Getting every little bit of help on the road to success is certainly welcomed by almost every entrepreneur. Building a lifestyle brand that empowers, assists, and guides entrepreneurs and those wanting to start is the focus of Josh Stanton and his company, Screw The Nine To Five. He joins Paul Higgins in this episode to talk about the skills you need to learn, and things you need to accept and understand before starting your own business. Becoming an entrepreneur in an unorthodox way, Josh shares the mistakes he’s made and talks about how you can avoid it and do a better job. Don’t miss today’s show to learn how to attract the correct customers, how to achieve a work life balance that works for you, and why it’s important to start giving back to the community once you’re in a position to do so.
I’m very excited to have Josh Stanton from Screw The Nine To Five. Josh and his partner Jill have created a brilliant brand and a community and the purpose is to help entrepreneurs grow. Unlike many of our guests, Josh actually started very differently and it’s an absolute hilarious story that he goes into. It’s a must-read. Josh also talks about his vision to be the number one lifestyle brand for entrepreneurs across the globe. He also talked about why he closed 150 sites to focus on the Screw The Nine To Five brand. He opens a Comodo on his shift in lead generation, and he gives some brilliant advices too good not to listen to. It’s also great to see another fellow Aussie smashing it around the globe.
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Welcome Josh Stanton, from Screw The Nine To Five to the show brought to you by Build Live Give. Josh, we’re going to get to know plenty about you. I’m sure a lot of our readers already know the great work that you and Jill do for people leaving corporate. I want to start with something that your family or friends would know about you that our readers wouldn’t.
It’s awesome to be here with you. I’m super excited to chat. One thing that’s super weird that our audience has caught on to and it’s annoying because it’s not really true is, everyone thinks that I have this weird obsession with pugs. To the point where people send me things like t-shirts of pugs on them. Someone knitted a pug and sent me a knitted pug. It’s like this crazy thing and it’s all because we had pugs when I was growing up as a kid. It’s funny what happens with the internet when you mention something about yourself and then it just catches on like wildfire. People are obsessed. They’re more obsessed with me being obsessed with pugs and I actually am with pugs.
You haven’t gone as far as you wearing a pug t-shirt every time you’re in public?
No, definitely not. I think my obsession has increased as a result of everyone else focusing on it. When I see a pug, I immediately have to go and play with it.
It is. I normally ask people, “What was your corporate escape story?” You said it was a little different for you guys. You actually had a different start. You contribute so much to the community of people leaving corporate, but why don’t you talk a little bit about your backstory and how it’s different from a typical corporate escapee?
It’s a question a lot of people ask us and they say, “What was your corporate life like?” My answer always is, “I don’t know. I don’t have that answer.” The truth is, I was never in deep corporate. Because our brand is called Screw The Nine To Five, there’s this preconceived notion that we, myself and Jill, were in corporate and we escaped it. The truth is, we were never in the 9:00 to 5:00. We always said screw the 9:00 to 5:00, we just wanted to spread that message. As far as my background goes, after finishing high school, I did start studying engineering. I was going down that path. It was quite a cool opportunity that was given to me.
I remember, because I’m the youngest of five, my older siblings, they got forced to go down the same path as everyone else. Many younger siblings probably get the opportunity because their parents, by the time they get to the fifth kid, they’re like, “You can do whatever you want. That’s fine.” For me, I was studying engineering and I was hating it. I remember coming home one day at nighttime, I was commuting two hours back and forth to and from Brisbane every day.Your business is not separate from your life. It's pretty much one big general lifestyle. Everything fits in together. Click To Tweet
I got home and my dad said to me, “Are you are you okay, Josh?” I said, “Yes.” He’s like, “What’s wrong?” I said, “I’m just exhausted. I don’t care about mathematics or anything to do with engineering.” I’ll never forget, my father is no longer with me, he said to me, “You don’t have to do this. You can do whatever it is that you want to do. You can do anything you want.” Because I got told that, he actually gave me a choice to go out into my life as an adult to live the lifestyle that I wanted to live. I didn’t have to follow the direction that everyone else is following. I was very fortunate to be given that opportunity. As a result of that, I started looking for other ways to generate money and live a different lifestyle. Because of that, I came across a lot of things with online business and started building my businesses from there. It’s not the typical, I left my 9:00 to 5:00 corporate job and started this business. It was ingrained in me from a very young age.
What was that first business you stepped into in the online space?
It was a goldfish business. It wasn’t selling goldfish. It was selling a book about goldfish. You’re probably like, “What are you talking about? Who is buying books on how to take care of their goldfish?” I’ll tell you that a lot of people are buying books on how to take care of their goldfish. I first got started with a course by Frank Kern, who’s a famous internet marketer. The concept was to do keyword research on Google and find topics or concepts that get a lot of searches on Google. What you’re going to do is to then do all the research. Hire a ghostwriter to create an eBook for you. After that, you’re going to put it up on Google AdWords, and you’re going to sell it from there.
At that time, the cost per click on Google AdWords was $0.05. It’s not anything like that which is $5 a click. I didn’t have the money to pay for the book. The book was $350. I didn’t have a job at that time, too, but I only had a set of golf clubs, that was worth about $300. I took my golf clubs down to the local cash converters and they gave me $300 for the golf clubs. I came back and I had enough money to get the book written. A week later, as the book was getting written, it took a month to get written, my brother came downstairs and he asked me if I wanted to play golf.
I said, “I can’t play golf.” He said, “Why can’t you play golf?” I said, “I don’t have any golf clubs anymore.” He’s like, “What happened to your golf clubs?” I said, “I had to sell them. I sold them to cash converters.” He’s like, “Why would you sell your golf clubs to cash converters?” I said, “I needed the money to pay someone to write a book about how to take care of goldfish.” I came clean about it. He gave me so much crap as all older brothers would do. It makes perfect sense looking back on it, why he would have done that. What he and I didn’t know is that book would actually sell. That book went on to make about $15,000 of sales over the course of about two years. The cost of the golf clubs was $300. I got a pretty good return on that investment. That was the first time I got into business, selling a book about goldfish.
The only bit that I find a little strange about that story is that you didn’t sell one of your brother’s golf sets and keep your own. That’s what I would’ve done.
That would have been a lot smarter. I don’t think they would have forgiven me.
On that journey of online businesses, what are some of the help that you’ve got? You’ve mentioned Frank. Who did you follow and what’s been the knowledge that you’ve gained as you’ve built this fantastic community?
That was a little dabble into making money online, but it wasn’t an online business. It wasn’t a business sense. I realized I needed to develop more skills and so I went and took up an internship at a small SEO company on the Gold Coast, Australia. I worked there for over a year and I didn’t get paid very much, but the guys I worked with, I’m so thankful for them. They taught me a ton about SEO, which was an important skill for me to develop at that time. This was 2007 or 2008, I can’t remember. At that time, SEO was a useful thing. It still is a very useful thing, by the way, but I learned some fantastic skills working there.
After that, I took those skills and started expanding a little bit further. I started working with a partner and we created some software around blogging and we expanded out that way. If there’s anyone who has no idea about how to do anything with regards to internet marketing, online marketing or online business, I highly recommend going and maybe working for free at an SEO company or doing an internship so you can develop those skills. That was the best thing I ever did.
I’m pretty sure our community knows you well, but what do you say when you walk into a party and someone says, “Josh, what do you do?”
It took me a long time to get over this and I’ve talked to a number of people who have similar businesses to us. I asked them the same things like, “What do you say to people to help them get it?” For a long time, I was afraid to say this word and I don’t know why, but I stepped into it. When someone asks me what I do, I say, “I’m an entrepreneur.” I always start off with that because I truly believe that that’s who I am. I’ve been building businesses online for so long. I’m an entrepreneur. I use that as a follow-up question like, “What type of businesses do you own?” I can explain the different businesses that we have. It took me a long time to step into that. When I go through customs, I’d be afraid to write down entrepreneur. I’d write down silly little things like web developer, marketing or something like that. It’s important that if you want to step into the life of business, then you need to step into that role as an entrepreneur. You need to tell yourself and everyone else that that’s who you are.
