STAGE ONE: PLANT — RESOURCES
Plant by creating a foundation from your values, strengths, and interests, and your vision for the future. The most successful pivots start from a strong foundation of who you already are, what is already working, and how you define success, no matter how broad that initial vision might be. The Plant stage explores: values, vision, strengths, and finances.
This is one of my favorite interviews, and a conversation that is crucial for understanding and revealing the hidden influences that shape many of our views on society, wealth and power. I have heard terms like white privilege (which applies to me), but I hadn't thought to look into the notion of invisible privilege until earlier this year. You may think it doesn't apply to you (as I used to), especially if you're not in the "Top 1%."
But as a recent Atlantic article revealed, The 9.9 Percent is the New American Aristocracy, privilege is something that affects more of us than we might immediately self-identify with, particularly for many who see themselves as part of the "middle class." (A necessary note: some of you may be in the Top 1%—and you're welcome here!—and some of you may be struggling to get by, and you're welcome here too).
After hearing it thrown around quite a bit in social change circles, I got curious. What does invisible privilege really mean? How does it affect me, and others like me? And how does it relate to broader social change? I'm so grateful for Karen Pittleman, who answers these questions with kindness, compassion, and clarity in this week's conversation. I can't wait for you to hear her story of giving away a $3 million trust fund when she turned 24 years old (now she's given over $13 million to activist-led funds), and her input on how we can all work together to redistribute wealth and power as we work toward a more just society.
Although many of us aspire to rewarding morning routines (and enjoy geeking out on the best of what others come up with), on some days just getting out of bed is a victory. To this end, one of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander's new book, My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired, comes from Ana Marie Cox, a political columnist and culture critic.
Cox says, "When you come up with a morning routine, understand that you’re undertaking it in order to do something good for yourself, not to meet some stranger’s standard of productivity."
With that in mind, I invite you to this week's conversation with Ben where we discuss common themes across morning routines, and how to take some pressure off of trying to meet impossibly high Inner Critic Morning Routine Police expectations. I'm also honored to be featured in My Morning Routine, with a subtitle for my chapter that made me chuckle: "When your evening routine starts at 3:00 in the afternoon." Listen in to find out what I do with all that wind-down time :)
What is fear keeping you from doing? Is it worth it? Are you afflicted with an additional form of OCD, Obsessive Comparison Disorder? What are the pivotal plot points of your story, the triumphs and the tragedies? What sacrifices are you willing to make to honor your soul values?
These are the powerful questions that my longtime friend Paul Angone asks and collects in his new book, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties. The book covers four categories that we also dive into on the podcast: adulting to win, careerish, relationshipping and finding your signature sauce. I love Paul's humility and humor, and I can't wait for you to see which of the questions we cover might just change your day, your week, or your life :)
"My father had been like a broom, constantly sweeping me out into the world, and my mother was like the dustpan gathering up the shattered pieces and rebuilding me, only to have my father sweep me out again."
—Eric Weihenmayer, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon
This week's guest, Erik Weihenmayer, needs no introduction beyond his incredible life story and mission, and I cannot wait for you to meet him. Erik is an adventurer, author, activist and motivational speaker, who has also become a celebrated and accomplished athlete despite losing his vision at the age of 13.
He was the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001, and completed the Seven Summits the following year, joining 150 mountaineers at the time who had accomplished that feat, but as the only climber who was blind. In 2005, he co-founded No Barriers, a nonprofit organization with the tagline, “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” The organization helps others with diverse backgrounds and abilities attack challenges head on, problem solve, build winning teams, and serve others. In September 2014, Erik and blinded Navy veteran, Lonnie Bedwell, kayaked the entire 277-miles of the Grand Canyon, considered one of the most formidable whitewater venues in the world.
That’s the focus of his recent book, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon. In the foreword, Bob Woodruff said, “Erik is simply one of the most remarkable men I have ever met.” I agree, and not just for what he has accomplished, but for who he is—full of heart, soul and inspiring hustle. This episode is one you won't want to miss.
"Mama well she told me time / is such a wonderful gift / You're not running out / You're really running in."
—Lyrics to You Can't Rush Your Healing, by Trevor Hall
I am absolutely elated to bring you this week's guest—one of my favorite artists, singer/songwriter Trevor Hall. Trevor's divinely-guided music is infused with soul and spirit, and lifts me (and so many others) up who crave connection to meaningful lyrics and exquisite melodies.
We talk about the inspiration behind his new album, The Fruitful Darkness, with a special song premiere of "Karma" at the end of the episode (I got to choose my favorite from the new batch—which was not easy to do)! We also dive deep into astrology as a guide to our inner blueprint, how he "hears" songs before he even knows exactly what they mean, staying in flow while touring around the world, and finding blessings in the dark, unwanted, or unknown times of life. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did :)
"I stopped following, bypassing my inner critic, knowing full well the future of my total physical and mental health was not dependent on Ms. Bendy Six Pack Von Instagram."
—Andrea Owen, How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t
Although it seems like the holidays should be nothing but rosy and bright, filled with gratitude and good cheer, sometimes being back in our home of origin (with family, longtime friends, and/or in-laws) can send us into a personal growth regression machine. In past years I’ve caught myself reverting to my worst habits—whether it’s using the tone of voice of a high-schooler, layering on guilt for not being my best self, or not taking care of myself in the ways I know that i need in order to recharge and stay sane amidst the extraversion and people-immersion this time of year.
So I purposefully scheduled this awesome episode with my good friend Andrea Owen for this exact week. A time when, despite your best intentions, you might find yourself falling into the familiar traps of perfectionism, people-pleasing, controlling, and about 10+ others that get in our way and make us feel like sh*t. I hope you enjoy this conversation and find as much relief in it as I did!
"I was broken. Everything hurt. How could I know so much but constantly be in pain? I could go fast with the best, but I was a complete amateur at going slow."
—Anders Varner, founder of The Lower Back Fix
When Anders Varner reached out to me to share his story, I only got halfway through his about page when I knew it was an immediate YES! for a podcast conversation. Many of you know that one of my passions is exploring the intersection of mind, body and business—particularly how we make time to rest, recharge, and take care of ourselves during intense career-building times so that we don't burn out, and can instead build sustainable careers (and bodies) we love.
I had a blast jammin' with Anders about his journey from ego-centric bodybuilder and Crossfit gym owner (where he also got connected to become John Cena's training partner) to an aha moment about slowing down, learning to breathe, and shifting inward. The result is Anders' new focus on yin strength training—that's right, incorporating mindfulness even while muscle-building. I loved this conversation and I know you will too!
“Our daily challenges excite us and make us feel engaged with our goals and purpose. They test us. They teach us. Along with the worry, they bring passion into our lives.”
—Howard Behar, Author of The Magic Cup, Former Starbucks President
- Ideal Day Madlib Template: Fill-in-the-blanks in this document to articulate what your ideal day looks like. Bonus points: do one version for your wild-and-crazy vision, then do another for your ideal average day; what an energizing “regular” work-day might entail.
- Knowns vs. Unknowns Template: Before moving on to the Scan stage, summarize your known variables for your one-year vision, as well as remaining questions.
- Hotter/Colder Exercise: Reflect on the last week and figure out when you were in the zone (what you might want to do more of) and when you felt bored or indifferent (what you might want to do less of)
- Time Tracker and Schedule Blocker Template (3 Tabs): Especially great for those with flexible schedules, the time tracker and schedule blocker template will help you analyze where your time is currently going and help you put your ideal average day plan into tangible weekly terms.
- Job Interview One-Sheeter: This template condenses nine key questions into a one-page “Cliffs Notes.” Quickly articulate your answers to 9 key areas, including: strengths, goals, work-style, ideas, challenges you have overcome, questions & an answer to that dreaded “weaknesses” question.
- Four-Step Budget Template: Most budgets are too cumbersome to be useful. Check-out this handy 4-step budget: After filling in income, must-have expenses & nice-to-have expenses, you’ll get a “monthly allowance” for you to spend on discretionary items as you’d like.
- Financial Modeling Template: Get a bird’s-eye view of your business model, and track your business income and expenses with this template. This more robust template helps you assess baseline expenses for living and for running your own business. It also includes simple financial modeling tables to map out potential income sources, such as the number of clients needed at specific rates.
- Test Your Side Business Ideas: Side businesses are great experiments: you have a hypothesis about something that interests you that could make money, and now it is time to test your theory.
- Your Career Permission Slip: Created by PIVOT coach Lisa Lewis. In a stark contrast to when you were a minor, you do not need anyone's permission to make a change in your life except your own. In fact, holding out for permission from others is often a reason why we end up in frustrating career situations in the first place. So grant yourself permission to start today.
Chili Soup Recipe & Grocery List: Reduce decision-fatigue with this chili soup recipe that lasts all week. Healthy, hearty and delicious, meals can be one less thing to worry about when grappling with bigger pivot questions.
Mind Map Tools: Nothing beats pen and paper, but for online mind-mapping tools, check out Bubble.us and MindMeister. If you have an iOS device, check out Simple Mind and the Post-It App (which allows you to photograph and re-arrange post-it notes).
PERSONALITY & STRENGTHS ASSESSMENTS
- Strengths Finder 2.0 Assessment: One of my favorite assessments for aptitude. Identify what your natural talents are and acquire the language to talk about your strengths.
- Myers Briggs or this version (then read more about your type here)
- Fascinate F-Score
- 5 Love Languages: A great exercise on brainstorming what you're passionate about and looking for common theme's is Paul Williams' Passions Mind Map exercise
- Stand Out: Similar to StrengthsFinder; book with accompanying assessment
- Wisdom of the Enneagram
- The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
- Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
- A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
- The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?
- Choose Yourself!
- The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
- The Power of Full Engagement
- Business Model You: A One-Page Method For Reinventing Your Career
- Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together
- Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live
- The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul
- How to Be, Do, or Have Anything: A Practical Guide to Creative Empowerment
- Life After College
- The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth
- MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom