Tactics are great, but keep the main the thing the main thing: whatever is at the core of what you do, excel at it, and the other pieces will fall into place.
Logan Allec is the founder of Money Done Right, a personal finance website devoted to helping everyday Americans live happier lives by giving them actionable ideas on building, growing, and maintaining wealth. Money Done Right is an affiliate partner with over 100 brands, primarily in the fintech space.
Before becoming an Internet entrepreneur, Logan was a practicing CPA with a multinational professional services firm serving large, publicly-traded companies. His experience helping large corporations save millions of dollars in taxes inspired him to help everyday people lead better financial lives as well. This desire became his motivation for founding Money Done Right in July 2017 as a hobby and then a side hustle while he was still working at a CPA firm. Within eight months of launching, Logan quit his day job and started working full-time on Money Done Right. The site grossed over $300,000 in 2018, primarily from affiliate revenues.
Logan has been recognized as a personal finance, tax, and credit expert in publications such as CNBC, USA Today, MarketWatch, U.S. News & World Report, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, and more.
Living in Santa Clarita, California, with his also-entrepreneurial wife Caroline, Logan enjoys playing basketball at the gym and exploring local hikes. He’s also been known to be quite competitive at board games.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Everyday Americans are horrible at money: they run up credit card debt, they don’t save for retirement, and many of them – especially my generation, Millennials – are scared of investing. They simply do money wrong. And I want to help them do it right – hence my website and business, Money Done Right.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up between 6:30 and 7:00, say good morning to my wife in bed, then dash up the stairs to my home office. I check any emails or Slack messages from my team – most of whom are in a different time zone than I am – to make sure that they have the information they need to do their work for the day. And then I’m off to the races, ticking items off of my to-do list in Todoist.
I find that utilizing tools is essential to my productivity. My home office actually doubles as a guest bedroom, so it has a nice comfortable bed in it. I have to figure out productivity hacks to prevent me from plopping down on it with my phone and wasting time. This is where tools come in: I set up my Todoist, Google Calendar, and Slack in such a way that they are constantly giving me instructions throughout the day. This way, I can’t think to myself, “Wow, I have some spare time right now; I think I’ll plop down on this bed right here.”
How do you bring ideas to life?
I hire people a lot smarter than me to execute on my ideas – and I also pay them good money to come up with these ideas themselves! I think that hiring out execution is something that entrepreneurs should start doing as soon as they can afford it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m super excited about all the new personal finance apps that have been popping up recently. It seems like every few months there’s some incredibly useful new financial app coming on the market to help people make better financial decisions, and I love partnering with these companies for the benefit of my readers!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
At night, I’ve made it a habit to put my phone far away from me before lying down in bed. This helps me avoid the all-too-Millennial temptation of checking on my phone before shutting my eyes for the night. I really think that this habit has helped me sleep better, which makes me more productive. As a bonus, when I wake up in the morning, I avoid the temptation of wasting valuable time mindlessly scrolling through my phone.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t lose the habit of regular exercise. During the period of time when I was both working a demanding corporate job while simultaneously growing my business on the side, I stopped exercising regularly, and I feel like I’m still struggling to get back into shape.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The free edge of fingernails and toenails is green in color.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Check in with individual members of your team and ask them if there’s anything you can do to support them in their tasks.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Try everything, but drop anything that doesn’t work. I think in the constantly-changing digital space, it’s important to try new things, or you could become obsolete rather quickly. But don’t hold onto anything too closely, and realize that just because something is working for someone else doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for what you’re doing.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
As a financial publisher, content is king. If my site doesn’t have good content, it will fail. Unfortunately, a while back I opted to move away from working with freelance writers of my own choosing and hired an agency to take care of all the site’s content. This was a bad move. The content the agency produced was not a good fit, and I ended up spending thousands of dollars on content that simply wasn’t in line with what I was looking for. Rather than trying to force a square peg into a round hole (or whatever the expression is), I decided to cut my losses after a few months and go back to a freelancer model.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
While it’s tempting to throw out hip ideas like “create the Uber of mobile massages!” (sounds shady already), I think that folks who want to get their feet wet in business should start with something tried-and-true but really get creative with who they’re going to market to and then crush it with that particular market. One idea I have is to provide gardening and weedpulling services to new, HOA-governed, tract home communities. Often the homes in these communities are serviced by the HOA-contracted landscape service who may be charging way too much for the amount of work they do. So why not find out what the HOA-contracted service is charging and figure how much profit you – with your low-overhead one-man or one-woman show — could make if you undercut them on price by 10%? Then go door-to-door, introduce yourself to the homeowners as a new business owner, and offer to do gardening for a little bit less than the other guys.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
When it comes to massages, I usually go with the $20-per-hour Chinese foot massage joints. But sometimes you really want to treat yourself with something a little nicer, you know? So recently my wife and I went to our favorite massage place, Heaven Massage in Sherman Oaks (note to all the Angelenos out there: be sure you to go Heaven Message at 13509 Ventura Boulevard and not Heavenly Massage at 11313 Ventura Boulevard). It came out to about $100 for the both of us, but it was money well spent because we both felt rejuvenated and ready to take on anything afterward.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love using Slack to communicate with my team. When I started my business, I was using a combination of email and Skype to communicate with people, but since transition to Slack, teamwide communication has been so much easier.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recently enjoyed “Louder Than Words” by Todd Henry. It’s full of actionable tips on audience building. One takeaway that I need to constantly remind myself of is that it’s often the case that the more competent you become at something, and the more you associate with others who are competent at that something, the more obvious you think your expertise is to everyone else. But this is rarely the case.
What is your favorite quote?
“Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” Anthony Volodkin.
This quote speaks to me because when it comes to running an online business, it’s easy to think that there are shortcuts to getting to where you want to be: the perfect sales funnel, the gorgeous site design, the most carefully-crafted copy and calls to action.
But that ain’t it! In the long run, success comes from being undeniably good, and in my case, this means creating undeniably good financial content.
• Systematize your workflow such that it gives you little opportunity to waste time.
• Make exercise a regular part of your day or at least your week, no matter how busy you are.
• Stick with what works but don’t be afraid to find new things that work.
• Tactics are great, but keep the main the thing the main thing: whatever is at the core of what you do, excel at it, and the other pieces will fall into place.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.