In this episode, Justin Dux chats with Stephan Aarstol. Stephan has founded a number of ventures including the No Middleman Project, Tower Electric Bikes, Tower Paddle Boards, Sidepot Gaming, and more. Tower Paddle Boards was founded in 2010 and funded by billionaire Mark Cuban. Tower Paddle Boards is one of the biggest Shark Tank success stories to date.
In 2015, to challenge long-held delusions about unhealthy start-up work culture, Stephan moved his whole company to a 5-hour workday and would later write a book titled “The Five Hour Workday” about the experience, which would spread the idea to tens of millions of people worldwide, and get press in over 20 countries.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
- Stephan’s background
- Tower Paddle Boards background
- How the 5-hour workday was started
- How the 5-hour workday forced employees to be more productive
- Stephan’s thoughts on incentivizing 5-hour workdays
- The issues and challenges with a 5-hour workday
- How the 5-hour workday can work for any company
- The history of work and the 8-hour workday
HELP US OUT!
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BOOKS AND RESOURCES:
- Tower Paddle Board on Shark Tank
- 5-hour workday experiment
- Productivity tools that allow 5-hour workdays
- 5-Hour WorkDay Book by Stephan Aarstol
- How to get your company started with a 5-hour workday
- Panjiva - sourcing tool mentioned by Stephan
- No Middle Man - find direct to consumer products
- Video cover letters
- Connect with Stephan on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.
Justin Dux (00:00):
Welcome to CareerCloud Radio. I'm your host, Justin Dux. CareerCloud.com is your resource for tips, tricks, and tools to shorten your job search. Become a modern job seeker by listening to these episodes or reading articles on our website, job hunting sucks. We are here to make it better. With us today is Stephan Aarstol. He started an educational toy business, but it failed because there was no mint demand for educational toys, but rather than read his bio to you, I start every interview with the same dreaded job interview question. So Stephan, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Stephan Aarstol (00:35):
Sure. How are you doing, Justin? To, uh, sorta tell you about myself? I'm a sort of a startup junkie. I guess I've done a number of startups. I've been in the internet space since 1999. And most recently I started a company called tower paddleboards. It's a direct to consumer stand up paddleboard company. We started about the same time, you know, Warby Parker and all of these direct consumer brands were going online. I've done a number of businesses. This one was funded by Mark Cuban on ABC's Shark Tank. And we've gone on to become, uh, one of his best investments in the history of the show, which is meaningful because I'm also probably the worst pitch in the history of shark tank that still landed a deal. So we, uh, we started off bad. We've had a good run, but we've definitely been up and down.
Stephan Aarstol (01:19):
And, um, you know, in 2014 we were the number one fastest growing company, private company in San Diego with a team of five people. We were doing about 5 million in sales. And then in the next year we were number two 39 on the Inc 500 of America's fastest growing companies, still with a very small team. And at that point we decided, Hey, we figured out this growth thing, but we're this beach lifestyle company working two blocks from the beach and we're not really living on brand. So if we want to build a hundred million dollar business, how do we do that? We've got to live our brand. So that's when we rolled out the five-hour Workday as a test, we were working from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM straight through with no lunch. And the idea here was I was going to give my employees their lives back or really give them the incentive that entrepreneurs have.
Stephan Aarstol (02:05):
Like you come in, head down, get your work done, walk out the door, happy and go enjoy your life. But I did it with low pressure. I said, you know, we're going to go to the five hour Workday. I'm going to give you your lives back. We're going to do a three month test here. If you need to be able to figure out how to work as a, be as productive as you were before and get as much done as you were before in the full day, or you'll be fired. So you get your life back. You don't give me the productivity. We're going to go find somebody else who will take advantage of that deal basically. So it was a three month test after three months, it was going so well, productivity was, was great. People were becoming their own little efficiency experts. So everything in the business was going good. We increased revenues 50% that year. We continued to do the test and for the next two years. So we did it about two years straight, you know, and really I'm getting in a little deeper than, I guess, just my bio, but that was it. And we did this five hour Workday test. And, uh, we had some ups and downs over the years.
Justin Dux (02:56):
Well, that's exactly where I wanted to go with it. The five hour workday sounds very attractive to people working a day, job nine to five, eight hours, sometimes 10 or 12 hours. And I've had a couple of people on the show that are mindfulness experts to try to help us focus and get our attention under our control and not be so distracted. And I got to say, when you talk about a five-hour Workday on the surface, it sounds easy, but did you have some struggles with, uh, employees still falling into old habits and being distracted?
Stephan Aarstol (03:29):
Definitely you do. I mean, there's, it's kind of like finals week. When you put people, you put pressure on them and say, okay, you just got to figure this out. So the, the easiest things to do are okay, well, we've got this much time to do stuff. You stop doing the wasteful stuff, you know, stop being on Facebook, stop doing your fantasy football league or whatever. Cause you really don't have time to do that. And if you do do the waste, then it becomes very obvious that you're not getting a lot done so people can do that pretty quickly. But the real thing we were trying to push people towards is the identification of productivity tools. Because right now, with all of the technology, the interconnectedness of the internet, and just sort of the modern tools, productivity tools of the world, you have this nuclear power at your fingertips.
Stephan Aarstol (04:10):
Now you have the ability to waste extraordinary amounts of time and still appear that you're working on the one side. And on the flip side, you have these tools that can make jobs that used to take you years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. And you can do it, you know, in a couple of hours in the afternoon. So, uh, my feeling is that, uh, these productivity tools have really changed the world in the last 20, 30, 40 years. And a lot of people just aren't using that because we're just throwing time at it, especially in sort of the, the American mentality of you pride yourself on a 50 hour week. Oh no, I'm going to work a 60 hour week, 70 hour weeks. So we throw more and more time at stuff, but are we really being more productive as a workforce? And if you look at workforce productivity, um, there was a study between 1970 and 2000, I think 11 productivity of the U S American workforce went up 80%.
Stephan Aarstol (05:01):
And a lot of people look at that and say, that's great. We almost doubled productivity. I look at that and say, that's insanity. Like, you know, my mom was running a bank when I was in high school, you know, in the eighties, she had a typewriter and she typed out letters and mail it to people. You know, she had a phone that was attached to the wall. She had a computer on her desk, but it really wasn't connected to anything else. And you're telling me that somebody has only twice as productive as she is with the power of the internet, cell phones and you know, modern travel. And that's insane. Every entrepreneur I know is a thousand times more productive and if you're not, you're going to fall behind. So I think we have these productivity tools and people are not using them. So really the five-hour Workday, the intent was there, forced these people to identify productivity tools.
Justin Dux (05:44):
I love it just in the last year I started working with somebody named Bradley rice who probably would love to meet you because he works 20 hours per week as a freelance Salesforce administrator and pulls down on multiple six figures with multiple clients and the way he structured his work. But he was telling me on the phone call, like it's purely efficiency, Justin, I have to be efficient. Otherwise I've worked 40, 50 hours a week and I just don't want to do that. And so let's go a little deeper than on tools because I think I get it. Now, what you're after using tools takes time. There's a learning curve. You've got to learn to use the tool. Microsoft Excel is enough. It's powerful enough that big banks use it to save time. I know a guy who works at one who says he works 20 hours a week and his boss doesn't know it cause they just push paper around all day. And he does what he, his boss thinks will take 16 hours. He can do in two hours on the afternoon because he's really good at the tool Microsoft Excel. And if you master some of these tools, they do show you those efficiencies, but I'm aware that some people don't get those benefits right off the bat. So how did you kind of outlast the learning curve of new tools?
Stephan Aarstol (06:57):
I think that really gets at the heart of what this change did. It wasn't like we brought in efficiency experts. We just squeezed people for time and we said, figure it out. And you know, these are different types of jobs. Like some jobs were marketing jobs and those people are on computers and there's different productivity tools, but you know, one division was shipping, right? Yeah. They're just shipping guys. And they said, well, this works good for you guys that sit at these desks and you're not really doing anything all day anyways, they said, but we got to ship out the same number of packages and probably 50% more packages this year because we're growing. Like it's not going to work for us. But in our shipping department, they use shipping, you know, productivity tools to, we were using something at the time called ship station.
Stephan Aarstol (07:35):
So it wasn't like we were some archaic company not using any software tools we were using them, but they just weren't even using your period. Good. And they actually did, like in a time trials on this, and before we rolled this out, they were taking five minutes basically per shipment, you know, to get that out the door. And then they went in and looked at the ShipStation tool and said, well, how can we use this differently? Can we put the weights and the measurements in here and everything. So it, so it just sort of spit stuff out and we're not typing stuff back and forth. So they were kind of, half-assed using this tool before we forced them to really learn that tool. And then it went down to like 2.6 minutes per, per item shipped. Okay. They have been using this tool for several years.
Stephan Aarstol (08:14):
And that is your Excel example is a, is a perfect example because there's people that use Excel and maybe you learn it in college, you know, one class or something. And then there's people that are experts at it and they've got like these hotkeys and they can do this crazy stuff. And they got pivot tables and they, and it's like, okay, this person is using nuclear powers here. And this person is using like muskets and they're both using Excel. So they're like, yeah, I'm in the modern age, but no, not really. And then a lot of people just don't even know that certain tools exist.
Justin Dux (08:44):
Right. And I'm going to throw one of my past employers under the bus here a little bit,
Speaker 3 (08:48):
But about 2005. Yeah. About 2000 or no, I think it was 11.
Justin Dux (08:53):
I forget the years. I'd have to look at my old resumes to remember now days, but it was best buy fortune 50 company. Right. Did you realize that behind the scenes, fortune 50 companies are being run by Microsoft Excel? Like they have databases, they have 200 person it teams, but there's still some teams that are on spreadsheets. And so like one of my jobs, there was the load in the promo is once a week for the business to business division. And so like I would get these spreadsheets from about 15 to 20 different product owners, which with catalogs of a thousand products each and there would be rows in these spreadsheets for the sales this week. Right. It blew my mind. I had 15 different layouts. They were all in a different place, 15 different people that wanted to go rows down instead of columns across or something like, and they would just do it whatever way, made sense to them, but it didn't create any consistency or efficiencies like you and I are talking about.
Justin Dux (09:52):
And so of course what happens labor hours get added to the problem, not technology, not solutions. So this is a really interesting philosophy. You've formed about constraints. You've kind of just entered into it a little bit, but constraints is also tension because the shipping team's telling you, I can't do it. How did you fight the urge to just say, okay, fine. You guys keep working six hours a week, but you know what I mean? Like you can give up and, and let time be the answer. Did you just remove time is one of the solutions.
Stephan Aarstol (10:27):
Well, you can't completely remove it. We can just work longer hours. But I kind of said, that's not the plan isn't to do that. The plan is for you to really sort of push this. This is an experiment. Let's try to figure out how to work faster. And if we can identify how to work faster, we can move at twice the speed of our competitors. Now, when you talk about constraints, there's constraints on the one side, the startup world is built around constraints, right? We've got three people in a garage with no money and really no resources. And they're going to try to upset a hundred million dollar company. And that happens at an alarming rate. Like why does that happen? It happens because of constraints, in my opinion, because those three people in the garage have to find a hat, you know, and by identifying that pack, then it becomes a sustainable competitive advantage.
Stephan Aarstol (11:10):
And they can outpace the a hundred million dollar company that has no need to find hacks. They just say, oh, what's our marketing budget this year, it's $20 million. And they apply that there's no hacks needed and they just get disrupted. So on the one side you have these artificial constraints and the five-hour Workday is absolutely just an artificial constraint that we threw upon people. And then on the other side, you had got to have incentives, right? Like the reason that that entrepreneurs do well and sort of capitalistic economies do well. There's sort of that selfish gene that if I get my work done here, I can go out and do something. And this is how I really have been living my life to bless, you know, 15 years. And, you know, I would walk out the door at one o'clock and the rest of my team was there and I was kind of so guilty about it a little bit, but I'm like, well, why can't I give them the same incentive?
Stephan Aarstol (11:53):
That's really where we came up with the five hour Workday, uh, you know, experiment. And it's like, okay, wait, if I do figure out how to work faster, I really can get my life back. And if this goes really well, this boss is going to keep this so we can continue to have the five hour work day. Trust me, that is a, that's a bigger incentive, I think, than money, you know, for people is you'll give them some of their life back. And if they want to take that extra time, like we have a lot of entrepreneurial people in our company that can use that to do another little side job or a side business or something. A lot of them did that. They can use that, you know, I was a father. So I would go to more of my son's baseball games or something like that. You can do whatever at your point in life, you can spend that time, how you want it, how you see fit and you can exchange time for more money. So it's, it's actually a better thing than money is what we found. So it's, but it's that constraint plus the incentive. Yeah.
Justin Dux (12:43):
I didn't imagine if I could be just as a hundred percent productive in 80% of the time as an employee, I'm not going to really ask for a raise next quarter next year. Did you find that your employee salaries had to make huge adjustments after the experiment got up to about the one-year mark? No, because they got their life back. I agree that that trade-off is worth the exchange. Yeah.
Stephan Aarstol (13:07):
But productivity really didn't drop off. So we, we kind of did raise as before kind of the same way, you know, and it's still a salary job, so it's not like some people would stay till if they had a project going on, they'd stay till three or four o'clock or whatever, and different people reacted to it differently. Ultimately this experiment failed, you know, I would say, but there were things that really worked good and what really worked good is squeezing people for productivity have forced them to find productivity tools and having a culture of people that are open to taking productivity tools and learning them and, you know, dedicated a couple hours a day to just learning tools and learning the existing tools and getting better at them. We encourage that. Right. So thinking about how you work, not just working right. And so that was positive, you know, and that definitely worked and, you know, productivity, I don't think slid at all, but there were, there were two problems that happen here.
Stephan Aarstol (13:59):
The whole reason we, we put this out there in the first place was, is I had, you know, some rockstars in my company and I had some people that were, were pretty average. And I said, you know, and we were this fast growing company, right? And I said, why are we this fast firing company? It's not me. It's these rockstars that we got that are sort of, you know, doing the work here. And so I said, I want a company of all those people, how do I get all those people that work at three times, the speed of everybody else? And I've been in companies where I was an employee and I'm just like, you know, I'm working at three times speed or everybody else here. Like, why am I only making a little more money than these people? And so I figured if I put an incentive out there, a renegotiation kind of with labor here where you only have to work a five-hour day, you're going to get the same salary as you, you work at the other place, you're going to get rewarded for working at three times the speed I would attract all of those people, you know, the best workers in San Diego and then give them a deal and they're never going to leave.
Stephan Aarstol (14:53):
So I thought it would retain, and it would attract people that part of it actually didn't work. People don't care about the five-hour Workday. Lindsey was counter intuitive. To me.
Justin Dux (15:03):
I'm shocked to hear that that didn't attract top talent because I would think that it would too, but let me guess, and then you just correct me. Was it human behavior? You're fighting against, like I saw articles last year in 2020 that were saying productivity jumped up, as everyone was told to work from home. And then about June, July articles started popping up saying that all those productivity gains are gone. Now everyone's comfortable. Again, everyone's logging off at three, everyone's hiding behind their zoom with the camera off. You know, I think that it's really, you're, you're racing against human behavior in a way, like you can do it short-term but long-term made it, you had to come up with new strategies.
Stephan Aarstol (15:41):
Yeah. You know, I don't know exactly. And this was almost like a, you know, after the fact, like what happened because we did it for about two years. And then within a 90 day period, I haven't had a nine person team at this time. I lost four of my employees within 90 days. And top employees, like, you know, general manager, like top person over here and I've fired one of them. So that was my fault, you know, but there was pressure on these people, if they couldn't perform, they couldn't perform. So if somebody is not performing, it's kind of means to me, they don't want to be there. Right. And then three other people left and they left for various reasons. And then I'm like, well, you know, one, either these are people in their twenties that I have a five-hour Workday and are getting paid.
Stephan Aarstol (16:20):
Well. I mean, some people were starting and you know, 36,000 a year. And they were earning double that, you know, two, three years later. So they were happy to start at that salary three years ago. They're not happy and they want to leave now. And they've got a good salary in a five-hour Workday. This is not retaining people. They don't care. It's not holding them here. So why the hell am I doing? It was the first thing. And I was, I was kind of about it. So I said, we're getting rid of that. We're getting rid of the, five-hour the 5% profit sharing. It's not working. Like nobody seems to be motivated by this. But then the other side of me, when I really looked at it, I said like, the people left this company because I broke the company culture, like before we had a startup culture where we're working long hours in the trenches together.
Stephan Aarstol (16:59):
And I think when you do that, it's like going to war you form very strong bonds with other people. And it's hard to leave a company like that when you're working with your best friend and you know, this, this toilet work together. But when you're outside, life becomes much bigger. You're walking out at one o'clock every day, all of a sudden, I mean, you've got a pretty extraordinary life. So your outer life is much bigger and your company life is much smaller. So people were like, well, you know, whatever, they got another relationships you did this, or, you know, explored some other stuff. And they were, they were free to move on. They were free to leave that company. And that works great for people. So I think the five-hour Workday was great for employees, but for a company, it wasn't helping me retain these people.
Stephan Aarstol (17:39):
And as far as attracting people, initially, we were able to attract pretty good people before we had that run of growth. It was because we were a direct to consumer brand. We were a beach lifestyle company. We were like a surf brand in Southern California. It was just very easy for us to attract people. Then we got on shark tank, we had an investment from mark Cuban. We were always able to get good people because they, it was an interesting job. They sort of aligned with the mission. And that's why I attracted those people. I was paying them, but pretty bad salary, I would say. And then when we got the five-hour Workday, I mean, people kind of like those and they talk about things like that, but it really didn't attract them or hold them. So you can't, and maybe this is just, you know, sort of millennials out there today, but they just don't seem to care about money. They don't seem to care about how many hours they work. They could go work at Tesla and work a hundred hours a week, or they could work here and work five hours a week. And they'd leave one of those jobs because they weren't in alignment with the company or something. So I think company culture alignment with the company, we can, that is why people come and that why they stay and you know, what you pay them. Doesn't matter. Your hours, don't matter
Speaker 3 (18:42):
To a large degree,
Justin Dux (18:43):
The idea of a race, because one thing I'm aware of in my industry, a Salesforce administration is salaries were increasing at a faster pace than employers were increasing them for existing employees. So if your, your salary is increasing 20% by leaving, but only increasing 4% for staying maybe four to five, which is generous for most employers. But let's say they're, they're retaining you. They're trying to keep that salary increasing faster because they recognize your skill sets and demand, right? You're still got a pace problem or one is increasing faster than the other. And so that's when I hear your story, anecdotally, that's where my mind was racing too, was I wonder if you know, young 25 year olds or under 30 year old employees, they're learning great skills. They're becoming valuable employees to learn to work efficiently in five-hour days. Right. So I wonder if it's just impossible as the owner of the business to keep up those salaries with what they're worth to somebody else.
Stephan Aarstol (19:46):
Yeah, definitely. That was a part of it. And we're hiring young people and they tend to move around a lot, but I think they tend to move around a lot more now. But yeah, I mean, I would start somebody at, you know, 35, 40 grand. I had one person I raised to 80, within two years, and then she left to go to a job, work for a hundred and she quit that in a year and went off on her own. That's what I'm saying. That answers
Justin Dux (20:07):
An earlier question too. You did increase salary sometimes to attempt to retain these people, even though the Workday didn't change for that person, that person is still working five hours a day,
Stephan Aarstol (20:16):
Right? Yeah. We were not doing three and 4% annual raises. I was either giving somebody a $10,000 raise or I was firing, you know, I didn't want to get into this like slowly thing. Like we were going to take the rockstars and keep those everybody else. I was going to put pressure on them to like, you know, go find some other clothes. Right.
Justin Dux (20:33):
I got to say, I've seen what's happened on the other side there's companies that are losing rockstars and what's left is this C B player C player team that really struggles to adjust and, and to get into a storming mode, actually realizing that their leadership is know internal leadership, not the manager, but like the internal leadership is missing. And now they've got to fill that void. It can really be some struggles for awhile. So, yeah. Do I know whether I'm an, a player B player Sickler? I have no idea yet. I know I'd be too embarrassed to probably find out. So let's just move on from that self embarrassment. So the question for you then is you called it a failure. Have you ended the experiment?
Stephan Aarstol (21:14):
So yeah, well we stopped it after two years. I said, okay, we're not going to do this. But part of me, I didn't like the entitlement that everybody had got to you. You mentioned another part in there were productivity, like shot up when people went home, you know, for three months or whatever. And then we found the exact same thing. So when you change it, when we go from the eight hour day to a five-hour day, people are very appreciative. They're like, okay, this is great. But then after a while it gets to be an entitlement. We found the same thing with the way we were doing a sort of profit sharing. It was a disaster because it became an entitlement very quickly. And then when they didn't get it, then they were actually off. So we get de-motivated. But from the five-hour Workday, it's almost became an entitlement, but there were these productivity gains.
Stephan Aarstol (21:55):
So what we did after that was we moved to summer only five hour work days. So from June 1st to the end of September four months, we would do a five-hour Workday. And that was when we were busiest to that's when we did 70% of our revenue, because I wanted to squeeze people when we were under crunch time. And then in the off season, we did less, less just, you know, shipping and customer service and stuff like that. And we did more project work and then we went to startup hours. So then it was more in the transit. So we got the benefits of this startup culture and the squeeze for time. And we did that for about three years, but, you know, there were other factors going on here and, you know, revenue started to come down. We were in those stand up paddle boarding industry.
Stephan Aarstol (22:37):
And you know, it sort of piqued a lot of people copied what we did. You had this run-up and Amazon sales. And then Amazon started to eat the world. And we said, we don't want to be on Amazon anymore. So we walked away from half our revenues. So we were a declining revenue company. And in that scenario, it gets a little scary. It gets a little scarier, it gets a little scarier and you're less, I guess, open to doing these experiments. You know, experiments in a company are a luxury, right. Then coming into the pandemic, you know, we had some financial issues, you know, we were about to, well, almost go under, right. And then going to the pandemic, it was like, okay, then the pandemic hit. And we're like, well, this is done. So we ended up like dropping our prices. 30%. I told everybody like, look, we can't have the five hour Workday this summer. We've got like a defaulted bank loan. Like we need to fight for our lives right now. You've been trained now to work at twice the speed. Now I need you to do that. You don't full days. So then let's, let's, let's crank this out. So we didn't do the five hour Workday in 2020. And we ended up doubling revenues. Now we doubled revenue partially because of the pandemic. And we happened to be, uh, you know, tower paddle boards is a direct to consumer paddleboard company, outdoor activity, right? Yeah.
Justin Dux (23:45):
One of the safest places to be would be out
Speaker 3 (23:47):
Alone on the water paddleboarding.
Justin Dux (23:49):
So I totally can see how this became a popular product.
Stephan Aarstol (23:53):
We got a pump, right? We have an event space that one did not get a bump. That one went to zero and stuff. And then tower electric bikes again, after a couple of months into the pandemic, you'd go to a bike store and they didn't have any bikes to sell. It was a crazy boom in the, in the bike industry and electric bikes is this, this booming industry. Anyway. So, you know, we grew a thousand percent in that business. So we're on this growth trajectory again, but we're, we are going to do the five-hour Workday going forward. But now we're only going to do it in years that we increased revenues. Right. Clever
Justin Dux (24:26):
Tie it to the revenue, almost like the profit sharing, but you're matching the incentive to the right result. I like that.
Stephan Aarstol (24:34):
Yeah. That's what you got to do. And so the idea there is, it's a company bone, it's almost like a Christmas bonus. Like if we hit our numbers, everybody gets the Christmas bonus and we go to Hawaii or something like that. But instead of going to Hawaii, we just get a four hour work day and the following year for four months, but then you're earning it for the next year. Because the other thing we ran into here was, you know, when people cycle through the company, like the initial people earned the five-hour Workday, we started that because I had those people, right. Once they filtered out of the company, I had people coming into the company that had never earned it. They just sort of landed in a five-hour Workday. Right.
Speaker 3 (25:07):
They joined the company in the middle of four months of five hours.
Justin Dux (25:10):
They didn't earn it. They just happened to join at that time. So was there some problems with those people if they joined in the middle of 45 hour work, they season,
Stephan Aarstol (25:19):
Well, well, this was the problem. Like our revenues were declining and nobody was really concerned about that. And then even when I canceled the five hour Workday of 2020, everybody was kind of like, oh, well, can we still take Fridays off? Like, and I'm like, look guys, this company is going under, like, you do not realize this. And so there was this entitlement and I'm like, Jesus, you got to really align this fifth. Like, if we're doing good, you're going to earn this. If we're not doing good, now we know how to work twice as fast, let's work twice as fast. And that's kind of what we did in 2020 and we fought our way back. So it's a continuing experiment, really.
Justin Dux (25:53):
So sorry to over-talk you there a little bit, but it's fascinating because when I stepped into tonight's interview, I did not expect to this connection that you are now finding connection to an old episode from 2020. I had talked to a person who wrote a great article about surge capacity, Tara hill. And it's this concept of turning it on for a short period of time, you know, like a crisis, you know, car accident, or somebody's choking at a restaurant. There's a few people in the restaurant that have this surge capacity that can flip on and they can now handle the crisis and get through it. And then, uh, you know, you know, the water line breaks, you know, that kind of thing, you turn on your surge capacity. But the problem we saw in 2020 was we all hit a crisis, the same one, a virus, and it never turned back off.
Justin Dux (26:41):
So we never got to that capacity that we could leverage. And I feel like your anecdotal story, it's your business and your life the last 10 years. But I say anecdotal, cause it's not like backed by like research or anything, but it's still valuable lessons. I'm hearing similarities to surge capacity, again, turn it on for four months. Or like every time you've said the phrase, we knew how to double our capacity when we needed to, like, to me, I'm hearing like, it's time to turn it on guys. And then you'll let them know when the metrics are back in line and we need to turn it off. Does this resonate with you? Have you heard about the philosophy before?
Stephan Aarstol (27:21):
Uh, no, but I understand what you're saying and this is, so it sounds like searcher. And when people like, you know, they hear about the five hour work day or they read the book and they're like, well, this works for his company. He's an internet company and this and that. It's not going to work for my company. You know, it's not going to work for my construction company or it's not going to work for my company. If you have a thousand employees or something like that. And my response is, you know, it's gonna work better and worse in some companies, it will work remarkably for every company. It improved our shipping department. They didn't think it would work at all for them. It worked in customer service. We just stopped answering the phone. We only answered it for five hours a day instead of eight hours a day.
Stephan Aarstol (27:56):
And sales didn't magically drop off people. Self-correct right. But I think every company can use the benefit of doing a three month trial of this or like a summer. Like if GE comes in and says, okay, it's summertime, you guys go enjoy your summer. We're all walking out at one o'clock every day. And by the way, anybody, you can't get as much work done before it's going to be fired. So give them their summer back. But it's coming back on in three months, right? And in that summer, what you have done is you train your entire workforce to a double the speed at which they can work and identify a bunch of productivity tools. What company wouldn't love to do that. I mean, if you really could do that and you had it and it costs you nothing because you don't have to pay these people anymore, but you're giving them an incentive and you're giving them a period of time to figure this out. And then at the end of that, those dudes are going to have learned how to use Excel, right? So now you have the same workforce, but they know the tools, right?
Justin Dux (28:49):
So in the beginning, when you first did this and maybe the second or third time you did this early in the first few weeks, I'm picturing some leaders in the company, managers especially have this problem. I'm about to describe, they look at their calendar for the next month and it's completely booked up eight hours a day meeting after meeting, after meeting, what did you do with those people? How did you kill some meetings?
Stephan Aarstol (29:14):
Well, we didn't do meetings before. I mean, we were a productivity focused company before, so we weren't having a lot of meetings and everybody is largely sort of a, you know, I'm a marketing type person. Like one part of your job is learning some kind of, you know, social media or some kind of internet marketing or something like that. Figuring out some hacks and business development. And the other half is doing our customer service and shipping our stuff out there. Wasn't a lot of unwinding that you're right. Like some people would have to do that. Like say you're a lawyer and you're, you're booking a by the hour. Like that becomes problematic of how do you, how do you do that? But it worked for us.
Justin Dux (29:52):
Yeah. I think I'm falling into the trap. You warned me about of comparing, you know, other businesses say I can't do that, but I'm hearing those voices in my head. How many employees did you have at the peak of this? One of these experiments
Stephan Aarstol (30:05):
When we rolled it out, we had seven and the peak we had was nine. And then as I told you, we lost four of those in that 90 day period. But we were in a declining revenue company. So we, we didn't replace all of those. So we started to code down in 2020, we were down to a three person company. Now we're back up to five and we're really hiring two people right now. So we're back to seven,
Justin Dux (30:27):
Still impressive numbers in terms of productivity, because I think I have to level set for the listeners here. We're not talking about a $250,000 revenue company with seven employees. We're talking about a $30 million revenue company, which year was that?
Stephan Aarstol (30:44):
Well, that's overall lifetime revenues. We've done a little over 40 million in the history of the company, but we tend to do about 1 million per employee, kind of our revenue track record. So this year we'll do about 6 million and we've got five people in the company
Justin Dux (30:58):
Right now, one of my first jobs at best buy. I mean, we were happy if each employee earned about $120,000 of incremental revenue. I w I did the analysis for the team I was on. And like, you know, we weren't being paid that much.
Stephan Aarstol (31:10):
So like, I
Justin Dux (31:12):
See the ratio is still very healthy for seminarian employees. Like, I feel like you could take that number and essentially say you have a 30 person employee company. It's just, you've spent the effort and time in these experiments to make sure they have the skills to be that productive. So in a moment, we'll take a break and I'll just do a short ad for my job, allergy.com. But before I head into a break and when we come back, we'll be doing the, a recurring segment out of context. I am curious first, what are some of these productivity tools? Where should I be looking to fix productivity? Is this calendar management? Is this an email tools? Like, I think I heard you say Dropbox and you'll meet. If you want to go there. That's fine too.
Stephan Aarstol (32:00):
Yeah. I mean, it goes across the spectrum. Like, you know, the, the shipping department was using ship station, but it was kind of like Excel. Like you can use it a little bit or you can really get in there and dial it all in, spend a week, dialing it all in. And then it becomes very productivity tool. There's an interesting site called pan Jeba, here's the, here's an excellent example. So this is a website that's been around for 15 years now, 10 to 15 years, it's called pansy, but.com. And what they did is they've aggregated all of the, every container that comes into the U S because of nine 11, the nine 11 towers came down, they have to, it has to be public record. What comes into the country and a container. Yeah. Yeah. So how much does it weigh? What is it a general description at?
Stephan Aarstol (32:46):
Where did it come from and where is it going? Right. And where it came from as a man is a factory, where's it going? Is the brand that bought it. So they aggregate all of this information. And what it does is it provides you, you can search paddleboards and it will show you, okay. Here's where all the paddleboards came from. They come from, uh, you know, these countries, they come from these factories and they go to here and here's how many were done each month. So you can almost feel like, you know, market share data of where stuff is coming from. And you can see over time, like if a certain factory, you know, you can even put it in your competitor's name and it's going to show you who their factories are. Right. So you can get competitive Intel. And then you zero in on the factory.
Stephan Aarstol (33:22):
And you see if this factory is like growing the number of containers, they ship of paddle boards. That's probably a good factory. They're getting more customers. They're growing, stuff like that. If you see one that's going down, there's probably a crappy factory. Right? Well, okay. So what is Panviva Pangea is a sourcing tool, okay. Sourcing used to be done. And you know, people still do it this way. You fly to China, you know, you know, you hire a guy in China on the ground to do your quality control. You know, you fly over there, you spend $10,000 in three weeks and all of this, and you come back, you get to this factory, you make some products, you send it over. Those products are crap and boom, a year later, you got to switch to a different factory and you do with this whole process, it takes a company two to three years to get dialed in with like good factories that they could reliably trust. Right? Yup. Well with pans. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (34:09):
No, this is totally aligned to ours
Justin Dux (34:11):
Business. We did at best buy too. Like I saw executives doing that, like, this is, this is not adding total. They, the big people are still doing that too.
Stephan Aarstol (34:20):
Yeah. Okay. So this is a tool that has been around for 15 years and I would go, you know, and I talk at university, sometimes I'll talk to a procurement, you know, company. These kids are not aware that this tool exists. Most people that I talk to don't know, this tool exists. Like, isn't that a tool that you would want? Yeah, absolutely.
Justin Dux (34:39):
Because the grading a good factory is huge. They have ways to save money. They know they have better creative solutions to cut another 40 cents off a product or in your case, $40 off a cost of goods. Yeah.
Stephan Aarstol (34:52):
And, and just, you could, you can see market share information. You can see all of this stuff, but what are people doing? They're getting a, you know, a plane ticket and they're flying over there and they're getting hotels and they're driving around chatting and doing all this stupid stuff like it's 50 years ago. Like, why the hell would you do that? Because they're not searching for a tool. You know, they're not forced. Now the pandemic comes along. Okay. I'll send you can't fly. Okay. So how do you source people are being forced to using this. So an artificial constraint was put in, which was the pandemic. Everybody's forced to work from home. We're doing zoom calls. We're doing this. I think you're going to find, there's going to be a lot of creative thinking and tool identification is happening right now because of this artificial thing.
Stephan Aarstol (35:33):
That's what we did with the five-hour Workday. So the pansy, but thing is something that had been using before we even did this. But tools like that, that now everybody in the company is okay, what the hell is my job? My job is I need to go find another factory to build this new product. We got, what tools are available for that. And so, and then if you're in customer service, it's like, I got 30 phone calls coming in and day. And I got to answer 50 emails. Like, how do I get a tool that makes this like, take less time? So it's not that there's just one tool. Like you say, well, Dropbox, here's the top 10 productivity tools people should use. It's what the hell is your job? And there's tools out there for it. And you go identify them
Justin Dux (36:11):
Well. And 2015 or so, I think there was something like 2000 marketing tools, just, just for the industry of marketing right today. There's 8,000 tools. Why? Because if there's a problem, needs to be solved with tagging your website or analytics, or getting social media posts out to multiple platforms, whatever the need is, somebody goes and makes a tool for it. So now you've got 8,000 of them. So when I think about your marketing team might be two people or so, like, that's daunting to think about exploring 8,000 tools for the next 10 years, right? Like you don't expect that of them, but you hope that they find a couple good ones. Huh? But like, I kind of wonder reliance on technology. And I work in technology is a little scary sometimes because not every tool fits together as a puzzle. Are you encountering any of those growing pains now to where it's like this marketing tool doesn't work with this website tool or anything like that? Well, there,
Stephan Aarstol (37:12):
There's definitely a balance. So you've got a problem. Go do a little research to find the tool. And don't just like, look at 8,000 tools, go to other people who are in your job that are talking about this. What are you? You know, you're older identifying stuff. You find those, but do a little research and then use that tool. And then don't try and solve that problem again for two years because you do, you do, you are going to run into, oh, here's a new tool. Try this tool here, try this to try this tool. And we get the same people calling us like every week, like here's, oh, you need to try this. Nope. That problem was solved. Two years ago, two years ago, we're going to revisit that back problem and try to identify that tool because yeah, you can get in, you know, exhaustion because there is tools that were good enough and now got to keep going back to your Excel analogy here.
Stephan Aarstol (37:57):
But I use Excel 2008, even though I'm sort of this productivity hack because it was a pretty good tool. And if you use it now, they changed the tool. And then you got to relearn the tool. So we work in a world today that is so fast moving and everything changing. You can constantly be in assessment mode. And I think that is actually why people don't find productivity tools because they are overwhelmed and exhausted, especially older people that can barely use a computer to begin with. They're like, I have no time for that. I just don't have time for that. But when you really look at this, you spent one hour of tool identification, you know, for 10 hours of work, that's a much better strategy, you know, that not like identifying the tools. As soon as I started using that sourcing tool. I mean, I've been sourcing product from China for 17 years. I've been to China once, you know, if somebody else wants a factory, I can find that factory for them quickly, like very easily. And people are just like, well, that's crazy. But look at how much money you save. It gets crazy to do it any other way. Yeah.
Justin Dux (39:00):
And I interviewed the CEO of quality bicycle parts out of Minnesota here for a college paper. And, uh, he taught me the concept of return on investment and return on integrity. And he said, cause he made a lot of trips to China. You know, ROI is return on investment, but he coined return on integrity because he was saying, Justin, when you work in form a really strong relationship with these factories in China, word travels, round the world, I got a call from a vendor in Switzerland. And their introduction to me was we heard about you from a mutual factory connection. They said that you were great to work with and we want to work with you to here's what we offer. And they had some other parts that they could be putting in their catalog and working on some of the bikes they sell. And there was just a valuable lesson in finding the best, even in your supply chain, in your tools in your employees has efficiencies and value that far exceeds whatever price you pay for it. Sure. Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (40:04):
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Justin Dux (41:17):
Before the break, we were talking about product activity tools and increasing the value you have to your employer. Well, twenty-five percent of the market right now for customer relationship management software is owned by Salesforce. They are making up that market to a quarter tune on the quarter percent of the market, which is huge for any software vendor. But that means you have an opportunity as an employee, that you can learn some of the skills of administrating that tool. You're making yourself more valuable to an employer. Even if you never become a Salesforce administrator for your career like me, you can check out all the features and bells and whistles of that product for email@example.com. Now, if you want a guide, somebody to show you what your way around help you get set up for the first time on Trailhead, check out our five day challenge.
Justin Dux (42:10):
That's B I T dot L Y forward slash all capital letters, S F C D P. That's a talent stacker career development program, which has a five day challenge that helped get you set up on a trail, head there and figure out what the hell is this CRM. And you can explore it for free for five days with a little bit of a guide to lead you down the trail. That link again is B I T dot L Y forward slash S S C D P stands for Salesforce career development program. Welcome back. We're talking with Stephan. Aarstol the owner of our paddle boards.com. You've been listening to this guy for 30 minutes by now. You don't need me to reintroduce him anyway, we're back for our recurring segment out of context. That's where I take something he has said before and throw it back in his face so that he can give us some new context based on the conversation we've been having tonight.
Justin Dux (43:09):
And I have chosen something that fascinated me about how work has changed. Here's the quote goes, something like this. From another podcast episode, you were on quote, essentially the assembly line of today invented in the last 30 years is the assembly line of information. It's become much quicker to move information around. So you want to work a little bit every day, moving that information around the faster that information flow goes, the faster your productivity goes up and quote, close enough. So I think you know where that's going, but I want to hear your thoughts on it now today.
Stephan Aarstol (43:47):
Yes. So to put that into context. So when we did the five hour Workday at tower, those was 2015. We started that and I was writing some articles, you know, in ink magazine or Forbes magazine, just about what we were doing. And I had done that for a few years with other stuff. And I wrote an article on our five-hour Workday experiment. And all of a sudden this thing called like 10,000 social shares, something crazy. I mean, I'm not a known writer. So usually I would get, you know, 50 shares or something like that. And so this was just nuts. I'm like, wow, we're onto something here. This resonates with people. So we decided to write a book, right? I decided to write a book. So in 2016, I rolled out the book, the five hour Workday. And part of that process of the book was I was explaining our experiment, but also I had to myself go back and research like the history of work. And so then I was sort of connecting the dots here of, you know, what was our experiment about and why did we do the five hour work day in? And why was everybody else doing the eight hour work day? And I just did assumed that the eight hour Workday was, that was how it always was in the history of the world. That's how work days were. And in fact, that was not true. I know Workday was invented. It sure was.
Speaker 3 (44:52):
It's an act of Congress to fight the 14
Justin Dux (44:55):
Hour Workday that greedy companies wanted us to do. Am I right?
Stephan Aarstol (44:59):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, essentially, I mean, in Henry Ford, didn't invent this, but he's the one that wrote, rolled it out in a big way. There were movements coming from several areas, but you know, Ford motor company went to the eight hour Workday basically to address the change in technology, which was the industrial revolution. So before that, before that you had factories that were working like job shops and they were working with people there and they would do, you know, these jobs or whatever. And then the assembly came along in the center of a factory, became a machine that could work 24 hours a day. And so the, the owners of these factories just said, okay, well, instead of working in eight or 10 hours, we're going to work 12 hours. We're going to work 14 hours. We're going to work 16 hours. And in the early 19 hundreds, one half of 1% of the U S workforce was being maimed or killed on the job.
Stephan Aarstol (45:45):
It was a real problem. And in these highly productive factories, like Ford motor company, they had 70% turnover of their staff. So they had to train these people. So he had an HR problem. I mean, this is very similar to the HR problem. I had that. I couldn't retain my staff, right. So what he, what they came up with is he said, okay, we're going to let the machines work 24 hours a day. And we're going to have three rotations of a workers come in and they'll work eight hours a day. And so we got three of those and the machines will work full time. And when he did this, he says, and my productivity is way up. So I can actually afford to pay these workers better because I want to retain them. I've got to give them a better deal, or I'm going to have 70% turnover.
Stephan Aarstol (46:25):
And that's a real problem. And he said, and if I really do this good, I'm going to steal all the workers from every other auto factory. When he made that change, uh, Ford was about 7% of the market share of us cars. And in, I believe in the next 10 or 15 years, they moved to 60%. He made that change. He doubled the wage from $2 and 50 cents a day to $5 a day. And he went to an eight hour Workday initially for six days a week. And then, uh, you know, a few years later they went back to five days a week and he had 10,000 people standing in line to work at his company. And, uh, because that's, you know, they, they were getting a better deal and he stole the workers, the good workers from all the other, the other companies. And he took over the industry, which is kind of very similar to what we were trying to do.
Stephan Aarstol (47:10):
And, okay. So when I'm looking at that, and I'm sort of learning about the history of work and it was actually fascinating, like I had no idea that it was just invented, right. And it was invented in a reaction to, you know, a technology change. Well, if you look at the technology change and we, weren't an internet company, I've been in the internet space since 1999, and you have sort of the information revolution right now. And so what has changed is really when you know, that quote that I was talking about there, the, the assembly line of today is moving information around, like I'm dealing with, you know, Chinese factories and I'm dealing with this and I'm dealing with customers and I got to push information around. So send me an email
Justin Dux (47:48):
And forward an email and get an email, add some color context to it, send a new email. I mean, this image is visual for people listening and myself. Like you really do add your commentary and send it along like a handoff.
Stephan Aarstol (48:04):
Yeah. And that's what knowledge work is. And if you can automate that process, that's like our e-commerce website, like people can call us or email us and say, they want to order a paddle. But an e-commerce, I just automates that whole process. They don't gotta call us. They can go on there. They can put it in their information. They can shop our catalog, which we've all put online and we've automated the communication process. So anything that does that is eliminating people and it's automating the process, it's automating the information flow. And so that's where the world is going. So if you look at this, the eight hour Workday was designed for factory workers. Yeah. We're in the middle of the information age, and we're using this thing. Nobody works in a factory in America. How stupid is that? And when I tell people about the five hour Workday, they say that will never work.
Stephan Aarstol (48:47):
Like this is crazy. This Harris say that. Why would you do that? And I'm like, well, no, it's crazy that you work a factory schedule in a knowledge worker job. That's just the stupidest thing I've ever heard of in my life. Like who's to say like, which one is even better. And so, so that was part of it. And then also, but there's, there's a movement because we are becoming more productive of people to say, maybe we should work less. And that is, is a true story. You can get more done with less work and the, the direction that a lot of these people are going in is they saying, we should go to a four day work week. We should go to a three-day work week. And in my opinion, that's totally the wrong way to do it. Like that is craziness because what you have, if you imagine you have this assembly line of information, like you can envision that in your head and everybody does this because Monday to Friday, they go into their work and then they leave for the weekend and the emails pile up and all of this stuff piles up.
Stephan Aarstol (49:42):
And then you get back in on Monday and you got to dig out. So essentially what you've done is you've grinded the movement assembly line to a halt, and you've got to start the engine back up again. Right. And then if somebody's out for a week, it's like, oh my God, like they just set me back like, you know, weeks. And I get their auto response email. That's useless. And you put a cog in their machine of information here. So how entrepreneurs work today and how I've been working today? You know, I go on vacation and I'll crank out like an hour's worth of email in the morning. And you know, people will look at you and say, oh, this poor SAP can't get away from work. Like, no, you know, I work a couple hours a day, seven days a week. And that is the most efficient way to work in today's world. And so you want to get something close to that, but obviously, you know, we're not going to work seven days a week. You still want weekends, but that is restricted. Two days is a lot easier
Justin Dux (50:30):
Than kicking that factory going again. After three, four days weekends, I, I hear the logic makes perfect sense if you bring everything to a halt, including all movements of information.
Stephan Aarstol (50:41):
Yeah. It's interesting. So France, when I wrote the five-hour Workday book, this book was, was okay in America, but overseas, they really loved it. Like you got press in like 20 countries for different reasons. And a lot of my friends were, of course those European companies like this countries like this, they like that socialistic crap, you know? And that was part of it. Right. And like in France, you know, they didn't want to work, but Germany is where it really exploded because they liked the productivity aspect of it. They see themselves as the most productive country in the world and they say, America, I don't
Justin Dux (51:12):
Think it's in question either. They, uh, they produce enough to support the entire EU. I hear
Stephan Aarstol (51:18):
Sure. And they look at America as, yeah, like you guys are the wealthiest country or whatever, but you're, you know, you're a bunch of fat people that work 60 hours a week and you just, you're just doing dumb stuff and you're all dying of heart attacks. And so they see themselves, they pride themselves on that. So this book struck a chord with them in France. It struck a different court. It struck the socialistic cord, right. And in France, they were at the same time in 2016, 2017, they were trying to legislate in that when you left work, your employer could not call you or send you an email or do anything you were off work because everybody is on their cell phones and the employers are abusing that and working them around the clock. Again, that's a stupid response because that's how you keep the information flow when you're going off work. So take two or three emails after dinner, you know, because how easy is that? So you shrink the day down to five hour Workday, and then you do a couple of emails on the weekend and a couple emails here. And all of a sudden you have a 25 hour work week instead of a 60 hour work week. And you're actually doing a lot more.
Justin Dux (52:20):
Yeah. I, I'm very inspired by tonight's conversation. I'm going to keep contemplating this and I hope you keep the experiment going in different forms like summer hours you talked about and bringing it back when revenue is increasing. I like to see how this keeps evolving. And I'd love to talk to you again, maybe next year after we've got our vaccines and things like that and see where, where you're thinking. Cause I do think you're on the forefront of a new wave, no pun intended with your paddleboard company there. But, uh, this is really exciting stuff. And I do see it as the potentially the future. We're just at the very beginning. So just to wrap up, what would you like people to find out next about you, if that your companies that you're working on or the book getting back to the book?
Stephan Aarstol (53:06):
Yeah. I mean, if you're interested in the five hour work day, definitely pick up the five hour Workday book and read it. Yeah. We've looked at the history and we don't sell a lot of books. Really. You know, we sold, I think 3000 of these books, but we put a book in every paddleboard and every electric bike that we sell. So, you know, that gets 10,000 out there. So that's how, we're the book. We're where do you get the free book for free? I want to put this at one point we started selling the books like a hundred dollars a piece and people were still buying it. It was like remarkable. We're not,
Speaker 3 (53:39):
We're not a publisher. We're just the most expensive book company in the world.
Stephan Aarstol (53:46):
Yeah. So our main companies are direct to consumer company. So we basically sell paddleboards for half price. Then you buy them direct from us and we don't even sell through Amazon anymore. We do, but we sell at a higher price there. So towerpaddleboards.com and then a tower electric bikes.com. So they're very high quality products, you know, direct to consumer. And then we have a new business, which we started about two years ago. And in our revenue downturn, I've sort of abandoned it, but we will fire this back up because I really believe it's sort of the antidote to Amazon and it's called no middleman.com. And it's basically an aggregation of all the direct to consumer brands in the world, like towerpaddleboards.com and tower electric bikes.com, but in every category out there. So three thousands of categories, we've curated about four or 500 brands that offer products in all these categories. So you can go on there, you can find the top three direct consumer companies that make women's shoes or whatever, and then it doesn't make any money. It's just an information source. And then you can go direct to them and buy from them, which is basically support businesses, as opposed to, you know, the modern world, which is Google is taking half the revenue or Amazon is taking half the revenue because they began aggregated monopoly power. And that doesn't end well.
Justin Dux (54:59):
Yeah, it's a race to the bottom. I agree. Before I get a slew of emails, I did think of one last question. I apologize going over on time here, but we didn't hit on, you're doing a video interview as your first step of applying to, you know, cause everyone's going to ask, now that they've heard, you've got a five hour Workday once in a while, how do we work for you? Tell him real quick about that. About this mind valley video cover
Stephan Aarstol (55:24):
Letter. This was something I was at a conference and I there's company was talking. And they said, when, when anybody applies to our company, we, we force them to do a video cover letter instead of a written tub cover letter. And it's basically just, you get them to jump over this hurdle and they got to go out there. Why are you important? And why would you like to work for this company? It's a task and UCL, excellent. They execute this task. So you're basically giving them a job before they get your job. And it's sort of a pre job. And then, okay, so then whatever, I just sort of heard that and whatever, but when we go to the five-hour Workday, my job is hiring people, right? Cause we're a small company. So when it comes, you know, somebody quits or whatever, we need that as hire person.
Stephan Aarstol (56:01):
Cause we're growing. Okay. Well I gotta deal with, you know, 50 resumes and it's literally like a six week process, painful process. I'm going through it right now. And I was like, well, here's how it would be easier for this process is I'm going to put up that roadblock there. And then only the people that really want to work here are going to, because you got the sort of the spray and pray people that are sending your resumes and you got to weed through them. Just be fair to everybody. That's been sent to a hundred
Speaker 3 (56:26):
Companies. Yeah, I hear. Yeah. And you can, you can
Stephan Aarstol (56:28):
Tell them, but it's just, it's just a process. So, you know, we used another thing that was called recruiter box. We don't use it now because it used to be a free tool. And that was like 50 bucks a month. So he said, screw that those guys are getting greedy, it aggregates or sort of organizes all the resumes and the process you're in. But the video cover letter is very easy. You say you got to upload a video to a YouTube and then send us a link. And then, you know, I popped that open and I watched that. And so instead of getting a hundred resumes, I'll get 10 video cover letters. And basically what the video cover letter goes over is what I was going to ask them in the interview. Anyways, why would you want to work with this company? Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Stephan Aarstol (57:03):
I get to see their personality. I get to see how excellent they do this. And some people get like super creative and whatever. So if you want to get a job and that's what mine valley was telling us about, like here are the top 10, you know, all time, mind valley, like, you know, video cover letters. If you go onto YouTube, you can see that. And you're just like, wow, this is a much better way to hire. So that is five hour work, date mentality. You took something that used to be this arduous task to find somebody. And then maybe you don't even find the best person because you're not doing it in a good manner. You flip the process on its head and say, I don't want to do any work. How do I hire people? Okay, well you get them to do the work. You get the best ones, have them self select and then send you, you know, 10 videos. And then I can sit there and literally a half an hour and I can interview 10 people. I don't have to set up any appointments to get these people in here. I don't have to do any of that and you get better people.
Justin Dux (57:55):
That's awesome. All right. Well, thank you again, have a wonderful evening and I hope you the best weather because from Minnesota so that you can stay outside on these bikes and paddleboards because we are just emerging from winter here. And, uh, a lot of Minnesota orders are probably going to come your way.
Stephan Aarstol (58:15):
We're in San Diego. So it's already, it's already going here. Yeah. But that is actually is Minnesota. There's a ton of lakes up there. So that's actually a pretty big market for us. Yep.
Justin Dux (58:24):
All right. Have a great night. Awesome. Thanks Justin. CareerCloud Radio is a production of careercloud.com. Please review this episode on iTunes. We really appreciate it a lot. And thank you for listening.