Is this you?
- You’ve got big ideas on how to move up to the next level.
- You know what will make a real difference to your business (and your bank balance).
- You’ve got oven-ready projects just waiting for you to get them done.
- But you can’t free up the time.
- And you’ve tried and you still can’t find the time.
Then here’s two more questions for you…
If you were shown a way to get going, to action these plans, would you then commit to getting them done? What if you were shown how?
Maybe this is you?
The treacle wader
You’re grafting away, working like a Trojan … but you’re stuck in the day-to-day. The next email. The client deadline. So the most important stuff, the work you love doing, the areas that will make all the difference, the project that promises real change, the actions that will start the avalanche … they’re not happening. They’ve been pushed back again.
The ideas stumper
You’ve got some amazing ideas. They’re all in a fat notebook … or the cloud … or your front cortex. You’ve fantasised about taking a week out, hiding in a wifi-free log cabin and finally getting the time and headspace to bring them to life. You’ve been fantasising for ages. But that’s all it’s been.
You’re halfway there. Two thirds. You’ve invested so much time on the big idea, the priority project, the product development, the half-finished book, the new branding, the reconfiɡured business, the product launch date TBA. But you’ve lost the flow, the momentum. And you’re worried it’ll all be in vain. You aren’t finishing. Maybe you never will. What a waste, you keep thinking.
The boat misser
You’ve been nursing the great idea. The unexploited niche. The radical new approach. The product that’s a little bit different but could make all the difference. When you first thought if it, you knew it was a first. But you’ve been sitting on it and now you’re worried how long it’ll be before someone else does it and takes your space. You need to get on.
You know what you’ve got to do. Find the time. Find the space. Reprioritise. Kickstart. Reinvigorate. Reimagine. Just finish.
But how? How do you work on your business, not just in your business?
And maybe this is you?
Let’s be honest.
You’re not looking for one of those mythical “six-figure launches” or “passive income business where I just sit on the beach all day while my phone pings with all the sales I’ve brought in”. That’s not you.
You want to do good work, have a decent income from the business so you can pay the bills and buy yourself a new pair of indulgent shoes you know you can afford. Maybe you want your business to match your old corporate salary or the one you know you’re worth, though without the £4k per year commute.
And you want to be able to work differently – you don’t want to be just another freelancer or a luxury your customers may have to do without as times get hard. And with the economy growing very competitive, you want to stop worrying that your niche might get wiped out.
So this is the time for you to act on your big ideas and get them out there. Find the time. Finish what you started. As Seth Godin would say – it’s time to ship.
Sprint, that’s how.
Why you need this Sprint
Chances are, you look at the problem and decide the only solution is more graft. Extra hours. The evenings and weekends you aren’t already working.
Over time, this is not sustainable.
You’re already working hard in your business. That’s how you got this far. So trying to unblock progress by working more hours, day after day, isn’t the answer. You can’t run a marathon every day and expect to stay on top form – or even adequate form.
In fact, the most successful business people I’ve ever worked with start their work after the morning school run and finish at five. And they take time out for holidays – in beautiful locations. Successful business owners switch off and can afford to take their family to see the cherry blossom in Japan or the mountain snow beneath their skis.
Like an athlete, you need to build momentum. And you do that not through marathon burnout but through a series of short sprints.
A sprint doesn’t wipe you out or involve working every evening and weekend. It’s a sustainable commitment to tackling your big idea, sprint by sprint, until it’s complete.
Sprint is how you get your priority project finished.
Four truths that make Sprint work to turn your ideas into money
1. In reality, you’re not too busy to give your project the time it needs
Everyone has enough time to work on their sprint – including you.
Your minimum commitment in Sprint is to spend just 10 minutes every day on your priority project. That will get you started – and able to finish.
When we believe we’re too busy to work on our big ideas, it’s usually because we’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Our brains aren’t coping with all the conflicting demands. And because we’re too overwhelmed and too super-busy to spend time on what we know is important, we feel growing resentment towards the work we do to earn the money right now: the constant firefighting, the incessant emails, the demands from clients, everything that takes us away from the big ideas that will create big money later.
By working in smaller sprints, getting support and most importantly starting to feel that you’re making progress, you build up your momentum. And you’ll surprise yourself with how much you can get done.
If you can do 10 minutes every day, you’ll start to see progress and you’ll soon build up your time because of the delicious warm glow you’ll get when you give your attention to what’s most important.
2. You need other people to make this happen
If all you needed to complete your priority project was 10 minutes a day and your knowledge of the Pomodoro technique (or any of the dozens of productivity techniques you’ve tried over the years) you’d be done by now. Your website would be looking sharp, you’d have people queuing up to buy your products and you’d be on to the ninth or tenth great idea in your notebook of “things I’d love to do if I had the time”.
You’ve tried the time management and productivity hacks already. There’s nothing wrong with them – in fact Sprint is based on a combination of productivity techniques – but when you’re working on your priority project on your own, you’re missing a vital element. It’s so much harder to get stuff done if it’s just you, working away on your laptop on the kitchen table. And it’s super hard to maintain momentum if no one except you cares whether you finish or not.
Maybe you get support from your friends and family but they can’t be there for you all the time, cheering you on every day. They’ve got their own pressures. And, if we’re totally honest, maybe they get a bit bored as you talk about your project yet again. You see their eyes start to glaze over as you enthuse about brand colours and how you’ve learnt how to do transitions in your Camtasia videos.
And you daren’t even mention your frustrations any more – there’s no point telling your friends how another week has gone by without you being able to make progress on the big stuff.
Yet … you need other people to hold you accountable to your commitments. And the best people for this are other business owners who are also working on their own projects and are just as fired up about finishing as you are. So give your friends and family a break: come and hang out with us, in Sprint, at our daily accountability sessions.
3. You know you need consistent effort, but it needs to be focused
The trouble with having a notebook full of great ideas is that we can become like kids in a sweet shop, wanting to have a bit of everything, trying several ideas at the same time. They all have great promise, especially if you love to learn new skills and techniques. You end up investing time and money in courses but never actually mastering any of the new skills you’ve been working on. Hell, sometimes you don’t even finish all the videos in that online course you paid big money for.
You know you ought to work on one thing at a time. And then do the next thing when you’ve finished the first. It’s the basic principle of walking in a straight line, that we first learnt as toddlers taking our first steps. Attempt two steps, both feet, at the same time, and you just fall down on your bum and cry. But we seem to forget this when we’re running a business: we try to do everything all at once and then get frustrated because we can’t.
That’s why Sprint asks you to commit to one step per day, one chunk of time, maybe as small as 10 minutes, consistently for 30 days. Once you get going, you build up the pace and, before you know it, you’ve advanced from toddler to fell runner. And your Sprint colleagues are cheering you on to the finish line.
4. It’s worth investing a little in yourself to make this happen
One of the things that cause me pain when I’m working with the owners of small businesses is when I can see that someone has a great idea, with tons of potential, but they don’t make the investment needed to bring it to life and put it out there in the world.
Some investment is in the time needed to make it happen. And some is in the form of a little bit of cash.
I see businesses where, with just a little bit of cash investment, results would repay the owner a hundred times over. I see ideas with great potential, that deserve to see the light of day, kept in the dark until they wilt away because the business owner doesn’t want to risk spending the price of a new pair of running shoes. But shoes wear out and you have to buy another pair, while your investment in yourself and your business will repay the money over and over again.
But the big question is whether you want to take the bet that your new idea will bring you more dosh in the future. With Sprint, the idea itself is the investment. Sprint is for people who want to get going with developing their business by building products, courses or books, or by spending some dedicated time on their marketing or website.
You know you have to speculate to accumulate – to build a sustainable business for the future, especially at a time when the future seems so uncertain. This is the moment when you need to think about that bet – is it reasonable to believe that if you go forward and set your big idea free, get it out there in the world – ship it, says Seth – you’ll make more money than you did last year?
Becoming someone who builds great ideas and gets them out there is easier (and more critical) than ever before.
It makes sense. The people who finish their new online course get to sell their course. For real money. The folk who develop a new offer to clients, or spend consistent time on their online marketing are the winners in business.
What is it about fast movers that makes them so successful they can afford to put their feet up when they’ve finished?
And (most importantly) how do we get you to become that kind of business owner?
Well, you’ve already got the skills and knowledge, and you know your trade inside out. Your ideas are sound and you’re sure that they’ll make an impact if you can just get to completion.
The Sprint programme gives you a way to free up a tiny bit of your day, each and every day, to work on the vital project you’re stuck on. It releases you from that irritable frustration of not being able to find time to focus on the dream. It gets you moving.
Sprint gets you out of your inertia and your lockdown lack of productivity. Sprint makes it easier to move your business to the next level. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur or brave or amazing at doing stuff. You just have to show up and take action on your priority project every day.
By joining Sprint, you are giving yourself permission to do this and confidence to work on your big ideas free of guilt, knowing that it’s all manageable.
And knowing that you have a whole bunch of other people, all at the starting gate with you, ready to get going and start creating.
Who are you to tell me how to get going with my big ideas?
I’m Julia Chanteray, from the Joy of Business. I’m the business geek who spends her time walking up hills or planting beans in her allotment while thinking about everything to do with marketing, automation, gross profit margin and how to tweak my clients strategies for success.
I’ve set up dozens of companies
I’m not your regular business coach
I’ve done hundreds of hours of research
I’m all about finding out what works in practice to develop a business, and sharing that information with clients, readers, and, if you allow me, with you.
Sprint is a unique programme where a group of business owners come together for 30 days to get moving on our own priority projects – the ones we’ve been putting off but where we know that if we get our act together, our businesses and our worlds could start to look very different.
Everyone on Sprint is committed to getting our big ideas out of the desk drawer and over the finish line. Sprint is where we can get going and start making some good money from our efforts.
I’ve been developing the Sprint methodology on myself and clients for the last 18 months. It’s been getting astonishing results for:
- Ambitious business owners who want to get faster at developing new products they know will earn good money
- Freelancers who want to raise their game by working on their marketing, so that they get paid what they’re worth
- Business owners who know that they can step up in the way they work but haven’t been able to find the time to make that vital change
The next Sprint starts on 3rd September 2020. Join us to get ready for action
Why Sprint Works
Instead of telling you how to be productive with lots of jargon, the latest fashionable set of cool techniques or a productivity app that eats up more time than it saves you, Sprint has a very simple proposition. You commit to taking regular action for 30 days, and we help you to keep that commitment.
Why daily commitment works
Jerry Seinfeld writes jokes for 30 minutes every day and is determined not to miss a day. It’s a technique that earns Jerry $65m a year and has made him one of the world’s richest comedians – let’s get a piece of that for you.
Why commitment works
Making a public commitment to do something means you’re much more likely to do it, so telling the group that you’re going to write one piece of copy, or make three phone calls every day for 30 days means that you will do exactly that.
Every day, you take some action on your priority project. You will build up a chain where you do a little bit each day. After a few days, you’ll have got into it, and you won’t want to break your chain.
Each day you’ll tell the group how you got on with taking action. Being accountable in this quick, simple way strengthens the Seinfeld technique: you won’t want to break the chain because other people care about whether you work on your priority project.
Anders Ericsson discovered that people master new skills and learn deeper and faster if they work consistently on their project and get support, questions and feedback from others.
We’ll give you deliberate practice in the group by helping you reflect on what you’ve achieved using Barack Obama’s favourite questions.
What was the best part of working on your priority project today?
What did you learn?
By reflecting on what you’ve achieved that day, you open up two powerful extra motivators:
- You get a kick out of getting better at what you’re doing, so you want to do more of it and it’s easier to do
- You pay attention to the progress you’re making. Teresa Amabile discovered that people are more motivated to work hard if they feel a sense of progress over time. Grinding away on something on your own wears you down after a while and you risk giving up. That’s why most projects fail before they get to even 90% done. And your priority project is only useful for you if it’s 100% done, right? That’s where we’ll get you to.
You’re with other business owners. They’ll soon know if you’re trying to make yourself feel better by kidding yourself you’ve made progress when actually you haven’t. Or have unrealistic expectations of yourself.
How I know Sprint works
I’ve seen it work in my own experiments with my clients and myself. It has become clear that once you get going in a sustainable way with your project, even if you’ve been dreading it because it was outside your cosy comfort zone, you’ll get such satisfaction from working on it that you’ll want to do more. All the procrastination, false starts and fear will dissolve away, and you’ll just be in sixth gear, cruising along, eating up the miles.
How Sprint works week by week
Kick-off week – Thursday 3rd September 2020
We’ll get you all set up so you meet all the other Sprint participants in our private Slack group and our first Zoom workshop. There you’ll be asked to share your goal and make your commitment to the rest of the group, and we’ll give you feedback. If you tell us that in 30 days’ time you’ll have written a whole book from scratch, we’ll politely suggest that you work on the outline first and get that finished in your 30-day Sprint.
The first couple of days will feel fine. You’ll have your first enthusiasm and you’ll find all your ideas and notes from where you got stuck on your priority project before.
Each day, you’ll do a quick check-in with the group and start getting to know the other business owners.
This is the most important week because it’s when life will start to try to derail you from your Sprint. But you’ll realise why we ask you to just do a little bit each day as your minimum commitment, and how good it feels to be able to keep the chain going, even if you just do that 10 minutes towards your goal.
We’ll all be cheering you on and you’ll see how everyone else is making progress (including me: I’ll be doing my own Sprint for 30 days as well).
This is when you begin to feel the results adding up. You’ll see the word count going up, the task list getting ticked off. By week 3, you’ll be starting to lay down new habits: productive habits of consistently working on the important areas of your business that will last you a lifetime. From now on, with these habits embedded, you can do your own Sprints any time you want to.
And when the Friday of week 3 comes around, you’ll finish work with a satisfied glow as you reflect on what you’ve achieved so far.
You’ll experience a delicious kick of energy in week 4, fuelled by the feedback you’re getting from the group and the feeling of productive activity. Each day, you’ll want to get stuck into your priority project and get it done.
We’ll get together for a celebration of what we’ve all achieved and to talk about how you continue the great work you’ve been doing. You’ll decide if you want to continue with your sprint on your own, stay in touch with the group through the Slack channel, which stays in place after the Sprint finishes, or if you want to have a little rest.
I want to do this! But … I’m already booked solid. How much of my day would Sprint take up?
I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been there, working long hours but still not able to get even halfway down my to-do list. Or too crazy busy to even write my daily to-do list.
I guess my question for you is…
Is there ever going to be a time when you’re not super busy? When your to-do list will look more manageable? Or are you always going to be putting off the big ideas that have been put on hold for much too long?
I’ve designed Sprint to work for super-busy people like you – and me. I’ve designed it this way because I know how frustrating being super-busy is, if it means I can’t make progress on the long-term things. I’ve used the Sprint methodology myself, so I know how it can propel you forward. In fact, I used a mini-Sprint to write this sales page, doing a section each day until it was done. And I didn’t have to work any extra hours, skimp on my client work or stay late. I’m done with that.
With Sprint, you can commit to doing as little as 10 minutes a day on your big project. Plus about 3 minutes to check in with the group and affirm that you’ve taken action each day and haven’t broken the chain.
Starting with just 10 minutes a day means you can get going on your big idea. And once you’ve started, you’ll start to see progress. By the end of your 30-day Sprint, you will have developed unstoppable momentum, because you’ll be in the habit of doing this. And we all know that once we’ve adopted a positive habit, it sticks and we don’t stop until we’ve finished.
I like the idea. 10 minutes a day can accumulate into a finished project. But 30 days? How do I know I’ll be able to get it finished in that time?
Maybe you’ll get it finished and out in the world in 30 days, or maybe you’ll just be a lot nearer that point. It depends on how big your project is. If you want to write that book you’ve been thinking about for the last 5 years and putting off, 30 days won’t be enough. But it will be enough to put together your outline, create a plan for how to finish it, put it on your website to gather pre-sales and start writing. So then you’ll know how to finish it, you’ll be in the habit of doing it and you’ll have the incentive of pre-sales.
I’ve used Sprints with clients to finish new products, rewrite a website, develop a sales funnel … and they all had a minimum viable version by the end of the 30 days. Something they were proud to show people and could either start selling or get a prototype out for feedback.
The support from the group in Sprint means you’ll have other people (including me) cheering you on. You won’t want to stop because you’ll be accountable to the rest of us. And by the end of the 30 days, you’ll have built that habit of working every day on the big stuff. You’ll have your mojo back and you will be getting a kick out of doing it.
I’m torn. I’m always working in my business when I know I should be working on my business but I can’t get out of my business to work on my business. It’s never-ending. How will Sprint get me out?
Yup. That’s most of us, me included, for sure. I wonder how many of the millions of people who’ve read the E-Myth, where Michael Gerber talks about how important it is to work on your business, have ever been able to break free of the pull to work in the business, have escaped the never-ending emails, calls, Slack messages, client deadlines … juggling all those demands and feeling worn out by the end of the week.
I see it in myself and my clients all the time. We want to move forward but we don’t. We have a burning desire to move forward. A hunger. A need. But we can’t.
Sprint harnesses that desire, that hunger, that need. With Sprint, we take all the energy we spend on giving ourselves a hard time and funnel into the ideas we’re failing to tackle.
Most people don’t funnel like this, so when you join us in Sprint, you’re already ahead of 99% of business owners – you’ll be in the 1% of entrepreneurs who have made up their mind to break free and finally start working on the big stuff.
Fortunately, because I’ve set Sprint up exactly to be a realistic, sustainable commitment which takes account of how busy you are, you can make that step without having to ignore all the other demands on your time.
We’ll get you there.
I know all this stuff already. I’ve got my productivity routines sorted. Why do I need Sprint?
Brilliant. If you’re already organised and ready to go, and you know how to make the most of your time, you have a solid foundation for your Sprint. You’ve already gone through the productivity learning curve.
Maybe you’re like the many of us who get enthusiastic about a couple of productivity techniques which work for us – in fact, I can hear my Pomodoro timer clicking as I type. Maybe you have Toggl logging your time and ClickUp sorting your to-do list. Maybe you’ve analysed your most productive time of the day and kept those hours for your deep work sessions…
But all the apps, hacks and techniques in the world cannot compensate for the motivational power of other people who care if we get things done. People who give a damn about whether we succeed or fail in our efforts.
And when you join Sprint, that’s exactly what you’ll get. A bunch of other business owners who are all committed to working for the next 30 days on their priority project and are also committed to supporting you in getting your big idea out to the world. We’re all in this together.
This all sounds good, but I had a bad experience with another online programme I paid a chunk of money for and it turned out to be a Facebook group and not much else. How do I know this is for real?
Yup, there are some dodgy operators out there for sure. Don’t get me started on the subject of fake business coaches whose only experience is running a business coaching company…
I believe that if you want to make some real progress on what’s important to you, your business and your bank balance, you’ll love Sprint. But I respect your caution. So here’s the deal.
Take up your place on this Sprint. Give it a try, see what you think. If you don’t find it useful, and you think it’s not for you, after a week of sticking to your minimum commitment, just email Jane de Vos and tell her that you want your money back. Jane has the Joy of Business Stripe log in, and she’ll send your money straight back to your account.
Sprint only works, and it’s only worthwhile to run Sprint if it’s going to make a difference to business owners who want to get stuff done and if everyone’s part of that. If it isn’t working for you after that first week, despite sticking to your commitment, you get your money back and I pay the Stripe fees.
What will my Sprint look like?
What you do in your sprint is completely up to you – it just has to be something that will make a big difference to your business, be a set of tasks you can do every day for 30 days, and be working on the business, not in the business.
Here’s what some other business owners are going to do for their Sprint:
- Revamp my website
- Write a new lead magnet to grow my list
- Develop my first online course
- Finish building that online course I started last year
- Start my email series and write an email every day
- Write 5 high-quality blogs
- Get serious with my search engine optimisation
- Make three sales calls a day
I will be doing my own Sprint alongside you – I’m working on a new course about how to get referrals, so I’ll be spending at least 30 mins a day on making the videos for this course. You can hold me accountable during our Sprint.
Let's Get You Into Action
The next Sprint starts on the 3rd September.
Join us in Sprint and spend the next 30 days finally finding the time and making the difference.