In this episode of ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, we have the pleasure of bringing you our very first interview! They won’t be often, but sprinkled in, we think that hearing outside voices of productivity experts would be a valued addition to the personal productivity conversations we have. This week, we’re delighted we got to sit down with Taylor Jacobson, founder and CEO of Focusmate, a virtual coworking platform for personal productivity enthusiasts like you.
Listen in our conversation with Taylor about his story, what virtual coworking with Focusmate does for your productivity, and what the future holds for this unique productivity tool and virtual coworking community rolled into one.
(If you’re reading this in a podcast directory/app, please visit https://productivitycast.net/049 for clickable links and the full show notes and transcript of this cast.)
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In this Cast | Virtual Coworking with Focusmate
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate
Taylor Jacobson is the founder of Focusmate, a behavioral technology company helping remote workers improve their productivity. He’s a trained executive coach with clients like Yale, Cornell, and Wharton, a wannabe adventurer, and a recovering pizza addict-turned-holistic health aspirant. His work has been featured in CNN, GQ, The Huffington Post, Men’s Health, and more.
Show Notes | Virtual Coworking with Focusmate
Resources we mention, including links to them will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
Raw Text Transcript | Virtual Coworking with Focusmate
Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).Read More
Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity. Here your hosts Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
Welcome everybody to productivity cast the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I’m Ray Sidney-Smith
Augusto Pinaud 0:23
And I’m Augusto Pinaud.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:25
And we are back with an episode where we are doing something we have not done before here on productivity cast, we have not done an interview, we’ve not actually had a guest on the show outside of our normal contributors, Francis Wade, and our gal wicks. And so today on the show, we are going to be talking about virtual coworking for being more productive. And we thought, Well, why don’t we have somebody on the show who can actually cover this topic in and with expertise. And so today we are really excited to have on the show, Taylor Jacobson, he is the founder of focus mate. It’s a behavioral technology company, helping remote workers improve their productivity. He’s a trained executive coach with clients like Yale, Cornell and the Wharton School of Business at Penn. He’s a want to be adventure and then a recovering pizza attic turned Holistic Health aspirant. So his work has been featured in CNN, GQ, the Huffington Post, Men’s Health and more. Taylor, welcome to productivity cast. Thanks for having me.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:26
tell us a little bit about yourself beyond the bio that I read, what is something about you that people don’t typically know about you that is of interest that are of interest to you, that you would love people to know,
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 1:38
I’ve really important part of my story, you could say I’ve been a high performer for my whole life. And that certainly, as a kid, a lot of my identity and my ego rested on this idea of being a high performer and having really high potential and one of my jobs a long time ago, something interesting happened, which is that I started working remotely for the first time, I really went from being a top performer to overnight, deeply struggling with productivity to the point where many days, you know, I wouldn’t get anything done before noon, it would often feel like months could go by without really accomplishing anything. So since you gave me the nice, shiny, sexy bio, to kick it off, all complement that with like, you know, the the, the other side of the story, which is, I had this experience, and it was fairly humiliating, actually, as somebody who like really related to themselves and felt good about themselves, because of being a high performer. I immediately upon starting to work from home, really struggled probably six months after that wound up having a conversation with my boss, where she said, you know, she, she didn’t fire me graciously, but she said, you know, you can’t work for me anymore. And I wound up deciding to leave that company, maybe to save face, you know, it was, it wasn’t a super conscious process, because I really just kind of went into a tailspin. And although superficially I, I started a new startup, at that point in time, something that actually went quite well, but sort of beneath the surface, I was, I was really struggling with shame and depression and, and really confronted by this, this new artifact of, you know, not being a high performer and what to do with that. So it’s actually a really important part of my, my story. And I don’t know if if everyone knows this, this part of my story, but it really deepened my interest in learning about not just productivity, but behavior change and spiritual growth, and just how do we get out of our own way and, and like be the people that we want to be.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 3:42
It’s remarkable how these life events that could be perceived as negative can birth really positive things. And the opposite can kind of happened. It’s very interesting to meet to hear when people have strong emotional downswings from things and what causes them, because they could be caused by good and ill and and so yeah, thank you for sharing that and and letting folks know about that that story. Because it’s, it’s important for us all to know that the reality of life, you know, that these things happen.
