Robert Hartline | Email Must Die – Here’s Why

With 400 employees spread across dozens of locations, Robert Hartline has spent a lot of time thinking about how to communicate his vision to his team… and have them communicate effectively with each other.

Robert, a serial entrepreneur who splits his time between Nashville and Costa Rica, has ditched email for the most part… he hates phone calls. And now company-wide they’re using an app that allows them to stay focused, minimizes interruptions, and ensures they just plain get things done.

We also talk about how he deals with employees who aren’t engaged with their work – no, he doesn’t fire them – and much more.

Listen in to find out:

  • Strategies for solving problems, not situations
  • A “scientific” approach to solving business problems
  • How to use data to find out which employees haven’t “bought in”
  • Why the best leaders are like drug dealers
  • And more…

Episode Timeline:

00:11 Today Steve speaks with Robert Hartline. Robert went from selling cell phones from his trunk to having a chain of over 60 stores called Absolute Wireless.

01:40 Robert went to Nashville to study music but found he hated country. It’s where he started as a salesman to earn money.

03:026 Rob tells us the story of a guy who came to his door promising to put a peephole in the door in 30 seconds or less!

05:27 Rob tells us how he has the fasted growing business in Nashville for the past two straight years.

06:58 Rob had a lot of trouble with break-ins at his stores. He tells us how he addressed the issue and how security systems are useless.

10:41 Rob explains how data can explain so much.

13:10 Rob explains how business owners are basically drug dealers!

16:25 Rob tells us about his use of the walkie-talkie app Marco Polo.

18:32 Steve tells us how even in the last week Marco Polo has helped him.

20:03 Rob explains how he utilizes the app.

24:42 Rob explains how writing is such a poor form of communication.

28:20 Steve talks about the ease of use of Marco Polo.

30:28 Rob and his staff road tested every walkie-talkie app on the market.

33:57 Steve talks about using Marco Polo with his clients.

34:48 Rob explains how people are always resistant to new tech and how Marco Polo reduces your amount of meetings.

37:57 Steve talks about conducting business almost entirely by voicemail with a million dollar a year client.

Mentioned in this Episode:


Welcome to The Unstoppable CEO podcast. I’m your host Steve Gordon, and today I’ve got to tell you, I’m really excited about this interview. We are talking with Robert Hartline. He went from selling cell phones from the trunk of his car in College in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to building a chain of 61 wireless stores called Absolute Wireless. He’s built a company, a software company called Call Proof. Dang It, Repair, which is a phone repair business with eight locations and Hitch, a carpooling service which launched in September of 2017.

Robert is, I think, the epitome of a serial entrepreneur. He’s built multiple businesses. They now generate over $100,000,000 for him in total revenue. He lives with his wife and two young boys, half the year in Nashville and the other half in Costa Rica. And I’ve been to Costa Rica. Robert, I’m a little bit jealous. I’d love to get back down there more. I want to welcome you to The Unstoppable CEO and you’ve done lots and lots of things. And I know today we’re going to focus on talking about your newest business, Shift Your Time, which I think will benefit everybody listening tremendously. Welcome to the show.

Steve, Hey, thank you. Thanks for having me.

We’re going to have fun today. I think some of the things that I know that you’ll touch on having now seen a lot of your ideas I think are really going to help the people who are listening. But before we get into all that, can you give everybody a little bit of context beyond the bio for how you kind of got to the stage of your career?

Yeah, man, I was in college. I decided that I wanted to supplement my income while I was going to school. I thought I was going to be in the music business, hence coming into Nashville and I didn’t like country music and I don’t play guitar so I just totally didn’t really fit. And so I decided that there was a job posting to cell phones door to door. And to be frank with you, Steve, I was flat broke and wanted to supplement some income while I was in school. And it was my first venture into selling door to door sales and that’s kind of how I got started.

I never intended to be in the wireless business. It wasn’t a business I sought out and decided to be in. But I learned that yeah, although I was shy, I’m definitely an introvert. I learned that I could be outside my comfort zone and talk to strangers. And that’s, that’s how the business started.

It’s so funny. I talked to, I don’t know, I think we’ve interviewed almost 90 entrepreneurs at this stage and the number of people that have started in some kind of direct sales role like that where they’re belly to belly with people very early in life. Really amazing to see that. I know I had that experience in high school, even and all through college. I think that’s key. It gets you out of a comfort as you say and get you to a point where your sort of do or die and you quickly find out if you can do.

What You Can Learn From a Peephole Salesman

I mean it was funny it, the university was working for me at the moment because when I was starting to sell door to door, I had kind of limited success. I had a great sales manager, Rob Thomas, so he was just fantastic with me helping me kind of get over some of my fears. But I’ll never forget. It was a Saturday, about two weeks after I had started selling door to door and it was at my house. I hear a knock on the door and I’m like, okay, I don’t, I’m not sure who it was. So I answered the door and there’s a guy holding a drill in one hand he has a peephole and he goes, if I can’t put these peephole in your door less than 30 seconds, it’s free.

It’s $20 for the peephole. And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you can go out and buy this peephole and get you and do this yourself. The peephole’s only a dollar 50 at Home Depot. And I was thinking the same thing. He gave me the objection right away, but he said the drill bit is $30 and I’ve messed up 20 doors trying to do this. And I was like, all right. And I’m thinking to myself, I wouldn’t even answer the door. Had I known it was somebody soliciting something. And sure enough he puts in the door less than 30 seconds I watched him do four other homes in my neighborhood and he drove away in a brand new 1993 Toyota supra. And it was that moment that I was like, this sales gig is kind of cool. And so that’s he was the right time, right place for the inspiration for me to know to stay with it.

That’s great. So you, you’ve gone on from there and you built now a whole kind of suite of businesses. Give us a little snapshot into that, the evolution that I know from watching one of your presentations on YouTube that you’ve had really tremendous growth in a short amount of time. Talk a little bit about that.

So we for the last two years, we’ve been the fastest growing business in Nashville, Tennessee. And a part of that was a lot of focus, focused energy and a building our core values some years ago and really be focused on that. We’ve done some acquisitions and what I’ll talk a little bit later about is we changed the way we’ve communicated with our team members, but really I’m a believer that we as a CEOs, sales leaders or business leaders, we have to be absolutely focused on inspiring our team to win instead of willing what we want them to do on them.

People do not do very well when we impose our will on others to get things done. But you can get people to make and take action when you inspire them to do it. And so that’s what we’re trying to be focused on with our organizations.

Well, I know you’ve had tremendous success here, particularly in the last few years. I’m sure it probably wasn’t all rosy and it wasn’t a straight upward trajectory. There had to be things along the way that didn’t work as you had planned. And we’re maybe a little bit challenging. What have you learned over the years that has helped you kind of push through those difficult times?

Well, I give you an example of something that happened to me last year. So last year I acquired 19 locations in Alabama and Atlanta. And it was right at the moment when my wife and I had decided that we were going to take the family. We’re going to move to Costa Rica for six months and I was going to work on an online course. That was my game plan. And I had everything lined up, do the sale of the buy these new 19 locations. The very next month I land in Costa Rica, I had three goals. I was going to learn to speak Spanish, I was going to learn to surf and I was going to do this online course. I land I’m there a week and I get a break in and one of my locations and they stole every phone in the store. And it was it hurt now, although I had insurance.

So everything is good, right? Well, that next weekend the store right down the street, the exact same thing happens. And I’m like, holy snickers, this is awful. And so literally it became a 911. I needed to change what we did in terms of our security. I hadn’t up to that point, did not have any loss prevention department any protection. I don’t know if anybody out there listening. If you have a business alarm system, it does not work. Organized crime criminals what they do is they break into the business next door. They cut a hole in the drywall, they find out where your alarm is and they destroy it within 60 seconds. And your alarm company, I don’t care who you have, ADT, whoever the alarm is irrelevant. So, Mr. Hartline had to go on this journey to figure out how do I solve this problem. Now, how do I tackle this problem like a scientist?

And I literally spent the next six months building a loss prevention team. I literally have people that watch our stores 24/7 in the daytime and the nighttime. I literally have people watching it. We’ve actually presented three professional hits as a result of it. So, I mean the answer your question, you got to be willing to attack a problem with tenacity when you have it. One of the things I always tend to do is when we have a problem in our business I treat the problem like, okay, is this problem going to reoccur? And I don’t want to solve that problem. I’m not. I’m very disinterested in solving situations. I’m interested in solving problems that reoccur. Reoccurring problems will spin your head crazy and you got to solve them. So one of the things I tend to do is when something goes wrong, I asked myself, well, if it’s going to happen again, we got to prevent it.

A “Scientific” Approach to Problem Solving

And tough thing to deal with, particularly when you’re dealing with very skilled and organized criminals, but it sounds like you just went after it, like you said built that team. How have you applied that in other areas? I mean, certainly when you’ve got that kind of loss, it’s a big deal, but when you’ve come across problems that maybe didn’t feel as painful right off after that.

Well typically it’s funny, I live in a world where the data can tell so much and just giving an example, what a lot of people out there would probably relate to. When you have a sales team and you have sales data there are simple tricks that you can do in your organization to find out who’s bought in or not. And the data will tell you, and sometimes the absence of action in the data, meaning, let’s think for a moment I’ve had 10 salespeople and let’s say I sent 10 salespeople the sales numbers for the day, and if you had the right technology and you knew who was clicking on those numbers, you could make an assumption just like this, he who doesn’t click on the sales data, doesn’t care. And selling involves that.

You have to care, you have to have motivation and drive. If you don’t even bother to see where you are statistically, then you aren’t bought in. And so there’s little tells that we have with data that you can easily find if your team is engaged. What they say is you get three types of employees, the engaged person, right? The disengaged, and then that actively disengaged. The only difference between actively disengaged is they’re actually trying to get others to join their disengagement. And it’s our job to figure out who’s engaged and who isn’t. And then help those that maybe have lost focus or lost or energy or maybe they got something that they’re upset with the company that I haven’t told anybody about. But it’s our mission as leaders to uncover and help those people find their way.

Have you had success doing that? I with all the people that I’ve employed over the years, I’ve found that you can’t help everybody. There’s got to be this willingness on the part of the other person to at least want to meet you in the middle. And in many cases they’ve got to have a desire to sort of change their thinking and their behavior to be able to be successful in that environment. I think it’s sometimes very difficult to do that. And I’m curious how you’ve been able to accomplish that.

Well, there’s a couple of things that tend to happen. And as leaders, we are little drug dealers. That’s why we are. I mean, we’re literally drug dealers because when you give someone an attaboy for doing something good, you’re releasing a dopamine rush inside of their brain. The dopamine rushes to do it again, hormone. And if you have someone underperforming, what I teach my team is find something minuscule.

Did they, did they iron their shirt? I mean start is as simple as you can. You need them to have little bitty wins. And if you have someone that’s actively disengaged and maybe they’re trained on the product, they know what to do, but they’ve become disillusioned or they become bored. And sometimes a boredom is a result of you not giving them big enough projects. You’re not giving them big enough goals and when people get bored, they lose the intrinsic motivation to actually act.

And so what I tell people, when you have actively disengaged people give them small little wins so they can get some little dopamine rushes and build up on that. But ultimately what you want to either do is push them up or push them out. Either which way you win. If they leave you when, if they stay, you win but if you have to get somebody new, you’re going to hopefully win as well.

Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s great advice and I think it simplifies how to deal with those situations. For everybody listening. Robert, I want to pause here. We’re going to come back in just a second and I want to talk when we come back about this newest business that you’ve got a shift your time. I think for folks listening, this can absolutely revolutionize the way that you’re communicating with your team and can free up a ton of time and I’ve gotten into a little bit and I can, I’m happy to share my personal story with it as well. But this is going to be really good stuff you’re going to be able to put into action today. We’ll be right back with more from Robert Hartline.

