Steve Schlafman & Paul Millerd on The Space to Experiment With Living

Steve Schlafman & Paul Millerd on The Space to Experiment With Living

This week we have another special episode with two guests.

The first guest joining me for this conversation is someone we’ve had on the show before, Paul Millerd. Paul is a former consultant at both McKinsey and BCG, two of the most prestigious firms in management consultation. He is now the writer of a weekly newsletter, has got a book coming out soon, and is a committed solopreneur having left the traditional path. He teaches people about strategy and consultation at StrategyU, and is best known for making friends on the internet and hosting hundreds of Curiosity Conversations, where you can set up one on one chats with him through his website.

My second guest is Steve Schlafman. Schlaf is a professional certified coach, facilitator, speaker, angel investor, former operator and recovering venture capitalist. He currently operates High Output – a boutique leadership development company based in New York. He also loves launching side projects such as the Founder Library, Tapestry, and the Ultimate Annual Review, which is actually the annual review I used to kick start my 2021.

This conversation originated on Twitter, where Schlaf announced that he was shutting down the fund he was about to launch. He had raised tens of millions of dollars, but decided to give all of that back to investors to concentrate on his coaching business. In his words, he was done with the solopreneur path, or in his case, the solo capitalist path and was ready to find his posse.

Paul Miller jumped into this conversation and said “I am whatever the opposite of this is.” At first it seemed true that these two guys have fundamentally different outlooks on work and life. But the more this conversation evolved, the more we found common ground, and lessons that were applicable to anyone, no matter what path you take – whether it’s solo, or working with others.

Some of my favorite takeaways from this episode:

  • We talk about agency and being the architect of your work and life.
  • The importance of focus, and narrowing it to be able to achieve incredible results.
  • The incredibly difficult decision to leave traditional paths, and the pressure that comes from being judged for that decision.
  • Learning to live with enough and really understanding what enough is for yourself.
  • Finding space between work to experiment with life.

The first voice you’ll hear is from Paul Millerd, Steve Schlafman will jump in soon after that. This conversation just takes so many interesting twists and turns – I know you’re going to love it.

Please sit back and enjoy my conversation with Paul Millerd and Steve Schlafman.

Full Episode

Guest Links

Paul’s Links:

Steve’s Links:

Show Notes

  • Paul shares his view on agency and what it means to be the architect of your work and life. (00:04:01-00:07:02)
  • How finding and maintaining the space to experiment brings essential value to your life.. (00:07:03-00:10:46)
  • The difficulty that comes with forging your own path, and how to handle the judgement that comes from making that decision. (00:10:47-00:14:54)
  • Taking that big leap: recognizing your true authentic self by seeking and holding on to what you love to do and what you want to accomplish in life. (00:14:55-00:23:08)
  • Keep your eyes open when choosing your own creative path. (00:23:09-00:25:28)
  • Paul and Steve’s take on legacy. (00:25:29-00:31:14)
  • We discuss and contrast optionality and flexibility. (00:31:15-00:36:11)
  • Learning to live with enough, and understanding what enough is for yourself. (00:36:12-00:38:08)
  • Paul and Steve share their journey of forging their own path and releasing their old identities. (00:38:09-00:42:35)
  • The perks, opportunities, and future possibilities that remote work brings. (00:42:36-00:47:13)
  • Listening to your internal compass and taking that leap of faith to walk your own path. (00:47:15-00:51:50)
  • Insights into the life of a solopreneur. (00:51:50-00:55:53)
  • Working with others to work alone, the ability to frictionlessly collaborate with people, and design the life you want to live. (00:55:53-00:59:12)
  • Future prospects and possibilities that excite Paul and Steve. (00:59:12-1:00:27)

Selected Links from the Episode

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