March 12, 2019

10x-ing output with a simple SOP

Sent by Jonathan Stark on March 14th, 2019

Todd Tresidder recently came on TBOA to talk to Rochelle and I about creating leverage in your business to maximize your wealth.

One of his six leverage types is “systems leverage” which basically involves creating a standard operating procedure (SOP) for anything that you do on a regular basis. This is something that I’ve dabbled in previously by creating checklist-style SOPs for things like:

Even from just this short list, I’ve been amazed by how much easier and less stressful these recurring multi-step processes have become. Most of the SOPs that I have created so far have been inspired by a sense of desperation. They are things that would be almost impossible to sustain without having a procedure in place.

But speaking with Todd got me really excited about the idea of systematizing more pieces of my business. Started wondering:

“Where else can I create SOPs for things that I do on a regular basis?”

So for the past couple weeks, I’ve been looking for other places where I could define processes for things that I’ve kind of just been winging for a long time. Hoo-boy, did I find some!

For example:

Just this week, I created an SOP for producing videos for my YouTube channel. Once I had it written down, the areas for improvement became obvious. A couple iterations later, I had defined a video-first content creation workflow that also plugs into my podcast, which in turn plugs into my social media scheduler.

The result?

Even with this rough draft SOP, I produced 14 videos, 14 podcast episodes, and roughly 75 social media posts in about four hours. This is probably close to a 10x improvement over my previous tactic of winging it every time I recorded a video.

Once I get this process down to a science, I predict that I’ll be able to outsource a bunch of steps and cut my time investment down to about an hour for the same output. Only time will tell, but conservatively this could represent a 20-30x improvement in just this one area. W00t!

Here’s the thing...

Since I don’t trade time for money, each improvement works out to almost pure profit for me. If I was billing by the hour, I wouldn’t have much reason to think about systemizing like this. Sure, I could probably make some improvements in non-billable areas like email processing, invoicing, or time tracking. But any efficiencies created in billable areas (i.e., my actual work) would only serve to decrease my income.

Nuts, right?