28: Formalizing and Systematizing


00:00:00   So I just got back very recently from a trip to Atlanta as part of the pen addict and there was

00:00:06   something very different about this year's trip to last year's trip and this year's trip was very

00:00:11   different because I met lots of Cortex fans. Hey! People who had so many people it didn't happen

00:00:18   last year that came up to us and said that they found out about the pen addict because of Cortex

00:00:22   and I know Cortex wasn't around the first time but I didn't have the time before like oh we found out

00:00:27   about Pen Addict Because of X show.

00:00:29   So there are lots of people that listened to Cortex

00:00:32   and then went over and realized the beauty of the pen life.

00:00:36   And there were, I saw, I think,

00:00:37   at least three Cortex-related shirts.

00:00:40   - Ooh, very nice.

00:00:42   - Including the first gray Hurley shirt, which was amazing.

00:00:45   - Oh, it got there in time.

00:00:47   - So on the first day of the show,

00:00:49   so basically there was, I was helping out Brad

00:00:53   and his company, Knock'em, selling their pen cases.

00:00:55   like a trade show type thing you'd call it.

00:00:58   And I saw somebody walk in to the room

00:01:02   and they had a gray Hurley shirt on

00:01:03   and I basically vaulted the table.

00:01:06   And lady's name was Andrea and she told me

00:01:10   that she was watching like the tracking

00:01:13   and she was, it just arrived before they were gonna be

00:01:16   leaving for the flight 'cause she like really wanted it

00:01:18   to arrive because it was gonna be arriving

00:01:20   on the same day, right?

00:01:22   And yeah, I was over the moon.

00:01:24   Because it's the first one I'd even seen, because mine hadn't arrived yet.

00:01:27   That's fantastic.

00:01:28   And it was great.

00:01:29   And I saw, I think, at least two monkey brain shirts.

00:01:34   And a C2B Grey shirt.

00:01:35   The whole spectrum representing at the pen show.

00:01:38   It was pretty awesome.

00:01:39   And it was really nice to meet people that had found out about the pen addict from Cortex.

00:01:45   That was a real nice little thing that happened.

00:01:47   That's one of those things where, if you're listening to us talking right now, you already

00:01:51   know if you're a pen person and then you're probably super excited to discover that there

00:01:56   is a podcast entirely devoted to your obsession. So go check out The Pen Addict if this is

00:02:02   the first time you're hearing about it. If you know you're a pen person, this is for

00:02:06   you. This is what's great about the internet. There's something for everyone. And Myke just

00:02:11   happens to be part of the pen nerd kingdom.

00:02:16   Today I realized the impact that you and this show have had on the way that I work.

00:02:21   I learned a very valuable lesson today.

00:02:23   Oh, what did you learn?

00:02:25   So I have recently switched over to using a different accounting software.

00:02:31   I'm using one of those online accounting things that like pulls in your transactions and you

00:02:35   reconcile it and stuff as opposed to what I was doing previously which was entering

00:02:40   manually all of my transactions into my accountants own system.

00:02:43   Right, right.

00:02:44   So I moved over to the online system because it looked like it was easier.

00:02:48   It pulls in the transactions for you and then you have to just tap a few buttons to say

00:02:52   what's what.

00:02:54   But I have had some problems with this in that I cannot get the balances to match up.

00:02:59   So there is a discrepancy between transactions being pulled in and what my bank says.

00:03:06   And I was trying to work it out and I couldn't work it out.

00:03:09   I sat down today, I was like, rolled up my sleeves and was like, "Today is the day where

00:03:14   I find this error. I started working on it, it got worse. And then I thought, I know what

00:03:19   I'll do. I open mail, I emailed my accountant and was like, how much money do I need to

00:03:22   give you to fix this? And I was like, this is what Grey has done for me. I was just like,

00:03:30   look, I have this problem. I was like, I can't do it. Like, what do I need to do to get you

00:03:35   to do it? And he's like, send me all this documentation. So I sent him a bunch of stuff.

00:03:40   and now hopefully there are people somewhere

00:03:43   working on this problem for me

00:03:45   and they're gonna fix it for me.

00:03:46   - It's a nice relief, isn't it?

00:03:48   - It's amazing.

00:03:50   I feel so much better.

00:03:51   And I even checked off in OmniFocus, fixed the problem.

00:03:54   'Cause I was like, it's gonna be fixed now.

00:03:56   I don't even need to have to worry about it.

00:03:57   - From my perspective, it's fixed.

00:03:59   It's fixed enough.

00:04:01   - It's someone else's problem now.

00:04:03   - Yeah, we talked about this a while back,

00:04:05   but definitely the advice of bring on an accountant

00:04:08   as soon as you can is something

00:04:09   everybody should follow.

00:04:11   - It was one of the first things that I did

00:04:12   when I set up the company,

00:04:14   not even before I was fully self-employed.

00:04:18   And she was like, "As soon as I set up this thing

00:04:19   "that was meant to be serious,"

00:04:21   I was like, "I just got an accountant straight away."

00:04:23   But now it's like, I just don't wanna deal with anything

00:04:27   related to this stuff.

00:04:28   So if somebody could just do it for me, that'd be great.

00:04:31   And once they fix this problem, I'm gonna be like,

00:04:33   "How much money would it cost for this

00:04:35   "to be done every month for me?"

00:04:37   - Yeah.

00:04:37   - Like, did I never touch this?

00:04:39   My current situation with my accountants is that I used to think,

00:04:42   "Oh, how could people live like this?" But now I'm one of these people,

00:04:45   which is like, okay, I,

00:04:48   since I have to do some money transfers with my business,

00:04:50   like I'm aware of the bank balances in a vague way,

00:04:53   but I do no accounting at all until the end of the year. And it's like,

00:04:57   here you go guys,

00:04:58   enjoy the last 12 months of my bank statements and this Dropbox folder called

00:05:03   receipts that I've been saving random stuff into.

00:05:05   I have the same one.

00:05:07   right? Over the course of an entire year, right?

00:05:10   All unlabeled or unsorted in any way. And it's like, you know what?

00:05:16   I know this is going to cost a small fortune to do. But you know what?

00:05:20   Here you go guys. Like I, we will, this is how commerce works.

00:05:24   Like I don't want to do a thing. I will pay you to do the thing.

00:05:27   The value of my time to not do the thing is greater than the amount that I am

00:05:32   paying you. So like everybody wins. But I, you know,

00:05:35   years ago me would have been appalled to see this folder called "receipts" that I have

00:05:40   now which is just an ultimate crap box of everything.

00:05:45   Because I'm feeling good about maybe giving somebody this job to do because I have just

00:05:53   cancelled my co-working membership.

00:05:56   Oh really?

00:05:57   Yeah, because I've not been there this year.

00:06:00   Well that's a good reason to cancel it.

00:06:02   I was paying 120 pounds a month for it.

00:06:05   And I've just realized that one of the things

00:06:09   that I thought that the year of less was gonna do for me,

00:06:12   you know, like my on/off week,

00:06:15   was give me the time to go to my co-working space

00:06:19   for at least two days one week and one day the next week.

00:06:22   But what I've done is start fitting in lots of lunches

00:06:26   with friends and colleagues during this period of time,

00:06:32   which is much better than going to the co-working space.

00:06:34   So I'm just not going there.

00:06:37   So I decided to cancel it.

00:06:40   And I've got to say, I was really pleased with the process.

00:06:43   I emailed them and was like,

00:06:44   can I pause this or cancel this?

00:06:46   And then it was just canceled immediately.

00:06:49   And I was like, that's how you do it.

00:06:51   Don't make me jump through hoops.

00:06:53   - Yeah.

00:06:54   - Just cancel the membership.

00:06:55   And I said to him, thank you for doing this.

00:06:58   And I mean this, if I ever want this again,

00:07:01   I'm going back to them now because they just didn't cause me hassle.

00:07:05   So I was very happy about that.

00:07:07   So it was a great space and I loved it and it was really good.

00:07:10   It's very flexible.

00:07:11   But if you're not going there, then what am I spending the money on?

00:07:13   Yeah, then that's just a business expense for absolutely no purpose.

00:07:18   That's no good.

00:07:18   And there are so many places around the areas that I was in

00:07:21   that if I really wanted to just go away and work for a day, I could find somewhere.

00:07:24   Like I could just go to a coffee shop.

00:07:26   Like it wouldn't be an issue.

00:07:27   Yeah. Jumping back for a second, though,

00:07:29   When did you officially sign up for the Year of Less?

00:07:33   You just threw that out real casually,

00:07:34   like you've always been on board with this too,

00:07:36   but I don't remember any point

00:07:37   where you were officially signing up

00:07:39   for the Year of Less as well.

00:07:40   - Well, I mean, in our Year of Less discussions,

00:07:42   I've been mentioning my on/off week, right?

00:07:45   So for me, that is actually part of the Year of Less,

00:07:48   which is I found two days every two weeks

00:07:51   that were completely open.

00:07:53   And I've been filling them with things

00:07:55   that I'm finding fun to do,

00:07:56   even like other little podcast things,

00:07:58   but they're fun things, not work things.

00:08:01   So it's been good and I've been enjoying that.

00:08:04   - Yeah, well, I'm very glad to hear that, Myke.

00:08:06   - This episode of Cortex is brought to you by FreshBooks.

00:08:11   FreshBooks, the company on a mission

00:08:13   to help small business owners save the time

00:08:16   and stress that comes with running businesses.

00:08:19   And it all is focused around the finances,

00:08:21   the invoicing part.

00:08:22   Let me tell you a story.

00:08:23   So as we record this last Friday was the end of the month.

00:08:26   and the end of the month means lots of invoices need to be sent. So I sat down on

00:08:30   Friday as I always do and I opened up FreshBooks

00:08:33   and I opened up our spreadsheets and I went to town and in 15 minutes

00:08:37   I had like 30 invoices sent out it was super

00:08:40   super simple for me to do this. It takes just 30 seconds

00:08:44   to create and send an invoice with FreshBooks. What I really love is all of the

00:08:48   information that you've used before is saved in there. All of your clients are saved in there

00:08:51   so it's easy to get to them

00:08:52   All of the line items that you've created are saved in there with the default pricing and stuff

00:08:56   So it makes it just a couple of taps to get an invoice sent out

00:09:01   All of the activities tracked so you know when people have looked at them

00:09:05   You can send out late payment reminders as well if you like and because you're a FreshBooks customer

00:09:09   You'll be paid faster. FreshBooks customers get paid five days faster on average when compared to their competition.

00:09:17   With FreshBooks you'll be able to integrate with loads of your favorite services

00:09:20   You'll be able to track all of your time to help you send out better invoices if you are a time tracking person

00:09:25   They have fantastic support. They have the ability for you to track all of your receipts

00:09:29   It is super simple and I couldn't recommend it enough

00:09:33   The best thing for you to go and do is just try it for yourself

00:09:37   Super simple to get started

00:09:39   You don't need to be a numbers person and fresh books are offering a 30-day free trial to listeners of this show

00:09:45   with no credit card required. You can just go to Freshbooks.com/Cortex to sign up and

00:09:51   claim your 30 days of unrestricted use. You'll be able to send better invoices quicker. And

00:09:56   please enter Cortex in the how you heard about us section so Freshbooks knows that you came

00:10:01   from this show. Trust me, go check them out. Go to Freshbooks.com/Cortex. Thank you so

00:10:07   much to Freshbooks for their support of this show and Relay FM.

00:10:11   (beep)

00:10:12   - All right, so let's have an update on gray hiring.

00:10:16   So the last time we spoke,

00:10:20   I think it was very much left in a,

00:10:22   I'm gonna change my life and I'm gonna hire someone.

00:10:25   - Is that how we left it?

00:10:27   I don't think that's how I would have phrased anything.

00:10:29   - It was kind of like that.

00:10:30   I didn't get any CVs, which I was very surprised about.

00:10:35   I didn't get any.

00:10:36   - Well, my assistant sent me a message like,

00:10:40   Why the hell am I all of a sudden getting all of these CDs from Animare?

00:10:43   The system works!

00:10:44   [Laughter]

00:10:46   They don't come to me!

00:10:47   That was my thought as well, like, actually this is great, like,

00:10:50   Cortex listeners are responsible listeners, like,

00:10:52   they're using the public contact form on my website,

00:10:54   they're not bothering Myke, it's not a joke, right?

00:10:57   Yeah, I would like to thank everyone that realised there was no point in sending it to me,

00:11:01   because there really wasn't any point, 'cause I wouldn't have done anything with it.

00:11:05   I would have just read your CV, and you don't want me doing that.

00:11:08   Like I would have just read it and looked at it

00:11:10   and thought about it.

00:11:11   Sending it to Grey's assistant was the best move.

00:11:14   - Yes, and I would like to thank everyone

00:11:15   who sent in their job application.

00:11:17   I have looked at none of them.

00:11:19   - Yep.

00:11:20   - Because the system is not set up yet.

00:11:22   You weren't really supposed to reach out yet.

00:11:24   Like I wasn't ready for you yet and we will.

00:11:27   - I say bravo to everyone that did seize the day.

00:11:31   I mean that I'm not even making a joke.

00:11:33   Like if I was in that position

00:11:37   of wanting to do this kind of thing and heard this,

00:11:39   you would have gotten my CV because why not?

00:11:42   You're either gonna look at it

00:11:43   or you're just gonna bin it.

00:11:44   And then when you eventually put out the process of hiring,

00:11:47   you can apply again, seize the day, Gray.

00:11:49   Seize the Gray.

00:11:50   - No.

00:11:51   - No, I don't know why I said that.

00:11:53   - I reject that statement.

00:11:54   (both laughing)

00:11:55   There will be no seizing of the Gray.

00:11:57   I do not like this.

00:11:58   - I've seized the Gray.

00:11:59   - I do not like this one bit though.

00:12:00   (laughing)

00:12:03   - All right, so what's going on then?

00:12:04   How has this process progressed?

00:12:07   - Okay, so here is the thing, listener.

00:12:10   We're going to talk a little bit

00:12:13   about what I have been up to.

00:12:16   I've been preparing a little bit for this Cortex episode,

00:12:19   which I usually just leave in the hands of Myke.

00:12:21   I'm like, "Oh, Myke, just figure something out

00:12:23   "and I'll show up and talk about it."

00:12:25   But this time I was like, "Oh, I think I actually need

00:12:26   "to try to organize what I've been up to

00:12:28   "so that I have something to show Myke

00:12:30   "and so that we can talk about it."

00:12:31   But this conversation, I think,

00:12:32   necessarily going to be partly mixed in with a kind of mini Cortex book club

00:12:39   which relates to a book called Who? The A Method for Hiring by Jeff Smart.

00:12:48   Listeners, Myke just made a sad sound. I started reading this book, I don't know,

00:12:54   like a week ago and I messaged Myke and said "Oh hey Myke, you might want to read

00:12:59   this, maybe this will be like a little Cortex book club, because I'm going to go through

00:13:03   this book over the next few days and relate it to what I am working on. And Myke and I

00:13:08   have not discussed it at all since that point, other than the fact that I know Myke has read

00:13:12   it, and I think that sound is not favorable from Myke.

00:13:18   Where do you find these f***ing things? Where do they come from? This is a nightmare of

00:13:23   a book. This thing was horrific.

00:13:30   The place I find these is I have an enormous text file called "books to read" that I make

00:13:37   a little note about why they were entered in on the list at some point. And so at some

00:13:43   stage past me wrote down "who book" and then in brackets "related to hiring". And I have

00:13:51   I have no idea why or when Past Me wrote this down.

00:13:54   I just knew whenever I would review that list of like,

00:13:57   "Oh, someday if Future Me ever needs it, Past Me has written down a book about hiring."

00:14:01   And so, since that was just there, last week when I was getting serious to think about

00:14:06   trying to bring more people on board, I thought, "Oh, Past Me wrote this thing down, so I'm going to read it."

00:14:11   So the answer is, I have no idea really where it came from, other than I just have a list of books,

00:14:16   some of which have notes to Future Me about when they might be useful to read.

00:14:19   So, who knows where book recommendations come from? They just appear, Myke.

00:14:23   I didn't like this one at all.

00:14:25   At least it was short. It was like four and a half hours.

00:14:29   Yes, it was a business book that was very short.

00:14:33   I read it over the space of an hour on a Saturday, and then I took a flight to and back from the continent, and I finished it in that time.

00:14:41   So I think it was like three hours in total to read. It's very short, which is a virtue in the business book world.

00:14:47   But I bring this up now simply because I think this book is going to be kind of mixed in with what has been going on.

00:14:54   So this is, for the listeners, a sort of cortex business book club.

00:14:58   Yeah, there was a book that was read.

00:15:00   I just want to say about my hate of this book, like I also expressed many bad feelings for E-Myth.

00:15:06   But E-Myth was entertaining in its terribleness.

00:15:11   This book was just boring and terrible.

00:15:14   Which is a worse mix. I really didn't like this one. Can I just say, like, while we're talking

00:15:20   about the book, one of the things that I found the most egregious about this audiobook?

00:15:23   There are sometimes, there are three instances in the book where the narrator of the book

00:15:29   reads a quote from someone. There are two where he reads quotes from people that are English,

00:15:35   and he is an American guy, and he puts on English accents when he reads the quotes.

00:15:44   "Oh, it's a bad decision, dude. Don't do that."

00:15:46   And there was also a quote from a Colombian person,

00:15:51   and he puts on a "Hey Gringo" type accent,

00:15:54   and it is so bad. I don't know why he does it. It just doesn't

00:15:59   make sense to me why he does it. Like, I can't think

00:16:01   any reason why you would need to put on an accent.

00:16:05   I feel like he couldn't help it, right? Like, it just started.

00:16:09   Is the narrator of the book also the author of the book? I feel like the

00:16:12   I think the answer has to be yes after you have described this to me.

00:16:15   No, actually, it was narrated by somebody else.

00:16:17   Patrick Lawler.

00:16:18   I don't know why they hired him or let him do whatever it was he thought he was a good

00:16:24   idea to do, but he did it anyway.

00:16:27   I mean, thinking about it for a second, I would expect that if it was a novel, like

00:16:31   if you're reading a novel and a character has an accent, I would expect the narrator

00:16:35   to put on that accent, but it seems almost inappropriate in a business book.

00:16:40   It's pointless!

00:16:42   He doesn't put on different regional American accents when he reads quotes from American people.

00:16:48   He just does it with the English person and the Colombian person.

00:16:51   Mm-hmm. Fantastic. Fantastic.

00:16:55   While we are just discussing this audiobook briefly, I have to say, Myke, that I think...

00:17:00   I know I'm not going to change your behavior on this, but I think you are making a terrible decision

00:17:06   listening in audio form to these business books that I recommend.

00:17:11   Because I think a key way to survive the kind of writing that you find in most business books, while also extracting the value to be had in them, comes from learning how to get through them very quickly.

00:17:26   Yeah, because one of the problems that I have is I have to listen to the lists.

00:17:31   Right. You have to listen to the lists.

00:17:34   There are a few points that I highlighted in here, or just for the show, where it's like, "Oh look, pointless anecdote," right?

00:17:41   There's just so much in these books that if you're reading it, you can jump ahead or skim. Or like with this book,

00:17:49   I basically flitted over, say, the middle third of it, because I recognized immediately that this was just not really useful in any way, shape, or form.

00:17:58   But if you are listening to it, you have to have every single word enter your brain.

00:18:04   And so I just, I don't think this is the way to go with business books.

00:18:08   Like if we're going to continue the business book club,

00:18:11   and I'm going to continue recommending books to you,

00:18:13   I like I worry for your sanity a year down the line if you continue to listen to them.

00:18:18   Because what's going to happen when I recommend something that's like 16 hours long,

00:18:22   and you listen to the whole thing? You're going to lose your mind.

00:18:24   Yeah, I think I'm going to try and make a book by book decision.

00:18:28   Like Creativity Inc, I wanted the audiobook because there's a lot of story in there,

00:18:34   but this one I didn't need the audiobook for this one.

00:18:36   No, you didn't need the audiobook.

00:18:37   Because I was actually skipping the audiobook.

00:18:39   I'd be like, "Just get me out of this section. This is horrific. I don't need this."

00:18:44   And this one also suffers from all of the problems that all of these types of books.

00:18:49   It's like a ton of statistics and figures that are thrown out that you just have to accept to true.

00:18:54   Or not really and just keep moving on.

00:18:56   - Yeah, it's like, it's just like, oh, well, we,

00:18:58   90% of people have this problem.

00:19:00   It's like, how, how did you get to this?

00:19:03   And also, so much of these books are just focused on,

00:19:09   naturally, they're just tools

00:19:10   to sell this company's processes.

00:19:12   - Yeah, of course. - Right?

00:19:13   They want you to come and buy what they're selling.

00:19:15   - Yeah. - But the whole kind of

00:19:17   overall thing about this book is the A player,

00:19:19   that's what they talk about,

00:19:20   like hiring the right person, basically.

00:19:22   - Right, yeah. - So I can see

00:19:23   why you'd wanna read it.

00:19:25   There are a couple of interesting parts in this book that we might get to a little bit later on.

00:19:29   I can see how someone could extract some use from this, but

00:19:33   it really, for me, was just like three sentences in this book that were really good.

00:19:38   [laughter]

00:19:39   Okay, so let's talk about this then.

00:19:41   Okay, so we discussed last time

00:19:43   I'm looking to bring someone on board for all of the various reasons that we mentioned,

00:19:47   particularly some health concerns and a few other things and just like,

00:19:50   I need more help with what I'm doing.

00:19:52   I'm reaching the point also just with two podcasts and the YouTube channel.

00:19:57   It's like, it is useful for me to structure this in a more useful way.

00:20:02   So I've been thinking about it a lot, and...

00:20:05   This book, Who, combined with also the insanity of E-Myth Revisited,

00:20:16   I feel like, okay, taking the useful parts of both of these books has really helped me clarify my thinking process about this and helped me move forward a little bit.

00:20:31   So, here's what's going on. We discussed previously this idea from Emith Revisited about write out your company as though you don't exist.

00:20:42   write out all of the the jobs that need to be done as though you have some huge company,

00:20:47   you're not a part of it and there's just a bunch of employees.

00:20:50   Yeah, so all of the jobs that need to be done and then assign them to like to the imaginary people,

00:20:54   the roles that would need to be filled to do the work.

00:20:58   Right.

00:20:58   So like marketing manager and production manager and that kind of thing for you, I guess.

00:21:02   Right, that's exactly right. Now, I had sort of done this in the past,

00:21:10   But I always found it a, like, it was useful but a bit, like, unactionable or...

00:21:16   Yeah, I think when you would have done this, though, you would have very much been in the mindset of

00:21:21   just working out how much you need to do as opposed to ever thinking that you were going to give these jobs to someone.

00:21:26   Yeah, there was a lack of externalizing about this, and so I had done it but I hadn't actually even bothered to kind of keep any of the writing out that I had ever done on these things.

00:21:38   Like it was just not super actionable, but the idea was very valuable. Now the extractable,

00:21:45   valuable idea in this book, Who?, comes like many of these books right away, right?

00:21:51   Straight at the front, you know, there's like an introductory chapter of nonsense and then like in

00:21:58   almost every single one of these books, like chapter two has almost everything that you're

00:22:02   are going to get out of it, and that was the case with this one.

00:22:05   And what this book lays out is a format for which you can write a useful job description.

00:22:16   So it lays out this thing of like, here is how you can write down on a piece of paper

00:22:21   a job description that can also work as a way to evaluate whether or not the person

00:22:28   who was working for you is working out.

00:22:31   And I thought like, "Okay, well this is a really interesting idea."

00:22:35   Because previously just thinking about job descriptions, you know, it makes me think

00:22:37   of like when I applied as a teacher or, you know, any of the work that I've ever had.

00:22:41   The job description is like a piece of paper that you see once and then you never see it

00:22:44   again ever and, you know, just, you know, it's like this irrelevant thing.

00:22:49   And so I had this little outline now of like, "Okay, here's how to formulate a job description."

00:22:56   And that all of a sudden clicked in my mind of like, "Okay, I can sit down now and thinking

00:23:04   about how I am going to structure the job descriptions feeds into how do I need to separate

00:23:10   out my company into a bunch of jobs?"

00:23:12   And separating out my company into a bunch of jobs also then clarifies what is the job

00:23:17   description of each of these.

00:23:19   And so I had this surprising afternoon.

00:23:22   It was a Sunday afternoon, I read the first two chapters of this book, and everything

00:23:26   seemed like it kind of fell into place.

00:23:29   And I sat down and I wrote out a kind of basic description of the company that I run, and

00:23:39   I wrote out a basic idea for some of the jobs that I want.

00:23:43   And it was a really interesting afternoon because though on this podcast we have sort

00:23:47   of jokingly referred to this idea that like, "Oh, Myke and I talk to each other as CEO

00:23:52   to CEO and you have to think about yourself as the CEO, as separate from the person who's

00:23:56   working in the job and like all of this kind of stuff.

00:23:59   I had this feeling after that afternoon of like, "Oh, I think I really was a CEO today.

00:24:06   I think this is the first day I actually was doing the kinds of things that a CEO would

00:24:11   really do."

00:24:12   Sitting down very seriously, very formally structuring out the company and structuring

00:24:20   out some job descriptions for people who were going to maybe work in that company, even

00:24:26   though sometimes they are me.

00:24:28   So I have a folder of work to share with you, Myke.

00:24:31   Wow.

00:24:32   Are you interested to see?

00:24:33   Yeah, very much.

00:24:34   So what I'm sending you is some of the stuff that I did.

00:24:39   And now, there's two main things in my life here, right?

00:24:44   Like I have the podcasts and I have the YouTube channels.

00:24:48   And I have, since we last spoke, made some progress towards helping out with the podcast,

00:24:57   particularly the Hello Internet podcast.

00:24:59   And I am going to credit it in no small part to thinking about this in a very formal way.

00:25:07   So I actually wrote out the podcast as though it was a kind of separate company that produces

00:25:15   the work that I am doing.

00:25:18   So if you take a look, you'll see I actually have a little kind of mind map flowchart of

00:25:23   what the Hello Internet company looks like with various jobs to be done.

00:25:28   So what I was thinking is, I have these two areas of my life, one of which is like the

00:25:34   dominant big one, which is the YouTube videos.

00:25:37   Like that is the much harder, much more difficult problem for me to solve, which we will get

00:25:42   to.

00:25:43   easier problem which relates to bringing on some help with the Hello Internet podcast.

00:25:49   Because I do a bunch of edits on the Hello Internet podcast, there's like a ton of back-end

00:25:52   work that happens with that podcast. And so I kind of thought like, "Okay, let me try

00:25:58   to start with Hello Internet first so that if I do anything dumb or if I make any mistakes

00:26:05   with this or like just..." It's an easier conceptual problem to bring on someone to

00:26:11   help with Hello Internet. And also, quite frankly, it lowers stakes. Like if something

00:26:17   goes terribly wrong with Hello Internet, I would much rather have that happen than have

00:26:22   something go terribly wrong with the video production. Like I can ultimately kind of

00:26:27   fix the Hello Internet problem much more easier than I could the YouTube problem.

00:26:31   But like, you know, for example, if something happens in the audio, it can be repaired and

00:26:36   it would just, you know, people can get the new version.

00:26:38   Right.

00:26:39   That's not what happens in YouTube. You know, you've spoken about this on Hello Internet in the past, I believe.

00:26:44   Once the video is up, that's it.

00:26:47   Like, there's nothing you can do.

00:26:49   Yeah, there's nothing I can do.

00:26:50   And also, if something gets uploaded, you know, it's going out to literally millions of people, maybe.

00:26:57   Like, it's a bigger scale mistake.

00:26:59   Yeah, it's a bigger scale problem, for sure.

00:27:00   Right, it's a way bigger scale problem if something is dumb.

00:27:03   Or something just doesn't work out right or anything.

00:27:05   So I wrote this out and I was thinking about how,

00:27:10   in my process, like what is my role here?

00:27:15   And the thing that I kind of settled on is

00:27:17   I'm trying to think of myself as like

00:27:21   the audio director for the podcast.

00:27:25   In some sense, I'm like okay,

00:27:27   I can work with other people who help produce this.

00:27:32   And so I wanted to bring someone on who would help with parts of the process of making a

00:27:40   Hello Internet podcast.

00:27:42   So prior to this, the structure was basically I did three cuts of the podcast.

00:27:49   The first cut was for content to just remove all kinds of boring stuff that shouldn't go

00:27:54   in the final show.

00:27:55   Like, you know, we record just a ton of stuff and not all of it always makes it in.

00:28:00   I would do a second super intense cut of like tightening everything as much as possible,

00:28:06   trying to remove gaps, trying to clean up little audio mistakes, just doing a ton and

00:28:11   ton of little edits there.

00:28:14   And then I would do a final listen through and building of show notes.

00:28:17   Like I was doing kind of three runs.

00:28:20   And so structuring this and thinking it through, I realized, okay, I can bring on someone to

00:28:27   help with that middle edit of the podcast.

00:28:31   That someone can help me with that because it's a huge amount of work

00:28:36   and it also doesn't necessarily have the same quality of like, well,

00:28:40   we talked about a thing and we don't want it in the final show and like it's our decision just to cut that like,

00:28:45   that is a decision that ultimately I have to be making that like cannot be delegated to somebody else,

00:28:51   but the middle section totally can be delegated to somebody else.

00:28:55   But for the moment, since I'm all new to this, right,

00:28:58   I'm very unused to bringing people on,

00:29:02   the idea is that I'm just going to be listening

00:29:06   to the work that has been done in the second cut

00:29:09   and giving any feedback as is necessary.

00:29:12   - And that kind of mirrors our working relationship,

00:29:15   which is that me and you have spoken about this

00:29:17   and we both feel that we're getting closer to the point

00:29:20   where you don't need to have an edit run on the show.

00:29:23   - Right.

00:29:24   - And I think we're there yet,

00:29:25   because you know I'm still tweaking things in a way that I think makes sense for both of us,

00:29:29   but I think we're both understanding our process a lot more,

00:29:33   and I think we're getting to the point where you wouldn't have to do it if you didn't want to.

00:29:36   Yes, well I was going to say, Myke, that you are the very person who has given me confidence

00:29:42   that this kind of thing can even happen.

00:29:43   Success.

00:29:44   Because precisely this, because when we first started with the show,

00:29:48   you would hand me back an episode and I would add quite a lot of cuts to it.

00:29:53   I think that's fair to say like the first few ones

00:29:56   I was like hmm

00:29:59   I'm gonna take out a whole lot more than has been done the first time and and over time

00:30:04   Working together the two of us. We are now at the stage where I find myself when I'm doing the final listen through of Cortex

00:30:11   Not changing a lot or even some of the changes that I make I think

00:30:16   Are they that significant? I'm not sure that they are so like I'll do them because I'd prefer it

00:30:23   But if it went out this way, like, whatever.

00:30:25   Yeah, it would be fine. It wouldn't be any disaster.

00:30:28   Us doing Cortex together has been an interesting learning experience for me in this,

00:30:35   like, "Let's go back and forth with another person."

00:30:37   And like, we can talk to each other about what do we want as a thing.

00:30:40   And like, so I think that's part of why, if you allow me to put words in your mouth,

00:30:45   there isn't a Cortex chart. Because we have always had a different kind of working relationship

00:30:52   than I guess you've had in some of your other works, right?

00:30:56   Oh yeah, yeah. And on the Cortex-1, I'm just the talent, right?

00:31:01   Yeah, you are. Just rolling with your swipe back hair and your sunglasses and you're just ready to roll, you know?

00:31:06   Yeah. You know, sometimes you have to knock on the trailer door to get me to come out at the right time to do the recording.

00:31:12   Mr. Grey, we're ready for you now.

00:31:14   Yeah, most of it is just out of my hands. I just show up, there's show notes.

00:31:18   "Oh, look at this! Isn't that nice? Okay, I'll read my lines and then I'll go back."

00:31:22   But yeah, so doing this with you over this time has let me feel like, okay, I can take what has happened with Cortex and scale it up to the next level with this thing that is now much more my responsibility than Cortex is.

00:31:40   Like, right now, the way it is, I am the back end of Hello Internet.

00:31:46   Like, I do all the editing, I do all of the publishing and the promoting of it, like, on social media and all of that stuff.

00:31:52   And so this is part of what I've been doing here, is like, okay, I think I see a place where an audio editor can come in.

00:31:59   And then, it was also in this separation of tasks that I realized something, which was...

00:32:07   So I've always had this kind of conversation with my wife when I talk about putting up a Hello Internet episode.

00:32:12   That I was always aware that on the day when I would do the kind of final preparations and getting ready to put it up,

00:32:18   I was always surprised by how long it actually took to go from export final MP3 to episode is live, promoted everywhere,

00:32:30   discussion is up, it's all ready to go.

00:32:32   It just, it caught me by surprise how long it always took.

00:32:36   And so this was one of these cases where I thought, okay, when I was making this chart,

00:32:41   I was thinking of this in terms of, well, there's kind of a distribution side to this

00:32:45   business as well.

00:32:47   That in my mind, I was always kind of rounding off as, oh, it's not much work.

00:32:51   It's very easy for me to do.

00:32:53   I can just do this really quickly, right?

00:32:55   But thinking about what I got from that book about who and thinking about the emith stuff

00:33:00   and like, okay, imagine I couldn't do any of it.

00:33:03   There needs to be essentially a distribution person.

00:33:08   And so I was sitting down and writing out,

00:33:10   here are all of the steps as though I couldn't do anything

00:33:15   to take the MP3 file and get it up on YouTube,

00:33:19   get it up in the Libsyn backend,

00:33:21   get it out on email campaigns,

00:33:23   get it up on the Reddit, get it promoted on Facebook.

00:33:25   Again, there are so many more steps to that

00:33:28   than you really think of,

00:33:29   because as listeners will know, I'm already quite a checklist person.

00:33:32   Like, I have long checklists already for all of these kinds of things,

00:33:36   but it was a whole 'nother level to sit down and really write out,

00:33:42   like, which boxes need to be ticked in Libsyn?

00:33:45   Which systems need thumbnails uploaded to them?

00:33:48   What dropdown boxes for categories need to be selected, right?

00:33:52   Like, really going through and doing every little step.

00:33:57   I was absolutely shocked when I took a look at the final checklist and thought like,

00:34:00   "I can't believe I was doing all of this."

00:34:04   And this is the part where it's like, "Okay, there is work to be done here,

00:34:09   and the plan is that my personal assistant is going to take on a lot of the distribution role

00:34:16   in this kind of like 'Hello Internet' company that exists."

00:34:20   So it's like the distribution assistant is the person who is going to help out

00:34:24   with a bunch of this stuff.

00:34:26   It was just a really interesting exercise. It's one of these cases where

00:34:30   even when you think you are organized and you are on top of things, a shift in perspective, a little bit of

00:34:37   actionable information can really

00:34:41   change and bring into focus

00:34:44   certain kinds of problems. And this is why I had this interesting feeling after this afternoon of like, I think this was the first day

00:34:50   that I was actually a CEO, right, of sitting down,

00:34:55   writing it out, being really specific with like what needs to happen when and what needs to happen where.

00:35:01   How do you think that you will be in this scenario?

00:35:06   Do you think that you'll be constantly checking in with people, like keeping an eye on things being done?

00:35:11   Or do you think you'll be able to kind of just let it happen?

00:35:14   The hope is that I'm able to just

00:35:17   let it happen. That I'm able to just step away from it as much as possible.

00:35:24   Now if you take a look in that folder that I sent you, you will see there's a file which is called

00:35:31   Audio Editor, HI Audio Editor. Yep. So open that up

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00:37:01   customizing one of their templates to make it work for my website and at the end it looked nothing like what you had started with.

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00:37:49   [BEEP]

00:37:50   Okay. Oh, mission.

00:37:52   Okay, so now... [LAUGHS]

00:37:56   This is where I have followed the outline in the WHO book

00:38:01   of what a job description is.

00:38:04   Right, and so there is a mission, which is like the one sentence description of what the job is for.

00:38:09   And then below that there are four bullet points of "here are the outcomes that this person is supposed to produce."

00:38:17   The book also recommends this thing about like qualities at the bottom, which I think is a little bit of BS,

00:38:22   but I've just done it for the sake of completeness for now.

00:38:24   But the thing that I have done here is when I was writing out this job description,

00:38:28   I was specific about thinking about this in terms of where is this person going to receive work from

00:38:37   work from and where are they going to send it to.

00:38:41   And so I have a note in the job description about how like when you are done with your

00:38:47   job the next step is to send it to the distribution assistant.

00:38:51   Like, don't send it to me!

00:38:53   I shouldn't be involved in this really.

00:38:55   Like when the final exporting is done you send it to that person.

00:39:00   And then I've written up another job description which is for this distribution assistant.

00:39:05   then this is what they should do when they receive the final audio file from the audio

00:39:10   editor.

00:39:11   So if you see what I mean, like, I am trying as hard as possible to build a thing where

00:39:17   I touch it as little as possible.

00:39:20   This is really good.

00:39:21   I've got to say, like, I'm reading through these.

00:39:24   I mean, you know, I won't spill the beans on it all because I'm assuming that this is

00:39:28   to be kept private for the time being.

00:39:31   Yeah.

00:39:32   But there's a lot of things in here about making sure

00:39:36   the show is kind of kept true to its point,

00:39:40   to be like a conversation between friends.

00:39:42   And basically the idea for the audio editor

00:39:45   is to just tighten it up, right?

00:39:47   Take out the ums, take out the uhs,

00:39:48   and basically just master the show to make it

00:39:52   basically how it needs to be before it goes out the door.

00:39:56   - Yeah, and then the idea as well is that

00:39:58   for now I am doing this third edit,

00:40:00   but that they can also do the final round of like,

00:40:03   okay, I'm gonna send you the ads,

00:40:05   and then this stuff can just be plopped in of like,

00:40:08   okay, bleeps and bloops, they go in at the appropriate

00:40:10   spots, here's the opening theme.

00:40:11   Like there's a whole other extra level of little stuff

00:40:14   that I don't really need to do,

00:40:17   like I can have somebody else do it.

00:40:19   But again, it was just so interesting realizing

00:40:23   how much stuff my brain had filed under the category of

00:40:28   not very much, or even in my own checklists,

00:40:32   I would have a line item which was like,

00:40:34   add transition sounds and export final version.

00:40:38   I was like, well actually, that's quite a lot of steps

00:40:40   for the final part of the podcast,

00:40:42   when you think about it, what is actually involved here,

00:40:44   how long does this actually take?

00:40:46   - And also, if you're like me,

00:40:47   the checking that you didn't ruin anything by adding those.

00:40:50   - Right, yeah, yeah.

00:40:51   - Which is the longest part.

00:40:53   - Right, yeah, it's so easy to mess up at the last mile.

00:40:57   You're like, oh, I've definitely done that with the podcast.

00:40:59   Sometimes they're like, oh, I'm just going to add this one quick thing.

00:41:02   And then the people who listened right at the beginning send you a message like,

00:41:06   you know, there's a 10 minute section where the,

00:41:08   where there's like a fade in and fade out over the audio. I'm like, oh no,

00:41:11   whoops. Right. Let me quickly change that as quickly as I can.

00:41:16   So this, this is all my structure so far with,

00:41:23   again,

00:41:24   the smaller of my two projects, trying to sit down and formalize and systematize how

00:41:31   this works.

00:41:32   And again, it is really interesting that even though this Who book, as listeners might have

00:41:37   gathered from our initial description of it, has a lot of just garbage in it, I found the

00:41:43   structure of this outline of how do you write a job description.

00:41:47   This for me was somehow like the missing piece that I needed to have in my brain about how

00:41:53   How do I make the org chart actionable?

00:41:57   How do I make this really serious, and how do I really think this through?

00:42:02   This is part of what I have been up to, and I have taken on someone who is helping with

00:42:09   the second edit, and we are recording this episode on a Thursday, and Friday tomorrow,

00:42:17   everything goes right, should be the first test of this little system of I

00:42:24   have had an audio editor help me with two parts and also the first test of

00:42:29   having my assistant act as the distribution assistant and do a lot of

00:42:34   the public-facing sharing of it and uploading to the back-end systems and

00:42:39   all of that kind of stuff. So it hasn't happened yet, like the trigger hasn't

00:42:43   been fully pulled, but I am interested to see how this goes as the first run of a thing

00:42:49   where I am trying to remove myself as much as possible.

00:42:53   The distribution assistant, that job had already been filled by someone you were already working

00:42:57   with, right? You just basically gave more tasks to your personal assistant who you'd

00:43:03   vetted and worked with for years at this point.

00:43:06   Exactly, right? Like I wasn't bringing on anybody new there.

00:43:09   But you did bring on somebody new for the audio editing and it's interesting because

00:43:14   the way that this person came to you is also brought up in the Who book.

00:43:18   When they're talking about finding people to hire, one of the things they say is, "Who

00:43:23   do the people that you work with recommend?"

00:43:26   Exactly.

00:43:27   And this person came to you from a recommendation from me.

00:43:30   Exactly.

00:43:31   We were talking about this.

00:43:33   I was discussing how I wanted to bring someone on to help Hello Internet.

00:43:37   before I came across the Who book and we were just kind of chatting and you

00:43:40   literally said to me "oh I think I might know exactly who you need"

00:43:44   yep like great isn't that isn't that perfect

00:43:48   so none of the jobs that are needed for the hello internet corporation have had

00:43:52   to go out to open application right right so I think now we should turn our

00:43:57   attention to grey industries right well that's why once again the hello internet

00:44:02   thing was like this interesting test case where I was able to kind of play around with

00:44:07   it. So far things are going well, but there is a very difficult thing that hasn't happened

00:44:14   yet and that's the next stage of scaling it up to the CGP Grey YouTube channel.

00:44:22   When you go to the big leagues?

00:44:25   It is when you go to the big leagues.

00:44:27   Because it's like, it is a process, right, where you maybe learn some things from Cortex

00:44:32   and then you applied some of those things to Hello Internet and now you're able to apply some of those things to

00:44:36   The YouTube channel. It's a chain where you're able to test things out on smaller scales

00:44:41   Yeah until you take what you've learned and apply that to the the funnel

00:44:48   Yeah, and this has been a very conscious process on my heart so far like okay do this do this with Hello Internet

00:44:54   That's also partly why like tomorrow is going to be the test of a bunch of this stuff tomorrow when we're recording as it is

00:45:01   And again, like I'm sure there are things that I will realize in that process that then it's like, okay, do this

00:45:07   before you do some of the big stuff with the YouTube channel so you can try to avoid problems

00:45:12   before they actually happen on the larger scale.

00:45:15   Alright, so

00:45:18   we can talk a little bit about the the grey industries flowchart here for making a video.

00:45:27   And this was really interesting to break it out because we talked about this a little bit last time

00:45:31   but it was very different sitting down and so I

00:45:34   have my company listed out and then I am head of production of this company and then I was trying to

00:45:41   divide that down into like what are all the possible roles and again kind of thinking like when we read

00:45:47   Creativity Inc. where they talk about you know, this is the director and they're working with these teams

00:45:51   I was trying to think about okay, what are all of the various roles that go into

00:45:57   producing a video and imagining myself as like, "If I could only be the producer of this thing,

00:46:02   what are all the roles I need to hire?" And it's just fun. It's fun to kind of see it all written out where it's like,

00:46:08   okay, there needs to be a researcher, there needs to be a writer, there needs to be an editor, there's an illustrator,

00:46:14   there's an animator, which are two separate jobs like we talked about last time, there's voice recording, there's audio editing, and there's music production.

00:46:21   And again, it was interesting to do this and realize like, "Oh God, I used to do

00:46:26   all of this, you know, with the exception of the music.

00:46:31   I used to do all of this on my own.

00:46:33   So it's weird to think about how I used to fill all of these roles with the exception of music.

00:46:39   And now thinking about, okay, imagining these as individual jobs, some of them I am still going to do.

00:46:48   Obviously the writing and editing I am still going to do, obviously the voice recording I'm still going to do.

00:46:53   But now looking at it and thinking, "Okay, what is going to happen with the Illustrator animator slot?"

00:47:01   And just like with Hello Internet, trying to formalize my thinking in a way of writing out a job description a little bit

00:47:09   to think about what is going to happen here. Like, what needs to occur.

00:47:17   So I had an idea which I still haven't decided if this is like a brilliant idea or if this is a terrible idea.

00:47:25   Great, okay.

00:47:27   So I'm thinking about, okay, I need to bring on Illustrator animator role, right? How do I need to do that?

00:47:35   What I ended up doing was I ended up thinking, huh, I'm going to write a little script, something that's brief,

00:47:43   it's like 250 words, that is an announcement of the job and also the job application.

00:47:51   So I wrote a little super-mini thing that's like 250 words long.

00:47:56   Oh, it's so smart. I love it. Yes, I can see where you're going with this.

00:47:59   And the application is to animate the job application.

00:48:05   Yes.

00:48:06   If you look in that folder that I gave you, there is a folder which is called Animation Application.

00:48:10   Uh-huh.

00:48:11   And now, I'll keep in mind that at this stage it is still very rough.

00:48:15   There's some things in there that I won't be having in the final one probably.

00:48:18   But I was just writing it out to think about like, "Okay, how long is this going to be? What's it going to look like?"

00:48:24   And this is my way of trying to solve a fundamental problem.

00:48:30   Because what I'm looking for is a person who can reproduce my style.

00:48:35   And ideally if I can, I want to find one person who can do both the asset creation, both the illustration, and who can also do the animation.

00:48:47   Now, normally I would think that was a pretty high bar, because those are two totally unrelated fields,

00:48:55   but since my art style is so ridiculously simple, I think that I could get lucky and find someone who can do both of them.

00:49:04   do both of them. But I am open to the idea that like if this first round doesn't work,

00:49:08   I might have to back up and say, "Okay, instead of looking for one person who can do both,

00:49:13   I'm going to look for two people who can work together."

00:49:17   So here's my thinking. There's no reason why you can't find one person, because you're

00:49:20   one person. It's... there's gonna be people. Surely.

00:49:25   I do sort of disagree with that, but I hope that you're right. I totally hope that you're

00:49:30   right that there's one person who can do it.

00:49:32   I like the script. It's funny.

00:49:33   I've just glossed over it and there's some really funny stuff in here.

00:49:36   Yeah, there is some part of me which thinks

00:49:40   this might be a terrible idea to do it this way.

00:49:42   But this to me, though, like putting out some kind of call for work.

00:49:47   This is the like scary new frontier

00:49:52   that is the thing that makes it fundamentally different.

00:49:54   And I'm going to be pulling the trigger on this relatively soon.

00:49:59   hopefully maybe the day after this episode goes out like I kind of want to force myself into just

00:50:04   going ahead and just doing this because I think I have done about as much preparation as I can reasonably expect of

00:50:11   thinking through like what do I need and

00:50:14   talking to a bunch of people and like I'm

00:50:18   Reaching the limit of pre-preparation before just seeing like put out an application

00:50:22   See what you get back

00:50:25   take it from there. I think that's that's where this has to go next.

00:50:28   I'm really proud of you.

00:50:29   Aww, thanks Myke.

00:50:31   I am. You're doing it, right? You need to do this and it's a scary, difficult, complicated thing.

00:50:38   But you do need to do it. It's the time.

00:50:40   It's also, it's a funny situation to be in because I...

00:50:44   I think I would actually feel a lot better about it if I was able to offer a full-time job.

00:50:49   Right, but in some sense I am looking right now for someone who is a freelancer,

00:50:53   who can just work with me, and maybe over time that will transition into something more,

00:50:59   but I'm not in a position to be able to say, "I generate enough work right now, today,

00:51:04   to fill 40 hours of animation work a week every week."

00:51:08   I'm nowhere near that.

00:51:10   And so that's one of the things that in my mind makes this a funny kind of thing to do.

00:51:15   It's a call for freelancers, even more so more than a straight-up job application.

00:51:22   And so that's why I do slightly wonder like, "I wonder how this is gonna go."

00:51:26   But that's also why I just have to move forward and I just have to do this and just get it out there.

00:51:31   Are you gonna interview people? Because you can't get everything you need to know from work.

00:51:37   Mmm.

00:51:38   There's more than just what somebody can display to you from their work.

00:51:44   Yeah.

00:51:45   With something like this, I think the vast majority is the work, but there are these

00:51:51   so-called "soft skills," which are things like communication, timeliness, working back

00:51:57   and forth.

00:51:59   That kind of thing is tricky, and it does mean there needs to be some kind of interview

00:52:09   a little bit.

00:52:11   That's where the book Who was way less useful than anything else.

00:52:17   It has at the end of it this hilarious schedule for an eight hour day of interviewing a single

00:52:22   person.

00:52:23   Yeah, I did wonder if you were going to take much of the top grading interview method into

00:52:27   your consideration here.

00:52:30   I was like, "What is he doing?"

00:52:33   This is why I've – actually, the funny thing is the part that I skipped the most of was

00:52:37   the creating a job description part.

00:52:39   I listened to them the three hours of interview practice.

00:52:42   Yeah, this is,

00:52:45   this is one of these cases where there comes a moment in the book where you

00:52:48   realize who this book is exactly written for. And the answer is,

00:52:53   we want to sell you on our services to help you find a new CEO for your

00:52:57   multimillion dollar company, right? Like,

00:52:59   here's an interview process that no one in the world would go

00:53:05   through unless there was a CEO position on the other side.

00:53:09   Uh, so I found that less than helpful, although I do have to admit in terms of,

00:53:14   of soft skills again, like people skills have never been, uh,

00:53:17   shall we say my core competency,

00:53:19   which makes the whole idea of trying to hire people like an interesting

00:53:23   sociological challenge. But there, there were,

00:53:26   there were some kind of little tips in the end of the book,

00:53:29   which I picked up on of like, Oh, okay, that's a good idea.

00:53:32   The funny thing is I would think that you would need to interview people for the

00:53:36   inverse reason.

00:53:37   What do you mean?

00:53:38   You need to interview people to make sure that they can cope with your lack of people skills.

00:53:42   Well, yeah. You know what, Myke? You might have a point there. It's a reverse interview.

00:53:50   How would you describe working with me, Myke, to the people?

00:53:52   Working with Gray is very interesting, in so much as that you will

00:54:02   have things that need to be done,

00:54:05   but you also need to understand that they

00:54:07   will get done on a undefined schedule

00:54:14   that you will have to accept.

00:54:16   So this is you working with me.

00:54:17   Yes.

00:54:19   So I will have things that I need to be done,

00:54:21   and I need to sometimes realize that I just

00:54:23   have to let go of what I think is the time that it's

00:54:25   going to get done in, because it needs

00:54:27   to fit around your schedule, which

00:54:29   you're a lot more protective of.

00:54:31   Also, I'm trying to think of what else to say.

00:54:36   - I'm not listening.

00:54:38   - You also need to understand that your ideas may be vetoed

00:54:43   and once they are, they are dead.

00:54:47   (laughing)

00:54:50   You're not difficult to work with

00:54:52   once you understand the parameters.

00:54:54   Like once people understand that you are difficult

00:54:57   to get hold of, but you will respond eventually

00:55:00   and you don't care for schedules,

00:55:03   they will just work around the schedules

00:55:06   that you need to put into place for your own business,

00:55:09   and that you can just be very to the point

00:55:14   and cut with your responses.

00:55:17   Once people can understand that,

00:55:19   then you're very reasonable to work with, I think,

00:55:22   but you need to understand it comes with the parameters

00:55:26   that are those, basically,

00:55:28   and if you can't cope with that,

00:55:30   If you can't work that way, someone can't work with you

00:55:35   because you're not gonna change that, I don't think.

00:55:37   At least not very much, 'cause that's just how you are.

00:55:39   - Hmm, hmm.

00:55:41   (laughing)

00:55:43   - So applicant out there,

00:55:47   that's something that you need to understand.

00:55:50   And this also actually brings me to a point

00:55:52   that I wanted to make to you, which I think is so important,

00:55:54   but I don't think that you'll feel it that way,

00:55:56   so I need to stress it to you.

00:55:57   - Oh, okay.

00:55:58   interview someone you cannot interview them on your own you have to have

00:56:03   somebody else observing the interview and this comes from my own experience of

00:56:08   hiring people great I don't know if you knew that I had this experience but I

00:56:11   have hired many people mm-hmm and I have been in the room for many other people

00:56:16   being hired and you have to have somebody there because you need to have

00:56:20   somebody to talk to about what just occurred hmm because a observer to an

00:56:26   interview will see things that you will not see because you're busy dealing with the interview.

00:56:33   And once the interview is done, you have nobody to discuss it with at all. So I thoroughly

00:56:38   recommend that you have, if you do conduct any interviews, that you have somebody present

00:56:45   in that interview process that is not the interviewee in you.

00:56:48   I have to say that is a great idea. You should write a book on hiring people because that

00:56:52   wasn't mentioned in this book at all.

00:56:54   - Yeah.

00:56:55   - And that's a fantastic idea.

00:56:57   - The A method for hiring includes 75,000 people

00:57:01   who are involved in the interview process

00:57:03   across 16 different steps, which all last seven hours.

00:57:07   So it's probably why they didn't mention that part.

00:57:09   Can I mention one thing from that book

00:57:13   that I actually did think was very good

00:57:14   and I think is something that you need to consider

00:57:16   and why the interview process is important?

00:57:18   - Please do.

00:57:19   - There's one quote that I really liked.

00:57:21   "Like a heart donor and a recipient,

00:57:22   there has to be a match, but this is between the culture and the fit of the company, or

00:57:27   the body of the recipient will reject the organ. It's a very strong metaphor, but

00:57:32   a good one. I've worked in many teams where somebody has joined the team or a new boss

00:57:37   has come into play and they don't fit and it destroys everything. It just sucks all

00:57:43   of the good out of the team. And so I think that is a very good point and something always

00:57:48   is worth considering.

00:57:49   If this person doesn't seem like they're going to fit the company culture, they will destroy

00:57:55   everything in the company without meaning to.

00:57:58   I've seen that happen many, many times.

00:58:00   Yeah, so actually, let's just for a moment, because I'm not sure we've been super explicit

00:58:04   about it, but this outline for how to produce a job description, it has these three parts.

00:58:10   It has the mission, the brief description.

00:58:12   It has the outcomes, like here are the deliverables.

00:58:16   is a clear "yes/no, the person did or did not do this" kind of list, which I really

00:58:22   like, which really clarifies thinking.

00:58:25   And at the bottom it has these qualities of the person.

00:58:32   And I really--when I was reading it, I thought, "I really do think this is kind of BS," but

00:58:39   the author did convince me through the reading that the purpose of this is like what you

00:58:45   It is to clarify in your own mind, like, what do you need from a person?

00:58:51   And also, again, to get it down on paper, like, this is what you're looking for in someone.

00:58:57   And what I really liked is that, you know, they talk about

00:59:00   you want to kind of limit it to, like, five at the most qualities that the person has,

00:59:06   and also to be ranking them in order of importance.

00:59:10   And so it forces you to formalize something.

00:59:13   And so, like, for example, in the description that I wrote for the Hello Internet editor,

00:59:17   it made me formalize, like, "Listen, quality of the product matters more to me than the timeliness of it."

00:59:30   Right? And it's like, I think that's an important thing to get down on paper.

00:59:35   And I think that, like, maybe that goes towards helping ensure that there's a match between the

00:59:42   the person doing the job and what I am looking for and that we're both working together,

00:59:47   that like, here is a formalization of what is important to me.

00:59:52   Is this important to you?

00:59:54   If what you're looking for is to always have a guaranteed number of hours at a specific

00:59:59   time of work, well, that's actually at the bottom of the list of the things that I want.

01:00:05   If a thing is going to take a while but it will be significantly better, I want that

01:00:10   to happen.

01:00:11   But that can mean like, oh maybe sometimes some shows take a huge amount of time to edit

01:00:16   in an unexpected manner.

01:00:17   Again, I'm still just all new to this, like this is me having this theoretical discussion

01:00:21   as a self-employed person at the very beginning stages of trying to formally take on more

01:00:27   people to help.

01:00:28   But I thought like, okay, this is a thing worth trying to write out and at least trying

01:00:32   to think about much more than I would have before.

01:00:35   Like, think about the fit between you and this other person.

01:00:41   - But it's, see, the other part of this,

01:00:43   the more important part is it's not just between you

01:00:45   and the person, because in the system

01:00:47   that you're looking to establish,

01:00:50   you will be having people talking to each other

01:00:52   without you being involved.

01:00:53   - Right, yes, yes.

01:00:54   - And that's where it's much more of a thing

01:00:56   that you need to consider,

01:00:57   because when it's employer and employee,

01:01:01   the situation is gonna be very different.

01:01:03   There's gonna be more in-built respect

01:01:05   because you're writing the checks.

01:01:07   But then you have people talking to each other

01:01:09   and having to work together and share information

01:01:12   between each other and rely on each other

01:01:14   when you'll be hopefully out of the equation.

01:01:17   So that's another part of the quality part

01:01:20   in knowing that you believe that these two people

01:01:23   will be able to work together.

01:01:25   Like if you find somebody who fits your style, right,

01:01:30   your kind of people skills.

01:01:34   - Thanks, thanks for that big pause.

01:01:38   I was finding the word.

01:01:40   And you think to yourself, this person is just like me.

01:01:43   They will be able to work in the same way that I can.

01:01:47   That means they might not be able to work together

01:01:48   very well with another person.

01:01:50   So I think I would feel that you maybe need

01:01:55   to go over these qualities just a little bit more.

01:01:57   Because the qualities that you have picked out currently

01:02:03   are very functional.

01:02:04   so you have security, attention to detail, and timeliness.

01:02:09   They're not really qualities of a person.

01:02:11   They're qualities of the work that they're doing,

01:02:13   and I feel like you maybe need to flesh that out

01:02:16   with some more flowery stuff.

01:02:19   - Yeah, like what flowery stuff, Myke?

01:02:21   What do you think?

01:02:22   - I think that it's an easy one,

01:02:24   but just having in there that somebody needs

01:02:26   to have good interpersonal skills,

01:02:29   and is a good communicator,

01:02:32   you just need to put those in there

01:02:34   So if you talk to somebody and feel that they're not,

01:02:37   you can point to the job description and say,

01:02:39   "I don't feel like you meet this role because of this."

01:02:42   - Hmm.

01:02:44   - Let's say, for example, you find somebody

01:02:46   who has never worked with other people,

01:02:49   has always been self-employed and works on their own stuff.

01:02:53   They might not be necessarily the best fit

01:02:56   because they don't know how to delegate

01:02:59   or how to cooperate and work with somebody else.

01:03:03   - Hmm.

01:03:03   you're gonna need, especially hopefully as this grows and you take two less and

01:03:07   less and less, you will have a team of people. And unfortunately, my friend, with

01:03:11   that comes HR problems that you will need to solve. So you want to try and

01:03:15   minimize the amount of those that you have. Trust me on this, Greg!

01:03:20   But you see, Myke, how can there be HR problems if these people are just

01:03:25   distributed all over the world? Like, I'm not gonna have an office anywhere, right?

01:03:29   This is all just people wherever in the world. We're not coming

01:03:32   together. Surely if you're 100% distributed company you can't possibly have any HR problems.

01:03:38   Funnily enough, that can actually make things worse. Because these people will only ever

01:03:44   interact with each other over text. And that is where all the emotion is lost.

01:03:50   Huh. Interesting point.

01:03:53   People skills and communication skills must be added into this. You'll know whether somebody

01:03:58   has these things but if somebody looks at this application and thinks great I can continue

01:04:03   being a hermit it's not the job for them.

01:04:07   I think you may have a good point there Myke, I think you may have a good point there.

01:04:10   I once managed a team of 10 people.

01:04:14   I have a lot of experience in the way that these things can go horribly wrong.

01:04:17   I was 21 years old and it was a nightmare.

01:04:24   I'm sorry Myke.

01:04:26   That time is over now. It is long, long gone.

01:04:29   I'm glad to hear that.

01:04:30   Janyan, I'm really happy that you're looking at this. I'm really pleased that you've clearly

01:04:34   taken this quite far in the last couple of weeks.

01:04:37   Yeah, yeah. I was honestly actually hoping to have this kind of live and done for this

01:04:44   show. I was actually thinking of surprising you and having my job announcement go up this

01:04:50   morning. I'd be like, "Oh, we'll talk about it now." But that didn't work out because

01:04:54   I'm taking this so seriously that I actually, again in terms of like, oh look I'm an actual

01:04:59   CEO now, I scheduled a business trip to a colleague on the continent to schedule a whole

01:05:06   in-person meeting to talk about hiring.

01:05:08   Wow.

01:05:09   I assume this person has a team?

01:05:11   Yeah.

01:05:12   It's a friend and associate who's gone through a lot of hiring in a similar field as like,

01:05:17   can we get together and talk about a thing?

01:05:20   Like can we talk about hiring?

01:05:22   we talk about what you've gone through, like how you did it, problems that you had.

01:05:26   And so I hate, you know, I don't like traveling, I don't like doing this kind of stuff, I really

01:05:30   don't like taking a bunch of time out of my schedule, and this ended up being like a day

01:05:34   and a half basically.

01:05:36   But that was one of the things like, no, no, this is, I'm going to do this right now, I'm

01:05:40   able to get in touch with this person, I'm able to do this thing.

01:05:43   So I flew out, like we had a long meeting, we talked a whole bunch of stuff about hiring,

01:05:48   And it was just great to get another perspective from another person about something they had

01:05:53   gone through.

01:05:54   So I am taking this very seriously.

01:05:57   But that was partly why I wasn't quite ready to surprise you with my job application today,

01:06:03   Myke.

01:06:04   But yeah, it's a thing that I've been thinking a lot about.

01:06:06   And I think after maybe I add a few more soft skills to my application and just do a couple

01:06:14   more drafts of it and get it really nailed down, that it'll be something that I have

01:06:17   up relatively shortly and we'll see how it goes.

01:06:20   As far as the show goes, this is better for me. Because now we get to talk about it before

01:06:24   and after.

01:06:25   Oh yeah, we're good. Two topics!

01:06:26   Two topics in one, baby!

01:06:29   I have a couple of points and questions for you before we get off this topic though.

01:06:33   Yeah, please, go ahead.

01:06:34   Does it matter to you where this person is in the world?

01:06:36   No, not at all.

01:06:38   Why?

01:06:39   Because the only way it would matter is if they were here. If they're already not in

01:06:43   London then it doesn't matter where they are. I would have preference for someone who was

01:06:49   on the east coast of America simply because that time exchange works really well but as

01:06:56   long as the person is able to talk to me in the afternoons then I don't really care where

01:07:01   they live.

01:07:02   Okay. So you just need to have some overlap of time basically.

01:07:07   Yeah, there needs to be some overlap of the time.

01:07:12   Have you considered how any of your attitudes or approaches to work might have to change

01:07:17   if you have people working for you?

01:07:21   Because these people are going to be freelancers in theory, right?

01:07:24   At least at the very start they're going to be freelancers.

01:07:27   Ideally, again I don't know if this will work out, but ideally I would like to be able to

01:07:33   transition this into at least part time.

01:07:36   Like hopefully part of what's happening here is that as I free up more and more of my time

01:07:41   that it's a virtuous cycle where I actually have more things for them to do and so can transition this into like

01:07:47   Oh, this is a part-time job or a three-quarters time job. Like I would like to do that

01:07:51   Eventually, I don't know if that will work but at least at the start yes, they're they're going to be

01:07:57   Freelancers is the way this works

01:07:59   I think the biggest thing that I have seen when I've tried to structure some of this stuff out is is a thought about

01:08:05   how quick is the turnaround and

01:08:07   And so one of the things I did when I was thinking about the Hello Internet podcast was I wrote out a kind of

01:08:14   little day by day of

01:08:17   what would be the most optimistic turnaround time if I'm working with

01:08:22   two other people to get this done. Someone who's doing the audio and someone who's doing the distribution. And I realized immediately like, "Oh, okay, in

01:08:29   theory, normally

01:08:31   If I record a podcast if I'm doing everything I can turn that around in three days

01:08:37   If I really need to like that three actual working days, right?

01:08:41   But then when I write out how this schedule looks working with other people. It's like okay at

01:08:46   Absolute minimum it's a week turnaround

01:08:50   Considering like okay

01:08:52   well

01:08:52   there's weekends where people won't work and

01:08:54   Then you know the transition time between this person and that person getting things over and so like that was an interesting thing to do

01:09:00   And I did try to sketch out something very similar for "If I'm working with someone for animation, what does this look like?"

01:09:08   And that was also like, "Oh, okay, it can take a video production from, you know, in theory I can produce a video in like...

01:09:20   Five weeks if I'm really like all in on a video start to finish, you know

01:09:27   It rarely doesn't it rarely works that well because I work in multiple things at once but like in theory

01:09:31   I could do it in five weeks and then again just writing out like how might this work with other people?

01:09:36   It's like oh at bare minimum

01:09:38   It's going to be like eight weeks start to finish on a single thing

01:09:41   you know including going back and forth between that person and like

01:09:45   storyboarding and leaving in time for changes and corrections and then distribution and all the rest of that so I

01:09:50   Think that's probably the biggest

01:09:53   Shift in focus, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. It's just a change in

01:09:59   Focus and like accepting that

01:10:02   Idea, I think is fine like I'm totally fine doing that right now

01:10:06   I get quite impatient when things are ready to go up like I want them to go up as soon as possible

01:10:10   Which connects into the very fact of like why I can't stop myself from constantly animating is because of a certain amount of impatience

01:10:16   But I think if I just know okay, somebody else is doing this I can

01:10:20   Shift my mind on that topic and just go into a different mode. I for one

01:10:26   I'm very happy that this is happening because I have weeks of content for the show now. We have just

01:10:32   Weeks and weeks of content. This is great. I'm so pleased you're doing this now. Oh

01:10:39   Yeah, this works well for you. Yeah, it really does I wanted to just to round this out

01:10:44   I want to give one last point from the who method for hiring book

01:10:48   Which further just points out who this book is written for?

01:10:51   Mm-hmm at one point the authors talking about interviewing people and trying to understand for the multiple process

01:10:59   the way that they've been in the past to try and see how they might be in the future and

01:11:03   and this is the quote, "People don't change that much. People aren't mutual funds."

01:11:08   That's who this book is written for! People that like that joke!

01:11:12   Everybody else just wants to vomit at that point.

01:11:17   That reminds me of, I think, my favorite thing in

01:11:20   Getting Things Done, which is a book I recommend but it has a certain kind of

01:11:24   language problem, is there's one point in the book where

01:11:27   Dave and Alan tries to come up with like a theoretical list of projects that you

01:11:31   you might want to do. And he has on there things like, "work in my orchard."

01:11:36   It's like, I know you're out in Ojai, California, and this is just such a natural thing,

01:11:43   but there are a few things on there which are just totally, here are incredibly well-to-do CEO problems.

01:11:52   But I can just imagine David Allen sitting down and thinking, "Let me imagine a list of projects."

01:11:57   And when one of them is like, "Oh, how's my winery doing?"

01:12:02   - They also recommend that when somebody

01:12:04   accepts a job offer, you send them what they call

01:12:07   a meaningful gift.

01:12:08   And those meaningful gifts consist of flowers,

01:12:12   balloons, or a gift certificate.

01:12:14   I don't think they're meaningful.

01:12:16   I think they're pretty meaningless.

01:12:19   A gift certificate, buy your own gift.

01:12:21   I don't even care.

01:12:22   - Yeah, yeah.

01:12:23   - Work for me.

01:12:26   Yeah, that was pretty bad.

01:12:29   I'll just, a couple of my own points from this book

01:12:31   since we will almost certainly never touch on it again.

01:12:34   - Ever.

01:12:35   (laughing)

01:12:35   - 'Cause Myke didn't like it.

01:12:36   - Hated this one.

01:12:38   - One of the things that the book highlighted

01:12:42   in a few points and that I can say I have heard

01:12:44   from people in different areas is this idea

01:12:49   of don't hire the generalist, hire the specialist.

01:12:53   that it's super tempting to try to hire a person who seems like they can do absolutely

01:12:58   everything, but that you should try to hire the specialized person instead.

01:13:03   And I think, interestingly, this actually connects back to the E-Myth, where - what

01:13:07   does he talk about, like, hiring Harry or whatever? Like, you just have one guy who

01:13:11   ends up doing everything.

01:13:12   Yeah, and then he hides all the problems and ruins your business and everybody dies.

01:13:15   Right, yeah.

01:13:16   That's what happens in the book.

01:13:17   Yeah, that's precisely how it goes.

01:13:18   I think that's it.

01:13:19   So, like, I thought that was an interesting point, and that's one of the reasons why there's

01:13:22   There's still this asterisk in my mind of like trying to find someone who can do the

01:13:25   illustration and the animation.

01:13:26   Maybe that's two people, maybe it's not.

01:13:27   But I thought that was a good point and I've heard it echoed from elsewhere that yes, hiring

01:13:32   the person who's good at a lot of things ends up being not a great idea.

01:13:35   Let's see, I just want to look just quickly going through my list here.

01:13:40   Actually looking through my notes, I think even though we barely talked about the book,

01:13:47   we have extracted all of the value from it.

01:13:51   That is unsurprising.

01:13:56   Next topic.

01:13:57   Today's show is also very kindly brought to you by Igloo, the internet you'll actually

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01:15:44   The saga of OmniFocus continues.

01:15:47   Is it a saga? Is it a saga? Is that the right word Myke? What is a saga?

01:15:51   I don't know. It just sounds really serious. Let's find out

01:15:54   Let's define saga a long story of heroic achievement, especially a medieval prose

01:16:01   Or a long involved story account or series of events. This is a saga. Okay. Yeah

01:16:07   I'm very detailed and it's been over three episodes six weeks here of

01:16:11   Omni focus. Okay, so definitely a saga

01:16:16   So now, OmniFocus for iOS has been released with the automation scripting engine, I guess we'd call it, built in, that we spoke about last time.

01:16:27   So it's now out in the world, you have also put out a video, which means you've now had the time to play around with this, I assume.

01:16:35   So, I and everybody else listening, I'm sure, is very interested to know your thoughts about

01:16:42   the OmniFocus scripting and if it's working for you or if you've even tried it.

01:16:47   So this came at a very fortuitous time for me, which is actually connected to a bunch

01:16:54   of the stuff we were talking about earlier in the show about formalizing and systematizing

01:16:58   the business because I really like whenever I can do a thing that serves multiple purposes.

01:17:09   And so while I was writing out those flowcharts of what does my business look like and while

01:17:14   I was writing out the job descriptions for what am I trying to hire, I was also working

01:17:19   out at the same time, let me do in-depth checklists of every stage of everything, and oh look!

01:17:30   This is a perfect time to try out OmniFocus's new scripting templating system.

01:17:44   So I thought like this is just great.

01:17:47   I love it when things serve multiple purposes. It's like, "Oh, okay, I'm trying this thing out,

01:17:52   and I'm also sort of working on the business at the same time, and it serves multiple purposes."

01:17:56   And it was like, having OmniFocus come out with this at the time that they did was just absolutely perfect.

01:18:01   Because it was an in-depth reworking from the ground up of a lot of my checklists,

01:18:08   trying it out with a new system.

01:18:10   And the simple verdict for people who just want to know the end of this saga

01:18:16   is that their new system is fantastic.

01:18:19   It's absolutely fantastic.

01:18:22   I have to say, it is...

01:18:23   Not only is it everything that I could have possibly asked for

01:18:31   - Wow. - in an automation system,

01:18:33   it is more than I would have thought to ask for.

01:18:38   Like, the way that they have done this

01:18:43   is like maximum power combined with maximum flexibility in a way that would never have occurred to me.

01:18:51   Can you explain why?

01:18:53   So this is gonna get a little technical.

01:18:55   We're gonna get nerdy here guys.

01:18:57   We're gonna get a little nerdy.

01:18:59   Here, I'll show you Myke something. I'll send you...

01:19:01   Because let me just say, as it stands right now, I can't understand how to do this.

01:19:07   because people have tried to explain it to me

01:19:11   and I can kind of grok what's happening,

01:19:13   but I can't get it to do what it's supposed to do.

01:19:17   So, but what I know is that now it's out in the world,

01:19:21   there are gonna be more tools that are coming out,

01:19:23   there are more example scripts.

01:19:24   I know that the workflow app guys are working

01:19:27   on specific OmniFocus actions

01:19:29   and I feel that once they come out,

01:19:31   I'll be able to really kind of do this in my own way,

01:19:34   but as it stands right now,

01:19:36   Like you've just sent me a thing and I cannot understand how you would get to this point

01:19:43   by looking at it.

01:19:44   I have sent you a text file with 155 lines of the template that I made that is "Hello

01:19:53   Internet Podcast from Start to Finish".

01:19:55   This template references other sub templates which are tasks for other people.

01:20:00   So this is not the full process.

01:20:01   Wow, there's a lot of things in this list.

01:20:04   Part of the process.

01:20:05   There's like things I would never even bother checking.

01:20:08   Right? But this is why. I wanted to test out this whole thing. So the way they have done this is

01:20:17   super clever. So last time we discussed, just very briefly because I had only looked at it,

01:20:21   that OmniFocus is now working in this way so that their templating system can understand task paper.

01:20:31   So if you do something like you copy a project in OmniFocus and go to paste it in a note,

01:20:39   it won't just paste the words that you have written, it pastes it out in this task paper format.

01:20:46   That makes more sense to me than writing it out. Ah, okay. Okay, so you could set up the project

01:20:54   and then paste it in, and I bet once that's in there it's a lot easier to understand.

01:20:58   Like the thing that was so confusing to me was like imagining trying to write it out like that

01:21:03   just didn't make sense.

01:21:04   Yeah, so I wanted to mention that because I think that is almost a hidden feature

01:21:09   that is super key for people who are unfamiliar with this.

01:21:13   Now, I am comfortable enough with very basic scripting that I have written it all out.

01:21:20   Like I didn't do the copy paste thing, but I think for anyone who wants to get started with this,

01:21:25   you can do the thing of, like, create in OmniFocus the thing that you want to replicate,

01:21:32   copy, paste it into a text file, and it'll spit out the format of how it's supposed to look.

01:21:39   And then you can see like, "Oh, okay, I get what's going on here."

01:21:44   You don't have to just write it from scratch.

01:21:46   So ultimately what you're doing is you're creating a bunch of tasks in OmniFocus

01:21:51   without due dates on them, so you don't see them, right?

01:21:55   And then you invoke the script, which we'll talk about in a bit,

01:21:58   and then you add all the dates to them and then you start to see them again,

01:22:02   because they show up in your due items.

01:22:04   Yes, that is what is occurring.

01:22:06   So here are the things that I really like about this,

01:22:09   because with any kind of automation in iOS,

01:22:13   it's very often that apps have some automation,

01:22:19   but you don't have access to everything.

01:22:23   And as far as I can tell,

01:22:26   Omni has made it possible for you to specify

01:22:30   everything about a task or a project

01:22:33   that you could specify manually on the desktop app.

01:22:38   So many systems, if they did automation,

01:22:40   they would allow you to do something relatively simple,

01:22:42   like specify the title and specify a due date,

01:22:45   you know, and maybe like a sub-project status or something.

01:22:48   But with OmniFocus it's like, okay, by writing this out in task paper you can specify title,

01:22:54   the sub-project it belongs to, the context, the estimated time, the deferred date, the due date.

01:23:00   You can specify repeat, not just simple repeat, but very complicated structures of repeating.

01:23:06   You can fill in the notes. And there's an almost hidden feature of OmniFocus which I totally love,

01:23:12   which is this thing called autocomplete, which is whether or not a sub-project will

01:23:17   Complete itself automatically when all of the various boxes have been ticked which is a minor thing, but is super useful

01:23:24   Depending on the way you're setting up OmniFocus

01:23:27   so it's like

01:23:29   Everything that you could do. Oh, yeah, like flag state like I can't even think of all the things that you can specify

01:23:34   But it is all in there. So as far as I can tell there is

01:23:40   Nothing that you could theoretically manually set up in the OmniFocus app that you cannot also specify with taskpaper

01:23:48   it's

01:23:50   Everything and I find that is a very rare thing to find in in automation. So

01:23:55   that is just fantastic and

01:23:58   They've been really great about

01:24:01   Being able to do all kinds of weird stuff with variables

01:24:04   So like what you've what you've seen in my own template is I like to specify

01:24:09   a due date, which is the date that say a video or a podcast is going up, but then you can also

01:24:15   modify those variables. So you can say like, "Oh, this part of the project is

01:24:21   due on the due date

01:24:24   minus seven days," right? Or "this part of the project," like here's the weird stuff that sometimes people don't think about, like

01:24:29   "This part of the project is due x days

01:24:33   after the main project is actually due, right?

01:24:36   And it can handle this kind of weird formatting

01:24:39   of I want to do a thing that is outside the expected range

01:24:43   because I could manually do that in OmniFocus

01:24:45   and you can specify all of these things.

01:24:47   So this task paper format alone is fantastic.

01:24:52   Like it is absolutely everything

01:24:56   that I could possibly ask for.

01:24:57   But the thing that is kind of genius

01:25:01   about doing it this way is that this allows other people to build even more complex things

01:25:09   on top of it.

01:25:11   So you can, for example, if you wanted to, write your own little program that could in

01:25:17   theory ask you a bunch of if-then-else questions about a project and then just spit out a task

01:25:26   paper template that depended on those if-then-else questions.

01:25:30   That is incredibly powerful.

01:25:33   So it doesn't just mean like, "Oh, you can use our automation system."

01:25:39   It means that you can almost build your own automation system on top of this to then spit

01:25:45   out a thing which can talk to OmniFocus.

01:25:48   And so it's really interesting.

01:25:49   I've been talking to some people who've also been playing around with this and realizing

01:25:53   Man, I, you know, I have complicated things, but I know other people who are real computer programmers are like,

01:26:01   "Oh man, I can write a thing that just auto-generates all the tasks I need for the rest of the year."

01:26:07   Right? Like, okay, that is a level above even what I'm doing.

01:26:10   And the system can just like take that and accept that and create a project that is built on top of this.

01:26:18   It's just fantastic. It really is.

01:26:20   I have to say I am more impressed than I had any reason to expect to be.

01:26:28   So I am thrilled and it couldn't have come at a better time either.

01:26:34   So you're sticking with To-Do for now though, right?

01:26:39   Sorry, To-Do.

01:26:41   Yeah.

01:26:41   I'm sorry, To-Do.

01:26:44   I have to say, you know, it was a funny thing because I was using To-Do for...

01:26:49   I don't know, it was a couple of months, maybe close to three months, I don't know exactly how long.

01:26:53   And so I am back with OmniFocus, and as I discussed in the Reddit last time,

01:26:58   like, ultimately this is kind of what I wanted, like, OmniFocus was a lot closer to the way I worked naturally than To-Do was,

01:27:06   it was just that automation was becoming a deal-breaking feature for me, so that's why I moved to To-Do.

01:27:11   And the funny thing was, as we discussed on the episode before this occurred,

01:27:14   you expected that todo would be more likely to add the features that you wanted than omniwood.

01:27:21   Little did we know.

01:27:23   Right, yeah, little did we know that there was something secretly brewing in the back, right?

01:27:27   And I thought like, oh, maybe I can bully and harass the loan todo developer

01:27:32   to bend his app towards my will, right? Which of course is crazy.

01:27:36   This is why we need to talk about your hiring processes.

01:27:39   Is that not how this works?

01:27:41   No, that's not what you do.

01:27:43   I'm not exactly sure about that.

01:27:45   It's unclear to me.

01:27:45   (laughing)

01:27:47   - Look out for the job application coming soon.

01:27:49   - Right.

01:27:50   (laughing)

01:27:50   Quality is bendable.

01:27:51   But I do have to say that like,

01:27:53   To Do is still a very interesting app.

01:27:56   I can still definitely recommend it under some circumstances.

01:27:59   And I have to say like,

01:28:01   To Do has some clever things

01:28:03   that I still haven't quite been able to break my habits of

01:28:05   having switched back to OmniFocus.

01:28:08   Like To Do has a fantastic feature for bulk editing tasks.

01:28:13   Which is a thing that I honestly think any iOS developer who is working on anything

01:28:20   where you might want to edit multiple items at once should take a look at the way To-Do handles it.

01:28:26   They just have a fantastic, really simple way to bulk edit things, which is always a real problem on iOS.

01:28:34   iOS loves for you to do things sequentially, but the guy writing To-Do really nailed solving that problem.

01:28:42   And so that's great. And so I do I do miss that now with OmniFocus and

01:28:45   the other thing that I really love with todo is there's a way where you can

01:28:49   long press on a task and it brings up a little menu of just like quick button options for what are the most likely things

01:28:57   that you want to do with this. Do you want to defer this for a day?

01:29:00   Do you just want to delete it? Do you want to do a couple of other things? Like I still find myself

01:29:04   long pressing on OmniFocus tasks and thinking oh, why isn't it working?

01:29:08   I will eventually I will eventually lose those so

01:29:12   To do definitely has some clever features.

01:29:14   You know, there's a force touch action for OmniFocus for that stuff, right?

01:29:17   Yeah, well, it's we'll talk about that another time, right?

01:29:20   But it's because it's like I'm using on the iPad and stuff.

01:29:23   So it's not it's not super useful to me.

01:29:25   But like I've said before, with to do apps, there's this infinite demand

01:29:30   for them because everybody has their own picky ways of working.

01:29:34   And this is a case where I am very happy to be back with OmniFocus because

01:29:41   their core competency of

01:29:45   "Just show me the things

01:29:49   that are available to me right now to do"

01:29:53   that has always really suited the way that

01:29:57   I work. And so I feel like quite naturally my mind

01:30:01   aligns with OmniFocus the most, and so now I'm just

01:30:05   super thrilled that the one deal-breaking feature has

01:30:09   has now been removed.

01:30:11   And I can just go back to all of my normal,

01:30:13   like little annoyances and complaints with an app

01:30:16   like you have for absolutely anything.

01:30:17   But I'm just, I'm absolutely thrilled to be back.

01:30:21   I love having an app with dark mode,

01:30:23   especially for something I use as often as my to-do manager.

01:30:26   So yeah, it's, I gotta say like super congratulations

01:30:30   to the OmniFocus team.

01:30:32   Like this is a really impressive way

01:30:36   to solve a difficult problem and also give other people the ability to build their own

01:30:45   solutions on top of this in case they need more.

01:30:48   I still don't like the purple icon though.