When I was 19 in university studying a business degree I learned about a concept called JIT – Just In Time.
JIT refers to how companies can manage their inventory, keeping storage costs down by setting up a system that allows stock to flow into the manufacturing process ‘just in time’ as it is needed.
When I first heard this concept I barely cared enough about it to lock it into my memory for the purposes of passing exams. I didn’t see myself in charge of a manufacturing process any time soon, hence it wasn’t exactly a riveting idea for my younger self.
What I didn’t realize at the time was the real power behind this idea. JIT forces your entire supply and production line to run at peak performance. If one component is delayed, then the whole process shuts down. For JIT to work, EVERYTHING has to be optimized.
I came to really admire this idea when studying the Japanese company Toyota and their philosophies regarding the lean manufacturing process.
Toyota’s system is a symbiosis of people, parts and processes. If one piece of the system is underperforming, the entire system suffers because they have zero latency. They don’t carry extra stock and their entire system shuts down if just one machine is broken.
As you can imagine this is a heck of a lot of pressure, but that’s a good thing. It makes every employee a critical component, and thus they value their contribution highly.
It also makes everyone conscious of their impact on others. They collectively work to optimize the entire system, rather than just focus on what they are doing. When one person makes an improvement, everyone experiences the benefit.
As a result of this system-wide approach to efficiency, the Japanese have truly come to appreciate the value of continuous gradual improvement. When a small improvement can have a flow-on beneficial impact across the whole system, it makes sense for everyone to focus on daily, incremental improvement.
The Japanese have a word, Kaizen, which translates to ‘good change’. Although it doesn’t specifically state continuous or ongoing change, it has widespread use in the western world as a label for ‘gradual improvement’.
Kaizen is a daily process, the purpose of which goes beyond simple productivity improvement. It is also a process that, when done correctly, humanizes the workplace, eliminates overly hard work (“muri”), and teaches people how to perform experiments on their work using the scientific method and how to learn to spot and eliminate waste in business processes. – Wikipedia
When I first heard the word Kaizen it wasn’t strictly presented as a manufacturing or business term. I took it as a philosophy, a way to live your life.
“You will get better tomorrow”
It’s a simple idea, but a powerful one. We all aspire to improve, but often the gap between where we are and where we want to be seems incredibly large.
The fact is, all success is a result of continuous improvement. Athletes train their whole lives, tweaking tiny parts of their performance day-by-day, until the whole system is good enough to win.
We do the same in business as entrepreneurs. You’re always working towards a better result in the future, with each daily step moving you closer to your goal.
I find Kaizen a very empowering idea because it helps you turn big goals into daily improvements. When you combine the Kaizen philosophy with another key manufacturing concept – the Theory of Constraints (TOC) – you have a powerful formula for incredible growth.
The TOC forces you to ask what is your goal and what is stopping it from happening. It turns an outcome you desire into a process. There are things you need to change, steps to take, and they need to be done in a certain order. You pick the most important step for today, and you make that your daily Kaizen – your focus to improve.
Kaizen For Online Content Businesses
The system I came up with for making money with content online is called the Blog Sales Funnel. It can use a blog as your main content hub, but you can also tap into YouTube and social media as your initial audience source.
My system is made up of three components –
- Your Blog (audience attractor)
- Your Email List (a direct line of communication)
- Your Products and Services (source of revenue)
Each of these three tools have various steps that need to be executed successfully to create a profitable business.
As you begin building a business based on this model you will quickly find your weaknesses.
You might struggle right at the start with topic selection or what to sell. Maybe traffic is your issue, or you just can’t seem to get anyone to join your email list or buy your products (these are conversion problems).
You might be struggling with technology, or finding the right people to help you, or perhaps you’re just feeling overwhelmed and confused by all the options.
As you gain clarity about what you are doing and where the problems are, that’s when your Kaizen process can really kick in.
Whatever is missing from your process, or is not performing optimally, is impacting your whole system. You need to improve it over time or you’re not going to reach your goal.
Know Your Kaizen Activities
When it comes to concepts like Kaizen, knowing what NOT to work on is just as important as knowing what to improve.
Continuous improvement in the right direction is critical. For example, there’s no point becoming brilliant at social media if it doesn’t actually help you make money.
This is why I strongly believe in strategy and education. Most people are not afraid of hard work, but they don’t know how to invest their hard work to get the result they want.
The same pitfall occurs in knowing your audience. You can do an incredible job of helping a group of people with your content, but if you’re going after the wrong audience or presenting the wrong message to them, you’re effectively wasting your time.
The Four Elements You Should Work On Each Day
If you were to ask my advice on what activities to focus on every day I would tell you there are four things that matter most.
These are the four important goals that lead to the creation of a profitable content business. If you divide your time across these four activities each day and aim to make them your Kaizen – get a little bit better every day – your overall system will improve dramatically.
Here are the four key Kaizen goals in video and text:
1. Customer Acquisition
This might sound overly simple, but getting people to buy your products and services is how you make money.
Each day you need to ask yourself — are you working on tasks that actually lead to attracting and converting paying customers? This is your first task, the most important task, if you want a profitable business.
2. Product/Service Creation
In order to have customers you need something to sell them.
If you don’t have something to sell, or you’re selling the wrong thing to the wrong audience, then you need to focus on product creation.
Every day you should be working towards something that will become a product or service, or improve your existing product or service.
3. Connect With Strategic Partners (Marketing)
Marketing today is all about whom you have relationships with. Your opportunities to reach new audiences come from other people sharing your work.
It could be press coverage, links from other websites to help with SEO, a collab with an influencer on YouTube or social media, a joint venture webinar, a launch campaign with affiliates, connecting with the right ad buyer — all of these things happen when you connect with the right people.
The best way to build quality relationships is to help others. Every day you should do something that helps people who are good potential strategic partners (people who have the audience you want to reach).
Don’t expect anything in return, just help people because you can, and do it every day.
4. Your Own Education
This article you are reading now began with a concept, JIT, which I learned about in university. I combined it with other concepts I have learned over the years, from Kaizen, to the Theory of Constraints, to the Blog Sales Funnel.
I apply these ideas every day, and I’ve become a better entrepreneur because of them.
Education is vital to your success and it can’t stop. Every single day you should study something that makes you better as a business owner and a person.
Ideally, you should study subjects that help you improve what you are focused on today. Study how to get customers, create valuable products and build your audience (the three previous points), all great topics to focus your daily Kaizen on.
A Special Offer: Learn All My Methods In The Academy
To help you with your ongoing Kaizen education process, I have a special for you.
All my best training, including more on how I use Kaizen, what the TOC and Blog Sales Funnel are, how to implement them, plus all the systems and techniques I use to get traffic, create product and make sales are inside my Laptop Lifestyle Academy.
You can join today, for 50% off using this link:
If you are not making incremental improvement each day on these four things you need to seriously evaluate how you spend your time or you may never reach your goals.
Here’s to your success,
It is absolutely true, Improvement is important but in the right direction, So that we do not waste our efforts at wrong places . And about Kaizen rule, I always believe that Kaizen, Paretos principle for Time management etc.,. can be of great help to bloggers to reach their goals.
Have a Nice Day!
Hi Yaro; i recently heard about the concept of kaizen. it turns out that i have been a follower of it for years and never knew it. 🙂 however, i am still working on turning my blogging into an income. thanks for sharing, max
Great post! You are absolutely correct in that it is not enough to just be consistent…you have to consistently do the RIGHT THINGS in order to be successful! I am still very much a beginner at blogging, but I work every day at tweaking the process and finding out where the gaps are, in order to make this really work for me in a big way! I am very thankful to have found your very helpful blog!
I like this concept of Kaizen, Yaro.
Who you know, creating the right products and getting customers while furthering your education as a blogger is excellent advice.
Thanks for sharing this!
Nice one, Yaro. My golf-improvement blog is named Golf-Kaizen! It is where I send my golf “putting” subscriber/customers on my list (that come from paid traffic). It’s not a blog based on picking up organic traffic or my main site.
Success in Golf, business, fitness, and whatever, comes down to “acting” on your top priorities that leverage growth – on a daily basis – day after day after day(as you mentioned in the video.)
Applicable quote from Rory Vaden – that I love: “Success is never owned; it’s only rented – and the rent is due everyday”.
Now, back to work – all of you!
P.S. Your site is looking great Yaro…more focused, less noise, more Yaro-product-centric”
This article was an eye-opener for me and shook me up a bit too. I guess *knowing* what you need to do and actually doing it AND having someone else tell you those things is definitely a jolt. I’m sure I’ll be in a different business mode first thing in the morning. Thanks!
I was working in a giant automobile manufacturing company for almost 14 years. There you can certainly see the direct effects of such things like JIT, kaizen. But, here I am really amazed to see…how you have put together all those valuable techniques into this blogging stuff.
You now taught a lesson that we can learn from every single thing which we have been taught in school, if we really want to take leverage of those learning’s in our business.
Thanks for sharing!
I recall some years ago when I began my “internet marketing” education, a product (I think it was software) with “Kaizen” in it’s name. Not sure whose product it was – Joel Comm or someone like that.
Anyway, over my many years as an offline consultant, I applied points 2 and 4 much more than 1 and 3. Education was pivotal, it still is. But education today is equally about sharing knowledge and becoming a leader. So, could there be a fifth Kaizen goal – leadership?
After all, Yaro, isn’t that what you’re doing at your blog? Each day be a leader, no matter what it’s in.
The best way to learn is to teach Des. That being said if you’re not in a teaching industry as I am, the best way to learn is to apply your education to whatever you are actually doing in your business, so you don’t necessarily need to teach or even lead. You need to learn and implement where it matters most.
Hi Yaro! It’s good to be back reading your blog again. I admit I stopped doing this “Kaizen” thing which is reading your blog for years now. But it’s good to be back. As I had decided to take my blogging seriously, I’ll read your blog regularly again. You’re the reason why I blog. Thanks for the inspiration, bro!
Thanks Yaro. Always good info from you. Love the four steps and the way they really are integrated for success. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all there is to do… but working one step at a time every day does work. All the best to you.
As a lifetime martial artist I’m well aware of the concept of Kaizen and I’ve been applying it to everything I do for years. It’s nice to see awareness of the concept raised and also applied to blogging.
Yaro, this is a mind opener. Starting career with blogging and getting real success are two different things.
I loved few quotes mentioned in the article so tweeted them and shared on my Facebook wall.
The point you mentioned are very small but if we scrutinize carefully, they are the one which create the big impact in blogging journey.
Thanks for sharing such awesome tips and making my day awesome.
greate article yaro, i saw you on lifehack , o should i say Scott lol………..
Another great post distilling the key things we need to do daily! For people like myself with monkey mind the reminder is very helpful-LOL!
Knowing what not to do allowed me to devote my energy towards what I would do, to free me. Like building bonds with pro bloggers like yourself and creating in-depth, long form content.
I hit the content creating ground running on Blogging from Paradise. I’ve published almost 30 posts in about 3 months and have also published 2 eBooks already. I also have a 2 eBook combo on sale.
In addition, I just created a kick butt video product from here in Fiji. Great background for my high energy tutorial, as you may imagine 😉
So, 4 products in 3 months and I also started a blog coaching business as well. That’s 5 major changes in a bit of time, and my blog has really taken off thanks to your support, and Chris Brogan’s support, and many pro blogger’s support.
I am blessed.
But I also focused heavily on the principle of Kaizen, and your 4 must do activities to make my vision continue to come true each day.
Your love of freedom must be greater than your fear of doing uncomfortable stuff, and when that tilt or shift occurs, you’ll do the freeing, enriching, helpful things you noted above Yaro.
For me, that was hardcore, in-depth blog commenting to rock out my blogger outreach campaign, and it was also publishing smart, value-overfilled, 2500 to 4000 word posts weekly, and it was creating my own products at a breakheck pace, and it was also adding my blog coaching business to my already prospering freelance writing business.
Thanks so much Yaro.
I have a friend who teaches a form of Korean martial arts. It is from him that I first heard of the concept of Kaizen. It is similar to the answer to the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “One bite at a time”.
In entrepreneurship the big picture can be overwhelming indeed. Yet when one can feel good about daily small progress, little tweaks and improvement compounded over time, it creates a feeling of do-ability!
Within you list, I wholeheartedly agree that product creation is a place where many fall short. I personally am just now realizing that my services and products don’t offer enough options to engage potential customers and clients regardless of the interest level they arrive with.
Thank you for this post! – I’ll be putting an increased focus on product creation at a most more prioritized level as opposed to just a group of great ideas swimming around my brain.
Great value post! Consistency is important, but if are doing the wrong tasks, it will not be very helpful.
Have a great day!
Yaro no doubt its a great concept. There are lots of learnings for me from this kaizen approach. Now I have more ideas like how I should go about improving my blog and take it to the next level in the coming days. We need to practice more to help other guys in our community without expecting anything in return.
How to get an idea for a blog/products if nothing pops in my mind when I ponder on how can I help others improve?
Hello Starak, first time on your blog. I agree with your suggestion on education. I’m always looking to learn new things when it comes to business and relationship building. Education is the main key element to most f our success. I’m a graduate of Marketing, three year program and I’ve learned a lot that has helped me create a successful business with Blog Engage. If I had a weakness it would have to be in regards to paying attention and maintaining some sort of consistency with my online work. Being a stay at home dad also brings new challenges. I enjoyed your post it was nice and refreshing, thanks for sharing your tips with us. I’ve bookmarked your blog and plan to try and visit again.
Hi Big Mentor, you are excellently great at your niche. No doubt! Because I’ve always listened to you and adhere accurately and in few months my blog at http://www.victoryakpomedaye.com is flying because of your guides.
Very interesting post on the concept of the Kaizen Technique. I too have studied the concept in grad school, but you have done great justice to it by presenting it it such a profound manner that it can greatly benefit people who want to make money.
Thanks for the post!
You are lucky to have studied this principle in school Sonia!
It wasn’t until university that I received any business education that was useful.
Thanks for the great article about the Kaizen approach. Having just started out I am trying hard to improve things on my blog on a daily basis. Hopefully in the right direction
Hi Yaro.. its really nice post.. i have question, is it possible to focus on adsense only without having own product? i know that there are some blogger who use google adsense as main revenue source..even, they are featured on official google adsense page for their success story.
Do you idea about this?
Than you very much
Sure, but that’s only if you get a lot of traffic. AdSense like all advertising methods is terrible when you have smaller traffic blogs.
right! Yaro. i got thousand visitor a day, yet the revenue is very low. my blog is indonesian culinary with indonesian language (local). Then, do you have suggestion, should i continue it or create new blog with english language?
And, what do you think when google banned user account? did google bann automatically via robot without any reason or the user has mistake then they manually banned the user? My friend got banned with unclear reason for several times.. is it ok to continue his blog? since he only has 1 blog.
thank you very much
no doubts in the points that you have mentioned. I just loved the content that you have posted.. Just shared on my facebook and tweeted..
Awesome post man… its all about consistent action, identifying what doesn’t work cutting it out, and moving on with what works…
Keep up the great work, Yaro… good to see another Brissy guy, kicking huge goals…
Hi Yarp, I have been following your work for years and it just keeps getting better and better. I really like the magazine layout of your website.
Thanks Barbara, I like it too 🙂
Oops, that was supposed to be Yaro, not Yarp 🙂
I make that mistake myself… sounds like a noise a dog makes!
Great post you are constantly sharing in front of us an really very useful blogs you have share. today I’m learning how to write good blogs and fallowing your tips
Very informative article and will do great help to bloggers to reach their goals. Thanks for sharing..
Great sharing!By implementing Kaizen we can achieve manpower productivity improvement, reduction in rejection and cost reduction also.
Yes! I have come across the Kaizen concept when I was in college grasped the concept but didn’t implement it due to the fact that I never owned a business. However, thanks for sharing it here and showing us how it could be implemented from the perspective of owning a blog.
Wow great post and definitely an eye opener so we use or time effectively. Most of us don’t have 8 hours to spend on our blogs, nor do we want to. Instead, we get into this life to create more freedom to ourselves.
Yes, it’s important to work on our blogs, but we want to make sure that we’re using our time wisely. We don’t want to be spending time on things that don’t actually help our blog grow.
I totally agree with you about knowing who your blog is for. If you don’t know who your ideal client is, then you’re going to be building a list of non-targeted people who don’t care about what you sell or offer.
Great concept and I will definitely keep that in mind as I continue working on growing my blog. Thanks for sharing.
Have a great day 🙂
Awesome post man… it’s all about consistent action, identifying what doesn’t work cutting it out, and moving on with what works…
Keep up the great work for blogging community 🙂
Yaro no doubt its a great concept. There are lots of learnings for me from this kaizen approach. Now I have more ideas like how I should go about improving my blog and take it to the next level in the coming days
Awesome post man… it’s all about consistent action, identifying what doesn’t work cutting it out, and moving on with what works…
Wow What a great concept…..
Thanks for sharing this awesome post
Bookmarked your site for more content in future.
It’s a brilliant concept. I first heard about kaizen when I was in my college.
Now It’s kaizen concept for bloggers. I will surely use these tips to take my blogging to the next level.
Thanks for sharing…
Thanks for the very useful article about the Kaizen approach. Having just started out I am trying hard to improve things on my blog on a daily basis. Hopefully in the right direction.
I really like your kaizen concept in blogging. i am new with blogging and going to use kaizen concept. Hope that it would work for me.
Thanks for sharing