Matiss Ansviesulis is not a regular entrepreneur. He’s driven, focused and gets things done. I like his energy and attitude towards business and life. He leads by example and has a powerful mission to inspire people through entrepreneurship. I would call him the Baltic Gary Vaynerchuk.
Today, I’m excited to share the habits and routines of Matiss Ansviesulis, a young and accomplished entrepreneur from Latvia. Read on to learn how Matiss manages his time, gets things done, invests and learns new things.
Matiss Ansviesulis is a co-founder and the CEO of the fastest growing European Fintech Creamfinance, providing personal finance products in emerging markets. After completing studies at Lancaster University’s Management School and working as a business analyst for JP Morgan in London, he founded Creamfinance in 2012 based on a vision to implement an innovative smart data-driven consumer finance company that would focus on machine-learning capabilities to quickly evaluate and score.
Having started business from nothing, within 5 years he managed to grow the company to €35M revenue business employing over 220 people and operating in 7 countries both within and outside of Europe.
What are the most influential habits in your life and why?
Finishing things! The circumstances in which I grew up influenced me heavily and basically, all my habits are built to make sure I finish the things that are necessary or that I want to have done. I am an obsessed compulsive personality type and I literally get anxious and physically as well as mentally frustrated if something is left undone. So it’s not too much about remembering things and noting them down – if you are focused on finishing things your mind remembers and reminds you of them.
How do you set goals and manage time?
I set my goals by sitting down, thinking, focusing on an issue and putting it down on simple, regular notebook. To focus and put a bit pressure on myself I always add deadlines to each task. It does not necessarily imply that I am writing only the things that I have to do that day or that particular week – I am trying to think big and therefore am noting things that I want to achieve within a month, half a year, a year and so on.
Besides that, normally every weekend I’m trying to plan an upcoming week making sure that my priorities are dealt with first as opposed to other people since they come to me. As a CEO I have to make sure that my tasks have to come first and that I deal with my issues first so I can dedicate my full time and attention dealing with other issues only once that is done. If you implement that kind of thinking you don’t really need any reminders, posts its or anything like that; the only thing I use is my phone to check google calendar for the meetings that are set.
How are you modeling your life?
I used to do a lot of modeling. In the past, I was modeling my life based on other successful people, their stories, their experiences and behavioral patterns but eventually, I started focusing on what really works for me as opposed trying to emulate their life. It’s important to realize that not everything what worked for that specific person might work for you, it’s rather a pure interest to see how some people, for example, Mark Zuckerberg sets priorities; he normally tries to focus on one skill a year and tries to master it until it’s done. But it’s all based on his personality and his preferences, so that would just not work for me. But in general I’m very interested in successful people’s biographies, they serve as a good source of inspiration as you try to analyze what behaviors worked for that person, what’s their worldview and how a certain behavior was influenced by their personality type.
I do a lot of seminars, executive education, professional psychological coaching. I’d also say that family is also very important in self-development – it gives balance, fulfillment, and purpose. It also works as a good mental training exercise – sometimes you are tired and emotional misbalanced after a long day at work and you may want to get those feelings off you but then you come home and it’s a good exercise as you have to accept others as they are, and instead of changing other people work on yourself. Business is quite different, though.
Can you describe your work process and thinking behind it?
I have a personal assistant who does everything. Jokes aside, I have three rules that I implement every day as I’m trying to achieve something:
1. I always try to deal with my deliverables and objectives in the first part of the day. The first part of the day is solely a “me” time – my work, my business, and my personal things. The second part of the day is meant for meetings and dealing with other people’s agendas.
2. I always deal with issues as they come without postponing them. I just try to do it instantly, as it saves time and increases efficiency. Once the issue appears, I focus on it fully; make a decision, gather the resources, finish the task and move on to the next thing.
3. I try to outsource as many things as possible. I am not a very practical person so all mundane, practical things are taken care of by other people – my secretary, my wife, and employees. All the practicalities and administrative tasks, such as researching something, fixing stuff, traveling arrangements and so on normally take quite a bit of time so I delegate those tasks to other people. A lot of people say that they cannot afford assistants and therefore they rather do everything themselves. Throughout the years I realized that it’s a complete nonsense: having an assistant is not a luxury but a necessity.
You can calculate your income versus hours you work, and that moment when you realize that the work you are doing is not worth the money you are paid for an hour implies that you should hire an assistant. If you are doing it yourself it means you are misallocating. For example, if you earn 100 euros an hour and you are doing house cleaning on your own, it means you are “paying” 100 euros for that work. It’s much cheaper and time efficient to rather get help and focus on something you are better at.
What do you eat for breakfast?
I used to drink fresh juice in the mornings but I realized my stomach is not too good for a high amount of acid. So now I wake up and make a sandwich with cheese and avocado or salmon, usually. Simply because I like it. Half of the time, however, I am not at home, so in those cases, I just eat my breakfast in a hotel I’m staying at. I don’t really eat anything super different than other people do.
How do you train your body and mind?
I run and I do motocross. I’m a fan of extreme sports, that’s an excellent way of “cleansing your mind” from unnecessary stuff, just like a mental break. On the mental side, I read books when I have time (normally when flying in the airplane). I do fairly little entertainment content (videos).
Most of the time I watch something self-development related, like London Real. I don’t consume mainstream media, its garbage, its pure agenda-driven, and agenda is not to give valuable content but to rather get good ratings. So I mostly focus on podcasts, interviews and follow entrepreneurs that are putting valuable content. I also read Financial Times, that’s probably the most mainstream media that I “consume.”
How do you meet and connect with people?
Conferences, LinkedIn and Excel sheet. I use LinkedIn daily to expand my network and connect with people anywhere in the world. It’s an excellent mean of communication, where you can see all the relevant professional details. Besides that, I have a simple Excel sheet where I keep track of my connections.
What are your sleeping rituals?
I usually go to bed after 11 pm and wake up around 7 am, trying to sleep for 8 hours every night. One ritual that I have before falling asleep is focusing on 3 best things that happened throughout the day. I normally go through my day remembering the things that happened and focusing on what was great, 3 good experiences. Normally people fall asleep with the thoughts on what happened last, so “programming” your sleep and your mood, framing your sleep positively helps you wake up feeling fresh.
What are your investing habits?
I don’t save for the purpose of saving, but rather try to invest money so that the money would “work” for me. I try to make sure that my investments pay for my lifestyle. One thing that people do wrongly is trying so save some small pennies from bare minimum salaries which is wrong in itself. If you can barely make by you shouldn’t focus on saving – you should rather figure out how to make more money so you can live comfortably and save at the same time.
For that, you need to work your ass off for some period of time, make as much money as possible, live below your means, save up some money and invest. Start investing as early as possible in your life, take fewer vacations, live humbly and if you are an average person from the Baltics by the age of 30 you should have saved at least 5-10 thousand euros, which you can already put into risk-averse, diversified investments.
What books, people, experiences shaped your thinking?
Books – in terms of management and business, Ray Dalio principles. You can get it online and it’s free. Other two that are on top of my head now are Power vs. Force, but you have to be mentally grown up to read it and be able to reflect on it. Another one about relationships – Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.
People – my parents, inevitably. My wife. And Warren Buffet.
Experiences – getting into the best secondary school in Latvia (one of the biggest challenges in my life, you can listen about it in my vlog), starting my own business (felt it’s the right thing to do) and starting my own family (gives a sense of security, certainly and love).
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Originally published at tomaslau.com on March 14, 2017.