s March 2017 Income Report

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

March 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for March: $490,641

Total Expenses for March: $117,962

Total Net Profit for March: $372,679

Difference b/t March & February: +$180,873

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 March Tax Tip: Tax Time FAQ’s, part II

Alright Fire Nation, as you can imagine, I am asked a TON of tax questions this time of year. So for the next few months I’m going to give you FAQ style answers to the questions I’ve been asked most frequently this tax season!

For Tax Time FAQ’s, part I check out February’s income report!

1. I didn’t pay myself from my business; why do I still owe taxes?

This is a common question from business owners who are turning a profit for the first time.

You didn’t pull any money out of the business or pay yourself a “salary”, so you figure no taxes will be owed come tax time.

Unfortunately the IRS doesn’t care whether you took the money out or not, they are going to tax you on all the profits of the business.

This should tell you two things:

First, don’t be afraid to take money out; you are getting taxed the same amount regardless of how much you leave in or take out of the company.

Second, you need to plan accordingly. Depending on how high those profits are and what state you live in, you need to be setting anywhere from 20 – 30% aside for taxes.

2. I owe a lot in taxes and don’t have the money to pay; should I file an extension?

You unexpectedly owe a lot of money in taxes and don’t have the money to pay them, so you file an extension, which gives you until 10/15 to file.

Sounds like a great plan, right?

Not quite.

While the IRS will gladly give you those extra six months to file, they still expect you to pay at least 90% of the amount due by the original due date. If you don’t, they will hit you with “failure to pay” penalties, which are 0.5% of the amount due per month that it’s late.

They will also add interest to the bill.

So what’s a better plan?

File your taxes on time, pay as much as you are able by the deadline, and set up a payment plan with the IRS for the rest of the amount due.

You’ll still have to pay them interest, but at least you’ll avoid the failure to pay penalties (plus, the IRS is surprisingly easy to work with on payment plans).

3. Should I use my retirement accounts to pay large tax bills?

Okay, so you found yourself in the above scenario, owing a lot of taxes you don’t have the money to pay, and you don’t want to pay the penalties or interest.

Instead you decide to take some money out of those IRA’s or 401k’s you’ve stashed away and use it to pay your taxes.

The problem with this is you are creating substantially more taxes for yourself!

First, you are going to owe ordinary taxes on the amounts you take out. Then, they are going to hit you with an additional 10% tax penalty on top of that.

When it’s all said and done, you’ll be paying an extra 35-45% in taxes on that money (when you could have been been earning on that tax deferred income for the next few decades).

And what’s worse?

With all those extra taxes you created by cashing these out you will likely create an even worse tax situation for yourself next year, which will require you to be pulling out more retirement funds, which will create more taxes, etc.

It’s a vicious tax cycle we see all the time. My advice? Do not touch your retirement accounts unless absolutely necessary.

Owing taxes isn’t fun. But it’s something every successful entrepreneur has to deal with. If you follow this months tips you can minimize the damage when you are hit with those unexpected tax bills.

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!

David Lizerbram’s Monthly Legal Tip

Can I Play Music on My Podcast?

Let’s start with this: under U.S. copyright law, you can’t just play any recording you want, whenever you want, through whatever medium you want.

So what are the rules?

What follows is a very simplified version of how music copyright works in the U.S.

Music Copyright 101

When you hear a recording of a song, there are, most likely, two separate copyrights embodied in that song:

  • The copyright in the musical composition (the words and music), and
  • The copyright in the sound recording.

We all know that there are often many different versions of the same song, sometimes recorded by different artists at different times. Well, each of those versions contains the same underlying musical composition (the “song”), but each also comprises a unique sound recording.

Sometimes the songwriter owns both copyrights.

If I write a song today and record it, I own the copyright in the musical composition and the sound recording. But often those rights will end up being owned by separate people or entities.

For example, a record company may own the rights to the recording (the “master”), while a music publishing company may own the rights to the musical composition. It can get more complicated from there, but this is enough to deal with for this Income Report.

Back to Podcasts

Every time you download or stream a podcast, you’re making a copy of the audio file containing that podcast.

