Stage Fright


We all get nervous sometimes. Recently, I did a few speaking engagements and I was really f-ing nervous. What if I sound like an idiot? What if I fumble like I did that one time when I was tired and unprepared and thought I could wing it but didn’t? (Success in winging it is never guaranteed by random past success, … Read More

Soul Mates


We clicked.

At some point, you meet someone or something or some situation where the click reverberates more deeply than anything else you’ve felt before.

We meet these someones even after we’ve met our Someone. They come in all forms — friends, lovers, teachers, colleagues, jobs, endeavors, places.

The One Metric That Matters


It’s way, WAY too easy to distracted by button color.

It’s almost inherent to the human brain — designed to get consumed from moment to moment by button color, by what font your CTA is in or by any number of other minutiae when we don’t yet have a single customer.

All the Money I’ve Burned

All the Money I've Burned - Susan Su

Sometimes you go through a spendy period. It can be discouraging to consider all the money we burn, all the things we lose that we were trying to keep. Here’s what I do after I’ve been burning money.

Zoom Out


Sometimes, I just feel quiet. Instead of worrying, “Am I doing enough?!” as I usually do, I’ve found it can be fruitful to listen rather than talk — to get really good at receptivity, rather than push for more productivity. Even Paul Graham says it’s ok to just read (and re-read) sometimes. Recently however, I heard a story that made … Read More

How to find Happy from nothing (when you’re grouchy like me)

macbook keyboard

My grandpa turned 85 this year, the first year without his wife. I’m going to die soon, he said. He decided to buy us all early parting gifts. Some people got an unlocked iPhone 5S, and I was the recipient of a spotless new Macbook Pro. ———- It wasn’t the first time I’d spilled something on my keyboard — let’s … Read More

The Endless Summer

It’s exciting to rally around a beginning. But, even in the middle of winter spring is making its moves underground. In nature, and in all our lives, there’s no single moment to start.

This week, I found myself continually thinking about the beginning that is contained within the ending — the spring that’s incubating inside winter’s belly.

When I look at it that way, I start to see the beginning that’s happening all the time.

Some belief systems remind us that every second we’re dying, every moment is here passing away.

This is true. But every moment also contains a birth, continually refreshing, reemerging, re-starting.

You can start again now. I just did….

Achievement Unlocked

Today Iain was given the last asana of the Ashtanga fourth series by his teacher, Rolf Naujokat. For all the non-yoga people out there, “finishing fourth” is an enormous achievement, beyond reach for 99.99% of humans and maybe 100% of Canadian ex-tree-planters/backcountry hikers/science nerds.

I’ve spent many months carefully studying Iain’s success formula, and it basically boils down to this:

STEP 1- Work hard
STEP 2 – Don’t give up…

How I Focus

A reader wrote in to me and asked me how I focus.

Here’s the thing — you don’t have to be focused to get things done. You can get a lot of things done when you’re unfocused, distracted, muscling your way through with tension and frenetic tab-switching.

I grew up watching tv while reading a novel while doing my language arts homework, and somehow I got a lot of stuff done. I multi-multi-multi-tasked my way through school, work and life, and all the while I got a ton of stuff done.

But, I wasn’t relaxed, and focusing was hard for me.

When it came down to doing things that required creative ingenuity, and especially things that required enterprising courage, it would suddenly become very hard for me to focus and very easy to just switch tabs.

Focus is relaxing. It’s finding a point of repose on the inside — and sitting there, weighted and relaxed — as you glide through productive creation on the outside.

Here’s how I bring *relaxed* focus into my life…

The Love Machine

I had two problems in my life at that time.

One was that whiteboard, how it didn’t feel right but it seemed to work (and people whose names weren’t on it applauded me for creating it). My whiteboard problem was a big shiny plastic-coated symbol of my uncertain leadership.

The other problem was love.

Love sparked unsettling questions for me, namely:

Where did love live? How could I find its address? How could I get invited to its party?

If only I could find love, then I could focus my attention back to Whiteboard Leadership.

Eventually, and only by dragging myself through months and months of unlove, I began to understand what love had to do with my whiteboard problem, that love is itself a form of leadership inside your own life…