Personal Growth And The Power Of Voice

Jul 29, 2014

“It is easy to be enlightened on a mountain top by yourself.”

Likewise, it’s easy to be yourself when you’re by yourself.

It is much harder to be yourself when communicating with other people. It is harder still for people to view you in the way you view yourself.

When we bring our personal growth, communication, and reputation into alignment, we attract kindred spirits. Kindred spirits are people we connect with at a very deep level and who play a transformative role throughout our life.

Our gift isn’t just brought into the world through our actions. It is also brought through our voice.

My Spirituality

Jul 26, 2014

There was a period in high school where I used to take few hour walks into the woods of my house in the middle of the night.

I brought my dog, Ginger, with me.

The woods were many acres and pitch dark.

I enjoyed the sound of the trees. The wind made them loud.

I enjoyed trusting Ginger knowing that she could see and smell better than me made me feel safe.

I followed the sound of the leaves as she walked on them.

When I think of my spirituality, I think of walking in the woods with Ginger.

The Elusive Search For The Meaning Of Life

Jul 20, 2014

Many people are comfortable taking life as it is and living day-by-day.

My blessing and curse is that over my adult life, I’ve constantly searched for underlying meaning.

I’ve prayed on my knees to be shown a path that I could pour every fiber of my being into.

I’ve pursued my journey full-heartedly making the best decisions I could in each moment.

What I’m left with is this. There is no one right answer.

I’m left with life. I’m left with being a human.

I’ve found beauty in that.

I’ve found beauty & meaning in the vacillation between meaning and no meaning, between definiteness of purpose and mystery.

I’ve found meaning in waking up in the same bed with my wife and two children. I’ve found beauty in trying times that forced me to grow and look at the world in new ways. I’ve had connection in deep conversation with others and self-expression. I’ve found purpose around aiming to have a positive impact as entrepreneur. I’ve found purpose in spirituality.

These have all been expressions of what it means to be human.

My path hasn’t been one straight path toward one definite end even though this is what is often celebrated in culture and narrative.

It hasn’t been one hero’s journey. It has been a thousand, overlapping journeys.

Sometimes in searching for the answer, we forget that we are already living it.

How Focusing On Curiosity Changed My Life

Jul 3, 2014

When I started writing for Forbes last year, I made a few decisions:

  1. To focus on fewer high-quality articles.
  2. To go longer than the suggested 800 words per article.
  3. To focus on intellectual integrity by researching the ideas and proactively searching for opposing arguments.
  4. Finding and sharing stories with honesty and vulnerability.

A lot of these are against the grain of traditional article writing. I made these decisions because I’ve been pursuing writing as a hobby and wanting to put ideas into the world that I’m proud of and that are helpful for others.

In a little over a year, the 23 articles I’ve written have been viewed nearly 1 million times and shared tens of thousands of times. My article published last week has been viewed over 20,000 times and shared 2,000 times on LinkedIn, Umano, Business Insider, and Forbes, and I’m going to be syndicating it in a few more places shortly. These numbers are way more than I ever imagined.

More than anything, I’ve learned that I deeply love writing and self-expression. My passion for writing has grown to the point where I proactively have to limit the time I spend on it because it is such a rewarding activity for me and takes over other things, even though I don’t get paid. As a result of writing, I see my life unfolding in a completely new and exciting way.

Here is one of my biggest lessons learned:

Sometimes it’s good to do things purely because it piques our curiosity and is something we’re really passionate about; even if we don’t have an endgame in mind. When we focus every activity through the lens of how much profit it will this bring in to grow the company, and we do this over 10 years, I’ve seen this help the company, but also sap my personal vitality.

Forbes: Open Relationship Building: The 15-Minute Habit That Transforms Your Network

Jun 25, 2014

Relationship building in the 21st century will be drastically different than it was in the 20th. In this century, it will be more important than ever to have a large, diverse, and deep network. Open relationship building is a unique approach to building this type of network in your downtime.

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Harvard Business Review: To Create a Real Connection, Show Vulnerability

May 21, 2014

The hardest part of my business failing was not the loss of the business. It was the loss of the identity that came with being a successful entrepreneur.

I had become so attached to this identity that when others asked how the non-existent business was doing, I said, “Great!” The chasm between the image of being financially set for life and owning a failed business was painful. I felt like a fraud.

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Why I Believe In Personal Transparency

May 10, 2014

I grew up with a feeling of being alone and misunderstood.

i saw others appearing comfortable talking, and I labeled myself as shy.

I was frustrated that people didn’t see me for me.

Over, the past 15 years, I’ve grown to have the exact opposite perspective on the world.

Yesterday, I had a fascinating conversation with Princeton psychologist, Emily Pronin ( that explains why. In short…

  1. People judge us by our actions and behaviors. We judge ourselves by who we are on the inside.

  2. We think others are outgoing, because we see them talking and appearing comfortable. We think we’re shy, not because we appear less comfortable, but because we feel our own awkwardness.

  3. The result is that we don’t share ourselves because we believe others are different. We feel that others will distance themselves once they see our ‘other’ side.

A leap of faith is required to eliminate this bias.

The leap is sharing our inner life with the world as it is a core part of who we are. It is completely unrealistic to expect others to see our inner world if we do not share it.

Going from not sharing to sharing is a process of finding our voice, expanding our comfort zone, and easing others into the change.

To others it feels like the ‘new’ us. In actuality, it is just the ‘real’ us.

By sharing with others, we create the space for them to share with us.

In so doing, we realize that we are all human and have the same emotions.

We can’t help but be transformative in our lives

Apr 6, 2014

I love time travel sci fi plots.

Many times, the main character is purposefully trying NOT to change the future, but they are always dramatically unsuccessful.

The smallest acts change everything.

Sometimes, we forget how transformative our lives are when we’re living it forwards.

The question isn’t just, “Will we be transformative?”

It is, “How will others be different? How transformative will we be?”

The Power of The Origin Story

Apr 6, 2014

In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. ― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

IMHO, the most important thing that people can do when they meet each other is to tell their origin story; the story that most helps others understand who they are. This is the story of how they overcame their major life challenge and what they learned from it.

What is your origin story?

Forbes: Why You Must Rethink How You Build Relationships In The 21st Century

Apr 2, 2014

The digitization of relationships has fundamentally changed what it means to build a network in the 21st century. Thriving in this era of confusingly rapid change and information overwhelm means embracing network literacy ; the critical, counterintuitive skill set that helps individuals and businesses systematically build their networks.

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