Who’s helping you get unstuck?

Lately I’ve been putting out calls for special someones—people who have what it takes to take Arcbound to the next level. But it’s not just team members helping the company (and my vision) advance.

I’ve been so fortunate to learn from incredible mentors throughout my life and career, and Dave Hersh, a client, advisor, and now dear friend is one of them. This issue isn’t just a love fest (though it’s certainly that too); it’s a reflection on the importance of having the right people in your corner at the right time (especially if they’ve been down the path before) and an introduction to someone who’s helped so many businesses usher in transformative change.

And because so many of our readers are in a similar phase of life, it’s a brief exploration of how one might embark on what I like to call a second mountain to expand their impact.

I met Dave through one of our clients in San Francisco, and after many walks with him and his dog, Doyle, we’ve become quite close.

He was embarking on the next phase of his career after building a successful startup, coming out of a divorce re-evaluating everything, and helping many others find their way. He was looking to expand his impact, touching more lives than he ever could one on one.

He’d written a book with Inc. Originals called Reignition (which launched this week, so go order and leave a review!), detailing everything he wished he knew as a young CEO and in the trenches of startup turnaround. It was time to put it out in the world and coordinate the great work he’d done in business with the words he’d put on paper—and the immense value he could offer as a speaker, consultant, and acquirer of companies.

Arcbound signed on to help him spread the word, and he began teaching me about how to tackle the coming months, and years.

What I appreciate most about Dave is that he’s in it for something bigger than himself or business success; he’s driven by the desire to change capitalism for good, contributing to a world where we’re more driven by our souls’ pursuits than dollar signs—while still being able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Better yet, he understands that doing right by each other, our organizations, and the world actually paves the way for more success, not less.

Dave shares his approach to business and life in his book, through his newsletter One in Ten Thousand (subscribe and check out the latest missive for a very kind feature on Yours Truly), and on LinkedIn.

If you’re feeling stuck in your startup, work with people or companies who are, or are simply interested in contributing to a better world through work and life, he’s worth a follow and perhaps a meeting to learn more about how he supports the world from the inside out.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Dave?

He is abolishing the handshake for the hug, signs his notes “With love,” and has the warmest smile I’ve ever seen—and you can’t help but feel it.

If you haven’t clicked over yet, I’m pleased to share his latest newsletter below. Subscribe here.

How to Shorten the Curve of Transformation

And 3 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

For better or worse, modern humans split life into two halves, with a liminal “mid-life” section in between. The shifts we see—in motivations, perceptions, and connection to self—between that first and second half are dramatic.

The transition stage, however, is longer and more painful than it should be. There’s a lot I would tell my younger self that could have altered my trajectory or shortened the transformation curve. Whether you’re young and want to be a more inspiring leader or older and looking to support the next generation, today’s newsletter will help.

Going through the Wilderness 

The agency helping me promote my book and keep the content engine going is run by a remarkable 31-year-old man named Bryan Wish. I say “remarkable” because I rarely see such desire for depth perspective in founders his age.

We hit it off—he could help me build my book platform and I could help him build his company…and himself.

What drew me to him?

  • Purpose: Instead of seeking fame and money, he sought to build a community of “high-vibration” people who want to elevate the systems organizing the world.
  • Awareness: He was attuned to his emotions and those of others.
  • Energy: He still had the infectious energy of a young leader.

Per David Brooks’s book of the same name, he seemed to already be working toward his “second mountain.” Like he was building a base camp on that mountain of meaning instead of climbing the fame, money, or power mountains.

Jung said, “Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.” But some young people undertake that “research” fully, and as a result, they get there a little faster than the rest of us.

I knew his company would be successful because he wasn’t burdened with the egoic blind spots of many young leaders that drive the poor decision-making I discuss in my book.

And “sales” go more smoothly when the selling comes from an authentic, empathetic place. To get to that base camp though, like all of us, he had to fall down. A rough breakup led him into a vortex of self-centered rumination, questioning his worth and purpose.

But he kept walking, choosing to go through the wilderness, not around it.

Instead of suffering, victimizing, or trying to “think” through the problem, he embraced his emotions, went deep into the source of the pain, and rewired his inner state from the source. Along the way, he enlisted the help of elders.

Eventually, he emerged as himself, with all of the natural desire to create, but with a better inner compass to guide him. And the business is taking off.

The Lessons? 

If you’re in the first half or early midlife, and facing a crisis of meaning, go deeper than seems possible. Interrogate the emotions that come up rather than getting mired in your circumstances or self-pity.

If you’re in the second half and have done the work, support the next generation by bearing witness, holding up a mirror, and inspiring.

We need more grounded, driven, and wildly successful leaders coming from soul, not ego.

What Would I Tell My Younger Self? 

  • Real change is emotional, not intellectual. It happens at the source code level, not the brain. The intellect can convince you of anything: Books and talking are wonderful for inspiration and context, but they are useless as mechanisms of deeper reprogramming.
  • Ride your energy. You’ve got no choice but to learn by experience, but when you do it boldly, committing to follow what you feel, you’ll accelerate the process.
  • Consider your life as a movie. What’s the whole thing about? Why are we watching this character? Feeling our life as a “whole” can ground us into why we’re on this planet. It’s not about earning love, but about living fully. You should create the best movie possible.

My book, Reignition, covers more “I wish I had known…” elements that would have saved a lot of pain.

Thanks so much for reading. If you know of someone who would benefit from this content, please send it their way with this link.

With Love,