184: Build Better, Not Bigger, Businesses with Paul Jarvis | Food Blogger Pro

184: Build Better, Not Bigger, Businesses with Paul Jarvis

Welcome to episode 184 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Paul Jarvis about his new book, “Company of One,” and building better businesses.

Last week on the podcast, we re-shared a Bjork solo episode where he talks about how to keep going when you’re not sure you can continue. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

 Build Better, Not Bigger, Businesses

Paul is back on the Food Blogger Pro Podcast to chat about his new book, how to build better businesses, how to define growth, and so much more.

Paul understands business in a pretty unique way. His ideologies of starting small, defining growth, and continual learning will help you evaluate your blog or business and challenge you to find your own definition of success.

Plus, his new book, “Company of One,” will be out next week, so be sure to pre-order if you’re interested!

In this episode, Paul shares:

  • How you can preorder his book
  • Why you should figure out your definition of success
  • How he keeps simplicity in his work
  • How you can get your Company of One business up and running
  • What defining growth means
  • Why you don’t need a massive audience
  • What it means to learn from the people who are paying attention
  • How to protect yourself from the ulcer of the soul

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Resources:

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

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If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.

Transcript:

Alexa Peduzzi: In this episode, I talk about a job opening at WPTC. Then, Bjork interviews Paul Jarvis, author of Company of One about building better, not necessarily bigger businesses.

Alexa Peduzzi: Hey, hey, lovely listener, you are listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast. We’d like to take a second to thank you for downloading, subscribing, and listening. This is the first new episode of 2019. It’s just so cool that we get to hang out together for an hour every single week in the pursuit of building profitable, sustainable blogs and businesses. We’d also like to take a minute to thank our sponsors, WP Tasty, our sister site that sells WordPress plugins for food bloggers. You can learn more about WP Tasty’s recipe plugin, their Pinch’s plugin and their keyword auto-linking plugin by going to wptasty.com.

Alexa Peduzzi: For today’s tasty tip, that is the little piece of advice that goes along with the information about this episode’s sponsor is, WP Tasty is hiring. Yup, WP Tasty is searching for a customer success agent to help support their customers. They’re looking for an awesome communicator, patient self-starter who’s excited about the potential for helping others. If that sounds like you or someone you know, that’s awesome! You can learn more and apply at wptasty.com/job. The deadline is this Sunday, January 13th.

Alexa Peduzzi: Now, the episode. Paul Jarvis is one of my favorite makers’ online entrepreneurs ever. He’s back on the Food Blogger Pro podcast today to chat a bit about his new book, building better businesses, defining growth, and learning from people who are already paying attention. Paul understands businesses in a pretty unique way. It’s almost like that Game of Thrones quote where Daenerys is like, “I’m going to break the wheel.” Paul is breaking the wheel, aka the misconception that you need to follow everyone else’s journey and definitions of success. They’ll talk about how figuring out what’s enough for you and your business can lead you to finding your own definition of success. It’s a great episode. I’m excited for you to check it out. If you’re ready to jump in, Bjork, take it away.

Bjork Ostrom: Paul, welcome back to the podcast.

Paul Jarvis: Heck, yeah, man. Thanks for having me back.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, super excited to …

Paul Jarvis: Would be like it’s more of an honor to be asked back a second time.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I saw this Onion article and it was on podcast. The title was something like 12 million podcasts are still waiting for a guest or something like that. We’ll have the link to it in the show notes. The nice thing is I feel like for our podcast, we for the most part have this idea of like, “Here are the people that we want to talk to and we’re going to try and make that happen.” We’re able to do that the first time and I really encourage people to go back and check that out. It’s episode 111. We’re able to do it again because you have officially gotten to the point where you have a release date for your book. We talked about that a little bit in the podcast episode we did before. When is the release date? What is the book name? Let’s start off by that.

Paul Jarvis: Yes. The book is called Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing in Business. It is out Jan 15, North America, Jan 17, rest of the world.

Bjork Ostrom: Great. I realize before we started this interview you said, “When is this podcast episode coming out?” Then I got distracted and I started talking to you about The Faux Martha, Melissa Coleman who we interviewed. Then we started talking about Monster Jam. Then we started talking about this rally sport where we’re doing figure eights and going to hit people. I never actually said the date when it would come out. This is scheduled for January 8th. For people that are listening to this, you can go and you can preorder the book. I’ve done that and actually preordered one for a friend as well. We’ll link to that. Preorders apparently are a big deal with books, is that right? That’s something that really helps a book. If you’re able to go and preorder them, does that sound right?

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. Every single preorder counts as a sale on launch date. If you have 1,000 preorders on day one, you have 1,000 recorded orders and that helps for things like Amazon’s fancy recommendation algorithm. It helps for lists like the big ones like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, that kind of stuff. It just helps publishers and they’re like, “Okay, did we print enough books.” Because a few of my friends who’ve written books, audiences have been chasing physical copies because publishers hadn’t printed enough. If my publisher knows, “Hey, a lot of people are preordering,” they’ll be like, “Hey, we will actually print enough copies for everybody so they won’t back ordered.” Then, everybody wins.

Bjork Ostrom: Everybody gets one.

Paul Jarvis: There’s bunch of bonuses on the ofone.co website as well.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome.

Paul Jarvis: Because if people preorder it, they’re doing me a favor so I want to give them a little something.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure. Here’s what I’ll say before we get into it. I want to make sure that we say this at the beginning. We will either give away three copies or what we’ll do is if you preorder it, we will somehow figure a way to cover the cost of it. What we’d love for you to do is think about something as you’re listening to this interview one takeaway that you’d have and the jump onto the blog post that we’ll publish for this. Leave a comment. Let us know what is one thing that you’re able to take away from this interview. The interview is number 184. You can go to foodbloggerpro.com/184, and that will redirect you to the page for this podcast interview.

Bjork Ostrom: We’re talking about Company of One today. This is going to line up really well both with some of the concepts for this interview that we did with Melissa and that was an interview that’s already been published. We can link to that as well. Also, it’s going to line up with a lot of the ways that I think people that listen to this podcast think about building a business. What we so often find is there is this conflict that is introduced when somebody starts something and they feel like, “Hey, in order for this to be successful, I have to grow this and get to this point where I have what other people would deem success.”

Bjork Ostrom: My guess is that for you, Paul, that you maybe had a point in your career and in your life as well where you started to step back a little bit and say, “Hey, what do I actually view as success?” The first question that I want to ask you is, when did things start to change for you a little bit? When did you start to step back and say, hey, maybe the game I’m playing isn’t the game that I actually want to be playing and I need to change up the “rules” a little bit?

