363: Three Ways to Increase Your Pay (and Make it Go Farther) with Andy Hill

By October 29, 2018Podcasts

 

 

Andy Hill shares how he got his pay bumped in three different ways…and how to keep that money from flowing out.

You’ll Learn:

  1. How to figure out when you should change companies
  2. Tips to boost the trait that helps you get a pay bump
  3. The best mental trick for saving money

About Andy

Andy Hill is award-winning corporate event marketing professional that has managed programs for luxury brands such as Gulfstream, Bentley and Audi of America. During his 15-year career, he’s grown from entry level to Director level by exceeding his client’s and his management’s expectations each year.

Andy also hosts a podcast called Marriage, Kids and Money that helps young families grow their wealth. The podcast was nominated by Plutus as “Best New Personal Finance Podcast” in 2017. He has partnered with brands such as Quicken Loans, Credit Sesame and Tomorrow to spread a message of financial wellness and security. 

His podcast and blog can be found at MarriageKidsandMoney.com and you can connect with Andy professionally on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewrussellhill  

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Andy Hill Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Andy, thanks so much for joining us here on the How To Be Awesome At Your Job podcast.

Andy Hill
Pete, thank you so much for having me, man. This is awesome.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh boy. Well, I’ve been looking forward to having this chat for a while, and I think I want to start where the conversation really needs to start, which is your role in an ‘80s cover band.

Andy Hill
Oh, you did dig deep, didn’t you now? Okay. So, in my 20s…

Pete Mockaitis
Aren’t you still in your 20s? You look so youthful and handsome.

Andy Hill
That’s just the picture I still have on there. It’s totally 10 years ago. Overall I just like to try random things every five or six years just to kind of shake things up a little bit. So, I had an opportunity to go into an ‘80s cover band with a few of my friends. I was out at the bar, drinking and having fun and doing karaoke with one of my buddies, and maybe he was drinking too much, but after we finished our little set there, he goes, “Hey, you’re not too bad. We should start an ‘80s cover band.” And I was three sheets to the wind or five sheets to the wind, “Whatever you say.” And I said, “Oh yeah, let’s do it.”

So, he could play the guitar, I could sing, kind of. Then we found a random dude on Craigslist that could play the drums, and we were all set, man. So we started booking the local dive bars, after we practiced for about six months learning all the great ‘80s songs, ‘90s songs. And honestly, Pete, it was probably one of the most fun things that I’ve ever done in my life. Getting up there, making a fool of yourself, having some fun with your friends. And we blew some of these dive bars away, because we’d get a slot booked at like 1:00 am on a Wednesday night, and we would pack the place – something like 45 people there that’d be like, “You could come back whenever you want.” They don’t even care how we sounded, but no, it was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life, honestly.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that is excellent. There really is just a thrill associated with performing and being in that groove. So, that’s really fun. So what was the name of the band?

Andy Hill
It was called Vermont Response. The street that we lived on was called Vermont, and it was sort of our response from living there. It was kind of lame, but it was fun.

Pete Mockaitis
And how would you characterize the message of that response?

Andy Hill
It was epic, I would say, mind-blowing and transformative. Talk about those for some career awards for you.

Pete Mockaitis
Those are nice. Speaking of things that are epic, mind-blowing and transformative, you’ve got a podcast that checks those boxes, called Marriage, Kids and Money. What’s the show all about?

Andy Hill
So again, in the spirit of trying random new things every so often, I started a podcast a couple of years ago because I wanted to start a conversation with young parents who want to build their wealth and give their families the best life possible.

Pete Mockaitis
Hey, that’s me.

Andy Hill
Exactly, exactly. You’re a young father, you’ve got a nine-month-old and you’re married and you’re looking at building your wealth, so you’re my exact demographic, my friend. I wanted to start that conversation and gather some like-minded individuals who want to figure out how to grow their wealth. But also it’s an opportunity for me to interview some really smart people who are millionaires, entrepreneurs that are doing so great by their family, and I get to share all those incredible nuggets with everybody who’s listening. So, it’s been a real treat for me, and the podcast has had some good growth over the past couple of years.

