Guest Post by Paco: Paco Cantero is a computer science engineer/entrepreneur who founded his first company in 2002. Today, he runs 4 companies: a global marketing agency, a spirits brand, and a private marketplace.
As a goal-achiever, he launched his last project in 2020: WORRYbeHAPPY (www.worrybehappy.com), a place where he shares knowledge on the topics he has loved for over 30 years: productivity, personal growth, and entrepreneurship.
Over to Paco:
I’d like to thank Kjell for having me on his awesome website.
I’m honored, and I hope this guest post is useful for you, dear reader.
First, a bit about myself:
I was born in 1976, and I created my first company in 2002.
It started as a stewardess agency and, today, it’s a global marketing agency, having more than 40 employees, 3 different offices in Spain, and offering full marketing services to more than 200 clients each year.
In 2013, we created a new company, based on a private marketplace for companies.
In 2019, we founded a spirits brand.
Finally, in 2020, we launched a site to communicate my knowledge in personal development, productivity, and entrepreneurship.
Many people ask me how I can manage all this stuff without dying in the attempt.
My first answer is always the same:
– What about Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or Richard Branson?
– What about the president of any country?
It sounds bizarre, but looking at people who have bigger problems than yours is a way to calm down, relax, and tell yourself: No problem, I can do that!
Here, I will share some key points I consider to be helpful to manage these types of scenarios, to get through all the “overwhelming experiences” you may think this can bring to your life.
I’m a pragmatic guy, so I will go straight “to the point”, trying not to waste your time, as it’s the most critical asset we all have in our lives.
1: Buy time
Don’t be afraid to delegate, to hire people, to hire freelancers.
Look for people who are better than you performing certain tasks, so you can free yourself to dedicate your time to those things in which you excel.
It’s by dedicating your time to the best things you are at how your project will grow.
Don’t be afraid of doing this. Things won’t be done “your way”, but they’ll be done “some other way” that will satisfy your clients. Be sure of that!
Finally, create a culture of delegation of responsibilities inside your company. Starting with trainees and ending up with top managers.
Everyone has to assume their responsibilities. Each person must be capable to receive an input and generate an amazing output by himself/herself.
That’s growth in its pure state.
2: Attract talent to your project
Spend your time thinking how you can create a project more people want to join.
The more talent you attract, the more you will be able to delegate.
Just think a project will improve if you start adding other people’s point of view, knowledge, experiences…
That’s how you will increase your services, you’ll be able to diversify, and how you will create a solid and consolidated project.
Always focus on the foundations. Base all your actions on consolidating them.
Think in the long run. Compound interest will do the rest.
3: Create exceptional and excellent middle-level managers teams
I like to see departments as independent micro-businesses, capable of generating added value by themselves, interacting with other departments to develop the service or final product the company provides.
Middle managers allow top managers (you) to think deeper about medium-long term goals and strategies. A company without such goals cannot move forward in time either.
4: Analyse and optimise processes
Pay attention within all your internal processes.
Look for inefficiencies, capture them, solve them, try to implement software solutions to make things easier for people (and for you).
Whenever you see a process can be automated and programmed, do it. That’s always an investment, never an expense.
Following these steps, you will create the best structure at the minimum cost.
Programming systems will allow you to access information and data easily.
You will have boards to increase the probability of success in decision making.
You will follow your essential KPIs very closely to create a profitable business, sowing the seeds of a better future.
5: Invest in productivity knowledge
Knowing how to be more productive is always an investment.
Dedicate time (and money) to be a better version of yourself talking about productivity.
Create systems around you to perform at your best. Learn procedures, processes, techniques…
– having the control of the situation,
– knowing how to manage unpredictable situations,
… because you will have a lot.
6: Avoid Parkinson’s Law
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
— Cyril Northcote Parkinson (creator of Parkinson’s law in 1957)
Beware of it. Give the things the time they deserve.
Manage time blocks of fixed length. Never cross the boundaries you set.
7: Focus on priorities
You will have thousands of things to do, but focus on the important ones, the ones that will make you move forward towards your key goals.
Learn that life cannot be perfect.
If you get stuck in perfection, you won’t evolve, your projects won’t grow, and you will never get the best version of yourself, that one you’ll be proud of, the one that will give you that fulfillment and happiness any entrepreneur is looking for.
To sum up, here you have the top 3 points you should focus on:
- BUY TIME. Create a top-level middle managers team. Outsource services and people. Delegate. Make others assume responsibilities.
- OPTIMIZE PROCESSES. Delete, polish, improve, automate.
- INVEST IN PRODUCTIVITY. Invest in yourself, the best asset within your project. Be able to take the best out of your time.
As you may see, the key message is “learn to be productive”.
Be a master talking about managing time.
Time is everything and most people take it for granted. They don’t pay attention to it. They don’t try to control it.
It’s by controlling the time how you’ll control your life and your projects instead of others’.
So, go for it and, very important too: enjoy the journey!