Co-founder and CEO of Jorsek Inc. Patrick Bosek has been leading the company since 2005. The company is also the makers of easyDITA.
Since 2005, Patrick Bosek has “worked on a wide range of projects all focused on improving authoring, production, and distribution of content.”
Patrick Bosek also focuses primarily on “empowering the users of easyDITA and generally advancing the product documentation industry.”
As a software industry professional, Patrick Bosek specializes in “developing, productizing, and solving problems with product content software.”
Likewise, Patrick Bosek is also a “skilled developer, thoughtful manager, and passionate customer advocate.”
According to Patrick Bosek, Jorsek stands out because of its “culture, innovation, and dedication to support.” They work “really hard to further the mission for our customers,” which is “built into the DNA and culture of the company.”
At Jorsek, Patrick Bosek says that their employees are “incredible people and together they form a team that punches way above its weight.”
Patrick Bosek would also like to advise other entrepreneurs that they need to “stop wearing burnout as a badge of honor.” He adds that “no one works 18 hours a day with any frequency.”
Another piece of advice from Patrick Bosek is to “try organizing the things you’re working on by importance.” He also advises people to try switching up tasks, which could be as valuable as a break.
Content marketing is the future of marketing and selling. Patrick Bosek, Jorsek
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Patrick Bosek: Our culture, innovation, and dedication to support. Probably in that order. Our company works really hard to further the mission for our customers.
This is built into the DNA and culture of the company.
The people who work here are incredible people and together they form a team that punches way above its weight.
Jerome Knyszewski: Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
Patrick Bosek: Content marketing is the future of marketing and selling.
There are a lot of very convincing stories out there that want to convince young entrepreneurs that if they build a great product, write some blog posts, and pay for a few Google Ads, people will find them and buy it.
I’m sure there are cases where this does work, but it’s very far from a universal rule. There is something very appealing about being entirely product-driven, but it’s dangerous.
The truth is that you need salespeople, and more importantly, you need salespeople who are going to go make sales happen, not wait for that fancy content marketing to bring them in.
This doesn’t mean that content marketing isn’t a major component of a healthy go to market strategy, but it’s not the only tool in the toolbox.
Jerome Knyszewski: You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Patrick Bosek: Dedication. Perspective. Judgement.
Dedication is easy. I’ve dedicated the vast majority of my waking hours to this business and its mission.
This is essential. It’s completely impossible to build something without dedication. Dedication is also highly socially contagious.
As you scale, the amount of effort, no matter your dedication, you can apply is insufficient; you need dedicated people around you.
With rare exception, dedicated people only follow and work for leaders who are equally or more dedicated to the cause than they are.
Perspective is probably my saving grace. In almost all cases, I can step back from a situation and recognize that it’s not nearly as bad as it feels.
This is what allows me to sleep at night regardless of what happened during the day.
Here’s the thing, there have been countless stressful days, setbacks, and seemingly insurmountable challenges over the years with this business, but at the end of the day, I’m still a pretty lucky and privileged guy. All stress is relative, the beauty in that is that with the right perspective, you get to choose what your stress is relative to.
Judgement is the one I probably preach the most. Good judgement is the difference between success and failure in all the challenging things in life.
And that is amplified when time is tight and resources are scarce.
Knowing where to say yes, where to say no, when to cut your losses, when to push forward, and when to change directions, is everything.
You don’t need to be right all — or even most — of the time, just often enough. I think my judgement has continually proven to be good often enough.
The biggest mistake I’ve made is thinking I can do too much and saying yes too often.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Patrick Bosek: The biggest piece of advice I would give is to stop wearing burnout as a badge of honor. There is a deeply embedded love affair with working “18 hours a day” and complaining about being burnt out.
This is dumb. First off, no one works 18 hours a day with any frequency. It’s just not possible.
Go get a time tracking app and track the time you’re actually working, it’s nowhere near 18 hours, I promise.
So stop selling yourself this story. I’m sure you work hard, but being burnt out is a frame of mind more than anything else.
If you walk around all day telling yourself and other people you’re working 18 hours a day, you’re going to believe it. Tell yourself a better story.
But that only goes so far. As I’ve said, starting a company is hard work, and it is a lot of work. Luckily, I think there is a fairly straight-forward formula for dealing with this issue.
If you’re really working too much, as I have at many points, try organizing the things you’re working on by importance.
Then, see what happens when you stop doing the last thing on the list. Weigh the negative impact against the personal benefit you receive by recovering that time.
If you’re working too much and you can’t even stop performing your lowest priority responsibility, then you need to hire someone.
If you’re not making enough money to hire someone, then you need to decide if your business is really viable.
Lastly, a change of jobs is as good as a break.
Cut your day in half, focus on one related set of things for the first half and a completely different set of things for the second half.
This was a strategy I used for many years. Selling and account work from 9am — 3pm, writing software from 3pm to whenever I decided to quit.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Patrick Bosek: This is a really tough question because it’s so situational and every CEO is going to have their own style. I can tell you about a few mistakes I’ve made over and over.
The biggest mistake I’ve made is thinking I can do too much and saying yes too often.
To some extent, saying yes and figuring it out after the handshake ends is what has pushed us forward.
You have to do some of this in the early days of a bootstrapped startup. But once you reach a certain point, you need to become a lot more careful.
Larger teams are a lot more reliable, but they’re a lot less agile. It’s much easier to drop everything and focus on a new and important opportunity when you’re just a few people.
This is just the nature of scaling communication.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Patrick Bosek: I think this really depends on your exact situation. I’ll give you an answer in the context of my situation, which is a B2B Enterprise SaaS.
Our business needs to be a careful balance of sales led and product-led. Too much emphasis on one creates significant issues.
There is so much industry focus on being product-led that we’ve tended to underestimate the level of attention that sales requires.
The biggest piece of advice I would give is to stop wearing burnout as a badge of honor. Patrick Bosek
Jerome Knyszewski: You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Patrick Bosek: Geez. I think I would have had a really easy answer to this 18 months ago. The world has changed so much.
I think there needs to be a renaissance of perspective across many areas of society. I think we’ve seen that our current system of society has limitations.
I’d love to lead social discourse that allows us to really step back and decide if our current systems and institutions are really producing the outcomes we want as a whole society.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
I’ve recently started a podcast of snackable content industry chats in 15ish minute weekly episodes: Content Components
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!