Learning on the Job: My favorite tools & resources

Learning on the Job: My favorite tools & resources
Erika and I are college drop-outs. We left University of Oregon after two years in order to dedicate ourselves full-time to Wild Friends.

Out of context, that sounds totally crazy. After all, Wild Friends was nothing more than a farmer’s market business.
But looking back, I’m proud of the decision we made! Choosing to leave college and start a company was the smartest thing we could have done. We’ve learned more in the past five years of owning a business than we learned in our prior fourteen years of education combined.

Educating yourself is hard work, but it’s so rewarding. Luckily, the world is full of great resources and super smart people to learn from. Here are some of the best tools I’ve used to invest in my growth over the past five years…

Sleep (yes, sleep)
Every year that we’ve spent building Wild Friends just gets busier and busier - new demands on our time, new challenges, new things to worry about and work on. Through it all, I’ve realized that keeping my personal energy in top gear is the single best way to get stuff done. Maintaining my personal energy requires a good night’s sleep - every night.
My tricks are simple: I use this sleep mask, read fiction books at night to relax my mind, and try to set my alarm 8 hours from when I go to sleep, no matter how late.

Podcasts are my jam! I am that annoying person who is always telling you about a podcast they listened to.
I listen to one almost every day when I exercise or when I’m driving/biking to work. My favorites are The Tim Ferriss Show, Start-Up, Call Your Girlfriend and The Ezra Klein Show.

I love to read. After all, even the most expensive book is the cheapest education you can buy!

A few (business-oriented) recent faves:
The Art of Possibility
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
The Obstacle is the Way
And I’m buying this next… because, duh.

“Networking” can be a time suck (read: wine in a plastic cup and nametags…) but selective networking can be awesome. Make a list of five people who are doing what you want to be doing, and email them. Make sure it’s a short, cheerful email - with specific questions. If they are busy, they can answer via email, but a lot of people will take a phone call or even meet you for coffee!

Erika and I connected with our advisor and investor John Foraker (the founder of Annie’s!) from a Tweet! We asked him if he’d be willing to talk on the phone and a couple years later he invested. Networking success!

Find out more from Keeley and Erika on the Wild Friends Youtube channel.