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.
Every single week we highlight a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader in our own version of 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 Nick Hart, senior enterprise customer success manager for Outreach. Nick is highly involved in the Seattle business community, including as co-organizer of TedX Seattle and on the leadership team of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) Seattle chapter. Here, in his own words, is how he gets everything done.
Location: Mid-Flight between Austin and Seattle.
Number of unread emails right now? Started the flight with 104, down to 42 currently. Phew, making progress.
First app checked in the morning? Google Calendar
First thing you do when you come into work? Prep for the day. Every morning I have an hour blocked from 7-8 to prep for the day.
What is your email management strategy? Automate as much as possible. I have TONS of filters in Gmail. For Example, Auto-Tagging Customer Emails based on email domain, Auto-archiving accepted calendar placeholders. Deleting any internal all-company HR emails with more than 500 characters… JK. Finally, I use our own product, Outreach, to ensure none of my conversations slip through the cracks. Almost all of my email follow-ups are automated and I use our Meetings tool for scheduling so I don’t have to go back and forth trying to find times to meet. This literally saves me hours every week.
Most essential app when traveling? Google Mail or Slack
How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? It’s all about mindset and preparation. I live by my calendar. If I know something important is coming up in a few weeks, I book all of my prep time on my calendar now. Mindset is most important though. Stress doesn’t make any situation better. Just get over it and get to work.
What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? An old colleague of mine described this perfectly. Nowadays, in our ever-connected world, there is no such thing as work/life balance but rather work/life integration. Personally, I will enjoy a vacation much more if I can check my email in the morning for 30-min to ensure nothing is on fire, then go have fun. Some people have to completely disconnect in order to relax. Above all else though, I strongly believe in being present. As much as humanly possible, when having a conversation with someone, my undivided attention is on them, not distracted in a device.
Are there any work rituals critical to your success? 1) If it’s not in the calendar, it’s not going to happen. I plan out every minute of my days (sometimes even weekends). 2) Get in early. I try for about 30-60-min before the rest of the team so I can have undistracted work time.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Gmail, Google Calendar, Outreach
What’s your workspace like? Very clean. I’ve moved desks/offices so many times in the past 3 years with Outreach that more stuff just means more to move. I also just hate clutter.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? Automate as much as you can. I mentioned most of my emails tricks and tools above. I also am a huge advocate of automating outside of work, specifically, automating my personal finances has changed my life.
What are you currently reading? All of Jeff Bezos’s Letters to the Shareholders
Last thing you do before leaving work? Grab a handful of M&Ms and always take the stairs, not the elevator.
Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? Matt Millen – He has helped me mature a ton in my career. Mike Zinne – makes coming to work every day enjoyable and rewarding. You can’t ask for a better leader.
Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? Brooke Simmons – has been my boss for almost 3 years and has been supportive all the way through. Nina DeHass has been a friend, peer, and even boss for a short stint. Her work ethic is inspiring and just working in her presence has driven me to be the best version of myself.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Best intentions are the worst excuse. Don’t just assume that because you are doing something that’s for the greater good that other people are going to care and get behind you. Meet people where they are and find their motivation, don’t just assume theirs is the same as yours.
Name a guilty pleasure TV show. I avoid TV shows like the plague. I don’t have the will power to not binge watch an entire season in a weekend, so I just keep my distance.
Anything else you want to add? Don’t mistake Happiness and Fulfillment. Many peers of my generation jump from job to job in search of what makes them happy, never to find it. Find something that makes you fulfilled and happiness will come.