#23: From Lost Job to New Opportunity
with Taylor Harrington
April 13, 2023 | 65 Minutes
On "Inside-Out Career Design" this week, hosts Nicola Vetter & Peter Axtell speak with Taylor Harrington
Are you willing to show up again and again and do the hard work, not just winging it? Do you believe that helping others succeed with no strings attached will make this world a better place?
Taylor Harrington is wise beyond her years. At 26, she is curious, intelligent, inspiring, and enthusiastic. Her willingness to show up, talk to people, create community and be bold landed her a job with the legendary Seth Godin that led to personal meetings with other inspiring leaders like Simon Sinek. But then she lost her dream job two years later and had to regroup. It’s an inspiration for all.
In our conversation, we talk about…
- how she not only figured out what’s next but how to put it into words in a clear and meaningful way,
- how she applied for a job with Seth Godin when he had already hired someone else but then was so taken with Taylor that he hired her anyway and created a job for her,
- how out of the blue she lost her dream job and then created another dream job,
- how writing down aha moments and then reflecting on them helped her figure out what’s next and then acting on that,
- why surrounding yourself with people who want to see and help you succeed is critical,
- and why having a clear vision (a North Star) and being able to articulate that to others is so important.
About Taylor Harrington
Taylor helps solo workers from around the world feel the opposite of loneliness as Head of Community at Groove, a social accountability app.
Previously, she has worked with best-selling author Seth Godin, designing learning experiences for folks on non-traditional career paths. Shifting to working remotely, she missed the special camaraderie of working with a team. She enrolled in online programs and created her own virtual events, but nothing quite satisfied her craving for connection.
When she heard about Groove, everything changed. The team was building what she dreamed of: a free, low-lift way to connect with others on interesting career paths that fit right into her workday.
Today, Taylor has 1,000+ Groove focus sessions under her belt and passionately believes it is the best way to get sh*t done and meet interesting people.
Her commitment to bringing people together stretches beyond Groove. She’s designed and facilitated 100+ experiences, including conferences, retreats, picnics, painting classes, and an adult summer camp workshop.
- Website: https://www.groove.ooo/
- Personal: https://www.taylor-harrington.com/
- Medium: https://heytayhar.medium.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heytayhar/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/heytayhar
Connect with WhatsNext.com
- Free Workshops: https://www.whatsnext.com/workshops
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@whatsnextcareer
- Podcast: Inside-Out Career Design
- LinkedIn Career Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2080874
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/whatsnext-com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whatsnext.career
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhatsNextMedia
Books, resources, and people mentioned in this episode
- Seth Godin: https://www.sethgodin.com/
- Seth Godin: https://seths.blog/
- Seth Godin: Linchpin – Are You Indispensable?
- Seth Godin: Purple Cow – Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
- Seth Godin: The Practice – Shipping Creative Work
- Akimbo: https://www.akimbo.com/
- altMBA: https://altmba.com/
- Inside-Out Career Design Podcast: Ric Lindberg, episode #17
- Venwise: https://www.venwise.com/
- Groove: https://www.groove.ooo/
- AngelList: https://www.angellist.com/
- Wellfound: https://wellfound.com/
- FigJam: https://www.figma.com/figjam/
- David Brooks: The Second Mountain – The Quest for a Moral Life
- Carly Valancy: https://carlyvalancy.com/
- The Reach Out Party: https://carlyvalancy.com/the-reach-out-party
- Taylor Harrington on Medium: The Power of Living by Your Definition of Success
- Figure Out What's Next Program: https://www.whatsnext.com/workshops
- The Spoon Theory: https://bit.ly/43yIec9
- Storytelling events all over the world: https://themoth.org/
- Events for creative humans all over the world: https://creativemornings.com/
- Concerts all over the world: https://www.sofarsounds.com/
- Nick Gray: https://party.pro/
- Nick Gray: The 2-Hour Cocktail Party – How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings
- Dana Ray: https://www.danamray.com/
About the Inside-Out Career Design Podcast
This podcast is obsessed with answering a single question: Is it possible to create an authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling life you love while building a successful and rewarding career?
Join Nicola Vetter and Peter Axtell, co-founders of the WhatsNext.com Career Insights platform and creators of the groundbreaking MotivationFinder assessment, as they follow their obsession with answering this question by sharing their insights, discoveries, and life lessons and talking with career experts, leaders, spiritual guides, psychologists, data scientists, coaches -- anyone and everyone who might hold a strategy or answer to the age-old questions of “what’s next for me?” and “what should I do with my life?”
