Just over a month ago, I got hit with a crazy idea.
I do a lot of the same kinds of work over and over again. The basic work is straightforward. Build the website.
If my retainers to get this stuff done are based on how many hours I know something will take me, what if I changed how I worked with people to do it all in one day?
I scribbled down the format on half a sheet of paper. I wondered if it could work – it’d have to be specific. After all, it would only be one day.
Would people be into it?
20 Fixes later, I’m thrilled to say they are – and this works. It works for me, it works for them, and it’s rapidly working for their bottom line. (I’ll be sharing full case studies with you over the next few weeks.)
But this process has been one of massive learning and growth, and even though I’m doing the same kinds of work, it’s evolved in a way that has been fascinating. Here are my biggest takeaways from a month one day intensives.
1. I am a production machine.
I’ve always produced a lot of content, but this has been on a level I couldn’t have imagined before. In an eight hour session, I’m creating as much as a style guide, 4-5 page website (both design and copy), a lead magnet (both content and design), and a 4-email autoresponder sequence.
My clients are always shocked when I tell them how far their retainer hours will take them – and they are even more shocked when I can produce an entire brand in a day. I don’t give myself enough credit for how intuitive I am and how quickly I can accomplish things.
Some of my favorite things I’ve made this month:
2. Systems are god.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I couldn’t do what I do at the speed I do it without airtight (yet flexible) systems that protect my time, energy, and attention, and keep me on lock.
Initially, I mapped out what one of these intensives would look like on a half sheet of paper. I figured if it didn’t fit, it didn’t belong. Then, I created a list of everything I needed in order to accomplish it quickly.
The kind of focus this work takes is substantial, and proper prep work beforehand ensures I can deliver at my best.
Hot Tip: If you’re thinking about a Fix, start here. This is everything I’ll ask you for before your Fix happens!
3. Self care has to be a priority, or I’m going to burn right the fuck out.
I’ve been reaaally picky lately about who and what is getting my time and energy this month. Creating a brand in a day is no joke, and the possibility of both physical and creative burnout is very real. (H/T to Randi Buckley for instantly seeing the potential for this when I first started doing Fixes and saying so.)
Lately, I’ve been much better about making sure I’m getting enough time out with other people so I don’t lose my damn mind, (#extrovertproblems) but there is a high chance I’ll be limiting the number of Fixes I do soon.
4. This is the thing my network has been waiting for.
I’m finally working with people who I’ve been dying to work with for years. It lights me up. It’s ridiculously fun. And, yes, more, please, Universe.
5. Referrals are what my business runs on – which means when I fuck up, I REALLY fuck up.
I’ve fucked up a couple of projects over the past month beyond the point of redemption. I’ve butchered some relationships as a result. And you know what? I’m doing the best I can with what I have. I’ve apologized. I’ve given refunds. I’ve owned where I’ve fallen down.
And the reality is I’m going through a custody battle, trying to keep up with a business idea that took off literally overnight, looking for a new place since where I live is being sold, and making sure I can perform every single morning despite the insane levels of stress I’m under right now. It’s a lot. And for a change, I’m going to give myself a little grace and not self-flagellate like I normally would. I’m going to call this progress.
6. Being able to cowork in an intense way is highly effective for most people.
The best Fixes I’ve done so far have happened in a co-collaborative way. As in, the client is working on their business at the same time that I am. This lets us iterate quickly, knock assets out, and change directions when we need to. When it works, DAMN does it work.
However, this process only really works for people who work well under a deadline, take responsibility for themselves (and do the prep work), and have reasonable expectations over what they (and I) can do in a day. I’m a lot more careful about vetting people now because the only Fix that I wasn’t happy with had much less to do with the work accomplished (which was solid) and much more to do with how I felt after leaving the engagement – which was like I hadn’t been able to exceed expectations (that were pretty unrealistic). Never again.
7. I can learn anything if I’m on a deadline.
As someone who has built her career on writing, the fact that I do so much design now is kind of mind-boggling to me. And you know what? I’m pretty damn good at it. I learn new shit every Fix, and I’m enjoying it more and more because I’m constantly learning how to make amazing things happen for my clients. I loooove it.
Do you have more questions for me about how the Fixes are coming? Ask me in the comments.