Is it time for you to become an Entrepreneur?

Paul Boag

This week on the Boagworld Show we have talks on productivity tips for freelancers and becoming an Entrepreneur.

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This weeks show is sponsored by Fullstory and Teacup Analytics.

Paul: Hello and welcome to the boagworld show the podcast about all aspects of digital design, development and strategy. My name is Paul Boag and joining me on this week’s show as pretty much all shows is Marcus, hello Marcus.

Marcus: Hello Paul, how are you?

Paul: I am, to be honest, stressed out of my little mind.

Marcus: Oh dear!

Paul: I’ve taken on far too much work which is bad enough. As you know, next week we are going off to IWMW which is a big higher education conference, I haven’t prepared that. I’ve got nothing for that. I’m also supposed to be doing some customer journey mapping and some empathy mapping at the moment and this podcast is getting in the way that so that is not getting done. And then in the middle of all of this I have this bright idea, do you know what, I’ve been blogging for 12 years now I haven’t updated the website for, what? Three years? I’m just going to sort out Boagworld as well. Which… I’ve redesigned the homepage, I’ve redesigned the blog page, I say redesigned, I’ve shifted things around a bit, and then I started a content audit, right, of sorting out over 1500 blog posts!

Marcus: Hmmm.

Paul: Oh, and then…

Marcus: Well, just stop doing it!

Paul: … And then, and then I thought "Oh, I could try out a chatbot so I’ve been playing with that as well! So, I’ve lost control of my mental processes entirely. I just seem to be… You know, normally I’m very organised aren’t I?

Marcus: You are, yes, I’ll give you that. But you’re just all over the place at the moment.

Paul: I’ve just given up!

Marcus: Well, my last week was really tough as well.

Paul: Were have you been? You been on holiday again haven’t you? Because it’s about time!

Marcus: No, no. It was really tough, I had to work all five days!

Paul: That’s it. Is that it, really?!

Marcus: That’s it, yeah. I haven’t done a full weeks work in quite a while. And it was a bit hard, I mean I got to Thursday afternoon and it was (sigh) I don’t know if I’m going to make it through Friday. But I did in the end. But my week was made by a comment in the slack channel…

Paul: Nobody cares about one comment, one comment in the slack channel does not represent a popular movement. It’s not going to relaunch your pop career, I’m sorry!

Marcus: The comment was “the music for the podcast should get an award.” There you go. That’s not just “I quite like it.”

Paul: Yes, but it is very open as to what that award should be! It could be the award for the worst podcast music ever.

Marcus: Yeah, the worst theme tune ever, yeah. Yes, I hadn’t thought of it like that. Well you’ve just ruined it.

Paul: Yes, I know. That’s what I seem to be doing at the moment, on a self-destructive thing. Oh, and also I’ve got hundreds of bloody thunder flies in my office. You know those tiny little flies?

Marcus: The ones that get inside your monitor?

Paul: Yes, I know and they are everywhere and so if I start randomly clapping in the middle of this podcast it’s not because I’m overjoyed with happiness it’s that I am trying to kill thunder flies.

Marcus: Murderer!

Paul: I don’t care, they deserve to die.

Marcus: They haven’t appeared in my life for years.

Paul: Well, I did get to the root of the problem which is that I put a banana skin in my bin that hasn’t been emptied for a while. So…

Marcus: You think you’d get fruit flies from that wouldn’t you. (Transcriber’s note: they are fruit flies, Paul just doesn’t know flies)

Paul: Who knows. I don’t claim to understand nature. My father is only a wildlife photographer. I don’t get it.

Marcus: It’s really complicated you have to know loads of terms, latin stuff.

Paul: Oh, he doesn’t know Latin! He’s not a clever naturalist. He was going to do a… I tried to persuade him to do a lightening talk for this podcast simply so that everybody could laugh at how much we sound the same but yeah, he didn’t.

Marcus: Oh

Paul: Well he’s a retired isn’t he. He just resources around the world now.

Marcus: Well I find that people say they are going to do it and then don’t.

Paul: Hmmm. We’ve only got four slots left mind.

Marcus: Oh well. That’s… I don’t care then. Well, I care a bit.

Paul: Well, I care if we run out.

Marcus: Well, we’ll just have to do some more.

Paul: Yeah, you’ll have to listen to us! I can do a whole section on doing content audits.

Marcus: Why are you doing a content audit? I’ve always found them a little bit kind of, well yeah, it’s a list of stuff.

Paul: Well, I’m not. Basically… I mean it’s amazing what crap I have talked about for 12 years.

Marcus: Yeah, okay so you’re going to try and maybe weed some stuff out?

Paul: Yeah, what I’m doing is going through and tagging all my posts. So I’m saying… I’m either saying “Yes, this is all right this is evergreen, just ignore it” or “This was…” I mean like hundreds of job ads for Headscape people. “Oh, we’re hiring.” Well why is that still on the site? So that stuff is being flagged for archiving and then some stuff is being flouted to rewrite.

Marcus: Makes sense.

Paul: In other words I think it’s a really good topic but things have moved on.

Marcus: Right.

Paul: So when I archive stuff… I umm-ed and ahh-ed about “Do I just completely delete this stuff?” but I’m not going to. What I’m doing instead is I’m marking it, I’m putting a banner over the top of it that basically says this content is out of date.

Marcus: It’s wrong. What I said in 2009…

Paul: Is wrong.

Marcus: … Is not my current opinion, blah blah blah.

Paul: Yeah, so it’s got that and it’s also being removed from my internal search engine and from my listings but you can still find it on Google and you can still link to it directly. Because I don’t want to break any links. What’s the point. Oh, that’s the other thing I’m doing as well is that occasionally you come across a post and you go “Actually I am going to delete that because in another two years I wrote but much better post on the same subject so I will just link from one to the other.” And I redirect the traffic across to the more recent one. So it is just a big tidy up but it’s desperately needed doing because there is some real rubbish on there. But there’s also a lot of very smug moments…

Marcus: Really?

Paul: … Yeah, me going “I was right about that, see, nobody listens to me at the time!”

Marcus: Then he said the same thing. You repeated yourself.

Paul: Well, there was a lot of me going “Ner, Webb 2.0, tech bubble, tech bubble” and then there was. So I felt smug about that and there were various… I was very progressive on the whole mobile stuff as well. I was writing about that years before it caught on. Then of course all the web standards stuff as well.

Marcus: Mmm Hmm.

Paul: So I actually found the post, found the post where we moved to HTML and CSS rather than table-based design.

Marcus: Yep, I remember that all happening. I think most people within Headscape, if I remember rightly, were like “Yeah, okay.”

Paul: Yeah, Leigh wasn’t!

Marcus: Yeah, apart from Leigh. He’s all right with it now!

Paul: Just about. (Laughter)

Marcus: Leigh listens. Hi Leigh!

Paul: Yeah, he can’t deny that though. I like the way you replied for him then.

Marcus: Hello. Yeah, that was Leigh’s voice.

Paul: That’s what he sounds like.

Marcus: He made me laugh earlier.

Paul: how’s that.

Marcus: Leigh’s lost his…

Paul: Mind?

Marcus: … Internet connection today. So basically he announced on slack about half an hour ago “Oh, it’s finally come back.” So I said “So have you just been drumming your fingers on the desk all day?” And then he said “Yeah, that and just clicking refresh all the time.” Then I put in quotes, “Work you bastard” and he came back and said “That’s a bit harsh don’t you think?” Can I get a cup of tea first?"

Paul: Honestly.

Marcus: I thought that was quite funny!

Paul: He is very suspicious. Leigh seems to lose Internet a lot on sunny days. I think there must be kind of like, the copper that comes to his house gets heated up on a hot day.

Marcus: He’s got virgin…

Paul: Oh has he?

Marcus: … Fibre, yeah, so.

Paul: Well, he’s got no excuse then! Honestly.

Marcus: He did post the error message that virgin…

Paul: Aha, anybody can mock that up!

Marcus: Yeah, anyone, especially someone who is a designer, oh yeah!

Paul: Exactly. He is lying to you.

Marcus: It’s not that sunny today though. It is now, it wasn’t earlier.

Paul: No, that’s true.

Marcus: Anyway, we really are talking complete twaddle.

Paul: Yeah, I think your other word would have been more appropriate but anyway! Let’s talk about our first sponsor and then we will get into a talk.

So I want to talk about Fullstory. Oh, just, I really love Fullstory. I realised that I deleted it by accident off my website when I was doing some update or other of which I have been doing many the moment. Dan would be spinning in his grave if he was dead, watching what I was doing to his beautiful website. So yes, I’ve put Fullstory back on the site. Oh, it is just so much more intuitive and easy to understand than Google analytics. I have been using it the last week to try and reduce my bounce rate and encourage newsletter signups and it has made such a difference because you actually know what is going wrong. It was really interesting Tantum on Twitter sent me a tweet last week that said you’re not kidding about Fullstory.…

Marcus: Tatum, Tatum. Paul.

Paul: What did I say?

Marcus: Tantum.

Paul: Well, you say Tatum I say Tantum! I don’t know!

Marcus: I say Tatar to use a tomato…

Paul: Yeah, whatever! I don’t care. It’s a person. I’m only using them for promotional purposes, I don’t care about them as a human being! I don’t even know if it is a man or a woman. That’s how little I care about this person. That’s so horrible! Oh no!!

Marcus: Yeah, you said all that out loud.

Paul: well, no.

Marcus: To hundreds of thousands of people.

Paul: Well, no. No, nowhere near hundreds and thousands of people.

Marcus: 501 persons.

Paul: Yeah, Tatum, Tantum probably doesn’t even listen to the show. It’s fine.

Marcus: He doesn’t even exist basically.

Paul: No, no it is a real tweet. I will include a link, Catherine, when you are transcribing this remind me to give you a link to that tweet. Bollocks, now I have to set up a account under Tatum.

Marcus: Yeah, you’re being found out, like Leigh was… Like you were accusing Leigh of.

Paul: Yes, exactly. So this person, lovely, wonderful person who I care deeply about wrote “You are not kidding about Fullstory. It is easily the best analytics tool I have used. It actually gives better clues into why.” And that was what really impressed me about it is that you can, in being able to watch those sessions back and actually see why people are doing what they are doing is so much more useful to actually get to the bottom of what is happening. So, for example one of the things I was finding was that people were getting to “my book and more” page which has got all the books and stuff that I am flogging people that they don’t want! And I was discovering that there was quite a big drop-off. It was almost like people weren’t interested in my books which obviously couldn’t…

Marcus: Impossible to believe!

Paul: Exactly, it couldn’t have been the real reason. It turns out a lot of them were clicking on the picture of the book which wasn’t a link. So I had to make that a link and I wouldn’t have found that out if I wasn’t watching sessions back. So, things like that that are really useful. Anyway, if you want to sign up to see if it gives you great results as well you can get a free month of their pro account for free, no credit card or anything like that. And then even after that free month has finished if you want to carry on using it without paying you can do so. You can get a thousand sessions per month absolutely free or you can pay and get more sessions recorded. And all of that you can get from going to Fullstory.com/boag. B O A G.

Marcus: Cool, I recommended it to a client this week.

Paul: Yeah, it’s really… I’m really glad we’ve got them on the show actually. It’s really nice when you’ve got a product on that you actually really like. Which is good. I am quite picky over the sponsors we have, anyway. Next up, yes, Brent. Brent is our first speaker of the day and it is a really cool talk this. It is basically… It is just him telling a story isn’t it really.

Marcus: It’s from the heart.

Paul: I know, I really liked it. So, Brent Weaver this is, you can find out more about him at ugurus.com so that the letter U gurus.com and he’s the CEO and founder of that which is like an online academy to help a digital agency owners master kind of business-ey type stuff. So, they’ve got like a Boot Camp program, all kinds of things. You can read more about him if you want to. His little story is a really great one about his first, really his first ever pitch that was disastrous basically! So I will let you listen to that and yeah, you too can feel his pain.

The Failure that Made Me Commit to Being an Entrepreneur

Play talk at: 14:35 – I had everything going for me when it came to my first big web design pitch. The right connections, the skill set, and even the exact solution the client was looking for… but then everything went wrong.

Brent Weaver: The Failure that Made Me Commit to Being an Entrepreneur
Brent Weaver is the CEO and Co-Founder at UGURUS, an online academy that helps digital agency owners master business to achieve freedom in their business and life. To date, their Bootcamp program has been credited with over $9m in revenue from their graduating companies. Visit Brents’s agency at ugurus.com

So I am sitting at this conference table in an office building in downtown Sacramento and I’m out there for basically the first real big pitch that I ever made as a web designer. I am sitting in this conference room and I’m in full madman style suit and my business partner is there with me and we had flown out there for this meeting and you could almost even say this was my very first business trip. So there were a couple of firsts here. This RFP, request for proposal, had stated that they had a budget of around $80,000 and so I’m sitting here at this table and I had just given a PowerPoint presentation of all these amazing things that we could do for this organisation. They had a stated agenda for the day and we were in their Q and A segment. They had given me an opportunity to give my Powerpoint and then they had some Pre-scripted questions that they wanted to ask us and there were maybe eight or nine people from the organisation and they are sitting around this conference table and there me and my business partner are on the middle of one side. Honestly, I felt pretty cool in the moment, I felt kind of smart and professional. I was only 22 years old which at the time of course I felt that I was old and knew everything because I could, you know, drink and go to bars legally. But in the grand scheme of things I really didn’t know much about anything especially much about anything when it came to business which became apparent when the woman across from me at this conference table actually starts to fall asleep. She starts to nod off! In the middle of this meeting which was kind of distracting to myself, thinking about that. I’m trying to keep it together but in my head I’m thinking “Is this… Is she really falling asleep right in front of me?!” So I kind of play through this, right, I kind of shrug it off and as inconsequential and keep rolling through my scripted answers. I know I said my questions were scripted but I had kind been given a little bit of an edge in this deal, to some extent you could even say we had been supposedly promised the project before we had even won it. That is because my best friend from high school Arash had actually headed the organisation’s IT team and he had gotten me the questions ahead of time which gave me plenty of time to prepare really good answers for these questions. The nights and the time before we had actually got into this meeting we had worked really, really hard on a demo basically showing them exactly what their RFP was asking for. We presented to them the working solution and had like, perfect answers to every question that was in this question guide that they are giving us. And every sign in my head at the time pointed towards a yes. Except, in the meeting, here was this girl basically falling asleep right in front of me. I don’t know if you guys have ever had a client or prospect fall asleep in a meeting with you, it’s not a good sign! I’m just putting that out there. And I remember thinking “Man, websites must bore her and her boss must be forcing her in this meeting. I kinda feel sorry for her.” That was really the thoughts in the moment going through my head. To me, I was in this meeting and I am like knocking each question out of the park. I had the questions earlier, I had worked on my answers, my friend coached me on these answers, he told me exactly what the organisation wanted to hear and I had rehearsed this stuff over and over the night before. My delivery was flawless so as the meeting wrapped up they asked us if we had any questions for them and I knew everything, I’m this all-powerful 22-year-old, right?! And I’m like “No, we are all good, no questions here.” And like that the meeting was over. Our big pitch was over and, you know, we were all dressed up in our swank suits so Steve and I head over to a local restaurant to celebrate. We’re thinking, like, we got this! We just landed the biggest deal of our business and this is… We’ve got it made. You know, cheering over lunch, ordering a bottle of wine and we are mapping out plans of how we are going to get this project done in between our class time and probably more importantly, you know, what are we going to do with all this money as college kids. All of our friends are broke and we are going to have 80 grand. As the conversation went through over lunch the excitement was really building, we were getting more and more sure that we had this deal in the bag. We were actually staying, our friend that works at this organisation, we were actually staying at his house so we knew he wasn’t getting home for a couple of hours and we would be able to finally make it official when he got home but it was going to be a couple of hours. And I remember that on the way home to his house we decided to stop and get a bottle of, I think it was Johnny Walker blue, which is, I don’t know if you know much about Scott but it was the more expensive Scotch than like the cheap red label kind of standard issue stuff that college students would normally buy. We went like, all out on this bottle because we were going to celebrate. So, Arashs car, we hear it pull up outside, I open the front door with my celebratory glass of Scotch in hand doing the air cheers, I think my tie was tied around the top of my head like a bandanna. I mean, that’s kind of… It had gotten to that point while we were waiting for him and I look out and I see his face and it’s just pale white. He is shaking his head side to side and he’s like “You guys didn’t get it. You didn’t get the deal. It was awarded to the other firm.” That was like a pretty sobering moment. You know, the whole weeks of work just down the tubes and it was kind of crazy because I think the organisation, the people that we knew in the organisations and my friend Arash, they all had told us that this was an easy decision. Maybe, I don’t know if you’ve ever had a sure thing in your life that ended up not being a sure thing? You know, it ended up turning into this four hour argument, I guess, after we left. A really heated disagreement between all of the attendees of that meeting. And a couple of them we knew and we had kind of built relationships with during this process. A couple of them we didn’t know, most of them we didn’t know. But, you know, they deliberated on this for quite some time and I guess one of the… Arash kind of… This is kind of hard for me to talk about, it’s somewhat embarrassing. But Arash tells us that one of the women at one of the table said that those guys look like a couple of dudes we would have seen a club in Miami. Which, you know, again, I thought I was wearing a pretty swank suit and that’s what you did as a business man right?! And so you can imagine, went from clouds 9 to face planting in the dirt and probably got a stomp on the back of our head for good measure because of course Arash unpacked everything that went down in this meeting. We didn’t know any better, I mean nobody else there was wearing suits and none of the other companies that came… I think the guy from the competing firm was wearing like a polo that was untucked or something like that. And Arash explained that one of the other women, I guess, in the room had said that she didn’t think we cared about the organisation because we didn’t ask them questions. And we didn’t really… Arash had really gone to bat for us over this whole conversation and he knew that these issues that he were bringing up were weren’t who we really were, I mean, we were pretty down to earth guys. I lived in Boulder Colorado, I mean, we were… It wasn’t really the impression that they got of us really wasn’t who we were. We were playing the part of who we thought we should be in that moment. But it didn’t really matter. The decision, the decision was made. So, Steve and I were kind of asking ourselves questions and trying to figure out what all this means. We had kind of pinned our hopes on this for weeks. We had been talking about what this deal was going to do for us and then that whole day thinking that we’d got this thing and now we would like “what does this mean? Is our business viable? We are going to graduate soon. Are we going to keep this thing alive or are we going to shut it down?” For the first time I felt like I was doing what I was meant to. I was having a lot of fun with this and the prospect that this could be our business and our life that we could go and pursue these types of opportunities and solve these really cool problems. It was just so apparent that this was what I needed to do with my life and our business had always felt really counter to what everyone else told us we should be doing. You know, I thought about my other friends in college and they didn’t have a clue what they were doing. Even the ones that did really well and got good grades didn’t have a clear purpose of what happened after college. Like, everybody had given them a plan up until that moment and then the plan was just going to get a job. I can very confidently say that, you know, losing that project was terrible, it kinda sucked but Steve and I both agreed that there was a silver lining, that this really well known and respected organisation had entertained a couple of 22-year-old kids from Texas to build a website for them for $85,000. That is like three times what most of our friends hoped to make after graduation and that project would have taken us a couple of months. I mean our business, even though we didn’t get the deal was kind of validated and our patio conversation shifted from “Is this possible” to “This could be big. This could be a thing that we do.” I mean, if there are these multi-million dollar organisations that are looking to 22-year-old kids to solve their problems, there’s obviously opportunity here! So we kind of went from “Is this possible?” To “What we do next? What happens from here?” Steve is telling me “Look man, I really want to work with you and I think that we have something here but we need to make a move for it, we can’t keep this as a side gig for the rest of our lives. That’s not how I want to operate.” And I didn’t either. We needed to jump into the deep end so we started making this plan that he is going to leave UT Austin and move to Colorado and where I’m living in Boulder and going to CU and we were going to start working out of our condo we would start playing the calculator game, you know, how much money do we need to survive, how much money do we need, want to make, to thrive, you know. How much revenue do we have from existing clients. How many clients do we need to win to keep it going. We started planing out this plan and started wondering about what we are parents going to think, are they going to be mad? What are our friends going to think, is this going to be ridiculous? Is this going to work, could it? But, we committed, you know, right then and there we chose to jump in the deep end and after four years of this being a side hustle for us on nights and weekends and a summers thing, you know, it was time to make it the main thing. It was a new beginning and I think new beginnings are always exciting and in that moment anything was really possible even though we had come off this huge failure it was so inspiring. I think what I have learnt to enjoy is to look at those moments as proof that that opportunity could happen again. Like for me it became the proof of concept. Lots of things had to go right to actually get us in that room. Just one thing didn’t go right so we needed to basically, get ourselves in that position again and for me that commitment that I made that night and that commitment that Steve made to create a business together was probably the most important leading decision of my life. You know, that commitment that night led to so many things in my life that I cherish today. I also don’t wear suits any more, these days I prefer the T-shirt and jeans over the suit. But maybe that’s a story for another day. Until next time I’m Brent Weaver.

Paul: See that’s a great story, I loved that. I bet you loved that Marcus. That must be your kind of thing, I would have thought.

Marcus: Yeah, yes. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone fall asleep on me though. That’s… What you do!?

Paul: I know! Do you suddenly say something really loudly in the hope of waking them up?

Marcus: Hi! (Laughter) Every alarm bell would have been ringing for me at that point. I would have would not have gone off and bought a very expensive bottle of Scotch.

Paul: No!

Marcus: I would be thinking “Were not doing too well here.”

Paul: Yeah, but he was a young guy. You know,

Marcus: There was a time obviously, yeah.

Paul: So, yes. You make those kinds of mistakes. I just thought it was a really wonderful story. It’s just really amused me.

Marcus: I know. The whole story kind of made me… It reminded me of pitching can be great and it can be awful. You never know what you are going to get right up until you walk out of the door. I mean quite often you walk out of the door looking at each other going “No idea.” But sometimes they are car crashes which obviously that one was. And you kind of realise at that point that they didn’t want you there, you are just there to make up the numbers. And you think “Why did you waste all of this day and all the preparation was all just a total waste”.

Paul: And a waste of their time as well.

Marcus: But they have to have a certain number to meet and then they have to have a shortlist and all this kind of thing and I guess that has always been my message to the few clients who have ever wanted discuss pitching with me. I have always said, “Look, if you don’t want… If you’re not interested in somebody okay, you might want to see a proposal from them but don’t… But if you’re thinking these guys are kind of bottom of the list then don’t invite them up because it really is a waste of their time.” Don’t do it!

Paul: Hmmm

Marcus: But yeah. The other thing that came out of it was the thing that Chris always says. Because I always say “So-and-so has said they want to work with us” and he says “Ooo, not until we’ve got the signed contract.” Because that’s how Chris talks! (Laughter) And it is true because we had a couple of really big clients. Because he said I don’t know, Brent said, I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this when you think you have been promised the work. Well yeah, we had two in quite short succession in 2014 who shall remain nameless, which almost brought the company down. And at the time was just like, you know, panic stations. But as he learnt from the experience I think so have we. I haven’t thought that that is a specific thing that I have learnt from it but listening back to this talk made me think yeah, definitely. My attitude has changed towards business a lot since those experiences, you know, for the better. I am much more relaxed and calm about things which has got to be good.

Paul: I think also if nothing else, as you say, it teaches you not to count your chickens before they are hatched. That you don’t actually know until you’ve got the work. Also I think the other thing that it teaches me or I have learnt over the years is not to take it personally that you lose work for all kinds of bizarre reasons that often are very little to do with your capabilities but are just, you know, because of somebody knows somebody or some situation and it is a bit of a lottery. But what I really liked, I think, about Brent’s little story is how he kind of ended it really. Which is they had a decision to make at the end of that, it could of completely knocked the stuffing out of them and they could have just given up and walked away but they managed to find the good in that situation, they managed to conclude “Well okay, if we got that kind of opportunity once then we should be able to do that again and next time we will do it better.” That reminds me of that quote that I always say which is supposedly from Winston Churchill although I’m don’t know if it really is. Which is “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” And to a large extent, certainly with sales, that is true. You have just got to keep banging away at it really.

Marcus: Yep, and you need a thick skin. And yet it’s kind of great to have a partner as well which obviously Brent did have because if your partner in sales work has taken something really badly and sometimes we all do, some of the ones we think “Yes this is perfect for us” and then, as you say, for some reason stuff happens and it doesn’t come your way. You never know, that’s the other reason, you never find out which can be really frustrating. But if you’ve got somebody else to say “Look, you know, we won that one and we won that one and with fine and was still going. We did a great pitch but it just wasn’t right this time.” Then that is a really healthy thing. So I guess I’m saying that to you Paul. So if something doesn’t work out you can always just come and talk to me about it.

Paul: I always do! That is absolutely true. I always have come and have a good moan to you, normally on the podcast like at the moment.

Marcus: Exactly. And also Paul, don’t wear a tie.

Paul: No. Well I never have have I! Have you ever known me to wear a tie?

Marcus: I think I have worn a tie to one pitch which was to some old school accountants. This was yonks ago like 12, 13, 14 years ago, something like that. And I thought they would feel uncomfortable without… Somebody turning up without a tie on. But yeah…

Paul: It is a fine line, mind. I could see where Brent was coming from and yeah, he was overly suited and booted and we’ve done… I’ve done that before where, you know, I have turned up a lot smarter than the other people in the room and you can look like a slick salesman if you’re not careful which is problematic if you are someone who is naturally smart. That can be a problem as well. But I’ve seen the other… Don’t you remember when we went and pitched for Wiltshire farm foods. I will never forget that! That we were sitting in the reception waiting to go in and do the pitch and it was one of those awkward situations where the previous agency was coming out as we were going in and we saw them and I swear he was wearing sandals, shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. And I knew instantly that they weren’t going to win the work.

Marcus: Yeah, I had exactly the same thing at Portsmouth University with the opposite thing happening. There was a team of about 10 people, it was probably four, but it seems like 10 grey suits came out while we were waiting just dressed normally. I just think wear something that isn’t really saying anything. That is just kind of… Let what you say do the talking. Yes, let the talking do the talking!

Paul: Yes, rather than what you wear.

Marcus: Yes.

Paul: I mean the other piece of advice that you have given before… Why we’re spending so long talking about what to wear I don’t know but… Which I always thought was good is that if you do know the audience, if you have kind of pitched to people with similar positions or whatever, always dress just a little bit smarter than they would. But not too much smarter. Which I think is good advice.

Marcus: Correct.

Paul: But this whole thing about be yourself, I don’t think that… That is not just about what you wear, I think it is just generally about how you handle yourself in the meeting and how you talk and how you behave. I think you can really come across as desperate if you try too hard.

Marcus: Yeah, or you get caught out. You know, you’re setting yourself up as an expert in something when you are not, for example. Yeah, I mean, basically people… I’ve always thought that people… You go to pitches to see if the two groups of people either side of the table can work together. So if you pretend to be something that you are not then… If they like it and they hire you then well, I guess there is a… That is a recipe for potential disaster down the line.

Paul: Yes, it is. Yeah.

Marcus: So yeah, be yourself and hopefully that will come across as being natural and likeable and professional I suppose. And somebody that you’d want to work with. Anyway.

Paul: Enough of such things.

Marcus: Indeed.

Paul: I think Brent’s story said it all really and we didn’t need to say any of that but we’ve just said. So there’s 10 minutes of your life wasted! Talking of wasting your time let’s talk about a sponsor. Ah, you see, now they would kill me.

Marcus: You set that up badly again! Paul!

Paul: I did, Dean, Dean who runs teacup AdWords who were going to talk about next. Dean, mate, I am sorry. That was not the best intro!

Marcus: I’ll make up for it. The client that I recommended Fullstory to I also recommended Teacup Analytics to them.

Paul: Right, okay. So we’re not talking about Teacup Analytics but it was a good try!

Marcus: I know, just to try, you know, trying to make you feel a bit better after you running him down and his product.

Paul: No, I’m not running his product down. Ahh, see now! Just stop talking! Fortunately I had a call with Dean this morning, I also do some mentorship with Dean, to helping him, because this product Teacup AdWords that we are going to talk about in a minute is going through a beta and so I was doing some UX review stuff with him and I think I gave him a couple of bits of advice that he was really chuffed about so maybe that makes up for this train wreck of a sponsored slot. Okay, here we go

So, do you run AdWords campaigns, I’m doing it professionally now can you tell.

Marcus: I don’t, no.

Paul: Seen now, (sigh). Right, here we go. Do you run Adwords campaigns, Marcus shut up! Do you know, now I didn’t know this, this is actually quite interesting, that Google will charge you more per click if it doesn’t think that your landing page, in other words the page that the click goes through, is as relevant to the ad copy and keywords as it could be. I didn’t know that.

Marcus: I didn’t know that either.

Paul: I just thought that the amount they charged was totally dependent on how many other people were bidding against that keyword but it’s not. It is also to do with the quality of the landing page and they set a score for the quality of the landing page and that determines how much they charge you per click which just blew me away. Course, Dean could be lying about this but I see no reason to accuse him of lying. He’s a very nice chap! Again, stop talking! Amongst the many things that this AdWords product that his currently in the beta testing helps you to create and manage all of the AdWords campaigns that you run but it also helps you craft a landing page. It will create a landing page for you based on just a few short questions. So it asks you some questions, it then automatically generates your ad campaign and a well designed landing page that matches each and every single ad that you run. So even if you run 20, 30 ads you will get 20, 30 different landing pages all of which are going to be scored well against Google’s, you know, ranking mechanism. You just go in and add a logo and a bit more information or tart it up if you want to but basically the landing pages are generated automatically for you which is flipping amazing. So he gave me a tour of it this morning and it is looking really good. So what he is trying to do, he is so sensible in the way that he runs and creates these products. He is currently at the beta stage and is actually actively looking for people to get involved in the beta and give him feedback and he is rolling it out really gradually to people so if you would like to be involved in that and get to try it out and to get to shape it, either for yourself or for your clients because obviously it is designed for agencies that are offering this service for clients that they can’t spend a lot of time, you know, managing it for them, then you can find out about this by going to TeacupAnalytics.com/AdWords. I do recommend checking it out because it is very useful and a good timesaver.

Okay, Marcus shall I let you introduce the next talk because I’ve seen your notes.

Marcus: (Laughter) I tell you what, I’ll do the introduction if you say who it is.

Paul: No, no. You say who it is and I’ll do the introduction. So it’s Catalina, that’s all you need to know!

Marcus: Catalina DeLeon or layon-Belock. Catalina Delayon-Belock. {Catalina de León Belloc}

Paul: There we go. So are you going to carry on or are you going to stop at that point.

Marcus: She is from Argentina and she is a UI/UX designer.

Paul: Yes, founder of PurpleBunny.

Marcus: And she is a digital… No, PurpleBunny is a digital nomad studio.

Paul: That means that she…

Marcus: They are everywhere, isn’t it. They are all over the place.

Paul: … Can’t stay still. Well, she says in her talk she likes travelling a lot, doesn’t she.

Marcus: Yes.

Paul: This is the in thing at the moment. Why do you need to stay in one place to run an agency? Why can’t you continually cruise the world? Which I think is a damn good idea personally.

Marcus: Yeah, yeah.

Paul: You are a bit of a homeboy mind Marcus. That’s your trouble.

Marcus: I am, yes. Although I have been away a lot lately!

Paul: Yeah, I know but you like having a base don’t you.

Marcus: What is going through my mind here is when the sun comes out in about April usually in the UK I think “Oh, I’m going to go and sit in the garden” and that lasts about half an hour and then I wander back up to my office where everything is just right. So yeah, I can’t even get out of the garden gate. Let alone go to another country!

Paul: Yes. So Catalina is a little bit more ambitious and, you know, progressive than you Marcus. Let’s just say that. So you can find out more about her at purplebunny.co. She does loads of cool stuff that you can check out there. What she is talking to us about today is productivity tips. So she is talking a little bit about her 11 years of working in the web industry and the different roles that she has played and the different formats that she has worked and then she is sharing with us some of the things that have worked for her in terms of tips and approaches. So over to Catalina.

Productivity tips for freelancers and remote team

Play talk at: 42:56 – A talk about what I’ve learned in the past 11 years of working in the web industry, where I transitioned through different roles and formats. I’ll share practices that worked for me, tools I use and mistakes I’ve made.