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 4:13
Absolutely. And sometimes those become like the sort of the wellspring of some sense of purpose or drive that that certainly is still fuel for my motor today.
Augusto Pinaud 4:24
So as I was hearing, Ray mentioned your bio, and he said, a bit chaotic us of pizza attic or for I don’t know, if I still kind of have their former picks it because I still have terribly weakness, I’m able to identify. But I’m not sure if I can label myself as an ex addict on that. But it is funny because when, when I went home, when I went to work on my home office before God, or prior to that I was traveling the world, okay, I was traveling over to hundred and 50,000 miles a year. So I didn’t have an office person. Okay, but my experience was really similar to what you’re describing, okay, my house has never been so clean. And so organized. work was not happening. So I nice interesting how when I was looking at on what the things that you come up, you know, some of the things that I saw myself trying to fix that, obviously you’re doing it was focused me on how much clever and technological way that what I did, but it is interesting how people think I know, someday if I work from home, if you will be great, and how challenging is to lose that identity to lose that routine, to understand that you need to set boundaries, that you may not have the skills to set what that change happen.
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 5:49
I think that I am best suited to give my gifts to the world when I have the autonomy and the flexibility. And I can work from home and, and all these things. And I believe there are many millions of other people who are like that, who just It doesn’t make sense somehow for the way your brain works. And your body works in the rhythm of your life and your kids and your dogs and whatever to commute in the morning. But it does present a new set of challenges that I think, you know, a lot of people are grappling with now. And you know, as as a byproduct, I guess some of us like you wind up with really clean apartments and absolutely no work getting done.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 6:28
So So take us from the point of starting the new business, I’m presuming This wasn’t focused mate. But that first business? And what led you to to starting focus mate then and and what is focused made? You know what, how do you describe it in in its most practical terms, I read it in your bio as a behavioral technology company for remote workers. What is focus made in its most practical terms of what led you to really starting that company after having had what I hear is a successful other entrepreneurial venture.
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 7:01
In simplest terms, focus mate is like a study buddy on demand. If you haven’t had a study, buddy, it’s somebody who meets up with you to get some stuff done together. Focus mate isn’t exactly that what the way it works is use you schedule an appointment, it’s a 15 minute appointment, and focus mate find you a partner, another person somewhere in the world who would also like to be held accountable for getting their most important work done. And we have a very strong culture and behavioral protocol for what do you do during a focus mate session. So you show up it’s, it’s, it’s an interaction that takes place over video show up, you greet your partner, we encourage you to be friendly, but we say within the first 60 seconds, each of you is committing to what you want to get done during that time, that 15 minutes. And then within 60 seconds, you’re both getting to work, and you keep the video on, you stay there with each other you you actually write down in the chat interface, each task that you’re working on as you progress through. And at the end of the 15 minutes you check in and you report how it went and you reflect, you know how you’re feeling about it. And it’s sort of this shared moment of celebration as well. And we could unpack all of you guys are productivity nerds, we could unpack all of the behavioral triggers that’s packed into our structure. But the long and short of it is it’s just like magically effective at getting your button the seat and getting you to work on the thing that you really should be working on. So that’s in very basic terms, what we do today, we can come back to some of the things that we’re working on over the coming months and years. But how did it? How did it happen? So I mentioned that sort of in that tailspin I went into a few years ago, that really deepened my interest in these intersecting domains of sort of personal growth and productivity and self actualization and all this. And at that time, I just, I decided I wanted to make that, that my career and I was not at all sure how to do that. So actually, after starting another startup that that one quite well, which I just decided to shut down. I just wasn’t super passionate about it, I decided I wanted to do something about this full time I went and got trained as a coach with the intention of getting into executive coaching, and sort of just combined some of my different prior experiences to have enough credibility to hang out a shingle and start working with people as an executive coach. And that really became like my boot camp, and how to help people in a really practical way. Because you know, when you’re working one on one, like that, there’s really there’s no place for a client side, there’s also no place for you to hide as a, as a practitioner. And as a coach, and you start to see, you know that people have stated aspirations, sometimes that actually aren’t backed up by their behaviors, or maybe it doesn’t seem like they