You don’t need more time. You just need to decide. – Seth Godin
On Teaching Productivity and Time Management
Who the hell am I to make a course on productivity and time management? My last two Instagram posts were of me watching Snowpierecer and Moonrise Kingdom.
I’m somebody who isn’t always the most productive, most time-hack’y, etc. person in the world, but I DO know how important being productive is for entrepreneurs, especially dads like me.
“Before having kids, I remember having all the time in the world to work on my business. I had long stretches of time to really get things done and I didn’t realize just how precious that time was until my kids were born. Once they entered this world, most of that time was dedicated to them and there was very little time left over for my business and my blog.”
– Pat Flynn, Entrepreneur Dad
You’re Probably Just Like Me
I never grew up around entrepreneurship.
I never saw somebody climb the ladder of shop clerk to checkout boy to store manager to store owner.
I literally had no frame of reference for whatever the heck “entrepreneurship” is (or isn’t). But, I did have a frame of reference for working incredibly hard (more on that shortly).
I was raised primarily by my mom. Likely impaired by an already shaky career situation, I don’t think she ever considered doing anything entrepreneurial. Her primary concerns were keeping food on our table, a roof over our heads, and keeping me focused on school.
I watched her do everything right and have a pretty rough go of it. Due to her job, she and I moved every 2 years during my childhood. After about two years, she’d get laid off from her company (typical in her industry), and we’d pack up and move to wherever she could get a decent job offer.
But what I saw was a grit and determination that I didn’t see anywhere else in my life.
Growing up, my most vivid memory of my father’s house (my parents divorced when I was one year old) is ordering really good pizza and watching him and his friends build computers. I have a fond nostalgia for that time in tech culture and it was through the computer hobbyist culture that I developed a sense of DIY aesthetic.
It wasn’t until my second year of college that my father left his teaching position to pursue his passion of teaching martial arts, full-time.
This is funny because in my adult life, both of my parents have found themselves thriving in independent entrepreneurship:
- My father teaching and writing about martial arts
- My mother running a non-profit she founded to support her work with Burmese refugees.
Maybe being an entrepreneur *is* in my DNA?
Nature vs. Nurture
I was never taught how to be an entrepreneur either. Nobody ever sat down with me and presented the option of running my own business or doing work I was passionate about.
Likely similar to you, college was the only option. At 18, I sat down in the Ithaca College student union late at night and decided that I was going to become a teacher.
And that’s what I became.
When I look back and join up the dots, I can see that all of this led me to where I am. Why I’m the type of father that I am. Why I’m the type of worker that I am. You can read more about that in the Entrepreneur Dad’s Manifesto here.
The reason that Hustle & Heart exists is because when we were kids, entrepreneurship wasn’t an option. But it is now, and it’s not too late. The key is pulling it off without wrecking your family.
To steal from one of my favorite authors and writing teachers of all time:
When you complete work that matters, you have a sort of refreshed feeling. I have that feeling often and I want you to have it too. – Anne Lamott
What follows in the articles below, and my course Productivity Fundamentals, is what I’ve learned along the way, and what I hope to pass on to you in a format much faster than I’ve learned it. The course is a bit more personal than you might be used to, but it’s how I teach. It’s how I’ve always taught. As of today, here is almost every single thing I know about being productive and doing work that matters: