Stephan Aarstol is well known for his appearance on Shark Tank as the founder and CEO of Tower Paddle Boards and Tower Electric Bikes. After being funded by Mark Cuban on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2012, Tower went on to become one of the biggest success stories in the history of the show. As an internet business entrepreneur since 1999, Stephan felt it was time for another disruption and wanted to force creative thinking? Through his new book, The Five Hour Workday. In this episode, Stephan shares the principles needed to spark creative thinking, and why it doesn’t take a traditional eight-hour day.
[2:10] Stephan shares something about himself that not many people know about.
[3:10] Stephan explains what is the most important leadership quality an entrepreneur needs.
[5:55] In the tech world where everything is fast-changing, we need to keep pace and be more agile. Stephan shares what are the early warning signs to be aware of.
[7:05) Stephan shares an example of how not to spend money unnecessarily in order to be profitable.
[10:25] Stephan is known for having the worst pitch on Shark Tank. Despite this, he was still able to land the deal.
[12:40] Stephan shares what his go-to questions would be if he was a Shark on Shark Tank.
[16:05] As a mature business owner, Stephan looks at things differently now. However, when you have nothing to lose, that’s the perfect time to start a business.
[18:00] Stephan talks about his journey into writing The Five Hour Workday.
[20:25] The key difference between Stephan’s book and Tim Ferriss’s The Four Hour Work Week was that Ferriss’s book was about individuals outsourcing their work and compressing their days. Stephan wanted to apply the same principles to an organizational framework.
[21:45] During the pandemic when Tower was about to go bankrupt, they used their ability to work faster to double their productivity. They did it for a year and were able to double their revenues.
[22:30] Stephan shares how he overcame the challenge for his organization to use The Five Hour Workday as a motivation rather than an entitlement.
[24:35] The pandemic created a constraint for all businesses and his book has found new interest because work has changed now. The pandemic allowed businesses to go into creative thinking.
[25:45] Remote work is going to work for at least 10% of the population as they are intrinsically motivated. However, the remaining 90% look for the path of least resistance. Stephan shares his prediction and why remote work could be a disaster.
[28:00] Being called The World’s Best Boss, Stephan shares his thoughts about having this title.
[31:00] Constraint is how you change the way you work from being traditional to becoming disruptive and forcing creative thinking.
[33:10] Stephan also talks about his key takeaway from Tim Ferris’s book: Management by absence.
[34:30] One of the biggest leadership lessons Stephan had was going through trial and error.
[35:50] The biggest advantage of being an entrepreneur with a small company is you get to pick the people you take on your journey and experience hardships with.
[37:05] Looking back, Stephan shares what he would do differently, historically and moving forward.
[42:00] Listener challenge: We’re in a scary time. Figure out how to get your burn rate to negative and diversify.
Quotable Quotes“When you’re in college, this is the time to have a business because you have nothing to lose. You have no experience – and you have nothing to lose.” Click To Tweet “We squeezed people for time during the busy season and that’s the magic of it. You put an unrealistic constraint and that forces creative thinking.” Click To Tweet “Start-ups basically disrupt the world constantly and it’s because of constraints. Constraint is the way you do it. That’s what we did with The Five Hour Workday.” Click To Tweet “The world has changed and we have these very powerful companies. We are in a really scary time right now and I would say, go for cover and figure out how to get your burn rate to negative and diversify.” Click To Tweet