How to Build Value in the Web Design Sales Process
Recently, I wrote a blog post published over at Tuts+ about 3 things to help you sell $3k+ website projects. A web designer, named Eddie Petros, responded to the post alluding to the fact that what I outlined wasn’t going to work for him. He said that clients don’t want him to solve problems and all they are interested in is the lowest possible price.
I disagree. So I took the challenge and gave Eddie a call to get into the details and see if I could blaze a trail for him to higher priced gigs.
Of course I recorded (and transcribed) the conversation for your listening pleasure as this weeks Q & A Thursday.
or stream the audio…
Brent: I’m here with Eddie Potros. Eddie, tell us a little bit about your business.
Eddie: Okay. I’m a freelance designer, and I also work full-time just like most freelance designers. I also do development. I actually do more than that but for the sake of the interview today, I guess we’ll keep it at web design and programming. Front end development, I guess.
Brent: And what’s your full-time gig?
Eddie: I actually work a company called Orbital Marketing, and I do all of their marketing, email marketing, website designs, logos, a bunch more, even graphic design, actually. That’s kind of my day to day.
Brent: One of the problems that you had presented to me, was that you’re basically kind of freelancing in your after-hours. Does that typically mean nights and weekends for you, or do you have kind of a flexible work schedule?
Eddie: It is very flexible, but it comes down to the nights and weekends, and not all nights, not all weekends, as well.
Brent: So who’s a typical client that would hire you, outside of your normal 9:00 to 5:00?
Eddie: Basically I guess it would be people who I find through word of mouth, because I don’t really advertise online that much, actually at all for that matter. So, people who find me are usually, word of mouth, either through friends or other clients that I’ve worked with. Yeah, those are my clients pretty much.
Brent: And one of the problems you kind of brought to the table was in terms of not having enough time to pursue clients through multiple interactions, so one of the things I kind of prescribe a lot of times, is to help designers build value is to increase the amount of interactions that you have in your sales process. And I have specific kind of prescription for that, but one of the things you came back on was, you don’t have as much time with each of your individual customers to maybe string out a whole bunch of interactions. So, tell me about a typical client interaction that you have, like, what are the different steps that you go through when somebody, through word of mouth or whatever, reaches out and contacts you.
Eddie: Okay. So let’s say I call them or, after they try to contact me, let’s say one of them would want a website and I try to get a meeting going, either by phone or in person. It’s most of the time in person because I find it works better. So, I show them a bit of my work, just tell them about whatever I can do for them. This is after having already met, and kind of been introduced. Then tell me what they want or what they think they want. And, I go about trying to solve their problem. Let’s say, giving them a solution, which is, let’s say, the steps I go through would be the initial meeting, the design, and then the development, and then putting the website live. This is, if it was a website that we’re talking about. Most of the time it is for me. These are kind of the steps I take, to get a project from start to finish.
Brent: And do you find that, on average, you get paid enough for the work that you’re doing?
Eddie: Probably never. There was a few projects which I worked on and it turned it to be very fast, that I finished them all in either a few hours or a few days, and those were the only ones that I found that I got paid very well. Other than that, some projects just tend to drag on for weeks or months, and those are the ones that I find I get paid a lot less in the end.
Brent: And I’m curious, a couple of things. One is, why do you think those projects drag on a lot?
Eddie: Most of the time is the response. Let’s say I send a client design number one, for example. By the time they send you the feedback, it’s been three weeks or a month. And this is me trying to either push for it, or sometimes letting it go as is, because I don’t have that much time to call them right away and be like, “Hey, respond now, because I need to finish this right now.” Because I also have either other clients or just my normal life to live really. So that’s where some things take a lot longer to get done.
Brent: In terms of… so is it that the project ends up taking longer than you expected in actual man hours, or it’s just more that the project gets spread out over a really long period of time?
Eddie: I guess more along the times that things were spread out longer. I haven’t really put in more hours that much for a project. It might have been one or two, and I think everyone gets those once in a while. Most of time it’s just a project taking a lot longer.
Brent: So, in terms of not getting paid enough, that, in my mind, I think of like, how many hours I’m in, like, what does my hourly end up being? What’s been your impression of the projects you’ve taken on. Would you want those to be larger dollar value? Have you tried to charge more and you’re just getting push-back from customers? How do you come up with your rates that you charge people?
Eddie: I base my rates on whatever I think I deserve. And I also shop around sometimes, I find and ask people, “How much do you charge?” And, so on. And that kind of gives me an idea of how much I think I should charge. But the problem is that some clients just don’t want to pay. I think everyone has those problems, and the minute I say, “I’m going to raise my prices next year,” even if it was a gradual increase, people will start to look back and say, “Well this person, offered me this much for this kind of project,” and I always try to explain why I’m worth this much, but sometimes, people always just want to pay the least amount. They don’t really think of the final outcome.
And sometimes it’s come back to me, where the client takes the product somewhere else, pays them that little amount, and then comes back to me,
“Hey, they screwed up, can you fix it?” And then that’s when I charge them what I want. But that doesn’t happen as often. It’s usually where, I tell them a price… even with a price, I tell them a range sometimes. The range kind of tends to be a better way of going at it, but again, it doesn’t work out all the time.
Brent: Yeah. It’s interesting to talk to you about this, the article I wrote, one of the things I pinpoint in there is to have more interactions during your sales process. And it sounds like you kind of have this problem where you don’t have that much time, you have a limited amount of time, therefore, you’re hesitant to have more interactions with somebody before you actually move forward on a project, because you’re kind of like, “Well, I only have, like, maybe one meeting that I can have with that client.”
But then at the same time, once you actually get the project, you find yourself in kind of a conundrum, or a situation where you’re maybe not getting paid at the rate that you want, that you really desire to get paid at. And then you also find yourself with projects that might not necessarily have been defined as well as you’d like them to, or the problems that you’re trying to solve for the client are undefined, because they came to you and asked for a website, and you tried to solve their problem by building them a website, which I tend to not do.
Which sounds kind of weird, but, the idea that somebody comes to you and says, “I want to have a website, and I want these features,” means that they have already done the research and have the knowledge to know exactly what they need to solve the problem that they’re really trying to solve, which most business owners, when it comes to web, they’re not web designers, they’re no online marketers, they’re not online business builders.
So for the average business owner to walk into a room and say, “I need a website with feature one, two and three,” is kind of insane, because they don’t really have the knowledge to know that. Maybe you get some clients that do that, but it would be like me taking my car into the shop when the check engine light’s on and telling the guy that I need an oil change or whatever, and he says, “No, I’ve got to hook up my diagnostic tool, I need to go in there and have your car for maybe the next couple of days to run some tests before I can figure out what’s wrong with your car and tell you actually what I can do for you.”
