Josh Haynam is the co-founder and CEO of Interact quiz builder. He’s a life-long entrepreneur, having started his first company at the age of 15 and never held a full-time job outside of entrepreneurship.
Josh is an advocate for mental health and relational wholeness within business, and holds the perspective that companies can be both profitable and kind to other humans.
Where did the idea for Interact come from?
Interact started because we built a quiz for a client back when my co-founders and I ran a web design agency. We built a quiz and it converted website traffic to email subscribers at a rate of 40% which was absolutely insane. Then we spent several years turning our quiz idea into a platform where anyone could make a list building quizzes, and 10 years later we have more than 8,000 customers who use our product to create their own quizzes just like we did for our client all those years ago.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Wake up: 6-6:30am
Meditate, coffee, read, journal
Walk: 9-10:30am, listen to podcasts and learn
Meetings: 11am-3pm, internal meetings with my team and external PR appearances
Cook dinner: 5pm-6pm
Time with my partner and/or friends: 6:30-9pm
I make my days productive by choosing activities that make me feel alive. I love to write so I do that in the mornings, I enjoy collaborating and coming up with solutions to complex problems, so that’s the majority of my time in the middle of the day, and I thrive on quality time so I spend my evenings with my partner and/or friends.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Honestly just put something out in the world. 98% of the ideas I try don’t go anywhere and just fall flat. So I’ve learned to create a minimum viable version of every idea I have and just put it out in the world to see how it goes.
Practically speaking I create quiet spaces both physically so there are no distractions and mentally so I have clarity. I do this in the morning time so my mind is fresh.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The proliferation of knowledge sharing. Now you can learn from other people just as effectively as you can learn from an educational institution. Every person is different so sharing knowledge as people is very exciting.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Getting great sleep. 9 hours a night and being specific about that.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Learn from what doesn’t work, give yourself opportunities to learn by trying things. Spend less time obsessing over whether your ideas will be a waste of time. Most of the learning comes from just trying.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Luck and timing are 75% of what determines the overall outcome of a business. However, patience, persistence, and determination will benefit the entrepreneur regardless of how the company turns out.\
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Pick one or two things and get better at them every day. So much of your business is completely out of your control, you will burn out if you try to do everything. Picking a couple of things and improving every day will not only benefit your business, but also help you stay motivated because you can see progress.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Building connections the slow way. The one competitive advantage no one can take from you is the methodical building of connections in a genuine manner over a long period of time.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Back-t0-back year long attempts at outbound sales. It nearly bankrupted the company twice and took a huge chunk out of my motivation. I overcame it by taking a break and letting myself reset over time.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Create a platform for incredible people to post content online every day. Let the people create their own websites, own their email lists, and charge a flat fee for access.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
AirBnb in the woods to get away and reset. More than $100 but still.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
A notebook not on the internet. I use it to write out all my ideas before I jump on my computer because the computer is too distracting for ideation.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin, it’s an honest experience of starting a tech company that doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of success and failure.
What is your favorite quote?
“No one can do it alone” – Maya Angelou
- Pick one or two things and practice them every day
- Set a routine for yourself and follow it
- Take breaks and remember your attempts are for learning
- No one can do it alone
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.