You’ll see the word “efficient” thrown around a lot by everyone in business. Everyone wants to be as efficient as possible, and I don’t blame them.
I’ve been focusing on efficiency myself.
Business and Bullets has grown a lot over the course of the past year. The site itself, the associated social media accounts, and the Business and Bullets YouTube Channel. For this discussion, we’ll be using my YouTube Channel as a model.
Business and Bullets on YouTube
When I started this project, I decided to be an open book. There are two options:
- Be an open book.
- Sell with a mask on like a con man.
Keeping in the spirit of transparency, here’s a screen grab from my YouTube Analytics for the past 30 days.
Not a record breaking channel, but far better than I expected in the first year.
I had no expectations going into YouTube.
I’ve never had a YouTube channel before. I might have been able to research how other channels did, but that would’ve been pointless.
My first year on YouTube has been about letting people get to know me. How other channels did in letting people get to know them is irrelevant.
See, content creation can be done for free. But I don’t operate that way. I see the world through a business filter.
The Efficient Business Filter
People think of business as a cold, hard, unfeeling thing. This mindset misses the entire point of business.
A great business does three things, and it does them very well.
- Least importantly, a great business makes money. Otherwise, you’re not in business.
- More importantly, a great business markets itself. New World Marketing is essential.
- Most importantly, a great business helps people. If you don’t provide value, you’re a scammer.
The purpose of the business filter is in seeing the world through these three points. There’s a lot more to it, of course, but for now we look at these three elements.
Efficient Business Makes Money
This is simple. If you go into business and operate at a loss for any period of time, you might want to think about why that is.
The metric of efficient business is measured in dollars and cents. You want more coming in than going out.
That’s where the money mattering starts and stops.
Money buys anything, including happiness, but most importantly it buys freedom. Much of that money is going to be spent keeping your business free to grow and operate as you see fit.
This is where a lot of people’s focus stays, and that’s why they don’t run a successful business. Caring only about the money is caring about the least important part.
Seek to operate at a profit, then focus on more important things.
Efficient Business Effectively Markets Itself
There’s a lot that goes into effective marketing, and we won’t dive into that topic. We’re looking at efficiency here.
Efficient marketing takes advantage of the new world model. How are most people finding things in the new world?
They find them online.
To this end, the tools of the trade are the various platforms. Your own site, your presence on platforms that host your content, your presence on social media. Lastly, and most importantly, there’s the content itself.
Being efficient in new world marketing means not wasting time. For every artist creating works of genius, there are ten more too busy playing around on Twitter or Instagram. Efficient use of your time is in creating damn good work and not playing around online.
Good work damn near markets itself, because it fulfills the final and most important focus: Helping People.
Efficient Business Helps People
Damn good work practically markets itself. It does this by providing value in an insightful way. This is most true for the content business.
People find you when they need you. If you provide the value they need, everything’s aces. If you actually help people, they’re likely to return in the future. This is a lot like selling commodities.
See, if you’re selling commodities, you don’t have to market very hard. If you’re selling something people need and consume on a regular basis, you don’t have to hard sell anyone on anything.
I prefer the soft sale by a wide margin.
Seeking eternal hard sales seems a lot like being a con man to me. Always having to hustle the next sucker. It’s a lot better in my experience to just help people and let them win with you.
You win – Everybody wins.
When your business is based around these three areas, and you focus on the soft sale, you don’t have to spend a lot of time unnecessarily.
Maybe you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule?
The 80/20 Rule
Everybody loves the 80/20 rule. Almost as much as they like buzzwords like “efficient” and “improvement”. There’s a good reason for it, and we won’t dwell on it too long.
The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. Well, if that’s true, you should focus on that 20% effort and do something else with the other 80%, right?
That’s the implication.
My argument is that you should then seek to find 4 other things to devote 20% of your effort on. If my math is right, that means you’re getting a total of 400% results instead of 80% results.
It also means you’re not dicking around 80% of the time. Most of the successful people I know don’t spend 80% of their time dicking around.
Example of an Efficient Focus on YouTube
True to the 80/20 rule, I’ve found that 80% of my traffic comes from a good 20% of my videos. What do these videos have in common?
They’re all about guns.
It’s not even close. Anything that doesn’t have to do with guns (with the exception of that oddball hat video) doesn’t get the traffic a gun video does.
So, with my reflection on the 80/20 rule in mind, I should exclusively release gun content on YouTube.
Does that mean I’ll exclusively focus on guns? No, of course not. It means I should use other platforms for other types of content.
I’ve got 230 videos as of today, and that has more to do with upload time than anything else. I usually record six or seven videos a day.
It would be a far more efficient use of my time to post everything to my blog. The content that crosses over into guns will also be featured on YouTube.
Where to put the remaining content (aside from on Business and Bullets) is something I’ll be experimenting with in 2017. I need experience to know what to add and what to take away.
To Be Efficient, You Need Experience
I couldn’t have drawn these conclusions in April of 2016. I didn’t have the experience. Since I didn’t have experience, I had to experiment.
Here’s the formula for becoming an efficient entrepreneur in new world business:
- Conduct Experiments (Do the work)
- Gain Experience (From doing the work)
- Become Efficient (And do the work)
First, you have to stop thinking and start doing.
You have to conduct several experiments and just do the work. Thinking is the opposite of doing.
“What if I fail?”
You probably will fail. Several times. That’s a good thing, that’s what you want.
What happens when you fail? You’re trading time for experience. People overlook this because failure hurts and they don’t think about the alternative.
Second, you gain experience from successes and failures.
You learn what to do more of, and more importantly, you learn what to take away.
Great work isn’t in adding until there’s nothing left. Great work is in adding everything until there’s nothing left and then taking away everything that doesn’t work.
The important thing is that you don’t know what works until you know what doesn’t.
Third, you can become efficient and work more.
The grand delusion of efficiency is that you’ll be able to do just enough to get by. This is a loser’s mentality.
You learn, through past experience, how to do just enough in one area. That leaves you with plenty of energy to handle the next area.
Efficiency Means More Work, Not Less
You have plenty of energy to move onto the next thing. Plenty of energy to start new experiments. Plenty of energy to repeat this process four more times.
This way, you’re becoming efficient in multiple areas. You’re not dicking around doing nothing 80% of the time and doing just enough 20% of the time.
Dead men do just enough. They do nothing. They’re dead, so they don’t have to do anything.
If you do just enough, you’re as productive as a dead man.
How to Become an Efficient Entrepreneur
- Conduct Experiments
- Gain Experience
- Become Efficient
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat
You’re either growing or dying, just like a tree in the forest. You’re either doing new things, or you’re as productive as a dead man doing just enough.
It’s sink or swim, baby. Don’t stop swimming.