6 Things Tony Robbins Does In His Virtual Workshop That Are 100% Worth Copying

Love him or hate him, Tony Robbins knows how to put on a show. I recently watched, well more like participated in, a 5-day challenge he hosted and found myself fascinated not only by WHAT he said but HOW he said it.

He Executes Really Really Well.

Many of these concepts, we all may know – but probably aren’t DOING as well as he does or with as much confidence. Granted, he has a lot of practice, is a voracious learner and has a machine behind his work. Still there are a lot of things even solopreneurs can all do. As I prepare for my own DC Start-Up week presentation, below or six things I am keeping in mind.

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+ Lego Knight versus Sneaker

“An I for an I” – Separating Intention and Impact.

I first heard the term “micro-moments” from Arianna Huffington a few months back during Power to Fly’s 2020 Diversity Summit. It immediately reminded me of how companies like, SYPartners use “micro-actions” to mitigate “micro-aggressions.”

When Less is More 

As an entrepreneur and process geek, I’m always looking for the minimal viable product, i.e. the MVP, the smallest iteration that will move the ball forward. Also, as a Gen-Xer, it reminds me of Tori Amos’s amazing album, “Little Earthquakes” and mitigating long term risk – all good things.  Putting this into practice lead me to create this tool for my clients, colleagues and family, which I call.

“Swapping an I for an I”

This tool refers to unpacking the gap that often exists between “I-mpact” and “I-ntention.” It’s a useful device in moments of conflict where offense has been taken, either by you or the other person.

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In 2018, I was wrapping up a project with Howard University alumni. It was my first time working with a group from the HBU and I was impressed. In was also the same summer that Black Panther hit theaters. Full disclosure, I was the “president” of Haverford’s comic book club my senior year, which I’ll admit was the best gig ever. So it’s not unusual for me to make it to the opening weekend for most comic book movies (even the bad ones). Still,

The Black Panther premier was special.

Continue reading “Tribute”

Job Hunting Flow

There are a lot of reasons why the job hunt drains us of energy and in worse case situations lead to burnout. The FLOW LIST from – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyis research – creates flow.

It can also identify what blocks flow.

For example:

  1. Lack of Clarity. A lot of job seekers are not clear on what exactly the role they want is. The clearer you can be, about what it is you want to, the title, the location, the activities – the easier it is to find that role.
  2. Poor Skills/Challenge “Fit.” Looking for a job requires salesmanship. Most of us never trained to be sales people. The good news is being good as sales – requires the same skills as being a good friend. Good friends, connect, communicate and have each others back. Most of us want to be a good friend – so reframe the job search as an opportunity to get good at being a friend
  3. Lack of Feedback. OMFG — this one really gets me. Ghosting by companies and recruiters is real. many HR companies are too scared for legal reasons to offer feedback. Honestly, only the very best companies are brave enough to do this. People who don’t give feedback are jerks, that’s on them not on you. That said when you do get feedback, be grateful and if it’s useful, adapt.

That’s just three of the nine principle of Flow. If we walk through the other six (i.e. Distractions, Ego crushing, Lack of Control, Lack of Focus, Lack of Care ect.), it’s no wonder that most of us hate job hunting. All that to say,

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Your Flow Personality

In Chapter 6, the Shape of Emotions, I wrote about 5 Flow Personality types I found that people gravitate towards.

Why Your Flow Shape Matters

Understanding our Flow Personality can give us a quick intuitive snapshot into the hidden assumptions that may be blocking our flow, collectively and as individuals. It is especially useful for identifying friction points and misunderstandings – and help us unpack that also elusive concept of “fit.”

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Let’s unpack the word, “exclusive”  We tend to think exclusive = special. Like diamonds. 

Except as you probably know diamonds are valuable because of manufactured scarcity, (see also De beers cartel). Exclusivity is a marketing tools — used to create a feeling of excitement and/or a false sense of importance to train us to spend money. 
We all want to matter, to feel important — the funny thing is

the quickest way to matter is to give value and to make others feel included, important and welcomed.


p.s. if you enjoy nerding out on mindfulness, business and etymology – DM your email address and I’ll add you to the launch team for my newest book. 


5 Habits for an Anti-Racist New Normal

“When the dust settles, I wonder if I will actually change?” 

A non-black POC friend recently mused on Facebook. After weeks of emotionally charged posts about the marches and protests – this time feels different, but then it always does.

Another friend, a black designer, admitted she is less hopeful. “I’m tired. I’ve been here so many times, I can’t get my hopes up.”  The struggle has been going on her entire life. 

When things break down, and I think the dumpster fire that’s been 2020, counts as a breakdown, we can either return to business as usual as soon as we can – or we can try something new. In The Happiness Hypothesis, American psychologist Jonathan Haidt notes, “There is a window of time – just a few weeks or months after [a] tragedy – during which you are more open to something else.” 

What can we do before this window closes?

Read morE

Pebble in the Shoe

I’ve been walking a lot more since “quarantine”, partly because dog parks are closed, I need to exercise, and get out of the house. On one of my recent walks, I had a small pebble in my shoe. It was only slightly uncomfortable so I didn’t bother with it.

Not surprisingly, I got a blister and have been dealing with the annoyance for the past week.

It’s a decent metaphor about endurance, grit, decision-making consequences, and taking quick action.


Free Yoga

One of the ways I access and practice EQ/Mindfulness is through a regular yoga and meditation* practice. Obviously, doing yoga in a studio under the guidance of an instructor – is great. Sharing energy and community has benefits for the relational nature of our brains, that neuroscience is starting to document. I suspect you can probably feel it – without needing MRIs to document it.

