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A Discussion with Erick McFerran on Managing a Busy Lifestyle

What do you love most about the industry you are in? The online education industry is wide open for exploration. There are an abundance of opportunities for people to get involved virtually worldwide. I can appreciate the ability to be anywhere in the world and provide quality instruction and mentorship to anyone else as they […]

Erik McFerran
Erik McFerran

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

The online education industry is wide open for exploration. There are an abundance of opportunities for people to get involved virtually worldwide. I can appreciate the ability to be anywhere in the world and provide quality instruction and mentorship to anyone else as they seek it.  

 What does a typical day consist of for you?

I prefer to do any cognitive work in the morning and possibly later in the evenings after getting to the gym and reigniting thought processes, while conducting all and any other business-including leisure activities-in between.

 What keeps you motivated?

The process of becoming my best version and the prospect of how maximizing my God-given abilities can glorify God in my own little way and hopefully not only contribute to, but maybe even inspire others. 

 How do you motivate others?

Through doing my best to maximize my abilities, contribute as much as I can, and the willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to accomplish these things.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The thought-and belief-that absolutely anything is possible in this life. I think if we have the ability to think it up, it has the chance to become a reality. Just consider all of the great things we (humanity) have done and what more we are capable of accomplishing.

 How do you maintain a solid work life balance?  

By compartmentalizing my day into blocks of when I am most effective and what needs to be done when, how, as well as taking the necessary mental breaks to recharge, so I can come back clear-headed and better postured to reorient my efforts and maximize my effectiveness. What that normally looks like is engaging with the most intellectually-challenging aspects of the day about an hour after getting up, which is when I am at my cognitive best and clearest. That includes 1-2 hours of reading, followed by work and business-related activities. I ensure to take at least a few short breaks and continue on for several hours until just before midday and then either hit the gym, then take care of any errands or vice versa, before returning to work mode to check emails, work-related messages, put some touches on projects that may have percolated in my head as a result of taking some time away from it or other business dealings. Unless it is absolutely necessary, I try to keep late afternoon or evening work to a minimum- 1 to 2 hours at most, before switching my focus to a hobby, and finally closing out the day by reading for a bit.

 What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

Willingness to do the most difficult things first and foremost-from the front- for it is not a good quality of a  leader to be yelling forward from the back; compassion for others, understanding their strengths, limitations, and motivations; and finally, you must always be ready to stand up for your people and your decisions- right, wrong, or anywhere in between, you must invest in your people and own your decisions.

 What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

Manage your expectations and be ready to adapt and overcome any set of circumstances. In other words, be flexible. We rarely call the shots in our lives, things will often happen well beyond our control or even our most thoughtful considerations, so in order to succeed, we must first be prepared, then maintain flexibility and be willing to adapt to the situation and do what is necessary to overcome it. Even the best laid plans often do not survive first contact. The best preparation is to expect that to be the case and be ready to react accordingly.

 What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?

Read, write, and repeat.  Do it as much and often as you can. There is always something useful to be gained through encounters with written works, in all forms. Whether it is picking up on a new piece of knowledge, reinforcing the old, or simply discovering a different perspective, one of the best things you can do for self-development is to engage with these two sides of literature. Accordingly, I highly recommend both taking full advantage of the lessons, perspectives, and ideas that these recordings of the human experience offer potential readers and taking some time to deeply reflect upon and record your own musings and ideas.    

 What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?

Stay focused on the moment. Right here, right now and do not sweat the small things. If you show up on time, in the right place, in the right uniform (dressed appropriately for the occasion), and you are doing the best you can to do the right things as often as you can, that is 90 percent of the ‘battle’ and everything else will take care of itself. Absolutely everything in your life is precisely what you make of it.

 Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

Inquisition, curiosity, and determination to try something new. There is an entire universe out there to be explored-get after it!

 Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?

That we have established contacts and expanded our operations throughout multiple regions across the globe, providing the same type of high-quality education, not only in language and cultural acquisition, but in expanding areas of expertise. Our ultimate goal is to provide a nearly universal, mobile, and extraordinarily convenient multi-subject educational platform, administered and driven by experts in each field that anyone, anywhere can access for their educational needs. Commensurate with our expansion into multiple fields of study and educational themes, we would like to continue developing our software programs and mobile applications to accompany them and facilitate their availability.   

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