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Achieve and Maintain a Work-Life Balance Entrepreneurial Lifestyle
A great deal of the businesses we sell at Quiet Light are founded by entrepreneurs looking for the rush of finding the next thing. Sometimes they look to sell because of burnout and sometimes it’s just boredom. Today’s guest’s business is designed to help entrepreneurs really question the goal of the businesses they run.
Jason Zook earned social media fame and experienced that burnout while on his first entrepreneurial ride after walking away from his day job. For five years Jason ran IWearYourShirt, creating thousands of videos, photos, posts on social media, and had countless media outlets talking about IWYS during the early days of social media marketing. At some point, Jason realized he had almost created a self-made work prison for himself. He and his creative wife started their company to guide owners towards financial freedom and a business they actually want to work on. Jason’s focus is now on working to live rather than living to work. He strives for entrepreneurship with a healthy balance.
- The backstory on Jason’s current company, Wandering Aimfully.
- Why the t-shirt business had to end.
- The things Jason learned from that business and his subsequent years of starting and growing companies.
- How Jason and his wife formulated the idea for the business.
- The importance of setting a mark and working towards it.
- What the “enough” number means to Jason and his wife.
- How to create the balance between getting ahead and falling behind.
- How that balance applies to the business creep that can often take over work-life balance.
- Ways Wandering Aimfully helps people build their business impactfully based on what they need,
- How Jason uses challenges to create habits.
Joe: Most of the businesses that we sell Mark … well maybe not most but a great deal of them are businesses where someone bootstrapped it, put all their energies into it, got it up to a certain level, and then looked around and thought “man, this is kind of work now I’m not loving this day to day anymore; I’m not happy with this challenge and I’m getting burnt out”. It happened to me. I had a cushy gig, I was working 20 hours a week, easy business, recurring revenue, and I looked around and said this isn’t fulfilling me, I’m burnt out I need to move on. A lot of buyers that are from the corporate world don’t understand that. Those people that are in the entrepreneurial world know that they need that new challenge, that exciting challenge. And as I understand it you had Jason Zook on the podcast; a husband and wife team actually and they talked about working to live not living to work and trying to overcome that burnout challenge.
Mark: Yeah, Jason got completely burnt out with one of his 1st businesses and one of his 1st businesses; really simple concept, he would wear a t- shirt that was a sponsor. It would be their company on the t-shirt and he would wear a t- shirt every single day and put up a YouTube video of that and the prices increased every single day for that sponsorship. And so as he put it he said I was doing daily videos before Casey Neistat made that cool to publish daily videos on YouTube. He said it was great initially and he was making money by just wearing t-shirts and having people follow him around with cameras. But then this organization grew and it grew more and more and his whole life every single day was being documented and he built this prison. And I think as entrepreneurs a lot of us can relate with this idea that you build prisons sometimes for yourselves with the businesses that we’ve built. And so he naturally got completely burned out on that and now his whole focus and life as entrepreneurship but with a healthy balance in that life and understanding what are the real goals of your life. What do you really need and why are you doing what you’re doing? And I think these are really important lessons for all of us just to keep in mind and have as a focus when we’re pushing that entrepreneurialism envelope like why are we pushing growth, why are we adding this new feature to our business, and really understand what is our goal as an entrepreneur? Maybe you want to be a billionaire and if that’s your goal all right then go for it but I think most of us get into this entrepreneurship game for the lifestyle. We get into it for the freedom. We get into it to be able to do what we want to do by our own rules. So are we actually doing that? Are you doing that? And is what you’re doing fulfilling you today? So this whole podcast … Jason is somebody that I did not know before this podcast. He and I had never talked before and … just a fascinating guy, an absolutely magnetic personality so I’m excited to share this interview with everyone today.
Joe: I don’t think we can have enough people on the podcast talking about work life balance. We had Ezra Firestone; Ezra’s got a staff of 25 or 30 VA’s working all over the world and his work life balance is his primary focus. He and his wife they’ve got a certain lifestyle that they want to live and he is growing the business but at the same time making sure everybody within the business understands that work life balance. So I’m excited to hear what Jason has to say, it’s always interesting to hear somebodies approach in what they do on a day to day basis. Let’s go right to it.
Mark: Jason, I’m super excited to have you on the podcast. Thank you for agreeing to come on here based off a completely cold and random e-mail that I sent to you.
Jason: It was a good cold and random e-mail. As someone who has sent thousands of cold and random e-mails in my time as an entrepreneur, it was a good one. You didn’t just kind of like lay out exactly what you wanted, you were kind, you were nice, you really presented yourself well and I was like yeah I’ll say yes to this interview. I have no idea who you are, we’re meeting for the 1st time in this conversation which I think is fun.
Mark: Yeah absolutely and I’ll tell you why I wanted to have you on the podcast. I think I said it in an intro e-mail that I sent to you. But on your website, you and your wife have a phrase on there and it’s actually one of the core values that I consider my company Quiet Light Brokerage to have and that is that we work so that we can live we don’t live so that we can work. This idea that hey we’re entrepreneurs, we get obsessed, we love the grind, we like that sort of thing but at a certain point it’s got to have something else beyond just the work itself; right?
Mark: I would love to get your story, have you share your story real quick with the listeners as to how you kind of came about this with Wandering Aimfully and this new mission that you and your wife have.
Jason: Yeah sure. My entrepreneurial journey actually started kind of way late in life for a lot of people who are entrepreneurs like had lemonade stands and they like went door to door and did all those things and started businesses super early; I didn’t. I started my 1st business when I was 27 on a whim after leaving a full time job that I in all essence liked it just was a very boring job and I didn’t see a lot of potential for myself there. And I really felt this drive and this pull to do something better and something else. I started my own design company. It was just two people and from there I had this kind of crazy idea to get paid to wear t-shirts for a living for no reason whatsoever other than I just thought social media is kind of growing. This was 2008, 2009 I just … I don’t know there was just something about it that seemed interesting to me and it struck me one day when I was literally standing in my closet looking at all these clothes that I had paid brands to own and then walk around and kind of schlep and promote. I was like wait why am I doing this? This is so weird. Could someone just pay me to wear their shirt? So that idea did not take off. I launched a website called iwearyourshirt.com five people showed up on the 1st day. I think three of them were my grandmother like refreshing the page, no joke. And then I really had to start doing the entrepreneurial kind of hustle and sprint that we all do to get things started. I was e-mailing friends and family and I was getting on Twitter and jumping in conversations back when Twitter wasn’t just a barrage of political nightmare that it is now and that’s not to say there’s not some still good stuff on Twitter but this was 2008 so it’s very different; a very small community. And yeah that idea just kind of took off on its own after a lot of hard work putting in a daily YouTube video. So I recorded 889 videos straight every single day before vlogging was a thing before Casey Neistat was recording videos and we were all watching them and loving them all I was making really terrible videos every day. But yeah that led into a couple of different ventures along the way. I created a software company to help people build and sell online courses because I wanted to build and sell online courses I just wasn’t a good one at the time, a couple of other little random things and then yeah just a couple of weird different changes and ebbs and flows. My wife actually worked for my I Wear Your Shirt business and when that had to shut down in 2013 after 5 years she was kind of left with like I don’t wanna go back to the nine to five world, I’m going to start my own business as well and so she started a business. So we kind of worked like 12 feet from each other but we always chatted and then we kind of came back together this past year on this Wandering Aimfully project.
Mark: So why did the t-shirt business has to end?
