“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. You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m excited to feature Joe Chernov, who for years has been one of the leading B2B content marketers in the country – previously with Eloqua and now with Hubspot. Hubspot’s content marketing efforts have long set the standard and provided a blueprint for aspiring buyer-centric marketing organizations nationwide. Joe has helped the company take that to a new level in recent months.
Joe gets stuff done. Here, in his own words, is how he works:
Location: I live in Melrose, MA, a city we selected pretty much for our dog. It abuts a couple thousand acre reservation, so much of our time is spent in the woods. I work about 10 miles away in Cambridge, MA.
Current computers: Home is a basic iMac, which has devolved into our four-year-old’s computer. This basically means it’s always covered in food and juice, and the pinwheel is constantly spinning. At work it’s a MacBook Air and a Thunderbolt monitor.
Current mobile devices: iPhone 5. I skip the “S” versions and update only on whole number upgrades. I’m very eager to get a larger iPhone 6. I have an old iPad in a drawer somewhere, but we seldom used it even when it was new. I still consume most of my media on my iPhone, thus the eagerness for the larger device.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? I’m looking in my “Essentials” folder on my iPhone and in it are: Wunderlist, Sonos, Spotify, Starbucks, Good ToDo, Instapaper, Waze and Evernote. That’s a pretty accurate sampling of my life.
What’s your workspace like? I keep my desk sparse. My former CEO once said to me, “I think you are on top of things, but your desk is so messy it makes me wonder if you really are.” I’ve kept a clean desk ever since.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? This is probably obvious to parents, but it has to be challenging my four-year-old to task-oriented races. Who can get dressed first? Can he brush his teeth faster than I can brush his hair? I was late every morning until I stumbled upon the wonders of micro-competition.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? While I wouldn’t say “better at” per se, I am generally good at finding a common ground with others. I am a curious person, and curiosity has helped me learn a little bit about a lot of things. I can rummage around those things pretty quickly to find a foundation for conversation with most people.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Wunderlist for sure. I like the shared lists feature. However, I fear it’s starting to get a little bloated — and the notion of social media integration with a to-do list strikes me as a completely unnatural feature. I can just hear a VC saying to them: You need to be more “growth hacky” — get people to share their to-do lists online, and it’ll create a virtuous cycle! Flawed advice. Nevertheless, it keeps my household running. I use Good ToDo for work projects.
What do you listen to while at work? I’m dyslexic so I need silence if I am reading or writing. For the rare project that doesn’t involve reading or writing, I am probably listening to Steve Earle or Ryan Adams.
What are you currently reading? You have to be kidding me. Reading? I have about 90 minutes of “me time” per day, and I spend that time with my family. If I were to find time to read, I think I’d peel off and read a Tom Robbins or Kurt Vonnegut book. I have found myself missing the stage of my life when I could read clever satire and not feel like I was shirking responsibility.
What’s your sleep routine like? Early. We Chernovs are sleepers. If I don’t get 8 hours’ sleep, I’m a crank.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? It sort of depends on the circumstance, but I recently found myself telling my son advice my father gave me when I quit wrestling: “Quitting is a slippery slope. You’ll be shocked at how easy it becomes once you start.”
Anything else you want to add? Nope. One should never interview himself. That’s the definition of vanity.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Bradley Cohen (he runs comms at Janrain and co-created a lot of content with me). I love that guy.