#22 episode of “Helping B2B High Ticket Service Providers Grow – One Lesson at a Time”, with Ashao FreeSky.
Ashao FreeSky is the CEO and founder of DoubleYourTimeOff.
A procrastinator in the past, but a successful CEO today, Ashao helps parent-preneurs shave 10-20 hours off their workweek, so they can spend more time with their family.
Things changed when he became a parent, and working a 9-5 wasn’t a choice. Missing out on his daughter’s childhood was not something that he would allow.
“Working long hours is killing people”, says Ashao.
Download their 90-day plan to skyrocket your business and shave up to 15 hours off your work week: https://doubleyourtimeoff.com/?partnersource=DanchoDimkov
STAY TUNED for more incredible lessons, stories and growth tips, straight from the most successful entrepreneurs!
[00:00:07.560] – Dancho – Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of Helping B2B High Ticket Service Providers Grow – One Lesson at a Time. And by now, I’m sure you understand that we really work hard to find the best people from the whole world. And we were trying outside the planet, and we really try hard to find people that have a good story to tell and good lessons to learn from. And so I found one. So for today, I have Ashao who is coming from Canada. And instead of me introducing him, I would just say, Ashao, welcome to the show.
[00:00:40.530] – Ashao – Hey, Dancho, thank you so much for having me over. It’s really great to be here.
[00:00:44.670] – Dancho – Yeah, we actually had a nice conversation before we started the recording. And Ashao, maybe it’s a good starting point. If you can tell us a bit more about you, so people will have the idea of who you are actually.
[00:00:57.200] – Ashao – Yeah, for sure. So how I got into this double your time off and helping people work less is really rooted in the struggles that I faced in my own journey. And so in my past, I was constantly distracted, and I would procrastinate until last minute. I was that guy who would stay up all night in college working on an assignment, just grinding away until last minute and handing it in as the bell was ringing. And I just…I couldn’t get myself to do what I wanted to do and what I felt like I should do. And I thought maybe that I was a lazy person or like, that it was a character trait of mine, that it couldn’t be changed. And things started to change for me when I became a father. When we had our first child, Ocean, I at the time was working a nine to five, and I felt like I was missing out on her childhood. I would leave early in the morning and they weren’t awake yet, I’d be gone all day and come back and have just a few hours with my daughter.
[00:02:08.020] – Dancho – I know this feeling.
[00:02:10.290] – Ashao – Yeah, totally. So I would project that out into the future. I was like, if I keep on this trajectory, I’m going to be the absent father. And… That was not who I wanted to be. So I knew something had to change. I knew I had to do something different. I decided I’m like, I’m going to be an entrepreneur. I’m going to find a way to create more flexibility in my schedule. And…
[00:02:36.560] – Dancho – Sounds very simple as you said. I’m going to be an entrepreneur.
[00:02:39.860] – Dancho – It’s like, I’m going to work something, a lot of money from somewhere will come in. Yeah. Naively, that’s how I started as well.
[00:02:50.080] – Ashao – Yeah. It’ll just pop up and happen.
[00:02:53.980] – Dancho – Nice.
[00:02:56.470] – Ashao – So that happened. And it also in a similar time frame, having a child as any new parent will know, I suddenly had very little time to myself. And so this was my first training grounds. And okay, how do I… Well, so the driving force behind us was that I was just getting really frustrated and kind of resentful towards my family for not having any time. I was always taking care of my daughter and my wife. I felt bad about this because I’m like, well, I know this is my family. I should be taking care of them. But again, I knew this wasn’t right. I had to change this now, before just built up inside of me. And so… But I also knew that I didn’t really have the skill set, I didn’t realize it was even a skill set at the time, but that I didn’t have the skill set for how to carve out time for important things for me in my life. And so this was the training grounds for me, like, how do I create time where there seemed to be none? And so this is when I started researching and I found this book about being a father and just opened it up to some random page and it was like, fathers need a morning ritual because they’re going to fill themselves up and then be a better father.
