I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the importance of the entire process. Beginnings are exciting and the ends triumphant, but in the middle it can be a little confusing and easy to get lost. In the midst of tedious tasks and stressful days with no immediate signs of progress it can feel like your work is futile and want to give up. Day after day, the rejection, unexpected issues, uncertainty, burnout, frustration, chaos, and even sometimes boredom can cause you to want to throw in the towel and quit.

Our life is like a sea of stars on a clear summer night; infinite specs of seemingly insignificant situations and settings. It isn’t until we sit still and stare closely at the spots that we start to see the faint lines connecting constellations. Your mind begins to form patterns and shapes that show significance as you slowly start to realize that they are all interconnected — all strung together to create one vibrant, detailed story.

There are many regular moments when ask myself, ‘why the hell am I going through this?’ or ‘what the hell am I doing?’ only to realize the answer to those questions several years down the road. As the least patient person on the planet, this is really, really hard for me but I’m learning to trust that all the bullshit that seems to be for nothing is actually for something… I just can’t see it yet.

Building anything beautiful takes a ton of work and when you’re in construction mode every single day it’s hard to see the progress. 

Sometimes you have to revisit the before to see what a huge difference you’ve made. Looking back, you can see exactly what you’ve done and who you’ve become as a result. 

Have gratitude for the entire journey, my friends. The adventure is a beautiful one.


Dear Creativity Blocker,

I get it. You don’t want me to do anything weird or unordinary because people might think it’s strange, or worse — that I am.

I appreciate that you are trying to protect me from humiliation, public, embarrassment, shame. Thank you for wanting to spare me the pain.

But I think it’s time to re-evaluate your job description. Surely you’ve always wanted to be free, like me? Why don’t you take a brief hiatus from protecting me to explore who you really want to be? What if you rode a motorcycle through the desert southwest? What if you learned to sail in the Caribbean Sea? What if you flew to Paris on a whim to drink wine and dine and dance in front of a sunset-soaked Eiffel Tower?

I’ll be right here when you get back, still thinking, writing, creating. It’s just that I, too, need some time for freedom. I need room to create without judgement. I need space to mess up without worrying what anyone will think. I need time to put my ideas to paper and put them out in the world without having to convince you, or anyone, that I AM WORTHY.

What do you say we make a deal and take a break from all the criticizing and doubt?

Lovingly yours,



You are not lost.

pnw bridge

You are not lost, you are learning. You are not lost, you just don’t yet know where you are going next.

Close your eyes and feel your body. How can you be lost when you are here, in your home?

You are not wrong, you are not damaged, you are not broken because you still get stuck in dark corners. 

Out there, the world may seem scary, but there is only discovery, exploration, playgrounds of possibility.

Try not to resist the pain of uncertainty and doubt. There is power in looking that feeling in the eye and trying to understand it. 

The fear of an unknown future is simply a friend inviting you to play in new fields. Look closely. Lean in with curiosity, asking questions and listening carefully to the answers.

What does this feeling want to show you? Where does your mind wander when you allow it to crawl?

Listen carefully to the things that make you feel most alive; to the moments that feel fleeting and full of joy. Listen to when you laugh and do more of it. Listen to what frustrates you, and do less of it. Ignore the “shoulds” of others and focus on what you’d like to do, see, feel, and learn next.

What if finding your purpose isn’t one single, final destination, but a constant journey, one that alters each day giving you a chance to rediscover your purpose in new ways and new places every single day?

You are not lost. You have just begun to realize the place you are now no longer serves you. You are changing as you grow, my friend, and you are outgrown the shell that is your home.

Sometimes that hurts — growing pains. And that is when you listen harder.

Listen to what makes you tick. What do you dream about? What do you long for? When do you feel most confident, and strongest in your abilities? What tasks can you do over and over and lose track of time? What are the wishes that seem impossible, but that thrill and excite you at the mere idea of possibility? 

Don’t worry about getting the answers correct; there is no right or wrong. There is only where you are right now, and where you think you’d like to be. There is only learning.

