This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael Brecht will be awarding 5 Doodle Premium Accounts for Free to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
1. I’ve always been passionate about seeing my projects come to life. As a result, I’m something of a serial company founder. Two of my most notable startups have been in Germany. The first, Urbia, was founded in 1998. Urbia is now Germany’s biggest online resource for families, providing information for men and women who want, or have, children. 52weine.de, started in 2010, with the target to build Germany’s leading online wine store. I’m now the CEO of Doodle, so you can see—my career path has not been the conventional corporate route by any means!
2. I am the proud owner of both a German and an Australian passport. I love my two countries. They’re very different and distinct places, not just culturally, but physically too—at 14,457 km apart, you couldn’t get any further away! I love the outdoor lifestyle in Australia, and dream of travelling around the vineyards in my VW van when I’m in Europe, but Germany has a powerhouse economy and is the core of Europe’s startup culture—so it’s perfect for someone like me. It is the combination of both worlds which makes my business life tick.
3. I’m married with four kids and labradoodle. This might not seem that surprising, but as someone who always has several projects and hobbies on the go, finding the right work/family balance has always been important to me.
4. Wine is my passion. Luckily, I live between two countries that are major wine producers; Germany is the world’s eighth largest producer and Australia is the fourth. So, wherever I find myself, there’s always a good glass at hand. I also run a wine blog about Australian wine: www.downunderwines.net. Since I started it in 2007 it has managed to gather a substantial following, but this is something I do just for the enjoyment. It’s a hobby, it’s honest and fun—that’s why people like it, and I want to keep it that way.
5. One thing that surprises the people around me is that I’m very strict about how much I allow myself to work: I never work on weekends. I also make sure to keep my phone switched off and leave any emails until Monday morning. It’s so easy to answer another email or read another report—there are new devices and platforms to keep us connected coming onto the market all the time, but I believe there has to be a cutoff point. That’s the spirit of Doodle; it’s not about finding more time to work, it’s about finding more time for yourself to do what you want to do, and who couldn’t use that?
It’s funny, when we were writing the Doodle Productivity Book, I noticed that many of the productivity experts we spoke with also use this method. Whether that was in the morning or at night, learning when to disconnect from the technology designed to help us is just as important these days.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Quote Laura Stack:
What are some of your favorite productivity tips & apps?
Obviously, I love Doodle! I use it to schedule client conference calls and I talk about it in my presentations! Other apps I like:
TripIt. I use this for plane, hotel, directions and ground transportation. Simply forward your confirmation emails and TripIt automatically populates your digital itineraries. It also means I can access all my details on my phone as I’m walking through the airport.
Evernote. Sync content from the cloud to your desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. When I see an article I like online, I simply right-click, clip the page, file it in a Notebook and tag it for easy searching. I drag large PDF documents into new Notes to read on upcoming business trips. I use Evernote in conjunction with my Livescribe Smartpen, so my handwritten notes from meetings and conference calls sync through Wi-Fi to my online account. I can listen to recordings right before meetings to refresh my memory.
TouchDown. Microsoft Outlook users can sync their data to their phones, which is really handy, except the native apps require them to tap multiple icons to access different modules. Instead, I use the TouchDown ActiveSync Exchange client. This allows me to click ONE icon to access my Email, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes, as well as handle Out of Office and Rule settings.
Square. My smartphone is a portable credit card processing machine. Using a small scanner that plugs into the earphone jack, I can accept payments for things like book sales and speaking fees. I slide the card through the scanner, enter the dollar amount and ask the buyer to sign with a fingertip. The buyer can enter an email address to receive a receipt.
About the Author:
Since the beginning of 2014 I am CEO of Doodle – the world’s favourite online scheduling tool. Together with my fantastic team we have integrated Doodle into the Digital Portfolio of Tamedia AG, Switzerland’s largest media company. Our focus is to grow the business into a global application while strengthening its product offerings and continuing its successful monetisation. Doodle AG is a highly profitable business with offices in Zurich and Berlin.
My experience ranges from founding a start-up to various exits to multi-national corporates and subsequent integration. I enjoy topics of digital transformation and the leadership of highly innovative teams with a particular focus on growing a business internationally.
Now that digitalisation is increasingly becoming a topic for all businesses from start-up to large corporate, I have decided to start my own blog. Here you’ll find information on productivity topics, quotes about personal and professional efficiency, my reviews of awesome apps I use myself and I am trying to present a few stories that aren’t meant to be too serious too.
In my private life I am married and our home comprises of four children and our dog (an Australian Labradoodle). We are currently living in five different countries and I myself carry a German and an Australian passport. I enjoy sports, in particular football, swimming, tennis and all kinds of outdoor activities and I am passionate about the discovery of great wines.
Book Website: http://productivity-book.com
Author Website: http://michaelbrecht.com
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