Transcript: Stop Wasting Time: Why Being “Outcome-Oriented” Is The Key To Efficiency & Growth

April 25, 2023

AMY PORTERFIELD: “The success would be, like, we created this beautiful certification program, and people are buying it, and we're making great money with it, and we're certifying people. That was what I thought the success looked like. But it's not. The success after the success of creating a really lucrative, impactful program is that I'm helping more and more people scale their businesses, make more money, create more freedom. And the way I get the success after the success is actually absolutely changing my plan.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Let's talk about a podcast I am loving. Inclusion and Marketing, hosted by Sonia Thompson, is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Inclusion and Marketing digs into important topics like belonging, customer experience, and diversity, and how you can practice inclusive marketing authentically. Because when you lead with inclusivity, you win the attention, the loyalty, and the trust of a broader group of consumers. I think one of my favorite episodes to date is when she shared about cultural appropriation and inappropriate use of a culture not your own. Such an important conversation. You can listen to Inclusion and Marketing wherever you get your podcasts. 

Hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. 

Listen, I've been talking a lot about how my book launch was just so overwhelming in the best way possible, and I feel like I've been busy since January one hit the calendar. And I know I'm not alone. Whether you launched a book or not in quarter one, I am sure you've been absolutely busy. Life and business kind of takes over, and you come up for air and think, “Oh my gosh, where did the last few months go?”  

So that got me thinking about time management. If you've been with me for a while, you know that one of the keys to my success has been properly managing my time and being really organized and putting a lot of systems in place for everything I do. That's just how my mind works, and where I find my inner peace is to plan and to schedule and to get organized. And, also, the icing on the cake in terms of doing all that is that I get to have a four-day workweek, which means my team and I get to have a three-day weekend most weekends, if we're not in launch mode or anything like that. So having the ability to make my own schedule, one that works for me and my business and one that allows me to reach all the goals I want to reach but also have all the time I need to rest, was one of the big drivers for starting my business in the first place.  

So I was on the web, and I came across this article from Fast Company. And I actually really want you to read it, so I'm going to link to it in the show notes,, because I’m not going to get to everything in the article, and I think the whole article was important. But it was called “How and Why You Should Practice Anti Time Management,” anti time management. And, of course, it caught my attention because when I read the headline I was like, “Wait a second. Whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you talking about?” So they got me, and I definitely had to read it with that title.  

What I learned from it was—I had to read it, like, two times to really let it sink in—but basically what they're saying in this article is that you should base your time not on the goal itself, but on the success that you are seeking from that goal. So before you plan your time, before you plan all the actions, before you plan of how you're going to get this goal, you really need to first think of the success that you're actually seeking by hitting this goal. So it kind of had my head spinning a little bit. And then they gave this example that I thought was interesting. So let me break down this example for you in the article, and then let me tell you how this played out in my business, and I didn't even know it did play out, but it made a profound difference for us.  

Okay. So the idea behind basing your time on the success you seek from your goal is actually pretty simple. So it's all about starting anything you set out to do by identifying the final outcome. So your outcome is the reason why something is supposed to be done. It's not the goal itself; it's the success that comes from achieving the goal. 

So here’s the example they used in the article. Say that you want to build a table, all right? So you might make an elaborate design for a really beautiful oak table, and then you can't do it yourself so you hire a contractor, and you work through your plan, and this contractor begins to build this beautiful table. And then, when he gets done, you look at it, and you're like, “Yes.”  

Now, all of that work that went into designing, creating, communicating this table to the contractor; the contractor getting out the tools, building the table; all of that is great if the goal is to have, let's say, an heirloom table. But what if the goal was ultimately just so you could have dinner? Well, you could have called Uber Eats or you could have gone to a food truck and you could have had dinner. You didn't need this elaborate plan with all of these action items to deliver this heirloom table if all you needed was just to have dinner.  

So when you focus on the success after the success, all the steps disappear if it's just to have dinner. You didn't need all those steps. So when I read that—they literally wrote the sentence, “By focusing on the success after the success, all the steps disappear if your outcome was just to have dinner.” And in the article, they say that in order to make sure that you are clear about the success you are seeking, you have to ask better questions. And one of the questions they suggest is, what's the ultimate outcome here?  

So this happened to me just recently. I had an idea of creating a certification program. So I would teach my Digital Course Academy students, my graduates, I would teach them how to teach other people how to create courses. So I would certify them in the Digital Course Academy model.  

And this was so exciting to me because if you have been in Digital Course Academy, you know that I have a very, very specific framework model to work through, something that I could teach and other people can replicate with their students. If you haven't gone through Digital Course Academy, just trust me here. There's this model that I walk people through step by step by step in order to get the big results when they launch their digital course. So I thought, “Okay. Well, I could certify people to teach the DCA model.”  

And I thought this was a fantastic idea. And I told my friend Brooke Castillo—if you don't know Brooke, she's from the Life Coach School, and this woman is a baller businesswoman, and she's made millions of dollars with her certification program. She certifies people to become life coaches—I told her about my idea, and she said, “I think I need to come to your house. We need to talk about this.” She actually volunteered. One day we were at an event together. We were actually in my hotel room, sitting on my bed, just chatting. I told her about my idea for certification, and she's like, “It’s more to it than you think. Let me meet with your team.” I was like, “Uh, yes, please.” So her generosity blows my mind.  

So she literally came to my house in Nashville, and she met with my team to talk about our brand-new certification program. And we worked through what it would look like for us to add a certification program, what it would take to actually make this happen. We started talking about all the different action items step by step to bring this to life.  

And as we started to break it all down, we realized that what we were after, the ultimate outcome, really didn't align with the certification program, because the ultimate outcome for what I do is to help our students get to the finish line, get their courses out into the world, get them launched, and scale their business, whether they're scaling a digital-course business or they added a course to their business and they're looking to make more money and more impact and have more freedom so they're not doing, let's say, so much one-on-one work or service-based work. So that is my ultimate outcome.  

And so I realized, as we were having the conversation, wait a second. If I look at my graduates of Digital Course Academy, the majority of them are not in the marketing or coaching space. They don't want to build a business helping other people launch digital courses. Sure, there's going to be a small handful that would be excited about that or want to kind of move in that direction. But I work with hairstylists, relationship therapists, yoga instructors, bakers, investors. I work with people that are very good in their own fields, in their own niches. They are not looking to become like me, where they teach other people how to create digital courses.  

So when I go back and look at all my success stories, I wouldn't even want to take them out of their game and encourage them to teach other people how to make courses. Like, one of my students, she was a nurse, and she would see moms come into the emergency room, like, with their kids choking, and these moms didn't know what to do. And so, you know, if you have a kid choking and they have to get to an emergency room, that kid could die on the way to the emergency room, right? So she created a digital-course program to help moms and dads administer emergency services in their home when it's needed the most, like choking. Like, what to do when your kid is choking. She has made hundreds of thousands of dollars with her digital course, but more importantly, she is literally changing lives. And I don't want to go to her and say, “You know what? I've got this idea. I could certify you. You're really good at digital courses. I could certify you so you could teach other people how to create these courses.” No! I want her to stay in her zone of genius and continue to create more programs to save lives.  

So, again, the majority of my students are not necessarily poised or ready or wanting to change their niches, their expertise, to be certified. And so I had this big aha moment in that meeting. So instead of creating a certification program that actually takes my students in an entirely different direction in the end, what we needed to do is find a way to support them in taking their businesses, the businesses they worked so hard to create with their digital course, to the next level. And I realized in that meeting that a great way to do this is to instead offer one-on-one coaching for students who want to create a digital course but want more hand holding and want more guidance and want more coaching and accountability.  

Now, this is a very different idea than the certification program, but one that is much more aligned with our ultimate outcome. It meets our students where they're at, and it delivers on something that they've been asking for, and it allows me to scale my business because we can train coaches—I can still bring coaches into my business, but now these coaches are going to help more and more people create businesses in their zone of genius. 

And here's the really cool thing. Once we were clear on our outcome and what the success after the success looks like—so the success would be, like, we created this beautiful certification program, and people are buying it, and we're making great money with it, and we're certifying people. That was what I thought the success looked like. But it's not. The success after the success of creating a really lucrative, impactful program is that I'm helping more and more people scale their businesses, make more money, create more freedom. And the way I get the success after the success is actually absolutely changing my plan and delivering a totally different program. So we were able to easily come up with a project plan for our one-on-one coaching program and the specific steps it would take to make it happen once we got total clarity on the success after the success.  

So I wanted to share with you it kind of took me a long time for this to sink in after I read that article. I didn't understand what “success after success” really meant, but that's how I can best explain it to you. When you're working on a project, and you ask yourself, “Okay. What does success look like?” and then for me it was, like, a thriving, impactful certification program. “Okay. But once you have that, what does success look like after that?” “Oh, a bunch of people I certified that now I'm taking them out of their game and encouraging them to do something totally different, outside of their wheelhouse.” “Okay. That's not actually what I was after.” And so I had to go back to the drawing board. 

So I hope this is landing for you because I think it was a really important lesson. I almost created something that absolutely would not have brought me joy in the end. It wasn't where I was trying to go, and I didn't even know it. And it took some brainstorming. We had to talk it out. I had to be open to the fact that maybe I was going in the wrong direction. And that was embarrassing because, Brooke, she's just really super straightforward. And remember, I'm more sensitive, and I tend to attract really good friends that are just like, “Cut through the BS and just tell me how it is.” So I don't know why that is, but I love it. And she's like, “What are you doing? Why are you doing this, Amy? This is not what you want. This is not the end-all, be-all success you're looking for.” And I was like, I looked at my team and I said, “Yeah, I made a bad call.” Luckily, we were still in ideation, but yeah, it's true. I was going down the wrong road.  

So I'm happy to say that since then, we have created a brand-new coaching program. It's called Your Digital Course Coach. It's one-on-one coaching for entrepreneurs who are ready to take their digital course to the next level. We've already done a beta test. Super successful. I'm so excited with what I'm seeing. And our beta users have already exceeded their goals, and now we're starting to hire more coaches and put together our whole plan. And in just a few months we're going to offer our next cohort of one-on-one coaching packages. So if you're interested, if you want to work with one of my coaches who I've trained and my team has trained to help you one on one create your digital course from scratch, go to You’ll likely see a wait list, depending on when you’re listening to this, because we’re not offering it again for another few months. But get ready because we only have a certain amount of spots, and then they're gone again. So  

I've been asked to create a one-on-one coaching program for years, and I always thought, “No. That's not going to fit into my plan,” but it actually fit in perfectly, and I'm so excited about it. So whether you're in Digital Course Academy or not, get on that wait list because we have different opportunities. If you're brand new, never were in DCA, but you don't want to wait until September to get into my DCA program, get on that wait list. If you've already gone through DCA and you just need help doing it and you know you're not ever going to do it alone, get on that wait list.  

So I'm really excited. It all came together because I was willing to ask the question, what's the real goal here? And then we were able to come up with a program that serves the needs of our students and serves the needs of my business, meaning I want to scale. I want to be more present for my students. I want to help more and more people get to the finish line. This is it. So ask better questions. And go read that article. I think you're going to love it. 

Okay. So speaking of going read the article, that's the first thing I want you to do. But I have a little bit more homework for you that I think is going to add a lot of value. I want you to think about how you can apply outcome-oriented thinking in your business. Ask yourself, what does success look like after, based on the ultimate outcome you're looking for, what does success look like after success? That was hard for me to wrap my head around. Go read the article if you're still struggling with that. But it finally, like, clicked for me. Think about some ways that you might be getting stuck because you're focusing on actions and not the outcome. And I want you to journal about this because remember, all the steps, step by step by step, you're putting together literally might be 100 percent unnecessary when you get clear about the outcome.  

“You just want dinner.” “Oh, let's order Uber Eats.” “Oh, you want an heirloom table?” “Okay. The steps are necessary.” Maybe the steps are not necessary. You have to get clear. The success after the success. What is it?  

So maybe you'll realize that you're spending a lot of time working toward something that isn't in alignment with what you want to do in the first place. If you have any aha moments, please DM me. I'm dying to hear what you all think about this concept. So I’m @amyporterfield on Instagram, just @amyporterfield. Get into my DMs. Tell me if you've had any aha moments once you listen to this episode and read that article, because you might be able to make your life easier and get to the outcome quicker if we get a little bit more clarity.  

All right, my sweet friends. These Shorty episodes are always me taking you behind the scenes, sharing with you something that has worked for me, an aha moment for me, or something I'm dealing with. And then, of course, our Thursday episodes are longer, more in-depth, more step by step, and often with guests. But the Tuesdays are Shortys just with me. I hope you enjoyed it. And I’ll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness. Bye for now. 

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