#124: Reading, Leadership Principles, and Drift Sabbaticals w/ ET

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This is a podcast episode titled, #124: Reading, Leadership Principles, and Drift Sabbaticals w/ ET. The summary for this episode is: ET is filling in for DC while he's wrapping up his sabbatical. We talked about the Drift Sabbatical program, why it's 3 years vs. 5, and how the company scales as the founders take more time off, how to set up systems to scale, and the power of unplugging. We also talked about the Drift Leadership Principles and how they set up new hires for success and help scale the company too. And we talked about READING! Why Elias hated reading and how he's addicted to it and his tips for reading & learning more. Use the promo code SEEKINGWISDOM when you get your tickets to HYPERGROWTH 2018 and save $500 today (just $199 for your ticket). Visit https://hypergrowth.drift.com/ to get your tickets today and come see speakers like Jocko Willink, Molly Graham, Chaka Pilgrim, Amelia Boone, Grant Cardone, and more in September. PS. The Seeking Wisdom Official Facebook Group is live! One place, finally, for all of us to hang out, get updates on the podcast, and share what we’re learning (plus some exclusives). Just search for the Seeking Wisdom Official group on Facebook. On Twitter: @davegerhardt, @eliast, and @seekingwisdomio

Dave Gerhardt: Hey, what's up everybody. It's DG. Before we get into this very special episode with Elias hijack Seeking Wisdom while David's on a sabbatical. He's back, two weeks. I just wanted to... Look, we don't do ads on the show, I told you, but I want to tell you guys about something really cool that we did. And if you've been a Seeking Wisdom listener for a while, I thought it'd be okay if I told you a little bit about Drift. Because I think you're going to get a ton of value out of it. So, one of the guys on our team, John, he just built this amazing new tool called Test Drive, because we wanted to come up with a really easy way for people to see exactly how Drift would look and feel on their website without having to install any code on their website, fill out any forms or even talk to anybody on our team. You could just do it all on your own. So, if you go to drift. com/ testdrive, and put in your email address, it's going to show you how Drift would look on your website without having to do anything. It's really cool. No matter what type of business you are, you can use it. Especially if you have a company with sales reps, I would definitely go and check it out. And if you do that, if you go and check out Test Drive, I will also hook you up with some brand new Drift swag. I'll hook you up with the t- shirt. We have so much swag that we're printing around here. Everybody has crazy ideas and we do have all these limited runs of t- shirts. So, I want you to go check it out, drift. com/ testdrive. Check it out for your business. I'll also hook you up with a free t- shirt, and a that's all I want. I want to show you the power of Drift, because you've been listening to Seeking Wisdom. Go and check it out. Have an awesome day. I know you're going to love this episode of Seeking Wisdom with Elias. We talked about sabbaticals, scaling, Drift, scaling the culture while our founders are out. Our leadership principles here and why he used to hate reading, and now it's his absolute secret. So, here it is. Me, Elias Seeking Wisdom. See you. All right, ladies and gentlemen, it's been a while since we've done this version of Seeking Wisdom, the core version. It's DG, DC is still out. But I have a man we've been... Who's on the other side? You don't even need intro. Who's there?

Elias Torres: The structure for every podcast is you have to introduce yourself. My name is Elias Torres.

Dave Gerhardt: Thank you. That's why I told you to do it.

Elias Torres: CEO, co-founder of Drift.

Dave Gerhardt: Elias is back. Ladies and gentlemen, round of applause. Elias is back.

Elias Torres: I'm filling in for the big man shoes.

Dave Gerhardt: Yes. The big dog. I was trying to get Elias... I think the second day DC was out... DC's on his sabbatical, which when he's back, we're going to do a whole episode. I want to do lessons from DC's sabbatical. I want to hear about his sabbatical.

Elias Torres: I would like to know what he learned during the sabbatical too.

Dave Gerhardt: You do. He sent me-

Elias Torres: Doesn't look like there's a lot of learning there.

Dave Gerhardt: About an hour ago, he sent me a picture of a barbell with two plates on it. It looked like 245 pound deadlift. So, it looked like he's getting back in the gym a little bit. So, that's good.

Elias Torres: You're messaging with DC, he's on sabbatical.

Dave Gerhardt: No, this is an encrypted, private... Does encrypted mean private? No?

Elias Torres: Yes.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay. No one else can see it. Anyway. So, Elias is here. I wanted to get him the second day DC went on sabbatical. He's like, we've got to wait. We've got to wait a little bit. Now, we're here.

Elias Torres: It's been three weeks.

Dave Gerhardt: It's been three weeks.

Elias Torres: We're surviving.

Dave Gerhardt: We're surviving. How has it been? This is a big thing. You guys decided. What was it? Did you have a conversation and said we're going to do sabbaticals at three years?

Elias Torres: Yes. That was very early on in the history of Drift. We see that companies normally do it at five years, and we felt that if we're going to work hard, we're going to play hard at Drift. Waiting five years might be a long time. And sometimes people don't know how to take time off. So, David said," you know what? We're going to do something different." Have you ever heard that line from David?

Dave Gerhardt: Yes.

Elias Torres: So, we're going to do something.

Dave Gerhardt: If everybody else is doing it this way, we're going to do it this way.

Elias Torres: Exactly. David felt like three years was better, because we're going to work hard. At Drift we do everything faster. We move twice as fast. I think-

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah. I think three years at Drift probably feels like six years.

Elias Torres: Six years.

Dave Gerhardt: A six- year sabbatical.

Elias Torres: crosstalk therefore we felt like three years was a good time. He said that very early on, but we had nobody that had gone one year, two years at Drift. Then we finally hit that the mile marker. I respect him for doing it. I've never seen him take this much time off.

Dave Gerhardt: It was funny, because when he was crosstalk.

Elias Torres: In 11 years, I've never been without seeing him for more than-

Dave Gerhardt: 24 hours.

Elias Torres: Three, four days. Something like that.

Dave Gerhardt: A long weekend.

Elias Torres: A long weekend, you know what I mean?

Dave Gerhardt: He's never sick.

Elias Torres: He's never sick. He never goes on vacation. He just works always, he's a machine. So, seeing him disappear... Not disappear, but just not being in the office is an amazing amount of exercising of self- control that I respect him for that.

Dave Gerhardt: How do you think about it?

Elias Torres: And more than that is just to show the company that it is real.

Dave Gerhardt: It's possible.

Elias Torres: People didn't believe that. It was like, really? We're going to take a month off.

Dave Gerhardt: Are you going?

Elias Torres: No.

Dave Gerhardt: You're not taking one.

Elias Torres: Not this year.

Dave Gerhardt: So, you're going to do four- year sabbatical.

Elias Torres: I'm going to do four- year sabbatical.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay. What has to happen? Do you think we could have done this two years ago?

Elias Torres: No, because nobody had worked for three years.

Dave Gerhardt: I know that. I knew you were going to say that. Don't you think there's something that has to have changed in the company though, from a scaling? As founders, how do you have the culture scale in a way where you can feel good about going away for a month and knowing that things aren't going to just break while you're not there?

Elias Torres: I think that it's definitely something that we keep learning over and over. That it cannot be... Things can not just get done if David or I are here. I think that the goal of what we've been doing is creating systems. You've been through this before with all the marketing work that you guys do, it's that we been creating checklists. Checklist manifesto of understanding, how do we do the same thing over and over? That discipline, that repetition like we do with the marketable moment. It's amazing for me to... Remember, early marketable moments we had to be talking every time. Did you do this? Did you talk to success?

Dave Gerhardt: In early marketable moment would be like you and Balady coming over to my desk and be like, we've got this thing, can we launch it tomorrow? Then that progressed to like, okay. Then we launched some random stuff. Then you had to beat it into my head. What's DG? What is the checklist? No, It's the first Tuesday or it's the first Wednesday. It's the first Thursday. It's this date. We do this thing. It gets approved this way. It all is a progression.

Elias Torres: The other day I saw Craig and Craig is like... I see Craig every day.

Dave Gerhardt: Of course.

Elias Torres: The other day Craig goes... It's like, I'm on my way. I'm meeting with Dan, we're discussing August. And it's like, videos are being made. It's just amazing to just see the entire team knowing what to do.

Dave Gerhardt: Correct. Actually, I haven't talked to you about this, but I was going to... I think it's good. I felt this at a smaller scale. I'm a super type A person, which is hard to scale that. If you're super type A, my mentality has always been like, if you want it done, right, you've got to do it yourself. But you can't grow that way. You can't scale that way. And last week I went on vacation and I actually didn't do much work for the first time in a long time. I came back on Monday-

Elias Torres: Well done.

Dave Gerhardt: Thank you. I came back on Monday and I was like, holy shit, nothing broke. And that was so liberating, to be like, okay, this is good. We have a system here. We have something. I think it takes going away for a day or a week or whatever. And you have to go away and see it, see that the world didn't end while you were gone.

Elias Torres: I think that that's something that in general people don't believe. People think that without them, nothing's going to get done. I already learned that, because I like to escape once in a while.

Dave Gerhardt: Correct.

Elias Torres: And I come back and the world kept going.

Dave Gerhardt: I had even seen like... It's been cool to see you since day one as a founder. Early days of Drift, you were actually sitting there coding. now, I don't even know where your laptop is, because you are spending all of your day hiring, recruiting, interviewing with people. And I think that would have been really hard to do, but now you've scaled to a point where if you don't check Slack, it doesn't really matter. Because you got to do other stuff that's more important. And hopefully you have the teams and systems around the company to get the other stuff done.

Elias Torres: Exactly. It's two things. One, people need to learn how to just take off and know that the world is not going to stop. That they're not that important. None of us are.

Dave Gerhardt: And if you are, then you hired wrong. You're not doing it right.

Elias Torres: Exactly. So, you could leave and maybe nothing bad happens, but also nothing good happens.

Dave Gerhardt: Emergency.

Elias Torres: But here, at least you left and you know that a lot of stuff got done. That's something to the Testament of our culture, that we're building of accountability, rhythm and show your worth, bias for action, deliver results daily. That everyone understands that, and that we've been getting better at teaching that from day one. That's for example, one of the things that we used to do. When you started, you had to deal directly... Well, you still have to deal directly with DC and me. But what happens is that, it was too much for everybody to hear directly from us-

Dave Gerhardt: Correct.

Elias Torres: ...on every single thing. How do we want it? What do we expect? What good looks like? What great looks like? What best looks like? Now, what we've done is that, we put as much of that information as possible into the Drift leadership principles. So, people can get those from many other people, because it's being written for everybody's growth.

Dave Gerhardt: Let's talk about that, because we... That's a good transition from the sabbatical thing. And I've got one other topic. We're going to stick to the rule of threes on this one. We've got sabbatical. I want to talk about leadership principles, and we're talking about reading. You guys have always had the leadership principles, but you actually, within the last couple of weeks, pushed to actually write them down and make them a thing.

Elias Torres: No. They've been written down for a while now. We evolved that... It used to be, we would hire someone. When we were 10 people, we would hire one person and they would start whenever they were ready. As we grew, and all of a sudden we see, there's five people starting. We started moving into that classes cohorts. First week and third week.

Dave Gerhardt: The progression would be like, you show up at Drift... Early days, you'd show up at Drift, and we might even be like, shit, we don't even have a laptop. Hold on, we got to go to Apple Store and get a laptop.

Elias Torres: Absolutely.

Dave Gerhardt: Then all of a sudden that-

Elias Torres: Deladia, I spoke to him on Monday.

Dave Gerhardt: And he started the next day, right?

Elias Torres: He signed on Tuesday, and he showed up on Wednesday morning. He's like, he just showed up and we just walked together to the Apple Store to buy him a laptop.

Dave Gerhardt: That's amazing. But then there's a progression then, all of a sudden three people start and you're like, how do they all know what to do together?

Elias Torres: We saw great onboarding decks from other companies. I think I saw one of them is like, from eShares. We saw that. Obviously we've been obsessed with reading Amazon, Jeff Bezos, The Everything Store. There's a book called The 14 Ways of Amazon, we saw that. And the writing was on the wall. It's like, it's not about just random principles, but it's the way that we would like people to work, to think and to hustle. The things that we kept saying. Back to Jocko Willink's conference, I was... It's amazing when you see these amazing role models and experts, how they know how to explain something very clearly. I'm in complete agreement with everything he's saying, I understand it, I can unpack everything Jocko Joe said. I understand it deeply. But I wasn't saying it in that way. So, we began that journey of writing down our principles and we've been evolving them. We've been teaching them on the first day of Drifters starting days. But it wasn't until Carrie came in that we now expanded them and made them better.

Dave Gerhardt: I think one of the things is, it's not just having them, but I think the difference is, when you set the expectations upfront, then everybody knows how to act and they act differently. I think at Drift the speed is unlike any other company. The feedback is... A lot of people come here and they think I've gotten feedback before, then they get feedback here, and it's way different. I think without the context... Now, you have the ability to set that up front. You say," Hey, here's how things are going to be here. It's going to be like this." Then when somebody gets that, they're not like, whoa. They expect it. Colin Powell has a saying, I forget what the hell it is, but I'll make it up. He said, basically, Hey... He would explain to new people that would come work for him and say," I'm going to be all over your ass for the first X weeks until you prove to me that you can take it and scale it."

Elias Torres: That's Colin? That's not Jocko?

Dave Gerhardt: No, that wasn't Jocko.

Elias Torres: Jocko said the same thing.

Dave Gerhardt: He said the same thing?

Elias Torres: He just owned it probably.

Dave Gerhardt: He probably owned it.

Elias Torres: It's from Colin.

Dave Gerhardt: But it's the same thing. And I think that changes the perception of it. Because then you're not like, why the hell is this guy all over me? He's like, no, he told me he was going to do this. Once I prove that I can show that I own it and take it, then he's going to back off.

Elias Torres: exactly.

Dave Gerhardt: Then it's complete ownership for that person.

Elias Torres: I am speechless.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay, good. I think that's a progression. I think if you look at the progression of people over time, the amount of messages... I'll just use myself as an example. The amount of messages I get from you, from marketing has gone down over the time at Drift, because things have scaled. We have systems, checklists and process for everything.

Elias Torres: For example, the reason why I'm able to not code is because we have a structure, a team organization. That we have a technical leader, engineers. We have product managers to signers that work into a squad. Distributed offensive teams. There's a whole bunch of stuff that we'll be talking in the other podcast branch in the build branch. So, we've done that. We have leadership, we have a product development process. We have weekly meetings that allows us to everyone work effectively. Basically one of the things I said, I think in my LinkedIn post is that, culture is made up of rituals, shared languages, symbols, and the principles. We have rituals.

Dave Gerhardt: Monday metrics on Monday morning. Show and tell on Fridays. Everybody does their 15 fives. You have-

Elias Torres: Company meeting.

Dave Gerhardt: Company meeting.

Elias Torres: SLT meeting at 5 PM.

Dave Gerhardt: SLT meeting at five on Friday. The two hour monthly meeting. The Wednesday lunch and learn. There's all those things.

Elias Torres: Exactly. We have rituals. We also have how we hit the gong, how the sales team does it. What song they play, what mask they wear. What costume they put on. How many gong heads, whether the smoke machine goes on or not. Those are all the things that unify us as a culture, as a team, to execute better. Now, you don't need us every day here. We're here every day, but we can afford to crosstalk.

Dave Gerhardt: At this point 170 people, things aren't working well if that stuff's always coming from you guys. It has to come from everybody else.

Elias Torres: The reality is that most companies don't do this this early.

Dave Gerhardt: Correct.

Elias Torres: Everybody keeps being surprised that we defined the leadership principles.

Dave Gerhardt: That was interesting. You guys made... You hired Carrie who runs training and development.

Elias Torres: Learning and development.

Dave Gerhardt: Learning and development training. Most companies don't make that hire until three, four or 500 people.

Elias Torres: Exactly.

Dave Gerhardt: Did you have that conversation... Did you and DC have that conversation early on and say," we want to invest in this role early?"

Elias Torres: Well, I think that one of our motto is that we say with people here, that you come to Drift it's for the learning. But there are two types of way you come. You come and you say," I was at Drift and I learned for five years a ton of stuff." But that is not enough, because you know what? I performed while I was learning a lot with David, but I didn't know what I was learning.

Dave Gerhardt: Correct.

Elias Torres: So, I think what we are doing now with Carrie and investing in trainings in every area. We have Pete in product. We have Eli in sales, and we have Carrie for the rest. We probably do something else with the rest of the teams, is that we want to make sure that we formalize the education process. Make sure that everyone's aware that we are investing in them, and that's a big benefit of being part of Drift.

Dave Gerhardt: That's a good idea. We might need a marketing trainer. Can I get one of those?

Elias Torres: No.

Dave Gerhardt: Damn. Okay. All right. You talked about-

Elias Torres: You ask DC when he gets back.

Dave Gerhardt: True. I was trying to get you to say yes while he's... He'll say yes. Okay. You actually talked about learning, which is a good thread, because you said something. If you're listening to Seeking Wisdom, you know we talk about books, reading, learning, all that stuff. You've been working with DC for 11 years now. I saw that LinkedIn thing, you like congratulate David on 11 years working with you. It was like kudos.

Elias Torres: For the record-

Dave Gerhardt: Kudos feature. He noticed it first on LinkedIn.

Elias Torres: He did?

Dave Gerhardt: And he sent it to me. He was like... I wish I could say the whole thread crosstalk.

Elias Torres: I'm sure.

Dave Gerhardt: He sent that to me just no words.

Elias Torres: I'm sure.

Dave Gerhardt: All you need to know about the two of them is that David just looks at Elias or actually looks at me when he says it and it's about ileus. And he goes, 10 years and he's shaking his head.

Elias Torres: He said that to me, it got like... It was like mushy. He was like, hey-

Dave Gerhardt: Hey, man.

Elias Torres: It's like a fist bump and didn't say anything. Then I started talking to him and saying, come on, stop. Focus. We've got to work-

Dave Gerhardt: Who are you?

Elias Torres: ...we've got to get shit done. crosstalk.

Dave Gerhardt: It's all because he's on a sabbatical that he show his emotions.

Elias Torres: He showed a little emotion there.

Dave Gerhardt: I want to talk about... Let's wrap up and talk about reading. Because you said to me that you always thought that reading was stupid and you-

Elias Torres: Wait. No, the story goes that DC said, he asked me to read some book and supposedly the answer was that I said that reading was stupid.

Dave Gerhardt: Supposedly the answer.

Elias Torres: Yeah.

Dave Gerhardt: What was the actual answer?

Elias Torres: I don't know. You know what? I have a good memory, but maybe.

Dave Gerhardt: It's possible.

Elias Torres: It's possible that might've been interpreted.

Dave Gerhardt: It's possible.

Elias Torres: It's 11 years ago. I was way more, both naive and even more egotistical. I'm trying to bring it down.

Dave Gerhardt: Engineer at IBM, man. You didn't know any different?

Elias Torres: Yeah. I had just left IBM.

Dave Gerhardt: It's okay.

Elias Torres: I went fresh from IBM into this seat. Imagine that. The shock.

Dave Gerhardt: No, I can't. I can't imagine. The two opposite ends of the world.

Elias Torres: It's like leaving, I don't know, some preschool and going into... What is it called? A Navy seal- What is it called?

Dave Gerhardt: Buds.

Elias Torres: Buds. It's like going to buds with Jocko.

Dave Gerhardt: In kindergarten.

Elias Torres: Yeah. From kindergarten.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay. I'm sorry. I didn't want to put words in your mouth, but I wrote it down, because you said it. Reading was stupid.

Elias Torres: Anyway. We can say that David... I guess I didn't do anything before I met David.

Dave Gerhardt: Sure.

Elias Torres: But 11 years ago I said reading was stupid and there's been a shift.

Dave Gerhardt: Huge.

Elias Torres: Even David says he doesn't believe who I am.

Dave Gerhardt: Get texts from you on a Saturday with a book in your lap, on the beach at the Cape.

Elias Torres: Exactly. What happens is that David is an avid reader. He just reads all the time. It's been many years, and I realized that I just not realize how much time I wasted. Because Drift has been a new stage in my life. And especially when it comes to learning, because before I was mostly a doer when I was working with David. Kind of like you, it's like, you're doing it better than me. Because DC's like, we need to do this, it never ends. You just go and do it. I was the same. I was at HubSpot. He would be like, let's build this, let's do this, let's do that. And I was okay, boom, I'll be right back. Built. But now at Drift, in order to help him more I think-

Dave Gerhardt: Corret.

Elias Torres: ...I needed to... I was like, where's the source of all this vision, all this thinking and it's from him reading.

Dave Gerhardt: In order to really build the... Like you guys have said since the beginning, pillar company,$ 10 billion. It can't just be you doing the doing.

Elias Torres: Exactly. But even if it's doing, but now what we've done at Drift is, obviously coming from David, is that he's reading and he's helped imparting that knowledge. Now, I'm reading, and I can also do the same with different parts of the organization. Now, everybody at Drift is starting to read in a meaningful way.

Dave Gerhardt: It's crazy. It really is contagious. I never-

Elias Torres: Reading is fun.

Dave Gerhardt: I swear to God, it is. It really is.

Elias Torres: It is fun.