actually really want to change, then you also have people that really want to change and are completely stuck. And there’s just so many ways that we get stuck and get in our own way. So I certainly was not successful every time with every problem that my clients encountered. But that’s kind of that’s the game like, it’s really hard to be a human being. We were flawed creatures, in some ways, but I got to really roll up my sleeves and learn a lot about human behavior. And I was talking to a friend and a member of one of my men’s groups that I was running someone who was also an entrepreneur also worked from home, and a procrastinator, like me. And he had an investor presentation a couple weeks away and was just lamenting how he had not even started how he was starting to get really freaked out. And in the meantime, I had been putting off blog article for at least four months, maybe five months, like something just totally embarrassing. So we just had this idea to get on Skype. And I would sit there with him while he wrote this presentation. And he would sit there with me while I wrote this blog post. And we baked in all these sort of these hacks that I knew and how we structured the time, but but basically, we just, we’ve we just became instantly productive using this format. And so it was it was really obvious right away that this was something that other people could benefit from, and then you know, within hours and certainly days, other possibilities sort of product vision started to just just happen, you know, just come to mind in the shower and you know, laying in bed and what have you and and then also simultaneously just like started to recognize how much the sort of mega trends happening around us really demanded something like this in terms of we’re just ridiculously district acted. And I think most people resonate with that. Procrastination really wasn’t a thing 50 years ago. And now we’re sort of getting into like, the dark ages of for distraction and procrastination. And then also just how we work has changed, where it certainly used to be the norm that we had the structure of an office and our colleagues and the sort of this inertia that we got to partake in to help keep us on track. Not a perfect thing. But it worked in some ways. And now we are remote workers were freelancers, we’re on distributed teams where even if you’re in an office, your your team might be halfway around the world and you still feel alone, or you’re taking an online course, you know, at on the nights and weekends or your side hustle or whatever the case may be, we’re really isolated now and how we work and, and that’s really, it’s not healthy for us. So anyways, I you know, notice these these big things happening, and it just seemed like man, this is something that makes a lot of sense for me personally, and that the world really needs.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 13:06
So I’m I’m curious about kind of self selection bias when it comes to the people who approached focus made. So for example, I have had a virtual coworking buddy for going on probably a decade now. And I’ve known this person for more than about 20 years, maybe a little bit around 20 years now. And the opportunity for us to be able to co work was usually by text messaging remarkably. And so we would text message each other. And we still actually do this to this day, although now we do virtual coworking as well akin to what you’re doing a focus, mate. And that is we will text each other what we’re going to do on the half hour while we’re working. And it was just a way for us to keep us motivated on in terms of what we’re doing. And so I really heart the idea of focus made here. But the reality is, is that your there’s there is a self selection bias a person who finds focus made is someone who is in one of two camps, they they are aware that they have a problem like procrastination, or just lack of motivation toward an outcome. And they seek out help through a platform like focus mate. And the other is someone who’s highly driven, and wants to eke out every bit of their extra productivity perhaps. And does that is Are those the two archetypes those two kind of profiles of the people you see joining focus mate? Or are you seeing other kinds of people joining and and what are their experiences on the platform?
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 14:40
I do think that’s a fair assessment. There are some other archetypes. I mean, there’s, for example, a personality test by Gretchen Rubin, that one of the types is called an analyzer. And so if you’re a follower of Gretchen Rubin, and you’ve taken this test, and you know you’re obliged, you’re you know that you respond really well to accountability. So whether you’ve taken that test or not, if you’re an applied your personality type, you hear about focus, mate, and it just clicks in your brain like, you may not be a procrastinator, you may not be an optimizer, you just, you just love accountability. And every time you’ve used it for anything in your life, it just works because you you’ve oblige others. So I would say we’re still learning about the different archetypes, your your assessment is pretty much pretty much right on there.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:30
And for folks who are listening, I will put a link to it’s the four tendencies. And I actually did a book review of this on productivity book group. So I’ll link to that as well. And folks will be able to link to the quiz for understanding whether you’re an upholder, a rebel obliged, or or questioner, and so you can determine which of the of the four tendencies you fit into, into in that in that regard. So I’ll put that in the in the show notes.
