Diane: Within minutes of meeting this week's guests at a party, we were huddled in a corner, talking all things, software, automation, and nerdy tools and apps. And we've been friends ever since.
Jordan Gill is an ops guru who has transformed her business from 24/7 on-call retainers to occasional VIP days and made more money and got more of a life.
So naturally, I want all the details.
Hey Jordan, welcome to the show.
Jordan: Yes. Thank you so much, Diane, for having me. I know it's we met two...three years ago, guess, at Social Media Marketing World. And I've always admired you in business and we have a very similar ops mind that I'm just like, "Let's just be besties."
Diane: It was that soulmate moment where everything faded around us and everybody else is , "Oh, this is such a boring conversation. "
Jordan: Exactly what happened.
Diane: So before we start that again, I'd love it if you could just tell the listener a little bit about your business and how it fits into your lifestyle.
Jordan: Yes. So I'm Jordan, founder of Systems Saved Me. I've been in business for little over four years. And it has been long and short at the same time it 's had many iterations but really the core of what I do is, for my one on one clients, I help them streamline their claims management processes.
Mainly it's seasonal service providers that I work with. it's super fun and six-hour VIP days, which then brings me to how I help people. mainly solopreneur service providers. Who are done with the monthly retainer shenanigans. And by that, the late-night Slack pings, the chasing of invoices, the scope creep, the boundary craziness, all of it.
and so I help them get out of that by replacing their monthly retainers with one-day virtual intensives. And so I do still thoroughly enjoy systems and automation and integration and have those conversations all the time. And, I also have just realized that. It's more fun, helping people change their entire business model to intensives than it is to try and piecemeal systems that end up getting blown over by your clients anyway.
Diane: For sure. some of the boundaries stories that we hear, from service providers are just shocking and terrifying. I'm obviously a huge intensives person. I like things to be fast and furious and then finished. but how did you find this world? Did you just wake up one day and be like, "Okay, I'm over it!"
Jordan: I know. So I technically have been in this industry for about six years. and so four years of my own business. And then two years I was working for one of the bigger wig names, back in the day, And, I was her head of content. And that meant that I was the songwriter to her Beyonce.
So I wrote all the content developed all the content for her actual courses and programs, wrote the scripts for webinars, all of that sort of stuff. And she just would read them and make millions of dollars. So it was. win-win I suppose. it was a lot of fun though. I think that, I learned a lot about myself and how systematic I was through working with her because she really was the first person to identify that I was a systems-oriented person.
It's almost like I can't help myself. Like I don't operate in any other way. Besides before I do something, I create a system for it. So I'd never have to do it again. and so working with her, she then moved me into this head of operations role where. she had a bigger team. She was a multi seven-figure business.
She had a pretty big team and she wanted me to go through and create processes for each department. and I was like, this is amazing. And she was like, go create the system and then we'll hire somebody to maintain it. And I was like, this is a dream. cause I'm not a maintainer at all. And so I did that then for the second year that I worked with her and it was awesome.
And then one day I just got a nudge in my stomach or, a flip to the brain. And that was like time to go. I had no personal Instagram, no business name, nobody knew who I was. And I was like, okay, this could be either brilliant or trash. So just gonna make the leap anyway. And I think a lot of people will postpone their own success because they want to be comfortable.
I'm the kind of person that I operate a little bit better when you just push me off the cliff. so while it can somewhat be painful or scary, I always end up landing on my feet. So I then took a six week or I, I guess put in my six weeks notice. And within those six weeks, I was able to have enough monthly retainers to have $12,000 monthly recurring in my business, which was bananas because I was ready to like, Eat ramen and live in a dentist's office basement, and to make $12,000 a month.
It was like, I don't even compute that, but it's amazing. And yay. I'm like off and running with just an email address and LLC and a bank account. And so you opt to the races and then five months in, I hated my business.
Diane: You suddenly worked out what you had to do to make that 12 K.
Jordan: I was like, Oh no, this isn't right.
I just created a whole another job for myself. And three out of my four clients at the time were all launching. They all were seven-figure business owners with six-figure launch, projections. And so the stakes were high and all of them, it was stressful. I was like, Nope, I'm good on that. Let go of two clients right after that month and realized, okay, what am I going to do now?
And I hired a sales coach at the time to help identify what offerings I wanted to do and we did that in an intensive format. And it was like this three hour really immersive experience. And I was like, I want to do it like this. can I create systems in a way that's short? And to the point, let's just go get it done and be over with.
And she said sure. And so that was the start of then my evolution into VIP days and intensives and creating a business offering actually fits my personality, fits my preferences. And even though it was different than what I had seen in the entire industry, it still was like, I am going to make this work because this is what fits me.
