This blog was not planned! 🤣
It was prompted by the fact that I am writing this blog on Jan. 2, 2021. We’ve just entered a new year…
Just a couple of days prior, on the 31st of December I wrote my last journal entry for the year. This is the 3rd year in a row that my final journal entry of the year just so happened to be on the very last page of that journal. It kind of freaks me out.
If you aren’t journaling daily, I highly encourage you to do so. It has helped me better understand my thoughts and I believe it will do the same for anyone who takes the nominal amount of time it takes to write a journal entry.
I Made A Goal For 2021
My goal for 2021 is to own a web agency by the end of the year.
You may be like, “But Ryan, don’t you already own a web agency? You seem to be the highest rated web agency in Cincinnati based on customer reviews.”
Technically, both of these statements are true. But, the fact of the matter is I do not own a web agency, I own a job. Yes. My ‘job’ is a registered LLC in the state of Kentucky and I am the sole member.
Planning Is Worthless Without Execution
I have a goal to own a web agency and the reason I do not is that I literally do 95-97% of the work my business performs myself. Hence, I own a job. You could say I work for myself, or I work for my clients. Either would be true. Now, I do have lots of pretty substantial passive income streams I’ve created over the years but that is neither here nor there.
I spent 10 hours or so on January 1st planning on how I was going to reach my goal. The reason it took so long is that I was executing my plan along the way.
Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than Yourself
My father retired during the summer of 2020. We had talked about him joining me and helping me ‘grow’ my business. Well, he wanted to take a break after retiring and he finally made it into my office the last week of 2020. He came down for 10 hours or so over a 2 day period. I gave him the rundown of what my company did and how we did it.
I also showed him financial information and he saw potential.
He immediately starting throwing ideas at me on how I could improve or what I need to get in place, etc. It was eye-opening, to say the least.
I haven’t had a boss since early March of 2011. I’ve been the head honcho, if you will, since then. I’ve only ‘owned businesses’ since early March of 2011.
Start With The End In Mind
For those that know a little bit about me, you know I quit my job back in 2011 to pursue my lawn care business full-time. I started cutting grass on my own in 2009 after getting off work where I cut grass and landscaped all day.
I owned a job when I went full-time in my lawn care business in 2011.
By 2017 I had finally made it over the hump and got myself out of the field. This means, finally in 2017 I actually owned a business. I didn’t have to at my place of business or drive the trucks or mowers or even answer the phone. I had employees that we’re handling all of that.
This where I want to get with my web agency this year. It took me from 2009 to 2017 to do it in the lawn care business. I want to do it in 4 years with Optimized.
Systems Will Set You Free
So…what exactly did I do for 10 hours yesterday?
I started with the end in mind. We need to deliver our client a professionally built website that looks great on all devices and appeals to search engines and website visitors alike. There is a lot of other things we also include so it is a little more complex than simply breaking down the website build itself.
Between the 10 hours yesterday and another 5 hours this morning, I have a great start to a system for doing what we do at Optimized. There is still a ton of work to do, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. A big piece of the puzzle for me to be able to train people is creating a template that is flexible enough to adapt to each client we work with and be unique while remaining consistent enough that after my training my employees can build site after site on their own.
Templates and Checklists Make Systems Better
The systems you create in your business are very important. They may be the most important thing about your business.
But, systems alone to little to no good. Training is obviously key. I’m not really getting into training and incentivizing employees in this article…
I do want to touch on templates and checklists. We build websites. Designing a website takes a lot of specialized knowledge. I needed to figure out how to remove the need for ‘website building knowledge/skills’ and allow anyone who can use a computer to build a website. This is where my template comes into play.
Do you see the power?!?!
Checklists are simply critical for quality control. Don’t ever think you are too good for checklists or that a task to too simple that it doesn’t need a checklist to verify it was completed properly.
What’s Your Goal In The New Year?
So, that’s my goal, what’s yours?
I’d love to know.