A fan's tribute to Sebastian Marshall's latest mastermind-style group idea.

Sebastian Marshall is the business-person I want to be.

The man’s a beast. I’d never heard of someone working over 50 straight hours on challenging creative work until I heard about him. I’ve been following his blog for years, have purchased and read many of his books, and appreciated them all.

In particular, I recall reading Roguelike in a public park in Hong Kong. It changed the way I look at how to have fun. Not just the overt message of the book (which is interesting and well-developed), but the in-the-bones level of understanding that, the surveys and studies aren’t wrong: work is actually fun. Challenges, overcoming them, having real stakes, having real uncertainty about whether you can do something… games are most fun when you have those but they can only mimic these features. Real business has them, in spades, when you are working on the most important and challenging work you can find.

I could say MANY more nice things about Sebastian Marshall, like how his explanation of the difference between Polite and Friendly helped me focus on much higher quality friends. Or how he’s been a really positive example of Superb Business Ethics to the point where I wonder, if not for his (unknowing) influence, would I have been complicit in fraud or been defrauded myself? I suspect the answer is yes for both. Despite him never having heard of me, I feel I owe him a lot.

And at the risk of making a gesture that appears to be taking rather than giving, I’ve made manifest an idea of his he calls Ultraworking. Right now he’s relying on what looks to be google spreadsheets for tracking his private mastermind group’s ability to focus on what matters – eating right, sleeping right, exercise, planning the important work for the day and then jamming on it. Since there are shared charts and structure to it, I felt I might be able to make something a bit more boutique.