When you’re taking on the world it’s stressful and it can feel like we’re taking on the world every single day when we’re running our own business, maybe raising a family and generally “making it happen”.
Stress can feel like it comes from the outside but it doesn’t it comes from how we react to outside circumstances and the circumstances and eventualities we fabricate in our own minds.
This show is about how we deal with it.
[0:20] Brecht: I’m Brecht Palombo.
[0:21] Scott: And I’m Scott Yewell.
[0:22] Brecht: And this is Bootsrapped with Kids.
[0:25] Scott: So, how do you like our every other week schedule? Is it like vacation or?
[0:29] Brecht: Makes me feel kind of guilty. It’s a little sucky, I don’t like it.
[0:34] Scott: Me too! I don’t like it either. We’ve been complaining about that for a couple of weeks and I am taking the blame again. I want to just—
[0:40] Brecht: I’ll let you have it again.
[0:41] Scott: Thank you! You’re good like that, often delegating the blame. You know, things are busy and the new job and trying to—you know, there’s also a difference of being an employee and sort of being an owner in the accountability side, like if you’re not making enough money—
[0:57] Brecht: That’s right!
[0:58] Scott: I feel directly responsible—
[0:59] Brecht: You are, yes.
[1:01] Scott: And it changes my behavior. So, it makes you reprioritize things like, I don’t have an hour to spend talking to you on the Skype. I need to do this thing. Yeah, I get ahead of that. Anyway—
[1:13] Brecht: Are you sorting things out over there? Last time we chatted you’re a bit hectic and you’re running a—you want to call it a consultancy, is that what you’re running over there?
[1:24] Scott: It’s a web development consultancy.
[1:25] Brecht: A web-dev shop, and you’re kind of in the throes of bringing on more people and getting some more processes in place, how’s that going?
[1:37] Scott: Yeah, it’s getting better. I think we’re figuring out our model. We’re making some internal changes that are, to me, pretty good. I don’t want—actually, I don’t have that much report, I don’t feel like I got it figured out yet where I can say, “here’s how to do it” but I think things are getting better for two reasons. One is, we have a couple of really big projects that are like they’re due now. So, we ship one on Monday, we’re shipping another one on Friday and then it won’t feel like there’s time crunch. I think until we get through those then I’m sure there will be another thing, but I kind of feel like I’m running from fire to fire still. So, that’s not good. Need a little more planning and stability and also not getting sucked into fixing things like there’s this pressure when you’re talking to a customer and like, I need this done now and it’s going to look like this, and then I got to turn around to delegate and I’m not sure until I get done in time because I don’t have that trust in the developer, and that’s so I’ve been jumping into getting stuff done and that’s something where—I think that’s a flaw we got to fix that.
[2:33] Brecht: Yeah, I was reading about different leadership and management styles and in terms of how to handle those things. What do you do when you get some work back from somebody where it’s not all the way there? Are you the type who you jump in and you just want to do it yourself? Do you give it back to them a couple of times until they get it right? What do you do?
[2:53] Scott: It depends on the timeframe of the project like if it’s really due right now and I can seize a couple quick fixes and I can get them done and ship it and have that guy move on to the next project, then I do it. If there’s a day or two where we can have him redo it, I’d rather do that than go back to the customer and say, “look, we’re going to push this back a couple of days.” A couple of our customers are agencies themselves and so they’ve committed timeframes to their customers and they trust us a lot less if we start making them bump their time. So, I think the better thing to teach is anybody it’s not right. So, please go back and fix it and that’s the thing I prefer to do. So, I come back I look at the code, we’ll look at the result and then highlight—and begin a lot better with—I’ll switch over to Jing as far as screen capturing and screen casting and screen check, and I can just highlight stuff and send it back and that works pretty well. But, if the thing’s due, like in the next couple of hours and I got it back from the guy—I mean there’s a bunch of flaws that’s showing, one is why am I getting it when it’s due in a couple of hours, right? I should have it—gotten this a couple of days ago or day ago, but that—it’s been happening. So, and you know, I’m looking back, many year since February and—
[4:06] Brecht: Do they have deadlines when you assign the task? [4:10] Scott: Yes.
[4:11] Brecht: And they’re not coming in on time?
[4:12] Scott: Whether coming on time—they’re not coming in complete on time, like they are checking code in. So, I got the codes up there and I go back and review it, authenticate, it’s good but there’s these couple things that aren’t right, so I’ll highlight them in circle, then I’ll show another code and send it back. In the case where I send them back or in the case where it’s too short, I just fix it and—
[4:31] Brecht: You have a built in QA, period? So, you say it’s got to be here by this time and then I need 24 hours to review it, and then for back-and-forth?
[4:41] Scott: Not formally, that’s been—I mean, it’s back to not have a process, but no. So, really it’s like I work with the developers to put together schedule. I set their deadline knowing that I need a day, day and a half to QA, but there isn’t a re-work time built into the schedule.
[4:58] Brecht: Right, well maybe that’s the thing.
[5:00] Scott: It is, but then a lot of these projects are short turnaround, so I don’t know how to keep adding buffer when it’s like, okay, I need this in four days and we say, yes. Maybe we shouldn’t be saying yes to this project, I mean, that’s another thing, but that’s there, you know, well I want to keep revenue coming in, I don’t know. You know, a part of this, I think I’m learning experiencing too, like I don’t have that gut filter, this is a good project or this is bad project, we should do this, we shouldn’t do this because I know [5:21] the future, and so right now, it’s we’re like learning about that.
[5:25] Brecht: Yeah.
[5:26] Scott: Yeah, let’s hope it work. It’s really busy in a good way.
[5:29] Brecht: If someone says, I need this in four days, you don’t feel like you can say, I’ll have it to you in seven? Is there a big difference in—I mean, what kind of work are we talking about that needs to be in days and not seven days?
[5:43] Scott: It’s usually minor enhancements to some platform we used to deliver. So, we’ll deliver new application to a customer who’s an agency and they’re providing that to their customer as the interface or custom system to modify some project and then they get some feedback like, okay, we want this, we want these five changes and then the agency wants to have a quick turnaround time to make their client happy. So, they usually are coming with—I think they’re also squeezing us sometimes so they—maybe they need seven days, they give us four.
[6:12] Brecht: Yeah, it sounds like a managing expectations issue. [6:16] Scott: I agree, yeah.
[6:18] Brecht: More than anything else.
[6:19] Scott: Hey, thanks for debugging my job, good.
[6:21] Brecht: Isn’t that why we’re here?
[6:22] Scott: It is.
[6:23] Brecht: Isn’t that part of why we do this?
[6:24] Scott: I mean, yeah, I think if we weren’t doing the podcast we’d just check it anyway. [6:28] Brecht: Well, I don’t think I’ll talk to you other than this anymore.
[6:31] Scott: No, and that’s true.
[6:32] Brecht: Except for the sexting, there’s that. But, then other than that pretty much nothing.
[6:37] Scott: No! I mean, it’s a downfall of us not working on an app on the side anymore, we don’t have a regular reason to communicate other than the podcast and—or, other than I like talking you and I think you’re—
[6:47] Brecht: Other than you love me. [6:49] Scott: In a man to man way. [6:50] Brecht: Right!
[6:51] Scott: And it will just go to style.
[6:52] Brecht: Which is anyway, it’s fine.
[6:57] Scott: We’re going sideways here.
[6:58] Brecht: All right, it happens. So, what else we get on here, Scott?
[7:03] Scott: Well, Scott Underwood, one of our listeners—we have an email a bunch of about a bunch of stuff and he sent a link to this blog article that was on Hacker News, I think, and it’s titled like, What I Wish Someone Had Told Me Five Years Ago, and it’s from the Keynotopia guy.
[7:20] Brecht: Yes.
[7:21] Scott: Name’s Amir. And I read it and it was just so awesome because it’s—it talks—to me, this synopsis is infotainment about entrepreneurship or reading or all that stuff is insufficient for learning about entrepreneurship. You really have to get in there and learn on-the-fly because there’s so many aspects to with you starting something. And even guys like Steve Blank, I mean, they’re getting a formula for like, here’s how to—it was a precursor to Lean Startup and he’s got a book called Four Steps to Epiphany, which is about why startups are different than established companies and their whole goal is just to prove a value proposition and once you prove that, then you build a company around it. And, that’s his philosophy, and I think it’s good philosophy. But, that doesn’t teach me, like in the moment like where I’m right now, how do I make a good decision on taking this project or not, and that’s something you have to learn by doing it.
[8:15] Brecht: Yeah, let’s give a little background on the article because, you know, I’ve read it but who knows who else has read this, but he goes on to talk about the years 2007 is just left to Microsoft and like many first time entrepreneurs didn’t know where to start. So, he attended events, meet ups, conferences, mingled in the startup community and then moved to the Bay Area and did even kind of double down on that. It was consuming, blogs, videos and interviews and books and just like consuming all of this stuff with a passion but then kind of stop to look around and realize wasn’t doing anything, wasn’t taking action. I got to tell you, I see this with—in DistressedPro with my subscribers over there, it’s like a curse. It’s like a disease and it definitely—I see that in a startup community, if that’s what we want to call this community or the Bootstrapper community, but people talking about starting a thing, hanging around starting a thing, you know when you go to the—
[9:16] Scott: Repeating like the best practices like, oh, here’s what you should do.
[9:19] Brecht: That they’ve never executed.
[9:20] Scott: Having not done them, right.
[9:22] Brecht: I know, and it’s a curse, it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy for you.
[9:28] Scott: Right, and when I think about this there’s reading about it, you’re hearing from somebody that over the hill like they’re over the hump, they’ve succeeded and looking back—
[9:36] Brecht: Hopefully. [9:37] Scott: Hopefully.
[9:37] Brecht: Unless you’re just regurgitating.
[9:39] Scott: Or they’re just [9:40] stuff there for it, they’re just crap, right. So, but, hopefully you’re reading something, you’re learning or you’re learning, you’re consuming something from someone who was successful. Maybe people have failed it, share their experiences too but unique personal experiences, and what they deduce from this. The thing is they’re telling you from a place that you don’t understand right now, like they’re somewhere else and you’re on this side of the hill and the words they’re saying, I don’t think you’re helpful in getting over the hill, like they’re describing this faraway place is beautiful, wonderful, but it doesn’t fully tell you how to put one foot from the other, just keep going. It’s a different kind of types of information. The only thing—
[10:17] Brecht: That you have to actually put the foot there and see if there’s a ditch— [10:19] Scott: Yes.
[10:20] Brecht: That you fall into and then figure out how to get out of that ditch and put the other foot forward.
[10:24] Scott: Right, and not many people tell that boring story of like they’re not taking another step in this kind of work and I’m thinking there’s—it’s such an integrative slow process that would literally be tedious to tell somebody else because—and I mean, it may not even apply to you because it doesn’t— that was their filter, that was their world and it’s not obviously your world and how you process. There’s something else there. The thing that is valuable though, I think about the infotainment side of relationship is just motivating people to try, to agree that reading the stuff or consuming it gets you out of your corporate drone mindset into trying something, I think that’s good, but if it’s fulfilling your need to think entrepreneur really because you should listen to it for an hour or couple of hours a day, that’s bad.
