Discover How to Automate More of Your Life and Business Using Zapier
Hey. We'll welcome to the show hey, thanks, excited, to be here very nice, to have you here as well so. For. The folks who aren't, familiar with, you, or your business let's start there who are you what. Do you do in the world, so. We'll, Christensen. I am. An, automation, expert, and I, run an automation, consultancy. So, we automate, and integrate. Mmm. Two of my favorite, words of that, love the idea of automating. So. Let's. Start off with something. That I hope that will really capture the interest. Of the audience tell me about an, amazing, result. That, you have achieved for a client I think it's something like in the order of 16 hours worth of work all scaled back to just two hours worth of work and then we're gonna unpack. How. You did, that so that the people who are listening, can. Yep. Absolutely. So, that. Actually leads. Right into where. This all began the. The 16 hours a week process, that you're. Referencing, specifically. Is actually. Something. That I did at the very beginning of my career I, was. Given, the beautiful. Opportunity, as the, lowest man on the totem pole at an advertising agency to do 16. Hours, of copying, and pasting inside. Excel every. Single week it, was it was a it. Was. A it was a chore, a pleasure. And, my wife will tell you that I am, not a very. Patient. Person when, it comes to things that are repetitive and monotonous. To, such a degree that I, will do just about anything to avoid, having to do the same thing over and over again, and. So I took that passion for my, wife would call it laziness, and I would call it efficiency, a passion, for efficiency, not laziness. And. I, started, to dig in to how, could you what. Could you do here and and I remember sitting down at the desk with my immediate, superior this is, years ago and he. Goes this, is called, a vlookup, I was. Like I'll be what what, is that he's, like this is called a vlookup let, me show you this and, he showed me how to take two different data sets that like. So let's say transactions. And. Customer. Contact, records and. He showed me how to, create. A column, so that I could pull in like. The invoice number and show. It next to those, customer records without having to go in to each one manually, so if you've, had this problem before you're looking at two spreadsheets, I got, data about, customers and. I got transactions, you want to use a vlookup, and a sum if those are the two formulas, you're gonna play with to, create helper, columns and kind of manage, some of this so he showed me how to do that and it blew, my, mind I. Was, like are you what. You. Can you, can make these two huh. Cuz I had I had been copying, and pasting for, 16. Out. So. This, that cut that cut off like an hour every, week and I was like okay, if I could cut off an hour what, else could I do I proceeded. To spend. Probably. 10 hours, of my week. Automating. And chunking. Off a piece of that manual. Process, every. Week for the next six months and. Then I teach myself a little bit more and I record. These macros, so here's, another nugget for you if. You're doing anything in Excel or Google sheets, I challenge. You at this moment to stop doing whatever you're doing and go, spend 30 minutes watching, a couple of tutorial. YouTube videos on macros. And. Surprise. Google. Sheets has macros, now so if you were thinking oh I'm not using Google sheets because it doesn't have macros, Google. Knows that they're going to eat excels excels, lunch and and, they, came, out with that so. You can, now record all, of those actions, and replay, them so, I figured out how to create all of these recordings and then I would run into these situations where like you, think of like the little man running along the cliff he'd get to the end and there was no, dude. Felt that and then I'd have to pick him back up and put him on and he'd run again well. I was like well what if I built a bridge but, wean these two macros, and made, it so they didn't stop so, the little. Man running on the track didn't fall down and. So I started looking at the code and I connected. The two different pieces of code and this, is where a lot of people are gonna fall off and say well I don't code, I would. Be willing. To bet that if you depend on just a little bit of time looking at it you would be surprised, at how much you can understand I went, a little further than that remember my passion, for efficiency, not laziness, pushed. Me over the edge to the point where I taught myself to code connect, all of those dots taught. Myself to go in and take that, like I actually had Excel go in and open.
