Manage Your Time Like A Pro!

What would need to happen for today to be a success? Do you know? In this interview expert/author Matt Sandrini reveals the secrets that the most effective entrepreneurs know. Following the formula for successful time management he lays out, will dramatically affect how you grow your business!

Josh Fonger: [00:00:00] Hi this is Josh Fonger and welcome to the working system podcast or help business owners move from only a job to owning a business mastering their systems so that they can simplify growth. And today I've got a special guest Matt Sandrini. Matt is a high performance business coach helping top entrepreneurs take control of their day and focus on the important to get results faster and reach the next level in life and business. He is the Amazon best selling author of, Investor Your Time sharing how a top performers and millionaires manage their 24 hours. Matt's journey started when working as a business consultant for international firm and started to question the value of his own time and actions after launching his first business. He started sharing his principles online reaching millions of views online and lives in London and travels and works remotely for three months of the year. Well Matt I'm very excited to talk with you today. Pick your brain. Now we have a lot of similar interests and probably lot of our clientele. So we're really be able to dive deep into performance so before we do. Tell us a bit more about this the story of transition from consultant to performance coach. And how do you get in this line of work.

Matt Sandrini: [00:01:08] Yeah absolutely. First of all it's going to be on the show. It's great to finally meet and have this chat and the way I started it is I start as a business consultant for a big international firm and at the time I kind of realized that I was well. My thinking is I'm going to have to stay in the office until I finish my work. So if I did great work to a really high standard and I optimize it and I make sure the life I work with everybody needs to feed me data I give information so that there's a resilience and I make sure that I preempt any any error and mistakes. I can finish idea and deliver to a really high standard. And then my day is done and I quickly realize actually that wasn't the case. And my manager wasn't it was really really happy with the standard of my work but not so much where and how long my day was. I kept shrinking because again I was I was optimizing my prices and even taking on more work at that point I was I OK this is I want to create a lot of value out of my time because I realized it was it was limited. So at that point it was okay you know what. And when I put all these or the tough lessons, I've learned into my first business I started my first business. My co-founder at the time and I found myself in a situation where most entrepreneurs especially in the first business found themselves which is I would work really really long days until silly o'clock at night not really knowing what I was working on wake up late or maybe early anytime really I would wake up and you know feeling having the feeling and I had a big day ahead not knowing what I was going to do, just this constant feeling, by Yeah I'm overwhelmed. I'm busy that's something I had to me. I didn't know what I was what a what actually had to do what my goals were. And so again for kind of a second time I felt that my time wasn't really worth anything. I was thinking like I'm working 16 hours even even longer days and I'm not getting the results that I want. There are not a clearly I didn't have to put in that much work as I was thinking about the math you know. And I was thinking if someone makes it let's say that they make 100 grand a year in the working nine to five that's eight hours if you want to make say a million so that's ten times there's no way you have to work 80 hours a day because you don't have that. So I was thinking well okay something is what we need to increase the value of my time. And at that point we did change a lot of the way I worked the systems I used how I know what I focused on. So trying to do everything focused on what would bring me the results that I wanted but also you know getting really care and what I actually wanted and then I just started working with other entrepreneurs and business owners to make sure that that that performance their clarity, their system and the way that works was we aligned with that goal. So having that clarity and executing on it and make sure that you run the day instead of the other way around having the day run you.

Josh Fonger: [00:03:59] So what does a entrepreneur or business owner or what what is some of the things that are common mistakes so you're not doing it for 24 hours a day. What are they usually not aware of that their making mistakes on?

Matt Sandrini: [00:04:12] Yeah well I'd say the main thing is we're always taught to work on the next thing. So that could be especially now that it's the age of information that could be an email coming in. It could be a reminder that it could just be looking at your to-do list. What's next. And the thing was that with eyes that you were to do this could be an infinite list. You don't know what's going to take you when you look at your inbox or you work for someone else you're reacting. So again you're not working on a straight line your actions are not aligned. And so I'd say that is a big mistake because you start your day and you lose control of a straightaway. Instead I like to say starts with the end in mind know what you want to accomplish in your project set some milestones but also with your day. That's a great question what will be you know one thing that would make this day a great and do that first instead of thinking what's the next task I can do. That's a trap that limits a lot of entrepreneurs.

