6 Figure Creative Icon

How To Spend Less Time Doing The Stuff You Hate | The Easy Ates Framework

Episode art
No matter how much you love doing what you do, there are always going to be things that you hate doing but still need to be done.
This is the life of a business owner, and one of the root causes of burnout.
What if I told you there was a way to spend less time doing the stuff you hate so you can spend more time doing what you love?
There is, and it's something called the “Easy Ates” framework. This episode will break down how to use this framework in your own business so you can avoid burnout, work less, and spend much more time enjoying your creative business.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Finding time to work on your business instead of in your business
  • How successful business owners use the same 24 hours you have
  • The best app to track your time KPIs
  • Eliminating the stressors in your business
  • Brian's 4-step framework for saving time
  • Systemizing your processes for more efficient business practices
  • Protecting yourself from outside factors
  • Procrastinating with perfectionism
  • Why not all hours are created equal

The “Easy Ates” Framework

  • Eliminate
    • Can you remove this from your business entirely?
  • Automate
    • Can you set up a system to do this for you?
  • Delegate
    • Can someone else do this for you?
  • Mitigate
    • How can we make this task less painful if we can't eliminate, automate, or delegate it?

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[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I'm your host Brian Hood. I'm here with my special recurring substitute host yet again, Mr. Mark Eckert. Hi mark. hi

Substitute teacher in the house was happening. Babies. How you doing

Hi. So if this is your first time listening to our podcast, by the way, our podcast is all about making more from your passions and creativity and hopefully doing it without selling your soul. And we focus specifically on getting more clients on making your business run smoother anything that you need to be to be a better . Entrepreneur.

And I'm kind of botching this intro, but you kinda get the gist of this. If you're a recurring person you've been listening to this podcast for a long time. Thank you for coming back. It means a lot to me and mark and anyone else who cares about this podcast, it means a lot to them as well. today's episode is going to be a treat.

But before we get into that, mark, how have you been my dude? Um,

talk. I don't like talking about my feelings.

No, you put on the world's noisiest jacket seconds before we started recording. So when you hear mark swishing around in the background, you'll know he's listening, he's wearing a north face jacket unsponsored, by the way.

Yeah, that's right. They don't pay me. I'm doing this for free. No, I dude, I got the AC on in [00:01:00] here, you know, I'm a little chilly. I think it's fine. I'm trying to protect myself. I'm you know, break it out in hives. It's so cold. like, we're like cranking the AC.

I don't even know why I should probably actually turn it down,

you're the only person I know that would just willingly crank their AC to the point where they're uncomfortably cold and just keep paying the bill every month. Cuz I, I don't know people to do that.

I like constantly being uncomfortable makes me work harder. Some of us are real entrepreneurs. Brow come.

Okay, whatever, man. Right now I've got, I literally have I gauge in my room right there. That's like a thermometer that I got off Amazon, like a little portable one it's 76.8 degrees in this room right now. Really hot. I do have a fan blowing me right now, but it's because I'm too cheap to run my AC nonstop like you because at six figure creative, I don't want you to just earn the money.

I want you to keep the money too.

I'm all about making five figures spending six. So God only made one. Perfect. He chose me, baby.

can I, can I, can I have a gripe really quick? Like, okay. So anyone who's ever run ads before people who comment on ads are the lowest of the low on the totem [00:02:00] pole on this earth. That's just universal truth. If you've ever run any sort of substantial money behind ads, you know, this mark, I know you've run ads.

So you know, this they're worse than uh, Reddit comments. They're worse than YouTube comments. They're worse than any other medium. and so one of the things that I get more than anything, when they see the name six figure creative or previously, when I was running ads into the, brand six figure home studio, the recurring joke was always, you know, how to have a six figure business.

Start with seven figures and then lose it for some other variation of that same stupid joke.

Which I, which I, which I love, cuz they didn't even like come up with that insult themselves. That's a Richard Branson quote on how to start a profitable airline is start with a billion dollars and then you can maybe make a couple million dollars. it shows how creative they are.


That or that, or he got it from his like degenerate uncle years before. And he just repurposed it into a more sophisticated billionaire

Yes. And by the way, if you guys out there have not read Richard Branson's [00:03:00] uh, book, losing my virginity. It's actually one of my favorite books ever

which time out if you don't know that he's the owner of like Virgin airlines and like the whole Virgin brand, then it makes no sense. So it's probably

well, now I,

people know that.

no, no, no. He has nothing to do with the Virgin empire. He just talked about losing his virginity losing my virginity by Richard brans. It's about losing his

Well, thankfully, we're not talking about mark Branson, losing a virginity on this podcast. Today's episode is something far more beneficial to our audience.

Today, we're gonna talk about kind of a theme. We actually continued on when mark was less on this podcast where we talked about the four best ways to become more valuable to your clients where we had takeaways from that book, a hundred million dollar offers and how it applies to freelancers wonderful episode, go back to episode two 13.

It's we talked about like all these different areas that you can increase, the value that you have in your business. How do you find time to do these things?

Because as freelancers, we're usually one man or one woman shows or single person. We have so much time in the day and we usually have other obligations pulling us away from that, like friends, family, hobbies, other interests. So we're not gonna be working on our [00:04:00] businesses. 24 7 sleep is another big part.

do we find time or make time to work on our business? so we wanted to do an episode today where we talk about how to find more time to work on your business instead of in your business. And I think it's first worth mentioning the difference between working in your business and working on your business. mark. Explain the difference between working on your business, and working in your business.

And then we can talk about how to find more time to work on your business.

If you have a business, it could be freelance. It could be a massive business, whatever there's people

that are making sure that everything is operating, making sure that your customers, your clients are taken care. And they're getting what they paid for, that's working in your business.

And then there's working on your business where you can kind of see everything from a uh, bird's eye view and you can kind of understand, Hey, where are we wasting time? Where are we wasting money? Are there any low hanging fruit we can take advantage of? What should we cut out? What should we add?

So it's more of a strategic role as, opposed to a tactical role.

if you listen to our past backlog of any episode, a lot of times you'll have these big aha moments or these big takeaways from some of the amazing guests we've had on the show, or some of the [00:05:00] rare, but occasional. Wisdom bombs that mark drops on his guest appearance as heroes, a substitute cohost.

when those times come you have those big takeaways as a listener, saying, aha, I need to do that in my business. Well going off and doing those things is called working on your business. That's the difference between working in working in is saying I'm in the studio, producing a band, or I'm in here creating a logo I'm in the studio taking photos, or I'm out on the field doing a shoot or whatever it is that you offer people.

It's doing that actual thing. That's working in your business and that's where most people stop. And that's the reason. Most people don't have enough clients. That's the reason most people have a really inefficient bad business that takes up way too much time. That's why so many people. Are listening to this podcast cuz they need to work on their business more.

So this is really a, a key question, like a cornerstone question of how do I find more time to work on my business? Because it's a huge part of having a successful business.

I'll throw this out there. If any of you have experienced this scenario and I guarantee a hundred percent of you have, then you really need to listen to this. If you've ever experienced the time where you were slammed with work, making a bunch of money, and then you [00:06:00] finished up all the work and then you had nothing next to do, and there were no clients coming in and you had a freak out moment.

You need to listen to this episode because this solves that very.

The Fe famine cycle is a common symptom of someone who has failed to work on their business and build out all the things that a real business needs. again, our whole backlog, 215 other episodes, there's amazing content in there on what are the things you need to work on in your business?

This episode is about how you find time to work on your business. We all have the same 24 hours in the day. Richard Ranson, the billionaire from the Virgin empire, who is probably not a Virgin himself.

He has 24 hours in a day. And yet he's a billionaire.

Six figure Virgin

six, oh God, no, no more. Jeff Bezos, another multi billionaire, a hundred billionaire plus whatever his net worth is. He has the same 24 hours a day that we do. And then the people that are maybe a couple steps above you, the people that are six figures or multiple six figures, or even seven figures, those people have the same 24 hours in a day.

So what's the difference between them? The only difference is they [00:07:00] made. Better use of the 24 hours than you do. and that's that's, it that's really summed up. So it's, we have to find the time. And again, just like when you're trying to go to the gym, no one has time to go to the gym. You make time to go to the gym.

No one has time to work on their business. You make time to work on your business. And this episode is about making time. Cuz again, you're not gonna find it. It's not like some loose change you've found in the bottom of a drawer. Like maybe that'll happen occasionally, but almost always, you have to make time for it.

And it is absolutely always worth making time to work on your business. And this is coming from someone who right now who. I was literally thinking today, man, I have not worked on my business in a bit. So this is an ongoing struggle for all

Yeah. and I'd say this past, eight or nine months or so I've only been focused on the business and not in the business and that has different implications. So, I mean, sometimes you're just gonna have different periods within your career where you need a course, correct. Sometimes you need to invest a lot of time into one or the other depending on what your goals.

obviously your business model comes into play as, as well. Cause if you listen to episode two 15, which was last week's episode we had cat Coco on and [00:08:00] her whole business is around licensing. So all of her income streams are, I wouldn't say passive, but they're semi passive. Meaning like she doesn't have to work in the business to make money.

She creates assets that get sold over and over and over again. And she makes money on a long term, But she has plenty of time to work on her business because of the way her income stream works.

People who are directly offering services, where if you are not working in the business, you're making no money. This is where it gets more difficult. And this is kind of who we're talking to over this episode, the people who, if you are the type of person where you are, working for a client offering a service.

For a predetermined amount of money. And if you don't do that, you're not making money. This is absolutely crucial that you find the time or you make the time to the first place to start here, mark, as we get into this episode is finding the best ways to start freeing up some time in your business. you have to make time.

You're not gonna find time. So we have to be intentional about this. be intentional about this, we have to. Look at our business in a specific way and find the hours to get them back in our lives. Cuz again, like I said, we all have the same 24 hours. if you're not making at least six figures, maybe multiple six figures.

If you're not a billionaire, basically you are probably not using all [00:09:00] 24 hours in the most efficient way to be a profitable business. Now we don't all need to be billionaires. I don't really have any aspirations to be a billionaire. I dunno about you mark. Maybe you do wanna be a billionaire,

Uh, dude, uh, have a dream, a little bigger. Okay. Brian

but millionaire, multimillionaire that's stuff that is all on the table. let's walk through some ways that we can find more time in our business so that we can use those hours to work on our business. Because again, the first we have. Get the extra hours back because those hours are being squandered somewhere and we have to find ways to get those hours back.

So then we can go work on our business and Fixx all those things that are broken. So first thing I, I tell people to do is there's this wonderful app that I use that I just introduced mark to.

