Hello empire builders! If you have been in the online space for any amount of time, I know you have heard of my good friend and fellow mastermind member, Amy Porterfield! Amy is definitely the queen of all things courses and webinars, but I wanted this interview to be different. I wanted you to get a glimpse of Amy's business that you may have never had a chance to see before. Let’s take a peek into Amy's business to see exactly what she is doing to prep for 2019 and how her and her team stay productive!
Some people plan out 5-10 years into the future and some people plan for the next 90 days. What kind of planner are you?
Amy: “I am a one year planner, that’s pretty much all I do. I have big dreams and big goals but I only look at the next year and more specifically the next 6 months. I know where I'm going for 2019. All the way until the end pretty much. But the first six months is what I've really dialed in.”
I love that because even if you do plan out the next year or the next five years, the next 90 days can majorly change where you're actually heading or what you're doing. I love that you've got that picture but then you're still looking at what does that actually look like. What would you say from this last year, looking back at 2018, what are some of your biggest accomplishments? What is something that you're just really proud of in your team or with what you've been doing?
Amy: “Oh I love this question! In 2016-2017 we pretty much have been doing the same thing. I have three online training programs. We launched them live and then we put them into evergreen and that's basically how I've been running my business. But this year I kind of got that itch like I've got to do something new, I want to breathe new life into the business and so this year we decided to actually expire two of my big programs and then recreate a new program that kind of brings two programs together into one.
When you listen to your audience and you really figure out where they're struggling and what they need which is what we all do, right. We spend that time to really understand. I figured out that my audience wants one program, like Amy teach me how to plan a launch, how to create the course and how to launch it with webinars. That's what they want. So I have been working this year on putting that together so we launch it in January of next year.
But anyone who's ever created a program knows it doesn't kind of work out that way. You're revamping, you’re doing the flow over, you're creating new content, so it's a big deal for us and I'm very excited and my team really feels like like they're on a mission now like we're doing this. This is what our next year is all about. So we have to do the work in 2018 to make it happen next year.”
Now looking back, you've been doing this for 10 years and you said you've got comfortable you started to do evergreen and then you just wanted to breathe new life into it. Going back would you have done what you did, would you go to that evergreen model and stay there? Did you need time off or do you wish you wouldn't have done that?
Amy: I’m one million percent glad that I did this. I learned a lot about myself and my business by taking my live launch experiences and putting them into Evergreen. I actually did a podcast about this where I shared the fact that we made a lot of money by putting these programs on Evergreen and I thought evergreen meant that I got to sip mai-tai’s on the beach all day! You know people talk about once you put your programs on Evergreen or whenever you automate something in your business you've got all this freedom.
Well with this it didn't really happen that way because we were constantly tracking it and tweaking it and changing things up. It felt like I was totally in it even though it was Evergreen. Now one more thing is that when I put everything on Evergreen I felt like I lost touch of my audience because live launching allows you to talk to your audience.
I didn't have any of that and so I lost touch with my audience very much so in 2016 moving into 2017 and so I got into business because I love working with people and I love to be in the trenches. So I needed a little of that. So I made a commitment after my full year 2016 was all Evergreen, I made a commitment that I would mix it up. So now my business is back to a little live launching, a little evergreen and that works well for me.
Now in 2019, it's going to be more live launching than anything because I have a brand new program. That means we have to build in rest and we have to build in self-care because live launching as you know, almost feels like you're on a hamster wheel. Yu could really lose yourself in the chaos of launching. We've got to build in those safeguards so we don't lose ourselves or go crazy in a live launching model.”
With live launching people don't realize that you are on your toes every minute. So running around like crazy and the whole team is so engaged and so involved and you feel bad because they're doing all this work but we really are a team. It doesn't feel like it's my business. It feels like it's our business and I think launches bring us closer together.
Amy: “We are super excited, we get together, I fly in some of my virtual team to be there during our webinars. We have tons of fun. So you're right. It really does bring a team together for sure.”
What are some of the key things that you're looking for when it comes to 2019? What are things that you and your team talk about? What are some other key metrics that you're looking at.
