Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Taylor Jacobson
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Introducing Taylor Jacobson
Taylor Jacobson is todays guest joining us on the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
Taylor is a man who has created something, that as soon as I saw it I thought “Wow, I know many people who could do with this system”
It’s all down to giving you the ability to focus in on a task, when the world of distractions are flying around your head.
You know what its like, you have an important piece of work to finish, but you just need to check Facebook for a second, and then of course the football results, and before you know it that piece of work takes longer and longer.
Pressure and stress abounds.
How The Dots Joined Up For Taylor Jacobson
Well as our guest Taylor Jacobson says ” After I left my corporate job, I spent several years struggling to build a life that allowed me the creative freedom to realize my potential, while still paying my bills.
I worked as a freelance writer and tutor.
I started a business, and pursued numerous side hustles before eventually establishing myself as a professional coach for entrepreneurs, growth company executives, and Fortune 100 managers.
Along the way, I tried everything I could find that promised to boost my productivity, and to stop myself from procrastinating and wasting time.
I found productivity apps that helped me organize my to-do list, stay off social media, and manage my calendar.
I also developed my own systems to set long-term goals, to plan my weeks more strategically, and to stick to a strong morning routine.
After helping my coaching clients implement some of these tools, I realized something.
Today’s digital workers need a solution for procrastination that didn’t exist:
They needed a community to connect with like-minded individuals committed to holding each other accountable.
Hour by hour, for actually doing the actions contained in those to do lists, productivity tools, and goal trackers.
Taylor Jacobson’s “Big Idea”
I created Focusmate to help independent workers break free of the shame and anxiety caused by chronic procrastination.
They can now enjoy the same benefits of accountability as clients paying thousands of dollars for coaching.
Love this, truly love this.
So when this idea popped into his head did he think like most people seem to do “That must be out there already, so what’s the point?”
And where does he find the biggest need for his services?
From people who are just beginning or ones much further into the game who should know better.
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Taylor Jacobson
We discussed so many deep subjects on the show with Taylor Jacobson such as:
Why so many people fail to get an idea of the ground. Quite simply due to the fact that they have too many ideas.
Taylor talks about “blundering” around in his career, which allowed him to experience many things that has led him to where he is today.
We chat about finding the minimum viable product for any business as soon as possible, no matter how ugly it might be.
What would it be like if you didn’t have to worry about business. Only doing what you love doing in life? Then perhaps its time to find a business partner who does.
How To Connect With Taylor Jacobson
If you enjoyed this episode of Join Up Dots then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Ted Yoder, Sean Swarner or the amazing Alfie Best
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Taylor Jacobson 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 [0:21]
Yes. Hello there. Well, good morning. Good morning and welcome to another edition of the motivational conversation or inspirational show which is joined up that’s the kind of show that we start with a vague theme and we see what comes out of the upper end. Well, today’s guest joining us on the show is a man who has created something but as soon as I saw it, I thought wow, I know many people could do with this system. It’s all down to giving you the ability to focus in on the task when the world of distractions are flying around your head. You know what he’s like you have an important piece of work to finish but you just need to check Facebook for a second and then of course Papa results and the boy you know it that piece of work takes longer and longer, pressure and stress abounds. Well, as our guest says after I left my corporate job I spent several years struggling to build a life but allowed me to creative freedom to realize my potential. While still pay my bills. I worked as a freelance writer a true test started a business and pursued numerous side hustlers, before eventually establishing myself as a professional coach for entrepreneurs, growth company executives and fortune 100 managers along the way. I tried everything he says, I could find that promise to boost my productivity and to stop myself from procrastinating and wasting time, I found productivity apps that helped me organize my to do list, stay off social media and manage my calendar. And I also developed my own system to set long term goals to plan my weeks more strategically, and to stick to a strong morning routine. Now after helping my coaching clients implement some of these tools, I realized that today’s digital workers need a solution for procrastination that just didn’t exist a community to connect with like minded individuals committed to holding each other accountable hour by hour for actually doing the actions contained in those To Do List productivity tools, and gold trackers. So he created focus meet to help independent workers break free of the shame and anxiety caused by chronic procrastination. And to enjoy the same benefits of accountability is clients paying thousands of dollars for coaching? I love this. I truly love this. So when this idea popped into his head, did you think like most people seem to do that must be out there already. So what what’s the point? And where does he find the biggest need free services from people who are just beginning or ones much further into the game? Who should know better? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Taylor Jacobson. Good morning, Taylor. How are you sir?
Taylor Jacobson [2:55]
Good morning David. I’m great. That was a those are those are pretty badass intro Thank you.
David Ralph [3:00]
It was good when they as I was getting food I said to you before, and I’ve got a stinking cold. So I’m going to try to keep things short today. And I thought what have I started with the world’s longest introduction, because you deserve it tell you this. So just before we actually started connecting this morning, you advised me that you were going to go and get your water, you gotta go get your coffee, I could hear your alarm clock going off for an hour and a half. Are you a very organized person? Or do you chunk it? Do you block into organization of and let yourself fall between the cracks at other times?
