Podcast 34: Productivity Insights After Six Months on the Road
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Drew: Hey, all people. This is Drew Sanocki of the Nerd Marketing Podcast. Today I need to speak about the 5 issues I realized whereas I used to be touring and dealing. It’s form of humorous that the primary query I get is just not about, like, “What was the coolest thing you saw?” or “Where were the nicest people?” or “Where was the best food?” The primary query I get from entrepreneurs is, primary, “Did you work?” and quantity two, “How did you work?”
To reply these questions, I put this podcast collectively. Yes, I did work, briefly. I’ve a few completely different companies I’m concerned in. The main one I’d like to speak about right here is growthengines.io. That is an company catering to direct-to-consumer manufacturers and to non-public fairness funds that usually purchase or promote these manufacturers. That enterprise at present is larger than once I left. I feel an enormous cause is as a result of I embraced these 5 issues I’m going to speak about at present.
Without additional ado, the primary statement that I’ve after six months overseas or seven months overseas is that, actually, the 80/20 rule reigns supreme. I do know I beat that lifeless horse all the time on this podcast, however you don’t totally perceive it, you’re not compelled to understand it till you might be on some distant island in the Caribbean, and there’s no WiFi, apart from the one hour while you’re going by means of the airport on the method in and on the method out. I imply, speak about a constraint.
What that compelled me to do is, you possibly can’t be on-line all the time. What you really want to do is assume by means of what are the most vital issues it’s essential try this week, such that while you hit a WiFi connection or can get cellular phone protection, then you possibly can log again on and attain these issues.
So, what didn’t I do throughout these instances? I imply, actually, the 80% of my work that doesn’t give me any outcomes, and people have been issues like this podcast, for one. Actually, the podcast provides me outcomes, however I dropped it. I ended doing the podcast. Bookkeeping. Tinkering on my weblog. I imply, how a lot time do I spend, do you spend, messing round, shifting fonts on your weblog or configuring colours or one thing, simply so it seems good? Really, there was no time for that in any respect. So, drop that.
Coffees and calls. These two issues are an enormous time suck, particularly while you’re in a metropolis like I’m, the place there are lots of people, and all people desires to satisfy, and “Hey, Drew, you want to grab coffee?” or “You want to hop on a call here?” If you add that point up, these are hours each week I might spend at coffees or on telephone calls. So, I actually couldn’t do these in any respect. Those bought dropped. Calls to my mom, for instance, additionally bought dropped. I imply, utterly unessential, proper? I imply, I don’t must name my mother. So, I might go months with out calling her. No, I didn’t, however diminished period of time calling my mom.
You’ll block out a lot non-essential stuff. The enterprise nonetheless grew, so long as I used to be conducting the most vital issues, these 20% that drive 80% of the outcomes. I’d say, as an motion step for you, possibly put your self mentally on that Caribbean island for 4 days per week. Then on the fifth day, block off time to do all of your vital duties. Like, are you able to get by means of per week subsequent week with out doing something Monday by means of Thursday after which getting every part achieved on Friday? How liberating would that be if your corporation nonetheless cranked together with you working at that tempo? You’d have freed up 4 different days per week to do some high-leverage stuff. So, that’s the primary takeaway: the 80/20 rule reigns supreme.
Number two is, you’ve bought to have the ability to delegate to simply nice, dependable, competent folks. I couldn’t do 80/20 with no workforce. That’s one thing I form of snicker about. The productiveness consultants I take heed to: Ari Meisel, and Tim Ferriss, and guys like that, all of them speak about the 80/20, but it surely’s a kind of, like, simpler mentioned than achieved. If you truly knew the 20% of your exercise that drove 80% of the outcomes, in fact, you’d focus on them; however, loads of instances you don’t. Right?
Another factor they don’t point out is, it’s exhausting to do with no workforce. How do you solely do the 20% and delegate the 80% for those who’re surrounded by idiots, and that different 80% by no means will get achieved? In my case, two folks actually enabled me to journey and do that journey. The primary’s my enterprise associate, Michael Epstein. He actually runs the day-to-day at Growth Engines, and his strengths make up for my weaknesses. I do know myself nicely sufficient to know I’m an entrepreneur at coronary heart. I like large concepts. I like altering the topic. I like pondering lots about various things. I’ve weaknesses in consideration to element and follow-through. I imply, witness my podcast schedule for the final yr.
Well, Epstein’s the reverse. You ask him to do one thing with you, and he’s going to see that factor by means of. He’s simply so meticulous. He’s going to ensure that each week, day in, day trip, the enterprise operates. So, he was an enormous cause I used to be capable of do my journey, in that the day-to-day operations, the issues that wanted to get achieved by means of the week, bought achieved, as a result of Epstein was project-managing them. That was most likely my high particular person.
My second particular person can be my assistant, Audrey. I don’t know. I’m simply going to say, the pleasure of being in line in an airport: your children are screaming and also you’re attempting to plan, two or three hops away, lodges and flights. I feel possibly I used to be in Berlin, and the subsequent week I knew I used to be going to be in Florence, and simply with the ability to pull up Slack on my telephone and say, “Hey, find me a kids’ tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence … I shut my phone off, go on the flight, and I land, and Audrey’s gotten back to me already with the top kids’ tours in Florence and, “Would you like me to set them up?”
That was so empowering, as a result of while you’re touring with a household, your focus must be on the children and on the household. The very last thing you need to be doing goes by means of one million web sites to attempt to discover the good tour, or resort, or actually, something. Audrey has been my second mind, from copywriting to scheduling to journey preparations, and I couldn’t suggest her extra.
She works with a service known as Worldwide101, which I swear by. I like Worldwide101. There’s one million completely different sorts of assistants you may get on the market; however, what I appreciated about Worldwide101 is that they rent actually competent folks, and so they’re form of up-to-speed from the get-go. So, my motion step for you’ll be, for those who’re making over $100,000 a yr, you must have an assistant yesterday. I imply, that’s most likely the primary suggestion I could make to you. They’re not that costly. Really, simply the time you create by offloading most of your nonessential duties to an assistant will greater than make up for the cash you spend. I like Worldwide101. Highly suggest it.
My third work statement from six months overseas is that methods and automation will let you scale. Well, you say, “Of course, they do.” It’s type of like a substitute for delegation. If you’ve bought loads of stuff to do, you possibly can both delegate it to a enterprise associate, or an assistant, or one thing like that, or systemize it so that you by no means must do it once more.
There’s simply so some ways to systemize issues. I like beginning with Zapier or IFTTT for my enterprise and simply on a regular basis going by means of what I must do on my calendar, in my e-mail and seeing what I can systematize. By the finish of six months, lots was on autopilot.
I like one service right here that I need to speak about, SaneBox. SaneBox actually helps you manage your inbox. I feel I heard about it from somebody on this podcast. I like it, and I simply created a quite simple system. SaneBox lets you delegate entry to an assistant; so, my assistant, Audrey is in my inbox. Then, as you course of your emails every day, you possibly can inform SaneBox whether or not it’s an vital e-mail or not. If you inform SaneBox that, “Hey, these emails are not important,” SaneBox learns sufficient in order that the subsequent time you get that comparable e-mail from that contact, it would go into a special folder, be handled in another way.
Over time, I targeted on triaging. I targeted on actually simply responding to and processing the most vital emails. Everything I deemed not vital went to a different inbox, one other field in my Gmail. Audrey was in that field and he or she was processing them. Those have been issues like podcast invitations, or partnership proposals, or “Hey, let’s get on the phone and talk about something.” Those all went to Audrey.
Audrey then had canned responses that she would use to replay to those folks. These are issues I developed along with her, or would simply dictate right into a voicemail, and issues like, “Hey, Drew’s on a six-month trip. He’s not taking appointments for this month,” or “He’s going to be online on this day when he’s in Berlin. Let’s schedule some calls back-to-back.” She would comply with up with all these requests. If they concerned appointments for me, she knew to place them on my calendar and stack them back-to-back. Calls are a terrific instance. I like them stacked back-to-back in 15-minute increments. She additionally had my journey calendar, so she knew once I can be on-line.
That’s only one instance of the method you possibly can actually undergo one among your large processes that’s taking loads of time … in my case, processing e-mail … and work with an assistant and a instrument … in my case, SaneBox … to form of construct a greater system. By the finish of the journey, I need to say that 1% of my emails, possibly, was floating as much as me. I imply, I might examine e-mail on daily basis and I’d get two or three emails that I actually wanted to concentrate to … They have been from shoppers or from companies I’m … and nothing else. Again, to increase the mom joke, my mother knew she needed to undergo Audrey to get ahold of me.
But methods and automation, construct them the place you possibly can. Again, motion merchandise subsequent week: possibly take SaneBox for a spin. I’ll put a hyperlink in the present notes.
Okay. The third factor I realized on this journey about being productive whereas I’m touring is that you must actually embrace sluggish work. This is one thing I began entering into earlier than I left. I learn this ebook Deep Work by Cal Newport. Highly suggest it. He makes the argument that, to be able to really construct one thing, to do one thing vital, you want structured, devoted alone time, like hours on finish, these blocks … what he calls “deep work” … the place you possibly can go into deep work and do some critical pondering and a few critical work.
I began experimenting with that earlier than I left. Really, the journey slot in so properly with that, particularly nations like Italy, the place sluggish is sort of a lifestyle, for higher or worse. I imply, the Italians … It’s about sluggish meals. It’s about two-hour lunches, and having fun with the dialog, and having fun with each final style on the desk.
I keep in mind driving by means of Italy on the freeway. I used to be actually drained, so I pulled off the highway to only a relaxation space that had, like, a café. I’m used to: you go into the ones off the New Jersey Turnpike, and so they’re form of disgusting, and there’s, like, a Starbucks. You’re simply out and in of there. You go into the one in Italy, and there’s, like, a full café bar with waiters behind the bar, and all people … all these different drivers … are there. They drink their espresso in the café bar at the counter, and all people’s simply BS’ing, like they know one another. I used to be like, “Man, this is kind of … it’s nice.”
I might see how life would get irritating there. It absolutely would get irritating, for those who lived there, since you need issues to go quick at instances; however, there’s one thing about sluggish work, sluggish life, a really deliberate strategy to dwelling that was, I feel, a terrific productiveness hack. Why is it a terrific productiveness hack? That’s as a result of, for those who’re working sluggish, for those who’re working intentionally for those who’re spending the time, you’re not simply racing to punch off issues on your guidelines. For each to-do merchandise you’ve gotten, you’re taking the time to consider: primary, “Do I really need to be focusing on this right now?” If the reply is “Yes,” “Is there any possible way I can create a system or a process to prevent me from having to deal with that again?” That was large for me.
I discovered in New York once I get an inbox stuffed with emails, I used to be simply attempting to gun by means of it as quick as I might. Like, “How fast can I clear out this inbox?” I might get quicker and quicker, but it surely doesn’t resolve the long-term drawback that you’ve: extra e-mail. It was actually while you took the time to take a look at every e-mail that’s coming in and saying, “What’s this really about? Does this person request a meeting, or is this for more information? Is this something I could solve by putting it on the website or by training Audrey to do it?” That’s what I imply by “slow work,” simply actually taking the time to course of every part and assume by means of: Do you really want to do it? If so, what’s a greater approach to do it? Embracing sluggish work early in the journey actually allowed me to, I feel, scale up my time by the finish of the journey.
The fifth and last lesson I’ve from six months overseas was that, in case your fundamental wants are taken care of, for those who can feed your self and stay, I feel it could behove you to swing somewhat bit extra for the fences. In some ways, I’ve been on this mode in my life the place I’m attempting to do high-percentage issues: swing for singles and doubles, as a result of I’m now married. I’ve two children. I can’t take the dangers I took once I was single. I’m not, for instance, going to work for weeks, and even months, with no paycheck. I’m not there with my household. I don’t need to try this. I don’t need to take on that form of danger.
Once you get to the level the place your fundamental wants are taken care of … in my case, I’ve bought sufficient earnings coming in from varied tasks I’m concerned with … I feel swinging for the fences, going for a double, or a triple, or perhaps a dwelling run, begins to get again in play. In my case, I take a look at all the enterprise development I had over the previous six or seven months, and it actually got here all the way down to about 5 telephone calls.
Think about that. I used to be away for seven months, and possibly an hour-and-a-half value of telephone calls led to my enterprise nearly doubling throughout that point. You can’t all the time determine these telephone calls. But, speak about small hinges that swing large doorways. In every of those instances, I went for one thing large. I went for an even bigger mission, or an even bigger engagement, or an even bigger acquisition, or no matter it was. In all these instances, or in most of these instances, it labored out. So, one among the issues I’m attempting to do extra intentionally now could be, actually, take that step again and focus on a few larger swings.
That’s going to tie into the companies I’m trying to purchase this yr, which I’ve bought one other podcast arising on. I’m presently in San Diego, as a result of I’m a enterprise, and it’s an enormous one by anybody’s requirements, a nine-figure enterprise. We’ll see the place that goes; however, definitely, that’s an instance of an even bigger swing.
Just to recap, on this episode I wished to speak about 5 completely different observations I had from six months on the highway, from working there and rising my enterprise whereas I used to be touring. I hope you possibly can take heed to these and apply a few of them to your individual enterprise going ahead. Hey. I discussed SaneBox. I discussed Worldwide101. I even have 12 completely different instruments I feel actually enabled me to work whereas I used to be away.
These are on-line instruments and apps. I put all of them in a guidelines that you may obtain in the present notes right here. Go to nerdmarketing.com/34. You’ll see the one. I’ve bought a downloadable checklist of my high instruments that enabled me to journey and work at the identical time. Hope you respect them and discuss to you subsequent time.