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Jack Ellis is the co-founder of Fathom Analytics, a privacy-first Google Analytics alternative. Jack also teaches an online course on Laravel, a popular PHP framework, and hosts his own podcast, Above Board, where he discusses running an indie and bootstrapped software company.Jack and I discuss: How he runs his company people-first What happens when you judge your employees on their work, rather than on other measures Lightweight ways of collaborating with a small team The importance of online privacy and how his company enables that Why running a lifestyle business is just the best Overcoming analysis paralysis The big downside of working remotely—or is it even a downside? Why I don’t give specific advice for people with ADHD (or other conditions) And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Jack: Fathom Analytics, privacy-focused website analytics Serverless Laravel, Jack’s course for Laravel developers Above Board, the Fathom Analytics podcast, which Jack co-hosts Also mentioned: Things 3, my favorite task manager Linear, a collaborative software development app Tuple, a remote pair programming app
Floris van der Pol is a Dutch philosopher, writer, and self-described “reading addict”. He publishes book reviews on YouTube as well as videos on reading more generally and on living without a smartphone, which he has done for years now. Floris also writes a newsletter with essays on philosophy and literature.I met Floris in a course I was taking on YouTube—the Part-Time YouTuber Academy by Ali Abdaal, if you’re curious—in which Floris gave me fantastic feedback on some of my own YouTube videos. We got to chatting and some of his YouTube videos impressed me so much that I wanted to get him on the show.Floris and I discuss: How he reads 100 books a year What it’s like to live without a smartphone How he designed his life to improve his attention span Getting stuff done with a baby around Whether video gaming qualifies as an addiction And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Floris: (in Dutch) Floris Leest on YouTube (in Dutch)
Derrick Reimer is the founder of SavvyCal, a tool for scheduling meetings that both you and the people you are scheduling with will love. He's also the co-founder of Drip, a marketing automation tool, and he is the host of the Art of Product podcast. I have long enjoyed using an app to schedule my meetings. For example, I scheduled meetings with my coaching clients. Rather than going back and forth with endless emails, trying to find a mutually convenient time. I just send people a link so they can book a slot on my calendar. I had been using a different tool, but recently I discovered SavvyCal and it's so much more enjoyable to use. So I looked into who created it and I ended up on Derrick's Twitter account. I learned that Derrick had co-founded Drip, which was one of the first apps I used years ago when I was first building my online business. And I have very fond memories of Drip, even though I no longer use it because Drip went into a different direction. Anyway, I was interested to hear Derrick’s story—and it turns out there were quite a few ups and downs. Derrick and I discuss: Regaining your confidence after launching a failed product Transitioning from wearing all the hats in a business to delegating certain tasks Saving your most productive time for your most valuable work Find Derrick and Savvycal: Derrick on Twitter Derrick’s podcast, The Art of Product Note: the link to SavvyCal is an affiliate link. It’s an awesome product and by signing up through this link, you get a free month and you support the podcast. Thank you.Also mentioned: Derrick’s popular blog post, “I’m Walking Away From the Product I Spent a Year Building” Drip, the marketing automation business Derrick co-founded The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick Tiny Seed, an accelerator for SaaS bootstrappers xFusion, which offers support staff for SaaS
Dianna Allen is the founder of two businesses: TERRA, a lifestyle shop that focuses on scented candles and Inventora, an app that helps businesses who handmade products track their inventory.I first heard about Dianna earlier this year—or perhaps it was last year—when my girlfriend mentioned some girl who said she was starting a candle shop and was tweeting about her journey publicly. A bunch of time passed and then recently, my girlfriend said hey, remember this girl I mentioned who started her own candle shop? I think it has really taken off. She even has a spin-off business now. So I was intrigued! I quickly found out that Dianna’s story is so inspiring and that’s why I wanted to get her on the podcast.Dianna and I discuss: How she went from writing about garage doors to starting and growing two successful businesses How a combination of hard work and good time propelled her businesses forward How she and her boyfriend work together and split their time between the businesses And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Dianna and her businesses: Lifestyle and candle business TERRA: Inventory tracking business Inventora: Dianna on Twitter: @diannamallen
Steph Smith is a growth marketer, writer, and indie maker. She works for The Hustle, helping to run one of the world’s largest newsletters. But she has lots of her own projects. She has written a book about content marketing, she runs an online course about time management, and she has a podcast about, quote, “shit you don’t learn in school”, unquote.When I first encountered Steph on Twitter, I sensed that she and I have very similar views on productivity, so I was keen to get her on the podcast. Steph and I discuss: Why in the past there was no such things as “priorities”—just the singular “priority” Steph’s method for choosing which goal to work on next Why asynchronous communication is often more efficient (and how Steph does it) Whether you should set arbitrary deadlines for yourself (Steph likes them, Peter doesn’t)  And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Steph: Steph’s open page, including her current goals Steph’s book, Doing Content Right Steph’s course, Doing Time Right Steph’s podcast, Shit You Don’t Learn in School Also mentioned: Loom, for recording & sharing videos easily Calendly, for scheduling meetings without the back-and-forth Get TikTok Famous Fast, a fun little book about… well, that’s obvious Zapier, an “if this then that” service BannerBear, an app that automatically generates social media visuals etc.
