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Onsite Consultation with Wake Up Warrior

A few weeks ago a CA user, about a month in on his Team Edition account, sent me a support request note that simply read:

Can I hire you or someone on your team to build out our system?

To this I replied:

Depends on what you need.  In an ideal world I would be able to get you guys up and going with an hour or two of collaboration, and I’m happy to do that gratis.  If you’re looking for more than that I’d have to see what exactly you need.

Give me a call whenever convenient today and I’ll see what I can do to get you sorted!

We were talking shortly thereafter, and while I like to think that just a little direction over the phone is all anyone needs to set up even really sophisticated programs, it was after about 20 minutes I was asked if I could come out to work with the team directly, next week, if possible.  “That would be ideal.  We’re at a breaking point with scaling up our programs and we really need to nail our setup to have things go smoothly.”

I quick checked my schedule and confirmed that an overnight would be alright with the Mrs. (‘cuz you know, we’ve got a little one and I don’t want to ride roughshod over my wife being saddled with full-on Kira duty), and then sent back the thumbs up.  Within minutes my flight and hotel were booked, and my day rate was paid, half-day plus a half-day.

This was my first taste of doing business with Garrett White of Wake Up Warrior.  I immediately liked his style.

Garrett is thoroughly tatted, decidedly cut, and has a booming voice and personality.  Contrary to any stereotypes that the preceding adjectives might’ve conjured in your head, he is a fellow who meditates daily, constantly builds up the people around him, and signs his program emails “Love and light,”.  For a taste of his style and intensity go watch his 4 minute introductory riff about his programs.

I arrived at John Wayne Airport on a Wednesday early afternoon and was immediately picked up in the ‘Warrior wagon’, a big ol’ van black van decked out with 6-foot-tall Wake Up Warrior insignia.  Jeremy, Garrett’s Chief Marketing Officer who picked me up, explained this was for taking participants in their Warrior Weeks out for intensive, day-long programs.  Off we headed to Maro Wood Grill in Laguna Beach to get started proper with lunch.

Garrett welcomed me with a big hug and a handshake.  Over lunch we got to talking about our respective paths which got us to where we are in the coaching world, and how CoachAccountable was poised to be instrumental to their continued growth.  The key thing was to automate the systems they already had in place (largely a patchwork of Wufoo forms, Schedule Once appointments, and coaching call & webinar recordings)  so that they could continue to scale without being spread too thin on the coaching side of things.

After lunch we got to it back in their office.  Garrett began by outlining on the whiteboards the current weekly flow of their 90-day programs: the touch points, the interactions, the assignments, all of it.

“This will be fun,” I declared when everything was written up, “CoachAccountable as is can do pretty much everything you need.  Fire up your account and let’s get to it.”

Garrett and Jeremy both had their laptops out and logged in to CA, and took turns plugging in to the wall mounted flat screen by which I could oversee their work and backseat drive.  “Click here, okay now go over there and set that up.”  I barked orders with impunity, assured that bossing them around and guiding the setup of their systems was the very reason I was brought out.

We covered a lot of ground, including:

  • Setting up availability and the appropriate Appointment types for the coaches to manage their weekly one-on-ones and on-demand sessions, including setting up the right pre-session worksheets to be sent to program participants automatically prior to appointment, the so-called “One-on-One Hot Seat” form.  This was to eliminate the pain of crisscrossing schedules and participants forgetting or not being prepared for their calls.  The pre-session worksheet was a nice touch to make things easier and save time, and the team being able to see all of the coaches’ appointment schedules in one place was a win as well.
  • Setup daily checklist Worksheets to record numbers into Metrics using the newfangled ability to do so.  This served to make tracking of the so-called “Core-4” practices as frictionless as possible, a key component to instilling the core practices taught by the program.
  • Setup a Course to manage the 3 worksheets per day that participants are to fill out.  This served to both make the guys more likely to actually do the work, and eliminate the serious weekly pain of tracking down who’s done what and getting on the case of those with incompletions.
  • Created Groups so that members could have transparency and accountability among each other for their key Metrics, thereby eliminating the pain of having one of the staff spend hours each week painstakingly compiling all the stats into an Excel spreadsheet.  That group members can each see each other’s stats has the nice side effect of creating a healthy sort of pissing content about who’s keeping up the best, and a positive pressure to not fall behind.
  • Experimented with daisy-chained course items (e.g complete the first worksheet and then you are assigned the second one, complete the second one and the third one finally goes out) and decided that could be a fantastic way to get participants to actually fill out ALL of the assignments each day (“There are some guys who like to fill out their numbers each day but never both with the Power Focus and the Positive Focus worksheets.”  The solution?  Make the numbers Worksheet follow the completion of the other two.)

On the morning of the second day Garrett invited me to meditate with him and Jeremy before we got going, or if it wasn’t my thing to just hang out while they did their 20 minutes.  I was happy to join, and felt remarkably clear headed and refreshed at the end.

I saw wisdom in that detour prior to commencing work.  “Wow, good one Garrett,” I said as we got going, “Since I’m very much a brain worker, I think you’re going to get more of your money’s worth by taking out that 20 minutes.”

“Of course!  You do much better work when your mind’s all settled.”

What a delightful working environment.

On day 2 I whipped out my own laptop and got to making a few improvements to the system in response to perspective gained watching these power users do their thing.  Jeremy was having fun making daisy-chained sequences in the Course builder, and since that was to be a daily set I improved Course Item cloning to clone daisy-chained items as well.

Since they were building out a 90-day course with very regular, repeating components, I also made it so that course item cloning can be done a multiple of times at once, making it a very quick matter to build out a repeating course timeline spanning months.  “Hey Jeremy, hit refresh.  Okay, now click the little clone icon.”

I don’t make a regular habit of coding on the fly for an audience, but man is it satisfying to build out improvements in real time and have them be immediately useful.  It’s a sort of feedback that with a web-based business I seldom get to enjoy.

Wake Up Warrior is indeed one of those power users who push the limits of the system and cause it to become better in response.  Thanks to them, the rest of the CoachAccountable users get to enjoy the following improvements:

  • Individual Group Members can work at an independent paces on daisy-chained Group Course items.
  • Team admins can directly update the message templates for other coaches.
  • Notifications of new items sent out in response to completing prior items are delivered right within the system when a client is logged in, rather than always defaulting to email.
  • A course participant can be jumped directly into any point in the course other than Day 1.
  • The display of dispatch and due dates for assignments is more logical in the course builder.
  • Clicking on a Worksheet in the Up Next listing brings that worksheet right up for working on.
  • Public-style calendar feeds are now correctly understood and used for carving out availability for appointment scheduling.
  • Several subtle bugs fix and subtle usability tweaks that just make the system nicer and more robust.

All in all the trip was a real win.  Contrary to my earlier belief that just a little time on the phone would do the trick to get them going and making the most of the platform, my time spent guiding Garrett and his team was received as a huge boon to their efforts leveraging CA.  Indeed, I was able to talk them through a lot more of the nuances of how to coach and how to setup the structures than I thought I could fill in an hour (or even two) on the telephone.

Garrett even casually insisted on paying my day rate for a second day, even though our agreement had been for just one day.  “I mean, you’re here a second day, taking this time away from your family and all that, right?”  Can’t argue that logic when so politely applied.

For my sake there was something deeply satisfying about being among people who are benefiting from and excited about my creation.  “We’ve got this great software”, Jeremy mused at one point aloud to Garrett, “and the guy who created it is sitting right here beside us.”  Goodness it’s nice to get out, a nice bit of perspective to underscore what I’m doing with CA and the impact it makes.

(Yeesh, that last paragraph was quite the pat on my own back, right?  Seriously though, it’s fun to be onsite.)

John at Wake Up WarriorWhen it was nearly time for me to head back to the airport Garrett thanked me for being there and headed off to do his next thing.  As Jeremy and I left the Wake Up Warrior office it finally occurred to me to get a picture of us, but Garrett was by then gone.  Jeremy was a sport an took one of me outside the office–I swear it’s legit and not just me doing a selfie from the sidewalk as an uninvited guest. :)

I look forward to seeing how things unfold for Wake Up Warrior, their coaches, programs and participants.  Two weeks in and I’m told the new system is already a hit, well loved and a most welcome improvement over the old.


  1. Yigal

    Congrats on your success with your program. I remember when I first started using it a couple of years ago and look forward to using again!

    August 11, 2015 @ 1:18 am

  2. Membership Customers

    Nice work!

    I love you dedication John!

    Warm greetings


    June 24, 2018 @ 5:57 am