Yet in the web design space, a client comes in and says, “I need a website with this feature, this feature, and this feature,” we tend to just take their word for it and build them that thing. And one of the problems that I’ve found over years of developing websites and building projects for clients was that, the more I built exactly what they walked in and asked for, first of all, the less they were willing to pay me, and because, then you’re just building a commodity. They can take their scope of work or their requirements to ten designers and get the exact same work quoted out, but then the price is the differential there, the price is the thing that, they’re just going to go with the lowest common denominator. They’re going to go with the cheapest price on the menu when that might not be the best thing for them.
So, one of the very first things that I do when I consult with web designers, is tell them to get out of that one meeting scenario. Because when you meet with a client, and you have just that one meeting, for an hour or two hours, the only thing that you really can get, the only discovery that you can do with that business owner, is to pretty much ask them what they want, and then they tell you what they want, and then you can go and build a price for what they want. In one hour with somebody, or even two hours in one meeting, there’s really not a whole lot more that you can do for that person.
You can’t really get to know their business and do the research that you need to do in order to figure out how to solve the problem that they really are having, which is to get more customers, probably. Every business that comes to you and asks for a website, they’re trying to get more customers. Maybe you’ll find something different, but after doing this for thirteen years, pretty much everybody that I talked to, all had the exact same problem, which was, “How do I get more customers, more donors, more volunteers?” What they’ve done is they’ve made an assumption that they can have a website built with a contact form and their logo and they can get more customers.
What ends up happening is, if you build that for customers, that’s when you get the projects for $500 or $1,000, because the price gets pushed down so low, because all they’re looking for is this specific scope of work and you’re the one that ends up having to kind of deal with that situation. If you took your sales process, and instead of trying to force everything that happens in a single meeting, you maybe have three meetings with somebody.
And the purpose of the multiple meetings is to force yourself into a model where you talk with the client about topic A, for an hour. And then you have your second meeting with them, you talk to them about topic B for an hour. And topic A might be, “Hey, what’s going on with your business. What do you need?” Well between meeting one and two, you have this time to take what they’ve told you, and then go do research and be able to come back to them in the second meeting with information that they may or may not have known.
And this is where the real value gets built, is between these meetings, and during these meetings, because what I end up being able to do is, a client comes to me and says, “I need a new website. I need you to redesign it, and I need you to design it on WordPress.” And I ask why, and you kind of get to the bottom of it. At the end of the day, they’re trying to get more customers. Once you’ve kind of figured out that that really is their ‘why’
you can then kind of walk away from that meeting knowing, hey, the need to get more customers, they’re looking to do this online.
Well, between meeting A and B, you can go and research their competition. So you use Google and find their top five competitors, maybe some of the tools out there like SEMRush, and SEOMOZ, and start to look at what’s actually going on in terms of the online landscape. Look at their competitors, look at how many, what they’re competitors are doing on Twitter, on Google, on Facebook. Look at what their competitors are doing in terms of advertising, not just organic, but advertising on social. And spend time understanding their competitors.
And then you have another meeting where you spend time understanding their industry. And what ends up happening is, instead of you trying to sell a website, you really start to sell this consultative service of helping them understand the online business that exists around their website, versus you just talking about a website.
Because, look, anybody nowadays can build a website. You have a copy of Dreamweaver, or all the in-browser tools, or you can get a WordPress template or theme on Theme Force, and you can build that stuff for nothing. If you only want to compete in the website space, over the next ten years, the competition’s just going to get more and more stiff. But, because it’s so easy to have a website, the need for businesses to have standout websites, websites that actually meet the goals that they’re trying to achieve, the demand for that is ever more important, because it is so easy to kind of get in and have a business and throw up a five page website. So, there is a lot of traffic online, but there’s also a huge amount of opportunity to differentiate yourself from a brand perspective, and companies realize that.
And so, it’s kind of a long winded, answer to where you’re at, but designers all the time will tell me, “I can’t have five interactions with a client, because I don’t have time.” But then you commit to a project, that ends up taking forever, and taking up all of your time, or you end up committing to a project where you get paid $50 an hour instead of $100 an hour, or $100 an hour instead of $150.
So, there’s this weird thing that I’ve found, which was, when I started spending more time with my client ahead of time, when I started investing in, and I say this in one of my sales courses, but, I would have typically anywhere from five to nine interactions with a client before we’d ever sign a contract. And a lot of designers tell me, “I don’t have that kind of time.”
But it’s so weird because what I found before that, was that, I would spend one meeting with a client, because I would tell people I don’t have time, and then I would spend a hundred hours in a project getting paid for 30 hours worth of work. And that 70 hour differential, was where I was losing my shirt. And my excuse was always the same thing. Well, I don’t have time. But obviously, you’re probably in a situation right now where you’ve got probably, I don’t know how many projects you have on your plate right now, but you probably have a few projects that are taking up more of your time than you’d probably like them to, and there are things that you could have done on the sales side, to maybe either get more money for those projects, or to define a better set of requirements that would have helped you produce those projects either faster or in a shorter amount of time. Does that kind of make sense?
Eddie: Yeah, I mean, it does. And, you, you’ve made some good claims here. While you were actually mentioning some of these things I was kind of thinking of just, the things that you’ve said here about thinking in between the first and second meeting, of ways that you can improve, their business and research their competition. Searching about their market and competition, how they are doing things, is all things that most of us do, I guess, but it is after that initial meeting, and like you said, I’m one of those of people that don’t have that much time to actually drive 40 minutes or so to wherever the client may have their business at, and have those meetings, but I guess, it is something that I am able to change in order to work less hours on a project, and actually make more money in the long run, and help them actually achieve their business goals. But I do have a few things that I would maybe add and ask you about here.
Brent: I want to hold you on that thought, I want to come back to that… One thing that you mentioned that I just want to pay a little bit of time to, which is, what is a meeting? What is an interaction? So, I think that web pros should have several interactions with a prospective client over a period of time, before they sign a deal with them, partly because the more interactions you have with somebody over a period of time, is going to build a stronger relationship for you, but those interactions can happen at any different level. So, driving 40 minutes to meet with a client, that’s a great first scheduled meeting, if you want to do in-
But every meeting doesn’t have to be in-person. Once you’ve established that face-to-face contact you can use a tool like Gotomeeting, Join-me, there’s a ton of, W-connect, there’s a ton of online conferencing services, that, when you’re talking about presenting your findings, and it also depends on how big the job is, right? If it’s a big deal, if it’s a 50 or 100,000, or whatever a big deal is to you, but if it’s a big deal for you and it’s worth driving out to that person’s business three or four times, then that makes sense. But if not, some of those interactions can happen over the phone. Some of those interactions can happen via screen cast.
So, one of the things I’ve found was always interesting, was whenever I’d go meet with a client in that first meeting, right? In the typical, I call it the Status Quo Pitch, where you go meet with that client, you talk for an hour, and you get to this place in that meeting where you say, “Well, I think I could potentially help you, so I’m going to go make a proposal.”
It’s like this really easy thing to just blurt out and say. Or, the client might say, “Well, I’d like you to give me a proposal for what I asked for.”
Right? It’s just a very natural step in that initial meeting. And that’s it.
Then you go home, you create a proposal, you email it over, you try to chase the client down to figure out what’s going on, and you have no idea because you’ve only had one interaction, they’re having that same interaction with a dozen other companies, because that’s efficient, for them to have a dozen meetings with a dozen different companies, and to get a dozen proposals.
But where you start to break that model down is when they get to the end of a meeting and they like you, they like what you’re saying, they like what you’re asking, they like your portfolio, it seems like you’re a good fit, and they say, “You know what? I’d like to have a proposal.” And my response became, “You know what? I’m not ready to give a proposal yet, there’s still some information that I want to gather, but it does sound like we could be a good fit. So what I’d love to do is, I’d love to schedule another meeting in a couple of days. It’s going to give me some time to take my notes that I’ve looked at today, kind of distill them down, and then move on to the next step of my discovery process, which is all about looking at your competitive landscape. And the next step is looking at your industry. And the next step is looking at some different strategies to help grow your business right.” So you have some of the meetings planned out, it’s not like you’re just making this stuff up.
But all of your competitors will be telling the client, “Well, I’m going to get you back a proposal.” And the one thing that you’re going to be saying is, “I’m not ready to give you a proposal yet, I haven’t done enough work with you.” And that’s so different, because a lot of people rush to the proposal stage. I know I used to. I used to always try to see how fast I could get a proposal to a customer, after I met with them the first time. And what I found was that, I wasn’t building any relationships. I wasn’t actually digging in deep enough to people’s businesses to give them solutions that were worth the money that I wanted to charge. Now, I was giving them solutions that were worth what my competitors were charging, but I wanted to be able to charge more, and I had to figure out how to do that, and the only way that you’re going to be able to charge more, is if you’re in a situation where you’ve set yourself apart from your competition.
So I’d love to circle back around to some of those points and questions that you had, but I just wanted to hone in on that idea of, is it always worth it to drive out and meet someone, or, what is an interaction. So that can take a lot of different shapes, and I just wanted to make sure that we hit on that point.
Eddie: Okay, well, you kind of answered one of them. I was kind of going to get to the point of answering, when the clients tells you, how much, and a lot of the clients want that answer on that first meeting. Typically what I do is I just tell them, let me do some more research on your market and see exactly what I think I can do for you, or do for you to help your business, and then, that’s when I answer them, and it’s usually a phone call, either the same day later, or the next morning, or something like that. I guess, just going into another question, because that one, I guess you’ve kind of touched on, unless you want to answer it.
Brent: Yeah, the, “how much” question, the budget question, again, very responsible to have the money conversation. There is no one time to have the money conversation. The money conversation is a continuous ‘it, and, or, if’ conversation. It doesn’t make sense to talk to somebody that’s not in your ballpark. So if you produce projects for, let’s say your typical project is between $500 and $5,000, and that’s if you looked at your last ten projects, and you’ve said, “Look, where did my projects fall?” And that’s pretty much your working range, right? Chances of you grabbing a project that’s going to be ten times that range of, let’s say your highest project didn’t last twelve months is $5,000, the chances of you going out and getting a $50,000 is probably, maybe it’ll happen, but most likely you’re going to work within that range.
So, to say to a client, “My typical project is somewhere between this much money, and that much money, at this point, I don’t have information to give a specific price, but if you’re not in that range, it doesn’t make sense for us to continue talking.” That kind of a sentence, could be said in the first ten minutes of talking to somebody. It’s not dishonest, you’re not leading them astray, but you’re also not telling them how much their project’s going to be. Because that’s the danger you get in. Somebody says,
“I need a website, it’s going to be thirty pages, it’s going to include a contact form, it’s going to have a blog, I need to be on the first page of Google, how much is that going to cost?” And if your response is, “Well, it’s going to be $8,000,” and then you get into it and it turns out that what they actually wanted is a lot bigger than you said, all of a sudden you’re anchored to this initial price that you gave. And that’s really the danger there.
But, the other danger, is that, you spend eight or nine meetings with somebody, and they have a $500 budget, and your minimum to have that many meetings and that much commitment before a sale is to be at least in the $10,000 or $20,000 range, then you’ve kind of gotten yourself into a situation. So, talk about budget a lot, right away. Put it out in front of them and say, “Look, here’s the typical project that we work with.” It’s somewhere in between this price and this price. If that’s work for you, then the next step is to figure out where in that spectrum you are, and then from there, it’s about how we get to that price. How we get to that level of a website, or are we the right provider for you. So giving them that range and then telling them, “Hey, look, I’ve got to go on a journey with you.”
One of the things I used to say to people, pretty much right away, was, “If we’re talking about a full website project, then that’s going to be somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000 to $30,000. Where in that range do you fit? I have no idea. I can give you an example of a couple of projects that cost in that twenty-five to thirty thousand dollar range. I can give you a couple of examples that were in that $10,000 range. But if you have $3,000 for your website project, I’m happy to talk to you for ten or fifteen minutes to figure out who I can refer you to. But, chances of me being able to produce a project for $3,000, it just doesn’t work. For me to start the engine to have the five person team or the ten person team that I have to work on that type of project, it just doesn’t make financial sense.”
So, you have to be able to have a very honest question around budget. But what it can’t be, is it can’t be this relationship where you client is just price hungry, all they’re doing is price shopping. And there’s so many reasons why one would price shop. Because maybe they had a hair-brained idea that, in the middle of the night, they decided that they wanted to build a new website, and they want to know how much it is. So, very much like going to Amazon to see how much a new laptop or a new table is going to be, just because you’re curious, right?
Well the problem is, in the service business, curiosity of our clients leads to you doing a whole bunch of work, and that’s what you’re really trying to avoid. You don’t want to have six or seven meetings with somebody, when all they really wanted was to figure out how much, right?
