Thursday, June 13, 2024

My Personal User Manual

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Thousands of companies are now remote first.

That’s why you need a personal user manual.

This manual will tell your remote comrades about you and how you operate.

  • Do you love working late at night?
  • Do you not take meetings before noon because that’s when you get your best work done?

That’s what a personal user manual is all about.

My personal user manual is below…

My Personal Mission

I believe life is an adventure.

My goal is to live a flexible lifestyle and enjoy the journey.

That’s why I’m always going on about destroying the box and not just thinking outside of it).

A Bit About My Working Style

Below are a few of my working strategies and philosophies in my personal and business life.

In my world, work and personal life go hand and hand.

I don’t really have a work-life balance.

I seem to live more with more of a work life rhythm.

New Things

I love starting new things and making multiple streams of income.

I often have to balance completing a project and scratching the itch of a new, exciting idea.

There’s a delicate balance, so feel free to keep me accountable when it looks like I might be pivoting too early.

Work Ethic

I work 24/7, but I also break 24/7.

This means you might find me unavailable while I’m keeping score at my son’s afternoon soccer game.

But it also means you might ping me at 9 pm, and I’m in the middle of a project and will answer back.

Phone Rules

I’m not too fond of phone calls.

I am always doing something.

Therefore, most calls are a distraction from whatever it is that I’m currently focused on.  

This is my phone philosophy. Don’t take it personally if I don’t answer your call.

It lives on silent.

If necessary, just shoot me an email or leave a voicemail.

If it’s an emergency, call my wife or dial 911.

Availability

If I ping you or email you outside of our working hours, I do not expect an instant reply.

I’ve probably pinged you because I have a thought I need to share, and if I don’t, it will be gone forever.

Therefore, I ping.

My Meeting Philosophy

I believe in minimal meetings.

If we’re meeting, it’s because it’s the only way to accomplish what we need to do.

Let’s have a pre-planned agenda prior to the meeting so that we can be ready.

Remembering We Are People

Because so much communication is digital, it can be easy to forget that there’s a human being on the other end.

This is actually the first step in my manual on hiring VAs.

Maybe you don’t have this problem, but I do.

I think it’s the digital medium.

I’m typing into a machine, or talking to a camera. Not a person.

It can be easy to forget that it’s going to end up with you, a person!

I’m fun-spirited, but if I’m in a rush, maybe my responses can seem short or rude.

If that happens, don’t take it personally.

I was probably replying right before a meeting or in between working on projects.

That was my fault for responding then.

If there is a big issue, we will discuss it in person—email is typically not the best communication method for big-ticket problems.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you feel I’m not communicating with kindness!

My Strengths:

Starting New Things*

Developing Ideas

Big Picture Strategy

Being Willing To Take Shots and Adjust as I go

My Weaknesses: 

Starting New Things* 😜

Taking a Project “to the next level”

Organizational Structure (my wife says I’m organized because I use spreadsheets, but I don’t think this counts)

Flying by the Seat of my Pants (I’m a napkin business plan guy)

Things I’m OK At But Want To Improve:

Public Speaking

Tracking KPIs

Building Teams

Staying Calm Under Pressure

Knowing When To Stay The Course vs. Pivot

Whatsapp (for quick communication)

Slack (we moved mostly to Slack)

Google Docs

Trello

Loom (for quick video feedback)

Should You Build a Personal User Manual?

Yep, I think it would definitely be useful if you’re a freelancer or you work on a remote team. 

Heck, even if your company doesn’t do it, you could create one anyway and give it to your co-workers. 

Maybe management will take notice and use it and make it a new part of their company strategy. 

Or if you’re working as a freelance employee, it could help people just understand you better.  

Good luck!

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