Episode 19: Patience and Self Discipline When Building Software

In this episode we share some feedback from a few member’s of our “Alpha Test.” We have been helping them build their own software and wanted to share some feedback one of them sent us today.

The feedback we received was a great segue into why patience and self discipline are so important when building software. At times it’s even hard for us to stay patient during the building process and we’ve done this many times with various businesses.

The concepts in this episode are all apart of our process and are essential to building software fast and efficiently.  Be sure to subscribe to our podcast and automatically receive updates on each episode release. Thanks for listening!

Click here to read the podcast transcript

Scott Brandley: Hey, everybody. Welcome back. This is Scott Brandley.

Garrett Pierson: Garrett Pierson.

Lindsay Halling: And Lindsay Halling.

Scott Brandley: We’re glad to have you.

Garrett Pierson: Yeah, so we are back with another podcast and today’s going to be fun. We’re going to be talking about patience. Because it’s super hard to be patient. Right, Lindsay?

Lindsay Halling: Yep.

Scott Brandley: Yes.

Garrett Pierson: And also scope creep we’re gonna’ bring up again and minimum viable product. These are two things that we’ve already talked about, but we are going to go more in depth. And what sparked this was one of our listeners, Brandan Fisher, and he gave us permission to use this audio that he just sent us. He’s actually been in our alpha launch and we haven’t talked about that because it’s kinda’ been a secret of these alpha people that we’ve been working with. Just a couple people that we know, of people that wanted to build software and Brandon’s one of those that we’ve been helping him through this process and super excited about it.

So, we’re gonna’ play the Voxer that he just sent me, which is pretty much like a walkie talkie on your cell phone. Anyway, the audio of what he just sent me, so we’re gonna’ play that now.

Brandan Fisher: Hey, man. Hopefully everything’s going good. First of all, I just wanted to Vox you to tell that I think that what you guys are doing with your podcast is totally awesome. Like it was even better that you took like a little break, because then when it came back on it’s like, “yes!”

Like, I don’t know it is pretty cool how again people associate themselves as funnel hackers, right. It’s cool that now that I’ve got his idea and that you’ve helped me get going on this, like, what’s really cool about it is I feel like I’m becoming a part of what it is that you guys get to do every day. And it’s so, so fun. Every day it’s almost Christmas, like, coming down and checking Trello or checking, you know, have there been any updates. What’s changed? What’s new? It’s just like … this is the funnest thing that I’ve done. So much so that I want … I love progress and I love seeing what’s there. Some days I just want to push it to get it done faster even though it’s kinda fun the build and the anticipation of it all. Does that make sense?

We live in a world where we expect everything right now. But anyway, just want to let you know … listened to the podcast this morning. Loved it. It’s just cool to hear even checking in with where you guys are at. Just hearing things. I don’t know. Like, I mean I have my own blog but I don’t get a hear from people how it’s perceived. Does that make sense? So, I just want to let you guys know that you’re doing awesome. I love hearing what you guys are working on. I love that you guys do these things.

Anyway, that’s my feedback for you. So, hopefully you’re having a good day and thanks for all you guys do.

Garrett Pierson: Okay, so we are back. Isn’t that cool. We were super excited to hear that and …

Scott Brandley: It’s always nice to have that validation and to hear the excitement, especially with some of the other people we’re working with too down at alpha test. They’re so excited.

Garrett Pierson: Yeah. Actually, one of them … I mean Brandan’s project is still under way and it was a little bit bigger project but the Mike and Matt. They’re one of the alpha group, too, that we’re helping through and building their software. Their software is already done. I mean it was a more simple one, so it was faster. That one got done in like a month. And it’s not all the way done, but it’s pretty much done. Like, we got another week or two and it’s done. And that’s super exciting to see some of these people get through and have their products moving forward a lot like software funnels.

So, let’s get in to the part of patience and then we’ll get into minimum viable product and scope creep. I wanted to bring up patience because if you listen … what you just listened to with Brandan’s audio is he wakes up every morning and he’s excited. It’s like Christmas and he see’s everything getting done with the project management side of things and the programmers are getting stuff done. And he wants more done.

Scott Brandley: Yeah.

Garrett Pierson: And we’ve been there, right. Lindsay, why don’t you talk about that …

Scott Brandley: We’re there like every day …

Garrett Pierson: Every day and that’s part of it. Lindsay what are your take on that?

Lindsay Halling: Well, I think patience is huge and especially patience and trust, if I add that in there in the process. Like, I have to trust the process that Garrett and Scott are teaching me and our listeners are gonna’ have to trust the process that they either read in the Software Secrets book or hear about here on the podcast. And just really have to be patient and utilize that process ’cause it does work.

Garrett Pierson: Yeah, that’s a good point: patience and trust. Scott, your take on patience?

Scott Brandley: I realize that I have a lot more than I thought I had …

Garrett Pierson: A lot more patience?

Scott Brandley: Yeah.

Garrett Pierson: I think you have more than Lindsay and I do …

Lindsay Halling: Yeah.

Scott Brandley: Yeah, but then I’m not directly involved in the project management side, so I can be a little bit … stand back a little bit from that.

Garrett Pierson: Right.

Scott Brandley: Um, but yeah, I mean there’s so many moving parts and it’s cool to see progress but you want it to get done yesterday. You always … there’s always that constant sense of wanting it done. It like never seems to get there, but then you look back and you’re like, “Wow, look [crosstalk 00:05:33] at all this progress we’ve made and in such a short amount of time.” It’s kinda’ [crosstalk 00:05:37] …

Garrett Pierson: And part of this depends on the project at hand, the software that you’re building. With Mike and Matt in our alpha launch, they had a smaller project and they’re like blown away at how fast we’ve helped them get their software up and running. Brandan, what you just heard … he’s super excited, too, and a lot’s getting done but it’s a little bit more bigger project and so some of the patience will depend on how big of a software project you’re trying to develop. And I’m probably one the most impatient people. I got that from my dad and I know my dad listens to this and he wouldn’t admit to that, but I’m pretty impatient. But my mom, on the other hand, is super patient. So, I got a little of both.

But we’ve built so many software projects that I’m way more patient now.

Scott Brandley: Yeah.

Garrett Pierson: I think, Lindsay, you’ve probably noticed that, too, with my attitudes. Like, it’ll happen, it’ll work. It’ll be fine. And you’ve been a little bit more, wouldn’t you say?

Lindsay Halling: Yeah, for sure. ‘Cause funny enough I get my impatience from my dad as well. And, so yeah, I think you’ve definitely got more patient because you’ve watched me and I’m just like, “It’s gotta get done!”

Garrett Pierson: But then, you can feel like from me that it’s like, “Oh, it’s okay ’cause Garrett’s been there before and Scott’s been there before and this will happen.” And I think that’s what’s happening with Brandan and me kinda’ mentoring him and going through this process is he sees me just be like, “Okay. It’s gonna’ happen, dude. Just be patient.”

So, that’s gonna’ bring us into the scope creep and minimum viable product because I’ll first talk about Brandan and then we can talk about our Software Secrets, scope creep, and minimum viable product. And then, Scott’s gonna’ tell a story about his brother, Eric.

So, when it comes to Brandan, I’ve had to teach him, mold him into this patient side of things and scope creep. Because he’s come back and he’ll reach out to the programmer, like, “Oh, but can we do this? Can we do this? Can we do this?” And, number one gets the programmer off focus.

Scott Brandley: Throws them off …

Garrett Pierson: Throws them off of what the priorities are. So I’ve had these conversations with Brandan and he knows when he does it. And then, the second thing is you’re trying to build version two. You’re trying to build version two …

Scott Brandley: While you’re building version one …

Garrett Pierson: While you’re building version one which should be your minimum viable product. And it is so hard. And so Brandan’s been down that road. And you listening, if you’re in the process of building software you probably know what we’re talking about. Or if you’re gonna’ start building your software, you need to be aware of when this is going to happen because it’s going to happen. It’s happened on every single one of our products and scope creep is just bad. And we’ve talked about it before in some of the other episodes, but we wanna’ dig a little bit deeper.

So, let’s again tell them what scope creep is, Scott.

Scott Brandley: Well, scope creep is when you’re building out your software and you come up with a really great idea …

Garrett Pierson: Or more features.

Scott Brandley: Or more features that would be awesome, if you added them right now. And it’s so tempting because you, in your mind, you can see how much better the product’s gonna’ be with this additional feature tool. And it almost, like, plays in your head over and over until you convince yourself that you have to have it or the software will fail.

Garrett Pierson: Exactly.

Scott Brandley: And …

Garrett Pierson: That’s a good way to put it.

Scott Brandley: You know, and so you almost convince yourself that you absolutely have to add it in. But the problem is is that, like you said, it throws the programmers off and it …

Garrett Pierson: Throws the whole project off.

Scott Brandley: It adds time. And time is against you, especially at the beginning when you’re building because you are putting money in and not getting anything out. It …

Garrett Pierson: You got to get to market and that’s what we teach in the book. You’ve got to get that minimum viable product to market as fast as you can.

Scott Brandley: Right. So, let’s talk about Matt and Mike for a sec. So, their product, their first product, they actually wanted to build two right off the bat. But we told them, “Let’s build the first one …

Garrett Pierson: First focus on one.

Scott Brandley: ’cause it’s easier and we can get that to market faster.” But their very first product, they’re gonna’ charge like a hundred bucks a month for this product. And it took maybe a month and a half to build?

Garrett Pierson: Yeah, probably about a month and a half.

Scott Brandley: And, [crosstalk 00:09:46] just think of that, right. Just think of the potential. If they threw in all the features that they wanted to add right off the bat …

Garrett Pierson: That other project …

Scott Brandley: That bumped to three months …

Garrett Pierson: Or more …

Scott Brandley: four, five months. Right? That means that’s three months that they missed out on revenue.

Garrett Pierson: Right.

Scott Brandley: That they could have been, like, putting money in their bank accounts instead of putting it into the software. And they can add those additional features later once their making money.

Garrett Pierson: Exactly. So, that’s the key. I mean it’s going to happen. You’re gonna’ come up with all these extra things that you want to add and you’re gonna’ convince yourself like Scott said that you have to have these things.

So, Lindsay. Let’s talk about software funnels. How we’ve had to stop that and how we did it.

Lindsay Halling: I think my saving grace when it comes to scope creep is having a second trouble border in my software funnels case. A second project so that you can dump those ideas for version two, three, and four into a place and then feel like you addressed them somewhat, you know, and still keep your focus. I don’t think I’d be able to do it without that ’cause I’d get so caught up in the details of other tasks.

Scott Brandley: Yeah.

Garrett Pierson: Yeah. So, let’s about that what you mean “another project”. So, in software funnels that would be another project board. We call them the project, but it we call it a project board. So, basically what you’re doing is your creating a project board in software funnels where only you have access to it. Or in the case like you, me, and Scott have access to it and that’s where we put all our ideas, our future ideas, that we know are version two that we can’t add. Anything that we have to add to get the minium viable product at is in the one that the programmers see. Right? Or we move it over there for them to do when it’s ready for them to do.

And so, you’re right. That’s a great tip of what they should be doing for all those version two’s. So, that’s kinda’ what I’ve told Brandon is that he’s gotta’ create that second board so that … and put all those ideas so he doesn’t forget. And so, they’re there.

Scott Brandley: That’s what I was going to say. You need a place to do …

Garrett Pierson: Dump.

Scott Brandley: Yeah, dump. To dump your creative ideas to. So you don’t forget them, but that you can save them for later.

Garrett Pierson: Don’t you even have in … I haven’t look at it recently. Don’t you even have even have like second column or a third column for version two and version three?

Lindsay Halling: Yeah, and I actually today, I created another column that is just kinda’ my thoughts that I’ll feed through you when the timing is right …

Garrett Pierson: We’ll talk about it.

Lindsay Halling: to see if we even throw them out or, you know, put them into a version. So, I almost kinda’ have a tentative versions and then version two and three.

Garrett Pierson: Yeah, so basically what the project board looks like in software funnels is … it’s the project management tool that we have and so you’ve got the project board that the programmers see and that’s the only thing that they can see. And then the one that we’re talking about is one that, again, only you have access to or your team that’s managing the project has access to and only you can see it. You’ve got the columns of maybe like version one: minimum viable product things that are upcoming that you’re gonna’ move to the programmers when they gotten some of the other priorities done that have to be in version one.

And then you’ve got version two that are all these scope creep things that are coming up and future ideas that don’t need to be in version one. And that’s where you’ve got to almost go opposite of convincing yourself and telling yourself that this has to wait because I’ve got to get to market as soon as I can. And the cool thing is if you look at all of our products that we’ve launched our version one’s generally suck. I mean …

Scott Brandley: I don’t know if I want to say that on the air.

Garrett Pierson: Well, we have to so. But, I mean we’re very proud. We were very proud of them at the time, though.  [crosstalk 00:13:30] And even with software funnels, we are very proud of it’s going to be amazing. But, we’re gonna’ look three months and six months down and it’s gonna’ totally more pimped out. Version two stuffs gonna’ start coming out and it’s gonna’ be awesome. And we’re gonna’ look back at version one and we’re gonna’ be like, “That sucked.”

Scott Brandley: Yeah.

Garrett Pierson: That’s just how it is. But, you have to be patient. You have to mitigate scope creep every single day. Lindsay has to, like, hold back every single day on adding stuff for the programmers to do so that we can get this minimum viable product out in the next month.

So, Scott. Talk about how this is happening with your brother, Eric and his software company.

Scott Brandley: Yeah. So, my brother has a solar sales company where they track sales people that go house to house and try to get people to buy solar. And he’s got several business partners and he’s trying to do everything at once. He’s trying to do version one, two, and three, four.

Garrett Pierson: And three, four.

Scott Brandley: All at the exact same time.

Garrett Pierson: And so what’s happening? Nothing’s getting done. Like, what happens is … and we’ve talked about this before but your mind only has so much RAM. And that’s basically the programmers and the project manager and the people only have so much RAM. So, when you try and jam it packed full of everything. Everything goes like molasses.

Scott Brandley: Right. And so he actually asked if he could meet with me so I could help him. And as he’s telling everything he’s trying to do I said, “Eric. You don’t have a programming problem, you have a project management problem.” Totally, project management problem and he … one thing that he told me he did was he has his board, right?

Garrett Pierson: Which we told him to create a while ago, but …

Scott Brandley: Yeah. And I think that’s helped a ton, but he’s not sticking to the three priority rule.

Garrett Pierson: Right.

Scott Brandley: And, so I drilled that into his head yesterday. Like, this is rule number one. Only give your programmers three tasks at any given time. And, you know, that will change everything. Don’t even let them see anything else and if they can’t get done number one, only then do they go to two. If they can’t get two done, only then do they go to three.

Garrett Pierson: But they better tell you why they can’t do number one or number two.

Scott Brandley: Right. So that you can help the fix that problem so they can get it done.

Garrett Pierson: Roadblock. Yeah, and so we’ve talked about this project management before in some of the past episodes. So make sure you go look through some of the past episodes, if you haven’t listened to those yet of project management. But when we launched Software Secrets, we have a whole project management secrets part of it. And it’s in the book of how to successfully and efficiently manage this software project. Building your software and do it correctly.

Scott Brandley: Well, you know it’s funny. I mean it comes down to such simple principles, but nobody has the … not determination, but the …

Garrett Pierson: Self-control.

Scott Brandley: Yeah, the control to actually follow through on it because of impatience.

Garrett Pierson: Yeah.

Scott Brandley: Right. They want stuff done and so they put more things on their programmers.

Garrett Pierson: Thinking that it’s going to get done faster and more is gonna’ get done. And it actually backfires …

Scott Brandley: Does the opposite. It does the complete opposite. In fact, it not only does it hurt them it stops, almost stops the project from moving forward.

Garrett Pierson: It does.

Scott Brandley: And so it … you might have heard us say this two or three times before, but it’s …

Garrett Pierson: We’re gonna’ say it more.

Scott Brandley: It’s so important. Like it’s crazy how important it is. Just these simple principles of project management, how they can help you.

Lindsay Halling: Yesterday, I actually put a third priority in our project board for a programmer and it kinda’ made me a little nervous because we try to stick to two priorities at a time and I was really hesitant to add that third in there, just for the simple fact that I didn’t want to stall what he was currently working on.

Garrett Pierson: Right, but tell them why it stalls and even by adding more.

Lindsay Halling: They have this “gotta’ fix it” mentality, a little bit. And so they see a problem and they want a solution …

Garrett Pierson: They want to solve it.

Lindsay Halling: And I can’t count how many times all of our programmers have had conversations with me where they’re like, “I gotta’ fix it now or else I’ll wonder all night what’s gonna’ go on.” And it’s true, like, they do have that mentality and that’s why they’re good at what they do. So, you kinda’ have to just help them control that.

Garrett Pierson: Exactly, I love that. So, patience stopping scope creep, sticking to your minimum viable product, and getting to market as soon as you can, and self control. Those are some of the big keys that we talked about in today’s podcast, but the one I like the most that this all came back to is self-control. I mean, patience is a part of self-control, but you have to have self-control or you’re going to break the process.

And that’s what Software Secrets is all about is basically our tag line is “how to build a software empire faster than you every thought possible”.

Scott Brandley: “faster than you ever thought possible” …

Garrett Pierson: That was jinx. But basically when we say that, we mean it. Faster than you ever thought possible, but that’s only if you follow what we teach. And that’s where the Software Secrets book is so important where you start there and then you get the Software Secrets training system where it’s step by step and more in-depth so that you can do it correctly. And we’re going to have awesome testimonials from this brand and from Mike and Matt and from others saying that this process works. And I know it. And Brandan’s basically already saying that. It’s like, “Look, this works and I would have done totally wrong if I would have just gone it haphazardly.” Because what most people are gonna’ do is they’re gonna’ go out there and they’re not gonna’ follow our twelve step process.

Scott Brandley: They’re gonna’ do it completely backwards.

Garrett Pierson: Yup, backwards. And that’s what we talk about in the book is you gotta’ reverse what most people would generally do in building software and you got to mock up, wire frame, design first and we’ve talked about all these things in past episodes. So, we’re basically sharing our secrets before we even launched this product, but we just go into a lot more depth in the product. But anyway it’s exciting and it’s fun to have these guys in the alpha program because it shows us and validates that this works.

Scott Brandley: Well and that we can teach other people to do it.

Garrett Pierson: Yeah, and that’s exciting. And the funny thing is through these podcasts and through our training program, we’re showing people … we’re like out in the open showing people that we’re screwing up. Even with the processes that we know, that there’s roadblocks that come up and we’re being totally out there and, you know, we just did the podcast last week where we told everybody basically that we didn’t hit our deadlines, you know.

And so we’re out there and, in front of everybody …

Scott Brandley: Transparent.

Garrett Pierson: Transparent. Making mistakes, too. But we know that this works and we’re not scared or freaking out because we know that the process works and we’re just sticking to it.

So thanks everybody for watching. Make sure that you subscribe. Got to SoftwareSecretsPodcast.com, subscribe, and leave us a review. Thanks for listening.

Scott Brandley: Talk to you soon.

Lindsay Halling: See ya!