And I haven't looked back ever since. No monthly retainers since early, 2017.
Diane: I'm the same but in the like business coaching space in that, I don't do longterm relationships because I'm very into strategy and planning and that's the kind of stuff you can't do in 60-minute increments. But also because personality-wise, I want to dive into the problem and I wouldn't be able to let it go while I waited for the next 60 minutes.
So if someone's listening to this and going yes, tell me all the things, how do they get started with a VIP day of their own?
Jordan: Yeah. So most people are like, okay, who is this for?
I would suggest that really it's for service providers or even online course creators. Thought leaders, those sorts of folks who have a framework that they're teaching or an actual process.
If you fit into that category and it's intriguing to you, I definitely wanna encourage you to think of specifically what outcome are you helping people with? And, a good example of this that's an allergy is when you're traveling, I'm a huge traveler and I will go to the security line with the airport and.
Your girl doesn't like to wait. Your girl does not like to deal with sharing the floor with everybody else's feet. I am just not about that. So there's two options that you have when you go into the airport, you have the regular security line, which is again, just lots of feet on the floor. and you have to take out your toiletries, your laptop, all of this stuff.
You gotta wait in this long line with screaming, children, and all sorts of stuff. Just to get through the security line. Or which is free or you can pay, I think it's 80 bucks for five years to go on a TSA precheck line. And it's so much more lovely and it's way less time. And you don't have to take your shoes off.
You don't have to take your toiletries out your laptops out. You just put your bag on the belt push it through, you walk through, get your bag. The shortest time it has ever taken me was just a little bit over three minutes and yes, I timed it because I'm a nerd,
But you have those two options when it comes to traveling and whatnot and the same two options you have as an industry leader. There's people who will want you to be by their side every single month, like chugging along. And then there's people who are like, just give it to me straight and they give it to me straight people are the VIP day people.
But what is so crucial about VIP days where I see people really miss the mark is the outcome.
And that doesn't have to mean necessarily like a full-on, physical outcome. It just needs to mean that somebody understands exactly what you do. And so I find that a lot of people who have struggles with marketing in a service provider land also have struggles with marketing and VIP day land because.
They can't nail down exactly how they're helping people both from an intangible, like peace of mind, all of that to a tangible, that is here's exactly what you're getting.
And again, for me, I help people streamline their client management process. So I'm supporting them with at the end of our six hours together, you have a completely done and finished client management process for you to go and put your next client in after this call, right?
Some people it's business strategy that you can then take and implement with your team for other people. Or it's a Facebook ad strategy for your launch. I was working with a, infertility coach, and she helped people with creating an actual routine that helped them have babies. It's amazing what you can offer for a VIP day.
The biggest thing is just nailing down what that tangible and intangible outcome is because if you can't, VIP days are already elusive and already are this like airy-fairy thing that people don't really understand.
And If they're able to understand what the transformation is and the value is that you're going to give them, then the fact that it's a compact VIP day package is just icing on the cake, essentially.
Diane: I guess people get like a little more afraid. Like the service provider gets a little more afraid to state that outcome because they are thinking in terms of okay, can I do this in five hours?
Like they're not a hundred percent sure they can get it done. So when you were in that retainer model, it almost if you say, okay, you've got four hours of the retainer in a month and if you don't hit that thing in a month, well you were on retainer, you were doing all these things. There's lots of explanation for it.
Whereas in a VIP day, if you've told me in four hours, I'm going to get an outcome. You have to stand behind that. And so I guess there's even more fear about naming it because then you have to deliver it.
Jordan: Yup. Yup. And even with that too, When you're creating packages as a monthly retainer, you're having to also package in delays from the client scope creep of okay, the client, is going to try and get me to do X, Y and Z more.
And now I'm having to pad my monthly retainers because I'm having to put in there. What I know is going to come, which is client delays.
Client delays don't happen at VIP days. They do not, they can't happen if they do bye to your money and bye to being on my schedule. It's a different...I don't even want to say power structure, but almost. You are more in control of how your clients see your time.
And I have zero qualms and issues when it comes to pre-work and a lot of times my clients are like, do you need me to do more pre-work and my pre-work is already 45 minutes to an hour long. And most service providers are like, I can't get my client to do five questions, let alone, 45 minutes to an hour of questions.
And so I want to encourage and spotlight some of those differences between the two, it's good that you brought that up about, what it is as far as the actual structure of monthly retainers and what that difference is between VIP days too.
