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 Alicia Wieser, founder of The Parenting Journal. She featured me a few weeks ago and publishes a weekday resource for busy parents worldwide. She’s also co-founder of Baby Hero (a socially responsible children’s clothing brand) and Hong Kong Helps (she does all of this while raising her family halfway around the world!).
Suffice it to say, Alicia gets stuff done! Here in her own words is how she does it.
Location: MidLevels, Hong Kong. I grew up in San Antonio, Texas and when I decided to go “up north” for college my grandmother and mother expressed their concern that I would marry a “northern boy” and not return to Texas. Well I did marry a “northern boy” (from Connecticut) and we did live “up north” for a while (in NYC), but now we are in Asia….
Current computers: A MacBook air. The MacBook Air is something like 2 pounds, which is very lightweight, making it easy to tote around and ideal for my mobile working lifestyle. I have my own company and three children, ages five and under. It is busy and messy and beautiful at the same time. Having my own company allows me to be flexible with where I work and when I work, and often it is between taking children to activities and school. It is really unbelievable how this technology allows me to work in such a mobile manner.
Current mobile devices: When we moved to Asia nine years ago, we upgraded to our first iPhone, out of somewhat of a necessity. We were in Tokyo at the time and English was hardly prevalent. Having the iPhone let us look up items we needed for cooking and match the picture to the item in the store, which was critical for spices as the labels were all in Japanese (I did not know all my spices back then to my grandmother’s dismay… I was a newly wed and “learning” to cook)! The iPhone was also incredibly helpful for navigating around Japan and communicating with taxi drivers, being able to show the taxi driver where to go exactly was so helpful as we often could not communicate the place we needed to go properly. We would joke every year that our M.V.P. award goes to the iPhone!
I still think the iPhone wins M.V.P. today. My family lives in Texas, Connecticut and D.C. and it is so nice to have access to FaceTime so the children can see and build a relationship with their grandparents even though we are so far away.
I also have an ancient Kindle. I think it is from nine years ago too (when we moved to Asia). It has been awesome because we cannot always find books we want to read from the U.S. over here in Asia and obviously with the Kindle, I can download any book instantaneously. I feel very lucky to have access to these technologies while living abroad. My in-laws were expats too and when they lived abroad, they would share a one week old New York Times print edition amongst friends because it was so expensive to get the newspaper over here!
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
- What’s App – great for keeping our household in one chat, sharing photos of the kids, and keeping in touch with my college roommates back home
- Slack – great for organizing my business
- Google maps – life saver
- Facetime – so important for our children to connect with our family back in the States
- Skype and Ecamm for call recording – for interviews
- Google Alerts – for research
- Canva – for graphic design
- iCloud photo sharing – great for sharing photos of the kids with grandparents and friends back home!
- Facebook – for connecting with other moms
- Podcasts – for auditory learning
- Audible – ditto
- Coursera – free university courses
- Planner Pro App – to do lists
- iTunes – it’s how we watch US shows
- Google Analytics – beyond me that this is a free tool
- Mailchimp – for tracking The Parenting Journal newsletter
- Headphones – for listening to podcasts/audible/coursera
What’s your workspace like? Very busy, lots of people and smells like… coffee. I basically work anywhere there is a solid internet connection that is not my home. Lots of coffee shops. Well, I do work at home too. When at home, I work at my husband’s hideous looking stand up desk that is so nicely sitting in our bedroom or at our dining room table. Our apartment in Hong Kong does not have room for a separate home office.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? Audible books and podcasts put on double speed. Since I have discovered podcasts and audible books, I have been able to consume so much more information and learn so much more about life, parenting and business during times that I otherwise was talking on the phone or watching reality T.V., like while I am commuting or at the gym.
Google Alerts are another great time saving hack for my research and reading content that I would like to follow.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? There are lots of people good at this, but I do it very well – not accepting no for an answer and keeping going on a quest until it is completed or I succeed. Sometimes, this skill can be to my detriment. I do not quit, even when I should be quitting for the health of my body and mind. For example, I used to run five to seven miles a day and kept going even though my knees started hurting… now I have to deal with that pain permanently. When applying for college, I stayed home for like a week straight working on applications. I remember my parents trying to pay me to leave the house. But of course this skill, my determination, has helped me succeed lots in life too.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Wunderlist
I also love pen and paper. In one of the most meaningful gestures to me, my friends grouped together and got me a personalized notebook for my birthday. I carry it everywhere with me now as sort of a good luck, empowering charm.
What do you listen to while at work? Sometimes laughing, playing or screaming children. Sometimes a barista calling out coffee orders… I cannot listen to music while working. It messes with my thinking process. Slightly ironic because I am partly deaf so you would think I would not be too sensitive to noise.
What are you currently reading? Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and The Meditations By Marcus Aurelius. My husband just got Chriss Voss’s “Never Split The Difference: Negotiation as if your life depended on it” that I am super excited to read (and my husband is super excited for me NOT to read it)! Over the last nearly decade, ordering English books has become easier in Asia, especially with a company called Book Depository.
What’s your sleep routine like? It needs to get better! I have insomnia and am still woken up by my one year old most nights. My husband and I usually put the kids to bed, have some dinner, do some work and read or watch a show. Most nights, I have difficulty falling and staying asleep! Working on it. There are some sleep meditation apps that work pretty well.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? My parents did a good job of installing confidence and grit in me. Two phrases they would say often that have helped me tremendously in life (1) “You can do anything you put your mind to doing and work incredibly hard to do” and (2) “When the going gets tough in the woods, keep on going”. In this same vein, there is a quote I remember from my childhood whose author I have failed to confirm. It is “the road to success is littered with those who quit.” or something like that…. I have this image of a long west Texas highway with roadkill litter. I often think, “I will not be the roadkill,” and I keep on going.
Anything else you want to add? Lately, I have been working on consistency and seeing the tremendous value of it. From work to parenting, I have been noting the great value of repeating certain actions each day.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Debbie Sterling of Goldie Box
About Allie Wieser
Allie is founder of The Parenting Journal. The Parenting Journal is making it easier to be a better parent in today’s busy world. A social entrepreneur, Wieser has also co-founded Baby Hero and The Baby Hero Foundation that provide life saving medical supplies to mothers and babes in the developing world. Previously, Wieser was an investment banker in New York City.
The Parenting Journal researches the latest scientific studies and experts’ findings and creates actionable parenting advice. It delivers this advice in attractive, easy to digest formats on social media and weekday emails.
We live in a bright age where we know more about childhood and human development than we have ever known before. Everyday, hundreds of scientific studies are published on human behaviors and childhood development that we have access to because of the amazing state of our technology.
Yet, parents are super busy and do not have time to read the latest findings nor develop actionable items based on these findings to raise happier children, have happier families and ultimately contribute to building a better, healthier society.
Enter The Parenting Journal to bridge this gap.
Wieser, mom of 3, knows first hand that moms are super busy. Wieser says, “As moms of young children, we are in survival mode. We do not have time to be reading this incredibly illuminating and edifying scientific research that is being published daily now on childhood brain development. Yet it is critical to our children’s success that we know it. The Parenting Journal bridges this gap – we research the latest scientific research, parenting books and expert’s findings and share actionable items with moms. What’s more? We make sure our emails are very short – 1 minute to read and snazzy – so moms can actually fit the 1 minute read into their daily schedule.”