Podcast 34: Productivity Insights After Six Months on the Road
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Drew: Hey, everyone. This is Drew Sanocki of the Nerd Marketing Podcast. Today I need to discuss the 5 issues I discovered whilst I used to be touring and dealing. It’s more or less humorous that the primary query I am getting isn’t 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 am getting from marketers is, primary, “Did you work?” and quantity two, “How did you work?”
To resolution the ones questions, I put this podcast in combination. Yes, I did paintings, briefly. I’ve a few other companies I’m keen on. The number one one I’d like to discuss here’s growthengines.io. That is an company catering to direct-to-consumer manufacturers and to non-public fairness price range that frequently purchase or promote the ones manufacturers. That trade these days is larger than once I left. I believe a large reason why is as a result of I embraced those 5 issues I’m going to discuss these days.
Without additional ado, the primary commentary that I’ve after six months in another country or seven months in another country is that, actually, the 80/20 rule reigns ultimate. I do know I beat that useless horse all the time on this podcast, however you don’t absolutely know it, you’re no longer compelled to are aware of it till you’re on some far off island in the Caribbean, and there’s no WiFi, apart from for the one hour while you’re going by way of the airport on the method in and on the method out. I imply, discuss a constraint.
What that compelled me to do is, you’ll’t be on-line all the time. What you actually wish to do is assume by way of what are the maximum essential issues you wish to have to try this week, such that while you hit a WiFi connection or can get mobile phone protection, then you’ll log again on and attain the ones issues.
So, what didn’t I do all the way through the ones instances? I imply, actually, the 80% of my paintings that doesn’t give me any effects, and the ones had been such things as this podcast, for one. Actually, the podcast provides me effects, 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, transferring fonts on your weblog or configuring colours or one thing, simply so it seems great? Really, there used to be 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 town like I’m, the place there are numerous other people, and everyone needs to fulfill, and “Hey, Drew, you want to grab coffee?” or “You want to hop on a call here?” If you upload that point up, the ones are hours each week I might spend at coffees or on telephone calls. So, I actually may no longer do the ones in any respect. Those were given dropped. Calls to my mom, as an example, additionally were given dropped. I imply, totally unessential, proper? I imply, I don’t wish to name my mother. So, I might move months with out calling her. No, I didn’t, however lowered period of time calling my mom.
You’ll block out such a lot non-essential stuff. The trade nonetheless grew, so long as I used to be undertaking the maximum essential issues, the ones 20% that power 80% of the effects. I’d say, as an motion step for you, perhaps put your self mentally on that Caribbean island for 4 days per week. Then on the 5th day, block off time to do your entire essential duties. Like, are you able to get by way of per week subsequent week with out doing anything else Monday by way of Thursday after which getting the whole thing achieved on Friday? How freeing would that be if what you are promoting nonetheless cranked together with you running at that tempo? You’d have freed up 4 different days per week to perform a little high-leverage stuff. So, that’s the primary takeaway: the 80/20 rule reigns ultimate.
Number two is, you’ve were given as a way to delegate to only nice, dependable, competent other people. I may no longer do 80/20 with out a staff. That’s one thing I more or less chortle about. The productiveness mavens I concentrate to: Ari Meisel, and Tim Ferriss, and guys like that, all of them discuss the 80/20, however it’s a kind of, like, more straightforward stated than executed. If you if truth be told knew the 20% of your task that drove 80% of the effects, after all, you’d center of attention on them; however, numerous instances you don’t. Right?
Another factor they don’t point out is, it’s arduous to do with out a staff. How do you handiest do the 20% and delegate the 80% if you happen to’re surrounded through idiots, and that different 80% by no means will get executed? In my case, two other people actually enabled me to go back and forth and do that go back and forth. The primary’s my trade spouse, Michael Epstein. He actually runs the day by day at Growth Engines, and his strengths make up for my weaknesses. I do know myself smartly sufficient to grasp I’m an entrepreneur at center. I really like large concepts. I really like converting the topic. I really like pondering so much about various things. I’ve weaknesses in consideration to element and follow-through. I imply, witness my podcast time table for the closing yr.
Well, Epstein’s the reverse. You ask him to do one thing with you, and he’s going to peer that factor by way of. He’s simply so meticulous. He’s going to be sure that each week, day in, time out, the trade operates. So, he used to be a large reason why I used to be ready to do my go back and forth, in that the day by day operations, the issues that had to get executed by way of the week, were given executed, as a result of Epstein used to be project-managing them. That used to be almost certainly my best particular person.
My 2d particular person can be my assistant, Audrey. I don’t know. I’m simply going to mention, the pleasure of being in line in an airport: your children are screaming and also you’re looking to plan, two or 3 hops away, motels and flights. I believe perhaps I used to be in Berlin, and the subsequent week I knew I used to be going to be in Florence, and simply having 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 used to be so empowering, as a result of while you’re touring with a circle of relatives, your center of attention must be on the children and on the circle of relatives. The last item you wish to have to be doing goes by way of 1,000,000 web sites to check out to seek out the highest excursion, or resort, or actually, anything else. Audrey has been my 2d mind, from copywriting to scheduling to go back and forth preparations, and I couldn’t counsel her extra.
She works with a provider referred to as International101, which I swear through. I like International101. There’s 1,000,000 other varieties of assistants you’ll get in the market; however, what I preferred about International101 is they rent actually competent other people, and so they’re more or less up-to-speed from the get-go. So, my motion step for you can be, if you happen to’re making over $100,000 a yr, you will have an assistant the day before today. I imply, that’s almost certainly the primary advice I will be able to make to you. They’re no longer that pricey. Really, simply the time you create through offloading maximum of your nonessential duties to an assistant will greater than make up for the cash you spend. I really like International101. Highly counsel it.
My 3rd paintings commentary from six months in another country is that techniques and automation mean you can scale. Well, you are saying, “Of course, they do.” It’s kind of like an alternative choice to delegation. If you’ve were given numerous stuff to do, you’ll both delegate it to a trade spouse, 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 such a lot of tactics to systemize issues. I really like beginning with Zapier or IFTTT for my trade and simply on a regular basis going by way of what I wish to do on my calendar, in my electronic mail and seeing what I will be able to systematize. By the finish of six months, so much used to be on autopilot.
I like one provider right here that I need to discuss, SaneBox. SaneBox actually is helping you prepare your inbox. I believe I heard about it from somebody on this podcast. I like it, and I simply created an easy gadget. SaneBox permits you to delegate get entry to to an assistant; so, my assistant, Audrey is in my inbox. Then, as you procedure your emails every day, you’ll inform SaneBox whether or not it’s the most important electronic mail or no longer. If you inform SaneBox that, “Hey, these emails are not important,” SaneBox learns sufficient in order that the subsequent time you get that equivalent electronic mail from that touch, it is going to move into a unique folder, be handled otherwise.
Over time, I centered on triaging. I centered on actually simply responding to and processing the maximum essential emails. Everything I deemed no longer essential went to every other inbox, every other field in my Gmail. Audrey used to be in that field and she or he used to be processing them. Those had been such things as 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 other people. These are issues I evolved together with her, or would simply dictate right into a voicemail, and such things as, “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 persist with up with all the ones requests. If they concerned appointments for me, she knew to position them on my calendar and stack them back-to-back. Calls are a super instance. I really like them stacked back-to-back in 15-minute increments. She additionally had my go back and forth calendar, so she knew once I can be on-line.
That’s only one instance of the method you’ll actually undergo one among your large processes that’s taking numerous time … in my case, processing electronic mail … and paintings with an assistant and a device … in my case, SaneBox … to more or less construct a greater gadget. By the finish of the go back and forth, I need to say that 1% of my emails, perhaps, used to be floating as much as me. I imply, I might test electronic mail each day and I’d get two or 3 emails that I actually wanted to be aware of … They had been from shoppers or from companies I’m taking a look at … and not anything else. Again, to increase the mom shaggy dog story, my mother knew she needed to undergo Audrey to get ahold of me.
But techniques and automation, construct them the place you’ll. Again, motion merchandise subsequent week: perhaps take SaneBox for a spin. I’ll put a hyperlink in the display notes.
Okay. The 3rd factor I discovered on this go back and forth about being productive whilst I’m touring is that you just will have to actually embody sluggish paintings. This is one thing I began coming into ahead of I left. I learn this ebook Deep Work through Cal Newport. Highly counsel it. He makes the argument that, with a view to actually construct one thing, to do one thing important, you wish to have structured, devoted by myself time, like hours on finish, those blocks … what he calls “deep work” … the place you’ll move into deep paintings and perform a little critical pondering and a few critical paintings.
I began experimenting with that ahead of I left. Really, the go back and forth are compatible in so well with that, particularly international locations like Italy, the place sluggish is like an approach to life, for higher or worse. I imply, the Italians … It’s about sluggish meals. It’s about two-hour lunches, and taking part in the dialog, and taking part in each closing style on the desk.
I take into account using by way of Italy on the freeway. I used to be actually drained, so I pulled off the highway to only a leisure space that had, like, a café. I’m used to: you move into the ones off the New Jersey Turnpike, and so they’re more or less disgusting, and there’s, like, a Starbucks. You’re simply out and in of there. You move into the one in Italy, and there’s, like, a complete café bar with waiters in the back of the bar, and everyone … a majority of these different drivers … are there. They drink their coffee in the café bar at the counter, and everyone’s simply BS’ing, like they know each and every different. I used to be like, “Man, this is kind of … it’s nice.”
I may see how existence would get irritating there. It no doubt would get irritating, if you happen to lived there, as a result of you wish to have issues to move rapid now and then; however, there’s one thing about sluggish paintings, sluggish existence, an excessively planned option to residing that used to be, I believe, a super productiveness hack. Why is it a super productiveness hack? That’s as a result of, if you happen to’re running sluggish, if you happen to’re running intentionally if you happen to’re spending the time, you’re no longer simply racing to punch off issues on your tick list. For each to-do merchandise you will have, you’re taking the time to take into accounts: primary, “Do I really need to be focusing on this right now?” If the resolution 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 used to be large for me.
I discovered in New York when I am getting an inbox filled with emails, I used to be simply looking to gun by way of it as rapid as I may. Like, “How fast can I clear out this inbox?” I might get quicker and quicker, however it doesn’t remedy the long-term downside that you’ve got: extra electronic mail. It used to be actually while you took the time to take a look at each and every electronic mail that’s coming in and announcing, “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 through “slow work,” simply actually taking the time to procedure the whole thing and assume by way of: Do you actually wish to do it? If so, what’s a greater approach to do it? Embracing sluggish paintings early in the go back and forth actually allowed me to, I believe, scale up my time through the finish of the go back and forth.
The 5th and ultimate lesson I’ve from six months in another country used to be that, in case your elementary wishes are sorted, if you’ll feed your self and are living, I believe it will behove you to swing a bit bit extra for the fences. In some ways, I’ve been on this mode in my existence the place I’m looking to do high-percentage issues: swing for singles and doubles, as a result of I’m now married. I’ve two children. I will be able to’t take the dangers I took when I used to be unmarried. I’m no longer, as an example, going to paintings for weeks, or even months, with out a paycheck. I’m no longer there with my circle of relatives. I don’t need to do this. I don’t need to take on that more or less chance.
Once you get to the level the place your elementary wishes are sorted … in my case, I’ve were given sufficient source of revenue coming in from quite a lot of initiatives I’m concerned with … I believe swinging for the fences, going for a double, or a triple, or perhaps a house run, begins to get again in play. In my case, I take a look at all the trade enlargement 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 almost certainly an hour-and-a-half price of telephone calls ended in my trade virtually doubling all the way through that point. You can’t at all times determine the ones telephone calls. But, discuss small hinges that swing large doorways. In each and every of those instances, I went for one thing large. I went for a larger assignment, or a larger engagement, or a larger acquisition, or no matter it used to be. In all the ones instances, or in maximum of the ones instances, it labored out. So, one among the issues I’m looking to do extra intentionally now’s, actually, take that step again and center of attention on a few larger swings.
That’s going to tie into the companies I’m taking a look to shop for this yr, which I’ve were given every other podcast arising on. I’m lately in San Diego, as a result of I’m taking a look at a trade, and it’s a large one through any person’s requirements, a nine-figure trade. We’ll see the place that is going; however, definitely, that’s an instance of a larger swing.
Just to recap, on this episode I sought after to discuss 5 other observations I had from six months on the highway, from running there and rising my trade whilst I used to be touring. I’m hoping you’ll concentrate to these and practice a few of them in your personal trade going ahead. Hey. I discussed SaneBox. I discussed International101. I if truth be told have 12 other gear I believe actually enabled me to paintings whilst I used to be away.
These are on-line gear and apps. I put all of them in a tick list that you’ll obtain in the display notes right here. Go to nerdmarketing.com/34. You’ll see the one. I’ve were given a downloadable checklist of my best gear that enabled me to go back and forth and paintings at the identical time. Hope you admire them and communicate to you subsequent time.