5 min read
Are you caught up on our #ProductivityGiants series so far? If not, be sure to check out our interviews with Camille Ricketts, Head of Content at First Round Capital, Brad Feld, Partner at Foundry Group, Nir Eyal, author of Hooked, Eric Paley, Partner at Founder Collective, Dharmesh Shah, CTO of Hubspot, James Clear, Author & Entrepreneur, Nilofer Merchant, Author & Speaker, and Derek Flanzraich, Founder of Greatist.
Eric Bandholz’s signature line is “Keep on Growing!” Fitting words for the founder of one of the most popular online stores to sell beard products today. Beardbrand, Eric’s beard grooming empire, caters to beard owners and aficionados everywhere and fosters style for the urban beardsmen.
Beardbrand carries everything you could possibly think of to keep your beard in tiptop shape – oils, waxes, sprays, you name it. But Beardbrand didn’t start out as an online destination – it was first a blog where Eric shared his knowledge about growing a beard and a place to share style inspiration. Eric’s goal was simple – to provide men with the tools to feel confident about growing a beard, while also battling the negative stereotypes about beardsmen being lazy or unkempt.
Since the company’s inception, Beardbrand has witnessed explosive growth, national media attention, and has made a dent in the cultural shift regarding how society views beards. What started as a blog is now a booming 7 figure business, with Eric at the helm. We sat down with him to talk about all things productivity – including the key to his success and why outsourcing tasks is so important to him.
Eric shares beard-centric videos on his YouTube channel, which has almost 400,000 subscribers. In this video, Eric shows off 25 years of his own personal beard style evolution to prove to people how you can always improve and change your look!
What does the first 90 minutes of your day look like?
I typically wake around 5:30 – 6:30am and go through my morning routine of getting prepped in the bathroom, getting dressed, eating breakfast then either going to work out or heading off to work.
My days will vary quite a bit depending on if I’m rowing or going straight to work. For days that I row, I’ll skip the shower and have a quicker morning routine. On days I go straight to work I’ll typically walk the dog and spend a little bit more time with my family.
What’s your number one productivity/time-saving tip?
Hire others to do things you aren’t good at or things you simply don’t want to do. Too much brain power, energy, and time are spent on activities you don’t want to do, both personal and professional. The more you can outsource the more time you’ll have to spend doing the things you are good at.
Any favorite tools?
Reddit? Ha, just kidding – that’s like my #1 anti-productivity tool. Really, I think one of the best productivity tools is a good set of headphones that you can use to help you block out distractions and stay focused on what you’re currently working on.
How often do you check your inbox?
I’m not the most responsive when it comes to email, so I’m only checking email once every two or three hours.
“The more you can outsource the more time you’ll have to spend doing the things you are good at.”
Do you have a pre-bed/nightly routine?
I love to sleep, and have been going to bed fairly early lately – around 9pm. For me it’s simple – I’ll brush my teeth, crawl into bed, put on my sleep mask, and fall asleep. My wife is a bit of a night owl, so the sleep mask is imperative if I actually want to fall asleep quickly.
#1 Email tip?
Sort by unread.
What’s the biggest hindrance to your productivity? How do you combat it?
Sometimes I’m not able to fully let go of my tasks and give them to other team members. I strive to eliminate this by having regular coaching meetings that help train up the team so they can make decisions without me. Then they’ll be able to function more independently and in turn, gives me more focused energy.
When you lose focus, what do you do to regain it?
I’ll join the “watercooler” and chat with my co-workers or go for a coffee or a walk. I found that separating myself from my computer helps me have a clear mind when I Eat People. It’s a book about outsourcing the things you aren’t good at and focusing on your core strengths. It’s how we were able to scale up our business so quickly.
What have you learned from your failures?
I’ve learned I really suck at working alone and thrive off the energy of working with others. Communication is a big key to my success.
What bad advice do you hear often?
“Only do work that you get paid for.” This is specifically directed to freelance people & creatives. To this day, I still do things for free and I’ve seen a significant return from those projects.
What book has changed your life and why?
Eat People. It’s a book about outsourcing the things you aren’t good at, and focusing on your core strengths. It’s how we were able to scale up our business so quickly.
The most worthwhile investment in time, money, or energy that you’ve made?
I put $30 into Beardbrand in the beginning and a shit ton of time and energy. It’s now a 7 figure business with hundreds of thousands of customers. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top that.
What’s your definition of productivity?
As Beardbrand has grown, it’s been harder for me to judge my productivity. I’ve moved away from a task-driven day and more towards a strategy day. When I’m working on strategy it’s very challenging for me to measure productivity.
With all that being said, I’d say my simple definition of productivity is focused attention on the right project that has a clear outcome.
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Our Productivity Giants series highlights tech leaders shaking up things in their industries. If you enjoyed Eric’s feature, check out others in this series:
- Brad Feld, partner at Foundry Group
- Camille Ricketts, Head of Content at First Round Capital
- Nir Eyal, author of Hooked
- Dharmesh Shah, CTO of Hubspot
- Eric Paley, Partner at Founder Collective
- James Clear, Author and Entrepreneur at JamesClear.com
- Derek Flanzraich, Founder of Greatist
- Nilofer Merchant, Author & Speaker