Because that’s not what you want. You want serious buyers. And serous buyers, are going to engage in as many meetings as you want to engage in, in order to get the best product. Non-serous buys are going to want to have a thirty minute conversation with you and get a price.
Eddie: Okay. That’s actually some really good info here. Especially about giving them that first ten minutes, and then telling them what you think you should be charging them, at least for your past projects, and showing them, and saying, “This how much I built this project for, and everything, and you would fit in this range, maybe, or another range. So, this is kind of actually very good points for me to try to implement.
Brent: And, Eddie, make sure when you’re doing that, that you’re not allowing the conversation to end there. So, somebody says, “I want to find out how much I’m going to build a website for.” And to be able to say, “Look, in the past it’s between this range and this range,” but let’s start figuring that out. And in order to do that I need to schedule my first discovery meeting with you. And my process usually takes, anywhere from three to five to six or eight or ten meetings to figure out what exactly we need to build for you, because I don’t just build stuff for the sake of building, and I’m not going to be the person that just competes for the lowest possible price to build a project.
So always make sure you address the budget question, talk about, and take that question and lead it into you trying to actually do discovery and trying to work through your process. Don’t allow the conversation to end on budget, as kind of a full-stop.
Eddie: Alright. So, there’s a couple of questions here that I wanted to address. And, I’ll kind of leave one of them till the end if that’s okay. So, one of the things is usually the clients, they want to grow their business, and they think that by being first in Google, that solves everything. So, let’s say, I met someone who’s a car dealership owner and he wants to build a car dealership website. So we look in search on their site, and write down the prices and the info for that stuff, but they also want it to be first in Google, so when they put Honda Accord 2006, they want that to show first. And a lot of them tend to not want to spend any money on advertising, and so I’m not really sure how I would bring that, especially being a one person team. I’m not really working with anyone, I haven’t found many people that I can work with, just because schedules are tight, and there isn’t always time to meet new people that you can work with. You know, SEO specialists or any of that kind of developer. But these are some of the issues I find also when meeting people and trying to figure out what I should be giving them as a package.
Brent: Sure. So, the problem that I think you’re looking at here is a very common problem for a lot of web professionals. And that’s they, “I want to be on the first page of Google,” problem, “but I don’t want to spend any money to get there.” So that’s an unrealistic expectation that a client is going to spend. So, if he says, “I don’t want to spend any money on advertising, but I also want to be on the first page of Google,” those two statements, they don’t line up. It’s virtually impossible to get to a relevant, competitive keyword term, and get there without investing a large amount of money. Because, the fact is, their competitors, that car dealer’s competitors, are investing money to be at number one. Whoever’s number one, they didn’t get there by accident.
So now, that’s a great opportunity. A client comes to you with that as a setup, and you now have probably the easiest platform to get to their true problem that they’re trying to communicate to you. Because, see, what they’re doing is, they’re not coming to you with a need, they’re coming to you with really a symptom. That they want to be number one, but they don’t want to spend any money to get there, which means they have no idea what the value of number one in Google, for a top ranked, top competitive term, means to their business.
And let me rephrase this. If you look up the term, ‘website proposal.’ Our company is number one. Of course, I’m Googling it right now, just to check. So if you Google ‘website proposal’ uGurus comes up as the number one position. Now, I can go in and I can probably run some numbers in our analytics program, and, because we track that kind of stuff, and I can tell you probably within 30 minutes of my running into our analytics system, and I can basically run some reports, and I can tell you, over the last twelve months, what that number one position, has financially made my company. So that’s information that I have about my business, and what the value of a number one position means. So, if I wanted to become number one positioned for a relevant term, that’s going to give me actual customers, I know that there’s going to be a return on that investment, and I would be happy to pay for that to happen. Because that’s business.
There’s no business person out there in the entire world, that if you went into their business and said, “I can get you this many customers, and it’s going to cost you this much, and within a certain level of certainty, let’s say, 10% or 15%, I can basically guarantee that this is going to happen.”
There is no business owner in their right mind, if that equation is net positive, like me being number one positioned for that term ‘website proposal,’ if that yields a certain dollar amount per year, I am willing to spend pretty much up to a really close amount of money to what my total net gain, my net profit on that amount of revenue is going to be, in order to get that revenue. And that’s just business, right? And I think anybody would understand that. A car dealer is going to understand that, a flower shop is going to understand that, a restaurant is going to understand that.
So, when a client comes to you with the ‘Number One on Google’ problem.
“I’m not number one,” or “I want to be number one,” and they’re not willing to spend any money to get there, that means they fundamentally don’t understand the value proposition that you’re potentially providing them. So, they’re really not coming to you wanting to be number one on Google. That’s the first thing you have to understand.
And what I mean by that is, they’re coming to you and they want more customers. So what you have to do is, you have to deconstruct the request, the symptom, the thing that they’re coming and asking you for, which is “I want to be number one in Google.” You have to take that and you have to basically, dissolve it into what it really is. He basically came to you and said, “Eddie, I need more customers, and I have a hypothesis about how I can get more customers. My hypothesis is, I want to be number one in Google.” But because he has no evidence on how many customers being number one in Google is going to give him, he has no idea what that hypothesis is worth. Therefore, he’s not willing to spend any money to get there. So, once you understand that he is really just trying to get more customers, it changes the conversation.
Because there’s a whole heap of potential tests that you can run, a potential hypothesis that you can run online, in order to help him get more customers. Maybe it’s how do we get you to be number one for the term, ‘Honda Accord.’ Now, you can run some very easy tests to figure out how much it’s going to cost to get to number one in Honda Accord. And you can show him that.
And that’s why you have to have multiple interactions with him. Because you need to sit down with him, and you need to pull up Google AdWords pricing estimator, and you need to look at what people are currently paying out of pocket for pay-per-click traffic. Because that’s going to tell you a little bit about how much those leads are worth. If there’s a company that’s willing to pay $10 per click for pay-per-click traffic and that’s $10 not for per lead, but per click, and you can figure out that at every click you get, you’re going to get maybe 20% conversion on clicks to actually fill out a lead form. Then you can basically say, “Look, we need to get five clicks per lead that we want.” Well that means we’re going to have to spend $50 per lead. Well, a car dealership’s going to know, very, very quickly, whether or not they’re willing to spend $50 per lead. A lot of car dealerships would be happy to spend $50 per lead, because they might already be spending $100 per lead in other areas.