The word “copy” in the previous sentence should provide a clue as to why that matters.

Copyright includes, among other things, the right to prevent others from making copies of your work.

So okay, let’s say you understand all this, and you just really, really want to play your favorite song on your podcast – and you want to do so legally.

In order to do so, you’ll have to obtain the necessary rights for both the musical composition and the sound recording. That may mean obtaining rights from multiple organizations.

I want to be clear – the restrictions I’m writing about apply not just to whole songs, but also to clips. There is no general legal right to play “just a few seconds” or any other part of a song without permission.

What if you just say, “The heck with that, I’m playing a Beyonce song on my podcast, and nobody can stop me! It’s a free country!”

Well, in that case, you’d be looking at statutory damages of up to $150,000 per song.

Ouch.

What are the Alternatives?

For most folks starting out in the podcast world, it’s not going to be feasible to license your favorite Beyonce song, and even if you record your own version, the licenses for the musical composition might be out of the average podcaster’s price range.

There are a variety of free or low-cost alternatives out there, though.

Some of them, such as PremiumBeat, operate much like stock photo companies.

Other songs are made available under a variety of different Creative Commons licenses.

It’s OK, My Podcast is Fair Use!

Fair use is an extremely complex and misunderstood aspect of copyright law.

Just because you think it’s “fair use” doesn’t mean it is. Just because you’re a nonprofit or your podcast is for educational purposes doesn’t mean you’re entitled to a fair use defense to copyright infringement.

I wish using music within podcasts was easier and more affordable, but this is the world that Congress, in their infinite wisdom, has created.

Happy podcasting, everybody!

For lots more information about music and other legal issues related to podcasting, click here to download my free ebook Podcast Law!

What Went Down In March

The Mastery Journal sales open!

You heard right, Fire Nation! After fulfilling our Kickstarter campaign that ended February 24th – which meant shipping over 4,000 copies of The Mastery Journal to backers – we went straight to work on getting The Mastery Journal site live.

Thanks to our web developer Cory and our Amazon pro Ian, The Mastery Journal is available in our own store and on Amazon!

We can’t wait for you to receive your own Mastery Journal, which we’ve been using religiously here at EOFire to help improve our own productivity, discipline and focus.

The Mastery Journal

If you’re ready to master these 3 skills in just 100 days, head over to TheMasteryJournal.com and grab your Mastery Journal today!

The EOFire team shifts

If you listen to Kate’s Take, then you might remember my episode on What I learned about running a successful business (my 2016 in review post).

In that episode I shared some pretty raw feelings about what it’s like to manage a team. To quote myself, “It’s the best and the toughest thing you’ll do as an entrepreneur.”

In March we transitioned our most recent full-time hire into an independent contractor. Ian will continue to help us crush sales for The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal on Amazon, and that will be his sole focus.

Hiring the right people for the job is not easy, and sometimes you’ll put a whole lot of time and bandwidth into on-boarding and training only to find out that it’s not the right fit.

My two biggest takeaways from this particular experience are this:

1. “Hire for attitude and train for skill”

I’ve heard it a hundred times while talking with others, or from reading loads of business books, but sometimes hearing it isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to experience it for it to finally hit home.

2. Don’t be afraid to say goodbye

While we’re incredibly grateful to have a solid virtual team, we have had to say goodbye to a few team members here at EOFire over the past 4+ years. What I’m finding is that each time, our team grows stronger.

It’s scary to lose an employee; you automatically think “oh my goodness, how are we going to get all those things done now?!” But 10 times out of 10, you’re going to figure it out, so don’t be afraid to say goodbye if you know in your gut it’s the right time to do so.

Our next step with Team Fire is finding John a personal assistant here in Puerto Rico, and we’re also pursuing something we’ve been talking about for a long time: bringing on a #3.

We’re exited for this next chapter with our core team!

Three weeks in San Diego & Social Media Marketing World

March was an action-packed month for us; we flew to San Diego on March 7th to spend three weeks with family, friends, peers and finally, over 3,500 attendees and speakers at Social Media Marketing World (SMMW).

Oh, and John squeezed in a trip to Utah for a guys ski weekend, too!

