13-14 years ago – in early summer.
I was cooking a 4-course meal for actual royalty.
I was a private chef.
Lady Venetia Wimborne was my client,
Among the 8 or 9 guests that she had invited for tonight’s meal were various members of the aristocracy, and a man who I was later told was the Prince of Georgia.
This meal also included cooking a dish that I had never cooked before, but that Lady Wimborne had pulled out of a 50-year old cook book she had.
(plus there was no wifi and this was before 3G access to the internet was a thing, so I couldn’t google it, all I had to go on was her recipe)
The mere idea of cooking for this amount and status of people would bring most people down in cold sweats.
– So much to do.
– So many different things.
– Everything needs to be ready at exactly the right time.
– Can’t be overcooked
– Must look beautiful,
– Must be hot when it goes out to the table…
but for me, it was fine. There was a lot to do, and it was a full-on day preparing, cooking and serving it – but all went to plan and everyone was happy.
The prince came to say thank you at breakfast the following morning 😃
So how come it wasn’t a nightmare for me?
Well a couple of years before that it would’ve been.
I had never cooked much more than an omelette on toast, but had just got a job as a ‘chalet boy’ in the French alps.
I was going to be the assistant to the ‘chalet chef’ of a 17-person chalet in the french ski resort of Plan-Peisey, part of the new Paradiski area.
All was good for a couple of months, I’d learned how to bake cakes easily, and helped out making all the other meals too.
But then my boss/chef broke a bone, got sent home, and I had to take over… on my own.
I knew the menu, I knew how to do it all, but it FREAKED ME OUT.
I spent 16 hours that first day in the kitchen on my own – from 6am until the meal was done at 10pm – making the biggest mess you’ve ever seen.
Technically it all went out fine, and everyone was happy.
But it was horrendous.
So what was different 2 years later?
I had learned to do one thing at a time.
Yes, there might be a massive list of things that need to be done,
but if I flap around like a lunatic trying to do everything at once, none of it gets done and I just make a mess.
I now work with small business owners, and I see them doing this every day.
My opinion is that the concept of ‘hustle’ has done a lot of damage.
People feel pressured to work every hour of the day, and end up with this intimidating list of 100 things they need to do RIGHT NOW or else.
If you do a specific service, say you’re a book-keeper, or a personal trainer, or a photographer – then you have 2 primary concerns:
- doing the work for your clients to a high standard
- finding new clients so you’re bringing in enough money
Number 1 is probably no sweat. It’s the thing you do, the thing you enjoy
But I bet number 2 drives you crazy.
You see messages everywhere telling you ALL the places you should be getting clients from:
– Twitter is a gold-mine
– Drive traffic to your website
– It’s all about Facebook
– Nothing beats good old fashioned direct mail.
– Adwords are still the best!
– Just get on the phone and call people up!
– Build your email list
– LinkedIn is under-used
– concentrate on SEO, it’s the long-term win.
– Snapchat/TikTok is killing it, don’t miss the boat.
– Start a podcast, the authority will get you flying.
– Instagram gets the most engagement, hand’s down!
The problem is, all of those statements above might actually be true.
SO WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO?
Just like I learned to do in the kitchen,
You concentrate on one thing at a time.
Try one channel out, give it your full attention, and then assess whether to keep going or to try a different one.
BUT HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH ONE?
This is the simple bit that catches people out.
They try to be clever,
Try to be ahead of the curve.
Maybe start thinking they’re Steve Jobs…
But actually, all you need to do is open your eyes.
Look at your industry,
Look at what your (successful) competition is using.
And use that.
You know it works, so just model what others are doing, add in your own character and concentrate on what separates you from the alternatives,
and go for it.
It’s going to take 90% less time than you’re currently spending on marketing, and get you MUCH better results.
If you don’t see encouraging progress after a few MONTHS (not hours lol)
(OR if it’s going amazing and you can outsource the whole process)
THEN decide what to try next.
Because the truth is, whatever business you’re in, if you’re at the stage where most of your time is taken up doing the thing you sell (your product or service),
Then having just one reliable client-getting system will change EVERYTHING.
Make you more money.
Free up your time,
Allow you to outsource the repeatable bits,
And finally let you BREATHE.
As I said, different options suit different businesses.
I work with Facebook ads, and for my clients (ecommerce businesses) it’s pretty much been the go-to platform to drive sales for 2 or 3 years.
but for other business types, it’s not going to be the best place to start.
So stop, and make the decision now to focus on one thing at a time.
What industry are you in?
What’s working for the successful people/businesses in your industry?
How can you add your own style/message/USP to that platform?
Go do that.