Business

[Best Of] Live Fiercely, Study Deeply . . . While Earning a Living — with Jonathan Fields

[Best Of] Live Fiercely, Study Deeply . . . While Earning a Living — with Jonathan Fields

"Uncertainty may bring unease, but it also brings a vital energy, the exhilaration of creation. Without uncertainty, there is no possibility." —Jonathan Fields

As I get up to speed in my first semester at Union, I’m re-launching a few of my favorite podcast episodes from four years of archives: I hope you enjoy some of these oldies but goodies, particularly if you missed them the first time around! Here’s a conversation I loved with dear friend and mentor Jonathan Fields, from October 2016.

Jonathan Fields' mission is to "live fiercely and study deeply." How does he do that while earning a living? That's what we unpack in this week's episode. According to Jonathan, "There are only two ways to earn a living: you're either solving a problem or delivering a delight. If you're lucky and creative, you do both simultaneously."

Jonathan—or "JF" as I like to call him—has been a longtime mentor whose pivots have inspired me and countless others at every turn: from lawyer to yoga studio founder to author of three books, Jonathan is now studying and embodying what it means to live a good life. We recorded this episode from his plush velvety couches at Good Life Project Headquarters (aka his apartment on the Upper West Side) — I hope you enjoy this off-the-cuff conversation as much as I did. Be sure to grab Jonathan's new book, How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom, out this week! And his free recently released Unbusy Manifesto

117: Activist Venture Capital and Teaching Yoga and Meditation at Rikers with Marcus Glover

I had the great fortune of sitting behind Marcus Glover on a bus ride to Wallkill Prison for a Defy Ventures business mentoring day, and time flew as we talked about everything from him teaching yoga and meditation at Rikers, to criminal justice work, to his mission of funding minority-owned businesses through disruptive venture capital. 

I can’t wait for you to listen in on this conversation and get your own powerful dose of Marcus magic! You’ll hear about his passion for well-told stories, practicing empathy (rather than the misguided savior complex), cultural competency around dismantling privilege, and much more.

Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/podcast/marcus-glover.

Enjoying the show? Get insider bonuses by joining the Pivot Podcast community at  Patreon.com/pivot.

More About Marcus Glover

Marcus+Glover.jpg

Marcus Glover is a Partner at Southbox, an early-stage investment fund focusing in areas of high-growth technology startups and disruptive content producers. He founded TEDxHarlem in 2010 and has also consulted entertainers and athletes including Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Shakira, The Black Eyed Peas, Kobe Bryant, Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning, Rihanna, Allen Iverson, Eli Manning.

Presently, Marcus is devoted to investing and advising early stage ventures. He also holds a deep commitment to social justice and criminal justice reform serving as a board member of New York Tri State Board of Directors for DefyVentures.org and LiberationPrisonYoga.org. Through his work with these organizations, Marcus has become a dedicated mentor to incarcerated men, women and youth and also volunteers as a yoga and meditation instructor leading juvenile programs at Rikers Island Prison.

Topics We Cover

  • How he got started teaching yoga and meditation at Rikers

  • Embracing his own brokenness, yoga as a platform for personal transformation

  • Why the goal of prison programs isn’t what most people going in might think

  • Our goal is to offer unconditional presence

  • His passion for well-told stories, telling stories that empower us versus disempower us

  • Own your story: the pieces that seem successful and the ones that feel broken - it’s the shards that we shy away from, but that’s what makes us more relatable, more human

  • How he ended up at venture capital to further his mission of conscious investing

  • Main critique of VC is cultural competency: as much as it has been pioneering in all these ways of technological discovery, it hasn’t done a great job of disrupting diversity and inclusion

  • Systemic biases that have been here for decades, but as a platform, VC has the power to continue to transform in all of these areas

  • His next frontier for social justice and venture capital: cannabis. For example, The People’s Dispensary - seeks to reinvest profits into communities that have been harmed by the War on Drugs

  • Focus on double-bottom line: people and profits

  • Activist venture capital means “making an investment and level the playing field in everything I do”; also, “protecting against the downside of privileged people coming in and owning all the wealth and communities of color owning all the despair”

  • Reciprocal dismantling of privilege - as a culture we need to develop that IQ around how we level playing fields

  • Privilege is in many ways the barrier to empathy, even though it’s something many of us enjoy

  • MLK: saw his job as to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable

  • Success is the greatest illusion there is. Can any entertainer or athlete say that their success is their own?

  • Secret weapon to try after listening to this episode!

117: Activist Venture Capital and Teaching Yoga and Meditation at Rikers with Marcus Glover

Listen below or on iTunesSoundCloud, YouTubeOvercastStitcher, or Google Play Music:

Check out other episodes of the Pivot Podcast here. Be sure to subscribe via iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud, and if you enjoy the show I would be very grateful for a rating and/or review! Sign-up for my weekly(ish) #PivotList newsletter to receive curated round-ups of what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and new tools I'm geeking out on.

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108: Penney & Jenny Show Returns! On Spirituality and Small Business

108: Penney & Jenny Show Returns! On Spirituality and Small Business

I'm delighted to bring you the seventh (!) episode in a side series of this podcast we affectionately call the Penney & Jenny show :) It's a series of conversations with one of my dear friends and mentors (friendtors), Penney Peirce. We had so much fun during our first interview together that we added a second . . . which became a third . . . and so on, until it was a regular feature on the Pivot Podcast! 

This week we're riffing on the intersection of spirituality and small business—how we apply intuition, transparency, non-physical realms, and personal practices toward business-building, attracting clients, and earning a living in a way that feels easeful and joyful. You can check out all of our interviews here (and check for future episodes)—and for easier listening, tune in on our SoundCloud playlist

104: (A Course in) Miracles at Work—On Spiritual Intelligence with Emily Bennington

104: (A Course in) Miracles at Work—On Spiritual Intelligence with Emily Bennington

Emily Bennington and I have been on parallel pivot paths since we first connected online in 2011. So imagine my surprise when I was searching on Google images for a visual depiction of the word "Grace." I downloaded my favorite and lo and behold, it was pointing to Emily's site with a landing page informing readers about her new direction: teaching others to live and lead with grace, based upon her interpretations of the Course in Miracles as it applies to work and careers.  

In this episode we talk about what the Course is, how we can apply spiritual intelligence to our day-to-day interactions, how to create miracles through powerful mental shifts, and Emily's pivot from entrepreneur giving mainstream career advice to an exciting new full-time role as Executive Director for the Circle of Atonement.

Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/podcast/miracles-at-work.

102: How to Pivot Your Business When You Feel Trapped by Its Success — with Jason Van Orden

102: How to Pivot Your Business When You Feel Trapped by Its Success — with Jason Van Orden

Is pivoting just a way of rebranding failure as NYT writer Jacob Silverman would have us believe? I say no way José. In fact, pivots are often a product of our success. As I shared in the #PivotList newsletter I wrote in response to Silverman's somewhat snarky article, Silicon Valley start-ups do tend to talk about pivoting in response to their initial strategy failing. Or in the case of Ross from Friends, when a couch just won't fit around a tight corner :) 

But I believe that pivoting is the new crucial skill we must all foster, a far cry from being just another silly PR performance. If you've hit a pivot point or plateau, it means you have outgrown your current career or business and are ready for something new. We should celebrate that, and all the searching and small experiments that follow!

That's why I'm thrilled to bring you this week's Pivot Podcast conversation with my friend Jason Van Orden, a fascinating guy who was early to the podcasting and internet marketing scene, but who began to feel trapped by that very success, unsure about how to redefine himself from a unique perch atop of his industry. He is chock full of wisdom and systems to help you navigate out from under success that you've outgrown, and I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did! 

The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business with Elaine Pofeldt

The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business with Elaine Pofeldt

I have always been curious about solopreneurs who choose to stay small, like me. Seven years into running my own business, I still deliberately choose not to scale in a way that requires hiring any full-time employees or by too much added infrastructure, to support two of my biggest business values of freedom and agility.

But that doesn't mean that I exclude higher earnings as a necessary byproduct. My business mantras: optimize for revenue and joy, look for ways to earn twice as much in half the time (with ease and with even greater impact), and let it be easy, let it be fun.

So I was delighted to stumble upon Elaine Pofeldt, who is similarly obsessed with researching non-employer businesses with 7-figure earnings. In this week's conversation we dive into what she discovered while writing The Million-Dollar, One-Person BusinessRelated note: I've captured my best strategies for nearly quadrupling my income while working half the time (with no full-time employees) in my Delegation Ninja course.

Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference with Kathleen Kelly Janus

Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference with Kathleen Kelly Janus

You all know how I love serendipity—well, this week's guest, Stanford professor and philanthropist Kathleen Kelly Janus, and I met in one of my favorite ways! Sitting next to each other on an airplane. Kathleen was traveling to New York City to meet with publishers to try to get a book deal, Pivot was about to come out, and I had known her agent Lisa DiMona for many years (she represented Seth Godin at the time I met him). 

I'm thrilled to share that in the two years since we met, Kathleen's book, Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference, has launched! In this episode we dive into what makes fundraising for non-profits different from for-profit businesses, why so many hit revenue plateaus, why success is based far more on measurable inputs and small experiments than having a "genius" founder, and how to get involved with causes you care about if you find the vast array of volunteering and donating opportunities a bit intimidating. 

Artist Seth Price on Finding Freedom in Bad Ideas, Balancing Commerce and Creation in Business

Artist Seth Price on Finding Freedom in Bad Ideas, Balancing Commerce and Creation in Business
“Ultimate freedom would mean having just enough money not to have to think about money, and not to have to work all the time.”
—Artist Seth Price, F*ck Seth Price

*Language warning for this week's episode if you have kiddos around! Per the book title above :)*

I am so excited about this week's guest that I was at peak awkwardness during the interview, so please forgive a few choppy edits here and there! I normally don't edit "in line" for the Pivot pod to keep things as natural (and perfectly imperfect!) as possible, but in this case I cleaned up the recording for clarity and concision so that you could get the very best of Seth Price's brilliant mind and philosophy as a renowned multi-disciplinary visual artist. 

Seth's novel, F*ck Seth Price, is one of my most gifted and recommended for fellow creatives. His commentary on the relationship between art, freedom and commerce is sharp, truthful and deeply thought-provoking. As my dad wrote in his Amazon review, "This is the finest, funniest, most incisive book dealing with art and culture that I have read in the past forty years . . . a sort of 'Book of Common Prayer' for all artists entering New York City. Don’t get off the bus, plane, train without it." 

With that, I turn the tables over to our interview for you to get a unique peek into Seth Price's approach to experimenting, persona-dropping, art-making, freedom pursuing, and building on "bad" ideas!

Grab Bag! Upcoming NYC Workshop, BookRx on Interviewing Tips, and the Upside of Awkwardness

Grab Bag! Upcoming NYC Workshop, BookRx on Interviewing Tips, and the Upside of Awkwardness

If you're based in NYC or know someone who is, come to my workshop for reluctant writers on Saturday, February 24! Register at http://caveat.nyc/events and use promo code WRITENOW for $5 off. 

Introducing BookRx! Submit Your Question for the Pivot Podcast

I read anywhere from 5-10 books a month, and probably to a fault, I'm the friend that is always throwing out book recs or "cures" for issues that friends are experiencing. In this week's Grab Bag episode I pilot a brand new feature that I've had in mind for a while, called BookRx. It's a listener-submission format where I suggest non-fiction book "prescriptions" for what ails you or what you're most curious about—and riff on the benefits of awkwardness.

Have a question in need of a BookRx? Email me (Jenny@PivotMethod.com) with a short question or send me a voice memo from your phone—just let me know if you prefer to be anonymous or not :)

Hunch: How to Translate Intuition into Business Ideas with Bernadette Jiwa

Hunch: How to Translate Intuition into Business Ideas with Bernadette Jiwa

"Anxiety over being more innovative leads entrepreneurs to create solutions instead of problems. But what if you could use your intuition to identify an existing problem that’s begging for a solution?”

—Bernadette Jiwa, Hunch: Turn Your Everyday Insights Into The Next Big Thing

When Bernadette Jiwa’s little book that packs a big punch, Hunch, arrived in the mail, I immediately thought, “I wish I wrote that book!” But I’m thrilled that she did, because Bernadette’s beautiful heart shines through every page as she describes tools and stories to help you transform everyday insights into big ideas that make an impact.

In this episode you’ll learn how to tap into your innate curiosity to uncover better business ideas, why distraction and external inputs are the enemies of insight, and a deeper look at the formula for uncovering your best hunches: a combination of insight (patterns and practices) and foresight (potential and predictions).