EFP 69: Cutting Down Bullshit Work And Building Up Business Resilience

Podcasts

Justin Cooke

November 7, 2013

Have you ever procrastinated for days (or weeks) on a project that would only take a few hours to complete?

Ever passed of BS work to a virtual assistant, employee, or Intern that might not need to be done at all?

Create More Productivity and Get Rid of the Bullshit

Joe and I sit down this week to discuss plenty of mistakes we’ve made regarding time management in our business. From procrastination to scaling bullshit work, we’ll lay out the particular roadblocks that have popped up for us regarding both personal and team time management and we’ll lay out our best strategies for overcoming those obstacles.

If you’ve ever struggled with time management, found yourself procrastinating, or have filled up your free time with “busy work”, this is an episode for you!

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Travel, Parties, and a new apprentice in town!
  • Entrepreneurs not valuing their time – big mistake
  • Parkinson’s Law and making good use of your time
  • The problem with scaling bullshit work and the inefficiency that comes with it
  • Using the skill transfer process within your business
  • Personal outsourcing leads to personal freedom

Mentions:

Quotables:

  • “The problem with passing on BS work is that you’re scaling inefficiency” – Justin – Click To Tweet!
  • “Team autonomy keeps you from being a central point of failure in your biz” – Joe – Click To Tweet!

So, what do you use to increase efficiency and cut out the BS work in your business? Let us know on Twitter leave us a message on SpeakPipe, or leave us a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!

 


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Speaker 1:                           Welcome to the Empire Flippers podcast. Are you sick and tired of gurus who have plenty of ideas, but are short on substance? Worried that e-book you bought for $17.95 won’t bring you the personal and financial freedom you long for? Hey, you’re not alone. Join thousands of others in their pursuit of niche profits … without the bullshit. Straight from your hosts, Justin and Joe, from Empire Flippers.

Justin Cooke:                     Welcome to episode 69 of the Empire Flippers podcast. I’m your host, Justin Cooke, and I’m here with my business partner extraordinaire, Joe “Hot Money” Magnotti. What’s going on, brother?

Joe Magnotti:                    What’s up, everybody?

Justin Cooke:                     We’ve got a great episode this week. We are going to be talking about cutting down the bullshit work and building up business resilience. We’re going to get into exactly what that bullshit work is, how to get rid of it, and how to build up your business and make it tough, strong, and resilient.

                                                Before we do that, though, let’s do some updates, news, and info. First thing we’ve got is we’ve got the young man, our apprentice, our master planner marketeer in town, Vincent. Really glad to have him here. He just got in from the U.S. on Sunday and he’s been here kind of getting his feet wet, getting things going. I don’t know, man, this guy’s kind of a dark cloud dude, though, man. What do you think?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. A lot of things happening to get in his way to come here.

Justin Cooke:                     Check this out. So, he finds out he gets the apprenticeship. After 27 people applied, he gets it. A couple of days later, right when we’re telling him, there’s a major news event in Davao. There was a bombing. Two bombings, actually, at two different movie theaters. So, he starts Googling Davao, his parents are Googling Davao. They’re like, “What kind of terrorist town are you going to here? What the hell is going on with this?”

                                                And then, listen to this. Friday, he gets to the airport, LAX, and guess what happens on Friday? It was a shooting. There’s some dude that goes in there and starts blowing away TSA agents at LAX. It’s ridiculous, dude. Then he gets to Davao. First day in Davao there’s an earthquake. I don’t know, man. Black cloud Vincent going on here, I don’t know what the deal is.

Joe Magnotti:                    Something. I don’t know. Somebody’s trying to get in his way of coming here.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. Seriously. We’re really happy to have him here. We got some exciting stuff planned. He’s going to be a great addition to the business.

                                                Next point I want to make is that we’re doing a lot of party and event planning, kind of the fun stuff. A couple of people are working on some of the party planning and events. We’re doing a Christmas party, we’ve got an island hopping trip coming up in a couple of weeks. If you are on the Philippines and you’re available on Sunday, the 24th of November, make sure and get in contact with us. You can come down here to Davao, we’re doing this great island hopping party kind of thing.

                                                We’ve also got the Christmas gift giveaway coming up. We’ll be doing that in December as a part of Empire Flippers where we get dressed up, we wrap a bunch of presents, and take a bunch of presents to the kids here in Davao that really don’t have anything. That’ll be a really fun project and we’ll have more on that on the blog here in the near future.

Joe Magnotti:                    I’m looking forward to the Christmas party. Talking about it today, and I’m getting psyched, man.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. It’s going to be a black tie event, man. We’re going to have a photo booth. It’ll be fun, man. It’ll be really cool.

                                                Next point I want to mention, and Joe make sure I hammer this home, is we got website packages available. Some of our own sites, we’ve put together a few packages. You can check it out at empireflippers.com/marketplace. We’ll have a link to it in the show notes. Couple of good packages, buddy?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. They’re great packages. I think one is six or seven sites and the other one is 10 or 12 sites, so-

Justin Cooke:                     What’s the price point? You know?

Joe Magnotti:                    Off the top of my head, I think they’re in the $1200 to $1500 range, each of them, so definitely on the lower end of our sites. But make sure that you scroll down past the vetted sites for sale. It’s in the second section under packages for sale.

Justin Cooke:                     Cool, buddy. Next thing we want to talk about is you going to the dark side. You’re part of the dark side. You’re part of the buy gold and, I don’t know, sheep in Venezuela crowd. The, “Oh my God, the U.S. is falling!” Joe went to Bitcoins, man. Bitcoin. You’re buying Bitcoins. What’s going on with this?

Joe Magnotti:                    Okay. Let’s get this straight. The only reason why I bought Bitcoins, or I wanted to buy Bitcoins, was because I wanted to gamble online. As an American, it’s increasingly more difficult to gamble online.

Justin Cooke:                     You illegal son of a bitch. So, tell me about the process for buying Bitcoin. How did that go, exactly?

Joe Magnotti:                    It is not easy to buy a Bitcoin. You have to buy it through a marketplace, like Coinbase, or there are a few others out there. But they really want to verify your identity. You have to send them a utility bill, your identification, you have to verify your bank account. It takes a couple of weeks to get all this stuff done, but I finally got it done. I’m enjoying the fact that I purchased a couple at a $170, and today it’s like almost $220 to the Bitcoin, so that’s a pretty good return.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, until it drops down to like $30 and you’re like, “Oh, shit.” Yeah, I don’t know, man. The Bitcoin thing, I don’t know. It’s cool. I think something’s going to happen that’s going to continue, there’s going to be some kind of online currency. Who knows if it’ll be Bitcoin longterm, but it’s interesting.

Joe Magnotti:                    I definitely wouldn’t base our business on it or take that. If you said, “I’ll pay you in Bitcoin for sites.” No way.

Justin Cooke:                     Thanks. Thanks, but no thanks.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I mean, with fluctuations 20% a day, plus or minus, based on Bitcoin to the U.S. dollar, there’s just no way that I’d be able to do that.

Justin Cooke:                     Anyway, moving more toward the heart of this stuff, I want to tell a story really quick. This is going to be about outsourcing. It’s going to be about personal outsourcing. It’s going to be about freeing up your personal time. And something funny … When Vincent got here, he said, “Look.” We said, “Oh, we might as well take him to the supermarket to kind of show him that brands here are a little different.” You don’t have three aisles of cereal, you have like one little section, and you’re pretty limited in your selection. So, we better go there and take the maid and show him around and see which brands are there.

                                                So we get there. It’s me, Joe, Vincent, and my maid, and we’re walking around and he’s like, “So, where’s this? And where is that?” I was like, “Dude, I don’t know, man. What are you asking me for?” He’s like, “Well, where’s the cereal? Where are the toothbrushes?” I was like, “I have no idea.” He’s like, “How do you not know that?” So, like, “I never go shopping, dude. I don’t do any shopping here. She handles everything for me.”

                                                Another thing. I was in the fridge, trying to look for some sour cream. I don’t know where she puts it, so I was digging through my fridge. I couldn’t find anything and she was out shopping for something else. I’m a helpless little baby without my maid. Dude, it’s ridiculous. It’s getting maybe a little too far. Maybe this is the downside of the personal outsourcing stuff, but-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Little magical cabinet and refrigerator that just simply refills itself every time it’s empty.

Justin Cooke:                     Do you feel that way a little bit, too?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah.

Justin Cooke:                     I remember you told me you wondered how ice went in the tray. I know you know water goes in it, but is it from the sink or from the water dispenser? And how is it … You didn’t know. I thought that was the … It was cute, Joe. It was cute.

Joe Magnotti:                    There’s definitely some weird things going on in my household as well, but that’s what we pay these house managers for, so-

Justin Cooke:                     All right, buddy. Enough stories. Let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode.

Speaker 1:                           This is the Empire Flippers podcast.

Justin Cooke:                     We have five main points we want to get into. Before we even do that, let’s talk a little bit, just more generally, about what this episode’s about. Now, before we got on the show, we were both talking about one of the weaknesses of new entrepreneurs is the fact that they don’t value their time. You brought up that example of e-commerce sites.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I think this happens a lot. When we vet e-commerce sites, I see that a lot. They’ll say, “Okay. Here’s our revenue, here’s our costs, so here’s my net profit. I even pay myself a small salary.” But yeah, but how much time are you really investing in the site? “Oh, I’m working 60 hours a week.” Well, no one’s going to work 60 hours a week for $12,000 a year. I mean, it’s just not going to happen.

Justin Cooke:                     I think that’s something that people miss out on. What we’re going to be talking about in this episode are both actual and internalized valuations of your time. Actual would be if you broke down your hourly profit and it came out to be, let’s just say, $32 an hour. That’s your actual, right? Your internalized is the fact that you should … Even if you’re making less, if you want to be at a certain level … So, let’s say you’re making, right now … you’re just starting off and you’re making, I don’t know, $4 an hour or something, because you’re brand new. If you want to be at the $30 level, you should pay for things that are under that level. So, at $15 an hour or something, you should be paying someone to mow your yard, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah.

Justin Cooke:                     Whatever you can get away with. Especially things that cost a lot of time, so, whatever, it’s mowing your yard, doing your laundry. If you can avoid those things that are big time sucks that take a lot of your personal time and pay for that to get done in the short term, you’re going to save a lot of time, which you can apply to your business, and get up to the level that you want to be at.

Joe Magnotti:                    I love this concept, actually. I mean, obviously you have to be a little reasonable with it. You can’t just say, “Oh, anything under $100 an hour I guess I should be paying for.”

Justin Cooke:                     But okay. Let’s say that you value your time, or that your time is actually valued at $80 an hour. If you’re doing a task that’s like a $12 an hour job, that is dumb. You shouldn’t be doing that, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. But if you’re at $80 an hour, actual, right now, but you want to get to $100, then really, anything under $100 you should consider outsourcing.

Justin Cooke:                     Absolutely right.

Joe Magnotti:                    And so, this is like an expected value in poker kind of thing.

Justin Cooke:                     The first one we want to talk about is Parkinson’s law, which basically says that we naturally stretch shit out.

Joe Magnotti:                    Has nothing to do with Parkinson’s disease, for those of you who don’t know.

Justin Cooke:                     Which is not a laughing matter, Joe. How dare you. No, but yeah. If you have a three-hour project, and you have eight hours to do it, you’re going to take that three-hour project and stretch it out to eight hours. Don’t worry, we all do it, and you’ve probably felt a little bit of this where you’re like, “Oh, I could have done it a lot faster.” Or, maybe you don’t even realize that you could have done that a lot faster. It’s something we all struggle with, no doubt.

Joe Magnotti:                    Tim Ferris highlighted this in The 4-Hour Workweek, but it’s really an older concept that comes from an economist way back when, in the ’50s or something like that. We’ll link to it in the show notes, the Wikipedia page. It’s pretty interesting stuff. But, yeah. It’s amazing that if you have something that only takes three hours to do, and you have eight hours to do it, all of a sudden, it starts to take eight hours.

Justin Cooke:                     Well, that’s Tim’s thing, is that you need to focus on elimination. That was his elimination step, is you need to start cutting out the things that are not important to the task you need to get done. Right? And you have a way of dealing with this.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I really love the Pomodoro Technique. I’m not sure if it’s Pomodoro or Pomodoro, but-

Justin Cooke:                     Pomodoro, I think, but-

Joe Magnotti:                    … but either way, this is part of the getting things done method of getting things done. You should really check it out. It’s basically a 20-minute timer with a 5-minute break, or a 50-minute timer with a 10-minute break, and you simply try to condense as much work as you can into that small time period.

Justin Cooke:                     You’re going to chunk your time for the day. You can even write it up if you need to, but I’m going to get this done in 50 minutes. You hustle, hustle, hustle, and it may have been something that you could have done in 30, 40 minutes, that stretches out to 50 minutes, but that’s a hell of a lot better than kind of wasting that time or stretching it out over a longer period of time. When you break it down in those chunks, you may lose a bit, but you’re not losing as much as you would if it was like an eight hour day, for example.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I’ve said this before, but I really use this as part of my day. There’s a small period between after lunch and before I go work out that’s maybe an hour and a half, maybe two hours at the most, and I tell you, I get a lot of work done during that time. Just tasks that I have to handle, because I know there’s a very limited time period before I have to get out.

Justin Cooke:                     Second point. Stop scaling the bullshit. This is something we’re dealing with right now, bringing a new apprentice out here. I have, and I think other people have, a tendency to drop shit work on your employees, on your interns, on your apprentices. Things that you’re like, “I don’t really want to do this. Let me pass this on.” The problem when you’re passing on work that’s not critical or not core to your business, is you are scaling inefficiency, and horribleness, throughout your business, so you now have employees, you have team members, they’re passing it onto other people. You’re passing on these bad habits that you had to maybe two, three, five, 10 people within your organization, and that sucks, buddy.

Joe Magnotti:                    I think this is especially apparent with virtual assistants, people that you don’t have in your office. Maybe you can’t occupy them for 40 hours a week, so you start to just give them the crap work that not only you don’t want to do, but doesn’t really need to be done.

Justin Cooke:                     Here’s our fix for this. It’s the outside, inside view. The first thing to do is to take a 40,000-foot view of the process overall. Do you need that in your business? Is that important for your business, or can you eliminate it entirely? And then, the inside view, is say, “Okay. Well, I need that overall process.” It’s to look at each individual step in the process and see is there anything I can cut out. I’ve got step one through 13 here. Can I get rid of steps two, six, and eight, and make this a lot more simple and not be passing on the bullshit to my employees?

Joe Magnotti:                    Give us some examples, Justin.

Justin Cooke:                     Okay. One of the ones I would say is, our bigger concept of the 40,000-foot view, was link building. We were doing link building on all the niche sites to start and we were kind debating which link building techniques do we use, and we had to take a step back, look at it as a whole and say, “Do we need this at all?” That’s the question. Is this even important for the type of sites we’re building, or can we eliminate it entirely? And in doing that, we decided to eliminate it entirely, see what happens, and then try to add in pieces of link building to see which works. That’s what we’re doing right now is, we’re testing out different processes. But we eliminated it entirely first to see what the effect would be. I think that was a good move.

                                                Next example would be changing the footer on the niche sites. Joe?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I mean, what we used to do for every niche site is we used to be very specific and have an individual footer for each site.

