November 6, 2020

Maxime Germain, CEO of Jour, on the Power of Delegation

Maxime Germain CEO of Jour talks about finding an assistant and how to delegate

Maxime Germain is the CEO of Jour, a company dedicated to advocating for and supporting mental health. Jour is an app for mindful, interactive journaling that aims to help those who are anxious, depressed, or in need of emotional and mental support.

Germain is based in New York, but the Jour team is international, spread out across New York, LA, and Paris.

What are your main responsibilities as CEO of Jour?

  1. Vision. I spend a lot of time thinking about where we are going and making sure it’s the right direction. This includes research and speaking with other CEOs.
  2. Fundraising and investors. I’m responsible for fostering the relationships with current and future investors.
  3. Product. 70% of my time is dedicated to this, as I'm also the Head of Product.

Describe what a typical day might entail for you.

My mornings are reserved for 1:1 meetings with my team. I use the beginning of the afternoon for external meetings. After that, it's focus time to dive deep into analysis, design, and research on specific projects.

What do you love most about what you do?

The product. I'm a product designer and started my career as an engineer. As a mobile app we have a lot of constraints, and thinking about how you change people's lives with just an app on a phone is fascinating to me.

When was the moment you decided to start working with an assistant?

The moment I decided to work with an assistant came after reading the book The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. I can't apply that framework to my lifestyle, but it taught me a lot about delegation. I learned how to get support from an executive assistant so I could better devote my focus to the projects and challenges that are most important to me.

I've learned more and more about how to delegate because just having an assistant is not enough. You need to know how to work with them. You have to reframe how you think about your job, your time, and all of the tasks you do.

Before I read the book, I thought it would be super difficult to delegate my work. Then I read the processes Tim Ferris created with his assistant and how he automates a lot of things—I had no idea! The thing that struck me at the time was that he had asked his assistant to order birthday presents for his mother or for his girlfriend and father. Lots of small gestures for people. It's incredible.

How does your double help you?

My double, Marie, helps me administratively as I set up next steps for Jour. She knows the mission of the company, so she has all the context. She's also doing some Customer Support for Jour. This means she has both the context of the company vision and understands our customers’ needs. That makes our collaboration invaluable. She also helps me with my personal travels.

What has having a double given you more time for?

More time to think and less mental load, which is incredibly valuable. I have more time to reflect on what I’m doing, which makes me much more productive, creative, and effective as a leader.

Double’s software helps me too. When you try to build a habit, you need to reduce all the friction that leads to this new habit. Double understands that. The software reduces those roadblocks and allows me to get the best reward: saving time.

With Double I can delegate super easily from my emails—and that's where I do everything. The mobile app is also really fast to use, I couldn't delegate faster than with Double.

What's a funny experience or memory you have from working with your double?

My double Marie has saved me more than $10,000 in our time working together thanks to her calls to customer service and her efforts negotiating and securing refunds. I would have never taken the time to call and get refunded without her!

What's your favorite productivity hack?

First, having an assistant. Then, it’s knowing what to delegate, how to delegate, and to have processes in place to create the routine.

I also like having my calendar structured and booked everyday, that way I have very few surprises and have a few less decisions to make every day.

And lastly, I'm an inbox zero person, so my emails are my to-do list. Everyone in the team knows that if something needs to be done it should be an email.

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