Lessons on Management

Discussion in 'Case Studies and Journals' started by Bender Bending Rodríguez, Mar 14, 2017.

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  1. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    Thursday's trainee answered the questions in the job ad correctly but couldn't comprehend written English. Because of that, he couldn't navigate English website and figure out how to add backlinks on them (or follow the instructions).

    I found 2 good full-time employees so far, 2 good part-time employees, and 1 good temp employee.

    I just need to fill 2 more full-time slots :-/
     
  2. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    This is the current training/hiring process. Its working out really well to filter out unmotivated or unqualified applicants:

    • Application - applicants answer a few questions that were asked of them from the job ad.
    • Preparation - applicants need to prepare dropbox, FF, iMacros, proxies, and time tracker on their own. They have to read the Operations document. It explains why we're doing what we're doing.
    • Training ( 1 1/2 hours ) - I instruct them over Skype's screen share on what buttons to press and what to do.
    • Week 1 - They do 2 runs. It takes 16 hours each. The first run is for them to figure out how to add a link on a domain. I then check their work and give corrections. Second run is to show that they learned the corrections.
    • Week 2 - they practice running through the list of domains. Their run time is 10 hours.
    • Week 3 - they practice running through the list of domains. Their run time is 5 hours.
    After training, it is up to them to figure out how to add links and speed up their time. Because there are many applicants going through the training, its easy to see who is motivated and qualified versus who is not.

    Also, the guy who was fired yesterday reported that he quit this morning, before I told him he's fired. Last thing we talked about on Skype was this: he asked me why don't I record the training in a video and send the video to applicants. I replied that I do the training so that I can make sure each applicant is trained properly. If an applicant did not understand how to do his/her job and it was due to them not understanding something in the video, it would have been my fault; but, because I went through each one on how to operate iMacros/FF/Proxies/etc, they know what to do and the rest is their responsibility. He was silent.

    I'm sure he quit because he realized that there's no way for him to BS this job.

    This has been a good way of filtering unfit applicants too. The ones that are unfit usually don't even answer the job ad questions. The unmotivated ones wouldn't put in the time to learn their job.

    This is also good for other jobs. I can run, lets say, WP Webmasters, through the iMacros training to figure out their motivation. That way, I can use them for link building whenever needed and I'll know if they'll be a good employee or not.
     
  3. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    3rd trainee didn't show up :(

    I'm going to re-assess my manpower need and see if I can get away with just 3 employees. A 4th one would be ideal. I don't want to raise the pay because that'll increase the cost by a lot.

    I'll see if I can change the operations so that they use less man hours.
     
  4. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    Earlier this week, I promoted one of my iMacros Operators to iMacros Supervisor.

    He's in charge of the list of web 2.0/profiles/etc, handing out work, receiving work, and inspecting work.

    It was a new thing to assign him responsibility, authority, power, and control but I'm happy I did it.

    I don't have enough time to inspect each completed run. I also don't have time to add the instructions on a new web2.0/profile/etc to the master list. He can do both. He has also figured out how to add links on web2.0/profiles/etc that weren't working before. Awesome!

    I'm glad to have him on the team! :)
     
  5. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    I couldn't find a Wordpress dev. I'm gonna train one of my tech savvy VAs to be the WP dev.

    The task I require is mostly GUI and a little PHP, HTML, and maybe CSS. He also needs to understand how Wordpress operates a bit.

    I'm just gonna do the task first, write it down, and then make the instructions for him. Then I'm gonna figure out each requirements and train him on the HTML, CSS, WP, PHP that is required to do that.

    This HAS to be finished this month or else the sites won't rank in time.

    Also, is anyone else noticing this? I'm seeing 3 months for the ROI from a link building to be seen and 6 months for maximum ROI.

    If that's so, It'll be August before these sites earn any money and November before they reach their max earnings.
     
  6. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    I realized that I haven't been considering the day-to-day tasks of managing 7 employees and a handful of ongoing operations into my work week.

    Right now, I spend over 4 hours/week answering emails. Today, I did 2 hours of emailing.

    I didn't take that into consideration when I planned the month or week; but, it take up a lot of time.

    I'm also responsible for planning more operations. So, my priority would be to get my sites up first, they need to be up NOW (they're a few months behind and they need to be up this quarter so that I can meet my End of Year Goal).

    Second Priority would be to have the PBNs debugged. There's like 200-300 PBN domains and, I think, 10% are down or not indexed. I have to debug 20-30 domains. That's grunt work that I've been delaying for several weeks now.

    Lastly, I gotta send this dude the target list for scraping. I've delayed this for a week too and this site needs to go up. It shouldn't take more than 30 minutes of research.

    I also told a dude I'm buying his site today. I gotta check out his analytics, backlinks, and niche today too.

    WTH, that's a shit ton of work already and its 9:30 pm. I'm going to sleep at 1am so I have 3h 30m to get this all done.

    EDIT: The guys I hired are pretty smart. Instead of giving them detailed instructions on how to do something, I'm gonna give them what I want to get done and why it needs to get done as well as what I think needs to happen to get it done. Then, they are going to exercise initiative, figure out how to do it, report to me how its done with a sample, and then I approve or disapprove the course of action. If approved, that's how the task is done.

    I seriously have a long list of tasks to outsource and for me to do the first sample personally would take SO MUCH TIME. These guys were OK-ed by me as competent so I know they can accomplish my intent.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  7. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    Here are a few things that I'd like to add to this thread:
    • I'm telling people "I'll get to it on Monday" if they send me an email/Skype after work on Friday and into the weekend. Having clear boundaries between work and personal time is a huge stress reliever.
    • I looked at my Evernote and realized that I'm over 1 year into on some of my goals. I have my life planned until 2020 and I began this journey in 2016, after I got back from 2 years of traveling. Being 1 year into a 5 year plan is pretty cool (I wish I could say my 2 years of traveling was planned; but, no, I learned the importance of planning from that trip >_<). It is also very boring. Then, I realized that the only thing preventing me from reaching my goals was monotony, which is pretty easy to overcome. Basically, all I have to do is work 9-5 5 days/week, make a border run every quarter, and move to Mexico every winter for the next year until I purchase property in Cyprus and then I might just continue the same routine until 2020. Yeah, I can do that.
    • I'm using Gantt Charts now to organize individuals, tasks, and time. With 7 subordinates, its getting hard to figure out when people are available for new work and the project priorities. I just have to figure out how to implement the software!
    • I've realized that my previous planning methods were not fitting my work. I have multi-year goals, year goals, quarter goals, and month goals. I used to break the month goals into weekly goals and then break the weekly goals into daily goals but, I found out that a lot of quarter/month goals takes weeks to accomplish! How would that be recorded on a day to day basis? It just looked as if I got nothing done since the same goal kept on appearing over, and over again on the daily goals. I then decided to remove weekly goals and go from monthly straight to daily. The problem with that is that I lost focus and became overstressed. Monthly goals are pretty big and long. Doing them in a day is impossible so the same issue happened where I had the same goals appear over and over again on the daily list, which resulted in stressed, decreased morale and decreased confidence. I need a way to translate monthly goals into actionable tasks every day without making tediously detailed lists that don't end up being accurate at all.
    I think the problem is that I assigned myself multiple operations in the same day. After my ~2 hours of emails and skype per day, there's no possible way for me to finish 2 operations. I have to focus on 1 operation/day -- that's the only way stuff can get done. If an operation takes 2 days, so be it. It'll just be carried over to the next day. Having multiple operations in a single day decreases focus, increases stress, and is ineffective.

    Yeah, I was overly ambitious to think I can do 3-4 operations in a single day. Its better to do 1 operation in a single day and be effective than plan 2, 3, or 4 operations in a single day and be ineffective.

    I'm also going to place emails in the last 2 hours of my day. They're almost always low priority (but seem high priority!) and they're basically busy work -- I can keep myself busy with it even though it doesn't bring me closer to my goals. Scheduling it from 3-5p forces me to give to the point answer. It also removed that 5-10 minute thinking time that I like to spend to think about an answer... yeah... that was just procrastination.
     
  8. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    1 operation/day is going great! I'm very happy that I simplified work ^^
     
  9. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    20hours/week dude must have quit.

    He hasn't replied to anyone's Skype messages since the 9th and he hasn't logged in since that time too.

    :(

    I hope I have enough workers to get everything done.

    With 2 Operators, they can do 10 runs/week. There's 100 runs left in the queue. That's 10 weeks of work.

    Fuckkkkk.

    They won't be done with this until August. It'll be a little slower since one guy has to prepare the Wordpress sites.

    I can pull another Operator from another Operation to do the WP work, or at least help out with that.

    Yeah... I'm gonna put up another help wanted ad :-/. With a 3rd Operator, that's 120 hours/week of manpower. I can then get the quarter's workload done in 7.5 weeks. That leaves me enough time to add the Adult Sites Operation too.

    I have until the end of Q4 to find the 3rd Operator. That's plenty enough time. I can pull the other operator out of his Operation for about 3 weeks to get the WP task done. Then we're all until the end of Q4.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  10. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    I realized that I have more projects in my to-do list than what's feasible. I'm creating a budget for myself for the rest of the year. That'll control spending and projects.
     
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  11. cardine

    cardine Administrator Staff Member

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    I think this is a good idea - generally for projects I always have a rule where I can only work on one new thing at a time. I learned that the hard way after trying to juggle many different things at once and doing a halfway job on all of them. It's better to go one at a time and execute really well than to have a ton of things splitting your attention.
     
  12. emp

    emp Senior Member

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    Same here.

    I am just about to go on a long weekend with my buddies.
    This will be the start of a big realignment.
     
  13. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    I'm reading From Zero to One by Peter Thiel. I'm not finished with the book yet but, basically, he says that fierce competition (ie "perfect market") forces the product's price down to the absolute minimum (supply curve and demand curve intersect at equilibrium). This is bad for companies as they'll be fighting to stay alive.

    Therefore, all companies want to be monopolies. Either, enter a market where there is no competition or enter a market where you can take out the competition.

    A monopoly can charge more, don't have to spend money to defend from competitors, and can afford to expand into other markets or ventures.

    I had a site on my to-do list for ages. It was a site I sold, didn't sign a Non-Compete Contract for, and wanted to re-enter. But, looking at it now, that's a dumb move. There's now like 5 competitors and new ones every day. That project is scraped.

    There's another project where there is a weak competitor who hasn't updated his/her site since the '00's. I'm entering that one.

    I'm also working on a business where I can be the monopoly :)
     
  14. Bender Bending Rodríguez

    Bender Bending Rodríguez Senior Member

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    Just a little update:

    • I have 7 employees now. 2 part time and 3 full time. The 3 full time employees are in a link building team. They are currently able to produce 2,400 links/week. One of the team members is helping me and another part time employee produce sites. We're currently producing 120 sites/quarter.
    • The organization is set up. All I need to do now is send out the target keywords to my writer and teams. The writer and teams will get the rest. Then, after the sites are up, my task is to inspect the sites to make sure on-page SEO is on point. Then the sites are left to rank.
    • I have plans to expand this operation into adult and non-English keywords. I'm doing testing in non-English keywords and adult now. The tests should be done by the end of the year. This also gives me time to add additional employees to the organization.
    • The 3 full time employees I have right now are really good. There is no way they're leaving. In the end of the year, I'll evaluate 2018's budget. I want to give them health insurance and SSS (retirement plan). I also want to see if I can contribute at 2x the rate for SSS for them. My intention is to allow them to be able to retire after 20 years of working for me. This will produce a lot of things: 1.) They'll be extremely loyal to the company 2.) They'll be motivated 3.) They'll work hard. Think about it, early retirement is a first world dream. I'm giving that to these 3rd world (or 2nd world, I'm not sure where their country stands in this ranking) workers. I'm pretty sure this isn't a dream come true; I'm pretty sure this is something they'd never though would be possible.

    I have plans to start an Adult SEO Agency. That'll be viable in 2018 IMO, when I have more staff. Right now, there's not enough manpower to conduct client link building campaigns. I also have to test the feasibility of Adult clients. They might be total BS idiots (95%?) but 5% might be smart.

    I'm also testing out my pay site (monthly subscription porn site). The first phase is almost done. Phase 1 testing should be done by the end of the year. Then, I'll get a 15" MBP for video editing :) I also have to learn about filming. I have a plan for sourcing models and I can test that in 2018 as well.

    I also got approved for equity in the client company. I'm pretty sure this is my route to being a millionaire. The company is a 2 year old startup and it's growing at a very fast pace (8.8x growth from 2016-2017). We've got to go over the articles of incorporation and square away voting rights. Then, I'll be one of the owners of the company.

    So, yeah, hiring people, forming teams, creating SOP, and having an organization is great. It allows me (read: the head of the organization) to operate at a much higher capability. I'd never be able to produce 120 sites/quarter without the teams. I'd also won't be able to get anything else done if it was just me. Having strict rules and standards is great too. I know what I need to give them, I know what they'll output and the time and resources they'll need to get it done. Awesome.

    I think this is gonna be the last post for this thread. I got the hang of leadership, management, team formation, hiring, sourcing, and training now.