Justin Cooke:                     And that was step 12 in the site creation process, or whatever, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. And it always seemed to get messed up, because whoever was doing it would have to retype it every time, and they’d have to edit the code for the theme, and it just was unnecessary. It didn’t do anything for SEO, it didn’t do anything for the look or feel of the site. By skipping it, by eliminating it altogether, we’ve made the process easier.

Justin Cooke:                     We were able to cut out particular individual steps inside the process to make that particular process more efficient and better for our team.

                                                Third point we want to mention is, skill transferring to apprentice, interns, or distributed teams is key. Now, we’ve covered this before, the skill transfer process, and we’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s absolutely critical that you do understand that. I’ll give a quick warning though, is that, if you don’t use it correctly, you’re going to have deviations in that skill or in that particular process, and that’s going to get, obviously, passed down, and to lead back to number two where you’re scaling bullshit. So, it’s critical to use every step in the skill transfer process.

Joe Magnotti:                    It becomes like a bad copy of a key. So, if one copy gets a little [crosstalk 00:14:21]-

Justin Cooke:                     Bad game of telephone, right? Where you’re passing something down the line, they pass it to someone else, and by the end, it’s some crazy gobbledy goop that you never intended.

Joe Magnotti:                    These are great analogies, because you really gotta make sure that that first person that learns it, especially if they’re going to be training somebody else, knows it right.

Justin Cooke:                     Now, here’s a thing. When this is successful, you’re putting yourself in a position of constantly replacing yourself, and that’s what so many successful entrepreneurs do, is they’re constantly replacing themselves with as close to a carbon copy of what they were doing previously as they can possibly do it. And the skill transfer allows for that close to carbon copy process creation.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Maybe this is a bad analogy, but it’s the only way you can move up the pyramid. It’s the only way you can have several money-making machines underneath you, or several businesses running in semi autonomy state, is by having them work without you. You need to be able to pull yourself out of the process so you can work on something else.

Justin Cooke:                     So, we’ll be honest, right? We’re being clear here. We haven’t always used the skill transfer process effectively. Give you an example of the time we screwed that up was recently in our customer service. We kind of let our people just kind of roll with it, right? We didn’t, I think, give them the exact kind of process we want them to use when dealing with clients or new product orders, and that leads them to kind of figure it out on their own. So, they have the general gist of where we’re going, but maybe they only got 60%, 50% of what we want, which leaves a lot of room for error. We have had some complaints from people that are legitimate, and say, “Look, I don’t feel that I was handled, that this was responded to quickly enough.” That’s something that we are working on now, because we realize, oops, yeah, we didn’t use the skill transfer process effectively here.

Joe Magnotti:                    I think it’s tough to do the skill transfer process for customer service. We could have done a better job at it, but it’s so wide open, especially that contact form. We get so many questions, but it’s something we’re working on.

                                                Something we have done a good job with, I think, has been the vetting process for sites that get listed on our marketplace. That’s something I used to do personally and I did it for a while and I came up with a 19-step process or whatever to check the site and the person out. I’ve passed that off to our manager, and he sections off little pieces of that to be checked by other people, and then I still have the overall yea or nay, based on the information that they send back to me.

Justin Cooke:                     But by using the process, you basically got Michael to get it, right? He gets it, and he can then chunk pieces of those out to his distributor team, which is helpful.

                                                A fourth point we want to go over really quick is personal outsourcing. This is a thing where, okay, not everyone can have maids and butlers and drivers, but there are some things I think you can pull out of this as well. Joe and I, obviously, we have maids, you have a personal assistant, an HR girl that works with you very closely. I have a personal assistant. We have an apprentice. We’ve had apprentices before. I mean, these are things that are outrageously helpful for our personal time.