Andrew Barry helps people teach better online. He owns and runs a training business in which he helps rapidly growing companies educate their people and their customers. Separately, he works with online course creators, helping them to create engaging cohort-based courses. Andrew also hosts his own podcast, titled “How Did You Learn That?” Over the past few months, Andrew kept popping up on my Twitter feed. Since I sell online courses—meaning, I teach people online—many of his insights resonated with me. I’ve been interested in how to teach and how to learn better for many years. I remember my “theory of knowledge” class in high school. In college, I was a teaching assistant for a variety of economics classes. I also worked in our college’s writing center, helping students to improve their papers. Today, of course, I am a productivity teacher. But aside from that, learning is how we grow and enjoy life more, so we should all be interested in how to learn better.Andrew and I discuss: Why you want to learn from experts as well as from people who are just a little ahead of you How to capture and keep people’s attention in online trainings How he found the courage to quit his job and start his own training business And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Andrew: Curious Lion, Andrew’s online learning business Andrew on Twitter: @bazzaruto Andrew’s podcast, How Did You Learn That? If you’re interested in Andrew’s “transformational online courses” program, just email him at and include “TOC” in the email subject line.Also mentioned: Peter’s course Big-Picture Productivity David Perell’s Write of Passage course
Matt Ragland is a productivity teacher, like myself. He has worked for ConvertKit, an email service provider I use and love and for Podia, an online course platform, which I used to launch my business. These days, he helps people—and particularly makers and creators—be more productive. He does that with courses, videos on YouTube, and on his own podcast, Connect the Dots. Matt is really big on bullet journaling, which is quite a different experience from using digital task managers, so I was keen to chat with him about that topic.Matt and I discuss: How he combines bullet journaling with digital task management How to protect your time to do high-leverage work Measuring productivity by how present you are And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Matt: Matt’s Three Keys to Productivity Matt on YouTube Also mentioned: Paul Graham’s article Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule Gary Keller’s book The One Thing The fancy Leuchtturm Bullet Journal Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner
“If you are not interested in helping your clients, then you should just stick to employment.”Jonathan Stark is a former software developer who is on a mission to rid the world of hourly billing. He is the author of Hourly Billing Is Nuts, the host of the Ditching Hourly podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on pricing for independent professionals. Jonathan has also written a number of books, offers a coaching program, and runs live group courses.I ran into Jonathan’s writings a few years ago, when I was first learning about the world of online business. I was pursuing a business idea that didn’t end up going anywhere—more on that in the episode—but while doing research, I discovered Jonathan’s ideas about how to run a service-based business and those ideas blew my mind.Jonathan and I discuss: Why marketing isn’t bullshit The role that aligned incentives play in building trust with clients What Jonathan’s daily workflow is like And much more. Oh, and Karl Marx makes an appearance. Enjoy the show!Find Jonathan: An introduction to Jonathan’s ideas: Jonathan’s book, Hourly Billing Is Nuts Jonathan’s podcast Ditching Hourly Jonathan’s other podcast, The Business of Authority Jonathan’s daily mailing list
“It was always in the back of my mind: what am I going to do for dinner? … Having what I’m going to cook sorted out releases my mental energy.”Brigitte Gemme is a researcher by training. She has a PhD in sociology and she worked at the intersection of government, universities, and industry, particularly on the topic of natural resource management in Canada. These days, however, Brigitte does something completely different: she offers a vegan meal-planning service. I met Brigitte a few years ago when she and I were both starting our online businesses. I wanted to chat and catch up with her because she left her research career and has such a different life now, running a small online business. It was particularly interesting to me because Brigitte’s work involves vegan food and I am vegan myself.Brigitte and I discuss: What working in research and in a large organization was like How you can optimize your cooking and nutrition with project-management skills Why you should consider a plant-based diet And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Brigitte: Brigitte’s 5-day Planned and Plant-Based Challenge Brigitte’s meal plans, which I use and love  Vegan Family Kitchen on Instagram Also mentioned:
“It doesn’t have to be perfect consistency. It doesn’t have to be every single day. If you intended to work out five days this week, but you only got two… you’re still exercising.”Dave Ceddia is a user interface developer. He builds UIs with React, a Javascript library, and he also teaches people how to use React in a book and a course, both called Pure React.Lately, Dave has been working on a new project called Recut. If you’ve ever edited video, you might have had to spend quite some time editing out silent portions of your recording. Recut automatically cuts the silence out of your videos. It’s a nifty app and you should check it out if you often edit videos.Dave and I discuss: Being productive in bursts, aka “seasons of productivity” Why iOS and macOS apps tend to be higher quality than apps in other ecosystems How he uses Things 3 to manage the development work for his app Recut And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Dave: Recut, an app for removing silence from videos Dave’s 101-second video demonstrating how Recut works Dave’s React book and course, Pure React Also mentioned: The Day One journaling app Steph Crowder’s website Courage & Clarity Cal Newport’s Time Block Planner
Janelle Allen helps business owners optimize their marketing strategy. For example, she recently worked with Crowdcast, a webinar platform, and if you check out Crowdcast’s website today, you’ll see that it’s so clear compared with what it used to be like.Janelle also teaches small groups of primarily service-based business owners to create and market online courses. With a background in writing as well as in instructional design, you can see why she’s good at what she does.Some time ago, I worked with Janelle to improve my business’s marketing funnel. She helped me to clarify my strategy and to identify gaps that I couldn’t have spotted myself. She’s full of good ideas, so I was excited when she agreed to come on to the show.Janelle and I discuss: How she translates her vision into action using the “VTO” approach, in Notion The importance of having a mission for pushing through any resistance you might feel to your work Why you shouldn’t use a coach as your therapist And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Janelle: Janelle’s newsletter Janelle on YouTube Janelle on Twitter Janelle on Instagram Also mentioned: Traction by Gino Wickman The information management app Notion The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein The video messaging app Loom
“Email is like trying to save money, but every day walking through the mall.”Jesse Mecham is the founder of You Need a Budget, or YNAB, an app that helps you gain control of your money. Until just a few weeks ago, Jesse was also the CEO of YNAB, a company with more than a hundred employees. He has also written a book and he hosts a podcast, both of which are also titled You Need a Budget. Oh, and did I mention that Jesse has seven kids?I was keen to speak with Jesse not only because I used YNAB for years and heartily recommend it, but also because Jesse has a very thoughtful approach to his productivity. There’s a lot of parallels between budgeting and task management and we really get into that in this episode.Jesse and I discuss: How adding structure can help you feel free (when it comes to budgeting as well as to time management) Creating a work culture that emphasizes outcomes rather than “butts in seats” How Jesse used Things 3 to support the writing of his book And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Jesse and YNAB: Try YNAB for free for 34 days (no credit card required) You Need a Budget podcast Jesse’s book, You Need a Budget YNAB on TikTok YNAB on Twitter Also mentioned: Cal Newport’s Deep Work Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile
Today, I’m telling you my story.Many people have asked me to share my story and to explain how I work and why I do the things the way I do. So this is a solo episode, just me telling you about my life over the past nine years.Some topics I cover: What working as an economic/litigation consultant for a top firm was like How I burned out and what burnout did to me The symptoms of burnout and which ones I suffered from My “wantrepreneuring” journey A few failed online businesses I tried to start How my business finally got off the ground and now pays my bills What I still struggle with today How you can use my story to reflect on your own productivity Things I mentioned: Free mini-course: Choosing the Right Task Manager for You My course Get Stuff Done with OmniFocus 3 My course Organize Your Life with Things 3 Sign up for my newsletter:
“If you only have two hours a day and you need to get paid, is posting to Instagram Stories really gonna put money in your bank account?”Graham Cochrane is an entrepreneur, podcaster, YouTuber, and business coach. In 2009, after getting laid off twice in one year, he started to teach people how to record professional-sounding music from home. That business, the Recording Revolution, took off and today the Recording Revolution YouTube channel has 600,000 subscribers.Teaching people online transformed Graham’s life. So, a few years, ago he decided to teach others how to follow his path. For this second business, Graham runs a YouTube channel as well as a podcast, The Graham Cochrane Show. I’m a big fan of Graham’s podcast and you should check that out even if you’re not super into online business—he often shares fantastic productivity techniques.Graham and I discuss: Eliminating tasks for which you can’t prove that they matter What to do if you want to work less (but are worried about what might happen if you do) Why you should think like an entrepreneur (even if you work in corporate) Why Graham believes in time blocking and how he uses that technique And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Graham: Graham’s podcast, The Graham Cochrane Show Graham’s business on recording music at home: the Recording Revolution @thegrahamcochrane on Instagram Also mentioned: Tim Ferriss’s bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek
“If I have something on my calendar that I’m dreading, I have to be really careful about it. If I let myself get obsessed with the fact that I don’t want to do it, then it can throw off my entire day.”Corbett Barr has been self-employed on the Internet since 2005, earning a living from blogging, podcasting, online courses, software services, and more. He is perhaps best known for being the founder and CEO of Fizzle, a community and library of courses for independent entrepreneurs who want to make a living online. I first got in touch with Corbett back in 2016 or 2017, when I joined Fizzle. I learned much of what I know about running an online business from him. Corbett has such a wide variety of skills. He’s been a corporate consultant, he has founded several businesses, and he also does a lot of creative work, having written over 500 blog posts and published more than 400 podcast episodes. So I was very excited to ask him about his approach to productivity.Corbett and I discuss: Digital minimalism (or at least digital mindfulness) and why he’s been cleaning up his online presence Why you need a “North Star” to measure your productivity How to do creative work (as opposed to cranking widgets) Operating within the constraints that you have but also challenging those constraints And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Corbett: Corbett’s blog post, “I’m Starting Over”
“If I would have heard me ten years ago, I would have been like… that lady is on something. Like, you cannot get things done like that. And yet, I accomplish so much more now.”Jessica Eley is a mindset coach for high-achievers. She helps them reach their big goals without feeling shitty in the process. Wondering what a mindset coach is? You might hire a fitness coach to help you improve your physical fitness. In the same way, you hire a mindset coach to improve your mental fitness.I’m particularly excited to share this conversation with you because Jessica has coached me on and off over the years and still does from time to time. She was instrumental in helping me get my business off the ground as I was recovering from burnout. I’ve learned so much from her and I know you will too.Jessica and I discuss: Whether setting goals is at all necessary Why you’ll always feel shitty if you don’t know WHY you want things Why clarity comes from taking action (and not from ever-more planning) And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Jessica: Other podcasts she’s been on (scroll down the page) Jessica’s blog Jessica on Instagram: @iamjesseley
“I’d rather be really working when I’m working and really be with my kid when I’m with my kid.”Marina Díaz is a psychologist and online course creator. Her courses cover a variety of topics: one is a therapeutic writing course based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Another teaches how to build an effective morning routine—something we discuss in our conversation as well—and a third course is about planning your days with a bullet journal. On top of that, Marina runs a monthly membership that includes group coaching calls as well as a physical magazine that she produces. Phew! But that’s not all. Together with her husband, Marina runs the journaling app Perspectiva, which is designed to help you build the habit of journaling. And she does all this while being the parent of a two-year old—which we get into during the show.Marina and I discuss: Building a morning routine you love How to get your important work done early in the day How to be productive with a toddler around And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Marina: Her website: Psico Supervivencia (in Spanish) Her and her husband’s journaling tool: Perspectiva Resources mentioned: Twist, a collaboration app Ultraworking, remote co-working The book Make Time
Today I’m speaking with Steve Pavlina. Steve is one of the world’s most successful personal development bloggers. To date, he has had over 100 million visits to his website. Steve has also written more than 1,700 articles on a range of personal growth topics, including productivity. He offers several courses—one of which we discuss in the episode—and he’s the author of the book Personal Development for Smart People, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages.Steve and I discuss: the relationship we have with our work how FOMO can help you complete 30-day challenges the role your heart plays in productivity And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Steve: Steve’s now-very-fast website, Steve’s course on character-building, Stature Watch: Steve’s water fasting videos on YouTube
Today I’m speaking with Francesco D’Alessio.Francesco is the creator behind the Keep Productive YouTube channel, where he helps his 200,000 subscribers find the most suitable productivity tools for work and life. Like myself, Francesco is an online course creator: for example, he offers courses on the productivity tools Notion and Obsidian. Francesco also recently launched Keep Focused, a second YouTube channel with an accompanying community, with a focus on productivity tips, rather than tools. Francesco and I discuss: How he reaches out to influential people to collaborate with them How he keeps productive while having a nine-month old kid Why he is consolidating the productivity tools he uses And much more. Enjoy the show!Find Francesco: Keep Productive on YouTube Keep Focused on YouTube Keep Focused community Francesco’s courses on Notion and Obsidian
Today I’m speaking with Sabyasachi Sengupta. Originally from India, Saby now lives and works in Amsterdam as a business developer at ABN AMRO. He is an accomplished speaker, having won the European Championship of Public Speaking, and he speaks professionally even during global pandemics. Saby recently published “What’s Your Plan B? Turn Adversity into Your Benefit”, which couldn’t be more timely.Saby and I discuss: How he found the discipline to write a book in addition to working full time What motivates him to keep showing up What his morning routine looks like How he stops himself from spending too much time in the shower And much more. Enjoy the show!Saby’s website - sabyasachisengupta.comSaby’s book: What’s Your Plan B?
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