Business

133: Free-up Founder Time Preview — Time Blocking and Content Batching

133: Free-up Founder Time Preview — Time Blocking and Content Batching

How can I earn twice as much in half the time, with joy and ease, while serving the highest good for all involved? This is one of the central questions in my solo+preneur-based business, one that builds a habit (okay, okay, obsession) of looking for simple systems and strategies to help free our time, mind, and money.

This episode is preview lesson from my new—totally free!—mini-course, Free-up Founder Time. I cover strategies for time blocking and content batching, and walk you through exactly how I set-up my schedule each week (knowing that life and work never go perfectly to plan). I define Founder Time as time that you dedicate to working on your business, as the owner of the whole operation. Ideally, you schedule it for your most creative windows—when you feel energized to do your best work.  

After you listen, register for the course here to kick-off your fall with more time and energy! In 15 short actionable lessons, I cover topics like content batching, time blocking, getting ready for your big break, courage cookies, luck trucks, and a whole lot more. Each lesson as a combination of helpful tools, templates, podcast episodes, and book recommendations. I also recorded each lesson (most are 5-10 minutes long) as audio for learning on the go. My goal: every lesson will free up two to five hours of your time each week!

132: The Making of a Manager with Julie Zhuo

132: The Making of a Manager with Julie Zhuo

In her book, The Making of a Manager: What To Do When Everyone Looks To You, author Julie Zhuo takes us back to the childhood lemonade stand in a way that flipped a major “aha” lightbulb switch for me.

As the founder of a budding business, you might be the best at making lemonade, or at least think you are, even as you hire helpers to (wo)man the stand. But if you only ever make lemonade you’ll only be serving an additive role in your business. Instead, if you hire a small team and teach them how to make the lemonade, even if they’re not quite as skilled as you at first, you’ll be serving a multiplicative role.

You serving as a multiplier in your business means exponential returns are possible (including exponentially reducing your time). But most of us aren’t handed a manual on how to become an effective manager of other people—we learn by fumbling through the job. In this conversation, Julie and I dig into the three P’s of people management: people, process, and purpose—and it’s a good idea to create a user guide to . . . you!

Download a copy of Julie’s sample user guide below (or if you’re viewing this in a podcast player view full show notes at http://pivotmethod.com/132).

126: How We Ran Our 2-Day Strategy Sprint (with Template)

126: How We Ran Our 2-Day Strategy Sprint (with Template)

This week’s episode comes fresh off the heels of a two-day strategy sprint that my team and I ran to tackle our biggest business frogs. 

One commitment we made at the end was to “share truth while it's fresh” — with delightful specificity and crazy-smart systems — so that’s what I’m doing! This is a behind-the-scenes peek at what we're building (and how) during my “JB 3.0 Business Renaissance,” in as real-time as we can.

I also want to give a shout out to my she-probably-has-no-clue-I-exist-yet-but-hopefully-someday-friendtoAmy Porterfield, an online marketing pro and absolutely fantastic teacher. We haven't met yet, but I have been mega-binging on her podcasts, and I was inspired to do our strategy sprint by her recent episode #222 on creating a weekend immersion retreat.

The fix-it ideas from Amy’s podcast got my wheels turning, but for this round I pivoted our focus toward tackling the biggest, most strategic projects. In the episode, I share all the details on how we designed the sprint, how we prepared in the days and weeks leading up to it, the exact flow/schedule we followed, what worked best, and what we would do differently next time. 

If you want to run your own two-day strategy sprint, submit the form within the show notes to get the free template we created from our own planning docs — which will be helpful even if you decide do to this solo!

123: Peeking Out from the Plateau — My Latest Pivots (and Why Plateaus Actually Signal Progress!)

123: Peeking Out from the Plateau — My Latest Pivots (and Why Plateaus Actually Signal Progress!)

I’m baaaaaack! Did you miss me? I sincerely apologize for (unintentionally) ghosting out on you. I hit a (Pivot) point of total overload and overwhelm with some BIG personal updates on school and my love life (you’ll have to listen in to get the full deets!).

All while mid-way through second semester at seminary, buying and moving to a new home in Harlem, and traveling every week for speaking busy season this spring. Spotting burnout potential (I know it a mile away), and after hitting a clear decision fork-in-the-road, I gave myself permission to pause on non-essentials. Unfortunately that included the podcast and #PivotList newsletter!

But what looked like a plateau from the outside (seeing as I haven’t released a new show in six months) sparked a mega-business renaissance on the inside. On Friday, July 5 I celebrate my eighth (!!) year of solopreneurship, and I’m getting ready to take things up to a whole new level of joy, revenue, meaning, momentum, and systems-ninjary.

In fact, I’m re-naming what I do Solo+preneurship — putting the plus into my support structure by expanding to a core team of three (part-timers) + podcast production. This will free my time to do more of what I love, such as getting this show out on a regular basis while still honoring Momentum members, and my consulting and 1:1 clients.

Listen to this week’s show (I’m dusting off the rust, so pardon any awkwardness!) for more on all these updates, and how you can become a super special Podcast Insider to geek out with me behind-the-scenes on the latest books, topics, and tools that come up during the episodes. I’ll also talk about why plateaus — at least ones that look that way from the outside — are a good thing, and should be celebrated as a sign of progress.

122: Digital Minimalism with Cal Newport

122: Digital Minimalism with Cal Newport

What are the hidden costs of digital clutter? How can we counter screen addiction and phantom phone vibrations? We explore these topics in this episode with Cal Newport as we discuss his new book, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World.

Cal Newport is a familiar voice on the Pivot Podcast and back by popular demand! On our first episode we discussed deep work—the increasingly important deliberate practice of focused work, especially in a world of cognitive junk. Now we turn to digital minimalism: applying a just enough mindset to our personal technology, freeing ourselves from the overwhelm, distraction, and “fear of missing out” side effects of the always-connected world. Or as Cal quotes Bill Maher from May 2017: “Likes is the new smoking . . . Philip Morris just wanted your lungs, The App Store wants your soul.” 

[Best Of] Live Fiercely, Study Deeply . . . While Earning a Living — with Jonathan Fields

[Best Of] Live Fiercely, Study Deeply . . . While Earning a Living — with Jonathan Fields

"Uncertainty may bring unease, but it also brings a vital energy, the exhilaration of creation. Without uncertainty, there is no possibility." —Jonathan Fields

As I get up to speed in my first semester at Union, I’m re-launching a few of my favorite podcast episodes from four years of archives: I hope you enjoy some of these oldies but goodies, particularly if you missed them the first time around! Here’s a conversation I loved with dear friend and mentor Jonathan Fields, from October 2016.

Jonathan Fields' mission is to "live fiercely and study deeply." How does he do that while earning a living? That's what we unpack in this week's episode. According to Jonathan, "There are only two ways to earn a living: you're either solving a problem or delivering a delight. If you're lucky and creative, you do both simultaneously."

Jonathan—or "JF" as I like to call him—has been a longtime mentor whose pivots have inspired me and countless others at every turn: from lawyer to yoga studio founder to author of three books, Jonathan is now studying and embodying what it means to live a good life. We recorded this episode from his plush velvety couches at Good Life Project Headquarters (aka his apartment on the Upper West Side) — I hope you enjoy this off-the-cuff conversation as much as I did. Be sure to grab Jonathan's new book, How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom, out this week! And his free recently released Unbusy Manifesto

117: Activist Venture Capital and Teaching Yoga and Meditation at Rikers with Marcus Glover

I had the great fortune of sitting behind Marcus Glover on a bus ride to Wallkill Prison for a Defy Ventures business mentoring day, and time flew as we talked about everything from him teaching yoga and meditation at Rikers, to criminal justice work, to his mission of funding minority-owned businesses through disruptive venture capital. 

I can’t wait for you to listen in on this conversation and get your own powerful dose of Marcus magic! You’ll hear about his passion for well-told stories, practicing empathy (rather than the misguided savior complex), cultural competency around dismantling privilege, and much more.

Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/podcast/marcus-glover.

Enjoying the show? Get insider bonuses by joining the Pivot Podcast community at  Patreon.com/pivot.

More About Marcus Glover

Marcus+Glover.jpg

Marcus Glover is a Partner at Southbox, an early-stage investment fund focusing in areas of high-growth technology startups and disruptive content producers. He founded TEDxHarlem in 2010 and has also consulted entertainers and athletes including Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Shakira, The Black Eyed Peas, Kobe Bryant, Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning, Rihanna, Allen Iverson, Eli Manning.

Presently, Marcus is devoted to investing and advising early stage ventures. He also holds a deep commitment to social justice and criminal justice reform serving as a board member of New York Tri State Board of Directors for DefyVentures.org and LiberationPrisonYoga.org. Through his work with these organizations, Marcus has become a dedicated mentor to incarcerated men, women and youth and also volunteers as a yoga and meditation instructor leading juvenile programs at Rikers Island Prison.

Topics We Cover

  • How he got started teaching yoga and meditation at Rikers

  • Embracing his own brokenness, yoga as a platform for personal transformation

  • Why the goal of prison programs isn’t what most people going in might think

  • Our goal is to offer unconditional presence

  • His passion for well-told stories, telling stories that empower us versus disempower us

  • Own your story: the pieces that seem successful and the ones that feel broken - it’s the shards that we shy away from, but that’s what makes us more relatable, more human

  • How he ended up at venture capital to further his mission of conscious investing

  • Main critique of VC is cultural competency: as much as it has been pioneering in all these ways of technological discovery, it hasn’t done a great job of disrupting diversity and inclusion

  • Systemic biases that have been here for decades, but as a platform, VC has the power to continue to transform in all of these areas

  • His next frontier for social justice and venture capital: cannabis. For example, The People’s Dispensary - seeks to reinvest profits into communities that have been harmed by the War on Drugs

  • Focus on double-bottom line: people and profits

  • Activist venture capital means “making an investment and level the playing field in everything I do”; also, “protecting against the downside of privileged people coming in and owning all the wealth and communities of color owning all the despair”

  • Reciprocal dismantling of privilege - as a culture we need to develop that IQ around how we level playing fields

  • Privilege is in many ways the barrier to empathy, even though it’s something many of us enjoy

  • MLK: saw his job as to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable

  • Success is the greatest illusion there is. Can any entertainer or athlete say that their success is their own?

  • Secret weapon to try after listening to this episode!

117: Activist Venture Capital and Teaching Yoga and Meditation at Rikers with Marcus Glover

Listen below or on iTunesSoundCloud, YouTubeOvercastStitcher, or Google Play Music:

Check out other episodes of the Pivot Podcast here. Be sure to subscribe via iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud, and if you enjoy the show I would be very grateful for a rating and/or review! Sign-up for my weekly(ish) #PivotList newsletter to receive curated round-ups of what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and new tools I'm geeking out on.

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108: Penney & Jenny Show Returns! On Spirituality and Small Business

108: Penney & Jenny Show Returns! On Spirituality and Small Business

I'm delighted to bring you the seventh (!) episode in a side series of this podcast we affectionately call the Penney & Jenny show :) It's a series of conversations with one of my dear friends and mentors (friendtors), Penney Peirce. We had so much fun during our first interview together that we added a second . . . which became a third . . . and so on, until it was a regular feature on the Pivot Podcast! 

This week we're riffing on the intersection of spirituality and small business—how we apply intuition, transparency, non-physical realms, and personal practices toward business-building, attracting clients, and earning a living in a way that feels easeful and joyful. You can check out all of our interviews here (and check for future episodes)—and for easier listening, tune in on our SoundCloud playlist

104: (A Course in) Miracles at Work—On Spiritual Intelligence with Emily Bennington

104: (A Course in) Miracles at Work—On Spiritual Intelligence with Emily Bennington

Emily Bennington and I have been on parallel pivot paths since we first connected online in 2011. So imagine my surprise when I was searching on Google images for a visual depiction of the word "Grace." I downloaded my favorite and lo and behold, it was pointing to Emily's site with a landing page informing readers about her new direction: teaching others to live and lead with grace, based upon her interpretations of the Course in Miracles as it applies to work and careers.  

In this episode we talk about what the Course is, how we can apply spiritual intelligence to our day-to-day interactions, how to create miracles through powerful mental shifts, and Emily's pivot from entrepreneur giving mainstream career advice to an exciting new full-time role as Executive Director for the Circle of Atonement.

Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/podcast/miracles-at-work.

102: How to Pivot Your Business When You Feel Trapped by Its Success — with Jason Van Orden

102: How to Pivot Your Business When You Feel Trapped by Its Success — with Jason Van Orden

Is pivoting just a way of rebranding failure as NYT writer Jacob Silverman would have us believe? I say no way José. In fact, pivots are often a product of our success. As I shared in the #PivotList newsletter I wrote in response to Silverman's somewhat snarky article, Silicon Valley start-ups do tend to talk about pivoting in response to their initial strategy failing. Or in the case of Ross from Friends, when a couch just won't fit around a tight corner :) 

But I believe that pivoting is the new crucial skill we must all foster, a far cry from being just another silly PR performance. If you've hit a pivot point or plateau, it means you have outgrown your current career or business and are ready for something new. We should celebrate that, and all the searching and small experiments that follow!

That's why I'm thrilled to bring you this week's Pivot Podcast conversation with my friend Jason Van Orden, a fascinating guy who was early to the podcasting and internet marketing scene, but who began to feel trapped by that very success, unsure about how to redefine himself from a unique perch atop of his industry. He is chock full of wisdom and systems to help you navigate out from under success that you've outgrown, and I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!