Joe Magnotti:                    I think that someone who travels a lot, really having some sort of virtual assistant that can handle all that for you is important. And Chris Ducker says this a lot, and I have to agree with him. I hate … I know you love to do the-

Justin Cooke:                     I do, man. I’m nerdy like that. I like to plan it out specifically. Me. Yeah.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. But I have to say, I don’t like it very much. I don’t enjoy finding the best flights and finding the hotels and all that. I would love to have that handled, and I think that’s something that a virtual assistant could do, and something that most people who travel, even a little bit within the U.S., could hand off to somebody right away.

Justin Cooke:                     Okay. So, I mean, the things that you cut out of your life are just astounding, right? Obviously, you don’t have to cut out everything. If you love to cook, by all means, enjoy your cooking. But these are the things that are time wasters: the laundry, the shopping, the housework, mowing the lawn. All these things that take up time and are part of your daily routine, if you can pass those on to other people that are in your circle, that are in your group … If you can get a maid once a week to kind of help with especially the deep cleaning, these kind of things will save you a lot of time and free up your time.

Joe Magnotti:                    That will lead to real personal freedom. Even if it’s just a couple of hours a day that you’re freeing up by having someone else do these tasks, that’s going to add up to a lot over time. It’s the old 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, if you’re using those hours and investing in something. I mean, you’re not supposed to just kick back and watch TV for those hours, you’re supposed to take an active role and use them in a good way.

Justin Cooke:                     Well, that’s the risk, right? That’s why it’s important to use Pomodoro Technique and other things is so that you don’t then fill up that freedom or that free time you have with bullshit. You want to make sure that you’re effective, efficient … Maybe it is relax … maybe it’s reading a book or doing whatever you want to do, but make sure that you’re aware of the time that you’re spending and what you’re spending it on.

                                                The fifth point we want to cover is communication, and this is something that Joe and I have kind of gone back with over the last couple of months. Getting overloaded with emails, with calls, with requests, can be a bit of a burden.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I used to always say, “Email, email, email. Email me, cc me, I don’t care, I have filters set up.” And then, I don’t know what changed, but two years ago, about maybe a year and a half ago, all of a sudden, it just became overwhelming. I have to agree with most people out there now that there is a better form of communication than email to organize things. Using to-do lists, having other people group communication, team autonomy to help you not be the central point of failure for every single request.

Justin Cooke:                     Well, I think that’s a really good point, Joe. One of the things that’s really helped us is the autonomy we’ve given our team members, so them being able to make decisions on the fly, being able to have a little bit of rope so they can make those decisions. It takes that burden or that responsibility off your plate and allows them to communicate.

Joe Magnotti:                    Just to give a real world example, having a Skype group chat where you’re not the only one that’s able to answer the questions. So, we have a manager, and there’s three other people, and yeah, we’re in that group chat as well, but if we’re not active or we’re not online, somebody else from the group could go ahead and help them with whatever question they have.

Justin Cooke:                     Something I’ve struggled with a little bit is balancing personal connection or communication with broadcast or broader communication and connection. So, handling the ton … the influx of emails and requests and calls and those types of things with making sure we continue to get our message out. Recently, I was like, “You know what? I’ll just dump all the internal communication and not handle the emails and just do blog posts, just do podcasts, that kind of thing.” But I think that’s not a good idea. I think if you’re only doing broad, you’re not paying attention to the value chain. Responding personally to emails with your best answers, really being helpful with people the best that you can, helps move them down from the listener to super-listener status. From the fan to super-fan status. Everyone that you can get down that value chain? The better it is for your business, for them, for everything. You have to find some kind of balance between your content marketing that’s both public and then that’s private as well. Your communication with your customers and your potential customers.

Joe Magnotti:                    I definitely think there’s a balance that has to be there. That’s very important, Justin. At the same time, if you’re answering the same question over and over again, probably a good idea to do a blog post on that.

