Andrew Phelps Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Andrew Phelps
Todays guest on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast is Andrew Phelps.
He is the Creative Director of User10, a boutique studio focused on SaaS product strategy and design.
He leads design teams at small startups as well as enterprise brands.
An expert in product strategy and design, he was named one of the Arizona Republic’s 35 under 35.
He shares his knowledge of strategy, design, and entrepreneurship at ASU, SEEDSPOT, and The CleanTech Open.
But the main reason that i wanted him to be on the show today was this piece of wisdom, taken from his website.
“We believe that design and technology should serve humanity and that anything worth doing is worth doing beautifully.
Challenges can be big and complex, but the best solutions are elegantly simple.
How The Dots Joined Up For Andrew
The best part is the process is no secret.
Building high quality applications and websites is as much about great communication as it is about good design and code.
Isn’t that what I say on Join Up Dots all the time?
The first stage of business is to find something that people want, then let them see it, and open up communication to chat.
So did he fall into the traps of making things more complex than they should be – but extremely pleasing on the eye?
And of course when people dont know who there customers are, how do they know how to speak to them directly?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Andrew Phelps
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Andrew Phelps such as:
How Apple might have just fallen from the wayside of the magic years driven through the
Andrew shares the steps that he took to where he is today….and it certainly wasn’t where he thought he would end up.
Andrew remembers meeting his first mentor and being amazed that a fifty year old was so happy with what he was doing.
Why it’s so important to start saying NO in a business, so that you can service a smaller and more
How To Connect With Andrew Phelps
Return To The Top Of Andrew Phelps
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Andrew Phelps
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 [0:25]
Yes, hello. Yeah. Good morning, everybody. Good morning and welcome to another Yes, another episode of Join Up Dots demotivational, conversational and certainly inspirational podcast. I can go in any direction as long as it keeps to the theme. And the theme is to inspire you guys to get off your booty. Take control of your life, start creating your own income, and basically go on a roller coaster of life as we will talk to today’s guests all about now. He’s the creative director of user 10 a boutique studio focused on si s Product Strategy and design. He leads design teams at small startups as well as enterprise brands. He’s an expert in product strategy and design and he was named one of the Arizona republics 35 under 35. Now he shares his knowledge of strategy and design and entrepreneurship, as you see spot and the cleaner tech open too. But the main reason that I wanted to have him on the show today was this piece of wisdom taken from his website. We believe that design and technology should serve humanity, and that anything worth doing is worth doing beautifully. Challenges can be big and complex, but the best solutions are elegantly simple. And the best part is the process is no secret. Building high quality applications and websites is as much about great communication, as it is about good design and code. And isn’t that why sound Join Up Dots all the time. The first stage of business is to find something that people want, then let them see it and then open up community I understand it. So did he fall into the traps of making things more complex and they should be back in the day but still extremely pleasing on the eye. And of course when people don’t know who their customers are, how do they know how to speak to them directly? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Andrew Phelps. Morning Andrew how are you?
Andrew Phelps [2:27]
Great thanks for having me. I’m really happy to be here talking to you.
David Ralph [2:30]
It is lovely to have you all the way from Arizona. So are you are you in your shorts already because it never gets cold out there does it?
Andrew Phelps [2:39]
It never gets cold right now is the beautiful time of year but we have some unseasonal rain, so we probably don’t have weather too dissimilar from you at the moment.
David Ralph [2:47]
I’ve spent many a happy month in Arizona so whereabouts actually are you?
Andrew Phelps [2:52]
I’m in Phoenix right in the middle of Phoenix, but our offices in central Scottsdale, just about 15 minutes away.
David Ralph [2:58]
Oh, that’s hot. Scott’s That was it. That is how I remember having skin pulled from my body but a sunburn. But anyway, let’s get on to what you’re here about websites and communication and design. Was it complex in the early days? Did you struggle through it? Let’s cut to the chase, is it something that you’ve learned by issue and by trial and tribulation?
