Danielle Thompson: Freelancing Guru, Serial Entrepreneur and Delegation Ninja on Scaling Obstacles, Building Businesses and Seeking Joy

Danielle Thompson
49 MINUTE READ
Danielle Thompson

Danielle Thompson

Danielle is a Canadian designer, teacher and serial entrepreneur. She founded her tech-startup-focussed design agency, Studio Moku, aged just 20, from her college lecture hall. She’s also the founder of The Freelance Travel Network, an online school that helps young freelancers find the confidence and clients they need to get paid for work that they’re really excited about. These days you’ll mostly find her in Canngu (Bali), Buenos Aires (Argentina) or her home town of Montreal (Canada).

Find her on Facebook and Toptal

Quick Note from Arthur: One of my absolute FAVOURITE things about Danielle’s story are the obstacles that she’s scaled to become the incredibly inspiring and successful young entrepreneur that she is today.

She didn’t just get by with major ADHD and severe anxiety as a teenager, she used them to train the coping mechanisms and build the operating model that define the kind of entrepreneur she is and the way she tackles business today.

She’s an extraordinary testament to the power of a growth mindset. And if you’ve ever thought about entrepreneurship or freelancing but worried you might lack the will, skill or experience to accomplish your dreams, you need more Danielle in your life 👇

VIDEO INTERVIEW
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AUDIO/PODCAST VERSION

FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Arthur
Thank you so much for making the time to chat, because I know you’re busy and flying all over the place. Just literally got back to Bali, so.

Danielle
Always a pleasure.

Arthur
So I’ll just do a little intro, because I know you from Bali and I asked you to chat to me… because we basically had this dinner, and you blew my mind. And I was like, “Holy shit. How is this 25 year old got her stuff so together?” It makes me feel like really under, like you’ve not achieved much in life when you talk to you and you’re like. Okay, I’ve really got to reassess how I think about 90% of my life.

Arthur
So you started Moku which is your design agency. When did you start that?

Danielle
A few years ago? I guess, it was named Moku like three years ago. But I always had different design agencies, maybe for the last five years.

Arthur
Okay, cool. So you’ve been doing the freelance thing for about five years. And that basically gives you total financial and physical freedom, right? So you’re living in Bali. You were just in Canada. You’re all over the place and doing whatever you want.

Danielle
Exactly.

Arthur
That’s awesome. Tell us a little bit about how you got here today, and what it took to build.

Danielle
Yeah, it’s been a wild journey, and it’s kind of been like… especially in Bali. Everyone has these epic stories of, I was in this dead end job. And then I realized my life could be way more epic if I moved to Bali. And so I left everything.

Danielle
And I just felt like mine was a lot more subtle. It was being in university, realizing that that current system… All my friends who are way more talented than me, were making much less money than me because I was freelancing and they were always waiting for a job. And waiting for an internship. And it made me feel like, okay. If went with that mentality, I would be waiting for some kind of outside force to tell me that I was good enough to start working.

Danielle
And maybe I should have waited because I wasn’t very good but that was the first paradigm shift, where I was like, “Okay everyone’s doing this. But I seem to be in a place with a bit more freedom, a bit more flexibility. Am I missing something?” And so, starting freelancing quite young in university, I’d be in class in my lecture just working while my friends were actually learning. And then, slowly starting to build an agency in the way we’re eventually hiring someone. And this is kind of the condensed version of it.

Danielle
But we can go into detail later. So, working and then realizing that I wasn’t actually that great of a designer. Maybe I should have paid attention in my lectures. And so then, hiring people who were better than me. And I think design is a really good practice in humility because you’re always wrong. And so then hiring a designer as a designer is like extra humility because you’re not the best designer. And you’re probably not the best at what you do.

Danielle
And so hiring out, and realizing what that freedom could look like, and how I can pay people American wages in countries where that was really hard to actually get. And help someone fund their life, and so, my first employee has his first baby, has his first condo that he just bought recently. He’s telling me that a big part of it is because of the money that he’s gotten working with me, and he deserves every bit of it because he’s amazing.

Danielle
And starting to travel, because I was in Montreal and I had a Groundhog Day moment, where my friend’s texting on a Friday, and they’re like, “Are you coming to that bar?” And I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve gotten this text every day. Every Friday for the last two years. And I’m going to get it every Friday for the next five years. If I don’t change, everything’s going to be the same.” And kind of having that freakout moment. Like I need to go. I need to leave. And I really think the universe provides in terms of that moment happened. And shortly after, I got the biggest contract I’ve ever gotten, where I felt financially secure enough to go traveling and do that.

Danielle
And then, one thing led to another, and I ended up here in Bali. But I like the idea of consistency, but I’m pretty actually inconsistent. And I still travel quite a lot, even though I’m based here in Bali, I’m still everywhere. So that’s a short version of what been kind of going on.

Arthur
Yeah. And I think there’s a load of really interesting stuff in there if you unpack it. I think the idea of most people waiting for people to give them opportunities, rather than going out and seizing the opportunity is super interesting. This idea of being… you hear that Tony Robbins’ origin story, where he basically got kicked out of his NLP course because he was like, “I’m going to go practice NLP now! This is amazing.” And he goes into a restaurant and just starts talking to people. And his instructors were like, “You can’t do that. You haven’t finished the training,” and that kind of thing. And look at him now. He’s like huge.

Arthur
And you kind of did the design version of that. Where you were like, “Yeah, I haven’t finished my design degree.” There are so many designers out there who are incredibly talented who never did a design degree. And what separates them from the very underpaid designers who are waiting for the right jobs is that they just got out there and did it, right?

Danielle
Exactly. I think it’s that, not being afraid to fail. And I really really have to say, I have amazing parents. I can say this because I come from a place of privilege where I have these parents who will support me through anything. And they encourage me to explore and try new things. When I was in high school, they were like, “Don’t get a job. I don’t think you need to get a job. You just need to focus on your education.” And that allowed me time to explore.

Danielle
And so sometimes, I think it’s hard for people because they hear from these talks, “Just go out and do it.” But they didn’t come from a place where they have that kind of support. And when you have no one in your life who’s doing that. Like, my dad’s an entrepreneur, it’s really hard to feel confident and to get the validation that you need. Because we’re humans. We do need some kind of outside thing being like, “You’re going to be okay,” you know?

Danielle
And so I think that’s just worth acknowledging. That I did come from a place of privilege that did make certain things a bit easier.

Arthur
Yeah, I think privilege is… everyone thinks, oh it’s financial privilege. I know a lot of people who came from financial privilege but didn’t have, I think, what you had. Which is that kind of mental privilege. Because one of the obstacles… you could be the wealthiest person in the world, or you could come from nothing. One of the things we all struggle with is self doubt. It’s this fear of, I’m not good enough. Or what if it goes wrong? Things like that. And it sounds to me like what your parents gave you in terms of that hero example, is that love where you’re like, “Well if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay. It’s fine to fail.” That kind of thing.

Danielle
Exactly, and they were like, “Failure is just if you don’t get up again.”

Arthur
That’s really cool. I really like that. Did you have any other heroes that you sort of looked up to when you were starting this? Anyone you read, or you’d be like, “I want my life to be like this,” or was it just more?

Danielle
Well, I had a boyfriend at the time, and he wasn’t a hero, but he was pretty cool in terms of what he did. Because he worked online. He was the first person who introduced me to working online. And I just remember making some food downstairs, and he was upstairs on the computer and he comes down. He’s like, “Oh, I made like $300 today.” I was like, “You made what? How?”

Danielle
Oops. Sorry. But I was like, “Yeah, what do you mean you made $300 today?” And he’s like, “yeah, because I work online. My clients are in the UK. I make $75 an hour.” Which was the craziest amount I had ever heard in my entire life at the time. I was like, “$75?! What do you even do with $75?” You know those days. I don’t know, my bank account, especially in university was just always below 200. It was at 130. When I had 200, it was like a big day.

Arthur
So $75 is like doubling your net worth. That’s when you’re like, okay yeah.

Danielle
Yeah. I was like, “What is this?” But actually, when we met and he showed me working online, the first thing I did wasn’t working online. It was hire someone online. To see how it works, and to see it from that perspective. But yeah, I think he was, I wouldn’t call him a mentor, but he was definitely an influential person in that.

Arthur
100%. I think having that goal that you can aim towards, someone who you can emulate. I always say that the greatest thing that all religions give to people is that they create… if you look at every religion, there’s a person in it who people can aspire to be like. It gives you that, what would Jesus do? What would Buddha do? What would all these… And then you can think, okay what do I do? And in some ways, it’s like having the big brother right? Who goes, “Oh I want to be like my big brother,” and that gives you the path to aim for.

Danielle
Exactly, yeah. So I think he’s really influential. And another person was, so kind of a side story is when I found that I was making more money than a lot of my peers, I actually started a company called Intern, to help connect freelancers in school with jobs online. Because they were so talented working at reduced rates compared to industry professionals. And I saw all these people who were looking for people who can think like them. All these startups, all these young companies who needed talent, couldn’t afford senior designers, but needed innovative thinkers.

Danielle
And a design student is such an innovative thinker and the design training that we got, they like to call it Mindfulness 101. So it’s like awareness training. It’s understanding how things impact other things. And I think having that person in a startup is just amazing. And so I wanted to connect them. And one of the people I found in that journey was my investor. And so I had an investor who invested in my company before anything even existed.

Danielle
And it was really really cool because I learned a lot of things from him. Some, I learned through contrasts. The way that he lived his life, I realized I didn’t resonate with. That didn’t align with my values. His family was struggling in terms of the connections that he was having. It was really like he wasn’t glowing. He was quite stressed, and very money centric. And I learned so much about business from him, but it also made me realize that that’s not the lifestyle I want.

Danielle
And I think a lot of us, when we think about becoming entrepreneurs, we think okay. Let’s go the startup route. Let’s build this company. Let’s maybe raise money. And that’s all I knew. I didn’t know about affiliate marketing, or service based businesses, super well. So I’m like, okay I want to be an entrepreneur. That means I need a startup. It means I need investors. And I went, and I’m working with this man for like six months. He gives me a chunk of money, all this stuff. And I was like, wow. If this means that I’m going to end up like him. Even though he’s a beautiful beautiful human, it’s actually not what I want to do.

Arthur
That’s so interesting. I think, I always talk about the idea of the hero thing, but I think actually having an antihero. Who you don’t want to end up. And if I reflect on my own stories, similar when I sat in McKinsey, and I was like, “Wow, I don’t want to be like any of the partners in this firm.” That’s when you’re like I need to move.

Arthur
But I think you have a really interesting point, is that they can be the same person, right? That you can have a hero that’s like a hero in some respects, but an antihero in others. You’re like, I want the way this person thinks about business, but not the way this person thinks about the world, or vice versa. And that’s really cool.

Danielle
Exactly yeah. So I think that was a really influential thing. And then, also I really feel like I’ve been gifted along the way. Because when I look back and hear, if I’m writing my own story, which I don’t do super often. But sometimes I kind of chronicle it, you know, going backwards. And it just seems like the world was preparing me for where I am now. From access to teaching very early, and having heroes be sites, like websites.

Danielle
I think websites have been my biggest heroes, to be honest. The access to things where I can teach online or where I could use things like Upwork that didn’t exist at the time. It was like Elance and those were my real heroes. It was being able to overcome ageism by being able to work online. That was a big hero. So kind of like the tools and technology were the biggest heroes in this whole journey, I think.

Arthur
Yeah definitely huge enablers. The things that you can do today with a small team distributed across the world just weren’t physically possible ten years ago, right? It sounds like a lot of your heroes were like people who were specifically in your life. But were you also on the Tim Ferriss bandwagon, or any of these guys? Or did that all come later?

Danielle
I’ve read Tim Ferriss and I was definitely really inspired. But I tried to kind of stay… I only read business books a bit later on in my life. But I tried to kind of stay in my own lane, because I kind of felt overwhelmed sometimes with all the information that was coming. And I always felt like there was a gap when I read these books about where I am now, and where I should be according to these books. And a lot of the books call for a lot of intangible things. For you to get over a lot of intangible things, like lack of confidence or maybe a lack of motivation, or just things that were so… are a lifetime journey. That was just kind of summed up maybe in a very quick way.

Danielle
And it’s not that it’s amazing. That these books were fantastic. But I always just take these books with a grain of salt. Because I think sometimes the core issue is actually something that’s a personal journey that you need to go on.

