There’s always something to howl about

Tag Teaming Off Of Jeff Brown: Rescue Time

Right now, there’s no real way to do business with me online.  This is not an accident–and I’ll get to the Jeff Brown section of the equation momentarily.  I’m redoing everything. We’ve not been marketing lately, because we’ve got to raise the standards of everything.

This won’t be interminable, we’ll be done with this at some point real soon.  Like this week.   I’ll be up on Tuesday or Wednesday (read Thursday or Friday) and this will certainly be the last ‘public iteration,’ that I ever go through.  I’ve got to end the “stay up all night and then roll the site back to how it was” school of doing things for myself.

A detail to peep at before it gets built into the shopping cart: what happens after people buy. This is one of many things that we’re rolling out, and it simply takes time. Making a sales channel that is tight, that makes and keeps promises and that is reasonably indifferent to the volume it handles.   I’m working back to front- from the customer experience in the first minute, day, 3 days 5 days.

Here’s the “thank you” page that most see the moment their credit card is processed.

There are a series of emails that go out in the first few days, and my illustrious customer service turk calls people within 2 business hours to restate the same stuff and welcome them to our team.  While I was waiting to get this done, I tore out my old shopping cart.  I am not sorry I did this because the project is moving faster.

Now: there is no way to do business with me but sales are not down.  Projects are getting done and delegated, my books are more or less kept (the bane of a small business for many reasons).   Revenue is coming in at the same clip it had been before.

Why?  Because I know what the hell I’m doing all the time.

As part of a fun & semiprivate project, a few of us wanted to get good at what we do for a living . I wanted to be more intense. We  joined forces to set good goals for the last part of the year, so we didn’t take the time between Halloween and St. Patty’s day off.   We wanted to know: what do we do?

So I got a service called “RescueTime.”  And it’s remarkable. 3 weeks on it, and I’m more productive–maybe by an order of magnitude.  It’s the “spouse in the room,” that Jeff wanted.  “26 Minutes?  Reading Klosterman?  You don’t even like him. (I don’t, I respect the talent, hate his subject matter)”

It spits reports like this: was a “news and opinion” reportthat I considered ‘distracting.’   You’ll see that Copyblogger is blue.  That’s not distracting.  Why?  Because Copyblogger commentors are the a top 10 source of business for me.  You can edit manually after the fact.

It gives me nagging warnings: “WTF were you doing between X&Y time.”

You can also “get focused,” and all of the sites below will be blocked. You won’t be able to check and see Sports.Yahoo.Com if you’re “focused.”

Screen shot 2010-08-29 at 12.07.54 PM.png

When Greg tells of 70+ hour workweeks, I don’t doubt it.  But I do think that he can shave 15 hours off this time easy, in 3-5 minute bites and chunks.   I know that I have, and I am doing what’s necessary.

The before and after is profound.   I have tracked revisions and “time in the system,” as a primary rubric.   Things that I’m doing are getting done way faster than at any point in my life.

This program is that “spouse in the room.”  Each night, Heather and I have a brief meeting the moment the kids go to bed.  (Recommended: plan the meal for tomorrow, plan the workout, go over money–has changed our marriage).   I share this with her willingly, because if she’s gonna defer her dream by watching munchkins, I gotta do what I gotta do so she doesn’t explode.

So, what I’m doing differently, is staying vertical.  I have a standup desk that’s made to call people. stand, headset on, and I use Skype.  I can contact about 22 people per 60 minutes. Most of them are from facebook.   I see if they need anything, and then follow up with those that do.   I’m averaging 45 minutes per day doing this, and I am increasing it by a bit each day. I hope to work myself up to 90 minutes.

The following is a quick youtube vid of an inelegant system I use:

Tomorrow’s monday.  Tomorrow, there will be 122 days left in the year.  Enough time, I would think, to do some serious damage if you hustle.


5 Comments so far

  1. Benjamin Ficker August 29th, 2010 3:28 pm

    It’s posts like these (and the stuff Jeff & Greg have been posting lately) that remind me why I love this site. I love the political side of the industry, but these last few days have shown why this blog is a leader in the industry. I love this stuff that is “back in the trenches” of doing real estate (or any business) the right way.

  2. Jeff Brown August 29th, 2010 3:57 pm

    Can’t tell ya the chills that last video gave me, and I ain’t talkin’ good chills either. Dad’s long gone now, but if he’d had that ‘chained to the desk’ idea we’d have all been cooked. 🙂

    The spouse in the room is pretty much a slam dunk, isn’t it? No BS prospecting. 🙂

    Great application, Chris. Ya gotta keep us in the loop.

  3. Wayne Long August 29th, 2010 5:22 pm

    I am constantly battling the time management/organization bear. Pretty cool tool!

  4. Brian Brady August 29th, 2010 9:02 pm

    “I can contact about 22 people per 60 minutes. Most of them are from facebook. I see if they need anything, and then follow up with those that do. ”

    That’s it. I’m sure the clock and RescueTime program helps but 45 minutes a day means 400 people each month. It’s simple but it ain’t easy.

  5. Teri Lussier August 30th, 2010 3:19 pm

    Spouse in the room is a great idea-

    So tag teaming off Jeff Brown and Chris, I started a Google calendar this morning, copied my spouse on it. It’s an Accountability Calendar. I keep track of my time by writing how I spent the passing hours. Hour by hour or task by task, either way, it’s all there in black and white for my most favorite person to read. Now we can clearly see how my time is spent and easily figure out how to spend it better.

    I’ve wanted a stand up desk since I saw a photo of Donald Rumsfeld’s. I’m inspired.