PS: The guy on the far right is John’s college roommate who just launched HIS first Podcast, Win The Talent War, listen on iTunes or check out his site!

Park City Ski Crew

Park City Ski Trip

Time with family and friends was epic and a great reminder that it’s not about where you are, but who you’re with.

After some well-deserved R&R, we dove head first into a mastermind week with Jill & Josh Stanton, followed by crushing SMMW!

From the welcome party to the opening keynote and all the way to the final session, SMMW was incredible. You can read all about it here in our recap post!

Three quick highlights:

1. This was my first year speaking at the event!

I was SO honored to take the stage at THE biggest social media marketing event in the world. My topic: Blog to Podcast: How to Create an Audio Blog.

On top of that, John was a part of two panels: one on guest podcasting and one on how to monetize your podcast. EOFire was definitely representing!

2. Masterminds galore!

We coordinated our trip so that we could get in some solid mastermind time with two of our business fav’s: Jill and Josh Stanton. Having nearly a week with them before the conference even started was a huge plus.

3. QT with Thinkific

Several weeks ago we reached out to the team over at Thinkific for a chat around whether their platform would be the right fit for our Podcasters’ Paradise membership site.

Lucky for us, it’s shaping up to be a GREAT fit, and during SMMW we had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with four of their team members, including their founder Greg.

We’re super excited to reveal all about our Thinkific experience once we’ve successfully migrated Podcasters’ Paradise over to the platform!

Thinkific

While it wasn’t our first big trip since moving to Puerto Rico, being in San Diego for three weeks really hammered home the reality we’ve created: the ability to travel when and where we want.

I’ll never forget the day I had to cancel a 4-day trip to Hawaii in 2011 because my boss denied me the time off from work. I remember thinking that day “What kind of life am I living… where I can’t even take a trip when I want to?”

Travel has always been a huge passion for both of us, and as a result of creating freedom in our lives through EOFire, we have some exciting plans lined up this year and in 2018.

Stay tuned – in next month’s income report we’ll be sharing some unique conference and meet up opportunities that we’ve never done before!

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

March 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $439,323

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

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $25,771 (276 Freedom Journals & 88 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $25,947 (662 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $51,718

The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!

  • Kickstarter campaign: $280,852 (3,659 backers!)

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

  • Recurring: $17,956 (5 annual, 191 monthly)
  • New members: $21,975 (70 new members)
  • Total: $39,931

Podcast Sponsorship Income$59,600

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: $1,991 Learn how to Create & Present Webinars that Convert!

Skills On Fire: $66

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$120 | eBook: $45

Affiliate Income: $51,318

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $38,872

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $9,139

Resources for Podcasters: $2,321

Other Resources: $986

  • Amazon Associates: $961
  • Other: $25

Total Gross Income in March: $490,641

Business Expenses: $115,668

  • Advertising: $1,084
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $2,618
  • Accounting: $350
  • Cost of goods sold: $28,251 (includes Kickstarter fee)
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $50
  • Legal & Professional: $35
  • Meals & Entertainment: $821
  • Merchant / bank fees: $1,340
  • Amazon fees: $11,929
  • Shopify fees: $434
  • Stripe fees: $18
  • PayPal fees: $820
  • Office expenses: $580
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,641
  • Promotional / events: $148
  • Paradise Refunds: $2,600
  • WebinarOnFire Refunds: $1,344 (invoice total)
  • Sponsorships: $10,000
  • Show notes: $288
  • Travel: $11,040 (includes flights to AUS for WeArePodcast & London for Youpreneur)
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $35,079
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,121
  • Website Fees: $97

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,294

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $80 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $200
  • CCBill: $20
  • FastSpring: $40 (one-time fee)
  • Feedblitz: $15
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $9.95
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $359
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $209
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $2.99
  • Shopify: $20
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $4.99
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • WPCurve: $29
  • Zapier: $15
  • Taxes & Licenses: $77

Total Expenses in March: $117,962

Payroll to John & Kate: $17,362

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 March 2017: $372,679

Biggest Lesson Learned

Balancing responsibility and trust

I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming recently.

Not around big projects or how to create better systems, but around how I can improve the way I work.

On one hand, I know I need to delegate more, and that a good chunk of my day is spent on tasks and busywork that I shouldn’t be doing.

On the other hand, I don’t feel like our team is built up to the point where I can hand those tasks off and trust that it will be done in a timely manner without overworking someone.

Then comes the obvious solution: hire another person.

I agree.

However, how do you balance responsibility and trust – even when you have enough team members?

In my experience “small” mistakes add up fast, and if, as a business owner, you’re responsible for everything that happens within (and to) your business, is it possible to balance responsibility and trust and still feel like your time is being spent wisely?

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 March 2017 Income Report appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2o3dC0x

Latest EOFire Podcast Freedom Plus Mastery = Awesome

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

How to use The Freedom & Mastery Journal simultaneously for the best outcome!


Buy The Freedom Journal here or on Amazon.

Buy The Mastery Journal here or on Amazon.

 

The post Freedom Plus Mastery = Awesome appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

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

Latest EOFire Podcast 161: What I learned from top Social Media Experts at Social Media Marketing World 2017

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

Social Media Marketing World

From the welcome party to the opening keynote and all the way to the final session, Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) 2017 was incredible.

Allow me to expound…

Putting on events isn’t easy

First off, it’s not easy to put on an event, let alone an event with over 3,000 attendees and 200 speakers from around the world!

SMMW crushed it in several ways:

  • The networking events were top notch, including the opening night party on the USS Midway and another night out at Parq, best described as an indoor playground for adults;
  • Breakfast and lunch were included both days;
  • They had “table talks” so you could easily meet up and connect with others who have the same interests;
  • Coffee and snacks were plentiful;
  • Directions on how to do what were simple – and if you still didn’t get it, there was always someone nearby who could help;
  • Last, but certainly not least, the bathrooms were clean (come on, you know this is a big deal!)

Not to mention the session lineup, which was chock-full of relevant and timely presentations from today’s top social media marketers.

Let’s have a look…

The sessions

Workshop with Michael O’Neal

Before the conference had “officially” started I got to sit in on a workshop from Michael O’Neal of the Solopreneur Hour Podcast (which I recently appeared on with JLD and Jill & Josh Stanton from Screw The Nine To Five).

His topic: The Art of the Interview.

There were several takeaways from this session, but the one that stood out to me the most was simple: do the work.

At the beginning of the session Michael called someone up on stage, passed her a microphone, and said, “Interview me.”

Timid, confused and caught off guard, the girl stumbled around until she finally whispered, “What’s your name?”

Michael handed her a checklist and sent her back to her seat, giving her the heads up that she’d have the opportunity to come back up on stage at the end to give it another go.

Since I was sitting behind her I had a perfect view to see that she spent the rest of the session checking off boxes on the sheet Michael had handed her.

Come time for her to go back up on stage, she nailed it.

All she had to do was do the work – follow a simple set of steps Michael had given her in order to make her guest feel special and ask the right questions so her listeners walked away with something valuable.

If you want to do a deep dive on Michael’s teachings around The Art of the Interview, you can check him out on Chris Ducker’s podcast where he does a deep dive on the topic.

Opening Keynote with Mike Stelzner

Mike Stelzner is the man behind the entire show: SMMW is put on by his company Social Media Examiner. If you’re in the social media space, or want to learn more about leveraging different social media platforms to grow your reach and business, then his site is where its at.

During his opening keynote, Mike focused on his annual Social Media Marketing Industry report, a report he’s been compiling for the past seven years on the latest and greatest data – plus, what it means.

You can grab this report free if you sign up on his website.

My biggest takeaway from Mike’s session was that Facebook is still #1.

Check out this graph Mike shared on how social media marketers view the importance of these social channels as it relates to their business:

State of Social Media 2017

It’s pretty incredible to see Facebook at 62% in terms of the most important social media platform for marketers.

Perhaps it’s because of Facebook Live, or the fact that their ads dashboard can’t be touched by any other social media platform?

Whatever the case may be, live video was also a major topic in the keynote and throughout the conference, in addition to being the one thing Mike said every marketer should be on the lookout for in 2017.

How to Build up Anticipation for Your Next Launch using Facebook (FB) with Amy Porterfield

One of my favorite business podcasts to listen to is Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy, and that’s because Amy knows how to break it down.

Her presentation was no exception.

Anyone in that room who was paying any attention walked out with a detailed step-by-step process to follow for their next launch marketing plan using FB Live.

Amy called this: The 4-Week Facebook Live Pre-Launch Formula

Here are some of the highlights Amy shared for your preparation period:

  • Choose your pre-launch and promo dates

Sounds simple, right? Surprisingly, most people don’t take the time to create a schedule for themselves, which can result in lost time.

  • Set a topic and lead magnet for each live session you’ll do

Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? As Amy has proven time and time again – Yes!

  • Place the FB pixel on all opt-in and TY pages for your lead magnets

It sounds technical and hard, but it’s not. Any landing page builder will have a box for you to simply copy and paste your FB pixel into.

One of my favorite tips from Amy throughout her session was to schedule your FB Live sessions on the same day at the same time every week. This way, your audience knows when to expect your live sessions, and therefore can plan ahead to show up.

How to Land Guest Appearances on Podcasts with John Lee Dumas

This was the most valuable panel I’ve ever attended – and I don’t just say that because our very own JLD was the moderator. With Jessica Rhodes, Jill Stanton, and Aaron Walker by his side, this crew crushed it.

Guest podcasting

One of the biggest eye-openers during this session was when Aaron Walker expressed that he has literally grown his business based off from the guest podcasting he’s done.

When you take the time to find the right podcasts, with the right audience, where you can deliver massive value, and you nurture a relationship with the host, big things can happen!

The key is figuring out how you can bring the most value to the audience who is tuning in.

As the panelists put it: “Don’t be in it for you, be in it for the host and their audience.”

Getting to 100 Episodes and Beyond with Mark Mason

Another value-packed panel came from moderator Mark Mason, along with Pat Flynn, Lou Mongello, and Cliff Ravenscraft. Combined, these guys have produced over 7,000 podcast episodes!

The resounding answer to “How do I get to 100 episodes and host a successful podcast?”

CONSISTENCY.

Each panelists talked a lot about how most podcasters are only concerned with the numbers. But who cares if you have 17 or 700 downloads?… as long as you have engaged listeners who tune in because they genuinely care about what you have to say, your podcast will be successful.

Their parting piece of advice for the audience was this:

If you’re looking to start a podcast because you think you’re going to get a sponsor and make a lot of money, then don’t start a podcast. Start a podcast because you’re passionate about a topic and know you can make an impact by sharing your knowledge with others.

From Blog to Podcast: How to Create and Audio Blog with Kate Erickson

You got it! Yours truly had her first ever speaking opportunity at SMMW this year, and I couldn’t have been more excited for it!

My topic was all about going from blog to podcast: how to create an audio blog, which was quite fitting seeing as this is how I choose to approach my own podcast.

I broke it down step-by-step for those in the audience who already have a blog and want to repurpose their content in a powerful way.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Catalogue your content
  • Break it down by category
  • Create your content calendar

These are the exact steps I followed after posting on the blog for over one year: I simply compiled the content I had already created and put together a plan to turn it into audio episodes.

Over two years later, I’ve switched up my format, gained and lost a lot of listeners, and am loving every minute of the journey.

SMMW feedback and looking ahead

You’ve heard my feedback, but what about others who attended SMMW?

When asked what their biggest takeaway was from the event, here’s the feedback I received from a couple of people I met:

The incredible value of deep relationships. I didn’t go for the information, I went to get to know people better that I like, trust and want to learn from. From that comes incredible collaborative ideas. I already have proof of that from this trip, as a huge opportunity was presented to me from being there. I am so much better because of it already.

I’m still processing a bit, but I am reenergized and giving some serious thought to jetting back out on my own. Most of the sessions I attended [proved I’m] up to speed on the latest, but it was so valuable to hear the real life discourse of it all. I was also relieved to know that marketers struggle with some of the same challenges [I do].

