Dave Gray, author of Liminal Thinking: Create the Change You Want by Changing the Way You Think and the founder of business consulting firm XPLANE, talks to host Lauren Dufresne about the motivation behind his 2016 book; the role of beliefs and experience in our behavior; the importance of acting "as if" something is true to test our theories; his career path from art student to infographics pro to consultant; and the importance of taking chances in our thought patterns to get more out of life and work.
Watercolor portraitist Deborah Conn invited me to her Northern Virginia home and studio, where we discussed her current artistic endeavors, approach to teaching painting, and her own creative process. I hope this interview will itself serve as a type of portrait. Deborah's 'sense of herself' comes across loud and clear!
For more on Deborah or to stay tuned for her upcoming solo show, visit her webpage: http://www.deborahconn.com
Welcome to Season 2 of To Research!
To Research! is about more than just careers. It's about the open, empirical mindset that allows someone to pursue the life they want and get out of their own way. My client Linda Sweeney left her teaching career behind to start a nonprofit that provides computers for low income, college-bound students in Fairfax County, Virginia (for info on Fully Charged for College, visit http://www.fullychargedforcollege.org).
We discuss how she has maintained a sense of balance while navigating decades of marriage, motherhood and work.
One morning this week, an acquaintance in my industry - a kind, jolly fellow I see a couple times a year at hair shows, who was my "audience pick" the last time I spoke on stage because of his supportive nods and eye contact - was stabbed in his own front yard in Los Angeles. It's incredible how much we don't get to control about life, including the ending of it. When faced with tragedies and even minor challenges, when bad weather blows through your world, perspective comes from remembering what counts.
The most precious resource I have is time. This season was all about how those I consider successful - those who value their own time as much as I do mine, and are happy with how they spend it - make decisions about what to pursue and learn to navigate the stumbles and hiccups along the paths they build for themselves.
My wish for you in 2017 is satisfaction with how you spend your hours on this earth - whatever that looks like. Here's to research! I'll be back in 6 weeks with another baker's dozen of creative professionals.
I loved chatting with Sarah about podcast hosting, careers, and image. She did actually let me do her hair after our interview, and we had a great time in the salon, as well!
Sarah's delightful podcast is all about living a "B+ life" - sounds a lot like valuing curiosity over perfection, no? ;)
Sandra Laeser, LMFT, is a special client of mine with a very cool job. She helps individuals with their relationships, and her patchwork approach pulls from the various schools of psychology to help her patients design solutions to their own challenges. We chat at her home in Reston, VA about the similarities and differences in our jobs, creative communication, her career change, and the behavioral process of choosing to change one's own life.
This wise therapist gets to the heart and soul of what To Research! is about, and is the perfect guest for the finale of Season 1. I'll be publishing a recap minisode in the next couple of weeks, talking to a bunch more cool people, and then begin releasing another baker's dozen of interviews in February.
PS: I'm not the only one thinking about the relationship between sitting in the chair and laying on the couch. Illinois has been in the news lately for legally involving stylists in the fight against domestic violence.
What I like the most about dancing is not the presentation, is not the performance in front of thousands of people. It's the rehearsal process, it's how we all feel together as a team, in order to build an end result to show in front of thousands of people. To me, working with you like this, it's teamwork.
In the past six months of private Pilates lessons, Pinling taught me to walk in a way that allowed my torn hamstring to heal while staying constantly in motion, and for that I am incredibly grateful. The most important therapy Pinling has given me, though, is not purely physical. She can tell when old wrist or hamstring pain kicks in and always has a work-around. She is teaching me not to focus on the pain from old injuries, which are disappointing and make me want to give up, but instead to focus on the areas that are still strong. Simply taking weight off of a problem area fades discomfort, so that the whole mechanism can keep performing.
I can slouch and feel dragged towards the ground by circumstances, or I can tap into my core supports and lift myself up towards the sky - it's manual, and it's a choice. This is a very important thing to know.
In this interview, Pinling shares the disappointments in other careers that led her to teach Pilates, and how she found something satisfying in the aftermath.
The first thing they want to see is, can you communicate? Because you can do this beautiful analysis that's super difficult, but if you can't explain it to anyone else, they don't care.
Anne Driscoll is my grad school roommate and the only person who has visited me in ALL 10 HOMES I have had since earning my master's degree. She went on to earn a PhD in statistics and now teaches students at all levels, conducts research in statistical process monitoring, and consults with NASA scientists. She defies most stereotypes of her profession. This data pro is one of warmest, wisest "people people" I've ever had the pleasure to meet.
We also discuss our experience of the April 2007 massacre, which we watched from classroom windows directly across the drillfield, and what that violent event taught us about life, community and relationships.
The last time I sat at a desk, I was required to by law.
In this episode, I chat on the phone with my brother, entrepreneur and musician Michael Howard, who has spent the last 28 years bushwhacking a path for himself through life.
After deciding against college and trying many pursuits in many places, he returned to the town where we grew up in Colorado. By day, he invests his wealth of social capital in managing his own construction company. By night, he feeds his artistic side by working on a full-length album with his band, The Healthy Herd.
Listen in as we discuss Millennials, creativity, and the most important ingredient for success in any endeavor.
I’ve done 9 other things, Lauren, where I went out there and said I had nothing to lose, and I lost. But the one time it happened, it was like, ok!...
For episode 9, I chat with friend and entrepreneur Ricky, owner of content marketing firm Richard Crawford Luxury. Ricky tells me about the questions asked and risks taken that got him to his dream career and awe-inspiring lifestyle. Ever wish someone would pay you to travel to exotic locales, sleep in luxury hotels, wear expensive bespoke footwear and drink the world's finest scotches? This guy has figured out how to do all that and more.
Most of any specialty is applying it...so that people who don't understand the specialty can use it.
For this episode, I chat with my friend and client Gerard DiPippo, an economic analyst with the U.S. government. We discuss how his background in both economics and philosophy influenced his framework for reality. As a former economics and statistics student myself, I'm curious how his education steered his pursuit of the good life. We explore applications of the study of scarcity beyond the financial realm - revealed preferences, incentive structures of institutions, the salon business, the sunk cost fallacy, etc.
Most people aim for nothing and hit it with amazing accuracy.
My client and mortgage lender Sebastian Rivera chats with me over coffee at Northside Social about creativity, financial intelligence, the intersection of technical and people skills, productivity, purpose and self-leadership.
In this episode, I chat with Jane Pearson of Janery.com about leaving her corporate job to make her hobby business - crafting fabulous, handmade pet beds - her full-time business.
How's it feel not to have a boss? Let me put it this way: Jane quickly decided to hire a business coach. Listen in as we explore balancing work and motherhood; learning what your personality needs to meet your goals; choosing how to approach social media; goal setting; and clarifying brand message.
I had the fun opportunity to sit on a panel at the Customer Experience Summit this week, an event here in D.C. aimed at improving government CX practices. My co-panelists from the Smithsonian Institute and Navy Federal Credit Union gave me much food for thought!
The only thing I expect of you is that you be better than everyone else who came before you. That's the only thing that I expect. And I will walk through fire and kick down doors to make sure you're better than I am.
In this episode, I chat with my business partners about leadership and designing career paths. We all came to hair from other industries and believe that a fulfilling, bespoke career is built on strong communication skills and surrounding yourself with the right people.
Reg Laws, Founder and CEO of Washington metro area salon chain PR at Partners, and my co-owner at the Tysons Corner location, Mary Shaffer, are my "right people."
The problem you can run into sometimes is when you already think you know the story.
Frank Konkel, an emerging technologies journalist and Senior Editor of Events at Government Executive Media Group, met with me to discuss his approach to telling news stories. Getting the dirt he needs from people who aren't always in a position to be forthcoming can be an tricky process. Curiosity, objective listening and a willingness to be uncomfortable are the keys to getting his job done.
Branding and Marketing Strategist Emily Ford leads our discussion about why presence is everything, and the tools we have both used to develop it.
I interviewed my father, entrepreneur Randall Howard, about his bespoke career and fun-filled life - from his mechanical engineering beginnings, to starting his own consulting business, to pursuing a 2-year sabbatical sailing around the Atlantic.
In the end, we decide it's really pretty simple. Ask yourself one special question, and don't stop asking it...
I caught up with Stephanie Thum, Vice President of Customer Experience at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, to ask about her expert (and nuanced) approach to one of the most important ingredients for a successful organization - customer feedback.
Cheers! Here's to celebrating curiosity at all costs.
Statistician-turned-hairdresser and salon owner Lauren Dufresne interviews creative professionals from various industries. Listen in as this diverse group of high achievers share their questions pondered, answers swallowed, and the aspirations that determine the direction of their lives.