AMY PORTERFIELD: Well hey there, Amy Porterfield here. Welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. The other day I had to do something that just about killed me. It really brought me some pain but I knew I just had to do it.
I deleted the 4,000+ Facebook members from my 30-Day Pop-Up group. Then I totally deleted the group. This is the pop-up group I recently had for my B-School promotion.
I know, it’s a big deal, right? Deleting 4,000 people from a highly-engaged Facebook group. Let’s just all take a moment of silence.
The thing is, I really enjoyed having that group. Based on the feedback, a lot of members loved it just as much as I did. I took tons of snapshots before I closed the group of people saying how valuable the group was and how helpful everybody in the community was and how much they enjoyed my mini trainings and Q&A sessions.
To back up, for those of you who are not familiar at all with what the heck I’m talking about, I did a 30-day pop-up group at the beginning of February and I created the group around the B-School Bonus promotion. I called the group B- School Breakthroughs.
The purpose of the group was to have an open and detailed discussion about B- School before Marie Forleo opened her program for enrollment. The crazy thing is that the group was also a selling strategy for those who felt they were a good fit for the program.
Because I attracted the right people to the group and because I gave value more than I promoted B-School people loved the engagement and the community. That’s big, knowing that it was actually created as part of a promotion but people felt taken care of.
I think that proves that when you give more than you take, especially when we’re talking about marketing, your campaigns never feel slimy or overly salesy. You’ve got to love that.
That’s why it killed me to close down the group. The thing is, I really want a Facebook group to create a community around my business.
I was thinking I could have a permanent group for my podcast. Every week I would jump into the group and I could talk about this week’s episode, maybe add mini trainings, and of course, do a bunch of Facebook Lives to connect. I’m talking about the type of group that Jill talked about last week in Episode #151.
I want a group like that really bad. I thought, okay, I could actually take this group of 4,000+ people and transition them into an Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast Facebook group community. Those that want to stay can stay and those who aren’t interested in continuing the conversation could jump out of the group. No biggie.
I thought it was a brilliant plan. So I started meeting with my team, chatting them up on my vision for this transition of the Facebook group, getting really excited, and then as I heard myself talking to my team about this topic I stopped mid sentence.
I realized then and there that tackling this new project, and that’s what it is, we’ve got to be honest that it would be a new project, is not a strategic move for my business right now.
Those are the key words, the last two words, “right now”.
If I slowed my jets for just a second I would realize this is not something I should be focusing on right now. This is not something my team should be focusing on right now. I had a big gut check that I had to say, “no” and turn down this opportunity.
Here’s what went through my head:
- I went over my business drivers, my goals in my business that are driving my business forward. I looked at them because I have new business drivers every single year. I realized this new project didn’t quite fit in terms of the other projects we’re working on. It would totally derail what we are working toward right now.
- I didn’t have the time or resources for this right now. I couldn’t take it on and then really be true to supporting all the other projects and other team members and my students that I’m supporting right now. I asked myself how the team could actually fit this in and how could I make this work. In reality it meant other things would have to come off the docket and that’s not what I want to do when I’ve set goals for myself and my team.
- I didn’t have a process or system for it. This is a big one. I would totally be flying by the seat of my pants if I transitioned the 30-day pop-up group into an Online Marketing Made Easy Facebook group I wouldn’t have a plan for it. I wouldn’t know when I’d have time to jump in and do Facebook Lives and mini trainings. I wouldn’t really have a process as to who could manage it and how often I would be there and what kind of topics we would talk about and when we would talk about them.
Those are things you want to decide before you ever start a Facebook community. Jill, from Episode #151, will tell you to get clear on your expectations and know how you want to manage the group and know how you want to grow the group.
Speaking of growing the group, I had no plan in terms of how I would market it, how I would fill it up, and even thinking about it now makes my heart race because I know I do not have the bandwidth right now no matter how bad I wanted to keep this group.
So I pushed the “delete” button and let me tell you, like I said, it just about killed me to do so.
Today I want to ask you what you are saying “yes” to that you should be turning down in your business right now? Why is it so important to ask yourself this? I’ll tell you in just a minute.
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Okay, as I mentioned, I want you to ask yourself what you are saying “yes” to that you should be turning down in your business right now. Why is this so important to ask yourself?
Part of the reason I think I make myself so stressed (can you relate?) is that I fear I’m going to miss out on something so I need to pile it all on and keep saying “yes” and make myself more and more stressed because I don’t want to miss out.
Even after I’ve been in business for a long time and know the importance of white space and I know how to get on the no-train I still find myself saying “yes” to things that look so enticing.
I’m pretty good at saying “no” to interviews and “no” to speaking on stage and “no” to this or that, things that aren’t going to support me in the moment. But I’m terrible at letting go of projects that could be really substantial in my business.
This Facebook group could really move some things forward. That’s why it was so tough for me.
As your business grows you need to be selective about which opportunities are right for your stage of growth. Remember, I keep saying “right now”. This is not right for me right now.
I think I’m going to do it down the road. I really can’t wait to build a Facebook community around the topics we talk about on this show.
However, I’m looking at my business and this year, in 2017, it’s all about automating my three online courses. We are going full force with automation. My plan is to not do any live launches for my own courses this year.
That’s a pretty big goal considering I made millions last year doing live launches. We’ve got to get this automation locked in and it’s taking a lot of focus, a lot of time, a lot of rework on the launches that we’ve created.
I’m creating a lot of new content and working with my team on all of this. That’s why I’m saying a new project like this would totally derail me and I might as well just throw those automation goals out the door because they will get pushed and pushed until they go into the next year.
These are the kind of honest conversations we have to have as entrepreneurs. It’s not like I’m just saying “no” to something. Instead, I’m saying “no” to it right now because it doesn’t fit into the stage of growth we’re in.
That’s what I wanted to share with you because I think that’s an ah-ha moment for many of us.
After I realized I was still saying “yes” to opportunities because I had FOMO and also realized I needed to say “no” because of the stage of growth I’m in right now it kind of hit me that I can’t have FOMO (fear of missing out) in my business. That just cannot be a factor.
That’s what this episode is really all about. So I came up with a process of vetting new opportunities in my business. This is really new to me and very timely but I thought it would be really helpful to you as well.
I want to stop here and emphasize that this podcast isn’t actually about saying “no”. This is about knowing how to judge the opportunities, in the moment, that come into your business and knowing how to intelligently evaluate them. That’s what this episode is about.
Trust me, if I had listened to this podcast five or six years ago I might have made a few different choices, for sure. I wasn’t evaluating things very well in those first few years.
I’m going to be embarrassed to tell you this one, but a few years into my business I actually paid somebody $20,000 for them to create a suite of surveys to my current students in some of the programs I had build.
That was one of my biggest business mistakes. I think we can all choose one or two really big business mistakes and this was one of them. Quite honestly, I think half of a survey got created and the whole thing just did not work out and the person I was working with did not work out.
I lost $20,000 in the stupid decision I made. But I didn’t necessarily make the decision to pay the person to create the surveys out of fear of missing out but more so fear that I wasn’t doing big enough things in my business.
I wanted to create more funnels (this was really early on) and I thought if I hired someone to create elaborate, really detailed surveys that could be put into funnels then everything would be bigger and better.
I was fearful I was missing out on playing big so all of these emotions came into play and I made a really bad decision. If I knew how to evaluate these opportunities that were coming my way I would have never, ever made a $20,000 big mistake.
How about the time I overbooked myself on stage just a few years back because I didn’t want to miss out on big speaking gigs. I think my ego got in the way of this one.
By the fifth time I was boarding a plane in just one month I was completely resentful of the people I was going to meet and speak for. I hated them and I didn’t even know them.
In reality, I was just really frustrated I wasn’t working on the projects I really wanted to work inside of my business, my business drivers. I was so distracted with all of the speaking gigs that I wasn’t working on the stuff that really mattered to move my business forward.
At that point my business partner, Devin, said, “Stop speaking Amy. You don’t even enjoy speaking on stage that much and you’re going to things that are not going to move the needle. These are not your audiences. You are doing it for the wrong reasons.”
He was right. So these days I don’t do tons of speaking. But when I say “yes” I’ve got to make sure I’m all in.
One more example, I just want you to know what things look like on my end when I make bad decisions so I’m really going to hit this one home…One final example is the year I said “yes” to doing a mastermind with a group of my peers and I knew in my gut from Day 1 that it wasn’t a good fit.
This was many, many, many years ago. But I didn’t want to miss out just in case this mastermind would have been really big for me, like the answer to my prayers, whatever they were at the time.
I was so scared to say “no” but my gut was saying, “Amy, you know what, this isn’t the right group of people.” I did it anyway and I was miserable for almost a whole year.
Luckily I later made up for that and found a mastermind that was a perfect fit for me and that’s how I became partners with Devin Duncan, my business partner, so it all kind of rolled out to be a good thing but when I was in the other mastermind it was not a good fit and I knew it but I had FOMO. I didn’t want to miss out on any opportunities that came my way.
As a result of my own FOMO issues, today I ask myself three questions each time something new or unexpected comes my way. I wanted to share these three questions with you as well because you’re going to get big opportunities that come your way, unexpected opportunities, things that you really, really want to do and you know would be great for your business.
If you aren’t exactly sure if the timing is right or if you have a strategy to implement it or if it’s really a good fit or you’re just thinking it might be a good fit, you need some criteria so that you can evaluate.
That’s what I’m going to give you right now. So let’s go ahead and jump in to the three questions I want you to ask yourself every single time a new opportunity comes your way. Let’s do it.
The freebie for this episode is really, really good. I know I say that about all of them but we put some really good thought into these freebies. Today’s freebie is called The One-Page Evaluator.
I’m going to list, in that one pager, the three questions I’m going to review with you right now. But I’ve also added some extra checks and balances. I want you to use this one pager every single time a good opportunity comes your way.
I’ve added some extra checks and balances because I don’t just want The One-Page Evaluator to help you decide if this decision is a good one or a bad one, should you do it or should you not do it. I also want you to identify if, yes, it’s a good one but you shouldn’t do it now.
I’ve added some extra checks and balances to really help you discover what the right answer is. So make sure to grab The One-Page Evaluator. All you need to do is go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/152 download or you can text the phrase 152download to 33444.
Grab it, save it on your computer, and I promise you, you will thank me when that big opportunity comes your way and you’re not sure if you should say “yes” or “no”.
Let’s get into the three questions you want to ask yourself when that next big opportunity comes knocking on your door.
How Does This Opportunity Fit Into the Overall Goals of Your Business?
I touched on this a little bit in the intro but this is an important one. How does this opportunity fit into the overall goals of my business? I’ve got an example for you.
A few episodes back I talked about my friend, Jane. That’s an alias name because I wanted to keep her privacy. I talked about Jane creating a program and then promoting it with webinars.
But she didn’t really nurture her email list for a long time. So, when she launched she launched to crickets. Do you remember that episode? It was Episode #149 where I gave you a 90-day pre-launch blueprint.
I have another example from Jane. I had mentioned before that Jane has tons of media opportunities coming her way all the time. In the past I think she might have been flattered and agreed to most, if not all, of them.
Today she has a new focus for what she wants for her business. She wants to do high-end consulting packages and coaching. So now she has to ask herself how these opportunities fit into her overall business plan. Does it make sense for where she’s going?
Here’s a little secret, Jane just uncovered that she can do high-end consulting packages and make a huge impact and a lot of money. She’s already landed her first high-end consulting package and she was over-the-moon excited about it.
She really couldn’t wait to dive in with her new client. That passion and excitement fuels her enough to know that when something comes her way she’s so excited about what she’s working on that she doesn’t want to say “yes” to just anything because she doesn’t want it to derail her.
That’s why she knows to wait a second and ask, “Where does this fit into the overall goals?”
If you are so quick to say “yes” to everything, you might want to ask yourself if you are excited about the projects you are working on now. Why is it easy to push something aside and gravitate toward the next big thing?
For me, I’m working on automation. I am really passionate about it. I really want to make it work because I can’t wait to share the lessons and discoveries with all of you.
When an opportunity comes my way I’m really quick to say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Is this going to get in the way of what I’m really excited about working on right now?”
If you don’t have that excitement you tend to say “yes” to everything because you are just kind of floundering around.
A bigger question for you might be, “Do I need to look at what I’m working on right now and evaluate why I’m not excited enough to get so focused and passionate about it that nothing can penetrate it?”
That might be a question worth exploring.
Again, how does this opportunity fit into the overall goals for your business? For you, it might be that small consulting potential jobs keep coming your way and you need the money so you keep saying “yes”.
The truth is you don’t really want to be a marketing copywriter your entire life and you really want to build your courses and do webinars. I understand you need to pay the bills but what if you could start to really consider if all of these smaller jobs really make sense for your business and if they are actually just derailing you?
That’s just one more example I want you to try on for size because this question can uncover a lot.
How Am I Going to Handle This With My Time and Resources?
Another way to look at this question is: Do you have the bandwidth right now to tackle it in a way that would make you really excited and proud of what you’ve accomplished?
Here’s an example. When I decided to start this podcast it was a big freaking deal. I knew it would be a huge investment of my time and my resources, not to mention that I would need to staff up if I really wanted to go big.
When I took on this podcast I knew some other things would need to actually be put on the back burner or I would need to stop doing some projects to give this podcast the focus it deserved.
This podcast has been incredibly successful and really valuable for my business. It’s a huge list builder and not a day goes by if I am out and about at a live networking event or marketing event that someone doesn’t reference one of my podcasts.
I don’t mean that happens at the grocery store, I mean when I’m around people that know my world. They are always talking about Tiger Time or my new pre-launch blueprint or different things I talk about in my podcast.
I absolutely love that and know it’s worth the time, resources, and focus; the whole investment.
For you, you have to ask yourself if you have the time to make it work and if you need resources to get it done. As this new opportunity comes your way, right away ask if you have the bandwidth, do you have the resources to get it done.
If you do need extra resources, whether it means time or money or people that you need to staff up as well, do you have the ability to get those resources? You’ve got to be honest with yourself.
Maybe the answer is “no”. Maybe you need extra money to do something or you need to hire someone and you can’t afford it. Then that means either you put this on the back burner and come back when you can really do it right, or if you really want to do it and it does fit into your business, you’ve got to tweak how you’re going to do it and change your expectations.
I’m all about baby steps and starting small. Maybe the opportunity is right for you, it is a good time to do it, but you need to tweak it to take it down a notch and kind of grow into making it bigger. It’s just a suggestion.
What Would Be My System for Doing This?
This one is so good and so important. I’m such a systems girl. I absolutely love this third question. What would be my system for doing this?
I’ve got a quick story for you. I have been reworking, rebranding my website for a long, long time. I’m actually embarrassed to admit we started these discussions back in August 2016 and it is March 2017.
I pride myself on systems and I’ve got some great project management skills and I have a lot of support inside of my business. However, what happened was when we started to talk about rebranding my website I was working on a bunch of different things.
My team was working on these different things with me as well. So the website never got my full attention. I asked somebody on my team to work on it and she was amazing and supported it but never got my full attention to review things and talk to her about strategy.
Then I made a huge mistake of not getting Devin, my business partner, into the mix early enough. So when he actually saw a semi-finished layout he had tons of changes. They were good changes but we were far down the pipeline.
I just managed it terribly. I didn’t put it in Asana and in my business if it’s not in Asana I’ve made the decision that it’s not a real project and we didn’t put it in Asana so it was poorly managed in that way.
We made people wait for information and I made people wait. I’m the leader of this team so I take full responsibility. I just didn’t manage it well.
Now we’re in March and we’re going to be launching it. I’m serious at this time. It’s coming out within weeks, if not days.
However, what I will say is that I learned a huge lesson. That is that if I take on any new project I need a system for it on Day 1. That system includes physically putting it into a project management tool but also assigning different people to the project.
Who is going to work on what? When are the deadlines? More importantly, when I have a project going on I have to meet with my team once a week. I just have to do regular check ins. I didn’t do that with this website creation so, again, I take full responsibility. I screwed up.
But we’re getting it back into shape and it’s going to go live soon so I’m going to forgive myself of this big mistake. Gosh, you guys are getting all my mistakes today.
So, let’s take this back to you. What would be my system for doing this? That is the question you are going to ask. I want you to consider, if you have a process or model, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.
If you don’t, going back to Question 2, do you have the bandwidth to put a system together before you start?
Thinking about this whole website rebrand, back in August when we started to talk about it and kind of explore it, I should have said, “I need a system for this but I don’t have the bandwidth.”
I had my team working on so many other really priority projects that it just wasn’t going to fit into the mix. I should have waited and then when I did have the bandwidth, because this was something I really wanted to do and it really was a good time to do it in 2016, but I should have sat down and put together the system with my team and done it right.
These are really important questions. They are questions I am going to start using every single time an opportunity comes my way. I hope you will start to use them as well.
These are the three questions, to break the cycle of FOMO in your business and get your head on straight for your business.
I ask you, can you commit to doing this exercise every time you have a big decision to make? Here’s the thing I want you to keep in mind. Listen up, if you’re multitasking, come back to me because this one’s important.
Last thought before we wrap it up. If the project is worth it, it will come around another time, another time when you are ready to take it on. Trust me, great opportunities always come back around.
Keep that in mind if it’s a “no” right now. Down the road it could be a big “Hell yes!”
There you have it. I hope you had a few ah-ha moments along the way as I shared my big mistakes I have made in my business as well as that gut-wrenching decision I had to make to let go of my 4,000 engaged members in my pop-up group.
Listen, I’ll get over it but I’m just not over it yet. I also wanted to share with you that I do plan to have a Facebook community like the one I talked about earlier, one that’s focused around the topics I get to teach on my podcast.
I really want to hit home the point that the opportunity wasn’t right for me right now but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a great opportunity when I have the bandwidth to give it the attention it deserves, to put a strategy behind it and come up with great ideas for engagement and mini trainings and Facebook Lives and really cool things in a group that will make you want to keep coming back for more.
I want to do you proud. I want to do it right so I decided not to do it now because I don’t have the bandwidth to do it right. This has nothing to do with being a perfectionist.
In reality, I’m really not a perfectionist. It has more to do with the fact that I really value your time and my time and I don’t want to put anything out there that’s not going to be incredibly valuable. I want to knock your socks off.
I’ve got to finish a few projects before I sit down and map out my ultimate plan for a free Facebook community around the topics that we get to talk about on this podcast. We’ll see. Hopefully I will find a time that is the right time and I will get to do this cool project. We’ll see.
The other thing I wanted to remind you is that you’ve got to grab The One-Page Evaluator. Remember, I list the three questions we went over in the podcast and then I added a few extra bells and whistles to make sure you can really drill down on if the decision is right or wrong for you.
You will also drill down on whether the decision is right for you but just not right now. This One-Page Evaluator is going to be a lifesaver for you when your next big opportunity comes your way. I want you to download it right away so that you have it saved.
If you think you will do it later when you need it you will never remember the podcast episode, at least not the number of the episode. So I want you to do it right now and save it on your desktop. Go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/ 152download or text the phrase 152download to 33444 and I will send your One- Page Evaluator instantly.
Before we wrap up, a quick word form our sponsor. As I mentioned in the beginning, I agreed to sing the praises of Fresh Books because they help freelancers get paid faster. Not only are they the #1 cloud-accounting software out there, they also help you get paid in just two clicks. That’s a big deal when you’re shuffling paperwork everywhere and you’re trying to get things organized.
To get your 30-day unrestricted free trial go to http://www.freshbooks.com/amy and in the section where they ask “Where did you hear about us” type in Online Marketing Made Easy. I can’t wait for you to give Fresh Books a try.
I hope you have a wonderful week. I can’t wait to connect with you again next week. Bye for now.