Stephan Aarstol is the CEO and Founder of Tower Paddle Boards. He is the genius behind the five-hour workday, which has revolutionized the entrepreneurial industry. Today he shares with Jesse Cole the story of this innovative move and the purpose that drives him to perfect the experience for both his customers and employees.
"We needed to really start measuring things by gross happiness product as opposed to just GDP." - Stephan Aarstol
Stephan Aarstol - Eight-Hour Workdays are Unfounded
The history of the eight-hour workday can be traced back to the dawn of the industrial revolution back in the 1800s. To maximize machines, they were run full-time, all-day. This benefited the factory workers who worked three eight-hour shifts in the span of twenty-four hours.
Fast forward five hundred years later and people are still working the same eight-hour shifts. What people fail to understand is that there is no science to this eight-hour workday.
A Life-Altering Assignment
Stephan used to write articles for a company. They would give him topics to write about, and it was the assignment on a five-hour workday that began it all. In order to finish the assignment, he started an experiment in the company.
It was an uncomfortable exercise, but realizing how it was exactly how he worked, he thought that the entire company should do the same. A series of experiments and one published article later, they had built a brand that was as unique as it could get and kept people happy.
"If you start giving people a lot more time, they can use that time for different things." - Stephan Aarstol
Happiness is Important
When he first implemented the five-hour workday, Stephan hit a lot of walls. His employees left, feeling lost. But at the same time, all kinds of people with different levels of productivity started trickling in, curious and wanting to learn more.
The entire experience has left a great impression on him. And it has made him realize the many ways by which prevailing economic trends have enslaved people. Happiness, therefore, has become more of a privilege than a causal effect of working.
"That flexibility of giving people time and do with it what you want is a huge beneficial thing. And I think some people don't even realize that they need that. But I think it is important for them." - Stephan Aarstol
1. What have you done to stand out in business and in life?
“I've always tried to identify businesses that really add something to humanity.”
2. What advice would you give someone to stand out in business and in life?
“Try. Just start it now.”
3. What is the best advice you received?
“Focus more on the downside risk.”
4. How do you want to be remembered?
“For being willing to do what it takes to do what I want and then to share that and help other people to do what they want.”
To hear what Stephan Aarstol thinks about the impact of capitalism on our work mentality, the true benefits of the five-hour workday on productivity, and the merits of a culture founded on happiness, download and listen to the show!
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Jesse Cole is a passionate and engaging business leader sharing other leaders messages, tips and fresh ideas on Business Done Differently. Subscribe to hear more front runners doing it differently and remember to leave him a rating and review on iTunes.
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