Jason: So many factors that we can dive into, I’ll lay down on the couch and we can talk about them all. Truthfully it was my 1st business and I think so many people can resonate when you start your 1st business you don’t know what you don’t know. And I didn’t know about managing people, I didn’t know about managing money, the pricing scheme of I Wear Your Shirt was very poorly designed for paying people at a consistent salary. So the 1st year it was just myself and it was a dollar on the 1st day, $2 in the 2nd day, $3 in the 3rd day and so that pricing scheme is cool because it’s so low barrier entry in the beginning and towards the end of the year once you build momentum it makes sense and it adds up. It made $66,795 in the 1st year which is really cool. But when you have five employees as I grew the company too because I thought I had to scale up, I thought I had to grow, I’m reading and watching all of the things that we’re all reading and watching and I’m thinking that’s what I have to do. I ended up having $30,000 in salary in January when my business only made $800. That doesn’t work out well and so it was just a lot of those things where I just was so new to things; we had billables, we were printing all of the t-shirts through an outsourced printing service. I didn’t know about just like paying invoices and all those things and so I got very back on bills and I actually built up a $100,000 in debt not overnight but in about a year and a half and it just it was so crazy to me because Mark it went from I was making almost $100,000 with literally no expenses, literally getting e-mails from PayPal like “hey there’s a $100,000 in your PayPal account what’s going on” to people e-mailing me and going “hey what’s going on you can’t pay your bills or you’re 30 days late in your bills”. And so eventually I just saw the writing on the wall and I was just like this isn’t sustainable. I tried this thing, it kind of grabbed its moment in time in social media and the landscape of it and I just wanted to move on to other things plus I really overworked myself every single day running the business, wearing a shirt, managing people, doing all of the marketing and sales and interviews and things. It was just time at the end of five years to move on.
Mark: Five years is a long time to be wearing other people’s shirts.
Jason: And I’m still wearing other people’s shirts if you think about it I’m just not talking about them at all. And almost none of them have a brand name on them because I’m just so burnt out from that. But yeah I actually don’t regret any of it. I think I learned so many unbelievably important valuable lessons that I continue to use to this day in everything that I do. So while it ended not on a wonderful note and I don’t feel like I have like this crazy awesome success story I also have a really relatable story that so many business owners can kind of stand behind me or stand with me and go “yeah my 1st business didn’t do well either or my 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th it fizzled out or I didn’t manage it properly” and you just learn from those experiences and you kind of take those with you and you kind of take your lumps and move forward.
Mark: Yeah you know I would disagree I actually think the idea that you were able to take something as simple as wearing a t-shirt and having somebody paying for that and turning that into something that actually generated revenue is pretty remarkable. Now obviously is it sustainable, eventually, you’re going to run into the problem that you ran into which is I don’t want to wear your shirt anymore and I don’t want to be on TV … have a video done every day and everything else that you ran into. You said something in there in that story that you were reading and listening to what everybody else was reading and listening to, there’s a sort of like momentum that’s out there in the business community where there is this almost like a psych guy stuff here’s what you should be doing and it’s all towards drive, drive, drive, grind, grow, expand, and all this sort of stuff. What are some of the things you’ve learned over the years with all the different ventures that you’ve been in about listening to that or not listening to it?
Jason: The 1st one is more money more problems and as silly and as dumb as that sounds it’s true. I mean it’s just I don’t know any business owners that have taken their business from one level to another level whatever that means and not encountered so much more work, so much more stress, so much more all of the things. And I saw that with myself like in that 1st year of I Wear Your Shirt I was making almost $100,000 because I had some other sponsorship stuff in there. There was literally almost no stress. I mean the daily creativity and all the things I had to do was a lot of work but in the 3rd year of I Wear Your Shirt when I had five employees, we had five sponsors per day, we made almost $600,000 that year; I was so much stressed. It was a nightmare almost. And I’ll tell you I made $30,000 that year. I got paid the least as the person who was doing the most. And I think so many people can relate to that and so I just saw all of these things that I was latching onto of like I wanted a million dollar business what does that mean? I wanted this big house, why? I don’t need a big house, I actually like having a small place where I know where everything is and I don’t have a lot of stuff. And so I really just started to look at a lot of these different values that I was buying into or believing into especially the ones that society puts pressure on you and when you read Entrepreneur.com, or Business Insider, or Forbes, or whatever you’re reading we all read these stories of millions and billions and all this stuff. It’s like where are the people who are just making $100,000 or a couple $100,000 or $50,000 that are super happy? And it’s because those stories don’t sell. Those headlines don’t get clicked and I really just started to reevaluate all these decisions and it was through a lot of conversations with my wife and we just kept saying this phrase what is it all for? Like what is all of the work for, what is all of the time for, what is all the energy being put into this for if at the end of a day or the end of a week or a month or a year you’re so tired and you don’t enjoy the life you’ve created? Why are we doing that? I should just go get a nine to five job at Target and clock in and clock out and leave and that’s it like I don’t even think about it. And so I do think there’s just a lot of misnomers that go on with this like buying into up into the right mentality and you should always be growing and social media landscape can change so you got to grab all the Facebook advertising stuff you can do. It’s like no you don’t have to do that. You build the business around the life that you want and you really figure out what that means to you and I think that’s so personal and subjective to everybody that’s starting a business.
Mark: At what moment of your life did you really start to formulate that when you and your wife were thinking what are the values that we actually want to have? Because look I agree with you 100%, this idea of I want a million dollar business and once I get a million dollar business I want a 10 million dollar business. When I talk to some of our clients, some of the people that are preparing to sell and I ask them what are your goals, why are you thinking about selling? Because one of the things that I try and impress especially on sellers … I’ll tell you a quick story here; the 1st client that I worked with, a good friend of mine he had a company and he came in and said “Hey would you help me sell my business?” Well this is how Quiet Light Brokerage started and I went through the process, we got it sold. I won’t say exactly for how much but you know what he was in financial trouble just a couple of years later. He gave up a lifestyle business for a big pile of cash today thinking this is going to set me free only to find out that he was back in the grind that he was in before. And so I’m curious from your standpoint what was it where you started to question that up until right mentality and same maybe it’s on up into the right maybe it’s whatever is right in front of me today?
Jason: Yeah it’s funny I get chills because I think back to the exact moment. I was in Fargo, North Dakota speaking at a very small conference called Misfit Con; they don’t even do it anymore. And this is like literally 120 people and I was a speaker. No one knew who the speakers were so it’s just a group of us sitting in this really cool yoga studio actually kind of converted into this space. A guy stepped on stage and he had well-coiffed hair and he had skinny jeans and he had really nice boots and I’m like this guy’s going to tell me all the secrets that I need to know to succeed. And he started telling the story and it was eerily similar to mine of trying to grow, being focused on the money, the big house, the things, the stuff and I come to find out that was Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists and his story was so akin to mine. And then when he started talking about these specific values and these specific things and really questioning all of the stuff that we buy into both societal and personal and these things it really hit me. It hit me hard sitting there and I remember sitting with my wife at the time just looking at her and going like uh-oh we got to rethink everything. And I think I spoke like two or three spaces after him and I just remember spilling my guts about how everything wasn’t perfect at the time for my I Wear Your Shirt business and yet I was there to talk about this is a business that was supposedly doing so well. And that flight home after that conference we basically sat down and were just like what do we actually need to live? What do we want our lives to look like? Then those questions are so big and they’re so heavy and they’re scary because you tend to find yourself thinking well if I’m going to make a decision that’s the decision forever. That’s just not true. It can be a decision for the next three months, six months, a year, two years, five years, whatever it is and we’ve changed so much in that time since that conversation; that was 2012, 2013 and it’s just been really big for us too at every turn and every opportunity where we can do more or we can sell more or make more is to ask ourselves hold on what is this going to add to our plate. And just like your story with the client that you worked with I find that question to be so interesting to me, I was like if I sell a business or anything I’m a part of, like I have a software company, the online course business, like if I sold that business and I made X amount of money from it what would I do with that time? I like working on that business. I actually enjoy it and I want to invest in it and so if I just sold it for a small chunk of cash which is a sizable chunk of cash, in a long term it’s not really that big of a chunk of cash I’m going to have to start over. And I think we see that with so many people and you suppose this way more than I do but so many people sell a business that they actually enjoyed working on only to then find themselves a couple of months or years later bored out of their minds wishing they had something that fulfilled them to work on every day. And that for me is kind of where this comes from too of like I want to make enough money that we don’t have to think about money and truthfully we’re not there yet. We don’t make enough money every month. We were just like we don’t care about money but we’ve set what mark looks like and we’re working toward that mark. We call that our enough number and once we hit that number we’re just going to stop trying to make money. And you are going to have to fill in gaps [inaudible 00:08:45.1] we have a lot of monthly recurring business stuff. And so it’s always going to be a game to just kind of stay around that enough number but I love the work that I’m doing so I’m happy to do that.
Mark: How would you balance out the difference between … I think there’s two motivations for working hard, right? One is to get ahead the other one is to not fall behind.
