Every client I work with – at least the ones who are willing to put in the work – get results.

But once in a blue moon, I’ll have someone come through my Perfect Life Retreat or one of my Perfect Life Workshops who takes the lessons and strategies that I teach and runs straight to the goal line faster than anyone could have expected.

Darren Cabral, the Founder and CEO of Suits Social, a rapidly growing social media marketing agency, was one of those clients.

When Darren came to my Toronto workshop, business was good.

His company was already well past the 6-figure mark and he had a consistent base of clients that he served on a monthly basis.

… But there was one small problem.

Darren had hit a plateau. His business wasn’t growing at the rate he wanted and, on a personal level, he felt stressed out, anxious, and overwhelmed.

Like many entrepreneurs, Darren was beginning to slip into the trap of working in his business instead of on his business.

After sitting down together, I helped Darren identify new profit centers in his business, take more control of his schedule, and create a plan for rapid personal and professional growth.

And his results were nothing short of spectacular.

Darren had set the goal to sign 10 monthly retainer clients in the 90 days following the workshop.

Within 30 days he’d already surpassed that goal and grown his bottom line by more than 30%.

And this was before he implemented some of the big picture strategies I’d shared (maybe we’ll do a case study part deux after he has a chance to try those out!).

But things didn’t stop there…

When I checked in with Darren about his personal schedule and free time, he told me that he’d reduced the hours he spent working on his company by 25%! (A conservative estimate by his own admission).

In less than a month, Darren had increased his company’s revenue by a third while simultaneously reducing the amount of time he was spending working on the company!

I had my Editor reach out to him and pick his brain about how he accomplished such an impressive feat and what he’d learned.

Here’s what he shared and what you can implement starting today to increase your income while working less.

Point 1: You’re Not on The Journey Alone


One of the biggest problems facing entrepreneurs today is the inescapable sense of isolation.

If you’re a hard-charging, growth oriented, entrepreneur it’s easy to feel like you’re on the journey alone.

“Average” people don’t (and never will) understand how you’re wired or why you do the things you do.

They’ll look at your effort, discipline, and persistence and think to themselves, “Why?”

To make matters worse, every time we open our phones, we’re presented with a seemingly endless barrage of success stories and case studies from entrepreneurs who seem to have it all figured out.

We see the smiles, the vacations, and the big pay-days leaving us to wonder what we’re doing wrong and why we feel so strung out and overwhelmed.

It was no different for Darren.

Prior to the event, Darren told me that he felt like “I was in the game by myself. It felt like I was the only one facing these problems in my business and I felt like a failure for not being able to figure things out.”

Being an entrepreneur can make you feel like this… 

And this brings up an important point…

Because of the widespread proliferation of “overnight” success stories and clickbait “fake news” it’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with you or that you’re not as good as other entrepreneurs because you haven’t figured out how to scale a 7-figure passive income generating machine.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Every entrepreneur that I’ve met (and I’ve met a LOT) struggles with overwhelm and anxiety. It’s normal to feel frustrated, stuck, and confused.

There are going to be times in your business where you contemplate quitting and throwing in the towel. This is simply the price that must be paid to play the game.

Although there are definitely strategies that you can use to mitigate these emotions, push forward, and bend your psychology to your will, the most important is simple… you need to realize that you’re not alone.

There are millions of other people facing the exact same problems that you are.

What’s better is that there are thousands more who have discovered the solutions to those exact problems.

Whenever you feel the weight of anxiety and overwhelm pressing down on you and you feel like your alone in the fight, reach out to other entrepreneurs or a coach (more on that later) that you know and respect.

Talk to them about your struggles. Be honest about where you’re at financially, emotionally, and personally.

Open up to someone who will have the perspective you need to pull your head out of the sand and realize that countless others have successfully faced and conquered the same problems with which you are now presented.

Sometimes, simply knowing that someone else has succeeded in the circumstances you’re facing is enough to give you that extra push to keep going when times get hard (and they will).

You’re not alone and you don’t have to be.

Always remember that.

Point 2: Live and Die on a 90 Day Timeline


Most entrepreneurs set lofty goals and ambitions for themselves.

They set strategic targets for the next 12 months, 5 years, and even 10 years. And this is great. As I’ll talk about in just a minute, you need a vivid long-term vision to keep you inspired and help you make the best decisions possible.

But here’s the problem…

When all of your targets and goals are set on a long timeline, it’s easy to get mired in minutiae and fail to tend to the big rocks that will have the greatest impact right now.

