Come Up for Air: How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work

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Today’s guest is a systems guy. He founded Leverage, a growth agency that also does operations, which means they do all the stuff that you think about for growth– SEO, paid social, et cetera. But they also help teams organize their Slack channels, their CRMs, and even get to Inbox Zero.

I invited him here to talk about how he systemizes and how he does this for clients. He also has a book on this topic. It’s called Come Up for Air: How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work.



Nick Sonnenberg

Nick Sonnenberg


Nick Sonnenberg is the founder of Leverage, an operational efficiency consultancy that is reinventing the way work gets done.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, they’re freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixer G, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they build their businesses for an audience of entrepreneurs. My brother works for today’s guest as a contractor, and he and I were talking earlier today and he goes, how, here’s what I want you to find out.

How can, and then he gave me the name of a major company, one of the top social networks. He goes, why are they freaking hiring Nick’s company to tell them how to manage their inbox and how to be more productive? You would think this is a company with thousands of people. You would think that they’d have the, the, the knowledge in-house to do this.

And so I’m gonna find out about that. But part of it is that Nick Sonenberg is a systems guy. He founded Leverage. It’s a growth agency that also does operations. That means that they do. All the stuff that you think about for growth, like, uh, search engine optimization, paid social, et cetera. But they also help a team organize their Slack, their crm, and even get to inbox zero.

And so they are hired by many companies to do this. I invited him here, um, to talk about how he systemize and how he built up a business where he does this for clients and to find out about his book, which he sent me an early copy of. It’s called Come Up for Air, how Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop drowning in Work.

Here’s what I’m gonna be doing in this interview. I wanna find out how he built up his company. I like the idea that he’s doing consulting for, for systems and organization and keeping teams productive. And then after that I’d like to find out some of the systems that he uses that the rest of us can use and frankly even.

Frankly, I’d like to get even more productive. I’m a systems person too. All right, we can do thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. So first, you’ve heard about this new types of organization. The new type of organization is a Dao decentralized autonomous organization. If you’d like to hear me do interviews with people who’ve created these DAOs, go check out join

And if you’re hiring a developer, go to G, but I’ll talk about those later. First, Nick, good. Have you here.

Nick: Thanks for having me, Andrew

Andrew: You’re not gonna gimme your revenue. We’ve talked about this in private, you told me, but you said you’re not gonna save publicly. What can you give the audience so that they see a, they understand a sense of how big you are.

Nick: Um, I guess the best way to assess that is at this point we have serviced thousands and thousands of teams ranging from seven figure entrepreneurs up to Fortune 10 companies and saved millions and millions of hours of people’s time. Um, we’re a private company, so I just don’t disclose, uh, our numbers, but we are way, we are growing at a extremely healthy growth rate.

And one of the things that I’m most proud of is our revenue per team member is going up exponentially. And you know, for me it’s not just about revenue and profit, but are you doing it in the right way? Are you being efficient with how you’re growing? , you know, cuz it’s, it’s not like rocket science to grow a company and not, not that it’s easy to grow a company into the millions or tens of millions or billions, but you know, if you wanna burn yourself out and work really, really hard and have everyone do that, you know, you are gonna grow a bit faster.

So I think it’s not just how big you are or how you grow or, or where you’re at, but it’s how you get there in the path. And I’m very proud, not just of our size, but also of the way that we’re going about growth.

Andrew: Okay. All right. Gimme an example of a client that you helped. What, what did they come to you with the problem, what did you do? And then what happened afterwards because of that?

Nick: Um, man, there’s so many companies. I mean, we’ve worked with, I’ll give you one, um, l n R distributors. It’s in New York. They have about a thousand people, but we worked with kind of their top one 50. and they come to us just like how so many other companies come to us. They have the scavenger hunt problem.

They, when you get hired at a company, if you think about it, you give, you’re given an employee handbook of vacation days, health insurance, core values, but you’re not given in employee handbook on, hey, at L N R or at company abc, this is how we operate. These are the tools we use to work together as a high performing team.

Right. And that’s the purpose of my book that’s coming out. It’s to be that employee manual that you never got. So they came to me and they had the typical issues that poop spray companies have had, or large condom companies or tech companies or financial

Andrew: Company, meaning, uh, Pope uh, Pori is one of your clients. Okay. Be be specific. What’s a problem if they had.

Nick: So it’s the same problem at all. They have a scavenger hunt, so they’re, they don’t have alignment on all the various, when to use. nor how to use all the core tools. So starting with how they communicate, right? They were communicating over text, over email, over Microsoft Teams, but there was no alignment on when they should use what.

Some people, they’re like, oh, mark prefers talking in Microsoft teams, but Justin prefers Outlook and Andrew prefers text, and it’s not sustainable to keep track of, you know, hundreds or thousands or even dozens of people’s preferences. You have to align. People look, as a company, it’s unfortunate that maybe you prefer this tool over this tool, but as a, as a company, we need to make a policy here so that we don’t have to keep track of like 600 million preferences.

So that was one thing. There was no alignment on how they communicated, not to mention the way that these various tools were rolled out. Just like so many other companies, Microsoft Teams wasn’t rolled out properly in terms of channel architecture. Third party, Integration. So you know, you, before you know it, you’ve got all these various channels with similar names and you’re kind of back to square one where you don’t know where to look to find what you’re looking for, right?

If you have, if you have 10 channels, social media hyphen one, social media hyphen two, media hyphen social sm, like it’s defeating the whole purpose of this tool cuz it’s hard to find what you’re looking for. So you need to have policies around when to use tools and how to use tools.

Andrew: Okay. I’m with you on that. So you set that up and then what happened to them as a result?

Nick: so we set that up. Um, we taught them how to do email properly, which is something that we’ve all been using for decades and people don’t know how to get to inbox zero. Um, and then we also rolled out tools like Asana for work management. So what we saw as a result, We saw a, on average around eight hours a week.

This is subjective, right? Because when we engage with people, we’re not sitting there with like an hourglass timing stuff or like with a stopwatch. So, uh, after we, after we survey people, we get some averages and what it turns out, and it’s not specific to them, this is an average across mo basically every company, cuz everyone’s got similar issues.

They’re saving on average around a full business day a week. And it’s not just the time savings, it’s the culture goes up too, because no one likes going on a scavenger hunt. No one likes chasing people over text, over email, over teams, over asana, chasing for an update or for work to get done. And so what we see from this work is productivity skyrockets.

Um, people are able to work on things that give them joy or tap into their unique ability. Which is my ultimate mission. And culture goes up because you can start trusting that the, that you ask someone to do something and it’s actually going to get done and you don’t have to waste all that time and energy and frustration, you know, chasing people.

Andrew: Okay. Let’s talk about how you got here and then we’ll do some tactics later on in the session

Nick: What one, one other thing though, one other thing with that, specific to l and r is they were able to close a multi, multi multimillion dollar deal with a company. I can’t disclose their name, and they give a lot of credit that they close that deal and they won it. Uh, they won that deal over others because when they presented the game plan, they did it in an, in an Asana portfolio that we set, helped them set up with milestones and Gantt charts and they really feel, they really gave a lot of credit to the fact that the, that the person that they were presenting to trusted that they were gonna actually be able to deliver.

On the project because of how organized they were. So, I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but it was another kind of big win with that company.

Andrew: No, that’s the win I was looking for. I wanted to get a real business benefit for doing this, not just you enjoy your work more, but because of that, and I could understand that you’re saying you showed them how to organize when they presented to a client, they said, we’re not just going to do the work.

We’re going to have it organized in this way that you can follow along. Okay. I’m with you. Let’s get into how you did this. You worked on Wall Street. You met someone who opened your eyes to entrepreneurship. What did the person say?

Nick: So I wa my background’s in high frequency trading, so if you don’t know what that is, I, I did that for eight years and basically I’m developing algorithms and coding computers to trade stocks at super, super, super high frequency. We’re talking nanoseconds and microseconds and it’s fully automated, so I know nothing about the companies that I’m actually trading.

It’s purely based off. Math and theoretical mathemat mathematical discrepancies. And you know, I would trade billions and billions of dollars a day trying to capture fractions of a penny, um, at super high speeds. In that job, I really developed a further appreciation for the value of time because in high frequency trading, literally a microsecond can mean the difference of making or losing millions and millions of dollars.

And I developed a further appreciation of the power of automation cuz it was all automated. And a further appreciation for how this celebrating small wins. You know, we would be giving each other high fives on the desk if we saved a microsecond. And so applying that same thinking into the business world and not just looking for that quick three hour a week win, but, you know, literally how can I save a second?

you know, maybe that’s one second of a process. And I do that process 60 times a day. So that’s a minute, a day of time savings, five minutes a week, 20 minutes a month, right? That’s like four hours at the end of the year for that one. Tiny little improvement to a process. And that’s four hours for me. If I’ve got a team of 20, that’s 80 hours of productivity for the year.

And so that’s the way I think about a lot of these things. And I’m not just trying to find huge wins. I’m trying to find a small win because I know at scale how valuable that is. I ultimately, back to high frequency, I was 30 years old. I had made a, a decent amount of money. I had some savings, and I had this idea for a, an app that eventually I started thinking to myself I would regret if I didn’t give it a shot and jump into the deep end and give this a try.

And so I went off and developed this scheduling tool. So it’s, I’ve always been passionate about productivity and saving time. And during that journey, virtual, which at that time was one of the biggest virtual assistant companies and we’re, we’re mutual friends with the old, old former founder. Um, they announced bankruptcy one day and I was having dinner with my ex-business partner.

He was a good friend of mine at the time. And we were brainstorming what did Z do wrong and where is there an opportunity for a better virtual assistant company, freelancer marketplace? By the end of that conversation, we had come up with like a very interesting business model that I knew selfishly I would want for myself.

And so what I said to my old business partner is, look, I can build the backend bootstrapped in a day. You can get five clients, cuz he was on the speaking circuit and um, had a bit of a following. So I’m like, look, why don’t we do that tomorrow? And we launch on day two. And we did that and it was very, it was like put together on duct tape and spit.

But it worked. I built this backend using Trello as kind of our database of tasks. He got, he got some clients within a month. We got a hundred clients. We gave a talk somewhere. We, we got a hundred clients. We were already doing, you know, a decent amount of revenue. Fast forward a year, you know, we’re already into the seven figures of revenue, 150 plus contractors, and we grew very quickly.

Actually, we grew too quickly,

Andrew: let, let me pause before, before you take it to where I think you’re gonna go. Let me understand how you got to this point. What was it that you said that ZL was going to do differently, or what were you gonna do different from what ZL did and different from all the other agencies?

Nick: So I wanted to build a platform where it wasn’t a dedicated assistant model. Right. Because one, coming from high frequency trading, I think about risk a lot. And so for me, having one dedicated person, one to me felt like there was risk. What happens if that person quits or leaves and I’ve just invested all this time getting them trained up, but two, one person’s not gonna have all the skillsets required for what I needed.

You know, I wanted to be able to not just delegate admin stuff, but also get help with the website, get help with design, get help with producing a podcast. So have you. Right. So it, I wanted to have this hybrid of these distributed, these distributed models where every task you post, you get a different person.

So there’s kind of no, no degree of personalization, but also have the personalization. So that was the idea. So it was, what if we created this platform where you could post anything that you wanted to get done, and if you liked working with someone, you could assign it to that person or that team, or if you don’t care, it kind of goes to a small pool of vetted people.

and like they all can talk together and have visibility into everything else getting worked on. So it was the, it was more geared towards entrepreneurs and people that really valued their time.

Andrew: Okay. All of that makes sense. How are you getting clients? It was him speaking.

Nick: Well, we were both were, but primarily him. We gave a talk. We got lucky, if I’m being honest. We gave a talk at a conference. We were, Tony Robbins was the day two, day two speaker, and we were the day three speaker and we got up, gave a long presentation on what we’re doing. We also, we were, we were speaking to an audience that wasn’t familiar with some of these concepts, some of these tools.

So we’ve talked about how we had set up the company using tools like Trello and Slack and these tools. And then we were talking about kind of all the things that we could do to help save time. And I don’t know, out of a hundred people, I think 95 signed up for the service.

Andrew: Oh wow. Okay.

Nick: it was not like a normal situation.

Andrew: was one conference. Got you all those customers. What’s the conference?

Nick: Um, it’s a mastermind group called Genius Network run by Joe Polish.

Andrew: I know it. So what were you doing in it? It seemed like you at the time had software that wasn’t working very well. Right. That’s why you were able to cut it and switch o over to this.

Nick: So I had Calvin still running and that was getting some level of traction.

Andrew: a group. So scheduling app or was.

Nick: that, that was, yeah. Um, but this just kind of took off. Uh, my old partner and Joe, um, knew each other. So Joe contacted him for us to give his talk. Funny enough, I’m flying out to Arizona to see Joe in a few hours

Andrew: Wait, what? Why did Joe give you the stage when you were still starting off? It didn’t seem like he, he, I don’t think he gives the stage to people who are, who

Nick: I think he just

Andrew: a business.

Nick: It’s, it was a not a normal situation. I think that, uh, he just really knew, knew us and trusted that we were going to crush it. And

Andrew: How do you know he, he know

Nick: did. Well, he knew my ex-business partner,

Andrew: From what,

Nick: I don’t know how they knew each

Andrew: what is your, who is your ex-business partner or what, what do we need to know about him that allowed him to do this? I guess I’m trying to understand.

Nick: was in the productivity space and had done some TED talks on productivity. Um, and so they knew each other and we got this opportunity and what it turned out was that pool of people was just a fan. We really hit the ideal client, the ideal customer profile super early on, which is a really hard thing when you’re launching anything.

Knowing who your customer is and where they go and how they think is tough. We got there in a month now. We didn’t hit product market fit in a month, but we certainly. T we certainly figured out extremely quickly where to get customers, which was probably one of the smartest, luckiest things that we did.

But then from there, so then we knew there’s, there’s dozens of similar mastermind groups. So then we just started going to all these groups doing the same kind of talk. And before you knew it, we just grew, we, we got ahead of our skis and we were growing at 20% a month, new clients, but we had 15% churn.

So good marketing was masking a broken product. And so, uh, year two into it, you know, so all this stuff looked great on the surface, but under the hood, we were losing a ton of money. We took on a ton of debt and we had all this churn. And so one day he, he, we were working at a co-working space and he taps me on the shoulder and he tells me he’s leaving.

And he’s not leaving in two weeks or two days. He’s leaving in two minutes. Right. And so I’m sitting there and I go white because I’m like, holy crap. The way that we had separated the business was he was the people facing person, and I was the behind the scenes person. And we had all these clients, all these team members, we had this broken business model.

Um, I knew that we would be able to turn it around and I could see kind of the path, but at the time of him, him leaving, you know, there was a high chance we were going to go bankrupt. And so in the forthcoming months, we lose 40% of clients. Um, I’m cashing out my 401k, my dad’s taking a loan on a house to loan US money

Andrew: Why? So you had all these clients, the business, sorry, Nick, I’m sorry to interrupt, but you had all these clients, the business model makes sense. Why wasn’t it profitable?

Nick: It’s, there’s so many reasons why it wasn’t profitable, but. , the business model for that type of business is extremely difficult. One, we weren’t taking a high enough margin on all the work that we were doing. And two, when you’re doing like hourly work and you’re taking X percent and that X is not a high percentage any client issue, right?

And you have to start investigating the issue, it wipes out all profitability kind of right away. And we just had way too many people, we were too inefficient managing a team of, you know, over a hundred people, when you just aren’t mature enough to handle that kind of size and you don’t have the systems and the processes, it’s extremely difficult.

So the quality of our work wasn’t where it needed to be at that time. And the, because of that, there was a lot of refunds. There was a lot of investigating, kind of what happened here. We, we made the classic mistake that the, when you’re out of bandwidth, which we were getting out of bandwidth all the time for various work, What I tell people is there’s kind of three ways to increase bandwidth.

You can hire more people and we fell into this trap, and this is the trap most people fall into. When you’re outta bandwidth, you hire more people. Think about all the recruiting costs, onboarding costs, payroll costs, um, not to mention what’s the odds that they stay around in a year. And then finally, even if they do all work out, every person you add to your organization adds exponential complexity.

It’s, it’s a network effect. And so before you knew it, every time we kind of, oh, we need more bandwidth in this area rather than trying to find a way to incentivize people to work more hours. Cuz all these people were contractors. We just kept hiring and hiring and hiring. So we were paying money to recruit, to onboard and then just all the overhead of managing a large team was, was crazy.

So, We just grew too quickly. Didn’t, didn’t do a, we did some things really smart and then some things really dumb. And ultimately, when he told me he was leaving, I had to make the choice, do we just bankrupt the company or do I stick it through? And ultimately I saw a path forward. I could see where we were operating inefficiently and how to simplify and make it, uh, more efficient and profitable and ultimately decided to stick it through.

And it was, it took a lot of work, but I’m happy I did it cuz the silver lining was, it really forced me to figure out how do you run a company the right way? How do you create this well-oiled machine? And it, and because of this situation, it forced me to come up with the framework, which is the core framework of my book, which is this CPR framework.

And, and so ultimately it was a blessing, but I definitely had to go through a lot of suffering to get to this point.

Andrew: All right. I want to know what you did, but first let me say my sponsor is origami. Do you know much about dows Nick, decentralized autonomous organizations?

Nick: I mean, very basics. Uh, I haven’t gone too deep into it. I did consult for, um, some crypto companies, but it was more on operations and efficiency.

Andrew: So I, I wouldn’t even call a Dao a crypto company though. I guess there’s, obviously, there’s a connection because it’s all on the blockchain. It’s basically a group of people who all decide, we’re not just gonna be a community that hangs out and talks about a topic. We’re gonna be a community that hangs out, talks about a topic and grows a treasury.

Meaning we all have to gross our, our bank account together, even if it’s not lit literally in a bank account. Well, if you’re gonna have a group of people manage money like that, how do you make sure that not one of them steals it? How do you make sure that the people who are all in the community get the right vote?

Well, that’s where a blockchain technology comes in. It makes sure that there’s a wallet that multiple people have signing privileges on, and they, not one of them can take all the money out. It has a voting system that’s open so everyone can see how, uh, everyone else voted or whether everyone else voted.

And it allows everyone to keep align. to show you the power of this, this company called Bankless created a Dow. I was just on the phone this morning at six o’clock my time with a dude who’s part of the, the Dow, the Bankless Dow, and he’s spending his time telling me about how they’re coming up with something called Bankless card.

Good, dude. Why do you care? You know what? I could get into the details of this debit card that they created and how it rewards people who are in DAOs for participating in things that the Dow believes in. Like frankly, it’s a vanity, uh, debit card. It’s well done, but they’re a bunch of well done credit cards, right?

Bunch of well done debit cards. I have one for Mercury, so I’m not saying theirs is better or worse. I’m just saying, look at this dude. He’s now promoting to me, hoping that I will mention it, which I’m now doing right now because he talked to me early in the day and he’s. All day long, and I’m asking why.

And he goes, well Andrew, I believe in the mission of this dao. I believe in the community that we’re establishing. I actually do think that the leadership within this DAO is exciting and he gets to vote for the leadership and so on. And he says, yeah, I also have tokens that gives me ownership of the DAO.

That allows me, if we do well here to do well personally. I’m not denying that. And I think all of this is together in the Doo package. And so that’s why I decided I wanted to do a series of interviews with Dow creators and Dow members because I think we have a new organizational structure that, yes, it happens to work on the blockchain, but whether you put it on the blockchain or whatever else, you put it on a ham sandwich, I don’t care.

It works and I want to explore it and I want to explore how it’s working well for people like you, Nick, who seem to be curious about it, and you, my listener, who happen to be curious about it. If you want to hear me interview people who are in this space about how it works. Go to join

Origami is created by Y Combinator founders who created the Y Combinator alumni Dow called Orange, and they said, you know what? Let’s create origami and we’ll, we’ll help build other DAOs. And I decided I wanted to do a podcast with them. Started it without even asking their permission. I just wanted to to know more about this space, and then I started working with them on it.

All right, enough for me. Go to join Okay. So Nick, one of the things that you told me before we got started was, look, we kept having to do the scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt is what? When you’re in an organization,

Nick: The scavenger hunt is where you’re looking for something that should be one or two clicks away, and it’s not. It’s 10 clicks, 20 clicks, or you just can’t find it at all. It’s every document that you’re looking for that’s just hard to find. It’s every conversation that you can’t remember where that conversation happened.

It’s all of the above, right? And so the name of the game with all of this stuff for efficiency is aligning your team on not just how to use tools, but when to use tools and where different information should live so that you’re optimizing to be able to retrieve whatever you’re looking for as fast as possible.

Most companies that I work with, they’re underwater, they’re overwhelmed. That’s why my book is called Come Up for Air, and when you’re underwater and you’re over. , you just try. It’s like a game of hot potato. You’re just like, oh, okay, here Andrew. Just take it. And you’re, it’s in a text because you were just in text or it’s in an email cuz you happen to be an outlook and you’re just trying to not drown and work and just get stuff off your plate as fast as possible.

And in the moment that’s very logical. But at scale, when you keep optimizing just to transfer stuff as fast as possible and everyone is doing the same, it creates this scavenger hunt where, yes, you saved a second in the moment, but now you’ve just made it exponentially harder in a week or in a month to find whatever you’re looking for.

And so if everyone takes pause, puts things in the right bucket. . That’s really how, as a team or an organization, you’re gonna find yourself saving exponential amounts of time. And in your personal life, you’re already doing this. Like when you do your laundry, you take your clothes out of the dryer and you don’t just throw everything in one drawer, even though that’s the fastest way to transfer your laundry out of the dryer, into your, into your chested drawers.

You put your socks in a drawer, your underwear in a drawer, your your t-shirts in another drawer, because you’re willing to make that investment of an extra few seconds or minutes, because tomorrow when you have to put together an outfit, it’s much easier. And so in business, you just have way more drawers, so it’s even more important to separate things.

Andrew: And more people going through them. I get the analogy, I wanna challenge it, but first to understand what you’re saying, he said, look, we have all these different, uh, virtual assistants. They’re often doing the same work in the same way that we want them to. At least they’re trying to. , but how do they know?

How do they do the work for one client? Well, do they have to do they email it to the client and explain how they’re doing it and then we have to go search their email? Did they put it in a document? We have to go search a document. Is it somewhere else? Is it in their heads? We don’t know. And so there’s this scavenger hunt.

People start searching email, they start searching whatever software you’re using for notes, or they start going to the person who they think did it last and would remember it, and they go hit them up. All that big waste of time and it makes people just really frustrated with the work they’re doing, right?

You’re doing a task and somebody comes and pings you and says, how is it that we like to post on YouTube? And now you have to stop what you’re doing and explain to them and you lose momentum. I get that problem. The challenge, and I’ve talked to you about this I think before, the challenge is it’s not like laundry.

With laundry. If you take it out of the dryer, you can spend five, seven minutes putting it all up in, uh, in your closet and in the drawers, and then you’ve got it for the rest of the week. Here, you do a task, you have to stop. And then you have to go and file the task away. You do a task, and then you have to go and figure out where does it go to write it, where do you go to write out how you did it?

And then you have to stop the follow up task and go write it up. And it’s always another freaking step. It’s very annoying.

Nick: Uh, for sure it is. It’s an investment of time. Another analogy, and then we could go deeper on this, is, you know, you, if you have a broken pipe and your sink is overflowing with water, you can clean up the water by just mopping faster. At some point though, you can’t just mop forever. You gotta plug the pipe.

And so it’s a trade off, you know, and I’m not suggesting. You’ve gotta talk to a thousand people at a conference in an hour and you have to finish up your deck for the talk. But I’m telling you to stop working on that because you have to document a process somewhere so that you know, in six months from now, you don’t have to repeat yourself.

I mean, you have to use some judgment here, but I’m just saying you have to be cognizant of the fact that like, take your SOP thing with the um, with the virtual assistance. Sure in the moment you can answer someone really quickly and give them the answer to how to upload something to YouTube. But if it’s happening all the time, at some point it’s a better investment of time to stop, really document it well, on a wiki and now forever, you never have to answer that question again cuz they know where to find the official way of doing it.

So you have to use judgment and it’s a function of kind of the importance of finding that document in the future. You know, not everything. Not everything is worth the same in terms of the impact if you can’t find it. So if something’s really critical, it really needs to get done, it’s gonna make a big stink in your business.

If you can’t find it, you know, then you should prioritize it differently than than others. So it’s not just every single thing. You have to put every single tiny thing into a bucket, use your judgment. But if you’re not thinking about it and you’re just playing hot potato forever, that’s gonna cause some serious issues down the road.

Andrew: Okay. So it’s that kind of thing that allowed you to turn the business around from losing money to making money. It feels like that’s overly simplistic. No.

Nick: Well, by getting more efficiency out of everyone, right, we were able to significantly reduce the size of the team and produce more output. And so as I reduce the size of the team, less issues were arising. Less overhead cost of managing the. Things were getting done faster at higher quality. So yeah, it wasn’t like a, a magic pill that I started doing this.

And then tomorrow, I mean, it definitely took months to start seeing some of the larger impact, but every day, every week it’s slowly got better and easier. And it’s not just a money thing, it’s also, it’s also culture went up. Uh, ease went up too. You know, it wasn’t, it was the, the reduction of burnout of myself and the team by, by cleaning these things up.

So yeah, it, it, it was directly, but also there were indirect benefits too that ultimately all added up to turning the company.

Andrew: Okay, you were $750,000 in debt. You wrote that in your book. You were losing more than 450,000 a year, even though you were pulling in over a million in revenue, so about half a million in losses every year. Scavenger hunt went away by documenting and what, what did you start to put the documents into?

Nick: So back then we were using Notion as our internal wiki, right? So we U we always used Google, which is for storage, but then we were organizing it in Notion. Recently we’ve partnered with Coda and that’s our new knowledge base, but it’s less about kind of whether Notion or Coda. It was just more so the fact anytime I, I, someone stopped me to ask how to do something.

If we didn’t have an S O p, I would really make a best effort to try to never have to figure that out again. And I’ve instilled that in the culture even today. You know, where I say to people, look, I’m happy to stop what I’m doing for the most part. Not in every situation, but I’m happy to stop and invest the time with you to cr to help co-create the s o p or the process.

But after that, I never want to have to deal with that again. I never want to have to answer that question again. So, you know, putting, putting these investments of time and energy up upfront allowed me later on to save a lot of time on the backend. Um, but it could be something like, how do you deal with a client issue?

How do you, what’s our best practices for delivering this service to a client? Right? So processes and SOPs are everywhere in a business from how to do payroll, how to onboard a client, how to onboard a team member, how to deliver a business efficiency roadmap. And the more you can systematize things and have a structured way of doing things, the more consistent the client experiences, the fewer errors there are.

when there, when an error comes up, it sometimes can take 10 times longer to fix that one step of that one error than to get the whole thing done in the first place. So the less errors that you can have and the more you can avoid, you can move so much quicker. So moving faster isn’t just about saving time.

A lot of it is around avoiding those hiccups and those errors that can just completely set you back.

Andrew: Okay, so the other thing that my brother said to me was he said, leverage started creating these packages. Instead of charging per hour, they started creating packages like advertising on Google, et cetera. Is that the next big step?

Nick: No. So we’re shifting re really doubling down on the operational efficiency training and consulting side of the business. So we’ve evolved a lot over the years where we started off on the freelancer marketplace and VA side. Really the, the core focus right now, this CPR model that I’m teaching in the book.

So helping businesses and teams be more efficient is really the core area right now of the company. And so a huge thing, for example, is teaching something as simple as email. A large part of our business is teaching people how to get to inbox zero. So we’ve got these group trainings and these packages, which we’ll do privately for large enterprises, but also for, for small and medium sized businesses.

We have group training models, how to use email properly, slack, asana, all the core tools that you need to be a high functioning, high performing team. We’ve created some really world-class content and processes around how to roll this out into teams.

Andrew: Okay. Is this something that you did as a service first and then you started adding this online courses?

Nick: Yeah, so the, the genesis was, , we started off with that freelancer marketplace. We almost went bankrupt. We, I started turning the company around, uh, in large part because of getting more efficient, people started reaching out to me, asking me to help them with their internal operations. So I started doing this on the side while I was cleaning up leverage.

And what I saw was the same thing that was turning my company around. Leverage was turning, was helping a, uh, a doctor’s office, a financial advisor or that Fortune 10 company we talked about. And it was astounding how it didn’t matter the size of the industry. There were these three buckets, CP and R, that everyone needed to think about to be efficient.

And if you think about it, email’s been around for a while, but Slack and Microsoft teams and Asana and Notion and process, street or suite process, um, which who you introduced me to, like, these are all relatively new and people just haven’t been properly taught. The purpose and how to best use ’em. And so it, I got this aha moment that really the big opportunity here is how do you teach teams the best practices of these tools that we’ve established?

And so that’s now the core focus.

Andrew: you know what, when I went to school, I thought it was kind of odd that they were teaching us how to use Microsoft Excel. I said, Microsoft’s a huge company. They’re teaching us Excel, like they’re almost consultants and promoters of this one big company. And then I learned it and I realized, you know what?

Even for people who don’t use Excel for spreadsheets, knowing this piece of software is critical. They’re gonna work with people who need it. Uhhuh,

Nick: that you learned Excel. I’ve I, at my college, I didn’t learn Excel. I had to learn it when I was a trader. And I’ve always said there should be Excel classes for people in school. It’s one of the most robust, important tools in the, in the workplace.

Andrew: and why you taught Excel and then they taught a, the whatever Microsoft database, uh, software was going on at the time. But you are saying now we have this whole other level and layer of software that we need to be teaching people and companies. Uh, I don’t think the companies are going to be able, or schools are gonna be able to teach.

And the reason they can’t is what do you teach and who do you teach it to? Do you teach notion it, it may not be around you switch to Koda it. Mm-hmm.

Nick: thing is that you understand the purpose of that tool, cuz they’re all relatively similar and a actually, I guess, lecture at Columbia on this stuff. And I might have a course on these core tools. And the, and the, the thing is, look, if you’re an expert at Slack, for example, and your company decides to switch to Microsoft, as long as you understand the use case of Slack, what, what situations should you use Slack?

How should you think about when to spin up a channel and best practice of naming conventions? I promise you, you could start Microsoft Teams tomorrow and be up and running in a day.

Andrew: I get it. And then if, uh, there’s a new piece of software or we all switch to Discord, it’ll apply. I get it. But who are you teaching it to? Because if somebody’s in a company, it is not their job to switch around how Slack works. In fact, that’s going to cause a problem. It’s too entrepreneurs and so, or, and frankly, even to certain types of entrepreneurs.

So I, I get the challenge there, and I think your opportunity was to. , okay. There are entrepreneurs who need to learn this, whether they’re doctors or tech founders. I’m going to be the person who teaches it, and I’m not just going to teach it to them. I need to teach it to their teams, because colleges, for one reason or another are not doing it.

Maybe they should be teaching in Box zero and they’re not. Maybe they should not be teaching how to organize Slack. And so it’s on me to do it. That’s gonna be the col, the collection. You started out doing it on the side on behalf of clients, the way that you might do e uh, email, uh, not email, but the email campaigns or uh, marketing.

And then it started becoming a core function of your business, where your team would do it for people. And then in addition, you became a course provider.

Nick: Totally. And actually one thing back with the courses, probably the most valuable course I ever took was typing. I think that the typing course I took when I was in fifth grade has saved me more time than almost any course I’ve ever taken

Andrew: I didn’t take it in school. I wish they would’ve taught it to us. I got an app that taught me how to do it and I sat myself down and there’s something very satisfying about being able to make progress and typing. And you’re right. I see people with their two finger typings or, or four fingers or whatever weird thing.

I go, dude, spend five hours. You’ll really enjoy it. You know, even if it’s five weeks, you’ll really enjoy the process of improving. It’s one of the few things that you can improve without any need to artistically understand, Jack. You just have to keep building up muscle memory and brain to to finger connection.

Nick: was, that was that one. And I think similar to typing, you know, teaching how to use email properly in some of these tools will be future courses in some of these, uh, these, uh, universities.

Andrew: Okay, but, but I still wanna understand the way that this progressed, because you’re not an info marketer. You are someone who does, like my brother is working with you and getting development work where he does coding for your clients. So you’re more, in my mind anyway, tell me if the numbers are showed differently.

You are majority consulting services company, right? Or

Nick: Well, so, so we have this historical, we have this, his historical kind of, that’s called a growth agency to the business that you know, that we are gonna rebrand and that’s gonna be a standalone entity. So that leverage going forward is gonna be really focused on the operational efficiency, consulting and training, all this other stuff that we’ve done historically, the development things will continue, but we’re figuring out a new name to

Andrew: But Nick, is it more consulting or more education?

Nick: I’m, my focus is more on the training. We do do consulting, but honestly, what we found is it’s so similar to the needs of what everyone needs and there’s such a big, it’s easier to scale training than it is consulting. With training, I can invest X dollars and building out robust learning management systems and courses, uh, PowerPoint decks.

I can train people on how to train other people on these things, right? Once you start getting into consulting, that’s harder. You know, when we go into a company and they’re like, help us optimize our customer success department, right? And it’s like a big SaaS company and we’ve gotta look at how support tickets in Zendesk are being run.

That’s not so easy to scale. That’s like a custom. Problem that we’re trying to solve, which we can do, but there’s such a big market with just training in these tools and it’s so much more scalable and it allows us to do it in these group formats at a higher profit margin that a big key focus is going to be scaling the training side of the company.

Andrew: Okay, but I still wanna understand the evolution of the business. Evolution of the business was a marketplace of virtual assistance, then an organized collection of virtual assistance. Then it’s you systemizing your business, then you systemizing other people’s businesses. Then it’s your team systemizing other people’s businesses.

And now it’s shifting more towards we’ll teach your team how to be, uh, efficient and systemized for themselves.

Nick: yeah, that was pretty, pretty close. So yes, we started off, we called ourself a virtual assistant slash, let’s call it freelancer marketplace. Then over time, the type of tasks and projects got more complex and they started asking for web development, CRM help, so on and so forth. So it started getting into this gray area where marketing and operations were starting to collide.

So we started calling ourself a growth agency. Simultaneously, I created an LLC where I was just a one man show doing some private consulting. Then the growth agency started working, becoming more profitable. We started cleaning up a lot of the kind of historical baggage that we had, and what I started realizing was that actually there was such a strong pattern with all these companies that I could.

Create structured processes and content and train other people, which I, at first, I didn’t think I could train anyone to do what I was doing. On the efficiency side. I was like, this is just how I think. How can I train someone to duplicate how I think? But then I just started seeing such a strong pattern that I started creating this IP and this training materials, and then I started slowly getting people trained up to help support clients.

And so the genesis of it was I started slowly removing myself from the client engagements and getting a team to do it. And you know, we’re creating video modules and PowerPoints and we were creating that structure. And then over time, that kind of got locked in and we really got a dialed in process with how we would roll out this framework inside of companies.

And so I think like anything, you start off something and you’re one, you have to figure out, you know, are is what you’re adding. A valuable service or product to someone. And we got that early with this efficiency stuff. Like we knew that we were adding a lot of value. Now we didn’t have robust systems at the beginning cuz like, we’re just figuring out how do we actually deliver on this product or service.

So then we started emphasizing how do we optimize the delivery of this? So we’re, you know, from the videos to how you, how you conduct a meeting. We hired Blake Eastman, who’s a expert at non-verbal communication to train our team on presentation skills. Because we’re working with some of the world’s top companies.

You have to be professional, you have to be able to analyze a room and be able to, um, the change management with this stuff, which we haven’t really spoken about, is one of the hardest pieces of. You know when you tell someone, Hey, we want you to use this tool differently, or We want you to stop doing it this way and use this new tool.

It’s like telling someone to brush their teeth with their other hand. So there’s so many things that you have to get right in terms of how you deliver it, but over time we went, we got better and better and better. We started really investing in these robust pieces of content and process. And so yes, we still do private engagements for large companies, but at this point we’ve built such, such a strong amount of content and process that a big part of the business now has shifted to how do we scale this and do group trainings for people so everyone can get the benefit of getting access to this.

Andrew: Okay, how? How do you get customers? How do you get these big customers that I’ve heard in private, you have.

Nick: So we have partnerships with a lot of these big tech companies, right? So Asana, Coda, process Street, a lot of these companies, it’s a win-win for them. One of their biggest problems that they have is, you know, how do they get people using their tool properly? So they might have closed, closed a deal on some big organization.

It doesn’t mean that those people are using the tool, right? And if they don’t use the tool, right, there’s a higher risk of cancellation. They’re not gonna be expanding the seats like they could be. So they look at partners like us and we’re one of the, the main strategic partners for a lot of these software companies where they’ll hand off a big client to us because they want us to make sure that they’re successful with their tool.

Andrew: Uh, got it. Okay. That’s a huge, uh, unlock for customers. I get it. So in the beginning it was these, um, mastermind groups that we’re sending you customers. The next big group of people who are sending you customers were software vendors.

Nick: I, I get customers in a few ways. One, I give talks or podcasts or, or gr or go to masterminds. Two. I have a column ink, so sometimes people come through that. A large part of it though, is the partnerships with software companies. And then I’m hope, you know, my, the next big push is gonna be my new book that’s just come out, um, is going to be kind of the key marketing asset I believe going forward.

Andrew: Okay. All right. I’m gonna say the second sponsor is a company that anyone can turn to, including you. When you need to hire developers, all you need to do is go to They started out with this understanding that in Ukraine, there were phenomenal developers that were underpriced because it costs less to live in Ukraine than it does in.

To live in San Francisco. And so the founder was Ukrainian. People kept asking him for introductions, and he turned it into a business. Then with the war, he had to find developers outside of Ukraine, and he’s just grown and grown and grown. I ran ads for him. I was, I felt really bad that I hadn’t delivered as many customers as he expected.

Nick, I don’t know if you get down on this stuff, but I did. I was texting him and I go, dude, I feel terrible that I didn’t get it. He goes, Andrew, just chill out, which of course I can’t do. You might as well just say, tell me to do, uh, back flip. I can’t do that either. And he goes, but you got us more customers then.

And then he started listing all these podcasts that I know and respect and that are huge. And I go, oh, all right. I do like to compare. I don’t like to compare myself, but in this sense, when I need to find a way to feel better, that comparison was helpful. And he said, Andrew, can we pay you for these new customers you’ve been sending us?

Cuz your ads have stopped. I mean, you, we paid and then you keep running ads. I go, no, I do not wanna switch to an affiliate. I’m just going to continue to help you because I understand you just had to escape Ukraine. Your people in some cases are still in Ukraine working and I understand how difficult it is, so I’m just gonna keep supporting you as a friend.

And so this is an unpaid ad for my buddy Alex, whose company is Lemon. They still have phenomenal developers at a great price. It’s no longer just in Ukraine. In fact, it’s majority now. More, the more, more and more countries keep coming online there. And you could hire from other countries where developers are great and they cost less and they’ll match you up and make sure that you’re happy.

All you have to do is go to G, why do you use the slash mixer g? Because it makes me feel good that you’re, uh, that I’m sending more customers and he’ll give you a lower price than everyone else. If you use that url, it’s lemon, what do you call it? Lemon. G.

Nick: You know, Andrew, one thing I’ve, uh, forgot to mention to you, but just a plug for Mixer G. When I left high frequency trading, I knew nothing about entrepreneurship. Right. I was high frequency Trading is one, is extremely, extremely spec specialized. I did this one thing called index arbitrage. It’s such a nuance, small sliver of what treat training is.

And so I knew nothing about marketing, sales, product market fit, how to develop anything. And so part of my education years ago when I was first getting into entrepreneurship was I took basically every course at General Assembly, and I was listening to a ton of your podcasts back in the day.

Andrew: I love hearing that. And then we got to connect at a conference in Bali, which was running remote. And I forgot this. You reminded me. I kept asking you questions about Asana because we were using it to, to organize ourselves. You asked me. I eventually switched to base camp for project management

Nick: Oh,

Andrew: most.

which I f I freaking loved. I love, I hate being interrupted by text messages. And so Slack was annoying. I found that Asana had too many subtasks and too many distractions. Base camp, super streamlined, clean, everything is there. I don’t like that everything has its own page, like you keep firing off another H T HTML request, but it worked.

And then from there, I actually switched over to Notion, because I don’t like switching apps. And so I don’t love notion for project management, but what I like about it is I can customize it any way that I like. And with a little bit of Zapier connection, I can make it do what I need it to do. And it’s not as good as dedicated project management software, but it’s more flexible.

And so I’m happy with that. What do you say about that?

Nick: Um, look, I think that the most important thing is less about the tool, but your team is aligned. When and how you guys are supposed to be using it as a team. So, um, I just wanna preference, preface, preface everything with that. You know, if your team knows exactly when to open up notion exactly when to open up base camp and you guys are aligned, you’re, you’re winning.

That’s the most important. There’s personal preference involved with all of these things too. Um, my, my, my general thinking is notion, even though they do market themselves as being able to do project management, I think it’s a mistake and it’s confusing. I think at the core it’s an internal knowledge base and it should be used as a company Wiki and project management or work management is so foundational to the, to the day-to-day of a company that you shouldn’t try.

Hacking a tool that’s not specifically built for such a big, important problem and that you should use a work management tool. For the tasks and the projects notion’s fantastic. We used to use it. We’re using Coda now. They’re both great, but even Coda starts talking about project management and work management.

And you know, for me it’s like, no, like use a proper tool built for that purpose. Like if you’re gonna chop down a tree, would you rather have a Swiss Army knife or a chainsaw? Right? And so like these tools, they, they’re Swiss, they, they can be interpreted like a Swiss Army knife. But when you, when you’ve got lots of treats that chopped down and in business you’ve got lots of tasks, lots of projects, you want to have a chainsaw for those.

And so I would, you know, if you like Base Camp more than Asana, we could have a separate chat and talk, talk that through. But that’s totally fine. That’s your personal preference. But I would not use, I would use Base Camp for your tasks and projects and separate that out from Notion would be my

Andrew: I hear you and one of the, one of the project management tools and CRMs that we used for guest tracking was Pipedrive. And Pipedrive is easy to reproduce in notion, and so I did. I see the problem there. Little things that you count on from a tool dedicated to managing people and sales processes are missing, like.

Yes, you could create a CONBON board where every potential guest or every potential sale has a card, and you could progress ’em from column to column. But what Pipedrive would do is little things like they would turn a card red if you hadn’t touched it in a while. Now, can I do that in notion? I don’t know.

But even if I could, it’s a lot of work to make it do that. I could see you rolling your eyes as I’m talking

Nick: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Like it’s, it’s common. I mean, I, cuz I’m, I was rolling my eyes cuz like, I’m, I’m thinking to myself actually, guru, that’s a competitor with Notion and Coda, they, one of their key features is that you could set date like dates. pages turn red to indicate that you need to go and update the so p But look, you can hack, you can hack anything.

Like you could, you do all that with email and create folders and snooze structures, but it’s just such a foundational part of your business that happens so much that the amount of effort it takes oftentimes to hack a tool not built for that important purpose. It’s just not worth it. And if you’re in the business of booking podcast guests and like you have a high enough volume of that, you know, then you probably should use a tool that’s really built for that.

But I mean, if it’s like, you know, you got one guest a month and, uh, you know, just a few things to manage, like you have to weigh the pros and cons if it’s not a high enough volume of frequency. Um, to justify every tool you add is, is a hurdle. So if you don’t have enough volume of. Something happening to justify it, then I wouldn’t recommend it.

But if it’s the core to your business and it’s happening all the time, then you probably want to use the right tool for that.

Andrew: Okay. All right, so coming back to your framework, you’ve mentioned C P R framework a lot. C P R stands for communication, planning and Resources. What does that mean?

Nick: So what we found is every company, no matter size or industry, you need to communicate with people internally with your team, externally with clients, vendors, partners, right? So email like Outlook and Gmail is your external communication tools like Slack and Teams as internal communication. So that’s foundational.

Every company needs to communicate. And there’s two types of communication, different tools for those. Then you’ve got planning. That’s all your tasks and projects, and there’s tools like you mentioned, you switched from Asana to Base Camp. You’ve got Rike Monday, click up. But all of these help you with planning and planning.

You should be able to click a button and know. What’s Aiden working on this week? Click another button. What’s the status of this project? Click another button. What do I need to do today? Those are the an, those are the questions you should be able to answer quickly. And that category of tool helps you answer those questions.

Um, you just can’t in a communications tool answer those questions quickly to communications tools are great for communicating, but if me and you were to go camping in the forest together, we would need walkie-talkies to communicate with each other. But we would also need a map to navigate out of the forest and slack and teams and Gmail and Outlook.

Those are walkie-talkies. Base camp, and Asana is like a map. And there’s distinct use cases for needing both, and people just haven’t thought about it like this. And they start using text and email like a Swiss Army knife. And then lastly, you’ve got your resources. Every company, if you’re listening right now, you have, you have knowledge, you have SOPs, you have processes, and there’s tools built to house that.

right? So you’ve got tools like we’ve mentioned like Coda or Notion or Guru or Confluence. Those are knowledge bases. It helps you to organize SOPs and know and knowledge. So anything that answers the question, who, what, when, where, why. That should go into your digital wiki, right? It’s like your company employee handbook that should constantly be updated so that if someone needs to find an answer, they don’t have to bother people’s time asking, they could find it for themself, or you don’t have risk that someone leaves and all that knowledge just disappears the moment they leave the door.

Likewise, you have dynamic knowledge that is a, what I call a process. Tools like suite, process, process street, so on and so forth. And that answers the question how? How do you onboard a new team member? How do you onboard a new client? How do you do payroll where it’s a sequence of steps that need to be done in some conditional order and every company has processes, even if you’re day.

One of a company, you know, you have to be thinking about processes. And again, it helps to minimize error of something happening, minimize error of someone leaving. It helps to make sure that you have consistency, you can integrate it. You mention Zapier, you can integrate these tools with Zapier and start automating steps.

And so those are the three buckets, CP and R, that I found every company needs to think about. Um, and then lastly, on the process side, uh, something most people, uh, don’t understand that we really emphasize in the book is there’s a difference between project management and process management. And if you’re listening right now and your early stage, when you’re early stage and you don’t have processes that are robust and stress tested, you’re dealing with a lot of ad hoc things, a lot of projects, you’re figuring things out for the first time as you figure things out and you have a set way of doing something, it moves from being an ad hoc project where you kind of don’t.

You didn’t really know how to do something, and then after a few times you figured it out. Once it’s repeatable and you have a set way of doing something, it moves to being a process. And there’s different tools for managing projects versus process. But one sign of maturity I f I feel as a company is the ratio of, of projects versus processes.

The more processes you have means that you’ve in, you’ve figured more stuff out. You’ve invested time, resources, and energy to figure out how to do something. And so a, a good indicator of the maturity of your team or organization is that ratio of processes to projects that you’re working on.

Andrew: Processes, meaning we’ve done this, we’ve repeated it, and we were just going to basically run it like software, and so the services become more software

Nick: Yeah,

Andrew: or more like software.

Nick: Yeah. And it might be because once you have a process, then you could start saying, okay, this is a hundred steps, and I used to do all hundred, but no, now I could pass three steps off to someone else, whether it’s a virtual assistant or someone else, because they, they have instructions on how to do it and the best, the best way to work yourself out of a job.

So you could do higher level work, is to delegate it. And if it’s not properly documented, it’s extremely hard to get those things off of your plate.

Andrew: you know what I’ve been struggling with now, it’s. Notes and crm. I might have a conversation with you where you teach me something that I need to remember. I wanna be able to associate that with you, but at the same time, have it as a note so that when I’m going to learn how to do this thing or learn how that other thing works, I can find it too.

And I don’t think of how do I do it being in a crm, but I, I need to have it connected back to you as the person who showed me. And that part’s been a little tricky. And so I’m finding myself putting more stuff in notion because they’re notes when they should be in a C R M, cuz I wanna remember it next time I meet someone.

Nick: So this might be an edge case where you have to put it in two places. So the CRM is where you’ll be able to know next time we talk notes on what we talked about, you know, and you pull up my contact record and you see it. But if it’s something that you want the team to know, something like an sop, then you know, notion is probably also another place where you’ll have to put it.

So there are cases where you have to copy paste

Andrew: I keep thinking, can I somehow get one of these database apps like Notion like Coda to be my note taking app and my crm? But that’s where you’re unhappy. It’s, it’s hacking a solution that shouldn’t exist.

Nick: Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s tough to find like that all-in-one that solves, you know, your, your business cases are gonna be different than mine and someone else’s. So it’s hard to find a tool that’s going to be that all-in-one perfect for what you’re looking for. But, you know, I would just say, you know, if it’s important to you to take notes on a person, put it in there and you know, it might not even be all notes of what we talked about.

You care for the team to know. So, you know, maybe all the notes go in the crm and then maybe a subset of ’em that you want everyone else to see goes into notion,

Andrew: All right, let’s close it out with this. So these companies, some of which I’ve talked to you about in private, They shouldn’t they be hiring people internally to teach their teams how to get to inbox zero? I mean, we’ve been trying to get to inbox zero now for well over a decade. Shouldn’t they have a system and then a way of teaching it internally?

Why do they need to hire you?

Nick: look. When you, I, I, I hear ya. They just don’t, I mean, with some of these large companies, they do have, if they’re large enough, they do have internal productivity teams, but even those teams, they’re not training people on best practices. I mean, when you, just like a tool is built for purpose cuz it’s really specialized in solving a problem.

When you are a large company, if you’re a condom company, like your core focus is producing condoms and that’s, that’s your core focus. It’s not, um, it’s not, you know, how do we use systems and tools properly? So it’s just not a core focus. They have IT departments inside of companies, but that’s more like administering and rolling out and making sure that like your computer has password protection and you’ve been able to install the apps properly.

But it’s just not, and honestly, frankly, I’m not gonna mention the names of these soft, some softwares, but some of these software companies that we’re talking about, , we’re in talks with a lot of them to train their teams on how to use their own software properly. Because even at those companies, they’re not following any kind of guidelines of best practices.

So this is just new territory like this. This is all a new way of working. All of these tools are relatively new when we’re looking at kind of the history of some of these businesses versus how long these technologies that we’re talking about have been around. It’s a blip. Email’s been around for a while, so I agree there should be more information on teaching people how to get to inbox zero, but it’s not there.

But no companies, when you get hired, you get information around health insurance, vacation days, core values. You’re not given information about how to best use any of these day-to-day critical tools. And that’s why we’ve been really busy lately.

Andrew: Okay, fair enough. The website is get leverage. I kind of feel like you sh, you’ve used that name now for what? About a decade. I feel like you should just have changed your name to get leverage a long time ago so that people know how to find you, but it’s

Nick: And, and come and come up for, um, is where you can find information on the

Andrew: You got come up for

Nick: I, I mean, it was expensive, but Yeah. I bought that one.

Andrew: What’d you pay for that? That’s a good domain.

Nick: I think I, I think I paid like around six K, six or seven K.

Andrew: That’s worth it. Dude, I had this, I had this crazy, uh, domain story. I wanted to get my wife, her name is, so that she could have a new site with all the work that she’s been doing. We didn’t have it. So I used the service to put a bid in, couldn’t get any response. Use service again. Couldn’t get any response.

Michael Seiger, who is phenomenal at getting domains, his company, um, was DNA Academy, was bought by GoDaddy. He is in the domain space for years. I asked him, he introduced me to the company that, that we were hiring. He introduced me to the founder. Still couldn’t get a response. Uh, with his help and everyone else, I finally say, okay, you know what?

Let’s just go buy a different domain. I log into my service. It turns out I’d own so many. That I had her name as I was bidding and not getting a response from myself. And then my brother, who gets the messages on all the domains, um, I told him the story. He goes, wait, that was you? I go, yeah. He goes, I’ve been getting all those messages trying to buy the domain.

I assume that it was all spam.

Nick: that is absolutely hilarious.

Andrew: Yeah. All

Nick: Uh, domains. I, I own. A hundred or 200 domains. But yeah, I was lucky to get that one. And some of these domains, it’s, I went through a broker to get it. I, otherwise, you know, you’re creating fake email addresses so that people don’t look you up to know how desperate you are to get

Andrew: Yeah. All right. Congratulations on getting it. Great book and great website. It is Get Right. Cool, Nick.

Nick: for having me, Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks. Thank you all for listening. Bye.

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