“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 Mike Volpe, who runs all marketing as CMO for Hubspot. Hubspot is legendary for their content and volume of inbound leads generated for their own sales team, and their annual Inbound conference has become a mainstay of the B2B marketing event circuit in a very short amount of time.
Mike, suffice it to say, gets stuff done. Here, in his own words, is how he works:
Location: Cambridge, MA
Current computers: Lenovo X1 Carbon
Current mobile devices: iPhone 5 and iPad 3… but I am so close to going Android.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Evernote – I use Evernote all the time to scribble down ideas, and take notes in meetings, track my to do list which is mostly a list of things to discuss with different people on my team. The product is good and they are a great example of business models of the future.
Box – I keep all my documents there and also have lots of folders where I collaborate with others. I can always get at my stuff from any device anywhere I am.
Gmail / Google Calendar / Google Docs – We use the full Google suite for most things at HubSpot and I spend the most screentime in Gmail out of all the apps I use on all devices.
HubSpot – While I’m no longer in the weeds of creating personalized web content or email nurturing sequences, I do use Social Inbox on both the web and in our mobile app for a social media publishing and engagement. I also use the reports and dashboards to keep tabs on the marketing team and our goals.
One interesting thing about these apps is they all have an inbound component to their businesses that leverages a freemium product, free tools, free trials, and free content to drive revenue. I love that.
What’s your workspace like?
We have a “no office” culture at HubSpot, so I just have a simple desk like everyone else – including our interns. I don’t spend a lot of time at my desk, so usually it is pretty empty. Usually there are a few golden unicorn statues (each week, top-performing marketers get recognized with this award), a bell we used to ring every time we got a new HubSpot customer in 2007 (we sell too many new customers to use it now, so it’s become an antique), and an array of marketing books that authors have sent me.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?
Force yourself to have one day a week with no meetings. It is far too easy to get caught up in the flow of everyone else’s projects and have a calendar full of meetings allowing little time for everything else you need to do. For me, having one day a week to clear my head, dig out from my inbox and then think about how to strategically drive our team toward the things I think are most important is really valuable.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else?
Twitter. I’m still surprised at how many execs aren’t active on Twitter; it’s an incredible platform for the C-suite to engage with leads, prospects, and customers, and better yet, to listen to what they’re saying about your business. Twitter’s been a great outlet for me to connect with customers, understand their pain points, and offer moments of delight (I hope!) And Twitter is perfect for executives because you can do it in a few minute chunks of time in between meetings. Follow me at @mvolpe 🙂
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I haven’t found the perfect one yet. Lately it has been Evernote, which is fantastic as a “second brain” or archive, and decent as a to do list for me and my style.
What do you listen to while at work?
Generally old school hip-hop, with some newer stuff mixed in. My wife and I dream about having a playdate with Jay-Z, Beyonce and Blue Ivy and our boys (ages 3 and 1).
What are you currently reading?
I can recite Goodnight Moon from memory. Does that count?
What’s your sleep routine like?
There’s nothing routine about it. I try to sleep from 10pm to 5am, but that rarely actually happens. As the father of two boys under three and CMO at a fast-paced company like HubSpot, sleep is a luxury. Lucky for me, the nap room in our office comes in handy!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Hiring is the most important thing you do.” The founder of the company I worked at before HubSpot said this often, but it took me a while to really understand how true it was. Now, having grown the HubSpot marketing team from 0 to 75 people, I know how important hiring is. The ramifications of that advice are the important thing – you should spend a lot of your time sourcing candidates and interviewing and background checking, and you should teach those skills to your managers and make them part of your criteria for promotion. Never promote someone to a senior role without proof they can hire well.
Who would you like to see answer these same questions?