Kate Bednarski (Ep.7): Is This All There Is?

What is a life coach? What does life coaching consist of? Does it work?

In this episode, we’ll meet my coach, Kate Bednarski, one of the most impactful people in my life. I’ve asked Kate to throw out all patient confidentiality constraints and crack open all of her notes from our two years of working together.

We start with our first meeting, where I showed up “jacked up on caffeine” a 34 year old guy rife with many tensions. I had a messed up relationship with time – there was never enough, yet I wanted to accomplish so much that it was affecting my marriage and relationship with my daughter. I was also in the midst of a successful career in hedge funds, yet my “money madness” as Kate calls it made me constantly second guess myself, as I was anchored to the belief that things couldn’t be savored without delayed gratification and that it was a proxy for success. At the end, as many of our listeners will know, most of these anxieties emanated from a deep rooted fear of my own mortality. Kate coaches many hard-charging high achievers, many of whom reach inflection points in their career and find themselves asking “Is this all there is?

Full Show Notes:

Kate’s Website:

Srini Rao (Ep.6): Turning your Liabilities into Assets

And by liabilities, we mean “Angelina Jolie lips.” I’m not kidding, I never thought I’d open a podcast by asking another guy about his lips. And that’s only one of many similarities I share with this week’s guest, Srini Rao, the CEO of Unmistakable Media. Srini and I also had “non-existent” dating lives which led to a deep-rooted fear of never falling in love and spending life alone. Today, at 39 – a self-proclaimed “late bloomer” Srini is still searching for that special person with whom he can grow a family of mini-surfers – but also knows that being alone is infinitely better than being with the wrong person.

Srini’s had a remarkable professional journey, he’s the failed byproduct of the “traditional model of education and work” and graduated into two recessions, the dot-com bust (undergrad) and the global financial crisis (MBA). Now, as the founder and CEO of Unmistakeable Media, he’s conducted over 700 podcast interviews, organized massive events, and is a published author of Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best. This is a wide-ranging conversation covering why men struggle to be vulnerable, if “follow your passion” is good advice, how to quiet the comparing mind, and the ingredients to finding flow at work: autonomy, purpose, and mastery.

Show notes: bit.ly/radpod6
Unmistakable Creative Podcast: https://unmistakablecreative.com/podcast
Finish What You Start Course: https://unmistakablecreative.com/finish
Srini’s Book: http://a.co/fH1t2TL

Anastasia Alt (Ep. 5): The Business School of the World

Anastasia was destined to be an options trader since she was a little kid: she loved finishing at the top of the leader board during elementary school games and came up with her own brute-force approach multiplication tables. She then had her first shift, joining McKinsey and 18 months later found herself at a crossroads: Get her MBA or commit the money she would’ve spent and start building stuff. She chose the latter — “The business school of the world” as she calls it. Her thinking is crystal clear — on Love/dating/and relationships, the difference between aggressive and assertive, managing cash flow burn, and how much of our identity, for better or worse, is buried in the question “What do you do?”

Fred Ehrsam (Ep. 4): Why leaving with no plan, is the best plan

Fred Ehrsam is an “OG” in the crypto world. But we barely talk crypto – instead, we talk about his journey. Fred joined Goldman as an FX Trader because it was “the cool kids” job, only to find an industry suffering from the classic Innovator’s Dilemma  — one focused on extracting rents, instead of innovation. Fred’s such a crisp and honest thinker and we discuss chasing objective achievement to define self-worth, the power of executive coaching (“I thought it as armchair therapy for the weak”), the naïve algorithm of life (“getting stuck at local maximums of happiness”), and how we humans are wired to be pleasure seeking, pain avoidant.

Dan Shipper (Ep. 3): The Scorecard is Learning

Dan is a Wunderkid entrepreneur who has been building web apps since he was a kid. He went to Penn as a Philosophy major and bootstrapped his startup Firefly which he sold the same month as his graduation. So what happens to your internal monologue when you sell your company at a time when most grads are starting their first jobs? There’s the common story that says “When X happens, my life will begin.” But you wouldn’t say “I’ll start exercising once I get promoted to Managing Director?” Dan vulnerably shares deeper insecurities of social rejection, the emotional drain of self talk, and how a relentless drive to improve can be destructive. We riff on writing (how it’s like compound interest and creates serendipity), the dangers of putting off working on yourself, not doing “half a push-up” (when it comes to experimentation), and the lumpy nature of progress. And together we have a good laugh comparing how Dan and I, both nerdy, skinny and insecure teenagers hatched up detailed plans for social acceptance.

See the full show notes at bit.ly/radpod3

Shirzad Chamine (Ep. 2): The Big Lie of Fear and Achievement

“Do you need to beat the crap out of yourself to succeed?” Today’s guest, Shirzad Chamine, has helped countless CEOs answer that question. He breaks down the big lie of fear and achievement. Shirzad’s work really helped me realize how much I self-sabotage and how to harness that energy to tap into our creativity. He’s coached countless executives and has no time for the “woo woo.” This is all about leveling up your mastery.

Tiago Forte (Ep. 1): Rewriting the Rules of Productivity and Knowledge Management

Tiago Forte is the founder of Forte Labs. He’s an incredible thinker on productivity for knowledge workers. In today’s information-driven economy, legacy frameworks such as to-do lists or inbox zero may no longer be relevant. Tiago draws from principals ranging from Design Thinking to Lean Manufacturing, and helps me answer the simple question: is it possible to be too productive?