Diane: So if somebody is crystal clear, okay, I know exactly what my outcome is, how do they go about making sure that they hit that outcome in their VIP day?
Jordan: So my first, I think two intensives, I want to say I ran out of time. and at the time they were three hour VIP days. And so I bonused them an extra hour. Didn't have an issue. The clients were like, okay, cool, great bonus hour or whatever and it wasn't an issue.
I think that we, a lot of times put additional meaning onto things that really people don't think twice about. And I also am just really big on the expectations. Krista Miller is somebody who I hired for development day and, we had our outcomes that I wanted and et cetera, whoever she always like her contract and her sales page, all of the things where like I do not like I don't, the outcome isn't the promised essentially is what she said. This is the plan.
If hiccups of tech come up. If this comes up, if all this, whatever happens. Then it is what it is essentially. And so that's one way of doing it. So I was like, okay, that's still fine with me. I still want to work with you. And she still has people that want to work with her.
And then even from that point, a lot of people who are in tech are like, what is this? I know all the tech. crazy that happens. And for me, it's always letting my clients know they have a month of Slack support with me after VIP days to where, if there's something that got messy or didn't quite work that there space for me to continue to ensure that piece is fully connecting.
And so at that point, that gets relief on the client-side. But again, 90% of my clients don't even use my Slack support because again, I'm able to hit that, but you never know different things that can happen.
So if you're in that kind of space and you're like, Oh gosh, like it could take a while then make sure that you have either a be really upfront on what the expectation is, what that outcome like, you're going to try your best to hit it. However, again, technology so be like, this is our post-intensive support and I will ensure that we hit the target. So either way can work.
Diane: Yeah. And I think it's like any service that you offer, like the first time you just don't a hundred percent sure.
So maybe you let somebody be your beta and you see what happens and then you increase your prices and you iron out the kinks. So let's say someone's like super brave. Now they're completely ready. They know exactly what their outcome is. They're ready to stand behind it. what do they do?
Do they just rock up on the VIP day? How do they know how much prep work to ask for.
Jordan: So what I encourage people to do is, one, I do teach on this, so go and watch some IGTVs that I have, but also. What is important is understanding both what you need from your client in order to show up and serve at the highest level, as well as what you can create to actually support the intensive that you're creating.
For that we have the pre-work questionnaire, which again, can be uploaded files or fonts or photos, or links to Pinterest or links to Google Analytics or whatever it is you need from your clients to be able to prepare for the VIP day.
Then I encourage people to create what I call assets and assets are where you are creating could be like templates or things that helps speed up the process of the delivery. .
So for example, with my intensive, for, the client management processes, I already have my framework, which again, framework is a whole nother topic, but I have my framework where I know if I'm, a couple of hours in, but I'm still on Qualify, which was my first part of my framework, we got to speed up the rest of this cause it's about to be a problem.
And so when I look at, where people tend to get stuck in my framework, I make sure that I have templates readily available. Again, I call them assets, but templates readily available to help push those things forward and speed up the process, whether that's canned emails, whether that's templated website pages, whether that's already created Zapier, integrations that I just plug and play into their Zapier, all of those things so that things are sped up and we ensure as close as possible that we get to the end goal.
So really think through, and don't be shy on the pre-work side and don't be shy on the assets side and with any offer, you really have to think of what's necessary. And what's not. A lot of people think a lot of stuff is necessary when a lot of stuff is not.
And it's also about knowing who your target is. So there are people who do similar stuff to me and charge less and create these like beautiful Dubsado coded lead capture forms and all this stuff. That's wonderful. I'm not doing that. I am doing the simplest most clear version of client management processes. And so you can come to me if that's what you want. If you want razzle, dazzle, I absolutely have who you can go to and you'll be super satisfied and I don't feel bad.
I don't think that I'm doing something wrong because I don't do all the razzle-dazzle because I absolutely still serve my client's needs with what I do. And so if you see other people in your space doing things differently or what you perceive to be better or more that's okay. Because There's such a spectrum of clients.
Oh my goodness. there's clients who do want the fanciest highest level of branding, like sparkles and unicorns. And then there's people who are like, just give it to me straight. give me like, what is most efficient? I don't really care how it looks. And not that I'm doing ugly things, but I don't care.
About the extras. I just want the core to make it work. So again, you have to think about who it is you're targeting, who you're not for, who are for, and then also think about the pre-work and the assets to be able to, again, deliver on an incredible experience both before the intensive, during intensive, and even after the intensive as well.
Diane: Yeah. I think one of the things I've found with working with you on my intensives is it's probably one of the deepest analysis moments you will have on whatever your service is. Because if you have anything that kind of lives in your head as Oh, and then I just do this automatically, you are going to have this huge hole in your VIP day.
And you're like, how do I normally do this? Or if you're not sure about something that a client may need or may think you're not going to then have the asset that client is going to expect as a part of that outcome. So it is almost I think of like VIP days is almost like its own little mini business per VIP day.
It's almost like a front to back business and that's how you have to think about it. from soup to nuts. and I think that is surprising to people, when they start to think about VIP days. And I think it's also what people battle to get their head around because.
There's a point in the process where you are just really angry and it's funny cause you can see it coming like in the group. Some of us have been involved for longer and you can see the new people hitting that point where you don't know the answer to something that you should know the answer to.
So you're not angry at anyone, but yourself. But you can suddenly see this hole in your process that you could never see before because you've done this kind of analysis. So I think even if you plan to never ever host a VIP day, I think it's a really worthwhile business exercise to think about how you could, and if you're not motivated, imagine somebody came to you tomorrow and said, Hey, I want to pay you a hundred grand for six hours of your time.
What would you sell them?
Jordan: That's good. I agree. I agree.
Diane: So if somebody is inspired by us talking about this and your systemsy brain around it, where should they start?
Jordan: Yes. So I would say the first place to start again is the outcomes.
And if you want to like, hear about that, what different outcomes are, I actually have some great IGTVs and maybe I'll even share the links with you, Diane. and you can put them in the show notes and that way you can start to see, okay, if I'm a Facebook ads person, what does an outcome look like? If I'm a dog trainer, if I'm a life coach, if I'm a website designer, whatever, all those things are.
I have 30 some outcomes I created in one high IGTV that you can start to it'll get your brain going and thinking Oh, okay, this is how I could build that. and then I think also I am a Uber DMer on Instagram. And so if you just want to talk it out, like I find pure joy in, chatting and with folks about there in terms of ideas.
And so we can have a total conversation and I can let you know, Oh, this is. It could be the direction or, Oh, you need to get tighter on your target audience or whatever the case may be. I think there's a lot of power in conversation. So I would say probably those few places, if you want to totally get started.
Diane: Awesome. And then when this episode airs, you'll be in the middle of something super exciting for your business, which I'm super excited for. Do you want to tell everyone what that is and how they can get involved?
Jordan: Yeah, totally. So this is the Done in a Day Interview Series 2.0, and it's going on September 7th and 8th.
So scurry your little bottoms over to the registration page and it is. I get chills thinking about it because it is something that I'm probably the most proud of creating from a growth perspective. My program is the thing I'm most proud of in general. But from a growth or marketing perspective, which I had to grow to love marketing, but I just love the idea of collaborating with other business owners.
So I have, I think 25 different speakers who are sharing, how to sell high ticket, how to set goals for VIP and, the mindset hurdles you have to overcome and the positioning of your VIP days. It's like all the VIP day bonanza in one event across two days. And it's live, which is going to be awesome.
So if you have questions, if you have, concerns or want clarity, then this is the event to come to. And so I would be honored if you came and joined us again, I will be there live, my team's going to be there. You got 25 speakers and our last, 1.0 interview series had about 1100 people. and so we expecting it to be bigger and better this time.
So again, I'm sure the link will be in the show notes and so come and join us live and learn all of the goodness that is VIP days.
Diane: I have seen the speaker lineup. Some of my friends are in it, so I'm super excited for their goodness to spread in the world. And then Jordan always puts on a really good show. As you can imagine, she loves a bit of efficiencies. So it's always a top notch experience.
Jordan, this has been so helpful.
So to finish up, I just want to ask a couple of questions that I asked to all my guests. So first up, what is your number one lifestyle boundary that hardline zero sacrifice for the business?
Jordan: Yes. I think the biggest lifestyle boundary is that I do not take calls and I guess it. There's a bit of an asterisk if it has to do with my program, but I do not take calls before 11:00 AM central standard time, because I like to mosey in the morning.
I like to feel like I'm not rushed. I like to just. I guess I don't even know, roll into my day. I'm not the kind of person that's this is where it seems very unsystematized. but to me, yeah, it feels like a system, but not going to wake up at eight o'clock and then at eight Oh five, I'm eating breakfast.
And then at eight Oh seven, I'm gonna brush my teeth. And I'm not regimented at all when it comes to my mornings because. I just want to feel like I can show up and serve and be supported regardless of, what I have going on for the rest of the day. I just want my mornings to say take the dog on a walk, eat when you want to maybe watch a little trash TV.
Get you some Starbucks. So that's pretty much again, I would say there's maybe been twice that I can think of that I have done a call before 11:00 AM. And that was for a study hall for our program. And that was, a podcast interview that I've been trying to get for a long time. That is it. so that's one boundary that I keep pretty, Pretty closely.
Diane: It's funny because all of the things that you were mentioning, so because I'm in the UK, most people don't start bugging me until 11 o'clock. So I have that kind of enforced for me without really, thinking about it. And then when you were like it, I go for coffee and I'm like, yes. And then I watched some trash TV and so we get Bravo the day after so I have to watch Bravo the next morning so that I don't see any spoilers so like your morning before 11 is so similar to my morning.
Jordan: That's amazing.
Diane: Two of the most hyper-organized systematized people have these really wishy-washy mornings. There you go, don't let anyone tell you that you need a morning routine.
Jordan: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Diane: And then finally, what is the worst piece of cookie-cutter advice you've got as a lifestyle entrepreneur?
Jordan: I feel like I ignore 90% of the advice and I could go on so many rants, about just the advice that's out there.
And I think some of the worst, it's hard for me to say, the actual worst or the actual best. I don't know if you're very similar to, but the most memorable, was that you should only do things that have been proven. And basically just like you shouldn't go out on your own and try anything new.
Like it was like don't experiment, don't, spend time trying new things, do what works because that's how you do things and that's how the industry runs. And so you shouldn't do anything different. And what this was pertaining to was this like, a year and a half ago, ish. a lot of my friends were going into these programs where they were building these evergreen webinars to a course between a thousand and $2,000.
And they were all making a ton of money and. I struggled because that just didn't excite me too, and there's nothing wrong with how that's set up or anything. And I was talking to, somebody in the space that is, who's pretty well known for that type of offering. and they were just like, if you want to be successful in this industry, this is what, how you, this is what you have to do.
And I just, I don't vibe with that because I know several people in the industry that make money in a variety of different industries, like different ways and offerings. And while I do think it is very powerful, to have a proven process for going through and creating the offering new ones, because I found success with that as well.
It doesn't mean that if you only see one way that your industry is done and you feel pressured or you feel like that's the only way I encourage you to set back and really think about innovative ways that you can actually serve yourself in your clients and the highest capacity that may not look like what the rest of your industry looks like.
So that's one of the worst pieces of advice I've heard because there's so many ways to make money. Look around the world about how people make money for you to say, this is the only way in this industry to make money as hodgepodge.
Like it just cannot be true.
Diane: That's a pet peeve of mine. And I always encourage people when you're hearing that to think. Some of the big names in the entrepreneur space. Think Jeff Walker revolutionized how people thought about launching. And now it's almost the only way people will launch.
Then think about Stu McLaren, revolutionized memberships, and now that's what everybody follows for memberships. So the people that you are following as the proven way to do things, were innovative. Yep. The most successful people innovated on something and then have turned around and done a bit of a do-what-I-did model, so yeah, I'm very not into the do-as-I-did style of business coaching.
If you are getting that kind of advice, unless you want to build the exact same business and you're the exact same person you need to be like thinking for yourself, obviously Jordan and I feel super passionately about that one.
Jordan: I thought that would be a good one.
Diane: Yes. Yes, definitely.
Thank you so much, Jordan. I've thoroughly enjoyed this discussion of VIP days. I'm a huge fan anyway. Other than joining the summit, the best way for people to connect with you and carry on this conversation?
Jordan: Yes, it's Instagram for sure. I'm @systemsavedme.
and then also on my website, there's some little goodies there, that you can check out systemssavedme.com.
Diane: Jordan is always great for ideas, templates, ways to pull things together. So go snoop the whole website.
Thank you so much, Jordan. It's been a pleasure having you on.
Jordan: Thanks so much for having me.
In This Episode
Make six figures while only working a few days a month. VIP days may be just what your lifestyle business needs to increase the top line and decrease the timeline.
Jordan Gill walks us through how VIP days changed her business and lifestyle and how you can get started creating your own VIP experience.
The key to creating a great VIP happens long before the VIP day. It lies in:
- having a crystal clear outcome to sell the VIP day
- gathering the right information from the client before the VIP day
- having assets and templates ready to keep you on track during the VIP day
We talk about...
Jordan Gill, operations consultant and founder of Systems Saved Me, helps overworked one-woman shows become streamlined solopreneurs. Her jam is creating a cohesive operating system for managing your tasks, files, and inbox.
She’s been on podcasts like What Works and CEO Vibes sharing her love of replacing monthly retainers with one-day virtual intensives.
She currently lives in Dallas TX with her cavapoo Vivienne and collection of 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles.