“To me, those are two vastly different things. Schooling and education are not at all synonymous.” — Matt Beaudreau
In last week’s Praxis Wednesday workshop, we were joined by Matt Beaudreau — accomplished public speaker, founder of Acton Academy Placer, and alternative education proponent.
Matt talked to us about his career journey (starting out as a public school teacher, moving into school administration, and then going on to start an Acton Academy in Roseville, CA), his alternative education philosophies, his work as a public speaker (booking 50-60 talks a year, the majority of which are for large corporations like Wells Fargo and Lockheed Martin), his observations on intergenerational dynamics in the workplace, and his own work habits and principles.
- How he considered himself to be a “creative insubordinate” in his public school career — focusing on doing what worked, rather than doing what he was told.
- How Acton Academy Placer uses the Socratic method to teach the art of thinking (which is a lost art).
- The importance of focusing on self-awareness (what you’re good at and what you want) and self-confidence, and how that relates to your Hero’s Journey.
- The process of deschooling kids — helping them break out of the public school mindset, and helping them develop their self-direction.
- How he’s built his speaking career to book and handle 50-60 talks a year.
- His work talking about generational dynamics, and how those takeaways pertain to young people entering the workplace. We’re getting softer as a culture with each generation — and little things like looking people in the eye, shaking hands, and asking what needs to be done helps you stand out far and away from your competitors.
Matt also talked about his own approach to work (as he balances a heavy schedule), and his personal focuses and commitments:
- How he divides and structures his day in 20-minute increments, and how he structures out everything to maximize on his time.
- The importance of tracking how you use your time. When most people do this, they find they’re vastly inefficient.
- How his philosophy has always been to put himself in the most uncomfortable places possible (such as doing Mixed Martial Arts), so he could challenge himself to grow.
- His Essential Eleven — the personal contract by which he lives — and the value of having a personal contract (a set of commitments you hold yourself to and always follow). It gives you a binary measure in emotional situations, and a code of conduct.
“Everyone has something to say. It’s just a matter of building the self-awareness of what it is, and the confidence to say it boldly, knowing you’ve put yourself through the wringer and discovered it, rather than just thinking it. Discovering what you want to say is infinitely more powerful, because you’ve done things.” — Matt Beaudreau
Actionable Takeaways from the call:
- Track how you use your time, and identify where your inefficiencies.
- Put yourself in situations that challenge you! They’ll push you to grow.
- Create a personal contract — a list of agreements for yourself and the way you choose to live.
This week we’re being joined by accomplished salesman and manager Jack Sayler for a workshop on peak performance. Stay tuned for next week’s wrap-up post, where we recap the highlights!