What does a day in the life of a fellow soloist look like? Today we’re chatting with Australia’s favourite small business marketing expert, Tim Reid
If you’re a small business owner in Australia and you’ve not heard of Tim Reid then … where have you been? Tim was podcasting long before all the cool kids started doing it (which I guess makes him cooler than the cool kids?!), sharing his signature brand of marketing wisdom via Australia’s number one ranked marketing show, Small Business Big Marketing. He’s also widely acknowledged as one of Australia’s most passionate and sought after marketing speakers.
The nicest thing about Tim (other than his generosity) however, is that he’s one of us. After spending over 20 years servicing the ‘top end of town’, Tim went out on his own and today declares his ‘sweet spot’ to be working with people like you and me.
So while the advice he dishes out might be delivered in his typically straight-talking style, it’s also practical and do-able for all of us struggling to manage the demands of our solo ventures.
Want to see what I mean by ‘straight-talking’? Here’s what Tim Reid delivered when I asked him to share his typical day:
A typical day?
What soloist has a typical day?
A typical soloist’s life is by definition, untypical.
(Whatever typical is these days.)
This would be a much easier question to respond to if I was trapped in a corporate cubicle.
Get up insanely early.
Battle the traffic.
Work, meetings, work, gossip.
Work, gossip, meetings, work.
Get lunch. Gossip.
Work, meetings, gossip, work.
Get blueberry muffin.
Gossip, work, meetings, work.
Battle the traffic.
I’m a cynical old bastard aren’t I? Maybe not.
So back to the question, what’s my typical day?
Well, I can’t put timings against any of this, but it may include podcast production, answering my forum members’ questions, travelling interstate, writing a blog post, giving a keynote, going to the gym, getting distracted by social media, doing an interview on someone else’s podcast, shooting a video, making five calls a day to get more speaking gigs, giving some love to my podcast sponsors, hugging my family.
Sounds pretty typical 🙂
The biggest challenge I face in the average working week?
Deciding what to work on is always a challenge for me. Whilst my business revolves around marketing, I share my knowledge in a variety of ways – keynote speaking, podcasting, my Forum, blogging and the odd (very odd) bit of consulting. Oh, and I also need to market myself as a keynote speaker, promote my podcast and encourage more motivated small business owners to join my Forum. Add to that the fact that I’m always thinking up new hare-brained ideas and I’m back to my big weekly challenge, “WTF should I work on now?”.
I tackle this in three ways:
- I decide what’s going to have the biggest impact on moving my business forward and work on that.
- I address anything that is making the most noise in my head.
- I give in to what feels right; what my heart is telling me to do.
Whilst I don’t think I have this challenge totally under control, I do make a game of it and have some fun. It is a challenge after all.
The reality of being a soloist?
Being a soloist infers that we’re alone, pushed out to sea in a boat in which we’re required to do it all – row, cook, clean, navigate etc. Clearly this ‘jack-of-all-trades’ get up is fraught with danger. Whilst I, and I’m sure many soloists, feel like this at times, I think it’s important we surround ourselves with good people; A-Players. Both virtually and face-to-face. Cash flow allowing I always suggest getting a virtual team to help you get stuff done. Mine includes an editor, copywriter, graphic designer, web developer, transcriber and so on. None of them are on my payroll, just at call on a project-by-project basis. I also have mentors, mates and others who I can defer to for an opinion, a laugh or a vent! So whilst my soloist reality sometimes involves doing more than I should, I’m at my most successful and happiest when the team’s humming like a well-oiled machine.
What keeps me going?
OK, cliche time: my wife and three kids. If it weren’t for them I’d be rowing that boat around in circles. That said, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I love the instant audience feedback I get when speaking at conferences all around the world. Plus the daily emails I get from listeners of The Small Business Big Marketing show always put a skip in my step. Knowing the difference I’m making to the lives of soloists and small business owners in 110 countries (including Kazakstan!) excites the hell out of me.