“How I Work”: Julian Lina, Head of Demand Generation and Sales Development at Fond @JulianLina #HowIWork


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 week on Thursday we feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering 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, we’re excited to feature Julian Lina, Head of Demand Generation and Sales Development at Fond. Julian is responsible for all lead acquisition, market development, and sales pipeline delivery efforts for the enterprise software provider. As a result of his work and accomplishments at Fond, he was recently recognized as the 2019 Generation Z Trailblazer by the Demand Gen Report and 2019 Marketer of the Year by the American Business Awards. Julian is also one of the youngest official members of the Forbes Business Development Council, an invitation-only organization for business development leaders.  Here in his own words is how he gets everything done.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Number of unread emails right now? Work email – 5. Personal email – Too many…

First app checked in the morning? On weekdays, either Slack or Gmail. On weekends, Twitter.

First thing you do when you come into work? I’ll grab a cup of coffee and a glass of water, briefly review my calendar and to-do list, then proceed to get started on the first item on my to-do list (managed using the Notes app). A couple of days per week, I’ll substitute the cup of coffee with a serving of Athletic Greens.

What is your email management strategy? My objective is to respond to all addressable emails within a timely manner, but in a way that yields minimal distractions. I find this to be especially important when your organization has other internal communication tools beyond email (ex. Slack, Google Hangouts, Skype for Business, etc.). The best way for me to achieve this has been by only checking and responding to emails during specific times of the day (I have 3 designated time blocks pre-populated on my calendar), as opposed to checking and responding to emails as they arrive in my inbox.

Most essential app when traveling? In airports, United. On planes, Spotify and Notes. At the travel destination, Uber and Yelp.

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? Holistically, I do it by consistently getting an adequate amount of sleep, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, and proactively addressing my mental health. From a work perspective, I derive calmness and focus simply by being conscious of my goals, day-to-day action items, deadlines, and progress. Google Sheets for OKR tracking, Asana for project management, Notes for to-do lists, and Google Calendar for time management are all key contributors.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? Conceptually, I’m not a fan. The term itself implies that there’s an explicit trade-off between ‘work’ and ‘life’, which totally isn’t the case for everyone. In my own life, the two are very integrated with each other. My approach here is no different than traditional goal setting. Firstly, I seek to understand and prioritize what exactly I value across the personal and professional areas of my life. This is identified through a combination of self-reflection, conversations with family/friends/colleagues, and professional consultation (therapy, life coaching, etc.). Then, I set measurable goals that are aligned with the values I prioritize most. Next, I develop an action plan with a corresponding timeline that will allow me to achieve those goals. Finally, I ensure that I’m measuring my progress against those goals as I execute on that action plan, resetting as necessary. All of this is managed using G Suite applications (Docs, Sheets, and Calendar). This approach may seem excessive and certainly easier said than done, but I’ve found that being overly thorough and organized here has forced me to evaluate my personal and professional goal setting much more thoughtfully.

Are there any work rituals critical to your success? Interestingly, the rituals that have been critical to my success are all unrelated to work. Rest, exercise, diet, and mental health are the four areas of my life that I’ve focused on ritualizing. With rest, it’s maintaining an average of 6 – 7 hours of sleep per night. With exercise, it’s attending a workout class (I’m particularly a fan of Orangetheory Fitness) at least 4 – 5 times per week. With diet, it’s making health-conscious decisions with every meal while not being too restrictive, and practicing intermittent fasting daily (typically around 18 hours). Finally, with mental health, it’s checking in with a professional at least once per quarter and journaling whenever I feel the need to.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? G Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, etc.), Notes, Slack, Spotify, Uber, YouTube, and Wikipedia immediately come to mind.

What’s your workspace like? Practical and personal. My desk at work consists of my 13-inch MacBook Air, a monitor, a couple of pens, a notepad, my Employee of the Year award from Fond, and a childhood photo of my grandmother and me.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? No particular ‘hacks’, but my biggest time-saving initiative this year has been in reducing my overall cell phone usage. A few simple tactics I’ve implemented include stashing my phone away during working hours, deleting social media apps for extended periods of time, and using a screen time tracking app (I use Moment) to hold myself accountable.

What are you currently reading? Self-Knowledge by Alain de Botton and Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore.

Last thing you do before leaving work? Lock the office doors.

Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? Taro Fukuyama, Co-founder & CEO at Fond; Sunny Tsang, Co-founder & Chief Designer at Fond; Francois Thrower, VP of Finance at Fond; Matt Pirtle, my former manager; my dad. Not to generalize, but they’ve all been instrumental to both my professional and personal growth. Thank you all for your guidance and mentorship.

Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? Ultimately, my mom and dad. Many of my accomplishments are largely credited to how they raised me and the values they’ve instilled in me. They’re seriously the best parents I could have ever asked for. At work, Katerina and Erin on the Fond marketing team, Ricardo and Matt on the Fond sales team, Stacy, Deanna, and Claire from Fathom, and many others. Thank you! 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To be impatient with actions and patient with results.

Name a guilty pleasure TV show I don’t really watch TV (in fact, the one in my apartment is still in its box), but I do consume a lot of YouTube. Any travel-related YouTube channels with a focus on food are definitely guilty pleasures.

Anything else you want to add?

Thank you to Matt and the Heinz Marketing team for featuring me. I’ve always found the “How I Work” series to be super valuable (a couple of my favorite features include Aaron Ross and Mark Roberge), and I appreciate the opportunity to provide my personal insights.

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions.  Chamath Palihapitiya; Naval Ravikant; Jeff Bezos; Stewart Butterfield.


Nominate someone here