Episode 083 Part 2 – Chloë Thomas
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to episode #83 Chloë Thomas – The Masterplan to Accelerate the Success of Your eCommerce Business Part 2
Chloë is a best selling author, international speaker, host of both the Ecommerce Masterplan Podcast and the Virtual Summit. She is a top 50K UK influencer in ecommerce and her podcast is regularly included in the list of top ecommerce and marketing podcasts in the world.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- Don’t just give away your money for live ads if they’re not working for you.
- Facebook ads and Google ads are complex machines. You have to know if you want to make the absolute most out of them.
- At the end of the day, it’s all about helping people.
- Everyone always has a hero in their life that helped change them.
- Live life in such a way that you are not a negative person to look back on in someone else’s life.
- Get enough sleep.
- Learn to protect your energy levels.
- Put time constraints on your work so don’t just keep on working.
- Shut off your email on weekends. It’s essential for your happiness and sanity.
- Creativity thrives with restriction. Our minds perform better when you give them clear boundaries.
- Streak for Gmail – A CRM used for sending out emails and email-tracking.
- Book Like a Boss – A scheduling tool that easily syncs with other online calendars.
- SocialBee – An app for scheduling social media.
- RelayThat – A graphics tool for creating high performing images.
Chloë mentioned the following books on the show.
- ECommerce MasterPlan 1.8: Your 3 Steps to Successful Online Selling
- ECommerce Marketing: How to Drive Traffic That Buys to Your Website
- ECommerce Delivery: How Your Delivery Strategy Can Increase Your Sales
- B2B ECommerce MasterPlan: How to Make Wholesale ECommerce A Key Part of Your Business to Business Sales Growth
- Customer Persuasion: How to Influence your Customers to Buy More and why an Ethical Approach will Always Win
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Chloë challenged Rachel Jacobs to be a guest on The HERO Show. Chloe thinks that Rachel is a fantastic interview because she says she is a force of energy and she just recently set up a cool business where she helps agencies and SAS businesses improve how to run their businesses.
How To Stay Connected With Chloë
Want to stay connected with Chloe? Please check out their social profiles below.
- Website: ChloeThomas
- Website: eCommerce MasterPlan
- Linkedin: ChloeThomasEcommerce
- Twitter: chloethomasecom
With that… let’s get to listening to the episode…
Chloe Thomas 0:00
We had one client who was spending 8000 pounds a month on Google Ads became new to the agency. Now we’re spending 8000 pounds a month, we’ve got big budgets, we’ve looked at some sales, we saw that whole call tracking and all the analytics on the back of it. And over the course of six months, we reduced that 8000 pounds a month, spend to 1000 pounds a month because that was all they should have been spending all along. And they’ve been spending 8000 pounds a month on it just because no one no one actually knew how to do it. And no one was actually looking at the result. It’s just it’s that waste of spending money in the wrong place, or spending money on things that shouldn’t be spent on and then the money you’ll get the opportunity cost of the money not being spent on something that would work. Just people not looking after their marketing or optimizing their marketing and that as you can tell, that just really winds me up.
Richard Matthews 0:49
It’s cool. So what I want to talk about next though, is your common enemy. Right and so this can be framed in a lot of different places for your business, because you’ve had a lot of different things over the years. But I think probably the most interesting would be something that you see ecommerce sellers doing regularly. So your common enemy is the thing that your clients fight against, that if you had your magic wand, and you could just wave it around and change this mindset or change their actions they’re doing and it would just get better, cheaper, faster results for all of your clients immediately. What is that thing that you’re constantly banging your head against with ecommerce sellers that you wish they would just change to improve their lives?
Chloe Thomas 2:31
It’s the lack of optimization.
Richard Matthews 2:35
Interesting. How so?
