“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 Gerhard Gschwandtner, publisher of Selling Power magazine and one of the sales industry’s leading voices. He’s published the magazine for 32 years, and has spearheaded the Sales 2.0 Conference for the past seven years as well. In addition to this, he is the founder of Sales20Circle, interviews some of the most influential sales leaders in a video series and is a regular fountain of new ideas and perspectives about selling in the modern age.
Gerhard, suffice it to say, gets stuff done. Here, in his own words, is how he works:
I live and work in Fredericksburg, VA. I do have a home office that faces the Potomac River and it is not uncommon to watch bald eagles catch fish and eat them perched on a tree outside my window. Our company headquarters is located in a quiet office park. We own a 10,000 sq. ft building that sits on 4 acres and we have a basketball hoop in the parking lot where I like to shoot what I call five-pointers (that’s mid-court distance). I usually get one out of seven and that’s good exercise.
I use the new MacBookPro with a 15 inch screen. I also carry two iPads (standard and mini) with me. In my office I connect my MacBookPro with a 27″ screen.
Current mobile devices:
I use two iPhones. One Verizon, the other AT&T so I am never out of coverage and rarely out of battery. I also carry a Sony RX100 M2, a 20 megapixel camera that I use at events or trade shows to do quick video interviews. My backup camera is a Canon G15 and when I travel I use a Gorilla tripod to record video. I also use the camera of my iPad mini for that purpose.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I use Gmail, Google Docs and Google Drive. I also use a vintage AOL account with very old friends. I can’t live without VSee.com that I use for video conferencing (the traditional phone is dead and Skype is too unstable). I do my video editing on iMovie 11 and FinalCutPro. I love Siri and Dragon, but my favorite tool for creating new ideas and collaborating with a client is iMindMap6. It forces people to think better and you can move faster from thought to action.
Here are a few other apps that are a must-have in my daily routine:
Hootsuite – a huge time saver for social media
LinkedIn – I love connecting with interesting people
NYT.com – CNN.com and NewYorker.com – my favorite sites to read and think
JoinMe.com and GoToMeeting – great for webinars and collaboration
WittyParrot.com – an amazing tool to drag and drop content into emails
DocuSign – a must for everyone in sales
Aurora3Dmaker – for quick 3-D slide creation
Depositphoto.com – amazingly rich and simple source for finding images for PPT’s and Video Titles
Seatguru.com – to find the best seat on any airplane.
Uber.com – for getting a decent ride in any city
Yelp – to find better food in strange places
Amex Concierge – for getting into any restaurant I want in the world.
Elance.com – to hire free-lance staff to edit videos, research stories, complete special projects
Box.com – for sharing large files quickly
Chess pro – to relax
Canon EOS Remote – to remote control my Canon D70
Spotflux — Scrambles my IP address and protects my computer when using public WiFi
What’s your workspace like?
I like moving from space to space. Different spaces create different mindsets. I have a large office with a couch a and a mini kitchen with a refrigerator, which is stocked with enough good food that I don’t need to waste time eating out. I sometimes take my phone outside and talk to clients while walking around our property. My office is connected to my library/conference room.
My collection of books includes over 3,000 volumes and memorabilia like a signed thank you note from George W. Bush 41. A signed golf ball from Bill Clinton and a number of pictures from meetings with him in Aspen, Miami and New York. The library also features framed and autographed covers of Selling Power magazine. (Bill Marriott, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Downs, Maria Sharapova etc.)
I love working late in my library which gives me the feeling of being in the company of amazing minds. I am thinking of getting a ping-pong table to add more fun besides playing trash-can basketball inside or shooting hoops outside.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?
I shave with two electric shavers. When I peel a hard boiled egg, I create a small hole on one side and a larger one on the other. Then I blow through the small hole and then the egg blows out through the larger hole in a second. It turns boring peeling into a fun game.
I rarely type when I answer emails. Instead, I use Siri on my iPhone. Before I go to bed, I write down all the unfinished business and to-do’s so that I can go to sleep with a clear mind. I can fall asleep in five seconds. When I travel by air, I use Bose noise canceling headphones that cuts the engine noise. I always take a quick nap on the plane before opening my laptop; that clears my mind and keeps me productive.
I also like to get up and walk around every hour or so to stretch and do isometric exercises to avoid feeling like a zombie during long flights. I never fly without a large bottle of water and healthy snacks. I always travel with earplugs, eye-shades, eye-drops, hand-lotion and saline nasal spray.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else?
I love working at a fast pace but I can shift and disconnect at the drop of a hat. I can listen at Olympic levels and above all, I allow myself to listen to my instincts. When things get very chaotic I feel more calm and confident and for some reason, time slows down, the fog lifts and in an instant I can find the right thing to do. I’ve dealt with a lot of chaotic situations and met a lot of crazy people. And the best compliment I ever received was “emergency psychiatrist.”
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
What do you listen to while at work?
I love to listen to the silence after everyone has left the office and also classic jazz.
What’s your sleep routine like?
In bed by 2 AM and up at 9 AM. I always wake up with lots of new ideas and catch them on my iPhone.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Zig Ziglar once told me during an interview, “Success is not measured by what you have done compared to others, but compared to what you’re capable of doing.” And Tony Robbins shared with me, “Everything you need to succeed is within us now.” Every day I try to connect with my inner Google.
Anything else you want to add?
Arthur Clark once said that great technology is indistinguishable from magic. We live in the most magical century the world has ever seen.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions.