This past Saturday, Joel Runyon and I celebrated our first anniversary.
One year ago, with a mission to inspire gut-wrenching adventure and deconstruct extreme sports for the masses, Joel and I launched Nerve Rush to the world. We set out to interview professional athletes, to curate heart-wrenchingly cool content and ultimately, to tackle Red Bull as the #1 extreme sports brand.
Fast forward to this evening, 170 posts later.
Things, I must say, are going swimmingly. Traffic has shot up these last few months, and each week Joel and I are speaking and working with some really cool people. Building Nerve Rush, I’ve taken away business lessons and experiences that will undoubtedly help me in the future.
In an effort to jot down my thoughts more frequently, here we go.
1. Scheduled Communication is Critical
Joel and I live in two different cities, so this was important to hash out early. After talking through our schedules and weekly bandwidth, we decided to speak at least once every two weeks via Skype or phone. Between then, we agreed to use email and our project management HQ to keep pushing projects forward. This continues to work well for us.
At HubSpot, I meet once every two weeks with my current manager for an hour long, one-on-one session. On my last team, I met once a week. In both cases, that frequency of communication worked really well.
I know Kristen and Shannon, founders of Revolution Apparel, as they worked remotely from each other to build their business, made a point to chat with each other at least once per day.
What kind of regular, communication do you have with your co-workers? Scheduled communication is critical to a team’s, a project’s and a company’s long-term success. Particularly when the agenda is clear, but that’s another bag of marbles.
2. Define an Organizational Process
Trello, Basecamp, Evernote, Dropbox — these are a few of the tools that groups can use to collaborate with each other online. Over the last year, I’ve become comfortable with my own personal organizational process, as well as a process that works for Joel and I as a team.
Individually, I use a combination of Dropbox and Gmail tags/filters. As a team, Joel and I use Dropbox and Google Drive. There are a number of other tools that we use, but everything, in some form or fashion, makes it onto Dropbox or Google Drive.
At HubSpot, my manager and I use one single Google Drive doc to track everything I’m working on. Personally, I use Evernote, Google Drive, Gmail and yes, a series of hand-written notes and post-its around the desk.
There is a lot more I’d like to say here, but I defer any additional insights on organization to David Allen’s Getting Things Done. A phenomenal read.
What tools and processes do you use to stay organized?
3. Deconstruct the Vision to Work Smarter, Not Harder
At any given moment, Joel and I have 101 half-brained ideas.
We constantly revisit our 30,000 ft. vision for Nerve Rush and break that down into small, manageable tasks. By writing out these tasks, estimating what it will take to complete them, prioritizing them and relating them back to our vision, Joel and I have learned how to work smarter, not harder.
It’s been tough. We haven’t really pinned down a business model for Nerve Rush. At this point, we could see Nerve Rush manifesting in a lot of different ways.
And I think that’s OK.
We’re ready to pivot when the data starts pointing us in one direction versus another. For now, we’re testing out a series of these small, manageable tasks, each with it’s own micro-vision, to help us better assess our future plans.
I look forward to Nerve Rush’s future milestones, to working with Joel and to sharing these stories and insights with you.
In the meantime, stay adventurous out there.