Are You Rigid, or Just Regimented?

Welcome to BW Missions Newsletter 18

Just like anyone tech-enabled these days, I tuned into social media over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Most of the posts I saw featured outlandish resolutions for 2020 or nostalgic decades in review. It’s fun to reflect and set big goals at the start of a new decade, but a strong feeling came over me that we need so much more than one day of self-regulation and reflection.

Here’s my pitch: Let’s make these aspects of our New Year’s celebrations a lifestyle. Who says we can’t integrate this spirit of planning, reviewing, and doing monthly, quarterly, or even day-to-day? 

If we’re consistent, we won’t feel compelled to try to reinvent ourselves when the ball drops next year. That mentality is honestly unsustainable, and it devalues who we are right now. Equipped with a full year of continuous review, we can start fresh with a deeper understanding of what pieces to add into our routine, and specific, actionable areas to improve.

Reflecting on my own 2019, I succeeded most consistently with regimented scheduling. Here’s my report card for my main focal points:

  • Fitness [A+]: I did 5 workouts a week, implemented a mostly keto diet with intermittent fasting from June to November (I can’t resist all the holiday treats!), and established a regular sleep schedule.
  • Business [A]: I doubled down in the year of survival and built robust processes and infrastructure so we could build something meaningful for the long haul.
  • Friends & Family [B+]: I planned dinners with my mom and dad a few times a month and took the time to call or have lunch with the people I care about.
  • Facial Hair [D-]: This is major. I grew a big beard… that was tragically rejected by the herd. Apparently, it looked more Amish than the Hugh Jackman look I was going for.  I think I need to learn how to trim and groom it to pull it off this year. 😂

My key takeaway? The healthier I become, the more energy I can give to the most important areas in my life. When I think about 2020, I don’t envision making any wild 180 degree pivots into a new direction. I think I’m finally on the right path.

This year, I’ll continue building on the foundation I’ve laid. Once I master the essentials, I’ll add new peripheral interests. Sticking with healthy habits is key to performing at my highest level.

Charlie Paparelli: Newsletter 18 Featured Mission

If Star Wars was real and we were living in it, Charlie Paparelli would be the real-life equivalent of Jedi Master Yoda. When you meet him, it feels like he’s peering into your soul and seeing your true self. I am amazed by how clearly he can understand someone’s past and pinpoint exactly where they’re headed in the future. 

When we first met, I was honored by the interest Charlie in me and my career. He took such genuine care in every conversation. As he shared his story with me, he was vividly honest and candid about how his devout faith changed who he was – for the better. 

Over the holidays, we just reconnected via text, which reminded me how much I wanted to see him again. Charlie has a magnetic presence that pulls you in, whether you’re physically in his presence or not.  Check out his blog to find some amazing nuggets of wisdom and learn from his unique perspective on life.

Growth: Newsletter 18


I’ve been working on a new research article about self-discovery as the first step for a human being to feel a sense of belonging. Until then, I wanted to share what my good friend Minna Wang reads for her own inspiration. Her Instagram account is really meaningful, too. Check out her superb recommendations below, paired with sharp, creative insights! 

  1. Creating a Challenge Network:

In an interview with Tim Ferriss, Adam Grant discusses the idea of a challenge network, inspired by Bridgewater Associates. Their dialogue will poke holes in your logic, push you to expand your thinking, and sharpen your reasoning skills. This segment is the encouragement you need to never settle for anything less than your best. 

2. How to Tell Stories: 

Minna told me she’s been obsessed with First Round Review, especially their recent post, Good Leaders are Great Storytellers — Our 6 Tips for Telling Stories That Resonate. My favorite takeaway:

Talk to candidates as if they already accepted. Emphasize possibility & potential with statements like “This will be your desk,”  “These people will be your team,” and “we have this opportunity in front of us.” This tactic is so effective because of our loss aversion cognitive bias. The candidate has to give up everything you describe by saying no to an offer.

Opportunities: Newsletter 18


As I reflect back on 2019, I gained the most clarity in my life when I  met Rich Keller in Q4. His one-word exercise program gave me a deeper understanding of myself, and he’s helping me apply those lessons to our BW Missions brand. I’m already starting to see the impacts unfold with our clients and content strategy. His brand foundation exercises have been incredibly helpful, too!


Byron recently joined BW Missions as a part-time staff writer after reaching out to me about how he could apply his writing talents around his interests. I figured our platform would be the perfect playground to build his skill set. Based on our work together, I’ve been impressed by his adaptability and rapid growth. If you’re looking for a talented writer, I highly recommend emailing him at byron.crawford23@gmail.com/


Every busy CEO needs a second pair of hands managing their day-to-day.  Princess Cook is a rockstar EA  with a tremendous attention for detail and strong legal expertise. She has several years of experience at FEMA and a robust set of capabilities for complex administrative, CX, and customer service roles. She’s currently looking for remote Help Desk or admin roles. Email her at princess.cook@gmail.com to connect!



I recently picked up this book after coming across the author’s Instagram, and I couldn’t be more excited to give it a read.  Have you ever thought about where you fit into the world and why? This exciting read is a fresh take for the dreamers and doers out there.


Five years ago, reading Give and Take and Originals made a major impression on me. Lately, I’ve really been enjoying author Adam Grant’s newsletter. Its sense of practicality and realness applies to so many of us in our mid 20’s trying to “make it.”  My friend Caroline Pugh also is a huge fan, and she often sends me his content. My favorite creators share work that sparks genuine conversations and connections.


As a big proponent of behavioral systems myself, I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast. Nate Andorsky and host Christina Roman discuss the overlapping relationship between behavioral economics and coaching.


Have you been sitting on your biggest idea for a while now, but finally feel ready to bring it to life? This free entrepreneurial workshop series is the perfect opportunity to make 2020 the year you launch!  

When: Saturday & Sunday, January 11-12 | 10 AM–4PM

Where: Department of Small & Local Business Development

441 4th Street, NW| Room 846N| Washington, DC 20001

Cost: Free! | RSVP Here!

This 2-day intensive winter bootcamp and refresher includes 5 hours of programming each day with short breaks and time for lunch to network with like-minded people. Hosted by the Innovation & Equitable Development Team, the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development has trained over 2,000 DC entrepreneurs through the Build a Dream program. 

“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.”

Anna Quindlen

After closing out 2019 with some major life changes, I predict a lot of newness coming my way this year. My life has been incredibly consistent in so many ways, but small changes are in order.  

This year, I’m going to peel back new layers to discover my truest self. Hopefully, I’ll make some breakthrough discoveries and advances. Even though I have a general direction set on my compass, I have no idea where the road will take me.

Where will your compass transport you this year?

The Pathfinder
Catherine Kushan

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