Justin Cooke:                     Absolutely. Another thing we’ve done that we’re doing with customer service is group communication in kind of a flat business structure. So, not the three levels of customer support, or management … having everyone in the queue. And this works mostly for smaller teams, five, six man teams, having everyone in the queue, and they respond to things as they come up and they have some autonomy on each individual level. There’s not three levels of management. Makes them a lot quicker, a lot more nimble, and a lot more flexible to change, and to answering questions, and-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I mean, just think about it. If you have somebody who, even though they’re on the lowest rung of the ladder, if they’ve been doing it for a couple of years, they have good knowledge about that position and about how to do the things that need to be done there. They should have the ability to be able to teach and share their knowledge with other team members. That’s all we’re talking about here.

Justin Cooke:                     All right, man. So, let’s get into our tips, tricks, and plans for the future.

Speaker 1:                           You’re listening to the Empire Flippers podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin Cooke:                     Our first tip is all about saving you some time and hassle. I think it’s fantastic. You should check it out. That’s scheduleonce.com. It is great for having people select individual timeframes. You can have automatic responders go out to them when you need to, give them a reminder that they’re on the call with you, they can pick out the times and it’ll do the timezone switch. Fantastic. We use it for the apprentice interviews and it worked like a charm, so-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I gotta get over there and use that, because I already had a small scheduling conflict this week and I think that’d make it a lot easier for me.

Justin Cooke:                     It will automatically work with Google Calendar and set it up for you in Google Calendar, so it’s great, buddy.

Joe Magnotti:                    The next thing we want to talk about is the tomato-timer.com. We were talking about the Pomodoro Technique earlier, and this is a great, easy, free way to time yourself and to figure out how long you have to work on something. Check it out: tomato-timer.com.

Justin Cooke:                     So, how does it work, exactly? I might check it out. What’s the deal? Tell me a little bit more about it.

Joe Magnotti:                    You literally go there, you click start, and it has a countdown from 25 minutes, and then after 25 minutes is over, it goes ding.

Justin Cooke:                     What’s the benefit over using your phone or whatever?

Joe Magnotti:                    No benefit. It’s just that it’s on the-

Justin Cooke:                     On your computer.

Joe Magnotti:                    [crosstalk 00:23:56].

Justin Cooke:                     You’re going to be on your computer working anyway, so why hassle with two devices, or whatever?

Joe Magnotti:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Justin Cooke:                     Okay, buddy. Got it.

Joe Magnotti:                    Last thing I want to talk about is the new LastPass. For those of you Mac people out there that have been avoiding LastPass because you say 1Password’s so much better because the UI looks nice and cute on my Mac, LastPass has finally caught up. It released a new 3.0 today, which I think is pretty awesome. Has a couple of new features, which you may or may not like, but the UI is a huge improvement.

Justin Cooke:                     Freaked me out a little bit. I was signing up for this forum and I saw this automatic password generator pop up, I’m like, “What the hell is this? I’m not using your crazy passwords.” And I was like, “Ooh, yeah. That’s LastPass. That’s cool.”

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I mean, especially the sharing part of LastPass, I think that that’s a key thing. If you’re going to have virtual assistance, stuff like that, get LastPass so you can share with them.

Justin Cooke:                     Well, that’s it for episode 69 of the Empire Flippers podcast. We actually finished this episode without having any sex jokes about episode 69. Really proud of us. Make sure to check us out next time. You can also reach out to us on Twitter @EmpireFlippers and we’ll see you next week.

Joe Magnotti:                    Bye-bye, everybody.

Speaker 1:                           You’ve been listening to the Empire Flippers podcast with Justin and Joe. Be sure to hit up empireflippers.com for more. That’s empireflippers.com. Thanks for listening.


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Discussion
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  1. Alfie says:

    Hate to break it to you dude’s, but there’s no such thing as a ‘team’. What you’re actually talking about are ‘individuals’.

    The word ‘team’ is used to help foster the idea that nobody is better than anyone else; everyone is a player on the same team so to speak! This is simply nonsense.

    As individuals, we each have our strengths and weaknesses and this make us better than each other in certain areas of life and less so in others. This is true of us all and should be self-evident to a rational mind.