Chloe Thomas 2:36
What I do most often for client side businesses, for ecommerce retailers is to dive into their analytics and their Google Ads accounts and so forth and look at where their marketing opportunities are, which includes looking at what they’re already doing and how they can improve it. And the number of times I login to Google Ads accounts is the best example. But I log in and they’ve had ads live for six months and not one change has been made to those adverts in that time span. You’re just giving money away. It’s such a waste you you allocated some money, you are spending some money, but you are not trying to make that spending money be spent well, and the waste of the of the optimization is just appalling or they’ve left something on for months that isn’t working for them. We had one client who was spending 8000 pounds a month on Google ads, who came new to the agency that I was spending 8000 pounds a month, we’ve got big budgets, we got thousands in sales. And we set up whole call tracking and all the analytics on the back of it. And over the course of six months, we reduced that 8000 pounds a month spend to 1000 pounds a month because that was all they should have been spending all along. And they’ve been spending 8000 pounds a month for two years.
Richard Matthews 2:39
Chloe Thomas 2:59
And it just because no one actually knew how to do it and no one was actually looking at the results. And it’s that waste of spending money in the wrong place, or spending money on things that shouldn’t be spent on and then the money, you’ll have the opportunity cost of the money not being spent on something that would work. So it’s people not doing, not looking after their marketing, not optimizing their marketing. And that, as you can tell, that just really winds me up, that waste of opportunity.
Richard Matthews 4:21
So just out of curiosity for that client specifically, could they have then after they got to the thousand dollar spend started pushing it back up to $8,000 and had the market share there? Or were they limited by market share for what they could actually spend efficiently?
Chloe Thomas 4:36
It was limited by market share. So throughout the kind of the six month of cutting it back, we’ve been trying desperately to find something to work because I think they’d originally hired us to do about 1000 pounds a month of optimization work. So and what are the point where the client spending 1000 pounds on hours and 1000 pounds on you? You have to start lowering your fees because that’s just not making sense for anybody. So yeah, we would really, I was really excited to sign them as a client. And as the results started coming in, it was like, “Oh, guys, can we find any way of making money for them by this platform? Guys, I’ve tried everything.” We tried everything. But this is where they should be out. Is this cool? And they stuck around at a lower rate with us, for a couple of years after that, because we’ve done the honest thing. We’ve done a great job for them. But yeah, it’s something I see time and time again, is people putting things live and then not optimizing them, which is just –
Richard Matthews 5:34
It’s an interesting problem too, because I think it comes from that’s not their space, right? They’re not good at ads. They’re not good at Facebook ads, or whatever those things are. So they’re like they, you know, maybe they buy a course or they have someone on their team go through a course and they get set up and sometimes it gets set up even well, but things change. And one of the things I’ve been curious about and I’m curious how you handle this is we’ve been talking in our business about where we fit in other, because we’re a B2B business. And with B2B businesses offering services, those services can generally either be something that you hire an expert for, or you bring in-house and build expertise for yourself. And depending on your business, sometimes it makes a lot of sense to bring someone in-house and hire and train and do the HR and do all this stuff that goes along with that, because of either the savings or the nimble. What do you call that? The ability to be nimble in the market space? And sometimes it makes more sense to just bring in a firm who’s already done all that work. And I’m just curious, what are your thoughts on that for ecommerce businesses or for businesses in general? When does it make sense to bring in and hire an expert internally to say work on your Google ads? And when does it make sense to bring in someone who’s already trained because you’re going to have a higher expense generally if you hire an outside firm. But you can also get sort of the immediate work done. So what are your thoughts on that?
Chloe Thomas 7:05
It’s a really good question. And I think there’s no kind of obvious answer to it. I think the fact now we have kind of halfway between those, it used to be when I was running the agency, it was a case of either you hired someone, or you went to a one-man band consultant who would do it for you, but then you’ve got the risk of that person being ill or overwhelming themselves. And there’s no kind of scalability to that. Or you go to – and often maybe the same similar cost to the agency anyway, or you go to a big old agency to do it. But now you’ve kind of got the freelancer word. The world of UpWork, the world of many different freelancing platforms where you can get someone who’s a specialist in just that area who will look after it for you. And I think, for many of the smaller businesses were maybe they should be running Facebook ads, but probably their account only needs three hours a week maybe being spent on it. It’s not worth going to an agency for an account that small a lot of the time, but to get a decent Freelancer who almost becomes part of your team can be really powerful. But it’s the thing with like Facebook ads and Google Ads is they are complex machines. You have to know if you want to make the absolute most out of it. You have to be in there every day learning about what’s new, what’s happening, testing things, and getting used to it. And if you’re going out to an agency, you’re getting the economies of scale of their learning, because they’re in it all day. So they know an awful lot more than you’re going to. They’re investing in the training because they care about their clients and their clients’ performance. And if they’re not then run a mile and –
Richard Matthews 8:53
Get a different agency –
Chloe Thomas 8:54
Yes. And they’re also learning about what’s happening on other people’s accounts. They’re not going to turn around to you and go on Rich’s account, this just happened. So we’re going to do it on yours, but they will probably go, “We’ve seen something very interesting on another account that we think we should try on yours.” You’re getting all that extra stuff, which is kind of what you’re paying the money for. So I think if you don’t need someone full time, then it can be a hugely powerful way of doing it to go out and get an agency, to get a freelancer. I think another thing to bear in mind is, is it something that’s core to your business? So if Facebook ads is 80% of your sales, then arguably you should have that in-house because that’s really important to your business. But if Facebook ads is 5% of your sales, then outsourcing that. So you’re getting the best possible return from that 5% investment that you can is the best thing to do and it may be then prove that actually it should be 50% of your sales, in which case bring it back in. But I think there’s a level of what should be core and what shouldn’t be core, which then leads into what sort of things one person can do, because it’s rare in a business that you’ve got enough going through that one person can spend their entire week working on it. And often you find that you end up with one person having to do multiple things, which don’t necessarily speak to the same skill set. So Google Ads is a ones and zeros game. Facebook ads is ones and zeros plus copy and imagery, which is quite an impressive mix to get someone who’s amazing at all three. And then email marketing is about copying imagery with a bit of data crunching, as well. So normally, you’d be looking at three different personality types to be able to manage those. Or potentially two people who work together on the Facebook ads. So it can be, I come across a lot of business. They’re like, we need a digital marketing exec, what you want them to do was do SEO, including keyword research and outreach. And we want them to do Facebook ads, and we want them to do Google ads, obviously, our emails, and we really like to write our content to you like, one human being.
Richard Matthews 10:32
So many different skill sets there.
Chloe Thomas 11:19
And you know, they want someone fresh out of uni. I’m like, right? So you’re gonna expect to learn all of this at the same time. You’d be much better off spending your money on a team of freelancers. So long winded answer to your question.
Richard Matthews 11:32
No, I think it’s probably one of the more important questions especially as businesses grow is learning where you need to bring people in and where you need to bring people bring teams in that are going to help you with those things. And I’ve just been thinking through that with our business and realizing when we’re putting our customer avatar together for a Push Button Podcast, for instance, we’re generally looking at podcasts who are doing business development. So, like your podcast exists to be a revenue stream on its own. And that’s not our target market. Our target market is the people who are like, I’m a local chiropractor and I want to add podcasting to become a local celebrity as part of my marketing stack. But they don’t want to be a podcaster. That’s not, it’s not ever going to be core to their business. So they’re not going to want to learn to master all of the editing and the transcribing, and where they need to put it all and all the things they need to do with it. Because it’s not their business. Their business is, I’m a chiropractor or their businesses, I’m, whatever it is, we got a whole bunch of markets that those type of podcasts fit into. And those people are our business. For that specific question of, we can offer the type of thing that they’re never going to want to bring in-house. Because it’s not going to be core to their business. And it makes us both sticky and it also makes us a real good value to them. So I think it’s an important question to think about, on both sides when you’re putting your products and services together and when you’re looking to hire for products and services is what’s core to your business and what’s not and how do you sort of fit into the marketplace that way. So interesting discussion.
Chloe Thomas 13:02
Very true. But it’s true. You have to think about when you’re creating a product, as well as when you’re deciding what to buy. Because if you’re trying to create and outsource version that’s essential to people, if you were trying to sell your service to people, to me that well, when I was starting out, it took me four years to break even on the costs, let alone my time. So it’s like, I’m not getting any sales in the pocket is great for branding, but it’s not. It’s not directly bringing me sales because I’ve got nothing I want to sell by it. So it’s like, it would be crazy for me to see you because that just wouldn’t make sense in my business model. So, you have to work out who the target market is and how your product fits with them.
Richard Matthews 13:49
And it’s interesting because the couple of people who – a couple of test clients we brought on for that service. Absolutely love it because it fits in like, I did have someone in house who is one of my high levels employees that should be working on these core things of my business. Spending all this time on our podcast, which is costing them money, customer money and opportunity costs. And when they can bring that person back to doing what they should be doing and just take the podcast off of their plate. It’s a win-win for them. And so fixed costs.
Chloe Thomas 14:20
What will be of higher quality end product, as well.
Richard Matthews 14:25
So when you find and it’s really cool because like a whole discussion, lets you really nail down who your customer is. When you’re looking at it from the creating a service side. And it’s just interesting how you have to have the same discussion when you’re looking to buy. Do I bring this in-house? Is it core to my business? Is it worth bringing in-house? And it’s interesting, because a lot of times it’s cheaper to bring it in-house, but it’s not going to be a better product.
Chloe Thomas 14:53
And it’s also about finding the right solution for you. So, if you’re a brand spending, I don’t know $100,000 month on Facebook ads. A freelance from UpWork is probably not your best option. But you may have gone past the point where you want it in-house, where you want it with an agency who’ve got a better ear with Facebook than you’ve got, for example, whereas if you’re doing occasional product launches via Facebook ads, so I use Facebook ads probably six times a year, for two to five days at a time. For me, a freelancer would be perfect, but an agency wouldn’t because they want that monthly. They want the ongoing billing.
Richard Matthews 15:37
You’re spending 100 grand a month you want someone who knows what they’re doing. And, got all the latest stuff going on.
Chloe Thomas 15:45
You want somebody who’s … on the, whatever the beta programs are and got access to all of that and who has a direct line to Facebook when something goes wrong, which you have to spend that kind of money to get it. The rest of us can only dream.
Richard Matthews 15:58
As palladians know. I was actually really excited. One of my, because I work with a couple of clients in the ecommerce space, which is not my main business. It’s just something, long term client. We work there. We were doing enough business with Google that Google called us up. And they were like, “Hey, we’ve qualified you for a bunch of these beta programs, because we want someone like your account to test them out.” I was like, “That’s cool.” It’s not always that you get to get access to the beta stuff that no one else can use. Because there’s generally opportunity for a little while before it starts hitting open market.
Chloe Thomas 16:31
And huge opportunity sometimes. If you’re able to capitalize on it.
Richard Matthews 16:37
So I want to move the interview forward a little bit and, and flip that over, right. So just like the you know, if you’re coming in to me, it’s something that you fight against. And you’re talking about optimization, your driving force is something that you fight for. Right? So just like Spider Man fights to save New Yorker, Batman fights to save Gotham or Google fights to index and categorize all the world’s information. What is it that you guys fight for, with the ecommerce master plan?
Chloe Thomas 17:00
It’s about helping people to solve their own marketing problems. Really, it’s about giving them the toolset. So they’re able to make the right decision on the agency or the right decision about what marketing they’re doing. And to be able to do that testing and optimizing themselves, is really what I’m here to try and do.
Richard Matthews 17:17
So just in that, do you find that the people who want to sort of have that kind of control tend to be smaller businesses? Or does it go all the way up into the large scale, retailers that are really interested in learning how to bring some of that stuff in-house?
Chloe Thomas 17:34
It’s really interesting. I write everything, and I create everything with the aim of putting it in front of businesses who are doing, 50,000 to half a million a year. So the smaller guys where the owner, is still very involved in everything that’s going on. And I know a lot of those people listen to the podcast, and they tend to be the ones who get in contact with the really lovely messages. But I also know that it’s listened to by some of the largest retailers in the world. And I know the books get read by people who are working for top hundred retailers in the UK, in the US and they find them invaluable. And I think that’s partly down to, I suppose egos probably the best way to say it because often the biggest companies are still making the same mistakes as the smaller guys. It’s just in a different way. They’re making those they’re struggling with the same problem. So I find it gets well received by everybody, but I create it with the 50 to 500k person in mind.
Richard Matthews 18:41
What’s funny about that is I have the same sort of thing going on. I do some teaching on how to build business systems. And doing some research and talking to clients all across the spectrum from small people who are like their one-man shops to bigger teams that are doing multiple millions a year in revenue. You realize that from a system and process standpoint, even the big guys have the same problems as everyone else do, not a lot of people really understand how you build a system. Or even how you speak about a system well, and it’s like, we tend to think that like, in that sphere, if you’ve hit a certain level of employees like McDonald’s level. Everyone understands systems as well as that. But the real reality as most businesses, they run on poorly managed chaos. And so it’s not that even that’s a bad thing, because most business that’s done today is a bit chaotic, and they don’t have, perfect, great systems in place. It’s just a so you can succeed without it. But it’s amazing how much more efficient a lot of businesses would be if they really learned how to streamline their systems and processes all the way through. And I assume you use a similar kind of things you see in ecommerce. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, you run into the same problems and because it’s not their area. I’m gonna move on and talk a little about your your heroes tool belt. This is our practical section of the show, right? So you know maybe you’ve had a big magical hammer like Thor or bulletproof vest like your neighborhood police officer, maybe you just really love how Evernote helps you organize your thoughts. What I’m interested in is tools that you couldn’t live without to run your business nowadays that you have come to rely on for, either customer delivery or getting your product to market stuff like that.
Chloe Thomas 20:34
So many of them. Okay. So streak for Gmail.
Richard Matthews 20:41
What does that do? I’ve never heard of that.
Chloe Thomas 20:44
It’s the best kind of, as you know, on Gmail you can do templated emails. So it’s really easy to send the same email to a whole lot of people, but one-on-one street has a much better system for doing that. And it has a lot of kind of delay send pieces to it and pause this and so it just makes email inbox management a lot better. And when I’m doing kind of big projects that involve a lot of outreach, you know one-on-one. This is happening, can you promote it? This is happening, Can you promote it? Saves me a huge amount of time. So streak for Gmail is definitely one.
Richard Matthews 21:21
Writing that one down because I feel like I need that.
Chloe Thomas 21:24
It’s good. The one problem is I can’t get the templates to work. They call them snippets but I can’t get the snippets to work on mobile or tablet which is driving me insane. I may be finding an alternative one day soon. And Book Like a Boss I couldn’t live without. That’s my scheduling tool for Click and this Calendly type of thing but it’s a different one. It doesn’t take payments as well as doing free bookings. I have so many booking links. It’s crazy just trying to manage the diary. Social Bee we use for scheduling our social media. That’s really cool. And RelayThat is my favorite graphics tool at the moment.
Richard Matthews 22:12
when they do.
Chloe Thomas 22:14
So it’s basically a whole, like a whole load of templates that you can tweak to match your brand colors and your brand fonts and you can put your images in. And it enables all the social media graphics we create and other graphics. We create to look like we’ve got really amazing brand guidelines that we’re sticking to make it all look really spot on. Whilst basically, a child could do it. It’s amazing,
Richard Matthews 22:48
Amazing, wonderful. I’d love to check that out too. But it’s interesting to me that you mentioned the Book Like a Boss and the only reason I bring that up because we ask this question on every show and we’re like 90 episodes in now. And probably 90% of our guests mentioned some form of calendar. Whether it’s appointment setting or just their calendar for their to dues and stuff like that for running a business that we sort of live and die by our calendars and anything that helps us manage our calendars more is a is a huge win.
Chloe Thomas 23:28
I still find it amazing. I kind of exist in in what I would say is our world Richard. Think like the world of the entrepreneur, the info marketer, the podcaster and so I’m very used to calendar booking links, all this kind of stuff, but I spent a lot like the other half of my world is talking to retailers and even the supplier side the big SAS companies that are retailers. The number of them who even now, send me an email after I send the book like going, “Oh my God that was so easy. That’s amazing. How do you? Oh, wow.” They just think this stuff is I was talking someone yesterday about the graphic elements we use to RelayThat and then they were like, “Yeah, I just wish my graphics could look as consistent as good as yours.” But you know, we just don’t have to have the money to spend on a graphic designer and like, haha, If you knew, we don’t either.
Richard Matthews 24:25
Chloe Thomas 24:27
It’s the same thing with the calendar links. It’s just so easy to manage things that people have got that link. It’s a no brainer for me and I absolutely loved them and but Like a Boss is my current favorite.
Richard Matthews 24:45
I’ve used a bunch of them, you can Book Me and Calendly and what’s the big one schedule once? We’re currently using one that’s built on our WordPress back end, called simply schedule appointments. Because it has some really cool API stuff we can do with it. That lets us, when someone books for our podcasters specifically, when someone books at our show, it actually it creates all the resources we need. It creates our folder in Google Drive for their episodes, it creates the Trello cards on our project management system and, sets up all the notification stuff all sort of, from one booking requests. Which, I mean, it didn’t change a lot from what actually gets done, it just made it so that, I don’t have a person who’s doing it anymore. So it happens consistently. And you know, it saves 20 minutes by booking from my staff, which, you know, adds up to a lot over time.
Chloe Thomas 25:46
You’ve just given me something to waste tomorrow. That’s gonna be my big distraction for tomorrow.
Richard Matthews 25:53
Well, if you want to have an exploration of whatever we’re doing. I can show you later after we hop off the interview.
Chloe Thomas 26:00
Cool. My son will take you up on that.
Richard Matthews 26:03
Absolutely. So, only a couple more questions here. Let Next one is your own personal heroes just like Frodo had Gandalf, Luke had Obi Wan Robert Kiyosaki does Rich Dad, who were some of your heroes in building your business. Were they real life mentors, speakers or authors? Peers who were just a couple of years ahead of you, and how important were they to what you’ve accomplished so far with your brand?
Chloe Thomas 26:23
Here, is such a tricky one? Because I don’t really, I would say I never have heroes, but there have been people who have been very influential in my career, so people who have been my boss most of the time, actually, to be honest, but no names
Richard Matthews 26:41
I had bosses…
Chloe Thomas 26:43
It’s like no names that anyone will recognize. So just having -Every time it’s kind of been someone who changed my worldview a little bit, and show me that that things weren’t necessarily as I’d always assumed they were. So The first would be the couple of people who, who my boss, when I first went from, I started my career working for Barclays Bank in their marketing department, which was hideous. And then I went to work for a retailer and a couple of people who were who my boss there, just opened up the world of stats and marketing data to me and that whole “Wow, I’m actually allowed to know how things perform.” And I’m actually allowed to have an impact on things whereas at Barclays we were box taking our entire job was basically just box taking and existing and then the next one after that the the guy who worked for who suggested setting up the marketing agency that was kind of like he was just such a hands off boss and had such a cool way of looking at things. That really, really helped me too. It’s kind of been that and I don’t have any names.
Richard Matthews 27:57
That’s all right. Actually. I’m not particularly interested in the names as much as I am. And the reason I asked the question is something that I’ve noticed consistently with our guests, and I think it’s important for our listeners to understand is that everyone always has a hero in their life that helps change them, or impact them in some way. And the realization that a lot of those are just normal everyday people who are interacting, right, and you don’t realize that it’s, you’re in that position all the time, and you don’t know who those people are in your life that 20 years from now, they’re gonna look back and be like, you know what, I’m so glad that Chloe Thomas when she was my boss. Talked to me about this because it changed my trajectory of my life. Right. And you may never know that. And it’s interesting to me that, I’ve got a number of people in my life that probably have no idea how big their impact was. But they were willing to invest in me or to help me in some way. Really either course correct me or just change who I ultimately became. And they’ll never know. And like people to have that in mind when they’re living their life that you don’t know who those people are for you.
Chloe Thomas 29:14
And there’s a problem. There are some people who will have had like, maybe a conversation with me, that shifted my worldview that directly led to where I am now, who I can’t even remember where, when or who they were but they still had that huge impact on people. And I think that’s kind of a wonderful thing.
Richard Matthews 29:34
It’s kind of a cool thing to just be aware of, because it makes you realize that like, “Hey, I should probably not be careless with what I say and how I say it to anyone. Because you don’t know how – “
Chloe Thomas 29:45
Richard Matthews 29:48
It is a bit of pressure. But it was a one of the things that one of my mentors growing up said to me was, see if I can remember exactly how he said it but it was live in such a way that you are essentially, you’re not ever going to be the negative in someone’s life. The one that they look back on. And it’s just making sure there’s a little bit of intentionality and everything that you’re doing you’re just not being careless with the people around you. And anyways, I’ve always found that fascinating that it’s like the whole butterfly wing thing. Butterfly flaps its wings here and changes the world over there. You never know how your your actions impact others. So just, you know, be good. So, my last question for you is about your guiding principles. And what top one or two sort of guiding principles, or actions that you put regularly into practice that you think contributes to the amount of success that you’ve had with your ecommerce masterplan podcast and the brand.
Chloe Thomas 30:57
Get enough sleep. I am not wake-up-at-5am-and-do-20-things-before-breakfast person. I love to get enough sleep. And if I get my sleep The world is a wonderful place. And if I don’t get my sleep, and it’s hard work. “Today, is just hard work.” So get my sleep would be kind of the first one. The second one, will be protecting my energy levels. So, I try and make sure I have a couple, certainly a day, certainly one at least one full day in the office each week with no meetings and ideally two. And I try and keep my mornings free of meetings because that way one, I’ve got the time to actually do some work. But also it means I can protect my energy levels throughout the week. So when it gets the weekend, I actually want to see some of my friends and have a laugh. And restricting the time I work will be another one. So, 90% of the time, 99% of the time I don’t work weekends. I used to, but then I realized that what I was doing was I was saving up tasks for Saturday. I didn’t know why, but that’s what I was doing. So now I try and or I force myself to not work weekends, in order to make sure I’m prioritizing because I found you can read as many books as you want about learning how to say no to things. But unless I put that time constraint around me, then I would just keep on working. And when I first set myself the rule of not working weekends, my whole world got more profitable and more enjoyable, and everything else.
Richard Matthews 32:38
That’s is probably the most amazing thing that you’ve said so far, just because like it’s such a powerful thing. And a lot of us entrepreneurs, especially in the early years of our business growth, we have this mistaken idea that play and recreation is a reward for work well done, and we haven’t yet reached to the point where we think we’re worthy of that rewards that we’ll work forever. Right? And you’ve probably been there work 60 70-80 hours a week and work every day of the week. And I remember when I sort of made that realization that I was working too much, and restricted it and I did. I like I went hardcore. It was like, not unless it’s important. Fridays are free meetings. I’ll occasionally do some work on them. But I don’t work on Saturday, Sunday at all. And like, a lot of times my clients would call me and I’d be like, yeah, I’ll call you back on Monday. Like, like, I’m not just I’m not doing it.
Chloe Thomas 33:34
I actually have two mobile phones. And so I have a work mobile, another life mobile. And every night when I leave this office, the work mobile gets put on airplane mode, and it gets turned off on the weekends and I get holidays, so I am and there’s no work stuff on my personal phone. Not even my email addresses. So I am completely cut off from the business. And I’ve done that for years.
Richard Matthews 34:02
That is a great, idea I haven’t shut off the email on the weekends. But it’s probably something I should worry about at some point. But I do something similar. I have my business number I have a Google Voice number that lets you have the schedule, and it forwards to my mobile. And then I have my mobile phone number and the only people have my mobile phone number are like, my family. And a few choice people. And then everyone else gets my other number which I call my horn number. I horde out to everyone. So like if you want it, you can have it.
Chloe Thomas 34:34
The landline number for my business goes straight to an answer phone that I get emailed. And that’s it. And people are like, “Can I just give you a call?” Of course, here’s my booking link. It’s essential for sanity and for being happy. And there is no award for a number of hours works in life. There’s no reward for actually what you actually get done and what I am credibly good at doing is finding things to do. So I bank more hours, which lead to no value at all.
Richard Matthews 35:12
And I’m right with you when I cut my work down, my average week now is four to five hours a day, four days a week. And my business’s output has probably quadrupled in the last couple of years.
Chloe Thomas 35:27
I’m slowly working my way up to because I do about 35 hours in a normal week. And I spread that across across the five days, Monday to Friday, and I’m slowly working my way to doing a new, painful hours cut, if that makes sense. You know, it’s like cutting out weekends. That was hard that was hardcore for a couple of months after that, cutting things back to make sure and leaving people hanging until Monday and that kind of stuff, but I’m working towards a four day week. That’s my next goal is taking it down to four day week.
Richard Matthews 36:01
That’s good, you should do it. It doesn’t happen all the time. But every once in a while, every couple of weeks, we have four day weeks, most of the time. It’s really good. And then the other thing that’s interesting too, is what it actually does to your creativity. Because creativity thrives with restriction. They got all sorts of studies that prove that. And one of my favorites is they have the the kids playing on the playground, and they have the little paved background, that the back thing and they don’t have a fence up, the kids will only play in the paved area. But when you fence in the grassy area all the way around, and they’ll suddenly start playing out all the way to the fences. And a lot of it has to do with with boundaries, and our minds actually perform better when you give them clear boundaries. So when you say, Hey, I’ve got all this work to get done, and I’ve got unlimited time to do it. Your mind doesn’t work on how do I get it done now, right? How do I how do I fit it into the time constraints I have. But when you start giving yourself constraints, like the amount of time you have to work on it, you’ll suddenly start finding ways to get it done. And you know, it opens up that creativity. And creativity always thrives with restriction, with boundaries.
Chloe Thomas 37:13
I love that example with the fence.
Richard Matthews 37:20
So that basically that’s it for interview. I do have one last thing I do in every show, which is pretty cool. It’s called the Hero’s Challenge. The hero’s challenge is simple. Basically, this do you have someone in your life or in your network that you think has a cool entrepreneurial journey or story? Who are they first names are fine, and why do you think they should come share their story on our show here?
Chloe Thomas 37:41
Man, the first person who’s coming to mind is a lady who is the polar opposite of me in terms of introvert energy. He’s called Rachel Jacobs, who is a force of energy, but she’s managed to get her for a week, which I haven’t She’s recently set up a very cool business called Ecommerce Partnerships where she’s helping agencies and SAS businesses in the ecommerce space to run their businesses better. And she came to that off the back of working and growing a very successful Shopify agency. And she is very, very cool Irish lady who is in the process of moving to Gran Canaria. If I’ve got the island. She’s brilliant.
Richard Matthews 38:28
That’s cool. So we’ll reach out later and see if we can get her on the show as well. Last thing is again, thank you so much for being on the show, Chloe, really appreciate it. Where can people find you if they want to pick up your books or listen to your podcast? Or, learn from you? Where can they find you? And more importantly, who are the right types of people to reach out and really benefit from information?
Chloe Thomas 38:45
Okay, anyone running their own ecommerce store who are driving sales from consumer side is most of what I do. Although I have, I do dabble in the world of business sales too. So if you’ve got a Shopify site, Magento site WooCommerce site, and that is my audience. You can find the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, all the usual places. You can find the books on Amazon and audible. So they’re all available ebook, paperback and Kindle is a book I mean, audiobook. So they’re available. Audible will be the one I’m after. So you can find the books across all of those places. If you want to get in contact with me head to ecommercemasterplan.com where you can find all my contact details. And probably the best way to connect with me is LinkedIn or via the forums on the website.
Richard Matthews 39:40
Awesome we’ll make sure we try and get links to all those things in the show notes for this episode. I think Amazon probably has your author link which will have all the books right.
Chloe Thomas 39:47
Or you can just do ecommercemasterplan.com/books/
Richard Matthews 39:52
Okay, thanks. So we’ll make sure we get those links in the show notes. So if you’re listening and you want to check out some of her books, we’ll make sure they’re in the show notes for this episode. And You got any final words of wisdom before we hit the stop record button?
Chloe Thomas 40:03
Richard Matthews 40:05
Keep Optimizing. That’s useful in lots of forms in life. Thank you so much, Chloe. I appreciate having you on.
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