So, what happens is you have to put, first of all, take the conversation, dissolve it down to the core, and figure out what he’s really asking. And he’s asking for the ‘more customers’ problem, he wants you to solve the ‘more customers’ problem. Then the second step is educate him around why solving more customers through the number one position in Google, what that really means to his business, how much is that going to equate to. Because you can run some Google… there’s plenty of tools out there that can estimate the organic search, so if somebody’s paying $10 per click through Google pay-per-click, but there’s a thousand clicks per month that are available through organic search, then that means that, that’s $10,000 worth of traffic that’s available every single month through organic SEO for that specific keyword.
Now, I’m just pulling out numbers here, but you have to understand that this is where you start to build the value, and say, “Look, if we want to be number one in Google for that term, then we should be willing to invest up to $10,000 per month to target that term, because that’s what it’s worth. That’s what it’s worth in terms of the equivalent pay-per-click spent.”
And so this is where it gets interesting. If the guy says, “Look, I’m not willing to spend $10,000 per month,” well then you can say, “Well, look, then let’s start with a pay-per-click. Because we can’t be number one for organic, without spending $10,000 a month, but what we could do, is we could spend $500 on Google pay-per-click, and we can see how much of that traffic actually converts into a customer.” And what happens at that point, is kind of something magical, because you can actually start to test things with smaller budgets. And you can say, “Look, if we’re able to convert traffic on $500 a month, on driving 50 clicks per month and we are able to test to figure out how many clicks we need to get a valid lead, then we can figure out how much per lead it costs to get through your website.” It’s going to tell him a huge array of the potential value of online.
So, this is why I say, you can’t have one 60-minute with somebody. Because you can’t, there is no possible way that in 60 minutes with somebody you can know enough about their business, enough about their pains, objectives, and goals, and be able to educate them enough about what it is that you do and what it is that their business is trying to do online. There’s just no way, there’s no way that you can do that in one meeting. You have to have that three, four, five, six interactions with somebody to be able to figure out what their top pain is, to be able to present them with information and educate them, about what they’re really trying to get to. And to be able to then, build value and sell them on the solution that you’ve basically presented to solve their problems. It’s just fundamentally impossible.
Now, what you can do in 60 minutes, is have him come to you and say, “I want a website, and I want to be number one in Google, and I don’t want to pay any money.” And then you go create a proposal to somehow try to accomplish that. And which, he’s going to look at that proposal, and not understand how it’s going to get from point A to point B. And he’s come and tell you that you’re too expensive, and then, if you do get hired, you’re almost guaranteed to fail at the real core objective that he’s actually trying to hire you for. Now, you might end up building him a website for a couple thousand dollars, and he might end up getting a lead or two on it, but then he’s going to sit there, wondering to himself, why you didn’t get him to number one in Google, and eventually he’ll be dissatisfied, or he’ll just realize that it wasn’t a good investment to begin with, which isn’t good for either you or him.
Eddie: Brent, this is actually some valuable points as well, here. And actually, I think that you might have only missed my second part of that question, which is working in a team of just me. So how, actually, I think a lot of people are teaming up with other developers or SEO specialists and whatnot, to try and find out how they can actually finish a project, first of all, in a speedy manner, and also, basically, I don’t know everything in web design, to SEO and those different things here, so I’d have to probably ask people to get things done for me, and this is where, again, it becomes another problem, because, for me, outsourcing work is great, and sometimes it’s very beneficial, probably most of the time, but, it is taking away some of that budget that was put aside by the client, and not every client understands that certain things cost certain amounts, and this is where I don’t know some of these things, but, so you know, when a client comes to me and asks me, if they want to be first on Google, I can’t really just answer them, even after the second or third meeting, because I haven’t found someone that I could talk to, an SEO specialist, that would let me know what kind of budget I’m looking at, or at least make me understand or the client understand, what the cost of these things might be. So how would work with something like this. Where it’s just a one person team.
Brent: So, in terms of, you’re a one person team, and you need to figure out how to source experts to be able to solve these problems. One thing I’ll mention is that, if you’re not prepared to solve a problem that your client is presenting you, you really are at kind of a crossroads. You can either basically tell them, “Yeah, no problem,” and basically sign some kind of deal with them and go try to figure out how to fulfill those services, or you can basically make the realization that it’s not a good fit type of thing, and refer them out to somebody else. Or I guess, then, there’s option number three, which is, if you believe there is a problem that your clients need help solving, then you’ve got to basically got and learn how to do that thing. So you can either, one, hire somebody else to do it and sub it out to them; two, refer it to to somebody else and just take an affiliate or a referral fee off of that; or three, learn how to do the stuff yourself.
I think, in terms of… when you’re sitting in front of a customer, and they want something and you don’t necessarily know how to do it, that’s probably a good time to be pretty honest with that customer and say, “Hey, I’m not exactly sure how we would go about doing this. I have some general idea, but I’m going to need some time to figure that out.” And basically, bring in a partner company, or do a little bit or research, and convince your customer to take a chance with you, on basically offering them a service that you’re not fully up to speed on.
Typically, at least in my situation, I never really sold anything that I didn’t have a pretty good idea of what the general cost framework was going to be for that. Now, there were plenty of situations where maybe I took a guess, and just took the business knowing that I really wanted to be able to offer that service, and then we went and figured out how to make it happen, after the fact. But that’s probably not a very good approach to take, because you could end up kind of holding the bag with a big obligation to your clients.
So, in terms of building network, I can introduce you to three SEO companies that you can potentially work with, right after this call. It’s a matter of being prepared to have that conversation with your client, about what it would potentially take to get them number one position in Google, just so that they understand it. Because it doesn’t make sense for you to go out and find a company to help you with SEO if the customer fundamentally doesn’t understand that they’re going to have to make an investment to make it happen.
Eddie: Okay. That makes sense. And actually, I think, my last question here, was about having many projects at once. The issue with that is, let’s say I have a client that I’m working with, and all of a sudden they stop replying, or take forever to reply, and that’s when I get someone else, at the same time, comes to me and says, “Hey, I’m looking for somebody to build my website and help me grow my business and attract more customers.”
In the meantime, while I’m waiting for my other client, I go on and take this project, or even if it’s little projects here and there, and then, here I am, juggling multiple things, especially when all of them come at the same time and they want updates to the site, or major things, even the little things, but when it’s all at once, that becomes a big issue for me. To try to work with multiple projects at once here. And the way I go about this, is actually just by, let’s say, doing something for someone and sending them the variation of an update, and having them reply, so I kind of put the weight on them, on their side, so by the time they get back to me, I try to get the other project going. But it hasn’t always worked out the best. And I’m not really sure what would be the best way…
Brent: Sure. So essentially, you’re in a place where your projects have no structure. You basically start working on something, you get to a point where you finish your work, you need to have client’s input on what you should be doing next, you send that work to your client to basically say, “Hey, look, I need to get feedback or I need something from you,” and you basically you have no expectation on when they have to get that information back to you. So you basically go into a kind of follow-up hell, or you end up, they take, you want them to take three days, but they end up taking three weeks. And this is a little bit about how you manage the operations side of your business. Which, the problem that you’re talking about is insanely common. I did it for years. I almost enjoyed the projects where my clients were taking a long time to get back to me because then I knew could work on other billable work, or whatever, and just, for whatever reason, I didn’t mind it. And, it creates all sorts of problems. One, the drag-along project that you talked about earlier, the one that kind of, the never ending project, it just kind of keeps going and going. I’ve had projects go… I think our longest project was a $5,000 website. And after five years, it never got finished. I mean, five years of checking in, and trying to restart the project, getting the client to commit, blah, blah, blah, and then we’d go. She’d be like, “Okay, I’m going to work on this and then I’ll email you as soon as I’m soon as I’m done with it.” And then a week would go by, and two weeks would go by, and then I would actually get to the point where I would say, “You know what?” Mentally, I was like, oh I’ve got so much other stuff going on, I really don’t care about that project anymore. And the problem there is just that we lack the structure for completing projects on time and we lacked the expectation setting with our customers to get those projects completed on time.
So here are the two tricks that I’m going to teach you, basically, of how we solve those problems. The first is that every project has a weekly standing meeting. So, there’s only one time that you get feedback from a client on something and that’s during your weekly standing meeting. So if you take on a project and, let’s say, it’s a website build, basically for the duration of that project, same time, same place, go-to-meeting or whatever, it’s non-negotiable, it’s part of the contract, you have a meeting every single week until that project’s complete. What that does, is it gives you a structure to basically assign tasks, get feedback, and make sure that you’re on schedule to complete the project. It does not allow room for multiple leaks to all of a sudden disappear without your client getting back to you or returning what they need. So that’s one thing. The weekly standing meeting.
And we’ve tried dozens of different tactics to get clients, to get projects to not peel out of control. And the weekly standing meeting was probably the only thing that actually fundamentally kept us on track, because it gave us a platform to hold our clients accountable, and for our clients to hold us accountable. Because we had to give them an update, and we had to tell them why we did get what they asked us to get done, done within that time, or for us to hold the client accountable for getting us what we needed on time at that point. And it also gave us the space that every week, we knew we had that 30 minutes to show them the recent designs and get feedback. So that’s the one thing, the weekly standing meeting.
The other thing is that you need to have a clause in your contract, and you need not to just have the clause there but you need to verbally go over it with your client, and you need to have, basically, a return of materials or a return of feedback term in your proposals. Ours was 72 hours. That meant that any asset that we gave a client, and we wanted feedback on, we had to have that feedback within 72 hours. Otherwise, we charged a penalty on the project, and the project was now taken off of our schedule, and there was a restart fee in order to start the project up again. So, and this is one of those times where, over the years, I basically learned that, when we sign a contract with a customer, that there’s a conversation that happens around that contract. We sit down and we say, “Look, we’re really excited about your project, we’re really looking forward to working with you, but we need to do some housekeeping first. And we need to run through how this is going to work.” So before they ever give you a check, you make sure that they understand that, if at any time they don’t return your designs, the feedback, the content, whatever you assign them within 72 hours or whatever your time frame is, that you’re basically going to charge them a fee in order to do that, and you’re going to have a credit card on file to make sure that you can do that at any time you need to.
So, those are the two things that worked for me really well. One is the weekly standing meeting, and the other one is the return time frame, and then if they don’t meet that time frame, then you have some type of an unscheduling contract fee and a restart fee. And all you’re trying to do there is say, “Look, I know that unplanned interruptions happen. I know that we could be working on this project together, and maybe a conference comes up, maybe it’s a big deal that you’re pursuing comes up, maybe your cousins getting married, whatever it is, it’s totally cool with us. We have no hard feelings about that, but if you’re going to prioritize that other thing over me, then you’re going to pay a fee to do that, because I’m blocking out my calendar, I am hiring resources to be available for your project, and if at any time you basically decide that you have other priorities that are more important than me, then I just need to be able to be compensated for the interruption to my work flow, that that’s going to create for me. And when you have that conversation with a perspective customer, it’s very natural. Because you’re like, “Doesn’t that make sense?
Because if you, basically, make it to where I can’t take on the next project, you’re affecting my ability to make a living, so I just need to be compensated for that time.”
Those two things, when you implement them, it’s going to do wonders for your project process. Because it’s going to totally change the relationship with how your customer’s view you. Once you say, “Look, we’re going to have a weekly meeting,” there’s structure. Customers love structure. They love to see a plan in place, they love to see progress. What they don’t love, is you go away for three weeks, and be guilty because you’re not guiding them along the process. What they don’t love is for you to be designing something, and for you to not talk to them six weeks, because you’re juggling so many projects that you just can’t get the thing done that you told them you were going to get done, done, and you’ve left it very open-ended. So clients love structure. Clients also love expectations. So those are the two things that, if you implement those two things, I think it’s going to solve that problem. If not, it’s going to definitely reduce the pain of that in your projects.
Eddie: Thank you, Brent. Actually, those were two really good points, here. And I like the one about the penalty on the late feedback. That’s sounds like definitely something I could do, and I should be doing. And the weekly meetings, this is one thing where it may or may not work exactly for me. Maybe every two weeks, it doesn’t have to be weekly. But it is something to think about at least, so that way we can get the project on time, done on time, and just have more feedback in general for me from the client.
Brent: And, I would urge you, as strong as I can, to make it weekly. Human beings, anything outside of really, a week or a day, is not a period of time that we’re programmed to deal with. If you think of how people work. People work for five days or six days, and then they take a day of rest. And this idea of weekends and reset, and then starting the next week, it’s insanely powerful. And if you look at the idea of a month, every month has a different amount of days. Every month starts on a different day, and ends on a different day of the week. So, when you start to put things in terms of months, months really don’t matter, in terms of somebody’s schedule. It’s hard to say I’m going to work on this for a month, because it could be the month of December, or it could be during Spring Break, or it could be, the month has five weeks instead of four weeks. So, be careful to do anything that’s outside of a weekly rhythm.
And I know you’ve got a day job, and that’s the thing that you’re balancing, and that’s always going to be a fight for you, is where your personal business lands in terms of priority with your day job. And that’s something that’s a whole other conversation. But, I would really urge you that if you take on a project, to build everything in terms of weeks, and to get a weekly rhythm. And maybe it’s an after-hours weekly meeting with your client, and you just explain to them, “Look, this is a freelance job, and I work in the evenings and weekends, and so for me, if you want to hire me and get a better price because I’m basically doing evenings and weekends and I’m not a full agency, then I have to be able to work on on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Or, you go to your employer, and say, “I’m going to work an extra two hours on Tuesdays so I can get two hours off on Thursdays,” and then you can basically meet every week on Thursday at 4:00 or whatever it is, so that it aligns better with your client if you’re trying to keep that image that you’re not doing this in your spare time.
So, whatever it is, in my practice, setting up my life in terms of weekly rhythms, have always worked better. It’s either a weekly or a daily rhythm. Those things that I have to do monthly, I really only want to do a couple of those things, because it’s very difficult to keep in a monthly rhythm on anything that you do. Because there’s scheduling problems, you have to, like… instead of being… you know, if you were to do a meeting every month or every other week, it starts to push out the rhythm piece and it becomes challenging. Because what will end up happening is, if you’re meeting every other week, but the week that you end up meeting, is on a holiday week, then that could potentially completely throw off your rhythm, to where you might go three or four weeks before you meet again. Taking December or something like that for an example. So it’s easier to plan around a weekly rhythm, than it is a bi-weekly rhythm. So, just my experience of that, something to watch out for.
Eddie: So, I guess by meetings, you were talking about little short meetings. Because the longer ones always tend to be unproductive…
Brent: Correct, so a standing project meeting, you typically want to make that 30 minutes or less. So, depending on what you have going on in your project, you could potentially allow that meeting to go longer, but if you’re talking about a standing project meeting, to check in every week about a project, basically what you’re doing is you’re kind of following an agile methodology. You’re basically saying, “Every week I’m going to come to you with my victories and my challenges, and I’m going to assign my tasks.” So you’re going to come in and say, “Hey, we just finished the web design, and I want to show that to you for ten minutes, and then I’m going to tell you the couple of things I had in terms of challenges, and then I’m going to assign tasks.” So, you want to keep that meeting as brief as possible on a regular basis.
It might only be, I’ve had standing meetings, currently I’m doing a weekly standing meeting with my blog editor. So she’s got a project, which is to help us manage our blog, and every week we check in, and we at least talk about her top challenges and her victories for that previous week, so I have a good pulse on what she’s delivering. Today, for example, that meeting was ten minutes. Last week, we were doing a training, so the meeting ended up going 40 or 50 minutes, because it was more than we could do in 30 minutes. So you kind of have to gauge how long you spend with your customer at that point, but the idea is that most of the time, a project meeting, it’s going to be really quick. It’s going to be, here’s what we go accomplished this week, here’s your assignment, I want to make sure that you have this material. If you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise, I need to get it back by this time.” It just basically gives you that framework to have that conversation, to continuously be setting expectations with your client, and to make sure that those projects don’t go on for… it’s so easy to just let something ride for six weeks, or ten weeks, or twelve weeks. It’s easy to put something that somebody needs to do, in the back of their head, and just forget about it for an extended period of time. And that’s where you get those projects that just go six months overdue. You’re like, “How can this project be… it was supposed to take two months, and it’s taken eight months, how is that physically possible to happen?” It’s because people just basically forget about it and they don’t have that regular structure.
Eddie: Alright. Yeah, that definitely would help me, at least solve some of these issues that I have here. And you pointed out some really good things. I’m not sure, do we have time for one more thing?
Brent: Yeah, I got time for one more question.
Eddie: So, I guess my other question here is, having a few hours a week to work on something, how, I’ve always had that problem, I do way too much things. I do design development, I do DJ’ing, I do music mixing and video and photography, so I have all these things that I do, and it’s been a challenge trying to keep just one thing and stick with it, because I always prefer to everything, and not have to, especially something for myself, my own website, I want to do the photography for some of the things that I advertise for, be it graphic design stuff, or… basically my heart is, my biggest problem is finding the time to get these things, and especially if it’s more than just my own stuff, having clients along the side. I know it’s kind of a big subject here, but I was hoping on some pointers on this.
Brent: Sure. You’re going to find that you’re going to have a fundamental problem with succeeding at what you’re doing, unless you make a decision to focus. So that focus is a very powerful word. Because we can take focus in terms of big slice, like you need to focus on one technology or one service, or one aspect of a service, of we can take the term focus and we can re-position that say you need to focus on a market, or focus on a specific customer, or focus on a specific type of customer acquisition. Somewhere in your business right now, you’re feeling… anytime I ever feel spread out or spread too thin, or that I have a little bit of chaos going on in my world and it just isn’t, it’s not adding up to the value and the impact I want in the world, that’s always, I always know the one problem there, and that’s that I’m not focusing enough.
So, you’ll have to make a decision in your business. It sounds like you’re kind of saying yes to everything. Like, you’re a creative person. So, what is it that you really want to do? Do you want to just kind of be a creative person and express your creativity in a variety of different form factors?
Or, do you want to build a successful business and build wealth in your life? Or do you want to become the best there ever was at one thing?
Because that will never happen if you’re looking at everything and saying yes to everything. The people who are usually measured more by what they say no to, than what they say yes to. If you look in terms of Apple as a company, for example. They say no to a lot of stuff. They say no to 50 different versions of the iPhone. They say no to licensing their operating system out to other different technology manufacturers and stuff like that. They say no to building things that they don’t fully understand and aren’t available to innovate and truly make a dent in the universe. So, they say no to a lot of stuff, and what we see is a very polished and fine tuned product. Other companies make the kind of yes to everything decision, and you don’t really see those types of companies really rising to the top.
But I think for you as a person though, it’s more important for you to maybe look at all the services that you can do, and instead of saying, “I can do everything,” focus into one thing. And, it’s challenging, right?
Because saying no to something is like turning away opportunity. You’re like, all of a sudden, “Oh, but now I can’t do that thing anymore, because I’m saying no to it, because I want to do this other thing.” So, it’s almost counterintuitive. By saying no to opportunity, and no to those types of things, we almost feel, the natural sense is that we’re limiting ourselves, and we’re not going to reach our potential, but it’s the exact opposite of what really happens. If you were to focus only on your DJ’ing, you would get opportunities in DJ’ing that you wouldn’t get if you were focusing on DJ’ing, web design, web development, online marketing, search, et cetera. Because if you just did DJ’ing, you would be looking for tons more opportunities to help DJ’ing become the focal point in your life. If you were just doing photography, you would be seeing opportunities that you would not currently be seeing, because you have no focus, right? You’re looking so broad that you can’t really see all of the opportunities that exist right around you, for photography to make that something that brings you into the success that you want.