Certainly, for our audience. I know from my personal experience, I used to hide what I did because of the director of Coca-Cola. Everyone either knew someone there, wanted a job there, or wanted to know about the formula. I used to avoid it. If people ask, “Where do you work?” I’d say, “Coca-Cola.” They say, “What do you?” I’d say, “A forklift driver,” and they never asked me another question. Once I left corporate, I walked into an event and I had no idea what to say. My parents would call me and say, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “What do I tell my friends?” My brother is a policeman, that’s easy to articulate.
I used to be easy to articulate. I’ve got no idea. You’re seen always being in shorts at home and not doing anything. It sounds like a midlife crisis but I’m sick of saying that. Give me something. It’s amazing that when you lose that status as well of being able to easily say, “I’m this.” All of a sudden, that’s effectively gone and then you’ve got to recreate yourself. Around that entrepreneur, what are some of the businesses that you’re involved in?
We’re pretty much full time on Screw The Nine To Five. Our big, hairy, and scary goal for Screw The Nine To Five is to become the number one lifestyle brand for entrepreneurs. We’re trying to go a little lateral in our audience. We’re looking to broaden out outside of online business coaching into other areas of entrepreneurship as well. One of the things we’ve learned over the years is that, in this life of business, it’s not like your business is separate from your life. Whereas in a 9:00 to 5:00, people have their 9:00 to 5:00 separate from their real life. With business, it’s one big general lifestyle. Everything fits in together. The three big areas that we want to focus on are business, health and life.
What we’re realizing is that there’s a bigger objective of Screw The Nine To Five than just training people on how to do online business. We want to focus on the holistic approach to what the lifestyle is of the entrepreneur. We’re going all-in on that. Prior to that, we’re doing lots of things, mostly online businesses. We’re doing a lot of affiliate marketing. We had a number of different sites in the skincare, healthcare, beauty, different niches. In fact, we had about 150 different sites at one stage because we kept growing and growing. We sold up all of those sites and we focus full-time on Screw The Nine To Five because this is what we feel like is our true purpose in life.
Take me to making that decision. I’m assuming those 150 are making good revenue and money to say, “No, I’m going to stop those and then just follow this key path.”
We’re getting tired of the mundane. I’m sure you would probably understand this when you’re doing things just to make money. Eventually, it loses its appeal and you start to lose your interest in this lifestyle. You start to create that separation again, which is like, “I need to wake up and work on these sites,” which is my job. It doesn’t really fulfill me anymore. I’m going to half work on them and then I’m going to try and have a life outside of that. I felt like we were going down a bad path there. A path of very low fulfillment. Although we were making money and it was fine. We were able to live overseas. We had a lot of freedom and stuff like that. We didn’t feel like we were creating any legacy for ourselves. We made that decision to go all-in on Screw The Nine To Five.The best way of creating leverage is to build partnerships with other people in business and also in health and in life. Click To Tweet
I’m not going to lie. It’s been up and down like any businesses, but what I will say is that I’ve never felt more aligned with something in my life. If you’re looking to get out of corporate and start a business, I get that you’re going to go through an approach, which is like, “I need to make money.” That’s fine. Take responsibility for yourself. When you do get to a point where the money isn’t as big of an issue for you and you do want to create something that is going to be a legacy for yourself and your family. I want to challenge you to try and find that and go all-in on it when you do.
That’s brilliant and I suppose that’s a perfect alignment with our brand, which is, build your dream business, live a great life, and then give back. There is something greater that you can contribute. I’m excited that you’ve made that decision. I know you’ve already got a huge audience. A lot of people are going to benefit from that. On your audience, how did you go about deciding who your ideal client is? I love where you’re going to take the brand and your vision, but how did you decide that that’s right for you guys?
We had plenty of identity crisis. A lot of businesses have this and that’s fine. Initially, you say to yourself, “Who do we think we want to target as far as that customer goes?” You go after that initially and trust me, you will attract those people. If you put it out there and you say, “I want to attract that type of person, you will attract that type of person.” That’s exactly what we did. It worked out great. Initially, when we first started targeting people, we were getting people who weren’t even serious about business. They were just following us because they wanted to follow along with the lifestyle. We put a product out there and no one bought it. It made it clear to us that we were creating the wrong type of content and doing the wrong types of marketing promotions. We were attracting the wrong type of customer.
We shifted away from that. We focused more on people who were looking to create businesses. We focused on initially, people who essentially are like your audience, who were looking to screw their 9:00 to 5:00. We captured those people and we work with a lot of those people. Power to them. They’re amazing people. They want to change their lives. What we’re trying to do is to target a more general entrepreneur base, as opposed to just trying to teach people how to start small online businesses. We want to try and focus on more holistic approach to the lifestyle of entrepreneurship. Not just because after meeting a lot of people, we know exactly who those people are that we want to attract into our brand.
Who’s doing it well? Who are the brands that you look and you’ve got in your sights?
I would say, someone who has done a fantastic job of surrounding himself with incredible entrepreneurs, is a man by the name of Jayson Gaignard. He’s a Canadian as well. He started this amazing event once a year called Mastermind Talks. It’s an incredible event. He’s done such a great job. His strategy was he would travel around to different cities in North America. He would put on dinners for entrepreneurs in those cities and he would invite those people to come to his dinner. He would pay for the dinner and stuff. It would bring them in and it would connect them all together. He thought, “I’ve got this incredible network of entrepreneurs.” Amazing and very successful entrepreneurs at that. He decided that he wanted to do a live event once a year, which he calls Mastermind Talks. The first year, he charged maybe $1,000 or something for the event. It was a one or two-day event. He got around 100 and something people.
Fast forward another 7 or 8 years, and he has this event called Mastermind Talks once a year. There’s a 14,000-person waitlist to get into this event. There are only 150 people allowed to come. He charges now over $8,000 per ticket to this five-day event. For me, I respect the approach that he’s taken around the concept of relationship building. Building strategic partnerships and relationships with people as opposed to trying to use certain marketing strategies to try and convince people to buy your products. He said, “What I’m going to do is go out and try and build connections with some fantastic entrepreneurs all across the world. I know that by investing my time in building those relationships, it’s going to pay off in a very successful business, which it has.” I want to use him has as the best example.
On your journey to be the number one lifestyle brand for entrepreneurs, what will the business model look like? What are the ways that you will make revenue?
From a revenue standpoint, one of the best things we’ve realized is we’re going to create more leverage. The best way of creating leverage is to build partnerships with other people in business and also in health and life. For example, we’re about to launch a pretty incredible guide on webinars. It’s a 12,000-word piece of content. What we did is we went out and we researched and tried to connect with as many people who are doing great things in the webinar space.
The one person who we want to back and get behind the most, she’s an incredible webinar trainer herself, is Amy Porterfield. She already knows so much about webinars. If we want to, we could try and create courses and products in all these different areas, but that’s a whole lot of bandwidth, a whole lot of time. It’s not very scalable. Instead of doing that, “Why don’t we try and connect up with all the individuals who are doing such a fantastic job who already have amazing expertise in those different areas, and we can drive leads their way instead?” What we want to focus on is creating a publishing type of business where we build a lot of exposure around the brand of Screw The Nine To Five, and then we deliver that exposure, those leads to relevant strategic partners.
Do you know Nathan Chan and Foundr?
I do. I’ve spoken to Nathan a few times.
I know that he’s got a similar path. He launched something with Ari Meisel on productivity as an example. What’s going to your point of difference to something that Foundr’s putting out versus what you guys will put out?
The main thing is the quality of content. That’s key. For us, it’s researching these different topics in great depth, and trying to speak to the best people in those different areas. People who have the most amount of expertise in those areas, and continue to update that content and make it better. There’s been a shift away from quantity around content, so producing a ton of content all the time. We’re seeing companies like BuzzFeed starting to fail. They were producing a ton of content all the time. I’m feeling there’s a shift towards high quality. We want to go down that path.
Let’s say, we come out with this webinar piece or if you come out with another piece around podcasting, we talked to some of the best podcasters in the industry. Instead of creating another one around podcasting, or a ton of different pieces of content around podcasting, let’s just have one. We’ll update that every time we find out something new. That way we’re always continuing to improve one piece of content. What’s good about that, from an SEO standpoint, is that over time, as you improve that content, you can try and rank one piece of content for every single keyword based around podcasting. As opposed to trying to create tons of different content and try and rank all these different pages. It’s a much better approach and it’s going to have a big impact for sure.
What’s your number one source of new leads, new business people coming into the community?
We were doing Facebook ads for a long time. This is a great lesson for anyone reading. Because we were focusing on one medium, essentially one channel for getting traffic. The cost of Facebook ads continues to go up. It’s an auction. As it becomes more competitive, the cost to deliver those ads continues to go up. Because we focus 100% on that, it put us in a bit of a precarious position, which we’re finally starting to make some moves to get away from that. Because Facebook ads still work for sure, but we want to move more towards organic traffic. The podcast will continue to grow. We want to keep growing that over time. We know it’s going to be a great source of leads. I also see there are a lot of people that aren’t taking advantage of SEO. There’s a ton of search still on Google and a lot of people don’t know how to do that. I’m thankful that I have that SEO background that helps me a lot. Beyond that, I see over the years, video is going to be a massive thing. We want to get ourselves in a position where we can hire a video team to put into place because it’s going to be a popular medium for the foreseeable future for sure.
It’s interesting, you talk about that noise and the quantity on Facebook. They made some changes to the news feed and trying to change. They also made an announcement around Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, there will be nothing on that. They’re trying to clean it up. It’s a simple analogy, but the house is just so full. People are over it. I’ve dropped out of Facebook. I’ve taken it off my phone. I’ll check it once I’ve shut down my group and getting out of it because there’s so much noise. I find that it’s so difficult. I love the bit that you’re doing good quality content that will move the dial and get some result rather than keep bombarding them with things. A lot of people that want to consume all the content never get anything done because they’re always consuming and not producing.People who spend time reading your content have a higher chance of becoming a customer than someone who just likes your post. Click To Tweet
One of my favorite things to think about is that the concept of readers are buyers. For example, you put a post up on Facebook and people will like it. You get a ton of likes. Those people are buyers. They’re not going to go through and purchase your products because they locked your post. However, if someone reads an entire 12,000-word piece of content on webinars, and you know your advice is great. They’re going to use that information to go out and get results. That person now has a strong affinity with your brands and a lot stronger than just clicking like one time on Facebook. They’re deciding they’re going to spend the next 30 minutes reading your content. That’s a big difference. That person is much more likely to become a customer.
You talked about your team. Potentially building your videoing team, but how big is your team?
It’s myself and Jill. We have Nadia who’s our executive assistant. We also have customer support, and then outside of that, we have subcontractors that help with different areas. We’ve kept it pretty lean. Because of our background of being nomadic and stuff, we’ve always wanted a bit of a lean business. That’s important to us. We don’t want to expand to a point where we create a corporate environment, we’re Screw The Nine To Five. It’s why we created this brand in the first place.
What’s the biggest challenge in your business that you face?
