At Solid, we always like to say that we’re human, not robots. With this in mind, we’ve put together a series of articles that show the human side of our day-to-day operations. You’ll get to know the Solid humans who you interact with everyday a little better, gain a better understanding of the impact Microsoft’s modern workplace can have on a business, and see our processes in action.
We’ve had a glance into the Sales team and the Technical team, but how does a day in the life of SOLID co-founder, Daniel Avinir, differ from those around him? Daniel not only founded Solid Systems, but (along with Michael Claxton), has been instrumental in shaping the SOLID culture, which forms such a big part of every SOLID human’s journey. Let’s hear what his average day looks like.
A Day in the Life of Daniel Avinir
It is way too early in the morning. I wake up next to my beautiful wife, which might sound cliché to most ears. But since I moved to London last week, and she moved here months ago, it’s a feeling that I’m still wrapping my head around! But enough of the mushy stuff.
It’s around 4am here. I’m still getting used to the different time zones, and while I’m adjusting I want to make sure that I’m available whenever someone might need me. Since Melissa’s day starts around 6am in South Africa, I want to make sure I’m awake then too.
I sit down at my PC with my phone next to me. It’s got my authenticator app on it, so I can easily log into all the apps and platforms that I need. And the first one I log into is LastPass.
“A lot of people say it’s more important to have memorable passwords than a randomly generated one. I disagree. When you’ve got a password manager like LastPass to handle your login credentials, there’s really no need to remember multiple passwords.”
Everyone has their own recommendations when it comes to passwords. Length, randomness and different types of characters play a huge part in password security, but a lot of people say it’s more important to have memorable passwords than a randomly generated one. I disagree. When you’ve got a password manager like LastPass to handle your login credentials, there’s really no need to remember multiple passwords. It syncs across your computers and laptops, so that no matter where you are, you can quickly and easily grab the login details that you need. So really, there’s only one password that needs to be memorable. And when there’s just the one, it’s okay for it to be a bit more complex, since you’re not trying to recall a wide variety of complicated strings of letters and numbers.
Once I’m logged into all the apps I’m going to need for the day, I check in on Teams. I want to make sure that I haven’t missed any messages that have been sent to me directly, but there are also channels where announcements are made, news is shared, and updates on tickets are explained. I find that going through this first thing in the morning gets me well prepped for the day ahead, since it gives me a good idea of what’s going on throughout the business.
“One of the biggest lifesavers has been SaneBox. The name is incredibly appropriate. It keeps my inbox sorted into a variety of folders that make it a lot easier to handle the deluge of mail that comes in on an hourly (never mind daily) basis.”
Next, it’s time to open up my Microsoft Outlook. I ignore the emails for a moment, checking my calendar instead so that I can see what’s in my diary for the day and which upcoming meetings I need to prepare for. With my head in the right space, my day starting to take shape, I move onto emails. This used to be such a daunting task, but I’ve made things a bit easier on myself over the past few years. I’ve found ways and tools to manage my inbox which make sure that nothing gets missed.
One of the biggest lifesavers has been SaneBox. The name is incredibly appropriate. It keeps my inbox sorted into a variety of folders that make it a lot easier to handle the deluge of mail that comes in on an hourly (never mind daily) basis. If I’m CC’d in a mail, it goes into one folder. If it looks like advertising, it goes into another. I check these separate folders when I get the chance, but what’s important is that my inbox is kept clear for important emails, rather than being filled with messages that I don’t need to read right now (if ever). If this sounds like something that you need (and I hate to be that guy, but I really do think that it’s something EVERYONE needs), I’ve actually got a referral link for you.
Another trick that I’ve found works well for me when handling emails in Microsoft Outlook is seeing as many of them at once as I can manage. I remove the reading pane. I tighten up the spacing. And then I go through them one by one, flagging the ones that need my attention. Once I’ve gone through them all, I filter out all the other mails so that only flagged ones remain, and then I tick them as I complete or reply to them. Once the flagged emails are taken care of, that’s when I can move onto other mails that are less critical, making sure that there isn’t anything important that I’ve missed.
“My title might be Head of Client Success, but there is so much more involved in my day-to-day that the title doesn’t really cover. And Co-Founder doesn’t do it justice either. It’s all about the connection.”
By 8am or 9am, the meetings start. I meet with clients and those who are thinking about becoming clients. I meet with Michael and our management team. I try my best to have quick check-in meetings with each of the Sales and Marketing team members to see how they’re doing and if there are any stumbling blocks that they’re facing. My title might be Head of Client Success, but there is so much more involved in my day-to-day that the title doesn’t really cover. And Co-Founder doesn’t do it justice either.
It’s all about the connection. It’s about connecting with SOLID humans on a daily basis, and making sure that I know what’s going on in their lives. I like to think of myself as a people person, and that I’m the kind of guy the SOLID humans feel comfortable talking to. It’s also about connecting to our clients on a personal level. I want to know what their days involve, what issues they face, what their lives are like. Knowing all of this helps me to help them.
With meetings taking up most of my day, by 4pm things tend to start winding down. And I think Lulu can sense it. Lulu’s our baby girl, our little puppy dog. And around 4 o’ clock is when she starts tapping me, telling me that it’s time to step away from work. So I double check my mails to make sure that everything that needs a response is handled. I check my diary to get an idea of what tomorrow’s going to involve. And by 5pm, I’m ready to step aside for the day, and go and take Lulu for a walk in the fresh air. I’m still logged into Teams. My Outlook still sits open on my desk, ready for me to handle any urgent emails that might crop up. But from 5pm, it’s time for me to concentrate more on my family and less on my work family.