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

The secret to getting sh*t done and 6 ways to get started

I have an apology to make. I think in past articles I’ve given you some lousy advice about productivity. Really lousy. But, I’m not the only one who should be apologizing—there’s a barge load of bad advice in blogs, books, youtube and on bathroom walls. It usually...

Why your next start-up should be a done-for-you service

Here’s a question for you: If you’re busy, would you rather learn how to cut your lawn faster or hire someone to do it? I admit it’s a silly example, but the truth is most people would rather give a neighbourhood kid a few bucks to run the mower back and forth a...

Why Working Less Might Make You More Productive

Today was a good day. I did very little work. But don’t get me wrong…it was a really productive day. Let me explain. Recent research has looked at how many hours we are actually productive at work. And how much time is spent being distracted. The results are sort of...

Doing Nothing (On Purpose) – It’s a Fine Art

Note: this article on doing nothing, originally published in March 2015, was very popular so I decided to sand some rough edges, add more body and give it a new coat of paint. Enjoy. Last night I brewed some Sweet Morocco green tea, turned on the fireplace (something...

Life

Maybe it’s time you got some JOMO

I want to do less...better. It’s not that I want to opt-out, move to the country or build a log cabin.  In fact, when I’m home, I like my creature comforts and good WIFI. I just don’t like feeling busy.  All the time.  It shows up in the spaces... You know, those...

How to live like a millionaire with zero-based living

There is a concept in accounting called zero-based budgeting. Essentially, it means you build a budget from scratch and have to justify every expense. Instead of thinking about 15% growth in sales or  10% reduction in costs, you ask “What’s possible?” This radical...

Why you should never start a business

You knew the timing was right. Your friends said it was a great idea. So you took the leap, hung up your shingle and started a business. And then… Somewhere along the way the hours got longer, nights got shorter and then there was the gnawing feeling of overwhelm and...

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...

Habits

How I failed to reach my 2017 goals and lessons learned

I struggle writing goals for the year. Don’t get me wrong - I’m all over project goals and making my Flight Plan for the week. But sitting down to write goals for the year makes my palms sweat and always feels like a blind dart toss. And the only thing worse than...

Why I am quitting stupid, petty, small thinking

This is the time of year I freak out. And it’s not about last minute Christmas shopping. Or rushing to finish up projects before the holidays. What freaks me out is more of a slow-burning, can’t-escape-it feeling. Here it is: I worry that next year will be more or...

An Antidote to the Curse of Comparison

Do you suffer the curse of comparison? If so, it might be you know too much. You see, in bygone days news traveled slowly - a week could go by with nothing more than local neighbourly chatter. No longer. News is instant, inescapable and dumping on you so fast you...

The greatest time management lesson nobody ever teaches

This time management lesson might seem too simple to be of value. But, once you try it — just like chocolate dip on an ice cream cone — you’ll never go without again. I’ll tell you what that lesson is in just a minute. But first, I ask you to close your eyes (actually...

Why you need to let go to get what you want

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” Hermann Hesse. It’s a funny twist of thinking that we often value what we have more than what we could have. The shirt we stopped wearing long ago still hangs in our closet - as if one day...

Business

Why you need to experiment furiously and bravely dump

I just wrote my final email to my 2017 BOSS students. And there’s a bit in there I thought you might like. BOSS is an 8-week speaker training program I offer once a year. But it’s more than a bunch of videos - we have weekly calls, guest speakers, coaching and a...

How to slap self-doubt in the face and get stuff done

I just got off the phone with a student in my BOSS program. She needed tough love. She was running around in cerebral circles thinking of all the things she should be doing, could be doing, to move her speaking business forward and then - just as quickly - coming up...

How to create your first online course – step by step instructions

Sometimes it pays to get advice. Maybe you want to volunteer overseas, buy a real camera, or take up meditation. You could do it on your own, but it could be frustrating, expensive, or not get you the results you want. It's the same with building your first online...

How I Overcome Imposter Syndrome

The late Stephen Covey had a great line: “We teach what we most need to learn.” That’s been my pattern for far too long. If it wasn’t leadership, it was conflict resolution and, more recently, productivity. That works, to a point. And then there comes a time to teach...

Why pigs don’t fly (truth revealed)

There are some things you just take for granted. Like... eating chocolate torte every night will catch up with you (in a bad way), adding the cute barista at Starbucks to your contact list is a bad idea, and pigs don’t fly. It’s the same with a lot of things in...

Speaking

7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Next Seminar

My first experience leading a seminar was an unmitigated disaster. I was mid-way into my graduate studies (fancy name for don’t-have-a-job) and I’d been asked to lead a weekend seminar about marketing. I didn’t have a clue where to start. So, I said Yes. The year...

Get More Speaking Referrals with the ‘One Thing’ Question

You were brilliant! The audience leaned in for each point and scribbled your clever tweetables - heck you even finished 2 minutes early. Now it’s time to get referrals—you know, the stuff that puts food on the table. Of course, you can ask for referrals, and you...

How to add video to PowerPoint and Keynote like a pro

This post was was updated in 2023 So you want to spruce up your presentation with a little video? Cool. Now you have to figure out how. In this post, I’ll walk you through how to insert the clip and the tricks to creating a seamless transition from slide to video and...

How to win over any event planner

As a professional speaker you will work with event planners. In this post I’m going to save you some nightmares, disasters, and faux pas. Pay attention, Grasshopper, this will help get you referrals and make you money. First, an “event planner” is anyone in charge of...

How to negotiate your speaking fees and get hired

I’m a terrible negotiator. Either I give away the farm (“Why Yes, I’d love to fly red-eye to North Dakota and speak for free to 80 dairy farmers.”) or stick to my guns and end up with nothing. But other times, and with a bit of creative negotiation, there’s an...