Never Normal Newsletter

Sushi, Cannabis, and Choosing What to Work On

I love the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi (as a japanophile and the son of a chef, how could I not?)

There’s something incredibly romantic about dedicating your life to the absolute mastery of a single pursuit, as Jiro has done…

But that path is not for everyone.

It’s certainly not for me. I have so many different interests and ideas. I want to pursue them all!

That’s why this passage from Scott Adams’ book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, resonated so strongly with me…

… and it’s also the reason why I am inspired by people who’ve found success following their own interests, often along unconventional paths.

People like Paul Graham (more on him below) and Amanda Goetz.

Amanda is the founder of House of Wise, a luxury CBD brand for women. She’s also the part-time Chief Marketing Officer for Teal. On top of all that, Amanda is a single mom with three young kids.

Amanda joined me on Never Normal recently to discuss:

  • How she launched House of Wise while still VP of Marketing at The Knot Worldwide
  • Building something new versus managing what you’ve already built
  • “You have more options than you realize”
  • Why Amanda started a business at a time when most people would be looking for financial stability and job security
  • Amanda’s “shadow work” that led her to freedom and rediscovering her true self
  • Making space in your life and to follow your intuition and explore new ideas, and much more…

Paul Graham, the tech legend and co-founder of Y-Combinator, just published a new essay, What I Worked On.

Paul’s essays are a joy to read and this one is no exception. He walks us through the winding path he’s taken from painter to programmer to investor (and back).

“One of the most conspicuous patterns I’ve noticed in my life is how well it has worked, for me at least, to work on things that weren’t prestigious….when you find yourself drawn to some kind of work despite its current lack of prestige, it’s a sign both that there’s something real to be discovered there, and that you have the right kind of motives.”

One of the reasons I love this essay in particular is because it shows how even a hyper-rational, super smart, and successful person like Paul didn’t have it all figured out in advance.

“You can only connect the dots looking back” as Steve Jobs famously said.

But that doesn’t mean we’re all supposed to float aimlessly through life like jellyfish.

It just means that we should give ourselves permission to pursue our interests, because we never know which skill, idea, or connection is going to prove useful later on (and because it’s fun!).