How do I become a professional plate spinner?

by Nina Petrov 22 replies
I don't get this. It's like a juggling act of trying to keep dozens of plates spinning. Or what I mean is just getting a million and one tasks done. I have lists and list of things because I run a couple sites. I'm trying to juggle: development, marketing, traffic, customer service, troubleshooting etc etc. And it just seem really challenging to try and juggle it all? Then not as much ends up actually getting done as I'd like. Things are moving forward slowly but painfully slow.

Isn't there any easy simple way to manage your time, tasks, etc so that you get more done. So that you actually start to make some real progress???

One thing dawned on me that if I got all that I have done on my lists, actually done, then I'd be pretty much home free. Based on everything I can see. But it's just trying to get it all done, still have a life, and not die on my computer. It's nuts. What should I do?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #plate #professional #spinner
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    But it's just trying to get it all done, still have a life, and not die on my computer. It's nuts
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Internet marketing!

    Now you know why experienced marketers always say it's a lot of hard work.

    Sacrifice is often mentioned as well.

    Brent
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Welcome to the wonderful world of Internet marketing!

      Now you know why experienced marketers always say it's a lot of hard work.

      Sacrifice is often mentioned as well.

      Brent
      So true. Unless you have the money to hire an employee you must complete the tasks yourself.

      There is no "20 minute workday."

      I worked 12-14 hours a day every day for the first 3-4 years as an IMer.

      I still put in at least 3-4 hours per day, many times more.

      The "laptop lifestyle" certainly exists, but it certainly is not even close to what most so-called "gurus" claim it is.

      It's like owning your own brick and mortar business. You're always on duty and you're the "go to" person for EVERYTHING.

      As times goes on and your business starts to succeed, it will ease up a bit, but you still have to be at the helm, and that work never goes away.

      Internet Marketing is one of the most difficult businesses to run. It's even more difficult to succeed. That's the reality.

      If someone told you different they lied to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by Nina Petrov View Post


    One thing dawned on me that if I got all that I have done on my lists, actually done, then I'd be pretty much home free. Based on everything I can see. But it's just trying to get it all done, still have a life, and not die on my computer. It's nuts. What should I do?
    Not just in IM but this transcends Life. As humans we are NEVER "scott free" with things on our plate. At times there may be a certain period where it seems that way . But sure enough "stuff" happens and we are back on the 'running mill' of Life.

    Let's face it NONE of us are getting out of here alive lol
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Start by looking at what you're doing and see what you need to do and the high value tasks and cut out those who are either not productive or not worth doing (look at the 80/20 rule).

    You might benefit on reading the 4 hour work week, your week will likely not shrink to 4 hours but it shows how to gain efficiencies and stuff like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Well...I'm answering as someone who has been a magician, ventriloquist, balloon twister, guitar player, and now a writer.

    Keeping all those plates in the air is tricky business.

    The best answer is to outsource but most people can't do that in the beginning.

    I find I have to block time for each project and stick to my schedule. I can't stop in the middle of my writing time to check emails or pop onto Facebook "real quick".

    I'm a big list maker and I have to work through it step by step without getting sidetracked.

    No easy answers. Would you like me to twist you a pink poodle now?

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Nina,

    Awesome post! Why? Because it shows you're learning one of the most difficult lessons about this business.

    Most who fail at IM do so because they never do figure out that it takes hard work, a proven system, and persistence to be successful. When they are confronted with reality they quickly give up ... or look for a new method that doesn't take so much personal effort ... and they rarely find one!

    I would suggest you keep things as simple as you can while you're "learning the ropes" of IM. Focus on just one web site until you get it running smoothly and profitably.

    Focus on one source of traffic until you know how to make it work.

    Implement leverage wherever you can. You do that with automation tools, knowledge, and software.

    Take 10 minutes at the start of the day (or end of the previous day) to prioritize what you must do during the day. Cross off any tasks that don't materially affect what you want to get done. In other words, do the most critical tasks first and pride yourself on not even trying to do things that are not important.

    Consciously work to remove distractions from your work time. Turn away from social media, checking email, "forum lounging," product offers, surfing, etc. Set aside chunks of time (whatever you can) - 2 hours here, 3 hours there, 1 hour someplace else - and hold you own feet to the fire to just attack your work without distraction during those chunks.

    Work hard to get earning something - anything. Having success in IM when you're just starting out is important - a milestone - a breakthrough. It closes the cycle (if only in a small way) of what you're trying to accomplish and proves (to you) that you can make money online. Realize that you will get better and more efficient at it over time.

    Always keep one eye on your audience - they will tell you what you need to know to keep them happy. They are your "boss" and their success in the niche is your key to wealth.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Princess Balestra
    Thing about professional plate spinners is ... they spin plates.

    An' it is so frickin' superspecifically skillsum, the audience applauds.

    "I cannot do THAT THING," says Audience. "Wow."


    Gotta figure ur usin' plate spinnin' as an analogy here.

    Cos for sure, any pro plate spinner got practical issues, like...

    "O, charismatically theatrical & monstrously dextrous darling, come lie with me and make merry in a mutually orgasmic fashion!"

    "Sorry, love of my life -- I gotta go spin some plates."


    I sense admin isya immediate Nemesis here.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Micacchi
    Great, big question. What is the next step for your business? Consider what you need to do to get it there. Is everything you're trying to accomplish right now critical?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ali Akbar
    I could never figure out how they managed not to break a plate. Maybe we can even have some fun learning how to become a professional Plate Spinner!! I found it to be a sensible approach towards getting all your plates up and spinning again.
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  • Profile picture of the author JAIDEEP2959
    Keep on experimenting on all marketing methods explained on this forum and learn from it.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Two words for you...

    Priorities and Leverage.

    Show me someone who always finishes their to-do list, and I'll show you someone with a very short list.

    Chris Ba hinted at the first by referencing the 80/20 rule. Tasks almost always fall somewhere on the urgency/importance matrix.

    Picture a graph with urgency along the vertical axis and importance on the horizontal axis. Mentally (or sketch it on paper if it helps) divide the graph into four quadrants. You end up with the following:

    > Tasks that are both urgent and important.
    > Tasks that are important but not urgent
    > Tasks that are urgent but less important
    > Tasks that are neither urgent or important

    A lot of people spend way too much time in the last quadrant. They go like gangbusters all day long, then look at the day and wonder where it went.

    You should be spending at least 80% of your time in the first two quadrants, and virtually none in the last one.

    Next comes Leverage.

    If you can't hire a VA, look for other ways to automate tasks so you don't have to manually do them.

    Things like Google Alerts save you from monitoring your market for news, or mentions of your product/service/content. Tools like Hootsuite let you pre-schedule social media posts. Services like IFTTT.com help you automate routine tasks.

    Even simple things like setting up rules for your inbox, or a FAQ page on your website can help you get more of the important stuff done.

    Bottom line, you probably can't keep ALL of the plates spinning, but you can keep the important ones going. For the others, just glue the plate to the stick and fix it to a rotisserie motor
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Marcell
    You should only be paying attention to the high leverage activities. These are actions that are directly correlated with bringing in more sales.

    For everything else, I would outsource the tasks on your list that are not categorized as a "high leverage activity" to other people who are skilled in that specific task.

    This way, you can actually start to make progress without feeling overwhelmed to the point where you feel like giving up.

    To find virtual assistants that can help you manage your heavy workload - I would recommend Upwork and Elance.

    These are good resources to help with your current situation.

    Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Micacchi
      I agree in principle, but the reality of a new business is that outsourcing isn't possible. Instead it comes down to defining what those daily actions are that will take you to level 2, then 3...etc. (And defining what those levels - milestones - are in your business plan).

      Also, you have to master all the jobs in your business...so that when you are able to bring in staff, you know when they're on, or off point.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Marcell
        We are going to have to agree to disagree on that one.

        I personally have experience outsourcing certain tasks for my business so I'm speaking from first-hand experience - not just theory.

        Your opinion is much appreciated though and thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyS89
    That's pretty much life around here. I keep a to-do list but for everything I check off 10 more things get added. If you figure it out let me know!
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  • Profile picture of the author rbates
    I love your "Plate Spinning" analogy. You will do well.

    Yep, time, work, and learning what works (for you) and what doesn't
    is what this Ball Game is about.

    The best advice that I can give is to prioritize, keep a schedule,
    avoid distraction, and take time off. You don't need to end up
    with your fingers growing into the keyboard.

    As anything else worthwhile, this internet stuff usually
    takes a bit of time to get get the hang of, and start
    making a few dollars.

    After more time, you get better, and you make a few more dollars.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketingAce
    LOL Ive never heard of this.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketingAce
    I say to just stick with whatever you feel is most enjoyable to you. Don't bite off more than what youre capable of chewing.
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    This is a pretty good example why people fail that attempt to run 5-10 sites thinking everything will be good. The more sites you try to run, then the less productive you will be getting your tasks done. I have seen people setup 10 affiliate sites, and their first site has not even taken off, then within 1-2 years they have pretty much given up because they simply can not focus on that many sites at the same time as quality takes a big nose dive.

    for best results (do your research)

    1: One brand
    2: one product
    (something new, and not market saturated)

    If this site takes off, then you can start considering
    setting up a second brand, but remember, having
    multiple sites will only affect your overall quality....

    This often happens to corporate america that has to
    maintain multiple sites. The right hand often does not
    know what the left hand is doing, and the business can suffer
    if everyone is not on the exact same page working as a team.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    But it's just trying to get it all done, still have a life, and not die on my computer. It's nuts. What should I do?
    My advice? Walk away once in a while...take the day off or the weekend off of a full week off.

    When you come back, look at what happened in your absence. Chances are much of your business is still operating even when you weren't totally involved for a short period of time. Focus on those areas - any plate that crashed the moment you walked away is probably not worth the effort to keep it spinning.

    Stopping for a short time allows you to prioritize better and not get so wrapped up in the every day frantic "must do". Helps your sanity, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nina Petrov
    well at least we can go on vacation and bring our work along for the ride. Most can't do that. They're effectively trapped. Which is really really sad when you think about it. Because they get use to the idea that they're trapped in their day jobs or whatever. But also trying to do this kind of thing isn't easy either. I'm seeing some progress at least. Some tiny light at the end of the tunnel perhaps. I know if I can get all I have planned out done I'd be fine. It just seems like a massive undertaking. Meanwhile there's a lot of stuff that sidelines your efforts. I'm just gonna do a bit at a time. What else can you do really.
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  • Profile picture of the author zomgmike
    Calendar notifications keep me ticking. Any regular task is added as a recurring event on my google calendar.
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