The “deal with every issue once” philosophy is a great foundation for making the best use of your time. It’s such a simple discipline that many people don’t appreciate just what a powerful means it is to get the best from your available time.”
Currently based in Sydney, Greg has lived and worked in Asia, Europe and the USA. His career began with a computer science degree and he has worked with technology companies for more than 30 years. His industry experience is broad and includes construction, telecoms, banking, education and digital marketing. His speciality is transforming non-performing businesses into money makers and opening new markets for both established companies and startups.
As CEO of both Goals Playbook and AIRDOCS, Greg is kept quite busy, but always manages to find time for spending with his family. Greg’s colleagues describe him as highly intelligent, insightful, technical, strategic, creative and someone who has outstanding communication and leadership skills.
Always open to new people and new ideas and constantly trying to improve himself, Greg is happy to impart his knowledge and skills on anyone who is looking for some guidance.
He is goal-oriented and has a very good understanding of current marketing trends. A good listener, Greg is always open to feedback and new opportunities to develop his own skills.
Greg’s specialities include:
Structuring commercial entities
Aligning resources and corporate objectives
Defining product and go-to-market strategies
Managing businesses for profitable growth
Coaching teams to perform at the their best
Greg is a constant traveler for business and pleasure and has visited about 75% of the countries of the world. As a husband and father of three boys, he devotes a lot of his time to his family. Greg and his wife split their time between Sydney and San Francisco.
Where did the idea for the Goals Playbook come from?
I was thinking hard about what I’d achieved at the end of the year a while ago and, more importantly, what I wanted to achieve during the upcoming year. I couldn’t find a tool that would help me structure my thinking in a way that would enable a logical process. So, I decided to start brainstorming how to ideally approach my planning needs. Once I had drafted my ideal layout, I realized that this could be something other people would find valuable. I spoke to some folks whose opinion I value and got great feedback supporting my notion to turn it into a product.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Most days start early, usually around 6:30 am. I always make time to have a healthy lunch, whether that means taking one on my own or making a business meeting out of it. Getting in a gym visit each day is also important, so I make sure to fit (pardon the pun) that into my schedule, along with the usual duties of being a husband and father. Sometimes I work quite late, although rarely past midnight. I find that by taking the time to include exercise into my day, I make it more productive because I feel energized after going to the gym.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Research is my main tool for bringing ideas to life. If I see a gap in a market, I will research it by talking to other people to confirm it’s a real problem that needs a solution and if it would be worth me investing the time and energy into creating a solution for it. I use services like LinkedIn to connect with people who I think could provide information on the problem and how they have tried to solve it. Obviously Google is a very important tool in my research.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The possibility of greatly increased transparency that Blockchain-based tech solutions will deliver. I think it could potentially help weed out much of the corruption we see in the world because it’s transparent and cannot be altered.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My productivity habit is to deal with every issue once. This means once you start something, work on that one thing until you complete it so you don’t have to go back to it multiple times. The “deal with every issue once” philosophy is a great foundation for making the best use of your time. It’s such a simple discipline that many people don’t appreciate just what a powerful means it is to get the best from your available time.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be more patient. Too many times I’ve made a decision out of frustration with a lack of progress, when I could have been patient and allowed processes to take their course. So, I think the advice I’d give my younger self is to not be in a rush to move onto a new project simply out of frustration.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe that there are already too many B2B SaaS products in the market and yet they keep being launched. What entrepreneurs have to realize is that companies want to rationalize the number of vendors they deal with not increase them. B2B SaaS companies needs to morph into a market of add-ons for the major platforms to make it easier to build a base of users. I would say to any entrepreneur that is working on a new SaaS to stop and reconsider and look to find a larger platform as the go-to-market partner.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I use a formal planning methodology for my annual goal-setting and for anything that is strategically important to me. My preferred system for this is goalsplaybook.com (and yes it’s a tool I developed). There is just no substitute for the formal planning process because it provides the rigor necessary to ensure you think through all the issues. That’s not to say you’ll always conceive a perfect plan, it will be a base to get started and then is something you can revisit and adjust as needed.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I constantly market my business in a bevy of channels so I get my brand in front of as wide an audience as possible. I personally use channels like LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter and I hire freelancers to help me with other channels like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In my early years as an entrepreneur around the time of the original dotcom boom/bust I had a company that was burning too much cash and then the bust happened. Our overheads had gotten too high and in early 2001 everything changed. Customers cancelled, VCs didn’t return phone calls and the company ended up having to close. Staff and creditors were paid but I lost the money and time I invested. It taught me a great lesson to never, ever allow the cash burn rate to get out of hand.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A system to enable the tracking and verification of the skills you develop through your entire life. I suggest blockchain technology. You could charge a subscription fee to use it and become part of its certification network.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I used an Upwork freelancer to design my goalsplaybook.com logo and she did an absolutely superb job. I was really delighted.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
For me, the best tool is LinkedIn because it’s a great way to grow my network and to keep my network informed. It also allows me to distribute marketing content to a very wide audience.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail. This book lays the framework for organizations to adapt and thrive in a world of rapid change by diving into new organizational structures that leverage exponential technologies and a shifting global business mindset. It’s a great read for anyone working in an established organization and also for startups working on technology solutions for established organizations.
What is your favorite quote?
I like a quote by a Greek philosopher, Seneca in AD65:
“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested… So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.” SENECA AD65
- Deal with everything once.
- Use a specific structure to set your goals.
- Market your business across multiple channels.
Greg Twemlow on LinkedIn:
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.