Learning with Josh Schachter / CEO @Update.ai
With a growth mindset, you lean into challenges, failures, and imperfections as opportunities to grow over time.
Hi there 😊,
Episode #44. Back to an interview format to kick things off in 2022. I want to start by thanking our 2000+ subscribers as it seems you guys really enjoyed our 2022 predictions last week with a record-breaking open rate at 36%🙏 (maybe because they were Covid free and politics-free).
Our #4 guest, our first interview in 2022, is Josh Schachter, an entrepreneur, and advisor who leaves in NYC. Before building his own company Update.ai, the tool that radically improves your online meetings with customers, Josh worked for well-known companies and organizations like Intuit, eHarmony, the NFL, and the BCG. Josh shares with us his challenges and his learning habits. Thanks Josh!
Who is your major inspiration? (Can be > 1)
Those who inspire me the most are innovators who have successfully built products, teams, and businesses. In addition, they’ve demonstrated the capacity to act above their interests in serving their local and global communities.
Bill Gates is a fantastic example. The man is a genius whose mind and intellect operate at a stratospheric level. He was an innovator and a titan of business. And, he’s incredibly book smart because he reads scores of literature each year. The most impressive thing about Bill Gates is what he’s accomplished following his career at Microsoft in building the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation. It’s driven by altruism and a motivation to help others. And I greatly admire that intent.
(Side note: in case you haven’t, you should probably watch “Inside Bill’s brain”, an award-winning documentary you can find on Netflix. It describes in detail the different issues the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation are trying to solve.)
How do you keep learning on a daily basis? What are your learning routines?
About six months ago, there was a day that I was feeling anxious about my new business Update.ai. I don’t recall what I was worried about, but I do remember calling up Bill Gross, my co-founder and lead investor at the time, and expressing some of my concerns to him. He calmly replied that everything would be okay as long as I was learning something new every day. This was in our business’s infancy, and clearly, there comes a time when learning alone is not enough, but I thought this was sage advice. We are gearing up to launch our Customer Success platform this spring.
Earlier in my entrepreneurial career, I would have felt pressure to put on a false bravado that signaled to the market that I was an expert in Customer Success. But with more notches under my belt and much greater humility, this time around I’m taking the opposite approach.
My team and I at UpdateAI are intentionally exposing all of what we would consider being our “knowledge gaps.” We’ve been reaching out vigorously to the CS community daily to learn directly from them and absorb as much collective knowledge as we can. And in that process, we’re also building crucial relationships and advocates for our cause. It’s also just fun to learn from others.
What would you tell the 18 years old version of yourself?
Be patient. Rome was not built in a day. Neither was a successful career. Nor the consummate personal life. Focus on growth and progress, and the rest will follow.
What are your favorite books and why?
I’m not sure that it’s my favorite book, but dovetailing from my previous comment, a book that profoundly affected me is Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. She fashions the concept of having a growth mindset and compares it to a fixed mindset. With a growth mindset, you lean into challenges, failures, and imperfections as opportunities to grow over time. That brings you a sense of patience, relief, and ultimately growth. In a classically fixed mindset, one believes that any type of failure represents a limit of their innate abilities. It pierces their ego and foments frustration and demoralization, ultimately stunting one’s growth.
What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome this past year?
The easy and obvious answer is Covid. I never contracted the virus, but my family did. Fortunately, everyone is now safe.
In many ways, Covid and the subsequent rise in remote work blessed my startup. The most significant challenges were balancing the melding together of my personal and professional lives, how to stay safe at home and sane, and how to abide by my perspective on the precautions to take while acknowledging and accepting others’ sometimes different perspectives. It was tough.
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See you next Sunday!