Pete Mockaitis
Excellent. Well, kudos and congratulations, and thank you for inviting me on the show. That was a good time. What really caught my eye about you and the show is when we met back in Podcast Movement over in Philadelphia. You had a few specific things you did that bumped up your income in the course of doing some smart career planning and maneuvering. And so I thought, “This is perfect”, because that’s one of the things my listeners are into, is making some more money from being awesome at their jobs. So, could you lay it out for us? What’s your story, and how did you do it?

Andy Hill
Yeah, so I’ve been in the experiential marketing world for about 15 years. So experiential marketing, just so you know, it’s anything that’s in-person manifested marketing for a brand. So instead of a TV commercial or an online ad, this is the stuff you’d see in-person, and call it like a conference or a trade show or a business meeting. That’s the type of stuff that I’ve been doing for the past 15 years. So, within that industry, I’ve had an opportunity to grow my salary in three key moments throughout my career. And I thought that would be kind of fun to share with your listeners today.

Pete Mockaitis
Please do.

Andy Hill
So a time, again, in my late 20s – and I’m very glad that you think I’m still in my 20s, thank you for that – I had the opportunity to go from manager to director. So this was a promotion opportunity within the company that I was in. And there was a position that was open. It had been vacated by somebody who was not on the team anymore. And I was in a more junior role, but I had developed a good reputation, working, going above and beyond my expectations both with my clients, as well as my management.

So, when that opportunity arose, I jumped at it. I expressed my interest, I set aside a time to speak with the president of the company and tell them why I would be a good fit, all the things that I had done up until that point, my experience with the client. And this was a coveted position at the time, so I wanted to do my best and put my best foot forward for it. So, I applied, I went through a review process, an interview process, and I got the job.

And with that, since I was a young whippersnapper, I didn’t think that they were going to probably give me the dollars that I thought were required for the position, because I had an idea of what the person who was in the position before was making. So, I made a suggestion on salary and they met me in the middle. But it was essentially a 46% increase in my salary, which when you’re not making a lot, that, call it a 3% increase can be very little.

So, if you get the opportunity to go from a manager to a director position, what I did is I tried to understand the landscape of what a director was making in that position, and I made the request for that salary increase, knowing the responsibilities that were going to be associated with it, the hours that were going to be associated with it, that travel that was going to be associated with it. And I was able to get that increase. So, that was the first bump up that I had within my first company at the same company.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, very cool. So let’s dig into the magic behind it then. I guess you already had some good foundational points to work with, in terms of you had already been proactively overdelivering for clients and for management. And then when you saw the opportunity, you didn’t just click, click, apply. You went after it with some gusto, in terms of talking to the president of the company, saying that you’re very interested in it and making your case. And then you also did some proactive research, in terms of getting after what is the number, so that you can proactively suggest it and do some anchoring, as opposed to letting them just do what they cared to do with that number.

Andy Hill
Absolutely. And I think that since I was my best cheerleader… I know that sometimes the companies are doing their best to make as much money as possible, and yes, give fair raises or fair increases in salary, but you have to be your own advocate. So I was in that case, and that really helped.

Pete Mockaitis
Excellent, cool. Alright, so that was one good move. And you had a couple more.

Andy Hill
Yeah, a couple of years later. So that was 2010 when that happened, and 2013, about three years later, I had the opportunity to go from one company to another. So this is another opportunity when you can make more money in your career. So, I was very active on LinkedIn. When I say “active”, I mean I consistently shared information about my industry, information about my company, I constantly updated my profile based on experience that I had, awards that we were able to win as a company, and my volunteer efforts, things like that. So I wanted to be out there and create conversations.

Pete Mockaitis
So when you’re talking sharing – like every day, or what kind of frequency are we talking about here?

Andy Hill
I typically do about two times per week, and I’ve read some articles, I think HubSpot recommends no more than five times per week, just because it gets a little bit overdone, and also based on LinkedIn’s algorithm it touches quite a bit of your network between that two to five number per week. So, usually I take an opportunity to talk about my company’s services or my business accomplishments, things like that, that are relevant to keep people in the know about what’s going on, what’s going on with Andy, what’s going on with my company. And that helps keep the information going.

Pete Mockaitis
And in your world of experiential marketing, you are in a sales or business development function?

Andy Hill
Correct, yeah. So, another reason for me to put ourselves out there. I’m going put my company out there because we are constantly trying to earn new business. So that’s a big part of my role.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, understood. So, you rocked at the LinkedIn, and what happened?

Andy Hill
So, I get contacted by a recruiter. And I really wasn’t actually looking to make a shift at that point, because I was pretty happy with my role. I was doing pretty well in it, and growing the business. But I took the call anyway, because I was interested in understanding what am I worth out there, what other opportunities are there out there, because it’s not bad to make a change every once in a while. So I got an offer from a competing company. I was at maybe a 30 or 40-person company, and then the company that was offering me the job was essentially the largest experiential company in the world. So I said, “Oh yeah, I’ll take that conversation. I’ll take that call.”

And through that conversation and the negotiations that went forward, I had the opportunity to make about 25% more than what I was making at that point. And luckily, at that same time I got two other offers on LinkedIn, at the same time. So, I essentially had three offers in front of me at one point, on one weekend, when I could review them with my family and make a decision that would obviously impact where we would go as a family, but also our income level. So, based on reviewing those three offers, I decided to go with the original offer because I was very excited about that company, working with the industry leader.

And at that point I let the other two companies know; one of them said, “Congratulations, good luck. We could never pay you that.” And the other said, “We’ll match it. Come over with us.” And at that point I had a decision to make, but I again stayed with the original offer because I was excited about working with that company. So, I would like to say that being active on LinkedIn and spending a lot of time on there and making my profile well known helped me to get those three offers at one time, because those were all not me seeking them; they were inbound offers from recruiters. So, that really helped me to jump up another 25%.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s cool. So, in the LinkedIn game, do you have any tips, in terms of when it comes to the content that you’re sharing? You could do that well, you could do that poorly. Any pro tips on how do you find and determine, “Yes, this is worthy of my imprimatur, my sharing of this broadly”?

Andy Hill
I try to make it industry-specific, specific to my company or specific to the industry that I’m in, to start to create conversations around that area. I might not be an influencer in experiential marketing, but I at least want to start some conversations that create that type of environment there. And with that, I’ve started some conversations, I’ve asked some probing questions: “What are your thoughts around this area?” And it starts to get engagement from people who are at least partners in the industry or potential clients.

And there’s a lot more people that are engaged on social media than ever before, so you’d be surprised at how much engagement you can actually get from those types of connections. So, I don’t have hundreds of thousands of connections on there; I’ve got maybe 2,500, but over the years that’s really helped me to expand my network, expand conversations, and then really do outreach both on a sales platform, as well as just opportunities like this to get a new job.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s cool. And could you share an example of a probing question? I’m wondering what the hottest, most controversial topic might be, or if that’s something that you shy away from, or something that you go for, like, “Yeah, this’ll get them lathered up!”

Andy Hill
Well, I still feel like LinkedIn is like being in the office. You might not say things that you would say on Twitter or on Facebook that you’d say on LinkedIn. I like to think of LinkedIn like I’m having conversations within the office, so I steer clear of political conversations, religious conversations, anything that might steer people in the wrong directions.

But as far as a probing question, one of our clients is Ally Bank, and I just posted something today about… They had a celebration yesterday for Online Savings Day as essentially a holiday that they created on Monday. So I threw out a probing question based on one of the articles that they had been a part of: “Do you think that you could go all online and not have a brick and mortar bank?” So having conversations like that not only helps to promote my client, but it also starts to create conversations. And a little conversation started to happen out of it. So, people understand who my client is, what we’re talking about within our industry, and then discussions start to happen. So, that’s just a little example.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. When I mentioned controversy, certainly we’re not going to go, “Do you think Trump sucks? Why or why not?”

Andy Hill
Exactly. There’s some of that happening on there, unfortunately.

Pete Mockaitis
That would be ill advised, I think, as a career pointer, I’d suggest, because you’re going to infuriate half of the people that you’re engaging with. So there’s that. But that is a nice example, because I guess that could be a little bit, I don’t know if “touchy” is the right word, but if it’s a purely online only bank, then they’re hoping the answer for everybody is “Yes.” But not everyone does have that opinion. So, in a way that makes it kind of spicy, kind of interesting. It’s more, I guess, real instead of the polished branded advertisement messaging, in terms of, “We’re going to have a real conversation, in terms of there are some pros and cons about moving in this direction, and let’s hear what people think.”

Andy Hill
Absolutely. It’s fun to see the conversations being facilitated. Sometimes it’s just like a video or an article saying, “Here’s something that our company wrote”, or you just post the article. And that doesn’t really start any conversation or facilitate any conversation. So, I like to ask some questions like that, that are a little bit more engaging.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, very cool. And so in so doing, you meet some new people and they think, “This Andy guy is pretty sharp. He seems to be plugged in to the right stuff.” And then over time that just makes people think of you when they’ve got an opportunity to dole out.

Andy Hill
Absolutely, yeah. And I’ve even had people reach out to me that asked me to post something on our company’s behalf, as opposed to our company, just based on the engagement that I’ve had on LinkedIn too. So, it pays, it shows, and that gives the opportunity to continue to expand conversations.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s really cool. Do you have any other quick do’s and don’ts for LinkedIn?

Andy Hill
Yeah, let’s see. No, I think we covered it.

Pete Mockaitis
Alright, very good. So then there’s a third step in your rise to wealth, and what was it?

Andy Hill
Yeah, so we touched on the opportunity to get a promotion within your current role, and then moving from one company to another. And then the last one is getting a salary increase in your same role at your current company. And that’s what I was able to do recently as well. So, the steps that I took to make this happen, especially when you get up to a director role and you continue to have more responsibility and expect more out of you for the increased pay – I wanted to not only request the additional salary increase, but I had to show that I was worth it. So for the couple of years prior to that, I worked on exceeding all of my goals and making sure that they were measurable, because sometimes it’s hard to go in and ask for more money if you can’t show how you measurably made change within the organization.

So, with that armed information, I had that actually written down, specifically what accomplishments or what expectations were asked of me, how I exceeded those, and how I did that consistently year over a year. So, I included that not only in an email, but also in a written letter that I in-person supplied to my supervisor, and then also verbally shared those expectations and accomplishments, and had that meeting face-to-face, and did it with confidence, because I was proud of what I had done. And when you’re able to sit down there and share what you feel like you deserve, based on some research that you could do maybe on Glassdoor or some conversations with people who are in your position, maybe at other companies or maybe some people you’re really close with at your company to get an understanding of what the going rate is for your role, so you’re not asking for something ridiculous.

I was able to go in there and have a good conversation, supervisor to subordinate, on what was fair for my role. And based on that conversation and the detail, I had asked for 10%, I got 8%, which was totally fine because I was happy with 8%. So, as you can see, as the roles continue, the percentage decreases just based on where you are and as your salary level increases. At least it has in my case. I’m very happy with that increase though recently. So, those are the three ways that I’ve increased my salary over the years, originally being in the five-figure range to now the six-figure range – from moving internally with promotion, from going one company to another, and then just asking for a straight up salary increase in the same role.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, that’s really cool. And so then, for the request of the salary increase in the same role, it seems like it was very clear what you were doing, in terms of there was some advance notice in terms of, “Hey, here’s the letter, and I want to set up this meeting.” And then away you went. Is that right?

Andy Hill
Right, exactly. Catching the supervisor off-guard maybe is something I didn’t want to do. So I had sent the email beforehand, had a phone call with the person just saying, “Hey, this is a meeting that I’d like to set up with you and discuss further”, so that they had time to think about it. And then obviously after the meeting concluded, it wasn’t like, “Yes, here you go!” There’s some time for the supervisor to consider it and think about it, and then speak to their senior management about it and then go from there. So, having some patience with the process and understanding that it might take a little bit of time is definitely suggested.

Pete Mockaitis
I like your point about the patience with the process, and I’m thinking about a listener who shared a story in which she’s asked a few times for a raise or a title shift because of generating some outstanding results, with regard to acquiring funds for the organization. And it’s really weird, because the response seems to be like, “Yeah, we really appreciate all your contributions. These are really great results. And yeah, we’re very excited and it’s important. But because of this upcoming reorganization or the way the budget is established…” There seems to be a force outside of strictly meritocracy and results generated that seems to slow it down. And I don’t know if you’ve got any pro tips for how do you handle that one and when do you say “Enough is enough” and you start looking elsewhere?

Andy Hill
I don’t know. I think for that person, if it were me, I would really analyze how much do I really like where I’m working. If I really like where I’m working and a raise would make me feel much better about where I’m working – that’s okay. But making a jump to a new company, you’ve got to think about a lot of other things besides just salary. You’ve got to think about your commute – is it shorter, is it longer? What are the benefits are associated with my role? Is there a flexibility with my schedule right now in the company that I’m in, and then the one I have to go to I have to kind of go crazy 10 to 12-hour days just to prove my worth in the beginning? Who’s my supervisor going to be? What’s the work environment like?

There’s lots of other factors besides salary if you were to move to another company. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t, but I would say do it for the right reasons. If you feel like you are kicking major butt and then you are not getting the money that you feel like you deserve and comparing that to some stuff on Glassdoor, maybe some conversations with other people who are in your role – then it can’t hurt to look. We’re in a good economy. Start some conversations.

A great thing to do is even just take some calls from recruiters or have some conversations to build up your confidence being like, “You know what? I am worth this. I’m marketable out there for this rate, and my company is not giving it to me.” So, I don’t know, maybe it’s some internal conversations to say, “How much do I really like working here?” And if you really like working there, outside of some of the salary type situation, salary conversations, it’s something to consider.

Pete Mockaitis
Alright, excellent. So Andy, you shared a number of cool fundamentals, associated with your three steps to higher compensation at work. Are there additional principles and tactics that you recommend, you’ve heard, you’ve seen effective for others in practice, that folks should tackle if they’re looking to bump up their pay at work?

Andy Hill
I think a lot of it before you ask for that money or before you take that next jump is, a couple of things. I think you just have to establish credibility. You’ve got to be somebody that people can rely on. Your reputation really matters in the workplace. If you’ve developed a reputation for somebody who says they’re going to get something done and they do it well and they do it above and beyond – that’s a great place to be as an employee, because people are going to have that…

Especially whatever industry you are, sometimes it’s smaller than you think it is. People know who you are at different companies. People are aware of who you are within your larger organization for being a leader. So, going above and beyond your job description, being reliable – I think those are great ways not only just to live personally, but also just to set yourself up for those raises and salary bumps.

Pete Mockaitis
Excellent. So, we talked about the “earning more money” side of things. I’d love to get some of your pro tips on the savings side.

Andy Hill
Sure, absolutely. With regard to being an employee, there are so many great opportunities to save for your future at your workplace. So, a great place to start, and it’s something that I ignored immediately when I was in my 20s is your office place 401(k). So, taking advantage of any match that might exist from your employer with 401(k), and also taking advantage of compound interest as early as possible. So, for those folks that haven’t signed up for their 401(k), you’ve got to start as early as possible and take advantage of that growth, because over time the more you put in it, the more it grows. So, taking advantage of the 401(k) is a great way to go.

Some companies have an HSA program – Health Savings Account – and this is also sort of a stealth way to save for your retirement as well, but it also is a great savings vehicle to help protect you in case of any health emergencies as sort of a savings backup as well. Outside of those two routes, an IRA – Roth IRA or traditional IRA, depending on your income level – are great ways to save for retirement. And then outside of that, if you need to trick yourself to save a little bit of money just in a savings account, you can also work with your employer to divert some of your salary straight into a savings account so you’re building up an emergency fund, so emergencies turn into inconveniences.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, that’s great. And it’s amazing how that works, in terms of your mindset: “Okay, this is the money I have available, because it’s the money that I see in the account that’s in front of me or that I’m logged into it.” And I remember at Bain, where I was working previously, it was so funny how this would happen again and again. You had the option to divert a portion of your paycheck into the travel fund. So, you could have pretax dollars funding your, here in Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority CTA card, to ride the “L” – elevated line, or the bus.

So that’s kind of cool. It’s like, if we’re commuting with the train into work, why not use pretax dollars, save 30% plus. That sounds like a good move. But what was so funny was, because it was so easy to forget about, and people often for one reason or another didn’t use it, because they were traveling, out of town for a week here or there, or they ended up taking a taxi – that was back in the day – or something into work, given certain circumstances, or working from home, whatever.

It would just pile up such that two years, three years later when these employees are headed off to business school, they would have these epic transit account balances, and they would sell it at a discount. Like, “Hey, I’m off to Harvard Business School. Anybody want $800 of credit for the CTA? I’m selling it at a discount. Let the bidding begin, the auctioning.” And it just kind of cracked me up. I was like, that is the power of money quietly just being siphoned away that you don’t even see or think about until you open up the account a couple of days before you’ve got to move.

Andy Hill
Well, think about that CTA example with a 401(k) then – so it’s quietly going in there, but it’s going to build compound interest. So that $800 is going to be, I don’t know, it’s going to be a lot more than what you had. So, CTA example – that’s probably not the best, but definitely do your 401(k).

Pete Mockaitis
I guess what was so kicking – or I don’t know if that’s the word – it was so striking and surprising was how again and again and again, folks were surprised that this happened. They’re like, “Whoa, there’s a lot of money in there. Oh geez.”

Andy Hill
There needs to be an eBay store for the CTA cards.

Pete Mockaitis
I did buy one, but then go figure. I didn’t manage to use it all.

Andy Hill
That’s so funny.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s cool. Any other sort of ninja tactics or tricks when it comes to saving the money? One way – great, out of sight, out of mind. That’s a good one. Anything else come to mind?

Andy Hill
I love the automation side of things. If you can trick yourself into thinking that you don’t actually have that money coming into your account, you can’t spend it. I think that’s just a great way to trick yourself into saving money, both for your retirement, as well as for an emergency. And I think a lot of times if you have that money built up in your retirement, you have that money built up in your emergency fund, or just general savings, it gives you more confidence at work, it gives you a little bit more pride walking around. You don’t feel as timid to maybe ask for a raise, or ask for what you feel like you’re worth. So, I think there’s sort of an intrinsic pride that comes in there with having your money situation set. It also allows you to ask for some things you need, for some things you think you deserve, and gives you that confidence to walk around the office like you deserve it.

Pete Mockaitis
I think that’s really powerful. And I’ve been reflecting on the work of Chase Hughes, who I hope to have on the show shortly. He’s talking about those very things, like when you’ve got control over your environment, your time, your appearance, your finances, you just naturally have this extra confidence and status, and just ready-to-go-ness with you everywhere you go, whether you’re asking for more money or for a date, or for whatever you’re seeking.

Andy Hill
I agree, and I think your employer sees that too. They want to work with confident people, especially if you’re in front of clients. They want to put their best people forward. So, have that confidence and yeah, take care of your money.

Pete Mockaitis
I also want to get your take on – so, your podcast is called Marriage, Kids and Money. We’ve talked only about money, but I want to hit the marriage and kids part there for a bit. Boy, this is a tricky one. I don’t know if anyone has the foolproof answer, but the challenge associated with what some call work-life balance and others call work-life integration, can be that folks feel this guilt associated with, “Boy, when I leave work, maybe it’s at a reasonable hour, maybe it’s early, maybe it’s late – I feel guilty, like I’m letting down my boss or my colleagues. But I need to be there for my family. But when I have to work more at the office and I’m away from family, then I feel like I’m letting them down.” And so it’s like we’re committed to two important things, and some people are plagued by guilt they’re abandoning one of them. What’s your take on navigating this beast?

Andy Hill
Oh yeah, that’s a tough one. I think a couple of things. One thing that pops into my mind is just setting expectations, both for your family, as well as your workplace. So there are times that my wife understands that work is going to be nuts this week – I’m going to be traveling out of town, I’m going to be traveling globally, I’m going to be working until midnight. If I set those expectations up beforehand, there’s less family strife at home. Now, if you work until midnight every night with a regular salary job, that’s a different scenario. That’s maybe a conversation with your supervisor, or a lifestyle change, or a job change. But I think if you set expectations with your family, when those tough times happen, the conversations can be a bit easier.

The same thing can happen with your employer – setting expectations with them about when you’re available, how you’re going to be able to work. And yes, maybe this is more how you roll, but some things that I’ve done, when I get home on Friday at 5:00 pm, I’ve tried to do this as a practice for the past couple of years – I turn my phone off, I turn my email off, because I want to focus on my family. That can be different for everybody else, but the place that I’ve chosen to work is good with that, they’re okay with that. And yes, sometimes there are things that happen that require my attention over the weekend, but 90%-95% of the time it’s a practice that’s appreciated from other people that I work with, my supervisors.

I’m actually very proud to work for a company, to work for a supervisor that is a family man, that understands the things that I’m going through. I’ve worked in the past, and there’s nothing wrong with people in different situations, but I’ve worked with people in the past that are single and they live for their work. They work 80 hours a week and that’s all they can think about and they can’t understand why people need anything else. I don’t strive well in work environments like that. I like working with people who have a family, that have hobbies, that have things outside of their work life in order to be a fulfilling individual, to have something else. That’s where thrive.