Up A web browser and, it, would go download my report and, then it would copy and paste it put it into that next place so. Here's. That here's the other nugget, when. In doubt. Google. It if you're. Wondering like I wonder, if I could automate, this process my. Habit, at that point and I've drilled this into myself is to, open up a web browser and, type in exactly, what was in my head, can. You, automate. And I insert, whatever was in my head and I literally type it just like I would ask the question to you Trent can I automate. Oh. Yeah, well, and so too here now, for. Those of you who are listening this you know how successful Trent, is trends, and I did not talk. Beforehand. But. We both have the same ingrained. Process, can. I aughtta mate X Y or Z what, you're telling the world is this. Is what I'm looking for and there are entrepreneurs out, there begging. You to ask that question and if. You've landed on the right process, they, will have built a piece of software that is begging, you to ask that question I can't, tell you the number of times when I've been like is there, a way to take a screenshot a live screenshot, or such I mean I could. It's. Endless in terms of what's there it's, been shocked at what what, what comes back, and to, be clear my beloved audience this is not gonna be a podcast, about teaching you how to write little lines of code. The, podcast, is going, to be focused, on helping, you to identify, areas. Of, your business that without. Writing little lines of code you can, automate because these, days. Unlike eight years ago there's. Some pretty spectacular tools. That, make. Creating. These automations. Pretty, darn easy to. Do, so. With. That said well how. Should. Someone, determine. If. They. Should automate. Something, they're delegated, or eliminated. Because you, know so. Many entrepreneurs are bogged down, in. Work. Chopping, down trees working, in their, business digging, ditches chopping, down trees both metaphors I'd like to use but they're stuck in their business, because. They got to get all this stuff done they, got clients to stuff, to fulfill and so forth, how. Do they figure out whether. They can automate, something so. I've actually developed a litmus test that, allows you, to decide. Whether, or not a process, should or, should not be automated, okay, so, the first thing you're gonna do when you take on and decide whether or not you got a you gotta decide whether there's return, on that investment, what. I tell people is look for processes, that are more. Than 15 minutes a day, more. Than an hour a week or, more, than an hour a month and what. I've discovered is that if the process is taking, and this is company-wide so if you have one VA who's spending two minutes a day doing that well maybe not worth doing but, if you have 10 VA s and they're all doing the same thing and it's all taking, two minutes maybe.
Time To be start start looking into that so, if it doesn't pass that litmus test stop. Don't. Don't. Dig into that don't look into that so remember, how Trent and I both go into Google and we search for that one of the built-in lit assess that I did for myself as I said wait stop, is, this, going to happen in perpetuity, is the. Thing that I'm going to automate, going. To be happening for this foreseeable, future and there are several times when I've done this when. The answer is no and if. The answer is no why. Are you wasting your time trying. To automate something, it's only gonna happen once, okay. So look. For something in perpetuity which is why I say more than 15 minutes a day more, than an hour a week or more than an hour a month and you can do the math there and obviously more than 15 minutes a day is way more than an hour a month but. I find that thinking. About it in terms of daily monthly or weekly. Forces. You to really understand. Some of that value that ROI okay the, second, litmus test that I tell people is could. This be done by. Someone with reasonable. Understanding of, Excel, or Google sheets, or email. Could. This be done by someone like that or, could this be taught to someone like that in the same amount of time that it took to do it. If. The answer to that question is yes I can I can teach someone to do this as quickly as it takes to actually do it because most of it is common sense and it's just procedural, something, that should be mapped out and flow stur right. If it's, procedural, that way. It's. Probably time to consider, the idea of automation, so. If you've, developed an SOP you have somebody doing that. There's. No there's an opportunity to start looking at that and that that's where I start to find the nugget so you make a big long list of those things and then, you start googling you, start hunting, down where that is I liked I'd like to tell people get out that stick you know put it on your desk write, down the things that pass those three time limits and then, put a tick mark next, to them every time they happen and once.
You Get to the end of the week you'll know where you should start automating, so. Let me give folks, a couple of real-world examples, of things that I've automated, in my business just to kind of give context, so I have, people come, to book an appointment with me to, talk, about growing, their business so, they go to my calendar Lee app and of course they book an appointment, now. If, I didn't have automation. Whenever. That appointment, was booked in, my case I'd have to go create a workflow and flostor for the manual. Processes. That I need to make sure I don't forget, to, do I then. Have to create a record in my activecampaign account, I'd have to create a record in my pipedrive, account I'd have to create a deal in my pipe graph account I'd have to put the deal in the right stage with the right value with the right closed date, and. I'd. Also have to. Somehow. Put, a notification in to slack to tell me I got a new lead now I don't want to do any of that manually, so. I have, automated, that entire process, from the moment someone books, with me, in my calendar, Lee, all. Everything, that I just described, happens. Just. Like that thanks. To one, of my favorite apps in the whole wide world which, is why people don't know how to they don't know how to have to code if you can figure out how to use zapier, and. You'd be amazed. But. You, are able, to, automate, the the, ability. To integrate one, app with another app and have to trigger event happen and have an outcome happen, or an action step app and is absolutely phenomenal. Zapier. Is one of my favorite tools in the entire world, I. I. Have all sorts, of crazy things happening, inside zapier, things. From my personal life I have, automation. That happens so so you talk about calendly. Let's. Talk about calendly, for just a second so, you. Know for those of you watching this we're recording this on. On, April 1st two hundred twenty twenty and if anybody, remembers back to April 1st 2020, when you're watching this you'll, realize that was right in the middle of this Kovan 19 craziness. Right mm-hm and my. Grandmother, is an extreme, extrovert we live in their basement or were there to help them out prolong, the time, that. They can spend in their home okay so don't need to be there where they're helping them and. She's. An extreme introvert, she's secluded. To the house she can't I mean really, can't, go out and, and she's 92 so she shouldn't, be going out right, on. Sunday. This week I created, a calendar link for her and I. Created a Facebook event for all of her grandkids to. Go create virtual. Meetings with her and zoom did. It totally for free and then, I automated. The process of, pushing, the. Email, that, comes in that says there's a new calendar event to, ding her cell phone with, it with a text message. So. I mean it and, and here's the funny part I thought nobody's, actually gonna do this she's already had five appointments only been three days she's. Already had five. Video. Calls in the stress level in our household, has decreased, dramatically. Because. Those, grandparents. Are recognizing. That their grandkids care about them and it's, all about their so automation, doesn't have to just be about business right you, can automate, some things that can make real impact, in people's lives and she's, a much happier human being right now yeah. I'll bet, can. You give me another example of, an, automation that you have in your business yep. Absolutely so. If. You were to go to my website and this will this will evolve over time but currently if you go to my website there are two different forms that you can contact me through there's, the sticky footer so if you scroll down it's. It's through activecampaign. There's, a sticky, footer that pops up on the bottom of the website it says hey do, you want a free consultation and, you put in your name and your email address if you were to fill that out you'll, get an email from me within five minutes it looks like I have lightning, speed in fact one of my clients was like you should probably put, a delay in there because, there's. No way you wrote that email that fast like it kind of like, pulls back the curtain on the fact that it's an automation this. Automation. Allows. Us, to, automatically. Send you an email and it says something along the lines of hey, so-and-so.
And It puts in your first name even though you may not have even put in your first name because this app here has this really cool feature, where you can do lead scoring so, I take your business email address and poof I have your, name the. Size of your company all sorts of other things that's included in every zap your account that's a feature, that a lot of people don't even know zap your that, one. Didn't. Know about that one so zap your score is what it's called it's included in every single zap your account and I can put Trent's email address in there and it'll tell me is social security no actually just kidding it won't tell me the social security number but, it will tell me it, actually does tell me like how large the company is whether or not you're a Google shop it'll, tell me all sorts, of data about, you, as a company and. It. Allows it gets the domain name I don't know if you've ever done one of those zaps where you're like trying to pick apart the domain name of somebody. You, don't have that you don't have that problem anymore because if you feed in the email address it'll spit back the, domain and, it's nice and pretty well, what we do is we pass it through that lead score tool and then we automatically, respond, to you and we say hey thank, you so much for reaching out to us we'd, really appreciate it if you would fill in this form which, I have painstakingly, taking. The time to, pre-fill, for, you so, that you don't have to give me any of the information you already gave me and. You click the link it pre fills the form you fill it out and you tell me so my favorite part about it this is my favorite part they go down the form if they, say that they're a high-value lead. Guess, whose calendar, they get access to, yours. Mine, if they. Say oh you. Know and they're one of the smaller guys who I still want to help but, I really don't have time to be jumping on the phone every single time with those individuals, guess whose calendar it goes to my assistant, so. I've, pre-filtered. The people, so, and guess guess guess what, guess how good the quality of the appointments, that started flowing into my calendar became, much. Much better much, much better and my. Favorite part about it did I use a paid plugin no I, used. Google. Forms, and the. Contact. Form that was just built in twos that it built into the WordPress website that I use I'm gonna upgrade it because, I just got off the phone with gravity, forms which is we rebuilt, gravity, forms a pure integration we're gonna do a webinar with them and we're gonna rebuild it so that when, it gets to the end it like dynamically. Redirects, and does some other cool stuff but. I mean, fascinating. In terms of like, you. Know if you there are case studies out there if you respond, to a lead within five minutes, they're, like ninety. Five point. Ninety five percent more likely to respond, to you or to take action on what you just said so. What if you could hire a robot, that would do that while you sleep, wouldn't. That be amazing that's essentially, what we did is is. What we've. Done that so and that's that's true of both if you fill out the contact form and you say hey, I really want to automate something when, you fill out that form it pre fills the section that says what do you want to automate with what you sent to me in my contact, form, I'm. Filling. Out your footer bar right now do, it, do. It try, it out ya know and it works it honestly it Bin's on that lat schedules app here has the one minute or the 15 minute plans I think I'm on the 5 minute plan, and so, it's it depending, on like when, the ticker goes off because zapier doesn't have it all on the exact well 1 5 10 mark of the hour so. Depending on when you fill it out sometimes, it comes back with hit like 30 seconds, and there's no it's it's humanly, and not. Possible to have written the email that fast but. I wrote it in such a way that, I wanted people to feel like I had spent time looking at it and doing what was there not to deceive them but to show them I am, going to treat your business, in a personal, way but. I'm gonna do it in an automated way so, and, that's an example that. Green footer bar that's just native to active campaign that's not an extra plugin, hey do I'd not I get another gold star right there gold star. Yes. That is native to active, campaign okay I did not know that I'm relatively, new to active, campaign, way it's. Pretty cool it's, it's a powerful, powerful tool it's almost more juice than I need right now I'll be honest, we, use active campaign I use streak alongside of actually because, I streak, spent a little bit more. In. What's there and and that I, forgot. To mention when, I send out that lead it actually does create, a deal. Or a box as Street calls it inside my my. Streak account and it tracks all of that stuff and gets everything rolling so, very.
Cool So I got your email it's taken me to the Google form so I've done this using. Jot, form and there's, conditional, logic and, so in my jaw form the, first question, is tell me where your business is at and there's three options and. Two. Of the options are. I, have. A business or I had one and sold it those. Options, will, both ultimately, see my calendar and then, the third option is I'm brand new and they'll, never see my calendar yet realize that. Those. Folks don't buy what. I have to sell because they're brand new they don't have the budget they can't make the decision already a good fit and. I figured, out that if I'm gonna do any one-on-one, consulting I, really. Like working with existing business, owners but I don't really like working with folks on a one-on-one basis. That. Yep, it's just not a good fit so. You're probably doing the same thing here with your with, your Google, document survey, yep, as you've got the who are you I'm is a pure user so depending upon what radio button I choose you've, got a conditional, logic in the back yep that is going to route you to whoever's, calendar, needs to be routed to correct, so if you choose there I am as a pure SAS like I'm an owner of a SAS, company I run, a SAS company that, hits my calendar every time if. You choose that I'm a SAP your user you. Get down a step further and there's one that asks, this really, interesting question, it asks how much, time is this taking, you and if, they say, above. A certain amount I want to talk to him because I know that there's more ROI, in, what, can be automated and they say below a certain amount goes, to my assistant, she bets it for me ahead of time and then she jumps on the phone and says hello and then attends them to me if. They if they're the right person to talk to you so that, that, right there helped. A ton. With. Our ability, to process and work with people in a in an automated, way but they didn't feel grumpy about it because they, got access to my calendar could do everything that was there yeah. All. Right where are we here, questions. So. We've. Just run through a few examples. Why. Do you think people. Aren't. Automating. Basic. Stuff like this I mean I'm going to guess because they don't know they can well. So, I've actually done a bunch, of research into that I talked to I mean you got to think about it every single day I talked to three to five people who, were looking to automate something, and over. The past three and a half years, so you know if you were to add that up I should really do some statistics, on what is that three to five years in, terms of business days worth of people. I've. Asked that question a lot and the thing that I've discovered. The, thing that the reason people aren't automating, is because they tried and failed and they didn't want to go back mm-hmm. So, they spent some time looking. Into Google, because, everybody's like Oh Google can solve everything that's a Google's, magic right man like the the, idea that they came up with like hey all you gotta do is put it in this magic white bar and we will give you back what you want like it's like a genie right like I want, a million dollars and sure, enough there's 20 people telling, you how to buy how to how to make a million dollars right well. I, found. That Google can also be a bait and switch and that's not Google's fault that's just because somebody figured out how to put something at the top of the page that wasn't. The most effective, thing for you to find so. I find that most people are, not automating. Because they spent an entire afternoon. Digging, down a rabbit hole and. Either. They successfully. Automated, and the thing that they automated, they, only had to do once yeah. They're like well screw, this I spent an entire afternoon and. I'm never gonna do that again why. Would I ever and, they forget that they're looking for something repeatable, or, they, went down that rabbit hole and spent an entire afternoon, trying. And, like almost, being. Able to automate it and they gave up it. Didn't work something. About I mean you and I both know we were talking about it earlier zapier. Has some gotchas there, are some things triggers. And searches, and some of those other things that's why they have is a pure certified expert program that we're part of where, we help people with that but, yeah.
Most Of the time it's because they've tried and failed and they're just like it is just not worth my time to investigate. Or automate. Yeah. I know. I there are times even myself when I get frustrated you, know I'll, be having in, the, zaps that I was showing you before we hit the record button that, I use in my own business there was one of them, dude. I must have monkeyed with this thing for three hours trying, to get one simple. Little thing to, work and it was driving me absolutely balram's. Next. Time, shoot. Me I mean. Well. Now, if you get stuck there when. You're when you're in the middle of it um what I tell people is I actually. Set a limit for myself and my threshold is much higher than, than others but, my limit is about an hour. Depending. On the demand on my time right now my limits like five minutes if I, if I get stuck on something for five minutes like that there's somebody on my team who can probably who has, time and configure it out more I record, a loom video or a screencastify. Video or something like that I say this, is where I am this, is where I bang my head out and I send it to one of two people straight. To zap your support team who is amazing. If you'll give them the details that they need they actually give support I wasn't aware that zapier give any support oh yeah, they. Will give support so, they have this a peer experts threads are more you can get live support from someone like me and obviously, you know I'll jump on for 15 minutes to 30 minutes with you for free just to help you see where it is and hopefully gain your business. Zapier. Will go the, other direction and, do it via email and if, you give them a loom video that describes exactly what, you're seeing those, guys go above and beyond to fix. What's there so I set, myself that five-minute limit I record that video and I actually, have. I have an automation, where if I title, the name of the screencast of my video bug. - zapier, -, title. Of bug it actually automatically, sends, a P or a bug video for me and or, it automatically, sends, skew, bhana which is another platform that I use a lot a video. And I created a list of like 8 different people that I commonly. In finding, bugs and I. I, put it I put that in there I also made it so that I could do a couple of abbreviations, to send videos. Automatically, to my assistant, to find different things so, now instead, of being like copy-paste. Describe video all of that stuff I don't do that anymore at all I literally just titled. My video. Poof. Ends. Up right we got. A nerd out some more yeah, we do, see. Inside. It's. A little insane sometimes I mean I've even my. Wife makes fun of me but she made fun of me at the beginning but now she uses it if you, come to my house and you say Alexa. And I can use that keyword because I use a different keyword but if you say Alexa, trigger. Alex, home okay. Alex is my daughter trigger. Alex home it, actually, will hit. IFTTT. Which, is another, automation. Program, it'll. Hit IFTTT, which, will because, that's where Alexa, gets gets their their little juice that. Will fire a post, request and so for those of you who are like post, what that, just a fancy way of saying a message, on the internet that, goes to another service I have on my phone called automate, which sends a text message out. To, the, the. Family, that is often, playing with Alex with, it's a message it says hey do you mind sending our daughter home and, so. You, and. And so my wife was making fun of me she's like really you made that she uses it almost, every day now not right now because koban 19 and all that but, but, when when my daughter's over there because that's the friend's house that she's most often at she, uses that thing all the time as opposed. To just picking up her phone and saying I'm home. Well. She. Says, she, says trigger, Alex home and then it shoots a text message it says hey, would you mind sending Alex home for dinner is what, I know but you could pick up your phone and hit there and do a voice record, and saying hey would you mind but, I get it I get it so so here's here's the funny part though it's. About the effort that it took yeah that's three words yeah, for, because, I have to give the key word so, four and guess, what my phone is still in my pocket yeah. Right I like it I have Alexa dots, all over my house I love, Alexa. I don't think I'm using it anywhere, near it sweet, trap. We should we should geek out over what, you can connect like I've got all sorts, of crazy stuff that I've connected to, do the Alexa -. Maybe. We'll do it at the end of this because I'm sure there's some people who. Hang. Around to the end well will, and I are gonna do some Alexa, nerding out at the end of this episode, so.
In. An organization. Will. What. Advice would you give to a business owner who wants to establish a culture around, let's. Always be looking, for automation so let's constantly. Be looking for ways that we. The. First thing I would do is establish a. Grant. Or scholarship. Program, inside, your company. That. Is for, automations, and I would give the the, employee who. Comes up with the idea, a, chunk. Of that change, so. If you're not rewarding, so if your employee comes, up this is one of my biggest pet peeves if your employee, comes up with this like. Drastically. Amazing, idea real, innovation. They. Do an, intrapreneur. Move, they're inside, your company but they'd they figure out a way to reengineer. Something, or change it sometimes. Us on to other entrepreneurs the, boss our pigheaded. Enough to think that we own that, innovation, or, that we somehow made, that possible. You, know if you you. Have got to pull your head out of wherever it is and recognize, that that individual. Just, provided a ton of value, for your business ask me, if when I took that 16 hours of work and I turned it into two because I thought it was annoying ask me. If I got any piece, of that savings know my employer was like hey, would you just you know let's just keep working thank you for for bringing that efficiency, to the table did that motivate me to go find more animation not for them but it looked I, was internally, motivated to, find automation, but for another employee who brings, that sort of savings to the table for your business calculate. It out and give them a year's worth man like. Give them 10% of what they just saved you over the course of a year and. If you do that these. Guys are gonna double down and they're gonna find every, freaking way they can possibly, do to automate your business you, want to know who you. Want to know who can, actually make a difference in your business as far as automation, it's the peons, at the bottom, of the pyramid the, dudes whose bet who's on whose back you ride right now those. Guys are, the ones who can find processes. So when I go in and I do what I call an automation, audit, I get. I sell the CEO CEO, CEO CEO hey let me go in and transform, your company guess, why start interviewing. All. Because. They're the ones that are doing all the processes. That the executives, never do they have no. It's. Just so far off their radar screen that. Nobody's, looking for efficiency. In there and unless you train, change. How they think about doing, their work instead of just following, the established, procedure if instead you incent them with a scholarship program to say let's make your job better let's make you more efficient it's, just never gonna happen yep, so, allowing. That individual, because cuz in there in the CEOs mind he's got something in his head that says I'm better, than that individual. Or or. Maybe, I'm not better but they're so inexpensive there's. Nothing we could possibly do, to make that better and. The, moment, you can get your whole company to shift so. That they start feeling like those, those individuals, down at the bottom of the totem pole start, to realize that you're willing to invest not, only in them but also their processes. I mean you look at Amazon. And some of these other companies that where they've gotten there they've instilled that culture from the beginning they. They they allow anyone, to pull the ladder stop, their production line and say hey why don't we go left instead of right right, here and. The CEO says, flip. Why, don't we I never. Considered, it because they're standing on top of the ladder looking, out over the top and they have no idea what's happening on the bottom floor mm-hmm.
So. If you want to instill a culture incentivize. Your employees, to bring automation, to the day table, and reward. Them for doing so and if, you were reward them for doing so they'll go back and chase it again and again and again and, obviously, you've got to equip them so zapier. Training, you. Know training with a company like mine where you could you could hire a company like mine to come in and do webinars on, automation. You. Could go out and find some of that material yourself, put together spend, a half an hour finding. A couple of videos on how to automate, just, on YouTube right so you want to find the fastest, way to do this go, spend a half an hour watch. Watch, some videos you, don't have to watch the whole thing just watch the first you know two to three minutes make sure that it's a decent video send. That out to your whole team and say I will pay you to, watch, this. Video you, don't have to work I want you to just sit and watch this video educate. Your team on what's even possible, that's, that's your first step. All. Right before we go nerding, out on, how. To turn. Alexa, into your slave. Is, that, with respect to the business angle that we've been talking about so far is there. Any other question, you were interviewing yourself, is. There any other question. That we think we need to add to, this conversation so. That we don't leave a stone unturned. This, is gonna sound like a selfish, question. Because. But. You, know it will directly, tie to the, bottom line of my business, but, I'm not trying to tell you that you should hire me I'm trying. To tell you that you should hire someone to. Be an automation, expert, in your company to be someone, that you can pull that lever with so, the, the solution, the fastest, solution I have found to those those companies those employees, those people who, have tried to automate it failed is to. Give them someone, they can call, who. Knows, the answer faster. Or better than Google, someone. Who can back them up for what's there and so the the question I would ask is will if you. Were in charge of my company, what percentage, of our total revenue would, you devote to, automation. And efficiency, and that, that would be the question that I would that I would ask myself if I were if I were taken, to the table all. Right cool. So. Time. To nerd out on on. Alexa, obviously, Alexa is a pretty popular thing so I think a lot of people listening to this probably, have at least one Alexa, device at home as I mentioned to you I have them in. The living room in the kitchen in the office and the bedroom there they're all over the place yeah, me ten I have literally. Barely I've got the lights you can turn on and off by saying Alexa, I have, a nest, thermostat which, I don't even know if you can connected, to oh yeah what. It's. Not one of my priorities every body friends. You, can totally, do that yeah. It's, totally connectible. All, right so let's start off with some of your coolest. Alexa. Home automations. Fred. Okay well let's, start with the thermostat Honeywell. Makes one we've got a Honeywell thermostat, my, 96 year old grandfather who is legally blind, controls. The thermostat, in my house now that was a mistake. We, should not have allowed him to set the thermostat because it's always too hot in there but, he's legally blind so let's talk about like what what did that just put in his fingertips, he. Can, go in there and it's not it's not a nest it's a Honeywell, that, that has an. Alexa connection and here's the funny part it, was connected for six months maybe even a year before I we moved into the basement to help, them out he didn't even know, somebody. Had told him and he'd forgotten and and so every time he'd ask me still hey what what's the temperature in the house I was like why are you asking me just.
Say Alexa, what's the temperature in the house and it's gonna spit back and say it's, 72, degrees and he can be like make it colder and it makes it colder make it warmer it makes it warmer like, amazing. In terms of what and, then so, a lot of things that you know he's he'll. Ask what's the temperature outside all the time and we've got a dial up on the on the side screen but he's legally blind you can't see that he's got you can see enough to walk around but. He, can't he can't see the dial from across the room and, so he doesn't ask me anymore and the crazy thing he's. Smart, enough to know the difference between the different devices so I have two different Alexa, networks in my house I have a network for me for my family and I put one in the kitchen in the front room and then we've got the basement ones that I've got one and out out in the office of one in the garage that's all right those are mine and I'll go one in the bathroom too so, so so that's, my network of Alexis, my grandfather. Is smart enough to know when to say Alexa, and when to say echo. Well. He didn't go off it was it there's one we're sitting right here on my desk, so. So he's smart enough to know when to say that. And. And it's just fascinating to see like. Like him interact, with that device he'll. Use it to call me on my cell phone did you know that it makes phone calls oh. Yeah. Alexa. Totally makes phone calls you, can say Alexa, call so-and-so and, if you synced it up with your phone it'll look in the contacts in your phone and make that phone call if, they have a spark through the Alexa so you don't even have to pull your phone out of your pocket yeah, yeah, and you I'm assuming you can send text as well text. Messages, they had that turned on and they recently turned, it off I think I think it became too expensive through Twilio or whatever they were using her but, I bet, you that comes back before too long I send, text messages but I go around, and about so so if you use an Android or an iPhone iPhone. Okay, so, this. Is one of the reasons I don't like iPhones they, don't have as many of the cool apps there's an app on Android, called automate, it's literally just called on. This. App will do just, about anything you can think of in terms of like making. Phone calls or, I mean, the app is incredible. I've, got it set up where I can I can actually go in and I can copy someone's, name and it, and then I can share that name to an automation, on my. On my automate. Device and it'll, go find, that person's, name inside, my contacts, and then I click ok and the, next time a text message comes from that individual, it forwards. The text message to my assistant. So. Like if it's the middle of the night and I'm like I'm going to bed right now but I want to cancel that meeting I will schedule. A text message to go out in the morning so. That it goes out like an hour before the meeting but I'm sleeping and I, want the text message of the canceled appointment, to love their reply to go, to my assistant, so, that she can see that that it got cancelled and take care of it and reschedule, it but I don't want to do that right now because it's the middle of the night so, it's just also did, you do that to relax remember we're talking about electro sorry okay that was automate that was out of me, so.
Another, Alexa, hack, it's. Another one where we're sending text messages to a group of people so I am, we. Were talking about gaming. Earlier I really enjoy overwatch, it's, an it's a game that's out there on the PC I played a lot with my brothers at night if. I say trigger overwatch, which connects to IFTTT. It. Will automatically. Text, my, brothers and one of my friends, saying hey you want to play overwatch so. Instead, of pulling out a group message and getting, all of that out there because if you've ever have you have you ever tried to say hey Siri send, a group message good luck Siri, doesn't do that yet okay so so I've got my dirtbiking buddy so you're basically saying I could just go say hey Alexa, who wants to go dirtbiking this, weekend, and I. Could have that pretty configured so that it would send a text to the group yeah, you would do that through IFTTT so if, this then that has, the, ability for you to say Alexa. Trigger insert, your own key word and and. You would give it a special key word and then you can trigger so if you look at like, let's talk about hacking, Alexa, if you, look at the numberless, possibilities. Of things that you can have happen, inside. Your Alexa, vice it's, fascinating. Another thing that I do do you guys use the grocery cart list for, Alexa my, wife who's an android user has an app on her phone that she really, really loves I don't know what it is but she's a huge fan of her grocery shopping list app okay. So here's, here's the cool part I don't, care what app it is it's probably, on IFTTT most of those list making apps are and. You. Can probably connect. The grocery, list app inside. Alexa, to push it into that one and then you have access to put things on the grocery list so, that's probably what she liked let's be honest Tripp she doesn't like you putting things on the grocery list that's why I never put anything on the grocery list. So. I could say hey Alexa, add blueberries, to the grocery list or whatever it is and then it would show up inside her app yeah. So. Like, the grocery shopping thing, oh this. Was mind blowing we were in the grocery store the other day we're, like loading, up on a couple of things cuz I got 92, and 96 year old grandparents, and I don't want to get them sick cuz this thing is crazy for that age group so, we're at the grocery store and we're buying a bunch of cans and stuff that you know to try to eliminate, the need to even be in the grocery store for more than 10 minutes for milk right just trying to minimize. Our exposure I, go, into the. Alexa. It sits right in the same view of everything else and I'm, you. Know those three dots in the top right hand corner of every app that's like the menu I'm, addicted to those three dots man I click on those every, time I see him just cuz I want to see if there's a new option for something, in there yeah, I open. It up and it goes. Would, you like to categorize, your shopping, list and I was like categorize. Wait. No, way I hit categorize, my shopping list it, took my list of 50, items, and put, them into dairy. Bread. Yeah. Vegetables. Fruit, and I was like of, course Amazon. I mean they've got an API that will categorize, whether or not it's a bird a picture of a bird or a dog of course they could categorize my list automatically, so. Then when you're walking through the grocery store how many raise your hand if you're and I know that like most of the people who are listening to this podcast just raise their hand, um raise your hand if you, have, gone to the grocery store you bought bread and then you went back to get milk and you said oh crap, I forgot buns. I'm. Never gonna use anything, else again man because I can be like Alexa, add milk, to my shopping list Alexa add this to my shopping list and then when it actually comes time to do it categorize, boom. I walked, down my aisle I get everything I wanted it was so slick it, was so slick so. I want to put something in the show notes where, people can go to understand. The relationship. Between Alexa. And some of the most popular. Alexa. Hacks and, maybe if this then that is. So. What I'm gonna have to actually I need, to have a blog post on this it's funny data automation, has been kind of in the weeds doing, development, on all this stuff and we've just really started playing this like podcasting. Game and we've got our own show that we're starting automate, delegate eliminate. It's. Gonna be pretty fun but I don't, have a blog post yet but I'll put together a couple of links for you and we'll put it in the show notes I've. Just found one. It's on. Ifttt.com. Slash. Amazon, underscore. Alexa, and it.
