Jason Feifer: Author of Build For Tomorrow & Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine

Episode 453

Jason Feifer, Author of Build For Tomorrow and Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, shares all about his latest book, Build For Tomorrow, which offers an invaluable guide on how we can embrace uncertainty and adapt to change. Why isn’t “change” an easy decision to make for so many? We discuss why so many resist it and why we all need to get comfortable with it. Plus we dig into some specific helpful frameworks. So much great to listen to on this episode now on #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. It’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m so thrilled to have my next guest here a little nervous, frankly, because Jason is used to interviewing many, many incredible people. But we’ve got him as our guest today. And Jason Feifer is the author of The newish book, one of his a series of a couple of books that he’s done, but this one is absolutely awesome. It’s called build for tomorrow. And he’s also the editor in chief of Entrepreneur Magazine. He’s also got a podcast, a couple of podcasts that he has worked on. And we’ll definitely get into a little bit more about that. But he’s got a wealth of experience in journalism, and talking to a lot of entrepreneurs about how they started how they scaled their company over the years. He’s also become a leading voice in the world of future thinking and problem solving. And I’m super excited to have him chat with me more about his book build for tomorrow, which offers an invaluable guide on how we can embrace uncertainty. And clearly that is the topic of the hour for sure for so many of us. But not only how we can embrace it, but how we can adapt to change, which isn’t always easy for many of us. In fact, most of us will resist change whether or not we will own that or not. And so I can’t wait to chat with him more about that. So without further ado, welcome, Jason.

Jason Feifer 2:17
Well, thank you, Kara. I have indeed interviewed many amazing entrepreneurs, yourself included, I think a couple times, and something unless I am misremembering. So this will be embarrassing, if not, but I think a thing of yours that you told me about when we last spoke was this line that you would like to use during difficult times, which is when somebody would tell you what is not possible, you would say, but what can we do? Seeking that? Well, okay, that’s fine, that we can’t do things. But let’s reframe whatever this moment is, in practicality, what is possible, which is something that I think about a lot, so thanks for that.

Kara Goldin 2:56
Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s, it’s true. And I always find whenever I’m getting stuck on anything, I come back to that phrase, it’s a really, really useful phrase for lots of different scenarios, for sure. But so build for tomorrow, I’m going to jump right into that. But what was kind of the, the brief overview of of this, this book in terms of how did you decide that now was the time to go and write this?

Jason Feifer 3:25
Yeah, well, I wrote it during the pandemic, because I had become very interested in how entrepreneurs and leaders develop a unique relationship with change. And I think it’s that unique relationship with change that enables them to grow in ways that others can’t. And I came to something that I like to call personal change management. The idea is, if you’re going to navigate, change for yourself, or if you’re going to lead a team through change, you can’t do that without first understanding your own understanding and relationship with change. What is changed to you? How do you react to it? Do you see opportunities in it? I became really interested in how people were doing that I spent years interviewing entrepreneurs about that. And then when the pandemic came along, I thought, well, there’s no better time because everyone’s going to be navigating massive change to really put down into a structured guide, how to develop that relationship with change. So that’s what the book is.

Kara Goldin 4:30
So interesting. So I know during challenging times, it’s sort of this, this mode that many go into, which is like, just freeze, right? During the economy that we’re in right now. I’ve talked to more leaders who are like, we’re just hunkering down. And you know, most people would say that now’s the time to go and fast. Now’s the time to go and take some chances out there. But why do you think it’s so important for people to harness this change?

Jason Feifer 5:00
So a couple things. Number one, I think it’s worth acknowledging, change is scary, just is scary for all of us. That’s fine. That’s normal. It’s also literally baked into baked into our brains. Because decades of psychological research have confirmed what’s called loss aversion theory, which is to say that we are naturally driven to protect against loss more than we are to seek gain, our instinct is going to be to protect against losing something rather than gaining. And as a result, when change happens, the first thing that we do is we think about what we’re going to lose, oh, I’m not going to be able to do this in the way that I used to, I’m not going to have this comfort or this familiarity, my company is not going to operate the way in which I’ve structured it for the last couple of years, whatever it is, that’s gonna feel like loss and we’re not going to be able to shift ourselves over towards recognizing gain. But that’s possible. And I think one of the first steps is to just recognize and then use the feelings the natural feelings that you have. So Kara, tell a quick story. Do you remember for your for your own self just fun trip through memory lane? Memory Lane? Do you remember the first or the last rather, the last social event that you went to before the entire world shut down March 2020.

Kara Goldin 6:15
I do actually

Jason Feifer 6:18
wear that where there was probably like a lot of hand sanitizer being passed around because nobody knew what was going on. For me, that final moment was my friend Nicole happens. Birthday party she got I know no. Political right of course, either. So and Nicole and I host a podcast together called Help Wanted and, and so we’re we bring people on and talk them through their work problems. So Nicole had invited, you know, whatever, 10 people out to dinner to celebrate her birthday. And so I go and I’m sitting next to a woman named Megan Asha. I’m not sure if you know her name. She’s I know very well. You know, these characters. So Megan runs a company called founder made. They’re a trade show, organization. And they have these great trade shows for CPG companies on the eastern West. And so I sit down next to Meghan and I say, Megan, it seems like live events are shutting down and your live events company, how are you feeling? And she said, You know what I gotta say, I’m actually not as afraid as I thought I would. And the reason for that is because I have been in my team have been thinking about all these new revenue sources for the company for a long time, but we’ve been unable to really pursue any of them, because our time and resources are always taken up putting on the live events. But now with live events, pause, we’re going to have this opportunity to explore these other ideas that we had. And at the time, I thought to myself, this is a fearless human being like this a just a person who somehow does not feel fear the way that we do. But as time went on, and as I watched other people navigate this large moment, I realized I was not witnessing some superhuman thing out of Michigan. What I was witnessing was Megan, utilizing fear in a second way. Most people when we’re afraid of something, what we do is we’ve retrenched, we say, oh, no, I am afraid of losing what I had. It’s a very backward looking fear. But if we’re going to feel fear, then let’s acknowledge it. Change is scary. I fear it. But there’s another way to use that fear instead of I fear, losing what I had, it can be, I fear, not figuring out the next thing fast enough. Now, that’s a forward looking fear. That’s when that propels you to say, okay, if I’m afraid of that, then number one, step one, the foundation of that fear is there is a next opportunity. It’s there, that my life and my company don’t end now. So something is next. How do I find it? And then you start to realize, well, there are infinite ways to do this. There are all sorts of ways. Step one would be what? What else do my customers need right now? Change is happening, not just to me, it’s happening to other people too, which means that I can be a solution to them as they are navigating change. What does that look like? How do I adjust so that I am more relevant today than I was yesterday? Those kinds of things can push you forward and reframe the experience you’re having.

Kara Goldin 9:21
It’s fascinating to thinking about this. I’ve interviewed many people who, who have talked around this issue a bit, but it’s interesting because many people who seem like they’ve got it all figured out and that they know how to do this like Megan and I’m not speaking for Megan but speaking for other people who have been through this have actually run into a challenge along the way where they didn’t do it one so it’s not like there’s it’s not like you if you’ve made this mistake, you’re doomed for life, right. You learn from your lessons. You go Wow, and have lots of different options. I always talk about it as not putting all your eggs in one basket for during that time when you really need to be coming up with other revenue or be able to focus on other things, because you can’t do the main thing. Yeah. So, so interesting. So one of the things you talk about in the book is future proofing. Can you share a little bit more about that?

Jason Feifer 10:23
Sure. So look, we can’t literally protect ourselves from anything that’s going to come. That’s future proofing is a over promise of a word. But I think that what we can do is we can use right now, to prepare ourselves to be more agile tomorrow. It’s like, you know, the starting point for me is, we spend far too much time debating whether or not something should happen when it has already happened. We just do that culturally, we do it. In our own lives, we do it we spent all this time off, This shouldn’t have happened. But you know what? If it did, then that’s the starting point. What can we do next? That’s the best question to ask to go back to yours, right? What can I do? And I think that it’s really important to recognize the mistake that we make in this moment. We tie our own identities too closely to the output of our work, or to the roles that we occupy. Which is to say that if someone came up to you at a party and asks what you’d asked what you do, your answer would be some version of what do you do every day? Or what’s your title, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the problem is that those things are changeable, incredibly, easily changeable, and when they change, not, if when they change, it won’t just feel like a change to your work, it’ll feel like a change to your identity, which means that we need to come up with something, some way of understanding the part of us that does not change in times of change, so that we recognize our transferable value so that we see that any new change is actually a new way to express the core thing that we are, I suggest and look, this is adjacent to the kind of broader question of a why but I don’t really like the why it just feels a little too squishy. For me, I came up with this thing that really helped me which was to come up with a mission statement, in which here’s what I would like you to do. I speak to you care, but also everyone listening right now. Spend spend some time thinking about this. You don’t have to have an answer right now. Come up with a single sentence for yourself. First word is I shouldn’t be many words. Every word carefully selected because it is not anchored to something that’s easily changeable. What does that mean? Well tell you that for a long time, I identified as a magazine editor, I still am a magazine editor. But you know, someone came up to me at a party and asked what I did, I would have said I’m a magazine editor. To easily changeable right to easily changeable, like right now, literally, as we talk, Bill Shaw, who is the president of entrepreneur media, I don’t own the company. He’s the he’s the boss, he’s the president. I mean, he could take a call me while you and I are talking, he could fire me there’s nothing stopping bill from doing that nothing. So if my idea and my identity is I’m a magazine editor, then I’m one phone call away from losing my identity. That’s a terrible place to be. So instead, here’s my mission statement for myself. Again, like I said, short sentence, every word carefully selected because it is not anchored to something easily changeable. Mine is this seven words, I tell stories, in my own voice, stories, incredibly important word for me, because you can fire me from a magazine, but you can’t take away my ability to tell stories. That’s where my strength is. I’m doing it literally right now. I get hired in lots of different capacities to tell stories, I make books, podcasts are all stories. In my own voice. That’s me setting the terms for how I want to operate. At this phase of my career. I found that this exercise I literally I was just in Chicago a few days ago, running a YPO group through this exercise is woman came up to me afterwards and she told me this really fascinating thing, which was that she is she was consultant, very successful consultant. But she has just put that on pause to raise her children. She’s got three little children. And she’s had a lot of trouble shifting her understanding of self she feels lost because her identity as a consultant is kind of no longer available to her now that she’s at home with their kids all day. But when I ran this exercise, through with her, she came up with something and that was I help people develop into the best versions of themselves. That applied to her consulting work. It applied to her motherhood work as well. And it gave her this consistent through line this way of understanding herself and she can help people become the best version of themselves in so many ways. Only two of which were just listed, I find that the more that we understand this of ourselves, the more that we recognize that we have a transferable value, that the thing that we do today is just an expression of that deeper, deeper core mission, the more in which we future proof ourselves. Because what we really do is enable us to see every new shift as an opportunity to keep doing the thing that we’re already doing.

Kara Goldin 15:26
It’s fascinating, so and totally, totally makes sense. So, I know you’ve interviewed a ton of people for your, your day job, right? And but how you’ve seen something that was like a major setback turn into a success story. So I mean, that’s probably one of them, that you just mentioned with with that woman, is there anything else that kind of came up during the pandemic where people feel like, maybe they were laid off? Or maybe their business just, you know, kind of was tanking? Because supply chain or or some other issue came up, but I’m so curious, like, if you’ve really had something that is,

Jason Feifer 16:08
so I, I, when I get to talk to truly the most impressive people, people who like you have built brands that everybody knows also just like A listers, Ryan Reynolds and the rock and we can talk about those folks. But oftentimes, when you ask a question like that, I just start thinking about these main street businesses and these these, these entrepreneurs who are just building something off of, you know, trying to figure it out from day to day. And there’s this woman, her name is Lena, she has a wig store in Baltimore called Llinas wigs. And it operated like a storefront, you know, you know, a storefront people walk in off the street, they can browse. And Lina has, it was a basically a two person company. It was Lena who owned it. And then she had hired a person to greet the people who come in off the street. And then the pandemic comes along. And she could no longer greet people, you know, off the street anymore, right? There were these lockdowns, you couldn’t welcome people into your businesses. She’s trying to figure out what to do. And the only thing that she could think of was something that she had. Because that’s a new idea. She was aware of it as a concept, which was appointment only make an appointment, the only person come in. She was aware of that. But she always thought this would be a bad thing for my business. Why would I ever want to only go to appointment only because why would I want to create friction for my business. So in the past, before COVID, she was never going to do that she was operating a storefront. But now it’s the only option, only way she can operate. And so she does it she moves to appointment only. And she discovers two fascinating things. Number one, sales rise, and profits rise to number two customers are happy. Why? Well, here’s why. Because Cara, do you know who this is sort of sort of a trick question here. Do you know who doesn’t buy wigs? Me? Sure. So yes. Well, you know what, that’s actually a pretty good example. Because you Yeah, might be a random person who walks in off the street, people who don’t buy wigs, people who walk in off the street. Why? Because they’re there to browse. They’re curious, but you know, who does buy wigs, people who are buying generally, for very personal reasons, usually held more religious, they don’t walk in off the street, they don’t just stroll in randomly, because they’re curious about wigs, they would be far happier making an appointment and having a private experience where they can try on wigs for this very personal reason. And they are not comfortable doing that around a bunch of randos, who walked in off the street. So now let’s take a look at Linus business. Once again. Lina was hiring a person paying a person to greet people who come in off the street and don’t buy her product at the expense of the people who do buy her product. And once you move to appointment only, she was able to create a more customized personalized experience for the people who actually were buying her wigs and she didn’t have to pay that person greeting the people who come in off the street and don’t buy wigs. As a result, customers were happier, and they bought more. And once you realize this, and she came to realize that oh my gosh, I was operating my business totally wrong. She started to lean into this new direction, she started to invest in digital, which he had never done before. She started to experiment with things like virtual fittings, which he had never done before. It turns out, you can totally do it. Now she can expand her market beyond Baltimore. And as a result of this, she had a thriving new business. And the lesson that I take from this is that oftentimes we have a very narrow idea of what a good idea is. We create a filter and we say the good ideas are in here and the bad ideas are out there. The problem is that the filter is incorrect. And look, that’s not to say that having a filter is bad, you need a filter here, you and I we don’t have time to consider every option, right? It can’t I don’t know Over time, you had too many things. So we have to create some kind of filter. But we should also know that the filter is wrong. And moments of crisis force us outside of the filter, the things that were inside the filter don’t work anymore, we have to look outside. We don’t need a crisis to do that. We can spend time always evaluating what we’re doing, making sure that we’re incredibly in touch with our customers to understand what they need and what we are not currently doing for them. And recognize that sometimes the ideas that we thought were impossible, were, in fact, our greatest new opportunity. That is the lesson of Lina Nina transformed her business by doing the thing that she thought was bad for her business. But once she took it seriously, she realized it was the right thing to do.

Kara Goldin 20:47
So interesting. And I bet those people would probably say that the service is higher, and the connection and all of those things, too. So, so, so interesting. So when you say that we experienced change in four phases? Can you take us through that? Yeah, sure.

