This series of 5 articles is designed to help you reflect and focus on what's most important to you in 2020.
2020 Focus area 1)
Know what you want, and have a robust plan to get it
2020 Focus area 2)
Getting new, quality clients, with less stress
2020 Focus area 3)
Get your clients to stay longer, spend more and become MRR
2020 Focus area 4)
The joy of staff
Here's the fifth and final focus area.
There’s a part of my story that most people find too extreme; too terrifying to dwell on.
And it’s this: Mondays to Thursdays I get up at 5am.
Not because I’m an insomniac, or have a dog that needs walking.
Instead to work ON my business.
No matter where I am or what I’m doing, the world is quiet and peaceful at 5am, and I can spend at least 90 minutes – often longer – getting closer to my goals.
To be fair I was a breakfast presenter on the radio for several years, which meant getting up at 4am… the transition to 5am when I started my first business in 2005 was easy.
And I’ll also admit to having a lie in till 6.30am on Fridays these days!
But 4 days a week, I’m up early, focused on what needs to be done – and taking action.
Because taking action is the only silver bullet to grow your MSP
No matter what your problems, issues and challenges – action can overcome them.
I call this the will to act. Because it’s about doing whatever it takes to achieve the life you want to live, no matter how hard it is.
It’s about asking yourself the question every day – “is what I’m doing here moving me closer to the life I want to live?”
The hard way to do this is find a whole day a week. Some people have these and call them “admin days”.
I find those too easily hijacked by crises and “catching up”. My preferred way of working is to find 60 to 90 minutes every day to work ON the business rather than IN the business.
That should be a minimum, by the way. If you can find more time each day, that’s better.
5am is too extreme for most, which is fine. But if you can tackle this at the same time every day, it will become a very healthy long-term habit.
I recommend some time before 2pm. And certainly not the evening. Even if you consider yourself a “night owl”, you’re cognitively fresher in the mornings and will simply get more done, compared to at 10pm at night.
Find an environment where you can work without being interrupted. Maybe that’s at home. Maybe it’s your office with a sign that says “seriously, do not disturb” on the door. Maybe it’s Costa or Starbucks. It doesn’t really matter so long as you can work without interruption.
And what do you do with this precious daily time?
Certainly not emails, admin, Facebook or any activity that is essentially working IN the business.
Instead, focus on activities that:
- Get you more new clients
- Get those clients to choose to buy from you more often
- Get those clients to choose to spend more every time they buy
Yes, those three again. They are a great way of focusing on what you should be doing.
Improve each of those three areas, and you generate more sales and net profit. Which gives you cash to buy more time. Which is what most MSP owners want.
A final note on staying organised. Last thing I do each night before I clock off for the evening, is organise my activity list for the next morning.
I use Todoist, and highly recommend it. It’s a beautifully simple way to keep track of dozens of projects and thousands of tasks at any time. Synced across any device.
I probably spend more time working in Todoist than any other software I use.
Whether that floats your boat or you prefer other software, or another way of working, you must – must – have a productivity system.
You simply cannot operate at a high enough level to grow your business and free your time, unless you are organised and focused.
There are a small number of jobs that are more important than everything else. And your challenge is to focus on those, and find enough time to deliver them well enough to have a major impact on your life.