Pursuing Your Goals When Everything Around You Seems Off-Kilter


In May 2018, I texted Allen Gannett just dying to know how he never seemed to make mistakes. It went something like this:

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For context, I sent this inquiry right in the middle of a massive book launch. We had five events coming up, hundreds of press-related items to follow up on, and countless bulk orders to get right. I could feel the pressure mounting on my shoulders.

His reply was surprisingly simple:

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Let’s unpack this.

I was getting caught in the all-too-common trap of letting my inbox fill up with correspondence from real people as I was working on heads-down tasks in isolation.

When I finally came back up for air in the “real world”, I felt overwhelmed and behind. This mentality in prior months prompted me to scale up the pace so I Iet quality slip in favor of speed. I noticed myself making small careless errors repeatedly except when I had ample time and full focus.

The quote Allen always beat in my head was, “Perfection First, Speed Second”.

When I finally learned to switch between email and work that needed to get done, everything changed (over time).

Adding in key principles from the book “When” by Dan Pink helped me start allotting specific portions of my day to different work-related tasks. 

Also, scheduling every 24-hour increment optimized my performance thanks to quarterly and weekly planning along with a written task system for daily planning. As I began thinking carefully about how to systematize everything I do, I started to see processes compound in every area of my life, not just work.

Today, the best compliment I love receiving today is, “Wow, you’re so efficient!” Adding this skill to my roster has demanded a full 180-degree turnaround from where I was a year ago – however, to be clear I am still not perfect today. 

One of the next articles I share will be on this exact process, which I follow 95% of the time (except, of course, the entire week around the 4th of July 😉🎇🍻🌭🇺🇸).

Jessica Carson

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Jessica Carson is the Founder of Wired This Way, and heads up Innovation Initiatives at the American Psychological Association. After spending years at the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, startups, and venture capital, Jessica launched Wired This Way with the intention of de-stigmatizing and de-mystifying the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual distress that’s all too common within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Her mission is simple: To teach entrepreneurs that their challenges and struggles are often their greatest sources of strength. She uses the latest research in psychology and neuroscience to explain why common mental health conditions and sensitivities are actually entrepreneurial superpowers, and why the entrepreneurial persona is not something to shamed, but celebrated.

Jessica currently speaks, teaches, writes, and coaches on entrepreneurial mental health and well-being, working with groups like Georgetown University, WeWork, and SoGal Ventures, and has a forthcoming book on this subject, also titled Wired This Way.


Professional Growth Demands Personal Growth

De-prioritizing our own wellbeing and self-care can halt our greatest dreams in their tracks. Having seen — and experienced — the importance of striking this balance firsthand, I feel firm in my conviction that investing in our inner selves translates into exponentially better professional success. 

This article I recently shared on LinkedIn maps out my own 10-year journey of continuous self-improvement through behavioral and performance therapy, along with my personal views about how mental wellness starts from within. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!


Now We’re Six Newsletters In, We Want to Hear From YOU!

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity of writing, researching, monitoring analytics, and curating content to figure out how to optimize, distribute, customize, and develop this newsletter initiative. Thanks Catherine Kushan, who does most of the behind the scenes work!

After the care we have put into this project, it’s time to solicit feedback from as many of our readers as we can! During this beta-testing stage, we’ve connected like-minded people, shared actionable guides, and featured some exceptional missions. Now, I’m turning it over to all of you, who this newsletter is truly for!

Ideally, we’d like to conduct UX interviews with 5-7 members of our audience. I will personally buy every participant a book of their choice written by one of our clients. Click here if you’d like to answer collaborative questions for 30-45 minutes. 

Want to give feedback on an exciting Augmented Reality Project?

Dhruva Rajendra, Founder of Product Studio Fast Rope Labs, has developed proprietary AR-powered technology. He is currently seeking feedback from people who are interested in product design and entrepreneurship. He’s also a genuinely funny guy so be prepared to laugh.  Contact me via email if you want to find out more!

Marketers Needed!

The Executive Director of Conscious Capitalism, Aparna Sain, in Washington D.C. is seeking marketing talent for a part-time paid opportunity to help with a website and other projects. She is doing good work in the community, so contact me via email if you want to find out more!


Read This Book to Sharpen Your Focus, Control Your Attention, and Find Your Best Life:

Visualize this: 

You sit down at your desk to work on an important project, but a notification from your phone interrupts your morning.

Later on, right as you’re about to get back in the zone, a colleague taps you on the shoulder to chat. 

When you’re finally home, screens get in the way of quality time with your family. 

Another day goes by, and once again, your most important personal and professional goals are put on hold.

What if there was a guide to navigating these constant and common pitfalls standing in your way of personal growth and professional focus? You’re in luck: I highly recommend Nir Eyal’s upcoming book, Indistractable.

Nir has even created a preorder bundle so you can instantly receive the book in your inbox upon placing an order – and I’ve never seen an author do this yet (what Nir might call a variable reward)!

Listen to this Podcast to Enhance Your Independent Thinking Abilities:

Subject Matter is a show two of my very close friends created to host debates centered on intellectual perspectives about everything from how to have those tough conversations and keep ego in check to luck, ambition, and happiness. 

Season 2 is about to start, so catch up on the first season ASAP! 

P.S. one of the show hosts, Ben Bradbury has a very enticing British accent which makes the show hard to turn off. The other has a sharp New Yorker tone, which makes Ben’s charm stand out even more.


 ATTN CEOs & Founders:

Caroline Pugh, my excellent friend and one of our inaugural feature missions is hosting an event that’s not to be missed. When it comes to events and business, she is the real deal. Send your best and brightest employees or attend yourself! 

Prime Chief of Staff is hosting the first Annual Chief of Staff Summit that will take place on Friday, November 1, 2019 at National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

The theme of this year’s inaugural event is Charting Your Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventure.

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Register here to secure  your tickets fast! There are only 400 spots open for the Summit, with early bird pricing for a limited time only.

The Pathfinder
Catherine Kushan

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