Category Archives: How People Work

Why do we do the things we do? This series of essays looks at human behavior, habits, psychology, and the weird ways that people act, behave, and think.

How you move through the day

There are two days. They look relatively similar:

The first one I wake up, stress in my blood, anxious, making coffee, urgently filling up my water bottle, spilling a little on the counter. I go through the motions, minute to minute, chasing the work. I record a few podcast episodes, I ship all the essays that need to go out the door, I answer all the emails (okay, that never happens), but you get the picture.

The second one, I wake up, I breathe. I exhale. I make the coffee (or tea). I take a few extra seconds, maybe sixty seconds total, to move from the bedroom to the kitchen. I still do the same amount of work, the podcast recordings, and the essays—but my demeanor, posture, and relaxation are completely different.

How you do it is just as important as what you do

There are many ways to go about a day. It’s not always as important what gets done as it is how I am 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:

  1. Reflections—harvesting lessons from past experiences.
  2. Planning—setting goals, intentions, and measurements for the future.
  3. Being—sharing who we want to be and how we want to show up in our life.

In my experience, we all can adopt goal setting processes and tools. But it’s one thing to set a plan and accomplish it, and make yourself miserable throughout the entire experience.

What’s missing, for me, is the question: who do you want to be while you’re journeying there?

How do you want to feel? What kind of person do you want to be in the moments that lead up to the experience? The cliche about the journey being as important as the destination is apt, here.

For example: I want to write, and I want to feel satisfied, spent, and accomplished while doing it. I want to exercise, and I want to feel powerful, at my limit, and strong while doing it.

How do you want to show up in the process of making your work (and your mark) on the world?

July Book List

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. Read the article

What will teach you more?

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.Read the article

Join me! Live podcast show in New York City — Thursday, August 9th

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.Read the article

How My Kid Teaches Me About Leadership

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.Read the article

If Facebook Went Away

If Facebook went away, what would change for you? How would you spend your mornings? Your workday? And what would you miss? And conversely, what would change for the better? It might be the biggest social network we’ve ever seen, but it’s also constantly changing, and it’s undergoing more investigation for its role in changing how our brains and communities work. Here’s what I’d miss, what would change, and why I still use it (for now). Read the article

Letting Things Break

In the process of pursuing new ways of working, it means you’re going to build new habits. Building new habits isn’t always a piece of cake: sometimes it’s rusty, weird, and feels uncomfortable. If you want things to stay the same, then keep doing exactly what you’re doing. If you want to get new results, you have to try new things. Right now, there’s one area of my life where I’m deliberately letting things break, and it’s not pretty. It’s uncomfortable. And I’m probably going to disappoint people. Read what it is and why I’m okay experimenting with it.Read the article


I find there’s a secret magic in the written word. Here’s why it’s so powerful. Also — I interviewed Danielle LaPorte on the podcast, if you’re curious to listen in.Read the article

Leveling Up

Imagine your email inbox was filled only with messages from the highest players in your field. Oprah, Tim, Seth, Shondra. What would you do differently? Imagine your product becomes a hit sensation, and you have hundreds (or thousands) of new customers joining you every day. Are you ready? What would you do differently? Imagine theRead the article

Am I The Kind Of Person Who…?

Today I want to talk about habit shifts, and how to once again get back into a habit you want to cultivate when you veer off course. I’ve written about it before. The reason I keep writing about it is because habit shifts, like taking care of a physical home, take ongoing care and maintenance. Building habits is like taking care of a home, but it’s your person-as-home, your mental space, your human space. And I, like everyone else, need to clean my house on a fairly regular basis. And the habit of re-starting can be challenging. So I asked a good friend and coach for help. Her answer—and the question she shared with me—worked. It worked really well.Read the article