Gabriele Ottino | The CEO of Doodle Shares About the Toughest Part of Being in Charge

Show Notes

The CEO of Doodle shares about the toughest aspects of being the CEO of Doodle and how he has been able to proactively grow his company despite the countless challenges of growing and managing and international tech-based business.

Gabriele Ottino is the CEO of Doodle— an enterprise scheduling technology that’s helping 80% of the Fortune 500 maximize time and productivity.

Gabriele has helped turn Doodle from a profitable, high-margin business on the ad side to a successful subscription-based product for the enterprise. Having studied physics in University, his background is slightly different— and more romantic— than your typical tech CEO. Learning about the stars, the galaxy and Einstein opened up his way of thinking to lead him to ask the question— “What do I want to change?” Some years later he found the answer to that question and is changing the future of work and productivity with Doodle.

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing Gabriele Ottino who is the founder of Doodle! Gabriele, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show how are you?!
  2. I know that you’ve had a ton of success as this point in your career, but I would love to start off at the beginning …what was your involvement with the parent company of Doodle?  What led you to ultimately become CEO of Doodle?
  3. Gabriele Ottino, what problems does Doodle solve for your ideal and likely buyers?
  4. Gabriele, walk us through the process of starting the company, how did you fund your startup?
  5. What was Doodle first like when you joined? How was the fundraising experience? How has the company evolved since you’ve joined?
  6. Today, Gabriele how many team members do you have on your team and how would you describe your culture over there at Doodle?
  7. Gabriele, how do you market Doodle?
  8. Gabriele, what is your philosophy of leadership and employee management?
  9. Gabriele Ottino, I understand that you studied physics, how has that impacted how you think about business and lead as the CEO of a Tech Company?
  10. Gabriele Ottino, what is your vision for the future of Doodle?
  11. Gabriele, you come across as a very proactive person…so how do you typically organize the first four hours of your and what time do you typically wake up?
  12. Gabriele, what are a few of your daily habits or action steps that you take that you believe have allowed you to achieve success?
  13. What mentor has made the biggest impact on your career thus far?
  14. We find that most successful entrepreneurs tend to have idiosyncrasies that are actually their superpowers…what idiosyncrasy do you have?
  15. What message or principle that you wish you could teach everyone?
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

YouTube Post Gabriele Ottino ThrivetimeShow

Today’s guest is the CEO of doodle and he joins us from switching. And, and if you are a leader, finding yourself in need of soothing relief, you’re gonna love this interview with Gabrielle Otieno.

yes, yes, yes and yes. Thrive nation on today’s show, you are going to absolutely love our guest. Gabrielle Otieno, welcome onto the thrive time show. How are you? Good. So you come across as a very intentional guy. What, what do you see as the future of, of doodle as as a CEO of the company?

Now the vision that I had and we have a team about doodle, is really to be solving all of your scheduling needs wherever they arise. And also to be able to, you know, start scheduling with Google in any of your communication channels where you’re actually working. So what we really want is to take away painful scheduling for everybody in their work environment. And so a, so that means it’s, it’s a huge part that right there is millions of people, um, that, that need our service. And so, um, I’m convinced that this is, can be a really big business with, um, for us the size of a company, several hundred people line in the future and, and definitely $1 billion business. Um, potentially. So, uh, so that’s where I see that going.

So Gabrielle Otieno, where are you guys actually based

now? We are about, um, we’re about 60 employees. We’re based in Switzerland. That’s where our headquarters is in Zurich. And uh, we have, um, we have some more offices. We have an office in Berlin, an office in Belgrade, and we are just the tipping of the foot into the U S with the first people in sales and marketing. Um, going into interview us,

how did a doodle go about getting its first 10 customers?

Um, yeah, that’s a, that’s a good question. So, so I mean, um, where it all started, I really was, I was two PhD students at the local medical university at Zurich. Um, that, that really wanted to meet their friends for dinner and it was almost impossible to coordinate all of the vendors. We’ll find that. And so that’s where it all started really in, um, in the university. It started spreading virally. Um, so that’s, there’s regular users, um, but then, you know, spread by really inviting others. Since, uh, since the beginning, actually the, the business model of doodle has been very heavily advertising focused. So it was really about building out the, the user community and then, um, you know, um, taking revenue out. Yeah. Advertising. And as I see the big transition we are in right now, we’re really focusing now on turning doodle into a subscription business first. So apart from that free product that is still advertising, um, monetize, we are now really focusing heavily on selling subscriptions to individuals in small teams, but also larger enterprises. So we’re, uh, really, um, hitting heavily entity surprised market where we already seen some first, um, some first results.

So do you, uh, as a CEO, I mean you have a lot on your plate. What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Yeah, what I enjoyed the most is really that, um, you know, we can, we can move really fast. We are, we’re still a relatively small team. And, um, when we decide as a management team or I decide as a, as a CEO, you know, where we want to go or you know, what changes that are down there that we should implement immediately, we can do so really quickly. And it’s, it’s really great to see impact of your decisions. Really thinking about, you know, what should stir the future of scuttling the future of work really look like and how can we shape that future, um, as, as doodle and how do we have to align our troops and our teams actually get there. So, um, so that’s, that’s the part it’s, I really enjoy the most.

Dr Brack, I’m not sure if you consider yourself to be the CEO or just the head honcho or the head of dr you’re chiropractic facility. Right? But roughly how many people are on your team at this point? We’re at about 10 and with a team of 10. Um, what do you like most about being the Boston Boston and what is the most challenging aspect of being the boss? Well, of course the buck stops with you when you’re the boss. Um, but uh, you know, which can be a challenge at times, but it’s also, you know, with, with any great opportunity comes responsibility. And so, you know, I get to make the decisions that I feel are best for our group. I find that that being the boss, um, one of the things as he Z I talk about it a lot as well, but being the boss, you have to make big obstacles seem small.

I feel like it’s like most people, if you’re the boss, employees will call you and say, boss, my car doesn’t work. Could you help me get to work boss? I’m going through a divorce. What tips do you have boss? I am having an issue with, um, Jason, you’ve managed a lot of people over at the elephant in the room and we have a lot of great, great people. What was the most rewarding part of being the super manager and managing a staff of dozens and dozens of people? Or what was the biggest cause? What was the most positive and rewarding aspect of being the Boston? What was the most challenging aspect for you? Managing three stores in many, many at, for over 4,000 customers, over $3 million of revenue, multiple employees. What was the biggest challenge and what was the best part of managing that many people? Um, I would say one of the best parts about managing like all three sites and the hardest part yeah.

Are exactly the same thing. So I got a lot of like personal value out of solving people’s problems. I just like to do that. Yeah. And so you said something super important. Being the boss means making something that seems like large, astronomical, seem very small and simple. And when you’re able to do that for somebody to look on their face and the appreciation that they give you from that is massive. So you like solving the problems. Yeah. But you’re also saying it is the most challenging part of being the boss. Yeah. Cause when you think about it, like, um, even with the team of whether it be five to 10 to 40, you have everybody and their issues more than you. And lesbian is dealing with their own stuff. Every day is our, you know, it’s on challenge. We have to have our own to do lists and calendars to give ourselves accountable.

But then you tack on everybody else’s responsibilities if they can get to work, what personal struggles they have going on. It’s a mixed bag of just crazy. Now, uh, Gabriel is talking about corporate America, international companies that a lot of times have a issue of, of collaborating on your schedule. Let’s say that I live in Australia. You live in Canada, he lives in California. How are all three of us going to get on the call at the same time? Right. That’s a, that’s a challenge. He’s dealing with with international business. And I want to go back to small business for a second and I just want to ask you on a daily basis, Jason, if you can picture it in your mind, I’m sure you’ve blocked it out for psychological health reasons, but if you could picture it in your mind, what were the biggest challenges that you dealt with on a daily basis?

So let’s go back to like 5:00 AM you’re managing all three shops. You turn on your phone for the first time each day. What were the biggest burning fires that you had almost everyday you could, you could, you could set a watch by it. You could plan on it. You knew it was going to be a problem. So come Friday it was, I have to get my kid out to school so I can’t make our mandatory meeting. Okay. They can’t make the meeting. Okay. And by the way, if we asked our team, each member of our team, what time do you think would be best for you? What time would that be? It would be so just scattered. But I would say probably sometime in the afternoon, right dry during peak hours. When we see customers, what time do we do? What time do we meet with our all staff meeting on Fridays?

Um, Friday at the not so early time of 8:00 AM Fridays at 8:00 AM and we’ll have people on the team suggested in afternoon time. Oh absolutely. Absolutely. They have the cool, maybe we should do this over lunch or maybe we should run this for like maybe only 15 minutes on that. Have members of the team suggested that we don’t need a meeting at all because we go over the same thing every week. Yes. Turns out that great people bore down a great people that grates on our team. They want to have that weekly meeting. They want to board down, right? Where are the not so great focused, uh, struggle with and focus on boredom. The grates bore down and then that’s so great. Focus on boredom. Now that is a, a very powerful idea when you realize as a, as a leader, every week your team is going to push back about having these weekly mandatory meetings. But if you want to be exceptional,

fuck, fuck, fuck Jesus. Who is exceptional? It’s having a conversation with ordinary and exceptional and ordinary. Always have a conflict. Oh, exceptional people dwell in the midst of ordinary thinking people. There’s always going to be conflict.

No, I’m not saying you’re perfect, but the reason why you got promoted to be the manager of all three stores is because you were showing exceptional work ethic. Meaning it was the exception. You are not working at the same standard as most people. So let’s get back into that again. And what were the biggest problems on a daily basis? So you said one people can’t get to the Friday meeting. What else? Um, showing up to work late or just on time. So you’re saying that getting people to show, even if we, even if we agreed on the time they were supposed to be there, even if we said specifically, this is what time you’re going to be there, we’ve agreed on this time. Yup. Um, how often per week with a S with a team of let’s say 50 people, 50 people, how many times per week would they call in sick, call in late or not show up at all?

Um, at the very least once a day. Which is tough when you only have, like if you, if it’s a weird day and you have like four people on and then you’re down to three and we’re still trying to fit 4,000 people in, it gets a little crazy. So you’re saying that with a team of, let’s say again about 50 people. You’re saying that once per day per stores or the 50 people total, how many people per day are calling in sick or not showing up? Are running late? I just want to know, cause I want the listeners out there to know that we do not operate in a unicorn universe here of perfection where we don’t have life issues. Talk to me about this. What percentage Jason of up or what number out of the 50 people don’t show up or call in sick or can’t be there and have some sort of life issue.

So as far as like tardiness goes, just showing up late, whether it be a minute or whatever that is. I would say 100% once a day per shop. Okay. So at least three out of 50 per day. Okay. Now talk to me about the exceptional people picture in your mind to people that are really never late. Yeah. How often when there are other people on the team who are never late? Yeah. Um, one in particular. I don’t know if I can mention anything about all the positive things, the negative names. We have to just go vagary beggar. So, um, Mark is the man. He, so back then I was working at the broken arrow location. Yeah. Every Thursday we’d have a lead meeting, which meant the lead had to get there at nine so we could go over an hour of just things to focus on in the shop and then the team would get there at 10.

Well, Mark would always be there before the lead. And I’m like, Mark, you don’t have to be here for the meeting. He’s like, yeah, I’m just showing up to work is what I do. So it was every day after that to like whatever day he was scheduled, he would beat the team and the lead, one time he almost beat me cause I got stuck in traffic, but I still beat him. Big shout out to Marky Mark and the funky bunks right there. I’m walking by the funky mind. Aw yeah. Again. So Marky Mark, he’s there all the time on time. Yeah. Now don’t mention their names, but are there certain people that can never be there on time, more than one day in a row, maybe two days in a row? Yes, unfortunately. Yes. Which is why we’re always hiring people. What are other problems you dealt with on a daily basis?

Because again, our, our guest today, Gabriel, Gabrielle Otieno, uh, [inaudible] talking about the scheduling problem. International companies have a hard time getting people to agree on a time and it’s hard to coordinate their calendars, whether problems do you deal with on a daily basis, come on a daily basis as a manager of three stores, 4,000 customers, come on. So you have, are we just talking employees talking? I’m talking about problems you have on a daily basis as a manager of 4,000 customers, three stores, what other problems do you have? Okay, so flip it over to the customer side. Guys who show up 15 to 30 minutes late. Mind you appointments are only 30 minutes long and we already have 90 to a hundred other people booked back to back and there’s no wiggle room dealing with trying to put together a grown man schedule and teach him the like importance of being punctual.

Now, why am I, why am I, why am I harping on this? I’m harping on this because promotion equals problems. Whenever you get promoted, dr Breck, as you’ve grown your practice, let’s say you have 1% let’s say out of all your great customers, right? 1% of them have problems. Sure. At least many, many great customers. Let’s just say only 1% of your customers, you know, can’t figure out how to show up on time, can’t figure out how to pay on time. You know, there’s that 1% right? If you double now from a hundred customers to 200 now you have to upset customers a month. And if you triple now you’ve got three upset customers. Have you noticed that as you’ve grown dr that the percentage of problems probably hasn’t increased but the number of problems has,

I would say the number has definitely increased. I would say the percentage may have increased as well. Yeah. Just because, uh, you’re, you’re moving faster, you’re doing more. And so there are some different problems that arise because of that. So I, I liked them too. Growing pains. Yeah. Um, but yeah, as Jason was saying, when you’re scheduled back to back to back, uh, as we are, cause we do cluster book there we go home. We’re very punctual on our side and we really want to keep those appointments. Um, you know, close and, and be very efficient with your time. Uh, cause we respect your time as a patient. Um, but then oftentimes the patient will show up 15, 20 minutes late and we’ll work them into our system, you know, in our flow of things. But it still can back us up if we have like five people that show up all at the exact same time. Um, it’s just kind of this clog that happens within the flow and w we work through it, but uh, but it still is a regular, almost daily occurrence. And then of course we have the massage therapy, um, you know, where we have similar types of issues, whether it be scheduling or, or the therapist, uh, showing up late or being sick or, um, those types of things. So a lot of the similar problems that Jason was just talking about.

Now my understanding is that dr or for the listeners out there who are not as familiar with you, you’ve been in PR, you’ve been a chiropractor for how long now? 15 years. We’re going on our 16th year. Okay. And you start working with your business coach, uh, Tim, about how long ago was it? Oh goodness, it’s been, um, I guess about two, two years. Two years. So over the last two years, uh, again, you had PR, this is almost your 16th year. So up to your first 13 years, would you describe it as a smooth ride, as a bumpy ride? Uh, describe those first 13 years. It was a slow ride. The PC, the pre business coaching years coaching. It was kind of a slower, slow and bumpy. Now talk to me about the growth you’ve had over the past two years, just to encourage somebody out there who may find themselves having all these problems but doesn’t see the end. Uh, the light at the end of the tunnel. Yeah. We, we’ve

grown substantially. We’ve, uh, we’ve doubled. Um, you know, so, uh, there’s been a couple of steps in the, in the progress of my practice. Um, one when I did an active acquisition of, uh, partners and I, uh, bought a partner out. And so we grew through that process. But then, uh, when we got Tim as a coach, uh, with Redmond growth and thrive, um, we now have a web presence where we had zero. So we’re the highest rated and most rated chiropractor in our area. Yeah. And, um,

you, by the way, have a home because of that. You have a great no brainer to all right. Problem listeners out there. You’ve got, it’s up for your first exam first for first time patients. It’s a free exam. Yes sir. A free x-ray. Yes. Free adjustment. Yes. All for free. Offer free. Uh, there’s no sneakiness to it. It’s free. No sneaky, sneaky, no sneaky. Sneaky. All free offering. And now you’re growing. You’re having that growth. Um, what have been the biggest challenges as you’ve had that growth? Because for years, a lot of us pray for growth. We want growth, we think about growth, we obsess about growth. We visualize growth. And now that you have growth, what are some of the problems that you’re running into? Cause again, promotion equals problems. People out there we gotta we gotta understand you always have to fight. You’re never going to be done fighting. If you have this desire to build a company and then to go, what I want to do is grow it really big and then not have to fight. Trust me, that’s not gonna happen. There’s, you can get in better new fights. Yeah, it’s

new problems. And so, you know, used to it was problems of, uh, you know, can I pay this bill or that bill because we didn’t have the funds. You know, there just wasn’t the income. But now that’s not the problem, but it’s, you know, equipment breaks down quicker cause it’s being used, you know, more more quickly. Uh, you know, the wear and tear greater, uh, with the greater number of patients that we see. Um, you know, we go through more product or that on our side of things that we have to use, uh, more quickly. And so, you know, you have to make sure that you’re, you’re keeping things in stock and, and on time. Um, and so we had a, an order of, uh, materials that we needed and they were back ordered like three and a half, four weeks. And that was, that was a different problem. Uh, because, you know, it’s not like we need one person or two people that are gonna need that. We’ve got, you know, 200 people that, uh, now need that.

Well, if your business has grown to a certain point, if you’re over a hundred employees or 200 employees, um, scheduling your people may become a problem. That’s why a lot of fortune 500 companies, a lot of their employees are using doodle. And to not any further ado, let’s go back into our interview with the CEO of


What daily habits do you have that you feel like allow you to be successful as a CEO? I mean, very few people I ever become a CEO of a company with more than 50 employees. I mean, well, what are some of the daily habits that you have in place that allow you to achieve success?

Yeah, so I think I’m, I’m convinced that one of the most important things, um, really is, is to keep one’s balance, um, to really, you know, stay healthy and motivated and, you know, energized. And, and for me that, that’s, that’s a couple of things that I need to do to sort of balance the very intense, you know, workload and work time and pressure sometimes as well. And that’s, that’s a couple of things right. One of the things that really grounds me very much is, is my family. I try to be home every day at the same time for dinner to be with my family. With that, with my two daughters, my wife being there, um, during that time I think is, is really important. Then the other thing is sports. Um, you know, bringing, um, going two to three times a week on my, on my mountain bike, I can really get, you know, um, energy out of the system or you know, energy back in from, from sports. I think it’s really this, this balancing thing. And, and the other on the productivity side is really about keeping an overview of all of your, on your to do’s and drop [inaudible] prioritizing what is important right now and at what do we need to do right now and what are the things that I need to prepare for, um, strategically for the next weeks, months, or even years ahead

now, you know, and when I researched guests and kind of vet you guys for having me on the show, I try to do as much research as I can. And one of the things I found was that your company, I believe, is helping 50% of the fortune 500 companies to maximize their time and productivity is, is that correct or am I, am I miss miss quoting that?

Um, it actually even more than that. So we know that almost 80% of the fortune 500 companies, um, have doodle users. Um, so what that means people who have created a doodle. So, uh, and that, um, when we analyze, uh, you know, some of the data or how people use it by analyzing, you know, titles and so on and so forth, it’s very often really work related. So, you know, whatever it is, project kickoff words, meeting, um, these types of things. And so it’s a very common thing in, in, uh, in big companies, um, all around the world. Really.

What, uh, what advice would you have for the listeners out there? I mean, if you could get a, you know, a big old, uh, tweet sent out to everybody, you can send a tweet to everybody in the world or you could do the proverbial billboard that says anything on it. Or you could send everybody a mass mail or they would actually read or you could hog everybody’s telephone system or take over their TV and put a message out there. What’s the message that you would share with all of our listeners?

Yeah, I think, I think the one thing that, that I, I really believe in and, and try to live by is that, that’s honestly really the only thing that is, that is constant is a, is changed. So every day, you know, I get, um, I get to work every day, every new day in this, in this business. Um, things change, new data is available, new insights are there. Maybe some new competitors are there, um, new users, new customers that join our, uh, our, our business and so, and so that changes the nature of our business. And the only thing they are really we can do is, is on the one hand, you know, adapt and be the best versions of ourselves and face that change and make it something positive. And at the same time I believe as well that, you know, while you adapt to change and, and, and work at in this, in this very flexible environment, let go of things that, you know, maybe in the meantime obsolete due to the change that has happening around me.

Now you are based in Switzerland. What city are you guys in?

We’re in the Zurich.

So I want to ask you and you, you can refute any of these things they’ve just trying to listeners out there who can’t relate to officing in, in, uh, Switzerland. I just want to ask you, are you still, uh, decorating your office with the Swiss army knife theme and do you have your desks built out of Legos and do you have famous, uh, the, the Lindt chocolate boxes everywhere, uh, or is, or is that just a fallacy in complete, uh, you know, uh, prejudice that everybody from Switzerland has a Swiss army knife on them at all times.

That’s a really good one. So, I mean, the earliest way it’s organized, we don’t have in our offices are, um, are people, developers, product managers and so on and so forth. I’m, I feel I’m surrounded by Swiss army knives because of their Holland, uh, but although only in our Swiss office also in, in our other offices.

Now, in terms of decor at your office, walk us inside your headquarters. What, what, what kind of decor do you have in your offices?

Yeah, the decor of our offices is very much, um, you know, regular a regular office. Like we don’t have any, you know, cuckoos clocks or, or things like that. Obviously we would like people who bring around chocolate and Lindt is definitely one of them.

Favorite one. Um, but uh, but know how many Rolexes are you wearing right now?

I’m more of an Omega guy. Um, so I have a, I have my Alma guy. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a sea monster and I’m looking to get a Moonwatch hopefully at some point, um, very soon. Um, so that’s, that’s where I’m headed.

Now people, people in Switzerland are known as being, uh, you know, people that are, are peace favoring people. Um, are you, uh, are you a secret warmonger over there at doodle? I mean, are you trying to wage war on these other programs that outfit compete with you or are you talking about your, your, your approach to marketing or are you pretty aggressive man? I mean you go

head to head or you, you, you, you

play fair. Do you, did you play dirty? Do you do a trip? Competitors at trade shows? Tell me your moves.

Right? So I’m a, I’m more of the fair guy. I’m more of the strategizing guy. I’m more of the type of guy who realized really, you know, fights the competitors on, on data, on being better on the, on, on really, you know, getting the best product out there and um, and, and marketing it the best way. Um, so I’m not in that sense the warmonger longer, but that doesn’t mean, um, you know, I’m, I’m easy to handle as a, as a competitor. Um, so I think, I think we have a huge mite with doodle that is, that is really the huge user community we have. Um, we have accumulated over the last years, we have, you know, 30 million unique users in a month. Um, and so, so that is, that is already a huge usage that we can really, um, that we can really leverage to, to make this, and you can create their business then they need already.

So tell me about a mentor in your career that has made a big impact up to this point. I mean, did you, was there somebody that made the biggest, biggest impact on your life or who’s kind of helped you along the way? Cause being the CEO is a big thing, a big title to have. Did somebody business coach you along the way?

Yeah, so I think, um, I, I’ve been thinking about this a, there’s over the last, over the last couple of weeks as well. And it’s a, I think one of, one of the guys I really, um, need to be thankful for is if the guy who actually brought me into this job, right. Um, so, um, so we’re in the intermedia digital management team sort of discussing, Hey, how do we, how do we tackle the next page with UDL and so on and so forth. And, um, and he really, um, you know, turned over to me and said, Hey, covalent, this would be great for you. You know, why don’t you take it on? Um, and uh, and so that was the start. And, uh, at that time he was also the chairman of the boards of doodle and helped me there to really get, um, you know, get up to speed on what we need or what we need to do in the first time. And he’s been really, really helpful all along the way in this journey. And so, you know, getting into, into this great opportunity and making doodle what it is and what it will be, um, really, really started with that. And with that, please help.

What’s the most difficult part about being a CEO? Is it, is it a, um, happened to be the, the, the chief is the a, is it, did you hate the title? Is it, is it the pressure of, of, is it, is it managing people? Is it, is hiring, is it firing? What’s the toughest part about being a CEO?

Yeah, I think, I think one of the toughest part about being the CEO is that, you know, let’s say as a person, I don’t, I don’t really feel all that different, um, to anybody really in, in the team. Right. Um, we, we are hopefully all smart and good people and so on and so forth. And I don’t feel like, you know, I’m sort of above or that there is a whole lot of hierarchy. But when you’re the CEO, you get to, you know, you get to understand that Indian, you know, you are a debossed and people look up to you or maybe they even fear you or um, you know, they don’t maybe speak their mind all the time or they, they, you know, they choose on their, their words difficult thing I have found is getting really direct, honest and transparent feedback.


I don’t expect you to be an expert of all things a Switzerland, but I’m going to ask you anyway because you probably are getting a great vision for the company by going up to the top of a mountain skiing a lot. What percentage of your, uh, free time do you spend skin is at 97% or 90%?

Yeah, I’m a, I’m actually winter. Yes, I do go skiing. We actually do one week ski vacation. Um, and uh, and so that’s, that’s more or less the skiing I get. Um, the rest of the time I really spend on my mountain bike. Um, even in winter. Um, so I’m a, I’m more of the mountain biking guy, but that’s very, very popular in Switzerland as well. Um, you know, our racing athletes, for example, mountain biking are really crushing it right now.

Mmm, no, I, I’ve, I’ve heard that the Swiss have invented a fondue, um, which seems plausible and, and Velcro. And, uh, is it true that you’ve invented Velcro? Did you guys invent Velcros that instead of things that need to be controversial,

clear that up here. Right? You’re, you’re, you’re right there in the thick of the action. Uh, did you guys invent Velcro?

Yeah, I put that as well. Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Fondue and raclette and all these things. Yes. What about an aluminum watch and, uh, watchmaking almost entirely in general. So yeah.

Do you like bobsledding? Do you like to watch bobsledding

big stuff by these guys? Low. We got a lot of prompts on the way.

It is a lot of fun.

I think that’s fun. Yeah.

Josh living water irrigation, a great show sponsor. What question do you have for the, for the CEO from Switzerland? Uh, mr Gabrielle Otieno, uh, two-parter. First thing when you got promoted to CEO, did you just run around the office and yell on the CEO?

are you thinking about doing that today?


Is he, you said one of your big goals is to try to, uh, do a better job of getting honest and transparent feedback from your team. So as an actionable step for a lot of our listeners out there, how are you going about getting that and what have you seen it was successful in getting your people to communicate more freely and better with you so that you can build a better environment and grow from there? Sir,

you know, I work with, uh, with the members of the management team, with some of the team leads, um, more regularly, but you know, a large portion of the people I don’t work with on a daily basis. So I’ve introduced that and I’ve made it very clear that the very purpose of that fact of that conversation is for them then and for them to tell me, um, you know, what, we could be doing better. And I was explicitly tell, look at, you know, while I like also compliments, I’m much more interested in the things you think we should do better.

Gabrielle Otieno I appreciate you for taking time away from your, your core business. They’re a doodle to join us and to share about being a CEO, growing the company, the vision for the organization, how you organize your day. Do you have any final word of encouragement or anything you’d like to share with the 500,000 plus, uh, faithful downloaders of the thrive time show,

make sure that every meeting you’re in really counts and that you’re meeting the right people at the right time. Um, because that’s really where, where a lot of the, the great ideas and productivity come from is from meeting the right people and that’s what we are trying to help you. And uh, and uh, hopefully we will do so in ever better ways.

Gabriel, thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

Thank you very much with a lot of fun being with you. Thanks.

Hey, take care. Dr Brooke, I want to get your take on this because in small business, big business, any kind of business, any type of organization, you can get pulled into meetings at, into meetings that don’t matter. Absolutely. Can you talk about the kind of meetings that you have [email protected] over at your chiropractic practice that, that matter?

Yeah, we have meetings about our, um, you know, our, our productivity and, and uh, how we’re going about doing things, customer service. Um, but we really try to stick with the things that really do matter on a day to day basis. Um, but oftentimes those also become, you know, the, the same types of conversations. You know, we’re, we’re trying to make new mistakes, uh, new problems, you know, fix things. Not just continue to, to harp on the same things over and over. But you know, just like with any other business we are having to correct, uh, you know, similar, similar situations over and over.

You know, Jason every week for elephant in the room. Can you share with the listeners? Did the two meetings that we have every day and then also about the daily huddles that we have in the stores? Yup. So each week we have two meetings, one on Monday, one on Friday. The one on Monday starts at 7:00 AM and what’s that meeting? That is the, Oh, I’m sorry. It’s 8:00 AM that is the elephant and room managers meeting. What’s the purpose of that meeting? That purpose is all strategy. We only have managers and you and John and Vanessa in the room and we go over everything. That’s mission critical. What are new policies? What are new procedures, what are we doing well, and it’s pretty much the same agenda every week. It is the exact same. I make sure that we’re monitoring Google reviews. We start there, we go over the products we need to order, make sure we’re not short on any products.

We go over staffing issues. We go over new people that we’re needing to hire an onboard. And then anybody who has any issues at all during the week if would like to have their voice heard, they are to put their questions and their ideas onto the Google doc onto the agenda. Therefore we discuss all the problems at one time and at that meeting we identify the problems, we discussed the problems, we solved the problems, right. Then we leave the meeting with action items assigned to each person and it says on there specifically the to due date and the person who is to do the items, if you can picture it visually, it says your name, the due date and what you’re supposed to do. So we assign those items in the meeting. So again, in the meeting we identify the problems, we discuss the problems and then we solve the problems.

But when we leave the meeting, everybody has the agenda. We’re all shared on that Google doc. Yup. And it has everybody’s name who’s supposed to do the item. And Jason, why does it have to have a D to do date and the person’s name and the action item. Why is that so important that it’s on that agenda? Well, it’s important because what’s on the agenda is done. What’s scheduled gets done. So if you say, Hey Jason, I need you to have me shampoo by next Monday, I know that I have the next seven days. In order to have that done, how to know that I’m doing it well, my name is attached to it, how to know what I’m making. It’s right there after my name and then out on the agenda the next week when we have the same meeting again, we follow up to make sure those items become tonight items right?

And if 95% of those things are not getting done, we have some problems and occasionally I lose my mind. I’ve seen it. I’m like, is it every week or every third week? How often do I lose my mind? And that meeting where I say where I get angry, where I get intense, where I do whatever needs to happen to get it done. For those it’s maybe every third week things have improved. That is incredible. I find a lot of owners, they don’t ever get intense and they let the herd mentality take over. And now we’re just having a stupid meeting. It’s a case of the Mondays, nothing gets done. So we’ve got to assign who’s going to get the item done, what’s going to get done right, and in all the details or who, what’s going to get done and when is it going to be done.

Then Jason, we have our Friday meeting. Yup. Talk to the listeners out there. What’s the purpose of our all staff meeting on Friday? So for the all staff meeting, um, everybody including the managers, call center stylists, assistant managers, if you work for elephant in the room, 8:00 AM on Friday, we meet at the Riverwalk office, we start with wins, we talk about new people. Um, here’s some words from Spencer and then we go into the numbers. So we see how we did on sales for the week as far as like how many haircuts we did, how many memberships we sold, how many products we sold. Yup. How many reviews we’re getting across all three locations. That way. All the stylists or anybody else who works there, who’s not in that manager’s meeting still sees the direction the company’s going. And I will read off to listeners the agenda for that meeting.

Yeah. Every Friday we’d go over hot topics, hot tub. Those would be like things that need to be discussed that are urgent. Right. The second thing is we go over cut times. I’m always harping on cut times. We have to get our customers in. All 4,000 members need to be seen. Therefore we need to cut hair cuts in 27 minutes and the need to be good. Then we go over the systems review. We talk about the circle of service, making sure everybody knows the, knows the services. Then we review the numbers right every single week. Did we go over superstars of the week? Then we go over the biggest limiting factor. The biggest limiting factor that would be, we go over the speed training, the team training, the front desk and the call center. Then we go over the front desk role playing and paycheck issues every single Friday and why did we go over that every Friday Jays?

What happens if we don’t go over that on Friday? Wait, what happens to the team members who don’t show up at the Friday meetings? What begins to happen? They don’t perform as well. They don’t know that one. They start to lose their sense of direction because they’ll start to get, like you said, in that herd mentality where they feel like everything’s the same and they might not be like experiencing the same winds that we are, but at the same time, those trainings as like meaningless and some people think they aren’t. You know the fact that we do them repetitively, you start to lose out on your core skill if you’re not doing the same thing over and over like practice makes perfect. Now, Napoleon Hill talks about this in his book called outwitting the devil outwitting the devil. That’s called outwitting the devil by Napoleon Hill, but he talks about, he says, a drifter is one who permits himself to be influenced or controlled by the circumstances outside of his own mind.

He would rather let me occupy his mind and do his thinking. Then to go through the trouble of thinking for himself. People begin to drift. Over time, people begin to drift. Things begin to get not get done. Towels began not to be cleaned. Maintenance begins to be deferred. Equipment begins to break down. People start to show up late. People start to less address, less sharp and sales go down. If you’re not careful in every single week, I have to prune the tree and pull the weight every week. Jason does it. Not every week. It’s every single week, every week, every week. Oh, now if you’re out there struggling to, uh, uh, make the schedules of your international team, um, work together, perhaps check out, if you have an international team and you’re trying to get those schedules to work together, if you own a small business, this Justin, your whole team will never agree with you about when they should meet.

Therefore, you as an owner, dr bracket, do you have to set those times? Do you not? Yeah. And when you set those times, you have roughly 10 employees of the 10. Maybe what one or two don’t want to have that meeting time. Yeah, but the other eight are okay with it. Typically that’s a pretty good ratio of, of who’s gonna actually want to meet at any given time that that I just pick on own schedule time where everybody agrees ever. Not usually if you’re out there seeking universal praise and committees and I think consensus is great to shoot for, but oftentimes it’s very difficult to get to and I think you can lose a lot of productivity and time trying to get consensus when it’s really not necessary to, to operate and move forward. I would just say, if you’re an owner, this is what you want to do.

All right. If you’re known or you wanna get your team on board to know the why and to know why they’re supposed to do what they’re supposed to do. And at the end of the day though, you’re going to have to make sure that you build a business that serves you. If you don’t do that, you’re going to be a slave to your business. Your business will not serve you. You will serve your, serve your business and you will end up working every night and every weekend as people call in sick and so they can’t cover their shift. You will fill in for them over and over and over and then Holy crap, you’re 50 and then you fill in for them. You fill in for them. Jason, am I not? I mean does this. If you are not intense about people sticking to their schedule, do you not get stuck with the hell shift every time?

Oh, every time has. Has it ever happened to you? I have worked the whole shift a couple of times because people did not stick to this schedule and I did not hold them accountable or somebody else didn’t hold them accountable and that’s just how it goes. Thrive nation. If you are out there today and you have any business questions, never hesitate to email us at info at thrive time. that’s info at thrive time, and if you’ve yet to attend one of our in-person thrive time show workshops, I encourage you to book your tickets online today by going to thrive time It’s thrive time and now we’d like to in each and every show with the boom. So now, then he further I do three, two, one. Boom.


you can record your calls or your business will fall off a cliff called mediocrity. You’ve got to record your calls or your business will fall off. Cliff called mediocrity. Now what’s the company I recommend? I recommend clarity. Voice. How do you get a good deal? Go to thrive time, forward slash. Clarity, thrive time, forward slash. Clarity. Tim, um, you work in the call center. What’s your final justification and reason why you think all the business owners out there should record their calls? Yeah. If you, uh, you wanna make sure you actually have a good call and don’t sound like you’re having a panic attack while you’re talking to the customer, probably be a good idea to record your calls. Daisy, what’s your final encouragement as a call center manager? How impossible would your job be without recording calls? What’s your final tip for the, for the listeners out there as to why they should record their,

well, I just look at Tim, he’s like my personal testimony. We literally called him the nervous bomb diffuser for the first six months. He worked with me and it’s like he went from nervous bomb diffuser to Brad Pitt over night

and I used to be the fast talking confused guy, my first job and then they played my calls and they’re like, wow, you talk fast and wow, you’re confused. And so we all have some sort of dysfunction that we can’t fix, right? So we can’t hear the calls. Absolutely. If you’re out there today, again, go to thrive time forward slash clarity. Go to thrive time, forward slash. Clarity. You know what they say? Go to thrive time, forward slash. Clarity. You know, they say, ah, quit. Quit saying that because I don’t know what they say, but I know that I say, go to thrive time, forward slash. Clarity. You know what they say, see about to get that booty act. Thanks. That clears it up. Wow.


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