Josh Fonger: [00:05:07] So they think of what's next what's next what's next. Then they burn their whole day instead of what's the one thing it would take to make the day successful, do that and then be satisfied. Is that what you're talking about?

Matt Sandrini: [00:05:18] Yeah absolutely. And at the same time instead of choosing you know when you start with the end of mine with a clear goal you can go like this is if I work this I know it's gonna it's gonna take me closer to my goal and then I can work on something else. Again it's on the same line it is getting even closer to my goal. But if it's just the next thing everything might get in a different direction. So instead of having a straight line choose the other quicker path to where you want to go you're just going in every direction it might even be backward.

Josh Fonger: [00:05:44] So how do you, think this is all true so how do you find alignment because there are so many different projects that entrepreneurs usually have in the back of their mind like they wanted to this new Web site I wanted this new product they had maybe 20 projects in their mind and they just touch each one of them and not really get anywhere how do they know. How do they decide to get on a straight line?

Matt Sandrini: [00:06:03] Well I would say you know there are two checks in that case. So the first one is, is it just a procrastinating way to not do what is scary. You know sometimes you work on one project. We get it to let's say from 1 to 10 we'll get to level 6 so maybe we'll get it kind of ready. A few people see a point it's sort of uncomfortable because maybe we haven't done it. It's the first time we get to the point like we have never got to the next level. Then we start getting some feedback and that's a little bit scary. And so the temptation is you know what, I'm going to start another projects. Get back to see what I'm comfortable with that brings down in many many times. And then bring that back to 5 6 again. So to see some feedback or maybe you know get in that loop get stuck about you know what. I started on the project. The first check is is this something that you actually wanna work on. Is this something better or you're just distracting yourself from doing what is scary what would actually take you to the next level right. And then there's I think that a lot of entrepreneurs have like maybe doesn't come easy to delegate and to let go of some tasks. And this is because we're taught that you know your time is worth zero. You know if you do it yourself you don't have to pay for it. But the reality is that especially if you have a business you can increase how much money you make every day. You can increase how many hours minutes you have every day. And at the same time you know if you try to learn everything that takes a lot of time away from it being able to execute on that be able to execute your vision. And also having that stamina and that resilience to push through those moments are a little bit difficult. And as an entrepreneur you have to be a leader even if you're a solo or not. You have to be leading in your vision and say you know what I'm going to anyway I'm going to show that this is possible. And if you if you spread yourself thin across all these little things and maybe try to learn a small thing, first you learn Some of this, not your strength really again you lose sight of the strength that you have. And so it's a it's a distraction. And so you know those are two big things. If you if you listen to do they said you get distracted quite easily you just ask yourself Is this the case. Am I procrastinating or maybe am I not. Am I not comfortable with delegating. And bear in mind that when you delegate you can generally move on you because you are leveraging someone else's time. If you're working with someone else say that you know you have your day and they add two hours to your day while that's one more time. But also you leverage their skills and the knowledge and you don't have to learn how how to do that. And I was I was speaking to an entrepreneur a few weeks ago. We were actually talking about bass and he was saying I went through like a strategy not to get new clients and kind of next level clients. Everything was clear. I just said I don't have time to execute on this. So we made a list of all the things he was working on and it turns out he was spending something like five to six hours a week on editing videos. He was using videos to get leads. Great but that was restrained. He was doing on his phone it was taking so long. And I said Why don't you let someone else do it as I know I mean I do it's free if I pay someone else gonna cost me some money. So if I walked in through it and it was okay how much does your business make? How much you wanted to make? And we will figure it out pays his hourly rate which is something like 10 time what it would cost him to pay an editor. So I said Okay if you pay an editor not only you only pay this much for like those 10 hours so you save money that way. We also have a lot of free time to work on your strengths maybe shoot more videos. That's important to you. Edited by someone else.

Josh Fonger: [00:09:25] Yeah I think that's it is very hard to delegate and you know just thinking through my own clients myself I think people have a limited mindset also. This is all the money I have. So I couldn't possibly pay someone to do this instead of saying when I have this time I'll be able generate more revenue more money. So I had to refine be easy. And so they do the calculation with the current revenue not with these 10 hours a week I'll be able to make more money. Therefore it'll be easier to papers to person that does those things happen at the same time so you have to have faith. In your ability to generate more revenue as you delegate and I think that's,.

Matt Sandrini: [00:10:03] Because the way you have to create the next level before you can rely on it. Right. And but when you say well I'm going to wait for the result and then when I work on what is going to get me the result but doesn't quite work that way and sometimes especially when I get to the next level in your business there's a cost to it which is you know working with other people but also sometimes you have to let go of what has worked so far may be clients that have gotten to this level but they're not good enough. Maybe they can't pay you enough for the next level and you have to let go. And it's really uncomfortable. But if you don't do it you will stay stuck you can't cling to Level B and they get to see him walk from A to B will not get you from B to C.

Josh Fonger: [00:10:41] So what is that. Because this is so that I've been trying to explore over the several clients is this is fear. So what is I mean there's really multiple fears. What are the fears the common fears people have? And are there kind of like techniques to break through those for entrepreneurs?

Matt Sandrini: [00:10:56] Yeah. So if there is something that is really uncomfortable I say let's let's keep video. So again this is this is different person. But he wanted to create videos and was like This is important for my new product. He actually bought two cameras because he thought I cut myself so you can buy cameras we didn't create any videos. But the thing is with that he was increasing the amount of complexity to actually creating producing the video. Instead of like shooting one and then send it to me. He was like No I need three cameras need to be perfect I need to know how to use them. I need someone to edit it. And so that complexity is actually a way to stay at a distance from what scares you right. You're like No it's not my fault. I just know to operate a camera. I just don't have the right editor. And so a way if you see something that that's something that you fear it could even be like you want to launch a new product and you see that every time you get to a certain point you don't get that right. The secret is take very small steps. So in the video example you sort of sending it. So putting it on YouTube send it to a couple of friends send it to someone you work with it said this your co-founder if you wanna to launch a new product and see that you stop every time. Again like maybe get 10 people involved at the beginning and say hey guys my work on this next three months. Can I update you once a week. And actually if I think about it you know when I started writing online I started my blog just over two years ago two years ago. timezillionaire dot com and I was terrified. I had all these scripts in my mind there was no telling me you ever got anything interesting to say. It's Googleable, it's there forever whos gonna be interesting? And you know it kind of I was stuck. So what I did is I asked 16 people that I knew and I said Hey would you like to be on my email list. And if so can I send you an e-mail. Two weeks and what would you like me to write about. And you know 60 people said yes and that was the start of my blog and then a couple of months later I was like maybe the last day a month later I was like this is fun. People are reading it. Some of them are sharing it. Some of them are replying you know I'm going to start writing on or a medium and from there then I started getting a lot of views and it was. OK I'll keep going but I would have never started if I'd gone from zero to public. So really taking those small steps and getting used to getting used to the fact that you know it's fine if you're if you're working on if it works amazing you're serving other people. If it doesn't work you can just tweak and learn by not doing it as a stock you know helping other people and not helping yourself as you can learn and you can share.

Josh Fonger: [00:13:22] Another thing, I think since you were you just there was the the community aspect you're doing it in a vacuum alone in your own office makes it much more difficult than involving others getting that group collaboration feedback. Accountability you know like when I ran a marathon I run a marathon by myself I mean there was like a lot people there with me and otherwise I would I've done it and there's no way.

Matt Sandrini: [00:13:46] It's counter-intuitive because you might think well I'm going to work on it I'm going to make it perfect and I'm going to show it to people but actually if you get feedback from from the start that's how you can make it even better and perfect is another trap to never being done with things because the thing is if you want to. You want to finish a task or create a project or launch a product. Want to make it perfect. Well you can only make you perfect for yourself because if you're serving more than one person. If your serving to two customers or two clients or they will be slightly different so their opinion of perfect will not be the same. So by making you perfect for one you're letting the other one down so you can't get a perfect, you have to go for, is this serving, is just helping and doing what I wanted to do. So greedy that is a way to not being stuck and getting that feedback early on is a way to make it useful and make it really savvy.

Josh Fonger: [00:14:35] The feedback loop is key. So let's talk about delegation because you hit on that a little bit. Are there any specific tips the tactical that you think really are core people you want to delegate better or more?

