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Tiago Forte (Ep.52): The privilege of sharing knowledge

Our first guest Tiago Forte returns to close out the first season of Rad Awakenings. Tiago's the founder of Forte Labs, an education company focused on productivity and learning. He believes that technology has fundamentally changed the way we work - as entrepreneurs or as knowledge workers. With new multi-billion dollar industries being created each year, there are countless opportunities to create new "lanes" of expertise and ultimately "product-ize" that knowledge. This is a pragmatic...


April Rinne (Ep.51): How to prototype and iterate an independent career

April Rinne cannot be described with simple labels. She helps companies, policy makers, and non-profits navigate the new economy. She's a global citizen, having visited over 100 countries in her lifetime and a "career portfolioist." And while she works for herself, don't for a second think that this limits the scope of her work: she's a strategist, start-up advisor, and a World Economic Forum Young Leader who's unafraid to tackle thorny questions. April's life has been deeply influenced by...


Sergio Brown (Ep.50): From the gridiron to Google

Sergio Brown played high school basketball with Derrick Rose, was coached by Bill Belichick in the NFL, has two degrees, and has worked at Google. Despite barely playing football in high school, Sergio learned the ins and outs of the game at Norte Dame and ultimately joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent. We discuss his 8 year career in the NFL, the glamor of game day, the physical toll on his body and the transitory life bouncing from team to team. And on current NFL issues, he...


Sarah Peck (Ep.49): Ask yourself, does it have to look this way?

Corporate jobs and Sarah Peck do not mesh well - being slouched in front of a laptop under fluorescent lighting isn't her idea of a career. Sarah's mantra has always been: You don't have to do things the way they're always done. To give herself career options, she started a blog as a side hustle and within 3 years it was generating $30k. That, in combination with a minimalist lifestyle gave her the confidence to quit. Her career is now “a collection of projects” - she's a writer, a startup...


Scott Norton (Ep.48): Contentment is so damn elusive

Scott Norton is your prototypical millennial - a tinkerer with a creative and entrepreneurial streak . There's a narrative that the financial crisis crushed economic mobility for an entire generation of Millennials - in fact, Scott's first job was at Lehman Brothers in 2008. Yet for Scott, the crisis catalyzed a trip around Asia on a foldable bike spanning 23 countries and 100 cities. Upon his return he co-founded Sir Kensington's, challenging the consumer goods "complex" of ketchup and...


Giorgia Lupi (Ep. 47): Discovering ourselves through data

What can data tell us about our own humanity? Giorgia Lupi is an information designer, artist and author with a love for creatively representing all types of data. She's the co-founder of the design firm Accurat and few years ago, embarked on a small creative project with a friend. Every week they tracked a feeling, behavior, or event and then hand drew a postcard visualizing the observations. These post cards are delightful and were aggregated in a book called Dear Data and last year were...


Chris Schumacher (Ep. 46): Murder, 16-to-life, and a second chance

Chris Schumacher was a hard partying Californian who dealt weed to support his lifestyle. Then one day a suitcase of drugs disappeared - and his life was forever changed. In the mix of rage over the stolen drugs and fear of the consequences, Chris took a man's life and was sentenced to 16-to-life. Chris walked into "The Yard," navigated the gangs, racial tensions, and the unwritten rules all while knowing that as a “lifer” there's a good chance he was never getting out. Chris committed to...


Molly Crockett (Ep. 45): The neuroscience of social media outrage

What's happening in our brains as we mindlessly scroll social media? Or worse, when we angrily retweet posts from our tribe. Molly Crockett is an assistant psychology professor at Yale University, where she integrates classic social psychology with neuroscience. She explains how our brain's reward system works and how this ties to digital moral outrage. Does outrage serve an evolutionary purpose? What are the social costs and incentives to the outraged individual? And what about the...


Adam Schwartz (Ep. 44): Navigating fatherhood and entrepreneurship

Adam Schwartz is the co-founder and COO of TeePublic an e-commerce platform for independent creators. TeePublic is a high growth company with 50+ employees yet is completely self-funded. Is it a lifestyle business? We explore the negative connotation of the term and how it translates into constraints, profitability, and the "life" part of lifestyle. One thing's for sure, irrespective of the name, entrepreneurs have very little mindspace for anything but their companies. And therein lies some...


Liz Flock (Ep. 43): What’s love got to do with it?

Liz Flock is a reporter for the PBS NewsHour and the author of The Heart is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai. Liz showed up in Mumbai at the age of 21, with no friends, no job, and $100 in her pocket. The story follows three couples in Mumbai where globalization and a growing middle class are budding up against traditions of caste and religion, pitting a newfound sense of agency for many Indian women against a longstanding patriarchal system. These couples as they navigate issues...