When Darren came to my workshop, he had very clear 1, 5, and 10 year goals. He knew where he wanted to be and when he wanted to be there.

But when it came to the tangible next step, the ONE thing he could do in the next 30-90 days to drive the growth that he wanted, he felt stuck.

After sitting down together and analyzing his business, I gave Darren a simple rule to follow.

Live and die on a 90 day timeline.

Yes. You must have a vivid vision for the future.

But even more important than a long term vision is a short term action plan.

What is the ONE thing that will move the needle for your life and business in the next 90 days?

Is it…

  • Launching your next product (or revamping an existing product)?
  • Mastering your marketing funnels to ensure consistent lead flow?
  • Becoming a master closer so that you can sell your existing leads?
  • Systematizing elements of your business that are distracting you from your highest priorities?
  • Hiring new employees who can handle work better than you can yourself?

Figure out the ONE thing you need to do in the next 90 days to elevate your business and then devote all of your time and attention to that one thing.

There are thousands (if not millions) of things that you can do to grow your business and increase your revenue. But what is the ONE thing that’s in front of you RIGHT NOW that you must execute?

Identify it. Create a plan to achieve it. And then execute the plan.

Rinse and repeat every 90 days and you will be AMAZED at the growth and success you’ll experience.

Point 3: Hold Yourself to a Higher Standard


Tony Robbins, (in)famous success coach and peak performance guru has a saying…

“If you truly want to change your life: raise your standards. What changes people is when their ‘shoulds’ become musts.”

Tony Robbins 

And he’s right.

The reason that you’re not where you want to be in your life personally or professionally right now is that you have set standards for yourself that are not in alignment with where you want to be.

  • You say you want to build a 6-figure income but allow yourself to waste 5 hours a day in front of the television
  • You say you want to experience vibrant health and limitless energy but eat a diet filled with processed foods, stimulants, and sugar
  • You say you want to “have it all” and enjoy personal and financial freedom but you don’t set any boundaries between your work and personal life and have allowed yourself to become a workaholic.

To achieve the success you desire, you must first raise the expectations you have for yourself.

You’ll get out of life what you tolerate in life.

If you’re willing to tolerate bad behavior, poor habits, and a structureless life then your results will reflect this.

However, if you aren’t willing to tolerate anything less than your absolute best, if you’re unwilling to compromise and demand that you perform with an unstoppable Operator mentality, your results will rise to the level of your new standards.

I want you to ask yourself a quick question….

What standards do the people I admire (who have the results I want) set that I don’t currently have in my life?”

For example, if your #1 priority right now is to build a business that generates $150,000 of profit each year while only requiring 30 hours of work a week, ask yourself…

“To what standards do people who have this result hold themselves?”

Then, once you’ve identified these standards, set them for yourself. Refuse to compromise on them. Uphold them as if your life depends on it (because your PERFECT life very well may).

Point 4: Leverage Social Story Selling


When I spoke with Darren at the PLW, he was active on most social media platforms (that is his job after all)… but he lacked a concrete strategy to leverage these platforms for rapid growth in his own business.  

After sitting down together, I shared my Social Story Selling system with Darren and instructed him to start using it on his Instagram account immediately.

He began sharing what he was learning in his own business with other entrepreneurs and consistently creating content that inspired and educated his audience.

Within a few weeks of implementing the strategies I’d shared with him, he began to consistently generate high quality “warm” leads by simply sharing his journey and lessons on social media.

Look…

If you aren’t using social media to promote your brand and company, you’re missing out.

And if you’re using it without a proven and concrete strategy, you’re missing out even more.

In order to reach the pinnacles of entrepreneurial success, you must leverage every asset at your disposal and there’s no more important asset I can think of than social media.

So start posting.

Pull out your phone and record a few videos. Share inspirational quotes and messages. Connect with your followers. Read their minds and offer the exact solution to the problems that they are facing.

I personally committed to going ALL IN on Instagram early in 2018 and since I made this decision, my own business has grown at an explosive rate that I could never have anticipated.

Seriously… Start social story selling.

It will change your business and your life.

Point 5: Hire a Coach


I mention coaching in almost every post and case study that I write and, at this point, it might seem like I’m beating a dead horse.

But I want to make something clear…

I’m not trying to convince you to sign up for my coaching programs. I’m simply insisting that, if you’re serious about achieving extraordinary results in your life and business, then you need to hire someone who has walked the path before you and knows how to help you get the results that you’re after.

I don’t care who you hire as long as you hire someone who has achieved the results you are after and has the knowledge and skills to help you get to the next level.

One of the things that impressed me most about working with Darren was the sheer humility he showed in hiring me to help him.

As a 24-year old CEO of one of the top social media marketing agencies in Canada, it would have been easy for Mr. Cabral to think that he had it all figured out, to believe that he was “above” coaching.

But he didn’t…

He knew he needed help and he was willing to do whatever it took to get it.

When we sat down with Darren to pick his brain about his recent successes, he told us: 

“If you aren’t where you want to be in your life right now, then the #1 most important thing you can do is to hire a coach. I don’t care if you have to take out a loan from the bank or max out a credit card to do it, having someone in your corner who understands where you are and – more importantly – how to help you get where you want to be was one of the best decisions that I ever made.”

If you’re struggling to make the right moves in your business or personal life then you need a coach and mentor to help you do it.

Even if you have to start by finding a virtual mentor or using free assets (like this blog or my Instagram account) you need to consume content and wisdom from someone who has the results you want.

The right coach is like a turbocharger on your “success engine”. They will take you where you want to go faster and easier than could ever have been achieved on your own.

Point 6: Have a Vivid Vision

While sitting down with Darren he shared an interesting quote that I’d never heard before. He said…

“One of the biggest things I took away from the workshop is to always remember that you [the entrepreneur] are the mastermind and not the technician.”

Or, to put it more plainly, you MUST have a vivid vision that is pulling you towards the life you desire.

It’s easy to get so bogged down by the day to day elements of running a successful business that you forget why it is that you’re putting in all of this hard work in the first place.

When you become so mired in the technical aspects of your business like: creating winning ad campaigns, designing new lead magnets, optimizing sales pages, hiring new employees, and publishing great content it’s easy to lose sight of the vision that inspired you to start the business in the first place.

As the Good Book says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”.

So let me turn it over to you…

What is YOUR big vision?

Why are you committed to achieving the goals you’ve set?

Beyond the money and the fame (which are nice but in-and-of themselves insufficient) what is driving you to get up early, work long hours, and make your dreams a reality?

Who do you want to help? What impact do you want to have? What legacy do you want to leave? What sort of dent are you trying to leave in the universe?

Until this question is answered, growth cannot happen.

Point 7: Put Your Big Rocks First and Create Systems to Organize Your Days


When Darren decided to work with me, he felt like his personal life was starting to spiral out of control.

He was working crazy hours in his business without making any real headway.

After we sat down together, I helped Darren identify the BIG rocks that he needed to put first every day and taught him proven systems for organizing and structuring his days.

I taught him to schedule personal time (date nights, workouts, morning routines, and other self care activities) FIRST, then to make time for focused deep work slots and then – and only then – to schedule out the administrative tasks required of entrepreneurs on a daily basis.

At first, Darren was a little freaked out.

After accounting for his personal time, day off, and deep work slots, he only had a few hours each week to devote to meetings, email, and other low level tasks.

But within a month, the results spoke for themselves.

By reducing the amount of time he allowed himself to spend on low-importance (but urgent) tasks, he was able to reduce his weekly hours by more than 25% while simultanously growing his income.

If you want to learn more about some of the strategies and techniques that I shared with Darren to help him achieve such remarkable results, you should check out an essay I wrote a few weeks ago about how to plan your perfect week.

By focusing on the most important things FIRST, Darren was able to make time for what mattered, eliminate or delegate what didn’t, and completely alter the fabric of his work weeks.

Today, he works less and earns more than he ever has in his life… And he’s just getting started.

Over to You


So there you have it.

The above 7 steps can be used by anyone in any industry to improve your mindset, increase your income, and reduce your workload.

But you have to take action and be determined to see it through.

Darren’s results are not typical. Most people simply aren’t willing to put in the hard work and deep thought required to actually create lasting change.

But then again, you aren’t most people.

So take what you’ve learned today and IMPLEMENT it.

Create your 90 day timeline. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Leverage social story selling. Hire a coach. Have a vivid vision. Put your big rocks first and KNOW that you’re not alone.

I can’t wait to see the results you’ll get.

Let me know what you thought of these 7 tips in the comments below? Are there any strategies that you’ve used to grow your income while working less? I’d love to hear from you and I do my best to respond to every comment so don’t be a stranger!

Go out and control your day, conquer the chaos, and live YOUR perfect life.

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com

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