You can not fail, so go ahead, explore new territories, take risks, discover new topics and opportunities, teach yourself the skills you want to sharpen. Try and learn and try and learn and try and learn, over and over again. 

I think you will surprise yourself in what you are able to achieve if you’re willing to experiment.

Try all the things until you find that one thing that makes your heart sing, and when you find it, stand tall on the top of the tallest mountain you can climb and take a deep breath and belt that song out at the top of your fiery lungs.

I promise that eventually you will figure it out. And for some time you may feel less lost — that you are at the right place at the right time — until that time has past, and once again it will be time to grow.

Don’t worry about having all of the information right now. You are young. You have plenty of time to learn, and your life will be much more enjoyable if you can let go of the thought that you have to know what forever looks like.

You are on the right path. How do I know? Because you are paying attention to the path you want to be on, and just by listening you will find your way.

If you have the courage to follow the light, it will lead you exactly where you ask it go.


Last night I had the pleasure of moderating a conversation with some of Austin’s coolest community builders in a General Assembly event entitled, “Creating Community Through Offline Experiences.”

As an event planner, I thrive on the unique opportunity Alchemy Events has to design physical spaces and unique experiences with the intent of empower connection. In a world that is becoming more and disconnected through technology, and an independence-focused society we get to build a world where people can leave their everyday lives behind and are transported to a time and place where only the present matters, laughter lingers a little longer and the connections endure long beyond last call.


The panel — featuring Ben Thoma (co-founder of the Austin Creative Mornings chapter), Courtney Bianchi (founder of Whiskey + Pearls), Ikechi Nwabuisi (founder of Tribl) and Moby Hayat (host of The Fire Show) each brought a unique perspective to the power of creating community and cultivating community through in-person events. Here are some of the biggest takeaways I gathered:

Communities offer important benefits for our wellbeing. Each panelist shared experiences from their own lives where they felt welcomed and accepted by a group that ultimately formed the confidence and helped them identify their strengths as an individual.

Especially as we leave family and trade our childhood for the workforce and/or college, it’s important to replace the warm feelings of home and love with people and environments that nurture us and help us to become our best selves. If you are craving a sense of belonging: there are numerous meetups, associations, clubs, church groups, hobbyist communities, and events. Look for your people, and join them.

Communities allow us to build deep, meaningful connections. One of the crucial and obvious truths about communities is that they empower us to . More than one panelist was able to share a story about how their participation in a former community provided an opportunity for personal growth. Ikechi, who saw a need for more diversity in the Austin tech sector, formed a meetup for minorities in tech. The connections he formed here led to introductions that have supported his current business and opened the door for his acceptance to the Techstars accelerator.

For organizers of community events, it is your job to facilitate connection by introducing people who might benefit from knowing each other. Let them be the ones to figure out exactly why or what that is, but be willing to tee it up and create a “soft opening” to help people feel comfortable.

Community builders are leaders. Leaders solve problems and build bridges. Moby, who moved to the US with an H1-B visa, attended several events when he arrived as a way to connect with new people. Over time, he started to notice that many of these events lacked a tactical approach to starting and marketing your business. As a response to this, he launched an informative podcast (The Fire Show) and panelist series offering entrepreneurs tools for success.

Have the vision to see where you can provide value, and be vulnerable enough to share it with other. Chances are, you’re not the only one feeling the way you do.

Listen to your audience. I love that this advice applies to those seeking to build a network, but has parallel applications for those building businesses, managing a team, raising a family, and cultivating relationships with friends. I believe that listening is one of the most powerful gifts.

Leaders should understand the WHY behind building a community. What are participants missing? What are they hoping to gain by being a part of what you are creating? Courtney speaks to this idea of intentionality — by specifically asking for feedback and regularly reiterating her intention to her members, she has been able to continually refine the experience for everyone.

Give first, give often. It’s a marketing commandment preached by thought leaders such as Seth Godin and Gary Vee — because it works. Each of the people sitting on stage is so generous with their ideas, time, connections, and the fruits of their love are obvious. CreativeMornings, for example, is a completely free organization with tens of thousands of members around the world. Despite the very real challenge of funding their events, Ben’s team in Austin (as well as the hundreds of hosts + organizers around the world) are dedicated to donating their time as volunteers to give valuable content and connection to their community. Furthermore, many of the 190+ chapters record their interesting and entertaining monthly talks so CreativeMornings has seemingly endless valuable content which they generously share with the world online.

Ikechi summed it up best with the (paraphrased quote): “Give generously. Whoever values it most will come back to you.”

Whether you are actively working to build an audience, or simply looking to participate more purposefully in your community, we are all searching for a sense of belonging, one of the most powerful and basic human needs. I believe the most powerful version of that is found in (the sometimes uncomfortable, awkward) in-person encounters with those who are willing to connect on a personal level and truly see us for who we are.

Thank you to each of the speakers for being brave enough to build spaces that foster connection and to General Assembly Austin for hosting us!


My Love —

Your light is shining brighter with every passing day. It is a wonder to watch you grow and give and love. I wish you could know the strength of the impact you have in people’s lives. I hope you see a fraction of the beauty others see in you because that would be enough to fill your heart with joy and confidence.

You are becoming stronger. Your compelling curiosity is guiding you towards a magical future.

Your passion for life is contagious and your positivity is radiant. I want to give you more of the things that bring you pleasure and help you eliminate the things that bring you down. Isn’t it powerful to realize you have a choice — every day and in everything? To make your life look exactly like you want it to? I think the more that you consider the truth of that — and ask — how might I make this reality my reality — the more you will grow.

There is pain in the process. There will be discomfort. There will be dis-ease and disappointment, but I will be here to comfort you. I will hold you when you hurt and together we will turn your tears of sadness into laughter.

How lucky are we that we get to take this journey together?! What a wild and wondrous ride and there’s no one I’d rather walk through life next to.

You are perfect — in your own way — no one else’s. This does not mean you won’t make mistakes, just that your errors will never determine your worth

I see you. I get you. I will support you when you need me and let you fly free when you need to explore, with the calm reassurance that I will never abandon you. I will be here to warmly welcome you home with a warm embrace when you return.

You amaze me. I love you deeply, completely.

Forever yours,


Some thoughts on BALANCE.

miami hotel como metropolitan

I get a little frustrated when people tell me to slow down or take more breaks, firstly, because they don’t know what my daily life looks like “behind the scenes” and secondly, because my preferred speed/pace is probably different than theirs.

Owning a business is kind of like being on a never-ending a roller coaster. (Can I get an amen!?) Sometimes you’re chugging slowly up the hill, other times you’re flying around corners so fast you can’t see straight, and occasionally you coast into the station between rides and get a few moments to catch your breath.

Everyone's approach to work-life balance is different, and I guess that’s sort of the point. The very nature of balance implies constantly evolving and shifting to align with your current circumstances. For example, I’m unmarried with no children. I prefer longer work sprints (yes, that does include nights and weekends), with dedicated time in between to travel and completely check-out. Someone in a different stage of life might need to turn off notifications and shut down work mode for evenings and weekends to spend time with family. Both approaches are totally viable, normal, and great!

The key to maintaining work-life balance? Figure out what works for YOU! Learn to tune in and listen to what your mind and body are telling you. Practice present self-awareness, and I think you will know exactly when to push and when to pause. 


This weekend, I had the immense privilege of flying to warm, sunny Miami to attend the 10X Growth Conference 2019. I feel the need to begin this article with a bit of a disclaimer that I bought my ticket knowing I can only half-tolerate Grant Cardone and his empire. I find his personality abrasive and unnecessarily obnoxious (similar to Gary Vee - sorry, fans!), but both are well-known and making millions of dollars more than me, so they are doing things I want to pay attention to.

Similar to most conferences in this realm, the energy was high and the hype was real. The content didn’t necessarily feel new or novel (though there were some technical pieces for me that were excellent education), however, I am someone who sees daily study and listening to these kinds of principles as important as exercising or vegetable intake so I soaked it up.

10x growth conference miami

Here are my biggest takeaways from the 2019 10X Conference. Where possible, I’ve done my best to identify which speaker shared a particular principle.


Of recurring reference, perhaps memorable because it’s been on my mind of recent, is the counsel to identify your gift and focus on doing everything that will allow you do to ONLY that. What are your gifts, you ask? Steve Harvey described gifts as those are the things you do best with the least amount of effort; the things people praise you for and ask you questions about despite the fact that you might not have even considered it a skill.

The moment you start living your gift, your life will change.” - Steve Harvey

Take the time to identify what you are best at, and the things that come most naturally to you. They are probably within the areas of your life that your friends and family ask for advice or help in. Respond to those requests with an emphatic, “Thank you, watch this!” if you can help someone, it is your duty to share that gift with the world, and doing so is the fastest, most authentic, and easiest way to get money. There are a lot of people who do what you do, but NO ONE does it like you.


Every single presenter who stood on the 10X stage made it to their level of success through leverage. After identifying your gifts and pursuing them wildly, and as soon as you can afford it hire your weaknesses. Jesse Itzler talked about figuring out how to do what you’re doing faster, and one of the best ways to do that is by hiring people who are better than you in the areas you struggle. Of course, this costs money, but over and over again the speakers talked about the need to spend money to make money. Put bluntly by Grant, “Your money should be working for you — to the degree that your money is sitting in a bank account, you aren’t free, you’re afraid.”


This event could have just as easily been named the Attention Convention. There were fireworks, pyrotechnics, surprise performances by Snoop Dog and Lil Jon, Grant skydove into the Marlins stadium to kick off the freaking show! As previously mentioned, I find his in-your-face brand somewhat insufferable, but there’s no denying it’s memorable.

You need an audience. No audience: No offer. I grew up in a culture that praised modesty and humility, which makes it especially hard to toot my own horn, but if I don’t do it, no one else will. Where can you be seen? Money follows attention. How many people know you on the internet? It likely corresponds with you income. Grant says it best: “Haters gonna hate… But if you don’t have an enemy, you’re not playing the game.”

In order to get attention, you have to be attention-getting. Ordinary doesn’t build empires and you are not fit to be ordinary. Steve Harvey said one of my favorite things: “You are on this earth to be your boldest, biggest, truest self. People don’t pay ordinary people, people pay EXTRAORDINARY, CRAZY people to do things”

Bottom line: If people don’t know you, they aren’t going to do business with you.


Another gem from Jesse Itzler: “You don’t need experience. You need action. Experience is a waste of time.” HIs wife, who followed him on stage, made it very clear that sometimes not having done something is actually an advantage… it means you can do it differently, with fresh eyes! But the point is, do the damn thing.

There are too many great direct quotes to minimize in a summary, so here they are:

“Just keep delivering.” - Grant Cardone

“Usually when you jump, you FLY.. if you really commit to it” - Bethenny Frankel

“The main habit you have to break is procrastination.” - Tai Lopez

“Ideas are a dime a dozen. Executors are not. WORK HARD. Most people don’t, so if you do you will crust the game. Just work your ass off.” - Bethenny Frankel

“You don’t have to have it all figured out to figure it out.” - Jesse Itzler

“Perfection is the enemy of money.” - Ryan Deiss

“If you don’t EXECUTE you’re not going to make any money." - Grant Cardone

“I’d rather have a good plan INSISTENTLY executed upon than a great plan formulated in the future.” - Grant Cardone

“Take MICROACTIONS all the time.” - Tai Lopez

“Consistency compounds.” - John Maxwell

“One of the biggest mistakes you can make in business is to find something that works and not repeat it.” - Grant Cardone

“Good strategy comes from getting all the information that you can and acting on it.” - Daymond John

“Criticism is easily avoided by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Grant Cardone


From Jesse Itzler, “When you get over the fear of being embarrassed, it’s the most liberating power.” He described the difference between the experience in high school of having a crush on a girl, but not having the courage to call her. Years later, when he was interested in his now wife, Sara Blakely, his confidence had grown and he got her attention by offering to run an ultramarathon wearing Spanx. He went from being too shy to talk to the girl (no results) to running 100 miles in underwear to end up marrying the first self-made female billionaire.

Sara followed him up with a reminder not to be afraid to embarrass yourself because the worst thing that can happen is that you become memorable. After announcing the wrong Miss Universe in 2017 in front of the entire world, Steve Harvey’s name was googled 4 billion times in the following weeks. How’s that for increasing attention?

John Maxwell knocked it out of the part when he opened is talk about leadership with a reminder that “Everything worthwhile is uphill. It’s all uphill, all the way.” No one ever got to the top of the hill easily or accidentally and then exclaimed in surprise and delight, “How did I get here?!”

The view from the top of the hill is always worth the discomfort.


On the third day, Grant’s seven-year-old daughter stood on stage and said, “Giving up and quitting are very different things. One you might never try again + the other you will.” And she’s right. The only difference between success and failure is never giving up.

I was deeply motivated by the fact that not only had most presenters (all of them?) had come from humble beginnings, more than one had lost everything multiple times through bankruptcy, divorce, business failures, etc. But like John Maxwell advised, “Don’t count your losses, count your lessons.” Each and every one of them not only gained back what they had lost, but returned with more.

Embrace the lessons and opportunities of failure, and never stop having visions or dreams. Even 60-something year-old Steve Harvey, who is worth well over $100m, still has a vision board on his phone of the things he’d like to achieve and own.

According to Jesse Itzlers’s 40% rule: When your brain says you are done, you are only at 40%.

Keep delivering and never, ever, ever give up.

Overall, the conference was fantastic education and motivation. Improving yourself, daily, through study, action, and new experiences is absolutely essential to success and the path of learning and personal development I'll continue to walk every day.

Want to get a deeper look into what I learned this weekend? Download my full notes here.


I just put a resource list together for my Goal Getting workshop and thought, this is a pretty valuable list, I should share it…

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If you’re like me and saving time is everything, I got you with those quick click-through Amazon links:

  1. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results - Jay Papasan + Gary Keller

  2. The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) - Gretchen Ruben

  3. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs - John Doerr

  4. 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months - Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

  5. Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time - Rory Vaden

  6. Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success - Rory Vaden

  7. Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity - Charles Duhigg

  8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg

  9. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure - Grant Cardone

  10. No BS Time Management for Entrepreneurs: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity and Sanity - Dan Kennedy

  11. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World - Cal Newport

  12. Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less -and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined - Scott Sonenshein

  13. GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Angela Duckworth

  14. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) - Hal Elrod

  15. How Will You Measure Your Life? - Clayton Christensen

If you’d like a bit more information about each of these titles, carry on for slightly more context on and notes from the 15 best books for goal setting and productivity-minded individuals.

  1. The One Thing - Jay Papasan + Gary Keller

    I’ve read this book more than any others on the list — at least three or four times — and whenever I am struggling to focus, it’s the one I come back to. The authors ask a valuable question, which apply in so many circumstances: “What is the one thing I can do such that everything else will become easier or unnecessary? This book taught me to learn how to say no so I can do fewer things, better. It taught me the importance of time blocking to get my most important work done, and how to use the domino effect to grow motivation and reach.

  2. The Four Tendencies - Gretchen Ruben
    To be honest, I breezed through this book because it felt fluffy and repetitive. BUT — the concept was eye-opening and useful for personal discovery. It answers the question, how do you respond to expectations, both internal and external. By understanding this, we “can make better decisions, meet deadlines, meet our promises to ourselves, suffer less stress, and engage more deeply with others.” If you’re short on time, I recommend heading over to to take the test + read about the different tendencies.

  3. Measure What Matters - John Doerr
    Hi, the author’s name is basically ‘doer’ and he wrote a book on productivity! I’m going to pay attention. People who record their goals and measure weekly progress are significantly more likely to achieve their goals. Besides the fact that this book feeds my nerdy craving for data and totally validates it, I love the push to set harder, higher goals. Those who set higher goals may not reach them as often, but studies show subjects with stretch goals are more productive, motivated, and engaged. Want harder goals? Ask harder questions.

