Timothy Moser is the founder of Master of Memory, an online education company that uses podcasts, YouTube, books and tutorials to teach a variety of courses, including a popular course in Accelerated Spanish.
Where and when do you get your best ideas? Typically, I get my best ideas while reading. Three books that have changed my life most are "Zero to One" by Peter Thiel, "The Four-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferriss, and "Deep Work" by Cal Newport. My favorite morning routine is to go outdoors and read a business or productivity book for about 30 minutes before starting work. I read slowly and take notes, because I personally think I learn a lot faster by reading slowly than by trying to speed read.
What’s a work tool or ritual that you couldn’t live without? This is a bit weird, but after I read in the morning, I go inside and take a shower, and while showering, I think very deliberately over what I've read and how I'll apply it to the work I'm doing that day. Supposedly 72% of people get creative ideas in the shower. I find that when I ponder what I've been learning, specifically in relation to my task list for the day, it puts me in the mindset to have a very productive and creative morning afterwards.
What skill would you like to master? I long to be a better entertainer, even in my teaching. Learning and teaching are the two things that drive me in life, so naturally I'm obsessed with ways to get other people excited about learning. But people's attention always gravitates toward entertainment. The average Netflix subscriber streams between 60 and 90 minutes per day, which added together ends up being an enormous chunk of their life. Alternatively, most people can learn a new language in 6 months with just 1-2 hours of work per day. So if I could master the skill of drawing people's eager attention toward learning instead of empty entertainment, I'd consider that an infinitely valuable asset.
What advice would you give to someone seeking to launch or grow a business? One rule: Start by solving a problem that nobody else is solving. I kind of cringe when I hear advice to "follow your passion", because frankly, your passion might not be a real business idea. If you're passionate about drinking beer while laughing at Vine compilations, that probably won't put money in your pocket. Instead, get passionate about a problem that nobody is solving. Do you have a special gift that will help people in ways nobody else can? My favorite question to ask is "What can you save the world from?" If you have the answer to that, you definitely have a successful business idea.
What are you most looking forward to in the year to come? My second book on accelerated language learning, "Accelerated Spanish Volume 2", drops this year. The first volume has sold 10,000 copies and brought in an enormous amount of business, and I can't wait to see what Volume 2 does for us. Beyond that, we have two new podcast ideas on the back burner, hopefully to be produced and launched later this year.
Why 36 Degrees North? I've wanted to meet other Tulsa business owners for years but never had a great format until 36N opened. I'm really excited about 36N's variety of ways to meet up and benefit from one another, including the town hall meetings, "lunch bunch" groups, and various workshops. Oh, and I probably get my membership's worth of free coffee and food out of the deal, so it's a no brainer for me!
Do you want to give any shout-outs? I have no idea what I'd do without my brother Josiah, who shares a lot of the business's creative load and also is an incredible sounding board for my crazy ideas. There's probably nobody else in the world who thinks so much like I do, or anyone who is willing to critique so honestly.