Seven and a half years ago, the day after Labor Day, I started a new job. Production assistant for a new TV Network that had yet to air a single hour of programming.
Along with just over 20 others, we were to launch a 24-hour network within 30 days. Our first day live was to be October 1st, 2014.
I was paid absolutely minimum wage for what was a full-time job at the time. The lowest amount that they could legally pay me. If not for the law, they would have paid me less.
And then just a couple of years later I was making $75,000 a year. Same company.
Why? How? HUH? you might be asking.
Yep that's the answer.
This is what happened…
Production Assistant, or "PA", was the lowliest job available. In Los Angeles it is the absolute bottom of the barrel – You’re a lackey – you do grunt work.
You do whatever it is that everybody else doesn't want to do.
I loved it.
Less than 2 years before I had been working on cruise ships, for much less than California minimum wage. Moved to L.A. to work in film and tv. And work in film and TV is exactly what I did.
But the L.A. traffic was horrendous. When my prior commute was a 30 second walk from my cabin to my office for 6 months at a time, spending 2+ hours a day in L.A. traffic was a goddamn nightmare.
But there was another traffic jam. For promotion opportunities. When working as a P.A. you don't have time to try out for any other job. It's a lot of hours and a lot of work.
I used my hatred of L.A. traffic jams to force myself to stay an extra hour after everyone else and I beat the traffic by leaving my apartment an hour early. Thus I decreased my traffic time and increased my work hours.
In those hours... I worked on a google sheet.
Because this office ran on google sheets. like nearly every office.
The spreadsheets we used were really really hard to maintain. Took up most of our work hours. In the two hours before and after work I googled for answers. I searched for a better way to do what we were doing, piece by piece.
I fixed some broken conditional formatting. I wrote my first google script.
Actually, I copy-pasted my first google script.
I didn't write anything original in the first two weeks. I smushed together pieces of Google Script and tried it out. It worked!
I made a new google sheet that worked exactly like the old one, but had a script that once you did something... magic would happen. Rows would move from one sheet to another. It worked, consistently. I tested it a lot!
I showed my boss's boss, and my boss. I was scared.
But immediately they loved it. "Put it into use right now."
“Yes really, we need this.”
Everyone spends so much time on google sheets, You're saving a company of 20+ people a couple of hours a day. That means we save a full-time job's worth of people's time.
The CEO of the company walked me, a lowly PA, outside. He said I was doing a good job on the sheets and "you should do more of that". And thus I was promoted out of being a P.A. and became...
What title do I get?
He literally said, "tell me your title so we can make the switch in our HR software."
I was gobsmacked. and naive. I should have said "CEO" but of course, I didn't. I think I said, "Data Manager" or something like that.
The day-to-day job consisted of literally improving the google sheets the entire company used.
In the span of two years, I made a CRM to manage reaching out to 15,000 youtube channels, and ultimately signing 2,500 licenses. I also created google sheets that helped log our video shoots. And Managed over 100,000 videos we had rights access to use on our channel.
Also I used google sheets to figure out how many times we played individual videos across a TV channel that played 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Yes, I did this all in google sheets.
A new VP was hired and quickly he learned that I did "the google sheets around here." He was impressed and needed some help. Part-time I would spend with him working on a google sheet to calculate influencer marketing spending.
He had the calculations in his head and would do them by hand then enter them in... a google sheet.
I figured out the nitty-gritty details. I figured out how to display them properly. And... we were working on a $250,000 influencer campaign from the start.
I had to figure out how to create a sheet where a client could see some, but not all, information. We didn't want to share our internal calculations of course.
I discovered the power of ImportRange that day, my friends.
The job went smoothly. We clinked our whiskey glasses at the end of the campaign.
Another year went by and we were rocking and rolling. I ultimately got a corner office, a cubicle. But then went traveling and working digitally. And eventually found myself making $75k a year doing google sheets. I had crafted my own role and the company rewarded me. I became "Digital Operations Director". A title I really really liked for a lot of reasons. But it also hid the fact that I was working 100% of my time in Google Sheets.
I had started as a PA who worked in google sheets most of the time and ultimately became the google sheet guy in the office, and that propelled me to a huge job!
Quite literally learning google sheets changed my life. And I think it could change yours as well. There are 2 billion people on this earth that use Google Sheets. You're definitely one of them if you've somehow stumbled upon me...
Now almost 8 years later, I'm not a guru, I'm not a master. I'm a goddamn Wizard.
I used google sheets to keep track of my newsletter which ended up making me $1,000 a month. I managed the sponsors in a Google Sheet. I managed the content in a google sheet.
I mapped the industry in a google sheet.
Ultimately sold the newsletter for 5 figures in 2020.
Just like Merlin before me, every wizard starts as an apprentice. Every wizard is a young naive fool. Trying and testing the boundaries of possibilities. You probably already discovered where google scripts are stored in a sheet. You might already use Conditional Formatting A LOT! (and your sheets are slowing down)
Come join me and learn the ways of the wizards that came before you.
I launched Better Sheets 2 years ago, at the very start of the pandemic.
I built Better Sheets to suit anyone who needed help. You may need help anytime and I didn't want to make it a subscription. Money was tight, it’s still tight. Maybe tighter now. (Recession, eh?)
So the cost of buying Better Sheets is a single payment. You never have to pay again.
And right now it’s under $100.
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Better Sheets gets better all the time.
I just launched
This isn't Hogwarts, we don't have alumni as famous as Harry Potter. What we do have is a long list of happy people doing their work faster, and better, and giving themselves time to work on their business, not only in google sheets.
Over 3,000 members now. Here are a few stories.
Ben in Thailand has built an English language school, all admin is done in Google Sheets.
Ian is managing his fledgling North Carolina tomato farm in Google Sheets.
Chris runs an info product that makes over $100k a year from google sheets. Oh and he travels with a family of four. They've been to Kenya on safari. Don't worry you won't be a slave to google sheets any more.
Zoe, a designer, launched a
Anna created an
Jaan grew his newsletter by the hundreds when he launched a
AtomicSheets.com got to
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I'd love to be a part of changing your life with Google Sheets.
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And once you join, I will help you build better google sheets, then you will tell me your story.