Mark: Because oftentimes in business I’ve seen it some of our clients that come to us with distressed businesses where they got to that enough number or probably more than enough and then they’re like I made it and then they relaxed and then a year later they’re thinking oh my gosh my business just completely fell apart underneath me. How would you approach that in your own life when you get to that stage of having enough to make sure that you’re also not necessarily falling behind?
Jason: Yeah I think it really depends on your lifestyle and I think lifestyle creep is such an interesting idea that we all run into and just like you started saying earlier it’s like well you create a million dollar business and then you want to make a 10 million dollar business or even just a two million dollar business and the reason that that tends to happen is not because you need that money, you don’t need the money, it’s that you go oh well now I can afford this and so now I’m going to … I need more money to kind of balance that out. And so I think for Caroline and myself, my wife, we really just started to try and define what are the things that we love and want in life and if we don’t have those now what does it actually take to get those things? And to really put a price tag on those and then to question those things and to go … for one thing for us has been looking at buying or building a dream home and for most people, that’s in like the millions of dollars. For us, I think we could actually do it for a couple hundred thousand dollars. Like we just want a 1200 square foot cool modern pretty fab place and we keep going through the effort of that and just going you know what though the cash that it would take up from for it, the time and stress to deal with everybody building all the things right now in our lives it just doesn’t fit. And it may be something we do down the road but it just is not … I don’t want to creep into that and have that completely change our life. So to answer your question I really think it’s about checking in constantly with the things that matter to you and then really questioning every single one of those things and just going like do I need more money to do this or do I just need to change something in my life or change something in the way that I operate because I kind of … I tend to find for myself at least like flexibility and control of my time is the number one thing I want. Of course, I want more money in the bank but if I can make a little bit less money and have a little bit more time because I’m not working to make more money I’m happier because I can then choose my schedule every single day of my life. I don’t have to give up and sacrifice things at the whim of making money and that to me becomes a really important discussion to constantly be having with yourself and thinking about. Because just like you said with that client you can reach your enough number and then just fall back and go okay I’m good like I don’t have to do anything anymore and it’s like yeah but that’s not how business works. You just don’t get to a finish line and then you’re done and you won the race. You kind of have to stay in the race at a certain point and you find that pace that you can kind of go at that makes sense with you.
Mark: Yeah I think something that’s interesting with business as well because you talk about lifestyle creep and that’s obviously a problem. I think anybody can relate with that but there’s also business lifestyle creep that I’ve found where when you start up a new business some of it … a lot of it is bootstrapping, you’re going out there and you’re figuring out how am I going to make this business work with whatever little money I have and then you get that client they pay you less money and like awesome I can now pay for ads. It how you start paying for ads, you have an ad budget and then you hire a few employees and now have those employee … the next thing you know your monthly budget is ramping up and you have the added stress of I got to keep layering on more and more revenue to be able to cover this monthly budget as well. I think it’s an interesting concept to say core value is both for the business core value is also for yourself and keep reminding yourself of those core values in order to stay true to that and have a balanced life. That’s what you question, just kind of riffing on what you’re saying there.
Jason: No and I do think it’s a really valid one because we’ve thought about that. My wife and I, we live and work at home so where we would have a dining room table we have our desks and it’s been that way for the past six years, five years something like that. And for a lot of people that would probably be the worst thing ever. They’d be like oh I don’t want to look at my work I want to be completely separate so I need an office or I need a studio or whatever. And so I do think there are some decisions you could make for your business being separate from your life if that really matters to you. For us we run very creative businesses, we love the community that we built so I don’t hate my e-mail inbox. I don’t loathe looking at these things so for us it is such a blend and lifestyle career business creep for us would potentially be like oh we want like a really cool office base like we’ve talked about this before. And it’s like yeah but we have that in our home it’s just not a full dedicated space and we don’t actually need that. So it’s continuing to come back to that and then honestly I think a big part of it too is not watching all of the videos and reading all the stories of the cool office spaces. Because then you just get stuck in that mode of like oh yeah but I really want a ping pong table and the full living wall and it’s like I don’t need that. That’s just a cool thing and I can appreciate someone else having that.
Mark: I do want to nap pad. I’m just going to say it like I want a nap pad in my office because that would be awesome. I’ve got a glass door you can actually see it. If you’re listening in your car you can’t see it of course but I have a glass door behind me so I can’t really take naps in my office. Let’s talk a little bit about your community. I love what you guys are doing with the community over at WanderingAimfully.com. Tell me a little bit about it and who it’s targeted towards and what the whole purpose of this is.
Jason: Yeah I think it’s a really good question of who it’s targeted toward because when we started to blend Caroline and mines two businesses together in March of 2018 … and actually the conversation started many months before that. We weren’t sure who to target because her business was targeted to soulful creatives which is kind of general in a way and my business was targeted to business owners who just want to get better at taking action. Again very general audience it’s not like stay home moms who love to cook vegan meals. It’s like it’s not as focused as it could be. And so when we started Wandering Aimfully it was very generic of like independent creative business owners and that’s designers, musicians, artists, [inaudible 00:24:57.5] and we really found that it was tough to get people to identify of like hey I’m raising my hand I fit within Wandering Aimfully. They kind of felt like they did but it just wasn’t kind of niche enough if you will. And so in the past couple of months we really decided to hone in further on okay who have we attracted over the years that we’ve made the most impact for? And what we found is that that’s service based business owners or like client based business owners; so that is your designers, that’s your developers, that’s your coaches, that’s people who have clients and that they want to move away from selling their time one on one to building digital product businesses. So it’s having online courses, books, workshops, membership communities of their own whatever that is. And we went back to the root of what did we do when we were getting started and that’s exactly what we did. We were service based business owners and we wanted to stop trading our time for money and we want to try and reach more people and make more of an impact based on what we had learned and experienced. And so now that’s essentially who Wandering Aimfully is for and there are some fringe benefits to people who are not those people but if you run a service business and you want to transition into selling digital products we’re the perfect community for you because we ourselves have had that exact experience. We know exactly how to help you. We built now a six months program that helps people really do that without burning out because we just decided the people need to slow the hell down and not try and transition their entire business in 24 to 48 hours or a couple of weeks. And it’s been really interesting to shift the focus on this is exactly who we are for and it’s a smaller audience and you have people who self-identify much faster than we did before where people are like I don’t know if it’s right for me it’s like now they know that it’s right for them and then for everybody else they can still kind of try and figure out if it’s right for them but we can now more clearly identify.
Mark: That’s pretty cool. I’ve kind of poked around through your website and you guys have all sorts of prepackaged courses and checklists and everything else. One thing I love about this and I can relate with buyers who are acquiring a new business or anyone growing a business as well you get into something and there’s a sense of I’ve got to be doing all the things all right now. I got to have my Facebook marketing strategy, do some CRO, get an Instagram account going because it doesn’t have that and it’s this long list of things and you’re going to just kill yourself in trying to do that. What you guys have through this community, I saw you have a bunch of checklists and action plans for some pretty normal things that a lot of different companies are going to have to deal with as well. And it seems like the entire goal and correct me if I’m wrong but the entire goal is just that breaking up these projects into bite sized pieces.
Jason: Yeah absolutely and we just want to help people navigate. Like you said when someone is running a business or starting a business or making that transition from clients to products there’s a lot that can be done and really what we try and do because it’s what we’ve done for ourselves is to identify what do you need to do. Like what is actually going to make an impact? Because for so many people a Facebook ad campaign or an Instagram account is not at all what they should be focusing on. What they should be focusing on is creating some type of really valuable content that can be searched for on the internet because Google is still the number one place that people go on the internet and that is not going to change for quite a while. And so we’ve just seen through a lot of experience that people want the shiny new and fancy and we’ve been there as well, we’ve been one of those things too but you find that they actually don’t make that big of an impact on your business and it’s a lot of time spent without a lot of return. And listen I’m all for branding, I’m all for hitting the word out about your business and going where people’s attention is but I think that there’s a lot to be said for having a good foundation for your business, making sure that your ducks are in a row and so much and you probably see this so often is as business owners a lot of times we don’t even know the basics of expenses and cash flow and I know that stuff can sound really silly to people like oh how do you not know that? It’s because it’s different for every business. So what we’re taught about how to run a business may not be applicable to the business we actually create and start. And so I think that so much of that we’ve seen is just trying to help people navigate their own journey based on our experiences, experiences of community members, identifying bigger tasks like you said that people want to do like if you want to start a podcast that’s a pretty big task. There’s a lot of things that go into that that you don’t see and so we’ve broken it down. I think it’s in like I don’t know … I want to say less than 100 steps and that sounds like a ton but some of the steps are like name your podcast step cool, check it off the list. But it gives you this incredible bite sized thing and people find it so helpful to just have this list to be able to like yes I did that, yes I did that, and go through and knock it all out as opposed to having to think of everything themselves.
Mark: Yeah it reminds me of a couple of other episodes that we did here at the Quiet Light Podcast. One was with Bjork Ostrom who owns Food Blogger Pro and a few other pretty big food blogs and he talked a lot about … he’s grown that company from nothing into a significant enterprise and he talked a lot about this idea of I’m not going to try and double my business tomorrow. I’m going to try and have this single daily marginal improvement and the compound in effect of this on a day to day basis. The other person … you talked about going back to the basics and focusing on those things that really work well the person you’re agreeing with right now Babak Azad who grew Beach Body into a billion dollar business that was on the podcast and he told me … he said people are focusing on way too many advertising channels. He said that you should really be focusing on just a few; probably one, maybe two because if you’re focusing on six that means you’re not doing any of them well. You’ve got to focus on those basics so I think that’s fantastic advice. Okay, I’m going to round this out with a final question here for you and this is really the content on your site. I absolutely love … I’ve always liked this kind of I’m doing this productivity experiment or just whatever sort of experiment.
Mark: You recently rode a stationary bike at your standing desk for 30 days and I haven’t read how it finishes out but how did that go?
Jason: Cliff hanger, okay, so the reason why I did this experiment … why I love doing 30 day challenges specifically is because it’s just like you said with like you do these little daily things that can add up and incrementally make a big change or make a big impact. And it’s hard to change, it’s hard to build habits, it’s hard to do those things and I highly recommend a book Atomic Habits by James Clear; a friend of mine and just a super smart guy when it comes out. So if anybody is like I’m bad at habits James will help you, that book is really great. But for me, I just always like breaking these things down into 30 day challenges. So to round this out I rode a stationary bike at my standing desk every single day for 30 days. I just wanted to know could I get a little bit of exercise every day because I’m just at my desk. I didn’t want to sit at my desk and do those things and I ended up burning 18,339 calories in 30 days. It’s insane. And I wrote this at the end of the thing and I talked about this in the video that I kind of recapped and put it all together it did not feel like I was working out. It felt like I was sitting at my desk very slowly methodically riding this bike while doing e-mails and bunch of other admin tasks and the average amount of time that I rode the bike a day was one hour. It didn’t feel like I was riding an hour because I would break it up into different chunks throughout the day. I rode an average of 25 miles a day and at the end of it my pants fit better, I had more energy every day, and it really became a good solid habit for me. So it was super … just a weird random thing I wanted to do but now like I still have the bike we’re now a couple of weeks after that I’ve finished up I’m still riding it. It’s great. My wife is starting to ride it and it’s just one of those things that’s like challenge yourself to do something for 30 days that you might think is weird or out there are different and see what kind of tangible result you get cumulatively over the time and you might realize like wow yeah in a couple of days of course I didn’t get like six pack abs from riding this bike but I think if I do this for six months I’m probably going to be in a better shape than I would have been than just if I’d continue doing at the gym and eating better and all those things.
Mark: That’s fantastic. I absolutely love everything that you guys stand for. I think it’s so easy for all of us entrepreneurs to build businesses but at the same time build little prisons for ourselves as well because we get so driven by productivity when we worship at that altar and then also by just having more and more and more instead of thinking about like you said at the beginning that focus on the goals and ask yourself a question and I’m encouraging everyone listening that’s thinking about buying a business or maybe you want to sell the business or you’re building something right now to ask those questions; why, for what, what are your goals, what are your values, what do you value in life, a really good advice.
Jason: Yeah, absolutely. Great chatting with you.
Mark: Thanks for having … thanks for coming on I should say. Way to end that professionally. Alright, thanks for having … for coming on Jason.
Jason: Yeah no problem.
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