[00:04:28.470] – Ashao – I was like, yeah, that’s exactly what I need. So yeah… I started studying neuroscience and human behavior and how do I create structure in my day that as an entrepreneur, I no longer was being told what to do. I really got passionate about how to create structures because I was relying on external structures before. So how do I develop habits, rituals? How do I hack my brain and get myself to do the things that I know I need to do and I want to do, but just most people often just can’t get around to doing it. So I started implementing those things and it started working. Started having people come to me and be like, What are you doing? How are you so disciplined? And I was like, Disciplined? What? Are you talking to me? Okay, cool. I started building a reputation as the go to person on habits and behavior change. So I started putting on workshops and programs on goal setting and that kind of thing. And at the time in my business, I was working seven days a week and not really having created what I initially sought to create, which was more flexibility and freedom in my schedule. And I was just trying to get more done faster. I was stuck in, what I call that hamster wheel trap…
[00:05:52.857] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:05:53.190] – Ashao – Just running and grinding and try to get more done faster. So then I was like, well, I’ve learned some things about creating structures and habits and designing myself. How do I implement that into the business? So I did that and I started leveraging what I call the laser beam effect and managed to cut 20 hours off my work week while actually accomplishing more than I did when I was working seven days a week. Now, having more flexibility to travel, we’re just talking about this before getting on the call and…
[00:06:25.290] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:06:25.710] – Ashao – Going to see different countries and that kind of stuff. It’s really become my passionate belief that parentpreneurs deserve more time with their kids and their families to have fun and to not be in it so much. There’s this hustle and grind culture, and so I’ve made it my mission to help them design a business and a life where they can spend less time working, more time living and bringing fun into their lives.
[00:06:49.330] – Dancho – I’m thinking out loud, Ashao. You took the regular entrepreneur route. It’s like, you know what? I want to have a lot of free time. Well, I’m going to start my own business so I would have the time, and then you start the business and then you realize that starting a business, it’s a hustle on its own. And that the more you work, actually, the more work there it is. So you keep on working for weekends. And I was joking, well, when you are an employee, you have one boss. When you are entrepreneur, you actually have 20 bosses because you’re handling 20 clients and each of them is actually your boss. And I think that a lot of people can relate that, yeah, we all start the business with the same idea. How to actually build the company that can generate revenue for me. So I would have, I don’t know, maybe not financial freedom from the start, but I would have the holiday freedom, to put it in other words. So I wouldn’t have to, I don’t know, give excuses to my boss that I want to go on a holiday. And somehow people get stuck in that whirl loop, as you said, hamster, I think you said it, the right hamster’s wheel.
[00:07:53.980] – Dancho – And, how to get out of it? And not me, I’m thinking that all the listeners are like, yes, as an entrepreneur, I’m in that area, I would love to be able to spend some more time with my family, especially if you have a small kid, maybe not the first few months, but still you want to capture every important moment. And what made you to start considering? Because when you’re on the hamster wheel, you’re not even able to perceive, okay, this is the life that I want or this is this, the focus. Something had to push you to start thinking and looking for a solution. So I was curious, what made you… what pushed you actually to get out from the hamster and start looking?
[00:08:38.070] – Ashao – Yeah. So it’s really the similar driver is what brought me on the path originally, which was wanting to spend more time with my family and to travel, really. That’s what my wife and I love to do. And so I remember this one time I was in Mexico, and at the time I was running an online retail business, and I was you know working away and my wife and daughter go out and they go and have fun and they’re out in the sun. I’m sitting there working on the laptop, getting the client calls and working away. Then my laptop charger stopped working and I was like, all of a sudden laptop turns off, can’t do any work. I’m like, ummm, okay, I guess I’m taking a forest holiday. I’m here in Mexico. Let’s go enjoy the beach. I had some time to think. I had some time to walk around with my daughter and be in the sun, be around animals and just have perspective. We were talking about this earlier before we got on the call. It’s so important to take breathers from the daily grind that allow us to see things from a higher perspective and also reflect on our lives as a whole. Is this really serving me? Is this really where I want to be going? And as I thought about it, I was like, No, I’m not passionate about modern furniture. I don’t want to be working as much as I am. And so that’s really part of what flipped it for me and had me start think about things differently.
[00:10:17.850] – Dancho – And so now your commitment is actually, I wrote it here, “helping people work less”. That’s very ambitious. And especially, even one of the drive of entrepreneurs is like, I’m going to start the company so I wouldn’t be able… Would not have to work all the time, but we forget about it. And how is it going? I’m also an entrepreneur. I also have a company with 30 something employees, and we really appreciate figuring out a way how to better organize our time and how to prioritize. I have 24 hours, you have 24 hours. Now, if you’re doing miracles within your 24 hours and I’m spending my 24 hours just figuring out what to do, then I’m very inefficient. So I was curious, how do you actually help entrepreneurs on this area?
[00:11:11.760] – Ashao – Yeah. So you mentioned something there that’s a very important word. And before I get to it, I’m just going to put the context of the conventional way people work and what I call the hamster wheel effect, which is where maybe you’re working 50, 60, 80 plus hours per week, you have dozens of items on your to do list and you don’t really know what’s most important. And so you just feel overwhelmed by it. You’re just trying to get more done faster. And you think that if I could just do that, if I could just get more done faster, then I’d be able to relax and slow down. And so you know working these long hours, it’s actually like killing people. There’s a term in Japan, Karoshi, which is death from over work.
