By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

“How I Work” is one of my favorite features in Inc Magazine (similar to Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work series too).

For a few years now we have followed suit, featuring a B2B sales, marketing or business leader answering some great 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 Jeff Coveney, president of RevEngine Marketing, a fast-growing marketing automation consulting agency. Jeff is a constant presence at B2B conferences, often with a video crew in tow capturing interviews and insights. Here in his own words is how he does it.

Location:  Boston MA

Number of unread emails right now? 6,505. Actually, it’s more like 50 but my email client shows this big number because I don’t open all the junk email.

First app checked in the morning?  Gmail. Email is still very much alive in my world.

First thing you do when you come into work?  I go a little old school and open my notebook to review a running list of my week’s goals. It helps me start planning my day in the context of the bigger picture.

What is your email management strategy?  I try to respond as quickly as possible to acknowledge receipt until I can give the request a little more thought (if needed). Internally, our team communicates a ton via Slack which is vital to keeping a remote team engaged.

Most essential app when traveling?

  • Uber/Lyft – Does anyone use a taxi anymore?
  • Netflix – I always load up on a few shows or movies when traveling.
  • Spotify – Of course, I need some tunes.

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? During the summer, I like to swim to clear my brain a bit. There is no way to watch video, check email or do anything else distracting.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance?  We have a virtual team so I work at home. On the plus side, I see my family a lot more and have much more flexibility with my schedule. I stress the importance of this work/life balance with our team which is why we don’t have a vacation policy—do your work and enjoy yourself when you have to recharge.

On the flipside, I do often find myself working during times that I should be more focused on the family. I need to work on not working more.

Are there any work rituals critical to your success?  I’d say there are two.

1) Planning. A smart woodsman once said that if he had four hours to chop down a tree, he’d spend the first three sharpening the ax. That’s a philosophy I’ve used which is something we try to stress in our client approach. As part of this planning, I write things down to help document decisions to keep projects on track.

2) Share experiences.  I spend a lot of time writing and creating videos to help educate others on various marketing topics. It takes a LOT of effort to make complex concepts simple but I really like sharing the knowledge. And when I run into someone that says “Hey, I read your piece on XYZ and it helped me,” that gives me a lot of satisfaction.

For example, I worked with a client recently that had an ebook I wrote a year ago. At an onsite, the ebook was printed and marked up in her office. She had previously used it to attain success at her org and wanted to take that knowledge to the next level.

What apps/software/tools can¹t you live without? There are several:

  • Slack – Great for team communication.
  • – Saves valuable time by reducing the back and forth with meeting organization.
  • Google drive – We collaborate via Google for almost everything we do.
  • Freshbooks – This is our invoice and time tracking system that manages all of our projects. I would be lost without this application.

What’s your workspace like?  I have a home office with a big u-shaped desk that I love. The desk is outfitted with two screens which let’s me multitask.  I also have some sports memorabilia hanging up of our local sports teams along with some family photos.

I’m actually writing this today from my couch as my office is in the process of getting painted. After almost 5 years in the same office, it’s time to mix things up. I’m going with a dark blue so hopefully it comes out OK.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?  Don’t try to solve everything at once. Let your subconscious do the work.

Many times, I’m asked for immediate answers to complex challenges–answering these immediately doesn’t always produce the best answers.

This past year, I recognized the value of using the subconscious mind to help make decisions. Rather than try to solve complex strategic and technology problems immediately, I like to sleep on those thoughts and put my subconscious to work. Many times, the answers are there when I wake up….and our clients are better for it.

What are you currently reading?  I tend to focus most of my reading on blog related content.

MarketingProfs, The Salesblog, Business Insider, ChiefMartec and your [Heinz Marketing] blog are a couple I follow.  BTW, how the heck does Anthony Iannarino produce content every day?–pretty impressive.

Last thing you do before leaving work?  This is a battle of home vs office for me. I’m always at home which means I’m always in the office. When I’m done with the workday, I leave my office door closed. That helps me mentally get out of work mode.  Of course, the process gets all messed up when I check email on my phone after leaving the office.

Who are some mentors or influences you wish to thank or acknowledge?  Is this the Oprah moment where I’m supposed to get emotional?

There have been numerous mentors throughout my life but these are the ones that I have relied on most during my most recent RevEngine Marketing journey.

Thom VanHorn – I’ve worked for Thom in numerous capacities for the past twenty years. Like a big brother, Thom has been there to help guide me at every career fork in the road.

David Carnes. When I was thinking of starting RevEngine Marketing, I met with David who shared all his good and bad experiences running his own agency. He has continued to do that regularly when I have key decisions to make.

Steve Baines. Steve is like that helpful senior in high school when you are a sophomore.  Our careers have paralleled one another recently, but he’s always been a bit ahead helping guide me based on some experience he just had. For example, when I was looking to scale RevEngine Marketing by creating a team, he encouraged me to do that—and I haven’t looked back.

Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best?

My family is very supportive of my business even though my kids still don’t know exactly what I do.

Professionally, this is an easy one. My team is amazing. Watching them all grow and help our clients reach success is just awesome.  A shout out goes to Jenn DiMaria, Ande Kempf, Mary Rouzer and Anna Leary along with alums Tim Cerato and Tyson Jurgens.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?  I’m not a very religious person but “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is pretty good advice we should all follow.

Name a guilty pleasure TV show  I’m big into Netflix. Right now, I’m binging on Ozark.

Anything else you want to add?  Take a chance and make mistakes. That’s how we all learn.

When I look at bringing on new team members, I look for candidates who already lived the pain and can help our clients avoid those pitfalls in the future.

Fill in the Blank:  I’d love to see Casey Neistat answer these questions. 

I’m going off the board here. I personally don’t know Casey but love his story and am a big fan. He basically invented vlogging years ago and his do what you can’t motto helped him gain 8 million followers (oh yeah, Samsung uses that motto now).

He’s never mentioned in our digital marketing space but he engages his audience better than any business I’ve seen. Plus, some of his video initiatives helped underprivileged kids and bring support for countries in need. Also, he sold his company to CNN so that’s a good checkbox there.