Andrew Phelps [3:22]
Absolutely a lot of trial and tribulation and you know, that’s learning on the technical side, the, the skills of what we do, but also the entrepreneurial side and, and the personal journey that goes along with that. I started as a freelance designer. When I in my early 20s, and took on, you know, every low level project I could, I could find, and worked my way up to, you know, helping much bigger and more sophisticated clients solve bigger and bigger problems, but certainly a huge learning process, and I do feel I’ve paid my dues.
David Ralph [3:57]
Now, let’s take you to somebody who we’re going to hear later on in the show, Mr. Steve Jobs who was very big on simplicity and design. is Apple still sort of leading the way in that regard? Or have a kind of plateaued a bit on any newer companies coming coming from behind?
Andrew Phelps [4:18]
Well, that’s a great question. I mean, I think they certainly the brand certainly still owns the idea of very well designed products, the products are still top tier and high quality, whether they have the magic of the products during the jobs, you’re, you know, is up for debate. And there’s plenty of other great competitors. One of the things that’s happened in the last 10 years, but 20 years, 20 years, but 10 years, especially is that the word is out. Design can really change your your business fundamentally, it has an extreme power to, you know, make an impact and increase the bottom line. So you have with that agreement In the number of designers who are pouring themselves into their work, and they’re being hired by more and more powerful companies to make great products, so there’s a tonne of competition out there. And you know, the simple narrative of Oh, Apple has the best design products. I don’t think that’s true anymore. But I don’t think they’ve slipped to, you know, be substandard. I think there’s a number of factors that make it a much more competitive environment. And I think a lot of the, you know, a lot of the challenges Apple faces going forward are just the kind of ridiculous expectations of continued growth and market share in a world where things are more saturated and prices can’t go up forever as the technologies get cheaper. Now,
David Ralph [5:44]
when I’m on your website, use a 10. It is very clean, there’s not a lot of images, it’s basically more words really is more bold title and words. Is that something that the listeners out there need To be thinking about because I always thought it was, if there’s too many words on a website, people don’t spend enough time reading them. So you’ve got to get a hybrid of three second images that really tell a story. Tell us why you’ve done it in your way.
Andrew Phelps [6:16]
Absolutely. So it really comes down to your customers, your services, your products. There are a lot of different strategies that you use for different reasons for us. We offer a business based on our expertise and it’s a high level service business that engages with clients. The deals are big, the sales cycles are long. And the what we’re trying to show off is our experience and expertise and our ability to solve your business problems. So when that’s the case, the language you use is very important to tell a true but compelling story about what you do and how you can help the businesses. The other the other reason it’s clean, you know clean design, you can actually get away with quite a bit of text, and quite a bit of content, if you balance it with whitespace. Because people, we know we’d look and experience websites and apps and things online, emotionally, we’d love to look at our screen and say, I don’t like this because of this. And I don’t do that because of that. But the reality is, it’s not up to you, you have gut reactions, you have subconscious reactions in the back of your mind. And part of that is a visual comfort, your brain’s confidence and its ability to digest what’s on the screen. So we do have plenty of words on our website, but it’s balanced with whitespace. It’s easy to read. And as long as customers feel comfortable reading through your content, then it’s successful that could be with images or without.
David Ralph [7:51]
So is there still a three second rule because I go over to your site, instantly powerful products for fearless brands, boom, it’s there. It tells me Exactly what it’s about. Are we still aiming for that three seconds?
Andrew Phelps [8:05]
So yes, but with a caveat. So people, you know, throw throw around rules, like you have three seconds. But it’s not three seconds to convey your idea or three seconds to sell your customer or three seconds to do all your business, you have three seconds to hit that emotional tone. Are they confident that they can digest the content on your website? Is it saying something compelling enough to read the next thing, so the three seconds is important for buying you the next 15 seconds. Those 15 seconds are important for buying you the next minute, you know, and that’s kind of how we think about it. It’s really a funnel, your time. You do have these short times, amounts of time to catch people’s attention and get them to keep reading but you’re just buying the next chunk of time of their attention to get your your more nuanced message across.