I lost my mind when he went through this. Wait a second. Before you introduce this, I've always assumed that Brian is just the most measured person ever, that I know. I'm just like, wow. He's, he's just really got it together. He just knows everything about himself. And then he showed me this app and I'm like, oh, it's all automated.

He doesn't know that much. It's just telling him things. And so anyways, you should sign up for this. [00:10:00] I'm signing up for today. Anyways. Uh, take it away, Brian.

This is not sponsored. I should give them to sponsor us actually. This is not sponsored. There's no affiliate relationship. This is just an app I have literally been using since 2016 or 2015. I have like 5, 6, 7, almost eight years of data on this app now. And if you have privacy concerns in your life, this is not the app for you.

This is for people who care about convenience. And numbers and metrics tracking over any concerns for privacy. I don't know what they do with my data. I don't care, but the app is called rescue time. I've been getting all my, coaching students to sign up for this because I want them to be, tracking their time with this.

Just go to rescue. I think it's rescue time.com. Sign up for it again. No affiliate relationship, no sponsorship here. This is all just a wholehearted recommendation for me as someone that's been using this app for forever. this app lives on all my devices.

I have a gaming PC. Yes. I play video games. I still find time to do that. It's on both my laptops. I have a work laptop and a personal laptop, and it's on my desktop computer in here where I do the podcast. So I have it on four devices. You can also install it on mobile, which I don't.

Cause I, I don't really use my mobile [00:11:00] device that much. It's not a problem area for me, but it just sits there and automatically tracks my time used on. Every app, any browser tab, any specific program I'm using and not only that, it actually breaks it down. So like, if I'm using something like pro tools for my audio, people here, it'll tell me what session I'm in, and how long I'm in that session.

So I can see how much my earnings per hour is for specific client or specific project, if you're in Photoshop or in Adobe. premier pro it'll do the same exact thing. If I'm an Evernote, which is my note taking app of choice. It'll tell me how long I'm in each note.

So it breaks it down very granularly, but it does it automatically. I don't have to manually do. What's called a time study where I'm manually writing down how long I spent today doing this specific thing, how much I spent today doing this specific thing for anyone who's ever done a time study or even knows what those are.

They are excruciating to try to do. Rescue time is basically an automated time study. It's wonderful. free to use. I don't know what the limitations are on the free version. I have the premium version, which I think is I have to look it up. It's like 50 bucks a year or something it's like really small.

But the other reason I like it is [00:12:00] because it gives you something called a productivity score or productivity pulse. I have my own KPI for that. Mine is a 75 during work hours. So you can actually section out work hours and non-work hours. And during my work hours, Which you can set your own custom work hours.

If you don't work Fridays, you can take those out, whatever, but I I've said it to where during work hours, I want a 70. higher productivity pulse. And I was showing you mark for the last three months. I am right on KPI for that. So every day, my, my goal is 75. Sometimes I'm off a little bit here and there and I try to make it up for it every week.

I want it to be 75. And if I'm below that, I know I'm not being very productive with my time. I'm on YouTube for too long, which is my poison, or I'm on Reddit for too long, which is another one of my poisons. So it's been wonderful for just automatically tracking that stuff. So for this is the first step.

It's just knowing where your hours are. And I, I kind of equate it to somebody who is trying to save money or invest money. If you don't budget your money, you. Any idea where your money is coming from and going, there's no way to save money. It's the same with if you're trying to lose weight if you're not tracking calories and, and tracking your weight, it's really hard to lose weight without knowing what the numbers are.

So think about it as like calorie counting or budgeting, but in an automatic [00:13:00] way so Just to clarify KPI. Yeah. Key performance indicator, very important thing. And I just use 'em as benchmarks. Like if I'm trying to hit a certain goal, like a certain weight, my KPI weight might be 180 pounds. If I'm above that, I gotta lose weight. If I'm below that, I can maybe eat a little more.

So think about it as like a benchmark that you can use make adjustments to your trajectory in life. So, all That's the first thing. Install, rescue. You don't have to really worry about setting it up. You don't have to worry about doing anything, just install it on all your devices and then just move on with your life for a while.

You can come back to it. It'll send you reports automatically every week or month or whatever, like you can play around with if you're the nerdy type, but for now, just ignore it and come back to it later. We're just using it to start getting the data in there. Cause I can literally go back to 2017, July, 2017 and see, what was I doing that month?

August, 2017. What was I doing that month? How productive was I? What apps where I in? Where was I wasting my time? But it's really most valuable, like where I'm at now compared to before. Cause I always wanna be improving. We've got a list of things that we want to go over here of like certain tasks or certain things where you might be wasting time or certain things for you to identify in [00:14:00] your business that are worth running through a specific framework that we have for you today. The framework is a thing that I've. been using for a while.

I introduced you to you today, mark, and you liked it. Hopefully our audience likes this framework, but before I talk you about the framework, I wanna just identify some things to run through this framework for saving time. So the first thing, and this is actually mark, you came up with a lot of this outline today, which is great, is coming up with a list of things that just give you anxiety or annoy you.

And I feel like. Doesn't matter what business you're in, that can be a long list for you mark, like, are there specific things that right. This second that you can think of that are giving you anxiety in your business that you have to do every day or all the time that you don't wanna do?

Or have you already gotten this shit off your plate?

I've gotten the majority off my plate. as far as like repetitive tasks, I don't really have to do anything anymore, which is great. But there's like a few things I'm working with a lot big companies. For those of you, you don't know, I run that pitch.com. We license music.

