HUGH CULVER

I co-created the world’s most expensive tours (to the South Pole), have presented to over 1,200 audiences, built and exited 3 businesses, and I’m the author of Give Me a Break – the art of making time work for you. 

This is my blog.

Productivity

Hyperbolic discounting and why your goals suck

If you struggle to reach goals you might have a bad case of hyperbolic discounting. What?!? Before I get to what hyperbolic discounting is, let me back up and first talk about goal setting. A typical assumption is that BIG GOALS (think: Jim Collin’s BHAG (Big Hairy...

How to Stop Being a Drama Queen and get Stuff Done

“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” Mark Twain This article was originally published July, 2013 and was been updated in 2019. Are you a bit of a drama queen? Rushing around, frantically waving long lists in the face of anyone who...

This time management system really works!

I have been writing and speaking about time management for too long. And I think I was stuck. I was feeling the dis-ease that comes from the same infections in productivity interfering with me getting stuff done. Important stuff. Lists were growing on their own, small...

Why I Want You to Stop Making Goals

I’m writing this post airborne, somewhere over Greenland, on my way to Delhi. My six week trip to India and then on to Nepal, actually started six months ago, on my 60th birthday. Before I get to that, let me ask you a question... Have you ever made a goal - perhaps...

Life

The Art of Asking for What You Need

When I was a kid my Dad was my hero. He wore a 3-piece suit to his accounting office, was always in control, and could fix anything. On weekends, the older kids became his soldiers marching around the property hauling downed branches, stacking wood, or some other work...

Why I ran the Boston Marathon

There are at least two reasons we do anything. The most obvious is what we think we should do, like “Some expert on a podcast said I should eat more blueberries.” Then there is the second, less obvious reason, like “I want to feel better about my health.” Last week I...

Want to listen better? Stop thinking

“We have a lot of new leaders and I’m hoping you can inspire them to speak their minds.” my client said on the zoom call.  I feel my chest tighten, pupils dilate - I’m suddenly alert (my body loves the promise of a paycheck). “This sounds great!” I reply, having...

Life is hard and that’s a good thing

I have a hard time with people who sugar-coat the truth.  I was on a webinar this week that promised to reveal the secret to becoming an author. Given that I published my book a decade ago I thought I needed a refresh. Instead of advice, or sharing actual steps a...

5 Books that Taught me How to Age Better

“What is a normal goal for a young person becomes a neurotic hindrance in old age.” Carl Jung It was July, we were hiking up to the third floor of my favorite bookstore, Powell’s City of Books in the old Pearl district of Portland. Picture a labyrinth of wall-to-wall...

Habits

The 3 habits I recommend the most

This post was updated in 2023. Enter most arched passageways in historic buildings made of stone and look up. Look closely and you will see one block is different from all the rest. That wedge-shaped piece is the keystone block. Keystones in architecture are used to...

3 daily rituals that will make you rich

This post was originally published in January 2017 and was updated January 2023. I’m nervous about posting this. This message is so important, I worry that my humble writing efforts won’t do it justice. You see, I want you to be rich. Ouch!….sounds like get-rich-quick...

3 Simple Ways to Make this Your Best Year Ever

“We’re drowning in information and we’re starving for wisdom.” Tony Robbins Imagine if every year - like this year - you could start fresh. There was the old you, with all your annoying habits - procrastinating your way through life. And then there is the NEW YOU!...

Maybe it’s time to give regret a rest

Somewhere in the middle of a 14-hour train ride from Haridwar, India to Agra my daughter and I killed time watching a downloaded copy of the comedy “We are the Millers.” It’s about bungling drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) who enlists three others (including...

Business

The secret to scaling any business

I can’t overstate this. If you want to scale your business you need to get out of the way. Maybe not the advice you were looking for, but it could be just what you need. In the last seven years, I have consulted with over 200 small business owners. At the same time, I...

Why I sold my company and lessons learned

I was ready to walk away from my business. Sales were flat and so was my motivation and my creativity. I was putting out fires - not growing a business. On top of that, I was going through a divorce that needed my attention.  And now for the happy ending… Instead of...

The fastest way to get more consulting, speaking, or coaching work

Sometimes the best solutions are also the simplest. Instead, we love, love, love to make life complicated. Take getting hired for example. I help content experts get hired. Consultants, coaches, trainers, and speakers all want one thing. More clients. And that’s where...

How to make more money as a speaker by doing less

Some things in life are delightfully counter-intuitive. Like the most expensive entrees are also the smallest, we equate vulnerability with strength, and exercising when you are tired can give you more energy. Here’s something else that’s counter-intuitive. When you...

Hey small business owner – are you trying to boil the ocean?

We all have limits. Like how much information we can hold in our short-term memory at any given time. Turns out, it’s about 7 things. Princeton cognitive psychologist, George A. Miller coined this limit as the “Magic number seven, plus or minus two.” His paper on the...

Speaking

How to stop pretending and become an expert in 5 steps

I have a beef. It started subtly - various phone calls. At first I wasn’t even aware it was happening... I would get questions like “I’ve been speaking for a couple of years. What do I need to do to get more speaking gigs?” Or, “I’m going to write my first book. I...

How to hook any audience and capture their attention

There’s lots of opinions about how to start a speech. Some say start with a joke. Some with a story. Some with a confession. Some even use video to break the ice. All of those can work, but in this post I’m more talking about what comes next—how do you hook your...

The one secret about public speaking nobody will tell you

It took me 10 years to discover - completely by accident - the one secret to public speaking that not only saved my bacon countless times, but actually made every speech better. Today, I’m going to tell you what that secret is. But I’m getting ahead of myself. When I...

How to make your first $1,000 as an expert

You have expertise you want to sell. Maybe you’re a retired executive, or athlete, a savvy leadership expert or you’ve published a book. There’s hundreds of variations, but the bottom line is you know people will pay for your expertise and you want to make it happen....

The secret to making any meeting, speech or presentation outstanding

Congratulations - you’re about to give a speech! Or maybe you’re speaking at your bi-weekly team meeting, or it’s a presentation at your company’s annual dinner. The problem is you’re boring. To be fair, it’s not so much you that’s the problem - it’s your audience....