In episode #12, Wilco talks about how to get sane during a busy period in your business. You might be able to relate to such a busy period, right?
Listen as Wilco provides you with great advice on how do you make sure you're not stressed out, at least to a minimum degree, while getting all your stuff done.
Hey, hey, everyone. I hope you're all doing great and I also hope that you got to enjoy Christmas over the last couple days. Right now it's just a few days after Christmas, right before New Year's, and I'm sitting at my desk and I am super, super stressed out, actually. It's an incredibly busy time at the business right now and sometimes it just drives me crazy. I'll probably have to start at the beginning.
As you probably know, we run two software companies. One is AdViral and the other one is Connectio, which is a suite of various Facebook tools. Basically, tools for Facebook advertisers to make their ads more profitable and more efficient. In that arrange of tools we have actually multiple tools, right, so we have right now connect leads, connect audience, and connect with targets, and we are about to launch a new product, which is pretty exciting I think. I'm actually really excited about it. It's called CONNECTExplorer.
The down side is that whenever we launch a new product, there's so much work that goes into that. I mean, not just the product itself, but ... Well, also the product itself, actually. It's not just thinking about what it should do, it's not just designing it and the whole infrastructure and actually building it, like the actual development of it, but also things like testing and training the support team and creating training videos and all this good stuff. That's just the tool, right, and even outside of that there's so much stuff on the marketing side.
When we launch a product, we usually do it with a lot of affiliates. We invite affiliates or other people who in turn can then promote our tools to their customers and to their audience and they will get a percentage of the commission. There's so much work involved with that. Not just the sales pages and the sales videos and the email sequences and all that kind of stuff, but also things like running ads to get affiliates on board and talking with affiliates on one on one and deciding on the pricing structure and the funnel and all this. There's just a thousand and one things that need to happen.
Which is cool, right? It's good. That's part of our job and I like it. The thing is that whenever we launch a product, I'm not someone who's just going to work and see whenever it's done, blah blah blah. I want to move and I want to move fast. I want to take the best out of the year and I want to do as much as I can in order to move forward. For that reason, what we always do is we pick a date that we're going to launch it in advanced, usually like two months in advanced, and we say "All right, that's the date we are going to launch it. No exception. No excuses, that's the date. Unless someone dies, that is the date that we're going to launch it."
In this case, we picked January 4th. We picked the date roughly, I think two months ago. From that point on, we know that's when it's all happening. Usually that works out pretty well, right? Usually over the last couple of products that we launched everything ... Basically, ahead of time everything was fully done. The reason why I like to do that because I don't like to have stress in my life, right? I'm trying to avoid stress at all times.
In this case, we had some delays on the team, mainly on the marketing side, which means that everything was sort of pushed back. The result of that is that right now we have less than a week left and there's still various things that need to be happening on the marketing side, things like videos and finishing up the sales page and quite a bit of work all on the marketing side.
I'm confident that we will finish it, but in order to get it to be done it's just a super stressful time at this moment. For example, right now ...
Even on Christmas, we have two days of Christmas, right? We have first Christmas day and second Christmas day. That's just a thing here in the Netherlands. It's the way we do it. That's usually when we all go to families, just like you probably did. On the first Christmas day, we went to my wife's family and then on the second Christmas day we went to my own family. Usually we go there at eleven or so.
During the morning I worked, and then the moment I go back home I worked, which is not something you want to do on Christmas day. That's the way it is right now. On all the other days I usually work right now from like eight am to around twelve pm with not much breaks in between. That's just because I want to get stuff done right now. It's not always as fun.
Just so you know, these are not my typical working hours because that's obviously crazy, but what ends to happen needs to happen, right?
The thing is that I wanted to talk about today, how do you stay sane in a period like this? You might be able to relate to such a busy period, right? You maybe had some deadlines in the past as well where you just need to get so much stuff done, or maybe you even earlier on ... For example, when I look back at university or at high school, I remember when I had exams or tests that I was always super stressed out because there was so much to learn and to do or whatever. You might be able to relate to that where you're just so, so busy that you're just stressed out and you're just generally stress out.
Now, how do you fix that? How do you make sure you're not stressed out, at least to a minimum degree, while getting all your stuff done. There's a couple things that I do to stay as sane as I can, even in the busiest moments of the year. First thing I do is I always have a clear, detailed list so I know exactly what I need to do.
For example, when we do a product launch, we actually have a full template of all the steps, all of the tiny, tiny steps that we need to do. We know when we're going to launch a product from A to Z, these are all the things we need to do and we can just check it off of our list. All right, that's done. That's done. That's done. By knowing exactly what you need to do, once you have it on a list, once you've written it down, you can just forget about it basically. You can remove it from your head because you have it on the list and you know if you just follow that list you're going to finish everything, right? That's the first thing I highly recommend you to do. Write everything down that needs to happen.
I think one of the most important things for me, when I sometimes go crazy and I'm super stressed out and I'm not always as fun to be around with, I guess, what I do is I imagine the worst case scenario. What if everything goes South, and I mean everything. We're all trying so hard to have an impact in the world and to grow our business, but what's the worst case scenario? Even if the worst of the worst of the worst would happen, at the end of the day this is just, quote unquote, just a business. If everything fails, if a product launch doesn't go as planned, nobody's dying. Nobody's getting sick. It's not that bad.
People around me, especially over the recent period, I had multiple people in my environment who sadly passed away way too early. That just makes you realize ... That just puts things in perspective. It's good to try and achieve as much as you can, but never forget that whatever you're trying to do it's not as important. The people around you, your wives, your family, your husband, your parents, everyone around you. That's what really matters. If you are sometimes stressed out and you're just generally stressed out, just think of the things that are really, really important and that sort of makes you realize that the things that we sometimes seem to worry about are not even that important.
That's something that helps for me a lot, actually. I do that pretty much every day. Just make myself realize that it's not that important. The worst case scenario is still a pretty good deal if you look at it like that. Everyone's healthy and all of that.
Also, it's really important for me, at least ... Everyone is different, of course, but for me it's really important to take time off. Even though it's super busy and, like I said, I made long days right now, but I always go for a walk, for example. Just clearing my mind and not doing anything with work. The moment I start working nonstop, all the time, I just know the next day I'm going to be less productive. You're still human. Maybe you are a robot, I don't know, but for me I cannot be productive all the time. You need to have time off. Instead of having that at random whenever my body says, "Well, stop," I'd rather just plan it in and I schedule it in beforehand. Every couple of hours or whatever I go for a walk, take a little bit of time off, and that really helps me to stay sane as well.
While doing that, I usually also imagine that worst case scenario. "oh yeah, I'm trying my best, but don't forget this is just a business. It's not your life." That really helps me to stay sane as well.
With that also, obviously, and really important at least for me once again, everyone is different, is exercise. Personally I love to play squash. It's a kind of tennis kind of thing. It's really energetic, I love it. That just helps me to clear my mind and to just be able to focus the next day again. I usually do that in the evenings. It helps me to focus the next day again on the business. For me, that's really part of my routine as well.
One thing that really helps me stay sane as well, especially during such a busy period, is focus on your end goal. Right now, we're super busy for this launch, and I have my end goal. I know exactly what the end goal is going to be. With that, I also reward myself. For example, by the end of January my and my wife, we are actually going to Ecuador for a three week trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands. We're going to travel around because we just love to travel, we love to meet new people and love to explore new cultures and all that. We're going to Ecuador is South America for a couple weeks. That helps me now, as well. I'm like, "I'm just going to be super, super busy. That's fine because I know what the reward is going to be. In a couple weeks or in a month from now I'm going to fly off and I'm going to spend some quality time with my wife while traveling to an amazing country." That helps me a lot as well.
Altogether, let's go through the list. How do I actually stay sane even if it's super, super, super busy? First of all, have a clear list of what needs to be done so you know exactly what needs to be done. Also, keep in mind what the worst case scenario is because often you're worrying about things that are not really worth worrying about. Also, make sure to take time off, exercise, and also focus on your end goal. If possible, reward yourself after you've put some really hard work in. That sort of is the pain that you're going through.
That's how I do and also maybe I could even add another one which is record a podcast episode to talk about it, which I'm doing right now. Actually I'm recording this at the beginning of my day right before I dive into the action because I just wanted to get this off my chest. I actually feel that it's already helping, so that's good.
What I'm going to do now is I'm going to go for a walk, clear my mind a bit, and then I'm going to dive into the action. With that having said, I hope you have an amazing day and I also hope that you have an awesome New Years Eve and an awesome start of the next year. All right, that's it. I will catch you all in 2017.
"I want to take the best out of the year and I want to do as much as I can in order to move forward."
"I always have a clear, detailed list so I know exactly what I need to do."
"It's good to try and achieve as much as you can, but never forget that whatever you're trying to do it's not as important."
"The people around you, your wives, your family, your husband, your parents, everyone around you, that's what really matters."
" Focus on your end goal."