By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
“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 Chris Beall, CEO of ConnectAndSell. Chris has been in the tech industry for almost 40 years, holds numerous technical patents, runs half-marathons, lives in a town that technically no longer exists….
The list keeps going. He gets stuff done, seriously. Here in his own words is how he does it.
Location: Most mornings, Glenwood, CA. The town doesn’t exist anymore, which is one of my favorite things about it.
Current computer(s): MacBook Pro
Current mobile devices: iPhone 6
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?: I am 90% mobile, but not very app heavy beyond Apple email/calendar. That said, MobileDay lets me drive our gentle Bay Area freeways and attend conference calls with a single, safe tap. United and Southwest mobile app – although why neither of these companies has figured out how to let me buy in-flight wifi using the app instead of fumbling with a credit card is simply beyond me. Some others: LinkedIn app, alarm clock, Google Maps, more and more Uber. ConnectAndSell Mobile – for coaching.
What’s your workspace like? A round table sitting on a south-facing deck in the redwoods, surrounded by bird feeders, hummingbird and others (see “What do you listen to at work” below).
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?: No to-do lists. If it needs to be done, it’s in my calendar. If it needs to be thought about, it’s in my very short mental list, maximum of 3 items, refreshed from scratch every morning. I also pay as close to zero attention to “news” as possible.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? Staying focused while talking on the phone. I spend about 8 hours per day in phone conversations and it would be very easy to mentally drift. I’m pretty good at not doing that, probably because I don’t have a to-do list.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? See “best time-saving shortcut” above – my brain, mostly because not much fits in there so the list stays very short.
What do you listen to while at work? On the deck: Birds – Oregon juncos, White Breasted Nuthatches, Black Headed Grossbeaks, Spotted Towhees, and Common Ravens. Near continuous hummingbird fights. They all remind me that conversations are universal – everybody talks and listens, almost all the time. Especially ravens.
In my car: Sales conversations. I pick 2 of our sales reps and 1 disposition – like “Interested – Send Information” (my least favorite roll-over-and-play-dead conversation outcome). Then I switch back and forth between the 2 reps. It’s my version of “The Voice”, with winners and everything!
What are you currently reading? How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction by Beth Shapiro.
What’s your sleep routine like? Generally in bed by 11. Generally up and working, horizontally (“mobile” also means “recumbent”!) at around 4:30 am. Very little success at stretching that out on weekends.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Mrs. Carrie Wilcox, my high school physics teacher and mentor, strongly advised me not to follow in her footsteps. She said “You’re not a bad teacher, but you should start and run companies.”
And if I can have one more, my mother, when I was very young, told me “Chris – there are 3 billion other people in the world and only one of you. Do the math.” (This was quite a while ago, but it stuck.)
Anything else you want to add? Thoreau had it right: “Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.”
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Richard Feynman, because that would mean he is still alive. But Elon Musk will do, if you can get him. Wait…how about Steve Richard? He’s both alive and might even do it!