In this fantastic episode, I interview Matt Inglot about one of my favorite topics; lifestyle design. Far too many entrepreneurs get trapped by their businesses and sacrifice their health, family and happiness in order to “make it”. I don’t believe this is necessary. In this episode, we’ll dig deep into building a lifestyle YOU want to live and making your business fit what you want, rather than simply hoping for the best.
Listen To The Podcast
Can I Help Grow Your Business?
Jeremy Reeves: Hey everyone, this is Jeremy Reeves, welcome back to another episode of the sales funnel mastery podcast, and today I have someone special on the line, his name is Matt Inglot, and I figure you are gonna find this pretty entertaining and pretty informative if you want to work less and enjoy your life more. I know I’m kind of in a stage right now where I am going a little bit nuts because I’m about to take some time off, but in general, you want to work a little bit less, enjoy your life more, have more of a lifestyle, you know rather than just kind of being stuck in the business all day long and I think you are gonna really enjoy this episode.
Matt is the owner and founder of Tiltedpixel.com which is a web agency that primarily helps [inaudible 00:05:16] companies to basically convert visitors into customers and he will talk more about that in a sec.
He is also the owner of FreelanceTransformation.com and basically they are really good resource for freelancers service professionals to build amazing lifestyles around their business versus you know just being kind of stuck in your business and you are just, you know, doing the daily grind every day.
So Matt, how are you?
Matt Inglot: I am doing well Jeremy and it’s great to be on your show.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, thanks for coming on.
Matt Inglot: Absolutely.
Jeremy Reeves: So before we get into everything that we are gonna talk about today, take a second to expand on your 2 websites just so people have a good understanding whether or not you can help them, you know, kind of [inaudible 00:06:01] a little bit.
Matt Inglot: Sure, well I think [inaudible 00:06:03] but FreelanceTransformation.com kind of hits the nail on the head of what I’m all about. So I have a web agency called tiltedpixel and that’s something that I have build over the past 10 years.
In fact, we just hit the 10-year mark back in September and that is a very long journey where originally I had an office, I had employees and I basically had this weird and all too common perception of business which is that you are successful if you have a big company. So the more people that work for you, the more offices that you have, the more wheels are turning, the more successful you are and I originally built my company off of that model, but the end result was that I was working 80-hour work weeks, I was frankly miserable. I found that I was paying out most of our money to overhead versus actually getting to keep some at the end of the day and I had basically created this monster that I had to keep feeding instead of building a business that actually allowed me to live the life that I want to live and eventually I had a breaking point and said, okay, enough is enough.
So, back in 2011 I got rid of the office, I gradually converted everybody to contract and now it’s a very overhead-light business were both of our expenses are directly correlated to our projects. I work a heck of lot less than the 80 hours. I work less than 40 hours in fact and that has given me a lot of time to create freelancetransformation which is basically helping other people dig themselves out of that all too common hole of basically owning a freelancing business that booms your life and try to get into something that actually gives you kind of a spectacular lifestyle that [inaudible 00:07:54] that’s probably why you started in the first place.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, I think most entrepreneurs regardless if you are in — like kind of service industry or you sell products, I mean, whatever it is you sell. I think most of us do it because — I mean, first all, I think every entrepreneur loves like the challenge of it, there is all that, but it’s also to — I think most people wanna do it because they want more freedom and more income and all those kind of things and then you start building it like you commonly hear, you know, people have like a 1000 employees and they work all day, they are stress all day and that kind of thing and it kind of just transforms into that.
So it’s kind of cool that you were there and you got out of that. I think most people get trapped in that kind of vortex and never or able to actually get out of it.
So it’s kind of cool to hear somebody that was there and then got out and you kind of get back to what you wanna do which is pretty cool.
Matt Inglot: Yeah, thank goodness because a lot of people do not get out of it, get out of that and it’s very telling if you talk to somebody who is just starting out on their own especially if they wanna become a freelancer or even if like another type of entrepreneur [inaudible 00:09:04] that you will always hear is I wanna be my own boss, I wanna have the freedom to do things I wanna do [inaudible 00:09:10] less of dreams and then you talk to them 2 years later and they’re basically stuck exactly where I found myself or they — you know, they have none of those things, they just have an 80-hour work week.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So there is a lot of different things that we can talk about. I guess, let’s start with how do you like kind of — how do you make that switch actually, that’s a good place to start.
How do you go from like, say you are in a point now where it’s you and you have a bunch of employees and they are kind of like running your life and your clients and customers are running your life and it’s really — you are not even in control of your own life.
How do you start to kind of transition out of that, is it by improving your workflow, is it improving, you know, maybe doing like an 80/20 on your customers and clients and only working with those that you are spending the least time with making the most income or — is there any like kind of good place to start that transition?
Matt Inglot: Yeah, definitely. So it’s very easy and very difficult all at the same time.
So I started for a place of breakdown basically. Sometimes, you know that is kind of what has to happen, kind of wake you up.
So at that point, I mean my business wasn’t doing that great financially because, again, the high overhead, the feast or famine cycle and I wasn’t that great mentally which was the bigger problem. Again, I was overworked. I was burned out. If you never suffered burned out, I mean it’s one of the worst things because you will wake up and you know you got a day ahead of you and then you will work for half an hour and then suddenly you are exhausted, that can be the end of your day, which is obviously a problem when you are trying to run a business and that is something all entrepreneurs have to watch out for.
Ideally, you don’t start — you don’t wait until you have a break down like that, but certainly maybe the motivator for a lot of entrepreneurs to finally change things.
So in my case, the easy part was the mechanics. The hard part was making the decision because I mean it was freaking scary right, you have this office and I had invested 20 grand just a year and a half before that [inaudible 00:11:25] walking away from that office [inaudible 00:11:30]walking away from that 20 grand it also meant getting someone else to take over when I leave possibly taking on loss on that. What would I tell to my clients, what would I tell to my employees, all of these like fears and doubts in my head, but when I actually did make that tough decision, it was actually turned out to be very easy.
So I did — I did do an 80/20 analysis basically what you described and I basically decided to rebuild my entire business model and do that hard thinking that I have been putting off for so long.
So I looked at the projects that we were doing and I realized that sure enough 80/20 rule, typical, 80% of our profits [inaudible 00:12:10] were coming from 20% of our clients and those clients had [inaudible 00:12:15] characteristics that the other 80% did not.
So at that point I realized that I was investing a ton of money into a ton of overhead to start with 80% of clients that were basically breakeven at best. They help pay for the overhead, but the overhead was necessary in order to have them in the first place so it’s kind of why are we spinning the wheels.
So the 80/20 was the key, honestly was the key, I talked to my landlord, I let him know what’s up. I found someone else to take over to lead, luckily, I had a great network of [inaudible 00:12:50] so I reached out to a number of people and someone knew someone that was looking for an office and we basically just change the name of the lease and it was done. I told my clients that we are gonna changing our business model. I was worried everybody would leave but in fact nobody left, nobody was really ticked off. A couple of people were a little worried [inaudible 00:13:10] being like you are going under or something but I reassured them and in the end like several months later life was completely different, and I could have done the exact same thing a year and a half ago, I could have done it 3 years ago, I just did because I thought that I had to operate my business this way and unfortunately it did take a bit of a break down to change that but it turns out making these changes are actually very easy once you actually commit to doing it.
Jeremy Reeves: Okay, what do you think — because there is — I mean there is a million things that everybody does like — on daily basis that kind of thing, I mean — did you in terms of what you looked at because I’m sure at some point you had to look at your workflow like you get up and it’s like okay what am I doing today, what am I doing tomorrow, this week, or this month.
What was some of the things that just didn’t — that you were able to get rid of once you really simplified things — I mean that is basically what you did. You just simplified the business.
So what were some of the things that you just — were able to just — kind of not have to do once you got your employees from, you know, employees to contracts and you started working with less clients with better clients and that kind of thing you know — where they certain — I am trying to think of a good name for them, but you know, everybody has those tasks that they have to get done, you know, the entrepreneur, [inaudible 00:14:34] should not be doing them that’s more things that should be outsourced to people like assistance and project managers and other employees but most entrepreneurs that are not quite there yet. They are doing all these different things that they should not be doing, but they kind of have to do because they do not have the revenue whatever to pay for somebody to do it.
How did you kind of go from doing all that stuff to just getting rid of it or outsourcing it and being able to focus on [inaudible 00:15:04] did the highest leverage activities?
Matt Inglot: Absolutely, so I think the key in everything you just said is getting rid of it and I’m burrowing this from Tim Ferriss from the fourhourworkweek because he has got the same model of — or maybe getting things done or maybe both of them — [inaudible 00:15:21] great books, it’s Eliminate, Automate or [inaudible 00:15:28] in that order and that is critical and I think that is fourhourworkweek where you should be trying to think about your business in terms of what tasks I can delegate, that the last step, that if you can’t get rid of it.
What can you get rid of altogether in the first place for automate. In my case, focusing on the profitable clients and getting rid of the rest was absolute key because that eliminated a lot of things. It eliminated a ton of low return on investment sales conversations. Originally, we are selling an amount of $5,000 websites [inaudible 00:16:04] company size selling $5,000 websites is not the answer for that unless it’s fully automated.
So we were doing a lot of those and the problem is I get into these discussions because somewhere in my head I had the idea that I was the storekeeper so a customer comes up to you they want help, therefore, you have to help them, and I mean that’s kind of true if you run a retail business but if you are doing any sort of consulting you have to be a lot of [inaudible 00:16:34] than that.
So now when people approaches, I screened them very carefully and I always start with — I always start with what are the reasons to not take this first and on, and after, you know — I haven’t been able to come up with any notes that is when I started thinking okay, how can we work together, how can we run this first and over.
So by default is to refer someone elsewhere not to try to win them as a client and that is just dramatically changed to how I spend my time because I was not spending time trying to sell people that I should have be taken on as clients and consequently that also cut down a ton of my project management workload because I was not trying to manage projects that had marginal profitability and the more clients you have to manage, the [inaudible 00:17:23] more of your time.
So it was really a process of elimination and as soon as I did that a lot of my problems frankly went away.
Jeremy Reeves: Nice, and I love that. I completely forgot — I remember reading that now, in one of the books because I have read both of those books too about the automated delegate and I have completely forgot about that because I’m kind of in that phase now where I am kind of — elimination phase and even the same thing raising my minimum fees and all that kind of stuff.
Even this year I think I went — I think my minimum, I changed it to my $5,000 I think it was [inaudible 00:18:00] but I have been considering going up to $10,000. It is so much — I mean it’s just — it does not make sense to — one of the things you are talking about that really struck me and I hope everybody really heard was that, the more projects you take on, the more projects you have to manage it exponentially gets worse because — what happens of that — that is almost like a productivity tip. It’s the whole thing of — I forgot who [inaudible 00:18:32] was done but like how it takes like 20 minutes to switch tasks, you know what I mean and that is why even some of my writers and my employees and stuff I am always training them that don’t start writing emails and write for an hour and then go to a sales page and then go back to an upsell and then go back to this other project. It’s like, you know, the whole day should be focused on one thing. If you finish that then take a break don’t like go right for the next thing because you are not going to anywhere. You might as well just take a break go get some tea, whatever you wanna do and then come back and then start on a next thing but it’s — I mean it’s so crazy how applicable that is.
When you set up your week it’s so important to know exactly what’s in your week and exactly what’s in each day of your week. I can tell you right now exactly what I’m doing every single day of this week almost of the hour. This week is a little bit different because I’m like a little bit insane this week, it’s very abnormal for me. Normally I’m not this crazy but it’s only because I’m taking the next 2 weeks off and I’m also in the process of hiring 2 new people and I’m overbooked on client work.
So it’s kind of like one of those perfect storms, you know. This week is a little bit different but if everybody didn’t really — if that didn’t sink in, I really hoped that it does because you should really — it really just comes back to 80/20. That concept is so powerful and again it doesn’t even matter if you’re running a service business, product business I mean there are things that you are doing that number 1 you shouldn’t be doing and you shouldn’t be switching task to task, I love that, I love that. It’s brilliant.
Matt Inglot: Definitely [inaudible 00:20:24] $20,000 website project is probably gonna take me a 3rd of my time to do everything I need to want it including sales and project management versus $4,000 or $5,000 projects.
So think about that 3 or 4 times the time commitment to generate the same amount of revenue, it is absolutely crazy.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah and even, you know, with projects, let’s just say 5 versus 20, even if you are not the one doing it which really, you know, I’m really starting to [inaudible 00:20:56] you shouldn’t be the one doing it like if you sell websites, you shouldn’t be actually building the websites. You should be building the vision, you should be building the systems to actually build the website and like all those kind of things, the vision from the company and like all that.
A lot of people including myself like I put a lot of time when I first started — this is the part that I’m personally good at. I am really good at starting projects, strategizing them, getting to move off the ground but then once they’re in motion, I have learned to kind of let it go and then just come in little by little, you know, not do the whole thing, not do the [inaudible 00:21:37] horrible at the end. That is why I have people on the team that help me get that part done because I might — most entrepreneurs you are really good at starting things, you innovators, you like to change things and the whole shiny object things.
So you have to — kind of embrace that and build for me, build a team around that but if you are putting — let’s just say that it takes you 5 hours total of your time and then your team handles the rest of it. If you are spending 5 hours doing a $5,000 project that’s a $1,000 an hour for like each hour that you put in, but if you put in 5 hours that same time which typically, it’s really not that much more for bigger projects. You might strategize a little bit more whatever but it’s not four times the amount more, it might be like 25% more, whatever it is then you are making $4,000 an hour for that and I think that is a really valuable lesson that the people should learn is when you are really focused on your best clients, your [inaudible 00:22:42] way up so either, you can work more or work the same and make a lot more money or you can cut your time in half and so you will make the same amount of money.
Matt Inglot: Absolutely and definitely [inaudible 00:22:57] on the ladder. I long ago realized after all of my problems and everything and all the stress I caused myself trying to be one of the most entrepreneurs that you know so called hustle and working themselves to death. I realized that, I really have a breaking point around like [inaudible 00:23:17] around 6 to 8 hours in a day and that’s really all I could comfortably do on a healthy long-term basis.
So for me, it’s rarely about how can I make more money versus how can I make more — how can I get enough dollars per hour so I can then go do other stuff versus okay I’m making X hundred dollars an hour you know, let’s try to fill up 80 hours a week so that I can get rich.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, you know, I think a lot of people are like that. I have always look at my business kind of the same way like okay let’s just — you have your goal, let’s just say whatever it is, just say a quarter million dollars that you wanna make personal right, and it’s like, instead of saying okay, I’m just kind of keep working until I hit that, you will say, okay, the end goal is $250 grand, how do I do that within the hours of whatever, for me it’s 6 to 3 that is like my hours every day.
For other people, it might be 9 to 5, for other people it might be 2 in the afternoon until 10 at night, whatever it is, it might be 9 o’clock in the morning until 11 o’clock in the morning, then you will say okay, how do I only work for 2 hours but still make $250 grand and then you tried to figure that out but I think it’s so important to do that and I kind of love that way of thinking rather than just how do I make X dollars period. It’s how do I make that in a specific amount of time so you are not killing yourself and you are not killing your creativity especially because a lot of like the people you help are creative.
How did you — when you started dwindling your hours down and you went from 80 down to, you know, you got it down to 70 and 60 and 40 and now you are under 40. How did that affect your — just like your own role, the way that you think, you know your mental processes and your creative process and your clarity and that kind of thing. Did you see a big shift in the amount and the quantity and quality of your ideas and how you relate it and react it with your clients and that kind of thing.
Matt Inglot: Hugely. Absolutely hugely and you know, just a disclaimer it wasn’t a nice, easy, straight road where [inaudible 00:25:39] from 80 to 70 to 60. After I got rid of the office, things improved greatly then I made a couple other mistakes along the way but the net result is for the past few years, few things have happened what I went from just getting sick at the [inaudible 00:26:00] to really loving my job because I get to work with the absolute best clients. It is very difficult to work with me in terms of actually getting accepted with your project. You have to meet various specific criteria which for me means I get to help the kind of people that I wanna help and that allow me to use my best ideas because of not constantly overwhelmed I have a ton of freedom in how I run my business and how I run my personal life.
So for example, [inaudible 00:26:35] put on a conference and he announced it relatively last minute and so I looked at the calendar [inaudible 00:26:43] it was actually another conference that was put on even sooner. So that was one example where I looked at my calendar and was able to say, Okay, I think I will do this conference even though it’s only a few months notice and then there was another one kind of our retreat that I knew about 3 weeks in advance and I just looked at my calendar wiped out a few things and I was able to go to this retreat.
You know, how many people can book a trip on 3 weeks’ notice for — many people it’s like okay, I got to get the time off work and we can go to Mexico 6 months or 12 months from now. Whereas for me, I could be very spontaneous or just if I don’t feel like working today I don’t feel that great I can go do something else.
So it’s not just amount of hours work in a day it’s the amount of time flexibility that you have, what you haven’t filled up your calendar like crazy and yeah that absolutely creates the time of freedom.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, did it take you a while when you started getting to the point where you could, you have the flexibility in your schedule, did it take you awhile to allow yourself to take that time?
Matt Inglot: Oh, hugely. I mean it’s still an ongoing issue today. It’s very difficult to not feel guilty when it’s like 1 p.m. in the afternoon and you already accomplished the one big task you wanted to do that day and that is where, I mean I have other things that keeps me busy now like freelancetransformation [inaudible 00:28:20] probably gonna make some money but right now it’s a free podcast, free resources. I have invested a ton of money into it, I mean, you know that is something that is generating an immediate return on investment, but I’m able to do it because of the time freedom or I have other hobbies like woodworking. I spend a lot of time in the wood shop.
So it’s not just about having the free time, but I think having clear purpose of what to replace it with because otherwise you’re like [inaudible 00:28:53] okay, what now?
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, and you are always trying to look to like fill that point.
Matt Inglot: [inaudible 00:29:01] track your emails if [inaudible 00:29:03] or you will give yourself a task that frankly don’t need to be done just to fill the time.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, just stand up and get the hell off the computer. It’s funny I actually, I kind of get lucky — kind of bad way but last summer, my dad past away last November, last summer — aggressive cancer so we kind of knew that last summer, the summer of 2014 was gonna be our last summer to play golf together because that was one of the things of me and him always did, we play golf together and that kind of thing.
So I kind of fell into that, you know what I mean, like — I have always struggled too, you know finished a project and it’s — like you said 1 o’clock and you know that there is nothing else like on your to do list but you kind of just try to fill that void and so I actually, was almost forced into taking days off without feeling guilty like — If that happened to me I just call my dad and say, let’s do golfing. Thankfully, it stuck with me, since then I am able to do that, I will be done by — and not that your — I mean my to-do-list is always huge but sometimes I do a to-do-list for every week and I have everything list on just say there is 10 things.
If I finished it, you know Friday morning or something, I will take Friday off and the weekend off because you know it’s done and you don’t have to do that everybody [inaudible 00:30:47] such a rush versus just, you know enjoying that you have a really productive week and you probably did a lot more than everybody else and that’s the reason I feel like you should kind of reward yourself for that instead of feeling guilty about it.
Take a day off it’s not gonna — it’s gonna do nothing but help.
Matt Inglot: Absolutely, and the thing is you touch on something very [inaudible 00:31:09] unfortunately sometimes life just gives us a kick in the ass and forces us to rethink our priorities so I’m very sorry that your dad passed away and obviously that kind of forced you to rethink your priorities and make time for those golfing sessions but obviously, we don’t wanna wait for the bad stuff to happen in order to force us to change our ways.
So one thing that worked really well for me as part of this process of transitioning away from workaholic to someone with a life was to take a longer trip.
So I went to Poland then Ukraine for 2 months and that really forced me to reevaluate my entire business because I actually took that time off. I check email once every 2 weeks. I put my brother in charge basically forced everything to become a process, forced myself to not be involved in everything and that was absolutely transformational, one because you know, I haven’t had 2 months off since I was a little kid in summer vacation and two it really forced me to reevaluate how my entire business [inaudible 00:32:20] and I think there is something special about travel there because if you decide to take kind of so called staycation, you’re there, you’re available online it’s very easy to get fall back into work.
When you’re travelling especially with a giant time zone difference where internet connection is not always even an option to you, it actually forces you to do things right rather than half-assed.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, yeah. It’s very, very true. Do you have any kids or wife or anything like that?
Matt Inglot: I have a wife. No kids yet but we do have 2 cats that we basically [inaudible 00:32:56] yes in fact like right before we started recording this interview I had to turn out Netflix for my cat because he likes [inaudible 00:33:05] and stuff. That’s what keeps him from like bugging me during the podcaster.
Jeremy Reeves: That’s so funny. That’s funny. I do a lot of like this, you know, the staycations and all that and I have gotten good at that because that’s — I also have a wife and a 2 and a 4-year-old so that’s like it’s a lot of times it’s just — it’s less stressful, you know, than actually going on vacation. We went to Martha’s Vineyard, I forgot if it was this past summer or [inaudible 00:33:35] I think it was in 2014.
It was like halfway through and like, “Oh my God, I can’t wait to go home” because it’s like — it’s just you know — bundling them off and you take them to the beach or whatever, you come back and they are all sandy and they are screaming and — so I’m in that like of kind of bad zone right now or just, doing more of the staycations.
So, I like — at least, it’s hard when you are on here and most of the stuff — the way our office is set up or my office is — you go up in the first floor and then, there is all the typical stuff in the first floor and then our bedrooms are all in the second floor and our basement is all redone, we finished all that and my office is down here and next to my office is the kids play room and then next to my office on the other side, it’s kind of a big square.
On the other side is an entertainment room, so I have a treadmill in there. I have a playstation, a tv, a couch, all that kind of stuff and so a lot of times, if I watch movies I’m in there, if I go and play playstation I’m in there, if I read a lot of times I come down because there is an awesome recliner chair that I love down here, so I kind of just sit down here and read.
It’s hard like when you’re doing those staycations. I have to come through this room to get to the entertainment room where I’m gonna relax and it’s like — you kind of like, you walk in, you see the computer and you [inaudible 00:35:03] pause and like stare at it and then you’ll have to force yourself to keep going but it’s hard to really get away, you know what I mean, like you’re still kind of tethered to it.
Even if you are not checking email and stuff you see the laptop on the counter, you see the desktop in the office and you kind of just like — forms out like that quick little connection and then you started thinking about business again and all that kind of stuff.
I’m in the process now of learning doing more day trips and that kind of thing and just learning to travel with kids. It’s just something I’m not good at. I have a lot of friends, I have buddy who he has a little girl like, I mean they travel all over and they fly, they go to Mexico like all these different things and I’m like how do you do that, I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.
Matt Inglot: And some people are great at that, not being a parent I can’t really speak to them. One suggestion would be as an alternative to staycation at home, I mean travel does not have to be travel, travel it could be a renting a cottage for a week or two or a month.
Jeremy Reeves: That’s true, yeah just local.
Matt Inglot: I lived in Croatia, so [inaudible 00:36:13] this is kind of a bigger trip but I lived in Croatia for a month and we stay in one place and we just rock climb every morning. It was awesome.
So you don’t have to go all the way to Europe to do that. You can just, you know like I said, rent a cottage, move the family there for a month and just forcing yourself out of that regular environment is very, very life changing.
Jeremy Reeves: I might have to try that, that might go in one of my goals for next year, is to do like a month away from the house, that’s interesting, I like that idea.
Matt Inglot: [inaudible 00:36:46] I recommend it.
Jeremy Reeves: Nice. So going back to off the ramp. Is there anything like — how do you — what would you recommend with structuring your time, is there a certain kind of time structure or work, you know workflow or work structure that kind of thing that you do like is there you know certain routine to have everyday or certain like set of things that have to get done every week, month or day or whatever or any kind of systems that you have to keep you from kind of straying back to where you were before and keep you on track?
Matt Inglot: Yes, there is a few things that are sacred to me when we kind of [inaudible 00:37:27] earlier which is the idea of having one thing to do per day so just like you told your team to focus on either the upsell page or either the sales page but not like trying to deal everything at once.
So I normally have one thing that I am gonna do today that’s gonna move me forward and that takes top priority. So obviously, there is email, so there is gonna be fires that come up that you have to put out, meeting and stuff like that but none of those things count. You also make a time for doing exactly one thing has actually [inaudible 00:38:01] when we started making those to-do-list we all know it’s gonna get done just the one thing and make sure everyday has the time [inaudible 00:38:12] to actually accomplish it so part of it is taking control of your time.
For me the way I deal with is making sure that all my meetings get booked through a scheduling service so I used [inaudible 00:38:22] there is a bunch of good programs out there but basically the idea is that someone wants to meet with you, you send them a calendar link and they have to pick for one of the available times and it’s magic because when they see your calendar, they are not gonna come back and say, can you do it at this time when clearly you’re booked that time but the [inaudible 00:38:44] lets you set what time to make yourself available, how many meetings you have per day, all of that good stuff.
So you can very quickly boxed up your calendar to make sure that for example you don’t get tripped into a 9 a.m. meeting. I do not like those — I don’t like having 5 meetings in a day and this way it’s all automated [inaudible 00:39:07] so I never like let go of my willpower and let people walk because you know, like your clients says you know mornings work best for me so you try to be a people pleaser so you’re like locate your morning and be like okay I can do 9 a.m. or as you know, as soon as I am off that [inaudible 00:39:23] deeply regret it. Now it’s all automated that’s off the table.
So that way I have lots of time in my day that I know we are not gonna get filled up with meetings and other stuff and I know I am gonna have time for that one thing.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, yeah and I do the same thing. I have scheduled once and I think that [inaudible 00:39:43] really similar but you can do — I do 11, 11:30 and then from 1 to 3, that is like my daily kind of thing and then Fridays I don’t do anything after — I think 11 is the last one, because Friday is typically the day that if I’m gonna just take it off and not work that’s typically the day.
So I actually, I like to just keep it open, I mean, usually the average [inaudible 00:40:08] but if I just don’t feel like it you know, sometimes I just don’t.
Matt Inglot: [inaudible 00:40:16] tremendous freedom to that especially because the big secret is after around 11 a.m. no emails that [inaudible 00:40:23] inbox matter. Like they can wait until Monday because, you know, people don’t necessarily expect the response after that time [inaudible 00:40:31] but it’s, you know very understandable if you don’t respond until Monday.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, that is why I like that. I’m gonna have to kind of investigate that a little bit because just thinking about it it’s very true I never really had that insight before but I can kind of rearrange a couple of things just based on that. I’m gonna sit here and be thinking about it while we are talking. I really like that. I’m gonna have to look into that and kind of look and see when people are emailing but that is a big one for me actually.
So how do you do — is there anything — do you do certain things on certain days, like do you — for example like Mondays are dedicated to building systems and Tuesdays are dedicated to marketing or like, do you have anything like that, like how do you — how do you make your schedule? When you sit down, whatever day that you do schedule for the week, do you have any kind of like actual like structure of doing that, any kind of process or is it kind of just come up based on what’s going on in the business.
Matt Inglot: For me it’s very fluid and there is probably things I can improve there but one thing I do try to do is make an either a Tiltedpixel day or a freelancetransformation day. It is the same thing of our contact switching.
So for example with my podcast I have several Tuesdays and Thursdays available for recording podcast interviews and if you want to be a guest on my podcast I send you the appropriate scheduling link and those are the only times you will see and that way when I’m doing podcasting I am batching that, I am doing 3 episodes in a day let’s say and then I have my [inaudible 00:42:13] episodes versus letting people schedule episodes whenever because I don’t wanna be like halfway through writing a proposal for a client and suddenly I have to podcast, I mean it’s a completely different mindset for those things, so it goes back to batching to being clear about the type of task that you are working on each day and not trying to contact switch between them. I probably should do something like [inaudible 00:42:41] 80/20 review, it’s something I haven’t been diligent enough on, but you know, you just got me thinking about that, so [inaudible 00:42:49].
Jeremy Reeves: Nice, yeah and just to give you a little context on how I do it. I usually do — have you ever heard of strategic coach?
Matt Inglot: Yes.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, so I’m in that program and you know you have the free days in there like the days off essentially and then you have basically your other 2 days are buffer days and focus days so buffer days are the things like delegating and building systems and checking email, like dealing with clients and that kind of thing and then focus days are essentially anything that like brings — is gonna bring money into the company. So you can be doing marketing and doing sales calls or following up with existing clients and that kind of thing. So essentially something that’s going to, you know, like I said bring actual revenue in the short term like in the next 30 days into the business.
So with me, I typically do it sometimes it changes, it kind of depends. I’m still in the process, there is always testing and tweaking, but typically, a typical week for me is I do Monday, Wednesday, Friday are buffer days and then Tuesday and Thursday are focus days.
I have noticed that splitting it up like that — it’s a whole, what was the word that you — the contact switching? I like that. I like that phrase.
It’s that whole thing, so like Monday is, if I know that I have 3 new projects that we just started I will take, instead of doing like a little bit each day or you know if you started in the morning and then do another one later in the afternoon or whatever it’s — I batched it like that.