And the biggest takeaway from JLD?…

It’s time to start paying attention to Facebook Messenger ads and bots; both will be hot in 2017!

If you want to hang out with 200 thought-leaders in the social media and online business world, attend meet ups and mixers, soak up some valuable content through a number of focused sessions, and connect with like-minded people in American’s Finest City, then be sure to check out Social Media Marketing World 2018!

The post 161: What I learned from top Social Media Experts at Social Media Marketing World 2017 appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2nyw1AI

Latest EOFire Podcast 161: What I learned from top Social Media Experts at Social Media Marketing World 2017

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

Social Media Marketing World

From the welcome party to the opening keynote and all the way to the final session, Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) 2017 was incredible.

Allow me to expound…

Putting on events isn’t easy

First off, it’s not easy to put on an event, let alone an event with over 3,000 attendees and 200 speakers from around the world!

SMMW crushed it in several ways:

  • The networking events were top notch, including the opening night party on the USS Midway and another night out at Parq, best described as an indoor playground for adults;
  • Breakfast and lunch were included both days;
  • They had “table talks” so you could easily meet up and connect with others who have the same interests;
  • Coffee and snacks were plentiful;
  • Directions on how to do what were simple – and if you still didn’t get it, there was always someone nearby who could help;
  • Last, but certainly not least, the bathrooms were clean (come on, you know this is a big deal!)

Not to mention the session lineup, which was chock-full of relevant and timely presentations from today’s top social media marketers.

Let’s have a look…

The sessions

Workshop with Michael O’Neal

Before the conference had “officially” started I got to sit in on a workshop from Michael O’Neal of the Solopreneur Hour Podcast (which I recently appeared on with JLD and Jill & Josh Stanton from Screw The Nine To Five).

His topic: The Art of the Interview.

There were several takeaways from this session, but the one that stood out to me the most was simple: do the work.

At the beginning of the session Michael called someone up on stage, passed her a microphone, and said, “Interview me.”

Timid, confused and caught off guard, the girl stumbled around until she finally whispered, “What’s your name?”

Michael handed her a checklist and sent her back to her seat, giving her the heads up that she’d have the opportunity to come back up on stage at the end to give it another go.

Since I was sitting behind her I had a perfect view to see that she spent the rest of the session checking off boxes on the sheet Michael had handed her.

Come time for her to go back up on stage, she nailed it.

All she had to do was do the work – follow a simple set of steps Michael had given her in order to make her guest feel special and ask the right questions so her listeners walked away with something valuable.

If you want to do a deep dive on Michael’s teachings around The Art of the Interview, you can check him out on Chris Ducker’s podcast where he does a deep dive on the topic.

Opening Keynote with Mike Stelzner

Mike Stelzner is the man behind the entire show: SMMW is put on by his company Social Media Examiner. If you’re in the social media space, or want to learn more about leveraging different social media platforms to grow your reach and business, then his site is where its at.

During his opening keynote, Mike focused on his annual Social Media Marketing Industry report, a report he’s been compiling for the past seven years on the latest and greatest data – plus, what it means.

You can grab this report free if you sign up on his website.

My biggest takeaway from Mike’s session was that Facebook is still #1.

Check out this graph Mike shared on how social media marketers view the importance of these social channels as it relates to their business:

State of Social Media 2017

It’s pretty incredible to see Facebook at 62% in terms of the most important social media platform for marketers.

Perhaps it’s because of Facebook Live, or the fact that their ads dashboard can’t be touched by any other social media platform?

Whatever the case may be, live video was also a major topic in the keynote and throughout the conference, in addition to being the one thing Mike said every marketer should be on the lookout for in 2017.

How to Build up Anticipation for Your Next Launch using Facebook (FB) with Amy Porterfield

One of my favorite business podcasts to listen to is Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy, and that’s because Amy knows how to break it down.

Her presentation was no exception.

Anyone in that room who was paying any attention walked out with a detailed step-by-step process to follow for their next launch marketing plan using FB Live.

