hidalgo“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including  Anthony Iannarino, Dave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.

Periodically moving forward we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions.

First up: Carlos Hidalgo.  Not only does he run a fast-growing demand generation consultancy, but he’s a also a devoted husband and father to three kids.  He gets stuff done.  Here, in his own words, is how he works:

Location:  Colorado Springs, Colorado i.e. God’s Country

Current computers:  1 – My MacBook Pro –  after 6 years I think it is time for an upgrade

Current mobile devices: My iPad and my iPhone – they keep me on time and informed and yes the studies are true, I read most of my email off my mobile device.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Given that most of our folks are remote there are a few that I cannot live without – Lync – allows us to keep in touch and chat and get resolution on key items quickly.

DropBox – where we are able to store shared items, client deliverables, etc. – would be impossible to operate without it given all of the content and information that we push out and deliver on a daily basis.

TweetDeck & LinkedIN Mobile App – keeps me plugged in socially and allows me to publish and make sales contacts while on the road.

Google voice – although if anyone from Google is reading this an upgrade on the voice to text would be a nice touch.

Lastly, my United Airlines app – lousy airline but if they were in the App business they may actually score high on customer satisfaction.

Carbonite – the always on back-up has saved me more than once.

Last one is SFDC – pipeline and prospect management is crucial to the growth of the business.

What’s your workspace like?  
Most of the time my work space is 35,000 feet in the air (where I am responding to this interview) and when I am not fortunate to get the upgrade it is a very tight workspace.  If not there, a hotel or client.

Ideally, when back in Colorado, I have a home office with one of our old kitchen tables from when we first married as my desk.  It’s a pretty simple space but allows me to do the work I need to get done and I do my best to keep it pretty organized – clutter distracts me and I’ve been known on more than one occasion to stop what I am doing and start cleaning off the desk and give the shredder a good workout.  I keep as much paper out of the office, prefer soft copy on just about everything – less clutter and better for the environment.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?  
Before I sign off every night, I take 10-15 minutes to review the next days deliverables, appointments and to-do’s.  Gives me time to mentally think through the day and what is in store.  If it is not mission critical – client deliverable or leading to revenue, I give myself permission to move it onto the next day or week.  Just mentally prioritizing is key for me and the way I work

What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else?
How do you answer this without sounding conceited?  Thanks Matt for the set-up! I’m not sure I am the best at it, but I think I am good at writing.  It is something I enjoy and try to get better at all the time.  It is great to hear people tell you they follow you because of the content that you produce – it is the business we are in after all.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
Call me old fashioned, but I use pen and paper for my list manager.  I am a very visual person, so if I write it down and then cross it off as I accomplish the various tasks, it allows me to see the continuned progress throughout the week. I’ve tried the various digital tools, but do like my planner where I write, take manual notes, etc.

What do you listen to while at work?  
I usually have a very varied mix of music playing at any given time – right now as I respond to this interview it is Imagine Dragons, but at the start of responding to these questions it was VanHalen so it is pretty mixed.

When I am writing – blogs, article, my book that I hope to someday complete, it is a mix of hard rock and hip hop – Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Emminem, Jay-Z. By the way, Eminem’s new album . . . . .  genius, Rap God is truly a work of art – I’m not joking.

Back to the music I listen to during the day  – I find that the more intense music played pretty loud, gets the creative thought process going and helps feed my very ADD tendencies, so when I write this is what I have on.

What are you currently reading?
I am not a big reader to be honest.  Given all of the reading I do of research, client information and our own deliverables and content, I don’t do a lot of reading outside of the day-to-day.  However, right now I am reading the Mackenzie Way and just finished re-reading Shift by the Chip & Dan Heath – I will read just about anything they put out.

What’s your sleep routine like? You have a sleep routine?  I usually get 5-7 hours per night – I seem to sleep better if I watch an episode of The Soup before I fall asleep.  I get to bed between somewhere around 10:30-11 each night and try to start my day by 5:00.  You can get a whole lot done between the hours of 5-7 as compared to the rest of the day.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
One of my best friends and mentors who I once worked for said “don’t be afraid to disappoint someone daily.”  When he first told me this I laughed and hen he didn’t I realized he was serious.  He went onto explain that if you are worried about disappointing people, you won’t accomplish much.

The message was make the right decisions based on the information you have and move on.  If in the end, it was the wrong decision, learn from it and move on.  His entire message was as a leader you cannot base your decision making on how upset or pleased other people may be.  It does not mean  you have to lack compassion, but you can be a compassionate hard ass when needed.  I give a lot of credit to Andy (my mentor and friend) for this and I still speak with him at least once per month.

Anything else you want to add?  
This has been fun, we should do it again, but let’s have a scotch and cigar and get this on camera, I think we would have a great time.  And in all seriousness, thanks for thinking of me for this, it is much appreciated!

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions.  
I would love to see Joe Pulizzi answer these questions.  I do not see him or for that matter speak to jim often enough, but Joe is truly one of my favorite people that I have had the pleasure to call a friend and colleague.  I have learned a whole lot from him on how he conducts his business and his straight forward and honest approach.  I think having him respond would be a learning experience for a whole lot of people.