Matt Sandrini: [00:14:50] Yeah two concepts that come to mind. One for medium businesses that maybe have grown into a variable very organic way. One thing that I noticed is that there's no clear. There are no clear boundaries between internal teams so there might be say maybe five to 10 people maybe slightly more and you'll have three people to work when the marketing team and then 4 people with a work in operation. But two of them are the same. And you don't know who calls the shots and you don't like what the standards are. You don't know what the practices are and that's because everything was on one person one wanted two people. The founders of this thought and then when the company grew organically it was more like you do this task. You do this task but it was never lie. Take you from A to B and this is how you measure it. And so what happens at that point is that many. That's kind of a delegation of tasks but not of objective. So no one can make lights or the people in your team can't measure whether what they've done is good enough or not. They always need the founders or the directors feedback. And the problem with that is that the team is never it's never independent. And for the founder for the director. This is a nightmare because now it's like having 10 arms or one brain so you have to make all these decisions with so many people they still you. You have to call the shots and everything. And then what happens is that as a director as a founder as entrepreneur you can work on your strengths. You're constantly trying to work for your team and your team are constantly trying to please you because they don't know what to deliver on without you. And you kind of have to give them feedback all the time. So you know the detail is a mistake. The antidote to today is to be clear on what other teams are some teams within the company who calls the shots within the team and then that person can interface with the entrepreneur with the director but also is like OK this is a checklist of how we do things. This is success and failure. How we measure it so you know it without having to tell me and you know whether you interface with supply chain or you products you know what you are measured on a know how to measure yourself. So that's a that's a really important one on delegation. A second principle I really like is especially again if you work with the team is if you're the director the visionary the entrepreneur you can you should call the shots above the waterline. I'm not sure where I read this, I really like this concept that. So you can delegate what is above the waterline. So if you imagine a ship if you get a hole and it's above the waterline that's fine. You can keep navigation like but if a hole in the ship is is underneath the waterline it's going to sink. So everything that is vital in your company should be you know the the entrepreneur the founder the director should call the shots and if it's not vital if if a mistake is fine is going to change the direction of the company it can actually it can be mended. It can be can be adjusted at a team level and it's fine. Then you shouldn't be making those decisions you can let go and really keep that market that headspace that brainpower to make those decisions work on your strengths work on or is the company going what are we doing next. Being a leader instead of having two being led by every single decision that happens on, in the company.

Josh Fonger: [00:18:04] Very interesting. Yeah. When you're speaking about this you know avoiding the errors of the holes in the boat. I don't think it's maybe changed the business especially with digital businesses that things have changed so quickly. So even if you do make a mistake it can. It's digital. It's it's not like you. Yeah I made it. We changed it is. And so you don't worry about that mistake. Living on in some kind of manufacturing cast where it's cast in stone it's gonna be there. I mean mostly people aren't sending rocket ships to the moon so that you have the mistakes around is critical and they can be changed really quickly. So speed iteration is better than perfection the first time out because you can change that easily.

Matt Sandrini: [00:18:46] Yeah. Especially because if you spend so much time on planning and trying to avoid to avoid mistakes and error the problem is that then you have no time to make a mistake because you've used all that time planning. So you kind of just you can't. You are working on the assumption that things will go according to plan. It's rarely the case especially is the first time you do it. So really being able to be nimble if you're saying Be quick is so important and in a digital world it is absolutely feasible.

Josh Fonger: [00:19:14] Yeah I mean doing these alpha beta test just get it out there. So I have kind of been read through your bio a little bit here and you mentioned the traveling and working remotely kind of being on the go for three months a year. What what have you learned about that and also that people who follow this want to live the kind of lifestyle or are you guys doing right now. Anything you've learned about that?

Matt Sandrini: [00:19:38] Yeah. Well I would say you know when I started doing it two things one it was really good for my business. I believe that having a constraint or both on constraints in general is always a good thing. If you've got a limited amount of time a limited budget or in this case you know I had to not be in it in a physical space that was really good because he made me resourceful and I was I how can I get my business to the next level with it's constraints and I had to say. And that was really good. And then when I started doing a lot of people were asking me oh you know going to miss being in a stable place. First of all I always spend at least a month in one place when I travel. But also I don't have to choose. You know at the moment I'm back in the U.K. And you know I will travel again later in the year. So I have this I do lifestyle and many people just feel like I used to go nomad and I live my life yeah. But the globe or I just stay in one place. And right now again because we are digital we don't we have to do that. So you know whatever works for you. In that case it was we about questioning what I really wanted. Yeah. I really enjoyed it. So last year actually in twenty twenty eighteen I traveled for the six months which is. It was a great experience I spent a month in a different net different city in a different country. And I really enjoyed that because I've met a lot of a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of people. In every city. And it was just so good. I enjoyed being stable when I travel because it's if you stay for just a couple of days two or three days you're always kind of external and you bring with you the expectations of the place where you live away come from. And so there's always that comparison. Will you stay for a while. It's like that becomes your yardstick. And so you get more local which is a very different experience I definitely enjoy that.

Josh Fonger: [00:21:22] Where are the best places for fast internet?

Matt Sandrini: [00:21:25] I think when I say I always check on the Nomad dot io, or nomadlist dot io. And that's this we're going to look for like I want a place on the coast with fast internet and it's great. You can look at all or the what's important to you.

Josh Fonger: [00:21:40] I looking at some places last night maybe we should go to these islands and it's like the Internet is going fast enough. That's key. It's like more important than water for my business. So a couple other questions that I'll let you go. For entrepreneurs because you worked with the so many people than I do where the most common points were they hit a ceiling? Is there is there a common place where you see on pillars and ceilings and maybe how do they overcome? Because that's that's a lot of what you do is overcome. You know a celling they have hit. So what are the common ones?

Matt Sandrini: [00:22:13] I would say well a big one is. He's following the same the same actions that got you to this point. Like I said earlier we'll go from A to B when I get from B to C and so in one case is just trying to do everything trying to do everything yourself. And that's just not going to work because you compete with people that the delegates and the delegates the experts and so if you do everything yourself not only not only have to do you have to learn about it. And I see that as a big blocker. And then I would say like again doing the same things in a different way to do the same things as in having the same products working with the same customers those same clients having the same same channels of distributions and sales. And again what got you from you know from A to the point where we are now be what we engage the next level. So sometimes you have to change and you have to let go of what distributor that works or client that got you to this level just so you can choose and it's sometimes it's difficult because somehow we are taught that the client or the customer can choose you but you can't choose them. That's a lie. You can't do that. And actually so important to free up resources and also increase your standard because if you have to deliver to someone who is maybe he has a larger scale or maybe more demanding that will force you to grow because you will have to deliver at a different standard. So there'll be really really good and then I guess. Yeah I guess like it's like. So the first thing is I doing anything yourself in this case is deciding everything yourself and in a lot of studies on. On Decision fatigue and how we have a limited amount of willpower every day and every time we make a decision, a our will power and our bases to make rational decisions goes down and the more your business grows them and complexity grows the more you're gonna run into that. So if you can delegate that to. Well if you can eliminate as much as you can then automate using either habits or even using software and then you can delegate a lot of the stuff that you do every day. That's going to it's going to release a lot of headspace. And then again you can work on things that work and I say another look at that that comes to mind is trying to do everything and this is something that I get with a lot of clients that come to me for a first call and they just say Matt how can I do everything? And they just say you can't you know 24 hours any shouldn't any way. So it's really looking at what are the what are the things that are giving me disproportional results compared to everything else I do and very often you'll find that it's a minority it's a it's a small slice of the pie rather than the overall pie so you're going to look it up you can grow that get more results your business in your life and then what happens is again you find out that you increase your standards you get more results. By that I say well there's that small slice of the pie now it's even you know it gets even better results. Should focused on that and do it again. So it's kind of like a cyclical thing to like just look at what's working what's not working. So doing everything double down on what's working and able to do it again.

Josh Fonger: [00:25:19] Are there any new skills that entrepreneurs have to learn in order to do that. I know I read a lot of books and I want to talk to you about that in a second but this what I'm working with companies and we write org charts and right procedures and processes and guidelines. I talked to the owners and they tell me everything they're doing and then I say okay well this is great you're doing these things but. An owner an owner would be doing all these things. So who's doing all these things that list all things that an owner would be doing R&D, Joint ventures, doing product development, branding, marketing, and no one's doing those things. And then I'm like well who is doing the owner things and no one is. How do you get them to build those skills because they have these skills. Let's just say video editing or copywriting but there have the skills of what an owner does do you take them through certain books they should read or certain things they should learn they can be a better owner?

Matt Sandrini: [00:26:06] Yeah. So in that case I look at what is missing in a particular case and in my book make me come to mind straightaway like saying read I like to read and it would recommend that. But otherwise I just look for blind spots and then I say hey if you thought about this maybe you should do is that I think a great habbit that is so important for leaders is to step back have some time to reflect. And that may mean maybe that because when you're always busy and you're in the business you never realize you know we look at it from the from the outside and we say this is missing you're working on everything but this is missing when you're inside is so difficult. So if you can as a as a business owner if you can step back and really have some time well every week or every day to think about this is what works on OK this is missing and really even if there is something in your team that's not working. Think about how can I change it? How can I fix it? And I so important and I think that generally I would even go for a walk and thinking about a few questions and prompts is so important. If you have a business with you run a business we need to see those holes that you can see right now and we need to reflect on your own actions and even thinking ok something isn't working. How can I as a leader step in and change things. And sometimes it's just like being humble and say OK. I need to ask someone else. So maybe I need to read a book or need to work with someone and that works really well. But it's it's very difficult to do that if you're always focusing on on the tree, instead of looking at the forest.

Josh Fonger: [00:27:42] Yeah we like to say the content of outside and slightly elevated and I couldn't agree more. So I mean those are you listening to Matt, you know certainly Matt as an outside perspective but we that's why you get a coach a consultant you get a mentor and I've got several actually talk got one later today because I know I don't have good perspective on a lot of my business because I'm in it and it's just so important how those people you trust around you. Well let me let me wrap up with a few final questions. So first one is what is one thing you want to leave the audience with before we sign off on things we want to make sure they really get to really know? And then after that were can people find you going to get more resources and learn more about what you do?

Matt Sandrini: [00:28:21] Okay. So one thing that comes to mind to leave the audience where there's something I say is focus on your output don't focus on your input. Again we all like to be busy and kind of celebrate sometimes even like not sleeping enough is celebrated nowadays. And it's like oh I need to do more I need to do more. But really you should focus on the output not the input. Am I getting the results that I won because it doesn't matter if you work one hour half an hour or twenty four hours a day as long as you're getting the results you want. So you shift that focus and that works in business but it works in life as well. Because again our time is limited. If we can if we can really get as many results as we can in our time that's how we can accelerate time in a way compress it get the results. Yeah I would say you know I wrote my book in three months and when people say like oh how did you write for months to say well I. I just I looked at what I needed to do and then I set myself very short deadline because I think if I asked myself would you rather write a book in three years or three books in a year which one I would should and would choose. And you thought about writing three books it's about like being able to get more results with my time.

Josh Fonger: [00:29:30] I love that. Well that's something that I'll talk to you about off line about the book writing because it's on my list but the three year three year plan is not the one I'm going to do. There's no way.

Josh Fonger: [00:29:39] Say like if I'd given myself three years to write a book I would have procrastinated and started five and not finished even one at that point.

Josh Fonger: [00:29:47] So we're going to find you what. What's the website.

Matt Sandrini: [00:29:49] Yeah they can find you on timezillionaire dot com and they can they can look them articles get in touch for couching and they can also get a free chapter of my book, Invest Your Time at timezillionaire dot com forward slash WTS. That is timezillionaire dot com forward slash WTS. And I'm a social media Maxim Sandrini. We'll see you tell me what's the main takeaway from this from this chapter, what would be great.

Josh Fonger: [00:30:13] Awesome. Very good on that. I learned a lot. I like the idea of just focusing on output. And I'm gonna take some time today. Today's Friday to reflect on business and figure out where I can do it to really focus and that's that's very good wisdom. And thanks everybody for joining us today on the work the system podcast. I look forward to sharing another podcast with you next week. Helping you carry business with systems so you can work less and make more. Thanks everybody.

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