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David and Lisa discuss the decision to reopen their office space after two years of remote work due to COVID-19. They emphasize the office as a tool rather than a requirement, highlighting benefits like collaboration, productivity, and maintaining company culture. They also discuss challenges and advantages of remote work, focusing on adapting to different environments and the value of in-person interactions for creativity and connection. They explore AI adoption, discussing integration, impact on marketing and sales, and the balance between AI and human connection. They also discuss the things that energize them. They stress identifying energizing factors that can lead to peak performance.




Dave Snyder & Lisa Zwikl

David Snyder, Co-Host

Born in Eastern PA, David’s background is in marketing and technology, specifically agency management. His passions include self improvement. A collector of various sports cards and memorabilia. David is married to Cathy for 21 years. A father of two teenage boys. David is the CEO at SmartAcre, Inc. a marketing technology company.

Lisa Zwikl, Co-Host

Also born and raised in PA, Lisa’s agency background started in the Washington D.C. area, sparking a love for digital technology. Lisa’s passions include movement, cooking, and getting to experience the world through the eyes of her two little boys. Lisa has an incredible husband, Kent, who encourages her to conquer big things in life. Together they are trying to climb all 46 high peaks in the Adirondack Mountains. Lisa is the CSO at SmartAcre, Inc.

Show Notes

Each SmartAcre from 6 different states brought in an item that represents them to be placed the main office conference room.

View from our office window.

Mentioned Jonathan Baker. Please note correction: the article in reference was written by David. C. Baker, “Treating Ourselves As Professionals or Amateurs“. Check out more great thoughts via Punctuation.


Lisa 0:00
This is the agency balance podcast where we talk about agency life, client relationships, and your own personal balance. Agency balance is sponsored by SmartAcre. SmartAcre helps you automate, enhance, and accelerate your b2b marketing. Visit get to get your free marketing and sales assessment.

David 0:17
Here are your co-hosts of the agency balance podcast, David Snyder…

Lisa 0:21
And I’m Lisa Zwikl.

David 0:24
3…2…1. Welcome-

Lisa 0:26
to the agency balance podcast.

David 0:28
Oh, you’re gonna do the intro this time. Awesome. So hello, everybody. Thank you again to another edition of the agency balance. Lisa, good to see you.

Lisa 0:39
Good to see you too, Dave. As if we never see each other.

David 0:43
I know, I know. But it’s always good to see you. And thank you to all of our listeners. We’re…we’re winding down Season Two. We’re winding down season two we have a couple more episodes coming out. But this episode is with just us.

Lisa 0:56
Yeah, we had to do it. So we have this awesome new setup. If you’re watching on YouTube.

David 1:01
Yes hop over to the YouTube channel, check out our new little setup here. still tweaking everything as as, as it’s always about progress, not perfection. And I’m happy to have our little space now.

Me too, it’s nice.

It is nice. It is nice. So hopefully everything sounds good. We have it like this is our first official recording and not doing things over zoom, we have a little quiet little spot that we can do this. And it’s not like a soundproof room or anything like that.

Lisa 1:13
It sounds a lot like my home with the daycare out in the same building. With kids.

David 1:20
Yeah. So that’s our first topic. Actually, I think we should talk about that we’ve decided that we wanted to come have a place where we can kind of come back together connect. And so we reopened an office.

Lisa 1:55
It’s been a hot topic for Well, since COVID. What to do have an office don’t have office people be remote and be hybrid. So many companies have started to come back together in more of a hybrid setting, or even requiring people to come back to work which I… that’s a hard no for me.

David 2:12
I agree. I think there’s people still use new normal, there is no new normal. We’re like just we’re making everything up as we go here. But yeah, it is it has been a hot topic. So you know, for us. You know, we decided that we looked at it and we said, hey, listen, like being after being remote for two plus years, constantly checking in with our team members, I think that’s the first that’s like, let’s stop right there. That’s the first thing you need to do. Right? It’s like constantly be checking in with your team.

Lisa 2:45
Right. And we did that when when was that a year after COVID We had our office space, we reopened it we had, you know, hand sanitizer everywhere buffs that people could pick up walk through the door to cover their their faces if they wanted to, to cover their mouths. And we asked the team then remember that? Yeah. What do you think about coming back into the office? And at that point, everyone loved just being at home. Didn’t want to use the space, which was totally fine. was totally fine. But there was a shift this year? For sure.

David 3:18
Yeah, I think I think two things like for I mean, I am not I’m probably not the normal, right? So being kind of like the role that I’m in. Like, for me, I actually did want to have a space like me personally, I personally wanted to have an area where I could go sometimes, but not all the time. Like there’s definitely days where being at home suits me better. If I look at my calendar, and if if I’m going to be on calls all day long. Maybe Maybe I should just go home or but maybe you know, there’s a lot going on in the home front. Maybe it’s not the most quiet solution. So having both having both options, I think is awesome.

Lisa 4:00
Me too. Yeah. Yeah, this year, that was the feedback that we got from our team of just not necessarily asking, and I just said this when we started talking about this. I said out loud, we’re companies requiring people to go back to work but that’s everyone is still outwork, everyone is fighting their, their groove of how they can best be efficient and effective. But having a place for collaboration for brainstorming for just getting outside of your walls and engaging in real life with other humans. That was feedback that we heard loud and clear this year of on the wish list of how we can help our team members be as successful and efficient as possible. There was a request to have more collaboration.

David 4:45
Yeah, so we just last week we kicked off the office did a ribbon cutting ceremony with our local Chamber of Commerce, which was fun. Connecting is a key word For us, it’s something that is in our vision of connecting both in person with our local communities, as well as being digitally focused and online. So having a space where you can use that as a tool really makes sense. So yeah, I was, I was happy that we were able to get this base get in as quick as we did get it set up, we sold all of our stuff. We sell all of our stuff. So like, when we went remote, I was like, let’s not store this, it’s gonna cost this I’m glad we did. I really am like, like, we just sold all of our like equipment and like, we had to buy all the stuff, which is fun, you know? And then, you know, as any good, small agency, we built everything ourselves. Okay, we did not too many leftover pieces. And then, you know, we said, Listen, let’s bring everybody back together in in one place. So brought everybody in, you know, and it was awesome. It was a great week we did, we had training. And I think for me, like coming back together in person, whether if you’re remote or not, is, is important for a couple reasons. Like for me, number one is like if you have new folks like that just accelerates them of getting them up to speed to like, if you’re working with people, let’s all we all remember working working in an office setting like you had water cooler and all that good stuff that you just and you just didn’t, you couldn’t pick up on people’s workstyles say that like, one day in here, we were all working and it was tight, right? Like, we use like every square inch of the space and it was tight. But you kind of pick up on like, am I a quiet person? Do I like to work around people? Can I stay focused?

Lisa 6:48
Yeah, you see what people’s days are truly like without looking at their calendar, you know, you get a sense of, are they moving to back to back meetings all day long? Are they? Are they collaborating with a team? Are they working in a silo just heads down at their desk all day? Or are there some people that maybe you should I reach out to more frequently when we’re in a completely remote day where no one’s in the office and just check in? How’s it going to help with anything? You know, because everyone does have different styles, but you can pick up on so much more when you’re just together in person that it’s hard to do over zoom or chat.

David 7:27
I think I, for me, the there’s a P word productivity, like being productive. Obviously, that’s really important whether if you’re remote at a coffee shop, in an office, find what makes sense for you to be most productive in those different settings, depending on the type of work that you’re doing. Like if I said to me if like I’m going to be heads down and maybe have a call or two, like that’s a perfect for me to like come into the office. And it allows me to kind of collaborate. But if if I need to be in a different environment working or create like being creative, right being in the creative space, you need to be have things around you to spark creativity and be set up to so like one of the things that we did was we made we have like kind of rolling workstations for everybody, we make every workstation consistent. So every all the same monitors all the same keyboards, all the same, nice, all the same desks, so that anybody there’s no no assigned seats, people can just come in, get plugged in and be consistent. Because like, I can’t work on a 13 inch monitor anymore. I need a big screen.

Lisa 8:35
Right and it’s nice to have the latest and greatest stuff. It’s a it’s that was our vision for the office have it be a space for innovation for collaboration. And one thing that you always say Dave is we this is a tool in our toolbox. It’s not something that we’re requiring our team to come in for. It’s something else that we can use to help us be efficient. Help us be the best team possible. So it might be helpful for you to tell our listeners what you mean by that. What does it mean when you have an office as a tool? Not necessarily a space, but a tool.

David 9:08
Yeah, so the first thing I’m gonna do is I’m going to crack open not a beer. A little water. Because that’s a tool for me as well. Yeah, I this this was probably a couple of years ago, where I don’t know how it came up. But somebody did say that, like I didn’t invent that, like I didn’t invent like the tool thing. I think it came up where it was like when you’re looking at what you do in an office your your meeting. It’s like the first thing and when I pulled everybody away like we when we pulled everybody it was like what do you need the office for? Well, my my setup at home sucks. That’s really not the case anymore. Pretty much everybody set up but some maybe some it’s tough. Like I don’t really want to be at my kitchen table or like my significant others also working at home, and it’s like, we’re just we’re like tripping over each other. So there’s that, too, like, if I’m in meetings a lot, like I want to be able to collaborate with others, or I’m on the phone with clients, a lot or prospects, I need, you know, meeting space. And then there’s like, the intangible, the intangible of the culture aspect of it. And being in the office or or having, having there allows me to connect with others and learn about their work styles, like just what you’re saying. So for like, for me, I always like it was like it’s a tool. It’s not necessary, the type of work that we’re in, it’s not necessary, you can be very successful. Being a remote company. If you work at it. Don’t just assume like you’re at home, and everything’s hunky dory.

Lisa 10:50
Right. Yeah, that’s one of the things that, that’s why we’re good partners, I push back on you on this one, we were talking about getting an office space. And I said, we have to get the remote thing right first, before we’re in between, we have to do that. So Well, before we blur the lines, because I truly believe if you can maintain your culture and in a completely remote setting, have your policies in place have processes in place, you can do anything.

David 11:16
Yeah, I was on LinkedIn this morning, reading about this topic. When I see reading, like somebody posted something, and then there was a ton of comments on it about what they’re doing. And they talked a lot about productivity. But the other thing that I thought was interesting was the company cited a friend at another company, right? So it’s like, not the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon thing here. But it’s like one separated route. He said that this company that had 1100 people, majority of the people were in the office. I don’t know what that percentage was, but any did a study is that the people that were in the office, advancing their career more faster than people that were in a remote environment. And his comment was, he’s like, I don’t know how I feel about that. And I agree, I don’t know how I feel about that, either. But it kind of makes sense. When he started to break it down. When when he looked at and said that the people that were in the office, they’re more visible, they’re doing things are acting, and the managers can pick up on that. When you close your Zoom meeting, you can see, yeah, maybe you’re online, you’re on chat, you’re on Slack, all these different things, and you can be visible, but what else are you doing for those intangibles? So that’s, that’s something to think about.

Lisa 12:40
Yeah, well, and going back to an office as a tool, I like thinking about that challenge in that context. Because if you think about how you can grow in advance in your career, you have to take advantage of every single opportunity that’s placed in front of you. And some of our smart acres, we’re in six different states, we have all they’re just in our training, we had everyone when we came back together, bringing an object that representative and looking right up in front of me, all of those objects are on the shelf. So we keep our team really connected. But the point of all this being no matter what you have you you have to seize the opportunity. So some of our smokers are far away, they can’t come into the office all the time. But if someone said, Hey, I’m, I’m far away, but I would love to coordinate a time to get together with a client and do some in person training and be in the office. As leaders, we would say yes, let’s let’s do it. So whether you’re close to an office, or far away from an office, whether you’re in zoom or collaborating and other ways, I think you always have to think about how can I be the most present? How can I share my thoughts? How can I leverage this opportunity? Are all the tools that I have in my toolbox?

David 13:55
Yeah, we’ll put a picture in the overlay in the YouTube of of our shelf here. And that is really cool. By the way your your painting isn’t very good.

Lisa 14:09
Oh, I’ll tell my three year old.

David 14:13
Yeah. So what we did was we brought everyone brought in a little item that represented who they are, whether they’re local or not, and left it here. Lisa…hers is a painting that your kids…it is very cute. I saw it yesterday. I was like or when the other day and I was like, Oh, that’s really cute. It’s just neat to see what like what people brought in and you know, tell their story and have that connection. It was a great, great little way to do that. Awesome. All right. Any other final thoughts on like, office hybrid remote, like? Maybe like, one thing? One thing that came to my mind was when I am on calls in an office setting just in these last couple of weeks I’ve had prospects and clients go, are you in a real office? They’re like, is that a real background? Like, yeah, it’s really you can touch it. And I was like, it’s pretty fresh. I had a couple I had a couple people say they were jealous.

Lisa 15:15
Yeah. Well, jealous of our background or the office or all of it, because I could see it also be jealous of that. We have some pretty cool.

David 15:24
I think it was. I think she just was like, it’s been so long. I kind of forget, like being in an office setting. And it’s not that she was like, I don’t even think like I would necessarily want to be there. But having that option kind of goes back to what I said, Yeah, I think of just having an option where you can go to because, like, we’ve all tried to like work in a coffee shop. I don’t do well, on a coffee shop. I can’t work in a coffee shop.

Lisa 15:52
Same, I like big monitors, no noise. I mean, we could stay on this topic for a while. I think for us, especially as leaders, one of the other things we always are challenging ourselves on is not just how we can be not just how we can do work, right? Like with time tracking and everything and being productive. But how can we be really efficient and deliverable deliver the best results possible. And just having the ability to be in the office and working from home, it challenges my thinking in a lot of ways. For example, when I work from home, I track my time. So I track way more time when I’m at home, the when I’m in the office, because when I’m in the office, especially when I’m here with you, we’re talking were thinking we’re just making little sidetrack conversations. But that doesn’t equate to how I’m personally measuring my productivity. But those days are often way more productive. For example, one day, we were getting ready for an event, we were working on the pop up display, I would have ping pong back and forth with our art director 1015 times, right, we probably wouldn’t have hopped on a zoom to go over something like that. But instead, there were multiple people in the office, everyone huddled around, everyone interjected their opinion. And we took something from start to finish in maybe 15 minutes, just by collaborating and spitballing. So it’s just that, to me is a good reminder of sometimes just stop the ping pong game, stop passing things back and forth, call a timeout, have a conversation, multiple brains are better than one when you can actually just collaborate on something. And maybe that’s a good indicator of calling an in person meeting, or doing something a little bit differently than what you typically do to collaborate on a task.

David 17:52
Well said, very well said. I think like to put a bow around this topic, whether if it’s in office at home, focus on productivity, don’t focus on necessarily how your hours are going to be logged. Don’t focus on the hours, but focus on the results, focus on the output. Focus, are you doing the right type of things to either move your company or your clients forward? So if you’re in a better environment to be a higher produce a higher product? That’s where you need to be.

Lisa 18:31
Yeah, and sometimes you just need to change things up. Yeah, try it. If it doesn’t work, then do it differently in the next set, but sometimes just a little shift in routine can make a big difference in how you can be effective.

David 18:44
Yeah. All right. Changing topics.

Lisa 18:47
Next topic.

David 18:48
Next topic. Do you ever have weird dreams?

Lisa 18:51
Oh, my God. Yes. All the time.

David 18:53
Do you?

Lisa 18:55
Now my kids have weird dreams, which is awesome. Because they told me about them and it’s just hilarious.

David 19:00
I kind of forgot about that. My boys don’t really well. Firstly, they’re teenagers. So they don’t want to talk to me period. So they might text me, but I’m like, Can I share one of the we I just it was just last night. That’s why it’s fresh fast. Because I can’t I can’t remember. And this is probably going to like no one the your list whoever’s listening, just bear with me. Like, it’d be worth a laugh. I think. Or maybe it’s just weird, or I want to get your interpretation. I’m just going to talk about this. So I can’t generally I can’t remember my dreams. So I fall into that category. And maybe it now that I’m thinking of is because there’s one show you’re watching you were talking about dreams. I don’t know. Here’s my dream. There was two dreams. The first dream was I had a daughter. Oh, yeah, she was she was already grown up like I don’t know. Like, I couldn’t. I couldn’t see your face in it. But I had My daughter so two boys now. And we were talking cat cat night weren’t talking anything about having like a daughter recently. So I don’t know how this got popped in, but we were running and we were we’re in this ginormous place with zombies. Okay, scary. Yeah, it was there, people were like decaying and falling over. And again, I haven’t watched anything like walking dead or anything like zombie related in a while. So I don’t know how that happened. There’s this guy at the piano at a piano. Like he was like, a zombie. And then he became alive, he started to, like, we gotta find out who’s creating all these zombies, we need to find the source that we need to stop it. And all of a sudden, my daughter, she bites somebody and turns them into zombie. I’m like, it’s huge. And that was it. That was really weird, right? That’s strange, right? And then so I had a second dream that was totally unrelated quite the night, I’ll come back to the daughter part, which is really weird. I’ll come back to the daughter part. I was on a golf course. Like, on like, about to tee off. And one of our clients was there. I’m not gonna say who it was. So it’d be weird. But this, this client comes up. And I didn’t have anything. I was on a golf course. But I didn’t have a club. I didn’t have a ball. I didn’t have like, I don’t know if this is an indication of I wasn’t prepared about being prepared for the day. Racing, but he’s like, Don’t worry, Dave. I got I got you. I got I got a club. I got a ball and he hands me this T and I’m trying to like figure out this T situation and I couldn’t figure it out. And then all of a sudden, all of a sudden, here comes this Ranger and goes, you guys are holding up the worse. I’m like, alright, well, we’ll come off. He’s like, come down here and we go over this berm. And it’s his house. I’m like, Oh, you live on the golf course. That’s cool. He’s like, Yeah, I like to come up for the wine. I’m like, What? What are you talking about? He’s like, I steal wine from the golf course. I’m like, You should have enough money for he’s like, we’ll just hide out here and then we’ll go back up and steal more one. I’m like, Alright, that sounds good.

Lisa 22:05
That sounds like a dream I should be involved in.

David 22:07
It’s so weird. And then he’s like, alright, let’s go back up. I couldn’t figure out how to use the T i like it looked like like a football tee. Like those arms things you like kickoff. Like you place the football and you kick off with that. So call a tee?

Lisa 22:22
I think so.

David 22:22
But whatever. I don’t know, what is that called? I don’t know. Whatever. I should know what that is. It’s not a t shirt. It is a football T. I don’t know what is that? Oh, Google. I don’t know somebody drop in the comments. If you know what that answer is. I couldn’t figure this thing out. I was turned upside down. You have it backwards. But it wasn’t making sense. I couldn’t tee off. And then we here’s the weird part. So I’m like, I need to go get some more wine. So we go around this corner. And there’s a line of golf carts lined up. We’re backing the whole thing up. We’re causing a delay in the Rangers getting pissed. And who is at the drink cart? My daughter I couldn’t see your face again. She was there again. Alright, here’s the craziest part. i That’s all I remember that. This is this is the crazy part about dreams. You have little things and then you read into it. And you’re like, what does that mean? I’m driving in this morning. And a song by shabooey comes off of an ocean Louisiana called Annabelle. And the album self titled album, I believe is Annabelle. Okay, the whole bunch of boozy, that was going to be our daughter’s name. If we had a daughter, that was the name we had

Lisa 23:37
So strange.

David 23:41
So what does that mean?

Lisa 23:42
Maybe have another kid?

David 23:43
No. It’s not that that ship has sailed. That ship has sailed. But I don’t know. Like, do you read into dreams?

Lisa 23:53
Every single time.

David 23:54
Oh, you do?

Lisa 23:55
I used to have a dream dictionary by my bedside. But I stopped doing that because well, I don’t have time to analyze my cheese. I barely have time to think anymore. But yeah, all the time. And I dream about clients often because I usually go to bed thinking about how can I solve this problem or what strategy you’re going to take here. I really love our clients in case you’re listening. I think about you all the time. So you make money make your way into my dreams. But then I I had a weird dream last week where I was sharing this with a few of our team members when we were in the office. Or I was working on something for a client I was trying to change something or tweak something and it was digital. So this doesn’t make any sense. But I was trying to get there to change it. And I had to go over this obstacle course and this net and everything I was trying to get from point A to point B to make the edit and a Cougar was chasing me.

David 24:50
Wait what type of Cougar like a cougar or like the animal?

Lisa 24:53
The animal

David 24:54
Okay, okay, just just because when you say Cougar our audience was already starting to think that painting this picture, and they’re they’re painting your dream. So okay.

Lisa 25:03
Yes of course I woke up analyzing that I the Cougar didn’t get me. But I also don’t know if I ever made made it to where I was trying to go either. But it was just one of those things where I was like, Oh, am I making this harder than it needs to be? Is there some sort of obstacle that you just read into a way too much. But yeah, dreams are wild. They’re wild. And then when they reoccur when you have the same visuals, it’s been happening to cat a lot lately. He keeps dreaming waves.

That has got to mean something. Google, it means something.

David 25:37
Yeah, I don’t I don’t like reading into them too much. I don’t I I just choose to think that when our brain shuts off, and we go into this sleep mode of you like paralyzed when you’re sleeping, you it’s it’s just your brain resetting, it’s everything is resetting, to kind of recharge, and it’s it’s firing, maybe bits of things that are really deep in your brain. And it’s just stitching those together. That’s how I choose the one to think about I if I can’t read into, like, if that’s going to happen, like that means something.

Lisa 26:16
That’s good. You’re probably a better way to deal with that.

David 26:19
But it’s also because I don’t remember them usually till.

Lisa 26:22

David 26:23
Because I can’t and I probably just didn’t tell you this. I wouldn’t remember this tomorrow, it would have already left my brain. Like I know, I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t be able to tell you those specifics. About the tee.

Lisa 26:34
Yeah. Yeah, I just, I don’t know, I always feel like, your subconscious or something in there.

David 26:41
Maybe? You’re Yeah, I mean, it could be, it could be right.

Lisa 26:45
I feel like there, there’s always things you can learn about yourself, especially from your subconscious mind. That’s how I try to reflect on is what what do what can I, what can I learn from this that I may not be thinking about on a daily basis that I can take? And maybe, you know, like, in that situation of that client dream, you may just need to calm down a little bit. Maybe I’m overthinking this.

David 27:09
If you’re listening, if you have a crazy dream, and you want to come on the agency balance, drop, drop. Drop us a line or if you have any thoughts about dreams, please send that in. Come to the agency and drop drop an email to us. We would love to hear more about that. Okay. That’s enough about dreams. I think that’s that’s enough. Do you want to talk about anything that’s like, happening in like, services or tactics, or we talked about AI a lot this season, because it’s happening a lot in our business. I think for me, let’s talk about it. I’m just gonna get right into it. Let’s, let’s just talk about it.

Lisa 27:56
Talk about AI?

David 27:57
Yeah, let’s just talk about AI a little bit.

Lisa 27:59
You have to talk about AI, everyone’s talking about AI. You’re what’s surprising to me. So I’m doing this small business summit in a couple of weeks where we’re getting ready to address the topic, small businesses from the Lehigh Valley are attending and we have someone facilitating the panel from one of the local universities and then a vast amount of experience on the panel where the goal is to help small businesses understand how they can use it. And as we were preparing the, the thought that we’re all going into this with is that most small businesses aren’t going to be pretty against the use of AI, which I was surprised about. But based on who’s attended in the past, that’s the sentiment of the audience. So we’re talking a little bit more about how we could educate how we could talk about this. And one of the things that I said when we were planning is, I bet many of these small businesses don’t even realize that they are already using AI. I mean, it’s becoming so integrated into everything that we do, if you’re using Google and Gmail is AI incorporated with that if you’re using like HubSpot for us and so it’s being integrated throughout the platform in so many ways. So to be totally against it at this point, I would just question yourself and start to pay attention to how many ways it’s already incorporated into our daily lives. Whether you like it or not. It’s here.

David 29:28
Yeah, any any piece of tech has it already. Yeah, your phone has it. Google is running. I mean, everything is is running off of it. I think that for me goes back to I’ve heard a few topics, probably six months ago even longer about this exact thing. So if you’re falling into this camp right now, where you are not embracing AI, you’re going to fail. So you’re worried like is it going to take over my job, you’re going to fail, you have to, especially if you’re an agency listener right now, if you have not figured out a way to adopt it into your core services, your daily routine and have a stance on it, you’re going to fail, it will take over, you will lose if you’re not incorporating it into it’s no different than 35 years ago, when email came on to say, I’m making that I don’t know, don’t fact check me people. And mail came on, but like when they’re like, I can’t use email that’s gonna that’s wrong, right? It’s the same thing. I mean, it’s just, it’s advancing so quickly. And I think that scares people. The other thing, when they say no, or that they’re against it is because they’re not educated on it. So you need to educate yourself on it on a level of the differences of what machine learning is about. How are you using it? So for me, I think I think of the tools, right, so most of the software that we use, and what’s already out there, it’s already integrating into that. So familiarize yourself about it. And then what is the output then to? What are the tools that I can incorporate in my daily routine? To free up more time to do something that a human can do? Right? That’s, that, to me is the biggest.

Lisa 31:16
Yeah, exactly. That’s the other thing that we were discussing is there’s this a lot of the against camp things. Well, AI is just replacing jobs, and people are just churning out poor quality work. And yes, I think that with producing content, a lot of things we do as marketers, there is a place for AI. But just producing content is not quality. But my stance on it is that AI should allow you to do things more quickly. Because with everyone speeding up the time to market and having that velocity, it’s just going to require the actual people in your company to think harder to be more strategic. And that’s, that’s a shift we’ve been talking about. With Smart eager for the last year now as I felt like clients are requiring us to be more strategic to be more thoughtful. And with AI taking over that’s a real need, because you can crank out a campaign like that. But is it going to be smart? Is it going to be thoughtful? Is it going to be strategic, that’s the human side of it, that you need to carve out that time for to have that mental energy to think a little harder to work a little harder to come up with a better idea? Because everyone else can do all the other stuff quickly? Yeah. And that’s why you should hire smarter, because we can do that really?

David 32:38
Well. Yeah. So our stance and our stance is right, we’re going to it’s not the final product, we are using it. We’re not just assuming that that final product or anything that’s produced is even remotely close, like we are still coming up with the ideas, we’re still coming up with the concepts. We’re facilitating that through the tools that we’re using, and then some steps of the way things can get accelerated. And why wouldn’t you want us to do that? Because we’re going to be able to do things, some things more efficient for you that are going to allow us to do the more strategic things better, or give you more strategy towards things? Yeah, there’s just so much like on the creative side, I know. You we’ve used we’ve used we had we had a we had a here’s a case study example. And maybe you can find maybe we can link this up this case study example where I was blown away with this. And I didn’t even know we were doing this. So we had a we had a small client that needed something really quickly, with not a lot of budget. You know, the good, fast, quick thing. And, but you know, that obviously, we you know, we wanted to make sure that you know, we were able to still support them. And so we came up with all the creative, the messaging, probably the tone, the script, everything. But we just had the voiceover done by an AI. It sounded really good. It sounded really good. And so because of that, it, we were able to do it more efficient, reduce the costs, get it done quicker, we didn’t have to go back and forth, find talent. Oh, is it you know, this type of voice does have a voice. So that’s one example that we use recently. And the client was totally on board with that. Yep. So that was cool.

Lisa 34:28
I think it’s going to change things like testing to write we do a lot of AV testing and platform. But now there’s an opportunity to test things before even launching it. I still think there’s a ton of value in AV testing, but just getting a eyes perspective on this is our target persona. These are some of their challenges. These are their pain points. Here’s the ad. How do you interpret it? What’s the key takeaway? That’s been really impactful for how we’re delivering even creative Just to make sure that what we’re showcasing the right message is the one that’s most easily picked up from that. So there’s a lot of value in just using it in so many different ways. So many use cases…

David 35:15
Yeah, like on the sales side, what were the Salesloft, for example, that’s integrated into the rhythm dashboard. So it tells you what should be your next sequence over your cadence. What is your next step? If this has happened, right, so if this action occurred in the sales process, let’s say you’re in a negotiation phase, and there is a push back, because that has happened over and over and over again, AI is saying, Hey, this is your next best move, use this play. I think that’s really important for companies that are looking to get more out of BDRs, or if you’re in the closing, the example I gave in the closing phase is probably you know, more. So more and more of like a VP of sales or something higher up that is trying to close a deal. If you’re doing that at scale, you may need some influence there. I think at the end of the day, we’re still humans, we’re still going to make our own judgment call. We’re going to look at that and go, yeah, maybe I won’t do that. Like I know, I’m better off trying to schedule a meeting and talking through versus just trying to send another email. I think the example that I’ve seen happen is I’m seeing a go back and like I talked about email, I get way too many emails, but email. And messaging, this is I’ve seen this now in messaging where, like, I’m talking like messenger type conversations, not like LinkedIn, navigator messaging, and stuff like that. It’s purely, just, they’re just following whatever AI is doing. They’re being so lazy about it. I’m so turned off by that I can tell that you did not look at the exact action or input that I gave you. Like I told you, like, you’re twice your price was twice as high. And you’re you’re just letting the system funnel you. That’s so bad.

Lisa 37:10
Drives me insane. I had that happen to me this week to or responded to something and said I I can’t meet this week. Okay. How about this? Tuesday? No, you’re not listening to anything that I’m saying? Stop.

David 37:23
Yeah. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, like, yeah, so AI, it’s continuing to advance. We’re all of our technology partners are investing more and more into it. And I think it’s, I think it’s good. I do think right now, I think it’s good. There in my back of my head that I still worry about governance and security, and I worry about it going the bad way. Like, what are the repercussions? I always worry about those other things. That’s just where I am in my career. I think I risk mitigate, I told you that like every day is about risk mitigation. So like, what are the risks of certain things. So I think there’s still a lot that has to be done on that front. But there’s a lot of cool things that you could do. To help you get a better output and a better product quicker, faster to free up the things a great thing and also is like I’ve seen companies use it to free up to do a better job of customer service. So on the customer service side, he talks about well, if you’re doing those those type of tasks, or if a standard push back or something comes in like a return or something, use AI to help process that and then free up the time for customer service to connect more with your current customer base, have conversations have a one on one relationship? One on one. One on one connection was that big theme during the pandemic was like you have to figure out a way to connect with people. And I don’t think that it’s gone away. Connecting with people I think is really important. And having that conversation. People just want it differently. They just want that to consume that differently. So I don’t know. That’s That’s it for now. I don’t know would….do you have any other thoughts before we move on about that topic?

Lisa 39:11
We could talk about AI for a while. But for me, it’s just I agree with the governance. It’s just like social media. I mean, that was a big part of my job when I was working with the Air Force medical service of just making sure people don’t do the wrong things that can compromise security are a great risk. But sometimes you just have to set set your team up safely and move forward. Because if you’re too afraid to do it, you’re not gonna learn anyway, you’re not gonna learn from it. So I encourage everyone to have a chat GPT open think about how can I work a little bit faster today and just explore use cases that feel good and comfortable for you. And in our case, we’re not sharing client Eat or anything like that. But there is so many things you can do throughout your day that might help you move faster.

David 40:09
Great segue. Great segue. This is our closing segment on, I want to talk about three, three things that energize you. So just like we just talked about AI, you should be freed up to do more things. So I want to talk through three things that energize you. Do you want to go first? Or should I go first, we want to go back and forth.

Lisa 40:33
Let’s go back and forth.

David 40:34

Lisa 40:35
I’ve been thinking about this, but it’s, it was a little hard for me not gonna lie.

David 40:38
Me too. Me too. After I wrote down, I was like, man, I wrote something down harder. That’s something really hard to talk through. Alright, I’ll go first, and then I’ll kick it back to you. And it just so happened to work out this way? Well, it started to work out this way. And then I stretched it. My three things that energize me all being with P, O, three P’s. So hopefully you can remember this. My first is positivity, love that entered things that energize me or positivity. So what I mean by that, I think when I’m around negativity, and negativity can be from a person, people, or it could be the action that is occurring. Something happened, when there’s negativity, I fall into the trap of I get on that level, I get onto that person’s level, or when something bad happens, I get into that mood. So that happened to me yesterday, where something bad happened. And I was thankful that I’ve read, because I think I was predicting that it was going to happen, I got mad. And I started to feel like I was going to on that level of the action that occurred by spying by someone, I close my, I close my laptop, I go, I’m going for a drive, I got in the car, and I just left so that I could do something completely different for 35 minutes to turn my brain off so that I could reset, and I wouldn’t stay on till. Because I get until you know I can get until everybody knows me personally, I get until we all we all have that to an extent. So I needed I needed to reset. So I think for me, when I’m around positivity, I feed off of that energy and tying it back to being in person when if you have an opportunity to connect with your co workers, your partners, your clients and be in person as much as you can. I feel I personally I’m I am. I am an extrovert so that I fall into that. So I feed off of people’s positivity. If I’m in a room of people, and I can pick up on those cues, I’m getting like pumped up. So that’s, that’s my first one.

Lisa 40:38
Nice. Oh, I’ll share this one since you talked about driving. For me, it’s not driving, but it’s having some quiet space. And I don’t know if this is a result of having two small kids right now. And just not feeling like I often have the time to just let my mind wander a little bit. But I find that it’s important for the work day right to step away and just have some time where I’m not reading email or I’m not actively in a conversation but just having that freeform thought, where I can actually hear my internal monologue and let my brain think for a little bit. I love that. And that’s actually one of the reasons why I love having an office space again because I can get in the car commute to and from work. And it doesn’t feel like a waste of time at all because it’s quiet time where I can let my brain just think and it’s so refreshing.

David 43:55
Yeah, I love it. I don’t have that as one of mine, but I love quiet. Like for me. A quiet dinner is awesome. I love a quiet dinner. The only thing that I hate is a loud dinner when there’s a lot going on. That’s that’s where you are… Second key for me is progress.

Lisa 44:17
Mmm okay this is funny because wait till you hear my second one.

David 44:21
Okay, so progress. I’ve always said that incremental milestones are better than like ginormous, huge ones. I pretty much can relate this to anything. Like years and years ago, when we were talking about how do we scale the business? How do we grow the business? How do we you always think about huge, ginormous things like finance and sales and people and infrastructure and all these are how the heck are you going to achieve that? And when I was a project manager and having that in my blood about planning things I like to be methodical about these are the steps that have to occur. And when I can see even like when we were doing the office, like I hadn’t created to do lists for myself of like, these are all the things in planning it all out. And when I started to achieve like that that section was complete. I said, we’re making progress here. And I get excited about that when I, when we have when we win something. It’s a small win, it’s contributing to something that’s larger, and you’re showing that progress or. And that’s funny, as I’m like, looking out the window. For those, you can’t see this, I’ll also put another picture of this, where we’re across from an amusement park, and they are building this ginormous roller coaster, which I will absolutely not ride. But the progress they made from the time that we moved in here to the it’s done. They were like testing that last week.

Lisa 45:58
I was surprised seeing that this morning, actually.

David 46:00
Like, first, I didn’t know you can build a roller coaster that being in that quick. But I guess it’s just a bunch of Legos that you’ve built somewhere else. They’re just assembling it together. But progress, I think is really like I’m always talked about progress over perfection. For me, it’s just when I see that I just, it gives a there’s something inside the endorphins wherever kick in. And you’re just like, Yeah, let’s go!

Lisa 46:23
Yep, that’s actually very much in line with my second one. And it’s launching something or having it moved from the planning phase, but actually getting it done. And to completion. When I have something like that in my day, or even in my week, I feel so energized. And I think there are brains that work differently in this regard, too. I think sometimes people like when they can just chip away at something, move it a little bit further a little bit further. Like my husband, he loves to put away 75% of his laundry, wherever I’m doing that on the weekend, I gotta get it all done. It’s all gotta go. And what to do, you’re 100% done and off my list. I love you can. But that’s true in the, in my work days, too. I love when I even if it’s just the smallest task like I’ve been thinking about sending this email for the last two weeks, it’s flying to my inbox. I just gotta do I just gotta get it done. If I can get something done and off my list, it just reminds me that okay, that’s a that’s a milestone. It’s a box, I can check. But it feels especially good when it’s something going live something watching that I can look at and see how it’s performing, see how people are engaging with it, learn from it, take that and then plan what the next thing is because I feel like, okay, not only did I just do something, but it made an impact. And I can watch and learn and think about what the next move is. Or think if my next move the one that I thought was the right one is truly the right one.

David 47:57
I can, I can relate to the 75% Laundry thing. I know why it’s a guy thing. Because, listen, we may wear some of those other things. And some of the other things like we may not want to put away because they’re like harder to put away like the with. Alright. So this was the third one and I labeled it a P but maybe it’s not the best label for it. So what I wrote down first was something to look forward to energizes me something to look forward to. So what I what I relate that to was plan. So planning, I’m definitely a planner, I’m a P It’s yeah, like, I’m a planner. So something to look forward to whether if it’s like, time off coming up, like an event with your your kids, it could be an item. Like for me, I like to get things like in the mail. I’m like one of those guys like when what came from Amazon today. It was nothing like it. But I like to when I know that there’s something happening or will happen. And then I can look forward to it. I don’t know, like I think our brains are wired in a certain way that like it’s something on the horizon is something that you can get excited about and get happy about because it’s going to be hopefully it’s going to bring you joy, whatever that is. Maybe there’s a reverse effect that there’s something on the horizon that you don’t want to do. Maybe it’s having the other so I get I get energy from that. I think when I when I don’t have something to look forward to. And generally it’s probably for me, it’s like a trip or something, you know, something that’s coming up or like ooh, and if I don’t have anything I’m like on the box. Like I get that little anxious, like I get a little like, I get a little anxious. So, you know for me putting a bow on these like positivity, progress and plan. And the reason and I’ll kick it back to you in a second. The reason I wanted to share these was I think it’s really important that if you’re, if you’re listening right now write three things down that energize you. Think about that three things that energize you, and look back at these and try to do them because there should be an output there like to building that energy. And if you don’t have something that is in your plans, do it, maybe you’ll feel better. What’s your final thing?

Lisa 50:24
My final one is a little bit harder to articulate, but it’s prioritizing what I need when I knit. So some days I like to have my, my latte, I sit at my laptop and just start getting work done. Because mentally that’s where I’m at. I’m just ready to go. I want to focus on that. Somedays, I have to start my day with a very aggressive run on the treadmill, because I just have to let out some steam or no get on a good headspace to start my day with with clarity. And then last week, you know, a good example of this is coming off of training and a few pretty busy days threw me out of my usual routine. I knew on Friday, I was not going to be productive because I felt like I needed to spend time with my kids. I just I needed to be there with them. I needed their energy to bring back my energy. So I could have sat at my desk and tried to get work done. But why I wouldn’t have been productive, I wouldn’t have been effective. But I had a great afternoon doing something that filled up My Cup. So I think self care is really important to keep treating yourself. I read this somewhere. I think it was Jonathan Baker.

David 51:40
Okay, yeah, we can link up Jonathan Baker.

Lisa 51:42
He wrote something about “Are you a professional or are you an amateur? And I’m a professional marketer. So I need to treat my mind, my body, everything like I’m a professional and take good care of myself. And sometimes that’s paying attention to what you need when you need it so you can perform at your best.

David 51:59
That’s a couple other Ps that are professional as well.

Lisa 52:03

David 52:04
Prioritization, those are all there’s a lot of pieces that we said in this episode. So, thanks for listening. We had a great, great time this morning.

Lisa 52:13
This was fun. Glad we got our mics working.

David 52:17
All right. All right. Stay tuned. If you’re not subscribed, please hit that subscribe button and we’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks,

Lisa 52:22
everyone. Thanks for listening.

David 52:24
Subscribe to the podcast at, Apple, YouTube or Spotify.