[00:12:03.730] – Dancho – Wow.
[00:12:05.510] – Ashao – Yeah. And so work related stress is a major impact on our health and well being, mental, emotional, all of it. That breathing space is not only, like oh it’s nice. It’s crucial for our health and our well being. That’s the trap people are in. And like you said, there’s only so many hours in a day. And if you’re constantly trying to squeeze more into that day, you’re just going to either sacrifice your family or your health or both. Because the reality is you just can’t do everything. There’s always going to be more to do on your to do list than what is possible. So at some point, you’re just going to have to decide, what am I going to do and what am I not going to do, or at least not for now. And that’s what you said, prioritization. So that’s really the root of this hamster wheel trap is that many people don’t have a system for identifying what’s most important and overcoming that. And so in a business, if you know the theory of constraints, if you think of the analogy of factory where one machine creates the widget and it moves it onto the next machine and it moves it onto the next machine like a factory line.
[00:13:33.590] – Ashao – If there’s five machines, they’re all working around 70 % to 80 % efficiency, but then machine number three is working at 20 % efficiency, that is slowing everything else down. That’s the constraint. And so in business, very similarly, there are constraints that we need to identify where is that constraint and focus in on that. And so basically identifying what is the priority for your business at this time and designing a plan around unlocking that constraint. And so that’s what I call the laser beam effect. That’s what I help clients with is prioritizing three pillars, which is prioritization, sharpening their focus so that, once they’re focusing on the right things, they’re actually doing it efficiently, and they’re plugging the energy sucks like distractions, disorganization, no task of project management. And then energy and just having a sufficient level of physical health and mental sharpness and energy that allows you to really show up as the leader that your business and your family needs you to be.
[00:14:44.800] – Dancho – Nice. Well, you got me wondering now because I do have prioritization, whether do I have a system that strictly helps me with the prioritization? Well, not really. Well, I’m curious how can you actually can help us. For example, I know I have a rough idea on what I need to do, but the better clarity that you have on what you want to do and where you want to become, it’s not even in business, it’s everywhere. Clarity gives direction and then it gives focus even. And what intrigues me is that as an entrepreneur, we all know that this is important, but not everyone has a framework or a system that can be just like, plug it in into my life, see, okay, step one, I need to do this, step two, I need to do this, step three, like that. So then whenever I get stuck, I can say, you know what? Where’s Ashao’s framework? Back to the drawing board. I have a big one. Back to the drawing board. Let’s see how I can actually get some clarity out of the fog.
[00:15:52.970] – Ashao – So a great framework that I use and teach to my clients is the 90 day planner. We’re going to dive into that today. But just so you know, you don’t necessarily need to take notes or anything because I actually have a free cheat sheet that summarizes it all. And so if you want to download that and follow along, you can go to doubleyourtimeoff.com/dancho, so D, A, N, C, H, O.
[00:16:22.900] – Dancho – I’ll actually leave a link just below the video so people could hear, but unfortunately, I’m still taking notes. That’s how I get this information. I just take a piece of pen and as you’re talking, I’m capturing notes.
[00:16:34.870] – Ashao – That’s great, yeah. So the planner is really broken down into three main phases. And so the first phase is the North Star. And so this is about having a vision, where you’re ultimately going. That’s so important because if we’re working on something, working hard, but it’s the wrong thing and we’re working in the wrong direction, we’ve wasted a lot of time and energy. So that’s the first phase. I’ll break them down in detail in a minute. The second phase is the 90 day outcome. So 90 days is a nice time frame that it’s a long enough time span that you can kind of plan and think ahead, but it’s not too far ahead that things will just radically change, or that you’re not accurately assessing what you can accomplish in that amount of time.
[00:17:25.310] – Dancho – Yeah. Well, we stopped doing business plans with three to five years forecasting on what’s going to happen, especially after the COVID, because no one had in their business plans, well, COVID is going to happen and this is how it’s going to impact.
[00:17:37.590] – Ashao – Yeah.
[00:17:39.430] – Dancho – Three…sometimes even up to six months when we do our planning Ashao. But 90 days is really… You can predict whether you plan on going on holiday or whether you plan adding a new service to your business. So that is really a good time frame.
[00:17:53.780] – Ashao – Yeah. I just want to add a little something there. Like yes, we don’t know what’s going to happen. And I think the key thing to know about planning is that the point of planning is not for things to go according to plan. Point of planning is so that we’re just intentional with how we’re spending our time and energy, and plans will constantly adapt and change. I plan out my quarters and weeks and days ahead of time, but my day is constantly evolving and I’m re-planning, in a sense, as the day progresses because I can never really know how things are going to go. So I just want to put that there because people often have this mindset like, things aren’t going to go according to plan. Forget about planning altogether. But the thing is, if you just forget about planning altogether, you’re just haphazardly bumping through life with no intention, with no focused plan of action. And so I think that’s just something to keep in mind that, yes, things are going to go. Your plans are not going to go according to plan. That’s to be expected.
[00:18:56.630] – Dancho – Well, for me, if I can just add here, for me, plans helps me to anticipate some of the problems that instead of happening and then figuring out what to do. If I plan to go to the US, well, I need a visa. It’s not like, now I’m going to the US and then realize that I need visa. But since I’m planning it, it gives me some notice period to prepare for the activities that I want to do. It’s really trying to skip some of the problems that you can anticipate rather than wait for them to happen and then it’s too late.
[00:19:27.260] – Ashao – Absolutely. It’s organizing your behavior. And so I think of two modes of action. There’s planning mode and then action mode. And so planning mode is that for thought, like you said, you’re thinking ahead. What are the potential obstacles? You’re basically kind of batch tasking your thinking altogether so that you’re like, Okay, here’s what might happen. Here’s how I can organize my behaviors. And then you can just hit the ground running and go into action mode and just get things done. So that’s just a little tangent there. All that to say, that’s the second phase is the 90 day outcome. And then the third phase is the execution plan, which is, okay, you have an outcome or a goal. That’s great. Unfortunately, that’s where most people stop. But that is not actionable. You can’t directly impact how many leads are going to get in or how many discovery calls are going to come in. What you can impact is the behaviors. And so that’s where the action plan is reverse engineering that outcome you have into specific behaviors that you can be like, I did it or I didn’t do it. That big picture, those are the three phases.
[00:20:39.950] – Dancho – Nice. So if I understand you, the execution is not just a set of activities that you need to do, but it’s also behavioral changes that you need to do in order to achieve your plan.
[00:20:55.010] – Ashao – Yeah. So why don’t we dive in a little bit deeper on them?
[00:20:58.880] – Dancho – Sure.
[00:20:59.320] – Ashao – So first phase, North Star Vision. I like to set this as a 25 year plus vision. So a time frame that is long enough that you don’t know what’s going to happen. Something totally feels totally unrealistic for you to be able to accomplish right now. 25 years, maybe I could do it. And so the point is to really have a compelling vision that’s fueling you. And oftentimes, something that’s 90 days, one year, you’re not tapping into that change that you’re seeking to create in the world. And so, I like to ask questions like, Well, why did you start this business initially? What change are you seeking to make in the world? And why does the company actually exist beyond making money? And that’s clarifying your mission statement and whatnot. And so having clarity on that is going to give you an intrinsic pull for the change that you’re seeking to make. And then related to that is also the vision. So what would wild success look like in 25 years or more? Some people have a hard time imagining this far out into the future.
[00:22:18.270] – Ashao – Play with it. Don’t take it seriously. Just have fun with it. Write down whatever comes to mind. You can always change it later. You’re not committing to anything. It’s just getting your mind thinking of what do you really want to create in your life?
[00:22:32.940] – Dancho – This is more…sorry to interrupt you… Like daydreaming, figuring out far, far, far in the future. And it’s like, okay, well, what’s the ideal scenario where you see? Of course, it can go in the completely opposite direction, but now you have the opportunity to actually proactively set intention in which direction you want to move. 25 years is so far that is really like daydreaming, imagining where it’s not like you can do… Okay, maybe you can do something specific now that will help you be there in 25 years, but at this stage is really brainstorming.
[00:23:09.890] – Ashao – Yeah, it’s brainstorming. And so this is the business side. You can also think of it in terms of a good question to ask for the personal side and even business in general. If I were 80 plus years old, maybe 110 or something, going to live a long time, 120, and you’re looking back on your life, maybe you’re on your deathbed or you’re just an older person and you’re looking back on your life, what are the things that you would like to have looked back on, the things that you’ve accomplished, what you were known for, what were the things that were truly important to you, and maybe the relationships that you created. Basically, we’re trying to give ourselves perspective like we were talking about before. If we’re always in the minutiae in the everyday grind, then we don’t have that perspective. We might be just hacking through the forest heading towards the edge of a cliff where we haven’t climbed up a tree and see the entire forest in the direction. This is really what this is about. It’s about clarity and direction. So that’s the first phase is brainstorming, starting to clarify vision. You can always come back and refine it later, work on it, add to it, change it.
[00:24:27.080] – Dancho – Can you have more than one vision? It’s like vision for the company, multiple. Personal vision?
