Dads Doing It: Jason Feifer of Entrepreneur Magazine

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Jason Feifer

“You’re going to fail, and you’re going to fail a lot. That’s OK. It’s good, really—it’s how you learn. The real test is what you do next.”

What do you do and what led you to this career?

I’m the editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine, as well as the hosts of the podcasts Problem Solvers and Pessimists Archive, and coauthor of the new novel Mr. Nice Guy (which I wrote with my wife). I started out as a community newspaper reporter, and knew I loved writing and reporting, but didn’t entirely know what to do with it or how to grow my career. The insight that saved me was this: I needed to continually chase skillsets, moving on to new jobs and seeking new opportunities with an eye towards what I could learn to make me continually more versatile. Now I have a phrase for it: Work your next job. You should always be developing skills for what comes next, even if you don’t know what’s coming.

What is the name and age of your son?

Fenn, age 3.5

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a father?

Seeing a kid that acts exactly like my parents told me I acted as a kid. It’s wild to witness what is basically a version of myself from the past.

And what is the most challenging?

Patience. I always thought I was a very patient person. Having a child has tested that.

What has been your greatest career achievement thus far?

Becoming editor in chief of a magazine.

What is your best unfiltered advice for an aspiring entrepreneur?

You’re going to fail, and you’re going to fail a lot. That’s OK. It’s good, really—it’s how you learn. The real test is what you do next.

What is your best advice for a new dad?

The kid won’t break. Don’t worry about doing everything perfectly. Also, sleep train as soon as you can. (We did it at 2.5 months, and it saved our lives.)

What is your current favorite activity with your son?

Playing catch. He’s good!

What are your current favorite apps or practices for productivity?

I don’t have any big, secret apps. My system is pretty simple: I put absolutely every appointment in my calendar, and I put my to-do list in my iOS Reminders app, which syncs between my iPhone and MacBook. As soon as there are moments I have free during a day, I look at Reminders and start checking off the to-do list.

Last but not least, you're known for curating the most inspirational quotes on your Instagram page. What is your current favorite inspo quote that you can leave us with today?

My favorite comes from Malcolm Gladwell. It doesn’t sound very inspiring, but it is—to me, at least. He said this in conversation with me: “Self conceptions are dangerously limiting.” By that, he meant that when we think of ourselves as one thing—as only able to do one thing, as only thought of as one thing—we close off all the other possibilities and opportunities around us. We shouldn’t limit ourselves. We should think of ourselves as always expanding, always evolving, always refining. That’s certainly my goal for myself.


Follow Jason at @heyfeifer