Jason Feifer 21:04
So like I said, I think that the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders have this unique relationship with change. But change feels the same to everybody goes in four phases. Number one, panic, for exactly the reason I described above. Because we equate change with loss. And then once we identify one thing that we’re losing, oh, my gosh, this thing about my business is changing, I see what I’m going to lose, and then you just start to extrapolate it, I’m going to lose this because I lose this, I’m gonna lose that other thing. And they’re gonna lose another thing to lose that other thing. That’s panic, that is the bottom falling out. But then we move on to adaptation, where we start to look around and say, All right, well, look, I’m still here, what do I have to work with, then we get to new normal, new foundation, new familiarities, something to build from. And then finally, we get to wouldn’t go back. That moment where we say, I have something so new and valuable, that I wouldn’t want to go back to a time before I had it, which for example, is Lena and the way that she operates her business right now, that is a total wouldn’t go back moment.

Kara Goldin 22:07
So interesting. Really, really interesting.

Jason Feifer 22:10
And, you know, you can locate yourself, I think, in that framework, and this is a really important thing to do. You know, I find that sometimes the reason why journeys are difficult, like, you know, we go through some journeys of change. The reason why it’s difficult is because we don’t know how long the journey is, you know, it’s like, think about, think about when you were when you were building, hint water, if, if you had known at maybe let’s just say some of your darkest moments with the company, if you had known, okay, this is a dark moment, but I already know the journey, the journey is that I stick with it. And in four and a half years, this amazing thing happens, right? I just got this is a low moment. But I know that a four and a half years that the low moment would be easy, it wouldn’t be scary at all, because you would just need to get your thing to get through. And you know, the rest of the journey, but we don’t know the rest of the journey, which means that we don’t know if we are a month away from success, or a year or a decade or 10, you know, that we don’t know. And that’s what’s so hard about it. And so what’s really helpful is to number one, step back and just try to locate ourselves as best as we can. In the journey. We don’t know exactly where we’re going. But we do know how far we’ve come. We can recognize Well, I’ve gotten over things like this before. And I have I have assembled, I’ve learned from it, I’ve assembled a great team or I’ve assembled a great body of knowledge or something has helped me to recognize that like I’m further along this journey than maybe I think that I am. I’ve, I’ve overcome quite a lot to get to where I am right now. Which means that I’m not just at the beginning flailing I’m experienced in some way. That’s really helpful. And to think, you know, if change happens in four phases, panic, adaptation, new normal wouldn’t go back and you keep cycling through them over and over and over again. Well, to look at a terrible moment and say, You know what, I’m just in the panic phase right now. That’s okay. It’s okay. Because you know what comes next? What comes next is not more panic. What comes next is some kind of practicality is saying, Alright, well, you know what I’ve acclimated to the panic. Now it’s time to start doing something about it. It’s the adaptation phase that comes next. We can’t forget that. Every moment that we’re in is not some some moment of isolation. Every moment that we’re in is connected to everything that came before us and everything that’s coming after. And our goal isn’t to make any moment perfect. That’s literally not possible. Our goal instead, I like to I like to ask the single question of the things that we do. It’s not a question of is this perfect? Is this perfect? Is this decision perfect? Is this moment? Perfect? Oftentimes you’re asking that question when it’s like, definitely not perfect. But rather, is my new problem better than my old problem? Is my new problem better than my own problem? Because if you’ve located yourself along a journey, then you might recognize that the problem that you’re facing now you’re facing because you solve some previous problem, right? If you’re facing if, you know, if you’re in the beverage business, and, and you’ve got some kind of like, supply problem, where maybe retailers are pissed at you that you haven’t figured out how to get your product to them fast enough? Well, that’s a better problem to have than the one you had before, which is that nobody wanted your product. But you solve that problem, right? Maybe you got you got, you know, you poured it into marketing, you refined your branding, you got to the point where there is demand. So now you’ve got a better problem, still a problem, still a problem. But it’s a better problem. And that is the best that we can do, the best that we can do is create better problems.

