Sprinting a Marathon

Colleen and Michele both have a lot going on.

Michele Hansen 0:00
Hey Colleen.

Colleen Schnettler 0:01
Hey, good morning, Michelle.

Michele Hansen 0:02
How are you?

Colleen Schnettler 0:03
I'm doing really well. The heat has broken here. The weather is perfect again. Yay. The stars are aligning. Yay. Yeah,

Michele Hansen 0:11
California has gone back to being perfect. Yes, it has. Denmark is on its way back to being gray the world. The universe is in order. No, I totally butchered that tonight. No, isn't it? Rough day? Okay. You

Colleen Schnettler 0:27
having a rough day? Just I had a lot of music. Yeah, this

Michele Hansen 0:30
is like my sixth meeting today. And that's really, really unusual for me. But I guess with my compressed week now, that just that happens sometimes. But you know, so it is. You haven't meetings?

Colleen Schnettler 0:48
Oh, I this week has felt like sprinting a marathon. It has been like a firehose of meetings and just all kinds of stuff with like, sales meetings. Right. Yeah. So I think I told you last week, I onboarded the first to refine rails customers.

Michele Hansen 1:06
Yeah, yeah. Cuz you you push to prod. Yeah, I

Colleen Schnettler 1:09
did. Whether I should have or not, I did it. It was so good. So exhausting, both exciting, and a little bit demoralizing. It was like all of the all of the field feelings saved. I think as I said last week, this is something I had kind of been dragging my feet on, because it felt like we weren't ready. And we just I just did it. And I'm so happy I did. Because I can already tell that the feedback cycle is going to be so much faster. Because I did to people, people that I don't know them know them, but like, I know them from the internet, they want us to win. These, again, are people who bought the product before it was done. They're both senior Rails developers. And it's really it feels like it's actually accelerating the learning curve so much to have these guys in there. And it's been crazy fun. And I'm super excited.

Michele Hansen 2:10
Yeah, but it is it went well, but not okay. But it was also demoralized.

Colleen Schnettler 2:15
So it's not that it didn't go well, it's, first of all, the integration is still kind of painful. It's like a 12 step process. And that feels like a lot of steps to get someone up and running quickly. And I realized, not having documentation like we have how to get started documentation. But not having documentation. I'm trying to explain to these guys the way it works. And it's a little confusing, because we have our product, then we also shipped some some JavaScript wrappers around our product to help you get up and running quickly. But you can choose not to use those JavaScript wrappers. But my explanation of that I could just tell with no context was not very clear. So it made me realize the importance of prioritizing the documentation. We get in there with I get in there. And you know, it takes couple I mean, you're on a pairing call with someone you don't know where they've bought your product. And you want it to work for hours. hours, oh, multiple hours to get it installed. Yeah. The reason though, it takes so long as one it takes 12 steps. And if everything doesn't go smoothly, like you could have a different version of stimulus. Or you could be using ES build, or you could be using Webpack or whatever. And you're going to run into little pain points at each step. Fortunately, for both of the customers, we were able to get it up and running. But what happened on the very first sales call is the guy's great, he's wonderful. But then he's like, you know, I don't really want it to look like this. I want it to look like this whole other completely different thing. And I was like, I don't know. Yeah, kind of like that. It was like kind of like, Oh, no. And I was like, okay, like, I think what he's talking about is really valid, but I'm concerned, it'll be a big rewrite in terms of what we have to do. But he, again, a senior Rails developer really excited. So that was on Monday, and I invited him to his to our Slack. So we've been chatting on Slack. Today is Thursday, and I just woke up and he just sent me a screenshot because he's in England. So it's his night there. And he got what we have to look like what he wants it to look like, no, like he did all of that work.

Michele Hansen 4:33
You didn't even have to do it.

Colleen Schnettler 4:36
So just the learning of I cannot wait to talk to him. We're gonna be meeting later. But to be like, how exactly like, what did you have to do and where was where were the pain points in that process? And how do we make that better for future people who don't have three days to hack on it? But I guess what I'm trying to say is, it was I'm really glad I shipped because the people who I ship to are really excited just to mess around with it. And they're motivated because they have their own products. And it's been really cool having like people who are motivated with a fresh set of eyes looking at it. Yeah.

Michele Hansen 5:13
Yeah. That sounds awesome. Can I ask you about something else that happened this week? Yes, I should have brought that up at the beginning we actually haven't talked about yet. And I think you know what, I'm going to ask if I do. Go ahead. So Aaron, just got another job. Like another? I guess he was part time a tuple. And now he's got a new full time job. What's going on there? Oh, how you feeling about that?

Colleen Schnettler 5:40
Yes, I kind of wish I had I meant to lead with that. And then I forgot, because I was so excited about this, the screenshot I just got, yes, it is bearing. We totally very believe people have been reaching out to me asking me about that. And the job is a great fit for Aaron. He was part time at tuple. But he was essentially still a full time employee, because he was covering that half time with consulting work. So in what seems to be completely counterintuitive, he's gonna have more time to work on Hammerstone. Now, because he doesn't have to spend time hustling, consulting, oh, so

Michele Hansen 6:15
he was part time a tuple. And then consulting, like not for tuple. But like, for other clients, right? And go have Okay, and

Colleen Schnettler 6:23
he was having to he was building that MySQL course, that was like in his spare time, because he wasn't getting paid for it at the time. And again, just like the hustling to get the consulting clients was kind of a big mental overhead for him. And it was taking up more of his time. So as I said, completely counterintuitive. He counter intuitively, he's actually going to have more time now, for Hammerstone being in a more comfortable, full time, expectation set kind of job. So nothing is actually going to change. Okay, on the Aaron front.

Michele Hansen 6:57
That's actually like a plus, it is a plus. Yes, yeah. And that MySQL course was like a side project for him. And I understand I think he said on Twitter that he's going to be like, they're like acquiring that course, basically. So that's gonna become part of his job. Right.

Colleen Schnettler 7:10
So now he gets paid to build a course he was trying to build on nights and weekends. In addition, in addition to Hammerstone, and everything else he was doing,

Michele Hansen 7:17
where does he get the energy? Dude, like, no one knows, part time job consulting, building a course building a business? Oh, and by the way, has like twins, like,

Colleen Schnettler 7:26
yeah, no idea. You're amazing. And the other thing that I want to say about that is, it has always been our plan for me to spend more time on the business more quickly. I have always been the one who wanted to go full time first. So that was always our plan. We have enough runway that once we get past this October deadline, I should be able to go mostly full time for a couple months, and we'll see where we are. But that was always our plan. So it doesn't really change anything. It's actually a net positive because he'll have more time.

Michele Hansen 7:52
Okay. I mean, I guess that kind of makes sense, right? Like, even just, I mean, it's, uh, our international listeners are not going to get it. But like, you know, from an American perspective, right, your husband's in the military, your health insurance is secured, you've at least got one sort of, quote, unquote, guaranteed income in the family, right? So you've kind of got you've got a little bit of space to go full time sooner because at least those kind of like core stability elements are sort of covered. Versus and I guess I understand from Aaron's perspective, I think his wife is a stay at home. Mom, so that's correct. Yeah. So like, it makes sense that he would be the one who would need to be full time for longer until basically Hammerstone can pay his salary and his health insurance,

Colleen Schnettler 8:38
wealth insurance is a big deal a long way off.

Michele Hansen 8:40
I mean, it took us four or five years to get to that point.

Colleen Schnettler 8:44
Yes, exactly. Health insurance is a big deal. He is the sole income earner in his family. So I think this is having the get, and always a guarantee, because it's a job like nothing's ever guaranteed. Yeah, having the more comfortable setup where health insurance comes with your job, which comes with expectation of a 40 hour work week, which comes with a salary when you're supporting for people is great. Yeah, that's important. It's you know, it's funny, because I was, I was thinking about the concept of unfair advantages in business and things I get annoyed with. And what you said is really, what you just said is interesting, because I listen to a lot of bootstrapper podcasts, and all of them except ours is to men. And I think 90% of these men have wives who stay home with their kids. So they talk about their days, and they talk about how they get up at 5am to work or they work till midnight, or they can work right till seven o'clock, and then they just come downstairs when they're called for dinner. And I get really frustrated because I'm like, I have to cook dinner with my family. Like I have to be done at five so I can go downstairs and cook dinner and sometimes I get I get just kind of annoyed at people who don't seem to appreciate that the reason they're able to brined are getting the flow state or work so hard is because they have a spouse who is doing all of the mental overhead of managing their super happy family and cooking for them and probably doing their laundry and etc, etc. However, and that's all true. Sometimes that is really annoying. But on the other on the flip side of that, my situation is great because I have a spouse who has a full time job with healthcare. So the flip side of that is I do have a lot of freedom and flexibility just in a different way to explore unique career possibilities that we've been talking about my husband getting out of the Navy. And he was like, Well, I can't join a startup. If you're trying to build a startup, because then no one has a guaranteed income. No one has health insurance. So yeah. So anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is, things that had annoyed me in the past still kind of annoy me a little bit, but I have my own unfair advantage. And my unfair advantage is I don't need health care. And I'm more flexible on an income.

Michele Hansen 11:03
Yeah, I mean, I guess, I guess, you know, I think yeah, Matias. And I like, it's always been important to us that we have an equal split at home, which is, is not always the case. Like, it's important to us that like, we're both cooking, we're both cleaning, like, we were both waking up for nighttime feedings when our daughter was a baby, right? Like we're both working on, do co to at night, together, or we're trading off on the weekends like to give each other time on it like that sense of equality and partnership, I guess, is always been really important to us. And yeah, I mean, there's different models of running your family. And I think when you become an entrepreneur, I think it's important, and you're talking about being an entrepreneur, I think it's important to state, those other factors that you have going on in your life, because I'm sure you know, all of these, honestly, all of them are guys with, you know, stay at home wives taking care of everything. I'm, I'm sure they appreciate and love their wives and their wives have chosen that and many fields of vocation and but we just have to sort of state like, okay, what are those, you know, basically privileges that you're working with, that other people like may not be able to replicate. Right? Like, exactly. You know, I certainly can't just work until seven o'clock and then and then show up for dinner. Right. But also, that's just how we've chosen to structure our family as well. Right. And I don't know if it's important, I think yeah, for and to structure. I think the thing about building your own business is you can structure it around what you need. And so if what Aaron needs right now is health insurance and a nine to five and actually, uh, you know, sounds like a pretty supportive, great nine to five that actually lets him do some of his passion projects. Like, the man is so passionate about SQL, God bless him. And like that, like that's what he needs right now. And it's okay that you're not, you know, yeah, let's go out, like, raise $200 million in funding or whatever. And, you know, you wouldn't talk to that, but like, because that's what his life needs right now in your life can actually accommodate? Yeah, that have a little bit of risk at the moment. Yeah,

Colleen Schnettler 13:18
it feels good. I think I think it's gonna be really good. Okay, I just had a thought. Have you ever met Aaron? Yeah. Okay. I wasn't sure if you'd I know you're you guys are speaking at that conference. That's like, Have you ever met

Michele Hansen 13:29
her at a founder retreat together? In DC? You met him in DC? Yeah, like three or four years ago? I think. Okay. Yeah. Cool. Yeah, we're also speaking at a conference together in Belgium. And then I think I'm seeing him again at a conference in November. So I get to meet his wife for the first time, though, in Belgium. So that'll be fun.

Colleen Schnettler 13:47
Yeah, so I agree. I think different people need different things. And to your point, when you're trying to build a business, you have to build that into the life you want and where you are in life. And I think one of the things we've always tried to do with this podcast is be more realistic, right? Like, be like, Okay, we have families and lives and here are the things that we need. And so I think it's good all around.

Michele Hansen 14:10
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. There's there's always things that people have to work around. Yeah, I think I'm getting a little rambley I think I'm a little six meetings. With me, I think, like, I actually did have a very productive day, though. I will say that I might be a little BIT RAMBLY. And scattered and exhausted, though I have just kind of accepted exhausted is just going to be my permanent state of being for the next few months. But we actually did make a lot of progress on the sales tax stuff telling. I don't know you might fall asleep again.

Colleen Schnettler 14:42
I will try very hard not to I have my coffee right here. I'll just start sipping it when you say Nexus,

Michele Hansen 14:47
emergency coffee. Yeah, no, we actually had a really productive day around it. And yeah, just dealing with all these little things around collecting billing or shipping addresses or I'm collecting sales tax exemption certificates. And then we got our registration setup for the states we need to, which is good. There's still some stuff to figure out. But like, like it's moving and like actually like today, you know, so we so we got some changes out that are moving towards that direction for collecting sales tax. And we were also whiteboarding out something else around dealing with failed payments, which is something we talked about a long time ago. Yeah. And yeah, I'm tired and like, thinking about billing just makes my brain hurt and makes me cranky. Because it's both really complicated, really boring, but also, like, super important, and you can't get it wrong, like, so it's very both very high stakes and mentally draining at the same time. Yeah, so it's not fun work. But then I look back, and I'm like, Hey, like, we shipped a bunch of stuff today. And we were like, whiteboarding this thing out that we've been talking about, and annoyed about and whatever, like for months, like we actually like, got on a whiteboard, and like, worked together on something. And oh, I actually enjoy that, even if I didn't necessarily enjoy the subject matter of it. But it's like a relief to like, hey, like, we're finally doing that. And so I think with my schedule, so compressing, we've talked a little bit about how it's easy to just kind of fall into doing the things that are, you know, just in my inbox and sort of screaming at me to write, to have a little bit of like, product time and getting to sketch something out and getting things out. And, you know, not feeling like we're just working on, I guess, operations or like overhead stuff, but actually stuff that really directly touches the customers like, I'm tired, but it feels like things are moving. You know, we're actually we started our sock to audit this week, like this. Oh, that's, that's, that was the big deadline we're driving towards. So that's done. So, I mean, it's not done, but like, it's just like, that's a 90 day thing. So that's kicked off now. And our goal was to complete that by the end of 2022. So we will have that audit complete by the end of 2022. Now, I'm rambling, but um, ya know, it's like, Oh, okay. Things are like things are happening. I'm not just like sort of swatting at the flies that are, you know, buzzing around my head, but actually getting to do some things I've been thinking about for a long time and have wanted to do. That's

Colleen Schnettler 17:25
awesome. That sounds great. Michelle, and over the course of just one week, since I talked to you last, you were like, I don't know, I have all this these thoughts. And now you're on the path to greatness. I love it.

Michele Hansen 17:37
Yeah, I think I just had a lot in my head. Because I was also thinking about, you know, we needed to do a tabletop incident response exercise for sock two. And like, it's like, that was taking up a lot of mental real estate to and, and my brain was just swimming, like, and I think it just kind of, you know, I don't do GTD anymore, you know, the Getting Things Done. Yeah. Which is very, like, it's very useful. It's a very good framework. I don't use it anymore, just because I forgot about it. I guess. I think I like changed laptops, and I just forgot to install Omni focus. And then I just stopped doing it, even though it was working. Like it's just, like, not a good reason. But like that idea that you know, every thought in your head, you either need to do it, delay it, or

Colleen Schnettler 18:24
delegate it. Delegate it.

Michele Hansen 18:25
Yes. I just delegated. That last one was you? But yeah, there's this idea that like, you know, thoughts swimming around in your head, like it's mental clutter, right? Like, I totally agree. Even if it's not, like covered in dust or whatever. Like it's still just, it's like stressful to walk into a house that's messy with, you know, laundry baskets all over the place, to waiting to be put away and dishes to be done. Right. Like, and it's kind of like walking into my head, and it's just full of laundry waiting to be put away.

Colleen Schnettler 18:58
Yeah, no, I totally get that. Yeah. So

Michele Hansen 19:01
yeah, stuff is stuff is happening. And actually, I realized, I think I need to start. I still want when I tend to, like write something or prepare something, I tend to like completely write it in my head before I actually get it down on paper. So if I'm doing a presentation, like I will have the whole thing mapped out in my head before I sit down to do it. Okay, but I think I actually need to force myself to start working on my PowerPoint for not actually a PowerPoint on making slides, but whatever. My slides for the coworker, for Yeah, for Belgium, so I'm doing I'm doing a workshop and I'm doing a talk. Okay. And, you know, I don't want to just give the same talk every time right? And so, I think I actually need to force myself to sit down because it's been, it's been marinating in my head, okay, but with you know, the, the way my brain is going lately, with all the amount of stuff going in, like, inevitably, that piece of meat is like gonna get forgotten about and like rot, you know, so can't marinate for too long. Did I take that analogy too far?

Colleen Schnettler 20:00
A little bit a little bit,

Michele Hansen 20:01
I think. Yeah, so, so I so here's actually I kind of wanted your thoughts on this. So of course, it's going to be on like empathy, customer research, etc, etc, it's going to use my new sort of tagline of before you deploy code, deploy empathy, like people seem to really like that. But I need to talk about what empathy isn't, okay? Because I think people sometimes hear using empathy. And they think like, being nice to people basically. Right? Like, and it's, you can actually be empathetic towards someone and not be kind to them at all right? Like, because empathy is just understanding their process and their perspective and what they're doing and why. And you can use that towards other nefarious ends, you can use that to charge the absolute highest possible price out of them as possible, right, like if you understand your competitive advantage, and they're locked in. A lot of companies are good at this. A lot of good businesses are good at that. They're using empathy, but it's not necessarily being expressed in kindness. And I think I need to do that a little bit. Because I think people tune out sometimes when they hear empathy, and they think it's just about being kind or nice to people. Like I actually, I was think about this the other day, and I wonder your perspective on it. So did you hear about it? Or do you read about that thing? It was on Twitter a while ago about East Coast kind versus West Coast? Nice. No,

Colleen Schnettler 21:30
I have not. Okay.

Michele Hansen 21:31
So it's like somebody tweeted, basically, that like, like, the East Coast is kind, but the West Coast is nice. And so the example is that, for example, let's say you're getting on the subway and Boston or New York or whatever, or you're getting off a plane. And there's a parent in front of you, with a toddler and they're struggling with a stroller in New York, or Boston, people will go over to that person, help them with the stroller, not say anything, like, just help them with it, like get down the stairs or open it up or whatever. There's no expectation of being thanked, maybe you're thanked but like, they're like, you're not, they're not gonna, you're not going to talk about it. It's almost like I'm going to do this thing for you. And it's but and I'm going to be a good person, but we're never going to speak of this ever again. Like it's kind of like aggressively friendly, almost. Versus the end this this is this tweet author's perspective. sure a lot of people agreed with him that, by contrast, in California, someone would look at them and say, Oh, that's really tough, but then not actually do anything to help them. Okay, and so it's like this different. And I don't know how to I'm actually kind of curious whether you have experienced this sort of nice versus kindness thing.

Colleen Schnettler 22:41
I have. I have not, I found my experience to be exactly opposite. But anyway, let's get to the point. Really? Oh, dude, one time I was in the Boston Airport with three little kids. And I must have had five bags I had shown up by myself. And we had to get on the bus to get a rental car. And I'm with my mom. Right? So you have two women, three little kids, we must have had five bags, and you have to get on the rental car shuttle. And literally no one helped us. And we it was like, it was awful. Like we had so much stuff. I mean, we had they were the kids were little this was several years ago, like five or six years ago. No one helped us. I will never forget that. That has never happened to me before. Oh my God, it was awful. Well, there you

Michele Hansen 23:20
have it. Not everything you read on the internet is true. But anyway. So like, for example, I feel like the the example of this is like QuickBooks, right? Like, I know, you're gonna say that and that it's a pain in the butt to switch accounting systems, right? That you've got your accountant in there, your accountant use QuickBooks like to switch over to Xero or anything else is a huge pain in the butt. So you know, they keep raising my prices every year. Yep. Even though the product is exactly the same. And they know that it's annoying enough to switch that I won't do that because they understand my process. Right? Understand my process because they use empathy. Right? And they're not necessarily being nice, right? They're definitely I think nice. Yeah, exactly. And so you can use empathy and not be nice to people. So I'm not necessarily I don't know if I want to like, how does this type of person endorsed that like, the way I make peace with it with QuickBooks is that I own stock and into it their parent company. So it's like fine, if you're going to do this people, you don't honestly you get business. I'm gonna buy stock in you. That's my question for you do the same thing with Roblox. How does this How does this go back to your talk? Like,

Colleen Schnettler 24:27
what what? What are we talking about?

Michele Hansen 24:30
I feel like sometimes when I talk about empathy, people think it's just all about being nice to people. And I get a little bit of like an eye roll almost, for the skeptics in the audience, right? Because there's people who are so excited to hear somebody talking about empathy, like, I cannot discount, you know, to use my own frameworks on this, right? Like, the happy customers of my talks on empathy are so happy that it's being talked about in a tech conference, like there's so yeah, he's talking about it. Somebody's talking about using it in software. And then there's people on those who aren't familiar with it, but are like very open to the idea. But if there's a good amount of the audience that's like, why should I care about this? Yes. And so I feel like that's the like, the here is why you care. Not necessarily, because you're going to use empathy to be nice to people, but because it's going to save you from writing a bunch of code that nobody is ever going to use, because actually, like, you need to understand the problem better. And maybe they didn't explain it to you very well. And so you need to have the resources to use empathy to pull that out of your stakeholders, your clients, your internal customers, your actual customers, whoever those people are. And I think also that too, that the workshop and the talk are going to be more focused on internal customers, stakeholders, clients, because I found that the ones I was at, in June that most developers like unless they're founders, they have no access to customers, maybe sometimes they're put up in front of clients to present a project if they're in a, in a client based environment. But more often than not, they have internal stakeholders that they're working with. Right? And, and but that is just as much of a challenge. If you're, if you're, you know, receiving a list of specs from your product owner, and you're like, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with us, I guess I'll just build this, right? Like, how do you actually figure out from them, because hopefully, they have done the research, or they have access to the research, or they have access to the people who've done the research, to figure out what something needs to be so that because I feel like we've all been in those situations where you want to building something, and then it turns out, it wasn't quite right. And then you have to go back and like redo it. And like, there's just all this wasted time wasted energy, like something was supposed to be shipped six months ago is like still back in development, because something you know, somebody forgot something and like, that just sucks. And I don't want people to have to go through that. And so I think that they can use customer research techniques on internal people or clients so that they don't have to go through that. So I need to I need to rework my my stuff a little bit,

Colleen Schnettler 26:58
I think you need something about not these words, but conceptually like how to use empathy to get what you want. And because you're using empathy, they also get what they want. So everybody wins. Yes.

Michele Hansen 27:10
And it's also an I always feel like this almost feels like a tangent, but it's important. Also using empathy for yourself, right? Like that. Empathy does not mean sacrificing yourself at the altar of other people. Right? It doesn't mean letting them run over you, right? It like you have to have empathy for yourself and recognize, okay, why am I doing what I'm doing? What I'm doing is valid, and this other person is trying to take advantage of me, they're trying to just, you know, they're not being kind to me, and like, it's okay to like, recognize that in yourself and have boundaries, right? We can't talk about empathy without talking about boundaries.

Colleen Schnettler 27:48
Okay, so I'm one of those people that would be I really, you know, that right? Okay. So if I didn't know you, I'd be like, here's a woman talking about empathy. Why, like, who cares? I want my business to be successful, like, so I'm one of those people. So I really think like leaning in a little bit, because then you set boundaries. Now I'm really rolling my eyes, because that's such a buzzword right now. Boundaries, empathy, gag me there. So I'm sure they are. But no, this is good. We're talking

Michele Hansen 28:18
you also naturally have boundaries. So you don't I felt like I think you were you were raised to have boundaries. And that was encouraged. And for a lot of people, it does not come naturally to them. I need to be told that they're allowed to have them.

Colleen Schnettler 28:33
I'm sure that's true. But this is great that we're having this conversation, because I am definitely the person that would be like, whatever this is today, Wheeler

Michele Hansen 28:42
is rolling her eyes at me for the past 18

Colleen Schnettler 28:45
If I did. So I Oh, but that's good. Right. Okay. Yeah. So that's good. So I think but I think when you use this term empathy, you're right. The, especially some people will have read your book, some people won't. But the immediate association is oh, that means I have to be nice to people and let them walk all over me. So I think stories you could tell that that you have to but these kinds of stories, your negotiation, like when you talk about doing enterprise negotiation, you've talked to me privately about how sometimes how those have gone, and how you are able to get such a higher price point for your product, because you negotiate with empathy. Yeah, that's huge. That's what I want to know how do I make money and like how am i How can I be successful? So these lessons you're trying to teach me what is a really practical way. This is going to make me money, save me money. I think your don't write the wrong feature thing you said a little bit ago as a good one, too. So any kind of like case studies you have in your own work where hey, we were going to do this thing? And then we deployed empathy before we deployed code, and then we didn't have to do the thing and we saved $100,000

Michele Hansen 29:55
Yeah, I think it's hard for me to to, it's hard to like parse that out, though, because it's is such a part and parcel of what we do. Yeah, that it's like pretty often where, you know, if we're standing at the whiteboard together, and we're like, oh, should we do this? Should we do that? No, we should do this. No. And here's why. And then like, we're both really like digging our heels in on something. It's like, Wait a minute. If we're not in agreement about this, it means that we don't understand this problem fully enough. And we need to get out and talk to people look at some data, like, really understand this. Yeah. I think that's the only time when we like, consciously sort of quote unquote, deploy it. And I don't know if that's relevant to most situations. It's, it's more like, like using that as part of the process of what is this other person trying to get done? And how does that relate to what I am trying to get done? And how can we find something that helps both of us more? And it's not it? I mean, yeah, I don't want to get too much into negotiation. But right, like, it's not splitting the pie. It's making it better for everybody. Yeah. I mean, because I feel like if the thing so the problem I have with that little tagline of before you deploy code, deploy empathy, it's like preachy, a little bit, and I kind of don't like that. Okay, because it's prescriptive, right? Like, it sounds like a, you know, thought leader fortune cookie. Yes. Which I think is maybe why it does well on Twitter, but also I'm kind of I like cringe at it a little bit myself, but I also like, I feel very conflicted about it. Okay. But yeah, I think, I think there needs to be this like, empathy doesn't, it does not equal, being nice, you should still be nice to oh, that shouldn't be lying to people that should be slight empathy does not empathy, nice equal with an X in the middle, not equal. Nice, okay, that was one of your like, you can still be nice, you can still be kind to people, you can still make a lot of money. Or you could still make, you know, great products or ship good things for your clients or whatever. Use empathy and do it more efficiently. I think that's the point. Yeah. Empathy can can help get you to efficiency. I think that's the slides. Empathy. Yes. Not equal sign. I'm drawing it in the everybody out there walking their dog listening to this, just draw it in the air with me. Okay. Empathy does not equal. Nice. Yeah. But empathy, arrow, increase efficiency, something like that a little like, upwards? chart, the chart thing? Yeah, I think so. Yeah. It's basically it'll save you wasted time and energy and money. And so you've basically been thinking about your your conception of what empathy is, might not be complete.

Colleen Schnettler 32:23
Yes, I like that. I think that's good, because I see that. So now I'm in your audience. That's like, an early slide. And then I'm interested, because in my head, empathy is always that to me, that's the same thing that sympathy means being nice to someone. So I see that and I made it go, Oh, she's going to talk about something else. Okay, let's do it. Yeah, right.

Michele Hansen 32:43
That's you're gonna, you're gonna see a talk about empathy. And you're gonna expect someone to get up there and be like, let's talk.

Colleen Schnettler 32:49
I know. And so you have to understand exactly lies. Exactly. And I have, like, kind of a personal vendetta about women giving the soft skills talks, because at the conferences, the rails comps and the Ruby comps, it feels like women are always giving soft skill talks. And I hate that. So not that I don't like soft skill talks. I love them. I just feel like they kind of fall on gender roles a little bit. So that's why conferences get

Michele Hansen 33:14
their diversity quota of speakers up, which is very nice that they're

Colleen Schnettler 33:18
hated about it. Yeah. But it's like the women are talking about that stuff. And so you talking about empathy to me slots into one of those. So that's why you lead with something strong. Like

Michele Hansen 33:30
it's not about being not about being interested. Yeah. Okay, right. It can't it can't be a, I can't be a female giving a stereotypically female talk, which is a talk on being nice to

Colleen Schnettler 33:41
me. Right. Exactly. That's what I was trying to get. Yeah, exactly. This is gonna be so great. I can't wait to see it. Okay, I'm glad you went from rolling your eyes to totally excited about Yeah, you totally changed my mind and 10 minutes. Well, I've

Michele Hansen 33:53
got 30 minutes to talk about this, and then a three hour workshop. So it's awesome. I got to gotta keep their attention. No, I feel really good about the workshop. Good, too. Like, I just kind of have to rework my scripts a little bit for it, but that's not like I've given so many, like two three hour workshops on this before. Yeah, I've done this. So I feel like that's actually kind of the ideal amount of time for this is basically the length of a meetup. Yeah. So I feel like that will be good. But yeah, actually, I need to get cracking on that. Because that's in like, two I don't say

Colleen Schnettler 34:23
two weeks, then two weeks. We've got like four weeks, which three weeks. So no, it's first week of October. I'm October 6. Yes. So it's coming

Michele Hansen 34:32
up. Yeah. Okay, empathy. Oh,

Colleen Schnettler 34:34
she's not mean you're right. We only have three weeks. Two and a half weeks.

Michele Hansen 34:38
Oh, because you're giving a talk in three weeks to i Have you started that one. Yeah, I

Colleen Schnettler 34:41
have. I've started a so you're so ahead of the game. Like I'm trying to be. I'm trying

Michele Hansen 34:46
to do you know, so in high school, like I told you how I like I sit on an idea until I'm ready to write about it. And I'm better about this than I used to be. But when I was in high school, whenever I had a paper do, I would wake up at 2am The day the paper was due and then write for Seriously

Colleen Schnettler 35:00
for no are you serious? But I would be

Michele Hansen 35:03
the thing is like I would be walking around for like a week in advance like thinking writing a thing in my head. And so by the time I like I needed that like adrenaline rush to be able to actually get down and and push through it and write it. Thankfully, I broke that habit in college because I realized that was just not going to work. Yeah. And I was like, I just can't do that anymore. But now I think I feel like I I haven't fallen too far back into it. Like I usually I always have my slides done before I leave. Yeah, I might revise them on the way but like, I actually I need to, like force myself to be like, Okay, I'm gonna sit down, even though I don't feel ready. Even though this idea is not done marinating. It's not done baked whatever cooking and baking analogies. I'm going to use to get this through. Yeah, right. Like, you don't need to kind of start on it before it feels like quote unquote, like ready in my head. But this was this little workshopping was good. Good. And then maybe I need to share those slides with you next week. Yeah, but yours is going along? Are you just like chipping out away at like, like, you know, one slide a day and

Colleen Schnettler 36:11
not one slide a day. I mean, I think the same thing you were talking about having so many meetings today, I have found as I have more people working for me. And now customers using the product just so many more demands on my time, it's really hard to get like focused, dedicated work. And for my contractors, I do not want to be the blocker for them, right. But we have a product that is such that I have to understand every piece of the product, right? We're not like a big company where I can just say, you go own this thing, and you fix it. And I don't really need to understand what it does. Because of the nature of our product and our business, I have to review every single PR, I have to have full understanding of literally every piece front back end of refined rails, and there's nothing that's great, but managing them and the client and selling the product. And trying to build a talk has been a little crazy this week. I have a hard time finding those like dedicated blockers

Michele Hansen 37:11
to a lot of demands on your time. And plus you didn't have a full week last week either. Because I failed.

Colleen Schnettler 37:15
Harder plays. Yeah, like two days. Yeah. Yeah, I think that's why this week has been crazy, like this week has felt I think I said at the top of the hour, like felt like running a marathon, not a sprint. And I think that's why because I lost two days last week. And you know, I'm doing multiple jobs, which is a thing that I do. But yeah, it's been crazy. So I'm trying to get that dedicated time. So I blocked out, you know, it's usually like Friday afternoons are like a lame time, when most people are not working. I'm like, Alright, now I'm going to spend a couple hours and start thinking this out. But yeah, I mean, it's, it's going well, when I build talks, I like to write them out as I'm thinking about them. So very different from your process. But I have to be in like that creative space to do it. And if people are asking me questions, or I have all this, like background processing of work, then it's hard to get in that creative space.

Michele Hansen 38:07
Yeah. You know, it makes sense that Fridays are your focus work time because like the East Coast has already logged off at that point. I mean, Europe is is offline. Asia is offline. Right? You're the you're the only one left in the virtual office, so to speak.

Colleen Schnettler 38:22
Yeah. Yeah. You know, it's funny, because when we went out of town two weeks ago, I almost we were joking, but only half joking. I almost stayed an extra day at a town just to have complete, I don't know, quiet or alone time. Because getting into creative space, like all of my life responsibilities impede on my ability to do that. Does that make sense? Oh,

Michele Hansen 38:46
my God. Yes. Does it make sense? Like, schedule me to what we're talking about? Right? Like I didn't have like family obligations in life obligations, like, Hell, if I didn't have to, like eat and shower. Like, I could get so much done. Oh, you know, like,

Colleen Schnettler 39:06
so what happens to me is, it's like, Fridays, feel more freeing, but like, I keep a pretty tight schedule, because so it's hard for me like what I would love to do, honestly, to do 8pm Give myself a cup of coffee and be like, I'm just going to work. I'm just gonna, there's no one around. I'm just going to work until I don't want to anymore. But I can't do that. Because if I drink coffee at night, it's going to impact my sleep. I have to get up at 6am so I can hit my 630 workout class. So you know, like it's all these things that cascade even if I skip my 630 workout class, I can't sleep in kids are gonna be up at six anyway. Yeah, I mean, I physically cannot sleep in like it is impossible so then I know if I stay up till midnight or 2am I'm going to be up at 6am Anyway, that is going to ruin my next day. So it's just like

Michele Hansen 39:51
you know, I miss my Mondays like I have language school on on Yes, yeah, and I miss my Monday. because I can get so much done like, like, especially like on, like on a Monday morning, you know, I can just clear out my inbox. And then nothing's gonna come in until at least three o'clock or Yeah, but even then, like Mondays are generally a little bit slower for a lot of companies too. And so they're actually, like, it's just really nice, quiet time and I don't feel stressed to try to get too much done either because I just know it's gonna be a quieter day like, versus what I mean, when I actually sign off at the end of the day. It's like, just when everything is ramping up, and especially I think Friday afternoons are stressful for me because, you know, to what we're talking about time zones, like, California is not logging off until right. Wait, what is what is something plus nine 3am My time, right on Saturday morning. And so like, but I like to just knock things out, you know, on like, I would rather just like knock things out of there easy on the weekend. And so very often Monday is really, really quiet for me. And I have been robbed

Colleen Schnettler 41:05
of that. Yeah.

Michele Hansen 41:08
Man, yeah. If we didn't have like a life to live, we could work so much. Isn't this the this is the like company town dream, right? Where you know, people just work 80 hours a week. It's why Google has like snack bars just thinking about and daycares and daycare, like literally like every single need every life is taken care of so that you can work 80 hours a week? Yeah, we don't because you don't have a life. So

Colleen Schnettler 41:36
I was okay. So on Tuesday, I had a technical call with a friend of mine. I don't actually know him that well. But we're getting to know each other better. And it was a technical acquaintance. And acquaintance now will say friend, okay, but it was interesting. So we're on this call. And on Tuesday, this week, I was particularly amped up, because I had done the onboarding call on Monday, it went good. But it like it was not a slam dunk. Ad like I had all this stuff coming in. And the client has this Friday deadline, like tomorrow, Friday for some stuff that is on my shoulders doesn't matter. There's a lot going on. And I get on this call with this guy. And we're talking technical stuff, and he listens to me vent a little bit. And then I said, I just have to figure out this one thing. And then my stress is gonna dissipate. And he was like, no, he's like, What about his like, yeah, Colleen. But if you get this, so it was one thing with refined rails, there's this thing I'm going to do with refined rails I'm really excited about I'm not, it talks about like, it's 45 minutes in probably no one's listening anymore. But I don't want to talk about it yet. Three things out of rambling today. I don't want to talk about it yet. But I think it's gonna be really, really cool. And really going to help solidify the value prop. And I told him that, but it's a lot of work to get there. And he was like, Yeah, but let's say you do get there. In six months, it's going to be something else it's going to be I need a Phoenix integration, or I need a live wire integration. And he was like, it's not like, you win. And you're done. It's always some it's always some it got me thinking like, again, we don't have time to get into it today. But like, what is winning at life look like?

Michele Hansen 43:10
That's okay, that's a big question. Right? Like,

Colleen Schnettler 43:12
what does it look like? Not have time for that? To win? I mean, to your point, like,

Michele Hansen 43:16
I gotta eat dinner in 10 minutes. We do not

Colleen Schnettler 43:19
ever listen to all these bootstrap podcasts. And whatever. One of these guys who's doing, you know, or you, multimillion dollar business is talking about being stressed. I'm so confused, because I'm like, No, dude, you have already made it. Like, you are not supposed to be stressed anymore. It's supposed to be done. Yeah.

Michele Hansen 43:39
I mean, there's but that's, that's a, it's a lie, I get it all spurs. Yeah, it's not a lie. It's just a false perception that like, when you get to whatever point whatever that is, you will be happy or you will not be stressed. Like, I think if you keep pushing off, lack of stress, or happiness, or fulfillment, or whatever that is, until you achieve some future point, you are never going to be happy, you are never going to be without stress, right? Like I remember somebody saying this about parenting that's like, you know, you figure out the things. Now, you will solve those, but then there will be new problems, like, you know, when they're eight months old, you have to like, get them to, like, eat real food, right? And you will eventually solve that problem. But then four months later, like, they you know, and but then your problem is like, you have to carry them everywhere. For months later, they learn to walk, but then it's like, Oh, crap, like, now they're walking into stuff. And I have to like, keep them from, you know, killing themselves, right? Like, and you solve that problem of them knowing how to walk and then it's just like, there's always a new problem to solve after you have solved the current problem. And I think is what we were talking about a couple of weeks ago about the job of an entrepreneur, the job of the entrepreneur is to solve those new problems as they come up and Do you have to enjoy those problems? Right? Like if like, if you don't enjoy the fact that you've solved this one problem, and then you're on to the next one, then it's it's, you know, not the right job. Right. But like if you if you if you get satisfaction about it, right, like, I don't know if I quoted Miley Cyrus last time, but I'm going

Colleen Schnettler 45:19
but now I want to know you're gonna say

Michele Hansen 45:22
go ahead. It's not that I have dropped jumping off a plane at LAX with dreams in my car again because I did that when I went to visit you in the spring? No, it's It's the climb.

Colleen Schnettler 45:33
Oh, yeah, I

Michele Hansen 45:34
it's always gonna be another mountain, you're gonna want to make it move. Right? Like there's always going to be some other challenge. there's never gonna be a point when you're not stressed. I mean, I think yeah, I mean, there's sure you shouldn't be like pulling your eyeballs out, right? Like, I think I'm stressed right now not because of work. It's actually because of other stresses I have on my life like that, you know, actually, given my weird situation like I like, basically, legally could not work part time, even if I could stretch, right? Even if you could structure the business that way. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, and then you always have the option of like, walking away, which I guess you don't really have that option with, you know, parenting, right. I mean, I guess you do, but like, let's not talk about that. You know, it's, you can you can sell like I think about you know, like wild vet, you know, selling there. There are two key products to Active Campaign a couple months ago. And they were like, we just we haven't had a proper vacation, a proper break and you know, 20 years, and we need time to step away. Like, you always have that option. Yeah, once you stop enjoying the the problems and the new stresses. Yeah,

Colleen Schnettler 46:42
I tend to think that I agree with you, wholeheartedly. And again, I'll wrap this up quickly. But um, you have to enjoy the adventure because your life this is our life. Right? Right now we're living it. But also I expect that people who like to do this, like they do it over and over. I expect to see Natalie and Chris. I think their names are from wild. But again, like I expect them to start another business after they've taken like a year off. Because I mean, love that one thing from Summit. Yeah, right.

Michele Hansen 47:09
We love this business before that. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Like this is you enjoy like that, that challenge of the work. I mean, I feel like the theme of this episode probably should be the title of you know, sprinting a marathon, right. I think we both kind of feel like that right now. Yeah. And that's not sustainable. And anybody who has run a marathon, which is not me, but my dad runs them. Your husband runs them, I think,

Colleen Schnettler 47:34
yeah, I've run a marathon. 2006 was a long time ago. Really? Yeah. Wow. Right. Okay,

Michele Hansen 47:39
so you've actually run a marathon? So you can tell me that you do not sprint on there. You do not. It's not a thing. Like there is there is gonna be you know, peaks and valleys. There's gonna be a Heartbreak Hill. You'll get over it, you know.

Colleen Schnettler 47:53
All right, climb. I can't believe you quoted Miley Cyrus. It's so ridiculous.

Michele Hansen 47:57
She's probably on my draft playlist. And my own playlists say she's

Colleen Schnettler 48:01
probably like a proper adult now.

Michele Hansen 48:05
That's a Wikipedia rabbit hole.

Colleen Schnettler 48:06
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Creators and Guests

Colleen Schnettler
Colleen Schnettler
Co-Founder of Refine, Founder of Simple File Upload
Michele Hansen
Michele Hansen
Co-Founder of Geocodio & Author of Deploy Empathy
Cory Stine
Cory Stine
Audio Editor
2022, Software Social