123: Peeking Out from the Plateau — My Latest Pivots (and Why Plateaus Actually Signal Progress!)

123: Peeking Out from the Plateau — My Latest Pivots (and Why Plateaus Actually Signal Progress!)

I’m baaaaaack! Did you miss me? I sincerely apologize for (unintentionally) ghosting out on you. I hit a (Pivot) point of total overload and overwhelm with some BIG personal updates on school and my love life (you’ll have to listen in to get the full deets!).

All while mid-way through second semester at seminary, buying and moving to a new home in Harlem, and traveling every week for speaking busy season this spring. Spotting burnout potential (I know it a mile away), and after hitting a clear decision fork-in-the-road, I gave myself permission to pause on non-essentials. Unfortunately that included the podcast and #PivotList newsletter!

But what looked like a plateau from the outside (seeing as I haven’t released a new show in six months) sparked a mega-business renaissance on the inside. On Friday, July 5 I celebrate my eighth (!!) year of solopreneurship, and I’m getting ready to take things up to a whole new level of joy, revenue, meaning, momentum, and systems-ninjary.

In fact, I’m re-naming what I do Solo+preneurship — putting the plus into my support structure by expanding to a core team of three (part-timers) + podcast production. This will free my time to do more of what I love, such as getting this show out on a regular basis while still honoring Momentum members, and my consulting and 1:1 clients.

Listen to this week’s show (I’m dusting off the rust, so pardon any awkwardness!) for more on all these updates, and how you can become a super special Podcast Insider to geek out with me behind-the-scenes on the latest books, topics, and tools that come up during the episodes. I’ll also talk about why plateaus — at least ones that look that way from the outside — are a good thing, and should be celebrated as a sign of progress.

122: Digital Minimalism with Cal Newport

122: Digital Minimalism with Cal Newport

What are the hidden costs of digital clutter? How can we counter screen addiction and phantom phone vibrations? We explore these topics in this episode with Cal Newport as we discuss his new book, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World.

Cal Newport is a familiar voice on the Pivot Podcast and back by popular demand! On our first episode we discussed deep work—the increasingly important deliberate practice of focused work, especially in a world of cognitive junk. Now we turn to digital minimalism: applying a just enough mindset to our personal technology, freeing ourselves from the overwhelm, distraction, and “fear of missing out” side effects of the always-connected world. Or as Cal quotes Bill Maher from May 2017: “Likes is the new smoking . . . Philip Morris just wanted your lungs, The App Store wants your soul.” 

121: Raise Your Game (and Ditch Compare-and-Despair) with Alan Stein Jr.

121: Raise Your Game (and Ditch Compare-and-Despair) with Alan Stein Jr.

Nobody knows the daily grind of competition and mental game better than athletes and coaches. Today I’m thrilled to share a conversation with basketball and performance coach Alan Stein Jr. on how we can apply these hard-fought principles to building better businesses.

Alan first blew me away with his networking skills — he joined a private group we’re both part of and quickly became an integral member, after I’d been mostly wall-flowering as the hidden introvert that I am. We talk about his strategies for building relationships and ditching unhelpful compare-and-despair for mindsets that are far more helpful and empowering.

120: Mantras in Motion with Erin Stutland

120: Mantras in Motion with Erin Stutland

What’s the difference between affirmations that feel fake and those that actually work? How can you move your body in a way that also transforms your mind? What falls under the category of spiritual bypassing versus actual transformation? Join me for a conversation with one of my favorite New York friends, Erin Stutland, as we discuss her new book: Mantras in Motion: Manifesting What You Want through Mindful Movement.

[Best Of] Deep Work: Ditch Cognitive Junk Food with Cal Newport

[Best Of] Deep Work: Ditch Cognitive Junk Food with Cal Newport

As I get up to speed in my first semester at Union Theological Seminary, 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 Cal Newport from April 2016.

When was the last time you were in the zone?There’s nothing I love more than working with time flying. The sun rises and sets and I barely notice because I’m so engrossed in my work. Cal Newport calls this deep work, and says that contrary to what many assume, it is a skill, not a habit. That means it takes deliberate practice, and is a cognitive muscle that can atrophy with disuse—something we are all prone to as we get sucked into network tools like social media and email. I loved this conversation and I know you will too! Enjoy 

“At the exact point that deep work is becoming increasingly valuable, it is also becoming more rare.”

—Cal Newport

[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

[Best Of] Martha Beck on Enlightenment and Messages our Bodies Send

[Best Of] Martha Beck on Enlightenment and Messages our Bodies Send

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 with one of my author superheroes, Martha Beck, who says “Suffering is a sign you are about to be woken up again.”

This week we tackle a tiny little topic—enlightenment—with one of my all-time favorite authors and thinkers, Martha Beck. I have read all eight of Martha's books (two or three times each) as they helped me through some of my biggest transitions in life and work. Martha is someone who blazes her own trails and has inspired me to do the same time and time again. 

I admire Martha for her tremendous courage. She's been through hell and back, from leaving the Mormon church despite getting death threats and her entire family disowning her, keeping her pregnancy after finding out her baby had Down Syndrome and her Harvard colleagues suggested otherwise, or following her body's signals to turn away from the academic life that was making her sick, and even saying no to Oprah when it didn't feel right to say yes.

[Best Of] Rebirth: On Fear, Flow, Love and Magic with Kamal Ravikant

[Best Of] Rebirth: On Fear, Flow, Love and Magic with Kamal Ravikant

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 from January 2017 with Kamal Ravikant :)

What lies on the other side of our fear? According to Kamal Ravikant, magic. "That's the promise of the heart," he writes in an early chapter of his wonderful new book, Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart. This is one of my all-time favorite Pivot Podcast conversations: Kamal inspires courage in vulnerability, living with an open heart, and road-tested practices on loving yourself and living your truth. Every moment of talking with him was a delight, and I hope you enjoy this week's conversation on life's biggest topics as much as I did! 

119: Off the Clock—Finding Time Freedom with Laura Vanderkam

119: Off the Clock—Finding Time Freedom with Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam is a productivity tour de force: she has written four books in the last several years, launched a podcast, and given talks all over the country—all while running a household with her husband and four children.

I’d tell you that I truly don’t know how she does it, except that she already wrote a book to answer that question called, what else, I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time. One of my other favorites was her runaway bestseller among the Fast Company crowd, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings--and Life.

The focus of this week’s podcast conversation is her newest book, Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done. Laura reveals the counterintuitive principles the most time-free people have adopted, and teaches mindset shifts to help you feel calm on the busiest days.

118: Union Theological Seminary—Reflections on My First Month of Grad School

118: Union Theological Seminary—Reflections on My First Month of Grad School

“Welcome to Holy Hogwarts,” my fellow first-year Ariel said to me with a smile, as I walked through the Union campus entrance into the school’s small courtyard for my first day of orientation. I was grateful for his warmth and levity, a brief reprieve from my nerves about what to expect from my classes and fellow students.

After those three days of orientation I felt like I was on a rickety, upward-climbing rollercoaster, ticking up toward a crescendo before the rush of adrenaline and momentum to follow from the big drop. Am I making a huge mistake? I wondered. Will I fit in here? What if I can’t juggle school, work, speaking travel, and the new commute? Did I really think this through enough?

But alas, I’m just over a month in, and absolutely loving the program. I’m working on a two-year Masters degree with a focus (for now) in Interreligious Engagement. I love the material, and feel so lucky that I get to study, talk, and read about some of life’s deepest questions all week long! Getting used to the firehose of reading, classes and writing assignments was a shock—but not in a bad way. More like taking a cold-water plunge: surprising and breath-taking, but incredibly refreshing and the perfect shake-up for entering my seventh year of self-employment (and living in New York). I am still struggling a bit with when to schedule meetings, podcast interviews, and outings with friends, but I know I’m still early in the adjustment process.

Listen in to this weeks (semi-rambling, sorry!) episode on impressions from my first month at school—what I’m learning, how I’m adjusting, and where “inner game” resources like self-compassion come into play.