The Ease of Hustle Podcast

2. Effective, Then Efficient

Last week I shared what it means to be effective and why it’s crucial to your success as an entrepreneur. This week, I’m diving into why it’s important to be effective before being efficient.

You might think that effectiveness and efficiency are the same thing, but they’re very different. As you build your business, you want to establish your effectiveness before you start working on speeding up processes or finding ways to save money and energy. Efficiency is certainly important, but not until you’ve done the work to make sure your processes, strategies, and leadership are effective first.

Listen in today to find out why your effectiveness as an entrepreneur is more important than your efficiency. I share my 3-step process for being effective, and once you get really good at his process, you can move onto efficiency. And remember, my procrastinating perfectionists, ineffective action is better than no action at all. Get started on this process and become the effective entrepreneur you desire to be.

What You'll Learn From This Episode:

  • The difference between effectiveness and efficiency
  • How effectiveness and efficiency are important in your business
  • My simple 3-step process to being effective
  • When it’s time to focus on being efficient
  • Some ways to increase efficiency
  • Why ineffective action is better than not taking action at all

Listen to the Full Episode:

2. Effective, Then Efficient

The Ease of Hustle with Lauren Cash

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Effective Entrepreneur Podcast with Lauren Cash, episode 2: Effective, Then Efficient.

Hey, how’s it going? How’s your week going? I hope it’s going well. This morning I got up early, as I do, before the sun got up and I was about to go on my morning walk, run and my brain really didn’t want to go.

Doesn’t this ever happen to you? Your brain is just like, no, we shouldn’t go on a walk. We don’t really need to go on a walk. We’re actually on vacation this week. So we don’t really need to go on a walk. Why would we do that? Going on and on, and then I just was like, “No, brain, we love our walks. Did you remember that we love these walks?” No, it totally forgot that we loved them.

It didn’t remember until we were on this hill that I really love that I go walking on, that it’s the beautiful sunrise which we see every morning when I time my walks well. And it was so gorgeous and I always love posting those on my Instagram for you all to see the beautiful sunrise. I just can’t help myself. So I hope you have something fun like that where you have to argue with your mind or just listen to your mind arguing with you and then you show it later, no, see, this is why we wanted to go on a walk. And this is why we wanted to go on a walk when we went on a walk.

Anyway let’s get into today’s episode. Today’s episode is all about the difference between being effective and being efficient. And I want to teach you why it’s important for you and for your business as well as show you what I like to think about in terms of the order of these two skills, being effective and being efficient. We want to be effective before we want to be efficient. So let’s dive in with looking at the definitions of both.

So being efficient means to be capable of producing desired results with little or no waste. And this usually means with time, or materials, or resources. The emphasis here on the definition of efficiency is with the speed at which you do something or how much you use up when you’re doing the thing in terms of resources. So I like to think about it especially in terms of time.

So being efficient would be between the starting point and the ending point of our, whatever we’re doing, we do it as fast as possible, essentially, we’re still creating the result. And we get rid of any redundancies. So when we are working on being efficient we are speeding things up, getting rid of additional steps that aren’t necessary. We’re getting rid of any additional resources that we don’t need, making sure we’re not wasting any materials.

What we don’t emphasize here that’s important to note with efficiency is that we’re not talking about caring what result we’re creating. We’re not looking at the intention of the result and if it makes sense or not. We’re just within the result that we want to create making it a much more streamlined quick process within being efficient, within that result. We don’t consider whether or not we want to actually create that result in the first place.

That’s where I think being effective really drives that home and helps us focus on that. Because being effective means that we’re successful in producing a desired and intended result, which I taught you on the first episode. If you didn’t hear that, make sure you go back and listen to hear what the three reasons are for why you want to be effective in business as an entrepreneur.

So being effective is that we’re successful in producing a desired and intended result. So the emphasis here is not just being successful, and not being efficient when we’re producing that result, we’re also looking at is it a desired result? Is it an intended result? This is extremely important. We want to be intentional with the results that we’re deciding to create.

So let’s use an example. Let’s say that you’re an entrepreneur who needs to have let’s say it’s called a consult call, but a lot of people call it different things. So a discovery call, or a strategy call, any of those types of calls where you first are going to do that call and it’s basically a sales call before you then make the offer at the end of the call, or provide a proposal to your potential future client.

And you think it would be much more efficient for you and for the client if you were to just provide them with a scheduling link, so in order to book this call. So you’ll have it on your website. You might even have it as the link in your bio on Instagram. You’ll email somebody when they’re interested in working with you.

You’ll directly email them this link to work with you and book this call. And you might even have them fill out a form and things like that, so you can get more information from them on the way to the call. So that you don’t have to spend time on the call asking them these questions that they could ask ahead of time. And then you could be more prepared. You might be thinking this is super efficient. We don’t have to go back and forth with different days and times. I don’t have to ask them and have a longer call asking them questions. It’s super efficient to use a scheduler.

However, early in your business, let’s say you’re a newer entrepreneur you haven’t built enough demand right now. You’re not booked out multiple months and you’re not starting a waiting list. You really want to start working with clients yesterday. This is not the most effective way to book these calls because for the human we want to be able to connect on a personal level with somebody. And we don’t want to have to go through hoops to make a bunch of decisions.

Our brains immediately as we go to have to fill out a form and answer questions, our brain is like no, let’s not do this. Do we really have to answer all these questions? Maybe we don’t need to have this call. It’s kind of going to be a lot of work. And then I have to look through all of the times. And then it’s a whole big deal. This must be serious. This feels very serious going through this form and booking this time. What if they force me to make a decision on the call? I don’t know. So we open up a lot of opportunity then for the potential client to not book a call.

And we are not being as effective then getting the work that we want by using a scheduler in this example. Now, I’m not saying there’s not a point in time where you won’t use a scheduler. You just want to start putting up that friction barrier later on in your business when it doesn’t matter if the route isn’t as effective.

You are fine right now with being more efficient than effective because you already have been effective overall in your business. And you’re making as much revenue as you want to be making, that’s totally fine. But before you get there you want to make sure that you have the closest points from your conversation with a potential client to getting on a call with them, to then booking them as your client to collect money from them. That’s the most effective way. You have to think about the customer experience and what will be the easiest route from them being like, “Maybe this is for me.” And giving you money and getting results.

So I want you to apply this today. I’m going to give you a simple three step process to be effective before you’re efficient in your business.

So, step one is to decide what is the result that you’re attempting to achieve with whatever we’re looking at. So if we’re looking at your marketing strategy and everything that’s currently a part of marketing, if it’s blogging, and Instagram, and TikTok, and Pinterest, and Facebook groups, and all the things. Take a look at what is the result I’m attempting to achieve with all of these things.

Or if we’re doing a specific thing on your calendar, look at with grocery shopping maybe even, how can we make grocery shopping more effective? What’s the results that we want to achieve with grocery shopping? You can look at this for any process or system that you have in your life. Obviously a lot of us are thinking about our businesses. But you can use this in your personal life as well.

So, step one of this process is to decide on what the result is and to be intentional about that result. So make sure that it makes sense for your big picture. So in business, like we talked about in episode one, it’s bringing money in. It’s revenue and making sure that we’re bringing the money in and signing clients, if we’re signing clients. Or bringing in business and selling, if we’re selling t-shirts on an online store, is it moving us closer to selling something to our client?

Step two then is once you decide on the result from step one and making sure it makes sense for your bigger picture is to examine it with the current process. What is the current process to create that result? And we want to look at each step and make sure each step is absolutely necessary for creating that result. Could we do it in a simpler way?

Could it be – this is where effectiveness and efficiency start to overlap though. So could we do it in fewer steps? Could we make it more effective if we just went all in on the one thing that’s working in our business for marketing and did more of that, like three times a day?

What if we did it five times more of that, to get us closer to our goal overall, the result overall? So look at each of the steps and ask yourself, is every step here necessary? Is it all bringing me as close as I can get to the end result that I want? Could I eliminate any of these things? What here is not bringing me closer to my intended results, and just really slowing down the system?

And then step three is to analyze the entire thing every step for efficiency. So how could you do it in a faster way? How could you do it with less waste of your time, and energy, and effort? And how could you keep the effectiveness while also increasing efficiency? So that’s where we have to be careful, like the scheduling example. If we’re in a place in our business where we need it to be really effective and quickly signing a client and not adding a lot of friction between there, we’re going to want to have it be more effective than efficient.

And then eventually we’ll want it to be more efficient than necessarily effective, depending on where we’re at in our business and what demand we have built. So you’ll want to in every step of the way, look at the efficiency and the effectiveness and balance them for what your intended result is. So in step three you’re going to analyze the entire process every step for efficiency. Here is where you’re going to get really creative and you’re going to start to improve different steps using a bunch of different technologies.

So you could even start to use here, automations and things like applications for – I really like TextExpander for example. That’s when I was doing customer support for a company; I integrated using TextExpander because it was a lot easier to use that than to do all of the clicks to get the canned response in the email program. So this is where you start to use higher level thinking, higher level strategies to make things more efficient. You know it’s effective to reply to the customer. But how could you make it even more efficient?

So those are our three steps. One, decide on the result and make sure it makes sense for the bigger picture. Two, examine the current process, make sure every step is necessary and is leading you towards that overarching result. Step three is to analyze the entire thing and start to look for improving efficiencies and using higher level thinking, and creativity to infuse technologies that will speed you up and take less of your time.

So make sure that you are always focused on being effective before you’re looking at being efficient. This will help you, and overall, work less and make more money in your business.

Now, a quick caveat, because I know you all are procrastinating perfectionists most likely because that’s who I work with. You’re going to want to use this against yourself to procrastinate. You’re going to want to decide that you don’t really know if it is effective and if it is leading you towards the result. So then you might be tempted to not take any action whatsoever.

I want you to know that there’s a balance between this. This is for later on once you know what you’re doing is resulting in some results in your business. And you want to be checking in and looking at this. But that’s not what you want to be doing if you’re working on needing to take action and you’re not taking any action. More action, more ineffective inefficient action is better than no action at all. Does that make sense? Because no action at all gives us no insight and no data for what’s working, what’s not working, what have we tried, what haven’t we tried.

We just literally have no data and of course we’re going to make no money if we don’t have any action happening and no data to collect. If we’re just sitting on a couch watching Netflix that’s not going to help us help the people we want to help in our businesses. So the caveat for this episode is of course take ineffective, inefficient to your mind as what it’s going to be thinking, action before really honing in and then becoming too perfectionistic with deciding if things are effective or efficient.

So to summarize, you want to be effective before you’re efficient because being effective takes into account being intentional about creating your desired result. And then efficiency is about those steps and processes towards that result, making sure that you’re not wasting any resources, including your time and making it quicker and faster, and with less steps. So in order to do this you’ll use the three steps.

The first one is to decide the result, the second is to examine what all you’re doing right now to achieve that, and ask yourself really good questions. Is everything required in order to get that result? Could you cut out anything, simplify anything, and not just be doing busy work? That’s not as effective towards that result. And then step three is once you cut out all that busy work and simplify then you can create efficiencies within the processes that you’ve kept. So there you have it.

Alright, so thank you so much for joining me for episode 2, I hope it was helpful. It was super fun thinking about the differences between efficiency and effectiveness. And I hope you’ll join me on the next episode.

And hey, we are doing a giveaway, if you haven’t heard yet, for the first little while of the podcast to celebrate the launch. I am super excited. We’re giving away a beautiful watch, it’s rose gold and it’s beautiful. I can’t wait for you to see pictures of it on the website. You’re going to go to vivere.co/podcastlaunch. That’s v.i.v.e.r.e.co/podcastlaunch. There you’ll be able to learn how to rate and review on Apple Podcasts. And I appreciate any and all reviews. You don’t have to give a five star review but obviously I hope you love the podcast so far. And you’ll do that and then you fill out a form to enter to win either that beautiful grand prize watch.

Or we’re also giving away Apple gift cards so that you can buy my favorite calendar app called BusyCal. Obviously you can use it for whatever you want. But I would highly recommend getting this app. I love it so much.

And then everyone who enters the giveaway is going to get this cool background for your computer or for your mobile device. That is designed in my brand colors and everything that says, ‘There is no rush, there is no hurry’. That’s one of my favorite beliefs that I’ve been working on. So make sure you go to vivere.co/podcastlaunch to read all about it. And I appreciate every rating and review you give me.

Alright, again, I’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks for joining.

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