Think Automation – Daniel de Gruijter @ GE Bootcamp 2018

1. Daniel @ GE Bootcamp - The one with the lazy Malay

This blog post is part 1 of a series of 7 posts, transcribed from a presentation by Daniel de Gruijter on business & entrepreneurship during the Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2018, titled: “Why you should f*ck up fast & often”. Watch the full presentation here:

During the Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2018, Incitement Cofounder & CEO, Daniel de Gruijter, shares 7 stories about ‘Why you should f*ck up fast & often’, and how each of those failures taught him valuable lessons on business, entrepreneurship, hiring, leadership, and more.

Scroll down to watch the video.

The Grind

When I came to Malaysia for the first time in 2011, I worked for a company called Mindvalley, an online publishing company. They publish personal growth products and I was doing my university graduation thesis. I had to build a 1-year marketing plan, with the goal of making one of the business units grow.

I was grinding there, every single day. I came in early in the morning, at 9AM, which was early for me. And I left around 9PM every day, so I was working for 12 hours – I wanted to graduate and was willing to work hard for it. And perhaps even prove to be an asset, and get invited by the company to stay on, and stay in Malaysia – which ended up happening and ended up as the Head of Marketing later down the road. 

As I was working hard every single day, I got feedback from my manager that certain things needed to be improved, and put in more work – “you’ve got to do better”. And so I worked more hours, started coming in at 8AM, started leaving at 11PM. This went on for 5 to 6 months.

While I was putting in all these hours, on the desk next to me was sitting this Malaysian guy. His name was Khairi. He is someone I’ve come to look up to very much. Not only for how he built up LikeMethod to become Malaysia’s leading program for digital entrepreneurs, but also because of the way he views the world. He is also one of my close friends, so I have the right to mock him :-P. He started work every day at 1PM, sits down, opens his laptop, connects it to his monitor, puts on SouthPark, watches one or two episodes, then he opened up a bunch of spreadsheets, he looked at it for about half an hour and he went into the manager’s office (which was the same manager I had), and then he came back with a smile on his face, usually, closed his laptop and then left…

Automate it

Once he arrived I had already been at work for a good 4-5 hours. When he left I still had another 6-8 hours to go. What the heck is this? What is going on? How can our jobs be so completely different? And he was working 2-hour days to 3-hour days, and the rest of the time he was working on his own personal stuff, his side businesses, whatever he was working on. At some point, I asked him, “What is it exactly that you do?”  

He said, “I work on advertising.” To which I replied, “Why are you only in the office for 2 hours a day and 50% of that time you’re watching a series?” He’s like, “Well, I know this sounds very cliché, I don’t really work very hard, but I just work very smart. I automate everything. The moment I run into a task that I think can be even remotely automated, I will sit down for as long as it takes to do that task once, and do it in a way so that I have never do it again.”

Stop Doing Repetitive Tasks

The key takeaway for me here was, even though I don’t really believe in the concept of “don’t work hard but work smart“, is work hard, but always keep looking for ways to work smarter as well, and seek for ways to avoid doing repetitive tasks. This could mean building templates, macros, or coded solutions. But it could also means delegating it to someone else, or even killing the task completely if it’s not important enough. Whatever way you choose, make sure you don’t end up doing repetitive tasks.

Watch: Think Automation

Watch All F*ck Ups & Failures Here

1. The one with the lazy Malay
2. The one where they think I’m gay
3. The one where I fired my girlfriend 
4. The one with the bipolar girlfriend 
5. The one with Sheldon Cooper
6. The one where I got arrested 
7. The one where we got evicted

Or watch the full presentation by Daniel de Gruijter on business & entrepreneurship during GE Bootcamp 2018 here:

Why you should f*ck up fast & often (

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