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EO 360°, a podcast by Entrepreneurs’ Organization, explores entrepreneurship with a wide perspective, moving beyond business to those insights not often shared by high-profile thought leaders.

Host and serial entrepreneur, Dave Will, leads in-depth interviews, whose featured guests include: Gazelles founder and CEO, Verne Harnish; popular podcast host and founder of Genius Network, Joe Polish; award-winning entrepreneur, Zahra Al-Harazi; and more. Tune into this top podcast made by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.

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Mar 21, 2017

In this episode, Dave shares the mic with Ari Meisel and Nick Sonnenberg. Ari and Nick began with their Less Doing Podcast, now Leverage, which focuses on giving productivity tips. With over 7 years of experience in their respective spaces, Ari and Nick now have a virtual assistance service business that they were able to build overnight. There is no doubt that they provide value to their listeners and clients as their business has grown significantly since their launch. Tune in as Ari and Nick share how they have built their business and why they ascribe to the philosophy that less is more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:33 – Introducing Ari and Nick
  • 00:50 – Ari has launched his virtual assistance service with Nick
  • 01:03 – Ari is the encyclopedia and Nick is the developer and aesthetician
  • 03:06 – Ari developed The 9 Fundamentals of Productivity framework for Less Doing
  • 03:32 – Less Doing is about how to be a more efficient person
  • 03:40 – Optimize, automate, and outsource explained
  • 04:13 – “It’s about coming up with this system so you can focus on the highest value thing for yourself”
  • 05:08 – Ari tells their clients to work on their unique abilities
  • 05:37 – Allowing yourself the time to be bored enables you to remove what you don’t really need to do
    • 06:20 – When you empty that space or allow yourself to be bored for a bit of time, your brain starts to wake up and will find ways to fill that space
    • 06:38 – Some entrepreneurs spend time on unnecessary things without knowing it
  • 07:05 – Ari and Nick don’t usually work on Thursdays
  • 07:30 – Dandapani, a hindu priest and one of Dave’s guests, shares the same philosophy as Ari and Nick
    • 08:14 – Meditation is loving yourself
  • 08:30 – Ari and Nick share the books they’re reading for their 2-person book club
  • 09:05 – Leverage Podcast and Optimize, Automate, Outsource are the main podcasts
    • 09:21 – One is tip-oriented and the other is to get to know more interesting people
  • 09:33 – How did the book Getting Things Done by David Allen incentivized you to create Leverage?
    • 10:00 – The main takeaway from the book is “your brain is for having ideas and not for holding ideas and you have to create a system to enable that”
    • 10:16 – “The key philosophy of getting the things out of your head is an important one”
    • 10:37 – The times are now different from when the book was written book, but the key principle stays relevant
  • 11:41 – Dave’s idea of taking notes off the desk and putting them into Evernote is a huge breakthrough for Dave
  • 12:06 – Monday is “clean off the desk day” for Ari
  • 12:30 – Ari and Nick don’t allow ideas to stay in their heads
  • 13:00 – Dave mentions how unique Ari and Nick’s business is and how they made it overnight
    • 13:42 – It took years of experience to build something overnight
    • 13:53 – There are free tools that Ari and Nick are extensively using
    • 14:57 – Ari and Nick use Trello in a way that it hasn’t been used before
    • 15:41 – Ari and Nick’s new book, Idea to Execution
  • 17:17 – Dave still uses Leverage primarily for his podcast
  • 17:43 – The standard and the less common uses of a VA service
    • 17:51 – The pricing of Leverage’s VA service
  • 20:13 – Ari’s target customers are businesses with 1-10 employees in the field of marketing, manufacturing, and other SMBs
  • 20:50 – Outsource your work to other people to leverage time
  • 21:28 – Ari and Nick are helping individuals and businesses
  • 22:45 – How 2 companies can use Ari’s business differently
  • 23:23 – There are tons of businesses that are doing well, but the teams are stressed out and not utilizing technology to their benefit
  • 23:53 – The legal version of Trello is Clio which is suitable for lawyers
  • 25:00 – How Ari and Nick address the mentalities of people who are too busy to try new things:
    • 26:00 – It is more difficult for someone who is already overwhelmed to take on more
    • 26:12 – Sometimes, things have to get worse before people take action
    • 26:54 – People respond more to a loss
    • 27:00 – Some also have their own way of doing their work processes
  • 28:00 – Ari has helped Dave with Inbox Zero
  • 28:30 – Ari and Nick’s space is in Lowry, Manhattan
  • 28:50 – Ari uses Croissant to find their work spaces and their VAs are remote
  • 29:20 – The future of Leverage is having tens of thousands of clients
  • 29:27 – Leverage is in the process of creating a unique to-do list which will be free to the public
  • 30:05 – Ari and Nick do not believe in business cards
  • 30:50 – Ari and Nick do not have titles but do have a different distribution of work
  • 31:57 – Go to Leverage to learn about the Ari and Nick’s VA service
  • 32:22 – Ari is speaking at Arch Angel Academy and EO Arizona in February
  • 33:04 – Dave closes the podcast

3 Key Points:

  1. Allow yourself to be bored sometimes – your brain will start to wake up and will find ways to fill out the space.
  2. The amount of time that you can save by outsourcing a VA service is worth its price.
  3. Utilize the things around you and be open-minded to try new things – specifically new technologies. 

Resources Mentioned: