How do You Keep up? Letter to a Friend

Last night I was answering an email from a friend and it occurred to me that many of the points I was making as part of our exchange would be useful conversation material for us.

Whether you choose to have the conversation with me, or not, I've always viewed my role here as coach and, if you so choose, mentor.

My promise remains the same — listen actively, connect, make sense of issues, use what I know and learn to support you in your endeavors, and encourage you to go ahead and do stuff that matters.

Like all good stories, our exchange picked up at a significant inflection point in our relationship — checking in by looking back and marveling at how far we've both come. Alas, there is less time in a day when you take your own advice and roll up your sleeves.

I get it.

I've been more focused and involved in the last six weeks than in the prior six years. A good way of having little spare attention. An exhausting, tired to your bones kind of feeling as you roll into bed at night and dream about what you're going to do the next day.

The energizing sense of possibility of a firm poised for growth, one that builds actual products that work, is serious play for sure. Plus, I have this nagging midlife sense that is toying with my ambition and am pushing myself to get to where I can have an even greater hand in shaping the projects and work that influence the growth of clients, colleagues, and partners.

Heavens, I've been building capacity for learning while doing to stay nimble and look ahead patiently since forever. I was the kid selling cartoon magazines to the other kids in the neighborhood and getting their feedback on how I could do better the next issue.

So I lean into it with a fierce sense of purpose.

Don't ever apologize for not having time to read when the trade off is doing and being involved with the people in your life.

My suggestion is to read even less — to be more deliberate about how
you consume information in the same way as you would with how you
consume rich foods. A taste delights the buds and infuses joy, too much
and your waste will blow out.

Yes, a lot of people who were part of the community only a few years ago moved on. And I also started to explore higher growth ground around business, which may not have been everyone's cup of tea.

Family back in Italy has just moved into a new place. After 5 months of borrowed space because of the earthquakes in my region early in the spring, it must feel like heaven… once the daunting task of actually packing years of existence into boxes and reconfiguring a place to call home is done.

Looking back is better, isn't it?

We move in an out of people's lives too easily when virtual. It's giving us a false sense of what life is really made of — and it's not about "likes". It's often more about sweat, tears, and blood… and long sunsets, walks hand in hand, and a myriad other small gestures that make it all worth going through.

Go measure that.

Having shared my work drive and ambition over the years, I realize how little of me anyone truly knows. Which is why I decided to join a team again. The only way to affect each other is by literally touching the work with our own hands, together.

Thank you for the chat, as always. Even if your part of the conversation as you're reading this is private, for your own enlightenment.

Keep thinking and creating from your own point of view — it's worth gold.


And just like that, my friend Nate St. Pierre shared his letter for Sara, his friend.

This is what the Web is for — it's a tool, a very powerful tool that can extend our arms and reach to embrace the people who need it right now anywhere in the world.

Go ahead and help Sara. Find the Sara in your communities, workplace, and families. The best programs in social leave a type of impression you cannot buy, because it's the kind of impression that gives you a thousand-fold returns.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.

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