This post is based on the video – How To Manage & Accomplish Big Project
Gentlemen, today we’re going to talk about. How to manage and how to accomplish a huge project.
Over the last few months, I’ve had numerous men reach out to me and say
Antonio, I see that you got StyleCon coming up. Hundreds of people coming into Atlanta from all over the world. You’ve got dozens and dozens of speakers. How in the world did you get this going while running your company, while having a family with four kids? How did you do all of this?
I thought about it. There was a time years ago I wouldn’t have been able to do all of this, but through proper project management.
The five tips I’m going to share with you today, guys, I think that you can apply this to anything in your life. Project management — I know it doesn’t sound sexy.
But when you think of “Hey, I’ve got to write a 50-page paper” or “I’ve got a project at work. It’s going to be over two months, and it’s going to involved 20 people on three different continents”, those are big projects. How can you more effectively manage them?
In this video, guys, I’m going to give you the five tips on how I’ve been able to effectively manage and create and get this conference up off the ground. This is going to be a third time we’re doing it. I can tell you that this was the easiest time I had planning, or so it seemed.
Now, don’t forget. I support this with an article over at Real Men Real Style. That article I’m going to go into a lot more detail. I’m going to support it with some of the research. I’m going to talk about some of the studies that I’ll allude to here in this video.
5 Lessons Learned Organizing This Year’s StyleCon
#1 Be Motivated
Tip number one is to be motivated. Actually want to do the project. I know you don’t always have a choice, but if you do have a choice, make sure you say “Hell yeah” or you say “No”. What you’re going to find is when you’ve got that as your criteria, you are going to say “No” almost all of the time.
Why do you want to say “No” all the time? Because one of the worst things you can do is say “Yes” when you don’t mean it. You’re involved in a project that you don’t want to be a part of. A couple hours in, you’re just thinking, why in the world?
Most of you guys, you’re the kind of person that you want to stay true to your word. You’re going to push your way through it, but you’re going to resent it. Guys, when you are not motivated to be a part of something, it is hard.
Now, let’s talk about reality, which is probably in many projects, you do not have a choice. You’re at school. You just got assigned that 20-page paper. You’ve got your work. You’ve got two months to complete this project. You’re trying to pull in people that some of these people don’t want to be a part of it. How in the world can you be motivated?
Well, one of the ways to be motivated is to actually get paid or to set up a reward system. In the case of StyleCon, we actually reached out and we found sponsors very early on. I reached out to people I knew, and I said “Hey, who is interested?” The guys over at straightrazors.com – go check them out. They’ve been support on my channel for well over a year, and they make some amazing straight razors. But straightrazors.com rose their hand in the first week and said “Antonio, love what you’re doing. We want to be a part of it.”
Mike over at RibbedTee – you guys know I love his undershirts. I’ve worn his undershirts. I’ve known Mike for about seven years. I’ve been a big supporter of RibberTee. The guy said “Antonio, I’m going to be one of your early sponsors.”
The guys over at Dazzle Pro reached out to us in the first week and said “Guys, we’re going to get you the money to make this a possibility.
When you’ve got the money in the bank that already has taken care of a lot of worries, guys, that is an awesome motivator. I know you can’t necessarily do that at school. It would be nice if somebody paid you, but what you can do is say “You know, I’m going to reward myself. I’ve been really wanting to get that nice suit.”, or “I’ve been wanting to go out to dinner.” “I’ve been wanting to go to that concert or go to that club. If I get this done, I am going to reward myself.”
Now, you can also set up a penalty. The penalty is a very strong motivator. In fact, some of the research shows that penalties actually are more powerful than rewards. I don’t really like to go that route personally. I find that I do enjoy the rewards more. But Tim Ferris talked about this – how you can actually say you’re going to donate to a cause you do not agree with if you do not accomplish that.
#2 Make Adjustable Plans
Tip number two is to plan, and if need be, adjust. I threw out initially when we were planning out StyleCon – spent about a day, and we planned out exactly what we would need, created this big, long checklist, a couple pages long. Then I reached out to two people I respected who I knew ran very successful conferences.
I spent an hour on the phone with each of them. One of the key questions I asked is “Where did your conference almost fail at the early points? In a sense, where is the risk in a conference?”
What I learned is that you need to get butts in seats and really work to get the number of people. Both of them said they thought they were going to get 500 people, and they ended up getting 150. It’s better to have a small space and to start off small than it is to rent out some huge space and not fill it and it feel empty.
Knowing that, we actually planned to have a great space. We kept it in Atlanta to reduce risk, because that’s Aaron’s hometown. We took that advice to heart, and we adjusted the plan. Instead of going for 500 people initially, we said “You know, let’s get 100 people. Then this year, we’re getting 200. Next year, we’ll look to get 400.”
You realize you have your plan, you have your idea, but you adjust after you go out there and you get some great advice. Don’t be afraid to change things up.
#3 Break The Project Into Small, Measurable Pieces
Tip number three is to break this huge project up into small, measurable pieces. Two keywords there: “small” and “measurable”.
Why small? Because sometimes, you only have maybe an hour to work on the project. In that hour, you want to be able to accomplish something, to be able to check something off the box. Studies have shown that nothing is as motivating as progress. Just the feeling of checking a box off gives us this internal high that really makes it worth it and will drive and motivate you sometimes when nothing else will.
Now, measurable. If you can’t measure it, it’s just not going to get done, or it’s not going to be something that you’re going to know when you get to the end of it. Make sure you’re clearly defined what you’re going to do.
#4 Have An Accountability Partner
Tip number four: have an accountability partner or hire a coach. Have somebody that is going to hold you accountable.
Aaron Marino over at Alpha M Image Consulting – you guys know his channel. He has been a great accountability partner. I’ll tell you, nobody works harder than this guy. He’s up Sunday mornings at 5:00 in the morning and works seven days a week – more than I do.
That’s not the kind of lifestyle – I’ve got four kids, and my wife won’t let me work that much. But Aaron has done a great job holding me accountable. Every Thursday at 1:00 pm Central, we have met.
We have talked for at least an hour to go over what needs to be done, who’s going to accomplish it, and what it’s going to look like when it’s finished. “Okay. I’ll talk to you next week.”
Have somebody you can go back and forth with and to hold you accountable is key to getting the job done.
#5 Build A Great Team
All right. Tip number five is to have a team. Have a group. Get support to identify your weaknesses. I realized I am one person and there are certain things I am incredibly weak at. I’m really bad when it comes to typing and emails. I’m not the greatest video editor. I am really bad when it comes to technical stuff in websites.
Guess what? I have a team, and I brought them in to help me get done what needed to
get done. Yuri did a great job building up the StyleCon website. Jamie did a great job answering emails, responding to people. She literally sent over 1,000 emails. Thomas came in and did the video editing. Jane came in and she basically did the social media promotion. Tina, she came in and she did all the artistry work. Yes, they’re part of my team, and I paid them for it, but you can find people who will come and want to support you.
If you are a student and you need some help, reach out. I really do think students should work more in teams, because that’s how you’re going to work in the business environment. If you’re in the business environment, bring your team. Keep them involved. Communicate well with them. Leverage each other’s strengths. The end product is going to be so much better.
Guys, that is it. Go check out the support article. I go into more information there about project management, how to get things done, and to avoid procrastination. I think you’re going to enjoy it.
If you’re in the Atlanta area, come check out StyleCon. Guys, you can quickly sign up. There is still time. Would love to have you come out to meet me, to meet Aaron, to meet all the amazing people that are going to be at StyleCon.
That’s it, guys. I’ll see you in the next video.
This post is based on the video – How To Manage & Accomplish Big Project