Me acting as a recommendation bot...

Based on your book suggestions you might like "The courage to be disliked".

I re-listen this one from time to time as a reminder.

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Hi Jonathan,

This is Agustín from Argentina (living in Minnesota).

I’ve been reflecting a lot on your episode about work-life balance and although I fully agree with your integrated way of living principle, there’s room for interpretation of what that means.

I see work-life balance as the ability to organize your day/week in a more flexible way.

As a designer, I’m passionate about what I do and I don’t have a problem working or talking about work “outside” of the 9 to 5, as design, innovation, technology, and business are things I enjoy.

The following quote will also help to exemplify my interpretation of work-life balance when working for a company (not being an entrepreneur) because you are still getting paid by the hour ;).

“A nonlinear workday essentially means that you’re not working in typical 9 to 5,” You have regular periods of the day where you’re working, but they don’t typically match that standard 9 to 5, with a classic lunch break in the middle.”

By the way, here’s my question.

I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur but I’d love to know which of your top values, beliefs, and behaviors are still applicable for a professional progressing throughout their career within a company.


PS: Enjoying the open-ended podcast, feels like listening to a (wise) friend ;)

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Keep the goodness coming!!!

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Feb 20, 2023·edited Feb 20, 2023

Regarding life being a more lika a video game: I recently experienced Kratos meeting the Norns (The fates in norse mythology) and it really struck a cord with me. They talk about that destiny do not exist but everyone continious with taking the same decicions over and over falling in with an "Archetype" they are not willing to change from. Making the fates seem precient by mearly observing.

It was this aspect of everyone choosing (or not choosing) and following their archetype togheter with your latest blog post (and the old one about Elden ring) that finaly lifted the veil for me about this concept.

Link to video of encounter if interested (start 01:45-05:10) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6geHs--suc&t=305s

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Hi Jonathan, Kara from Florida again here. Thank you so much for answering my question on this week's episode.

You asked listeners to let you know if you should continue doing this podcast. YES PLEASE! Listening to the show was the first thing I did this Tuesday morning. Why? I think you have hit on something really unique and compelling here. The combination of behind-the-scenes-look-at-running-the-business with the unfiltered how-I-think-about-work-and-life-in-general is refreshing. Sure there are plenty of podcasts about how to run a successful business, but they are all the polished, sagely wisdom type of shows. Lots of value there too, but the in-the-moment transparency and honesty you are giving is incredibly rare.

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Hey Jonathan, I'm from Stuttgart, Germany and loved to listen to the explorative episodes you've created so far. I listened to them on Spotify during my commute to work and switched to YouTube once I arrived back home.

The main topic: I have been reflecting a lot on episode 2 and came to my personal conclusion that the (over-)atomization is not the problem it's only a symptom. Instead I think the original problem is, that people don't take the time to identify where they want to have and keep quality of live/work (which I'd refer to de-atomization) in our fast paced world. My own experience is that if you do that you can intentionally decide what you which parts of your live you want to atomize without becoming a lifeless robot. Of course this comes at a cost: you have to make tough decisions, like in a game. But without these decisions there're many others (marketing, family, company, ...) who are happy to decide what's quality of life for you.

In this regard I really liked how you purposely picked your apartment. For me it's been more relevant to be close to nature and I'm ok with having to drive to meet my friends.

My "quality of life and work" thoughts have been nourished by the perspective shared in this video on how to retain talent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmnUoK1mVu8

Maybe a video you can react to, I'd be interested in your thoughts.

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The last two episodes were amazing, Jonathan. Hi, Victoria here from Rotterdam.

I will forever look at selfishness in a completely different way.

Selfishness = what your parents told you you were, when they wanted you to do something else.

It took me a while to process it. Combined with Naval’s definition of intelligence, it suddenly clicked. As this is not a therapy session,🙈 I’ll just say - thank you. This realization is so liberating.

I also followed the exercise and wrote down my wants. This list really made me laugh. Basically, I want to take a break from being a responsible mother and partner. That’s a very real NEED. I haven’t figured out yet which small habits I can build to help myself. And yes, when I looked deeper into my wants, none of them seemed selfish. And yet, they feel like they are 😬

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It's not *that* world-changing Jonathan!

The model you're describing (work-life integration, no/loose borders between work and play, involvement of family (and friends) in the business, doing what feels right rather than what you're told is right) was lived on every family farm in Ireland when I was growing up and in every "Handwerks - and/or Mittelstandsbetrieb" in Germany since the year dot.

It's just the counter position to and a questioning of the basic rules of capitalism (growth is a prerequisite for the system to survive, specialisation and optimisation encourages growth). This contrary position works well in an artistic/creative type setting (like AJ&Smart) but I'm not sure it's viable if you're out there selling widgets in a highly competitive global market. In that context, I'm not sure how long your brother and sister would survive in the "family business" if they didn't bring some very specific, well-honed, super-duper widget-making expertise to the table - just like the small family farms in Ireland are a thing of the past, because people didn't/couldn't change to follow the rules as they changed.

Yes - you are privileged, but not because you're making lots of cash. It's because of the niche you're working in and they way we work (and people expect us to work) in those areas of business. Christ, we invented "new work". If it doesn't work for us, who will it work for?

Cheers, Colm

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