The default American question “What do you do?” doesn’t suffice. Here are six of my favorite questions to ask people instead, and why they work. Asking people better questions is a great way into a more interesting conversation.
In my twenties, I was on track to fulfill all the obligations of being a woman in this society: engaged to be married, great job, graduate degree education, wanted to have kids. Society was happy for me, and that ring on my finger was the icing on the cake. The problem? I didn’t like the job, and I was wildly uncertain about the prospect of getting married, even though I’d said yes to the proposal. Then, over the span of a year, I lost my rib (it was taken out of my body through emergency surgery), I lost my fiancé, and I found myself in completely new territory. What happens after the fairy-tale ending? In most books, my engagement would have been the happily-ever-after. Here, I had a new lease on life, and finally, slowly, started listening to myself and what I wanted, instead.
There are many ways to go about a day. It’s not always as important what gets done as it is *how* I am showing up, and *who I’m being* in the process of all the doing and non-doing that I’m engaged in. In my mastermind circles, we call this “ways of being.” We work through three major phases and processes in our work together, which I describe in this post.
July was a busy reading month. I was focused on recording and prepping interviews for my upcoming maternity leave, and with all the extra interviews scheduled, I had quite a list of books I needed to read to prepare! Here’s the complete list of books I read over the last month: one of them, Overwhelmed, is one of the best books I’ve read so far all year.
Instead of trying to make the best possible decision based on an estimated guess of an outcome, it’s important to remember that we can’t control the outcomes. (If we could, then planning, marketing, and making would be far more boring and predictable.) Instead, I like to ask this question in order to make decisions in the face of uncertainty and unpredictability.
Friends! I’m joining the host, best-selling author, and founder of Unmistakeable Media for an intimate evening podcast recording of the Unmistakeable Creative Show. We’ll be taping live in New York City on Thursday, August 9th, after work. Join us. Tickets are sold in advance and are first-come, first-served, with an intimate venue and a limited audience size. Yes, I’ll be staying up late and waddling my big pregnant belly to a stage downtown to talk about startups, parenting, philosophy, and systems. Srini Rao is the bestselling author of Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best, and will be leading the discussion.
One of my favorite practices as a business owner is to do a quarterly review and reflection. Each quarter I set OKR’s, or measurable goals, and reflect on the progress made in the last quarter. A quarter is a perfect amount of time to set a goal and make progress on it, and it’s a great interval to catch yourself if you’re not making any forward progress, either. For the last several years of my life, quarters have been the backbone of part of my planning process. Here’s what OKRs are, how they work, and my system for quarterly review.
The learning curve of building a new human from scratch and re-wiring yourself as a parent and a functioning adult comes with plenty of challenges. Yet it also feels strangely familiar: like the long days of marathon training, or like the late nights studying to get your MBA on the side of your full-time gig. Here’s how parenting rewires us as leaders.
Our subconscious has a way of winding itself into our writing, if we’re paying attention. This practice always startles me, by reminding me of something that was sideways and not quite at the surface.
Wealth can be created across more areas than just financially. Sure, monetary wealth can be a beautiful thing, and I’ve got aims to grow wealthy in money. But there’s three areas that are more important to me for wealth than just money.