Dave Gerhardt: I didn't read a single book in high school or college. I just never did it. Because it was never interesting to me. I didn't care. And it wasn't even... Even three years ago. When I started at Drift, it was when I actually started reading. The reason I didn't like reading when I was younger is because I didn't get the... It was boring as hell. It didn't apply to me. Then DC put me on all these marketing books, copywriting books and advertising books. And that's when I lit up, because I was like, I can see how this stuff applies directly to what I'm doing. It's going to help me make more money, me be more successful, the company more successful, marketing better. I actually saw how when I read something, I could go and apply it.

Elias Torres: Exactly.

Dave Gerhardt: That's why it is fun, because you do read something and then... My problem now though is, when I read something, I immediately get an idea and then I got to go off, because that's what you get out of it.

Elias Torres: Now you know how David is.

Dave Gerhardt: It's amazing.

Elias Torres: But it's like we're reading books on sales books, on scaling organizations. And we're like, it says there, by this amount of revenue, you should have 45 employees and you should have this many sales reps. You should have this many in products. You should have this many BDRs. And we're like, oh, that's exactly right. But we could have read that two years earlier and plan even better.

Dave Gerhardt: A 100%. A good example of this is also... The other lesson from books is like, you have to read them... They mean different things at different stages. The first time I read Jason Lemkin, Impossible Never was like two years ago when we read it for the first time. And I just re- read it last week, it was way different because now-

Elias Torres: Way different.

Dave Gerhardt: ...we're living it.

Elias Torres: Exactly.

Dave Gerhardt: We have a ton of sales reps. We have leads, traffic, scaling, enterprise, this, that, and it all meant something where, when I read it two years ago, we had like five customers.

Elias Torres: Exactly.

Dave Gerhardt: So, it's different.

Elias Torres: David is always like reading books all the time and ordering them. I kind of wait, to hand me down. He's like, okay, read this book. I'm trying to save myself time too.

Dave Gerhardt: Well, he's a good filter for it.

Elias Torres: Exactly.

Dave Gerhardt: Because if sends it... The rule that I've learned now is, if I get a text from him about a book, I just buy it.

Elias Torres: Exactly. Well sort of. Remember my advice that I told you, if DC asks you for something, one time, don't do it. If he'd ask you-

Dave Gerhardt: Is that where I got that? Yes, a 100%. I tell this to everybody now. It's probably not good advice, but this is my playbook. The advice I got from you was, if you hear something from David, unless it punches me in the gut as right away-

Elias Torres: Correct.

Dave Gerhardt: ...holy shit, that's a good idea.

Elias Torres: Absolutely.

Dave Gerhardt: If I'm like... Because I often say, you do change your mind. You're like, I didn't believe you at first and then you go back and do it.

Elias Torres: Of course.

Dave Gerhardt: Because it takes sleeping on it.

Elias Torres: It takes sleeping on it. You have to process it. You have to digest. It's not giving you the whole context of where crosstalk.

Dave Gerhardt: So, you do that with books. If he sends you one and you immediately think it's good, you'll get it.

Elias Torres: Yeah, I'll wait.

Dave Gerhardt: If not, you're like, I'll wait.

Elias Torres: I'll wait. You know what I mean. Or I see him reading... I also can measure how good the book is by the number of screenshots David sends me.

Dave Gerhardt: Correct.

Elias Torres: Photographs of pages through WhatsApp. If I get a lot from that book and I'm reading it, now I pay more attention to those pages, to those excerpts-

Dave Gerhardt: You might as well get it.

Elias Torres: ...then I'm like, okay, that's the book. So, I do that. Except in some cases, I'm being better now just ordering more and more books.

Dave Gerhardt: Just to have them.

Elias Torres: Sometimes it's like, we both hear about a book at the same time, I order it... And I say to him," did you order it?" Yeah, of course. I was so proud because I finally ordered a book.

Dave Gerhardt: He never says no.

Elias Torres: He never says no.

Dave Gerhardt: This is a question for the people that listen to this. Because one question we get a lot is, when do you find time? Especially you, founder, busy company. You have three kids, family, whatever. When do you find the time to read? How do you do it?

Elias Torres: Well, I was finding a lot of time when I was getting up much earlier. I was doing the four 44 for a while. I did that for about nine months. Then the winter crushed me around February and this trip to Vegas, I was just like, I destroy. I haven't gotten back on that routine, but early in the morning was the best time for me. I can definitely spend 30, 45 minutes reading. No problem. I was on fire. It just feels so much better that you can bombard the team with... I read this, I have this idea to sell this stuff. You can't prepare. It's just, you're reading stuff on like the five dysfunctions of a team. Communication, sales stuff, product, leadership, customer centricity stuff. Home Depot books, things like that. You come on fire and people are... It's just so applicable every single day.

Dave Gerhardt: Every day.

Elias Torres: It's just the best way to start a day. So, I would say the morning is the best spot. I went to-

Dave Gerhardt: But do you have to find that extra time. You had to get a bit-

Elias Torres: You've got to carry the book. I love carrying the book with me. The other day I got... I was at the Cape on the weekend, and now I find delight of sitting down at the beach, which normally I wouldn't, because I want to be active. I want to be kite surfing. If it's boring, but if I have a book, no problem.

Dave Gerhardt: Even I feel like if you carry the book, then you're not just going to pull out your phone and look at it for 20 minutes.

Elias Torres: Exactly.

Dave Gerhardt: Do you know how much you could read in 20 minutes if you're not looking at your phone?

Elias Torres: Absolutely. The other day I cut my foot at the beach and I was bleeding, and people were like, you have to go to the ER. Have you been to the ER with Annie?

Dave Gerhardt: I have not.

Elias Torres: Okay. Have you been to the ER?

Dave Gerhardt: I have not.

Elias Torres: By the way, the ER is not bad.

Dave Gerhardt: Actually I have. Five years ago, I broke my ankle.

Elias Torres: How many hours did you spend there?

Dave Gerhardt: Like two.

Elias Torres: That's it? Where did you go? Framingham?

Dave Gerhardt: No.

Elias Torres: Where are you from?

Dave Gerhardt: Framingham. No, I went to St. Elizabeth's in Brighton.

Elias Torres: In Brighton?

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah.

Elias Torres: That must be nice.

Dave Gerhardt: It was a Tuesday night at 10 o'clock.

Elias Torres: Tuesday night at 10 o'clock.

Dave Gerhardt: That must be nice. Okay.

Elias Torres: I don't know. But it's like, when you go to the ER, you have a child, you have... One time one of my sons threw a shovel backwards and landed on the forehead of the other. And there's blood just dripping down the forehead. Go to the ER, you spend like 10 hours there.

Dave Gerhardt: That's crazy.

Elias Torres: It's horrendous. So, everyone's like go to the ER, you're bleeding. And I'm like, I don't want to go to the ER. Then I had the Home Depot book in my hand.

Dave Gerhardt: So, you're like, I'll go to the ER.

Elias Torres: Let's go to the ER. It's like, let's go. Everyone was like-

Dave Gerhardt: Uninterrupted.

Elias Torres: Uninterrupted time. I'm sitting down, air conditioner.

Dave Gerhardt: Did you get stitches?

Elias Torres: No, they just glued it up.

Dave Gerhardt: Seriously? crosstalk.

Elias Torres: It was at the bottom of the foot, so it was just impossible-

Dave Gerhardt: Sitting in the ER reading.

Elias Torres: ...to stich it. But I'm just sitting there reading. I had an amazing time. I'm done with the book. I finished, I crushed the book there. No problem at all. So, that's what David says to me," who are you?" I'm like, I enjoy... I went to get my driver's license renewed. I had to sit there for hours waiting for that horrendous number. The ticker just go up and up.

Dave Gerhardt: Can't you do that online?

Elias Torres: No, it's a new crosstalk.

Dave Gerhardt: Did you go on purpose so you could read?

Elias Torres: 20 years ago or something. The thing expired. I had to go. My eyesight, they needed to test. Whatever it was. I had to go in person. I tried the online version. But you know what? I brought a book. I'm reading the book.

Dave Gerhardt: Love it.

Elias Torres: That's another way I find time. If you carry the books with you-

Dave Gerhardt: Carry the book.

Elias Torres: ...wherever you are, you find-

Dave Gerhardt: Instead of being 15 pages deep on Twitter-

Elias Torres: On Instagram.

Dave Gerhardt: ...being mad about some stuff.

Elias Torres: I love Instagram now.

Dave Gerhardt: Oh God.

Elias Torres: They added that thing that says you've caught up.

Dave Gerhardt: You've gotten there, in the Instagram feed.

Elias Torres: I don't subscribe. I'm keeping my feed very low.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay.

Elias Torres: But it's like, I always get there and like, okay, I'm done.

Dave Gerhardt: You don't follow that many people.

Elias Torres: I try not to.

Dave Gerhardt: That's good.

Elias Torres: Or the people that I follow are not very active.

Dave Gerhardt: All right. We're coming up on 26, 27 minutes, which is the sweet spot. So, what else, man? Do you have anything you want to wrap with? I think this was great. We gave the people three things, sabbaticals, leadership principles and some reading stuff.

Elias Torres: I also have an important advice I think-

Dave Gerhardt: Sure.

Elias Torres: ...for people in the summer thinking about... This is new accessory that has come out, that has come back.

Dave Gerhardt: Can you show the people?

Elias Torres: Yeah, absolutely. So, this is-

Dave Gerhardt: Is Seeking Wisdom going to be sponsored by... What does GUCCI mean?

Elias Torres: Let's talk about it. This is a belt bag.

Dave Gerhardt: It's a belt bag.

Elias Torres: This is definitely the new trend. It's a very practical accessory for men to carry all kinds of stuff in it. I wasn't prepared, I didn't know we were doing this.

Dave Gerhardt: Yeah, sure. Hold on.

Elias Torres: It's amazing. This is David's charger. I took it when I went to Toronto, I took it from his desk. You get you sunglasses, you have your phone, you have your AirPods, passport, driver's license, wallet. It's just like all the things that you can put in here. It's amazing.

Dave Gerhardt: I love it.

Elias Torres: And you don't have anything in your pocket.

Dave Gerhardt: It's a good look. I was skeptical of it until two things. Number one, I learned that it was Gucci. So, that's pretty cool. The other thing is, I was on-

Elias Torres: My daughter got me into this. She bought it for father's day.

Dave Gerhardt: Apparently.

Elias Torres: Half of the company thought it was ridiculous.

Dave Gerhardt: Then yesterday I'm on Instagram. And I see TI with the same Fanny pack. It's not a Fanny pack.

Elias Torres: Belt bag.

Dave Gerhardt: Belt bag. TI with the same belt bag. Anyway, Elias, thanks for doing it. Thanks for holding it down.

Elias Torres: DC, come back.

Dave Gerhardt: DC, come back. We're going to break records with this one. Gerald, shout out to Romeo. Okay. It's been a while.

Elias Torres: We miss him.

Dave Gerhardt: We miss you. We miss you crosstalk.

Elias Torres: We need to bring him back.

Dave Gerhardt: I went to Touro the other night, it was not the same.

Elias Torres: It was not the same without him.

Dave Gerhardt: No.

Elias Torres: Absolutely.

Dave Gerhardt: They were like, the wait will be 45 minutes, sir. Don't forget Hypergrowth. We're eight weeks away. We were talking about what we're announcing at Hypergrowth tomorrow. I can't wait. Eight weeks away. If you go to hypergrowth. drift. com right now, use the promo code Seeking Wisdom. We're going to wave 500 bucks. Tickets are 199. It's crazy. We sold out last year. We've already tripled the amount of people that were there last year, this year. So, be there.

Elias Torres: Wow.

Dave Gerhardt: Okay.

Elias Torres: It's amazing. Come.

Dave Gerhardt: crosstalk coasts.

Elias Torres: We're a hang out party.

Dave Gerhardt: Peace.


ET is filling in for DC while he's wrapping up his sabbatical. We talked about the Drift Sabbatical program, why it's 3 years vs. 5, and how the company scales as the founders take more time off, how to set up systems to scale, and the power of unplugging. We also talked about the Drift Leadership Principles and how they set up new hires for success and help scale the company too. And we talked about READING! Why Elias hated reading and how he's addicted to it and his tips for reading & learning more. Use the promo code SEEKINGWISDOM when you get your tickets to HYPERGROWTH 2018 and save $500 today (just $199 for your ticket). Visit https://hypergrowth.drift.com/ to get your tickets today and come see speakers like Jocko Willink, Molly Graham, Chaka Pilgrim, Amelia Boone, Grant Cardone, and more in September. PS. The Seeking Wisdom Official Facebook Group is live! One place, finally, for all of us to hang out, get updates on the podcast, and share what we’re learning (plus some exclusives). Just search for the Seeking Wisdom Official group on Facebook. On Twitter: @davegerhardt, @eliast, and @seekingwisdomio