Amy: “So one of the things I tend to do is look at this year. So 2018 and think, OK what went right, what went wrong. I tend to do a little bit of a debrief with myself and I'm really clear about the things that we really nailed, we crushed it, we excelled. I'm very clear about our struggles. I think one of our struggles this year was figuring out that balance between live and evergreen. We didn't plan as well as we have in the years before. There were some things that I went through this year.
I got out of a partnership which kind of threw a wrench in figuring out when we're launching, when we're not launching and all that good stuff. So one thing we're gonna do is we are going to dial in all the launches and figure out when evergreen will start. I like to look at the calendar and know exactly where those live launches are going to be and then I like to get in there and plan my vacations. You've got to get him in there or they're never going to happen.
I will know in December if we're going to take a trip in 2019. We do all our planning either in October or November. This time it's going to be November. So we take two days, my integrator Chloe and I, we take two days and we plan out the entire year. Now there's always room for wiggle room but I will tell you I very rarely veer off track from what's on the calendar. That's why we take two days to think about it.
When you get down to the end of the year you're thinking I'm not hitting my revenue goals because I took something big off the calendar because I didn’t plan accordingly. I think one thing that we're gonna be really mindful of is our social media in 2019. It's always been an afterthought in my business. All these years I know the power of social. I know we need to dial it in but everything seems to be more important than social. I need to remember that the relationships are made through the Instagram post and the Insta-stories and the Facebook lives and taking time to write really good captions for your posts.
I'm going to start implementing a social Sunday, where Sunday night one hour I will sit down and plan out what I want to put on social throughout the week. We're not to a place that we want to hire somebody for it yet but I think I'll get there as long as I show up consistently on my own.“
Before I ever give something away I set it up and set the vision so that when somebody takes it over she has something to look at. I love that idea of you doing it first and really putting those stepping stones in place for them. If you want to really capitalize on January 1st and quarter 1 you can't do it on December 31st…
Amy: “I'm so glad you brought this up. I think anywhere from now until November 15th, you've got to start planning because you're exactly right. You get into December and you want to hit the ground running on January 1, you have no time to do it. I feel like the last week in December is a joke!
Christmas on to New Year's you're not really getting a lot done. If you can get that done in November and really get clear on what January 1 looks like or January 2, it makes a huge difference. I like waking up and feeling really good that things are in motion in the new year!”
Do you have non-negotiable in your business when it comes to so many things, speaking or podcasts. How do you set up the non-negotiable and what you're going to do?
Amy: “What's crazy is one thing that got away from me this year, I didn't have one person managing my calendar and so I didn't have V.A. for that we had some changes on the team and it just kind of that fell to the wayside. I literally just hired a V.A. to manage my calendar because it got crazy. That lends itself well to staying within my non-negotiables.
This year I embarked on a weight loss journey and I am on a mission to feel really good in my skin. And with that, that means three days a week. I have a virtual trainer who he's on Skype in Ohio and I am here in San Diego. So that is a non-negotiable. Three days a week, 7:30 am, I am in our man cave at our house, my husband's garage and I'm getting a workout in and that's been huge for me!
Also, I know this sounds silly but another non-negotiable because my health is everything. I can only do so much if I'm not healthy is I walk my dog two times a day now. My dog loves this but for me it's early morning clearing my head, evening after dinner clearing my head. My mental state or my mindset has been a huge shift for me this year. I realize that if I'm not managing my thoughts and my feelings I am really a mess in terms of my actions and results. Every day in my ear something that inspires me whether it be an audio book, a podcast by somebody else or anything that's just going to give me insight or inspiration. Sometimes, I don't want anything in my ear. Usually at nighttime if I've had a crazy day and I'm going on the walk alone I might just have total silence and it feels so good. Or when Hoby is home from the fire station which is like every other day I love when he comes on a walk with me and he used to not come. It's an extra bonus when our 16 year old comes on the walk with us. We feel very special. So I try to make it a family affair at nighttime if at all possible but it's a big non-negotiable.
I think the final thing is for me a non-negotiable is that I do not say yes to things that I am going to resent when they happen. A lot of the times I used to say yes to speaking gigs in other states and I get there and I'd be like why did I say yes to this? This is not my audience. This is not going to make the impact I want to make. I could be making a bigger impact at home. I get fearful of getting on the yes train too much because I am a people pleaser at heart.”
Get really crystal clear on your boundaries and stick to them because it's so hard to say yes to everything and I was a yes girl not that long ago especially growing my business in the beginning thinking I have to say yes to everything but a lot of times I was so over like just flooded with things on my calendar that I was getting so burned out and it just a good place at all.
Amy: “I've been there many times and unfortunately this is something I have to forgive myself about and just kind of move on. I'll kind of be on the sliding scale. Be really good at it and then life gets busy. A launch comes up, things tend to fall apart during launches and all of a sudden I'm on the yes train again. I got to reconnect. But I think a lot of entrepreneurship is allowing yourself to know that just cause you nailed it once doesn't mean you're going to be perfect that it moving forward completely.”
I want to ask you about a little bit about productivity too. So when you are so busy you're getting all of these things. We just talked about saying no, is there anything that you do that you feel like really helps enhance your productivity or just get so much done throughout the day?
Amy: “So two things. One, we use Asana. One of the productivity hacks we have is there is no action items anywhere but Asana. So I know I'm not searching for like what am I supposed to be doing? Who needs what? For me, if it's in Asana it's Bible. If it's not, it's not happening. So that means we also use Slack for communication and the productivity hack we have there is if it’s a quick question it can go in Slack. If it's an action item or you need clarity or you need something from me it cannot go in slack. So having these little rules of how you communicate on your team, become like the best productivity hacks you have because there's no confusion, everyone knows where everything is that they need to find. So that one is a big one for me.
And then I have this silly one that I keep a clean desktop on my computer. It does something to me like emotionally like I turn on my computer and I'm like I can breathe! When you have tons of folders and files on your desktop that is just chaos in your mind and basically in your physical space. It's like having a really dirty desk. Everything goes on Dropbox. I know these things kind of sound silly but a lot of people don't do them and they make a big difference for us. My whole team has to stick with it to all say OK everyone look at your desktop, is there anything on there that shouldn't be on there which is pretty much everything.”
Last question that I have, this past year you signed up for a mastermind, we’re in one together, I saw you recently did a girls day with Rachel Hollis and Jenna Kutcher. Amazing!! So how important has it been for you and maybe you have been doing this all along but this last year it seems like you've really been trying to be surrounded by like minded people. So what has being in that experience done for you?
Amy: “It's been life changing for me! So I join the mastermind that you and I are in together because I wanted to be around people that had better ideas than I had, newer ideas. You know like I said I had a well oiled machine that was working for me but I did the same thing over and over and over again and I thought I need to breathe new life into this business.
I want to be surrounded by people that are doing really cool things. So getting into that mastermind has opened my eyes. It has allowed me to see an easier way to do things, going bigger, it's pushed me to play a bigger game. I love the idea that I always have somebody that I can turn to. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly lonely at times and so if I have a group of 20 people that I know if I called anybody in that mastermind they would be willing to help as I would be to them. That to me just gave me that sense of security like I'm not alone in this.
That was huge for me going on this girl's trip. That was like a whole other level because I don't have a lot of girlfriends. When you're an entrepreneur you only have so much time in the day. Your friendships are so easy to kind of fall to the wayside and when you have those true blue friends they understand but not a lot of my girlfriends understand what that is like if they're not in this world.
Going on this trip with Jenna and Rachel we got to talk life and marriage and babies and business and we cried and we laughed. These girls got me like you and I would be if we were together on a girls trip you would understand all of those and you have to surround yourself with people you don't have to make any apology for what your life looks like and that's the experience I got from that.”
I think sometimes it's not that our friends don't support us or our family doesn't support us, they just don't get it. It's hard to explain something to somebody because remember when you've got an online space at first everything was foreign to you. You had no idea what to do or how this works and that's kind of what we put our family and friends through when we bring up certain things.
I can't even imagine not surrounding myself with people like you like the people in our mastermind so that's something that if you're listening and you don't have that yet you really really need to find it. I just think it's business and life changing.
If you are wanting more of this conversation be sure to listen to the podcast episode with Amy. I asked her a few bonus questions from my audience! Don’t miss out on those! If you want to connect more with Amy you can find her on Instagram @amyporterfield and be sure to share any big takeaways with me @stacytuschl.