MF 073 : James Carbary on the Entrepreneur’s Playbook: “Ready, Fire, Aim”
James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media and co-host of B2B Growth, a podcast focusing on growth strategies for the B2B market. James shares his own entrepreneurial journey and why it’s a learn as you go process of “ready, fire, aim.”
Successes at a glance:
Founder, Sweet Fish Media, a done for you services that focuses on helping B2B companies achieve explosive growth w/ their ideal clients.
Co-host of the B2B Growth podcast.
How James gets inspired to conquer the day:
As a Christian, reading the Bible is the most meaningful way that James finds motivation and inspiration to jump-start the day. For James, this is a daily practice that he commits to and when he slips from it, he is derailed from giving his best self to what lies ahead. James is also working on trying to get up at a consistent hour each morning! Moving Forward listeners, spirituality and being connected can be one of the most powerful ways you can stay motivated in your own journey and to keep moving forward.
Setback or failure that led to pivot and shift:
For James, the focus is on the pivot rather than the failure. Recently, James has found great success shifting his entire business to the B2B space, driven in no small measure by his work on the B2B Growth podcast. Initially, the core part of the business was writing blogposts for owners and marketers. This required a tremendous amount of leg work and James found that they hit a ceiling of $7-8k per month in revenue. Eventually, this led to a frustration point: James had just gotten married, was hardly paying himself anything and wasn’t able to focus on growing his team the way he wanted to. James then made the decision to do the “hard pivot” and shift the business; focusing more on podcasts and the B2B space. This was not an easy change as James had to work hard to get everyone on his team onboard so that they could make the necessary adjustments to the company’s work flows and processes. Moreover, making these big changes required tremendous flexibility and an open mind or as James puts it, a mentality of “ready-fire-aim.” Since then, James and his team have tripled their growth, enjoying greater revenue and a more fulfilling business model thru which they can serve their clients. Moving Forward listeners, one of the biggest lessons you can take from James’ story is that the entrepreneurial and career journey should be an evolving one. If your career or business isn’t where you want to it be, then maybe it’s time to start making those “hard pivots” as James did. Take action and move forward!
Resource or cultural experience that inspired James to move forward:
Living Forward by Michael Hyatt (Hardcover | Kindle): James cites this as a great resource on intentional leadership; making it required reading for his entire team. James also praises the book for providing a step-by-step system on creating a life plan.
How James stays organized and manages his time:
James interviewed Kevin Kruse for episode 52 of B2B Growth (iTunes), author of 15 Secrets of Time Management (Paperback | Kindle); in which he spoke with billionaires like Mark Cuban about time management. One hack that Kevin shared which James is has adopted is throwing out to do lists and operating solely on calendars. Unlike a todo list, a calendar appointment forces you to allocate time, which better ensures that tasks will get done. For more on this time management system, be sure to check out this amazing episode of B2B Growth (iTunes).
Favorite app/website/resource or productivity hack:
Productivity hack: having a human infrastructure that can allow you to scale. For James, delegating is critical to being able to spend his time wisely and to maximize scalable growth for his business. James brought someone on to his team early on when he realized he was spreading himself too thin with work that was “in the business” but keeping him from “working on the business.”
For more awesome productivity and time management tips from James, be sure to check out James’ other podcast series, Tick Tock (iTunes).
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James’ Advice for you to Move Forward:
James again cites Living Forward by Michael Hyatt (Hardcover | Kindle), which talks about mapping out what you want to be doing. James adds to this the step of putting things on your calendar which forces you to prioritize that action or goal. For example: if you want to be more intentional with your spouse or significant other, put a date night on your calendar. Similarly, if you want to stay connected with close friends or family, get a date on your calendar. Putting it on your calendar means you are devoting space and time to it, which means you are more likely to act on it. This is based on James’ philosophy of finding “the smallest thing that I can do that will drive me to ultimately where I want to go.” Finally, James takes this one step further w/ an intentionality jar, which has helped James stay intentional with his wife. The jar works as follows: James and his wife write out the names of couple-friends they would like to stay connected with. On the first date night of each month, they pick out four names which identify the friends that they will allocate and schedule time with. Moving Forward listeners, this an excellent step-by-step blueprint of how to move forward. I think the intentionality jar is one of the best shares we’ve had from a guest. This is something so simple and doable that you can implement right away. Also, consider applying the calendar hack which James shares and which we’ve heard from other guests. Use it as your ultimate three-dimensional priority tool. If there is something you want to be doing in your career, your business or your life, these are small steps you can start taking today. Once you have a system in place that forces you to invest the time and energy, that’s where you will start to see real change which will keep you moving forward.
Connect with James:
Best in Business (coming soon!)