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 15:55
I do want to just add to this, if you don’t identify with any of the, you know, archetypes that we’ve just described, that’s okay. I am not in a glider. In a way, I’m a procrastinator, but I’m also a really high performer. And I don’t really identify as an optimizer either. I’m certainly ambitious. But I think that maybe this is more like a philosophical thing about who we are. But certainly in the, in the US, we have this cultural value of rugged individualism and and it’s awesome because it means you know, that’s why we have so many entrepreneurs here and why we have crazy ultra marathons and cool things like that are sort of endemic to this individualistic culture. But I think it also causes us to put too much value on willpower and discipline and like gritting our teeth and muscling through things, and going it alone and all that. So I just, I just want to like give people a nudge that, basically our philosophy is if something works, if something helps you be whoever you want want to be, like, maybe that’s maybe that’s a good thing, you know, that there’s no right or wrong way. So that’s kind of how we think about focus made, it’s like, hey, this thing works. And, and I think it can work for many, many different types of archetypes of people. Absolutely.
Augusto Pinaud 17:16
And I think that’s a fantastic point to just make, you know, it’s, if something works, please do it. You know, I’ve been, I’ve been trying a version of that, you know, what’s focused may does, I’m trying to get these friends and one of the things that I found that are interesting that it is the shame factor, you know, the common with somebody you may not know, make make it easier with the hope that you will never see this person again, you know, when you are admittedly saying, hey, I need help for the next hour, because I procrastinated about it. So I think that’s, that’s something that the software do really powerful, I think I’m sure eventually you will see these people again, but but I think how having the ability to have the resource that you can find somebody who can help you with that, without necessarily needed to admit it to anybody that you’re struggling, getting their work done, it is a good thing. That’s think, I think that’s something very American to be ashamed that we’re struggling with our work, you know, when we supposed to be superheroes in somehow. So that is something that is interesting, because you don’t see on every country, it’s something that is, you know, that is really American says where I, where we are aware of the procrastination, but we don’t necessarily talk or discuss or find a solution on the open, we try to find it, you know, on the under, you know, it is, as I laugh about the Benedict pizza, you know, most people will not recognize that there have addiction to pizza, okay, and there is nothing good or bad was daddy’s well, being aware, hey, I have a weakness, you know, when I, if I if I think if my brain, right, so we should do pizza, I already know that’s a trigger for something. So I need to stop. For most people, we are more afraid of making that connection than anything else. So having the ability to go connect and being able to get, you know, that 15 minutes, 60 minutes, it’s really, really cool. And having the ability to do it. 24 seven is I think is even more powerful.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:23
Well, I take umbrage with both of you over the virtual or vice of pizza. So there’s no way on Earth, I will consider the fact that I eat pizza at least once a week a vice.
We’ll just we’ll leave it at that. So Taylor, I’ll let you respond to us to if you have any commentary and response there, and then we could move on.
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 19:45
It’s a really astute observation I do. So it actually it’s, it’s something I saw a lot in my coaching work where actually, if you create a safe enough space for people who are doesn’t matter, if you’re a high performer local perform, I mean, that’s all relative, actually, it’s kind of just like, you’re human. And if you’re human, I guarantee you have your foibles, you have this stuff you do that gets in your own way. And it’s really just relative to like, your sense of your own potential. So I would say like it, we should almost throw away these labels, I think the labels of like, Oh, I’m a procrastinator, those really do us a disservice. And the conversation I’m more interested in having is like, how do we close the gap between how we are and how we want to be? And you know, who do you want to become what do you see for yourself, and being feeling safe and feeling supported to sort of just bring forth however you are today is really important for step of that. And so, as you’ve sort of implied ago, so like, a big part of focus made is actually a culture of just Hey, we just, you know, Come as you are. But the other side of it is like, Hey, we are all here, because we are really interested in being our best selves. So it’s, it’s both safe, and aspirational. And so maybe the sort of V zero focus mate is like, these are strangers. So it’s safe, I’ll never see them again. But actually, I think it’s it’s much more than that. It’s it’s a culture. And an ideally, actually, you do see them again, because these are people that when you’re with them, and it sounds like you know, you’ve had this experience re with your accountability person where what this person brings out a side of you, they make you feel safer, they also sort of call forth, a better version of you. So that’s, that’s, you know, when people talk about focus, may they say we’re actually a community before we’re anything else. And I think that’s why
Augusto Pinaud 21:47
I think that’s exactly what makes it really cool. When you come in at the beginning, before you
Raymond Sidney-Smith 21:53
are part of that community, you you have the assurance to a certain extent that hopefully, you’re never going to this person again. Okay, but I asked you see the benefit, then you play more and more. And now you belong to the community. And now you start looking to see that person again, to see hey, how how those struggles. And I think that’s one of the things that make it really cool. So I want to move the conversation forward into a little bit of a deeper dive than we’ve been talking about virtual coworking and the proliferation of technology really in in the world, we now have more than 50% of the world on the internet. And that means that soon, most people on the planet will have an essence probably an Android device with that’s connected to the internet through mobile broadband connection. And that’s giving them access to something like focus, mate. And so with the proliferation of video technology with broadband Internet access worldwide, it does really create this opportunity for kind of worldwide accountability. And as both of you know, probably are, are certainly our listeners know, this for me is that I’m a huge advocate for accountability, and kind of the four levels of accountability. And so the the idea of focus mate really appeals to me, but I’m curious what you can kind of help explain to people in terms of what about this form of accountability really helps to make people more productive? What’s kind of the underpinnings here, that motivate someone who is, you know, a stranger to the other person on the other side of that video tunnel that they should do? What should be done, because that other person’s looking at them? Can you like, kind of unpack that for us a little bit
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 23:43
there, there is actually more behavioral triggers than we should go into, because people get bored. I think a really interesting one is, you know, and all of these are studied phenomenon. So, you know, research that validates that this is a real thing. One is that we perform better when we’re with other people, you know, the research is basically, you’re doing a task alone, you’re doing a task with somebody else present. That’s the only variable you change. And just by having another person there, boost, boost your performance. And you know, what that speaks to you? And like, why is accountability? You know, what, what category is accountability belong to, I think it’s part of this umbrella of what I call tribal psychology. And the simple fact that we’re not rational creatures, we’re not machines, even though sometimes we wish we were, we are social creatures, and we evolved. And we survive, because we are cooperative. And because we communicate with each other, and, you know, one on one with a little lion, like, you’re just you’re not gonna, you’re not going to make it. But with a tribe you’re in, you’re in much better shape. So the Facebook’s of the world, really understand tribal psychology, and that’s what hooks and, but these are behavioral triggers that aren’t good or bad they just are. And so accountability, having somebody present with you is just an example of how we can hack tribal psychology to make us better. And then I think another another sort of one two punch that’s really valuable is, is just setting a specific intention, and then immediately acting on it. And actually sharing it with another person and writing it down. Each of those is a layer that increases productivity. So because that’s the protocol and focus, mate, you just do it, you do each of these things, you you set a specific intention, you share it with somebody write it down, and then you immediately start doing it, that has a huge impact. And then one of the ones that kind of surprised me, actually when I learned about it, but makes sense is that reflection also makes us more productive, we tend to enjoy doing what’s called executive tasks, more than reflective tasks. So reflective tasks are like planning and prioritization, or writing a to do list or even journaling. And sort of like how did my week ago, and you know, what worked, what didn’t work. All of these are reflective tasks, they don’t feel as good as like answering an email, that’s an executive task, it’s a doing something. But research shows that reflect spending more time on reflective tasks increase their productivity, and stands to reason because you want to, you know, you have a limited amount of time, you need to spend it on the things that have the most impact. You need to learn from your mistakes. All these things are what allow us to be truly productive. It’s not just Inbox Zero. That’s not what allows you to build a successful business or something. So I think that’s kind of a cool one that because we’ve built reflection into the end of every session, you also are forced to do this other thing that you really would
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:54
probably never do otherwise. I want to fast forward to the horizon for focus, mate. And really, what’s what’s kind of the next big thing for focus, mate, what are you working on or developing to make the platform better grow? what’s the what’s the thing that kind of excites you about getting up today? With regard to the horizon for focus, mate?
