Note: This is the first in a series of unorthodox business tips from the Rock n' Roll CEO, aka Jared Gutstadt of Jingle Punks. 'Jingle' Jared doesn't hold an MBA, but he has something many CEOs don't: the gritty experience of trying to make it in rock n' roll. Once Jared left his dreams of rock superstardom behind, he realized that the skills he acquired trying to 'make it' -- marketing, branding, networking, operations, and more -- left him uniquely equipped to run a business. Tired of the usual corporate biz-speak? You've come to the right place.
OK. At least once a week I get an email from someone I work with, or perhaps a friend who tries to expound on some obvious macro-economic bullshit. Things concerning the etiquette of "always returning phone calls" or "how to grow your startup team" or -- gasp -- "the best time to shoot off important emails." These articles always make me laugh or snort milk out my nose (if I happen to be drinking milk at the time). The truth? Many of the people behind these articles are career writers and have never run a successful company or interacted with the echelon of people I often engage.
I'll start off my Rock n' Roll CEO series by dispelling a simple myth: there's no bad time to send an email. People will respond to emails no matter what time you send them if they care about what your email is about. During a typical day I'll receive a hundred or so emails that I then distribute to members of my team. This doesn't mean I don't care about the emails I send to other departments... but with a limited number of hours in a day, I need to focus on the hundreds (and hundreds!) of other messages that most require my attention.
Want to write me during off hours? Even better!
So-called conventional wisdom seems to hold that important people will be offended if they get emails at nights and on weekends. FUCK THAT! Look -- I get insecure and lonely just like anyone else in the world. If I didn't get emails non-stop on weekends, or Fridays at dinner, or Sundays while I'm with my wife and kids, I'd think my business was slowing down, or maybe that my email was broken.
Here's something obvious: We live in a sickening world of non-stop info. Here's something maybe less obvious: Sometimes, the best time to get an important person's attention is to hit 'em up at a weird time. Example? A big-deal concert promoter gave my old band Group Sounds our first break thanks to an email I drunkenly sent him at 4 a.m. on a Saturday. He replied immediately and gave my band a prized opening slot at the legendary Bowery Ballroom in New York.
Similarly, I recently landed a six-figure gig with one of the biggest beverage brands on the planet by firing off an off-hours email to their CMO suggesting I handle music for their new campaign. I've got to think that the timing of the email helped me stand out.
Try my theory out -- it works! Sure, it may piss off a few people but you will be showing an aggressive edge in a world where people are afraid to push through and/or offend. It's a new world, baby. The Rock n' Roll CEO method isn't for the meek. See you next time
Jared Gutstadt is the co-founder and co-CEO of Jingle Punks, a global licensing and commercial music production company based in New York. Follow him at @jinglejared and follow Jingle Punks at @jinglepunks, and on Facebook.