So it’s like okay project 1, here is everything, here is — we are setting up the whole thing get on calls with the employees, explain what it is, explain what we are going to do, you know that kind of thing and then batch it and that is all done and then Tuesday comes and then it’s like a whole new — you know [inaudible 00:44:45] marketing or maybe it’s getting [inaudible 00:44:46] strategizing the project, you know whatever it is, but it’s totally different and then Wednesday comes and you know, so I like to switch back and forth like that but it’s just a good way, it keeps you — since I have been doing that my productivity has just, I mean it’s gone through the absolute roof just because of that, you know the batching like that.
Matt Inglot: I think that’s huge and I wanna add something because I think that’s a very good system and I think what’s gonna happen is a lot of people especially [inaudible 00:45:13] running a service-based businesses are gonna listen to what you just said or what I just said and they’re gonna say, well that can’t possibly applied to me because I’m always running around and dealing with client issues basically on an hourly basis on a single day, and so to get to that point of being able to do something like what you just described is you also have to change your project management approach to be way more proactive because I felt, and this again from my own experience but also talking to a lot of people that [inaudible 00:45:45] agencies or freelancers of some kind and the problem is they always take this reactive project management approach where a client, a piece of client feedback will come back or a design will come back or there is something wrong with the client’s website and suddenly it dropped everything and you work [inaudible 00:46:03].
Jeremy Reeves: I have never done that.
Matt Inglot: Yeah, so you were always like — you’re the one playing catch up constantly whereas one of the big switches I trained myself to be and working with less clients help make that change is now I’m very proactive. I know [inaudible 00:46:21] single project is at and I already know when I expect stuff and I already know what I can expect to revisit that project. I do not like randomly dive into each project everyday to try [inaudible 00:46:34] project management, it makes no sense unless there is like a genuine emergency.
Genuine emergencies are few [inaudible 00:46:39].
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, they really are. You know what, a lot of it comes down to fear, you know. Fear that the client is gonna get mad, fear that this things gonna happen, that thing is gonna happen, and it really 99% of the “reasons” that we do things are not actual reasons, you know it kind of like that — I forgot what it is like 95% of everything that you fear in your life has never even happens and then there is like whatever 3% that it happens but it’s less than you know less than you thought it was gonna be and then like 2% that it actually happens, I boxed it but whatever that phrase is or that quote.
Yeah, I mean it’s the same thing with clients you know, I started the thing with my client on boarding process when clients come in, I’m starting to build more systems and really explain how it works with clients and they [inaudible 00:47:38] it makes you sound so much more professional.
When you say like okay Mondays we do this, Wednesdays we do this, I check email this time and this time, you know if we have to get on a phone, we schedule it this way or whatever. Clients do not care about that it’s like wow this person actually is legit you know they actually running it like a real business, not just like, you know, they are not like some fat slob sitting in their underwear and their parents basement, you know what I mean.
Matt Inglot: That is so huge [inaudible 00:48:09] because that’s what it comes down to — when you have a client that feels [inaudible 00:48:13] to you like they’re calling you all the time, they’re emailing you all the time. I mean very few people are actually genuinely bad or evil. The problem is usually with you, and the problem is you haven’t give in your client any direction on how you work, how they can expect the project to progress and therefore you know, they feel like they kind of have to take the [inaudible 00:48:36] if you haven’t done that whereas compared that to like a really good service provider [inaudible 00:48:41] like going to the dentist.
A great dentist will explain everything that is about to happen and then you kind of relax and know what is going on whereas a bad one just gonna start doing stuff to your teeth. You know which one you want to [inaudible 00:48:57]. If you are the one that is proactive and make the client feel like you are in charge and that they can just relax and go with the flow they are not gonna become the horror client.
Jeremy Reeves: Yep, yep. This is actually — I actually just had a client call may be an hour and a half before we got on the phone today and we went through, we are about mid project right now and I am taking — like I’m working the rest of this week and then like kind of the next 2 weeks I won’t really be here.
You know, last week I said, hey let’s [inaudible 00:49:29] real quick let me just give you an update on everything what to expect, what’s done, how we are doing with everything, you know what to expect from the rest and we just went through the project and it took [inaudible 00:49:42] but we are doing a bunch of strategy for the rest of the project, but normally it wouldn’t take that long but it was just — at the end of the call, it was — basically, there are 3 people on their team and at the end of the call, like everybody was so relieved, there is no more anxiety because for a client it’s very, you know you are paying people a lot of money. For these, I won’t say the number but it’s in the 5 figure so it’s like, it’s not a small amount of money and when you’re just handing it to somebody, you know it’s like, you send it and you’re like, Oh God — you know what’s gonna happen now.
So a lot of — from what I know, like a lot of freelancers don’t really think about that it’s just like, oh I’m getting the money so I’m happy, but they don’t really think about well how does my client feel that they just [inaudible 00:50:27] you know, are they — why are they nervous, what are they anxious about, what are they waiting on, if I’m not telling them this it’s gonna make them nervous or anxious or whatever it is and just doing that, just having that like kind of either beginning, mid or end or all 3 of them, you know, things like that like a quick phone call, it just — it relieves so much anxiety and make everything so much more smooth and that is something I just learned recently but it is amazing.
Matt Inglot: A 100% it’s not cool that they just kind of — you know get the contract and then disappear for a month, you could be working on the project diligently, client has no idea. So [inaudible 00:51:10] client followup strategy if you are just looking for a quick takeaway on how to implement this and everything you said is like 110% I agree with. One thing you can do is make sure that if you have an email of that client that [inaudible 00:51:25] email them.
[inaudible 00:51:27] progress report, it’s gonna take you 5 to 10 minutes to type up and it’s gonna do wonders for your relationship and every time you send a deliverable to a client always tell them what the next steps are like I’ve always like — if were in step 3 and I have just sent them the deliverables for step 3, I reiterate what steps 4, 5 and 6 are for them.
So they have always kind of know where they are on the project road map because you can’t expect the client to know or remember the stuff.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, you know, if you’re a client listening to this and I have several clients listening to this, you will be seeing that coming out because I love that idea. That’s brilliant, yeah.
For any freelancers out there by the way, you don’t rely on your memory. I actually have a thing when [inaudible 00:52:11] if you don’t talk them during the week, send like a weekly update. I actually have a recurring thing in my iCalendar that sends me an email every Friday at 2 o’clock and [inaudible 00:52:22] clients updates and then — you know, don’t rely on your own memory because we are all you know we are all kind of [inaudible 00:52:30] we are entrepreneurs, we have a lot of things going on and even if you don’t like it, I mean your human, you know were not AI robots.
Make sure you remind yourself and that’s one of the things I implement a couple months ago like kind of a weekly reminders like that and that’s you know, clients appreciate it, they really do.
Matt Inglot: And I did the same thing by the way like the calendar reminder key and again if you are thinking well, I don’t have time for that, that sounds nice, well yes you do have time for that because what’s gonna happen within the month and I promise you this, is you actually gonna find yourself on less phone calls with the client especially less and prompted phone calls, you’re gonna be fielding less questions from them because you’re gonna have taken bang the [inaudible 00:53:13] control in that relationship and that means the client is not gonna feel like they’re gonna contact you every day for an update.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, yeah and even — we have been talking about all the benefits from the freelancer, but well I mean, I guess this is too, but think about the experience that you are putting them through, and think about you know if anybody has ever hired somebody for any it doesn’t really matter it is.
You know, 95% of the time that you hire a service provider it’s that thing, it’s like you send the money and then the next time you hear from them the project is done. It’s not very — it’s not a good experience. Imagine, you know, you being that client and you’re getting updates, you’re getting told exactly what’s happening, exactly what’s going to happen and they’re just making you feel like, you know, number 1 you know that they’re actually thinking about you which is a big thing itself but [inaudible 00:54:06] you go through the process, everything comes out as expected and you know, this is all assuming that you actually do a good work which is, I mean, [inaudible 00:54:12] be assumed.
The whole process from the moment that they send you money the first time until the end of the project, they are like, wow I can’t, you know this is like — this is great, I don’t have to worry about this guy because he is gonna tell me what’s going on. He is gonna ask me questions that I would have, you know been having to ask him. He is gonna like kind of [inaudible 00:54:32] and then it gets to the end of the project and guess what’s gonna happen, you know number 1 guess — a lot of service providers they — or a lot of people hiring service providers they kind of like they both — they will test 3, 4, or 5 different service providers for whatever it is like — they get you to design their project or their website this time, the next time they get somebody else, next time they get somebody else. They are looking for somebody to stick with.
So guess what’s gonna happen, they’re gonna stick with you because they know they pay you money and everything else is taken care of. You know, everything, the whole process, you’re gonna make it beautiful for them, they are not gonna have to worry about you and when the project is done everything is gonna be, you know, exactly as expected because you’re staying in touch with them, you’re making sure that if you are sending like kind of a partial deliverables or whatever like, they’re getting look at it’s like it’s agreed upon, keep continuing or whatever the case is and then guess what’s gonna happen? They’re gonna tell their friends because they are so, you know, they love working with you so much.
So I mean there’re so many benefits to you know to this that is just — it’s amazing.
Matt Inglot: And you said it so well but I just wanna add to that. So a lot of people that especially when they start of freelancing or just kind of never transitioned to a higher level of thinking they’re very technically oriented and the crazy [inaudible 00:56:00] is you can do everything technically correct and so you do all the design stuff right or you do all the programming stuff right, you can be a complete wiz, you could knock out the project, give it to your client 2 months later and even though everything is technically correct, they could be pissed off as hell at you. That’s because they haven’t heard anything so even though their project is technically done and correct it was a nerve-racking risky experience to work with you and if you are that type of person they aren’t gonna work with you again and they’re definitely not gonna refer you to anyone else because getting the right project that’s [inaudible 00:56:38] I love that term.
Doing right [inaudible 00:56:42] it’s everything else surrounding how you work with the client, that’s actually what’s gonna make you stand out.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, yeah. I love that. And another thing to think about is I don’t know Matt if you are in a stocks at all but if you — say you buy, you buy a stock at $10 it only takes like you know in terms of like energy, it only has to drop 50% to go down to $5. So it’s easy to drop like that but then you have to go to get back to just neutral, you have to double it so [inaudible 00:57:12] to go up 100% and it’s the same thing with clients.
If you have that negative experience and they come down you have to essentially get double the momentum to get just back up to neutral, you know what I mean versus if you are doing all this stuff and they never go into that like kind of neutral zone, then it just whatever positivity — or whatever I’m sure [inaudible 00:57:34] better phrase than that, you know what I mean. That like it just keeps increasing and so having all this from the beginning makes that happen you know, if you pissed your client of one time it’s so hard coming back from that and I have got to do that a couple of times not even because of the copy.
In fact, this just actually happened fairly recently because I messed up on one of the stages and it took a lot of effort just to get back to neutral, now were back to everything and it took you know really good look at the copy that she look and she was like — when she saw that she was just blown away by and that kind of got it back but if it wasn’t like to the point where it was so good that it didn’t [inaudible 00:58:16] it’s hard and you’re not gonna get referral, you’re not gonna get you know repeat projects and stuff like that. I mean this stuff is so important and really is like — this is a big learning lesson for me this year really even in the second half of this year.
This is one of the big things that I’ve been changing in my business because even at the beginning of this year I was making most of the mistakes that we have been talking a lot it was mostly just you know okay you get hired for a project, you deliver the project and I’ve always pretty good at like keeping in touch but not doing a lot of stuff that we have been talking about with like you know, you were saying like I was being reactive versus what was the — how do you put that, reactive versus proactive, yeah.
I have note a huge, huge, huge difference just in the overall kind of satisfaction with clients so it’s a big deal.
Matt Inglot: Yeah, and probably revenue as well [inaudible 00:59:16] for everybody and by the way, most people will not tell you if they’re angry, they’re just gonna leave. So your story was actually an example of a good outcome usually what happens is they never say a word and they just leave.
So to contrast the 2 approaches I have a lot of clients where we did the [inaudible 00:59:35] especially early on where everything was technically correct but those clients never grew they never asked us for more services, we never did anything more together and they just kind of eventually fell off the face of the earth and you know once their website updated they went with someone else, they did not ask us to redesign it. Whereas I have clients and again this is [inaudible 00:59:55] for you where they started look like a $10 to $20,000 website and over their lifetime they have spent more than $100,000 with us in some cases more than $150,000 with us.
So try to wrap your mind around that how many $10,000 projects do you have to sell? How many clients do you have to manage to make up for screwing up one relationship that could have grown to $100,000.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, it’s kind of funny because — a lot of times you never know which clients are gonna be clients like that, you know, I can’t even tell you how many clients where it’s like, oh, yeah you know were getting like a small funnel done and then, you know, everything goes well and then they’re like, okay, we are doing another one but it’s gonna be five times the size, you know what I mean and you never really know. A lot of times you can guess, but I have a lot of surprises in my life or even I’ve had people where I did one good project for them and they all of the sudden it’s like, oh here is the referral, here is another one, here’s three more, and it’s like it’s just, I mean you never really, you know, you never know so you have to have this system in place that put everybody through the same process, it can’t be just like a random thing based on what client you like the best.
Matt Inglot: Absolutely, but hopefully you pick the clients that you like the best to begin or probably [inaudible 01:01:15] relationship 100% but you shouldn’t feel that just because someone wants to work with you that you should work [inaudible 01:01:24].
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, absolutely. Yes, we have gone through all kinds of different stuff today and they were a lot of takeaways even that I personally have missed.
So before we wrap up is there anything that you know if we got off the phone today and you went away and would there be anything that you were thinking in your head like, I wish I said that, you know, is there any kind of parting wisdom something that we didn’t cover or just even if we did cover, just one really big takeaway that is gonna transform somebody’s business.
Matt Inglot: Definitely. So if we want to put a bow on everything that we talked about whether it’s how to take time away from your business and kind of regain control of your calendar or whether were talking about regaining control of your clients or building these clients up for from $15k to $150k, behind all that and behind growing your business to the next level, the biggest changes for me have always been mindset.
So it hasn’t been oh now [inaudible 01:02:33] and now more productive or I use this you know one crazy trick that I learned [inaudible 01:02:40]that never happened.
Jeremy Reeves: You mean the crazy tricks don’t work? I’m shocked.
Matt Inglot: Yeah, but what really does work is mindset changes. So being open to changing the way you think about things. So for me, one of the big mindset changes was thinking about how I take on clients where I used to see myself as [inaudible 01:03:03]someone comes into the store, I got to try my hard to sell them something. Whereas now I look at every project tiltedpixel takes on as a business deal.
So I consider you know what is my potential profit off this thing? What are my risks? Am I gonna like working with this person? And that’s gonna inform whether I open up the table to actually may be striking a deal together. So instead of me begging the customer to buy something it’s much more of an equal relationship. The customer, you know, they are not subservient to me, they are not superior to me we are just 2 business people that are considering a business relationship together and we both have to feel that it’s the right fit and that’s entirely a mindset thing. There is no tools, there is no tricks, there is no proposal format that will change you. It is a mindset shift.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, I love that. That’s really good advice you know, I think a lot of people have the wrong mindset when it comes to the — the whole like client relationship. It’s not, like you said, you’re not superior, they’re not superior it’s just 2 people that need each other to move forward in their own businesses, that’s really all it is and you’re kind of there show them that you’re the best chance that they have on doing that. So, I love that.
Thank you for your time today, you know, for talking about everything and helping everybody even if they have — I mean there has been a lot of things that we’ve talked about especially with like structuring time and all that kind of stuff, even if you don’t have a service business, I have kind of both — all kinds of business owners listen to this, you know they’re freelancers, they are more of like agency owners, they are people that own physical products and information products and ecommerce source and all kind of stuff. So a lot of stuff is applicable for anybody but thanks for coming on and sharing your wisdom.
If there is anybody specifically freelancers or somebody who wants a website design, tell us about your 2 businesses and what type of person you are looking for to kind of interact with each of them.
Matt Inglot: Sure, absolutely. So freelancetransformation is again where freelancers can go if they want to learn how to level up their business and build an amazing lifestyle around. It’s a lot of what we’ve just been talking about today actually and what I could do for your [inaudible 01:05:29] is I will go ahead and make a bonus page just give me a few days to do this. It will be — let’s make it www.freelancetransformation.com/salesfunnelmastery and what I’m gonna do there is I’m gonna do a few things, I’m gonna link you to some articles [inaudible 01:05:46] that basically just go more in depth into what we just talked about, and I’m gonna go ahead and I will go one further, I will make a little checklist because we touched on something which is how can you predict whether a client is gonna be good client and you brought up a good point that there is no such thing as a 100% guarantee, but that said, I do have a checklist of exactly what it is that I do look for in a client when considering whether this is someone I even want to consider writing a proposal for and if you implement that checklist it’s gonna make a big difference in the types of clients that you take on.
So just visit www.freelancetransformation.com/salesfunnelmastery and all of that will be up by the time this episode comes out and the other thing is my agency, tiltedpixel and if you do want to check it out feel free, we specialized in converting visitors into customers particularly if you sell higher type of things like stuff that’s over $5000 per customer then there is a very good chance that we can help to level up your business there.
Jeremy Reeves: Nice. I love it yeah, and I would highly recommend everybody to go to one of those respective websites based on what you are doing. I can tell you that I’m actually gonna start following more of what you’re doing because I have learned a lot on this and if you are a client listening to this you should be happy that I’m gonna be starting to implement a lot of the stuff that we went over which benefits you. So that’s how it [inaudible 01:07:13].
And if you are listening and you are gonna be a future client then you’ll also know the same thing, but anyway, thanks for coming on, I really appreciate it and I will talk to you soon.
Matt Inglot: Jeremy, it has been a lot of fun.
Jeremy Reeves: Yeah, it has. Thanks.