So, the answer that I have in terms of your time situation, is it gets even more extreme from where you’re at, because you don’t have, it’s not that you don’t even… you’re not even thing as a full-time thing. So the focus thing is just magnified, right? If you were doing design and code and photography and DJ’ing between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. every night, and then 8:00 to 5:00 on the weekends, it’s just not enough time to make that a successful part of your business. It can be a hobby. You can keep lots of hobbies. People have lots of hobbies, right? But you have to maybe accept the fact that you’re never going to be an award winning person in any of those categories, because you’re not fully committing into one of those areas.
So, it comes back to kind of a personal choice. Where do you want to be with what you’re doing? Do you want to be the best DJ in Canada, or do you want to be the best DJ in your city, or do you want to do it because you have fun? It’s again, back to those types of questions, you have to ask yourself. And there’s no wrong answer. I want to make sure that I’m not coming across as saying there is a right answer to any of these questions. It’s just a matter of what’s the reality of that stuff that’s going to happen.
I’ve known a lot of friends that have been designers or developers and they’ve been doing it in a freelance capacity, and they’ve asked me on multiple occasions, “Well, how do I turn this into a full-time thing?”
There’s a lot of different ways you can make that happen, but at the end of the day, it can’t happen if you have another full-time thing. So, if you want your freelance practice to be your full-time job where you’ve got super flexible hours, instead of working for one person, you’ve got 30 or 40 clients that fund your life, and you can work with who you want to work with and you’re not tied down to a job, if you want that to happen, eventually, you’ll have to leave the other thing to make that happen.
Now, there’s a variety of different ways that could happen. It could happen through moving to part-time at your current job. It could happen by just leaving your job if you have enough business to support yourself. You could get a loan. You could ask friends and family to help bridge the gap between your full-time job and your freelance business. Whatever the means are, the end still has to be, if you want to become a full-time freelancer, eventually you have to be able to do freelance full-time. You can’t do that with a job. You can’t do that with something else that’s taking up that amount of time.
So, I know I probably went a little bit off topic and down some tangents there, but those concepts of focus, is two things. I’ll summarize the two things. One is focus, you’ve got to start saying no. In order for you to probably feel the success that you want in any of your creative areas, you’re going to have to write down all the stuff that you like to do, and you’re going to have to say, “You know what? Maybe for the next six months, I only do this one thing. I only design, or I only do photography, or I only do DJ’ing.” And mark everything else off. And for that period of time, you give yourself that space. So, the success is only going to happen when you create that void.
So the first thing is focus and the second thing is the void. In order to do something you have to create space for it. If you have no space to build your business, if you’re trying to build your business in the wee hours of the night, it’s going to be very difficult, because the business doesn’t have the space to grow. It’s like planting a tree. You have to create space for that tree to grow. If you plant a tree and it’s in the middle of a bunch of other trees, or it’s right next to another tree, it’s not going to grow. The other tree’s going to soak up all of its nutrients. You have to go out and find a space, you have to measure out a certain area around to know where the tree is going to go, so that over the next 20 years it can grow in and fill into that space. So just to kind of, like I said, summarize, focus on stuff, say no, and then build that space, that void, for that thing that you want to do, and that’s really the only way that’s going to happen.
Eddie: Alright. I think that was a good answer. Definitely, it is difficult for me, trying to do all these different things, and I guess it’s okay in a way, because I’m not trying to be the best DJ or the best designer. I’m always just trying to do a little bit of each because I want to make extra income and I love all these things that I do. It helps that I’m good at a lot of these things. I’m not the best, but I can do it, and there are people that are liking it, and I’m liking it more than anything, really. That’s what kind of makes me keep going with all these different things. But yeah, having less time is just, keeps adding and adding to my schedule. And some of these things are just going to have to go away, like my photography.
Brent: Schedules, just like accounting, are, it’s a zero sum game. At the end of the day… accounting… when you look at your books, how much money you made and how much money you spent, it’s a zero sum game. If you spend more money than you made, the money that you spent, it came from someplace. So, accountants always talk about how accounting is a zero sum game. At the end of the day, everything always adds up. If you follow the money, everything always has to add up, at some level. The same thing goes with your calendar. When it comes to you adding one more service or one more thing that you do and that you have to learn how to do, or one more client or one more project, that time comes from someplace, so there’s always a trade off.
As you start to do more, and to commit to more, eventually, that time’s coming from someplace. That time might be coming from your personal time. It might be coming from the time that you’d spend with a girlfriend or a wife or a sibling or a husband or a brother or whatever. So eventually, as you commit to more stuff, it’s not like the world is inventing any more time anytime soon. There’s no extra day, there’s no extra hour that’s being added to the day. So, always think of your time, in that term. That, they’re never making any more of it. And so, when you commit to that other thing, that means that there’s something else that you’re not doing.
And from personal experience, I went through that with, I used to a ton of philanthropy work, and I ran my business. And I realized that I basically was sacrificing part of my business and I was sacrificing some of my personal relationships in order to do my philanthropy projects. But I just kept saying yes to every single philanthropy project that came my way, and every volunteer project. And I just kind of had this feeling of abundance, but then, these little cracks started kind of showing themselves in terms of my personal relationships, and my own personal health. And so, I had to come to terms with the fact of, what do I prioritize? What’s most important in my life?
And that’s maybe getting into some existential type of conversations and some personal vision stuff, but I would encourage you, and I’ve got to jump off this call, but I would encourage you, as you’re walking away from this meeting, is to really think about, what it is you want to do in your life, and why you want to do it, and just be intentional about it. If you do just want to do creative stuff, then, put yourself in an environment where you can do as much of that as possible. If you want to just make some extra money, and do something else in your life by making extra money or building wealth, then that might change how you currently are approaching your business, maybe it won’t. But, food for thought.
Eddie: Well, I really appreciate all the advice you’ve given me here, Brent. This is a lot of really good feedback. I’m definitely going to look back into this, the phone call here. Some really good points. I really, really appreciate your time, and I hope that somebody else out there benefits from the chat we’ve had today. I can’t say thank you enough, really. This has been really great.
Brent: Cool. Well, I appreciate your time as well, Eddie. Definitely, thanks for reaching out on FreelanceSwitch on the NET HUT website, and hopefully we’ll keep in touch and talk soon.
Eddie: Sounds great, and thank you very much, once more.
Brent: Alright. See you, mate. Have a good night.
Eddie: You, too. Bye.