Hey everybody. Welcome back. This is Steve Gordon. I’m talking with Robert Hartline. Robert, you’ve got a new business and some new training and coaching that you’re doing with entrepreneurs and it, if I understand it right, really kind of came out of this period of very rapid growth in your business and you had to begin operating differently as the leader. So can you tell us a little bit about shift your time and really what it’s purposes?

Yeah, absolutely. Steve, so several years ago during this rapid growth, I was introduced to an app in the marketplace called Marco Polo. And a Marco Polo is a free app. Anybody can download it. It basically is a video walkie-talkie service. And so what does that mean? Well, basically a video walkie-talkie is as simple as pressing the start button recording you’re very short video, if you like, or longer video if you wish, and instantly share that with people that you’re talking to.

And, I was shown this by an employee and you ask any company that has multi locations. Well, it really, every company has problems with communication. They just do. And, but when you have multiple, multiple locations, we have a total of between our phone repair stores and our, in our other stores, we have about 70 locations throughout the country. And communication is very difficult, the open rates for internal communication is almost as bad is marketing communication that you send out to customers or potential customers and so communication is difficult.

Effective Internal Communication With This Walkie-Talkie App

I started using this app to communicate with my team and it was frankly so exhilarating for me because I had a way to rapidly get my vision across to people. And when you are moving in and moving at a rapid pace frankly phone calls and emails just don’t work as internal communication. And Steve, most people don’t even realize that 80 percent of your day is communicating and we’re doing it with archaic tools and it’s time that we all get together as a community. Go, listen, this is just ridiculous. There’s got to be a better way. And that in Marco Polo was for me.

Yeah. In fact in kind of preparing for our conversation today, I found all of your information on Marco Polo, I know you’ve got a course on it, actually bought the course because I thought this is something pretty unique and we started using it just a little bit internally and I, and one of the things I really appreciate about the way that you have a kind of instructed people to do this don’t just all of a sudden jump in with both feet. Do some do it with some thought and some intentionality. And so we’re doing that, but we’re already starting to see some benefits. And I’ll tell you the thing for me that, that really has made this I think it’s going to be huge game changer that it’s there on the phone. I don’t have to sort of shift gears I don’t have to go to a computer, I don’t have to start typing.

I can walk and talk and give a message if I have to or respond to a quick message or a question. And so just really within the last week, week and a half I’ve started to see all these different uses for it. So I know you, you use this as kind of the catalyst to free yourself up so that the business could grow.


Can you tell us a little bit about that experience and how it got rolled out and maybe some of the things that the people, if they go and download the app as they’re listening, what they ought to be thinking about?

For one of the things, I tell everyone a, when we first started using it, I got super jazzed about it, get my whole team on it and about two months into using the tool I go to, I went to our quarterly planning sessions and I had a key executive that was not on board. And he was frustrated and he’s like, man I got slack, I’ve got email, I’ve got phone, I got Marco Polo, I got instant messenger. And he’s talking about all these tools that we as a company use. And it really occurred to me that I did not set the expectations. I did not set an understanding on how to use the tool. And so we basically re communicated how we use Marco Polo and Marco Polo is for our conversations with one another. Now we no longer call each other, we no longer send long emails. Those are rare.

We focus on if we’re going to have conversations with each other or maybe someone has a new idea or challenge they need to overcome, they do it in Marco Polo and the expectation throughout the day, we’re going to respond to those. Now if a store is on fire or a key employees leaving or putting in a notice and it’s urgent, there’s an opportunity to call me and call each other. And so we limit those calls. I mean, just to give you an example, in the end of July, since my latest data, I have the end of July. Eight years ago, the month of July, I had 2,700 minutes and phone minutes. This year I had 215. I’m using about a 10th of the phone calls that I used to. Now why is that important, Steve? When your phone rings, you are always tempted to answer it.

And that’s just what we the way we’re, we’re raised to phone is like a slot machine. When it rains we’re like, whoa, did I win something? And nine times out of 10 there is no pot of gold at the end of that call. Right? And what happens is it’s distracted you to focus on someone else’s agenda and a lot of people don’t realize that it takes the average person 25 minutes to get back into a state of flow. And so it occurred to me that this the phone is just a terrible way for internal communication and even what makes it worse today is that 35 percent of all phone calls or robocalls or some telemarketer at the other end. So and it’s only getting worse for all of us. And so as that, as a strategy, I mean, the best thing I tell people is mute your ringer. Now talk about email for me.

Now you’ve got to understand eight years ago I was about 50 people strong and I have 400 people today, almost have eight times the people. My email back then, eight years ago was 1800 internal emails and if I went back and I just segmented my list of only internal emails, I had 1800 emails. And I had half that with us having Marco Polo, yet I have eight times the number of people on the team. So the time that you save is amazing because really Steve what we have to do. You have to move into move your internal communication for this one core reason. You need to create space to think and when you have space in your day to actually think about the actions we do every day. You have higher quality transactions between your team. You come up with better ideas and you make more money. That’s really what happens.

And it’s harder I think, than ever to create that space. So have you guys been able to eliminate some of those communication tools? You talked about email and Slack and texts.

It’s Time to Quit Email – Here’s Why

I’m a believer that Slack is great for those that are kind of in meetings a lot or they don’t like to talk to people, but it’s highly inefficient because you’re writing and writing is no different than a caveman writing on a wall and the caveman communicated by pictures and people would walk into a cave and try to interpret what was going on and unfortunately, if it wasn’t interpreted incorrectly, he had no language to change behaviors and to get his point across. And so, well that’s what happens with the email. When you email someone, you may email 10 people and three people are going to get their feelings hurt, misunderstand you or not even read it at all.

And it’s a terrible way to communicate. In fact if video technology was available before email, that’s what we would all be using. But we’re all using email because that’s what our forefathers did in business. We’ve been using a written language to communicate for a long time and that was only because technology didn’t exist. Listen to most beautiful thing you can do when you communicate is look at someone in the eye, face to face communication is what works. Now, the challenge in a lot of people go, well, there’s FaceTime and you can video call and we’re doing. We’re doing a Zoom call right now. It’s beautiful technology. The challenge with live is you have to be both at a place where you have good internet, you have to have video, your schedule’s got to match mine and you also this is something key to communication.

If you are not mentally ready to have a good conversation, it’s not going to lead to a great conversation together. And when you use Marco Polo, you can store and forward. I can record a video and it’s sent instantly or I could put my phone on airplane mode and it not send runaway so I could maybe I’m going to practice a conversation or communication like let’s say have a big pitch and I get you as a customer and I love using this for customers. Man, it is the most amazing way to build a relationship with a stranger. Someone’s interested in your product or service, put the negotiation between client and prospect in Marco Polo. It’s an amazing experience and you’re going to have a much tighter relationship with that customer more than any other communication tool. Better than face to face. I mean, it just works because it’s so quick and easy.

But the beauty of that is you giving respect to others. One of the things that I love about the Marco Polo Journey I’ve been on is the time I give my team. I saved them a tremendous amount of time by doing this communication through this strategy. But it’s certainly been fun and the course has been fun too. I’ve finally got my course dot. You can certainly download if you want to go check it out and I’m enjoying it there, but the reason you do this is for your team. You need to do it for your family. I built a course specifically to unlock 40 hours of productivity a month. And whether you’re going to get healthy with it, spend more time with your kids, whatever. It’s just going to increase your quality of life.

So let’s play devil’s advocate here for a minute because people are going to go and they’re going to look up the app and they’re going to see it, I mean, it looks like an app that’s built for my kids, right?

Yeah, totally.



In fact, I guarantee you they won’t use it now because I went and asked them, hey, have you ever heard of this? And they hadn’t heard of it. Now I’m sure it’s all gone out on the, the local team network here. Now the parents are on Marco Polo. We got to go somewhere else. But it looks like one of those kinds of apps. It’s doesn’t look like a business app, but this … The ability to just kind of bounced back and forth with quick little questions. I know in the course you talked about Nextel, it used to be in my first business we were big Nextel users.

The problem with Nextel was it was real time still getting buzzed and interrupted and all of that. And what’s neat about this is you’re getting those messages and they sort of queue up like email, but they’re far easier to respond to. Like, I look at my email inbox, I go, oh my gosh, that’s work, right? I got to now think about how to, how do I carefully say this in a way that’s not going to get misinterpreted? But with this crazy little app that was probably built for teenagers, you’ve got the power to now just hold up your phone with a little bit of forethought and get out a message that might’ve taken you 20 or 30 minutes to write. I’m finding, I can spend with a little, a little yellow, post it note and write down two or three key points and then record the thing. And I’ve got a clear message that’s going to people. They can see my expression, my intentionality and all of that, which is so hard to get through an email.

And I think you’ve got to look past the fact that it doesn’t look like a big-time business.

You’re absolutely right. when I started, before I started the course, I have a team of 30 phone repair technicians and I sent them on a mission. I said, I want you to go out there and try every video, walkie-talkie type app out there from WhatsApp to Voxer and there’s a bunch of other ones out in the marketplace and I want you to wear them out. I want to, I want you to find something better than Marco Polo. Find something out there. And they could not find anything. They could not find anything better, just to give you some idea about the growth of Marco Polo.

I mean, they got millions of subscribers by the way. It’s free. Like you don’t need my course. They use this app, like just use it. But when I just a literally a month ago, they had a story in Utah that one out of 10 people use Marco Polo because they have such big families. And I have people once a week tell me, Robert, since I’ve been using this, my relationship with my wife is so much better and that’s exactly what happened to me because when I, I hate talking on the phone, I really detest the phone because this as an owner, everyone wants your time, they want, they, there’s people wanting to offer their products and services. There’s people that just need your time and when that phone rings it really is kind of exhausting. I just don’t like being on the phone.

But now I can do Marco Polo’s and share stories with my wife, with what I’m doing with the boys. If literally showing the camera, I mean the APP makes it so easy to not only show your face but show what you were actually looking at. And it’s something to be said about context that is so important. If you were to call me on the phone and I answered the phone and I’m rushed. Steve. Yeah, what, what do you want? And you can sense that I am under stress. Well, imagine for a moment that I’m walking through the airport and I was late for my plane and I’m going through TSA security. You call me right when I was in line.

Well, not knowing anything or having no context, you’re going to think I’m a big jerk the way I answered the phone. But if you were using Marco, you would see I’m standing in the TSA line and clearly stressed because of that, not you. Our body language having good context to good communication is why face to face communication just works. 90% of communication is the body language. And when you have all the data about when you’re communicating with someone, you’ll learn so much. And what I tell people too, what’s killer about this app is using in groups is amazing. So not only can I talk to Steve, but if I want to talk to you in higher sales team, I just hit the button and start talking. And so those things make it extremely beneficial when you’re talking to your team.

Now, I’ll tell you the thing that we see with it is with our clients. So, we work with, with business owners and it is impossible to get calendars aligned when we need to have a conversation and I think it’s going to revolutionize the way we’re able to deliver value to them simply by giving them access where, hey, you can send me a Marco Polo at any time you want and set some parameters around how quickly they’re going to get a response and really easily. Then now we don’t have to worry about time zones. We’ve got clients in Europe all across the US and Canada and now it all becomes simpler. We don’t have to do that whole little Rubik’s Cube exercise.

And one of the things that I tell people that there’s always, it’s funny, I’ve watched people resistant to technology my whole career. I mean I literally, when I sold phones door to door, I was trying to talk you into buying a phone just to make phone calls. And I had to convince people it was a safety and security thing. If you didn’t have one, and so over the years when the smartphone, when we had smartphones, and again I was selling the pocket pc phone before the iPhone was cool and it had apps and I was trying to talk people into that and it, it was a transition. People are absolutely resistant to things that are new, but once they started adopting it’s funny how fast things move. But my favorite thing about Marco for a business leader is elimination of meetings. A majority of meetings are handling issues.

A Better Way to Solve Business Problems as a Team

Now in our organization we started doing Traction about five years ago and in Traction is a way to handle issues and it’s called Ideas. Identify, discuss and solve. So what I use in Marco Polo, if an issue arises and let’s say a customer’s upset with us about a situation, well, if it is a reoccurring situation where I’ve heard the same complaint for multiple people at the same store, what I’ll do is in Marco Polo you can easily on the fly create a group. And so I’ll include the store manager. I’ll include the customer support person, their district manager, and maybe one other team member and I’ll do a Marco Polo and say, listen, this, this customer is upset about this. And the reason I did a Marco Polo with you guys is I’m worried that our process is actually creating this problem because I know we’re asking our reps to do an extra thing.

So what I would like to do is discuss some possible reasons this is causing us an issue. And so what I’d like to have happen is on Friday I like to have a solution by 10:00. And so what happens is you give everyone some space to talk about. Too often we try to solve our issues within an hour period. And if it’s a complicated issue, you don’t have enough space to find the solution. Now we have all found this to be true. Imagine for a moment there was something you were working on real hard.

Let’s say it was an Excel problem or some kind of issue and you were sitting there for hours and he couldn’t figure it out. Well that evening you get done working out. You’re in the shower, you put your shampoo in your head and you’re rubbing your head and then you all of a sudden the light bulb comes off and it’s like that’s the solution. We all find these little solutions when we have space. And so that’s what I like about the Marco Polo. You can create some space and everyone can come up with better ideas to solve those challenges without taking a meeting that everyone has to be at a place at a particular time to solve.

When I first got out of college and went to work, it was about a year before the Internet was in every office company I would work for. Didn’t have it yet. We didn’t have email yet. And so I got good at using voicemail and I look at this as, as kind of the evolution of that. So I had a client, we did probably about a million dollars a year of business with, for at least 12 years and he and I did most of all of that business by leaving really good voicemails. Oh, wow he’d leave me and we’d have to get together maybe three or four times a year because it just we needed to be face-to-face you, you’re never going to eliminate that. Totally. But I mean, this is before Zoom, this is before cell phones. I mean this is literally a phone on your desk and you’ve got a voicemail and I try and tell our team how great that was because I could just talk now.

It had friction though because you had to dial a number, you had to get through, this was even before everybody had direct dial. So you had to get through the receptionist and get connected and getting his voicemail and you had to listen to his voice message every time. All those little points of friction. So it took a long time with Marco Polo, you get video, which is a great benefit, but you get right to it. That’s like one button and you’re there, there’s no friction. And that’s what we’ve found with it in the last, like I say, we’ve been using it for about a week and a half and I think it’s going to revolutionize the way we deliver service. So, it’s, I think it’s a fantastic tool and it’s crazy. I love to geek out on tools and, and get into things like that, but only if they have a purpose.

And for those of you listening I challenge you to go in and download the app and look for some ways that you can put this to use. I think it will improve your communication and I think it’ll absolutely free up time. Robert, you’ve already experienced that on a tremendous scale. So, I do want to give a shout out to the course that you put together, which takes business leaders through the process of rolling out Marco Polo to their teams. And you’ve got, I think a wealth of knowledge. It’s a huge shortcut. I found it by accident, it’s just doing the prep for the call and I was like, yeah, this is a no brainer. I got to go get this. So where can folks find out about that and kind of find out more than that? You’ve got other information on your site about how you use the app.

Yeah. So, you can just visit the and we can certainly help you through whether the course or maybe just have some questions of how to tackle this. I’d be glad to help your audience with any of those. You can certainly email me at

Very good. Well Robert, thank you so much for investing a little bit of time with me today. Even though we didn’t do it over Marco Polo, we had to schedule it live. Any final thoughts you want to leave with our listeners?

Man, I will tell you I really appreciate the time with you today and listen, if you just took a moment and look at your calendar and look at all those meetings that you’ve scheduled it, look at all that time and energy. You, you and your team actually get in their car and actually come to an office and do work yet. We have a computer at our house. We have some silence there. Maybe there is a better way and you’re not going to find it, unless you try something new.

Yeah, absolutely. That’s great advice, Robert. Again, thanks for being here. It’s been great talking with you and thanks for all you’re doing to help free up folks in their time. Everybody again you can find a more from We’ll link that up in the show notes and we will see you next week.

Thanks, Steve.

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