The biggest challenge, I would say is around capacity. We didn’t have any corporate background. We didn’t learn management and that stuff. These are different areas that we have to develop as far as skills go for myself and Jill. There’s a fantastic book called Traction. They talked about this operating system and putting things together. We’re starting to put a structure in place with our business. That’s what we’ve noticed is a big thing holding us back. We don’t have the right structure in our business to allow it to grow to the level that we want to get it to. That’s what we’re working on. I wouldn’t say we’re struggling with it, but I would say, this is the area we’re focusing on the most.
There’s no better time to delegate when you’ve got a new baby on the way. Hopefully, you get a brilliant sleeper, which will be great. If you don’t, it can be a little challenging. It’s amazing what was important to you pre-baby suddenly becomes unimportant to you afterward, but it’s a great time to do that. A lot of our community was so caught up in the structure. Coca-Cola, for 160 years it was so process-driven. It was run beautifully as a business but that was restricting in some occasions. When I first left, I threw everything out. It was complete freedom. What we’ve done is take some of the best of and bring it back in. A lot of our corporate escapees, they go too far. They go from all structures to none, and then I see them slowly come back. There are some brilliant things you can learn from corporate, and then you can adjust that to suit your business.
The real fundamental difference that I learned is that, there’s nothing wrong with the structure. When you start the business, you’re the entrepreneur, you’re the boss. That’s the difference. You’d have to learn how to step into that role. It’s a much funner role. It’s more creative. You still have the freedom to work on the things that you want to work on. You’re the captain who steers the ship. You say where we’re going to go. You go from being the boat hand or whatever, doing whatever the captain says, which sucks because you have no control over things to having full control. Initially, there is that concept where people think like, “I’m out. I don’t have to worry about any structure or anything anymore.” Because you were caught in that rich environment for a long time to having to say, “I need that rich environment, but it’s going to be better for me because I get to call the shots.”
It’s hard to let go because if you’re doing everything, like, “It just takes five minutes to do the bookkeeping, do this do that.” It’s hard then to scale because you get so used to doing everything, you actually find it hard to let go. It’s the other end as well.
It’s quite a journey.
If we could grant you one wish to solve this capacity opportunity that you’ve got, what would that be?
I don’t know if I need a wish, but I would say we are executing on the principles taught in Traction, it would be to instantly have all of that in place. I’m aware that it takes a good twelve months to execute and put all these different components together. For me, it would be instantly to have all the structure that we want in our business.
The next section is around live. What I’d love to know is about your daily habits. What are the things that help you be as successful as you are?
The morning is really important. I’m sure a lot of people will tell you about that. We wake up and one of the first things that I love to do in the morning is I’ll drink a ton of water. I didn’t do that for a long time. When you work at a computer all day, you get caught up just focusing on like, “I need to get this stuff done.” You forget to drink. When I wake up in the morning, I’ll drink a liter of water. I’ll down it and it will instantly put me into a good rhythm for the day. It’s almost like my trigger to say, “The day has started, let’s get going.”
As we go throughout the day, I’m actually pretty easygoing. I’ll work probably 6 to 8 hours a day. It’s funny, like a 9:00 to 5:00. Jill and I work together in the same office. We’re talking to each other and our team is remote. We have a weekly meeting on Mondays. The rest of the time, we’re using Slack to communicate and we’re also using Asana to manage our projects and things like that. I don’t know what it’s going to be like when we have a baby. Part of the journey is trying to understand that I don’t feel pressure to get things done, be too productive, or be too efficient. I have a feeling that once the baby comes. I’m going to be like, “I’ve got three hours. What am I going to get done? How do I prioritize?” A big shift is about to occur.
You get fired up because there’s going to be a lot more coming their way. You and Jill, have a brilliant partnership. If she was reading this episode, what would you love to say to her about the support she’s given you?
I would say it’s so incredibly amazing to have someone who I can depend on at all times. She’s the most dependable human being you would ever meet. For example, for this call. She literally walked me up and said, “You’ve got a call at 2:00 PM.” I’m like, “Who’s it with?” She’s like, “It’s with Paul Higgins and I’ve sent you all the information for it. Also, remind you at about 1:30 to tell you you’ve got 30 minutes until it goes live.” She knows what is going on at all times. I don’t know how she does it, how she has the brain capacity to do this, but somehow, she manages to know exactly what’s going on at all times. Having someone like that has been so crucial to allow me to step into my zone of genius which is just much more of the coming up with ideas and that kind of stuff.