David Ralph [8:58]
Now that’s interesting. All right. Because we hear about sales funnels all the time, but I think call it first person that’s ever mentioned, time funnel, looming people in telling them a story. And of course, stories are so powerful for the sales process, aren’t they? But so many people end up just telling the list now telling the viewer or the visitor about themselves, and not actually telling them about how they fit into the process, moving them in with that story.
Andrew Phelps [9:29]
Yeah, that’s correct. And I think it’s really hard to do for yourself. We get outside help. I suggest everybody gets outside help with their messaging. Because when you’re in the middle of it, you just can’t see the forest for the trees. Yeah. And, you know, our clients are amazed by our ability to get their messaging, right. But it’s, you know, we’re not geniuses, we’re just looking at things from an outside perspective.
David Ralph [9:51]
It’s a strange thing that isn’t it that you can’t see your own business sports. The demand that I do a lot of business coaching now, and I can do drive people to success. And as I’m talking to them, I think, God, I haven’t done that myself. You know, I should, I should have done that already. But you just don’t in your own business for some reason.
Andrew Phelps [10:11]
It’s true. I mean, your self awareness that you haven’t done it yet is impressive. I mean, I think it’s just a different thing. There’s a there’s an inherent value in having an outside perspective, there’s an inherent value to having an inside perspective. And it’s one of those balances that we like to play with find the right tension and the strengths and weaknesses in each because you need both to, to craft a message to craft great design to make great products.
David Ralph [10:38]
Now, let’s take you back in time, Andrew, so you’re doing the creative director, job abuser. 10. What did you want to do when you came out of college or university? Or maybe you didn’t go to college and university? Did you have a plan that leads you seamlessly to where you are today?
Andrew Phelps [10:57]
Of course everyone does right now. Absolutely not. So, interestingly, I wasn’t, I wasn’t very excited to go to university, I had a job managing the local, the local swimming pool. And I really liked what I was doing there. But my family’s very academic and strongly encouraged me to go to university, which is a unique story. But I went, I went to college, choosing the university that my friends had chosen. That was that was the why I picked the school I went to. And when I got there, I, I did not like not having a direction. And I made a list of all the things I could possibly study, to
excuse me to get ahead in life. And the second thing on the list was designed because I’ve always been interested in drawing visual things. I spent the entirety of my childhood on the living room floor playing with Legos, so just very into creativity and form. And, you know, architecture sounded really intimidating. For my low self esteem at the time, so I went to meet the head of the design programme, and he’s still a mentor of mine to this day. But what I realised at the moment, and what I joke about was he was the first middle aged person I met who was actually happy. And, you know, the passion for his work was pouring out of him. And to see him talk to other students to feel him talk to me. I thought, Okay, this guy’s you know, in his 50s, and, and he’s, he has this much as excitement and joy. So it was very compelling. And it made me a lot more curious about design. So I got into design, had a lot of fun in that programme, and got really interested in Wayfinding design, which is the design of signs and systems of signs in public places. So if you’re in a large public place, and there’s signage to get you to the restroom, or the next level or wherever you’re going, that’s called Wayfinding design and the beauty of it A lot like user experience design is that if you do it well, it’s invisible. You have a successful, you’ve made a successful design system when people get where they’re going and no one’s confused. So I was very interested in that I was interested in finding a job with that. I had a job lined up after school, and for whatever reason it kind of fell through. I stopped getting the interview calls, and I had to make a change. But I’ve also always been a little bit entrepreneurial. And I’ve took it as a sign that I needed to do my own thing. So I started doing freelance graphic design, not even getting into UX yet. So you know, designing brochures, coupons, business cards, kind of the very things you start with, it’s just production based design, learning the tools, you know, very low margin type of activities. And then user experience design or UX design started popping up. Online. You know, the biggest companies had positions for it. But they didn’t really even have full departments. And in the freelance world, it had just begun becoming a thing. And the pay difference was huge. It was, you know, instead of 10s of dollars in my pocket, it was hundreds or thousands. And so I thought I need to learn what UX design is. And it ended up being an absolute blessing because it was a lot more challenging and involves a lot more engineering than the simple layout design I was doing. And started with simple websites. And I had a couple really powerful experiences early in my career that got me absolutely hooked. I met a client who had a side business, doing healthy meal delivery across the Greater Phoenix area. And he loved doing it but he wasn’t making very much money. He had another full time job to pay the bills, and the website just was not working. For him, so he hired me and we started digging into everything, his entire customer experience. That’s the circle that goes around user experience and involves everything in the real world. Everything in the ads, everything you do when you interact with a company’s employees, but we found out that his ads were converting really well, but his website was not converting very well. So we took apart his website piece by piece. And what we learned was there was too much choice. It was confusing, and people were being overwhelmed by the entire process. So we worked hard to repackage his offering into just three simple options. And then we moved the point where people paid for the service to the beginning of the signup, then by the time they got to the complex piece where they had to select ingredients, and choose all their dietary restrictions, they were already invested and they could drop off. So we spent about six months working on that. And launched on January 1 of 2014. In the first month, he tripled the number of customers he had. And by the middle of the year, he had quit his full time job to go to go full time on this side business. And I think the final numbers from 2014 to 2015 was a growth of 514%. And his business so Wow, that was, yeah, it was a it was a fun ride. And it was a powerful experience for me to see what the impact of design is, you probably hear people talk about the impact of design, and it sounds like marketing,
marketing speak and you’re not sure how much you can trust it. But once you see it firsthand, you realise the power of this stuff and how the process can change businesses and in that case, change someone’s life.
David Ralph [16:57]
Well, let’s take you back to something that jumped out to me as you He was talking and it’s it’s a fundamental flaw in in the world and by all accounts and they’ll blame you, Andrew, I know blame you for this. Because I find more often than not when I go into restaurants or buildings, restrooms I can’t work out if they’re men or women but signage has become more and more complicated. I have to stand there trying to decipher images, and whether that person’s got a skirt on or that person hasn’t. Do I blame you, Andrew, is it all down to you?
Andrew Phelps [17:32]
It is if I had gotten that job, you wouldn’t be facing that issue. So I apologise.
David Ralph [17:37]
He’s confusing now, isn’t it? Why am I doing that now he’s I just come back from Iceland. And there was a row of toilets and every single one of us men and women came back with the same confused look on their face whether they’ve been in the right one.
Andrew Phelps [17:51]
That’s funny. I know a lot of restaurants here are trying to be cute so they use imagery or artwork to to try to make a joke about The genders are stereotypes. But it could be unhelpful. I’m not sure how much I experienced the confusion here. But I’ve certainly seen restaurants where I’ve had to take a second look.
David Ralph [18:10]
Well, let’s hear some powerful words now from Jim Carrey, and we’ll be back with Andrew,
Jim Carrey [18:15]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [18:42]
So you are an employee of user 10. I couldn’t quite get to the bottom of whether you founded it or you’re a creative director. Where are you on the entrepreneurial journey?
Andrew Phelps [18:53]
I am one of the owners of user tab. There are two other partners. We none of us are founding partners. We bought off the founding partners along the way. So why
David Ralph [19:03]
why do that and not start your own?
Andrew Phelps [19:07]
That’s a great question. The timing really worked out. And we really loved what we were working on. We do have a great reputation locally. And it was important to me to work within that brand. I think, in retrospect may have made different changes, but it’s not something I dwell on. And
yeah, that’s a great question. I’ve never thought about it
David Ralph [19:33]
easier to start your own business or come into, I’ll give you a point of reference on this. I am having to do a load of paperwork for my mom, sporran ale. They’ve got their business and I’ve taken over all the invoicing and stuff. And I tried to fill the first two weeks trying to blend what they were doing into a system that I understood. And now I’ve got to the point of going, I’m just going to start back from the beginning. I’m just going to clear the deck And go right back to the beginning because it’s easier than trying to blame something that’s already there into something new. Do you think looking back on it, it would have been easier to build something new and try to sort of morph an established business into what you want?
Andrew Phelps [20:19]
You know, actually, no. So now that I understand a little more clarity, there was a really clear cut off point. And there were very clear things to do. To move forward. We made a lot of changes, and you could make the argument that it was a fresh start. So in our in our circumstance, it wasn’t as much of taking over, taking over a broken machine and trying to fix it. It was a pretty fresh start. So to see to your point, yeah, it probably is easier to start something new, and mould it in your image.
David Ralph [20:48]
Now, how do you get your customers when this is something that a lot of people struggle with, they create a business idea, and then they struggle to get the first customer in the business. Rolling? Did you already have a plethora of established custom? Or did you just have to add to it tell us about the process.
Andrew Phelps [21:11]
So at that time, we had a good reputation we’d done good work, people liked working with us. But all the projects were quite small and quite fragmented. So to say we had an existing customer base would be very misleading. We did have a number of people that we could rely on for testimonials and references. But one of the things I’ve learned from from podcasts and experts that I listened to, is that early in your career, it’s all about saying, yes, you, you hear, you hear someone needs something, you say, yes, it’s not great profit margin, but you do the work, you learn a lot and you move on to the next one. And you give a lot to the people you meet. Show them that you’re there and willing to help. And you do that to build your skills to build your reputation. To build that client base, and then slowly and strategically to reach the next level, you have to start saying no. Which means you focus your, your services or your product on a smaller. Nisha the market, you serve as a higher level clientele where your profit margins are better. And you have the discipline of moving from saying yes to everything just to survive, just saying no, to become specialised and reaching the level that you want to reach.
David Ralph [22:30]
I only say yes to people, but I like it is my basically it’s my foundation. If I talk to somebody, and even if they want to hire me and I don’t like them. Any company might just be a strange thing. I might just get a gut feeling but I’m 100% on the gut feeling of saying no to people.
Andrew Phelps [22:52]
Yeah, I think that’s really important. I think
you need to, you need to know who your customers are, but also what your Personal if you’re an individual, starting a business, you need to have a deep understanding of your personal needs for your business. It’s earlier in my career said yes to everything, worked with people that weren’t necessarily my favourite, worked with people that weren’t a good fit and, you know, really drained my energy and motivation. And I think it’s important to have a check on what you’re getting from your business besides financial freedom, and what is it doing for you on a personal level? Because if you are violating what you need, on a personal level, it could be hurting more than it’s helping.
David Ralph [23:35]
So how do you make those decisions? Obviously, you’ve been through a journey where you’ve, you’ve said yes to people, and you’ve given them a billion dollars of value, and they only pay you $100. But they want a billion dollars and nothing’s good. How have you moved through that?
Andrew Phelps [23:55]
Well, I think firing the first client is the hardest And we haven’t fired, you know, 10s of clients, but we’ve done it a handful of times over the years. And it’s just, it becomes part of the process, isn’t it? Right?
David Ralph [24:12]
When you realise you’ve got the choice.
Andrew Phelps [24:16]
It really is. And there’s a lot of power and saying and making the right choice for yourself in business or outside of business, and just telling the truth, you know, I wasn’t cruel or crafty with any of this stuff. It was, you know, we’d like to move on to focusing on other things, and we’d like to face you out as a customer, let’s make a plan to do it. Not leaving anyone high and dry. Not you know, not holding anyone over the barrel, so to speak, but making an honest plan about hey, we’re going in a different direction. And how can we get you out of here and in a way that works for works for everyone?
David Ralph [24:55]
So you wouldn’t say I just don’t like you. I don’t like the fact that you pick your nose as I was talking to you, you, you you’ve phased them out. That’s a clean way of doing Andrew.
Andrew Phelps [25:07]
Well, the easiest excuses pricing, right? We’ve raised our prices. We’d love to continue working with you. But we don’t think this based on what we know about your budget, we’re not sure if this investment makes sense for you, that sort of thing. That’s an easy crutch. The other thing you can can say is it’s really just about time, you know, our team works on a bunch of different internal projects. And I can always shift our resources to those internal projects, and we just don’t have the availability to support you anymore. Again, don’t want to abandon you high and dry. But how can we help you move on to to finding what you need so elsewhere?
David Ralph [25:47]
We’re talking to Andrew Phelps and we’ll be back with him after these words.
Unknown Speaker [25:53]
You ready to make a full time living online? Check out the amazing Join Up Dots
Unknown Speaker [25:57]
Unknown Speaker [25:58]
Hello, my name is Alan I’ve just completed the excellent eight week course with David. Before I started working with David, actually, I had no idea at all where to start.
Unknown Speaker [26:09]
I had a lot of ideas about
Unknown Speaker [26:12]
why I probably thought was going to be good business. David was able to help me through that, though, to find that
Unknown Speaker [26:18]
passion. Within literally minutes.
Unknown Speaker [26:20]
We had, we had a business idea.
Unknown Speaker [26:22]
And for the last seven weeks, we’ve been building on it and building on it and the position I’m in now, I don’t think I’ve ever got here
Unknown Speaker [26:29]
on my own because of the amount of information that David gives the structure. He’s got the full package here and he explains it in a way that I can understand. His support is phenomenal. I feel like this is the way business is supposed to work.
Unknown Speaker [26:44]
David helped me understand, okay, what were the next logical steps that I should do? How can I get this up and running? So I would really recommend this as an excellent course helping you if you have an idea if you have no idea, really teasing that out and some of the practical And steps to take to really launch your business whether as a full time job or as a side hustle. So it was really excellent. I recommend it for anybody thinking about setting up their own business. I don’t think so an exaggeration to say David will totally save you years. Thank you, David, for all your amazing help and support which keeps on going. And we certainly couldn’t be where we are today without you. So you’re awesome.
David Ralph [27:24]
So if you would love to become my next success story and have your own life changing online business following my step by step system, fine tuned over many years to take away the effort and expense that others struggle with Ben come across to Join Up dots.com and book a free call with myself. Let’s get you living the easy life as it’s there waiting for you to get it. That is Join Up. dots.com business coaching. Okay, we’re talking to Andrew Phelps all the way in Arizona.
Unknown Speaker [27:55]
David Ralph [27:55]
if we get back to the beginning of our conversation, when we were talking about By following the design is about communication. How do people know how to communicate with somebody when it’s a new business? I just started it of just getting it off the ground and I haven’t had enough of input from customers to really fine tune that design. What would be that first steps?
Andrew Phelps [28:20]
The first steps would be leaning really hard on any initial customer. So first customer, that’s gonna be Rocky, you don’t have everything set in stone. And you and you say, you know, are you happy with the service? Yeah, I really was. Well, it would mean the world to me, if you help me articulate what I do, and where you found the true value of our service for my other customers, so asking for testimonials and asking people to hit on what they really enjoyed and what you could work on. Then you can pick and take and learn from that feedback. But design is all about making your best guess creating a prototype and then learning From that prototype, getting feedback, getting data, making adjustments and fine tuning. So nothing is going to happen on the first time. But make a brainstorm, get get all the words that means something to you on a wall and write some sentences that feel true to you. And you’ll learn really quickly whether you when you say those sentences to other people, they mean anything or not.
David Ralph [29:22]
Now I started Join Up Dots seven years ago, and I would say I probably had three main websites and four to five sort of variations of a theme to get to where I am now. And now people say I understand exactly what you’re doing, but they understand through the podcast, and then the website segments it. So we’ve sort of social media and luring customers to you. How have you decided on what works for your business because I see on Twitter, you say we’re not on there anymore. Come over to Instagram and Facebook. I would have thought A visual basic sort of social media that attracts most of your customers is it?
Andrew Phelps [30:07]
It can be that can be certainly be an attention grabber. I think the differentiation is the quality and care. We take care of our clients as well as the expertise and experience we bring to solving very specific problems in people’s products. So that’s a longer conversation. We are not the best at social media marketing, we’re not marketing specialists by any means. We found that our business development is done through speaking in educating, as well as, you know, meeting other people in the professional network, see how we can help them and how we can, you know, potentially send business to one another when we are meeting people who have a need for the services we provide, so we don’t have a huge focus on social media marketing. or marketing in any traditional sense?
David Ralph [31:03]
No, No, you don’t. So why have you chosen the ones that you’ve gone for? Why have you chosen Instagram and Facebook? Why? Why not use it at all?
Andrew Phelps [31:15]
Facebook, probably more legacy but the ability to post there for jobs in their job application system built in, and Instagram. As you said, it’s a visual medium. We could definitely post more there. You know, there’s a lot of work we’re really proud of that we were not allowed to share because it’s for brands that want to want you to think they do their own work. So there’s kind of a hang up there with portfolio work. We’d love to show off a lot of what we do, but a lot of it we can.
David Ralph [31:46]
I’ve got a client This is Francis Francis, who used to live in New Zealand when she connected with me, I worked with her and now she’s building a business in Bali. And we were talking the other day about how to connect with the the Well to do the wealthy in Bali, and she was saying, oh, maybe I go onto Facebook and I said, just go to their village and put a leaflet through their door. First of all, do you know keep it as basic as possible? Do you find that more often, but not now people are unwilling to get off their backside and do what has been working for thousands of years of actually trading the pavements and putting things directly through the door.
Andrew Phelps [32:26]
I think I think every business is different. I think different approaches can work for every business. I’ve in my world, it’s very much about sharing what you know, like you’re doing with this podcast adding a tonne of value for free online, so people can get an idea of what you could offer if if they engaged with you. It’s the same thing for us and, and all service businesses. I think it is about showing your unique insights and giving people a taste of what it would be like to work with you or what you could accomplish together
David Ralph [32:59]
and get off backside Andrew, don’t you think get off your backside. I’m gonna push you on this. I think people are lazy. They just want to sit behind their laptop, their mobile and try to build connections where connections have always been built by meeting people networking face to face. Okay,
Andrew Phelps [33:16]
yes, I will back you up 100%. And I think, I think it’s I think it’s cultural. I don’t think it’s individual. I think we are far too fat and happy. And entertainment has become a way of life. I think that there’s far more fulfilling pursuits and you can you don’t have to kill yourself for success, but it does take hard work and there’s nothing wrong with hard work.
David Ralph [33:41]
Let’s talk about one of our my other sort of passions and that is dominating local areas. So you’re in the San Diego area. And I speak to lots of people where they seem to ignore where they live and their local community and try to attract people the other side of the world and I always say to him, Start closer to home, and then move out in ever widening circles. Is there value in that?
Andrew Phelps [34:08]
Absolutely. Especially when you’re starting out. When I was starting out, I was going out to events, meeting people, someone gave me their business card and said, I’m going to get new ones. I really don’t like these ones. And I said, Oh, really? Well, I’ll be happy to design your new one. They’re like, Oh, well, I can’t pay you. And I would say, no problem. I’ll design it for free. I would just ask that you use my printer. They give you a great deal. And then I got a tiny slice of that printing, you know, which ended up being something like $10. So yeah, not worth my time. Not a great long term strategy, but that’s what I was doing at that at that level was, can I get next month’s rent by hustling? hustling for anyone that I can find?
David Ralph [34:53]
I think that’s, yeah, I think that’s absolutely wise. You know, you don’t kill the goose straightaway. You go for the small chicks, and you build it up and build it up the position that I’m in now, I would never have got here in the first year, I tried. And I believe that I should have been there. But I look back on it now. And I think it takes time it takes time to build your value. It takes time to build your network. It builds time, it takes time to build a business. And so don’t ignore the small wins. If it helps extend that runway for another month, another two months to pay rent. It all builds up, doesn’t it?
Andrew Phelps [35:32]
It really does. And I also would add that you never know when something will come back to you. You know, we’ve gotten some very big deals over the past year that have come from relationships, I started to develop at those early stages. people I met people I made a good impression on. You just never know how your service of others will come back to help you in the future.
David Ralph [35:55]
Oh wise words indeed. Well, let’s play some more wise words. We’ve already mentioned Man earlier in the show, let’s hear him again. Here’s Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [36:04]
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 [36:39]
DeVos words only apply to people that have made a difference. Can Can we look at those at all stages? Andrew?
Unknown Speaker [36:48]
I think absolutely. I think
Andrew Phelps [36:51]
people also have a tendency, especially an entrepreneur space to focus on. Excuse me impact, but and that’s an important thing. I’m a huge fan of, but I also see huge value in tracking your personal journey, your personal growth, connecting the dots of who you were in who you are now how you’ve improved, how you’re a better human being. You know, that’s just as fulfilling and important because I, you know, I think at the end of the day, most of us will have the biggest impact just on the people immediately around us.
David Ralph [37:22]
So when you look back on your life, leading to where it is now, do you have a big dot that joins up everything where you think, yeah, I don’t think I would have been here if it wasn’t for that.
Andrew Phelps [37:35]
There are certainly opportunities that stick out to me as key moments. But I think it’s important for me to acknowledge and potentially for me to acknowledge for others is that it really is more about the small everyday dots, the slow progression of getting better and better, getting a better better fit with your clients getting a better and better fit with your product. I think big opportunities are fun to reminisce and can be those headings in the in the book of your life. But I really think that it comes down to improving a little bit every day, and learning from all your small successes and failures every day.
David Ralph [38:17]
Well, this is the bit of a show that we’ve been leading up to. And this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic when we’re going to 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 Andrew, what age and what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because we’re going to play the music and when it fades is your time to talk to him. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [38:47]
with the best bit of the show
Andrew Phelps [39:04]
All right, I would tell my, my younger self, probably my early 20s. to, to face my fears and to have more courage. One of my mentors told me that courage is not the absence of fear. It is simply having the strength and fortitude to face your fears. And it’s something I wish I learned much earlier. face my fears in facing the world, face my fears and facing business challenges, but most importantly, facing the fears of exploring myself. We all have pieces of our personality that we don’t like we all have strengths and weaknesses. And I wasted too much time not taking a look at my weaknesses. I was scared to look scared just to find out how bad they might be. But the reality is, once you explore yourself, you’ll realise none of it is as bad as you feared, and you can really move forward a lot more effectively. When you have a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses. What you need to work on and What you can easily share with other people.
David Ralph [40:03]
When I hope you will listen little Andrew, because it’s good advice. So Andrew, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Andrew Phelps [40:11]
You can certainly reach out to me on LinkedIn or through our website, just user ten.com. We have a contact form. They’re happy to answer any questions about design product strategy, or if you’d like to connect and talk more about the entrepreneurial journey. I’m happy to do that as well, because I certainly needed a lot of people to support me when I was starting out and I’m happy to pay it forward. Great stuff.
David Ralph [40:35]
Why so thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots Where have all the links to your businesses on the show notes to make it as easy as possible. But please come back again when you got 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 our futures. Andrew Phelps. Thank you so much.
Andrew Phelps [40:55]
Thank you for having me. This is a lot of fun.
David Ralph [40:59]
Mr. Allen Drew Phelps. So that’s good idea, isn’t it? So the first customer you get, say to them, you know, could you give me some feedback? I’d really appreciate it. It doesn’t even have to be a testimonial. It’s just how did I do that? Was there things that you liked. And little by little, you can tweak it and you can build it in your business. You know, I always say this, but it’s fundamentally true to everything. When I started up, Join Up Dots. I used to do a lot of podcast streaming. And then little by little, I realised that people didn’t really want the podcast training. So it became sort of second part of my business. And then people were saying, How are you running your business like you are? How have you got so much free time? How are you managing to switch off the business? That was those questions that people were asking me about? I started to think, I don’t really know. I just do it. And I started building my business around giving Bo’s answers. Because people don’t want a business. If it’s a prison. They want a business. That gives them the free time and it’s totally doable. So it was the feedback that led me to where I am now being able to provide the services but I do, but it wasn’t expected at the beginning, the business has morphed due to the feedback that I was getting from people. Well, until next time, thank you so much for listening. Anybody who leaves a rating and review on iTunes, always appreciate that don’t get many recently, but um, that would really, really help us and boost us up. Anybody who wants a free strategy call with myself. I’m doing a load of bows at the moment where I can help you design a plan to move forward, be a business, just come across book a time and I’ll be happy to chat. Until next time, I’ll see you again look after tips by
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant sell fewer 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.