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TeamGantt believes that doing more with less is the core of everything we do. We know what it takes to build a company on a 4 hour work week with no millions of investors dollars or hundreds of team members.
We were so excited to see Ugmonk’s design brand, we had no choice but to share their story.
Ugmonk is a great example of a small business that is doing big things in the world of design and beyond. Ugmonk designs are simple and minimalistic, and these principles are carried through to every aspect of the company.
This Q&A with Jeff Sheldon, founder of Ugmonk, explores why he believes that staying small is key to building a brand he can be proud to represent.
Jeff Sheldon, founder of Ugmonk, answers questions
Q: Why is your “Do lots with a little” philosophy so important?
A: Ugmonk was started as a side-project. I had literally zero budget, so every dollar was important.
As I have grown the brand over the last 10 years, I have kept the same philosophy of keeping overhead low and my operation very lean. I still work from home and do all of my product photography, writing, and design.
Although we have increased our operating expenses and grown quite a bit, much of what we do is still DIY. I like giving myself the challenge to produce the best products/photos/customer experience without needing massive budgets or fancy tools.
Q: How is it that Ugmonk has been able to stay small?
A: I have been able to run my business as I want it to be by staying small on purpose. I don’t have investors to please nor growth numbers to meet each quarter.
Being small allows me to choose when I work and when I take time off to care about my growing family. This doesn’t mean that I work less than a regular job. However, I have been able to adjust my schedule to be able to help my wife and our children much more than I could with a traditional 9-to-5 job.
Q: What is the ideal work-life balance for you?
A: This is a difficult question because my work and life are almost one. It’s not about finding the perfect balance, but more about being aware how much time I spend obsessing about work.
Since having children, I have been trying to be fully present and engaged in family time. Not letting myself be only half present. It’s something that I struggle with and want to improve.
Q: What tools and tricks can you use to stay focused while working on a project?
A: I have a simple to-do list on paper (and a future product) that I use for staying focused. A physical card is a great way to increase productivity, especially as I am easily distracted.
The card limits how many tasks I can see each day, which is one of the reasons it works. It can be overwhelming to have a long task list. I tend to pick the easiest tasks.
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By Delilah