Marissa Brassfield is a highly visible productivity expert, branding consultant, and communications efficiency specialist. She helps entrepreneurs of all stripes to become, as she puts it, ridiculously efficient. This is where her website gets its name!
She works with visionaries across the globe to combat the problems with turning ideas into action by tackling the frustrations that elite workers face in the high-pressure business world. Her renowned coaching programs and workshops have helped individuals and teams alike scale their full impact.
What makes productivity rebellious?
So many of the high-performance teams and folks I coach are convinced that they’re just one to-do list app, email client or “hack” away from achieving everything they want to do. For me, unlocking real, sustainable productivity means rebelling against that “magic pill” approach, focusing on the unique ways we all create results, and creating strategies to do more of what we’re great at — faster, cheaper, better and easier.
What led you to a career as a productivity expert?
At first, it was all about survival. I was writing and editing as a full-time freelancer, and I quickly discovered that the faster I could write and edit, the more gigs I could take on without compromising free time.
As I got better and faster, I experienced the biggest downside of being productive: your work responsibilities increase, and not always in line with your peers or your pay. And I burned out.
I began to study flow — and how elite athletes train so that they can tap into that state of complete focus. Hearing their stories reminded me of my past career as a college athlete, and how I would spend hours before and after my team practice on preparation and recovery (physical therapy, lifting weights, cardiovascular training). I realized that instead of working like a robot, I needed to work like an elite athlete — and that meant focusing on optimizing everything that happens during my downtime.
The more I learned, the stronger my impulses grew to share this knowledge with other high performers like me. I didn’t want them to burn out, as I had — I wanted to multiply their capabilities. And that’s how Ridiculously Efficient was born. 🙂
Could you describe some common frustrations your clients encounter that you address and help transform through your coaching work?
Definitely! Here are the four primary client types and how I help them:
- Entrepreneurial, high-performance team members: They’re working around the clock, and are on the verge of burnout, but they don’t know it yet. All they know is that they wake up fatigued, and can’t remember the last time they felt truly creative and energized on a Friday afternoon. They’re buried in email, with hundreds to thousands of unread messages, and are constantly looking for files, email conversations, and misplaced to-do items.
- Solopreneurs: They’re juggling four to ten professional roles singlehandedly, and while they may have a part-time VA, they can’t trust them enough to delegate the really important things. As a result, they’re exhausted, and spend the weekends catching up on work. They feel like they can never escape the business, and that if they work less, the business will suffer.
- Freelancers: They’re profitable and passionate, but are having trouble translating that success into time. They want more clients and more free time, but can’t figure out how to do one without sacrificing the other.
When the ways that people imagined their business to be aren’t fulfilled by the reality of their experience running the business, how can entrepreneurs and solopreneurs make progress toward closing this gap?
Begin by identifying the unique way you bring value to the organization — what I like to call your superhero skills. How can you refine your role so that the vast majority of your workload uses your superhero skills?
The next phase of that is hiring people whose superhero skills are in the other areas of your business. Identify these areas, and engage “superheroes” for them one by one — on-demand virtual workers, part-time contractors or full-time employees.
Yesterday, I spoke at length with my Uber driver about our professions. He used to buy cars at auction and resell them to used car dealerships — and he excelled at buying the right cars at the right price. Realizing that his lot was unappealing to buyers, he partnered with a younger man who had the newest, most well-decorated auto showroom in the area; however, at auction, the younger man tended to overpay for cars that needed expensive repairs. The business ultimately failed because the two couldn’t delegate based on each other’s strengths.
What might have happened if my Uber driver bought the cars for just one month, while the younger man interfaced with customers and maintained the shop? It’s an experiment anyone can commit to.
What do you see as true leadership, and what are some ways to cultivate it in ourselves?
Leadership is catalyzing growth. It’s helping people imagine the best version of themselves, and then evoking the unique intrinsic motivation each person needs to take action and start living into that best version of themselves.