“With organization comes space, and with space comes the room to grow.”
It took me over two years to realize how being a solo-preneur was hurting my business. Even when I had a team of 10 people working with me, I was experiencing a problem that every business owner has to overcome if their business is going to scale: the problem of how to delegate.
It’s common for entrepreneurs to do everything themselves. After all, when most of us start out we don’t have any other choice. Whether it was copy and design, platform integrations, product development, or email—if you didn’t do these things, they didn’t get done.
But eventually I realized that operating this way was doing harm to my business. By needing to lead every project on the team, I wasn’t helping us succeed. I had become a bottleneck. Without realizing it, every decision was going through me and it was stealing away all my time and slowing down my team.
IDENTIFYING YOUR GREATEST VALUE
I like to use the analogy of driving a car. In the beginning I had to do all of the driving and all of the navigating simultaneously. And it’s really hard to navigate while driving—at least if you want to be the best navigator you can possibly be.
So what I ask myself now, and what I think you as a business owner should be asking yourself, is to identify what is your greatest value to this company: driving or navigating? My greatest value is as the navigator of the team, in holding the vision and creating the content that guides our companies.
I know I’m not going to be able to give the most value if I’m fracturing my time between tech platforms and writing copy and creating design and managing advertising. And I can tell you right now that I don’t want to spend my time managing my employees either. So why was I doing it?
SCALE COMES FROM OUTSIDE YOURSELF
So in the middle of last year, I hired Colleen Taylor as our project manager. A project manager who has gone on to become our Chief Operations Officer, and it’s no coincidence that since hiring Colleen one of our brands grew by 6X and all of our other brands have increased significantly as well. This is because scale comes from outside yourself.
For two years, in my attempt to avoid becoming a micromanager I had become a macro-manager. And this came with its own set of problems. I was letting people manage themselves because I thought that’s what they wanted. Colleen, however, had a better strategy for us. She introduced a far greater level of organization, and with that organization came space, and with that space came the room to grow.
And the positive response has been overwhelmingly clear. By macro-managing my team I was asking them to manage themselves. Think about that: because I didn’t want to manage them, I unwittingly passed my problem onto them. They now needed to hold themselves accountable for everything I was asking them to do.
And in my whole team, not a single one of the jobs I had hired them for was a management position. It goes back to focusing on the things that give the most value to your business. I don’t want my creative designer wasting his time and energy on prioritizing the next 6 weeks of projects. That isn’t what I’m paying him for, it isn’t how he wants to spend his time, and it might even diminish his space to be creative.
BUILDING YOUR TEAM
Listen, you should not be doing your own customer support. Seriously. Any job that is a repetitive, consistent process—and you know what these things are: customer support, platform and technology operations, analytics—you must hire people to do these jobs for you if you want the space to grow.
The first person you should hire is a customer service rep. After that, find a person to be your chief platform officer. This will free you up more than you could ever imagine. You cannot risk spending your energy worried about how the technology side of your vision will be completed.
And the third person you should hire is a project manager. Please don’t wait as long as I did, because organization from the onset is a really good idea. Hire someone right now who’s job it is to identify what’s working today and create a plan so that you can repeat it tomorrow. This is how we scaled our business.
HOW TO HIRE A PROJECT MANAGER
I’m a big fan of hiring from your personal network and training them up for exactly the role you need. This way you can give them a competitive salary based on their experience and ensure they’ll be able to work with you on a personal level.
So what are the skills you should look for in a project manager? I’m not an expert on any of that, which is why I asked my project manager to answer it for me:
“Look for people who are organized and who like helping people. This job is about clear communication and allowing the people you work with to have the space to accomplish their projects and succeed. There’s no way around it: you must be a people person, because the more you enjoy communicating with people the better you are going to be.”
And once our project management course is out in June (co-authored by Colleen), spend the money to train them on a system you know has worked, and stop worrying about it. To be clear, this IS NOT a course for you; it’s a course for whomever you hire to be a project manager.
PLAN FOR SCALE
Every business reaches the size where the owner needs help and must start delegating. In my top level mastermind, we used to focus mainly on successful advertising strategies and customer retention techniques—developing the more customer-facing areas of our business.
But eventually my Blue Ribbon members started asking me how they could build as good of a team as I had…
Who manages them all? What strategies do I use to organize and complete projects on time? How can I get the most out of my limited energy? How do I focus my teams attention over long projects in a way that’s most efficient?
If you want to scale your business beyond what you can do yourself, then these become some of the most important questions you can ask.
This is why it’s imperative that you start putting processes in place that are repeatable and scalable. That means you need to nail down what’s working and create a duplicatable system with standard operating procedures and documentation. This is how you stop wasting your valuable energy and start really building.
This might sound a little nerdy to those of you who haven’t experienced bottlenecking like I have, but I’ll still say it: project management will set you free.
0:40 Colleen Taylor – COO
1:54 The Women’s Only Dance Retreat
2:54 The Bro-Down
4:55 A Brief History on Colleen Taylor
6:57 The Brown Box Formula
9:25 Grit & Hustle Podcast
12:16 Project Management Across our 4 Brands
13:44 Blue Ribbon Mastermind
14:55 The Project Charter
17:15 Sophie Joins The Party
18:13 Navigation and Driving
19:43 What Does A Project Manager Do?
21:32 Scale Comes From Outside Yourself
24:09 Silent Fridays
24:50 Consumption & Creation
27:04 Zipify Pages
31:40 Managing From The Middle
32:50 How We Meet As A Team
36:18 Calendar Creation
38:05 People Over Progress
39:40 The Agile Scrum Style
41:25 Project Management Course Launching in June
42:30 Be A People Person
44:21 Initial Hiring Strategy
47:43 Platform .vs. Action
49:35 James Shramko – “Think Act Get”
50:28 Consistent Processes Produce Predictable Results
53:25 Launch Process
55:52 With Organization Comes Space
Click Here For Video Transcript
Colleen: I’m doing great.
Ezra: Yeah? Mic here, speak into that. And, you know, I’m super happy that you’re here. You are…well, who are you to Smart Marketer?
Colleen: I am the COO of Smart Marketer.
Ezra: She is the Chief Operations Officer. We’re gonna tell you a little bit about the story of, you know, how Colleen ended up as our COO and how she essentially transformed our business over the last 12 months. And I’ll give you a little insight into that, we’ll tell a little bit of a story about it. We’ll show you a project management charter. And I see Boris Shekeloff, who is our ad manager has joined us here. And this is like your first time really, really broadcasting live, right?
Colleen: Yes, it definitely is.
Ezra: How do you feel? Because you look like you’re doing…
Colleen: I’m actually not that nervous because we do this a lot. And I’m just trying to ignore that there’s actually people watching us.
Ezra: Lots of people here, yeah. So if you have questions while we go, you’re welcome to put them in the Facebook feed. We will see them. We will answer them. So what’s going on right now? I’m gonna do a little bit of an intro and then I will bring you into the conversation and we’ll chat about what we’re here to talk about. So we are in New York. My wife has gone to a Koya retreat, which is a dancing retreat that is women only in Costa Rica. And I was convinced I would get to go to this thing because I usually get in the ladies night, you know what I mean?
Also, we are just noticing that my computer is about to die. And Ant, if you could run up and grab Adam, grab a charger, we’re gonna need that. So…yeah I need a special charger, the one from upstairs. Yeah. It’s…you can grab them right upstairs. So anyways, I usually am able to get into ladies night, you know? This is a thing that I figured out how to do. And I found that to be a very valuable experience as a man getting into ladies’ night. There are certain things you learn, you know. I try to like just stay somewhat invisible. So, I was kind of convinced that I could get into this thing, but no. This is really was, women-only.
So once it was decided that I was not allowed to attend this retreat, my brother moved in. He lives in Beacon. He didn’t actually move in but when Carrie leaves he moves into my house and we just have like a bro down for a week. You know, we start eating out of cans. There are many bags of chips, did you see them? We’ve been active over the last couple of days. And what’s interesting about him moving in is we have two guest bedrooms, as you’re well aware. He moves in onto the couch, he did not move into any one of the guest bedrooms. It’s just, he moves on to the couch for some reason. I don’t quite understand that. It’s bro-science, for sure. That’s…thank you, Anthony, for getting us a charger for the computer because we’re gonna be showing you something on the computer later.
So basically, we kind of thought during this time that Carrie was away, one of the things that we’re really big fans of is putting women in charge. So this is why we have Colleen telling us what to do. So we, you know, we wanted to do a deep dive. And so what I wanna talk a little bit about…and that’s been really fun. And we’ll show off some, you know, some stuff we’ve been working on. But is, you know, our business, our business here at Smart Marketer, at Boom! by Cindy Joseph, at Beefriendly, at Zipify Apps, you know, we’ve done really well and we’ve been doing really well. But there was always this sort of, you know, a sort of backdrop of semi-chaos before you showed up.
Colleen: It’s a fair description.
Ezra: Don’t you think?
Colleen: I don’t know that it was even a backdrop, it was pretty much…
Ezra: Yeah, okay. Maybe it was a foreground of semi-chaos. And you have helped us fix that, you know. So initially…so a little bit quickly about, so kind of initially you came on to do project management.
Ezra: And then we jelled and it was like, okay, we must figure out how to have this be more than that.
Ezra: But like, you’ve been in this industry a long time. And what I like to say to my team members, you know, our Smart Marketer team now is quite big, boom team, we’ve got like 45 employees across our companies, is like we don’t have a lot of people who have really seen this industry over the last decade, you know? And so, you’ve been around a long time. What is a little bit of your kind of history in this industry?
Colleen: Well, I mean, I started working with, you know, can I say his name?
Ezra: He’s the man.
Colleen: Eben Pagan, who really is, I mean Eben. You know, he really taught me everything I know about this business. When I started, I started as an HTML programmer, if you could even call it that. You know, building pages, oh, we need to banners, put on this hat. Put on that hat.
Ezra: You’ve just kind of done a lot of roles…
Colleen: And I was just very eager to learn, like what is this business? Like he did it from his house, I don’t understand. And just kind of was fascinated by how it all works and also how it all works virtually. And just, you know, I mean, from watched everything he did, really and kind of learned as much as I could over the past.
Ezra: And you’ve been involved in several high profile companies within our industry, from the background perspective of how things actually run.
Ezra: You know? Which is one of the things that you don’t get to see, right? You, the viewer of our content, get to see the final version of stuff, you know? You don’t see the behind the scenes stuff. Like when I told you, like we were saying when you came in, we had this backdrop of constantly feeling like we weren’t caught up. Like there was always, something was always crazy urgent. And I just like, we cannot have this madness. There is nothing worth this level of madness. We have got to figure out how to have a little more ease in the cycles in our business, you know what I mean?
Ezra: And not that we weren’t doing really good and having a lot of fun and being very successful but there was that constant, something was always crucial, you know? And that was not a pleasurable way that go about work life. And so, you know, when I…I think the story of kinda how…we worked together several years ago, right? You managed a project for my first course. The course that put me on the map, shout out to another company, Digital Marketer, they really kind of, they made me hot, you know? They brought me into this industry and published my first piece of content which was the Brown Box Formula.
Colleen: Brown Box Formula.
Ezra: And you project managed that project, you know? And at that time, I was able to see a little bit of like what organization looked like which is not something that I was familiar with, you know? And so we kinda had some fun working together.
Ezra: And then we didn’t really talk for several years, not because we were…just because, you know, hey…
Colleen: His project was over, let’s move on.
Ezra: Yeah. So then fast forward to a year ago, you listened to a podcast.
Colleen: Yes, I did.
Ezra: Let’s hear that part of the story.
Colleen: Well I was, you know, actively recruiting for affiliates for another client of mine. And one of my tactics is to kinda listen to podcasts of people in the industry, listen to who they’re interviewing and, you know, see if they’re a good fit so I have sort of a warm outreach to say, “Hey, I listened to this podcast of yours.” And I was looking at Todd Herman’s podcast, shout out to Todd.
Ezra: Shout out to the man who is doing a live event, “The 90-Day Year.” Live event, Todd Herman, I just saw it on my Facebook feed. That guy is cool.
Colleen: Right. And so Todd had interviewed…
Ezra: This is the shout out episode, who else can we shout out to? If you’re in the comments, we’ll shout you out.
Colleen: Right. So I listened to a few of his episodes and one of them was the Ezra Firestone episode. And, you know, I had started my own sort of agency model. You know, I was taking on a bunch of clients…
Ezra: Yes, which is how I engaged you, initially.
Ezra: Which we’ll talk about.
Colleen: Yeah. So I listened to this podcast. And I was, you know, sort of mentoring a person who was working with me and I said, “Listen to this podcast.”
Ezra: Let me move you a little bit closer to the mic.
Colleen: Okay. So listen to this podcast and I just really want you to listen to this guy, Ezra Firestone. Like this is the kind of client we wanna work for, you know, someone who has his priorities in order.
Ezra: Okay, so in that podcast, I was kind of talking about the way that I view business and life and relationship and how what we’re doing in our life, what Carrie and I are doing, my wife and I, with our relationship. And that’s really what our primary thing is and then this business that we’re building is in support of that. Kind of like, it’s a good podcast. So I talked a little bit about the history of where, the place I grew up, which is a really fascinating place. A group of people kind of researching what it takes to have pleasurable relationships across the gender line, that may or otherwise, that may or may not include romance, like just relationships in general. How you succeed at these things, you know. It’s a cool podcast. It’s on, what’s the name of Todd’s podcast? Grit and…
Colleen: Grit n Hustle.
Ezra: Grit and Herman. The Grit n Todd Herman Podcast, Grit n Hustle. I did an episode on there, great. So you listened to that?
Ezra: And you thought to yourself, “I remember this guy,” you know.
Colleen: Yeah, and this is a great guy to work with. And listen, like this just confirms for me that number one, this was a cool guy to work for and number two, when we are looking for new clients, this is the kind of person. Someone who understands work life balance, someone who really is going for a greater purpose, a greater message to the world, that kind of thing. And so, you know, sort of just left it at that. She listened to the podcast. And three days later…
Ezra: So what was going on behind the scenes in my business was, I had realized that across my different brands, you know, as we were scaling we went from like 6 people to 18 people to like 30 people or 35 people around the time you came on. And I was the bottleneck for everything and I was looking at like how do I remove myself from being the stop? Like everything ends up having to flow back to me. And I’m not a great manager. I just want people to do stuff. I managed very loosely. What I’m good at is creation, right, and not necessarily organization and management.
And so I just knew that that was, you know, in order to scale and live a pleasurable life while running my business, we needed some level of organization. You know, we needed someone to whip us into shape. And so I immediately thought of Colleen because I remembered working with you several years ago. And I thought, “I really like her and maybe she can help us out. Frankly, I don’t think we can, I don’t think we’ll be able to get her full time. She’s probably employed, she’s probably like…” I think it’s like, the goal was we bring you on as a consultant.
Ezra: So the pitch that I made to you was, “Hey, come whip us into the shape. We’ll pay you a fee on a monthly basis and you get us in order and then we will hire someone to take over this role of managing all of our projects once you have created some infrastructure for our business.”
Ezra: You agreed to this deal.
Colleen: I did agree to that deal, yes. And then I reminded you every couple of weeks or so, that okay, we’re at this stage now and so when you hire the next person, they’ll be able to find this and that. And I think it maybe like two or three emails in you were like, “Stop saying that, you’re not leaving.”
Ezra: We have got to sort this out. Yeah, you just brought so much, you know, you brought so much value. And it is not a coincidence that one of our brands grew by 5X and every brand we have grew significantly from in the year that we have been significantly more organized. And now you have a C-level role at our company. You are now running everything, which is really wonderful.
Colleen: Super cool, yeah.
Ezra: Welcome to the party and thank you so much. So that’s a little bit of the back story about kind of how we got here.
Ezra: And it’s been extremely wonderful to have another limb, we’re still getting ourselves in order, frankly. We have four companies. We have Boom! by Cindy Joseph, we have BeeFriendly, we have Smart Marketer and we have Zipify Apps. And so across those companies there’s many different offerings that each of those companies are making and then each of those offerings have sales funnels and content attached to them that we’re using to sell them and advertising and copy and design and then also brand content, where we’re engaging people who are sort of subscribed to those companies. So it’s a lot of projects, you know?
Colleen: Yeah, there are a lot of projects.
Ezra: And we also have another project manager on your team, you know, which is wonderful. So that’s how we got here. And the conversation that I thought would be valuable…and something that we will be doing together because also what happened was we have this…we were the mastermind, right? Which is like seven and eight figure e-commerce business owners who are like highest level of, I don’t wanna say highest level like they’re more valuable than the other person but they’re like our, they’re people that are…
Colleen: Premier members, yeah.
Ezra: …premier members of our community. And by the way, if you have questions, we will answer them. I saw hot Rob Burns is in the comments, shout out to that, Burn.
Colleen: Yay, Rob Burn.
Ezra: videotelepathy.com/Ezra, if you want that guy to do videos for you. And this is the shout out episode now, after all.
Colleen: It is.
Ezra: Rob Burns, he’s a strange cat. And he is a good dude. I love the guy and he makes really good…where were we just now? I lost my place, do you have any idea?
Colleen: Well, we were talking about, we were getting into the blue ribbon. You were talking of the blue ribbon value.
Ezra: So what happened was as, you know, blue ribboners get the highest level of transparent access to everything that’s happening in our companies. That is the value proposition, along with the Facebook group and the events and the stuff, it’s like there’s nothing that we’re doing that we won’t share with you in this mastermind group. And they started seeing what we were doing from an organization standpoint. Because usually what we talk about in the content that excites people in relationship to Smart Marketer is like, how to drive more visitors, how to drive more sales, how to convert and all that.
Colleen: Yeah, yeah.
Ezra: However, we started to notice that there was interest in how do you have organization in relationship to your company, right? Like this was like something…you can tell when people are interested in stuff. And so we set out to do what we do best, which is do and then document. Document for other business owners how we are effectively organizing ourselves to be more proficient and have a more pleasurable time doing our work, you know what I mean?
So we will be putting out more content in that regard with Colleen as the star of that conversation. And I think we have a training course coming out on it. We’re gonna show you something right now. And I’m gonna pop over to my computer screen real quick and I’m gonna pop this open. And so this is just a sneak peek, a little snippet, a tiny little kind of introduction to some of the kind of content and documentation that we’ll be sharing with you as we get more into how do you organize your business for more effectiveness. So can you talk a little bit about what this document is?
Ezra: This is a document that’s in relationship to one of the offers that we have for Smart Marketer, which is Traffic MBA 2.0 Facebook Video Ads Mastery, our sort of flagship Facebook course. What are we looking at here?
Colleen: Well so, you know…and I’ve been using this model since we worked together at Digital Marketer, so close to four years. And you know we kind of tweak it for each program or each project that we put out. But essentially, this is, we call the Project Charter. It is basically the hub where everybody comes to know what’s going on with the project, what are the deadlines, who are the stakeholders. And it could be, you know, if it’s a JV, the stakeholders on either side, their contact information, just all the kind of the hub. That’s really the…
Ezra: Yeah, you got like multiple little things going on here, right?
Ezra: Like, what is this right here? Wow, look at all that.
Colleen: So this was a video course.
Ezra: I don’t think I’ve seen this before.
Colleen: Yeah. So this was…
Ezra: What is happening here?
Colleen: So this was a video course. And so obviously, you know, you had to shoot videos and there were, each of the stakeholders had a step in that process.
Ezra: Right, right.
Colleen: And so, you know, if you kind of go left or right, what’s the name of it? You know, what’s the name of the video, the module, what’s the name of each video in the module?
Colleen: You know, did you shoot it, Anthony edit it? You know, did someone look through it, thumbnail, all the things are uploaded?
Ezra: Yeah, sure. All the stuff that’s relevant to that.
Colleen: All the steps involved in getting each one of those pieces times, you know, 50 videos or whoever many videos are in the series stuff.
Ezra: Let’s turn back to face the camera here.
Ezra: So that was just a quick little peek at a project charter for one project, which was a training course. So once this sort of idea of how you take a project and organize it with regard to who’s engaging with it because each project charter is gonna be its own kinda unique thing. And that’s like the top line for a sort of initiative, right, a consistent initiative.
Colleen: Right, exactly.
Ezra: Like for example, let’s say your social media game plan for e-commerce, which is a project charter that we might share with you guys at some point.
Ezra: The consistent social media operations for an e-commerce brand. We are getting a few questions around project management in here.
Colleen: Love it.
Ezra: And there was my cat in the background, just being like, “What is going on? Nobody has pet me for some time now.” You wanna come over here, Sophie? She is joining the party. You may not be able to see her because she’s now under the table but she doesn’t like to be left out of a good time. So Sophie is with us.
Colleen: Hey, girl.
Ezra: Here she goes. Let me put her on the table here. Come here, Sophie. Okay no, can’t get her. All right, we’re gonna go back…
Colleen: Camera shy.
Ezra: I tried, you know. She’s just not having it. So here’s a question, Ezra, tell me more about what a project manager does on a day-to-day basis. I’ve been considering adding someone like this to the team but don’t yet understand it well enough. You know, it’s a common thing where do it yourself entrepreneurs are so used to doing everything themselves that it’s hard, like learning to delegate was like a two-year process for me. And now I’m at like year four of when I actually started learning to delegate.
And I kind of like the analogy of navigation and driving. When I started, I was doing all the driving. And it’s hard to both navigate as effectively as possible and drive because you’re trying to drive and then you’re trying to navigate. You’re trying to drive, trying to navigate. So now what I do, and what I think you should do as a business owner, is identify what’s your highest value to your organization.
And for me, that is in the navigation, in the vision, in holding the container and figuring out where we need to go and what we need to do. And then also creating content and coming up with ideas around how to engage with groups of people because that’s what I’m really good at. And not actually being in the operations of doing anything with regard to the platforms, or anything with regard to the copy, or anything with regard to design, or anything with regard to the advertising, with the actual operations that I grew up in.
It’s become necessary for to go to get where we need to go for me not to actually do something anymore. So that doesn’t answer your question and Colleen will answer your question in a moment. I think you’re just waiting, when is this guy gonna shut up and let me…
Colleen: I was gonna say maybe if he, if he’ll read it again?
Ezra: …talk, yeah. I’ll read the question again. But I do like that analogy of driving and navigating, you know, as a business owner.
Colleen: Yeah, it’s very true.
Ezra: So, Eric Shannon says, “Tell me more about what a project manager does on a day-to-day basis. I’ve been considering adding someone like this to our team but I don’t yet understand well enough.” And this is my man, Eric Shannon, I believe, from back in the day. Old school SEO, Eric Shannon, I hope. If not, it’s some random Eric Shannon, in which case we have no relationship but still a cool guy. So basically, what does a project manager do?
Colleen: It’s interesting that the cat came around at that time. I liken it to herding cats, in a way. I mean, you know, there’s projects going on all over the place, there’s people who know their roles and are really, really good at their roles. But as you just said, if they are constantly having to manage and organize, they’re not able to work in their zone of genius. For example, the copywriters…
Ezra: Yeah. Well, you know, what we found…and this was really interesting. Like I always had this viewpoint that I am not a micro-manager, which I’m not. And that, like people really love that and they love having autonomy and freedom but when you came around, and your style is a lot tighter. My style is, you know, everything, nebulous, out here, get some shit done and, pardon my language. Get some stuff done and tell me about it. You know, like here’s what I want and let’s talk about it later.
And you’ve set container and deadlines and accountability. And people feel way more held and supported. People are way happier. Our employees are way happier with the infrastructure of they know what they need to do, when they need to do it by, what’s required of them, like there’s a lot more accountability.
Colleen: That is the feedback that I have gotten, too.
Ezra: And organization.
Colleen: And say, you know, people who realize that they are the creatives, they may not be the organizers. They really appreciate knowing when something is due. It gives them the space to create and not worry about, you know, all the little deadlines and things, so.
Ezra: And one of the other kind of valuable things is, since we have all these subjects…now, I know look, if you are a do-it-yourself entrepreneur and you’ve got one person, some of this conversation may not be super relevant. However, I think the idea of being effective at buying help for your, whatever your project is, whatever it is you’re doing, is a conversation that’s relevant to anyone who’s in business. You want to be able to get help because scale comes from outside yourself, right? You need other people helping you. So learning how to effectively buy help, organize help, delegate, is super important. Some guy says that they really like your t-shirt, which I do too. Yeah, you wanna show off the back real quick? Here it goes. Here it goes. Oh, damn.
Colleen: Lucky number 13.
Ezra: Thirteen, Colleen Taylor in the house. Sarah Baldwin says, “Any tips…” Sarah Baldwin, who is…continue with the shout outs, bellalunatoys.com. If you’re looking for wooden toys, if you’re looking for Waldorf toys, you can holler at Sara Baldwin.
Ezra: She wants to know if there’s any tips on how to find a star operations manager. Well, the first tip I would say is we’re putting together this course. And the course is actually not for you the CEO, it’s for whoever is gonna be managing your projects. And we’re using all the case studies of our projects, how we did implement project management across our brands. And it’s like, give this playbook to whoever is gonna manage the projects in your business and they will then manage projects more effectively.
Colleen: Correct, yeah.
Ezra: So I would say get that course when that comes out. But anything else about where you might find these people?
Colleen: I mean, you know, obviously your network is the first place you’re gonna go, is people who are doing similar things that you’re doing. People change, you know, they do look for change and they move from companies all the time. There are a lot of project managers who run an agency model type, like I do. Or like I did. Freudian slip.
Colleen: I’m all yours, no. Yeah, so I mean, I would say definitely, you know, you just need to, you need to reach out and ask people who are running stuff really well, who do you know? You know, LinkedIn is always a good place to troll for…
Ezra: Anyone who’s a friend of Colleen Taylor might be relevant, you know? So go to LinkedIn, who’s connected to Colleen. Maxwell Thin, who I think I might owe an email to, has a question. How do you find balance between freedom and structure for a team, especially for creative types? I guess we could talk about Silent Fridays. Do you wanna talk a little about Silent Fridays?
Colleen: I mean, it’s a brand concept that I really, really like.
Ezra: Silent Fridays is our brand new concept because there are certain roles on our team where people’s job, beyond execution…and like, let’s say you’re a designer, copywriter, you know, whatever, project manager, operations officer, and your job is really a lot about execution, taking the action items and delivering them. Sometimes it’s nice to step above the fray, to get out of the zone of people input, you know, consumption and really just take some time to create and explore and have some fun.
And so, there’s a couple of our team members who have Silent Fridays where nobody bothers them. They’re really just creating that day, spending time, you know, exploring their role and looking for what they might find inspiration and going down rabbit holes and sort of identifying things we might wanna do and just kind of playing.
Ezra: You know, which I think is a valuable thing. And I think if you, I believe, you might be able to [inaudible 00:24:26]. That’s smart, she’s like, “Come get it right here,” so it was the right Sarah. I think if you are the visionary, meaning you’re the person responsible for the brand, you’re the CEO, then that is even more important for you than anyone else. You might want two or three days a week where nobody is bothering you and you’re in creation mode. Because there’s consumption and creation. Right now, you are consuming, right? You’re watching this. Consuming is good but you also need to schedule time for creation.
So I’ve got three days a week on my schedule where there’s no calls, nobody is bothering me, I’m just like doing my thing, having fun, playing around, enjoying, coming up with ideas like, you know, creating content or doing whatever. So I think you need a balance that can, you know, consumption versus creation time.
A little recap for all the people who just joined us and then we will go to a two-minute, small, slight, two-minute video from our sponsor, Who happens to be us. We sponsor our own shows. But it’s a fun little video and I also wanna show you something about one of our products. But a little recap is, Carrie is out of town. She is on a retreat in, a dancing retreat, check that out. It’s women only, you know, so all the dudes, don’t go looking at it. Or look at it in and then bring, you know, invite your girlfriends or friends who are females and stuff. But it’s a cool thing.
And I was convinced I might be able to go to this. And I have recently discovered that there was a male surf instructor. They went surfing and then there was some dude who was a surf instructor and so I thought okay, so next time I can crash this by being the surf instructor. So sign me up. But anyways, no, I’m not trying to crash ladies night. But we’re here. When Carrie leaves, my brother, Adam, moves in. He moved into the couch, he didn’t move into one of the guest rooms. It’s just bro-down time. There are lots of bags of chips being consumed. You thought I cannot have this for a week. You’re, “I’m gonna have to come and make sure things are in order.”
Colleen: Do right by Carrie, making sure that it doesn’t get too crazy around here.
Ezra: Yeah, we are extremely harmlessly. Like we go to Jujitsu and we’re in bed by nine. But no, so what we’ve been kind of doing here is doing a deep dive on our calendar for the year, you know? And that’s been really fun and really effective. And having conversations about how to better organize the troops, you know, organize the group that is engaging with us and participating in the creation and implementation of our brands. So that’s what’s going on. And when we are back from the short break, we’ll get back into answering questions in relationship to project management.
So quickly, we are sponsored by a software as a service company for Shopify stores, called Zipify, which is our brand. And one of our flagship products for Zipify is a product called Zipify Pages. And it is a drag and drop landing page builder that just seamlessly integrates to your Shopify store. And we are releasing one of our biggest updates ever to this app this week. I’m gonna show it to you real quick. Let’s go to the computer.
So what this will do for you is if you have a Shopify store, it obviously gives it you the ability to create these tested, proven, landing pages. These, you know, pages that we’ve tested in our brands that work really well for us. And we’re putting templates in here and it’s got a native integration to Shopify, so you can publish it right to your store. And it used to be that if you wanted a header or footer, you had to choose from one of the ones that we built, which are very cool, right? We’ve got all these different kinds of headers you can have on here.
I’m just gonna get rid of that block and I’m gonna get rid of this block, which is the current header for this template. And then I’m also gonna get rid of this footer block right here. In fact, I’ll leave the footer for now. But now what you can do is you can click into “Page Settings,” you can go over here to “Layout” and you can click “Use Theme Header and Footer.” And what that will do, is it will dynamically insert the header and footer of your Shopify store–so I’ll now delete this footer block–right into your drag and drop long form, left/right landing page, if that’s what you’re going for. Or your holiday sales page. Or whatever kind of page you wanna generate for your Shopify store.
You can now use the block library, the dynamic product blocks, the timer blocks, the call-to-action blocks, anything you want, the different plug-ins that we have, the video blocks, in a drag and drop format making it easily edible right in between the header and footer of your current theme’s Shopify store. So it’s a really, we have worked so hard getting this update together and we finally have it. So I’m gonna show you a quick video about Zipify pages. And by the way, if you’re interested in Zipify pages, you can go to zipifypages.com/apps/pages, or just go to zipify.com and click on pages from the home page. Show you a quick video about that and then we’ll be back with more project management stuff.
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Ezra: Kurt Carmodi says, “What would you say I need to have in my toolbox,”–in quotation marks, tool box–“Or experience, to be hired on as a project manager? I’m confident I can help any brand become organized and scale. I want to manage and do business.” So this is a person…by the way people, you know, who are asking where do I find project managers, you just found your guy. Although I don’t know if you approve of him, so then we gotta wait, see what Colleen thinks.
Colleen: See if he’s got the skills, see if he’s got the skills in his tool box.
Ezra: I mean, asking for help is a skill, right?
Ezra: He’s not too proud to ask for help. So, Kurt, I salute you for that. What would you say is like sort of like core fundamental…if you’re looking for someone to be this person in your business, what do they have to have? Is it enthusiasm? Is it organization? What’s the…
Colleen: I mean, I would say the top, the number one thing is to be likable. Like, you got to like people and you have to like organizing and helping people. You can’t be coming in like wanting to boss people around. I call it managing from the middle. You kind of come down and, you know, you get to know what everyone’s doing. And you have to be, you know, interested in each of their roles in a project. You really have to genuinely be interested in it. That’s probably the number one thing.
Ezra: You don’t go on some crazy power trip and just start like smashing people?
Colleen: Unless you wanna get beat up.
Ezra: It’s not gonna work for you. All right, we’ve got Eric Shannon, “Can you run through how you meet as a team? Or how do you, Ezra, meet with everyone and how does Colleen meet with everyone, daily/weekly/quarterly?” And yeah, this is the old school, Eric Shannon. I had a feeling it was E-Shan. We’re gonna have to work on that one. Shanny? I don’t know. We’ll have to come with a nickname for you, bro.
Well, you know, our sort of…why don’t you talk about, ours is a little bit different because we have a very large team with sub-teams. The copy team and the support team and the design team and the platforms team and the, you know, advertising team and the copywriting team. So, you know, the social media team, like we have these little pods. How do we meet as a team, Colleen?
Colleen: Well, we like to kick off the week, so we definitely meet on Mondays as a full team.
Colleen: So all of us get together on a team call, we do have a formal agenda that we, you know, update and make sure that all of the relevant, most important projects are at least talked about. We try not to get too weedy on those calls, although sometimes we do.
Ezra: And it’s also a good way for, it’s a good way for people who are locked into specific roles to get context on what’s going on as a company, you know what I mean? So this is a little Instagram live video to show off that we are Facebook live right now, which I can’t actually see on the thing but…so we’re going Instagram live, on Facebook Live, it might never happen before.
Colleen: Right. That can put us in some kind of like Facetime continuum? I don’t know.
Ezra: Yeah. I’m gonna publish this real quick. So continuing with how we meet as a team, which was a question by E Shan, we don’t have a name for him yet.
Colleen: We’ll work on that.
Ezra: Is, yeah, we do our Monday and Thursday. You know, everyone is on and we’re kind of just going over like what are we up to this week, this month? What are the actions? What are the buildables? Who is doing what? What’s coming on the way?
Colleen: And that’s the whole team. And then as Ezra just mentioned, we kind of have sub-teams, we have our project management team, we have our, you know, our customer support team, we have our copywriting team, we have our video team, our design team. And they meet at least once a week on their own and kind of, you know, send their, I would say, top-level agenda items for the next big team call. We kind of float the big, important stuff to the top.
Ezra: It’s important to note that you, Eric, as the owner of the company are initially coming up with the plan that each of these departments is implementing. You’re coming up with the okay, from a brand perspective, we are a brand. We’ve got a community of people who buy stuff from us and are like our followers/ How do we want to be engaging with them on a weekly, monthly, basis?
Well, we wanna have a piece of content that we mail each week that we then syndicate across our social media channels, that we then cut up into images and quotes. So you’re doing some of the initial strategy but then as you have a social media team, it’s their job to take the initial kind of brain dump of what you know from being in the industry and go and consume all the courses on social media. I send my people to events. My social team just got back from a, shout out time.
Colleen: Social Media Marketing World.
Ezra: Social Media Marketing World by Social Media Examiner. So it’s their job to become experts in their roles and then add value to the conversation of what do we want to do in this depart…how do we want, what’s the best way to engage with a group of people over time as a brand that has things to sell but also has value to add to a specific conversation? Like, you want your people to feel like they have autonomy and also are able to add things to the party, are able to come up with ideas and have those be actually considered, you know?
Ezra: Otherwise, you’re running like a dictatorship, and that’s never fun, you know?
Ezra: Brett Carrie in the house.
Colleen: Brett Carrie.
Ezra: You will see…Brett Carrie, another shout, omgcommerce. Ezra.omgcommerce.com, you can post on the comments there Brett, if you’re looking for YouTube marketing. But you’ll see Brett Carrie on an upcoming episode here. So what was the question? I think it was, you know, how do we meet? Yeah, so the sub-teams meet weekly.
Colleen: The sub-teams. And then, you know, as Ezra said, I think the most important point there is we have this, we create this calendar that drives us. And that’s part of the reason I’m here right now is we’re creating the calendar basically through the rest of the year. And the first…
Ezra: And what are we doing when, for each brand. And not just what are we selling when but also like, you know…okay, let’s say for example, that you know, there’s like the sales process and then there’s the continuing engagement with the community process. And so it’s like what sales assets are needed? When are we running promotions? What’s involved in that? And then also, what’s the ideal sort of con…this is a piece of content for a brand right now, right? This is a piece of content designed to engage with subscribers, the Smart Marketer community and add value to their life and not try to sell anything other than say, “Hey, we have cool apps and stuff,” you know. Like, what’s the plan for that? Like we’re just kind of making the…
And these deep dives, by the way, you as the CEO, Eric, because you asked this question, with each of your head people. Like I do deep dives like this where Colleen and I spend a day or two hanging out, like really…you can’t, it’s hard to really, I don’t know how to explain it, get in on the level that we’re able to mind meld here when you’re not in person and hanging out.
Ezra: So we do this now once every six months. I do a similar thing with my ads manager, I do a similar thing with my strategy person. So I am doing these sort of deep dives on different parts of the business with the people who are responsible for those parts of the business once every six months or so. And then it filters down to people who are actually implementing that strategy.
Colleen: Yeah, I think that the face time is super important. Because like you said, we’re kinda like, we’re talking about it all day long, really. And, you know, it brings a level of fun to it, it kind of, we get to know each other better as people.
Ezra: Yeah. So one of the things that we, hey, we’re friends. We’re actually friends. We actually like each other.
Ezra: And one of the things that we believe at our company is, you know, people over progress. Like obviously, you’re looking for progress in your business. You want productivity but productivity comes from happy people, right? Miserable people don’t do so well, you know.
Ezra: So we really make it a point to make sure people are having fun and not, make sure and have attention on if we feel like people are working too hard or burning out and we try to really have attention on the personal side of how we can enjoy our work life. And we all believe in what we’re doing, so that’s kind of helpful. Marc says, “Do you mind sharing your standard operating procedures for when you’re hiring?” That stuff will be in the course, dude. I don’t think we have any handy that we can just post for you.
“Hey Ezra, as a solopreneur on a limited budget, would you focus on getting the initial momentum in traffic? I run…”? Okay, we’re not answering questions about traffic. This is about organization. This is about how do you have attention on a project over time, consistently, in a way that’s the most proficient? In a way that’s, sorry, in a way that is the most efficient. How can you ongoingly manage what you’re up to and get the most out of your…? A lot of people are like spinning their wheels. You feel like you’re putting a lot of energy in but you’re not getting any result. Or rather, you’re not having, help me out here, as much impact as you could have if you were more organized.
Ezra: Okay. So what else do we got here? We have Deandre Taylor who says, “I’m a project manager. I love this topic. Do you guys use an agile scrum-style?” That is a level of lingo that I am not familiar with. I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Colleen: We do not at this time use an agile scrum style. That is like a daily…
Ezra: What does that even mean?
Colleen: That is like a daily 15-minute…I mean, correct me if you have a different definition, Deandre, is it?
Ezra: Yeah, yeah.
Colleen: But yeah, we don’t do that. I mean we, you know, we may. If it’s a launch week, we certainly will meet every day maybe for 10, 15 minutes. But we don’t have like, that’s not our normal…
Ezra: Oh, so a scrum is a reference to a sports team, where we’re scrumming?
Colleen: It’s like, you know, you huddle for 15 minutes in the morning every day.
Ezra: Got it.
Colleen: And yes, during busier times we definitely meet more often for shorter periods of time. But for the most part, no, we are pretty much the Monday/Thursday, a little bit bigger team call, and then we have the smaller breakout teams.
Ezra: And we have Slack, okay? So we are like slacking all the time. People are slacking. Slacking is happening. And man, we’re getting a lot of cool people joining us here. JJ Resnick, another shout out. If you need a Moscow mule copper, Moscow mule? That’s a drink, right? He is like the guy, man, for these mugs.
Ezra: And his family is somehow connected to the mug. And they are like the authentic Moscow mug copper mug. So like all these other mugs out there that are pretending to be the real Moscow mule mug apparently are not, actually. They are parading around as Moscow mule mugs but no, they’re not actually the Moscow mule mugs. So one of our blue ribbon members, Victor B. Min just joined us. John says, “When is the course coming out?” Did we decide when the project management course is coming out?
Ezra: Oh, no, not John, pardon me. Jean-Marc, Jean, it’s like J-E-A-N dash M-A-R-C. Jean-Marc, it’s like a French name, I think.
Ezra: When is our project management course coming out?
Colleen: I believe we’re launching it at the beginning of June.
Ezra: Okay. Don’t hold us to that, actually hold us that to that. We are doing it.
Colleen: It’s June.
Ezra: It’s coming, June. All right, so you’ve gotta wait a couple of months but hey, it’s gonna be worth it. Okay, Chris Winzder in the house. He says, “Hey Ezra,” you can address questions to Colleen as well. She is right here, so feel free to address her as well, you know. “I am a marketing director of a team. How do you manage your team without becoming overbearing or seeming to micromanage problem areas?”
I think this is a really good question for Colleen because my problem was never micromanagement. My problem was macro management. It was like too, I was too loose. I would just like, “Hey man, this is what we’re doing. Here’s what I want you to do, let’s get it done,” you know. I had the problem of being far, of not holding people enough. Which is actually its own kind of problem, you know, which we discovered. Like, people wanted more accountability. So the question is like, how did you get…Oh, we pronounced that correctly, Jean-Marc.
Ezra: I’m not even gonna attempt the last name. You know, how do not be overbearing or seem to micromanage the problem areas?
Colleen: I mean, I think, as I said earlier, like you really wanna be a people person. You have to like people and you have to want them to succeed. Everyone’s got a little bit different personality, so the more you understand different types of personalities, the better. But I would say, you know, you really just wanna have clear instructions, clear things, and allow them the space to accomplish and succeed. And obviously, you know, we…
Ezra: So essentially, I mean, what I’m hearing is that micromanagement isn’t so much about holding people on task, it’s kind of about how you do it. Like if you piss people off in relationship to asking for what you need as a project manager, you’re considered a micromanager. But if you ask for what you need in a way that feels good to the person, you’re not micromanaging.
Colleen: It really is.
Ezra: You’re just supporting them.
Colleen: It’s all about positioning.
Ezra: There you go. It’s about how you do what you do, which seems to be a common theme in life. So Clayton [inaudible 00:43:28] just joined us. Brett Curry is in the house. We got Harry Gill. Harry Gillon, from Blue Ribbon Mastermind, who will bring with him to an event a display. Okay, Harry Gillon will come to our event and he will have a plug-in standing…do you remember what I’m talking about, remember this?
Colleen: No, I don’t. He might have been there from when I wasn’t there.
Ezra: He came and he had, and he’s the man. I love this guy. And by the way, if you need wedding sparklers for your wedding, if you’re getting married and you wanna like have those sparklers or you need lanterns…anytime you’re having a party and you want it to be super fancy, you call Harry Gillon. And he will post a link for his stuff in here. This has basically become a pitch fest for all of our customers.
Colleen: I love it.
Ezra: Which is great, yeah. That’s fine. So Harry Gillon is in the house. Question we have is who were our first two hires during the early stages? Like who do you think we should hire? I mean, that question is for me. So I really think that if you’re doing your own support, then what are you doing, okay? You should not be doing your own support. Anything that is a repetitive, consistent process and you know what these things are–it’s like your customer support and I’ll give you the next hire that I think you should make. But like really, it’s your customer support first. You shouldn’t be doing that. Get someone to do that.
And then anything else that’s repetitive and consistent. For example, if you’re a Shopify business owner, modifying Shopify, integrating Zipify pages, setting up Google Analytics, working with Clavio email CRM, like the platform and technology side of how the business operates, the implementation of technology in relationship to what the business is, is one where everyone gets bogged down and they’re all running back and forth between these platforms.
No, hire one person to do all your platforms and be your chief platform officer or your tech person and it will free you up beyond what you could ever have imagined that, you know. And you think you can’t get someone to do this but you actually can. So I think first is customer support. Second I would go for is platforms.
Chad Bates is very, well I don’t know that we’re talking about that actually, Chad Bates. He wants to know what our comp plans are, our incentives for project managers and other roles. Look, it’s about paying a fair and competitive salary and giving people a way to win over time, you know. We have paid vacation. We have paid healthcare. We have very competitive salaries for the positions. We’re super fun to work with because it’s also less about money, frankly.
Ezra: It’s more about, do they actually like you? Do they like the work they’re doing? Do they feel heard and seen and like their addition to the team is being valued? Like it’s about the people side of it, you know? It’s not about what they make, it’s really not. Okay, Eric Shannon said, “If you had to do it all over again, at which point in your growth would you have added Colleen?” From day one, you know what I mean? Like from…well, not from day one. I would have had my customer support and my platform person and then I would have brought in a project manager. I think that’s like third, you know, someone to organize all the stuff we know that we’re supposed to be doing, you know.
Ezra: Yeah, I think organization from the onset, is a good idea. And it’s something that we’ve been able to implement now across our new brands because Colleen is here. Michelle Frost, “Do you use,” Hi Michelle, “Do you use a [inaudible 00:46:41] board or similar to move tasks through needing to be done, doing, and done, so you can get an overall glance of where a project is? Thank you.”
Colleen: That is basically the job of the project charter, I would say. You know, we do update that before each call so that we can kind of give that snapshot.
Ezra: You gave this spiel that I thought was really cool about, you know, like it’s not about the, I don’t know what you said. It’s not about the system that you’re using, it’s about the… You know, what were you saying there? This is not about, it’s not base camp, it’s not…
Colleen: Yeah, no. It’s definitely not about the platform you’re using.
Ezra: It’s not about the platform, that’s what it was.
Colleen: Yeah. But I do believe that you need a hub, somewhere where everybody can kind of see where we’re at, are we on task.
Ezra: And you do that through a spreadsheet.
Colleen: Through the project charter.
Ezra: And we still also have a…
Colleen: We currently use Base Camp.
Ezra: Yeah. People hate on Base Camp but like I like it, you know. It does everything you need to do quite simple.
Colleen: We like Trello, we like Base Camp.
Ezra: You know, Trello is good but…yeah, we also use Trello in other brands. So.
Colleen: Yeah, we do.
Ezra: Yeah, we are playing around with many different…I think it’s less about the technology and more about that someone is responsible for, someone is guaranteeing the action.
Colleen: You still need a human.
Ezra: Yeah, some human being is taking inventory of all that needs to be done and guaranteeing that that stuff happens, you know? Now talk with that, there you go. Okay.
Colleen: Excellent, that’s human.
Ezra: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Yeah. Where do you find a project manager and how do you recommend to compensate them? Well you, I mean, my new recommendation for people who are asking me this question is going to be find someone who is organized and enthusiastic and hungry and put them through our project management training course. And they will then have the tools they need to manage projects for your business. And they’ll come up with you over time and that way you can start them at a more competitive rate because you’re bringing them up in the industry.
And that’s kind of how I’ve done every role in my team besides a few key, like I need a superstar like Colleen type hires, everyone else is homegrown. And that’s really worked for us, you know. We love that. Abraham Kwaito says, “Hi Colleen,” the first guy to address Colleen.
Colleen: Hi, Abraham.
Ezra: Yeah, he’s like…this guy’s listening. “I’m a new entrepreneur and normally, I do everything in my company. My question is, which activity should I delegate? I source the product, I do social media. I deal with clients. I do the administration. I do the marketing. I do the selling. I wanna work hard but smarter and I think that I can create a team my business and services will improve dramatically. When you created your team, which were the first three people that you hired?” So he’s basically like asking the question of what he delegates first. And I think we just answered that, so.
Colleen: And I think that whole list could be delegated.
Ezra: Yeah, pretty much.
Colleen: Eventually, you know. You obviously wanna one step at a time, but yeah.
Ezra: Yeah, yeah.
Colleen: All those things, as Ezra said, are repetitive. A system can be built around them and they can be taught to someone else who can handle that so that you can create the space to be creative, create your products. And, you know, that’s really where you wanna be as the CEO.
Ezra: Oh, we’re gonna shout out another guy, James Schramko.
Colleen: James Schramko.
Ezra: You’re the man, you know, mate? He’s an Australian. I’d say hi to him, “Mate, Australia. James Schramko here.” He goes, “Yay.” He’s a good dude but…he’s a really good friend of mine. We host a podcast called “Think, Act, Get.” What you think determines how you act which results in what you get. And that is a podcast that’s more about the business mind. Or sorry, more about mindset and lifestyle and relationship. We even did an episode about sex, check that one out. And my mom was on that episode, and she…yeah, so that’s a whole other conversation.
However, you know, there’s a quote James Schramko…James, I learned a lot about infrastructure initially from Schramko, because he’s really good at systems and processes. And he has this quote that, or maybe it’s not his quote. I don’t know, I heard it from him so I’m attributing it to Schramko. “Consistent processes produce predictable results.” So you gotta do things consistently, right? You gotta have the piece of content that gets e-mailed to your blog once a week. You gotta consistently amplify your brand through advertising to see the results. Like you gotta do things consistently. So I think that talks to the point. Now, Ali wants to know if we use Slack.
Colleen: We do use Slack, every day, all day.
Ezra: Yeah. Someone says, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oye, oye, oye.”
Colleen: We are slackers, though.
Ezra: Yeah, we are slackers, for sure. This guy, Kurt, is in the comments very enthusiastically telling me to recommend him to you. I don’t know him, so I can’t give him an endorsement other than he’s in the comments, he’s here, and he’s hungry. And I think you should check him out if you want to potentially interview an un-vetted person. Not meant to be a dig on you, Kurt. But I do think that, you know, that if he is a part of the Smart Marketer community and he’s super enthusiastic and he wants to manage projects and he thinks he’s organized, you ought to give him a shot, all right?
Here we are, live. We have got an aloe plant behind us and a crystal and a wooden box and a ukulele, actually, in the frame as well. In case someone gets burned, we’re ready with the aloe because it’s hot, right now.
Colleen: It is hot here.
Ezra: And so, if you have questions about organization, project management, infrastructure, anything that relates to how you ongoingly organize and manage the projects within your business, I have Colleen Taylor, who I believe to be the best in the business right here. And she will answer those for you. And we did a little bit of story-based content on kind of how Colleen ended up in the Smart Marketers shirt here, which actually…
Colleen: Which is mandatory, you have to wear it when you visit.
Ezra: No, but I prefer you wearing it. Which actually, you know, debuts silently the new Smart Marketer logo.
Colleen: I didn’t even think about that. Yeah.
Ezra: This is the first time that’s been publicly visible. And we will be doing some content around what that logo means and why we did and what, you know, what the point of it is. But that’s a little sneak peak of it. I think we might be all questioned out here. I’m gonna run right back through you real quick.
Jean-Marc says, “Very timely.” He’s recruiting an ops person. Jonas says, “Hey, from Sweden. It’s getting to be spring here.” So he’s just telling us about where he is, right on. We’ve got Maxwell Thin in the house, that says, “Project Management is super key.” Ashley is with us. Ashley Marie, who we got to hang out with in San Diego.
Ezra: Oh, we got another comment here, “You’re the man. What software do you use?” Rob Burns is talking about hot sauce, okay. Here we go, we’ve got one more comment, “Colleen, are you guys more agile in your project management approach? What is the launch process?” Here’s the question, “What is the launch process for a new product inside an existing brand from idea, sourcing, to launch?” I don’t think we can answer that.
Colleen: That’s a big question, yeah.
Ezra: I think it depends on the product being sold, that’s the question.
Colleen: Yeah, I think so.
Ezra: And I think that essentially what you need is some kind of story-based sales content, right? Some kind of content that you can show to people that engages them in a conversation about a problem that they’re facing that you have a solution to that then leads to your sales process, you know what I’m saying?
Ezra: You know, our launch processes are generally around offers and then our ongoing consistent, like we’ll have like an offer and then each offer will have one, you know, one piece of content that we use to sell it or a webinar that we use to sell it or some lead…like we’ll have multiple sort of lead-ins to telling people about that offer in our business.
Ezra: That was a big question.
Colleen: And I think, you know, just to give a little bit and we will, obviously, the course will reveal a lot more. But I think part of that question was a new product in an existing brand. So assuming you’ve got other products, whatever was successful for you the first time you launched the product, you’ve got to nail that down, create a system out of it and, you know, a duplicatable system so that each time you launch a new product there’s a blueprint for it, essentially. You know, SOPs and documentation, it’s all…you know, for people who aren’t into project management, it may sound a little nerdy but is, it really will set you free.
Ezra: Yeah. Crystal Bill Carlson just joined us, another blue ribbon member. Love that guy. “What sites do you recommend?” Nick Owens wants to know. Sophie is like, “Yo, this thing has been going on far too long. Nobody has pet me. I don’t have any food upstairs.” I did just feed you at dinner time. Sophie is like, she came and she just bumped in my leg, “Come on man, what are you doing?” “What sites do you guys recommend for finding a project manager while waiting for your course to be finished? UpWork, Craig’s List, LinkedIn, other job boards?” I mean, I think anywhere. I would go to your network first, ask what…
Colleen: Yeah, LinkedIn, I think of those that he just mentioned.
Ezra: Yeah, yeah. I think network. Get a friend of a friend, you know.
Colleen: Right, because they’re gonna tell you the truth, you know?
Ezra: Yeah, totally. Man, I think we’re done here. I don’t see any more questions. I think this is a fairly heavy and somewhat, you know, it’s a heavy topic. Like now you got to organize stuff. That does not sound like a lot of fun but I will tell you, it is extremely fruitful if you put him attention on it, you know. Because one of the beautiful things about organization is with organization comes space and with space comes opportunity for growth. Messy things are hard to keep track of over time. And it’s not to say that you’re never gonna be messy. Obviously, things are gonna be…you’re gonna have that experience. You’re not gonna get away from the experience of overwhelm, of things feeling messy, of a lot of stuff happening, of there being urgent cycles, right?
Ezra: I mean, this is part of the game. But the more that you can put attention on ease of movement, it’s like a martial art, it’s like an instrument. It’s like a relationship. It’s like the more you can dance, and now we’re getting real kind of heavy, but like the more effective that you can be.
Ezra: So, Colleen Taylor, Ezra Firestone, Smart Marketer, live on March 28th, 2017 talking about project management organization. Colleen will be back, I’m sure we’ll be releasing a training course for your project manager, not for you, in June. And thanks so much for hanging out with us for an hour or so here it looks like we’ve been going live.
Ezra: And we’ll talk to you soon.