However, making it to class is simply not accessible for many folks, both in terms of time, accessibility, schedule and money. I love community and donation-based classes, like Yoga to the People – but again those are often limited to Urban centers. Fortunately, some of the best yoga teachers have classes on YouTube. Below are some of my favorite resources. 

They are worth checking out even if you have a regular practice and even if you’ve watched them before. Four years into teaching, revisiting old resources reveals nuances I missed the first few times.

Check out these channels – and when you are ready – set aside some time** to go down your own rabbit hole.

YouTube Yoga

More Terms to Explore:

Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Meditation, Chakra, Tibetan Singing Bowls

* Meditation, technically is part of “Yoga” – however in the U.S. we head yoga and think of the exercise – which is why I’m clarifying it.
** I like to set a timer so that I can mindfully explore. 

Mindful Job Hunting.

After a few months of searching (for a job, new client, date/love), have you ever felt, thought or said, “there are just nothing out there” – no good job, clients, dates, etc.

That’s totally normal*

I struggle sometimes with “mindfulness” and the woo-woo-iness of it all. My dad’s in construction, and at heart, I’m a bit skeptical of the woo. Recently, however, I came across this example from Deepak Chopra – which helped me make sense of the new age-y idea of how our inner world is reflected in our outer world.

Chopra shares this story.  In ancient times, a hunter in the east might go to his shaman to help with his hunting. He would not complain that there was no game in the woods, because of course there was game. Instead, the shaman would help the hunter look inside himself for that was driving away game, preventing him from finding or even seeing the game – perhaps holding him back from going as far as he needed to go.

Applying this to today. Think about what it is that you seek that perhaps you don’t have right now. If there is no doubt it exists, what shifts in yourself can you make to see that which is hidden?

Notice how your doubts, fears, energy may be driving away that which you want most.

Slow down, create space, manage your energy and open up.

Bon courage.

* based on my very unscientific non-random sampling.

Meet Your Heroes

I met one of my literary heroes last week, John Scalzi. Whoever said, “you should never meet your heroes” has obviously never stalked their heroes on Twitter for five years before crashing their friend’s book signing (I’m guessing.) 

It was lovely. We spoke a bit about politics, his wife’s skin care regimen, Mary Shelley, the historical roots of science fiction and troll-y fanboys. He added to my theory that successful writers have kick ass spouses as first readers. Finally, we discussed whether writing fiction and non-fiction at the same time was weird. Gloriously he opined that it helped him, shifting gears between them, he said actually helped. That little insight helped me feel just a little less crazy for trying to do the same.

//In case you missed it here is an Early 5K draft of The Orchid and Preview of Caroline Bingley//

Sadly I was too in the moment to take pictures of the lovely Loyalty books. Just this tweet after the moment – which Scalzi liked — thus releasing me of my filial obligation. 

5 Seriously Entrepreneurial Traits Arya Stark Demonstrates

This is for all the storytelling/science fiction/organization behavior nerds. Warning – if you aren’t caught up on Game Of Thrones and the Battle of Winterfell, the following contains spoilers.

You won’t be warned again.

Studying organizational psychology, you see a lot of patterns repeat, in books, in stories and life. It makes sense, we’re all human and our programming is pretty similar.

The ending of the Battle of Winterfell got me thinking about a current pattern I’ve been seeing a lot in the research on growth mindset and characteristics of flow. Before we get into that, let’s back up and look at everything that brought us to last night’s conclusion. There are several characteristics of Arya’s journey that align with the research on flow and success.

1. She has Grit. I don’t think even Angela Duckworth would deny that Arya demonstrates exceptional grit. She spent roughly the first six seasons, learning how to fight and become an assassin.

2. She engages in Deliberate Practice. More important than putting in her 10K hours, she has coaches to train her. First Syrio Forel, a master swordsman and later Jaqen H’ghar, a master assassin are on hand to give her immediate feedback and help her improve.

3. She has clarity of purpose. Arya has a “north star.” While we all know that she was under prophecy, really Arya was focused and committed to getting back to her family, and avenging those she loved. (Sidenote: repeating your goals and/or kill list every day is straight from Napoleon Hill’s classic, “Think and Grow Rich.”)

4. She knows when to strategicly follow (and then forget) the “rules.” When she was ready, Arya took control of her destiny. She refused to accept rules that were no longer serving her. According to Dawn Graham, author of Switchers, we have to learn how to “fit in and belong before we can stand out.” Arya learns to fit in at Braavos, in part to survive and also to learn the secrets of the many-faced god, so that she can get the skills she needs to protect her family.

A girl has a name.

5. She moves beyond fear and into flow. In Braavos she learned the skills to match the challenges ahead. During the Battle of Winterfell, you see her battle with almost balletic grace. At first, it is clear that killing wights is not much of a challenge, however, their sheer numbers overwhelm her, since she is still human. In the corporate world, we’d call this kind of overwhelm “burnout“. Stressed by volume, if not by challenge, we see her lose flow becoming anxious, rolling off roofs and fighting for her life — until at last, she has a brief respite. Surrounded by corpses in her family’s great hall she understandably might have stayed in survival mode, but the Lord of Light sent her one last coach in the form of the Red Woman. Melisandre reminds Arya of her destiny, beyond mere survival to thrive, she reminds Arya to think beyond herself (i.e. let go of the ego) and reframe Dani and Jon’s plan, and focus on what she can control inspiring Arya to act.

What do we say to the god of death?
Not today.

And the rest is legend. #NotToday

Those are just some rough thoughts from last night’s episode.

How does thinking about life as a story help you?

What else did you see, perhaps we can discuss the role of prophecy and the perception of time in achieving flow? (If we do, you know we’re going to need to get real about Endgame.)

Books Referenced: 

  • Grit – Angela Duckworth
  • Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Flow – Mike C.
  • Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  • Switchers – Dawn Graham
  • Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin