Sales Engine’s CEO, Craig Wortmann, answers questions about how he gets his work done, day in and day out.
Location: I *mostly* work out of Chicago, as that’s my home and where many of our clients and my students are based. But, as soon as I say that I realize that Starbucks is my real home. I spend a lot of time traveling all over the world and working out of cafes. I love it, as it keeps me on the move!
Current computer: MacBook Air. Best thing ever. Light, reliable, and all you need when everything is in the cloud.
Current mobile device: iPhone 6 Plus. The biggie. Just upgraded to this, because I’m trying to move to only two devices, the Air and the phone (no more iPad). So far so good.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?:
I track a LOT of students and clients, so Evernote for client files and class materials is critical. Love the tagging feature that lets me find anything super fast. Base CRM for tagging and tracking people and sales pipeline. Keynote is my go-to presentation software and it just works and looks beautiful.
What’s your workspace like?: I’ve trained myself to work anywhere, so my workspace just depends on the day. Usually, there’s a large coffee close at hand!
What’s your best time-saving shortcut/lifehack?: It’s so simple and obvious, but my best hack is getting up really early and knocking down email and all of the little daily details that eat up time. It gives me a great start that keeps the meat of my day focused on more important – and bigger – efforts; client work, meeting with students, writing, reading. and networking.
What everyday thing are you better than everyone else?: Getting up early and getting at it. I work out, and then I’m at a cafe working by 6am. That discipline has quite literally changed my life.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?: I hate to admit this, but I still use email as my to-do list. Ugh.
What do you listen to while you work?: Ambient noise mostly, but sometimes a playlist made by my friend Jeremy. He’s eclectic, so it’s got everything and is always changing.
What are you currently reading?:
Everyday: New York Times and BBC news and op-ed pieces.
Evening: Right now, my sister recommended “Dead Wake” about the Lusitania disaster, and it’s a fantastic work of World War I history.
What is your sleep routine like?: I go a few nights with 5 – 6 hours of sleep, and then every 3-4 nights I’ll sleep 8 hours.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?: Get feedback. My old boss (and now close friend) Kevin was the master at giving direct, honest feedback. Initially, I hated it because it highlighted my weaknesses. But what a gift. Getting regular feedback on your performance and getting up early in the day are my two best secrets. They are what success is made of.