Behind the Brilliance 092: Paul Jarvis


This week, Lisa Likes Thrive Market. The company delivers health foods and products to your at a discount for a low yearly fee. It’s one of my favorite startups, and it’s grown like crazy. The CEO will be on BTB next month so stay tuned for that.

This week’s guest is the smart, creative, and heavily tattooed man of mystery, Paul Jarvis. He’s created a life he loves by being intentional about its design and constantly trying new things. We unpack that and more in this conversation.



Paul Jarvis

The hardest-working creative you’ll meet, Paul Jarvis is a designer, writer, teacher, software creator and podcaster. He’s written four books (translated into Korean, Russian, Arabic and several other languages he doesn’t speak), and builds beautiful-yet-practical digital courses including Creative Class and Chimp Essentials. Paul also co-founded ofCourseBooks and hosts two podcasts about business, freelancing, creativity – and nerdy stuff like time travel and vampires.

As a trend-buster and business strategist, Paul has collaborated with some awesome people and companies, including Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, and Warner Music. His work has appeared in Fast Company, Forbes, Newsweek, BuzzFeed, LifeHacker, and his writing reaches over 100,000 people every month.

Never someone to sit on his laurels (what are those “laurels,” anyway?), Paul has also been a touring musician, veterinary assistant, paperboy, and ad agency monkey. He began working for himself full-time in 1998, so he’s pretty much unemployable now – and that’s a really good thing.

When he’s not trying to convince people that he invented the Internet, you’ll find Paul hiking, playing with power tools, and eating veggies with his wife, Lisa, and their friendly crew of rats.


TOPICS COVERED (partial list)

How Paul found his way as a creative freelancer

Paul’s philosophy on managing his time and making life decisions

How Paul handles critics

Excellent advice on standing on in a crowded field

Why Paul has pet rats (I had to know)

And more!


STUFF MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE (clickable links below)

Paul Jarvis online

Paul on Twitter

Paul on Instagram

Of Course Books

99u article on Creative Industry Bullsh*t

Anything You Want – Derek Sivers (Paul’s book pick)

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield (Paul’s book pick)

The Flinch – Julien Smith (Paul’s book pick)

The Martian – Andy Weir (Paul’s book pick)

Thrive Market – Lisa Likes