Since dropping out of college a year ago, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest people I know and to observe the tools they use daily to succeed as entrepreneurs.
Here is a short list of the top 6 unconventional tools that I use in my own professional life and that you and your team might find valuable.
It’s time to kill email.
It’s a bottomless pit of unaccomplished tasks, wasted time and delayed communication. Sure, you’ll need it still, but the the extent to which your team can eliminate internal emails is the extent to which you can focus on other things.
Voxer is a free voice messaging application that allows users to send messages and listen to them in real time, like a walkie talkie. Every message is stored for 90 days and threads can be opened for different topics like Marketing, Big Picture, Sales, Action Items, etc.
I use it for…
– Internal communication between the Praxis team
– Communication with friends and clients
It makes daily communication faster, easier, quicker, and safer (when driving). Download it, set it up for your team and say goodbye to endless email threads.
Quora is my new all-around favorite. It’s a Q/A and blogging platform that allows users to post questions and get feedback from experts, and more importantly, to develop a reputation for themselves as an expert in a particular field.
I’ve used it to market Praxis, get advice, make connections, learn by teaching others, and fulfill my daily blogging habit when I can’t come up with a topic on my own.
Here are a couple of my answers:
3. The Personal Facebook Status Update
Here’s something: I get all of my business and hire all of my freelancers directly through Facebook.
I’m very public about what I’m doing professionally.
I’ve used Facebook to…
– Sell physical products to existing and new customers
– Showcase my design, video production and digital marketing work in various stages of development
– Generate leads and content downloads
– Network with potential clients and media
– Hire and communicate with freelancers
– Create conversations and get immediate feedback from potential customers
Consider this: Oftentimes the difference between expert and non-expert is simply who shares the message the best and loudest.
So…this is a controversial one. The entrepreneur world is all ablaze with dieting techniques, bio-“hacking,” Paleo, etc.
I don’t disagree, BUT, oftentimes I simply don’t have time or energy to focus on what I’m going to eat.
I’ll get to work and suddenly it’s 1pm and I haven’t eaten anything. OR, I’ll spend so much time cooking and cleaning that I’ve missed valuable time during the day to get things done. OR, I’ll eat junk that fills me up but takes a long term toll on my health.
Soylent offers me a solution.
Taken from Wikipedia:
Soylent is a powdered meal replacement product, advertised as a “staple meal” that its creator says meets all nutritional requirements for an average adult.
It’s quick to make, filling, healthier than the meals I would be eating, and cheap.
5. The Smartphone Notepad
I had a problem for years — I’d come up with a good idea for an article, a company, an opportunity, anything, and I’d go to sleep, switch tasks, and forget about it. I tried writing them down, but I’d always lose the paper and I couldn’t read my handwriting anyway when I managed to find it.
I needed a way to save ideas anywhere, at any time.
Solution? The iPhone notepad.
I have over 2,000 individual notes that range from records of conversations with mentors , quotes, Facebook statuses from people in my network, article ideas and business plans.
All are automatically synced to my Macbook for safe keeping and reference.
6. Photography and Video Production
This is another odd one, I know, but hear his out. I’m NOT a particularly good person at reaching out to others in group situations. I’ve gotten better since my involvement with Praxis, but I know this is a weakness.
The fix? It isn’t to try and be something I’m not, it’s to turn that weakness into an opportunity.
I use photography and video production not only as tools for my business, but as a way to overcome this shortcoming. The guy with the camera always has people around him, and it takes the pressure of me to introduce myself.
I’ve used both mediums to…
– Network with high powered individuals who would normally not give me the time of day
– Make friends in group situations
– Have something interesting to talk about in any professional setting
– Get my foot in the door with clients for new opportunities down the road
Do you have any recommendations? Share them with us and we’ll repost the ones we like.