The Rick Rubin Of Advice: How To Have A Creative Second Act

my college degree and Rick Rubin's The Creative Act cover

The weirdest question I was ever asked, maybe in my entire life, was, “Can you make this sound more yellow?” The weirdest answer I’ve ever given to the weirdest question was, “Yes.” I replay that conversation in my head all of the time. There’s a perfectly good and teachable reason I was able to answer … Continue reading The Rick Rubin Of Advice: How To Have A Creative Second Act

The Time I Got A High School Paper Extension In A Bar: The Fourth Turning (But Not In The Way You Think)

2-minute version first, 13-minute version below for those interested (and I’m disclaiming this for you sticklers!) I once got a high school term paper extension in a bar. It’s a great story. Partly because it’s just funny, and partly because it highlights what I view as one of the most valuable skills a person can … Continue reading The Time I Got A High School Paper Extension In A Bar: The Fourth Turning (But Not In The Way You Think)

When The Best Conference Speaker Is Your Uber Driver (Epsilon Connect 2023 Notes)

The best speaker at Epsilon Connect 2023 was my Uber driver. The conference was filled with smart, curious, and successful people from all walks. Finance, politics, tech, medicine, music, small business, big business, (insert a “holy crap you did/do that?!” profession), and it was awesome to all be at Vanderbilt together. But this Uber lady. … Continue reading When The Best Conference Speaker Is Your Uber Driver (Epsilon Connect 2023 Notes)

Story Math: Why Sentiment Matters At Least As Much As The Facts Do (essay)

I've been playing with this mental model / formula a lot lately: facts + sentiment = story That means: Story - sentiment = facts And… Story - facts = sentiment The biggest missing variable here is time. To add time, we need to introduce the Snapshot / Movie continuum (and I'll spare you my attempt … Continue reading Story Math: Why Sentiment Matters At Least As Much As The Facts Do (essay)

Escape The Busyness Trap And Get Down to Business (Essay)

Late one night I was studying and running through practice problems. You’ve probably been there too – when you instinctively know the answer to a question, but deep down you recognize that you only know the answer because of some very superficial context clue. In reality, you have no idea what the answer actually means, … Continue reading Escape The Busyness Trap And Get Down to Business (Essay)

On Easter and Adding the Word “Meta” to Your Daily Vocabulary

Happy Easter to those of you that celebrate. For everyone else, if you at least know the Easter Bunny and that there is some connection to “Easter eggs,” that’s all you’ll need to follow along. My easter gift to you is a brief discussion of one of my favorites words: meta. It’s been pointed out … Continue reading On Easter and Adding the Word “Meta” to Your Daily Vocabulary

From Punchlines to Baselines: Lessons In Thinking Better (essay)

There’s an old Henry Youngman joke that goes, “how’s your wife?” The punchline (I have to make you wait at least a second) is: “Compared to what?” It may help to borrow Daniel Kahneman’s framework of System 1 and System 2 (from his book, “Thinking Fast and Slow”) to break this down. System 1 is … Continue reading From Punchlines to Baselines: Lessons In Thinking Better (essay)

Movies, Music, and How Great Organizations Market Their Mission (Essay)

What's required to make your organization/ business/job "great" from top to bottom? Soup to nuts - customer service to the c-suite and back again? Let's go to the movies. Here’s a game: What do the following in common? Star Wars, Hamilton and Black Panther? Indiana Jones, Grease and Fifty Shades Freed? Movies, right? Good job. … Continue reading Movies, Music, and How Great Organizations Market Their Mission (Essay)