Your goal should be to put yourself out of business.
Justin Angle is a teacher, scholar, story-teller, athlete, husband and father. He’s executed $100 million bond trades, run 100-mile races, published in outlets like the Washington Post, and failed repeatedly to get his two daughters to bed without a battle.
Justin’s passion is helping others succeed. This passion drives his work as a marketing professor at the University of Montana, his contributions to Patagonia’s field testing program, and is the inspiration behind A New Angle, a podcast celebrating cool people doing awesome things in and around the great state of Montana.
Where did the idea for A New Angle come from?
I’m fascinated with the myriad ways people create and seize opportunity. Montana’s a tough place to make a good living, and the wide range of stories about creative, cool people doing really interesting, valuable and innovative things here is amazing.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m at my best in the morning, so that’s when I think, write, and train. Often these three tasks complement each other – I tend to do my best thinking on early morning trail runs, which often leads to solid bouts of post-run writing. I also do my teaching in the morning and save my meetings for the afternoon. I do schedule my podcast interviews for late afternoon because that’s when I often feel reflective, a great mindset for active listening and productive conversation.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe in just doing things. Bringing an idea to life takes action. Yeah, you want to think carefully about what you do, but it’s the doing that’s critical.
What’s one trend that excites you?
As a college professor, the ways technology is enabling new ways of doing education is super exciting. It’s forcing us to reconsider many of the basic assumptions underlying much of what we do.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Exercise. Whenever I am forced to skip workouts, I’m a mess. Having balance in my life makes me better at my job, better as a husband, and better as a father.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do more core work – your older athletic body will thank you for making it more of a routine.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Your goal should be to put yourself out of business.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I constantly try to find new ways to do things, even when things are going well. Perhaps I just get bored easily, but as soon as I get something working well, I start thinking about ways to do it differently…hopefully better.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
My overall strategy is to find areas where my passions align with my abilities. I’ve found such alignment in teaching, in research, and now in this podcast. If you can find places where passion and ability overlap, nothing ever feels like work.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I work hard to create real world experiences for my students and find ways to collaborate with organizations in need. Unfortunately, these sorts of projects sometimes fail – clients have other priorities, students aren’t into it, everyone’s confused, etc. But at the end of the day, I remind myself and my students, that these sorts of failures are where the real learning happens. I make plenty of mistakes, but I’m pretty good at not making the same mistake twice.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Missoula needs a barbershop for kids. We have none and you either have to take your kids to a fancy hair salon and way overpay, or you have to go to a chain store. We have the iconic Big Dipper ice cream shop here in town; how about a kids’ barbershop nearby called the Big Clipper that gives reasonably priced cuts followed by a scoop of ice cream?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I took my wife out to a nice and SLOW-paced dinner. We’re all too often ships passing in the night and investing in the time and space to feed (pun intended) our relationship is so valuable.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Youcanbook.me…such a better way to schedule office hours with students than the stodgy old method of posting hours and waiting around for students to show up.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The River Why by David James Duncan. It’s a wonderful story of love, family, and dogma…a great guide for understanding relationships.
What is your favorite quote?
“Be the ball” – Ty Webb
- Find areas where your passions align with your abilities.
- Try to find new ways to do things, even when things are going well.
- Bringing an idea to life takes action. Think about what you want to do, but be sure to actually do it.
Twitter: @padre_angle, @anewanglepod
Instagram: angleman, anewanglepodcast
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.