[00:24:33.140] – Ashao – Yeah.
[00:24:33.890] – Dancho – Still multiple, probably, or do I have to pick one?
[00:24:38.450] – Ashao – Yeah. So that’s a great question. When I work with my clients on a longer term basis, we actually do this for not just business, but life as well. And also breaking down life into the categories or the areas that are important. So health, intellectual, emotional, intimate relationships, family, breaking it all down because that can help you craft with more specificity and more like you can wrap your head around it more the different areas. What’s your vision for your love life? What’s your vision for your family, for your lifestyle? So you can get into a lot of detail, and you can also just start with big picture. Whatever comes to you, that’s a good way to start. So you can definitely have multiple visions that come together. Now, this is obviously 25 years is a long time frame. So you might want to break it down into 10, 5, 1 year milestones. What’s the one thing I can do in the next five years or in the next year to make massive progress towards this long 25 year vision?
[00:25:48.530] – Dancho – A long time term, a long term. Breaking into two midterm goal, probably. One year, three years is mid, or is it considered the short term? No. One year is still midterm, probably.
[00:26:00.570] – Ashao – Yeah, one year, three year, those are good milestones. So that’s the North Star vision. This is like a guidance for where you’re headed ultimately. And this seems to be on the scope of planning and prioritization, but it’s not. This is prioritization because ultimately you want to create a business you love. You want to create a business that serves your life. And if you don’t know where you’re headed, you can’t do that effectively. Phase 2, the 90 day outcome. So this is split into two parts. First, you want to reflect on the past. Use that information to inform you to make decisions and look forward. So first, 90 day review. This is what I do looking back, asking myself questions like, what are the 20 % of the things that are driving 80 % of the results?
[00:26:53.330] – Dancho – The Pareto law. I’ve heard it is Pareto law that 20 % of the clients are generating 80% of the profit or that 20/80 rule? I know it’s Pareto.
[00:27:05.510] – Ashao – Yeah. Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule, super important concept to really integrate into your way of thinking because a lot of times things in life are not just linearly important, they’re disproportionately exponentially important. So if you have a task of 10 things to do or 100 things to do, 20 %, so let’s just say 50 things, you’re going to have 10 things that are massively more important than the rest. And so it really behooves you and is worth your time to identify what are those 20 things. That’s why it’s useful to look back. And you can look at this in different areas. You can look at what clients I have that are generating 80 % of the revenue, or what are the projects, what are the tasks I’m working on?
[00:28:05.587] – Dancho – Yeah.
[00:28:06.010] – Ashao – That’s one question you can ask yourself. Another one would be like, what mistakes can I learn from? What didn’t go as well as I’d hoped? What did I learn? These kinds of things. So reflecting on the past.
[00:28:16.610] – Dancho – You’re reflecting. On the previous 90 days, right?
[00:28:20.120] – Ashao – Yeah. And you can even look further than that, especially if you haven’t already done this exercise and you haven’t been regularly reviewing the past. You can look back three, six months or a year and just look at the past. So once you’ve done that, now you have some information to inform you, Okay, these were the things that were really working for me. Now you’re looking into the future. And this is where you’re going to set a 90 day outcome. And so I mentioned earlier, constraints. So in business, you could break it down into five constraints that could come up in terms of preventing you from growing the business. And I’ll just breeze through them really quickly. The first one is attraction, so lead generation. Second one is building trust with those leads, so lead nurture. Third is monetization or enrolling them. So having some kind of conversion event, if that’s a sales call or sales page or something of that type. How effectively are you converting these leads? Fourth is fulfillment. So what is your sequence? I like to call it the wow sequence. How are you delivering your services in a way that’s going to be remarkable?
[00:29:35.190] – Ashao – You’ll be worth remarking about, people are going to want to tell their friends. Ultimately, you want to build a business that…
[00:29:40.720] – Dancho – Beyond expectations.
[00:29:42.600] – Ashao – Beyond expectations that doesn’t even need marketing because your clients bring back one or two more. That’s the goal with the fourth step. Then the fifth step is profitability. There’s different components that come into that, so your expenses, but then also, are you retaining your clients? Are you sending them to higher value services that are worth more? Real quick overview, those are the five constraints. And so I break it down a little bit more in the planner, but you’re going to want to identify what is the constraint that you are currently facing, and then you want to craft your 90 day outcome around that. So does that make sense so far?
[00:30:27.300] – Dancho – Yeah, I know you’re looking at the 90 day through different prisms from different perspectives in order to make sure that you’re comprehensive, not just focusing on one part.