Amy called this: The 4-Week Facebook Live Pre-Launch Formula

Here are some of the highlights Amy shared for your preparation period:

  • Choose your pre-launch and promo dates

Sounds simple, right? Surprisingly, most people don’t take the time to create a schedule for themselves, which can result in lost time.

  • Set a topic and lead magnet for each live session you’ll do

Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? As Amy has proven time and time again – Yes!

  • Place the FB pixel on all opt-in and TY pages for your lead magnets

It sounds technical and hard, but it’s not. Any landing page builder will have a box for you to simply copy and paste your FB pixel into.

One of my favorite tips from Amy throughout her session was to schedule your FB Live sessions on the same day at the same time every week. This way, your audience knows when to expect your live sessions, and therefore can plan ahead to show up.

How to Land Guest Appearances on Podcasts with John Lee Dumas

This was the most valuable panel I’ve ever attended – and I don’t just say that because our very own JLD was the moderator. With Jessica Rhodes, Jill Stanton, and Aaron Walker by his side, this crew crushed it.

Guest podcasting

One of the biggest eye-openers during this session was when Aaron Walker expressed that he has literally grown his business based off from the guest podcasting he’s done.

When you take the time to find the right podcasts, with the right audience, where you can deliver massive value, and you nurture a relationship with the host, big things can happen!

The key is figuring out how you can bring the most value to the audience who is tuning in.

As the panelists put it: “Don’t be in it for you, be in it for the host and their audience.”

Getting to 100 Episodes and Beyond with Mark Mason

Another value-packed panel came from moderator Mark Mason, along with Pat Flynn, Lou Mongello, and Cliff Ravenscraft. Combined, these guys have produced over 7,000 podcast episodes!

The resounding answer to “How do I get to 100 episodes and host a successful podcast?”

CONSISTENCY.

Each panelists talked a lot about how most podcasters are only concerned with the numbers. But who cares if you have 17 or 700 downloads?… as long as you have engaged listeners who tune in because they genuinely care about what you have to say, your podcast will be successful.

Their parting piece of advice for the audience was this:

If you’re looking to start a podcast because you think you’re going to get a sponsor and make a lot of money, then don’t start a podcast. Start a podcast because you’re passionate about a topic and know you can make an impact by sharing your knowledge with others.

From Blog to Podcast: How to Create and Audio Blog with Kate Erickson

You got it! Yours truly had her first ever speaking opportunity at SMMW this year, and I couldn’t have been more excited for it!

My topic was all about going from blog to podcast: how to create an audio blog, which was quite fitting seeing as this is how I choose to approach my own podcast.

I broke it down step-by-step for those in the audience who already have a blog and want to repurpose their content in a powerful way.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Catalogue your content
  • Break it down by category
  • Create your content calendar

These are the exact steps I followed after posting on the blog for over one year: I simply compiled the content I had already created and put together a plan to turn it into audio episodes.

Over two years later, I’ve switched up my format, gained and lost a lot of listeners, and am loving every minute of the journey.

SMMW feedback and looking ahead

You’ve heard my feedback, but what about others who attended SMMW?

When asked what their biggest takeaway was from the event, here’s the feedback I received from a couple of people I met:

The incredible value of deep relationships. I didn’t go for the information, I went to get to know people better that I like, trust and want to learn from. From that comes incredible collaborative ideas. I already have proof of that from this trip, as a huge opportunity was presented to me from being there. I am so much better because of it already.

I’m still processing a bit, but I am reenergized and giving some serious thought to jetting back out on my own. Most of the sessions I attended [proved I’m] up to speed on the latest, but it was so valuable to hear the real life discourse of it all. I was also relieved to know that marketers struggle with some of the same challenges [I do].

And the biggest takeaway from JLD?…

It’s time to start paying attention to Facebook Messenger ads and bots; both will be hot in 2017!

If you want to hang out with 200 thought-leaders in the social media and online business world, attend meet ups and mixers, soak up some valuable content through a number of focused sessions, and connect with like-minded people in American’s Finest City, then be sure to check out Social Media Marketing World 2018!

The post 161: What I learned from top Social Media Experts at Social Media Marketing World 2017 appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2nyw1AI

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:

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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.

       

 

 

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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.

       

 

 

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