5 Hours of Axe-Sharpening

Happy Sunday, people! I hope the Super Bowl deeply nourishes every parched nook and cranny of your souls.

Lead Generation Learnings

I had a client who once said "If I had 4 hours to cut down a tree, I'd spend 5 hours sharpening my axe." This week felt a bit like that to me; lots of getting organized and improving the meta-tool of process.

I think that's the main shareable thing I learned about lead generation this past week: it's worth it to get organized.

Even though lead generation is the main thing I sell and so it's what I'm focused on every workday, there's still lots of picking up and putting down various components of my process, and therefore lots of opportunities to waste 30 minutes trying to figure out what exactly what needs to happen next with this piece of the process for this client. Even though there's lots of automation I've built to make things more efficient, there's still lots of client-specific state that has to be tracked. My brain is definitely not the right repository for the state about all of those moving parts.

Something like Notion is probably the ideal place for this kind of state-heavy process. But I use and very much like Logseq, so I spent time building client-specific dashboards and some templates using the smartblocks plugin. Once I got to the point where I can click a button and the exact right piece of the much larger overall process appears on the dashboard with the right pieces auto-completed for me, it was a very empowering feeling.

Another realization was that improving the meta-tool of process requires a very different headspace, at least for me. The natural headspace for me is a kind of fluid, associative, thinking-in-metaphors-and-possibilities sort of place. I'm unsure how to describe the headspace I had to be in to build empowering process and templates. But getting there felt like squeezing myself into a different shape. It was a palpable feeling of discomfort.

But I'll say it again: it was so worth it! As I think about how this might apply to your business development efforts, I wonder:

  • Are you using even a simple CRM to track opportunities, and to remind yourself to maintain relationships with people who might be important to your business but not salient in your daily thinking?

  • Do you have marketing or business development work that doesn't get done at all, or gets done less than it should because of some kind of friction? Maybe that friction is fundamental and just needs to be powered through, and maybe it's reducible with better process?


  • A deliverability audit service to help you meet the new bulk sender requirements from Gmail, et. al: https://launchthought.com/email-compliance/

  • DCB is running a pop-up seminar on lead generation at the end of February: https://punctuation.com/event/pipeline-kickstarter-2024/ It’s getting close to the deadline on this one and it’s in ATL, so jump if you’re gonna jump on this.

  • If you know what an e-commerce agency charges, please contribute to this research: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5HBG3M5

  • I am offering an online workshop on using cold email to deliver content, and on ways to inexpensively produce that content: https://opportunitylabs.io/workshops/ol-workshop-cold-email/.

    The workshop kicks off on Feb 23, and offers a lot of 1:1 implementation time with me, along with group sessions, and recipe-level guidance. The 22% early-bird discount on the $1,800 fee is available until Feb 19.

    If you'd like to get email updates on this workshop and reminders about discount deadlines, respond Yes to the poll below.

Last Week’s For-Fun Poll

Last email’s For Fun Poll was: “How do you house yourself?” Results:

🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ Apartment I rent (6)

⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ House I rent (2)

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 House I own (20)

⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ Movable dwelling (1)

🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ Other (If you like please also leave an un-identifying comment with more details) (4)

33 Votes

When I wrote the poll, I was hoping for some fascinating answers to the “Movable dwelling” choice! When my wife and I lived at the Oregon coast back in the early 2010’s, we and our 2 cats and 1 dog lived in an 8×8’ pumphouse for about 6 weeks while we were waiting for our manufactured home to be delivered. I worked on a folding table under a big maple tree on a laptop run off a deep cycle battery + inverter and a cellular modem hooked up to yagi antenna I made from some 1×2 cedar furring and welding rods, mounted on a tripod and aimed at the not-close cellphone tower. We showered at the YMCA and ate a lot of sandwiches during this time. Not a movable dwelling, but still… 🙂 

The “Other” responses were mostly folks who own apartments rather than rent them. Thanks to all who responded and commented!

This Week’s For-Fun Poll