Tiffany Zhong (Ep. 42): Your unique perspective

The Wall Street Journal called Tiffany Zhong Venture Capital's Teenage Analyst. At 21, she's worked at Product Hunt, sourced consumer investments, and is the founder of Zebra Intelligence, a consulting firm for brands trying to understand Gen Z. Her journey starts on Twitter where as a teenager she engaged prominent VCs and tech founders, asking them about their businesses and sharing her views on apps and products. Tiffany gives us both a networking and Twitter 101 as she shares the...


Dan Sevigny (Ep. 41): Addiction is like a river eddy

Dan Sevigny was sensitive kid who had learning difficulties and trouble connecting with his peers. He coped by cutting himself and started using alcohol and pills as a teenager. Which kicked off a 10+ year cycle where drug use, aggression, and petty crime would get him kicked out of school and then sent to rehab. The cycle became more destructive, the aggression turned more violent, the rehab leading to juvie and jail. Dan describes the feedback loops of addiction and how depression made him...


Mihir Desai (Ep.40): The problem with optionality

Mihir Desai is here to demystify and rehabilitate finance. He's an economics professor at both Harvard Business and Law School and author of The Wisdom of Finance where he uses uses stories from the George Orwell to Kanye West to explain concepts such as options, leverage, and herd behavior, then extrapolating them into broader life lessons. For example blindly following society's expectations is a form of the principal-agent problem. And how professionals love “collecting options,” but...


Lindsay Beck (Ep.39): A second act

Lindsay Beck was an outdoorsy 22 year old who had just run a marathon when she was diagnosed with tongue cancer. The typical procedure: removing your tongue and communicating via whiteboard for the rest of your life. But at 22? With a life ahead of her and dreams of finding love and starting a family? Furthermore, chemotherapy (not just for tongue cancer) had a 90% sterilization rate - a fact doctors withheld from their patients and then obviously insurance wouldn't cover egg freezing....


Eugene Wei (Ep.38): Be a novice

Eugene Wei's career cannot be described succinctly or linearly. He worked as an analyst at Amazon in the late 90s, went to film school, worked as a product manager at startups including Hulu and Flipboard and most recently was head of video for Facebook's Oculus VR. Eugene always "seeks to be a novice" and eschews traditional "career rules." I was drawn to Eugene's blog by his grasp of the written word and the fluidity of his interests, ranging from tech, sports, culture, psychology, media,...


Alessandra Biaggi (Ep.37): Using Your Voice

In the months after the 2016 election, 16,000 women contacted the non-profit Emily's List to learn about running for office, compared to 1,000 the entire prior year. Alessandra Biaggi is one of these new faces in politics. As a young girl she declared at the dinner table that she wanted to be president. She went on to law school, worked as a lawyer for state of NY and then as Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton's campaign. After the election, she turned despair into...


Jeff Warren (Ep.36): You are what you repeatedly do

My happy place is interviewing a high energy meditator who curses like a sailor. Jeff Warren is a meditation teacher and the co-author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics (alongside Good Morning America's Dan Harris). We talk a lot about mental health and Jeff's longtime struggle with ADD, which to this day impacts his sense of acceptance and belonging. This conversation is nothing like what you'd expect from two meditators - it's high energy, very personal, and pragmatic. We cover the...


Abby Raphel (Ep.35): Stepping into your shadow

Abby Raphel is the founder of the Redwoods Initiative, an investment education company for wealthy families and the creator of the Blank Canvas Method for self-discovery. Abby grew up in a two stoplight town rural Florida, where she raised hogs and swam competitively, and was exposed to leadership at a young age when she joined the Future Farmers of America. She started modeling in college and moved to New York with two bags and two phone numbers. But as a "broke and B-rate model," she went...


Frank Ostaseski (Ep.34): Have a plan, hold it lightly

Here's a controversial statement: contemplating your mortality will make you happier. Frank Ostaseski is a pioneer in end of life care and holds this to be true. Frank co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, the Metta Institute, and is the author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully. Those who repress their fear of death, are missing what it can teach us. The anxieties we often discuss on this podcast, identity, acceptance, self-judgement, and loving...


Lisa Daron Grossman (Ep.33): Curing loneliness through human connection

Lisa Daron Grossman landed in Swaziland as a 22 year old Peace Corps volunteer. The country had the world's highest incidence of HIV and lowest life expectancy. Her team's mission: mitigate the impact of the HIV epidemic. She was surrounded by loss and grieving - in her own words "It literally me open, like a sledgehammer to my chest." Yet she was also surrounded by love, family, and community. She returned to the US with unprocessed trauma, depression and illness and living a dual life of...