The next section is the give section. What’s a cause or a community you’re passionate about and why?
In Australia, the company called Grill’d, the burger company, when you go in and buy a burger, they give you a bottle cap. You get to take that bottle cap and you put it in a box where there are three charities and they change up those charities each time. You get to decide which one you want to give money to. It’s $1 or so per bottle cap. We have a membership site and there are three areas that we want to focus on as far as giving back goes. The first is the environment because it’s quite important to me. Growing up in Australia, we had such a beautiful environment. Living in Canada, the environment is very incredible here. That’s super important to both myself and Jill. The second area is social element. One area that Jill is passionate about because she had a terrible experience in high school. She was bullied like crazy and we know that that causes so many problems with kids as they grow up. We want to help out in that realm and in that social element. The final area is entrepreneurship.The best advice any entrepreneur can offer another entrepreneur or a starting entrepreneur is to stick with it. Click To Tweet
We do give money to Kiva. We’ve heard there are a couple of other nonprofits who are doing amazing things. They’re going down. If you give money to Kiva, they say you’re giving money to this specific person who needs that money to fix up their shop or whatever. The reality is that money goes to them and they divvy it up. Whereas there are a few companies that are doing proper microfinance and going down and working with these business owners down in third world countries. Helping them and teaching them exactly how they can use that microfinance loan to grow their businesses and wanting to improve the financial situation of those individuals in small villages and things like that.
The concept that we’re probably going to be launching is, when someone joins, they get to decide out of those three charities, which one they want to put in 5% of their monthly fee. Which one they want to go towards. That’s a concept that we’re playing around with. It’s something that is our way of giving back in our business. Other than that, I feel like we give so much we’re Screw The Nine to Five anyway. The concepts we teach, I feel like we’re behind everything that’s involved in this brand and what we’re trying to do as well.
I want to thank you because I know when I first started, I looked for information, and your Facebook community was bringing. I certainly learned a lot from there. You do an enormous amount for the entrepreneur community around the world. I’m truly grateful for that. The next and the last section is the action section. Just want some rapid-fire responses to these simple questions. The first one is, what are your top three productivity tips?
The first one is Scrum. Using Scrum to manage your projects. It’s a fantastic way because you can focus on one task at a time. As entrepreneurs, we get so caught up in doing too many things at once. It stops you from multitasking. Scrum is super beneficial. The second productivity tip would be to only have one meeting a week. It’s very important to do. When we first started, we were having meetings all the time. We were constantly trying to talk to our staff, and we were getting nothing done. We said, “This is stupid. Let’s cut back and let’s do it once a week.” As soon as we did that, we started instantly getting more things done and reducing the number of meetings that you have with your staff.
On Scrum, do you use that then through Asana? The methodology?
We do use it through Asana. The third one, because this is in line with what we do too, with our projects, is we work in 90-day increments. We’ll have a planning session at the beginning of the quarter and we’ll plan out exactly what we want to get done. We’ll break that down usually into three projects. We’ll break down all the different tasks that need to be done for it. We’re going to put that all into Asana. We’re going to assign it to who needs to do it and we’re going to date it all out. That way, on a weekly basis, we can look in Asana and see what is due for each person that week. They can write down their weekly task lists. Every day, they’re just going to work on 1 or 2 of those tasks. Every day they wake up, they know exactly what they’re working on. We did fall into a trap a lot of people fall into at the start with their business is, the concept of when you wake up and you’re like, “What should I do now?” What’s important for us now is to wake up and say, “I know what I’m getting done because I wrote it down.”
Besides Asana and Slack, what are some other favorite apps that you have on your mobile or desktop to run the community?
I’ve started using Evernote a lot more. It’s such a great app. I don’t know why I didn’t use it for so long. Evernote is fantastic. The other thing that I’ve been using to keep in touch with different partners and things like that is Voxer. From a productivity standpoint as well, it’s a lot faster. Instead of using Slack all the time, which is typing, between my friends who are business partners and things, and also our staff, I’ll use Voxer to vox them different things that I need from them and whatnot. It’s so much faster. I would say Voxer is a huge one. The other one is TextExpander. Do you use text expander?
I do and when I use it, people go, “I don’t understand it.” I’m like, “That and text replacement on my iPhone, I use all the time.”
TextExpander has an iPhone app. You can use on it on your phone as well. That’s huge on the amount of time you save by using a tool like TextExpander. I tell everyone to use it if people are struggling to get things done, I’m like, “Have you got TextExpander yet? If not, go and get it.” My email is Josh@ScrewTheNineToFive.com. It’s so long. I just have a two-letter short-code for it. I don’t have to type up my email. If there are important Google documents that we have. I don’t know the URL or if I want to get access to it, I have to go into drive. I have to search for it. I’m like, “I know the short-code for all the important Google documents we have.” I spit that out and it saves me a ton of time. TextExpander is huge.
What podcasts or books do you recommend?
If you’re looking to grow your business. If you’re already getting some revenue going in your business and you want to get to the next level, you’ve got to execute on the components mentioned in Traction. It’s going to be a game-changer for you and your business. The other one, which is super relevant to your audience, Paul, and that is The E-Myth. Have you read The E-Myth?
Yes. Several times.
It’s so relevant for someone looking to quit their job and start a business. Once you read this, everything’s going to make sense to you.
I don’t know how many times I say, “Do you want to be a baker or do you want to own a store of bakeries?” I credit that to Michael Walter.
It’s the best example to use for sure.
If you want to start to sell some golf clubs and get an eBook on goldfish, what are some parting advice you’d love to give our audience?
The best advice any entrepreneur can offer another entrepreneur or starting entrepreneur is stick with it. Every single time, I felt like I wanted to quit because it got too hard, and I just pushed through it. Some reason there’s always another side once you get through that door, once you push through that initial wall that you’re up against. It’s always better on the other side. The entrepreneurs who are the most successful are the ones who’ve been doing the same thing over and over again for a long period of time. That’s honestly the best advice I could ever give any entrepreneur.The entrepreneurs who are the most successful are the ones who've been doing the same thing over and over again for a long period of time. Click To Tweet
How can people find out more about you?
There are two areas. One, go check out ScrewTheNineToFive.com. If you want to join our Facebook group, go to ScrewCommunity.com and it’s not that kind of community, it’s a business community. You can request access to join our Facebook group.
A quick shout-out to Kate Erickson as well, who I know is a good friend of yours and Jill’s and she was kind enough to recommend you, which has been great. It’s always great to see a good Aussie doing extremely well on the global stage. You and Jill together doing that. I followed you and I’ve learned a lot from you. I’m sure a lot of our audience will learn a lot from you in this episode. I want to thank you, Josh, for coming on and sharing your wisdom.
Thank you so much for having me on. I think you’re doing incredibly important work, Paul, and I’m very excited for the future of your business as well.
Thanks a lot.
Screw The Nine To Five is a movement started by us, Jill & Josh Stanton.
We started this site as a way to show others how we were making money from our fleet of over 30 online businesses while living overseas.
Consider this a resource to help new & existing entrepreneurs solve problems related to life & business through actionable insights & simple how-to’s.
Jill & Josh Stanton
Hey we’re Jill and Josh Stanton, co-founders of Screw The Nine To Five.
We’re serial online entrepreneurs, world travellers and new parents to our little guy, Kai.
We value freedom, commitment, self-integrity and of course the odd cocktail or two with friends and family!
We’re grateful to have the chance to meet so many incredible entrepreneurs like yourself who are choosing to live life on your terms instead of someone else’s.
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