Episode 4 – Yuval Rechter
Yuval Rechter serves as the Head of Digital at First Media, a media company responsible for more than 25 billion views on Facebook and more than 68 million social media followers. Yuval and his team are behind the most-viewed video of all time on Facebook with over 400 million views and have done branded deals with Walmart, dollar shave club and Bed, Bath and Beyond among many others. Let’s hear more from him in this episode of Productivity Masterminds.
- Every day define your most important tasks. Ask yourself what is going to make the difference today in our business. Focus on two or three things and don’t let yourself be reactive to emails as they come. Try to find two or three slots a day, 15 minutes each to make sure your inbox is empty. Everything else will be just done if there is any time left.
- Do one task and do it very well. If a task can be done pretty fast and if you can get it off your day, then do it. But if it’s something where you need to put in the hard effort and do some research, don’t just do it. Set a time for yourself. Say ‘okay, this is the task I need to research, and this is what I’m going to do’.
- Figure out if something is high impact or not:
- Apply the 10X rule. Look for things with great potential. Put 10X more effort in order to get 10X less reward of what you really think could happen. This means if you want to get a million dollars, go after a business that has the potential of 10 million dollars.
- The 85/15 rule. 85% is for existing businesses and 15% is for new potentials of the business. Sometimes it’s more important to just make sure that you work on the things that actually generate the money right now the company can still survive.
Juan: [1:22] What is something that you understand about time that our audience probably doesn’t that has helped you so much in your career?
Yuval: [01:28] So, I would say the major thing every day when I start my day is just five minutes before I step into our studios, into our office, I ask myself: what are the main two, three things that I’m going to achieve today? So, what are the high impact? What is the low impact and what is the high impact, I look for high impact.
What is going to make the difference today in our business?
So, should I work on a new product? Should I train someone? Is training today the most important thing, is HR policies is the most important thing today? I try to focus on two, three things and don’t let myself be reactive to emails into inbound text. So, basically, I am able to focus and make sure that I have two to three big tasks and not more than five, six tasks a day and leave myself some room for inbounds.
And I don’t look at emails as they come, I try to find about two or three slots a day, probably 15 minutes each to make sure that my inbox is empty and empty is a big word for me because I believe in the zero email strategy.
Juan: [02:35] Great. It sounds like your number one thing is actually being intentional about how you spend your time, like you didn’t say anything about doing things faster, doing things better, you’re just being intentional about, first of all, I’m not going to be reactive to emails. Second of all, I’m not going to be reactive to just what the day holds if there are any surprises. I’m specifically trying to get two or three things done first, and then everything else you kind of do for dessert based on how much time you have left, correct?
Yuval: [03:00] Right, exactly. So, I think it’s super important to do things right.
I’m not a great believer in multitasking. I actually don’t believe in multitasking. I believe that you should do a task and you should do it very, very well. If you create a task in a mediocre level, then basically that trickles down to the entire organization and then the entire organization working in a way that the tasks are not being done correctly.
If a task can be done pretty fast and if I can get it off my day, great. But if it’s something that I need to put a hard effort and do some research, I don’t just do it, I set a time for myself. I say ‘okay, this is the task I need to research, and this is what I’m going to do.’For example, you know, now we’re looking at, I’m selling Instagram stories, right? So, Instagram stories, do you want to look? So instead of just saying, ‘okay, let’s just sell Instagram stories and let’s just tell the salespeople to sell that,’ I took it upon myself to create a whole task about what is the product that we’re going to offer? What are the different Instagram stories that we’re going to offer? How can we be first media, the most innovative Instagram stories and product out there, and I think that’s the difference. Instead of just saying, ‘let’s just send three lines to the sales team,’ why don’t we create a real presentation, understand what’s out there and what’s performing the best.
Juan: [04:23] Do you have a framework or a process for how you actually figure out if something is high-impact or not? That sounds super high-impact. I mean, understandably so that’s one of the main core pillars of your business. But in general, how do you get into a new situation and figure out what’s the main high-impact thing that you need to knock out?
Yuval: [04:39] Right, so the first thing is scale, right? You want to make sure that there’s some scale and what you’re doing, right? So if I’m going to, let’s take a bad idea, right? If I’m going to start opening a page that already has a potential for three or four videos and the rest will be fatigue of the content, right? Because people kind of get used to that. Definitely, I don’t want to open a page, a Facebook brand or an Instagram brand that it will actually get tired after three or four videos. So, you want to make sure that this is a long-term value to the company.
Everything we do has to have a complexity that is doable.
Something that is doable. The second thing that has high potential in terms of long-term value, that has some defensible asset and is able to monetize in a big way. I really believe in the 10X rule, the 10X rule was, it’s always harder to create something and you need 10X amount of effort in order to create it and it’s actually going to come down to 10X less than what you thought it’s going to be.
If you want to get a million dollars, go after a business that has the potential of $10,000,000, right? So, you’re going to get the million dollars in the end and it’s going to be 10X harder to do that.
So, put 10X more effort in order to get 10X less reward of what you really think could happen. So in the end, you’re going to get a million dollars. So, when I look at a business, when we look at a business here, we always want to make sure that there’s enough potential in order to do that and the complexity is not that hard. The second thing is innovation, right? Everybody likes to say they want to be first movers, but are we sure we want to be first movers? Are we sure we want to be the most innovative, the most innovative has some major risks. I think one of the books that I really love is the hard things about hard things, and that talks about first mover versus second mover, if I’m not mistaken, it’s that book eight percent success to first mover, 40 percent to second movers. Actually, it was their originals. Actually the book is the originals.
Juan: The originals. Okay.
Juan: [06:51] That’s brilliant, so you’re looking at longevity, you’re looking at making sure that this is something that you can actually scale, you’re looking at opportunity to see if you can even monetize it and then if it’s passing all of these checks, then it sounds like something that now you pass into the final stage, it sounds like it’s going to be a mission-critical thing. It takes my main priority and then it’s one of the top three things you do on the day. How do you make sure that you’re also working towards future opportunities and not just doing it on a day-by-day basis? How do you think about that?
Yuval: [07:19] Right, so what I try to do is split my day, so operation and potential. I think it’s very important to not put too much of your day in potential. I think it’s very important to monetize and capitalize on the things that are actually generating money for you today. One of the risks is always talking about what is the next big thing? What is the things that I’m going to work on in a year, or in six months?
You have to pay the bills somehow so you better first of all, monetize what you’re doing right now and make sure make sure every division in the company knows what’s the core product of the company in this given moment.
Make sure that we monetize well. Make sure that we capitalize on all the inventory that we have. Is it stories? Is it branded content? Is it a tutorial? Is that ecommerce? First of all, capitalism what you’ve got. There’s a lot of money left on the table. Sometimes when people just say, ‘what about creating another asset?’ Another asset? Well, first of all, someone has to pay the bills for the existing customers, for the existing employees, and the second part always be ahead of the curve, right? So leave some spot in your day, 10 percent of your day to yes to read digiday and ad age and Ad Exchanger and Venture Beat. The problem is when people start reading Venture Beat for 40 minutes, for 40 percent of the day and saying ‘but I’ve seen this one in VR and AR and VR and triple VR, and the end of the day, if VR is going to be here in a few years, so we need to pay the bills somehow,’ Right? So be very careful and not being too advanced and too innovative. So, I think you have to find a really fine balance.
I like the 85/15 rule when I make sure that the 85 percent is for existing businesses, probably 15 to 10 percent is for new potentials for new businesses.
It’s very tempting and fun to talk about potential things, but it’s actually sometimes it’s more important to just make sure that you actually work on the things that actually generate the money and the company can still survive.
Juan: [09:25] That’s right.Perfect. Yuval, I want to thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. It sounds like your number one habit is being intentional about your time, not letting your life take control over your time, but you actually control your time. You’re intentional about how you put it. You put it in different buckets in order of making sure that it monetizes, that it’s actually scalable, that it’s something related to the core business. You’re making sure that you’re only spending about 15 percent of your time on moonshot opportunities and not spending all of your time on just exploring all the possibilities and getting distracted, which is why you’re able to build a profitable business that actually scales, build your team up into now I think you’re over 70 employees now, right?
Yuval: [10:05] Right. So, yeah, it’s doing well. You know, we worked with Walmart and we just did a Brendan blossom, did a Walmart video, a bed bath and beyond, shoprite dollar shave club, Halo Top. So, really working with brands is something super exciting. Then we’re building a really nice company here, so always looking for creators, for data scientists or analysts, salespeople. I will take this opportunity, so anyone that wants to join, just either add me on Linkedin, Yuval or just go to first.media.
Juan: [10:40] Perfect. All right Yuval, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Yuval: Thank you very much.