How To Plan Your Week For Success

Planning your week helps you to take control of your time and get more done, but you have to take the right approach.

I’ve always found that if I am not planning my time then things just don’t get done. To combat this I set aside a chunk of time each week to look at the week ahead and schedule in as much stuff as I can so I don’t have to worry about finding time for it at the last minute. I have a system in place that I follow each week and I think that helps me streamline the process.

If you are going to take the time to plan your week then you need to have the right tool to get the job done. That’s a calendar or some type of daily planner. I use a digital calendar on my phone since that’s the one device I always have with me and that syncs across all of my computers and tablet. But I know a lot of people who still use a paper planner and that’s fine. The key is to use the right tool for you, it’s about making this process streamlined not more complicated.

Now that you know what tool works best for you it’s time to get into the meat of the planning process. I start by going through the past week, I spend a few minutes to flip through what was on the calendar last week and take a deeper dive and identify three things.

First I want to go through what I accomplished that week and and take stock of that. Know what I got off my plate and take a few minutes to reflect on those completions and where they fit in my larger roadmap.

Once I go over what it is I completed I make sure to identify everything that didn’t get finished that week. I want to make sure I know what was left undone and why it didn’t get complete. If something wasn’t completed because it was made irrelevant by something else then I know I can scratch it off the list altogether. However; if a task wasn’t completed because of a conflict in scheduling or it was just pushed off this allows me to allocate time for these uncompleted tasks in the upcoming week.

I cap off this part of the process by looking back and asking myself what I can improve and where I can make adjustments. This is just part of how approach my schedule, constantly looking to optimize how I manage my time and get the most out of it.

Next up I do a brain dump, this is where I try to download everything in my brain that I want to do in the following week and get it listed out in front of me. The idea here is to get it out and in front of me and the same as with the calendar use the medium that works best for you, that could be paper or it might be to type it down in a document to just list it out, just use what works best for you.

The tasks i’m writing down might be to set up a meeting with a friend, get some writing done on a project, research a specific topic, learn a new song on the Ukulele or to set up a meeting with my team. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, I just want to get it out in front of me so I can figure out if and where it fits in the next weeks schedule.

Once I’ve gone over everything from the previous week and also made a list of everything in my head I wanted to take care of, I sort everything I want to get done in the following week, the most important and relevant tasks take priority, they come first, obviously. Once all the major tasks are filled in I can start to get the more minor tasks slotted into a spot where they make sense.

The key is to get all of your major tasks scheduled first, and put them in spots in your schedule where you know they will be given the priority they require to get complete. Let the minor tasks fill in around them. These are the tasks that you can bump from the schedule if something more important comes up.

Lastly, you need to keep in mind that your schedule is a tool intended to help you better utilize your time. Don’t be a slave to it, take a look at your schedule each day and make adjustments as needed to ensure you get your major tasks complete. This is really one of the most important parts of scheduling that a lot of people overlook. It’s your schedule, It’s not set in stone, let it be flexible. The more flexible it is the better it will work for you and understanding that it needs to be flexible will help prevent the mental hangups some people have when something doesn’t get done.

This is why you review and make adjustments daily, a week is a lot to plan out in advance, but it’s really just the framework, you make adjustments as you move along to optimize your time and workflow.

Keep making your ideas reality.

How To Build A Killer Pitch Deck

As an entrepreneur raising funds is going to be a big part of your efforts, building a great pitch deck is going to be a big part of that process, What goes in that pitch deck?

Check my vlog above for more info

No matter what state you are at with your startup you are going to be pitching to venture capitalist and angel investors, a lot, as an entrepreneur that’s just part of the game. Your Pitch deck is the most important tool you have at your disposal.

There are a number of things that have to go into your deck and that you should keep in mind when pitching.

I like to keep by pitches to between 10-15 minutes, if I even have that much time, because I think the time is better spent answer questions from the investors. So I try to keep my deck 10 slides or less.

I always open with a quick overview of the company, similar to an elevator pitch. I take about a minute to tell them what the company is, what the product is, why it’s a good opportunity and what set’s us apart from anyone else in the space.

Once I lay the groundwork with the overview and opportunity I jump into the problem we identified in the market, highlight that impact and why working to solve that problem is going to set your company apart, making it a smart investment on their part.

After you identify the problem jump right into your solution, show how your company has formulated a better mousetrap and how you will fix the issues that your potential customers have been struggling with. This is a great time to show a quick demo or video of your product.

Next up I talk about the market, who my customers are and how I’m going to get them. I start by showing calculations of the total addressable market (TAM) which is basically your maximum possible customers multiplied by how much you could make from each of them. Then dive a bit deeper and describing my target customer in detail and I can use that to calculate the served addressable market (SAM) Which is the smaller segment of the same market that you are more specifically targeting and state why, is it geographic, or by age, income, make that clear.

The next thing you need to talk about is your serviceable obtainable market (SOM) is going to be that is basically how much of the market you are going to capture and how you are going to go about it. Break down how much of that market you think you can capture, what your customer acquisition strategy is

Now that you have carved out the part of the market you are going after and how much of it you think you can get you need to talk about who you are taking it from. Who’s your competition? You should provide a list of your main competitors, how well established they are in the market, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and how your solution stacks up against theirs. Showing how well you have researched your competition is going to let the investors know that you have taken them seriously and you are ready to compete.

Of course you need to talk about how you make money and this is where you discuss your business model in the pitch deck. Here you will refer back to what your customer acquisition cost will be and follow that up with the lifetime value of each customer. You will need to add your cash flow and burn rate to those numbers to show your runway, then based on some projections speculate what your break even point will be.

Follow up your business model with your team, you were saving the best for last. Talk about the founders and the other team members you have brought on board to help make this idea a reality. This is where you take the time to reinforce the story of the company’s beginnings, discuss the skills of each founder and how they came together and what each member brings to the table and why you believe in the mission of the company.

After you capped everything off with your team you close with the ask. This is where you let the investors know how much you are asking for and what you plan to do with their money. So if they give you one million dollars how are you going to spend it, on market? Operations? Staff? What are the splits going to be.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you about pitching to investors though is to practice, practice as much as you possibly can, and in front of people. Get as much of the nerves out of the way as you can. The more you practice the more confident you will be during the presentation.

It’s also a good idea to prepare more slides that can help you address questions from investors, and there will be lot’s of questions. Things like what IP you might have, what does your product or service branding look like, more in depth team member bios and what your exit strategy would be as well as any other questions you think you might be asked to go into more detail on.

500 Subscriber Give Away!!!

Hey guys I am doing a give away on my channel when I hit 500 Subscribers. I will be giving away two custom made crochet pocket squares, these are the dapper pocket squares you always see me with when I am at speaking engagements or at conferences. They are made by Knit by Jib, and if you win you can pick the color patter and texture that you want.

The Power of Persistence

Persistence can be a powerful tool towards achieving your success and goals. Constantly working towards something, chipping away at it until you overcome all the obstacles in your way. This is very much part of the mindset of successful business people and entrepreneurs. So go embrace that grind and build your future.

The Foundation of Greatness

A lot of people talk about greatness, about the greatest of all time, the G.O.A.T. and so on. But what a lot of people never talk about is all the work it took for people the achieve that level of greatness. Before someone was great, they had to get good. They had to put in the work, embrace the grind, and lay the foundation they would build their greatness on.

If you aspire to greatness, if you want to reach that pinnacle of success you need to put in the work now to build that foundation you can built it on top of. No one is born the greatest at something, they have to put in the work to get to that point.

Start by identifying what it is you want to be great at and then get good at it. Once you are good then, and only then can you start making strides towards greatness.

Echelon 2016 – The Largest Startup Event in Southeast Asia

The Talk

Getting your finger on the pulse of what the tech startup scene in a single city can be difficult, a whole country a bit more so, but getting a feel for how the startup ecosystem is doing across a whole region is damn difficult. Last week I was at e27s Echelon event in Singapore to moderate a fireside chat with the CEO of Yamaha Ventures, Hiroshi Saijou, where we talked about the future of transportation and smart cities, and that future looks particularly bright.

The Floor

After our chat concluded I took to the exhibit floor to see what startups in the region had were offering up. While I was expecting the vast majority of the startups to be based in Singapore I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of companies who made the trek to the Lion City. There were startups from all over Asia, many from outside Southeast Asia and some from Europe, a few from Australia, though I don’t know if I should count that as part of Asia or not, I know technically they are APAC but also feel so far removed from the region, I digress.

I have attended a lot of similar events this year, but none that had this reach, so it was interesting to see similar trends I had noticed at more country specific events in Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia scaling across the region.

Because the show is so big it is hard to say there is a single space the market is gravitating towards. There is obviously a big push on mobile and I was happy to see a great deal of smart city and smart living companies there. Connectivity of things to drive us towards improving life is a big focus of mine.

Telling A Story

One tech that really stood out to me was some of the things being one with VR, and not the quality of the hardware but the way some companies were using it to tell stories. After I gave my talk on the first morning I meet with young entrepreneur, Ashima Thomas the CEO at Warrior9 and she let me experience the trailer for her companies new VR based Sci-Fi series.

I won’t geek out too much about it, but I will just say it was amazing, the transitions and use of virtual space and perception really did help the story come to life and take on a dimension that was unique.

Final Thoughts

Overall the tech on the exhibition floor was impressive, but not as impressive as the innovation and creativity I saw from the entrepreneurs and the passion that came with it. I walked away from the event pleased and excited by the direction companies are going in. I have little doubt that we are rapidly moving closer to a more connected life, one that will simplify and optimize our daily tasks, giving us back more time to use as we wish.

If you want to compare this to my thoughts on the startup ecosystem in Thailand check out my blog here.

IoT Event in Bangkok

Last week i attended the IoT Business Platform event in Bangkok. This was my second year attending. Last year I was a keynote at the event and this year with one of the startups I am involved with.

I was very happy to see that over the past 12 months the quality of IoT startups both located in the region and those looking to do business here has improved greatly.

Check out my vlog for more details

What to know about Thailand

Thailand is an amazing country to visit, the Thai people are friendly, the country is beautiful and has a rich culture and history. But, before you visit you should consider these 5 things. Enjoy the vlog

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Embrace the Grind

Not long ago, a friend asked me for some advice regarding how to go about getting the most from working for a large company. My advice was simple, embrace the grind, which is a term that, as far as I know, comes from wrestling. The idea is that you have to put in the work on the mat to be successful, the same is true in the business world and the tech world. You need to put in the time, learn as much as you can and constantly be working on improving your knowledge and skills. The more work you put in the better you become, so embrace the grind.