Maximizing Productivity

Previous: Freelancing

If you’re launching a product or project, get everything as much as possible before the launch date.

  • Expect constant chaos.
    • Planning makes life easier, but it’s never easy.
    • There are simply too many unforeseeable things that may go wrong.
    • Instead of fighting against the chaos, learn to channel it to your benefit.
  • Order all relevant marketing materials beforehand, early enough to review them and reorder if they weren’t sufficient or accurate.
  • Create a fully-functioning website, then have an email that directly uses that website’s URL.
  • Make an extensive list of possible marketing and lead generation avenues.

At the onset, your job will involve ~20 small part-time jobs.

  • Most small business work is solitary or with strangers:
  • Eventually, you’ll be able to specialize more into what you like (or at least don’t mind), but you’ll do a little of everything at the beginning.
  • To avoid burnout, try to separate personal and work activities.
    • When you relax, you should enjoy your small bouts of time off and not think about work.
  • Further, if you’re not financing, you must keep a day job until you can make enough to live on without harming operating activities.

Stay Focused

Keep testing and using your own product.

  • You can only stay in touch with the product as it develops if you use it yourself.
  • Further, you can only sell your product well if you’re constantly becoming more familiar with it.

Watch for warning signs of being “busy” more than productive:

  • Holding multiple meetings to decide what to do.
  • Multiple people assigned to tasks one person can do.
  • Focusing too much attention on irrelevant numbers (e.g., how many people contacted, how many checklist items completed).
  • Frequently attending networking events with zero leads from the visit.

Stay Mobile

Avoid short-term thinking.

  • It’s very easy to chase after heavy profit right now that sabotages long-term profit later.

Pay very close attention to where you’re getting all the attention and income.

  • Treat every setback as an opportunity to change.

Sometimes you’ll have to redesign the business.

  • Learn to capitalize on unexpected, small successes.
  • Pivot everything to whatever creates the greatest returns.


For every product you provide, create a standardized contract for clients with the following:

  • Warranty and return policy.
  • If it’s connected to software at all, have a privileged user agreement.
  • If you provide private information, have a non-disclosure agreement.

Unless you’re a substantially-sized organization, trying to sue for damages against suppliers is usually not worth the cost and time.

  • Even for small claims, the work associated with civil cases is generally unpleasant, over a long period of time, and never guarantees remediation.
  • A lawsuit threat may lead to negotiating a fair settlement, but it severs any future relationship with the supplier.
  • If you do succeed at a lawsuit, you’ll have a reputation for suing against suppliers, and future suppliers will potentially be more distrusting of you.


Always keep multiple payment options available, along with multiple payment processors.

  • Even if you need extra fees for processing, always offer cash and card payments.
  • If your business is at all modern, use phone-based payment options (e.g., cryptocurrency, Cash App).
  • You’re losing money every day a client can’t pay.
  • Try to use a less-popular payment processor, since large-scale payment managers (e.g., PayPal, Stripe) will not prioritize you if something goes wrong on their end.
  • If you’re charged different fees for different payment processors, consider adding the cost directly into the product itself.

Next: Scaling & Financing