Today we’re talking to Bob Hutchins about his daily routine. We talk exercise, journaling styles, self-reflection, and finding creative inspiration- all before setting foot in the office. With experience on both ends of agency ownership, Bob delves into the benefits and challenges of having limited responsibilities as a Director versus full authority as a partner/owner. He opens up about taking risks and the importance of supporting your team’s education and passions, encouraging his own children to not let fear control their decisions, and lets us in on his mantra for living a life IN the game instead of on the sidelines.
Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode:
- Incorporate movement into your day, THROUGHOUT your day- not just in the mornings! Movement of any sort can serve as a brain “reset” button and help you make better, more informed, less emotional decisions.
- Foster Learning! As a leader in your business, and as a mentor, there are so many ways that you can encourage your team to get creative and follow their passions within their role. Provide opportunities for continued education and let them know that there is budget for that- they will be encouraged to do so by your own transparency and eagerness to learn as well! “I think if you can help someone better their lives and be the source of that for them, I think it’ll come back around.”
- Don’t be afraid to take Risks- There is a way to take risks wisely and intelligently, and this includes being willing to look back at your past history and use that to enlighten yourself. This self-reflection and search for boldness in place of fear is a vital part of who Bob is, and it translates into the way that he leads. His mantra: “Don’t be afraid to take risks, because that’s where you will find your true purpose in life, and it will be the best thing for those around you.”
For more tips, discussion, and behind the scenes:
About The Guys:
Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from from 2000-2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob:
Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:
Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken:
[1:51] Brad updates us on his interest in cryptocurrency.
[2:14] Bob asks if there is a precedence set for people to unintelligently invest just because someone else can drive the price up?
[2:44] Brad says long story short, yes. But there is also a fair amount of wisdom about crypto from people who know Wall Street and the economy- eventually that ability to “pull a fast one” won’t be as appealing.
[8:27] Brad asks Bob about his daily routine- what time does he wake up in the morning?
[8:32] Bob tells us about the start of his days. He usually wakes up at 6 am (earlier on Agency Exposed recording days) and starts with coffee while his family gets ready for school/work. He tries to go for a walk and close out his Apple exercise circle first thing in the morning. His commute to work is about half an hour and he arrives before the rest of his team, where he journals and further prepares for his work day.
[10:44] Bob uses something called a Panda Journal. It’s a short prompted journal exercise that includes things like listing 3 things you’re grateful for, your priorities for the day, and a to do list. It also includes reminders for exercise throughout the day.
[11:40] Ken talks about his habit of longer-form journaling and how much insight it has given him.
[12:35] Brad shares that he often doesn’t get the brain restart that he craves until Friday at 5:00- he asks about how Ken and Bob use journaling to reset their brains and refocus on the day ahead instead of what’s happened already.
[13:38] Bob says that he’s learned over the years to incorporate more movement into his day. “I’ve learned over the years and probably most recently, that I have to act out and move my body to clear my mind.”
[15:48] Bob continues, saying that having a morning routine that includes some movement and COFFEE helps encourage him to wake up and not lay in bed scrolling. After arriving to work, he checks in with his team and makes sure everyone is aligned with their tasks for the day. They use a task management system that helps to provide another layer of support and organization as well.
[17:59] Ken asks Bob how his morning routine has changed over the years- from owning his own agency to being in charge of digital at another one, how has that role change impacted his morning routine?
[20:11] Bob talks about the main differences between where his worries begin and end- for example, in his current role he doesn’t have to be worried about acquiring new business. The best part for him is having a structure and environment where you have so many resources at your fingertips.
[21:51] Brad asks if that decrease in constant pressure has resulted in other benefits like physical health and mental health.
[22:00] Bob says that while owning a business can be physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing, all of those things have a much deeper source and you take them with you no matter where you go.
[24:35] Ken adds that we often tell ourselves that we’ll be happy once we get to a certain point. “I don’t know that it’s so much as excuse as a complete misunderstanding of how things work.” Telling yourself you’ll find happiness when you get to point A, or when a certain relationship is over, or when a certain amount of money has been earned. There is power in realizing that waiting around for the circumstances to change will not make you happier- you carry that baggage around with you wherever you go.
[27:46] Bob says that for him, having creativity in his life is what keeps him inspired and happy. Others may pick up sports or other hobbies, but for him creativity is what keep him going.
[29:11] Bob writes and shares his articles on LinkedIn, about technology and eventually psychology
[30:55] Brad asks Bob what he does at his agency to foster that creativity for his team and as a mentor.
[31:37] Bob talks about letting his personality take the wheel in that realm, saying that he’s not one to micromanage but rather make sure that everyone feels seen and heard, and that everyone knows they can learn something from one another.
- He values family and wants his team to put their family first as well, so he makes an effort to be very flexible with family needs. He also encourages his team to better themselves, to get additional training and challenge themselves.
[33:19] Bob “I think if you can help someone better their lives and be the source of that for them, I think it’ll come back around.” In addition, Bob says that he never tries to act like he has everything figured out- he has a willingness to let his employees see when he makes mistakes or does something wrong. This helps to foster an environment of safety, of security, openness, and empathy.
[36:40] Bob and Ken talk about modeling habits and lifestyle choices for employees- if you encourage your employees to learn something new, to engage in something they’re passionate about within your organization, it’s important to equip them for this. Whether they take their own time to invest in this, or you give them time at work to engage in this interest, Bob says that setting the example is the first step.
[38:51] Bob talks about fostering an environment of learning and growth- he says that working in a digital agency means that things change at lightning speed so keeping up with education is vital.
[40:18] Ken talks about how having a passion for your work can often mean that you self-sabotage by trying to learn everything. You can get ahead of the curve by encouraging your team to look into these areas and then talk about what they’re learning. “You need to be in the business of creating more time to do more things, and the only way you can do that is by not doing more things.”
[41:35] Brad asks Bob what he struggles with during his work day that kind of drives him crazy.
[42:08] Bob says that people who are afraid to think outside of the box bug him. Also people who aren’t willing to see down the road to the bigger picture, people who aren’t willing to take risks.
[43:21] Brad asks Bob what his mantra would be, based on everything we’ve talked about today. We know he’s a proponent of living in the moment and keeping your curiosity alive, but how does that translate?
[43:29] Bob talks about the foolishness of “YOLO” and the idea that every individual needs to experience everything they possibly can in life- curiosity going that far into that level of selfishness can be counterproductive to a life well-lived. “There’s a right way to jump off a cliff and a wrong way to jump off a cliff…” The wise way would be to get counsel, talk to others who have been down the same road, who have taken risks and seen the impacts. When you are equipped with that knowledge, when you’ve calculated the risk involved in certain situations, you still need to be willing to jump, to let your curiosity take flight.
[45:37] Bob “Don’t be afraid to take risks, because that’s where you will find your true purpose in life, and it will be the best thing for those around you.”
[46:27] Ken talks about how not taking risks can actually be seen as bad stewardship- and having bad stewardship impacts the people directly inside your life as well, your family and immediate co workers, friends. It’s valuable to have a perspective that says, you’re not chasing your curiosity and taking these calculated risks from a place of selfishness but selflessness, from a place of wanting to truly serve those around you in an impactful way.
[47:09] Bob tells us about raising kids with this mindset as well. When he talks to his adult children, he would much rather them take risks and fail that never take risks at all. They have seen him take risks and fail, but also take risks and reap the rewards. So they can see his journey and decide how to take risks and how to accept those consequences one way or another.