My name is Maarten, aka “The productivity dude”. I’m a member of the TLR family and I got this nickname for myself as I am, unsurprisingly, really interested in productivity and how to better yourself through learning. If you’re wondering how I ended up on this journey, 3 years ago I was in a hacking competition and won an award, but I realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do! The shift came when I got a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and it changed my path.

I hope to inspire you with some productivity in this blog post and would like you to join me on this journey of exploring quality questions, which will hopefully give you a new way of seeing things.  

I have a core belief: we entrepreneurs, all have our own big dreams, perhaps something you really want to change, create, do, be or have. I really believe that every big dream is possible.

Making progress towards this dream may initially seem like the image above, going fast along an open road. However, some dreams end up looking more like the image below, with some roads taking you back to where you started, yet some may take you further. To make progress, you don’t always need to go faster, you need to make good choices. Speed up your goal to go further, not just faster. Ultimately, it’s all about the decisions you make, do you go right or left?

Self-Education is Key

The key to self-education is surrounding yourself with inspiring teachers, through books or podcasts, which can influence your decisions significantly if you let them, as you make decisions based on your memory.

What’s the power of self-education? “Self-education will give you a heightened awareness of the opportunities that present themselves daily, which will allow you to make better decisions that yield better results.” Robin Sharma, The 5am Club

Why self-education will make you a fortune? “The more valuable you are to the market, the more you can earn. If you have the skills to fix billion-dollar problems, a million dollars is nothing for your trouble. Become more, instead of doing more.” Jim Rohn

I invited the audience at TLR to participate in a 10 minute priming routine , which is a type of meditation demonstrated by Tony Robbins. This priming exercise puts you in a great state, which demonstrates the power of your environment. First I asked them to put their hands up, then breathe in and breath out whilst watching this video.

Steps to take:

  • Find great teachers to learn from. Many teachers are busy working on their successful companies however you can still find good books, podcasts and videos to find influential teachers if you know where to look.  Sometimes, it’s a matter of ‘who’ not ‘what’ you can learn from.       
  • Find your better questions and answers. Ask mind-blowing questions! If you have a 10-year plan to get somewhere- why can’t this be done in 6 months? The Tools of Titans book really inspired me, it explores the tactics, routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world-class performers who don’t have superpowers.
  • Commit! Perhaps you want to be a great drawer or artist, put the time in to practice and learn from the best.

Things to avoid:

  • Beware of the dangers. Avoid learning from teachers who didn’t succeed in what they are actually teaching you.
  • Be careful not to watch motivational and self-educational videos and then forget everything after 2 months! Rewatch material or revisit notes if you do really want to learn and change from it.
  • Try not to learn too many things that you don’t need to. It will fill your mind with too much information and then it’s hard to improve and take action. The goal of learning is to really improve, why else learn?

I’d like to suggest watching this Ted Talk from Sting, how I started writing songs again, whilst writing down any interesting questions which may occur to you. Hopefully, you can take some sort of inspiration from this video and begin learning and asking some valuable questions yourself.

I’d like to end this blog post with one of my favourite quotes:

“Quality Questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

Tony Robbins

About Maarten


Maarten, who has been part of the TLR family since November 2019 is a writer, developer, dreamer, learner and entrepreneur from The Netherlands. On a mission to make learning an epic adventure, Maarten works on the College of Growth, a super-simple online learning platform that helps dreamers, artists and entrepreneurs to become the greatest version of themselves.