Case Study: How To Start A Business And Use Productivity Strategies To Grow It

Meet Nathan Lowrie

Meet Nate Lowrie, owner of Fine Line Automation. In this interview, he shares how being extremely productive has helped him grow his business.

Why Nate Came to AE How Nate Used AE Nate’s Results
As a new business owner, Nate was overwhelmed with the demands of his time, attention, and energy. He needed to improve his habits and get better sleep. Nate needed to improve his organization and time management so his business could grow to its full potential. Nater started by reading the articles on the website. He progressed to participating in AE programs and becoming a part of the community through the Dojo. Eventually, Nate participated in multiple AE MasterMind groups. Nate implemented the principles he learned from Asian Efficiency and experienced significant results. He immediately started sleeping better. With the help of Asian Efficiency, he superseded his sales goals and gained clarity and focus for the future.

Nate’s Story

Nate is the founder of Fine Line Automation. A small business that he started in his 1-car garage in 2008. His company makes and sells CNC Routers. They are large-format automated manufacturing machines.

Nate was inspired to start his own business. However, translating a great idea into the real world requires a lot hard work. The demands can be overwhelming. Not sleeping was just a signal for a bigger problem. He realized he needed help to become more productive. Asian Efficiency was the solution he needed to get on track.

How The Rituals Course Helped Nate See The Power of Productivity

As we all know, proper sleep is crucial to productivity. Nate resolved his sleep issues by applying what he learned in the Asian Efficiency program called Rituals.

The two critical routines that Nate learned are the Morning Ritual and the Evening Ritual. When he put those two rituals in place, it stabilized his sleep.

Nate’s new improved morning ritual:

  • Drinking 20 oz of water
  • Stretching
  • Taking vitamins
  • A daily review to select his Most Important Task

Nate’s new improved evening ritual:

  • Prepare his clothes for the next day
  • Review of his task manager to close open loops

It was more than just solving one problem. It was realizing that putting productivity principles into practice is transformational for your life and work. Nate did something that some people believe is impossible. He switched from being a night owl to being a morning person.

The Daily Positive Impact of Practicing The Rituals Program

One big takeaway for Nate is that he realized not all hours are created equal. There is a difference between your energy and focus in the first hour of the day compared to the last hour before you sleep. Productive people recognize the optimum hours of the day in which to do their most important work.

When I made that mindset shift with Rituals it really boosted my productivity instantly.

What would you say to someone on the fence about the Rituals program?

The whole point of the Rituals program is to make a small set of changes implemented over time. Incremental change consistently over time yields significant results. You can start small and grow over time. The course includes strategies for how to start and maintain healthy rituals.

The thing that I really liked is that you can start it small and grow it slowly over time.

There are seven rituals included in the program. Nate started with two – the morning ritual and the evening ritual. Over time he has increased to four of the seven rituals. It is something you can do at your own pace for the maximum benefit.

Would you recommend the course? If so, to whom?

I would recommend the course to people that are looking for more time.

The real benefit is the freedom that comes with having more time. When you follow the program, you experience the freedom to focus on what you want to focus.

Tell me about your business Fine Line Automation 

A CNC router is a large machine that has a cutting tool. It works automatically. You design the parts on a computer. The machine then cuts the part for you based on the design. It gives you more precision than would be possible by hand. It enables someone to be their own manufacturer.

At the time Nate started the business the cost of a CNC router was more than 10,000 USD. He did not have that amount of money, so he made his own and published it online. It called a lot of attention. People started asking for the kit he used to build his machine. It inspired him with the idea for a new business that became Fine Line Automation.

What was the business like when you started working with Asian Efficiency?

In the beginning, Nate had good sales. Eventually, he plateaued. It was then that he approached Thanh for some guidance on how to increase sales. 

Although Thanh is not a salesman or marketer, he was able to recognize several opportunities that Nate had to improve his business. Based on his knowledge of productivity and his experience launching and leading a successful business, Thanh was able to steer Nate in the right direction.

After implementing the strategy that he developed with the help of Asian Efficiency, Nate saw a significant increase in sales. Before working with Asian Efficiency, Nate had a goal to increase his sales by 25% in six months. With Thanh’s coaching and strategy, sales increased 32% in six months.

Tell us about your experience participating in a MasterMind

A MasterMind is a gathering of people who share their perspectives, knowledge, and experience to help each other solve problems and build their businesses. Over the years, Asian Efficiency has hosted MasterMind meetings to help our clients take their business to the next level.

Nate commented on the diversity of the group he attended. Typically a MasterMind group is composed of people who may not be in your field, industry, or your personal circumstances. However, this can be an advantage. Nate said, “They have perspective and they have experience you don’t have.” It creates a unique environment to promote creative thought. Most people walk away with inspiration and confidence to move forward in whatever area they felt stuck.

“The Mastermind gets a ton of smart people in the room and focusing the energy of those smart people on your problem.”

The Power of Community in Your Productivity Journey

Nate embraced the connection with Asian Efficiency throughout his journey of personal and professional growth. He would learn a principle, implement it, and share the results. In that way, not only Nate benefited from lessons learned, but it is a way to help others who may be in a similar position.

“One of the most powerful things you can do personally for yourself and for others is to share your journey.”

First, it is a personal accountability mechanism. Knowing that you have to share your results motivates you to get things done. Second, it helps others. Sharing your experiences with others adds value to their lives and contributes to their success.

There is always someone who is further in the journey than you, and you benefit from their experiences. In the same way, there is always someone who is a few steps behind you, and you have the opportunity to invest in their success the way someone invested in your success.

What Keeps You Coming Back?

Nate has been following Asian Efficiency for years through the blog, podcast, programs, workshops, events, and online community. There has to be a reason to make such a strong commitment.

When asked, “What keeps you coming back?” Nate said, “Short and simple…the value.

When you have products that provide value and actually give you back the time and make your day less frustrating… It is a no-brainer.

What do you get out of the Dojo?

The Dojo (now called Productivity Academy) is the online learning community of Asian Efficiency. Inside the Dojo in the inside track to the best resources Asian Efficiency has to offer. Membership includes access to a monthly live “mini-course” with expert training on relevant topics. Members have access to the vault of recorded training videos, an active online forum with fellow Dojo members, a private Slack channel, and much more.

Nate joined the Dojo and is an active member – both learning and helping others. There are two compelling things that Nate takes away from the Dojo.

First, it is being able to group solve your problems. You can post your issue and you get meaningful answers. Nate finds that he consistently gets relevant responses from people in the community when he has a question or facing an issue.

Second, the mini-training courses. Every month, Thanh offers a training course on a specific topic with practical action steps. The topics are always relevant. The mini-courses are well produced and always add value to anyone who wants to be more productive.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about joining the Dojo? 

At the end of the day, you will be able to get help on your specific issues. And you will be able to spur yourself into action.

it is a way to provoke you to action. The Dojo can help you get out of the rut. You can get help on your specific issue.

The Dojo has two outstanding benefits.

  1. It provides you with the knowledge you need to answer a question or solve a problem.
  2. It provides the support you need to put your knowledge into action.

Nate talked about feeling stuck in the same place not knowing what to do to move forward. Since joining the Dojo, Nate has a resource to help him get un-stuck.

According to Nate, the answer you are looking for can be found in the Dojo. However, the challenge is to follow through on your commitment to getting it done. The Dojo can help with that in two ways.

The Dojo can function as a community accountability mechanism. There are a group of people who can give you support, encouragement, and hold you accountable to accomplish your goals. Second, the Dojo community is an ideal place to get feedback on your progress towards your goals.

How the Dojo helps you get it done

  1. Community accountability
  2. Feedback

For Nate, this aspect of the community is where he finds the highest value as a member of the Dojo.

Next Steps

The key to productivity is to learn and apply what you have learned. The programs, courses, and all the resources of Asian Efficiency are designed to be simple and actionable.

Here is what we recommend to get started:

  1. Spend some time reading about a relevant topic on the blog. Every article contains valuable information to increase your productivity and includes actionable steps so you can get started immediately (absolutely free).
  2. Consider becoming a member of the Dojo. It is the absolute best online productivity community full of resources that will take your productivity to the next level (60-day money-back guarantee).

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