Weekend Coffee Talk: Mind, Body, Business & Books (#11)

I've declared this my year of (Hustle and) Flow, now I'm curious: do you have a word for 2014? From the few friends I've asked: Elisa's is Gumption, Monica's is Rise (like a Phoenix), and Adrian's is Fun -- which, why didn't I think of that?! I'm so stealing that one next year. I'd love to hear what you're focusing on in the comments!

But before you go any further, stop reading and sign-up for Seth Godin's Skillshare course, The New Business Toolbox. At just $19 it's a total steal! His workshops sometimes run in the hundreds (if not thousands of dollars) and sell out instantly — I have no doubt this will be a great class, and will look forward to taking it with those of you sign up!


"We are living in a world of hyper self-expression, complete with 'selfies,' chronic public-journaling and other forms of digital self-expression. As authors, we have the opportunity to craft our own identity and tell the stories that are unique to us.

What looks like—and perhaps started as—vanity showmanship is now a deep desire for validation. A Facebook “like” or two makes us feel good. A dozen “likes” makes us feel great, creating a quiet but fierce need to revisit the pieces of our narrative, to tweak, color and edit them to our liking—and to the liking of others. But as we smooth out the rough edges of our public self, do we gloss over our real character?"

—Wall Street Journal, Why Our Online Persona is Needer than Our Real One


"In fact, anger and sadness are an important part of life, and new research shows that experiencing and accepting such emotions are vital to our mental health. Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment.

Meaningful Misery

Positive thoughts and emotions can, of course, benefit mental health. Hedonic theories define well-being as the presence of positive emotion, the relative absence of negative emotion and a sense of life satisfaction. Taken to an extreme, however, that definition is not congruent with the messiness of real life. In addition, people's outlook can become so rosy that they ignore dangers or become complacent.

Eudaemonic approaches, on the other hand, emphasize a sense of meaning, personal growth and understanding of the self—goals that require confronting life's adversities. Unpleasant feelings are just as crucial as the enjoyable ones in helping you make sense of life's ups and downs. “Remember, one of the primary reasons we have emotions in the first place is to help us evaluate our experiences,” Adler says."

—Scientific American, Negative Emotions Are Key to Well-Being


  • I found this conversation on why The Blog Is Dead fascinating (based on the original article R.I.P. The Blog, 1997-2013).
    • A digression: It makes sense that not everyone is meant to be a long-form writer in a public forum (this sh*t is hard!) even though for a few years people felt pressured to start blogs as part of their personal brand. People are increasingly moving to shorter-form tools like Twitter and Instagram — much more free to find a form of online expression that best suits their creative style. We will see a decline in blogs, but those who love writing and dedicate themselves to it will remain. I count myself among them; even with a few big dips, I'm 6+ years in and not going anywhere :)
  • Normally productivity posts annoy me, but these are helpful: Fast Company's 11 Expert Tips To Help You Be More Productive In 2014
  • I really liked this NY Times article on Establishing a Process to Evaluate Business Ideas
  • Stay up-to-speed with the latest in tech with Forbes' list of The Hottest Startups Of 2013. All were formed last year and have proven they are making profit (so something like Snapchat — which, much to my surprise, I am loving!! — doesn't make the list). Here, you don't even have to click — I'll make it easy for you:
    • Boxed (warehouse club shopping from your smart phone)
    • Blue Apron (dinner kit deliveries)
    • Coinbase (Bitcoin digital wallet)
    • Estimize (crowd-sourced stock tips)
    • FlightCar (rent your car out while traveling)
    • Hired (curation of tech talent)
    • Homejoy (marketplace for house cleaning services)
    • Sonoma Cider (hard cider company)
    • WillCall (taking concert tickets mobile and an "incredibly easy way to see live shows")
  • And how cool is this start-up?! HourlyNerd: MBA grads for hire as one-off business consultants for as little as $100/hour. Their coverage in the NYT: Starting a McKinsey for Small Businesses
  • Paul Jarvis wrote a great manifesto for the self-employed: You are not a large corporation, and you don't have to act like one.
  • Loved this post from my good friend (and site speed ninja) Willie Jackson, on the importance of Long-term optimization:

"One of my key takeaways from last year was that focusing on maximum work output was a fruitless endeavor. Any fool can work until they pass out on their keyboard, but this is a great way of burning out and developing a resentment for your responsibilities.

Far better is it to build a sustainable pattern of behaviors that help you reach your desired end without requiring superhuman bouts of output. This means (for me, at least) that some deadlines will be missed. Some projects won’t be completed as quickly. And some expectations will need to be reset. Ultimately it’s worth it for me."

—Willie Jackson, Long-term optimization


Just for Fun

Okay so maybe this song is a little cheesy — Seal meets 90s remix beat meets Chaka Khan — but it has me jammin' while tromping through the snow (as you may know from my bio, I like to pretend I'm starring in a movie montage when I'm walking through NYC, haha, #dontjudge): [youtube id="KrMl32cuC2A"]

Also, I know Christmas is quickly becoming ancient history, but if you didn't see this viral WestJet video on real-time giving, you must take a few minutes to watch: [youtube id="zIEIvi2MuEk"]

That's it for now . . . I'm off on a little getaway to Vermont with a group of 20 other female health and business coaches in NYC — catch you in a week!