Arthur
100%. I think people think that books are going to give them the answers. But actually what a book does, is it shows you the path right? So when you read a book, what I find really powerful is how am I reacting to what’s on this page? If I’m reacting negatively to what an author is saying, then that is more interesting in terms of a data point than sometimes the words that they’re actually using, right? And it helps you work out, what are you uncomfortable with? What do you feel good about?

Arthur
That’s really cool. I think a lot of people I meet, they found their inspiration through, not mentors but leaders in online, or people like Tim Ferriss or Brian Tracy or all these guys. But I like that all your heroes were very local. I think it reminds us that there are a lot of people around us that could teach us a huge amount about what it is that we’ve got, what we can learn, and those inner journeys that we need to go on.

Arthur
So you’re at university and you’re doing cheeky freelance jobs during your lectures instead of listening to your lecturers. And you’re starting to build a business. And then, you’ve got your boyfriend is teaching you like online business is possible. And then, you start hiring your first employees, and then before you know it, you’ve got enough money. You get your first client and then you’re traveling. You’re like, okay I’m going to move to a different part of the world.

Arthur
It sounds like it was all very easy. But what are the obstacles that you’ve faced? You said you didn’t face the normal things around necessarily worrying about failure because you had that in your family and things. But what is it that you struggled with, and how did you overcome those obstacles? And how have they helped you build the business that you’ve built today?

Danielle
For sure. So there was kind of a lot of mental health things. That was kind of a big one, so even though most people wouldn’t believe it. But depression was something that was very real for me, and anxiety, anxiety attacks. A lot of thinking about the future, overthinking those kind of things. Even got me into the hospital when I was in high school. I was in the hospital, I think for over two weeks, on a medical watch because of that stuff. And so kind of overcoming that, and I think that was a big driver for me. For not wanting to go back to that place. You know? To live a life that I had enough stimuli that I was excited about. That just brought me a lot of job. Because I was so nervous about going back to that place.

Danielle
And so, that was really challenging, going through university. And actually, the first year I went to university, my parents didn’t want me to go all the way to Montreal. So I went to a closer school because they wanted to make sure I was still in close proximity because I was dealing with so much mental health issues. But then, moving to Montreal because everything was going well. Still brought its share of trouble because it was a new city, and I had to make new friends. There was a lack of consistency, so those kind of things.

Danielle
And then when it came to working. Working online is amazing and being an entrepreneur, working for yourself, being a freelancer is amazing, but there’s so much uncertainty, right? And if you’re an anxious person, and then you put uncertainty into the picture. And you’re a person who’s projecting and always looking for stability before it even happens, it was kind of a hard mix. And so, there would be times where I just full on panic, and I remember I used to get this feeling. And I know it so specifically. It’s like this drop in the heart. It’s just like boom. And it’s just like, holy jeez. I messed this whole thing up. It’s just this awful feeling.

Danielle
And I would get that before every client call. And what I used to do. I love doing client calls when I was tired, because I couldn’t overthink it. Or before the call, I would be sweating. Literally, sweating. And I would just sit there, and like breathe. I didn’t know much about meditation, per se, but I would just breathe in and out. In and out. Just to practice.

Danielle
And so I think there’s this idea that there are people who are naturally good at things. And I truly believe unless it’s like something physical like you’re a born swimmer because you have super long limbs or something like that, we all kind of go through the same struggle. Especially when it comes to putting ourselves out there, in any way that’s meaningful. And I think it’s important to realize when something is new, it’s stressful. It’s often stressful when it’s new because you just don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know how it works. You don’t know what you’re missing. You don’t know if you messed up. You just don’t know.

Danielle
And I think that’s just so important to acknowledge because again, we read these books. We listen to podcasts and we’re like, okay. If I do step one, step two, step three, and now I know because I read the book, or I listened to the podcast, I won’t be anxious. So I shouldn’t feel this because the guide. But I think the acceptance of being in that space of complete anxiety is what helped me get out of that anxiety.

Danielle
It took a while. It wasn’t like, I accept it. Boom. Now, it’s gone. But it was that continuous acceptance. Being like, okay Danielle. I know you get so nervous on the phone, but you’re still going to do it. But what you’re going to do before, is you’re just going to sit there, and you’re going to breathe, and you’re going to say you’re awesome. You’re going to power stance, and whatever silly thing that I needed at the time, I’m going to do that. And you’re going to get that drop feeling, but you’re going to take a second and breathe before you react. And it’s going to come, but what we’re going to do is we’re just going to deal with it.

Danielle
And so I think that those are the challenges. Right? The uncertainty. And then, all the things that come with it. And then, I think the hardest is when you feel like you shouldn’t feel that way.

Arthur
That’s so interesting. There’s a wonderful story that our org department used to tell at McKinsey, and I’m sure you’ve heard, it’s the two brothers. And they both have a difficult childhood. And one becomes a drug addict, and the other one becomes a successful entrepreneur. And they ask the drug addict, “Why is it that you became a drug addict?” And he goes, “Oh, you don’t understand. I had a really difficult childhood, and it made me realize there was no point doing anything, and that everything was a waste of time.” And they went to the entrepreneur and they go, “Why are you so successful?” And he goes, “You don’t understand, I’ve had a difficult childhood. So I saw from a very early age that I need to get out of it. And I learned how to deal with all of the difficult issues that I was facing.”

Arthur
And I think what’s really lovely about your story, and I think for a lot of people, entrepreneurship is the first time, if you’ve not been an entrepreneur before. There’s so much volatility, and like you said, you’re constantly out of your comfort zone, that’s part of it. So for a lot of people, that’s the first time they really deal with that kind of anxiety. But in some ways, what you did is because you had anxiety before, you actually used that. By training yourself out of the generalized anxiety that you had and learning the coping mechanisms you did, when you got to entrepreneurship, you were like, “Well, this is just more of the same. I can do this stuff. I’ve dealt with it.” Right?

Danielle
Yeah, that’s precisely it I think. And I think what was so important was also seeing, especially when I was hospitalized and all that stuff. Seeing how the system and the healthcare system, especially around mental health can create victims. And it’s not devalidating any of the experiences, but I just think if we can take the way that our brain is at that moment and see the beauty in it, even if it’s like whether I was too sensitive. And just everything was affecting me and all this stuff. Because of my depression, I took time to myself to think about what do I want to do? Who do I want to be in the world?

Danielle
Because of my anxiety, I think clients felt my energy when I got on the phone because I was like, “Okay, so what we’re going to do is…” I had no chill. But I think that was also part of my appeal. That people could feel the rawness of all my feelings and stuff. So kind of realizing the way that your brain is isn’t necessarily a curse, even though it might have its challenges. But it does have its beauty as well.

Arthur
Absolutely. And I think maybe the thing that helps is being confronted with those challenges and learning how to deal with them early on means that you then develop the mechanisms to deal with them later. When you get to a client call, and suddenly you get that feeling in your chest, you’re like this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with this. But if you’re a new entrepreneur and it can be very daunting.

Arthur
I just had it last week. Or a few weeks ago, I did my first free online training thing, and it was like oomph. And I was like I’m not used to this feeling. I’m used to being good at stuff. And it’s a horrible feeling. And it’s remind myself to deal with all of these things.

Arthur
That’s really cool. I like that. So would you say that that has been, and are there any other ways that that journey of acceptance and anxiety has characterized the way you run your business today? Or the way you think about what you get done?

Danielle
Definitely. I think happiness first. And I think we’ve talked about this, yeah. When we had our little dinner, we had a wonderful chat about kind of especially seeing what the dark side can look like in my own mind. And what reality I can unfortunately create for myself, or fortunately, or however you want to look at it. That my mental wellbeing without that, I can’t do any good in the world. I can’t so the way that I run my business, is I can freak out over my employee because they didn’t finish something, or I can take responsibility and be like, okay. This is an opportunity to learn how to delegate better. And I’m no angel.

Danielle
There’s obviously times that I’ll slip up and I’ll be like, “What? What happening?” And I’ll freak out still to this day. But I think as I continue to run my business to realize none of that stuff is important. The money things, the client deadline, someone freaking out about something or another. It’s just always going to happen. It’s just not important. It really isn’t. I’m going to deliver the highest quality work that I can deliver to you at that moment. With the energy I have. With everything that I have at that moment. And that’s all I can offer.

Danielle
And I think if every entrepreneur, including myself in the past, went in with that mentality, it just takes off so much pressure. Because you can’t do more than you can do. So yeah.

Arthur
I think, as you were saying before, understanding that at the end of the day, the most important thing is your health. Without your… so many people I know sacrifice their health, their mental and their physical health, for their business success. But everything is built off the back of that, right? And I think seeing how fragile and how important that is early on gives you something. You have a… when you’re like do I do more work and feel crap? Or do I just take a stop now and come back to it fresh tomorrow? You know what the alternative looks like, so you can prioritize better basically between those things.

Danielle
Definitely, definitely. And yeah. So I think I really want to read that book, Patagonia book. Like let my people go surfing. I haven’t read it, but I like the premise of it. Where it’s just like, it’s about enjoying… we build these brands. Especially lifestyle entrepreneurs. It’s like the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Because we build these brands around our freedom. But then, I wrote an article about this. But then, we’re so attached to being busy, that when we do access freedom, we feel incredibly uncomfortable.

Danielle
And it’s okay if we want to work for the sake of working because I think a lot of entrepreneurs, especially in this new type of entrepreneurship, this new ridge. We’re actually are just genuine makers. We love making. We love the craftsmanship. This is our modern day craftsmanship. So sometimes we pretend we’re doing it for this lifestyle of complete freedom and travel the world and make a bunch of money. But a lot of us are doing it for the craft.

Danielle
I notice in myself. I actually didn’t want to launch my own business. Because I loved making the business more than I like the profits that I would get from the business. And I just think that acknowledgement of intentions is really important as well.

Arthur
Super. And how does that play into… there are obviously a load of important things that you have to do at any one time. The to do list is always endless, right? How do you, when you’re looking at your life as well. And not just your business, but when you’re looking at everything you’ve got to do. I’ve got this business stuff I need to do, but I also want to go away and see my family. How do you decide? Did you have a way that you think about what’s most important? Tell me a little bit about that.

Danielle
Well first off, I get a lot of help. A lot of help. So I really believe in delegation and collaboration. I think I used to be so scared to present myself to the world. Because I was so young, working online, I was just really imposter syndrome. When I got over that, I was like woof, thank jeez. Because I got a chance to collaborate more and get people to help me. And I know my space of challenges.

Danielle
And also, whether you believe in it or not, having ADHD and growing up with that. And kind of realizing that I only have this much focus. It’s very very limited. But when I can use it, amazing. And so everything else, I just try and get help with. So when I look at my daily to dos and stuff, the things that just feel strenuous and kind of not natural and those kind of things, I try I’m like, okay. Maybe I might need to hire someone if they keep coming up day after day.

Danielle
For example, my email just started packing up. Because I just haven’t been working so much the last month. I’ve just been with my parents, and doing some other things. And it started getting really crazy. I have so many emails. I have like 60 LinkedIn messages. I have all these things coming. And I was like, okay. I think I need help with this at this point. There’s two paths I can follow. There’s one where it’s like, okay. I’ve read all the strategies. I can follow a daily needs, and put everything down. But I also understanding my space of genius, where I excel is actually not in…

Danielle
I’m not the most consistent person to do the same thing every day. I’ve tried that so many times and it’s created so much strife inside of me, like this inner tension. Because it’s just so hard for me. But what I am good at, is creative thinking. I’m good at delegation. I’m good at these high level things. And so when I’m looking at my to do list, the biggest thing is, is this something that should be delegated? Or is it something that I can do?

Arthur
Super. We’re going to do another interview obviously after this one, which I’m going to post in the TRACKTION masterclass. Just about your delegation thing. Because I think that is your superpower. It’s something that when we talked in the restaurant, I was like, I need more of this in my life. How do I get more of this stuff in there?

Arthur
But it sounds like in terms of prioritization then and I think you kind of just go with your gut. You’re like, what is it that I’m excited about and inspires me. And I think for a lot of people, the struggle is that the other things don’t fall off their to do list. But something that you’re very good at is that if something falls on that list of it’s important but doesn’t excite me, then it’s something that you are very good at finding other people to do it for you, or automating in some way.

Danielle
Yeah. And there’s times when I have to do certain things, like small little things. I’ve incorporated my company in a different country and did all this stuff. And I had a bit of paperwork and stuff. And there’s been moments where I have to do little things like that, but I just try and make sure that doesn’t turn into a big thing. And if I’m delaying doing something, there’s usually a reason also. And when that happens, I try to find a better process to do it.

Danielle
So for example, I’m hiring a VA, and I have so many applicants. And I’ve had it sitting there for like a month. And I just thought to myself, why haven’t I moved forward with any of these candidates? And it’s because I don’t want to book a call with any of them. I just really don’t feel like talking to them. I’m sure they’re amazing people but I just… my mental capacity to find a time to chat, it’s just really hard for me right now.

Danielle
So what I did is I just WhatsApped them. I said, “Hey, can you message me on WhatsApp and I’ll send you a voice clip? Can you send me one back?” And so, finding the ways that things work for you. So when it’s hard, it’s not usually the task. But it’s the way that you can do it. And if there’s a way that’s a bit more naturalized. Whether it’s a tool that you can use like WhatsApp, or just like a different way to do the task completely.

Arthur
And this is a really good example, because I’ve been bugging you to do an interview for ages. And I like written interviews and this will one of the first pieces of video… I think this is the first piece of video content ever that will be on FASTER TO MASTER. But it’s that thing, like okay. It’s not the interview that’s causing the block, it’s the way we go about it and how can we find a way that actually resonates with you. I think that’s a really cool point.

Arthur
Another quick thing, have you thought about using an Upwork HR manager to go through your applicants for your VA?

Danielle
Yeah, well I have a project manager, or a product manager or an OBM… she kind of does everything. She’s just like the person. And so she goes through candidates for other jobs, but I think the VA is something I have to hire kind of personally. Based on how I feel about them. Because they’re going to be talking with them so often.

Arthur
Yeah cool. Oh yeah. Especially once you get down to a short list, right? Tell me, you mentioned growing up with ADHD and I think that’s really interesting because it’s another thing like the anxiety. Where you’re like, wow. I really have to learn how to cope with this. Most people have a sort of ADHD but it’s kind of so sub level that they just let it control them, and they never take control of it.

Arthur
What are some of the techniques and what are some of the tools that you’ve used to help you conquer that desire to be constantly flitting about all the different things?

Danielle
Yeah totally. Well first, I always try and give myself time to do that. To explore. To just like, I don’t know if you’ve ever used the app Headspace. And at the end of the meditation, they’re like, just let your mind wander. Do whatever it wants. And so, that is like even when you’re living in flow and meditation and you have structure, to make sure you have time to do that.

Arthur
Interesting.

Danielle
And also, I think it’s acknowledgment that things are cyclical. For example, I’ll have a system that I follow maybe one month. And then, the next month it might change because the next month I’m just in a different space, and I’m a different person. I’ve evolved. And kind of accepting that things are changing. And I think that was the hardest part when I was growing up with ADHD. That I thought I was supposed to be one way.

Danielle
Because again, in the books and all the stuff I’m reading it’s like okay. If you do this every day. If you track this, or if you do this, or if you write in your journal. And I think every one of those tasks or methods have been great. And they’ve served me in my life, but to also acknowledge that when it’s not serving you for that moment.

Danielle
And so I think with growing up with ADHD, it was really being honest with myself about the way that I, if I look back, there’s a way that maybe I want to be. And then the way that I kind of just function in the world. And being more honest about that. So recently even, I’ll give you an example. Just this week, I have an opportunity to kind of move around a bit more in the coming year. And this year, I was like I need to be consistent. I need to stay in one place. I’m not going to build the business if I move a lot. And there is validity to that. Because when you move too much, it’s just really hard to keep focused, right?

Danielle
But even though I have this house for a year, I was on six planes last month. You know? And I flourished. My business was fine. Everything was great. I was doing really well. So even though around me, I’m hearing the narrative, okay Danielle. It’s important to be consistent. It’s important to do this. But maybe your reality might be a bit different.

Danielle
So I think having ADHD was acknowledging the way that I actually function in the world, rather than the way I want to function in the world, or think I should.

Arthur
So on a tactical level, it’s building time every day where you can be like, by the way brain. There will be time. Don’t worry. I’m going to go and let you do your whole thing later on. Does that help you then focus on, if you’ve got to do an hour of work now, you’re like okay. But there’s playtime later and that helps you manage that kind of desire to be all over the place? And then, on the longterm basis, it’s the giving yourself permission to be who you are and to realize… I actually think it’s a real skill is to be able to not have that sunk cost fallacy. When you’re going that worked for me for a little while, but now I’m going to move on to something new. Is that what you were saying, on those two levels?

Danielle
Yeah, so in the short term, I think it’s… how would I describe it? It would be a bit like there is some discipline, where I do have to say, yes a little bit later you can play with these things and do that. But also on the short term, maybe there’s a morning you wake up, and you’re just so tired. You can go back to sleep. To be easy with it. That it’s not always going to be the same every day.

Danielle
But for example, generally I start working at around nine. But if I really want to talk to my parents and have a good conversation, I might work around 11. And I generally do four hours of work. And so, I think it’s more about being present for whatever you decide. So it doesn’t really matter if you have the same schedule every day. But if that’s the time that you commit to that, I think that the presence. So when I’m with my family, I’m present with them. I’m not checking my phone. If I’m wandering around with my little niece, I’m playing like 120% with her. And that is the time for that.

Danielle
And I think that’s what’s really helped. Because before, especially with ADHD, it’s so easy to be everywhere in your mind. But if you can just be present and say, okay. Later I’ll do that. Even if you have it time blocked on your calendar. Like when my grandma came a few hours earlier and I had planned to do work, I’m like, all right. You’re going to be present for her. And then, in five hours, when she’s gone, you’re going to try and get an hour of work done. But then, that didn’t even happen.

Danielle
So I went to the airport. I was like, okay. You have to go to the airport. Be present for the airport. But when you’re at the airport, be present for your work. And it moved and it shifted, but that presence is what keeps the sanity, I think.

Arthur
Really interesting. So I think what you’re saying, what I’m hearing is that there’s sort of micro attention, which is over the course of an hour where your attention is all over the place. Then there’s this sort of more middle term which is like, where do I put this stuff in the day? And a lot of people think that consistency means putting stuff in the same place every single day. But what you’re saying is that consistency is simply being able to be consistently present with whatever it is that you’re doing wherever it happens to be in the day?

Danielle
Exactly. And then I think if you have strong intentions. Some people have strong goals, or strong intentions, however you want to frame it. Then, your days can be guided by that, you know? So for example, I want to get certain things done. Because of my own personal intentions, and so I will make sure that there’s time in my day with that. But it might move around.

Arthur
It’s so funny. It’s so different to my approach to productivity, which is why I love it. And I think what I really love about your approach as well is this really sensitivity, self knowledge of what it is that brings you joy. And also almost because of the anxiety and because of the ADHD, these sort of kind of really low barriers, where if it doesn’t bring you joy or it’s not interesting, you’re like okay. You’re quite creative about how you get rid of it, right.

Arthur
In some ways, I think of it like if you have $1000 and you’re like, I need to find a restaurant. You kind of just throw money at the problem and you’re not very creative about it. But if you have $10 or even $5, and you’re like I need to find a good meal, chances are you’ll find an amazing meal for $5. You just have to do a little bit more thinking. So what you have is these low tolerances where other people would just grit through it, and grin and bear it. And think, I have to get through this.

Arthur
But what you don’t do, is you don’t allow those to just throw you completely off track. You allow them to make you think. Okay, I still have to do the same things, but what is still the same? But how can I change the how so that they then resonate with the kind of person I am? Does that sound right?

Danielle
Yeah, totally. Yeah, it sounds right and I think yeah. I think yeah. I think you covered it.

Arthur
No, cool. I think I have a lot to learn from you. I think it’s a really beautiful way of looking at the world. And I think a lot of the time, what we do is we’re very, and it doesn’t work for everyone, and I think you’ve had this sort of natural upbringing. I think for a lot of us, we structure the day because that’s the way that we know that we can create that space in our head for those things. So we approach it from a structure on the middle level, rather than the micro level. And that helps us create discipline in the micro level.

Arthur
But what you’ve developed is because you’re very good at working on stuff which you’re naturally easy to then focus on. In the micro level you can be a bit more flexible on the middle level and still get stuff done. So that’s very cool.

Danielle
Totally. But I did learn a lot from you as well. And I want to acknowledge that as well. In terms of how you structure the day. And I think that, because one thing I use, I can’t keep everything in my head. So I do have a list for the week at least. From Monday, of just things that I want to get done. And I haven’t updated it in like two weeks so it’s really telling, but my project manager or my OBM, she updates it for me just in case. Because I forget things. But I don’t check it very often.

Arthur
I love how you’ve just outsourced that whole productivity process to someone else. You’re like, I’m too busy being creative. You manage that stuff.

Danielle
But I think things I learned from you was how data and how tracking gives me so much more insight. I think it’s exactly aligned, because basically all the shoulds I think that we get, come from a lack of understanding of the reality. And I love in your planner, what happened versus what you planned to happen. What’s the actual versus the idea in our heads?

Danielle
And I think we’re very aligned in that actually, even though we have different philosophies about how we approach it. I think we’re really aligned. And it’s like, let’s get really about what’s really going on. And let’s take your values and intentions and try and incorporate that into your day as much as possible.

Arthur
100%. I think the beauty of the self awareness is that what you do with that. The reason I created the TRACKTION planner is too many planners are very dictatorial about how you should set goals and how you should go about stuff and all those kind of thing. And what I wanted to create with it, was just clarity. In the same way that if you can be present with your emotions and you know how you’re feeling, then you have this gap between stimulus and response that you can choose to change it.

Arthur
When you just have the data and you’re like, oh I haven’t done this habit for like two weeks. Then you can ask yourself the question, is this the right habit? Am I doing it in the right way? But if you don’t have that, then you can get 17 weeks through and you’re like, oh yeah I’m working on becoming more X. And then you’ve just actually done nothing and you don’t have any accountability.

Arthur
So it creates this massive clarity and also a lot of accountability. So cool, I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

Danielle
Well yeah, also along with that. So I think, and maybe when people are hearing me speak, it might sound like 99% around emotions, but actually I’m super into data. So I used to use this dashboard called Exist that correlated everything. So I would have my Fitbit, and then I’d have rescue time, which tracks my time on the computer.

Danielle
Then I’d have tagging of my moves, and all this stuff. And I used this data, and all these clusters to understand the way that I act in the world so that I could build this philosophy. So it didn’t come out of necessarily a spiritual place. And it’s like, I arrived at it through a drop in. But it was really actually similar to your planner in terms of looking at what’s going on in my life. Looking at what habits I’m following. All these kind of things. And tracking these things that gave the insight.

Danielle
And I think that’s something that maybe when people might be listening, thinking about okay great. That sounds awesome Danielle, but where do I start? And I think whether it’s with your tool to track, or a pen and paper. To just track your reality, and then build philosophies based on how you want your current reality to fit with your values.

Arthur
100%, yeah. To get from A to B, you need a picture of both A and B, right? So, I think that’s the trick. And then how you get there is up to you. Some people have different… I think where we differ is that mode of transport we use to get from A to B, but I think having that A and B is super critical.

Arthur
So we talked about, so if I just quickly recap. So you had some anxiety and some ADHD when you were a kid. And dealing with that was really kind of one of the first things that helped you come to terms with just general anxiety anyway. And in some ways, most people would see it as… I have often said to people, “If you’re an anxious person, entrepreneurship probably isn’t for you.”

Arthur
But actually, what you said is having that general anxiety and ADHD has given me the superpowers which make me the kind of the entrepreneur that I am. Which is someone who is quite able to deal with anxiety when it comes up. And someone who’s also really good at delegating because they know there’s no point in trying to force themselves to do something they really hate, right?

Arthur
And then you grew up in a family where you were also given that space, that permission to try stuff that’s really cool and could fail. And then you were also given that sort of knowledge from both, I guess, the time that we’ve grown up in. But also, seeing your boyfriend make that money online and being like, wow. There’s a method that I can bring all this together. I don’t have to start a studio where I’m from. I can go and do that.

Arthur
I think taking action, and I think the last thing that’s really cool. I think it’s a superpower of yours is… And I see it in a lot of people who are really good. Is being able to fully embrace and accept whatever operating model is working for them. But also be totally open at the same time, to the fact that next month or next year, that might not be the right operating model.

Arthur
The people who I love working with, are the people who read a book, and they don’t just put the book down afterwards. They go, okay. How can I put this stuff into action? Even if it means throwing away something that’s worked from them previously, just to test it. And those are all things I heard coming out of you. Does that sound… does that resonate? Does that sound like your-

Danielle
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And I think even right now, I’m going through another one of those paradigm shifts where I’m like, okay. What’s my next model? We’ll see, you know.

Arthur
Yeah, and I think the openness to that is what’s important, right? You cannot teach a person what they think they already know. And when someone’s like, “Oh I’ve got the perfect model,” they just close their mind entirely to any changes to the climate. So, if you could go back… obviously, everything is going great. Your business is great.

Arthur
I’ll mention The Freelance Travel Network at the end, but just briefly, it’s that awesome platform that you built. And the course which is helping people go through that same journey you’ve been through. And they’re very practical. Like, how do I find clients? How do I find freelance clients and travel the world? And how do I get over some of these internal and external barriers that come up?

Arthur
But if you could go back and give your 18 year old self some advice, is there anything that you would say to them? Anything that you would do differently? Or what should they not listen to? What are some of the things that you hear all the time, that you’re like, “Don’t listen to that Danielle. It’s terrible advice?”

Danielle
I would just say, hey enjoy the ride. I think sometimes we’re looking for this thing. That we don’t know what it is. And I call it sometimes the boom, right?

Danielle
So when I get that many clients, the boom will come. Or when I hit this million dollars, I’ll get the boom. Or when I date the right person, the boom comes. And then, you hit that, and there’s no boom. And you’re like, what? Everyone told me there’s going to be a boom. Where’s the boom?

Danielle
And I think my evolution is realizing that everything’s always booming. Like all the time. It’s all little booms that are going off all the time, and so it’s kind of like that looking and seeking and searching, when actually right now as you are, 18 year old Danielle. You have everything that you need.

Arthur
Very nice. And so, I was on the email just yesterday to a customer service team for one of these online platforms. In the signature of this guy’s email, it said, “Stop pushing so hard on the doorway to happiness. It opens inwards.” And I was like, poof.

Danielle
I’m like changing my email signature right now.

Arthur
A I love it because it’s a customer support guy because they probably deal with a lot of irate people. But B, I think it characterizes exactly what you’ve said is that we’re always pushing. Especially as an entrepreneur, you’re working towards something in the future. You’re pushing, pushing, pushing. But actually, to this external boom. But actually the thing that you have to realize is that all those booms just happening all the time. It’s the journey, like you say, that’s important. And it’s every day and making time for that so. Yeah, that’s good advice. I actually still need it, so.

Danielle
I think we all do.

Arthur
Tell me quickly what it is that you love about… So you’re living in Bali. You said you took six flights last month. You’ve just been visiting, you’ve spent a month with your family in Canada. You’ve just come back from a holiday on the Gili Islands. There’s a lot to love there, but tell me is that what you love about your life right now? Or are there other things that you really love?

Danielle
Yeah so, well what do I love about this life? I just love that I’m here, living. And I have such amazing people around me. An amazing group of friends, an amazing family and so much opportunity. I’ve just found this new energy for life recently. This kind of like, I’ve delayed my happiness a lot because of some idea that my business was going to be successful then, and then I can do this thing.

Danielle
Like one of my dreams was to bring my parents on holiday and be able to afford it. I can afford it. I couldn’t afford it a long time ago. But I had such a scarcity mindset, and so I was like, oh no I won’t do it now. I won’t do it now. And then, I was like, then when? Where I actually booked a trip. One of my favorite things in the world was canoe tripping,. Actually canoeing. I love it so much.

Danielle
And so I booked a one month canoe trip with Outward bound in the States for January. Visiting my brother in the south of Texas. So just right on Big Bend. So I’m going to be climbing, white water canoeing and just like taking a brief moment to reflect on this amazing life that we have. And I think where I am right now and kind of like I’m so happy we actually…

Danielle
I always think there’s a reason why things don’t work out even though when you wanted to. I’m happy we’re talking today versus even a few months ago, because there’s been such a huge paradigm shift where I realized that I was seeking. And I didn’t know I was seeking. I thought I was feeling content, and just motivated. Just driven. Just goal oriented.

Danielle
But I was seeking. And seeking causes a lot of pain. It causes a lot of dissatisfaction. And a lot of discontent. And I think what’s changed in the last few months, is I just stopped seeking. And it doesn’t mean that you get lazy or you stop trying or you don’t put effort into things. It doesn’t mean that you don’t live a live with intention and deliberate and show up, you know?

Danielle
That’s a big thing. You got to show up for whatever you’re going to do. Show up in life. But it just puts a layer of ease over everything. And yeah. So that’s kind of what I love about my life right now, is this layer of ease that I feel with everything.

Arthur
Yeah, that’s really cool. I think about once a week I get an email from someone who… there’s an article on my blog which is, you are enough just as you are. And once a week, I get an email from someone being like, “But if I’m enough just as I am, won’t I just stop growing? Or won’t I give up on everything and won’t I?”

Arthur
And I have this conversation with people over and over again that the idea that showing up and doing what you love and working to better yourself, doesn’t always have to come from this place of anxiety. Of running away from something you hope you won’t be, or running towards something you desperately want to be.

Arthur
And the moment you release that seeking, you can do all the same things, nothing changes. But the intention changes. The way that you go into that activity is then not so self focused. So focused on what’s missing with you. But it’s more focused on, how can I make this great for my… It becomes an abundance mindset.

Arthur
You’re like, how can I make this great for my parents? How can I make this great for my partner? How can I make this great for the person who I’m meeting right now? And I think that changes a huge amount, so I definitely agree.

Danielle
Awesome, awesome.

Arthur
Sorry, go ahead.

Danielle
No, no, that’s all. I’m just really happy that you have that blog post up. I think that’s probably impacting people in really meaningful way. So thank you for sharing that.

Arthur
Again, I had a very similar experience to you, where I was like, oh nothing has changed. I call them Necker Cube moments. I don’t know if you know the Necker Cube. It’s the wire frame cube. And depending on how you look at it, one face is at the front of the other one. And it’s this idea that… you know this? I call them Necker Cube moments because nothing changes.

Arthur
Like the picture didn’t change, but your entire perspective on reality just flipped in your head. Nothing changed but at the same time everything changes entirely. So tell me, what are some of the other paradigm shifts that you think you’ve been through? You know, what’s most changed about yourself in the last ten years?

Danielle
Well, I feel like ten years ago I was I guess 15. So a lot. I think, yes this is actually one of the biggest paradigm shifts recently. Realizing that I have everything that I need and that I am enough. And I think that this year’s been a big journey of self love. And kind of realizing that the journey of business is actually the journey of self love. And that seeking and that shoulds and all those things, are actually you not fully loving who you are, and accepting who you are.

Danielle
And I wrote a love letter to myself two days ago. And yeah, because I love rom coms. And I love right at the end of the rom com when the best friend and the person get together, even though they’ve been like in love for the whole time. And they just realize that they’re the perfect match.

Danielle
And I was like, what if I’m the love of my life, you know? And this is the end of the rom com right now. Where the other me has been taking care of me, showing up. Then they’re any time to unconditionally love me, I’ve been my best friend. And then me number one, has been always looking for outside validation. And is going to the club trying to find other dudes or whatever. It’s like looking always outside.

Danielle
And then, finally at the end, I realize that I’m the love of my life. And I’m like, oh my gosh. Sorry I haven’t seen it this whole time. That it’s been you. So I think…

Arthur
I think what people find very addictive about the start of relationships is, and hopefully in a good relationship for much longer than that, is this feeling that they found someone out there who wants them just as they are right now. Like you are all… and that person becomes your world. And I think later on, it can change a little bit.

Arthur
But initially, it’s like wow. This person wants to be with me for who I am today. Everything that I am. And I think it’s such a beautiful way of doing it is, writing that love letter to yourself about unconditional love. Where you’re like, I love you for being you and that’s it. There’s no more to…

Arthur
I’m going to put you on the spot… oh go ahead. Sorry, finish.

Danielle
Yup. Oh, I was just trying to think if there was another paradigm shift that came up. I think when I started traveling. Yeah actually, it was when I was in Nicaragua. I was in a hostel. Like a six person dorm. And we did a Sunday Funday. Drinking all day, hanging out, whatever. But we weren’t ever like drunk or anything. We just were happily drinking all day.

Danielle
We’re on the beach. We’re dancing. We’re doing cartwheels. And I just remember this moment. I was like, holy. I can be this happy every day. And it wasn’t the alcohol. It really wasn’t. I’ve always been a really bad drinker, so I never really drink much. But it was just like this communion and a little community that I made, and freedom to be doing cartwheels.

Danielle
And people were watching. All the locals were like, who are these randoms who are doing cartwheels and bridges on the beach? But it was this freedom to be like, and again, I guess now that I’m thinking about, ties again into self love. To be like, whoa I can be unapologetically myself. And so I think was the biggest shift that happened my first year of traveling and being like whoa. Being myself gives me so much joy. Maybe I’ll try to do it more often.

Arthur
I really love that. I suspect it’s going to tie into this. I’m going to put you on the spot as well. Because most people have time to look into this. But the last question I always ask people, and I stole this question from Tim Ferriss because I think it’s a great one. Is if you had a gigantic billboard and you could put anything on it and the whole world would see it, and it can be a quote or an idea or a thought. What would you put on that billboard that you wanted to put out there to improve the world?

Danielle
Hmm. It just sounds so cliché but, “You are amazing!”. Just, “You are amazing!”. Like you are amazing. It’s just my ethos is that of when we’re thinking of these world issues. These big issues of global warming and hunger and all of these big things. It’s like, if you don’t have an empowered population. If people don’t think their impact matters, they’re going to buy plastic. They’re going to leave the air conditioning on all day.

Danielle
It’s like you have to have the individual realize that everything that they do makes a difference in the collective, before we start talking about any of these other bigger issues. And so, yeah. “You are amazing!”

Arthur
And I think knowing what I know about you and the way that you are with your friends and the way that you are in your business, I think that kind of sums you up, right? I think you always have this huge smile on your face. And you always make people feel amazing when you’re with them. And I’m sure your employees are the same. They’re like, I love working with Danielle because everything’s great when I do it. So yeah. So, it sounds like you…

Danielle
Awesome.

Arthur
Tell us before we close out, if people are curious, and I get to just keep in touch with you and see what’s going on. But if people are curious about what you’re doing, and we mentioned a little bit that Freelance Travel Network earlier. Where should people go to read more about what you’re doing? And how you’re changing the world? And what it is you’re working on right now?

Danielle
Right. So, if people are interested in freelancing or just the world of freelancing. Thinking about the mindset around it. And I think this is even if you have a job or you’re going through some transition, I think the mindset around freelancing is a really really great mindset to kind of just dive into and think about because it deals with uncertainty. It deals with change, discomfort, and hyper learning because you’re always learning.

Danielle
So you can go to Freelance Travel Network dot com. So, freelancetravelnetwork.com and you’ll find my site. You’ll learn about the community and the ethos, the vision I have for the world as the gig economy takes off. And if you want to learn more about design and my studio. You’re interested to maybe you’re a designer or you’re a service provider and you want to learn how to communicate what you do in a really strong way, I would go to my design website at Studio Moku dot com. And you’ll find a lot about design.

Arthur
All right cool. I was just on Freelance Travel Network before this call and I love… I mean, you can see how good you are at design. The whole thing, I’m like, oh man why… everything you do I’m like, why isn’t mine as good as that? I read sme testimonials from your people who have gone through your course. And I think it’s just so awesome to see people discovering that freedom. And also, I think so many people…

Arthur
What freelancing gives people is so many people feel like they’re stuck in a rut, right? They’re stuck in a shape that’s carved out for them for the people that are around. And being able to like you have, in your first travel experience. Being able to have your total financial freedom, you’re physical freedom. It actually is like, it’s the first time that a lot of people have been able to bloom. Where they come out and they go somewhere that no one is judging them. No one thinks about them in a certain way and they can explore what it means to be who they are. So, I think that’s really cool powerful stuff.

Danielle
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your support. And I love what you’re doing, and I really, like I have my TRACKTION planner as well. And I think the way that you think about the world, whether someone has the exact same opinions, beliefs, and thought patterns, I think you provide a framework. Which whether you’re very very similar to me in your execution, or you’re more similar to you, it’s so handy to have that framework to look back on. And then be like, okay how do I want to implement this into my own life?

Arthur
Yeah-

Danielle
So thank you for putting that out there.

Arthur
You’re very welcome. Thank you so much Danielle. And thank you everyone if you’ve made it to the end of this video. I really appreciate it. And yeah, I’ll see you in Bali in a month, I guess.

Danielle
Yes. All right. Bye.

Arthur
Bye.

Arthur
Arthur
Arthur is a productivity coach and writer who helps top young execs and entrepreneurs achieve game-changing results in their work without giving up the rest of their lives. His favourite productivity tool is his daily planner. "Look after the days and the years will look after themselves."

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