Matt Inglot Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Matt Inglot
Matt Inglot is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview.
He is the founder of Tilted Pixel, a web design and development agency, which he has been running for more than a decade.
Which sounds great.
A successful business that is on-line too.
But actually the truth was anything but, as we will find out creating a business is easy enough in principle.
But creating a monster that takes up every second of your time is even easier.
And after more than ten years of running his agency, he knew that he had do some serious changing of procedures so that he could free himself from the business and start living life.
He went from being a slave to his business wallowing in “misery and despair” to creating a business that is very profitable and gives him free time to travel and to do the things he loves.
But of course a business is not just built on hustle and effort, but also experience gained over many years.
How The Dots Joined Up For Matt
And this was certainly the case with today’s guest, as he started his career back in 2005 by exhibiting at tradeshows, working on marketing campaigns and preparing demo software for potential investors and clients.
Before working for three years at the Wilfrid Laurier University teaching students business labs part-time, whilst he worked on creating the monster.
So what did he do wrong which he knew that he had to change to create the freedom that he is living today?
And can he now point the way for everyone, or is every situation individual to the creator?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Matt Inglot
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Matt Inglot such as:
How it is so important to reveal your personality on-line, and the power that sharing your weaknesses has on your bottomline.
The moment that his entrepreneurial journey started after seeing his friend do very well on eBay.
Why he knew that his mindset had to change, and he had to start taking decisions to change his life forever. There was nothing that couldn’t be done he just had to decide to do them.
Why you should never ever hire someone who know less than you no matter how superior it may make you feel. Hire high for best performance.
Why the four hour work week book by Tim Ferris was a complete game changer for Matt, and the reasons it gave him to become entrepreneurial.
How To Connect With Matt Inglot
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Matt Inglot Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, here I am. Again, David. Ralph, Join Up Dots Episode 508. Can’t believe it. These episodes so fly through is untrue. He feels like I only recorded Episode 500 this morning and here we are 508 already and today one is going to be good because he the guy’s got a kind of story that could happen to all of us when we go into our entrepreneurial ventures and he’s the founder of Tilted Pixel, a Web Design and Development Agency, which has been running for more than a decade which sounds great a success. Small business that is online too. But actually the truth was anything bad. As we will find out creating a business is easy enough in principle. But creating a monster that takes up every second of your time is even easier. Now after more than 10 years of running his agency, he knew that he had to do some serious changing of procedures so that he could free himself from the business and start living life. He went from being a slave to his business wallowing in misery and despair, to creating a business that is very profitable and gives him free time to travel and to do the things he loves. But of course, a business is not just built on hustle and effort but also experience gained over many years. And this was certainly the case with today’s guest, as he started his career back in 2005. By exhibiting at trade shows, working on marketing campaigns and preparing demo software, that potential investors and clients before working for three years at Wilfrid Laurier University, teaching students business labs part time while he’s worked on creating the monster. Yes Monster was already born. So what did he do wrong which he knew that he had to change to create the freedom that he’s living in today. And Kenny now pointing away that everyone always every situation individual to the Creator. Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Matt Inglot. How are you Matt?
Matt Inglot [2:19]
I’m doing very well. And thanks so much for having me on. And wow, that’s a great intro. I’m totally gonna steal some of it.
David Ralph [2:26]
You take a lot. It’s all out there. Because your intro is all out there. That’s why it’s got so easy now and I talk about this a lot. But people share now Don’t lie. They share their personal stories, which didn’t happen five or 10 years ago is the online world has become all about transparency somehow.
Matt Inglot [2:45]
Oh, it very much has before that everybody was basically a corporate headshot and a job title. And now a lot of people have their entire lives on display and when you do it right and not just like picture Have you puke off the front porch after long party, that it’s an incredible thing to create an authentic connection with people.
David Ralph [3:08]
Because ultimately people do buy into you don’t lie they buy into your transparency, your personal integrity, and it takes a while and I’d be interested, I’m going to get straight to the chase here with yourself. Was that something that you was aware of right at the very beginning? Or is it something that you’re really aware of now that the more you put yourself into the business, as Matt, the more sales you make, because people trust that individual?
Matt Inglot [3:38]
Yeah, that’s definitely been me from day one. I think. I think every client that I’ve ever won, a lot of it has been on the strength of me and my interest in their business and connection that we build. And the fact that I come across as somebody that really genuinely wants to help them which is true But that said, I didn’t share nearly as much about myself online for anyone to view for a very long time. I only started really doing that once I started my podcast, Freelance Transformation. And that’s where I decided to kind of get more personal with things. And that’s where I started doing things like sharing my own story and a lot of problems that I ran into and some of the stuff that is a little uncomfortable to share, because you’re basically exposing all of your mistakes and all the lessons that you’ve learned along the way to the entire world, whereas our natural inclination is actually very much the opposite, which is, you know, to put on that stock photo face of a smiling person in a business suit, and pretend nothing ever goes wrong. Yeah, but I
David Ralph [4:48]
take your point, but I don’t agree with that at all, especially in the podcasting world. Because in the podcasting world, my biggest successes have come about when I’ve literally laid myself on the line and said I ain’t got a bloody clue what I’m doing here. And I got so much feedback because when people are listening to us say, ah, everything’s great, we’re doing this, we’re doing that, more often than not. They’re sitting there in their cubicles thinking, that’s the life that I want. But they haven’t got the competence to actually reach out for it. When you actually say, Look, guys, I’ve screwed up here big time. That is their window of opportunity to reach out to you, isn’t it? So that’s why I think it’s so powerful.
Matt Inglot [5:28]
Oh, well, that’s that’s exactly my point. So not much of a disagreement.
David Ralph [5:33]
Tony into that, and did I read it the wrong way as he was saying it?
Matt Inglot [5:36]
Yeah, well, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying is like, it’s so much better when you do do these uncomfortable things. But it’s something that is not our natural inclination to do. Our natural inclination is that opposite it’s to pretend everything’s okay. But it’s not the most effective thing to do.
David Ralph [5:54]
So if we take you right back in time, like we do, Matt, your trade show I’m always interested to read people’s first foray into employment. Was that part of a big master plan? Or was that something that just kind of fell in your lap? Tell us about it.
Matt Inglot [6:12]
So, I bought my first ever exposure to sort of, quote, a real job, where you actually get a cubicle was working as sales and marketing. They called me a sales and marketing engineer, which I’m not even sure if you’re supposed to do because I’m definitely not an engineer. So I don’t know what I was engineering. But the job itself was cool because it was for a startup that was working in virtual reality, specifically haptics, which is the sense of touch. And that, unfortunately, is a technology that there are probably 10 to 15 years too early in the market to gain any traction on but for a while that startup existed. And while I was very much like that, I was actually right out of high school I got hired to do some work for them. And then I got hired to do some more work for them a little later on. And I was basically thrust into this position of essentially being one of the spokespeople for at a company in terms of demonstrating the products and showing off what all of this technology can do. But to that point, I had basically absolutely no sales and marketing training whatsoever. So I had a cubicle and for a student more money than, you know, I had ever made it before. But I definitely didn’t know what I was doing. And so the trade shows were particularly interesting because I’d be up there, and I’d be demonstrating these really cool machines to people, but I really had no idea of how to turn not into anything resembling a sale,
David Ralph [7:58]
which is a key part to lifeboats Isn’t it because I remember my first foray into employment. And I had to work in a bank. And they put me on the customer counter dealing with customers when I didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. And in those days, it was quite fortunate. It was sort of early 80s, you could basically lie to customers and get away with it. So you could, I learned a great skill of being creative, agile a brain very, very early. But that’s kind of how I’ve developed my whole career. So even though you were thrown in at the deep end, I bet you’ve still got elements of what you learn in that sink or swim scenario, even to today.
Matt Inglot [8:38]
Oh, yeah, it was definitely a good return on investment for me. I’m not so sure so much about that company. Because I did learn from attempting these trade show experiences that there is a lot more to selling and understanding why people buy and actually closing a deal. Then, you know, you would naively expect when you first Go into the business world. And my whole thing was I thought my job was fall, let’s demonstrate these machines, and then dot dot dot profit. Whereas there was an entire element of building relationships and setting up one on one meetings and all of these other great things that nobody actually told me, Hey, you shouldn’t be doing this.
David Ralph [9:24]
And did you create your own ways? Because more often than not, if you’re not told how to do something, you actually find new ways, and sometimes they’re better ways and what everybody else has always followed.
Matt Inglot [9:38]
Yes, not so much in that position. Because four months into it, the company ran out of money, and I ended up having to pay rent and tuition and food and all of that stuff, and suddenly I had no job. But that thrust me into what became my company for the next 10 years. And still is, which is my web agency. And from that experience, I had to suddenly go and sell websites to people also not knowing what I’m doing. But certainly knowing more than I knew for months before that. And I did find my own groove with being able to approach people in a very genuine way and set up meetings where instead of focusing so much on how great my websites are, and how great the product is, and how great my company is really just sitting down and having a very frank and honest discussion with the potential customer about their business and what is it that they are trying to accomplish? What goals are they shooting towards, and then working with them to come up with a way that a website could help them achieve dose, which is very different than, you know, here’s my shiny product. You know, please buy it because it’s shiny,
David Ralph [10:58]
so well you thrust into it, as you You said you was thrust into your business, will you not naturally entrepreneurial than
Matt Inglot [11:05]
I was, I definitely was maybe not from day one. But in high school, I had a big revelation. Because up to that point, my projected career trajectory was going to be basically a programmer for Microsoft. Because Microsoft or the big game now we have Google and all of these other alternatives. But I was going to be a programmer, because programming was something I knew, and I was good at. But I had a friend in high school and we hung out a lot. And we started really talking about business and life and what’s the meaning of life and stuff like that. And my friend was doing really well at the time selling products on eBay. He basically find products that were being promoted, seen on TV and he’d sell them on eBay. And he was doing very well with it. And I kind of started doing the math and My head and scratching my head and thinking, Well, wait a minute, that sounds way better than having to go and sit down in a cubicle every day and work for somebody else and get paid a very fixed amount of money. And next thing you know, the next 4045 years of your life have gone by. And that’s kind of what really triggered the idea that Wait a minute, you can actually take charge of your life. You don’t have to passively. Just accept that, you know, this is going to be your career because this is something that you’re good at, but you can actually design your life the way you want it to be. And that’s when I said to myself, hey, I can start businesses and I tried a few things. Before I ended up at that VR company, but tilted pics on my web agency was the thing that stuck and that was when my feet were to the fire and failure was no longer an option I needed money.
David Ralph [12:52]
I find all this fascinating because I now I’m very entrepreneurial, but only in the last maybe three or four years and I’m I’m 45. And for years and years and years, I just floated through getting paid very nice salaries for turning up basically, and you just kind of did your hours and then you went home. And because I got paid a lot more than I think my efforts warranted, I never had that desire to create my own ceiling of income. But now I flipped it on its head. I agree with you totally. And I’m fascinated how you manage to break free from your peer groups at such a young age and go a different route really, because most people will have had their parents saying, Get a job, get qualifications, get out there and play it safe. So where was your mindset about time other than catching catching, I could earn a lot more money.
Matt Inglot [13:49]
Well, I was definitely in the minority, but I think there was pros and cons to having that realisation so young. Because I think there is less people around to tell you You can’t do it. Because everybody in your peer groups lost and confused anyway. Yeah, but I definitely gave my parents a scare because after high school, I didn’t go to university right away. I took a year and a half off. And they were just convinced that I would never end up going to university as a result of that. And they were definitely have that mindset of you know that the business thing is nice, but you know, get a degree get that job. So for them, that was terrifying. And I did end up going to university and quite frankly, I could have probably dropped out halfway through and been perfectly fine. But I did end up getting my degrees but I did end up running a business. And my parents have come around to that and now they see me as a success and they understand that this is a viable thing. And you know, not just some crazy thing that’s gonna lead to me never having any money.
David Ralph [14:55]
And how old are you now, Matt?
Unknown Speaker [14:57]
David Ralph [14:58]
you’re 31 Okay, so they’ve gone past that. It’s a phase because I was talking to a guy today who is doing very well on online called Tom Marcus. And he is doing very, very well. He’s very, very established. He’s got staff, and he’s mom and dad still kind of thing. When are you going to get a proper job? This is kind of playing, they don’t quite grasp the online world of being something. Something tangible where brick and mortar and a business and an established company is. So I accepted now. Now you’re 31 of course you’re a man but or when you go home and so Christmas, do they say, Man, you know what’s happening, what you’re going to do if it all goes wrong?
Matt Inglot [15:43]
No, they don’t say that anymore. I think now it would be the opposite. If I ever did go and switch to having a job which I have trouble picturing that ever happening. But let’s say a dead I think that’s when they would realise Hey, something must be terribly wrong. So So let’s
David Ralph [16:00]
talk about where it all went wrong for you. Because I, I heard a story about you had a very bad Christmas day when you spent all day just working for your company and your clients and you realise that you’re, you’d created a monster. So how did you paint yourself into that corner?
Matt Inglot [16:21]
So I had very skewed ideas of what a business was. And I think that was one of the disadvantages of starting so young. Most of your impressions of having a business come from TV and the media and just this whole and motivational posters for that matter, because it’s this whole idea that success equals having, you know, some X amount of Ferraris and the driveway and the more Ferraris you have, the more successful you are. So that basically means starting a really big business and having staff having office space, like even when you just talked about your contact, you know, you You mentioned the staff. It’s just one of these things that automatically I guess, make you more credible. So I thought that success equal to have to build, build my company to be really, really large. So that’s what I attempted to do. And unfortunately, at no point during that thought process, I really thought about what is it that I met inglot one at a life, I just thought, well, I need to be like Donald Trump or somebody like that. So I did end up while I was still very much in school, renting an office and getting my first full time employee, I hired a programmer paid him, you know, salary and bonuses and all that fun stuff. And I kept running with it. And next thing, you know, I had two programmers and then three and I had a bigger office, and I was just trying to grow, grow, grow. But I had that mindset without really understanding of what actually makes an effective business. And none of that stuff actually has anything to do with that what makes an effective business is a business model that works, one where you take in more money than you pay out, and one that is sustainable. And I never quite got that early on. And I was going for growth instead of worrying about things like profitability. So I ended up with a lot of fixed overhead. And I never really established a scalable process for getting clients. And that meant that like so many consultants, I ended up in a position where no, there was never enough business coming through the door or and I was just constantly laying awake, wondering, how am I going to meet payroll, how am I going to meet rent, and where’s the next client going to come from? And all of these things that I should have figured out before I started to grow my business to any sort of scale and that ended up with Me, you know, a couple years into having office space and employees that ended up with me working 80 hour workweeks drinking six plus cups of coffee a day, waking up at 5am. And then going home long after the cleaning staff had already gone. And just at some point realising that my work owns me now, by there, it was over Christmas, over Easter or on any weekend, anything like I just didn’t have that option to live a life anymore, because my life was now this business. And this business, frankly, was stuck. It wasn’t growing because I hadn’t figured out those fundamentals. So yeah, at some point, I just realised, okay, either I’m gonna have to just let this go and, you know, figure out how one gets out of a failing business, or I’m gonna have to try something radically different and luckily, I took the latter route and like Now looks very different.
David Ralph [20:02]
Well, let’s play some words now. But I’ll move us into the next stage of the conversation. And that’s how you took the steps to actually change direction. This is Oprah,
Oprah Winfrey [20:12]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. But what is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you, because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [20:42]
Now, when you were laying in your bed, stewing, wondering about how you’re going to pay your rent, would those words have meant anything to you? Or would you have swung at her for saying bad? Is it true, what she’s saying, but what most of those words have helped you in those days? He’s
Matt Inglot [21:01]
Who? That’s a tough question. I think they would have helped eventually. But the problem is when you’re so wrapped up in a situation like that, sometimes it’s very hard for the right advice to get through. Because it’s ultimately a mindset problem. And my mindset was very much in a position of, I’m stuck with this office, I’m stuck with these employees. I’m stuck with this situation, I can’t change. And it required a pretty gigantic leap of thought to go from that mindset to wait a minute, I can get rid of this office space, I can shift my team over to contract work, I can do all of these other things that will allow me to have a successful business because if that if all it took was Oprah coming to me and saying these words, then I would have made all of those changes a year or two before I did, and no doubt. tonnes of advice like that was all around me. But that doesn’t mean that I was missing. totally open to it.
David Ralph [22:01]
So how did you change your mindset, but man,
Matt Inglot [22:06]
I just reached a breaking point, which I guess is a good and bad thing at some point. And that was that Christmas, where I did end up at least getting a little bit of a break, I got to go snowboarding, that was a lot of fun. And I realised, well wait a minute, there is a life. And wait a minute what as soon as I’m back from this trip, I’m back to the same old grind and all the same problems. And I don’t think I can do that anymore.
David Ralph [22:36]
He’s fascinating hearing that because on one side of the fence, I’m saying to you, it’s great that you learn this so early in your life. On the other side, I’m thinking to myself, thank God I spent so long in corporate land being swallowed by the machine, because when I freed myself, what I’ve created here with Join Up Dots is a very profitable business. But I don’t want any staff or anything. I don’t want anything to tie it down to a business like you’ve got just because of my experience and my background from the corporate corporations of London. So it’s a funny thing that no matter how you come to it, as long as you end up at the same point, you’re, you know, you’re in a good place and you’ve come through it and you’re obviously stronger because of both struggles. Would you say?
Matt Inglot [23:27]
Oh, absolutely. It was very hard when I was in my early and mid 20s to, you know, jump into a mental Time Machine and fast forward and think, Okay, well, you know, life could be better eventually. But looking back now, yeah, absolutely. I learned a lot like you said, you had to go to the corporate world to learn your lessons. I had to start a business the wrong way to learn mine. But in the end, we both came to the same conclusion such as well, you know, maybe office space is not The greatest thing like we’re completely virtual now, and I keep all of my overhead, low and very flexible. So while I have a great team, they’re mostly all on contract. They’re freelancers as well, if I don’t have work for them, that’s fine because somebody else does. And it’s just a model that’s focused on profitability. And even more important, a model that’s focused on giving me freedom in my life. Like it’s incredibly liberating, to be able to make decisions about how much I want to earn this year. Instead of worrying about where the money is going to come from, I can actually say, Well, you know, do I want more time to do things this year? Or do I want to put more focus on my business? And that’s a choice I have now.
David Ralph [24:48]
Well, interesting stuff that you’re saying there. So you’ve now got a team of people that you only need you only pay when the work comes in. Is that right?
Matt Inglot [24:59]
Yeah, that’s exactly Right.
David Ralph [25:00]
So how do you maintain the quality? How do you train them to fulfil your your standards?
Matt Inglot [25:09]
Well, there are no shortcuts. I have focused very carefully on building up a team of people that I can trust. And that has absolutely taken time. And it has meant that some people I’ve tried working with, I no longer work with. And the people that I continue to work with are the people that share my vision of what the outcome should be and share my vision for always growing our processes always getting better at things. We have a very obsessive approach to the way we build websites and to how every single part of the website development process works. And that’s something that we’ve just consciously built over time. If I had to start over, I couldn’t wake up and on day one have an amazing team or everything runs smoothly. But I could build that team again. And I could do it probably in a year of working to find the right people, not working again with the wrong people, and being very conscious about building up how we work together in a systematised way that everybody’s happy with. So I love my team. And I wouldn’t have the company that I have right now without them, and a unique way that we’re structured.
David Ralph [26:31]
Now, I know a lot of people would have the fear of just leaving work to people virtually, especially from from my background, where I come from, I was very good at letting people run with stuff, but I know so many managers who would micromanage and just be in on it all the time checking in emails and checking in whatever when you think you’re paying that person to do the job, just let them do the job. Have you had that leap of faith or did you naturally sort of breeze into just allowing them to do their thing.
Matt Inglot [27:02]
It’s been both I’ve been guilty of micromanaging, for sure. But I think one of the antidotes to micromanagement has been making sure to hire the right people, the people that know more about something than I do, because I think that’s a common trap. If you hire somebody that knows less than you do about something, and you expect them to then do that job, it’s very difficult. I mean, I’m, I’m merely human. So this very much applies to me. It’s very difficult to not micromanage because you see that person doing that job. And then you think to yourself, Well, why don’t they do this? Why don’t they do this? Oh, this is a mistake. But if you hire people that know more than you, then they’re the experts, not you. So for example, I may have an extensive programming background, but I definitely don’t know the ins and outs of design. So my designer is not just a virtual patient. For us that I command, my designer brings a lot to the table that I wouldn’t have thought to bring myself. And when you’re in that position, when you’re working with experts, and set of people that you feel you have to coach and manage, then it’s a lot easier to be hands off because you know that they can do a better job than you could possibly to yourself. And I think that was a huge, huge leap for me.
David Ralph [28:27]
So do you think that in life for all of us should find that one super talent that we can do easily and build a business around?
Matt Inglot [28:39]
Well, yeah, absolutely. I forget where I first heard this, but somewhere at some point, someone pointed out that it makes a lot more sense to build on your strengths, rather than trying to shore up your weaknesses. So if you have natural talents and inclinations to certain things, Rather than trying super hard to work on the things that you’re bad at, just focus on the things that you’re good at, and then find over other ways such as hiring people to overcome the things that you’re not good at. For example, I can’t write like, like I can write, but I can’t write with like a pencil or pen, my writing is unreadable. And at some point, I just accepted that, you know, I’m never filling out a form on paper again, it’s just not gonna happen for me. And, you know, there, there’s better things I could spend my time on, than trying to learn how to write legibly.
David Ralph [29:38]
I think that basically my super talent is speaking into the microphone or communicating. And it’s funny, I spent years and years and years doing this in different formats. And I never realised because I was in that entre employee mentality. I never realised that it was a talent, but you could create your own Come see that it just never occurred to me. You went in and you did something, it was easy for you to do and people paid you for your time and not your talent. And that’s the difference, isn’t it? That’s when the mindset changes, I think, when you realise that actually, you don’t have to go in but eight hours a day, you can go in for 30 minutes a day. But it’s what you do in that 30 minutes. And if you play to your strengths, then you really cooking on gas.
Matt Inglot [30:28]
I agree with 100% of that, but I would take it even one step further. They’re not really paying you for your time they’re paying you because you can deliver a result for them that either they simply can’t achieve or it would take them much longer to achieve. But it’s the result that matters a lot more than the time.
David Ralph [30:48]
Oh, I don’t know, I’ve worked for companies where I didn’t offer anything to them. You know, I literally just turned up and I was there. And because I’d created the role myself over here. period of time by piecemeal, nobody knew it like I knew it. So I literally was just on the clock and I could go in for weeks and do nothing at all, because nobody really knew what I was doing. And even I remember having a quarterly assessment. And my manager said to me, Look, I don’t know really what you do. So just set your own targets, you know, so I did I just set my own targets. I passed every single one of them. It was brilliant. So no, I do think there are a lot of companies out there but really haven’t got a control on their staff and their staff are just turning up and going through the motions.
Matt Inglot [31:36]
Yeah, I’m sorry.
As far as employment goes, Yeah, you’re right. That’s its own bizarre world. I was thinking in terms of consulting and being able to take your skills. Yeah. And have people hire you in order to do your unique talent. You’re right. If if you’re, if you’re in the corporate workforce, then you know, anything’s possible. I’ve only spent eight months of my life in a cubicle to different companies, the second company that I worked at, I had trouble filling my time. But I was getting paid to be there from 9am to 5pm. So I had to invent my own ways to keep myself busy because there was not enough work. And I did. You know, I did make poor use of my time sometimes, like the one day where I spent a good half of an afternoon, trying to get a pack of starbursts out of a filing cabinet that had gotten stuck. But that’s not you know, that’s not something that I really consider achievement. That’s not something I want to shoot for. I’d rather get my work done in two hours and spent the rest of a day getting to do two things I want to do versus waiting out the clock.
David Ralph [32:47]
Now you are the four hour workweek kind of person, aren’t you really from what you’re saying? When I read Tim Ferriss book, The Four Hour Workweek that blew my mind Actually, yeah, if I got in and I really focused, and I got my work done, I could do it in 20 minutes. So why am I sitting here for eight hours? Why can’t I just go off and have fun? Is that kind of mentality how you are gonna create your companies as they move forward, that you are based on results and not on time?
Matt Inglot [33:23]
Oh, 100% four hour workweek is probably the book that changed my life the most. Because it explained everything that you just summarised that, yes, you can not only make the mental switch of working based on results versus just killing time, but you can also push the boundaries of how long something should take. And that’s kind of the model that saved my agency is I went from this idea that an agency should have employees and agents Should have expensive office space. And an agent, she should run this particular way to saying, well wait a minute, let’s really look at the books. And let’s really look at where the money is actually coming from. And one of the things I learned is that all of the actual profits came from about 20% of clients. So your classic 8020 rule, which gets at least one chapter and four hour work week, and the rest of our clients were basically too small to really generate profit. They’re basically breakeven prospects, they would allow us to pay to rent, they would allow me to pay payroll, but they wouldn’t create any forward motion, whereas the other 20% of clients for clients for not only the initial project was bigger. But over the years, they would actually spend way, way way more money with us than they did initially. And that’s where all the money was actually coming from at the end of the day. So I just focused on that. Those types of clients actually turned down 80 to 90% of the leads that come in at any given point. And I just laser in on the prospects that I think are really going to help me grow my business, and who we can deliver a tonne of value for. And I just shut my doors to everything else, which is very different than the mentality of most business owners who think Well, hey, there’s a customer, it’s my job to court them. Whereas my mentality is well, you know, first let’s decide if this is someone I want to work with and then worry about seeing if I can get the sale.
David Ralph [35:34]
I think this is brilliant. I think this is absolutely we are like connected, Matt, everything you’re saying I buy into it totally. I think that the majority of people that come through to me and the listeners are lovely. The people that come through to me as listeners are of just perfect. The people that come through who want to work with me are idiots more often than not, because they haven’t quite grasped the fact VAT if they’ve listened to at least two of the shows. But I can do it all myself. So I don’t need to have some new device but they’re offering that can make editing so much quicker. Because through the process of growing the show, I had to learn quicker and faster ways of doing it. And I’ll be absolutely honest with you, man, I don’t know any other podcaster that can record and edit and create a show like this as quickly as I do. And I clung to two principles, ones that you’ve already mentioned, the 8020 principle. And the other one is Parkinson’s Law, which if you’ve been through the Four Hour Work Week is a game changer as well remember Parkinson’s Law?
Matt Inglot [36:38]
Yes, definitely. And
David Ralph [36:40]
I love that. So what I do listeners is if I have a task, I will set a clock and I will give myself half hour to do that task. Because if I don’t set that clock, it a one to one to three hours because you look at Facebook and you check the soccer results and you just sort of float around. So people keep saying to me, how do you manage to churn out the amount of work you do? Quite simply, I get to my desk, I set my clock for 45 minute bursts, and absolutely work like a lunatic. But only focus on those, that 8020 principle, I focus on the bits that bring me the best results in that short period of time. And that to me, was the complete game changer. That’s how I realised that I was creating something that I didn’t have anyone bothering me if I decided to just close up. That’s it. I don’t have a VA in India, and I did try a few B’s and they were good. But it didn’t sit naturally with me. I just find it better to bash it out myself, and then go off down the pub.
Matt Inglot [37:40]
Yeah, I think I mean, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a VA. But depending on your goals, but it does you no good to hire a VA to do something that shouldn’t be done in the first place. So for context for listeners, David is really editing this thing live. as a guest, I got to hear the intro music and everything with the podcast and him introducing me live. Whereas what most podcasters will do is they’ll add all of that stuff afterwards. And that’s actually incredibly time consuming. Whereas he’s just, you know, mixing it all in on the go. So you could hire a VA to edit your show for you. Or you could just do it live like you’re doing here right now.
David Ralph [38:26]
Well, absolutely. And I think that’s the way about live. I think if you look at everything and think to yourself, number one, do I need to do this? Number two, how can I do it as quickly as possible, but keep that same quality? I think that ultimately affects everything, not least your bottom line because you’ve got no overheads as such, you know, I’ve created this whole show and other than a PC, a microphone and a small mixer, and a little bit of hosting to keep the audio files on that’s it. It’s just total the profit, which has totally blown my mind as I say, because I still Do at my core. I am an employee and an employee that feels that to be successful, you have to have the big office, the Ferrari’s and the PA, and all those things that you talked about at the beginning. And I can still have that ingrained of me as that is success. But now, after talking to so many people, and I was talking to a guy today, man, and he created this whole business where he serves, and he serves six days a week. He spends one day in the office, and that’s it. His whole business is based around one day where he used to do like 80 hours. And when you have enough of those conversations, you really start to think to yourself, hang on. This is you can have your cake and eat it. It may take a while for you to build your cake. But once you might build it, then you can just chomp away at your heart’s desire. And it’s it’s paradise, isn’t it, sir?
Matt Inglot [39:57]
Yeah, it’s absolutely paradise because It’s allowed me to lead my life in the direction I want to lead it in. And it’s allowed me to pursue so many other things. Like the Freelance Transformation podcast wouldn’t exist if I was still working 80 hours a week on my web agency, whereas now it’s, you know, maybe 20 hours a week. And that gives me time for things like my podcasts for woodworking, and to just, you know, see where my passions Take me, instead of feeling like I have to be working. And I think there’s a very big difference between working hard and having to work hard. Yeah, because, like, I work very hard on my podcast, and everything is built around that. But if I decided to shut it all down tomorrow, I would still eat, I would still have a place to live. And that is a very big difference from if I don’t work these 80 hours or whatever crazy amount, then I’m in trouble.
David Ralph [40:59]
Well, just before Bring Steve Jobs in to the episode. What would you lose? Ben, if somebody come along to you and say, Brian, Matt, I’m going to take away that part of your business. What would you be quite happy to just shed? In what sense? Well, which bit Don’t you like doing?
Matt Inglot [41:18]
Oh, which bit? Don’t I like doing? Well, that’s tough because I’ve shed a lot of that already. I could probably still do a lot in terms of automating the proposal writing process, and automating some of the quality assurance aspect because those are all 100% me. And as I move things forward, I’m sure there’s ways to do those things better and faster,
David Ralph [41:48]
and do not like doing them.
Unknown Speaker [41:52]
Matt Inglot [41:54]
I think I could use my time in a better way. Sometimes it’s very simple. satisfying, you put together a proposal that’s like the perfect business case for why a client should buy. But there’s also a lot of times where it’s like, oh, man, you know, I have to spend the next hour putting this thing together. And I’d really rather be doing anything else.
David Ralph [42:17]
I don’t try to do anything, but I don’t want and I’m not at the total utopia. But I that is, well, I’m working towards it if I get to anything, but I think to myself, this is just boring, then I don’t do it. For example, in podcasting land, people say to you, Oh, you got a tweet, and you got to Facebook, and you got to use Instagram, and you got to do all that. And I used to do that. And then I thought, I hate doing this. This is just just onerous tasks. So I went a different route. And I thought to myself, now what I need to do is create a way that the listeners come to me, instead of me going to the listeners. And once you get that idea in your head and you start planning and you start working and you start seeing how things are There’s always an easier route. You know, I say this a lot, Matt, but water always finds easiest route. But what we do is just bash up and down against the wall, thinking that hopefully we can get through it. And I think that’s a crock. I think what you’re doing is brilliant. And I think that what I’m doing in my own small way is brilliant as well. Because with finding the things that we love doing, so that we can spend more time on them, because that ultimately is our 8020. That’s where our true value comes.
Matt Inglot [43:28]
Yeah, that’s absolutely it. And that’s why I had to think about that question because I have been religiously getting rid of the things I don’t want to do like bookkeeping bores me to death, and I gave that up pretty early on to someone else. And even now when I have to like review books quarterly and just make sure everything’s kind of been entered, okay, and there’s no glaring issues. Like, that should be an easy afternoon. But it’s one of the things that I dread most every three months because it’s just so boring.
David Ralph [44:01]
Well, I’ll tell you something that isn’t boring. The words of Steve Jobs, let’s bring him on.
Steve Jobs [44:06]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [44:41]
So has it made all the difference to you that ability to create your own path?
Matt Inglot [44:47]
It has made all the difference. I mean, I can’t even imagine what my life would be like otherwise, because the concept now seems so foreign but I realised that to most people, the idea of starting a business Is the foreign thing. But for me, it’s the other way around. Now, I can’t imagine what it’s like if I had gone and worked for Microsoft, and you know what there could have still been cool, crazy opportunities that came out of that. It’s not like that would have been a closed door. But I just, you know, I’m so thankful that I took the route that I did, because there were a lot of tough times, but I feel like I’m now equipped for the rest of my life with the mentality and skills to create my own path rather than accepting whatever lot life wants to give me.
David Ralph [45:40]
So what is your big dot? When you look back on everything that’s got you to this point? What was the moment that really transformed either your mindset or your situation? Who
Matt Inglot [45:56]
It was probably the time during Right after high school, where I really gave this whole idea of business a try. And at that point, I had no idea that I would end up running a web agency or any of that stuff. I just knew that I suddenly wanted to do business instead of become an employee. And that’s why I had taken a year off before going on to university. And so I decided to one I read a tonne of self help books, the self help industry oftentimes gets a bad rap. But I find like that’s the section of a bookstore where you can find a lot of answers to the secrets of life. It’s just people oftentimes don’t want to hear them. And I read a lot of that stuff. And I started educating myself on even the idea of putting together a product and selling it. And I ended up writing a desktop utility programme back when people wrote programmes for your computer. Instead of your web browser, I wrote a desktop utility. And I did sell it. I did sell it for $20, a licence, and I did a tonne of things wrong. But at that point, I was now in the driver’s seat, actually doing something instead of passively waiting for the education system to tell me what’s next. And that was the big, big shift in my life, from a life that’s driven mostly by external factors to one that’s driven mostly by internal factors.
David Ralph [47:36]
And if somebody said to you, Matt, I need you to work in a cubicle for the next six months, and I’ll pay you 50 grand would you do it?
Matt Inglot [47:45]
No, not for 50 grand. You’re gonna have to go, you’re gonna have to go a little bit higher, maybe for for six months. 150 would probably be an interesting experience. But I’d be leaving after two six months.
David Ralph [48:00]
So you’re totally unemployable. Now? i?
Matt Inglot [48:03]
I think so i think so. And I really hope there isn’t like a future 50 year old bat, or everything’s gone horribly wrong. And he’s looking for a job. Because employers are going to find all of this stuff. They’re going to find this interview, and they’re going to realise I’m unemployable.
David Ralph [48:19]
Well, there’s not going to be a 50 year old Matt on this show, but there is going to be a younger version, because this is the part of the show when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Matt, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme tune in when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [48:49]
with the best bit of the show,
Unknown Speaker [48:56]
Matt Inglot [49:06]
So I guess here I am speaking to the mat at, let’s say 20 years old, that would put me right when I am, I guess in my second year of university, I’m finally out on my own. I have, I have my little Student Room that I’m renting for $400 a month, and I am more or less supporting myself. And to that, Matt, I would say a few things. And starting with that, it’s great that you’ve discovered business and this whole idea of taking charge of your life. But the other thing that you still need to discover is that it’s very possible to be super ambitious, super driven, but not be wound up so tight that you don’t have to take life so seriously that you don’t have to take business so seriously. If you actually ease up on the throttle a little bit, and spend more time doing things that aren’t just trying to start a company and aren’t trying to play Donald Trump, then you’re actually going to have way more success in your life. Because you’re going to be able to experience what you actually want in life, versus just trying to pretend that you want to be some crazy corporate monster that ends up you know, with a lot of Ferraris. And I’d also say that the two big keys to making this whole business thing work is to learn how to find and deeply understand what people are struggling with, and then come up with ways to solve it. And then to really understand what this whole marketing thing is about so that you can actually bring that solution to them. And if you can switch that degree, instead of taking Business and Computer Science, maybe take psychology or philosophy because that’s understanding of how people work and what their troubles are. And how you can help them turns out to be a lot more valuable than learning the ins and outs of balance sheets, or human resources or all of that other stuff they’re gonna throw at you. And lastly, constantly and critically, evaluate your choices against your life goals, always. So be very clear about what it is that you want to achieve. And be very honest and clear about whether the path that you’re on right now is actually going to lead you there. And if it’s not, and oftentimes, that answer might be no, then just have the guts to stop immediately and correct course, instead of going down that path and other two or three years, when you’ve already known deep down that that wasn’t the correct path. And that’s my sermon.
David Ralph [51:57]
Matt. What’s the number one best way out? audience can connect with you, sir.
Matt Inglot [52:02]
So the number one best way is to check out Freelance Transformation calm, because that’s where I share a lot of the things that I’ve learned about how to do consulting successfully, and how to do it in a way that allows you to travel or have more time with family or whatever it is that you want. So that’s Freelance Transformation, calm. And if you want to reach out personally, that’s awesome. The best way to do that is either Twitter, my handles, Matt inglot, or Hey, feel free to email me, Matt at freelance transformation.com.
David Ralph [52:40]
We’ll have over links in the show notes. Matt, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build out a little I’ll have to read it now. But the best way to build our futures Mr. Matt England. Thanks so much.
Matt Inglot [53:02]
Thanks so much, David. It’s been a lot of fun.
David Ralph [53:07]
So if you listen to the last couple of shows, you can see that these people are making decisions that create a life that they want, the way they want. If they want to live on the beach, they can, if they want to work two days a week, they can if they want to take time off three, four or five weeks and travel around the world, they can and the bottom line is you can as well but like them, you got to start you got to start and you got to go on that journey. thank you as always for listening to Join Up Dots. I really love doing this show and hopefully you’re enjoying it as much as I enjoy doing it. Until tomorrow. This is David Rao, and that was Join Up Dots. Thanks so much.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices including The two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.