Kara Goldin 26:10
Yeah. And definitely, I think that, I find that the more problems and challenge dice that you go through to you freak out less, right, they, you know, you might say, oh, shoot, there’s a problem, but you’re still able to speak, you’re still able to get up in the morning, right? And try and figure out how to chip away at that problem. So you become better at solving these problems. You do.

Jason Feifer 26:34
And I hear that from entrepreneurs all the time. And if you remember, another name, maybe you know, you know, Adam sinned, Golder from Taboola dropped on me finally don’t know. So Adam Taboola there. It’s like a it’s like a, it’s an advertising, internet advertising. Back end company. Anyway, so Adam had engineered a merger, where he was going with it with his largest competitor, and he was going to be the CEO, he was very excited about it. And and then it fell apart. And I called Adam up after it fell apart to ask how he’s doing. Because, you know, it’s kind of hard to think of yourself in this new phase, I’m going to be running this new, larger company, and then it falls apart, you have to kind of revert back to the old version of you. And what he said was so interesting, which was that, yeah, it sucked. It totally sucked. It was not easy. But what it got him reflecting on was all the challenges that he had faced before, the way in which his team had always come together, to find the next opportunity. And then he started to think about Reed, Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, or then CEO of Netflix. And you know, there’s this, there’s this story, a famous one, about how Reed tried and failed to sell Netflix to Blockbuster for $50,000,000.05, zero 50 million, which at the time sounded like a lot of money. And he did not succeed, Blockbuster did not buy. And Adam was telling me he’s like, you know, he was picturing read, going home. And, you know, saying to his wife, or whatever, I failed, I failed, right? Like, this was the end of the line, this, this was this was the moment, and I didn’t succeed. But that can’t be what he said, Right? Instead, he said, Well, okay, what’s next? And what’s next ended up being building a business that was infinitely larger than the value of $50 million, also put blockbuster out of business. And there’s no way to know in those moments, what the journey is. But if we say to ourselves, oh, I failed, like I reached this moment, this was the big one, I failed, well, then we’re basically always going to fail. But the more you do it to your point, Cara, the more you do it, the more you realize that, like every, every setback is just a bump. And you gain these insights into what it takes to move forward. And you get this perspective about what others did in that same moment. And if you are listening to this right now, and you’re early enough in your journey, that you don’t have those, then you’re just gonna have to operate on faith that they’re there, that the first ones inland, you probably have, they’ve just been very small. And they get bigger over time. And nobody ever it doesn’t matter how accomplished you are. Nobody ever like faces a some kind of moment of crisis. And you’re just like, well, whatever. I’ve already done this before. Like it always is bad always feels bad, but you just feel more armed over time. You feel more equipped to navigate that. And that’s the great thing that you have ahead of you.

Kara Goldin 29:43
Absolutely. So as we navigate the post pandemic world, what do you believe will be the most significant shifts that are coming up for all leaders, all entrepreneurs? You know, the future proofing concept sort of fits into this too, but I’m so curious, like, what, what do you think is coming? Do you remember,