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 27:21
Yeah, so there’s really there’s sort of three vectors in terms of how I see the platform evolving. The first is just the the convenience or the utility? So how do we how do we integrate the experience of scheduling and remembering to attend your sessions and making it more convenient and flexible. So that’s, that’s the first one. The second is around the community, the network and the personalization of the experience. So having a tribe of favorite co workers, joining groups that you’re part of, in other parts of your life, maybe you’re an alumni of you know, of a certain institution, and you want to join a focus make group for that institution, or you’re taking an online course and you want to join a group, that’s also taking that online course and actually get matched up and do your work with other students in that course, or with your favorite partner. So that’s number two is really deeply personalizing and turning focus made early into your community. And the third is around habit formation and gamification. So, you know, we’re very motivated by goal achievement and sort of unlocking status. And speaking of travelers, psychology, right status. So do a lingo is an example of an app that has exploded in popularity, hundreds of millions of users doing language learning, which is notoriously difficult, and they’ve done it because they really understand gamification. So there’s a lot there that we also want to bake into focus make,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:52
it sounds to me, like what you’re trying to do is clean up the interface and, and really make get more the experience better for for users. What’s the buy in for the users currently focused? made is free, right, so people can use it gratis? And at some point, you’re going to be providing potentially something of a premium level, what does that look like? And what could be when people kind of think about in terms of I know, this is not certain, but what What’s your idea about what those kind of premium level subscription or membership would be to,
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 29:29
there’s a few, I think, a likely candidate for premium is, you know, a free, a free version of the tool allows you to work as you can today and get matched with anyone else in the community. In order to have a really personalized experience where you have, you can do as many sessions as you want with your favorite partners, with other members of a group, that may be a premium service. And then we’ve also just launched another offering, which is actually, for the owner, like the business owner, of a group. So if you are a business coach, and you have an online course, you know that one of the big problems is, it takes a lot of your time and energy in order to hand hold people to be successful in your course. And that doesn’t scale very well. The alternative is you give people like a self guided course, and they tend to not follow through on it. So the idea for you as a business owner is create a focus meet group for your course or for your community. And your members can actually hand hold each other in successfully completing your course. So that’s it’s actually just one example of the types of business owners that are interested in having private focus groups. But that’s sort of another way that we’re monetizing.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 30:51
So so the next thing I wanted to talk to you about Taylor was this, I noticed on the focus main website, some time ago that you guys are doing a crowd equity funding campaign for the company. And one kind of can you explain to listeners what that really means? What what what crowd equity funding really means for focus mate? And and what that really means for the future of focus me? Why you kind of made that choice, how it’s going, and kind of what’s next, what’s gonna, what’s going to happen once you reach that number, if you haven’t already, and and really what that looks like for, for users of the platform, and for potential users of the platform down the road.
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 31:33
Yes, so actually, we closed our crowdfunding campaign
about a month and a half ago, and we raised almost 500% of our target. We raised about 120, something thousand dollars doing crowdfunding was so what does it mean? So actually, during the Obama administration, a new law was passed, called the JOBS Act, which made it possible for everyday people to invest in startups, which was not possible before. And so literally what it means is you are buying a piece of startup, when you know, if and when the company has a successful outcome, then you can share in that outcome financially. So that’s pretty cool. And you can invest on this site. It’s called Republic Republic Co. You can invest as little as $10 in some startup, so it was truly democratic, accessible crowdfunding platform, why did we decide to do it, as I mentioned earlier, on the show, we are first and foremost a community. And that is really the strength of our business, and our product is the people. So just philosophically, it just seemed like a no brainer that we already have so many people that are really, really passionate about focus mate, really motivated to see it successful, constantly sharing it with their friends constantly, you know, writing in with feedback and ideas. So, you know, make bring people onto the team in a formal way, giving them even more incentives and participation just seemed like a win for everyone.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 33:15
Right. And so to clarify, that means that you can be a non accredited investor, anyone doesn’t know what an accredited investor is, it’s a classification by the IRS for being able to pay into these kinds of equity fundraising rounds, and that traditionally has walked people out of investing in early stage startups and other kinds of of investments. And in this particular case, now, people are capable of investing at a much lower level. And you’re actually allowed to write because you’re capable of buying into it. So it’s great. I think it sounds wonderful. I love the idea of focus, mate. I love the idea of the of it being a community first and a community driven organization, it reminds me a little bit of the B Corp concept. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes also for people interested in business Corp. And, and so yeah, so so how can people help support focus mate going forward? What what’s the what’s the next thing they can do to be a part of that community? specifically? Yeah, well,
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 34:12
specifically sign up for focus, mate and get in there. So join our community. I mean, I think that
I think almost by definition, your listeners are perfect people for our community, you care about your productivity, you care about, you know, being the person you, you know, you can be. So you know, focus mate is we have your back where, you know, we’re built to help you on that journey. So we’d love to have you as part of the community that is by far, also the most valuable thing you can do to help us is just, you know, jumping on board this, this journey with us. That’s its focus. mate.com.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 34:55
Fantastic, you will have links to that in the show notes. I also put links to some of the research he talked about, so people can access that as well. Let’s close out with the kind of one What’s one practical tip for listeners to take away today to be more productive. Aside from signing up for focus, mate, I think that’s a given. How can they make How can they step onto the focus, make platform and take best advantage of it, just beyond the idea of signing up for a session are there are there’s some are the some practical things they can do when they’re on the focus make platform to kind of level up immediately,
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 35:32
I think it helpful, like mental trick is to create a relationship with focus May, that is, when I’m using focus made, I do my most important work, because you have this moment where you’re committing to something to another person. And it’s a lot more of a conscious moment, sometimes then when you’re doing it by yourself, and you’re just writing your own to do list. So I find that sort of integrating that and into my own relationship with the experience, it’s much easier to make a healthy choice for me for our users, when you have that opportunity to verbalize it to another person. So for sure, that’s one. And then another one.
Going back to this idea of like, you know, going it alone and roughing it and muscle muscling through a lot of people join focus made and they’re trying to find, like, the perfect time, or the perfect task to use focus mate for and I tell people like, that’s, you know, don’t wait. And in fact, I challenge people to schedule 10 focus mate sessions it within like, several day span, and to just there’s no amount of help or support that is like, Oh, that’s too much. you’ve, you’ve overdone it, like you’re not allowed to get that much help. You don’t have to do that you can really just I mean, our power users are using focus made as the battery phone of their day, three or five or 10 sessions in a day, I’ve heard of somebody doing 17 sessions in a day, which I do not recommend. But Wow, the point being, it’s, it’s actually okay to, to just kind of lean into it. And and if you sign up for a session, you’ll figure out what to do. You’ll you know that we will guide you through making the right choice and and having a really productive 15 minutes. So don’t get stuck on, you know, what’s the What should I use this for when you know when is the right time, actually just block out an hour when you’d like to be doing something you know, that you want to do that you need to do? And you’ll figure it out.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:41
Fantastic. I love that. Yeah. That’s great. That’s great. Well, thank you for being on the show with us, Taylor.
Taylor Jacobson, Focusmate 37:48
Thanks so much for having me.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:50
That was Taylor Jacobson, founder of Focusmate. And this brings us near the end of our show. I have a couple of announcements before we close out first and foremost, do you have a question or comment about this cast about focus mate or something that we discussed about focus mate? If you’re listening from anywhere other than the podcast website, feel free to visit us over at productivity cast.net there at the bottom of each episode page is a comment section, you can leave a comment or question. One of us including us wrangling Taylor to get an answer will be glad to respond. there on the episode page, you’ll also find our show notes, so links to anything we discussed can be jumped over to there from the show notes. It also has our transcript and any other resources to download, and you can learn how to follow us in your favorite podcast app on the website to just click on the subscribe button. Do you have a question about personal productivity generally or topic you’d like us to discuss? Please visit productivity cast.net forward slash contact and we’d love to hear from you. Thanks to Taylor Jacobson, founder of focus mate, and my co host of this too bad for joining me here on this productivity cast. Also if you can leave us a rating a review in iTunes or Apple podcast to help us grow our personal productivity listening community. So thank you. That brings us to the close of this episode of productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, take care, here’s your productive life.
Voiceover Artist 39:10
And that’s it for this productivity cast. The weekly show about all things productivity with your hosts Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai