In episode #22, Wilco shares a chat he recently had with someone who asked him some of the right questions to basically get himself focused.
Hey, it’s Wilco de Kreij here and I just bought myself a new toy. I’m really excited about it, but I’m going to guess that once you hear what it actually is, you’re like, “Huh. Boring.” Yeah, it might actually be boring, but I’m actually geeking out and it’s actually crazy that I never bought it earlier. It’s not a tech toy or an iPad or anything like that, but it’s actually a whiteboard with a year planner on it. I already have a whiteboard in my office. It just helps me to write things up and brainstorm a little bit, but I never really had a good year planner in the office. I always write it on checklist or a notes or in a.
Basically, it’s in my mind, right, but I just need it to be something more visual where I plan out all the projects so I could see exactly, right. All right, next month, we’re doing this. This week, we’re doing that. Then the month after, we’re doing that because what I sometimes realize is that in our business, we’re working on so many things at the same time and at some point, we launch something or we create something or finish a certain project or a deadline and then right after, I’m like, “Wait, a second, the next whatever should be happening next. It should’ve been done already, right. It should at least be halfway.
Then, there’s a bit of a delay because then I start on that project even though it should’ve started a month before and just get all the pieces and puzzles moving because obviously, a lot of the projects that we get out are depending on the various people, right. You’ll need, for example, if we’re launching a project, you’ll need designers, video editors, copywriters, support training, developers, obviously, UX interface. There’s so many things, so many pieces of the puzzle that are needed to get everything in motion. In other words, planning is a big part of running a business, right.
Now with that, I recently had a chat with someone who asked me some of the right questions to basically get myself focused because as you might know, as an entrepreneur, it’s not always easy to stay focused on the right things and he asked me a really good question. He asked me, “Would your business be around in 300 years from now?” I’m like, Three hundred years? No way. That’s way too far ahead, right.” Then he was like, “All right, would your business be around 100 years from now?” I’m like, “A hundred years? The internet might not even exist at that point, right. A hundred years is way, way, way too far off.” Then he asked me like, “All right, what should happen in order for that business to be around in 100 years?
It’s funny because I never really looked at it like that. I try to plan ahead, but 100 years, that’s a long time, right. That’s an insanely long time. I’m only 30 years old myself so that’s like more than three times as my age, right, which is insane, but even though I wasn’t able to answer that question because to be honest, I don’t know yet at least what I should be doing to create something that would last an eternity or at least last 100 years and would still be around, right.
Because I was thinking about that question, it did help me to basically make my own planning more longterm, right, because I’m not sure about you, but I usually have a hard time to really see the future in five years from now. I can see it for the next month, three months from now, six months from now as well and maybe even a year, but that’s about as long as it goes, right. I sort of know where the business and everything should be going like multiple years from now, but there’s a difference between knowing and knowing, right. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I sort of know it, but I don’t feel it. I don’t really know it, right.
When I was thinking about, all right, what should I do to make sure my business is around 100 years, then I suddenly started to realize that I should be focusing on completely different things, right. If you look at all the businesses that have been around for more than 100 years, none of them solely rely on its founder, right. As soon as a business is just relying on the founder, in this case on myself, that’s not a good longterm strategy because quite frankly, I don’t think I’m going to survive 100 years, right. Now if you look at the five-year perspective, you would say you can easily rely on just the founder because I’m hoping I’m going to be alive in five years still, right. Let’s count on that.
At the same time because I was thinking about that 100-year plan, I was like wait a second, why should it always rely on me? It doesn’t mean I would always be involved, but I didn’t realize that in order to really grow and really to go to the next level, I need to hand off certain things that I’m not the best at, right. I’ll give you an example. If you look at UpViral, a lot of the dashboard and interface and how certain features work, I’ve all created it myself, right. I didn’t code it. I didn’t develop the actual technical part, but I did put it all on paper. Basically, I drew it all out and I decided how should things work and how should things not work, right. If you look at the grand scheme of things, if you look at certain massive SaaS companies, massive software as a service companies, the level of detail and the level of … Basically, the speed of development is just so much faster than … There’s always room for improvement, right.
That made me realize, wait a second. Now I’m currently doing all of that, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the best at this. There are people out there, a lot actually that this is what they do. They design the interface. They decide on what should be in there, what not. There’s people who are way better at that and see all the logic and can focus on that full time while I should actually divide all my time to all different kind of things, right, not just a product, but also the marketing and affiliates and managing the team. There’s a lot of things that I need to do.