Taylor Jacobson [3:33]
Oh, that’s a good question. I guess I am pretty organized, I would say that if I don’t have like, a lot of routine, and I don’t stick to it, then things kind of go up, you know, blow up. So like, one of the things that if I don’t do my morning routine, you can pretty much guarantee that the rest of my day is just going to be terrible. So even at times, like I’ll have a really bad, you know, I had a late night at work. Or I was just watching something awesome on Netflix and really bad. And I’m like, I don’t do my morning routine. And then I have a call and then something else happens and like it’ll be noon. And I’m like, all right, I gotta do my morning routine. Because if I do that, then sort of get things back on track. So that’s a long way of saying, I definitely try to use routines and rituals to help me keep it together.
David Ralph [4:27]
I don’t get the morning routine, I basically wake up, get out of bed and just start doing stuff. And the amount of people that have said to me, they spend an hour writing in a journal, and then they do yoga for an hour. And then they go for a walk. And I always think how to get anything done. It takes you know, I’d be lunchtime by the time I finished that. So is it needed? Do you do you think that generally people could do with that kickstart of routine right at the very beginning, even if it’s only five or 10 minutes to get them going?
Taylor Jacobson [5:00]
So first of all, I love your comment, which I don’t know if it was intentional, or if I just interpreted it as sort of a snide remark. But like, I think that a lot of like, you know, productivity hacky ideas, sort of get this, this undertone, or something of like, righteousness. So, you know, journaling for morning journaling for an hour in the morning is like something you really should do or something like this. And and I have a very strong opinion that that’s like that’s not useful at all. And so like, for me morning routine. I have a checklist, it’s a analog, you know, piece of, it’s a stack of paper, basically with a grid of stuff that I want to do every day. And I put, like the first eight things on there are things that I really don’t necessarily need to write down in order to remember to do them and like brushing my teeth. You know, there, I think there’s good chance you brush your teeth every morning without it having to be on your morning routine. I don’t
David Ralph [6:04]
know my kids do you do not know my kids?
Taylor Jacobson [6:08]
Yeah, kids maybe could use it. But you know, well, I’m going to give you credit for like handling, handling the basics. But the reason I put them on there, at least at the top of my routine is because it just like it builds this feeling of self efficacy and self efficacy is just like this feeling that you are capable or capable, doing some specific thing. So for me, just you know, knocking out okay, I floss, I brush my teeth, I drink a big cup of water. Doing literally like checking those boxes off as I get my day started then as I get down to so I do actually stretch and do some physical therapy and yoga every morning, I had a back injury many years ago. And I you know, at some point, you realized that your body is not invincible. And so this is something that I’ve realized is like, really make or break or how I feel for the rest of my day. But oh my goodness, I procrastinate doing my physical. I mean, it’s not. It’s not like a run or like lifting weights or something where you like you do it. And you’re like, I’m awesome. Like, I feel so good. Physical Therapy is like mind numbingly boring. And I don’t know, for the first three, five years after I herniated a disc in 2011. And I man, that was a painful injury, I could not walk for a little while. So like that should be pretty motivating. But you know, a lot of important stuff like physical therapy is just hard to do. So, anyways, the morning routine, you know, it like builds me up to eventually, you know, at the end of it, I’m doing my physical therapy. And by that point in time, I sort of have like, built my I’m more awake, and I feeling a little bit like physically alert. And I’ve built up that self efficacy so that when I actually do start working, I’m more likely to actually be effective.
David Ralph [8:08]
Because one of the things that I say to my kids and I say to my wife, and I actually heard her quoted to somebody else the other day, so he’s getting through Tyler, he’s only taken us but years of marriage and he’s getting through is you never don’t have time for the things that you want to do. And I always say that when she says I didn’t have time today I go, yeah, you didn’t have time, because you didn’t really want to do it. You can always find you know, a lunch with your mates and go into the cinema or whatever. I don’t understand procrastination. Because I basically wake up each morning, I think to myself, what was the thing that I didn’t finish the night before. And then that’s my starting point, I finished bad. And then I do things that I like, and then that’s it. But I don’t make it spread out for hours and hours. So I don’t give much else self a chance to actually be distracted. I just block it out for two hours. I mean, head down, crack through it, and then move on. But I do know that you’re and we’re going to talk about focus may it’s so required, but why am I different title? Why am I different? Why Why do I not have this procrastination bug that brings other people to their knees?
Taylor Jacobson [9:16]
So let me ask you a question. How do you decide after you crank through that thing? How do you decide what
David Ralph [9:22]
to do next? I look at where my value is. And my value for my business is providing service to my customers and making income. I have three actually the damn, they’re my two. And the other thing is, do I like doing it? So I mean, I don’t like doing it, I just don’t do it, I just think there’s a better way of finding stuff that can provide the value, bring the income that I’m going to enjoy at the same time.
Taylor Jacobson [9:46]
Okay, so you have like a is this like a mental checklist? Or you have this written down somewhere? Like what’s the I’m actually curious about some of the more like nitty gritty details like I am
David Ralph [9:55]
totally mental Taylor, you you might have get you might have guessed that already. But I’m I see all the time when people say you should write a list before you go to bed so that your brain is playing with it overnight. And I don’t do any of that. I just basically think to myself what needs to be done, and then I do it, and then I’ll move on to the next thing.
Taylor Jacobson [10:16]
Okay, and and so like I you know, a lot of a lot of our work is kind of complex or multi step projects. So when you have, I don’t know what, like, there’s something big that you’re working on right now, that’s like a complex multi step project.
David Ralph [10:34]
But he’s only a jigsaw puzzle, isn’t it, you know, if you get a jigsaw puzzle with 500 pieces, you start on the edges, and then you work through to the middle and it’s down, you know, I I just see that everything that I do is a series of little projects that build up into something. And if I start for the middle and work to the edge, it still gets done. So you know, you just have to do stuff within that project.
Taylor Jacobson [10:57]
So basically, you just to me, like you just explained why some of the things that you do, or the mindsets that you have that make it so that you don’t procrastinate. So, number one, so one of the places that people get stuck is getting started. And it seems like you have a I don’t know, like a mental process you go through I mean, you had a really quick answer, actually. So that’s kind of indicative of like, it’s a pretty robust system, or no mind hack you have or something where you just say, okay, where’s the value? Where’s the revenue, and you choose something. And so like, you don’t agonize over it, you just use that process, and it’s going to provide something and then you get started. And then the other thing you do is, I don’t know if this like jigsaw puzzle thing is actually like something that you think about often but it you know, the fact that again, like that metaphor came to mind so quickly for you is actually kind, I think it’s I think it’s indicative of how you think thank and so another place that people get stuck is that actually most of the really valuable work that we do is not simple. It’s not like, you know, go get my coffee and water, like that’s pretty easy and straightforward. A robot could do it. But the work that’s driving value is like write a blog post, right? Or, like, you know, what I want to like, go back and revamp my podcast automation flows, there’s something that’s like, it’s a kind of abstract, like, you can’t just say, you know, you couldn’t instruct a child to go revamp the podcast automation flows, it’s actually a, it’s a bunch of those tiny little jigsaw puzzle pieces. And in the case of a jigsaw puzzle, it’s like, it’s actually pretty straightforward. You’re just like, Okay, I know, all these things fit together, it’s two dimensional thing, let me get the coffee table, like there’s a lot that is actually pre determined. But real life work is more complicated than that. And often, like, tough, valuable projects involves many different skills, some of which we might be good at, some of which we are not good at. So just that process of, basically, like breaking it down into tiny little jigsaw puzzle pieces. People also get stuck there. And, and something as simple as like writing down on your to do list like, revamp the podcast automation flows, you can actually do that, right, what you can do is you can say, Okay, I, you know, I have a checklist that my podcast guest go through, you know, I need to go through and revise that, you know, so I’m going to spend 20 minutes reading it making notes, and then I’m going to revise it, that’s something you could actually do. But a lot of the things that we put on our to do list, you can’t do them, they’re just kind of like, subject headers for a big bucket of stuff. So that’s, that’s my, my three minute diagnosis of, of why you don’t procrastinate. But I mean, human beings procrastinate, because some of the reasons I just mentioned, but also, we’re really just not, we’re not like wired to deal with a society that we live in, or the technologies that we live in. And I am definitely not one of these, like anti tech people, I mean, as evidenced by the fact that I have a tech startup. But uh, but what
David Ralph [14:18]
you’ve done here, which I think is fascinating, because I bloody hate time management, I remember being in corporate gigs where somebody would come in, and they would say, right, what you need to do is put four columns, and you put the things that are most valuable. And the second things have been score them a, b, and c, I used to think I want to waste the time to do that every day. What I love about you, is the focus me if I understand it, you’re basically sitting there in your office working, but you can see somebody else working, and they can look at you, you can look at them, you can’t talk to each other. But they they can rack all their finger if they see that you’re wasting time. So coming to pee a group thing that’s working as soon as you plug in would that be about right?
Taylor Jacobson [15:06]
Yeah, that’s totally right. And, by the way, am I allowed to curse not that I am a big cursor, but I just want to,
David Ralph [15:12]
if you want to, and you’re happy, but a young child will be walking around learning the words that Tayler uses, then its up to you
Taylor Jacobson [15:22]
Spoken like a good parent.
totally lost my train of thought. Is Yeah, is that how it works? Yes. And, and I really, I really liked what you said about like corporate trainers, and like, man, I there’s just, you know, 35 million blog posts out there of like, here’s the technique you should use that is going to revolutionize your life. And I hate that. So like, I actually think all the all the productivity tips and tricks and all that stuff, like it’s all pretty good. And I’ll make, you know, a nice incremental difference. And ultimately, like, you still have to figure out a system that works for you. And like, I think, I think you’re kind of what I will call your kind of unusual system. It really works for you. But it’s also reflective of how like personalized your system has to be to how you think and like, you know, I’m I know a lot about productivity, I really do. But I still change my system all the time. Like I just started, you know, using this whiteboard like six weeks ago, and I’m like, wow, this is making such a big difference. And I, I still put my daily to do list on h on the back of a US sheet of printer paper. So like, this is not, you know, I didn’t like find the holy grail of technology and that I’m using that for everything, I really do think that a lot of personalization is required. But like, what’s the thing that I struggle with, and I think a lot of people struggle with, it’s not like, like, I don’t know how to make it to do list. It’s just like, we need to have our feet held to the fire because, you know, Facebook and Netflix, and, you know, the kitchen is there and all this stuff like your children, right? Like, we have all these things pulling at us. And we’re you know, we’re a lot more wired to like, I like to talk about tribal psychology and how we’re wired to survive in a tribe, I you like, go on a hunt. So the foods you don’t die, but we’re not wired to like, write a dissertation that we’re going to present in six years, like, that’s not that kind of extreme delayed gratification as like, passionate as you might be about that topic, or your job, you know, building up your business are just not wired to, to work like this. So I just think that, you know, if we’re, let’s say humble enough to accept that it could actually be could be the kind of person that it could make a big difference to have somebody there with you holding your feet to the fire? Well, it just works. And, you know, the truth is, I actually I was a high performer my whole life. And then I started working remotely, and I became a low performer overnight. And took me a while to like humble out and embrace the fact that I needed to find new systems. But it wasn’t like, it wasn’t a close call. It wasn’t like I was doing okay, I was really dogging it, you know, and I needed to, I needed to find some solutions. And that’s where like all of this passion and work came from for me and you know, your podcast about connecting dots. You know, that’s a big dot.
David Ralph [18:31]
Well, let’s play some words. And then we’re going to delve back into there. Because as you say, once you hit the big dog, you know it, he’s Oprah,
Oprah Winfrey [18:39]
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. 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 that your life is bigger than that one moment? No, 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 [19:10]
Now, well, she says there Taylor. So you know, I know you sort of understand it. But she says, you know, just do the next right thing and sort of move on. When you created focus mate. I’ve spoken to so many people that had these brilliant ideas and just can’t get it off the ground because it’s too big for them. They don’t know that the technology, they don’t know how to get the coding, they don’t get this, they get don’t get there. And they they sort of plow into a world of building something that they haven’t bottomed out the minimal viable product. Now, when I started to join up dots and all my other businesses, I didn’t give a monkey’s about minimum viable product. I just sort of sat down when this sounds good. And Ben spent the next six months doing it now. I try to get stuff out to market as soon as possible to see if it’s going to fly. Before I do that. How did you find out that focus mate was going to be a winner for you.
Taylor Jacobson [20:00]
I had like the most minimum, barely viable products and just did them incrementally like that. So like my first test run was actually copying into some Facebook groups that were for freelancers, or designers or people that I thought might be working alone. And I just said, Hey, me and a buddy, are me and a few friends are trying this virtual co working thing to fight procrastination, where we just sit together over video, does anyone else want to try just you know, send me a DM or I maybe I eventually put a like a Google form for people to sign up. And I just wanted to see if people were going to even like like or comment on it and take the time to fill out the form. Because if they didn’t, then obviously like that concept, you know, yeah, wasn’t a problem that people are resonating with. And, you know, people responded to that. And I started to get feedback. And then what I initially was like, basically, glue and duct tape and rubber bands. I’m not a software engineer. So I went and researched like tools for for basically like pulling together existing application. So I set it up in WordPress, which is kind of like one of the most basic sort of plug and play kind of website builders, you probably use WordPress. And then there’s this automation tool called Zapier, that basically it has like thousands of applications that are kind of connected into it’s like that are connected into it, and have different triggers and actions that that you can connect them by so like you might say, oh, like every time somebody fills out this Google Form, send an email for my gmail account, right? So it’s connecting a Google form to a Gmail account and I can do tons of stuff like that. So I I figured out how is that happier works and I did some Excel coding to like build a database, which you know, software applications all have places that data gets stored and I don’t know how to build those but I knew some Excel so I was like, All right, I’m gonna try and you know, use Google Sheet as my database so it was very like, what do I know how to what am i familiar with I was a little familiar with with WordPress and just googling some stuff and bass and like the website that I eventually put together it was just as ugly as you can possibly imagine. And actually the name focus made did not exist took me a lot of agonizing and research and a little investment actually to buy the calm but I didn’t want to have I didn’t want not having a name stop me from watching. So so what what do you have a names yet? Well, the name that I went with initially was procrastination blasters. Which, you know, maybe a little on the nose or something. But I just, you know, I thought, Okay, this is good enough. Let’s just get it out there. Yeah. Now,
David Ralph [23:12]
the trouble with Bebo is just for the listeners out there. You’ve got to know how to spell procrastination. First of all, you know, your euro was much better because you you know how to spell focus. And may you’re going to be pretty idiot. It done if you don’t know how to spell focus me.
Taylor Jacobson [23:27]
Yes, yeah. No, you really, that is really the core problem. So
I don’t I don’t know. I don’t have any advice for that. Sorry.
David Ralph [23:35]
Just Just to school kids, go to school and and learn your lessons because it will help you later on when you’re trying to spell procrastination. But it’s it’s good because I like focus me. I like the idea. Because it’s like, I was thinking work. My first of all, I mean, I thought all somebody else would have worked my butt. It does exactly what it says. I look at it. And I understand focus me somebody out there helping me focus, and maybe will help me to meet. I don’t know, what do you reckon?
Taylor Jacobson [24:07]
will strike that one from the record now?
Yes, it definitely works. But I actually I really like that Oprah quote was amazing. And it kind of summarize something that would probably take me about 8000 words to summarize, succinctly, but but one thing I liked about it, and I’m glad you asked me about, like, what was the you know, what was the next step and this minimum viable product thing is, actually, maybe it’s like, you know, one of my own deficiencies is that when I get an idea in my head, I usually just do something about it. But But actually, a lot of my you know, my career moves were just like, man, I, I can see like, 10 feet into the, into the distance, but like, I really feel agitated in some way where I am right now. And I have this hypothesis about like, Okay, I think I want to move in that direction. And that’s basically how, how I’ve blundered through my career and how like, you know, magically, the dots have
David Ralph [25:12]
landed, because I actually remember when I joined, start to join up dots back in 2014. For some reason, one of the first people that I asked to come on the show was yourself. And so when you sort of got introduced to me about four years later, I thought, Oh, I remember him. And from memory, you were doing something to do with kids or something? It was it? Would that be right?
Taylor Jacobson [25:36]
Gosh, if it is I must have not ever responded to the introduction. But I so when I was in India few years ago, working at an education startup called Teach for India. It’s possible that we got connected then. But yeah, I mean, I think that’s actually a good example. Like when I, my first job was management consulting, which was just like, you know, a sexy first job to have in high paying and cushy, all this stuff. And then when I you know, the, the DOD after that was basically, this is not the end game. For me. I think I’m interested in some something related to human potential or human development, and then I wound up taking a leap and going and working at this education startup
in India. But yeah, I don’t remember. I don’t remember. Sorry.
David Ralph [26:31]
I’m still gonna I’m still gonna. And it was it was a weird response. Tyler, it was no, it wasn’t, I don’t, I don’t know. By the way, we’re delighted you’re here now. So I love the word that you said, You blended because one of the things that I hate is the word entrepreneur, because it sounds like you’ve got some inner talent, you’ve got some kind of God given gift. I just think entrepreneur is let’s make as many mistakes as we possibly can, until we find out thing. You know, I don’t see it as a super talent like people make out. And I know sort of Gary Vee nature is all about the hustle. And I will do our hustle you. And before you get up in the morning, I’ve done 6000 things and all that kind of stuff. And other people sort of like drive into this entrepreneur as a badge being, I just think it’s just try, just keep on trying, and then be aware of what your audience needs. And more often than not, like you’ve done, you’ve found the problem in yourself, and then looked around and said, as anybody else got this problem, I’ll provide a solution.
Taylor Jacobson [27:37]
Yeah, I, I think that’s really a really astute way to sum it up. And I actually I want to I’m interested in like, what you think is the core like scalar, you know, magical ingredient that makes an entrepreneur but maybe you just said it’s like, it’s you just have to like, solve a problem. And you have to try and I, yeah, I blundered a lot. Each blunders with some intention. But you know, most of them have. I don’t also don’t like the word failure. And there’s sort of this like, failure mania that everyone likes to talk about, you know, fail fast and embrace your failures. And I just don’t even i don’t think i think that’s like a weird dichotomy. And I think it’s more just like, all right, what are the first principles of building a business, you have to solve a real problem that somebody has, and probably, if they’re not willing to give you money to solve that problem, then you’re deluding yourself that it’s actually a problem. And I think if we just like, remember that one thing, you know, a lot of the rest kind of works itself out. So I was about to say that I’ve like, I’ve had all these failures, but I don’t know where they failures, like I just learned a lot from doing them. But ultimately, the thing that had me start to realize success was just finding this thing. That was a very deep problem for me. So of course, I understood it really, really well. And I knew what I needed. And, you know, I’m, I’m, maybe I’m weird, but I’m not that weird. There’s enough other people out there who are like me that I thought, okay, like, maybe maybe this could be a real business, just solving this one problem that I have. I think that’s, you know, there are other ways that people build really successful businesses. But like, one of the easiest ways to hack it is just solve a problem that you understand really, really well. I think that’s me problem, Tina,
David Ralph [29:33]
I don’t think anybody else like me out there. That’s the problem. But what I think is, and as you were saying about failures, I, I’ve been doing something over the last, what, six months or so. And it’s going all right, but it’s not going as well as I want it to be. And every time I try something, and it doesn’t fly, I just think to myself, it’s making it stronger, you know? And so the value at the end of it is going to be bigger. And because you learn, don’t you you learn what works and what doesn’t. And I don’t think any of us, honestly looks back and go, I’m glad that thing just flew out the window straight away, because it was so poor. What I’ve got now is so much better. What do you think? So
Taylor Jacobson [30:18]
I’m curious, like when, when it’s not flying? How are you actually discerning that? And then what are you doing that’s actually making it stronger? Two ways
David Ralph [30:28]
I if he’s not bringing me income, and secondly, if it’s too bloody hard, you know, I’m a great believer, but the things that are supposed to be given to the world should be your easiest things to do they play to your super streams, or they’re solving the biggest problem. You know, I talk a lot about value time scale equals income. And so if I find that I am trying to sell something, then people don’t want it. People should be coming to me going. Amazing. Yeah, yeah, you know, line up line up, you know, you look at Apple, for example, apple, people will queue around the block all night to get exactly the same phone that they’ve got before, you know, and you think, why the hell he doing there and stay in bed, get it two days later, you don’t need it. But they have created what people want. And so it just sells itself. So that’s my two things. I think if it’s too hard, first of all, then I’m doing things wrong thing should sell because you won’t want them. You know, you don’t you don’t actually have to see toilet paper advertised every five minutes to you. Because you just know you need it. So you go by.
Taylor Jacobson [31:40]
Yeah, I’m laughing. But I think that like, we would kind of do well to keep toilet paper in mind, I think when we’re trying to devise businesses, because it’s just like, it should just be that obvious, right? If it’s not that obvious, like you’re just pushing. Yeah.
David Ralph [31:54]
When you look at focus me, has it been a rock? You’ve been pushing up hill? Or has it been skateboard underneath it? That makes it easier? What? How has it been getting it off the ground?
Taylor Jacobson [32:05]
I think a skateboard might be equally perilous for me, but
but it’s totally been the ladder. You know. So really, the first focused made experience was just me and a buddy who’s also works from home procrastinator. And he had called me up and said, Man, I have this investor presentation in two weeks. And I needed to start preparing about two months ago, and I’m screwed, and what do we do? And, and I just said, Hey, man, let’s just get on Skype. And, you know, I’m going to sit there with you while you do this presentation, and I’m going to work on this blog post that I’ve been procrastinating. So, you know, we we made a date, we got on Skype, we said exactly what we’re going to do, you know, next, and we kept writing down in the chat, this is what I’m doing now, this is what I’m doing now. Then, after two hours, we sort of said, All right, and, you know, even that first interaction, you know, both of us were like, wow, this is this is really, like, this is definitely the most, you know, effective productivity thing that I’ve ever done. So we didn’t even have to really like wait till we got it, to market so to speak, to recognize that there was a skateboard sort of thing happening. Because you know, then it was like, All right, let’s tell a few other people. And they can, you know, we can all just like create a little tribe and do this together. And then it was a Facebook group. And then, and then we started to build software to actually automate it and responds to, you know, emails that people are requesting new features, and then it starts to become like an actual product development process. But that’s not really how it starts. And I, I would imagine, that’s not really how it starts with any really good products, like any really good product or service has to start from just like, a conversation that is happening at a bar where somebody is just, like, really distraught about it something right, or, you know, whatever the case may be, but I think it’s sort of just connecting to that, like, spark of a real toilet paper kind of somebody is having.
David Ralph [34:12]
And when you look at all the problems, I think one of the problems is the problem itself. We don’t see as a problem, you know, when did you really see it as not just you and your mate? But that’s, that’s the thing, because it seems too simple. You know, procrastination doesn’t seem like a problem. It just seems like a thing.
Taylor Jacobson [34:36]
Good question, David. I don’t know if I have the answer. I mean, I know that I’ve just been thinking about business for a long time, it’s something that I am passionate about, like, I just think it’s an interesting game that you can play, it’s an interesting way to put value out into the world or an effective way to put you know, you talked about value timescale, you know, business is kind of where this, the scale can also be added to the value. So I don’t know, maybe it’s like, it’s this thing we talked about of like blundering and you have to try and you have to sort of start to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t, because I, you know, you read my very, very long intro, I have done a lot of other things, services, you know, like, I even tutored for a bit when I was just trying to get my executive coaching business off the ground. So you just, I don’t know, you start to get a sense of how dollars get connected to services, I guess. And I don’t know if there’s a better way to do that than just giving it a shot.
David Ralph [35:41]
I have spent years either opening a fridge and seeing a bottle of wine with a spoon in the top of it. And my wife has this belief. I don’t know if that Americans do this. Maybe it’s just a mad thing that my wife and our mates do that they put a spoon in it because it supposedly stops the wine from losing its fears. Does that sound mental to you?
Taylor Jacobson [36:02]
Put a spoon in a what?
David Ralph [36:08]
A wine bottle. So they open a wine bottle, pull the cork out, can’t get the coke back in. And so to save it for the next day, they just put a spoon in the top. So it’s dangling there. There’s there’s there’s a obviously sounds mental to you. Right. Okay, so I’ve decided that. Now I saw something the other day, which was a reusable coke. I’d never seen it before. It blew me away. And I looked at it and for my God. Such a simple idea how have I only seen this. That’s the thing that stops people out there, don’t they when they think it must be out there already. You know, I invented the seafood toaster. But you could see the bread going brown and then press a button and it pops up with perfect toast and I thought it was a great idea. I never did anything with it because I assumed it was out there. I created with do vape cover. But you open up on two sides so you don’t have to climb inside it and and how cold you just opened it up like a big for heater, lay it flat and then zipped up both sides. Bang dumb. never done anything with it. Because I just think somebody’s got it out there. That’s what I like about focus. Maybe you could have just sat there and gone. out there. Somebody’s got this already. But you did something about it. So you know, applause to you, sir.
Taylor Jacobson [37:20]
Thanks. So what? Why haven’t you got this to do a cover out there? I don’t
David Ralph [37:24]
know. Because every time I’m climbing in and you have a ton of Dubai cover inside out and how to do volume and you can pull it out, it’s a pain, it’s such a pain, but you lay flat on your bed, open two sides later do buy in and just go around, it’d be brilliant when they are be happy a millionaire. So I,
Taylor Jacobson [37:45]
I think that you touched on like one really good reason that people are not a good reason, a reason people don’t do it is because they think it’s got to be out there already. And you know that, I think with most good ideas that on some level, that’s always true. Because if it’s a good idea, like you’re definitely not the only one that had it. And if you are the only one that had it, it’s definitely a bad idea. But, you know, you got to get out there and you got to like compete with those people. And let’s say 100 other people have that idea of spread around the world, like, there’s a really good chance that you’re going to be able to build you if it’s a good idea, you’re going to reach a million people before you even like bump elbows with one of those other hundred people. It’s just a big world. So I you know, I understand that. That mental block, but I think in practice, it’s really not an issue. And there’s very, very few businesses for which competition actually matters, like what matters is just providing value.
I think the other reason that to bring our beloved Gary Vee back in the other reason that people don’t start is because they actually have they have they’re like, Oh, I have so many good ideas, or they have they have like some version of this notion that like they just, there’s, there’s so many possibilities and like, how can they pick the right one. And like I, you know, I think I’ve had my fair share of like the debate cover, like, Oh, this could be a really good idea, but and I’ve actually tried to build some of those businesses, and then I just got kind of burned out and exhausted because it turned out that I just didn’t care that much about saving people from climbing inside, there’s a cover, it’s like, you know, I actually think that you need to care about that problem. Or you need to be like so excited about like, I don’t know, like home goods or some piece of it, that’s just like really important to you. Because you’re going to spend like all your time working on it and thinking about it. So I think that’s the other thing, too, that’s not trivial is it’s not just about having a good idea like this was a had already been intensely working in the space of, you know, human potential as a nice, sexy way to call it but like, how do we get out of our own way and do what we really want to do before we die, not to be more of it. But like, that’s something that was really important to me, and I was a coach for a long time because I cared about that thing. And then this new possibility came along, and it was just like, that really fits for who I am and what I know about what I care about. And, and so like that, you know, that was actually the most connected.of all are, you know, I’m going to probably Mangle your metaphor. But
David Ralph [40:39]
now you’re you’re doing fine, you’re doing fine on that I’m going to play somebody who can’t Mangle the metaphor, because he kind of said it himself is Steve Jobs.
Taylor Jacobson [40:48]
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 leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [41:23]
It does make all the difference, doesn’t it the fact that you said that you blend it around, and now you’re here. And I’ve tried so many things in the past and a lot of the skills that I’ve learned, I’m still using now so that they’re not experience wasted at all. But it does make all the difference, doesn’t it?
Taylor Jacobson [41:42]
Yeah, it’s like impossible to overstate how much difference it makes and like we were talking about WordPress a second ago. Like how the fact that I needed a website for my coaching business. And then I was like trying to learn how to do blogging to get coaching clients and stuff like this, right? Like that has been so immensely valuable. And just like the first few steps of this business, and I have hundred other examples of Oh, like Google Sheets, how did I know Excel? Well, my first job in management consulting, I was basically an Excel monkey. Right? And I was just, you know, 10 hours a day like making really complicated Excel spreadsheets, right. So like, the only way Yeah, it’s impossible. I fully agree.
David Ralph [42:28]
Now, one of the things you said and you were talking about Zapier, now Zapier would stop me in my tracks because I can’t be bothered to do two triggers. I look at Zapier and I look at a piece of ven VAT and stuff. And I never get anything off the ground for that, did that fall into your super talent as well being able to look at these beings and, and connect the systems?
Taylor Jacobson [42:53]
yet? What I like this question, because and I was actually just talking to my younger brother about like, what we’re good and what we’re not good at. And both of us have startups where we’re starting to build our teams and bring in other people. And in his case, he really doesn’t like business. I mean, I like business. He does not like business. He’s like, he’s just like, really into, like more already things, let’s say. And his coach said to him recently, like, you know, what would it be like if you didn’t have to think about business? And for him, that was an epiphany, where it’s like, gosh, I, I should really have a business partner, who is passionate about this, who likes operations and attention to detail and this sort of thing. So yes, Zapier is something that I can look at that and you know, within a few hours, I can sort of wrap my mind around it and start to put together my first zap that does something. So you know, yay, great for me, but there’s, you know, for everyone, Zapier that I can figure out, there’s, you know, 10, other things that I just don’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole, that some other entrepreneur would have done those things instead, and they would have figured out a way to get this first version of the thing, live, and eventually, then you recruit somebody, you know, ideally, who can do the things you don’t like to do, or you hire somebody, you know, whatever.
So I don’t know if if that’s what you were asking, but
David Ralph [44:26]
you answered it perfectly. Taylor, you You certainly did. And yeah, if this ven VAT stuff can’t be bothered, I just can’t be bothered. I look at anything Ah, get somebody else to do it. So with your life leading up to it, I asked most guests space, but do you have a big dots where you look back on things? You go God? Yeah, that really was the moment where the point started to join up, the dots joined up.
Taylor Jacobson [44:54]
It was it was the beginning of focus, mate. This experience, building, this company has felt different than anything else that I’ve done. where, you know, I’ve mentioned the struggles that I’ve had, I mentioned the experiences that I’ve had, I mentioned that I left from a high paying cushy consulting job to what was a very low paying education startup job that I actually really didn’t like. There was so many of these smaller dots, but then it just kind of it all kind of clicked together in a very exciting way, with focus, man.
David Ralph [45:38]
Good on us. Well, I’m going to bring the end of the episode now to the point that I’ve been leading towards, which is the Sermon on the mic, when I’m going to send you back in time to join up your dots with your younger self. And if you could go back into a room and see the young Taylor, then what advice would you give him? And what age would you choose to speak to where we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Taylor Jacobson [46:28]
So Young, 21 year old Taylor, I have five pieces of advice for you. First is to be braver and bolder, and cutting out people from your life that don’t have a positive influence. You don’t owe anyone anything. And you should find people who inspire you and spend more time with them, and refuse to spend time with people who don’t. Number two, is that you will us underestimate the importance of financial and physical well being. But these two things are really the foundation for everything in your life. And really, roughly 100% of all the negativity and the dragon, your life will come from just not having your financial and physical well being handled. That said, you do seem to like to learn things the hard way. So maybe you’ll just go ahead and make all the same choices. And that’s fine. But don’t underestimate the impact that having financial health and physical health can have on your effectiveness to take risks and make bold moves. And just recognize your body is more fragile than you realize. Number three, trust your inner voice, you have a inner voice that is often speaking to you. It is always very faint, but it’s there. And when you hear it, you don’t have to wait so long. You don’t have to enter so much agony before you act on it because it is right every single time.
play the long, slow game. A lot of life is suffering. That’s just how it is. And that makes short term solution seem very tempting. So don’t be taken in by the idea that you can build skill or credibility or really build anything meaningful, overnight or quickly. So instead, be patient commit yourself to a long, slow pathway. Because you can never know exactly how things will pay off. But what you can be assured of is that when you play the long game, you will always be on a better, more effective path to success. And last insists on excellence, integrity and implacability in how you do whatever you do. You got away with cutting corners in school, and you kind of learned that as a way to be in life, but it really doesn’t pay off. And it actually may cost you a number of valuable relationships. So cultivate the habit of doing complete work everywhere, starting from just tiny things like making your bed and doing the dishes and you know, writing thoughtful emails and just let that spill out every part of your life.
David Ralph [49:24]
It’s how you that what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with you.
Taylor Jacobson [49:29]
So you can find me on Twitter at Taylor Jacobson. And I’d also love to have you guys sign up for focus mint. And let me know what you think. That’s focus, mate, calm, and it’s free to sign up.
David Ralph [49:42]
We will have all the links in the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Taylor, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots of your life. And 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. Tyler Jacobson. Thank you so much.
Taylor Jacobson [50:03]
Thank you so much for having me David
David Ralph [50:08]
Tyler Jacobson. So once again, he found a need, but he had a problem with he tested it out in a very cheap way. And then he brought it to market ugly and started building it up. I love the fact when he was saying he didn’t know coding. So he went to WordPress and started using the plugins, as he was saying that I thought, that’s genius. And it hadn’t dawned on me a lot of the kinds of ideas I have, I kind of think to myself, Oh yeah, I’ve got to get somebody to do this on somebody to do that. A lot of it’s already there. So you just need to, you know, research and tap in that. That was that was gold. Mr. Jacobson, I salute you with that. That was go, well, hope you will jump over to focus mate, you can come over to join up dots and check that out or go over to the website because I think it’s a good one. And I know lots of people do need that. But until next time, how for your come back to join up dots, because I will be here waiting for you looking at yourself and have a great day. speak to you again soon. Cheers. Bye, bye. So you’ve now listen to the podcast? And are you interested in creating your own business because creating an online business isn’t too hard. As long as you do the research and you get the foundations in place. And you have a strategy? Well over the last five or 10 years I’ve created multiple online businesses and cemented that information by interviewing so many people through join up dots. And now I have a four stage strategy back in teach you how to do the same. Create a business that will bring income into your life, create freedom, and say goodbye to the alarm clock and the boss forever. Now, this is a 30 day program. But I personally take you through giving you all the steps that you need to do before you get to the stage of actually creating your business, you’re pretty much guaranteed that the business is going to work as long as you put the effort into it afterwards. If that’s of interest to you just go over to the join up dots homepage and click on the 30 day course there’s a video of me and you can just send a message through to me saying that you’re interested you want to register on the next course and I will personally connect with you and talk you through it and make sure that you are fit for what I’m about to teach you. If that’s of interest, as I say go over to join up dots, the 30 day business course and hope to speak to you soon