Job title: CEO
What keeps you busy all day? Juggling priorities, fighting fires, and prevention against future fires. The first part is a chess game, the second a run across a tightrope, and the last is on-going mentoring and learning – applying everything I’ve experienced over the last 17 years in the business. I love the diversity.
What keeps you awake at night? I sleep well — not long — but well. I will have challenges sleeping when there is a problem with a team member. That type of issue keeps me up, not business issues.
Describe your working day: I am usually up at 5 or 6am, in the office or meetings by 7am. My day is full of meetings. Too many likely, but communication is the way we work together, so the focus is making sure the meetings accomplish their goals.
Most of my meetings are mixed between in person and on the phone, because we are an international company. The phone is frustrating, but better than only being connected via email.
The meetings are of various topics. Today for example, I had a business unit leader meeting, then a 1:1 with on of our HR team members, who is running three new programs for us, then a talk with my assistant to organize my schedule. Next was a 2-hour sales pipeline review. Now I’m answering this inquiry. I have customer, PR and partner calls next.
The working day lasts until 8 or 9pm. Then I run, eat, sleep, and repeat.
What’s your busiest time of day? 3pm to 7pm CET due to the overlapping business times between European, GMT, and American time zones.
What brands/accounts have you worked on? I work on all of our largest accounts. A brand-name sampling of these are Coca-Cola, Otto, Warner Brothers, Tchibo, CNN, and Chuck Norris. One of the things I love about Spreadshirt is the breadth of partners and their motivations – branding, revenue, unique offerings, and community.
Best day at work: Our recent beta launch with CNN two weeks ago. The project was a quick one (a matter of weeks, not months) and involved every aspect of our business – sales, product management, engineering, manufacturing, customer service, marketing, finance, legal. It took a team – supported by a company – working together, with an understandably demanding partner.
Worst day at work: Any day when I feel ineffective in inspiring and coaching the team towards our goals.
Name one thing you’ve achieved that has made your bosses sit up and take
notice: We over delivered on our aggressive Q1 P&L goals. I found out when we presented the results that our board had thought the goals were too aggressive.
Ambitions: With great teams, I want to build remarkable companies, like Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines) and Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality Group) did.
Advice to other rising stars: Do not let yourself be boxed in. People want to categorize you. Don’t let them limit you. Continue to push yourself and surprise them.
Quote from the boss: “What’s next?”