  4. 12 Week Year - Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
    This is another one that I breezed through with a “yeah, yeah” mentality, but I really liked how the authors emphasized the importance of splitting goals up into smaller, more manageable chunks of time. It bothered me that they presented the 12 Week Year as a novel concept (hi, have you heard of quarters?!), but I appreciate the push to make bigger commitments in a shorter amount of time and to have the courage to measure your results.

  5. Procrastinate on Purpose - Rory Vaden
    One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from this book: “Work double time part time for free time full time.” This book is also full of reminders to say no to things that are not crucial, and figure out what else you can delegate. Being a strong leader and leveraging other people’s skills is a great way to get more done!

  6. Take the Stairs - Rory Vaden
    If you want to know what a person believes in, check their calendar and their checkbook. How they spend their time and their money is an accurate indicator of what they believe in. This is a quick read that encourages you to take the time to develop discipline and habits that will benefit you in the long run.

  7. Smarter Faster Better - Charles Duhigg
    Similar to most of the books on this list, Duhigg suggests setting stretch goals weekly with 3-4 results you want to create. He explains that our goals explain our mental models and we tell ourselves stories about what we expect to see and the good news is, we create our reality, so see the future play out the way you want it to. He lays out a pretty straightforward formula: set big goals, figure out what needs to happen first, determine obstacles and distractions and how you will overcome them, and take action.

  8. The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg
    The thing I love about this book is the relief that comes from knowing you don’t have to be disciplined at everything all the time. Learn to develop positive habits and within weeks and months you will eliminate extra emotional energy wasted on making decisions and negotiating with yourself about the same choices over and over again. “People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” - F.M. Alexander

  9. 10X Principle - Grant Cardone
    Ok, this book is intense. Especially the audiobook, which I listened to. I do not recommend this for anyone who isn’t ready to be called out for not taking big action. Of course, that’s why I liked it. Put bluntly, Cardone will tell you as long as you are alive you will either be accomplishing your own goals and dreams or you will be used as a resource to accomplish someone else's goals and dreams. Which one do you want? And are you willing to put in the work to dominate? 

  10. No BS Time Management for Entrepreneurs - Dan Kennedy
    My biggest takeaway from this book is a sign that landed on my fridge — 1440 — the number of minutes we all have in a day. Similar to Tim Ferriss books, there are some really great “life hacks” in here for scheduling your days and weeks wisely, time blocking, and making tasks like emailing and meetings more efficient.

  11. Deep Work - Cal Newport
    This one changed the structure of my work day, and helped me develop more discipline for distractions. I know when I have important tasks that need to get done (typically creative efforts of life-blood tasks for my business), I have to do them first thing in the morning before I’ve opened my inbox or ventured out into the world, with headphones in and a clearly dedicated work space. Now that I understand deep work, I find it easier to get done, and quite energizing for the rest of my day!

  12. Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less -and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined - Scott Sonenshein
    The best ideas come from the people who have the most ideas. Be willing to write down (and eventually toss out) a lot of terrible ideas and plans. But somewhere in the pile will be the gems that can change your life.

  13. GRIT - Angela Duckworth
    I wish I had written this book as my autobiography. Duckworth outlines how extraordinary results come from ordinary people who exhibit passion and persistence. After outlining the importance of resilience, she teaches how to stay consistently motivated by combining small, low-level, daily goals with a larger vision.

  14. The Miracle Morning - Hal Elrod
    Another huge game-changer for me. For about 18-months after reading this book, I followed Elrod’s formula for a morning routine and kicked mine off every morning at 5am. I have since adjusted my schedule but still incorporate the steps he suggests as part of my daily routine: meditate, affirmations, visualizations, exercise, read, journal/write.

  15. How Will You Measure Your Life? - Clayton Christensen
    Honestly, this one should be at the top of the list as I think it’s an excellent resource for figuring out the big picture of what you want from life. Christiansen helps us determine our priorities and balance professional life with all the other things that matter. At the end of the day, goal-setting, productivity, and success are great, but I consistently find that relationships and family are what make my life feel full of joy.