Talks About that. Just gives example. After. Example after. Example of. Ways that you can integrate those, two technologies to, well. And. Go, look when you're looking inside alexa there's if there's a section, of the Alexa app if you open up Alexa go look for the routines, it's a new it's a new section, of the Alexa app it's called routines. It's. Right in between skills, I'll open it up to tell you exactly where it is but, but that that, section. Alexa. Is putting, in new. Stuff. The, Amazon team is putting in new stuff inside that part, of the app all the. Time so. We've. Got all sorts of stuff in here yeah routines, is what it's called and they, do I mean you can set it up like I have this thing on, Alexa. Where. We're. Members, of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints and we, do this thing every night at home called come follow me where we give a Center home yeah, I it's. Really powerful, it helps a lot with our family I have, it set up so that at. 6:30. Every day every. Weekday it. Comes, on and says Alexa, actually announces, to the whole household it's time for come follow me and then it plays a hymn, to remind, us all to, go do that every. Single day so, I mean we got all sorts of like we've been it kind of in the dumps right now about all of the things that are going on in the world it's been really really hard and, so one of the things that I challenged, the household, to do was, to write down things that make them grateful, and so, we created a gratitude, list you may not know this Alexa, can actually do any list, you want you, can say Alexa, make me a gratitude, list and it will create a gratitude list and then you say add, groceries. To my gratitude list add sunshine. To my gratitude list AB and so we have a list going I think we're up to 120. Things that we've we've added to this list in a week and it totally calls you out so if you try to add sunshine, twice it's like you, already have sunshine add it to your list do you want to add it again and you're like dang it I have to find something else and so, we've challenged, ourselves to find a hundred unique things every, single week on going it's gonna get a lot harder here soon because we've already got 120, things on the list but, but that's that's. Another one that I love I actually. Have a slightly more, manual take on the gratitude exercise, every night at dinner we. All my daughter and my wife and why we all say and she's not even six years old yet and we, all say what we're grateful for there, you go yeah. I have I have an app that, reminds, me on my phone to actually write an entry in my gratitude, journal which is anga which is also on my phone every single yep yep, and so so that gratitude, take, we write, that down and I actually took it a step further and we printed, them out and and. Like I have little pictures all, over my house and I wanted my three year old to be able to read what was on there but you can't read yeah, so I actually I, hacked. If you, want this I'll send you the code later I, hacked, Google, so that you could earn up Google I hacked a, couple. Of these free image sites so that I could put in a keyword into the document. So like sunshine and, it would automatically, find the first free picture of sunshine, that it could find so, that I didn't have to go do a Google image search for all hundred and twenty things so, like I I that. Was one week I was like I want images and I was like screw, it I'm just gonna write myself something in Google Apps Script it's I made I've made it so that I have a formula, that says bring.
Back Image, URL. Of this and that I imported, the image into the cell I just. Do stupid stuff, everybody's. Got their hobby, alright. Well we're gonna put. An end to our nerdness. This. Far if, you've made it this far congratulations you. Can consider yourself a nerd too hence, my sword in the background, yes. All. Sorts of links, in the show notes folks. I don't even know the episode number of this yet but I'll have set it at the beginning when I by the time I do post-production. And I. Come to the show notes and you'll find the links to things, we've been talking about things that I've been googling, while. Will and I have been talking for example I found on smarter. Home guide, there's. This list of best alexa, routines for 2020. So i'll be getting, a go later and well. I'm sure you're gonna send me some good stuff well, if people want to get in touch with you. We'll put your linked in, url. Or. To, your profile, rather in the show notes to make sure you get that over to me as well and, I, want to thank you very much for making some time to come and be on the show and geek out with me on how, to automate your business in your life yep, absolutely.