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Who are you making this for?

It’s fun to think about what you’re creating. Sometimes it can be difficult to pause and consider who you’re really designing for.

Before you get too involved, too excited, too invested in your project, take time to think about your intended audience:

What do they want?

What do they need?

Where do they go?

You’ll save yourself a lot of headache by planning accordingly.

(What’s important to you might not be important to them.)

Fear, regret, and bonus questions (grab a pen)

I was writing every day. Every morning. And I stopped.


I was afraid.

(Yep! Me. Afraid! Little known fact: I constantly battle a thin hum of anxiety. But that’s a different story, a different post. Back to writing.)

I was afraid I wasn’t good enough.

I was afraid my writing was missing the mark. I’d let a few rejections from publishers mute my enthusiasm. And I got tired. Other things because More Important. (Though what can be more important than telling your truth, I am not sure. Certainly not work. Or YouTube yoga videos.)

So in 2020: I’m coming back. I’m owning myself and my time like never before. I’m ready to take up more space. I’m ready to shove fear in its rightful place, even if it needs some coddling to move. This year, I’m not going to let anxiety drive the car. Not anymore.

Your turn: (Here’s where your pen comes in.) Tell me…

What are you returning to this year?

What are you letting go of?

What will you keep?

What mistakes have you made? I’m asking not to make you feel bad, in fact, I want you to celebrate them. Mistakes mean you’re going for it! Have regrets? Even better! Celebrate! You’re LIVING LIFE.

What will you move away from in 2020? What don’t you want?

Now. Get ready.

Celebrate what you’re going to create.

The projects you’re going to put into the world. The dreams that will manifest. The big move. The relationships you will nourish and cherish. A new business.

This time next year what will you be proud of?

And celebrate. Celebrate all of these things as if they have already happened. Imagine your enthusiasm and accomplishment. And rejoice.

Rejoice at this life you are living. Rejoice in who you are.

Rejoice in what you love and what excites you and what keeps you curious.

Rejoice in all of it, the ups and the downs.

Happy New Year.

Miracle Questions

Miracle questions can be helpful when you are trying to power through roadblocks or identify the direction of your truest dreams. Social workers and therapists around the world use miracle questions as tools to help clients solve problems creatively and positively.

These types kinds of questions help shift an individual’s perspective from one that is problem-centric to solutions-focused:

If you had a million dollars, what would you do?

If you woke up and no longer had to deal with ____, what would your day look like?

What would be a sign that you’re feeling 100%?

For more on miracle questions (and how to use them), check out the following links:

The focus of your narrative

We all tell stories; about ourselves, about others, about our businesses, about our relationships, about our work. The focus of these stories reinforce our behavior and help create our future.
What are the stories you tell about the world around you? About your successes? About your failures?
Remember: We have the ability to direct our concentration and focus.
Outline the stories you want to tell. What narratives do you need to change?

The balance of hustle: How do you find flow?

The line between engagement and productivity, a flow state in which decisions and actions are fluid and purposeful; balanced with the cost of too much: moments of exhaustion, lack of focus and clarity, the heaviness of feeling overwhelmed.

How do you create balance?

Harvard Business Review estimates 150 million workers across North America and Western Europe are favoring independence over traditional employment.

I want to hear from founders, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and others who are hustling in the gig economy (and most likely working overtime). What are your tips for managing workload and client demands? How do you ensure you’re giving enough to your team while keeping a hardy reserve of energy for yourself?

Talk to me. Send me a message or tweet me @redheadlefthand.

Should I focus on making money or following my passion?

I just spent one hour with students in Nepal discussing this very question. The students attended a Career Counseling workshop at Learning House, and they came with questions. And worries. And anxieties. And pressure, pressure from their parents and from society and their friends and, of course, from themselves.

I encouraged these students to focus on four buckets: People, skills, lifestyle, and rewards. This is where they will find the answers to their life’s calling, I said. This is how they might determine the work that will bring them joy.

I’m sharing a few of the highlights here for those who may also be struggling with career/work/job/lifestyle decisions.


Imagine your colleagues, your clients, your bosses, your mentors. Who do you want to work with? Who do you want to serve? Who do you want to learn from?


Consider your talents and experiences. (Be honest!) What are you good at? What are your qualifications? While talent and skills can be developed, there’s no use striving to become a professional cyclist if you have no athletic tendencies. Don’t waste time toiling away or refining a craft that you hate. What do you enjoy?


Think about the life you want to live, your values and your preferences. What do you need to be comfortable?

I left New York City to encourage education and leadership in Pokhara, Nepal. I spent the better part of two years with sporadic hot showers. Though I can brave short bursts in remote regions, I could never live in a village area for an extended period of time.

Knowing what you can and can’t live without can help you identify the kind of work you’re able to do.


What kind of payback are you looking for? Is it money or fame? Rewards come in many forms: Service, fame, money, travel, independence, stability, time, ease, security, flexibility. Some individuals can tolerate high levels of risk, while others are much more comfortable with certainty. What do you need to feel satisfied?

I asked my students to imagine a time they felt successful. What was their accomplishment and what were their feelings at that time? I then asked them to write about that memory to help them remember all of the factors and subtle details that contributed to their success.

Decisions about career paths can’t be made without introspection. After identifying core features of yourself, your values, and your personality, only then you can determine the steps you need to reach your goals. Not every career path requires a Ph.D., and only specific careers call for certifications. Sometimes education is intertwined with a profession; sometimes a degree has no bearing on the work.

I reminded my students that few choices are irreversible. Paths can be changed mid-career, and it’s never “too late” to make a switch. Boredom is a gift, disinterest is also —  they are both warning signs that something needs to change.

Be curious about yourself and the world around you. This can help you navigate your career journey.