[11:13] Brecht: Definitely, but there is the other side to it, like you started to mention which is, you know, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away this was like early 90s or whatever where this is just the beginning of the Internet, I wasn’t really looking at that, I was looking at network marketing, Scott, network marketing.
[11:33] Scott: Yes, isn’t that—
[11:33] Brecht: Remember I made this confession earlier on—somebody, you know, I was a target. I was walking around, people are like, hey, you’ve to look at other ways of making money? And, the next thing I know, I’m at a meeting or whatever, and—
[11:46] Scott: Those sales guys and timeshare sales guys are amazing.
[11:50] Brecht: Well, some are and then a lot of them are just hanging around. But, one of the things that they preached at the really big networks they’re books, tapes and association. And, it’s really true that if you are in a place where you’re in this cube-mindset, cubicle type mindset, where you’re not even able to think about that, then it takes a while to get out and put enough in that you can even start to think the right way in order to then go start taking steps but there does come a point where, after
you’ve been to so many conferences, and you’re talking the talk and if you’re not walking the walk it’s time to take action like in—
[12:34] Scott: Yeah, they’ll fall short.
[12:34] Brecht: You need to proceed.
[12:37] Scott: Yeah, because I mean the mindset in the cubicle is so different with the mindset driving the ship and I mean, I don’t think that the priorities I had just six months ago were—and this is after three years of trying to reprogram my mind with books and podcast and I feel those got me thinking differently, and let’s be clear, I’m not a total success story here like there’s no SaaS product—
[13:01] Brecht: You got out of your cube.
[13:02] Scott: I got out of my cube and I feel—and then which has been an amazing— [13:05] Brecht: It’s a step on the path.
[13:06] Scott: Amazing lifestyle change. It’s a step in the path.
[13:08] Brecht: You got profit-sharing?
[13:09] Scott: Yes, everything—I mean, it’s moving in the right direction. So, that’s really exciting. It’s not done yet obviously. I hope it gets a lot better. But, in that—I mean, just six months ago there was stuff my boss was telling me to do that was taking up time and—
[13:28] Brecht: TPS Reports.
[13:30] Scott: Literally, or polishing a stone, all that kind of stuff and you think you have to do that and you see a value in that because the chain of command told you so, and so you obey. And, that will—you fail as an entrepreneur if you think that way. You cannot have a chain of command above you. I don’t think, I mean, you’ve got—you’ve guides, you have associates, you have your support group, the people you talk to, your mastermind, but you’re only—
[14:00] Brecht: But if you’re the entrepreneur, if you’re the one who’s starting the business, if it’s your idea that you’re pursuing then no, I mean definitely not—no, there is no boss. There’s nobody—
[14:11] Scott: No.
[14:11] Brecht: No, I mean, there are days when I would rather not do anything, and you know, but I’ve promised the customers that something is coming in so I’ve got to go do it and it has nothing to do with like when reports are due or any of that stuff. It’s completely different motivation.
[14:31] Scott: Well, the good part of that, it’s totally customer driven. It’s totally driven by where the value is, it’s not driven by this like other thing that is corporate culture and chain of command and large- company processes to manage risk. It’s not that. That stuff probably has value for SAP and IBM and Oracle.
[14:52] Brecht: You want to hate on the Oracle for that?
[14:54] Scott: I don’t hate them, I just don’t know how people survived like you know, I don’t know. That’s a different conversation. That’s a over whiskey conversation.
[15:04] Brecht: Yeah, but it isn’t really though, I mean, we’re talking about all that same thing. We’re talking about folks who are want to do thing, who think they’re doing a thing, but really all they’re doing is they’re just—they’re consuming, you have written down here, infotainment and that’s what they’re doing. And so, I think sometimes it happens, people duped themselves into thinking that that doing that is doing—
[15:28] Scott: Right.
[15:29] Brecht: Something, and like I said, I think you do need a bit of that upfront and then you probably need to maintain a little bit of it just to stay in the know when you need to do that upfront in order to just get your head right so that you’re even thinking like the rest of us think or—I shouldn’t say the rest of us—
[15:47] Scott: The rest of us.
[15:48] Brecht: Like independent business people think, but then at some point you get to shut the fuck up and take some action and do something like no more mixing around like talking about best practices that meet ups and then getting in your box and going to your cubicle and not taking any action on your shit.
[16:09] Scott: Yeah, I mean if you’re in the know right now, we feel like you’re spending more time or if you’re hearing some stuff over and over again or you’re one of the people that knows all the things like you can complete everyone [16:19] when they start talking about independent business, there’s probably time to start going to those things and try to make something of yourself, just come up with a new idea, test it, like just be a contributor, stop being a consumer kind of thing.
[16:32] Brecht: Produce.
[16:33] Scott: I think it’s hard but I think it’s even worth shutting off the pod—like if you feel like that show the podcast, show it to me that—
[16:38] Brecht: Not this one obviously, but other podcast you should go shut off.
[16:40] Scott: And if it gets you past the hump to shot this podcast, then do it.
[16:44] Brecht: Listen to it on double speed, probably. And that’s the thing to do.
[16:47] Scott: Yeah, definitely. Anyway, that really started to [16:49] me and I thought it was a great article, we’ll put a link to it.
[16:52] Brecht: There’s still the value of staying connected. I mean, that’s a lot of the reason why I listen to a lot of the podcast. Now, I’m not really looking for any—which isn’t say that I don’t find them but I’m
not really seeking out new tactics and new strategies. I have like a bundle of those that I’m working hard to execute on and mostly finding new ones is kind of shiny object-ish.
[17:17] Scott: It is, yeah.
[17:19] Brecht: So, there’s that but then there’s also the fact of—all right well, I’ve been—I’m beating my head against the wall and, you know, you’re just grinding all the time and you want to hear some other people what they’re doing while they’re grinding. So, there’s that, but don’t let that—you can’t let that trick you into thinking that you’ve done something.
[17:41] Scott: So, when I was working at LoJack, this is five years ago, I met this guy Andrew and Andrew is—he’s like the most interesting guy in the world. He is ridiculous. So, we’re—
[17:51] Brecht: Like [17:51] guy?
[17:52] Scott: Yeah, except he’s Canadian. So, you know, anyways. So, Andrew, I met him because I was working at LoJack, we’re starting the new partner business with—there was LoJack for finding people. And so, if you don’t know LoJack, LoJack is a stolen vehicle recovery system. You put this box in your car, it’s got a beacon in it that’s tied into the police network and if your car is stolen, you call in the police to activate the beacon, they come and track down and find out who got your car. And it’s been interesting successful. It’s been sort of flat for the last five-eight years and they—
[18:20] Brecht: I’ll get those for my kids.
[18:21] Scott: Yeah, well, they hardly knew—a group that I was part of to revitalize business with new businesses. And so, we’re looking at a bunch of different opportunities. There’s like LoJack for luggage, for lost luggage, there’s is LoJack for pets, there’s LoJack for people, couple of others. And we end up selling on LoJack—
[18:36] Brecht: I was kidding, by the way, I would never install anything in my children.
[18:40] Scott: Well, this—so, we had LoJack for people and there were two markets. There was elderly with Alzheimer’s—
[18:46] Brecht: Well, they should be chipped. You should chip the elderly.
[18:50] Scott: Or other dementia and then there were kids with autism or other mental issues that cause them to wander and get in danger and—because, yeah, you know, like I don’t want to put a bracelet on my kid but if your kid wakes up at midnight because it’s fun like quiet and peaceful and they’re not stressed out and they want to go explore the forest because it’s neat and interesting and they’re going to break out of their window and go do it.
[19:16] Brecht: Yeah, you’d want to know about that.
[19:17] Scott: You want to know about it. So, let’s talk about their business some other time. It was really interesting. Anyways, back to Andrew. So, we bought this company up in Canada. There was doing tracking devices for animals for like wildlife and they did all kind of tracking devices. They had tracking devices for snakes, for fish, they have tracking devices for moose, they had tracking devices for
wolverines and what was crazy is those pose such different design challenges to the company, so like a tracking device for a snake where are you going to put it, and for wolverine it’s the most vicious animal propound on the planet, they rip anything off the body. And so, they make this Kevlar neck thing. They showed us a video, the wolverine worked on it for lie 18 hours to get it off and then finally fell asleep and gave up, like it was crazy. Anyways, so the guy that’s the brain designing on the stuff, his name’s Andrew. Andrew has a background in engineering physics, which is like, really hard-core why everything works at the atomic level up. He is also a sculptor. He spent three years sculpting. He also spent six years sailing from British Columbia to New Zealand and back and along the way he stopped at this island because, you know, he could and the local tribe had—there was a radio calling that went out and said, hey, our electrocardiogram’s broken, anybody know how to fix it? So, Andrew knows how to fix it, he can fucking fix anything. He goes to shore, he fix the electrocardiogram, they end up inducting into the tribe with this like ritual ceremony with the teenage boys—
[20:49] Brecht: I want to be inducted into a tribe.
[20:51] Scott: Teenage boys chewing on these nuts, getting into a bowl, how their crazy psychedelic— anyways, he’s—crazy shit happens to Andrew, because he’s just open to it. So, when I was leaving LoJack, I was leaving LoJack to go to this company called Acme Packet, and the whole time I’ve been talking to him, he been—he’s always wanted to do his own thing and to start something, and he can freaking invent anything. So, I was like, well, what’s holding you back? And here’s a bunch of ideas he’s working on. And so, when I left LoJack to go to Acme Packet, he’s like, oh, that’s interesting. I’m like, oh no, it’s great to me, it’s a growing company like, can you tell the stock options, it’s so exciting and he’s like, yeah, but you’re just going to learn more big company stock, like you’re not going to learn what you’ve been talking about for the last two years which is how to start a company. You’re just going to go be a cock. It totally took the wind out of that sales and you could see it, he’s like, I mean A for Excited, sounds like good opportunity, blah, blah. I could tell he was really disappointed, and I think for a good reason, like it was—because it’s not where I wanted to go and actually it’s a long story. I guess the point is—
[21:53] Brecht: That’s all right, we’re feeling your hindsight.
[21:56] Scott: If your step is to go independent, there is no job—there’s almost no job you can take from anybody else that’s going to teach you how to do that. The only difference if you go work for an independent businessperson as a mentor, as a mentorship relationship. I don’t know, all right. Tell you one off the thing there. Anyway, I got tons of stories about Andrew and we should bring this, I mean, we’ll have section about crazy stories from Andrew.
[22:19] Brecht: All right, yeah, I think you’re right though. You have to action, if you just keep jumping from job to job and you’re not working on putting something out there, that is—for the expressed purpose of growing your business and or starting your business then you’re just kind of playing pretend.
[22:38] Scott: Yeah, and you’re pretending and that’s why you want to do that’s fine and that’s great and we love you as listener and I’m sure everybody else does too. But, man! Change your life, do it!
[22:50] Brecht: Do it—you just went down?
[22:51] Scott: It’s done, yeah. Hey, so I heard about your new house.
[22:58] Brecht: Yeah, I guess so. I got a gigantic van this week. So, if you heard the last episode, here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to put the entire family into a van, we’re going to leave this house that we’d been renting for the last couple of years and then we’re heading off into America without another home exactly and we’re not homeless and we’re not broke—
[23:29] Scott: Work as snail, you’re bringing your home with you.
[23:31] Brecht: I’m bringing my home with me, but we’re going to go travel for a little bit and so—and we’re going to road school and whatnot. Right now, this is all—it’s all coming together, it’s a plan, it’s fairly defined. We’re taking action on it about the van, but—
[23:49] Scott: By the way, that picture of you and the sales guy, he is psyched.
[23:55] Brecht: Yeah, totally. He’s a new guy, he’s track is like, there’s a rusty beat down thing, I wouldn’t even wonder how it even got on the road. He’s there selling cars, I’m like, how long you been doing this? And obviously, not long enough to afford a decent car, and but what a great interaction that was with him. I went in there and he’s—they’ve obviously been doing some sales training. So, we got down to negotiation. They’re one of these shops where they are like, the price is the price there’s no negotiation on the price, we priced them low, check it, you can see it’s at the bottom end of the Blue Book. And so, then of course, what they want to do is they want to work you on your trade, right.
[24:35] Scott: Sure.
[24:36] Brecht: So, that’s where the money is. So, it was great. We sat down— [24:43] Scott: One of those weirdo that enjoys the car precious process.
[24:47] Brecht: Well, I’ve been negotiating for a long time and so it was—there’s nothing this kid’s going to throw at me that like we haven’t done before or whatever. So, it was awesome. They came out with a stupid number they’re like $5000 and they put the thing down and this is—
[25:09] Scott: [25:08] put in front of you.
[25:10] Brecht: Yeah, put down piece paper with $5000 on it. I was like, I just kind of laughed at it, I was like, dude, we’re not even talking in the same ballpark. And, we had decided that—we had decided in advance that we’d let it go for 85, right. So, 92 is kind of—92 – 95 would kind of—this is a 2006, well- maintained Honda—what the fuck was it?
[25:38] Scott: Pilot?
[25:39] Brecht: Pilot, yeah, with high miles, over hundred thousand miles on it. So, anyway, so we sit down there and we come through and he gives the 5000, I’m like, no, dude, that’s not going to working and he’s like, well do you have another number that will work? And I was like, not that one. And so, he didn’t know what to do with this. So, he goes back and forth. And I had already told him when I first came in, I was like, Blue Book on this thing’s like 9, and that’s kind of where we were at. So anyway, back and forth, he pulls out the—we’ve talked about Sandler on here before.
[26:15] Scott: Yeah.
[26:16] Brecht: So, in the Sandler sales system basically you wait for the other person to give you number and then when they give you a number you just go—and you look like that doesn’t make any sense. So, when he was like, wow! What is the number? And I was like, it’s nine. That’s what he did to me and so I immediately call them out on it. I’ve been listening to Pitch Anything, Oren Klaff, and so one of things that he talks about is like framing and taking control of the frame and this kind of thing. And so, I just smiled and I laughed at him and I was like that’s the Sandler sales system and he was like—says nothing, he turns beet red and he’s like, oh! Let me go talk to my manager. Gets up, comes back, they’d moved up to like—I forget what they moved up to and then I was like, no, dude! And he’s like, well, isn’t there a number you can give me? I’m like, I already gave it to you, it’s nine. They come back and 8000 and I was like, I said, I’m sorry, it’s just—it’s not going to work. We leave. So, we just walked out, I get in the car—as I’m going to get in the car, manager comes out and he’s like, you know, maybe we could do 82. So, now I’m only $300 off the number that I’d—I was like, no, I don’t think so. Anyway, drove away. I ended up calling back, took the thing at 82 and wrapped it up. It was a fun experience. I highly recommend that if you’re going to buy a car, just go balls to the wall. You got nothing to lose, they want you—in there for—at the end of it’s like, for $300 what am I going to do? I’m going to work selling this thing on Craigslist, I’m going to wait a couple of weeks, I’m going to pay the listed places 300 bucks we’ll let it go, but anyway, negotiating is fun. Do it aggressively. So, I did that. So, it’s a gigantic thing, we’re taking seats out of it, putting racks on the top where we’re going to tow things we can drive around the country. To that end, if you’re listening to this and you live in the country, and you think we ought to come to your place, to your town—if you got a taxi—
[28:20] Scott: Sleep in your house.
[28:21] Brecht: In there—yeah, we’re going to come, we’re going to poop on your toilets, you’ll feed us dinner. You know, maybe we’ll take one of your pets. Yeah, definitely.
[28:32] Scott: We’re just going to be out of your town, whatever.
[28:34] Brecht: Forget all that stuff that I just said, but if you get a cool town and you get a little bit of a taxi in there and or a mountain bike scene, I’d love to hear from you and tell me where it is and we’ll put on the schedule. We’re putting together map now and we’re over nomadicbrood.com for this particular trip where we’re going to document that thing, but I really would love to hear from listeners if—I’ve already heard from a few people, San Diego, Chattanooga, Birmingham, Virginia, few different places like that. So, I would love to hear from folks. The plan right now is to head South and then West and then North, at some point we may find that is not working, in which case, we’ll shut it down, but right now we want to make like a full circuit up California and then do it for a long time. So, that is the current plan with that, so to that end, what I really been working on lately is I’m going to call it automitating. So, I’m going to ask a lot. I’m asking a lot of the business and of the family and all of that and there’s going to be some travel involved. So, what I’m really trying do now is get my docs in a row, which I should have been doing this anyway, I don’t know why—
[29:55] Scott: You need a forcing function, otherwise you’ll just get [29:57]. God! I can manage it, I’m good.
[29:59] Brecht: Yeah, exactly. And so, I find myself like I am definitely just kind of working still during the day. I don’t know why I’m doing this, but so what I’ve started to do is peel off certain parts so that I’m
not doing this anymore. So, one of those things, for example, this week I’ve automated our—right now, I do two podcasts. We do this and then I do the distressedpro.com one. Man! That Zapier, Zapier?