[00:30:39.560] – Ashao – Yeah. Let’s just give an example. Let’s say that the constraint is lead generation. You just don’t have enough leads coming in. And so they really flow one to the other. If you don’t have enough leads coming in, there’s no point in focusing on enrollment and lead generation too much. I mean, you can have some forth thought in terms of what your sales sequence will be, but, to really optimize it doesn’t make sense because there’s nothing to optimize. So first you want to brainstorm, what are all the different things that I could do in the next 90 days to increase the amount of leads that I have so that I’m on track to hit my one year goal, let’s just say. So at this point, you’re just brainstorming, you’re not filtering. Get as many ideas as you can. Of course, you’re probably going to be getting some ideas from the past 90 days of what’s been working and what hasn’t. Then you’re going to basically just rank those opportunities in terms of prioritizing it. Which one do you think is going to have the highest likelihood of making the biggest impact? And then you formulate it into what I call an outcome statement.
[00:31:56.780] – Ashao – An outcome statement has to be either measurable or falsifiable. So measurable means that you can measure it on a gradient like number of new leads per month. You can measure that increase linearly or hopefully exponentially. Or falsifiable, which is you either did it or you didn’t do it. Like launch my new high ticket program, something along those lines. That you either did it or didn’t do it. It’s not necessarily a gradient as much as it is something that was done.
[00:32:30.040] – Dancho – Can you, address it?
[00:32:33.360] – Ashao – Exactly. So you’re going to want to put that into an outcome statement. So basically increase monthly new leads from X to Y by date. And then once you have that, that, concludes the second phase. You have an outcome statement.
[00:32:55.950] – Dancho – Mhmm.
[00:32:57.760] – Ashao – So then, that brings us to the third phase, which is an execution plan. And so a lot of times people, like I said earlier, stop here. They have an outcome, they have a goal, and then that’s it. They’re like, All right, let’s do this.
[00:33:19.160] – Dancho – I have the plan, now I can sleep.
[00:33:22.020] – Ashao – Yeah. The thing is, okay, can you just go out and get new leads? Boom, here they are. Well, there’s going to be some an activity that precedes that, or a lead behavior, behavior that leads to that outcome. And so what you want to do with this is, again, brainstorm. Okay, if I could wave a magic wand and have anyone do anything, what would I have done to increase our monthly new leads from X to Y?
[00:33:56.930] – Dancho – What activities in order to make sure that the 90 day outcome is going to be achievable, actually?
[00:34:04.720] – Ashao – Yeah. So you just brainstorm. Linkedin outreach, creating content, YouTube channel, podcast tour, partnership, whatever it is, brainstorm it all out. And then you’re going to want to specify it. So who is doing what behavior? And is it a one time or is it repeating behavior? Is it send X amount of outreach emails every week? That’s like a repeating behavior. And is it just for a period of time? Is it repeating or just for a period of time? And then you’re going to want to rank it. So this is if you know what a decision matrix is, there’s a vertical axis and a horizontal axis. So first vertical, you want to rank them by impact. So if you can do this on a whiteboard like you have there in the background, sticky notes, and you physically do that recently did an activity in person, which is great. I love doing those sticky notes. Or you can do it on something like Winsicle or Miro online with your team and ranking it vertically by impact. What do I think is going to have the most impact? And then once that’s done, then you rank them horizontally on…
[00:35:16.190] – Ashao – If you have it on the left side of the graph, you would have things that are hard to do that we probably can’t get ourselves to do, and things on the right side of the graph is…
[00:35:26.570] – Dancho – Quick wins.
[00:35:27.680] – Ashao – Yeah. Quick wins for sure. I can do that, no problem. So then now you’re going to rank them horizontally, and then what you’re going to see is things are going to surface to the upper right quadrant, which is going to be things that are high impact and easier to do.
[00:35:43.850] – Dancho – The ones that are not a lot of effort, but it’s going to make a big impact, actually.
[00:35:49.080] – Ashao – Exactly.
[00:35:49.080] – Dancho – Those are the, ones we should start from.
[00:35:51.980] – Ashao – Yeah. And so this is… How can you actually accomplish more by doing less? This is how. Prioritization. There are few activities that are disproportionately more important than others. And if you don’t spend that initial time thinking and discovering this, you might be spending a ton of time on things that are hard to do and low impact.
[00:36:12.950] – Dancho – Yeah, just for, the sake of doing them. No, it has a good point. But I’m looking at the double your time off the, how they call this, the planner, the 90 day planner, and it does feel like a mini business plan because you have a long term vision, you have a shorter term vision, and then you have the goals of the company, and then you have even people who’s going to do and what are the KPIs. But the focus here is that, this is for individual person in order to be more efficient, to make sure that if I am doing this activity is because this activity is the most important activity at this point, and this activity is going to have the biggest impact that I need in order to achieve my goal. So what you’re doing, you’re choosing carefully in order to maximize the result.
[00:37:02.380] – Ashao – And this, is also on a company level. So when you’re in that deciding on the KPIs and who’s going to do what, well, hopefully you’re not the one who’s doing everything. Hopefully you have a team that’s working with you.
[00:37:17.210] – Dancho – Hopefully.
[00:37:19.720] – Ashao – Yeah. That’s a whole, other discussion in terms of delegating and having systems for that as well, which I’m also very excited about. It is like a mini business plan, and it really helps gain that clarity in terms of like, Okay, here’s what we need to do. And then really, the final step is what are the costs? What are the things that I’m going to have to put on the back burner? And maybe these are some good ideas, but really, they’re going to distract us from these great ideas. And so what am I going to have to eliminate or put on the back burner for the next 90 days so that I can really focus on this? And so clarifying that, and that’s creating a not to do list. Don’t do these things yet. We’ll reevaluate in 90 days if I want to do them later.
[00:38:03.590] – Dancho – In the agile project management, they have the product backlog, and in the product backlog are all the features and request and everything that needs to be done. And then on the sprint, on the 30 days plan, they’re taking the most priority, highest priority tasks, and the rest are like, okay, after 30 days, we’re going to see which one is, again the most priority. So they’re not taking all the activities and all the ideas, but just the ones that are, as you said, with highest impact and least effort.
[00:38:35.880] – Ashao – Yeah, totally, and so when you think of the different, let’s say, for example, marketing channels, because we’re talking about lead generation, you can have a backlog of like, I would love to start a YouTube channel. I want to start a podcast and so on. That’s in the backlog. Don’t go starting all these things at once. You want to start get really good at one thing, create systems, delegate it to your team so that you are no longer having to put conscious effort and thought and time into that so that you are now free to cognitively to move on to creating a new channel.
[00:39:07.160] – Dancho – No, but that with the backlog is actually a smart idea because I was working in a software company and we were moving from waterfall to the agile world. And even in BizzBee now, we try to be as agile as possible because it’s an agency. There is unlimited work that we need to do. And just by focusing on like, from the backlog, this is what we’re going to focus on this month or six months. Yes. Well, everything else, although it’s interesting, we’re living in doubt for a different month actually.
[00:39:41.320] – Ashao – Yeah.
[00:39:41.704] – Dancho – Nice.
[00:39:42.730] – Dancho – Well, Ashao, I’m looking at the framework, you went into also behavior and to the psychology of people in order to figure out how to make it as a system. To reflect on myself, I think I mentioned you last year when I was in Sri Lanka on a two weeks yoga retreat, and imagine there was no alcohol there, there was no internet there. They wake us up at 5 AM, we do yoga, we do swimming and massage every day. But it helped me to just take a piece of paper and a pen and do not even close to this as a framework. But like, okay, what do I want from BizzBee? I mean, where do I see it in five, 10 years from now? Is it going to be an agency or is it going to evolve into something more complex? Well, if it is, then let’s divide it into chapters. Well, I want to write the book. What are the activities that needs to happen for the book? Then I want an academy. I want a content agency in… So multiple bigger topics and then broken down into smaller ones. And then I did the same for the personal.
[00:40:51.970] – Dancho – It’s like, okay, I need to lose some weight. Well, losing weight is not like a wish. You need to put it into this 90 day outcome framework that you have, or more time with the family, or I wanted to finish my MBA and even now I’m considering a PhD. But the problem that I was facing is that there was no framework, something that I can follow. But it was a blank piece of paper and I’m like, well, I need to think about this and about that, and then try to do just without the structure. And I know that whenever you have a framework or a system in place, it means that actually someone tried it, failed, tried it again. And after trying a lot of times, they found the pattern. And the framework, the system is actually a pattern, a set of steps that you need to follow in order to achieve a result. So for me, this would have been perfect. And it’s still really perfect. So I should actually download it. But last year when I was in Sri Lanka, I didn’t know how to see the big picture as you’re now saying it, or the North Star, or I don’t even knew how to set up a 90 day outcome.
[00:41:56.230] – Dancho – So I was just swinging it on the spot. And now when you’re presenting the framework, the 90 day planner, that’s clarity. As an entrepreneur, it’s good that, okay, in these three months, summer is coming now. It’s June, so June, July, August for the summer, if I’m able to achieve X, Y, and Z, I’m happy. It’s helping me achieve my North Star big purpose. And then it’s like, okay, well, September, October, November, December. Well, in those three months, if I achieve X, Y, and Z, I know that I’m achieving my one year plan, which is actually helping me with the main purpose.
[00:42:34.230] – Ashao – Yeah and you were doing that. You were visioning, doing the brainstorming and the North Star. What does this company want to become? That’s great. You were creating that space and you were starting to gain some more clarity.
[00:42:48.400] – Dancho – Yeah, but, figuring on my own and having a framework is really far better. And I didn’t know that there was a consulting for this, but having a consultant that just going to grab your hand and walk you through the process, I really think is helping entrepreneurs. I don’t know, don’t look into the fog, but actually get some clarity out of it.
[00:43:10.030] – Ashao – Absolutely.
[00:43:10.620] – Dancho – Ashao, I’m looking at the time and I need to speed up a bit.
[00:43:13.860] – Ashao – All right.
[00:43:14.880] – Dancho – Just to let you know. But everybody on the show, I’m actually asking in regards to a single lesson that you learned or that you want to share. And for example, even when you be, how did you say, 25 years from now, when you have grandchildren, what do you actually wanted to do, the lesson to share with the world or something that you will be remembered for?
[00:43:38.980] – Ashao – That’s a great question. So the first thing that came up was less but better. Do less, but with more intention and more love, more heart. And so what are the things that truly matter? And for me, that’s my family, that’s relationships. And how do I do less things and really spend more time on the things that truly matter to me?
[00:44:00.020] – Dancho – That’s actually quality over quantity also. It’s very nice because some people are workaholic and they’re in the habit of let’s just do something for the sake of doing it, rather than strategically thinking, is this going to help me with the vision that I have? Or is it just randomly activities that might help, might not help, but you will never know. Well, Ashao, let me just look at my notes. I think I wrote a lot of stuff. I just wanted to summarize what I personally learned from this conversation. You got a very nice hook, helping people work less. I would put it into the ads on the top of any cover because it’s a nice hook. You get my attention. I was like, Okay, how should I work less? And I realized that the key is that you can work less if you work only on the key things that are needed in the company. And I’ve learned about the 90 day planner and the three stages that you have. So you actually pretty broke it down into three stages, like the North Star, the 90 day outcome, and the execution. And then within each, there are some sub steps that needs to be processed. And I’m curious, Ashao, if people are interested that are listening to this podcast, where they can actually reach you for some additional information, or they are interested even hiring you to add some clarity into their business as well.
[00:45:32.790] – Ashao – So if you’re interested in working with me, I do one on one coaching with people. So basically we have a one day intensive where we create a detailed plan for you to reclaim 10 to 20 plus hours per week for you and your family for fun. And then you have unlimited one on one coaching with me. So you have direct access to me. So if you’re interested in that, basically just download the planner, you go to doubleyourtimeoff.com/dancho, so D, A, N, C, H, O. And then you download that on the next page, you’re going to have the opportunity to sign up for a complimentary business audit where we’ll identify what’s your constraint, what’s the one thing you should be doing right now to save time off of your work week.
[00:46:17.390] – Dancho – Got it. So the first step for everybody is for us to download the planner and have a look at it. Because when I saw it, it’s nice visually when you start putting stuff. I’m also a visual guy, that’s why I have the whiteboard here because even in brainstorming, you just pick up a marker and start testing some theories. And it helps. So that’s the starting point with you then, Ashao. People should come to the calendar and take the 90 day planner. And from there, if they feel that they need more, they can book a one on one consulting with you.
[00:46:50.710] – Ashao – Yeah, we’ll talk about. It after our call, after the business audit.
[00:46:55.290] – Dancho – Perfect. Well, Ashao, I would really want to thank you for coming to the show. I loved it because as an entrepreneur, I also want to be into the group of listeners and learn new stuff. And every time when I interview a person on this B2B podcast, I’m stealing the knowledge. For me, it was like, I have the opportunity to talk with you, learn about how you do, and get some advices because as an entrepreneur, I’m also a management consultant as well. But it’s weird. Some people think I don’t need a consultant. I know everything. Well, I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum where I said, you know what? People devote time and effort in very specific areas and they become really good at that area. So why should I do it? Why should I just hire a consultant? He can save me months of my life. And I really am into consultancy and working with consultants and learning from consultants, which I really… That was my primary point that if I have this podcast, if I learn, I hope that also the other listeners will learn. And if they appreciate it, they will probably reach out to you and ask for additional information. With that being said, thank you very much again for being guest on the show and for everybody out there. Keep watching. We always try to find really good experts in this in field, especially, if they can help you work less, you should give it a try.
[00:48:24.500] – Ashao – Thanks so much for having me on, Dancho.
[00:48:28.280] – Dancho – Bye, bye.