Catalina de León Belloc: Productivity tips for freelancers and remote team
My name is Catalina de León Belloc. I’m a UI/UX designer from Argentina. Founder of Purple Bunny, a digital nomad studio of talented and experienced professionals with different skills and one unique motto: do quality work, learn and have fun. Visit Catalina’s agency at thepurplebunny.com

Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I’m a UI/UX designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I got into this industry back in 2005 while I was finishing design school and I got a job as a project manager at a digital agency. I was to manage all of one of their main partners projects which was another web studio in Kansas City. So from day one my job required me to manage communications between teams and clients that were located in different countries. Our team also had two days of home office, we had also, you know, full-time designers and developers that were working from different cities so our team was partly remote. I also took on some client projects to work on during my free time, this helped me learn to how to design and code websites from scratch and back in 2011 I created my freelance brand called PurpleBunny. I used to ask for a lot of advice from my boss Hernanes??, who was the founder and CEO of the agency. He helped me with things like budgeting projects or dealing with difficult clients and eventually the workload was too big so one day we decided it would be best to run PurpleBunny together. This partnership worked really well, I got to take on projects that interest me the most and the rest were done with the support of the agency. So we were basically offering the flexibility and competitive rates of a freelancer but behind there was a group of talented designers, developers, project managers ready to take on bigger projects. I worked in the agency for over 11 years where I transitioned from a PM role to the design team, eventually leading the team and even becoming a partner at the agency. As you can imagine it became hard for me to find the balance to keep working both the agency and the PurpleBunny projects at the same time. So for years I switched between different formats to try and make it work, you know, in-house, remote and a mix of both, part-time, full-time, I mean you name it I’ve tried it and finally int 2017 I decided to put all of my efforts into PurpleBunny.

So I wanted to share with you today some tips I learnt over the years on how to be more productive both as a freelancer or as part of a remote team. I’d like to start by talking a little bit about working from home. It used to take me about two hours to commute to get to the office so this was the main reason that pushed me to start implementing a few days of Home Office. I immediately realised that when I was working from home I was getting much more done. I would wake up at 8 AM, have breakfast and by 8:30 I was sitting at my desk I was logged into slack, I was checking my email, I had opened sketch, I mean it was amazing. For some time. Because since I had so much work to do I started at 8:30 and many days I would work straight till 7 PM, 8 PM, or even later. So I started to stress out, obviously. I wasn’t creating a schedule. There was no clear time when work would start or finish because I was not leaving or coming home from work. I then decided that I needed to do something before and after work so I started jogging in the mornings. I would run 4 km which took me about 30 or 40 minutes and I am not the type of person who enjoys doing exercise, I mean trust me, it takes me a lot of effort but I got to replace that commute time with a healthy activity and I got to leave the house and come back before starting to work which I found very energising. There are other things you can do like walk your dog for example. I’ve even heard others who would wake up get dressed, walk around the block or going to get a cup of coffee and then come back home to start the work day. It helps to change your mindset from personal time to work time. It is important to have a clear distinction between both and the same goes for your workspace. If it blends too much it’s hard to focus. I highly recommend, I mean if you have the room, to have a separate office or a desk because working from your couch, from your bed, from your dining room table those are all places for relaxation time or for me time or for family time and they might not be the most inviting to actually get work done. There is this other morning routine which I found very effective which is making your bed. It is a simple everyday task that can be motivating. Check out a speech given by a Navy Seal Admiral about the benefits of making your bed every morning, it is super interesting. Bear in mind that working from home has a lot of benefits but there are also distractions. You just need to look around and you will find some laundry that needs to be done or some dishes that need to be washed or you have errands to run so you will need discipline and self-control otherwise you can spend the entire day doing errands and not getting any work done. So I have set up these two rules that help me deal with this. So the first one, as you may know it is not very healthy to stay sitting down for long periods of time. For instance, my Apple watch reminds me every hour that I need to stand up for a minute or you might use the technique like Pomodoro where you take a five minute break every 25 minutes and I use those breaks to do house chores that take no more than five minutes or 10 minutes tops. And the second rule, and a lot of people might not agree, but I think that doing errands in the middle of the day saves me a lot of time. I tend to get things done in much less time than if I were to do them before or after working hours when, you know, everyone else is doing them. And yeah, that means that I need to do something in the middle of the day but I get it done in half the time so if I have to run errands like go to the dentist or go to the bank, my personal rule is not to do more than one in a day. And that day I will to stay a little bit longer to make up for that lost time.

This brings me onto another important thing which is tracking your time. The only way to have some control and awareness if you are being productive by tracking your time and of course a lot of us charge by the hour so there’s no way to avoid that but I have seen a lot of people finish their work and divide those eight hours between the tasks and projects they were working on and I find that a bit misleading or inaccurate and that is why I use a timer. Not only do I get to be more precise with what I log in to a project and charge the client but I also find it helpful to see which days I am getting less done and why. I also recommend to keep track of the time spent on tasks that are related to your work but might not necessarily be associated to a particular. For instance if I have to go to the bank to get a wire from a client abroad or if I spend some time in the morning reading online while I am having my coffee I track that time. Otherwise by the end of the day I would get frustrated because the timer didn’t reflect the time that I had invested on my business that day. Even if they are not billable hours they were still part of my job. I use toggl which has a really good desktop app, you can log your time to different teams, to different projects and you can assign tags to them. All pretty common features right? But what I found very helpful is that you will get notified if you forget to turn on your timer or if you forget to turn it off and keep it running. Another cool feature which is available in the browser app is that it lets you know how much time you are spending on the different software you are using.

Another thing I wanted to talk about is communication. Having good communication is important in any team but even more important if you are a freelancer working for clients abroad or you are part of a remote team. It shortens that physical distance and reduces the friction that can come along with it. For instance we rely heavily on conference calls and there’s nothing more frustrating than for a client or a team than having to repeat yourself constantly or having someone’s voice go all robotic. Don’t you ever spend, like, five or 10 minutes trying to get everyone on hangout to work properly? “Oh, I see Johns logged in… John, eer, can you hear us? Oh, it seems he’s typing in the chat window. Oh yes, yes he can hear us but we can’t hear you John. What if you try logging back in?… That doesn’t work? Umm, what browser are you using? What if we all switch to Skype.” Then it starts all over again. Does this sound familiar, because I’ve estimated we’ve lost hundreds of hours just by trying to get everybody everyone on a call. A lot of time we even turn off the camera in conference calls just to have a better quality on the connection. Yet remote teams might benefit from seeing each other’s faces, seeing facial reactions. This is where good Internet connection is a key element when working from home. I have setup my home office with ethernet cable just to assure the best possible connection. I didn’t want to rely on Wi-Fi and that might be a bit extreme but it was a game changer for me. I also switched to a conference call tool called zoom. It is a very reliable desktop app that works perfect with all types of Internet connections. So if you are not using it I highly recommend you check that out. There was this other productivity problem we had with our teams calls and that was that they ran too long. Daily or weekly stand-ups that should take no more than 10 or 15 minutes sometimes ran over an hour and this happened for a couple of reasons. We usually had stand-ups early in the morning and we always had some people working from home and others working from the office so what happened was that someone was always late to the call and they were on their way to work and they would log into hangout from the bus or from the car, you know, myself included and that was a big mistake because the quality was awful and we ended up wasting a lot of time. So if your team members cannot commit that early just push the stand-up one hour later. This way you can make sure everyone is available and ready to catch up in a 10 or 15 minute call tops. The second reason was that the personal talk at the beginning of the call extended for too long. You need to try to keep that chat to a minimum and don’t get me wrong, it is important to take a couple of minutes to see how everyone is doing but you need to be careful, I mean, especially in a crowded call because you can easily end up chatting for 15 minutes straight. And this one is a tricky one when being hundred percent remote because you don’t have that coffee break to catch up and personal relations in a team are very important. So every once in awhile I recommend that you meet with your team in person especially if you are in the same city. Another solution we found super helpful for stand-ups is a bot called Howdy. If your team uses Slack you can schedule Howdy to collect your teams updates via chat. It then post the answers in the channel so you basically replace a 15 minute call with this tool that gathers the same information in less than five minutes.

This brings me onto slack. Using a chat system is also a great way to shorten the distance with your remote team and slack is the perfect’s tool for chatting. It’s a beautiful designed product and it has tons of useful integrations. However this tool needs to be used wisely since it can also compromise your productivity so if you have chatty team members or you are part of the big team make sure to turn off notifications to avoid distractions.

Last but not least we need to talk about project management tools. Don’t rely on emails to manage your project and team communications. I mean, even if you are working solo you need to have a tool in place that organises deliveries, discussions, milestones, to-dos. In my case I use basecamp. It’s not perfect but it gets the job done. We also work with Trello when we need a more of a Kanban approach especially in products that involve development. I wanted to touch briefly on some productivity tips for designers. When it comes to tools I’ve got three words for you Sketch, Craft and Invision. We could do an entire podcast of these miracle workers but I didn’t want to leave out these tools that I use every day and they have improved massively my entire design process. I also wanted to mention the importance of staying up-to-date, especially in the industry like ours which is constantly changing. You don’t want to be left behind so I would recommend to make some time to read online, to listen to podcasts or be part of your local community by going to meet ups, join Slack teams. Basically listen and learn from your colleagues recommendations and experiences and share your own. I also wanted to talk about bad habits. I am always trying to identify what I am doing wrong and how I can improve it. I made a lot of mistakes during my career and I feel like I am always learning so I wanted to share with you some of these habits I had and some which I am still trying to change. The first one is do not multitask. I think this one is kind of obvious and how it can harm your productivity. This happens when I am juggling with a lot of projects which brings me onto the next mistake I make which is I don’t say no. Like every time an email comes from a referral or a happy client bringing a new project I need to fight that urge to please and accept immediately. I have learnt that, you know, I have to stop, take a look at my schedule and say I am currently not available or I will become available as of next month or next week and so on. Another bad habit I had was I had a lot of… a big to-do list and I learned that I needed to get rid of one minute tasks. And no, I do not do GTD, I honestly got bored halfway into the book but I think there is definitely value in that technique and I do plan on getting back to it soon. What I do try to apply is working on those tasks that are on my to-do list that can be solved quickly. Another bad habit I had was having conference calls when I was travelling. I love travelling, I try to go somewhere I have never been before once a year and I always take my work with me. By doing this I get to travel further, I get to stay longer and get to know more places but Internet connection is hardly reliable so just say no. You can’t be part of calls until you get back from your holidays. If something is, you know, very urgent and it can’t wait just make sure to have a really good connection or try to solve it via email. This leads me onto the next bad habit I had which is kind of obvious, which is trying to do as little or no work during your time off because that’s what it is. Your time off. Your time to relax with your partner your family, your friends and you need to be there enjoying the moment and come back with a renewed energy to work.

So let’s wrap up with a important piece which is to stay healthy. Try to get the right amount of sleep, eat well, exercise. This year I even learned some breathing and meditation techniques that I found very helpful. Honestly, I’ve been quite sceptical about those in the past but one of my New Year’s resolutions was to get out of my comfort zone and start trying new things. I found that all of these practices really help you lead a stress free and more productive life. So those are the tips that I wanted to share with you today. By no means do I think these are mandatory nor that they work for everyone. There are so many practices out there you just need to find the one that works for you. I struggle daily to find the time and discipline with some of these but I can assure you that they helped me be more productive every day. Okay, thank you, thank you for listening.

Paul: So, there you go that was a good one. I enjoyed that one.

Marcus: It certainly was.

Paul: It’s my kind of thing, productivity.

Marcus: Yes, thats very you Paul. My favourite tip was make the bed.

Paul: Yes, what was all that about?! I didn’t get that.

Marcus: I totally get that.

Paul: Why? Why does making the bed help in any way you to achieve anything?

Marcus: Basically if you make your bed, you can still have clothes strewn around the room over chairs and things like that but it makes the room look tidy and then you have a feeling of tidiness and “I can go out into the world and get things done.” It’s kind of like, I don’t know, it really does tidy the room, weirdly. I’ve always thought that because I’m not a particularly tidy person but I always make the bed.

Paul: You see I have to have a tidy office but what do I care whether the bed looks messy, I’m downstairs working!

Marcus: I don’t know, that’s all the information I can give you.

Paul: Psychological. So she said a lot that I really liked, you know, she talked about the Pomodoro technique and all that kind of stuff but she did say she got bored halfway through getting things done by David Allen, which did offend me. Because I am a bit of a GTD fanatic so… But she makes some really good points doesn’t she.

Marcus: So it makes her half human, in my view then.

Paul: Does it?

Marcus: You’re a total robot, I’m human and she’s somewhere in between.

Paul: Oh, okay that’s the way it works. Oh, I nearly got a thunder fly then. Just so you know. I can see it, where’s my fly spray. You’re going to die.

Marcus: I was going to say, what you need is murder spray.

Paul: I’ve got a murder spray. Oh, die!! Sorry about that. I’m back with you. (Cough, cough) Gore.

Marcus: You really want to do that when he got to talk have’nt you!

Paul: That was a bad idea! Yes, so, I liked all of the stuff about separating out of the office and not trying to work from the kitchen table, I totally agreed with. I found an old post of you talking about that actually on Boagworld.

Marcus: Really? What did I say? I wonder if my views have changed.

Paul: Just that if you’re going to have people that are remote working one of the rules that you should say is that they have a separate room to do that in.

Marcus: Yes, well if we are hiring people we insist on that, yes. You can’t have your kids running round your feet and trying to work at the same time. Or be on conference calls and things like that. You need to separate it out.

Paul: Yeah, I know a lot of people go and work from café’s and pubs and things like that but I don’t think you can do that all the time, personally.

Marcus: No, it’s got to be as well as. If you want to go… I took my car in for a service last week and I spent a couple of hours and Costa and it was quite nice. I quite enjoyed it but I wouldn’t want to do it all the time. I went out the garden gate!

Paul: There you go, well done!

Marcus: But I also agree with the idea of doing some exercise. Leigh… Talking about Leigh again, he goes swimming every morning, I take my dogs out pretty much every morning when I work from home and it just clears your head, starts moving the blood around your body which I think helps you think.

Paul: Hmmm. I mean, interesting, I’ve got to say, you know, I’m not an exercise person if I’m honest but because I’ve been selling these US culture cards… How’s that fly still alive? I nuked it! Anyway… Because I’m selling these user experience culture cards I have to go out to the post office all the time now and just a little walk out of the house makes such a difference doesn’t it. It wakes you up.

Marcus: Yes, I mean I don’t do anything that makes me sweat or anything like that.

Paul: Oh no, perish the thought!

Marcus: I’m far too old for that, you know!

Paul: Exactly.

Marcus: And, you know, I’m above that sort of thing.

Paul: Exactly. (Laughter)

Marcus: But yes, just get out and just go for a wander.

Paul: It was interesting, mind, listening to her and all of her advice about dividing home and work and all of that and hours and I was nodding along then I was thinking “I don’t do any of that anymore.” I totally blur the lines between home and work. I think it’s because we’ve been doing this for so long, we’ve been working from home for so long we’ve kind of found an equilibrium. And it’s like anything isn’t it it’s good practice, totally agree with what Catalina was saying but I think once you are really comfortable with it don’t let that become dogmatic, if that makes sense. It’s like, what are they saying about… Before you can be Picasso you need to know how to draw properly. You know, you’ve got to do it by the rules and then you can break the rules later.

Marcus: Well, yes similarly… These conversations are always about you must be very organised, you must focus on one task at a time and you know, all the stuff about learning to say no to stuff otherwise that will kind of stop you doing what you’re doing. All of my working life I have flitted from one thing to another and if something interesting comes in I go “Ooh, what’s that?” And I deal with it when it comes in, immediately. I don’t know whether I’m weird by doing that or whether many people are like me but it works for me, is my point. I successfully get things done most of the time. Well, I forget the odd thing but it’s pretty rare. So yeah…

Paul: You got to be who you are.

Marcus: Yes.

Paul: It almost goes back to the previous talk.

Marcus: Yeah, what we were saying before.

Paul: This is turning very hippie-ish. Just be yourself man! So yeah, I agreed with everything she said, really good advice. I even loved the fact that she mentioned Sketch and Craft and I’m just obsessed by that programme. You know, after years of struggling with graphics packages to do web work and you come across something like Sketch and it’s just such a breath of fresh air. So using the right tools, I agreed with all of that. I think… I think a thing about stand-ups… I got this thing about stand-ups, right? I just think people do stand-ups really badly. They are a great idea but you have to be so regimented about them, they can’t last more than 10 minutes, you should only cover what you did yesterday, what you are doing today and what is blocking you. Everything else, every other conversation, any other subject shouldn’t happen, in my opinion, within the stand-up. It should happen in slack or it should happen in another meeting or whatever else but otherwise your stand-ups just become these bloated things from hell that are just boring!

Marcus: Yes, I don’t like them at all. I think you should just have project meetings when you need them. I certainly don’t agree with moving something that is, certainly daily, later if so-and-so can’t get there by a particular time. Because what happens, something that doesn’t bother me, but somebody who’s more regimented than I am, if you, if your stand-up is normally, I don’t know, 9:30 then you might make you coffee, check your email, blah, blah, then whatever. And the meeting happens at 9:30 and then you get on with whatever you are going to do. If that becomes 11 o’clock then you are just kind of waiting around until 11, kind of, until that meeting happens. So I think it’s bad for productivity, frankly.

Paul: So, there we go. So after saying we agree with her over everything we have now just picked holes in a lot of it.

Marcus: No, but then we’re saying that everything else she said was fab!

Paul: Yes. We’ve been very negative, we focused on the negative when actually the vast majority was really good solid stuff. We approve this message!

Marcus: Stamp!

Paul: Yes. Okay, what we do now at this point in the podcast. I’m so hypnotised by flies everywhere.

Marcus: I tell a joke…

Paul: That’s it!

Marcus: …That Bruce Lawson posted onto Twitter.

Paul: I am so glad you are telling that one. I was desperately trying to re-find it because I couldn’t remember it and I wanted to put it in the slack channel because I thought it was really funny.

Marcus: It depends which one. He posts so many.

Paul: Oh, let’s see if it’s… I’ll recognise it.

Marcus: Okay. It starts with “Ouch. Just been hit on the head with a copy of Sean Connery’s autobiography. I only have myself to blame.” (Said in a Scottish accent")

Paul: Only have myshelf to blame! I see! No, it wasn’t that one. He is this constant source of brilliant rubbish isn’t he really?

Marcus: Yes.

Paul: BruceL he is, on Twitter, if you want to follow him. And his bizarre rantings. Yes, he’s entertaining.

Marcus: He is, very.

Paul: So there you go, just a reminder that we have another four slots available. Now that sounds like not a lot and you might be tempted to think “Well I won’t bother submitting one because there’s only four slots left.” But please remember that we can add additional slots if we need to. And the trouble is you are all going to think “Oh, it’s not worth submitting one if there’s only four available” and that means none of you are going to and that means we won’t have enough. So we need you to submit a slot. A talk even! If you want to know anything about how to do that then go to Boag.world/season18 or drop me an email at [email protected] and I will be more than happy to help out because I haven’t got a lot going on in my life at the moment and so I just fancy chatting with random people via email.

Marcus: Yep, everyone send Paul an email. He loves that!

Paul: At the moment I don’t! My life is miserable. Anyway, I can’t spend any more time talking to you, dear listener, today because I am just that busy.

Marcus: Okay, you get on with work. I’m not going to do any more work today, well, I might edit the podcast. I might edit this podcast.

Paul: It’s just hard being who isn’t it? All right then. Good to talk to you Marcus and good to talk to you dear listener and we will talk again next week, bye.

Marcus: Bye.

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