Matt Franklin is a serial entrepreneur and host of the Rogue Retirement Lounge podcast. He’s run a one-man video production business in Portland, OR for the last 15 years and has invented multiple products. His most successful product landed him on Shark Tank in season 4. Now enjoying “pre-tirement,” Matt’s mission is to use his podcast to help entrepreneurs and self-employed people develop retirement strategies so that they won’t have to work into their seventies.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I consider Bend, Oregon my hometown. I lived in other towns in Oregon growing up, but Bend is where I went to high school and I’d eventually love to return to. My childhood was unremarkable, but what shaped my adult life more than anything was the fact that my parents encouraged me to try anything, whether it was taking guitar lessons, fixing my own car, starting a business or the like. I was never met with a negative reaction to any of my ideas or aspirations, regardless of how silly they might’ve seemed at the time.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I wish I had realized that real estate can make you rich in 20 years. If I had realized that when I was 30, I’d be retired now.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

There is a ton of bad advice floating around out there, and it usually immediately precedes a sales pitch of some sort. A great litmus test for advice: If it comes right before someone tries to sell you something, get a second and third opinion.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I’ve had an incredibly easy, privileged life. For me to claim any darkness or adversity would be insulting to people who really have lived through trials and tribulations.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Friendliness. Seriously. Every business success I’ve had is directly or indirectly related to my ability to work with people. No matter what business you are in, and no matter how good you are at what you do, if you are not likable, you will not have great success. On the contrary, if you’re a mediocre performer, but you’re likable, engaging, and dependable, you will be successful.

What is your morning routine?

I’m the opposite of Hal Elrod. I like to sleep late. I roll out of bed sometime between 9:30 and 10:30, drink some coffee, surf the internet, and contemplate the day ahead. My productive time comes at night.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Checklists. Being able to prioritize tasks is huge for me. I have a very short attention span, so making little plans in the form of lists keeps me from getting off track.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Isolate and permutate. Break projects down into their smallest tasks, order them, and work on them for 10 minutes at a time, using a timer. Close email and turn off your phone. If you try this simple method on one project, you might find that you’ll get more done 10 minutes at a time then you would in a half-hour of work done without using the ‘isolate and permutate’ method.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Guerilla Marketing, by Jay Conrad Levinson. I checked that book out of the library when I was 21, looking for ways to promote my band. The book changed my life because it made marketing and business actually sound fun. Until that point, I had no interest in anything related to business, and after reading that book, I knew I was going to be involved in marketing, in one way or another, for the rest of my life.

The other book is Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It completely re-framed the way I think about money. EVERYONE should read this book. Everyone.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

I’ve been saying “Everything is figure-out-able” for years. I should’ve written the book before Marie Forleo beat me to it.