S3-EP10: Paul Jarvis on Work/Life Balance in the Time of COVID and Why Simplicity Drives What He Does

Dec 4, 2020


Debbie talks with successful solo entrepreneur, author, and designer Paul Jarvis about why he builds his life around simplicity and how that is relevant to living and working through the current pandemic.

Note from Debbie

I hope you enjoy this podcast. Would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than sixty seconds, and it really makes a difference in attracting new listeners and upcoming guests. I might read your review on my next episode! – Debbie



Today, Debbie Weil brings Paul Jarvis on the show. An online tech veteran, Paul is an author and a designer of data analytics software and online courses. He lives on Canada’s Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest and has worked with Silicon Valley startups, pro-sports athletes, Fortune 500 companies, and the world’s biggest entrepreneurs (like Marie Forleo). But what’s truly notable about Paul is that even before the pandemic he was living an isolated, private, and minimalist life as a solo entrepreneur.

Paul is the author of Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business. He’s designed a number of online courses, bringing in several million dollars in revenue, he’s the co-founder of Fathom Analytics, and until very recently he wrote a popular weekly newsletter, The Sunday Dispatches, that he sent to his list of 35,000 subscribers. 

His driving value is simplicity. As he says in this conversation, “I crave simplicity,” as it relates to business and work. Meaning how can you solve a business problem simply rather than adding layers of complexity. 

In mid-November, Paul announced in an email to his 35,000 subscribers that he was halting his newsletter after eight years and also taking a break from podcasts and interviews. He noted that he’s been sharing his thoughts online for 20 years. “I don’t want attention or power or admiration,” he says. “I don’t want to be a personal brand or a known dude on the internet. I just want to exist and do my work privately.” 

So we’re lucky to have this conversation with him. Debbie hopes you enjoy it as much as she did. And that you take away a few nuggets of wisdom about work – and life – that you can apply in this time of the pandemic. 


Mentioned in this episode or useful:


A podcast episode with another successful solo entrepreneur:

Derek Sivers on Slow Thinking, Connecting, and Intentional Living

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