Adam Lyons

Founder of The S.M.A.R.T. Blueprint

Adam Lyons is the Founder of The S.M.A.R.T. Blueprint and a renowned, world-class speaker on the subject of business and marketing. Adam’s helped navigate hundreds of companies to increased profits through audience monetization and directing business leaders through crisis media management and public relations.

Lyons is a serial entrepreneur that has founded several businesses and created a handful of channels and fan bases in a variety of niches. His expertise has been used by companies across multiple sectors from finance to government, E-commerce, and more.

Companies he has worked with include PepsiCo, Nike, Nescafé, 6pack shortcuts, and many more.

Where did the idea for The S.M.A.R.T. Blueprint come from?

I was running a successful online dating business and I had many business owners asking me how I was able to continue to grow and move my business online when so many people were struggling. When quarantine hit, a lot of “live” businesses struggled, but ours tripled, and people wanted to know how we did it. So, we decided to map it all out. And that’s really the essence of what the S.M.A.R.T. Blueprint is; a step-by-step guide to take a given business to the next level.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I lead a very scheduled day. I have a three-part system: my “need-tos,” my “have-tos,” and my “want-tos.” My “need-tos” are things that I need to do every day to make my business grow, usually things I’ve never done before, like reaching out to new clients. I usually do that between 8 to 11am; those are the hyper-productive hours of my day. My “have-tos” are ongoing projects or things I started on previous days that need to be completed. That’s my late morning to about 5pm. Saturdays are sales days and Sundays are days of rest. All the time not scheduled for work are my “want-tos,” which includes anything I really want to do. Sometimes that includes work; if I’ve started something as a “need-to” in the morning and I didn’t get the chance to finish it, I’ll work on it later in the day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I actually follow the Disney method of ideation. It consists of 3 “rooms:” the creative room, the logistical room, and the critique room, though in my case, they’re not literal rooms. In the dream “room,” my team and I just brainstorm, free flow, ideate, and come up with fresh ideas. Then we break for 24 hours. Room 2 is the logistical room – how do we execute on our ideas, how do we make them happen in practical terms? After another 24-hour break, I head into “Room” 3, the critique room. How do we refine and improve the idea? My team and I take care not to discuss critiques until we get to this final “room.” There are four things that my team and I always keep in mind when discussing new ideas or concepts: first, who else is doing what we’re doing, but in another country? Second, how are they doing it? Third, who is doing a similar idea or business? And finally, how are they different from us? Keeping these questions in mind during the ideation stage is a great way to .stay focused and ensure that new ideas can be properly executed.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The fact that physical offices are going away. That’s a massive trend that’s going to enable people to live wherever they want in the world instead of being stuck in their home country. I actually think this trend could lead to new development in countries around the world.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

My biggest habit is that fun is my number one driving force. I care about fun more than anything else. Some people are driven by money, and that’s understandable. But for me, if I’m working on a project, I always find the most fun way to work on the project. I enjoy finding the most efficient and cost-conscious ways of working on projects, and particularly at a high-quality level.

What advice would you give your younger self?

You’re not an adult until you become 30 years old, so it’s okay to keep learning. And then when you become 30, learning is so much fun, so why stop?

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Human beings are predictable in the decisions they make, and based on that, If you have an idea for a business, and the business doesn’t just work automatically, there’s something flawed with the idea, and it wasn’t built or showcased correctly, no matter how much you love it or how hard you worked on it.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Engage with your audience. Don’t become disconnected. Know who they are and know what they want.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Strategic partnerships. I’ll often partner with my competitors to pool resources so we can both grow. I think most people have too much of an ego to do that, but it’s really important.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One failure I experienced was believing I didn’t have to learn how things work and trusting others to know how those things work and get them done for me. At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be you that pulls the trigger, that actually sits down and does the work; but you better understand what it is you’re asking for.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Take a business that you love that doesn’t currently have a podcast and offer to create it for free. In the podcast, you’ll interview the leaders or executives of the company and discuss industry trends; in return for starting the podcast, you’ll split any revenue 50/50, and you should keep 50 percent ownership of the show itself. If the podcast becomes a hit, you could see massive revenue from it.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I hired a temporary worker who was out of a job .o come in and replace a key staff member I have who was sick. I paid him $100 for the day. It gave me the chance to try a new staff member who we would have never tried before, and my employee got to work from home. And that temporary employee is still around, because they proved their worth.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Definitely Trello. We use it just to organize our day,

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Brain Hacking by Adam Lyons, because I wrote it, of course. It teaches you to do the one thing that holds most entrepreneurs back: to mute the negative voice inside your head.

What is your favorite quote?

“He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.” – Benjamin Franklin

Key Learnings:

  • It’s important not to get bogged down in the practicality or the negative voice in your head. Focus first on the creation, then the implementation, and then, once those are locked in, then you can begin thinking about critiquing yourself.
  • A lot of entrepreneurs are driven by money, but it’s probably more effective to be driven by fun. Finding fun ways to work on projects leads to efficient, cost-effective, high-quality work.
  • Physical office spaces are going away, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The mass migration to remote work models could lead to huge network growth in developing countries.