[30:26] Scott: Yeah.
[30:27] Brecht: So good, dude.
[30:28] Scott: So, tell me what you’re doing because I have been spending the last year and half—an hour and a half editing, cleaning stuff up—
[30:35] Brecht: Yes.
[30:36] Scott: Processing, posting. I don’t want to do it anymore.
[30:38] Brecht: I’m doing a few different things but I’ll talk about this one recipe, which is where I’ve hired an assistant. So, we talked about that and he’s doing an excellent job. As it turns out he also makes music on the side so he’s got audio software and those kind of stuff. And so, I set up a thing where you and I are going to get off this call, I’m going to click finish on the recorder, it’ll—the file will automatically be saved into a Dropbox folder that will create an email that will be sent from my Gmail to Anthony to let him know to put the thing together, to put the intro and outro on it. Then he’s going to drop it into the completed folder on the Dropbox that will automatically upload it to EC2 and it will also email a request for a transcript to our transcriptionist, when the transcriptionist replies with the transcript that transcript will automatically be parsed from the email and also upload it to EC2, yes.
[31:48] Scott: Wow!
[31:48] Brecht: So, what should happen here is we should be—and I’ve run a test or two on this, we should finish this up today, I’ll click finish and then in a day or two everything will just be on the cloud, we’ll have to write up show notes and click publish, and that is all.
[32:05] Scott: That sounds amazing. I should just give you stuff to do that I don’t want to do and then you’ll automate it.
[32:07] Brecht: We don’t work together anymore, that’s the thing.
[32:16] Scott: Yeah, I know. That’s the [32:17] the show, though. It makes me think that I need a forcing function to change my behavior at work like, what is—and someone should ask what if I could work three hours a day.
[32:25] Brecht: Yeah, exactly. What would you automate if you could only work three hours a day? Or what would you cram that down into?
[32:35] Scott: Holy crap! I don’t know.
[32:39] Brecht: See what I want to be able to do, because the podcast thing is one of my main sources of content and I want to be able to just have that conversation and fucking be done. Why do I have to do the other stuff?
[32:49] Scott: You don’t and it’s not high value stuff. It’s—you write in the doc, here’s how you do it and so that does it. All right, this changes everything, maybe.
[33:00] Brecht: What are you going to automate?
[33:01] Scott: No, I just think it like—so, one of the developer that I was—that actually one of the guys I used to work with, Fernando, you do worked with, he’s great. He’s a fantastic developer.
[33:09] Brecht: Yeah.
[33:09] Scott: And our processes is really efficient right now, like I write up an issue on Bitbucket, on the codebase, he takes it off, he email me those questions or I include a screen cast of what’s happening or what I want different. He takes that, he creates a branch, fixes it, sends a question to Bitbucket. I check out that branch, how it works, I hit approve, he merges it and we’re done. It’s really efficient.
[33:36] Brecht: That’s wonderful. But, what more would you ask from that?
[33:38] Scott: Well, I don’t know why I don’t do that with everyone I work with.
[33:40] Brecht: You should do that with everyone you work with.
[33:42] Scott: And it also—it gives a filter of like, if they’re not able to do that, I don’t think I want to work with them. So, this is good.
[33:49] Brecht: Or maybe that’s not been their standard of practice, you like everything else they do, you need to train them how to do that.
[33:56] Scott: That’s the case of three or four of my guys definitely.
[33:58] Brecht: That’s one of the things that I had been really rigid about when I was hiring people before, if they didn’t know how to do stuff it was just kind of very frustrating to me. I didn’t spend the time with them and it’s not what I’m doing anymore, now if somebody doesn’t know what they’re doing then I’m going to show them how to do it and if it’s not executed well repeatedly then obviously we’re going to shut that down, but it’s not a won and done, I can’t—because you go through too many people that way. You need to find good people who are trainable.
[34:28] Scott: Yes, trainable and execute well. If you’re going to find that, they’ll do anything if they’re willing to, if they want to do that kind of work they’ll do anything, it’s great.
[34:36] Brecht: Yeah.
[34:36] Scott: That’s actually what you’re trying to hire for. This show’s great. I’m learning so much. [34:43] Brecht: I added an about page. Well, let’s—next topic.
[34:46] Scott: Yeah, there is, so I heard this on Twitter. I feel very much like [34:49].
[34:51] Brecht: Yes, ha-ha-ha.
[34:53] Scott: So, tell me about your conversation with Matt Ward. Ha-ha-ha! I think that’s Tweeting that crap.
[34:58] Brecht: Well, here’s the thing. So, Matt Ward—what’s the name of this podcast over there?
[35:02] Scott: I think it’s Business and Bootstrapping?
[35:04] Brecht: Business and Bootstrapping. He’s looking to do about pages for folks, and so a long time ago I had taken the about page out of my main navigation. I think at the time it was probably a shitty about page—
[35:19] Scott: Well, actually I remember you saying, if you want to focus there’s only one place where they can click.
[35:23] Brecht: Yeah, I don’t remember if I tested it, but I just took it out. I think I probably did test it and maybe it was a crappy about page. Anyway, I read his about page sales letter because he’ll do your about page for you and I read that and I thought, maybe I should have a link to my about page up there. So, I ran a little test. Now, there’s some discussion on Facebook in his private group in there because I posted my results there and the fact is that I did call it a little bit early. However, the results so far are statistically significant. I’ve got a P value on it of .02, which .01 to .05 is considered—if you don’t know what a P value, I think we talked about this, the P test in like, I don’t know episode, but you can go and search it.
[36:10] Scott: 30-something.
[36:12] Brecht: Yes, but it’s a way to determine whether or not your test is a way to determine whether or not your TS is significantly depressive or you significant—
[36:22] Scott: Significant.
[36:23] Brecht: Yes, statistically significant. And so, anyway, biggest improvement I’ve had on my sales out of any test that I’ve done and so we’ll see if that maintains but basically—and I know you’re not supposed to trust the optimize when they call your test, when they say whether or not you want, I know you’re not suppose to just go for that but I did independently also validate this through a separate P value, and I think I don’t have enough time in my life to see all of these tests through to six weeks or a month or two months. Anyway, it was almost double. It was like and 90-95%, 90 to 90—I think it’s 93% improvement by having a good about page up there at a 98% or 95%, what the hell do you call that, Scott?
[37:18] Scott: Confidence level?
[37:18] Brecht: Confidence level, thank you very much. And so, probably everybody else in the planet has an about page. So, I didn’t teach you anything right there at all.
[37:29] Scott: Just so there’s value on the about page, and now it’d be interesting to test what to changes in your about page due to the conversion rate. I mean, that will be interesting to check out.
[37:37] Brecht: Well, I did a couple things too. Before it’s just me on there and a team, and it was like kind of like a lot of we speak saying, we this and we that and then I read through it and I must have written the thing years ago when I was a complete asshole as oppose to just like half and ass now, and I read through I was like just kind of schlock. And so, I went through—
[37:57] Scott: Like I don’t believe this. I don’t trust this.
[37:59] Brecht: But I went through and I changed all the I’s and we’s to you’s and that kind of that. And then I also added a couple of advisors that I have on there, Ruben Gamez has been an advisor to me over the last year and so I’ve put him up there and I’ve put Pat Blount, who’s an advisor on the data side, on the actual—the stuff that we’re doing with the bank side, and so there’s just kind of more weight, more meat there, stuff that makes more sense instead of just me saying I’ve got a distributed team and we do this and we do that, which was all kind of silly stuff. So anyway, that was kind of a win, evaluate your about page. What else am I doing? I’ve been moving to 4.0 to my 4.0 version. I’ve been on this 3.0 version for now the last two years.
[38:49] Scott: This is for Distressed Pro?
[38:50] Brecht: This is Distressed Pro.
[38:53] Scott: So, for 4.0 you’ve done this for a while but it sounds like you redesigned the entire UI.
[38:59] Brecht: I’ve redesigned the entire UI, added some features that I determine I needed based on some feedback that that I’d had from some folks and what also goes along with that is, I have this legacy membership system that’s been kind of hanging around in there for a while and it’s no longer the version that I’m using, isn’t even being updated anymore. I mean it’s old, it’s bad, I’ve got four different things all pasted together, so the transaction goes through Infusionsoft, this tells the membership system that tells WordPress to plugs—it’s like, ugh! It’s the worst. I didn’t know anything when I started this at all.
[39:38] Scott: Whatever! It works. It got to go. [39:39] Brecht: It worked the last five years. [39:41] Scott: [39:41] instead, yeah.
[39:42] Brecht: Finally, I’m actually in the midst of that migration this week and I’m raising my prices a lot. I’m raising my prices more than 4X for the current level. So, there’s going to be three levels and I’m using that information that we learn from Delk over at Gumroad with the 1X, 2.2X, 5X pricing. So, I’m going to be at—and I’ve got quarterly and annual pricing. I’m not doing monthly pricing. If you’re looking for a monthly price on the kind of data that I have, you’re not really in the business because you can’t do anything in 30 days with this shit. I mean, it just doesn’t work that way. So, I’m doing quarterly and annual pricing and that’s going to range from—I think at my top end, I’m looking at $1000 a quarter. So, it’s significantly more, so $4000 a year. So, it’s significantly more than I’ve been charging thus far, and so all of this and more we’ll report on—of course, I’m doing all these while I’m trying to move my family into a van, drive them across country. So, it may as well just shake everything up at once.
[40:51] Scott: That’s awesome. I think you should have that blog, this column van down by the river, where you’re just going to talk about—
[40:59] Brecht: I think I have another that’s called nomadicbrood.com.
[41:03] Scott: We’ll put a link in the notes. You have a mailing list there trying to build some—
[41:07] Brecht: Well, here’s the thing. I’ve had—already this guy know around here who owns a pet goods manufacturing company and we’re bringing our pet and he wants to sponsor us. He’s—you know, will you talk about some of the places you go with the dog and challenges with the dog with this, you know, our stuff and this kind of thing. So, I don’t have a number from him yet but they’ve put together a full proposal.
[41:32] Scott: Wow!
[41:33] Brecht: And sent it over and asked if they can sponsor us.
[41:36] Scott: That’s awesome! Cool!
[41:37] Brecht: Yeah, so we’re looking at what that’s going to cost but then we’re thinking maybe we could get some more sponsors.
[41:45] Scott: Hell yeah!
[41:47] Brecht: Yeah.
[41:47] Scott: Plus your new van, I mean—
[41:49] Brecht: Well, yeah, I’ll reserve some space on the van, it’s a big white van, there’s plenty of room.
[41:55] Scott: [41:55] to your door every morning.
[41:57] Brecht: No, I wouldn’t want that we actually like and use and feel good about proving. Yes, we
need a bullet bourbon rye sticker on the van. [42:07] Scott: That’s awesome, great!
[42:09] Brecht: I feel like I’ve been yapping on for an hour, Scott. Do I need to keep talking or are we done?
[42:12] Scott: Please don’t. I just got some stuff to talk about. So, some stuff that’s been helping you learn and you get better and things, so this is—for a Ruby on Rail there is RailsCasts, and it’s been kind of dormant for the past year or so. Ryan Bates is the host there. I think he’s still taking a break. Anyways, the contents there’s freaking amazing and that’s really how I learned a lot of the Rail stuff that I was using to build [42:36] with you. And, there’s a parallel project called Laracasts, which is all about Laravel, which is a PHP framework we’re using a lot at the Blackfin, and it’s fantastic. So, I mean, you probably already know about it if you’re on the PHP world but it’s great content, it’s nine bucks a month, there’s
all you can eat. I’m watching it before I go to sleep at night just learning up some stuff and—learning up, good shop. I’ve a link education—
[43:01] Brecht: Learn it up.
[43:02] Scott: Learn it up, like great, great stuff. So, check that out. Another thing I’ve been picking up, I was listen to TechZing and—
[43:12] Brecht: You know, I thought they were going off the air.
[43:15] Scott: They don’t know! They’re not going off the air, they’re just trying to figure out to schedule—sounds like Jason was really, really busy. Actually, I want to talk about that. I don’t know how that guy manages all those projects at the same time and gets them done. And, like he’s—
[43:28] Brecht: We should have him on the show, you can talk about it.
[43:31] Scott: We have to have him on the show because I need to learn how to get better. I mean, anyways, that’s so—
[43:37] Brecht: Call him up, I have Joanna Wiebe, Copy Hackers on the schedule.
[43:41] Scott: Okay, all right.
[43:42] Brecht: For next week. Why don’t you call him up, let’s go back to our Wednesdays.
[43:46] Scott: Doing that right now. Not right now, 10 minutes. So, I listened to that and he’s talking about how he uses Vagrant, if you don’t know about Vagrant, Vagrant is a virtual host manager for development, makes it very easy to spin up a virtual machine that is just like your production environment. So, wherever you’re coding, it’s just like your production environment, so it should minimize your risk there. It’s super convenient, I love it. I’m using it all the time, it’s going to become a best practice for our entire development teams and what do you think and he know how to do it too work with us. But, it’s been a pain in the ass to manage like how to access the local virtual machine. So, I go on and edit my host file, I create a new domain name then it’s like a customer.dev and that links right to that virtual machine and I can see the application we’re building there. And, there’s three things I’ve been bothering. One is, it’s pain in the ass to manage the host file every time and to create an IP address for this virtual machine because it’s stupid, like what—[44:39], and there’s the solution. So, I put this thing into place Monday, there’s a plug-in for Vagrant called Auto-Network and that will auto-generate your IOAPIC and IP address for your virtual machine when it boots up. It’s aware of all the virtual machines, there’s no overlap. And then there’s another tool called Vagrant Host Manager and that will go rewrite your host file or insert, remove thing for your host file as you bring machines up and down. So, within my Vagrant file I put the hostname as customer.dev, when I Vagrant up that directory it sticks customer.dev in my host file with the IP address that automatically regenerated and it’s just simple. So, it’s cool. Check it out.
[45:23] Brecht: I actually know what you’re talking about this week.
[45:26] Scott: The other thing is driving me nuts and I want some of the—tell me how to do it because I haven’t—we’ll figure it out and we’ll keep trying.
[45:32] Brecht: Oh here, I’ll you, let’s go.
[45:34] Scott: When I provision a new virtual host I wanted to pull my .files from GitHub. So, I have what—
[45:42] Brecht: No, I can’t help you.
[45:43] Scott: Like my coding [45:43]. And I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to make the provisioning script, access GitHub with my SHA private key, it just—I’ve tried 30 things, it hasn’t worked. So, I cannot—I can [45:55] to the thing and then clone from the GitHub when I login, but I want it done for me because I’m high maintenance and so—
[46:03] Brecht: No, you’re automitating.
[46:04] Scott: I’m trying to automitate. Anyways, that’s kind of my stuff.
[46:08] Brecht: Well, that’s good stuff. Now, I can’t help you with that at all, I have no idea but I bet there some listeners—
[46:13] Scott: Some smart guy out there or girl.
[46:14] Brecht: Yeah, or girl, yeah. Definitely.
[46:16] Scott: Granny Young, I’m looking at you, you must know how to do this.
[46:21] Brecht: So I think that’s it, man. Do you got anything else?
[46:26] Scott: No, we’re going to put some other links in the show notes, a picture of your Econoline E3 50, link to picture and thing.
[46:33] Brecht: With a picture of my salesman Brad.
[46:34] Scott: He’s so excited.
[46:36] Brecht: Yeah.
[46:37] Scott: Link to Nomadic Brood, just so you know where to go from there and also Matt Ward’s about page, so.
[46:43] Brecht: Hey, if you like this show, why don’t you give us a review? [46:47] Scott: That’d be great!
[46:48] Brecht: Why don’t you go right now? Don’t wait, go right now to the iTunes interface, fight your way through that. Of course, last few times I’ve gone to do that I found it damn near impossible.
[46:58] Scott: It’s very difficult, but, hey, you know what, let’s pause right now and we’ll start talking again when you’re done. Just kidding. You can put us a [47:05].
[47:06] Brecht: I was going to say thanks for doing that.
[47:08] Scott: Thanks for doing that, all right.
[47:11] Brecht: The other thing you can do is you can you come buy us a beer. We’re probably actually going to spend the money on more productive things like transcripts than on the beer at this point, but nonetheless it’s the thought that counts.
[47:22] Scott: It is and we’ll think about the beer when we get the transcript done. [47:25] Brecht: Join our mailing list, we’ll give you all kinds a secret ship.
[47:28] Scott: That’s secret.
[47:29] Brecht: Totally secret. We’re not going to tell you anymore about that. [47:33] Scott: That’s amazing.
[47:34] Brecht: But if you’re not in there now— [47:37] Scott: You should be.
[47:37] Brecht: You should be. And that’s a fact. [47:39] Scott: All right, man. Good talking to you. [47:41] Brecht: Talk to you next week.
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