If you're a producer artist, we help you license your music. So I'm working with like these big companies that need a bunch of music and it's negotiations [00:15:00] back and forth. At its core. It's no different than when I was just producing full time, working with artists, one on one.

But the stakes are a lot bigger. A lot of times they need approval from a lot more people. I'm not just talking to one person. Sometimes I'm talking to a whole executive team of people. So that can be really stressful for me. I'd say instead of like me getting really annoyed and stressed, I'm kind of just creating my own frameworks of how do I respond in certain situations.

So I don't

Let me, let me bring it, let me bring it down off the mountain, top of working with corporate clients that have a lot of moving parts and bring it down to something more relatable. So

one. I got one. when I was just producing artists as soon as they paid me I realized it was really difficult for us to begin working together. You know, I had to get files from them. I had to figure out like certain things that they wanted stylistically. instead of me communicating back and forth on email of all the things I need I just sent them a type form.

If you're not familiar, typeform.com, it's a great also not a sponsor of the show, but a great form that you can [00:16:00] use where you can kind of just say, Hey, here's all the things I need to begin working with you. that really saved all of the onboarding time for us to begin working on the record.

think that's actually a good place to go to for introducing this framework. So. First of all, let's go back to the task here, list out things that give you anxiety or annoy you when you're working in your business. So you were working with clients, you you were onboarding the client, you had to get a lot of things from them every time.

And it was like a lot of moving parts, a lot of missing things. You were kind of messing this up and it was annoying you and probably giving you anxiety.


let's, let's.

something was delivered not the right way, they sometimes would blame you for not great communication or something. So it was a way to actually make it their responsibility. Like I already did all my thing. , you know,

let's talk about this, cuz there's the framework I'll introduce here. And this framework is something that I call the easy eights, a E S the easy eights. And there's, it's four things in this framework that I run any sort of thing through when I'm trying to analyze how I can save time in my business.

And we're gonna use this example of onboarding your clients, cuz this was a mess for you. at a specific time in your life. The [00:17:00] easy eights are these four things eliminate automate. if you can follow these 4 things, preferably in that order, you can make your life easy and your business easy.

So that's the framework. let's use this specific example and then we'll run through a bunch of other areas for you to identify things in your business that you can then run through this framework. Cuz I think this is kind of the backbone of this entire thing when it comes to, finding more time to work on your business.

So you've got this thing in your business that is annoying. It is the client onboarding process. first is eliminate, can you eliminate this thing altogether? So you never have to do it again. Can you eliminate client onboarding? Yes or no?


you cannot eliminate client onboarding.

you could, I mean, you could just say show up.

I could, but they're not gonna pay me again.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So we can't eliminate it. So we, we can scratch that off, the list there. So now we're gonna go to automate, can this be automated? Can you set up a system that's built one time that handles it over and over and over and over again?


yes, that's what we did.

Cool. And so, and then it's done, right? So like you set the system up once, which was the type form for you. It got all the information you needed and here's the thing is [00:18:00] actually, that's only one part of the, the overall onboarding process, cuz there's multiple steps.

It's like getting all the stuff. And then what do you do with that before the session even starts for you? And Everyone's onboarding difference processes different. So there might be certain elements of the full process that you can completely automate, but then there's other parts that you can't.

So what do you do with those that moves on down the list here in the easy eights framework, and that is delegate. This is where we take things that can't be automated, which you've got all the files through type form. You've got all the information you need now, what do you do with it in order to start the project offer success?

can this be delegated the rest of the onboarding process? Yes.

for that, no, everything was automated. It was all good.

Really. So you didn't like when you got the files, you didn't have any prep work to do in the studio

Now built a well, this is like really advanced, but I uh, I paid someone on Upwork to build a script, to automatically load everything into Ableton.

Oh my God. Okay.

You know what, actually, that's a really good example, cuz sometimes things can be solved by technology in this way. You hire a developer to do this crazy. Custom stuff to automate this an extreme way. But for some people they don't either have the knowledge, the ability, the money or whatever.

So you

an intern or an assistant [00:19:00] or something and say, Hey, here's a Google docs of like, Hey, this is how I want it to show up. You can make a video on loom of you doing it, just film yourself doing it. And then you just send them the link and then they just do what you did in the video.

That's the easiest way to do it. Just document yourself doing it.

And that was what I did for years and years, when I was doing mixing work, I automated parts of it. Like I set up a form and a whole thing, just like you did to collect all the information and all the files I needed. But then there were certain steps that I couldn't automate. I might, I maybe could have set up a program do those things, but there was a lot of tedious, like naming files and organizing things and setting up the ways I want.

And so the next step after automate is delegate, that means. Putting a process together, step by step, making a full video and passing it off to another human being and have them do the steps. And it worked really, really well for the longest time. And I but then we get to the final step and that's something called mitigate, there will be some things we talk about throughout this episode that can be mitigated. And these are the things that you can't automate it. You can't necessarily delegate it. You can only mitigate the issue. And for those who don't know what mitigate means, cuz it's, somewhat of a [00:20:00] uncommon used word, I guess, but it wasn't eight and I wanted to add in here, we literally added on the easy eights today. it's just make it less severe, less serious or less painful.

and that's, I think a perfect definition of like, if you can't eliminate it, automate it or delegate it, how can we make it less painful to us? So that's the easy edge framework. Again, I'm gonna pull more things, give you guys more ideas about things you can put through this framework, but I just wanna introduce it before we go on the resident episode, because everything hinges on.

One of these easy eights, if not multiple ones uh, from this point forward. So that's the first list list out the things that give you anxiety or things that annoy you, and for some of you, that'll be a really long list and it'll be, the easiest and best place to start the sooner you get rid of those items, the sooner you're gonna be in a business that you actually enjoy.

and I think as creatives. One of the worst things about starting to monetize our passions is that as entrepreneurs, these things start to build up that we don't like to do. They annoy us, they give us anxiety and the sooner you can get these things off your plate, through the easy aids framework, the better off you're gonna be as a creative, because then you can go back to the stuff you love to do as a creative. and you're not gonna be [00:21:00] burned out emotionally and creatively. Which I think is the biggest pitfall for creatives when we start to monetize what we're doing. And I, I remember when I first started doing this, it it's a slack. Like can become a day job or worse than a day job. In some instances, if your list is too long of things that you just hate doing,

what I found early on in my freelance career was it was such a pain in the ass because I had to do so many things, because I didn't systemize the process of working with somebody. What ended up happen?

Is, I would often agree to how they wanted something done because if they were offering a framework to me and I didn't really have a, a dead set, this is how we're doing it. I would end up having to learn how they did stuff. And now I had to do all the work, but I also had to learn how they wanted it done.

I was exhausted all the time. So it's really good to have your own. Of how you do stuff, be willing to say no to a [00:22:00] degree. I think it saves a lot of time and a lot of energy

Kind of reminds me like when you're younger or if you're the type of person where you don't really know who you are yet and you're dating. And if you don't know who you are, you basically just assume the identity of whoever you're dating. especially if they're a stronger personality, kind of adapt to their personality because you don't have your own yet. it's the same in business where like, you don't have your own identity as a creative, as a freelancer, AKA your own processes. So you just have to adopt everyone else's processes and.

This is where the analogy of dating falls apart, because usually only date one. Maybe you cut a date around multiple people, but usually only one person at a time for most people that I know, usually in a freelance world, you're dating a bunch of people every year. And if everyone has different processes and you're just adapting yourself to those processes, miserable way to live.

So come up with your own

I'm gonna have to push back on you there, Brian, because I actually found dating was a lot easier to distinguish if I didn't like somebody or not, because uh, they weren't tied to paying my rent. So if , uh, , if I was experiencing something bad in [00:23:00] business, I'm like, it's not as if like, Hey, this girl I'm dating is gonna decide whether I eat this month.

You know,

Maybe, I don't know.

were you in,

I don't know what our audience is doing out there these days. You know, you, you move in before you get married. A lot of people these days, you

Megan. If you're listening to this, you are the best Brian's ever got. you don't know what he's been through.

It's true. It's true. let's move on here. So we've got the list of things that give you anxiety or, or annoy. I've add mark ER, to that list. Now let's talk about the next list to create as far as where we need to find some time in your business. And that is create a list of things that are easily repeatable, or sometimes not so easily repeatable things that are just repeatable, like recurring tasks in your business.

the reason I like this list is because sometimes this list can be. Things that were on that other list, things that annoy us things that gives anxiety. Sometimes it's as things that we actually like to do, but they're just doing them over and over and over and over again.

I know a lot of photographers our good friend uh, Daniel Cunningham uh,

episode 1 76. And we talked about how to use email marketing, to land corporate clients [00:24:00] as a photographer. Wonderful.

he's the best. And he edits all of his photos, but occasionally for some shoots where there's literally thousands of photos. He'll send it off overseas for somebody to do uh, the initial touchups to get everything kind of just up to base. And then he does the final stuff. So,

let's run through that through the framework. So he's a, photo editor or he is a photographer sometimes he'll do these big projects. And I know his specific case, he'll do like big shoots for corporate clients doing headshots for the entire employee base.

So he'll have like hundreds of head shots.

we've got this thing where there's tons of assets, tons of photos that need to be sorted through and processed. So let's run this to the easy age framework really quick. So the first is eliminate.

Can he eliminate the processing of these photos altogether? Probably not, cuz he, this is getting paid to do. Second is automating this. Is there a way to build a program or an automation out to automatically short or process these? Probably not.

I talked to him. He said they exist, but they're terrible. it's not up to quality that he needs.

So that leaves the third in this process of elimination, that's delegation Can you delegate this process to someone else? And that's where I think [00:25:00] is, a really underutilized area for most freelancers. especially for project by project basis is because you're not, you're not putting someone on your payroll in this case.

You're basically subcontracting workout to someone else for hopefully less than you're getting paid to do it. And that's a very common thing. I think most freelancing. They look at that. And they think if I'm paying someone less than what I'm getting paid, that's unethical, but every agency on earth offering services at large is doing this exact model agencies.

design agency will. Charge a hundred thousand dollars for logo and they'll pay a designer $10,000 to make it. And then their spread is the profit margin for the agency. And that's literally how agencies work. So don't feel like you're missing out. If you have to delegate certain steps of the process, not the entire thing, but certain steps to someone else.

That's a easily repeatable task based process.

and also like Don't ever come from a standpoint of it's unethical, I'm treating someone poorly because I have team members overseas that honestly live better than I do. The dollar just goes farther in their home country. And[00:26:00] it also is not about necessarily something being cheaper.

It's that at least my team members that do a lot of our administrative work, they are better than anybody. I would find. they love doing these specific roles and they're good at it. You know, they're just stoked about it. at least my, you know, my team,

admin stuff is really easy to run to this, to added this list. for me, of the things I eventually got off my list was managing my CRM, my customer relationship management system, because most of the work in there was simply.

Sending email templates out. here's an email template for this. Here's an email template for that. And anything that didn't have a template associated with it, my assistant would just assign to me and I would handle myself. And if it was something that I, I thought I could. create a template for which is kind of semi-automate.

And then my assistant would, I delegate it to them to handle that from then on. I wouldn't have to handle that specific question or thing ever again.

I just kind of wanted to break in really quick because we're talking about replacing, time constantly. But I remember early in my freelance career. When I started doing this, I had [00:27:00] friends that were like, well, why would you you could do that yourself. If I want to get it done, right, I'm gonna do it myself.

The reason why you're doing this is because not all hours are created equally and you should write that down. Not all hours are created equally. For instance, if I am working really, really hard on a very specific email that is like negotiating with a. That hour is going to really pay off, because that could be a really big paycheck.

If I spend all those hours organizing an Excel sheet to organize files that I have, what money is that making me? So the idea is that you want to figure out what are your high value hours and what are your low value hours the entire point of all of this is how can you. Not necessarily eliminate those low value hours, but how can you have somebody else or something else take care of that low value hours.

So you can replace that low value with sending another [00:28:00] email to a big company in my case. So you want to trade all your low value for your high value

this is a good point. So if you listen to yesterday or last week's episode, cat cot, again, she talked about how she earned upwards of $500,000 per hour. On certain tasks in her business. when that's the case, you wanna do more of those half, a million dollar, an hour tasks and less of the $10 an hour tasks.

But as freelancers, most of us are not gonna have half million dollar hour tasks, but we might have 50 or a hundred dollar or $200 an hour tasks. Where if we were only working on that all day, we'd be making 200 bucks an hour. But what inevitably happens is we have all of these. Five or $10 an hour tasks, especially if you're outsourcing to Philippines, which is kind of one of your choice areas I think to outsource for uh, VAs virtual assistance.

you can pay someone five, 10 bucks an hour to handle some pretty high level stuff. People with, pretty high level educations that are willing and able to work for five to 10 bucks an hour, because that's a lot in their home country, meaning they can have a very high level of living for a relatively low pay.

So geo arbitrage is what we call it. And you can eliminate those five to $10 hour tasks so that [00:29:00] you can work on more of the $200 an hour tasks as a freelancer. So I'm all about identifying these things, but it's not all about money because like sometimes again, like I said, we were talking about before, there's things that give you anxiety or annoy you are the first place I look because it's creatives, we have to protect ourselves creatively.

And if we're being bogged down by things that drain us, then it doesn't matter what our hourly earnings is some of these tasks. If we hate doing it, we hate doing it. we need to run those to the easy

Well, and

fast as.

you know, if you think about protecting yourself creatively, that's about optimizing your high value hours, if you think about it. for instance, you were talking earlier about people who, talk shit on a Facebook ad.

you have a. Thick skin. But I have a friend who literally texted me this morning about or ad he was running and it, ruined his week. Like he's really upset about it and he does good work. He's a great guy, but it just, it really upset him. And so now all of his hours this week, what is he getting done?

his hourly rate. If you really think about it has gone down because he's just not able to get so much done because he [00:30:00] has, he's got so much going through his brain.

there are levels of protection that we need to have in place to protect our creativity. And you say I have thick skin, but like after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of advertising in my lifetime, I don't look at ads anymore.

And I don't think anyone should be running ads to cold audiences ever. If you can't afford to pay someone to moderate your ads for you, I don't ever look at my ad comments. I stopped

told him.

I stopped that very early on. like if I'm upping my ads at some point for something I'm doing, I personally have someone that goes through and.

They have a, an SOP, a standard operating procedure for whether to delete something or just hide something or whether or not they need to reply to anything or whatever. Some people have legitimate concerns or questions or whatever. That's fine. And see people might have legitimate objections. That's fine.

But when people are being hateful, spiteful, toxic, whatever, especially stuff that can ruin your creativity. So we weren't identify this scene more because I think not that many people listening right now are running ads, but if you ever go down that. Or if there's something you're doing that opens you up to something that could ruin your day, week or month, find ways to, again, we can't [00:31:00] eliminate, we can automate or delegate, but it's really about mitigation.

How do we mitigate those things? So that doesn't hurt our creativity because again, as creatives, we have to ourselves from that sort of stuff. we've got a couple more things to identify. In your business so that you can have more time to work on your business.

And that is identifying distractions. I put this on the list because mark, as we were playing this episode, mark literally had his damn phone out, staring at it, trying to reply to something. And it made me think like, oh yeah, there are things in our lives that distract us. And I'm, I'm bad at this too.

Like, I'll be, I'll be working on my business. Sometimes even working in my business and then I'll have my phone right next to me and just pick it up and just check notifications habitually. If I don't put my phone somewhere across the room or whatever. if you struggle with being on your phone too much, can we eliminate your phone altogether? I think probably not for most people, literally meaning like eliminating it from your life. Not having it. Most people in a modern era, especially as freelancers, we can't go without our phone forever.

So we can't eliminate, we can't automate our phone. We can't delegate our phone to someone else. So now we get to ion that's the final step in this, framework. And that is how do we mitigate the harm that our phone or any of [00:32:00] these distractions that we have. are doing to us. And so for me, I learned that like on my, so if I'm working on the sofa about two cushions away, if I just stuff it between the, the cushions, I'm not tempted to check my phone and that's, the way I mitigate it.

Some people have to put it in another room. Some people have to do like turn their phone completely off. But mark, you probably are bad at this. So what do you do that you, you probably don't have any advice for your phone whatsoever, cuz this is

Oh, no, no. Well, it, it has been but for like over a year, I was actually I had screen time controls and then a limitation for a couple apps.

my wife Sheira, she actually set the password for it. But it would have a hard limit at an hour of total use for certain apps. So Facebook, Instagram, Reddit

yeah yeah Yeah So that's the next thing on this list is identifying distractions. So encourage you to sit down or just think about it. If you're on a walk right now or in your car or whatever, don't write this stuff down, but think about what are the. in your business that are distractions that are pulling you away from doing your biggest and best work or working on your business.

I'll just go to the next one. Cuz these are, kind of a form of distractions is identifying. [00:33:00] Things that turn into a procrastinator or a perfectionist. so my big thing is I am a perfectionist.

So sometimes I am using perfectionism to procrastinate or distract myself from actually putting stuff out into the world all these kind of blend together, but create a list of things that you're a perfectionist about or procrastinate about. Cuz I know every single creative there's something in our business that we're working on, that we are being way too anal about being perfect with.

And there's a fine line. Quality and perfection, actually, it's a, a massive gap between quality and perfection quality is what we strive for and that's all you need. And then there's like this massive chasm between how much work it takes to go from quality. Good enough to perfect. You could spend more time going from high quality to perfect than you spent going from zero to high quality.

It's like an order of magnitude more than just getting the job done. And there's certain things in our lives, in our business and whatever we're doing, we need to be good enough and we don't need to go above and beyond that good enough line. And honestly, the bar's probably lower than think. Most people wanna admit.

[00:34:00] I've heard Chris DOE talk about this. I'll over the game on the podcast from the future.com. He's like one of the biggest people in our space, as far as creatives and freelancers. And speaking to that world. Brilliant guy, but he just talks about that gap where he talks about the bar is, is here.

If you're watching me on YouTube, it's at a certain level, it's like, we'll call it shoulder high. The bar is here as creatives. We try to, strive for perfection, which is I'm now raising my hand above the frame and the shot here. It's like this massive gap that we're trying to strive for. And all of that past the point of good enough is wasted time.

This is just trying to be a perfectionist and sometimes being. Procrastinating by perfectionism, but it's waste of time. And so this is where we have to go to the, we can't, maybe we eliminate perfectionism, but really it's about mitigating for me. I, I dunno if I can ever eliminate being a perfectionist. I can't automate, I can't delegate this stuff.

I can only mitigate these sorts of issues in my life. And Mer, maybe I have a different thought, but trying to know when enough is enough and move on in a task or a, a project is probably one of my biggest struggles.

See, I think it's really funny because I [00:35:00] actually don't really struggle with perfectionism

Oh, he's perfect. Everybody.

He's he doesn't struggle with it.

No, but I definitely have like other fears that I have issues with.

Yeah. You're insecure.

I incredibly ins

you're only five foot, two.

I'm shouting down only five wide. Um, I actually lost a couple pounds. Thank you very much. No, my issue is not necessarily perfectionism. It's usually I need a lot of approval from people I look up to. So I'm very, very risk averse. Believe it or not. I think everybody takes risks in business, but I consider myself pretty risk averse as far as like being self-employed I've always been.

But the way I do that is not by getting really great at something and putting it out. I, I actually don't really care. Like even putting out records. I was the first one to say, it's done. It's good enough. It's fine. Everything that I. Have done for my production career, everything I've done for that pitch, it's [00:36:00] been, we're never gonna be a hundred percent perfect at anything because the music industry changes every three fucking years.

So like there's no way, even if we are perfect at something, it's gonna be terrible soon. So my whole thing is like, it's gotta be 80% at a couple different things and that's gonna be great for everybody. So anyways, what I do is I will often call people. I really look up to to a point where I do so much research that I know I'm making the right decision

That's called procrastination.

yeah. But it's not about being perfect. It's just like, am I making a right decision? I think it's slightly different, cuz I actually don't care if it's gonna operate at a hundred percent. I'm fine. If it operates at like 80%, I just kind of want approval from people I look up to and them telling me, yeah, this is like the right step forward.

you were telling me a quote before we started this. It was from the podcast rework or the book rework, and now they have a podcast going along with this, but the quote was sometimes simply making a decision is progress

Yeah, no. They said always making a decision is progress [00:37:00] because the idea is that if you don't make a decision, you're not moving anywhere. The delusion is that a decision. Is a permanent direction and it's not, decisions are very malleable. You can make a decision, move in a direction and then you can change it if you want to.

That's something that like I've struggled with, but I don't think it stems from perfectionism. I think it stems from literally like being risk averse. have you ever experienced that or,

I think this is a lie. You're telling yourself just like I, I tell myself that it's not good enough yet. So I can't put it out in the world. That's the lie. I tell myself to keep working on the damn thing until I feel like it's good enough.

and I overdo it. I think the lie you tell yourself is I just need to talk to a few more people to get their input.

So I know I'm making the right decision It's coming from a place of not having, not valuing your own, decision making.

you heard it here first. Everybody. Brian is still, my mentor tells me what I'm doing wrong. That was good advice. I like it. I'm gonna get a tattooed on my lower back.

I can give advice, but I also need it myself, cuz like there's things that I struggle with just as much as everyone else. and sometimes it's easier to spot other people's issues than it is your [00:38:00] own. Actually. It's almost always easier to spot other people's issues than your own. So I, I don't have my shit together anymore.

More than you do mark.

Bro. What are you talking about? You got rescue time brought to you by rescue time.

Yeah. Sponsored, not sponsored by rescue time. Actually. It was a sponsorship this whole time lied to you. No. my whole goal for people is to find a way to get like an extra five hours a week. If you honestly have five hours a week to work on your business, you can actually start to make some massive change in your business over time.

But it has to be consistently. It's just like in the gym, you only need about five hours a week in the gym to transform your body. But it has to be five days a week, three to five days a week, over years. And it can't just be 20 hours one week and then you're done.

Like it has to be, it's a marathon. It's not a

it compound.

It compounds over time. And the more you work on your business, the more you spot opportunities, the more you fix things, the more you improve, the more you can actually implement the things you learn from this podcast and from other sources, instead of the typical response that everyone does, which is man, that's really cool.

I wish I had time to do that. Oh, that's awesome. I wish I could do that, or I wish I, I could automate this. I wish I could build a mailing list. I don't have time. My [00:39:00] audience wouldn't want that. Like all these excuses you have in your business for not doing things, you know, will work really just comes down to time or you're lying to yourself in some other way. the other thing is you said something earlier, how not all hours are created equal. Something like that, that I thought was, a brilliant way to look at it because another thing I've looked at is sometimes. I'll have time to work on my business, but I put it off to my least productive hours. and so now I'm too brain dead at the end of the day or some other time during the week end of the week's predominant like, honestly the worst for me, I'm too brain dead to make any real progress. So sometimes it's about like shifting around those blocks of hours that you have throughout the week.

So even if you have five hours free that week, it's not all equal hours. Sometimes the, for me, it's earlier in the. Earlier in the week are my Mo productive times and hours. So I need to put the highest value tasks and priorities up front in the week. And then the things that I can do automatically in my sleep all day, every day, put those later in the week and later in the day, that's how I work everyone's differently, but I don't know how you are mark.

Well, no, I was just thinking to [00:40:00] myself, I think I am a perfectionist because I'm of like an email that I had to write this morning and I sent it off to a few people and I was like, Hey, is this correct? but no, I mean, dude, it was that email's worth over $15,000.

So like, I wanna make sure that like, I'm not fucking it up, you know? and there were like, yeah, sounds good, bro. Why'd you send it? Of course. It's fine. I'm like,

I'm the person. I actually don't ask opinions enough, I think, Instead, I just said in my own head and keep tweaking stuff. So it's probably worse in some other ways, but at the end of the day, everyone's, everyone's got their own demons to fight. Maybe we'll have another episode some other time on like that sort of stuff.

Cuz it's a completely different conversation than like just finding five hours a week to work on your business. hopefully everyone's got something to take away from this. if you created those lists, by the way, it's the list of things that annoy you or give you anxiety, things that are repeatable or that you repeat in your business all the time, specifically easily repeatable things that are distracting you in your business.

Things that you become a perfectionist or procrastinator when you do, if that doesn't give you enough to save five hours a week I would just encourage you honestly, just list out every step from a to [00:41:00] Z, from when the client first contacts you to where you send the final deliverable and then run every major task through the easy aids framework.

Honestly like you should be able to find five to 10 hours a week just from doing that. But again, easy aids framework. It is. if you can eliminate it, if you can't eliminate it, then find a way to automate it. If it can't be fully automated, delegate it. And if you can't do any of these things, then find a way to mitigate it.

So it's less severe of an issue in your life. that's all you need to get five to 10 hours a week back to work on your business in perpetuity. Anything else is wrap this up, mark.

I got nothing. You, you did great. Bri,

Mark's, energy's the lowest I've seen from him in a while. Cause you came straight from another podcast on Riverside

what are you talking about?


energy left. You got nothing left your brain dead sitting here, like your head slouched over. You no

I have bad posture. That has nothing to do with me talking earlier.

oh, anyways, I'm looking forward to seeing you man, by the way. Right. I'm gonna be in Charlotte Sunday. So we're gonna have brunch together and, and it's gonna be a wonderful.

Oh, yeah. Brunch, brunch, brunch. real

any good brunt spots?

Hell yeah. Eighth and sand's [00:42:00] awesome.

There's so many really good spots over here. It's so good.

Well, if anyone's in Charlotte, hit up mark for brunch recommendations it'll be well before this episode goes life. So I will have already been there and come home and

pre Bali.

That's right. That's like, I will be like a couple weeks away a week or two away from Bali by the time this episode goes alive.

So we're trying to batch these, get these out there so I can, take it a little easier while I'm traveling.

All right. Well, let's, wrap this episode up by everybody. Thanks for

Bye. I have no energy, goodbye,

Yeah. And by the way, any show notes this episode that you want, including the E Z's framework and anything else we mentioned in this episode, links wise links to rescue time and everything will be@sixfigurecreative.com slash 2 1 6.

That is the show notes link. Fourth, this episode. Goodbye.

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