One of the responses I’ve heard when I’ve told people what I do for a living is “I don’t understand how you do that by yourself.” Just the other day an SEO said that I was one of only a handful of people in my industry he’s heard of doing what I do. It sounded completely foreign to me but I said “thank you” because it certainly felt good to hear that. To give you a better scope, I manage 9 websites that get over 4 million monthly visits, and have zero employees. Combined, the sites produce in the neighborhood of 40-50 articles daily. So how do I do this? What makes me able to do the work that most outfits of 10 or more employees are doing? There are numerous factors that allow me to do this which range anywhere from completely technical factors to those that are somewhat philosophical or motivational. Here they are:
Experience and repetition – things become second nature
There’s no replacing experience when it comes to being able to do something with your eyes closed. When I first began publishing websites back in 2007 I knew literally nothing. And when I say nothing I didn’t know what a “blog” even was. But I immersed myself in WordPress. I emailed thousands of people and asked thousands of questions. I read thousands of articles. And you know what? There’s still a ton I don’t know and that will more than likely be the case until the day I’m not doing this anymore. P.S. that’s one of the things I love about websites, there’s an infinite amount of info out there and the “game” never stops i.e. you can never get too much traffic. I mean look at Facebook. Over 2 billion users and somehow it’s still growing. But let’s go back to experience. I wouldn’t be able to write 5 articles in a day let alone 50 if I hadn’t started writing articles. I wouldn’t know how to come up with content ideas unless I came up with one first idea, and then another, and another, etc etc. But the sheer number of times I’ve done a certain task put me into a position where doing said tasks has become second nature to me. So now what sometimes takes 5 people do in the course of an hour, I alone might be able to do in the same or less amount of time simply because I’ve done it so much.
Some people would credit their ability to multi-task as a reason for getting things done. While I’m adept at having 15 windows open on my computer at once while being on the phone with the TV on in the background, I’ve actually found that doing the complete opposite is what separates the efficient from the non-efficient. If you pay attention to one thing at a time and give that one thing your absolute, full attention with laser like focus, it’s going to win out on focusing a bit at a time on 10 things every single time. The first time I just sat there with no email program open, no music on, no phones to bother me, no nothing with exception of my task at hand? I got things done way way faster and it wasn’t even close. Don’t be a multi-tasker. Be someone who holds one thing above all others for the time you are focused on it.
Outsourcing whenever possible
No one man can do the work of 20 unless he or she has some help. It’s that simple. I’ve mentioned this countless times but it bears repeating. Once I have a clear understanding of what my objectives are I tend to devote my time to the absolute most important things that will help achieve said objectives. Anything else? I’ll try to farm that out. In my world anything that can cut an hour of time is invaluable. Fortunately there are a number of things I can outsource that generally take up an hour. Formatting is a good example. While I don’t trust anyone to come up with a content strategy or assign topics to anyone, I implicitly trust people to format the content that gets created. And that can take a while if done right, especially when you’re dealing with 40 plus articles a day. Put it this way, if it’s something someone else can do, at some point you’re gonna have to trust them to do it. It doesn’t have to be you. P.S. that’s the only way you can scale a business.
I hope no one takes this the wrong way but having a natural ability to do something most certainly comes into play with regard to the speed and quality at which something gets done. By no means do I think I’m better than anyone else but I do think that I have a decent knack for using my mind to come up with creative solutions for my business. There’s also little things like having a good memory, being a fast typist, doing quick math, etc etc that shave off seconds at a time which amount to minutes throughout the day which amount to hours throughout the week. When you combine all of those minutes it’s a considerable amount of time saved. Time that’s usually taken up by multiple employees. Rarely is natural ability spoken about in most industries with the exception of sports. I don’t know why not. It’s just as important in any business you’re trying to pursue. Having a natural knack for something makes it 100 times easier.
They are doing it less efficiently
Using the phrase “you’re doing it wrong” isn’t always the answer but it’s pretty darned close. There are some companies that are way overstaffed. In fact I think a ton of companies are way overstaffed. When you live in a society that rewards face time more than results, it’s easy to see why some companies go under. If you want to get things done then they need to be 2 things: systematic and repetitive. Want a great example? McDonald’s. That place is an absolute machine. Every single location runs 99% in the exact way. That is not by accident. In fact there are thousands upon thousands of pages of reading that highlight company policies and procedures. Each employee knows there job, how long a task should be, and when it should be done. While the initial training time might be arduous, the end result is a quick, smooth, and satisfying operation for the customer.
Always learning and always open to new ideas
No matter how quickly I can get something done, there’s always a quicker way. While I rarely do something “new” in my business I always listen on ways to make my business better and more efficient. Being closed off to this will get you nowhere. Always, and I mean always be open to innovation.