By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including Anthony Iannarino, Dave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.
Periodically moving forward, we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions. You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m thrilled to feature Steve Benson, CEO and founder of Badger Maps, the #1 sales route planner in the App Store. After receiving his MBA from Stanford, Steve’s career has been in field sales with companies like IBM, Autonomy, and Google – becoming Google Enterprise’s Top Performing Salesperson in the World in 2009. In 2012, Steve started Badger Maps to help today’s outside salespeople be more successful.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Current computers: Lenovo laptop
Current mobile devices: iPhone 7 plus
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Gmail, Linkedin, and of course the Badger Map!
What’s your workspace like? It’s a small table without much on it. I sit with my desk right next to some people that I work with a lot. For years my right hand man literally sat on my left side, close enough to hi-five him.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? The shortcuts in Gmail and on my computer in general. Incorporate a few a day until you hardly ever touch your mouse.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? Listening and putting myself in other people’s shoes. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m better than everyone at this, but I’m pretty good at it and consider it to be a really important skill that I consciously use all the time.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? There are a lot of great to-do list apps out there, but I’ve always been a fan of the personalization and simplicity of a spreadsheet. I put my to-do list in there, and regularly sort my tasks by what’s important, what’s due and highlight things that are important but not urgent. This helps me stay organized and on top of my tasks throughout the day. Especially in the busy times, I don’t forget to get back to important customers or investors.
What do you listen to while at work? I search for ‘studying music’ in Youtube or Pandora. I listen to it with headphones and sometimes with earplugs under the headphones if I’m in a distracting place.
What are you currently reading? Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.
What’s your sleep routine like? Since I work again after having dinner with my wife, I go to bed around 2 am and then sleep until 8.30 am. I sleep with earplugs and an eyemask.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I was ever given was when I did a career day ‘ride along’ with my father’s friend Bill Moran. I was about 13 years old and he was a successful, self-made real estate developer – the most successful man I knew. As we drove around Chicago looking at buildings he owned or was considering purchasing, he advised me to work for myself. He said that even if I made way less money than I made for a big company, what I made would be mine, and if I made a lot of money, that would be mine too. He also told me to never work for a big company. He said that you learn far more working for a small company because your role would be more meaningful in that it would have responsibility over a larger percentage of the company. When I started Badger Maps 20 years later, these thoughts were on my mind, and although I never got to thank him for the advice, it was invaluable to me.
Anything else you want to add? A great productivity tip is to write down every night the most important things you want to accomplish the next day. Then do them before you do anything else. I put this as a recurring calendar entry because then anything I don’t do in a day can automatically roll over to the next day, and it blocks off a period of time for me to focus on those important things.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see Abraham Lincoln answer these questions.
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