Long story short, by asking myself the question like what should we do in order to still be around in 100 years, even though that might be a silly question for many businesses these days, like many businesses if you’re focusing online, it might not be as relevant, but it does change your way of thinking if you’re really thinking about it this way and it will make you realize things that maybe you should just hand things off. Another thing that’s really important right away, and I cannot stress this enough and this is actually something that might be relevant, it’s actually relevant for everyone who’s starting a business as well as those who are already running a business, and that is also to really think about whatever your thing is, is it actually something longterm?
I’ll give you an example. As you probably know, I have two businesses, UpViral and Connectio. Connectio is 100% focused on Facebook ads and UpViral is 100% focused on getting people to share the message, right. If I’m going to be completely honest, UpViral will be way, way, way much more longterm compared to Connectio. Now does that mean I’m going to quit Connect IO? No, definitely not. That’s completely opposite of what I’m trying to say. The point is that Connect IO is 100% depending on Facebook ads. It makes Facebook ads more effective. In other words, as soon as advertisers stop using Facebook, then Connect IO will not be of much use.
In other words, if Facebook for some reason will magically disappear or, for example, the same thing will happen as what happened with MySpace, for example … At some point, MySpace was the place to be, right. Look at it right now. I don’t know anyone who’s using MySpace. Twitter was huge. Twitter is still big, but not what it was before, right. I would say it’s only a matter of time that Facebook will be not cool anymore, right. Because it’s a social thing, it doesn’t last forever.
Just like every local restaurant, it’s cool for a while and then all the non-cool people go there and all the cool people go somewhere else. With Facebook, I expect the exact same thing to happen, which means that once people start to move over to another platform, advertisers are going to shift towards the new platform as well and then, connectio will not be as useful as it currently is. That’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to happen in the next two years, but if you look at it, for example, 10 years ahead, then I’m pretty sure that Facebook will not be around, at least not in the current form, right. That’s my take on it.
However, with UpViral, it’s not depending on any network at all, right. It doesn’t matter if people are using Facebook, doesn’t matter if people are using Twitter, doesn’t matter if people are using Yip, Yap, Yung which doesn’t even exist, right. It doesn’t matter which social network or which interaction they use between people because it’s based on an invite link basis. People can share it wherever and people will always be talking to other people. People will always be in contact with other people because it’s all based on word of mouth, right. For that reason, I see UpViral as something way more longterm because it’s not depending on anything that is temporary. It’s not depending on anything that could just cease to exist from one day or another or one year to another. These are two examples.
I’ve also seen a lot of people who are creating things that are really just focused on a certain trick or a certain hack or something that is currently working or something that is, for example, not really according to the rules of a certain platform, right. They’re having some cool tricks on Facebook or on Twitter or whatever and they created products around it. You just know before even starting a project like that, you just know that whatever that thing is, it’s not going to be around for like six months, right. That’s super, super, super short term. If you have something like that, then please stop, please, you should stop.
You want to make sure even though 100 years is way too long for most people even for myself, but at least you want to aim yourself at least like a three-year plan, a four-year plan. Even though plans will change and even though yes, I know it’s going to be hard to create a plan that far ahead, I even still struggle with that sometimes because there’s so many opportunities and so much stuff and there’s so much that could happen, but at least you want to be clear on what could happen and what you are planning to happen in those couple of years because that way, you can actually start focusing on things right now.
Just yesterday, I was working on some funnels and I actually realized that I was actually using a lot of my work from 2015, right. I was using certain sales pages, certain copy because everything I do since that time has been longterm and I can still use that in my business today. Because of that, everything grows much faster because I don’t have to start over every six months or every year or so.
The takeaway for today is to whatever you are doing, stop for a second and ask yourself a question what should you do to make sure that my business is going to be around for another 100 years, even though that might seem crazy, but focus on that and then, you will realize that at least you should have something that will be around for five years. Anyway, I hope this helps and I will talk to you all soon.
“I realize that in order to really grow and really to go to the next level, I need to hand off certain things that I’m not the best at.”
“Stop for a second and ask yourself a question what should you do to make sure that your business is going to be around for another 100 years.”