Jason Feifer 30:03
before the pandemic, this hilarious clip from the BBC that flew around the internet, it was this guy who was on the beach, he was an expert in something I don’t know. And he’s being interviewed on the BBC, and he’s in his home office. And, and then, in the background, a toddler bursts into the room, you know what I’m talking about? If anybody I do, yeah, like, if you’re hearing this, if you can remember that you’re gonna start laughing like it’s it was, I was in tears, I couldn’t breathe watching this clip. Because so a toddler burst in the room and is like moving in his hilarious way. There’s like, sort of arms out. And, and so this taller comes into the room. And this guy is like stone face stone. And he’s trying to he’s trying, he sees it, he obviously sees it. But he’s this guy is trying to just stay on camera, trying to talk to the BBC. He’s live International. And then following in from the toddler is like the second child, the younger one who’s in one of those kind of like rings with wheels, and kind of like wheels itself, and, and another two children. And this guy, again, doesn’t break character for second, he’s still talking to BBC, like, nothing’s happening. And then his wife comes, like hurling into the room and grabs these kids and pulls them out and closes the door. And the reason that was so funny is of course, because like life had intruded in this guy, and he was doing his absolute best to just not engage with it to like, pretend that it wasn’t happening. That was life before the pandemic, right? That was life before where we created some barrier between personal and work. And we said, this is never the two shall meet, when I’m a professional, I am a professional. And when I went home, I went home. And that’s just not the case anymore. It’s just not. And it’s not just not just because a lot of us are working from home, but also because work became so overwhelming for so many people that work bled into the personal and personal bled into work. And what I’m finding when I talk to entrepreneurs is that the idea of like hustle culture is just gone. And in its place, is this recognition of humanity, that what we’re doing is hard. And that it’s easier if we talk to each other about it. And the conversations that I have with entrepreneurs are just revelatory, because you sit down and it just takes one person just takes one person to say, No, I’ve recently I was I was with some friends in Toronto, and my friend saw Orwell shout out salt. He said, he said, What’s your energy vampire right now? To the group? Like, what’s the thing that’s just like sucking your energy right now. And that started such a great conversation. Everyone’s got an energy vampire. It was something that’s just sucking away at their energy. And it was great to talk about and we ended up on this conversation about how like we’re all guilty. We all feel guilty walking away from work. But you know, you need that moment to walk away from work to to recharge. My friend Catherine Morgan Schaeffler has this great line, which is She’s a psychotherapist, which is what’s the point of building something if you can’t maintain it? I love that question. What’s the point of building something if you can’t maintain it? I think these are the things that we’re grappling with, you know, I mean, look, what’s going to happen in business, who the hell knows? Right? Like, you know, industries will rise industries will fall. But I think that what’s going to happen with us as humans going forward is that we’re going to be reckoning more and more with the deterioration of that line between work and personal. And I don’t know, I know that for me. I have yet to be on the BBC with a child bursting in through the door behind me, but I have been on paid keynotes where the child burst in. I’ve been on regional television at the very least when the child burst in. And I just bring them in, I put them on my lap, it becomes the most memorable part of the whole thing. People love it, because they see in me their own experience. And I think that that’s a version of success.

Kara Goldin 34:09
No, I totally agree. I think it’s it’s also not just for for entrepreneurs, but also for humanity. You see a lot of people saying take me as I am. I mean, you’ve got Congress that is saying, I want to be able to wear shorts. I was shocked at out a consultant in a major firm telling me that only six months ago they were allowed to not wear pantyhose with with their dress or I mean crazy thing. Right? Like it sounds insane. But today, I think more and more people are standing up and saying I I want to do certain jobs. But these are the things that I want to be able to do. I have a word that I want to be able to wear or you know, these are my boundaries. Right. And I they can. Yeah. So I think that’s the thing. And I think that’s great.

Jason Feifer 35:09
And you know, it’s funny like your dog on command here just started barking in the backyard, which is great. There’s What’s another word with that you got a dog dog has something to say now he’s on the podcast fantastic. Like I, I think back to when I first started doing video, the first time I ever stood in front of a camera, I was a Fast Company. I was a senior editor Fast Company. And I asked Scott Naevus, the the video director at the time, What should I wear. And he said to me, you should wear whatever you’re most comfortable in, because people won’t see what you’re wearing, but they will see your comfort. And that’s most important. Like if you are comfortable, the audience is comfortable. If you’re uncomfortable, the audience is uncomfortable. So do the thing that makes you comfortable. Now, I realized that like that doesn’t work in every single single circumstance, right? Like I Yeah, if I got a job at Goldman Sachs, I can’t show up in like a T shirt, but but within the bounds of whatever it is that you’re doing, I would say just to what you’re just to what you’re saying there. What you need to do is find the thing that allows you to operate as the best human that you can, because ultimately, that’s going to be the thing that people are going to watch.

Kara Goldin 36:16
Yeah, no, I totally agree. So last question. best piece of advice you’ve ever heard. Along the way you interview a ton of entrepreneurs, but you’ve I’m sure been given you’re given your own advice. What you know what, what is it that really sticks with you as through your journey, apologies about my dog, dog screaming out there,

Jason Feifer 36:43
your dog has a great piece of advice that he wants to share. I fully I knew what it was. So I have I’ve heard so much great advice over the years, I’ll tell you one that really has always stuck with me, which is Ryan Reynolds. Second Name Check for Ryan Reynolds. This episode, Ryan Reynolds was telling me I profiled him for the magazine a while ago. And he was telling me about the transition that he went through from being just an actor to being an entrepreneur or starting an ad agency and taking the controlling share of mobile and aviation gin and other and how that transition was not easy. But what he learned was, these were his words, exactly. To be good at something, you have to be willing to be bad. To be good at something, you have to be willing to be bad. And what I love about that is that it challenges this thing I think that we’re afraid of and that we’re afraid of is that if we try something new, and we’re not good at it that it means that we’ll never be good at it. We seem to think that we are going to be evaluated based on how fast we can pick something up or whether or not it comes natural to us. But Ryan is saying no, no, at the start of something you will always be bad. You just will you will be bad. If you start a podcast tomorrow and go for it if you want to. It will be a bad podcast. It just will. I won’t listen to it. But the thing that divides us is not whether or not you’re good at something at the beginning, the thing that divides us is Are you willing and able to tolerate being bad long enough to get too good? That’s what he’s saying. And I think that’s a incredibly powerful message. Because we can’t be good at something at the start. But we all can be bad. And after that. It’s kind of a matter of willpower.

Kara Goldin 38:34
Yeah, I love that. I think, too. I often think about, you know, people will remember when maybe your podcast was was terrible in the beginning, but how much better it’s gotten. Right. I think progress is what people remember. Right. And they also remember your ability to laugh at yourself. Yeah. And and to actually stick with it. Your resilience to to get better. I think that that is I mean, even Ryan Reynolds, people were laughing at him in the beginning. They sure weren’t laughing right now. I’m

Jason Feifer 39:09
not laughing because he stuck with it. Yeah, that’s right. You know, there’s always another way of putting it as Ira Glass from This American Life has this great thing, which is at the beginning of something, there’s a large gap between your tastes and your abilities. Your tastes are good, you know what good looks like. Your abilities are not good. You can’t produce what good looks like that’s hard. It’s a really hard thing to do. But that then becomes the project. The project is that improvement the project is narrowing that gap between your tastes and your abilities.

Kara Goldin 39:39
I love that. So Jason Pfeiffer author of build for tomorrow and editor in chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, thank you so much for coming on. And everybody needs to get this book. It’s absolutely terrific. And thank you again for your time. It’s great to see you.

Jason Feifer 39:56
Oh, well. Thank you so much. Thanks to your dog for for the great contributions Um, and yeah, the book builds for tomorrow you can find that anywhere. By the way. It’s on audiobook I read it myself ebook, hardcover, anything but stone tablet, and then also just shout out I have a newsletter it comes out weekly. It’s called one thing better each week one way to become happier and more effective at work, build a career company you love. You just go to one thing better dot email, that’s an actual web address one thing better dot email and you will get that Kara, thank you so much for your time.

Kara Goldin 40:25
Thank you. Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review and feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen or pick up a copy of my book undaunted, which I share my journey, including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And thanks everyone for listening. Have a great rest of the week, and 2023 and good bye for now. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book.com and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of Pentwater Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening