I recently reflected on the differences that I experienced from moving from a larger company to a startup environment. To be honest, there are a lot of areas that overlap and do not change, but there are two major differences:

1.Wearing a lot of hats

Every employee needs to learn how everything works in a business and execute on a variety of projects outside their expertise. Which is typically very different from a corporate entity where you specialize in one targeted area. This is great for an individual that likes to be constantly busy, but it also makes things incredibly tough to prioritize and do well.

2.No red tape

No red tape in an organization has a lot of positives and some cons as well. The positives are that a company can move incredibly fast. Going from ideation to execution is not slowed down by organization rules and regulations.

The negative of this work style is that most projects have little direction or guidelines. This commonly leads to the constant change in messaging or moving forward with plans that are not thoroughly thought through.

To help with these changes of culture, I have created 3 startup takeaways that help in managing your time, think through projects, and prioritizing your activities:

The first idea is usually not the best idea, but the one you are most attached to.

Back when I was is entrepreneurship class, we were broken into groups of 3 to create business concepts.

In the brainstorming of what our company would do, everyone said something that was prevalent to their profession. Engineers talked about mechanical parts, marketers talked about software automation, etc..

Although through the brainstorming one trend always remained, each person went back to their original idea and then tried to defend its weaknesses or boast about its strengths.

The same applies to an actual business. People throw out their ideas and they are emotionally attached to those ideas, making those that disagree with those ideas (because we are all stubborn):

a. People that don’t understand it correctly

b. Dumb

c. People that have a personal vendetta against you


The truth is, the mentality that your idea is the best is a common way of thinking. When you throw an idea out, it has a part of you with it and it is easy to be offended when people don’t agree.

By understanding that your first idea is most likely your worst. It allows for a couple of benefits:

a. You collaborate better with coworkers

b. You make better decisions

c. It allows you to build off ideas instead of defending them


Automate the things that are repetitive, and that you do not enjoy.

This take away is rather obvious. If you are doing something over and over, look for ways to automate it. This also applies to things that you do not enjoy. Let me explain why:

One thing I have never been good at is Accounting.

I have taken numerous accounting classes through undergrad and graduate school. I am still awful.

Why am I bad at it? Yes, it is confusing for me (like really why are there so many buckets!). But I have understood a lot of other confusing topics in the past that I have become good at.

The real underlying issue is that I do not care about Accounting, I will continue to do the bare minimum in accounting because it is something that I never enjoy or pride myself in being good at.

If I did it for a living – my work would be riddled with errors.

That is why I am NOT in accounting.

The same applies to your tasks. If you do not enjoy something, most likely you are not good at it. Therefore you should look for ways to automate these items as it most likely will not lower your performance, in fact, it might improve it.

These could be everything from social media posting, content creation, design, and of course accounting. Continue to look for ways to outsource or automate these areas to free up time and increase performance.


Understand the opportunity cost!

In business, we tend to look a lot at the physical costs – the costs like rent, advertising, software programs, etc.

People rarely look at the actual cost of labor. Just because someone is a salaried employee, it does not mean there is not an hourly cost to their time.

To quickly estimate someone’s hourly rate simply remove 3 zeros and divide in half (ex. 80k employee = $40/hr)

By understanding this, you know that a meeting with 10, 80k employees at a minimum must generate $400 in profit to be productive.

In a small startup, a salary may sound like a luxury and therefore people believe these costs do not exist – but they are just less monetary.

Time spent on one item means not spending it elsewhere.

Instead of looking at your monetary cost, think about your current activity. Is it the most productive and revenue-driving thing you could be doing at this time? If not, then your cost is what you could be making in a different activity.

These three items undoubtedly can be applied to any size of business or department. Is there another one that you follow? If so leave it in the comments below.


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I have come to the conclusion that I love to build things. It is what drives me. Something about building anything, whether a brand, campaigns, blogs, or actual items, I absolutely love it! I am not sure if it is because I am so proud of being behind the creation of something or just the idea of physically seeing progress but either way…

Because of this passion, I have found myself building multiple things, lots of things, at once.

As you can imagine doing everything at once can add up quickly and become overwhelming.

In the last 3 months in my house alone I have torn down walls and started to add a bathroom, in the basement I have remodeled and added new rooms, and in my backyard I have destroyed a deck and replaced gutters.

I know, I have a problem.. and from my coworkers mouths, “I need to get a life.”

I would be lying if I told you that it wasn’t overwhelming and extremely frustrating creating and maintaining so many projects at once.

But oddly, I have found ways to maximize my time. Most of the projects I create have shared resources that allow me to power through entirely different projects at the same time.

For instance, removing my rotted deck. The demolition from the interior projects was being picked up and there was room for more debris.

And when you give me a saw and an impact wrench, anything comes down in a couple hours.

The same applies to my marketing campaigns. Sometimes I see how some marketing activities open doors to completely different marketing channels that are typically ignored.

To maximize your resources, you need to look for ways that allow you to accomplish more with less resources.

Take for example buying a sales list. The obvious option is to hand it off to your sales reps (which may be just handing it to yourself) and  call and email everyone.

Now this tactic may drive business… But is it the most optimal?

Most certainly not – You are fighting against a lot of variables from gatekeepers, bounce rates due to bad data, and extravagant firewalls.

A low percentage of the list you obtained will truly notice your message or have an understanding of the product you are offering and the need you satisfy.

Oddly, in this same resource you paid for is also a key to a variety of resources that typically go unnoticed and un-executed on.

Such as company name, this in conjunction with their web URL (which is in their email) can become an accounts list in LinkedIn. Allowing your business on top of calls and email, increase reach an leads using targeted content on LinkedIn or even InMails that can always bypass firewalls.

Or even better yet – look for roles in the same company that would be working with the contact you were originally planning to email. (Account Based Marketing-ABM)

Also, using these same emails, you can upload them to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google to match your audience -doing a variety of campaigns to further increase your frequency and reach of the list you purchased.

Now as I have stated in previous blog, there is always uncertainty in small business. Some of these tactics may not be right for your business, but they do all prove the point that anything with a little creativity can lead to new ways to extend resources.

To help small businesses maximize their resources through lead generation. I have compiled a list of marketing channels that are available to marketers to use, divided by the information they have readily available.

eMail is known


Google Display

LinkedIn Advertising

Bing Advertising

Facebook Advertising

Twitter Adverting



Facebook Advertising

Twitter Advertising

Google Display Audience (if employee login available – by creating an affinity aaudience)

Social Media – use their account to grab attention

Direct Mail

Web Behavior

LinkedIn Advertising (retargeting)

Bing (retargeting)

Google Display (retargeting)

Google Display (create an affinity audience)

Industry / Vertical

Buy eMail list

LinkedIn Advertising

Paid Industry Advertising (publishers)

Organic Search

Social Media – Share to industry groups

Google Display – Affinity Target Marketing (publications or popular sites)

Trade Show


Pain Point

Google Ads (keyword search)

Organic Search

Google Display – Creating Audience

LinkedIn Advertising

Paid Industry Advertising

Video Advertising (what tutorial would people be looking for? advertise beforehand)


Google Ads (keyword search)

Organic Search

Google Display (if cloud based, build affinity audience based on login)

LinkedIn Advertising – Target following / user groups

Builtwith.com or similar for database if target audience uses a tech

YouTube (Video marketing before tutorials)

Share content to User Groups

Trade Show



Organic Search

Google Display – Creating Audience

LinkedIn Advertising – Target following / user groups


Did I miss some? Let me know in the comments!

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Blogging for business

(Not know the reference of the cover image?)

I commonly get asked why I write a blog.

Originally, I created a blog to help startups and create a personal brand. So I started writing about marketing and small business without ever trying to hide who I am personally, a humorous marketer with a love for dad jokes and gifs.

There is no doubt that I am not the most talented writer. I find typos in almost every post I write!

My writing style (like my mind) jumps from thought to thought very quickly. This off road thought logic and writing style can lead my readership to a state of confusion. (Sorry if I lost you already)

Although, after a couple of posts I started to realize a larger benefit.

I commonly come up with an idea, obsess over it, and then try to immediately take action. Oddly, writing has helped me to become a better marketer, businessman, and even carpenter.

I say carpenter because just recently when I was looking to frame a wall, I stared at an empty space for 30 minutes and yet was unable to come to a decision. Here I was trying to make a perfect plan in my mind, obsessing over it, and yet I could not make a decision. It wasn’t until a professional carpenter told me to just start laying out the basics (aka writing) and then improve on it or change it later. This way, I can see the flaws of my plan as I run into them.

Point is, sometimes it is just best to start laying things out and make adjustments or changes later instead of just coming up with an idea and thinking it is perfect.

When working with a small team it is not always possible to get external feedback, or if you are really passionate you don’t want to hear it.

Writing is an extremely effective way to find items early on that are maybe wrong with the concept in question.

In almost every topic I write, including this one, I will throw out a minimum of 800 words on what is top of mind and how I feel about a topic. I then come back to it a day or two later to proof and adjust.

100% of the time I find flaws in my logic, and because I make the blog public, I am encouraged to find ways to iron out these issues prior to publishing (I know, I probably still missed some).

In the process of making those changes, I also change my whole thought process on that topic. This brings in new insights, concerns, and ways to improve.

So how is this helpful to small business and marketing?

I am not saying everyone should write a blog, but I am saying that moving at the fast pace of a startup may have some flaws due to implementation is commonly the following process:


It may instead be better to slow down a little bit and add a barrier in between:


Through adding the writing step in this process, you are becoming objective to your own reasoning.

I know from personal experience, that I have come up with a lot of horrible ideas that I was passionate about. But when you are passionate about something you tend to see what you want through a pinhole.

Completely ignoring the outside world and variables that will lead to its failure.

By writing down your thought process, and your plan in detail and then coming back to it a couple days later, you notice some items pop out of the wood work as you are in a completely different mindset.

You start to see where emotion and quick thinking led you down the wrong path, where your idea maybe has fallen short, or maybe an area of your idea that needs to be added to because it has incredible potential.

It also allows yourself to insert justification for your reasoning and build credibility or certainty to the concept.

When the passion of the idea is not present, you start to insert research and qualitative facts to back up your reasoning. This can lead you to a more detailed plan, or lead to you improving or disqualifying some of your thought logic.

Lastly – It is something off your shoulders.

If you are like me – you get an idea in your head and you obsess, thinking about it 24/7. And although I do cherish my restless nights in deep thought….

This process has really allowed me to remove it from my mind.

By writing it down I get a feeling of accomplishment because I know I am making an effort toward its execution. But instead of my mind recapping the entire idea in my head, over and over, it is all written down to a point where I can also concentrate on parts of the idea instead of the general holistic concept.

Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone, but I thought I would share.

If you have ways other ways to critique your own ideas and expand on them to make better decision, I would like to hear from you. Let me know via comments or message me directly.

EVERYTHING Small business

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What classifies a full-time job?

It commonly comes down to executing 40 hours of “work” a week. This is where the 9-5 comes from:

8 hours per day x 5 days = 40 hours.

Although, be honest, how often are all 8 hours of the day really 100% productive?

So the 9-5 is not to get 40 hours of productive work done, it is more so just clocking in to get paid for 40 hours.

Think what would happen if you applied this logic to your personal life.

You think to yourself:

“Cooking this steak should take an hour” but then you find out you were able to cook it to perfection in a mere 20 minutes..

BUT YOU ARE ON THE CLOCK.. so you sit on the floor (probably crying) for 40 minutes and wait until the work / cooking is done so you can eat.

That sounds and looks absurd right? (and it is)

But is it really that different from the 9-5? Why would we ever measure someone’s productivity or efficiency based on time? Wouldn’t it be better to be based on completing tasks? or maybe even an overall goal?

The thing is, this is a tradition that has been passed on to us. Our culture admires those that work late and questions those that leave early. I myself at time feel bad for leaving early, even if everything I needed to do was completed.

Just sitting there, alone with my thoughts.. until it is 5pm.

Just because you are physically at work, it does NOT mean you are productive.

On the complete flip-side of this, the 9-5 is also the reason for many employees to stop tasks.

Think about any workday, is it the exact same as the one before. Is it full of the same tasks, the same meetings, and the same demand?

If you answered, YES – I am sorry, your job sounds extremely boring!

The truth is work is NOT a constant, it is a variable. Every day has new tasks and new demand, so why should you infer that it can always be done in 9-5. By setting time restrictions to work hours, employees use this as a reason to not meet deadlines, or to not finish a task even if it is near to completion.

[so close]

To illustrate the effect of a 9-5 work environment, here is an illustration:

This is 40 hours of work, but dispersed like a typical work week –  a lot of upfront work.

and typically dwindling down toward the end of the week.

As you can see, Monday and Tuesday have “Past Due / Uncompleted work”. This is because of the tasks/workload exceed 5PM, leaving additional work undone. In some scenarios this is okay if there are no hard deadlines, the tasks can be completed the following day.

But this is not something that should be done repetitively, common rollover of tasks, they pile up and projects typically become behind schedule or abandoned completely, or fall to the responsibility of another team member.

At the end of the week, you notice that there is some unproductive time. This is from the workload depleting and the employee feeling the need to stay at work. This unproductive time has no value added to the company, and the employee is missing out on personal endeavors that they would most likely prefer over sitting at work.

Now, what if an organization was goal or task orientated over time focused?

As you can see, the employee is 100% productive, while clocking in the same amount of time, 40 hours. For the time they have invested extra in the beginning of the week, they made up for by leaving early at the end of the week.

This work style allows for the company to be as efficient as possible, as well as gives employees extreme freedom. If an employee is aware of all the tasks they need to do for the week, they can work more whenever they want to clear up large blocks to leave the office.

Employees that implement this also tend to be more focused on activities that actively help them complete tasks in a smaller amount of time. Due to the fact that non-productive meetings or excursions tend to add more time to their day, they look for ways to automate and streamline their day to be more productive – completing more tasks in less the time.


9-5 practices creates the most unproductive and most expensive workforce

So far we have only discussed this issue on a per employee basis, when really to see the true repercussions of being a time focused company you need to look at it as a whole.

A 9-5 organization creates an excess of work that needs to be done. This leads to one of two outcomes:

  1. The excess work piles up and pushes full departments behind schedule. As seen above, to make up those hours would take 50% more time.
  2. The excess work falls on the shoulders of someone that is a task orientated person, causing specific employees, typically managers, to work long hours to stay on target or meet deadlines.

In the first option, you will find that your business will move slower and deadlines should be taken with a grain of salt.

In the second option, it is possible that with a great manager you still hit deadlines, sadly due to the increased workload of management, the company will witness a high employee churn in management due to the horrible work to life balance.

Managing a 9-5 workforce

To be clear, a 9 to 5 workforce may not always be more inefficient as a task-based employee. For specialized corporate roles that have less variability in their work a 9 to 5 may line up perfectly with the time it takes to complete tasks.

If you are looking to transition to a task-based organization, you may find that the transition can be tough to execute across an entire organization. Everyone has their own preferences, and some employees prefer the consistency of clocking in and out at the same time every day.

For these employees it is best to recognize that because every working day is a constant, tasks assigned and their activates need to be constant too.

  • Limit meetings – Time in a meeting takes away from their tasks
  • Focus on tasks that are more clear-cut over trying new things. More creative or new tasks have more variability in their completion time.

Every employee has an hourly cost and an opportunity (what could someone be doing that may or may not be more productive than what they are already doing) cost. These costs are higher for a 9 – 5 workforce due to the fact that they have a set hourly rate (if there is not fluctuation in their time input) and that time taken from one task, directly takes away from another. These are items to consider when creating new tasks/meeting that disrupt the typical office work schedule.

The transition from time to task orientation

To be 100% transparent, this blog is inspired by 2 books The Lean Startup and Traction.

The lean startup walks through the inefficiency of a workforce that is driven by time, comparing it to the priniciples of lean manufacturing. To do this, businesses should aim to create an environment that instead adapts and adjusts to the workload presented, and finding processes that eliminate bottlenecks for growth. To be the most efficient at doing this, companies need to focus on goals and the tasks that get them to meet their goals, not the time it may or may not take to complete it.

To implement this logic, traction has offered a step by step process into launching this type of workforce. Through the creation of scheduled meetings, finding issues, and driving accountability, businesses are able to more effectively address what is being completed and find the bottlenecks that are getting in the way.


A 9-5 organization is extremely inefficient. When creating a business you need to find ways to make to make your company more focused on completing goals and less focused on “Going to work”.

A company that is task focused tends to be more productive, accurately meet deadlines, and are incredibly creative in streamlining processes (more you automate, less you work). This not only allows employees to have more flexibility and management over their own work schedule, but it also allows companies to be more agile than their 9-5 competitors.

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