And I think that’s actually a good thing for offices. That’s where creativity comes from, if you’re not just on email all the time, or your nose in work. If you go out, you spend time with your family, you experience culture, you experience music, different types of things that you can bring into your work life that actually excite clients or excite the individual projects that you’re working on – I think that’s a good thing. So I think setting expectations with your family, setting expectations with your workplace is a great place to start.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, very well said. And that’s good to note, in terms of, I remember one listener mentioned, “My boss and my boss’s boss and my boss’s boss’s boss – none of them have kids. And I do.” And I can kind of see that there’s a disconnect. Not to say that of course you must have the same life priorities and station in life in order to connect and resonate and understand and be flexible, but it does make you think in terms of, “Okay, are we aligned on this point? And if not, are you cool with this being a priority for me when it’s not for you?”

Andy Hill
Right, exactly, especially I understand you have a good female contingent that listens to your show. There’s going to be some time where if you want to have children, that your life is not going to be very close to somebody that doesn’t decide to have kids. Having a baby, going through the three months after having a baby, all the things that go through your life physically and emotionally – I feel like it’s a great opportunity to work at a place where you have people that understand your situation. And yes, it can’t be a quick change to switch jobs, but thinking about that and then putting yourself in the shoes of your employer – are they somebody that understands your situation? Did they have a wife in that situation? Did they have kids? I think it’s something to note for sure.

Pete Mockaitis
Very cool. Well, Andy, tell me – anything else you want to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Andy Hill
I think you did a great job, man.

Pete Mockaitis
Aw shucks, thank you. Cool. Now, could you tell us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Andy Hill
Absolutely, yeah. One that I like is from Benjamin Franklin. It’s, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” And I think that kind of talks about a little bit of what we talked about today. I think we can hope and pray for good things, we can hope and pray for good fortune to come our way, but we have to put the work into it, we’ve got to put the action into it. We have to fail. We’ve got to do some trial and error to get where we need to go, but you have to put action to it. So, I like that quote a lot. I end a lot of my shows with the quote “Carpe Diem” too. It’s all about action. What can we do to take action today to have our best life? So, that’s one of my favorite quotes.

Pete Mockaitis
And can you share a favorite study or experiment or a bit of research?

Andy Hill
Yeah. I don’t have a lot of experiments, studies or pieces of research that fit into a lot of what I’ve done at work, but one thing that I read about from Scientific American, which is a cool article that got me jacked up about fatherhood. There’s this magic moment when expectant fathers see that mid-pregnancy ultrasound for the first time, and instead of thinking of cuddling or feeding the baby, the dads’ brains go straight to, “What can I do to provide the future needs of this child?”

Pete Mockaitis
No kidding.

Andy Hill
“What can I do to save for their college? What can I do to help them with their future wedding?” And this is a research study by the University of Wisconsin. I thought that was super interesting, because that’s what happened to me. A lot of this drive to increase my salary, or to take care of my money, all happened around the time that I found out I was going to be a father. And I kind of went nuts on it. I kind of went, “Okay, wow, I need to protect my family. I need to go into Papa Bear protection mode.” And I guess there’s some science around it. So, I kind of thought that was interesting to share.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, that really is interesting. And I remember the very day my wife told me that we’re pregnant, and it’s on video. I sort of figured something was up when she was videotaping me opening a little gift bag with the pregnancy test in it. At first it was like, “Oh wow”, tears and joy and excitement and gratitude and “Wow.” And then, just moments afterwards, it I was like, “We’ve got to buy this house.” [laugh] I’m on video saying this, so it’s dead on. It was like, “We can’t keep frittering away $2,000 a month on this absurd rent. We’re going to buy a multifamily home and get our tenants to pay the mortgage for us”, which we pulled off, and it’s been quite pleasant. I recommend that strategy as one option for folks.

Andy Hill
That’s awesome. So you went into straight, “What can I do to protect my family? I want to give them the best.” That’s awesome.

Pete Mockaitis
We were kind of going to some showings here and there. And it was like, “No, this isn’t a hobby anymore.”

Andy Hill
“We need the nest.”

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah. And how about a favorite book?

Andy Hill
For my career, I would say one book that I read early on that I refer back to every once in a while is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It’s a 100-year-old book, and I love the advice. It’s still super applicable to everyday life and my work life. It just has some very simple nuggets that can help you get by with everything that you do, especially in an office environment.

I try to do my best to smile, I try to do my best to remember people’s names. Even just at the local store, if you see somebody’s name tag, just saying their name. Everybody loves hearing their name, right? So you can do that at work – makes people feel good. Going out of my way to give thanks and appreciation to people. We have an opportunity at our office where we can essentially do a shout out for somebody who’s done something really great at our office. And we get the opportunity to fill out this form, and they get an award for it.

I love being somebody that goes super detailed in that form, and then hoping one of my colleagues gets the award. And luckily, I’ve been a part of, I think, three awards that have been given out because of the responses that I’ve given, and I love that. I love being able to give thanks and appreciation for people that I work with and that work really hard. A lot of those principals that came from that book, I still apply in my everyday life.

Pete Mockaitis
Awesome, thank you. And how about a favorite tool?

Andy Hill
Favorite tool. So, there’s a couple of them right now. I’m big into apps lately, so I like this one called Forest. It’s essentially a productivity app. So, I get a little bit cell phone crazy sometimes, where I’ll go on Twitter or Facebook or something like that. And if I really need to focus, I put on Forest, and it essentially gives you a timer on there. And if you say, “I need to focus for two hours”, you set the two-hour timer, and then the app will not let you do anything else on your phone. Essentially it’s growing a tree over those two hours. So if you decide to go outside of the app, then you kill the tree. So, don’t kill the tree. You’ve got to keep being productive and get your work done. So that’s helped me to sort of stay focused and not look at other things outside of work.

Some other things – I set some daily reminders in my Outlook. This is not really super techy, but I use Outlook like crazy. So, all the things that I need to do during the week, I set some daily reminders to get them done. So, those are dictating my day instead of email dictating my day, because sometimes you go super deep into email and then you don’t leave email hell until whatever, 7:00 pm, and you’re like, “I didn’t get any of the things that I was supposed to get done today.” So I use those Outlook reminders as sort of my reminder of what I need to do every single day.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite habit?

Andy Hill
Favorite habit. So, I guess I would say just generally effective time management. So, my colleagues and my superiors know that they can always rely on me, because I manage my time well. I think that I’ve gained their trust and their partnership because I can manage my time well. So I guess short and simple – time management.

Pete Mockaitis
And what are some of your practices in time management that make the difference?

Andy Hill
I would say getting a clear understanding of what I need to do each day in order to get it done right. So one practice that I’ve been doing that I actually got from Curt Steinhorst, who wrote the book Can I Have Your Attention? – he said at the beginning of each day, write down three things on a board or on a piece of paper that you have to get done today. Three things. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but with all of the distractions that we have at work – the pop-in meetings, somebody opening your door: “Hey, do you have a second”, or all the emails that come by – as long as you know, “I need to get these three important things done today, because people are relying on me” – that’s just one simple practice that I do daily that helps me have a complete day.

Pete Mockaitis
And is there a particular nugget you share that really seems to connect and resonate with folks and gets them quoting it back to you?

Andy Hill
With the podcast, again, I end each show with the same “Carpe Diem”. And that is something that the listeners of the show and also some people in my life have enjoyed from me. So I guess that would be something that I share, because without action we’re not moving forward, right? Seize the day and take advantage of it.

Pete Mockaitis
Very good. And if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Andy Hill
Check me out at MarriageKidsAndMoney.com. I’ve got a website there, as well as a podcast you can find on any major podcast player by the same name – Marriage, Kids and Money.

Pete Mockaitis
And do you have a final challenge or call to action for folks who are seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Andy Hill
Well, I guess it would come from some of our conversations today, Pete. I would say if you for a fact know that you’re exceeding expectations, you can prove it and you feel like you deserve a raise or a promotion – go for it. Yes, definitely look up the comparable salary on Glassdoor.com, have some conversations with colleagues that are in a similar area, find that fair number that you feel you deserve, and outline your accomplishments. Sit down with your manager and discuss it, but do it with confidence, because if you feel like you deserve it and you’ve earned it, you should be able to do it with confidence and pride, because you deserve it.

Pete Mockaitis
Awesome. Well, Andy, this has been a whole lot of fun. I wish you all the best, rock and rolling with experience marketing and all you’re up to!

Andy Hill
Thank you very much, Pete. This was a lot of fun.

Leave a Reply