Paul Jarvis: For sure. That’s the point of the book, is that success is personal. We should get to make better decisions. For me, man, it was a pretty low point to be honest where I thought … I’ve been working for myself for a while. I’m just trying to remember the feel I had when this happened. It was back when for some reason I thought that I would be a successful business owner if I made a million dollars a year. That sounds a legitimate thing to try to work towards. It wasn’t based on anything. I had seen other people and I was like, “If you’re a millionaire, you’re happy. If you’re a millionaire, you’re successful. If you’re a millionaire, you know how to run a business.”

Paul Jarvis: It’s like, “I want that too.” I started working towards that, which was basically I don’t get paid if I’m not working. If I’m working, I get paid. Why not just work all of the hours and then I’ll get paid all of the money." Which I mean you can see the logical progression of my idiot mind with that. It doesn’t hold because it wasn’t based on anything. It was based on somebody else’s ideal of what a business should look like or how a business should run or even what success looks like.

Bjork Ostrom: Where do you think you absorb those ideals from? Where are those coming from?

Paul Jarvis: I want to just blame the media, but it seems like an even scapegoat. I also think that it’s true in part. Obviously, I’m responsible for my own decisions in life. I do think that the news and what’s out there and what’s talked about in the world is that this is what a successful business person is, this is how a successful business person acts, this is what a successful business does. We’re showing one example of one way to do things and one way to succeed. I’m just like, “Well, I don’t that. Now what? Now what?”

Bjork Ostrom: When you came to that point where you had that now what question, I think there’s multiple things that you’d have to do. One is the dismantling of this previous success idol that you had. I’m curious first to know, how did you go about doing that? How did you dismantled that and say, “Not only am I comfortable taking this down, but I’m now going to rebuild a new success idol and feel really good about redirecting that,” because that’s a hard mental shift to redefine what success looks like.

Paul Jarvis: For sure, because it requires introspection. Introspection is hard. I can’t remember what university is, the university that did a study where they didn’t tell the participants what they were studying, they just put them in a room with no stimulus except for they hook them up to electrodes and put their butt on the table.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, I know the study you’re talking about.

Paul Jarvis: They were like, “Sit here, you’ll be fine. You don’t have to press the button. If you press the button, you get a shock. You don’t have to press the button.” Most people pressed the button, because most people don’t want to sit alone with their own thoughts, which is just nuts but also completely humanly understandable. In order for me to dismantle it, I had to think about like … For me, I’m so holy pragmatic in my thought processes. I had to think about it like an if else statement, and so employing some brilliant logic where it was like, "Okay, if I’m going to chase somebody else’s version of success, if I win, that’s one option, I’m going to end up with their version.

Paul Jarvis: What if I don’t like it? That’s not a good thing. Or else if I chase somebody else’s version of success and I don’t like it, then I’m going to feel like I failed at something I didn’t want.“ It’s a lose-lose. The if isn’t a good situation and the else isn’t a good situation. Maybe this doesn’t seem right. I’m such as well like my personality is so anti-authority and is always been that way. That’s just like how I’m built. Just like, ”Well, I don’t need to do what the man wants. Who is this man?" I don’t have to follow what they think.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s actually going to be one of the questions that I had when we’re talking about Company of One. Not only is it the book, but it’s a concept. It’s something that I think for a lot of people will be extremely influential and shaping how they view their work and how they view what they want to become and what they want their work to become. One of the questions that I have around it is, do you think that company of one, the concept, is something that when people hear it, they know that they are a company of one person? If so, what are the characteristics of those people? I’m thinking of somebody who’s maybe in a job that’s not a good fit for a Company of One person, and this would be a self-discovery process for them. The question again is, are there certain characteristics of people who should be considered or consider themselves company of one people?

Paul Jarvis: For sure. I think I’ll just slightly back up a bit because when I’m talking about … I think you word it perfectly. Company of one is more of a mindset. It’s not a you have to work for yourself and just be a one person business because that’s not my business and that’s not your business. I think that the point is a question what make sense and what doesn’t especially around growth. Even throughout the book, I talk about businesses that are 30 to 50 people, some of them, and they’re perfect examples of companies of one. When we’re talking about a company of one and defining it, actually, I relate it to food because this is a food blog.

Paul Jarvis: Just like Michael Pollan’s food ideology is summarized by three simple rules, I think we can do the same with company of one. His food ideology is eat food, not too much, mostly plants which I agree with. Except for me, it’s all plants instead of mostly. I think the company of one mental model can be laid out in a similar way where it starts small, define growth and keep learning. Because I think if we do those things, then we can come to better decisions. Even if we’re working for another business, I think that if we take into consideration what we want to do, what we need to do. I don’t think everybody is suited to be an entrepreneur.

Paul Jarvis: I don’t think being entrepreneur is better than working for a company. It’s only better if it doesn’t make sense. If you’re not finding what you need to find in your work insomuch as the work can give you that, that kind of direction and that kind of path that you want. I think some common traits for a company of one which could be a business of any size is these things like resilience where you need to have a greater sense of purpose, which helps you adapt and change because things change, things always change. If you’re looking at becoming a company of one or even just adapting that mental model, working on things like autonomy.

Paul Jarvis: You have to get good at something first and then you can do the work without the micromanaging. You can basically just be given a direction, not commands to move forward. For me, especially like I just said, I’m really bad with it already. If somebody commands me something, probably not going to do it. If someone give me direction for a task, I’ll be like, “Okay, this is the direction I need to go. I’ll figure out how to do it especially if this work. You’re paying me to figure something up. I’m going to figure out how to do it best. You just need to give me the direction.” Two other things that define it are speed.

Paul Jarvis: Being able to work faster and get things done more efficiently … Actually, sorry, not working faster but being able to get things done more efficiently because being faster can just lead to frantic work which I don’t think is a good thing. Then finally, simplicity. I think that’s probably one of the biggest things especially for me is having simple rules, simple processes, simple systems because they’re easier to manage. They’re easier to maintain. It’s just easier for me to run a business that’s simple and actually really like it. It gives me the ability and the freedom to be creative. If all the simple nuts and bolts are taken care of and they’re easy to maintain, then all I have to worry about is the creative part of my job which the part of the job that I like. Those are the traits.

Bjork Ostrom: That makes sense. Resilience, autonomy, speed, and simplicity. You had talked about the characteristics or the traits of a company of one, start small, define growth, keep learning. Would love to jump into each one of those. Before we get too far away from it though, I have a question about simplicity. The thing about simplicity or minimalism or anything that you put in that category is it actually takes a lot of work. You’d think that to keep things simple means that you aren’t having to do as much. In actuality, there’s a lot that goes into keeping things simple. For your personally, do you have rules around the work that you’re doing that help you maintain that simplicity?

Paul Jarvis: For sure, because I think there’s a difference between simple and easy. For me, minimalism or considering a minimalist business or however we want to say it, it’s not about learning to be okay with less. It’s learning to be okay with enough and determining enough. That’s the constant thread through the entire book that I wrote. It’s this idea of enough. I think in terms of thinking about how to make things simple, it requires experimentation. Otherwise, there would just be one way to do things and we would all be handed that and be like, “This is how you do it and that’s the best way to do it.”

Paul Jarvis: I think we have to be willing to experiment with what’s enough, what is too little, and what is too much. Simple typically means that we can apply ingenuity to work with what we’ve got like MacGyver the situation. Because it’s easier I found to solve problems by adding more. The simplest solution to almost anything is to just add more to fix it. If we come up with solutions based more on creativity or ingenuity, and like MacGyver, then we can come to more simple solutions. Then I think simplicity does require that speed that I talked about. We need to be able to move quickly to keep things as simple as possible. I think it’s more of a mindset than a blind purge that a lot of people…

Bjork Ostrom: When you say the simplest answer is usually to add more, it was like simplicity inception a little bit. What you mean is the quickest and the most immediate answer is like, “Hey, let’s just add more.” It’s not always the right answer. If we are trying to keep things simple, sometimes that take some really intentional thinking and processing. I’m going to try and phrase this, off the top of my head, let me know if this make sense. The simple answer for solving a problem isn’t always going to keep things simple within the business. Does that make sense?

Paul Jarvis: Kind of. We’re talking really heavy right now. A good mantle of this would be if you have a lot of support request in your business. The easiest way to solve that is to hire a support person or hire another one or hire a team. Maybe the simplest solution and the best solution to get better instead of just bigger would be to maybe tweak your onboarding. If you’re selling something, maybe you onboard people in a way that pre-answers questions, so they’re asking these questions. Maybe you make a bunch of videos that people can self-select base on the problem that they have or maybe you have just a better way of explaining your product.

Paul Jarvis: Or maybe you just need to take things out of your product so it’s easier to use or simpler use. If we talk about in that case, it’s harder to do those things. It’s easier to just say, “Oh, just hire somebody to do that.” It may not necessarily be the best. Or you may end up with like, “Oh, holy smokes, I have 30 support people. Maybe my business can’t support that. Maybe the revenue that I’m generating can’t support that.” It could be easier to solve any problem with more, but it may not be the best solution.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes. Yeah, got it. That makes sense. I want to go back to what you’re saying, and remind me what you called these, the start small, define growth, keep learning characteristics of a company of one, or what would you consider those three things you have said.

Paul Jarvis: The ideology of company of one.

Bjork Ostrom: Taking that into consideration, these really three important pieces, starting small, defining growth which I think is so important, and then continue learning, keep learning, what if you were to do … Let’s say we were to jump on a call. We had an imaginary third person on this call and you were consulting them on starting from the beginning a company with the mindset and characteristics of a company of one culture or adapting the principles of a company of one. Keeping those things in mind, how would you advise this person to go about getting up and running with their business? What are the things that they need to introduce at the very beginning in order to have some of the company of one characteristics?

Paul Jarvis: I think what’s the most important in the beginning is figuring out what you can do quickly. Because if you’re not doing something that’s making money, you’re not making money, which sounds ridiculous to say. I think a lot of people start businesses and they have to work for months or even years to get to the point of revenue, which is risky and is scary. For myself and for a lot of people that I know, starting with services can actually be the fastest way to generate income in the beginning because if I know how to do web design, then I can offer web design to you today after this call. I’d say, “I’ll design you a website.”

Paul Jarvis: Whereas if I wanted to make a product that designs websites for people like Squarespace or something like that, that’s going to take months if not years to build. I think if we’re starting small, we need to think about what’s the smaller version of the idea that we have that make sense that we can get into market, start making money from, and start seeing how it works and how it operates. Because a lot of times, we have to make a lot of assumptions and guesses about a market until it’s in the market. We can say like, “Oh, well, a bunch of people have said like, yeah, I would buy this off of you if you were selling it.”

Paul Jarvis: That’s very different than somebody punching in their credit card and giving you money for something. A lot of people say like, “I buy that,” and then they probably wouldn’t buy it. Getting something to market quickly as possible makes a lot of sense even with my own stuff. I run an online course called Creative Class. The initial plan was to do I think 32 or 33 lessons and that was based on the pace of how long it takes me to make a lesson. That was going to take me that six months. I paired it back to like, okay, what are the things I absolutely have to teach in this for it to make sense? There are seven lessons.

Paul Jarvis: I got that done in I think about a month, maybe a bit more in a month. I got it to market. Then with the people who are buying it because I could sell it faster because it had less stuff, I just started asking the customers like, what do you think is missing from this? What do you wish you knew that you didn’t learn? Then I started building more lessons based on that and those lessons, the additional lessons are way more popular than the initial lessons because I was learning from the market. I just got something into the market faster. I think starting small is good because a lot of us have these big ideas of like I want to make … Well, nobody says this anymore.

Paul Jarvis: I want to make the next Facebook or the next LinkedIn or the next Amazon. It’s like, those are great and you can definitely work towards that. How can you pair it back to get something out there now to start testing, to start learning, to start making money off of it, to see if you can even make money off of it? The first one starts small. I think it really relates to that. It’s like, what can we get out there quickly to just see? Let’s see if this works or not because there’s no absolutes in business.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s amazing, this year for the first time I’m advising a company. This is a Silicon Valley startup company that is building tools for Blogstein like increase engagement.

Paul Jarvis: Cool.

Bjork Ostrom: One of the things that’s been so amazing to me and their way smarter than I am for the stuff that they’re working on, they’re just so knowledgeable. One thing that’s so amazing to me though is how open they are to my feedback and insight and then how quickly they iterate on it. Within a couple of days, they’ll send me back this updated version. What I learned from that as a business owner myself is how intentional they are in having conversations with the people that will be using their product. Then, taking that, integrating that in and then showing them the next version and saying like, "What do you think of this? How does this work?

Bjork Ostrom: What are your thoughts on it?“ I know that they’re having these conversations with other people as well. For me, it was the challenge of like, ”Gosh, what does that look like in the work that we’re doing on a day to day bases?" Like you said, start with something small, get it out into the world, shine some light on it. What you’ll see is the idea that was in your head, once there’s direct sunlight on it, looks very different than it did when it’s just bouncing around in your mind especially when you start to get that feedback. For people that are listening, I think one piece of feedback because, number one, try and find that thing that’s able to produce revenue for you.

Bjork Ostrom: Maybe it’s a service. Maybe it’s creating a product with a shorter timeline, not spending a year creating it and then actually putting that out into the world and knowing that even if people don’t buy, there’s still value in learning what people would be interested in or what it didn’t have that they wish that they it had. I think that’s great. Starting small with thinking about the business and not trying to build this huge thing and then put it out into the world. What about that second thing, defining growth? I think this was something in the book that you talked about that is so helpful. I think we can go deep on this because I think there’s a lot to talk about. What does defining growth look like and why is that important?

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. This is the meat of the book which we can meet in my case.

Bjork Ostrom: Side note, I just so appreciated this … Peter put out this different phrases like different sayings that you should use. Did you see this?

Paul Jarvis: I saw that, yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: I thought it was so creative. Instead of kill two birds with one stone, feed two birds with one scone. Or instead of be the guinea pig, be the test tube.

Paul Jarvis: Funnier still is if you look at that tweet and look at the replies …

Bjork Ostrom: Sure.

Paul Jarvis: … of people making it and running with that meme.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes, yes, like the thousands of creative people that could contribute. Oh, so good. The meat or you maybe you would say in this case the potatoes of this meal defining growth. What does that look like? Would love to hear your thoughts around that.

Paul Jarvis: I think the main thing, and we touched on this in the beginning is that I think every business is a lifestyle business insomuch as every career choice you make gives you a predetermined amount of time and type of time outside of work. If you work for a corporation, then you’re probably working 9:00 to 5:00, Monday to Friday, whether or not you have enough to do, you’re sitting your butt in a chair pretty much like a set amount of hours, time to time. If you work for a high growth startup, you’re probably going to have to work a lot of hours. Elon Musk says that startups have to work 80 hours a week and he sleeps on a couch in his office. That’s the lifestyle that he’s given.

Paul Jarvis: I think that especially if we work for ourselves, I don’t want my business to just give me a life and then I have to be happy or not happy with the life that it’s given me. I would rather think about, okay, what’s the lifestyle that I want? How can I build a business? A profitable one, of course, because it’s business. Still, how can I build a business around the lifestyle I want? How can I build a business around what I like to do every day? That really came to the idea of growth insomuch as the work that I do is writing in design and pretty much like I have products and books and courses and software and stuff. It’s writing in design is what I do. I like doing that.

Paul Jarvis: I like the things that I do in my day to day life. If I were to grow my business which I could because it’s profitable and all of that, I would have to hire more people and they would have to do the job that I like doing. Then, it would be managing other people which I don’t actually like doing. The consequence of growth would be negative for me because I don’t actually want those things. It may seem like, oh, if I grow, I could make more money and I could have more impact and more reach and I don’t … When I look at the backend of that, the obligation of that decision making tree, it doesn’t really make sense. I know that I make enough. I know that I reach enough people.

Paul Jarvis: Especially to that point, I know that the size of my audience is somewhere where it’s profitable but also I can get to know the people in my audience. Like if somebody buys a product for me, I probably seen their email before on the mailing list. I’ve probably seen their name before on Twitter. I can get to know my audience because I don’t have a massive audience. I have an audience as big enough but I don’t need to keep growing it because that doesn’t benefit me in any way. I think …

Bjork Ostrom: Go ahead, finish that thought.

Paul Jarvis: I was going to say like so determining growth, I think it makes sense to consider obviously the lower bound of like every business needs to be profitable if you work for yourself. Your business needs to be profitable and it needs to generate on that money for you to live off comfortably. The lower bound I would say it that. Until you reach that, you’re in a pre-enough stage. Then there’s a middle part enough and then there’s a part after that post-enough where I think more growth may not make sense in that post-enough phase. I think it’s better to optimize for enough instead of just blindly chasing growth past what your business and what your life actually means. That I think is the determining growth or defining growth. That’s how you do it.

Bjork Ostrom: What I love about that is saying like, “Okay, what’s the lower threshold, the sweet spot? Then, where is it potentially getting into … What does too much growth look like? That being such a counterintuitive idea like there is no upper limit to growth and you want to have this hockey stick growth. What I hear you saying is that’s not always the case. There is a sweet spot of saying, ”Hey, this feels really good and aligns with the things that are important to me.“ I think one of the things that’s so hard about that is there’s that phrase where it’s like, ”You can’t grow what you don’t track," or something like that.

Bjork Ostrom: I think some of the things that you’re talking about that relate to traditional growth, money, traffic, social media followers and social media engagement, comments, things like that are all such tangible things. We can go into Google Analytics and we can see our traffic. We can log into our bank account and see how much money there is. I think because of that, it triggers us to say, “Okay, this is something we can track much like a videogame. Therefore, we want to increase this thing.” Whereas some of the other things that are so important are really hard to track. It’s things like how much am I enjoying my work or how is my relationship with my significant other or my kids. Do you have any recommendations for people who are wanting to shift what they are deem important and starting to track other areas and somehow making that more tangible?

Paul Jarvis: For sure, because I think it’s such a human trait to want more. From an evolutionary standpoint, our ancestors wanted more because we just needed resources to survive. Now, I don’t think that this is always the case. I think that, so one, we need to check our reasoning. Because a lot of times, if we just want to … Growth may just serve our ego or our social standing. If I am introduced to you and you ask what I do and then you ask how the business works, I could say what is actually my life is I sit in my sweatpants at home and I work by myself. I’m one person business with a bunch of freelancers.

Paul Jarvis: It would sound better if I was like, well, I have 1000-person company across 14 offices in 8 countries. Is that a good enough reason to try to achieve that so it sounds better to other people when you explain it? I don’t necessarily think so. I don’t think so. It also may not serve our existing customers. I think a lot of times when we think about growth, we put acquisition over attention. I would rather find a way to be valuable to a small group of people over and over again over time because it’s cheaper and it’s easier to just … If somebody buys something from you once and they’re happy, then it’s easier to sell to them again.

Paul Jarvis: It’s easier to make different things and more things are repeatable things because they already like your product, they already like you. You don’t need to go through a cell cycle with them. I think it was something like five to eight times cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire q new one. Yet so many people just focus on their attention side of things. I don’t know that it make sense. Like you said, it’s so counterintuitive. I think we just need to ask ourselves specific questions to determine if it’s just for social standing or ego. I guess the three main questions would be, how much is enough? How do I know when I reached it? What changes if I do? I think …

Bjork Ostrom: Finish that thought and then I have a followup question on that.

Paul Jarvis: Sure. I was just going to say like I think those can become the framework of determining. If we’re thinking about defining growth, those are the three things I ask myself all the time. It changes. It’s not like I ask myself those three questions once in my life. I’m like, “Hurray!”

Bjork Ostrom: Now I know and forever these will be the same.

Paul Jarvis: Because things change, everything changes. We need to check back in on those things on a regular basis.

Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about what that was like? Can you repeat those three questions, what is enough …

Paul Jarvis: How much is enough? How will they know when they reached it? What will change when they do?

Bjork Ostrom: Then, what will change when they do? Can you talk about you going through that process? Is that you sitting down and saying, “Hey, I want to answer these three questions and I’m going to get really specific.” Then, are you doing this mentally checking back on that every once in a while and saying like, “Hey, this need to change,” or you’re doing, “Hey, twice a year, I’m going to schedule half a day and reflect on this.” What does that actually look like to go through that process? Because regardless of where somebody’s at with their creative endeavor or the work that they’re doing, their career, the business they’re building, it probably be advantageous for somebody to sit with this for an hour and say, “Okay, how do I answer each one of these question?”

Bjork Ostrom: I think it would be helpful to hear what process you went through. You don’t have to share numbers around business growth or anything like that, but just talking about your experience of going through this I think would be helpful to inform other people about what that might look like for them.

Paul Jarvis: Sure. Start of that, it’s easy for me. I would hope it’s simple. Otherwise, me talking about simple seems weird but I use to start of every month. Basically, I think when we work for ourselves, we get so caught up on working in our business that we don’t think about working on our business very much. I’m always trying to take a step back because … I mean, if you think about a bigger business, the CEO’s job is to think about things and make decisions. If we work for ourselves, we have to do the work and be the CEO and think about having to make decisions. I try to, once a month, spend an hour or two on this. I’m also a writer. My job is being introspective for a living.

Paul Jarvis: I do try to focus beginning of every month because it’s easy to remember for me. It’s like, oh, it’s the start of the month, then I’m going to spend an hour or so either journaling about it, writing about it, maybe thinking about it, maybe looking back at the previous month and being like, “This was a bad decision because it wasn’t what I needed or went pass what enough is. Or I didn’t hit enough this month.” These are the things I need to do in the future. I think it needs to walk the line of being super pragmatic. You didn’t make enough? You want to make more next month. Cool, work on that.

Paul Jarvis: Or you made more than you needed, was that at the expense of your health, your life, your relationships? Then maybe you see that, oh, I didn’t need to make that much. Maybe I can scale back if it was putting the rest of my life out of balance. For me, monthly make sense. For smarter people, twice a year might make a lot of sense as well.

Bjork Ostrom: The enough number for you is largely around finance. From a business perspective for my career from my work, what is enough from a dollar amount? Is that basically when you’re walking through the checklist, would that what you’re looking at?

Paul Jarvis: No. There’s a few aspects of it. Another aspect is focus. Because I work on a lot of different things, I like to do different things. I would be bored if I was just writing books. I would get bored of writing books and I would want to write books. I like having books and software and podcast and all of that. I also know that there’s a line where if I take on too many different projects, it’s going to be stressful and I’m not going to be able to focus on any one site. I do like to focus on one at a time even though there’s a bunch. The other thing is reach as well like I talked about earlier. I like to have relationships and conversations with my customers.

Paul Jarvis: Even things like my mailing list, I know that my mailing list is a big enough size where it generates a bulk of my revenue because I’m an email marketing nerd. That’s what I do. It’s not so big that I can send an email every Sunday which I’ve done for six years, get a couple 100 replies. I can read all of them because it’s a few hundred. I can reply to the ones that require answers, because it’s a few hundred. Working on growth for my list wouldn’t make sense because if I grew it by … If I 10x my list, then I might 10x the responses, and then I wouldn’t be able to read them all, I wouldn’t be able to apply to them all.

Paul Jarvis: Those conversations ultimately help meets the business owner to see what people care about, what people are working on, what the things that I’m talking about are resonating or not resonating. It really stands a bunch of aspects. Yeah, definitely finances, definitely reach, definitely focus. I think those are probably the three biggest. When I’m thinking about it in my head, those are the three areas that I always go to.

Bjork Ostrom: Yup. When you asked the question how will I know when I reach it, is that a version of a goal? Or is that saying what is enough and then what does enough look like as it relates to this thing? Finance that make sense, maybe this dollar amount focus would be saying, hey, I’m able to do the things that I want to do consistently without feeling distracted or that I need to multitask. That’s maybe a little bit more of an intuition thing. Essentially, it’s defining a little bit of what that looks like to actually get to that enough point.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. That’s funny because I think it’s a type of goal, but it’s a good goal. Because I think most goals are garbage. I think most goals are fake artificial targets that we set for the sake of setting fake and artificial targets like me working towards making million dollars a year. That’s a bad goal and a bad logic to get to setting that goal. Whereas what I’m considering enough, I’m considering what is actually required. It seems like a goal with real target, because it’s not like I want to make this much or more. It’s I want to make between this and this or I want my focus to be between this amount of projects and this amount of projects or my audience to be between this and this. That seems more like a goal with a lower and an upper bound that’s based on useful data instead of just artificial metrics of ego or inflated self-worth.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes, for sure. The last piece that I think is so interesting especially if you consider doing this on a monthly basis is the idea of what will change when I do. I think for so many people and myself included, we march on in our days and our weeks, and our weeks then become our months, and our months become our years. We’re not doing these micro adjustments. I think this question along with this general process of defining growth could be really helpful for us to make these small changes in order to then align whatever you want to call it like our happiness or enjoyment of our work. That’s this question of, what will change when I do?

Bjork Ostrom: Let’s say you go through this process, you define what enough is, you know what it looks like when you reach it. Can you give some examples of this idea of what will change when I do and maybe in your personal life some of the things that you’ve implemented that you’ve defined around enough, and then what changed when you reach that?

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. Even just talking about money because that’s the easiest one, if I know how much money I need for my business to one make a profit and to pay me in that to be comfortable in my life, I know you don’t need a lot in my life. I also want to be comfortable especially as I get older and my back hurts.

Bjork Ostrom: We don’t want to sit as much.

Paul Jarvis: I want to be comfortable. I want to think about like, okay, well, I know I need to make this much. In order to make more than I need, it’s going to add probably more responsibilities, more work time, more resources, more stress. Even though I’m making more, it’s taking everything else out of balance. It could mean that like, oh, I can’t go paddle boarding or biking with my wife. It’s sunny out today. I live in the Pacific Northwest and it’s never sunny. I can’t take breaks like that. It doesn’t make my life enjoyable enough. It doesn’t make me want to be productive and efficient to get the work done or even more customers.

Paul Jarvis: If I had more customers, then I wouldn’t be able to interact with them. They might not be as happy with my product. They may not buy for me repeatedly. Half of my customers have bought more than one thing from me. That’s an important metric to me. Then, I would have to work harder at acquiring new customers. Because it wasn’t able to retain the people because I had too many to be able to spend any time with them answering questions or talking to them. I think there’s always like that nice squishy middle ground. I also think it just leaves this tremendous burden off of yourself.

Paul Jarvis: If you stop thinking that you need to be huge or things you need to be ridiculously big in order to be good. Most of the people I know that are very happy and content aren’t the ones that make the most money. They’re the ones that make enough money. I think it was Gallup did a study of two million people across every country in the world. They found that there was an optimal earning amount for people where people get happier as they make more money but only up to a certain point. I think it was something like the bare minimum was 60k to 70k U.S. dollars. Then the optimal amount was about 90k and that took into account like savings of the future.

Paul Jarvis: They found that as people made more than that, and it’s different for everybody depending on how many dependents you have or where you live in the world, but that was the average. They found that if you made more than that, you’re actually more unhappy. Your happiness peaks at this kind of enough level. It doesn’t make sense to go after more if you’re making money to be happy and more money isn’t going to make you more happy, more money is probably going to mean that you’re chasing more material things and having more unhealthy social comparisons. Then, maybe you’re okay to stop at a certain point. That means you’re working 30 hours a week or 40 hours a week as opposed to 80, and then that make sense.

Bjork Ostrom: It reminds me of maybe what it would be like in a similar situation to eat ice cream. I imagine this graph where it’s like your first bite is so good and your second is pretty good and third one is good. Then, it’s like you get to this point where it’s like …

Paul Jarvis: Diminishing returns.

Bjork Ostrom: Diminishing returns, but then it also dips and gets worse. If you continue to eat it, it would be like, “Ugh, no more ice cream. This is terrible.” That’s so counterintuitive to us I think to think about the potential of their being a peak on growth or success in the traditional sense. At the same time, it makes a lot of sense because like you said, in general, usually what happens is you have to continue trading this other things in your life in order to access more of growth in the traditional sense. Those other things are really important things like friends and family and health and time on by yourself if you’re somebody who’s more introverted, things like that are so, so important.

Bjork Ostrom: Yet we can sacrifice those in order to serve this thing that our culture says it’s so important, which is growth. So often, it will lead to negative results both personally and within our relationships. The last piece that you talk about, we talked about starting small and this idea of being really intentional to not spend a bunch of time building this really big thing and then putting it out into the world but start small with what you can give, teach what you know, be really intentional to think about what is it that I’m creating that can help the people. I think people understand that.

Bjork Ostrom: This new concept of defining growth we’re being really intentional to say, what does it look like for me to continue to grow? It’s not always going to be grow as much as possible, as quick as possible but really defining that. We talked about this idea of understanding what enough is and knowing the impact that that has in us once we’d get enough. Then, this last thing that you said was continually learning. What does that look like and why is that an important piece of this concept of a company of one?

Paul Jarvis: The learning piece is necessary there because I think some aspects of growth are always required. I think we should always be working at becoming better people as well like in reaching life experiences. I don’t think that doesn’t relate to the ice cream analogy, which I think is really good. I think the learning piece is the most important piece because one, like I said, things change. Maybe what enough is right now isn’t enough in five years. Or maybe is more than enough for me in five years. Or maybe learning for me, especially like working in the industry that I do.

Paul Jarvis: Because I started building websites when I started working for myself and it was using tables and HTML and flash, and those things don’t even exist anymore. If I wasn’t continually learning and keeping up with my craft, I wouldn’t be able to make money. The other aspect of learning is learning from the people who are paying attention, the people who are … I think I interviewed a woman named Danielle LaPorte, one of my favorite entrepreneurs and somebody I worked with for a long time. She talked about her business actually shifted from trying to let light reach everybody to just trying to affect the people who are already at the table like if she’s imagining a dinner table.

Paul Jarvis: I think that for me, learning one that the people who are already paying attention are the most important people in my business. Two, those are the people that I have the most to learn from. Yes, they’re my customers or my audience or whatever you want to call it. Good business exists to serve other people. My business can exist just to serve my own ego, I’d never make a dollar. My business exist because I want to help other people and they get something so valuable that they give me money for that help whether it’s through a course or a book or paying for monthly software or whatever it is.

Paul Jarvis: Business is serving other people and they need that so much that they’re willing to trade their money for it. There are so much that I can learn from the people who are paying attention, people who were at the table like joining me for dinner. Even in such ridiculously pragmatic ways in which if I’m writing sales copy for a landing page, I’m going to talk to the people who have bought it in beta or who have given access to to test it out because starting small requires a lot of iteration and that was the first point. I’m going to talk to those people and see what they valued from it, how they would describe it to other people.

Paul Jarvis: I’m going to use the language that they’ve used to write the language of the sales page because the language that I have for the things that I’m selling isn’t the same language. If I’m selling something, I’m an expert in that. The way I talk about it is going to be very different than the way somebody who’s not an expert but wants to be in that topic is going to talk about it. I’m going to take every piece of copy I’ve ever written for any sales page or email automation or anything is directly taken from me learning from the people who are paying attention. Because I think that that’s so important, even in deciding what to make. I make things that people were asking me to make.

Paul Jarvis: If I’m not learning, if I’m not paying attention to the people who are paying attention, then it’s going to be really hard. It’s going to be really hard to run a business. I think that the learning aspect of it is so important because learning is going to help us start small and iterate. Learning is going to help us to find growth for our self and determine what’s right for a business. That’s the thread that weaved everything together.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting. When you’re talking about it, another that came to mind related to learning, at first when I thought you’re saying this, I thought you’d talk about reading books and courses and learning in that sense. It was almost learning … The word that came to mind was humble, staying humble in your pursuit of feedback and being flexible and agile enough to say, "Okay, I’m going to let other people speak into the work that I’m doing and the things that I’m creating and learning from those people. A lot of times, the people that are closest to me whether that be customers or team members or whoever it might be and allowing them to weigh in on this and using that to continually grow and change and adjust which is a different type of learning that I thought it would be. It’s so refreshing to hear that.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. A lot of Eastern philosophy talks about the beginner’s mindset. I found as well with the things that I think I know. As I learn more about something, I also learned how much I don’t know about something. Even when I was doing yoga, the first year or two of doing yoga, I was like, “I’m passed beginner classes, bro. I get it. I know it.” Then as I started to learn more and more about yoga, I was like, oh my God, there are so much I can be working on in a beginner class in terms of alignment and breath work and stuff like this. I have more than I need in terms of what I need to work on and learn even in the most basic of classes. I think that also applies to business. As soon as we assume we know everything about an industry or about a customer base or about a niche, we’re going to start making mistakes. We’re just going to start making mistakes.

Bjork Ostrom: I remember vividly having this conversation. It was maybe within the first month or two of when I was doing meditation and trying to build that in as part of my daily routine and I was having breakfast with a friend who had been doing it for a long time. I go, “Gosh! I just feel like I’m so bad at meditation.” He’s like, “Beginner’s mindset, man. You always will be in some sense.” I was like, “Yeah, there probably is some truth in that.” Anybody that ever feels like they are like, “Hey, I’m really awesome at meditation and let me teach you all of the things.” There maybe is a sliver of that where it’s like, oh, maybe this person doesn’t have this beginner’s mindset that’s so important to keep in mind as you stay humble and continually evolve, so important point. One of the things that …

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, it’s hard to win at meditation.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes, exactly.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, how do you win?

Bjork Ostrom: Yes. One of the things that I thought was a really important part of the book and I think would be a good note to end on and to talk about is you talk about this idea of the ulcer of the soul. I think that exist in such a real way especially with the accessibility of other people’s lives and a lot of times their highlight reel online and how that relates to us and being influenced by that and ways that we can insulate ourselves from that. Can you talk about this idea of the ulcer of the soul, what that is and as creators, business owners, just people in general how we protect ourselves from that.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. That’s Socrates. “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.” I think that we all innately get it. None of us are immune. We can look at even in our personal lives where like Keeping Up with the Joneses, just because their neighbors have bigger house doesn’t mean we need a bigger house, or better car, or bigger TV. We’ve all prayed the same things in every aspect of our lives, even in business. I think the transparency is a double-edged sword because we see what other people are doing or we see income reports from some bloggers. Those can be good and those can be such a valuable learning tool.

Paul Jarvis: They can also breathe envy where like, “Well, I don’t make as much as like Pat Flynn’s monthly reports or something like that.” It’s like then you feel bad and like, “Oh, my business is maybe unsuccessful because it’s not making 200 or 300 grand a month, this or that.” It’s like that’s okay. One, do you need that? Two, what’s the point of comparison for that? Even with social media. Like you said, people only share their highlight reels. We’re comparing our insides with somebody else’s outsides that they want us to see. It’s apples to elephants. There’s no comparison. Because even if we look at our own highlight reel or own social media feeds, we’re mostly sharing things that other people would probably be envious. It’s like I can have the worst day in my entire life and still post a sunset and be like #blessed.

Bjork Ostrom: For sure.

Paul Jarvis: Anybody can do that. I wish I could remember the name of the guy. He was the star on Prison Break and he was doing an interview with a school the other week. The one line that stood out to me was like, “If I talk to my friends the way I talk to myself, I’d have no friends.” I was like, brrffff! My brain has just exploded. Because I think we get so down on ourselves for things that we would be so encouraging to other people like if other people brought us the problems that we have, we would encourage them or just talk them out of their own goal. We tell ourselves stories in our heads and we believe those stories.

Paul Jarvis: If it’s not a good story, we’re going to be believing things that could be detrimental to us. If somebody else brings it like if I’m talking to a friend and they’re having a bad day, then I’ll encourage them. This is just one day out of a million or these are the things that you can work on. If I’m having a bad day, I’m like, “I suck.” It’s just not good. It’s just not good to do that. I think one way to get out of that, and I think it’s almost impossible to get out of it entirely unless you reach some Zen master level. It’s funny, there’s the term in Sanskrit that there’s no term in … Because I’m a writer, I’m always looking for this word exist in this language but not in that one.

Paul Jarvis: There’s a term in Sanskrit, mudita, which I’m sure I’m pronouncing wrong, first of all. Second of all, it’s the ability to find joy in other people’s successes. I think that feels like almost the opposite of envy where we can just feel proud like, “Hey, I know somebody who’s successful,” or “I’ve read that somebody is making $200,000 a month.” That’s possible. That’s awesome. That’s good. It’s never a zero-sum game. Just because somebody else is doing well, doesn’t mean you’re there for not going to do well. There’s not one success prize where, oh, somebody got it already. It’s …

Bjork Ostrom: It’s all taken. Yes, for sure.

Paul Jarvis: It’s not a zero-sum game. I think if we can be thankful and find joy in the happiness of other people, then we can start to work on our own like self-talk and our own envy. There’s no definite answer to that. I think we do need to be, one, aware of it and two, aware of what needs to change even if it’s just something we work on which is like you’re not winning at meditation. You’re not winning it having zero envy for other people. You work towards correcting that a bit.

Bjork Ostrom: I think one thing that’s so refreshing to me and it’s interesting to see, we on Pinch of Yum, that food like that Lindsay does and I have a very small roll day to day but started doing reports. We’d say, “Hey, from the very beginning, here’s how much we’re able to make from the blog. Here’s the traffic that we had. It would be $20.” Then, we grow over time. It was exactly like you said where as that started to build for us and as we did these reports, there became this disconnect. Even though the business was growing, it wasn’t telling the whole story of the business.

Bjork Ostrom: That was one of the biggest things for us in playing into the reason for winding those down was because I think what happens is people come and they see this number. They may be read the post, maybe not. The context of everything that’s happening around the business and the struggle in the day to day, working to build up an emergency fund for the business so you can pay expenses for six months. That so often isn’t told. I think the same is true whether it’s with a business or social media and you’re following somebody’s post from a trip that they had or a travel blog or whatever it is. So often, the entire story isn’t told.

Bjork Ostrom: What’s so refreshing is people like yourself and there are other people in business and in outside of business who are just willing to on those platforms lean into some of those things and tell those stories and show the shadow along with the sunshine. For us as creators, we are all a part of this listening to this podcast have the ability to push back against that a little bit. I think there’s one thing to be said about protecting ourselves, which I think we have to be intentional about. Seth Godin talked about being on Twitter and then having this moment after giving a speech somewhere where he saw this interaction with somebody regarding his speech and was like, “I just can’t do it.”

Bjork Ostrom: Then, just turned it off and wasn’t a part of it because he knew that would just happen. I feel like that’s true for myself in regards to certain platforms. He’s like, “I’m just not on there due to those reasons.” There’s also something we can do to push back against that, Paul. I think you’re a great example of it. All of us can do that where we can be our true selves as much as possible and as much as it make sense and be authentic. That can be something that can be an advantage to us as much as it seems counterintuitive, being your true self, showing your shadow, and being willing to talk about. That can be a really powerful and impactful thing.

Bjork Ostrom: Speaking of Seth Godin, I actually just pulled up the preorder page for Company of One. Frequently, bought together, Paul Jarvis, Company of One, Atomic Habits, James Clear, and This Is Marketing by Seth Godin. That’s like the ultimate trifecta right there of books that you can package all together and pick up. You actually quote James a couple of times in your book as well. Coming to an end talking about Company of One, what this looks like, Paul, what would be your departing wisdom be for people who are interested in adapting some of these things in the way that they work and adapting some of these mindsets in terms of how they view their life and their work?

Paul Jarvis: I think that obviously more isn’t better, better is better. That’s why they’re different words. I think that if we’ve start to, like what you and I have been talking about today, I think we start to think about what’s the purpose of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Then, I think purpose can be the lens through which all decisions should filter through because maybe growth feeds our ego or our social standing. If it doesn’t align with our purpose, then the answer to growth in some cases maybe like, no, this doesn’t make sense. This doesn’t give me a business I want to run. This doesn’t give me the life that I want to lead.

Paul Jarvis: Then, maybe I can make better decisions if I always consider aligning with my purpose for making decisions. Because I think decisions are really important, because every business is faced with a litany of decisions because we’re always having to decide things all the time. A lot of times, we are presented with opportunities. Opportunities seem like I have to say yes to this, this is a big thing. I think every opportunity has an obligation attached. It just is a pretty bow on it, so it’s fold enough for candy instead of an obligation. I think if we consider that … The other thing is I’ve been in business for 20 years and I’ve done years of research at this point on this subject.

Paul Jarvis: There’s no one opportunity that’s going to make or break your business. Any successful business, however you want to define success, is a series of a bunch of decisions that made sense for that business. Sometimes they’re wrong decisions and then we course correct. There’s never one make or break thing. I guess it’s so highly unlikely that any decision that you’re like, “I don’t want to make this but I feel like I should,” you probably don’t actually need to make that decision or you don’t need to make that now.

Bjork Ostrom: In so many ways, that lifts the pressure of needing to say yes to all of the things in case this might be the one that is breakout or the most important thing, and therefore resulting in you being so committed to so many things that you’ve squeezed out all potential time and energy and focus.

Bjork Ostrom: Yes, that’s great. Paul, if people want to check out the book, if they want to preorder it like we have done, what’s the best way for them to do that? We’ll be sure to include any links that are needed as well.

Paul Jarvis: The book, because it’s traditionally published, it’s available pretty much everywhere. For right now, I guess for the next week or so depending on when you’re listening to this, there’s a bunch of preorder goodies on my website for the book which is ofone.co, O-F-O-N-E.co.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. We’ll link to that. I was looking through that before we press record here. There are, like you said, some awesome stuff that comes along with that. Be sure to check that out as well. Everywhere that books are sold, which is so cool to be able to say that. You can walk into any store and see it there. I saw a photo that you had posted and it was in a store next to Seth’s latest book, which is a cool thing to see. Not only is Amazon recommending it, but also in store they’re putting it right next to each other.

Paul Jarvis: We share the same publisher. That was at Penguin, UK.

Bjork Ostrom: Nice.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, it is.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Cool. Well, Paul, thanks so much for coming on the podcast, really appreciate it. It’s an honor to have people on once. It’s an extreme honor to have you on twice. I know that people will get a lot out of the episodes. Thanks so much for coming on.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. Thanks for having me. I’m glad that the other end as well. It’s an even bigger honor to be invited back.

Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. Thanks so much.

Paul Jarvis: Cheers.

Alexa Peduzzi: Awesome episode, right? We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Food Blogger Pro podcast with Paul Jarvis. If you’re interested in winning a copy of Paul’s new book, Company of One, be sure to head over to foodbloggerpro.com/184 to leave a comment about your biggest takeaway from this episode. Before we sign off this week, it’s time for a review of the week. It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these. I’m extra, extra excited to feature Carolyn’s review from iTunes. Carolyn runs the blog umamigirl.com. Her review says, "To 1% infinity and beyond.

Alexa Peduzzi: I’ve been blogging for a decade and listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast from its beginning, have learned so much over time and often the most valuable insights come from tiny details in a conversation that aren’t even about the main topic. I’m finally writing review because I’ve just re-launched the Umami Girl after a very long intensive rebranding and site redesign process. Even though I’ve known about Bjork’s 1% infinity for a long time, it really became more meaningful to me throughout this challenging process. After months of 12-hour days getting the new site ready, I was just starting to feel a sense of overwhelm creep in.

Alexa Peduzzi: I re-listen to an old episode that mentioned 1% infinity and just reminding myself of that principle made all the difference in my outlook at this critical time. It provided some much needed context for the work of showing up every day and making small endless seeming improvements. Yay for that, and thanks." It’s amazing you’ve been blogging for a decade, Carolyn, so honored to have you as a listener and part of the Food Blogger Pro podcast community. Thank you so much for your review. Congratulations on your rebrand. That does it for us this week, friends. Thank you again for tuning in and from all of us here at FBPHQ, make it a great week.

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2 Comments

  1. I really valued the message shared by Paul Jarvis and Bjork today. “More isn’t better. Better is better.” (quote from Paul) What a great mindset to take into this new year in business and in our personal lives. Looking forward to reading the new book!

  2. Those three questions: How much is enough? How do I know when I’ve reached it? And what changes when I do? Those are EXACTLY what I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around but hadn’t been able to vocalize them that succinctly yet. Definitely going into my journal for some serious thought. I’ve been making some “company of one” style changes in the last year after getting married and trying to find a new balance between work and personal life, and it’s so comforting to hear the confirmation that slowing down isn’t a mark of less success – it might actually be THE mark of true success.