    You’re not members of a flock; the individual exists for his own sake; not for the sake of others.

    • Hey Alfie,

      It looks like you have some debate or argument over the semantics of the word “team”.

      In my view, a team is a collection of individuals that come together, united under a common purpose. It is NOT my view that, in a team, no individual is better or worse at anything than anyone else – not sure where you’re getting that from.

      In any event, I think you missed the point of this podcast if that was your major takeaway.

  2. RJ Cid says:

    So I am pretty sure your apprentice feels like he may be in a “Final Destination” type movie! The guy just wants to make and sell sites, dammit! lol, I am glad you guys are ok.

    This podcast came at a perfect time! I started looking to eliminate tedious tasks in my personal life (someone to get groceries, clean, and do laundry). I am currently outsourcing my backlinking, content creation, and researching to a small team Ive found on elance. I still spend a lot of time editing and posting content (to ensure optimization), and other things like getting images, creating alt text, etc.. My goal is to get a system down, maybe focus a bit more on creating systems?

    In any event, great stuff!

  3. larryaiello says:

    Hey guys, I love the stuff you put out but just wanted to say I hope you guys are all OK in the Phiippines. What a nasty storm.

  4. jazztothebone says:

    Hey guys, I hope you are ok in the Philippines!

  5. Great episodes gents.

    It’s so true that when you’re given more time than you need we tend to delay some things.

    Also, I randomly found your Building a Niche Empire book on Amazon. I can’t recall if you guys have talked about that. Hope it’s going well.

    • For a book that we give away for free, it sure seem to sell well every month. Honestly, we just put a price on it because we didn’t want to have to pay for free Kindle downloads (free books are charged to the publisher — not cool). I’m surprised when we get the direct deposit every month. It’s not much, but it all adds up.

  6. Great ep guys. I have a tool suggestion for your tool suggestion…

    you can add FuzedApp (https://gn126.infusionsoft.com/go/fuzed/a62/) to connect ScheduleOnce with OAP or Infusionsoft and tag your contacts automatically.

  7. Mads Singers says:

    Yo! Would love to know more about any of your events any time after the 17th of November!

    The island hopping sounds awesome and I’m happy to help out of you need any volunteer support when you are doing your Christmas giveaways.

  8. Hi guys !

    Great episode . I have a lot of busy unproductive time . Taking the bus , waiting in lines or in meetings for example . But , a macbook has boosted my productivity , since I have learnt to work in the most unusual places .
    I hope you are all right with the storm that’s coming .

  9. sebi 20 says:

    Better than tomato timer is this software from my perspective http://www.theactionmachine.com/. I use it with an phyisic agenda and it works great. Thanks for the valuable information shared in this podcasts as well as for the resources you always share with us.

    Thanks Empire Flippers

  10. Gunnar Bengtsson says:

    Another thing to consider when handing off work to team members. Even if it’s not BS work, or a poorly thought out process you’re handing off – you may have already cut out all the unnecessary parts and have a super streamlined process for someone on your team to do – that process is now petrified in time. When you were handling this task yourself it evolved constantly as you saw what worked and what didn’t, you added and took away pieces over time, making it better. This constant evolution is not going to happen anymore once you’re no longer involved personally.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      That’s a great point, Gunnar.

      For some of our processes we have a living, breathing document that our team updates on the fly. Any major changes are sent to me for approval.

      For other processes it’s really done on the fly. You’re right in that some of those processes are critical to our business…and if they get too far from what they were originally intended, it would probably be a good thing to know! :-)

      Things definitely change over time, hehe.

      • Gunnar Bengtsson says:

        Yeah Justin, things change and what was good practice last month may not be the best way to do things today.

        It sounds like you guys have good processes in place to keep everything updated – I need to figure out an efficient way to do this with my own small team.

  11. civillibros says:

    i can´t find the sites that are per sale, in the section i find only 2 package of 10 and 11 but are already SOLD, were is the new packages¿¿

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