They seek to transform suffering into joy for millions of people stuck and confused in their lives and careers.
Get ready to be inspired, motivated, and above all, to connect deeply with who you are and what you are meant to do with the time you’ve been given.
Taylor Harrington 00:00
It's different. There's like two categories. There's the category of when you want to ask what's next. And when you're forced to ask what's next. And that was one of those moments where I didn't want to ask what's next. But looking back, I'm glad I had to. Because there's so much that comes from that moment of needing to.
Peter Axtell 00:18
Welcome to Inside-Out Career Design. In this show, we're obsessed with answering a single question. Is it possible to create an authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling life you love while building a successful and rewarding career? My name is Peter Axtell, and I'm here with Nicola Vetter. We're co-founders of the WhatsNext.com CareerInsights platform, and creators of the groundbreaking MotivationFinder assessment. Join us as we seek to transform suffering into joy for millions of people stuck and confused in their lives and careers. We'll share our insights, discoveries, and life lessons and talk with career experts, leaders, spiritual guides, psychologists, data scientists, coaches, anyone who might hold a strategy or answer to the age-old questions of: "What's next for me?" and "What should I do with my life?" Get ready to be inspired, motivated, and above all, to connect deeply with who you are, and what you're meant to do with the time you've been given.
Peter Axtell 01:22
Are you trying to figure out what to do with your life, to figure out what to do with the precious time you've been given on this earth? Or to figure out what only you as a remarkable and unique individual can bring into this world? If you are, please join us for one of our live and completely free online workshops, where we cover different topics to help you figure out what to do with your life and career without wasting precious time, taking wild guesses, or risking it all. To save your spot in our next live and free workshop go to WhatsNext.com/workshops. We can't wait to see you there. Again, that's WhatsNext.com/workshops.
Nicola Vetter 02:15
With us today is Taylor Harrington. Taylor is on a mission to create the opposite of loneliness in the world. She is Head of Community at Groove, which is an awesome free app for solo workers from all over the world to instantly connect and conquer their todos alongside each other. Before joining Groove, Taylor designed online learning experiences with best-selling author Seth Godin.
Peter Axtell 02:48
And that's how we met, through Seth Godin. Taylor knew after finishing college, that she didn't want to go the in-house corporate route in advertising. But wanted something more entrepreneurial, so she started hanging out with entrepreneurs.
Nicola Vetter 03:03
That's why we wanted to know more about Taylor's story. And in our conversation, we talk about how she not only figured out what's next, but how to put it into words in a clear and meaningful way. How she applied for a job with Seth Godin when he had already hired someone else, but then was so taken with Taylor, that he hired her anyway. How out of the blue, she lost her dream job, and then created another dream job. How writing down aha moments and then reflecting on them, helped her figure out what's next and then acting on that. And why having a clear vision and being able to articulate that to others is so important. And now it's time to listen and learn from Taylor. Welcome, Taylor. We are so happy to have you on today. You say you enjoy cool human interactions, and so do we. And our pre-call was already a love fest. So we're excited to have our audience participate in this one.
Taylor Harrington 04:24
Well, I can't wait. Thank you both for having me. I'm really excited for this.
Nicola Vetter 04:28
Absolutely. Now, when did you first ask yourself the question, What should I do with my life?
Taylor Harrington 04:36
Oh, when did I first ask that? That's a good question. I would say College gives us a really great baked-in moment to reflect on what's next. And that was the first time I really thought about it was I was getting closer and closer to the end of those four years and I really had to answer the question of what's next for me. But I will say that it does happen a little bit earlier, since you have to prep for it and start making choices of what kind of internships you want, what kind of things you want to study. And so really, when I started to think about what was next was probably at the end of high school when I had to start making decisions about the next four years, if we're going that far back.
Nicola Vetter 05:22
And what was a what's next moment in your life that shaped who you are today? I mean, you have a whole long life ahead of you. But for now.
Taylor Harrington 05:35
Yeah. So I would say there have been two big what's next moments, and I'm happy to go in either direction. One would be, like I said, at the end of the four years of college when you're trying to figure out what's next. And the other would be a couple of years ago, when I was laid off, and I had to figure out what was next at that point and pivoting a career from marketing into communities.
Peter Axtell 05:56
Let's hear about both.
Taylor Harrington 05:59
Cool. So the first one, I guess we'll go in chronological order was, I got to the end of my senior year, it was January, and I had built a really cool relationship with a Penn State alumni. I went to Penn State University. And it got to the point where I really was like, Okay, what am I doing with this degree, I just spent four years on, all of these opportunities that I had taken on, all these projects, and had to decide what was June of that year, May, or June of that year was gonna look like and I had this, like I said, this alumni friend who had said, Hey, Taylor, what is it you want to do after college? And I gave the most wishy washy answer ever. And I was like, Well, Bob, all of these people are asking me, do I want to work in house or do I want to work agency side because I was studying advertising as my major? And I said, I think that's such a dumb question. Because why are there only two paths? Why are people asking this question? It's making it sound like it's black and white, and there's no gray area. And I felt like I fit in the gray. And I had spent multiple years at Penn State, learning about entrepreneurship and being surrounded by other people who were building their own businesses in this local co working space that I went to. And I kept thinking, I want to be around people like them, I want to do things like them. And one thing led to another with that conversation with Bob evolved to him saying, Do you know someone named Seth Godin? And it was after he had asked me that question a second time, he had said, like Taylor was it wouldn't ever college, and I give him the wishy washy answer. And he had said, Taylor, what do you want to do after college? And I said, I want to make a difference. I want to connect with people. I want to be around those people that were in that co working space. And that's when he said, Do you know someone named Seth Godin? And I was like, z and off. I never read anything by Seth. I really didn't know him. And Bob was like, Well, yes, he's an author. And he posted the wackiest job description I've ever heard of in my entire life on his blog the other day, and I think it might just be wacky enough for you. And he was like, I don't know what age he is looking for, what level of experience, that was not articulated at all in the job description. But he's making a difference in the world. For a lot of people like the people you're describing, you want to be around and there might be something there. And Bob had met him in the elevator once because Bob's apartment is in the same apartment building as Seth’s office. And so he was like, if you're interested, check out the job description. And I'll send them a note and say, Hello, you should meet Taylor. And one thing led to another, and another. And that's how I got that first job. And so that what next moment I think came a couple of times of one asking myself, what's next after college and then figuring out how to articulate that. And two when you've got the wackiest job ever heard of in front of you that has no job title, no description, and is basically like, hi, we have a studio and we're making change happen. Do you want to be a part of it? That was also a moment of do I say yes to this, like, is this a hell yes, I have to do this, or is this a hell no, this is crazy. And as a college senior, it felt pretty crazy. But I also was like, hell yes. And we started freelancing. I started freelancing with Seth while still in college, and then came on full time after college. So that was my first what's next moment.
Nicola Vetter 09:34
It really reminds me when I was back in Germany years and years ago, and I was asked to work for the ZDF, the second largest German television station, public television station, and I was going to and fro with that guy who asked me and the third time he asked it was okay, tell me yes or no. And I had no clue what was coming. And I just said, Yes. And it was, it turned out to be the most amazing job I ever did.
Peter Axtell 10:11
I just had to point out, for those of us who know who Seth Godin is, my hair would be completely on fire, Seth Godin wants me to come and hang out with him. He is so loved. And he is pretty famous in the world to a certain group of people.
Taylor Harrington 10:31
I learned that very quickly. Yeah.
Peter Axtell 10:34
There are zillions of people that would just love to be in the proximity of Seth Godin.
Taylor Harrington 10:40
Yeah, yeah, I know, my dad was very excited as a marketing human. He was like, ahh, yeah, I know who that is.
Nicola Vetter 10:48
Okay, but our audience doesn't. So can you just shortly explain a little bit about who he is?
Taylor Harrington 10:56
Yes. So, Seth Godin is a best-selling author, one of the most caring humans and leaders that I know, he has famously come up with phrases that have truly started a whole new dictionary for people who have started reading his work, one of his common phrases is, just ship it. And the idea is put your projects out there. So that's a great phrase that's repeated again and again. Linchpin is one of his most famous books, people talk about what is it like to be a linchpin to be someone who is irreplaceable, who is building who is creating work and art that matters in the world. Purple Cow was another one of his famous books, he really has had such an incredible career in marketing, and was one of the first internet humans that was buying domains and creating email as we know it, and has gone on to build really, really profound projects, making it accessible for people from all over the world to connect around marketing, the work that they're putting out there in the world and connect with each other. And so one of his famous phrases that I love, saying again, and again, is people like us do things like this. And he has really defined who, who are people like us. And it's people like the three of us, it's people who are building projects that they care about in the world, who are questioning the status quo, who are wondering how could things be better? And how can I make a step towards that better and creating that life and making it a reality. And so Akimbo and altMBA are...well, the Akimbo workshops, were a collection of workshops that were all about coming together in this cohort-based learning and altMBA was really the first cohort-based learning program of its type that brought people together for 31 days to go through a series of different prompts in community, talk through it work through the hard stuff, and at the end of it come out with a better insight about who they are and where they want to go. And the Akimbo workshops also did that but with more niche audiences like freelancers and freelancers’ workshop, the podcasting workshop, and things like that, so working with Seth, I got to work on a bunch of different projects, I wear a bunch of different hats. But really, it all started with Seth didn't have an Instagram presence. And my first real project as a college senior was, I don't have an Instagram presence, I have an account, but I've got nothing on it pretty much. There were a couple of really, really old posts. And we went through the challenge of what would it be like for someone to show up really differently on Instagram in a way that felt so Seth, and that's where our work together began. And it continued from there to building other workshops. We can talk all about that as well. But then also building a conference that I really believe changed the world for so many people. And also doing a lot of marketing, helping people come together, rising, you know, bring those stories of alumni from those different workshops and raising them up and sharing them with the world so that other people can see the magic they can make inside of those workshops. And, of course, helping Seth with the launch of the book The Practice.
Peter Axtell 13:59
Seth Godin is also one of the most generous outwardly focused, people I know, which is why we all love him so much. Because it isn't about Seth, he's about lifting other people up. Just being around him, just talking about him, I'm already just lit up. So, Seth, if you ever hear this, just know that you are lighting up people all over the world by his state of being it is about what he is doing, yes, but it is state of being, that's his generosity and that outward focus is so inspiring.
Taylor Harrington 14:32
I totally agree. I think one of the biggest things that he does is he shows people what's possible, and it's through creating this container of allowing a bunch of people to come on in and it's like, it's not him, showing people what's possible. It's creating the container, set a bunch of people, the people like us can show each other. Hey, this is possible. This life you've been dreaming about this project, you've been dreaming of shipping. It's possible when you do it in community, and it's better when we do it together. So let's go ahead and do it. And Seth has created a career out of building those containers, whether it's through a book and helping you see yourself through that, and really have those tangible takeaways that you can implement in your own life, whether it's creating masterminds before the altMBA was even built. And then of course, beyond that, and in so many other things, but yeah, it's, it's a posture that he's really created and lived by.
Nicola Vetter 15:22
And it's also how we met, because we are both Seth Godin Akimbo alumni.
Taylor Harrington 15:30
Nicola Vetter 15:32
Okay. Now, tell us about the second what's next moment.
Taylor Harrington 15:36
Oh, yeah, the second one. So, yeah, it was. So it's funny. So I like I said, I worked with Seth for about two years. And in the late fall of 2020, Seth decided to step away from Akimbo and altMBA and become more of an honorary chairman. So the company became a B Corp, it was under new ownership. And in the next couple of months, my role and projects had really changed because so many of them were Seth and I working together on things, building different projects. And anyways, out of what seemed like the blue to me, I found out through one phone call that they had decided to go in a different direction as a company under the new ownership and eliminate my role. And that was a big what's next moment. And I was shocked, I, you know, when you're doing work that you really care about and you love, and you see that you could be doing it forever and ever. It's, it's really hard when you have that moment that you didn't, you didn't want to ask what's next. But you had to. And I think that was something I reflected on a lot when I was listening to other folks on your podcast, including our friend Ric. Talk about what's next it's different. There's like two categories. There's the category of when you want to ask what's next. And when you're forced to ask what's next. And that was one of those moments where I didn't want to ask what's next. But looking back, I'm glad I had to. Because there's so much that comes from that moment of needing to. And so I really had a hard look at what does it look like for me to build another project that I care about? What does it look like to take the things that I loved about that job and make that 100% of my job. And so one of the biggest things that I loved about that role was the community piece of it, was bringing people together, was setting up those containers, like we just talked about, and creating a space for people to recognize there are other people like me out there in the world and have those aha moments and community. And I started it's funny, like, just to paint the picture of where I was also at that time, it's January of 2021, or February of 2021. So the world is still a little wacky. And I had just gotten back, I was living at home at the beginning of COVID. And had decided to do a month long stay in Savannah, Georgia because no one was doing Airbnb is at the time, they were like 60% off and you got a gorgeous place. So I was in Savannah, Georgia with my boyfriend and two friends. And we were just enjoying this like remote lifestyle. And then, you know, this, this life moment happens at the end of that trip has ended. And I was like, I need to figure out what's next. And I cannot do that in my childhood bedroom. Because you know, going back home like February was going to be another month being at home, I had no other plans to figure out where I was moving to next. And I immediately was like, Okay, I took two weeks of sitting with that reality and figuring out like, how do I not even figuring anything out, I just was like, I need to spend time off of my screens, I need to enjoy this as some sort of a career break. And in two weeks, I'll get my footing back and I'll figure out what I want. And part of that reality was I needed to get out of my childhood bedroom. As much as I love my family. As much as I love my bedroom. I needed to figure out what's next in a place where I could be really creative. And so I ended up packing up my car. And I did month to month rentals for the next couple of months I went down to I went down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. And then I was in Nashville, Tennessee for a month. And that journey of figuring out what's next was a whole lot of conversations. I feel like for me, what's next is not a question I can answer by myself. And so talking to other people who were building projects they really cared about helped me figure out what I was passionate about and what I wanted to be building. And I think there were a few aha moments that happened in there. One, yes. One was, I did not know community was something that could be in my title, and something that I could do really full time. Like I didn't know there was like a whole world of community builders out there and that was their profession. And I talked to someone through again, through naming like, this is what I want to do, and this is what I care about. I kept getting refined time after time. Every time I had a conversation, I was really reflective. I had a great notion doc where I tracked all these conversations and the aha moments that I had in them. And that reflection period made me realize like, Oh, I've met one person now that has community in their title. What is it that I like about that? And I sat with that question. And I felt like when I met this woman, her name was Evale Yarden. And she's had a community at a company called venwise. I felt like that whole conversation, she was like peeling back a theater curtain. And I was looking behind it. And I was like, Oh, my God, all of the people like me are hanging out back here. Where have they been? And it felt like this moment of like, all of these people who have community in their title, they're over here, and how do I get over there? How do I not just be someone who's looking at the curtain, but I get to walk back to. And so that was a big aha moment for me. Another big one was once I then narrowed down that search of like, I want to be building community, I realized pretty quickly, I want to be building it from scratch, I wanted to be able to build that container with intention and, and care from the start, rather than jumping in when someone had already started building it. And one of the things was, you know, on a more meta level, I care a lot about who I spend my time with. And I think that the three of us can all relate to that. We've spend time with such incredible humans in the altMBA and Akimbo world, that those are the type of people I want to spend my time with, is people who are reminding me that the life that I want is possible, that the projects I want to ship are possible, that the level of care and love that I pour into my projects matters, and that the stuff that I'm creating matters. And so I want to be around people like that. And I was in a job interview, where I would have been head of community of a small company, that basically the short is people don't want to be there, their boss had signed them up. And that in itself is a whole different challenge as a community leader, when you've got people who are not enrolled in the journey, and they don't actually want to be there. And they're coming in with such resistance. And they aren't, they aren't those people that I just mentioned. And that aha moment, I took myself out of the running for that role even was pretty far into it. Because I was like, I've had this moment that I realized that's not who I want to be spending my time with. And community members are going to be people I'm spending a lot of time with in this job. So that was a big a big moment for me, too. Yeah. And then the other thing, and I think this will probably be interesting, I'm sure many listeners can relate to this. If they're asking that what's next question or if they have in the past, is I don't know where I got this from. But it felt like a really powerful visual that I have stuck to, when I ended up finding the role that Groove I was at a point where I had found it on a company called AngelList, which I think is now been renamed to like, Wellfound, I think is the new the new name of the company. If you Google AngelList, I'm sure it will redirect you. But it's a great website where you can find early-stage startups that are looking for their first hires. And I knew that that's what I wanted. And again, through a lot of conversations and recognizing things about myself. And anyways, I had been in conversations with them. And it was like as if I. So let me say that also on AngelList, you can set up filters. So you get an email, when certain things check certain boxes, and Grooves listing for Head of Community came in. And I read the email and I thought, oh my god, if I could have written a job description, this would have been it like this is everything listed out. Except it was fully remote. And the two co-founders who would have been my first teammates at the time, were living in Israel, which was hours and hours away. And I was like, oh, like I'm in the east coast at this point in the US. So I'm like, I don't know what that experience is going to be like, but I'm like, I'm a big in-person person. And working remotely was really difficult. And the experience of being in the office with Seth and that team was incredible. I was like, I don't know if I can do this. But then there was another job. And there was one other option. And so this visual, like I said that I was hanging on to was, it felt like I was on the train platform. And the Groove train was here. And at that point, I had had a job offer from Groove. And there was another train that I thought was cool, too. That one was in person, I would be working with one founder in New York City in a very cool space. And there were a few things about that job one, it wasn't as fully baked. It would have been very, very early stages. And so I didn't have a good answer to who this was going to be for. And that was one thing that scared me. The other thing was, they didn't have the funding yet to hire me. And so they weren't sure when it was going to come in. But it kept getting pushed back. And I was standing on this train platform, looking at the screen being like okay, this train was supposed to arrive by now like I would I really thought I was gonna be in the situation where both trains were here, and I could weigh both options at the same time. But I didn't have that luxury. And so I had to decide, do I hop on this train that looks pretty damn good, but scares the shit out of me that these people are on the other side of the world. And I don't know when I'm gonna meet them in person, or do I wait and see if this train arrives, and I decided to hop on the train. And I hopped on the Groove train, and I went with it. And you know, two things. One, it's hilarious that like, now looking back two years later, like I just spent, I just spent eight days in Israel with the two co-founders and the third co-founder that came on later. And we've had many in-person experiences one of the co-founders, the CEO, Josh, he also moved to the US. So now we see each other, he lives in Virginia, and the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is just hilarious that like, two years ago, I thought this man was gonna be in Israel forever. And we also have other teammates around the world. And so it's just this really, really interesting experience to like, have that one debunked, but also become more comfortable with it. And it also was interesting, because at the end of the day, what we were building with Groove, this, this app where you could connect with people from all over the world and co-work together and get to know each other. Like, ultimately, the pain point I was feeling was what I was solving for, by building this thing. So it also was like, Oh, I could connect to that. And then the third thing, being that, you know, I think you get on the train, and you don't like I said, you don't know when that one's gonna show up. And what's funny is that that one never showed up. So months later, they still hadn't had the funding. And if I had never hopped on this train, and I had never leaned into what was next, and what was possible with this, and just jumped into that fear and danced with it, I would have never gotten on the other train either. And so, you know, for anyone that's out there and is wondering what's next, and if those trains are gonna line up, and if you're gonna be able to make those decisions, no train is ever gonna be perfect. And I think, actually being honest about what's not perfect about those trains is, is really helpful and healthy. And I had said to Josh, our CEO, and co-founder, it said, very honestly, like, hey, this other train is coming, I think. And that's an in-person experience. And this scares me that it's not. And Josh, and I had a very honest conversation before I was hired, of like, what would help you feel supported in jumping on this train with us? And that's, and that's where we really began a relationship. So a long answer to what's next. But those were my two experiences.
Peter Axtell 27:21
You said some wonderful things for our audience. Seth, his statement about people like us do things like this.
Taylor Harrington 27:25
Peter Axtell 27:26
Did the one company that didn't make it, did both companies seemed as did you say, all these are people like me? And this all feels great? Did they both feel the same? Or did one feel slightly out of sync with people like us do things like this?
Taylor Harrington 27:46
So the other company was super cool in its own way, it was just very different. So it also was people like us. It was building online workshops through play. So having adults play, which, you know, we love play, like as an Akimbo alumni, it's like, well, let's just get out of the box and do something different. So it would have been very different, because I would have been creating online workshops for people who were people like us. But in a very different way. I'm not creating workshops today, at Groove, I'm really building community 24/7, an ongoing community that I get to show up with every single day, whereas the other one, we would host a workshop, and I might never see those people again. So it was a different level of of creation and contact I would have had with those people.
Nicola Vetter 28:36
I would like to have you speak a little bit about Groove. So our audience knows what it really is. And you're saying it's worldwide. So please elaborate on that.
Taylor Harrington 28:47
Yeah, for sure. So it's funny, like I said, we just gathered together in person, four of us did, and we're having so many fun conversations about how to reposition it. So the sentence I say today, or the sentence, as I say today, will probably be a lot more refined in a couple of weeks. But I was just in a fig jam. If anyone that uses fig jam. It's very fun. It's an online whiteboarding tool. So with folks that work remotely, you can put a bunch of posts on it and you can jam together via audio or video chat and have a brainstorm virtually on a whiteboard. So I was just doing that right before this call. But Groove is a social app where you can meet people like that, that have taken that leap into doing things differently. They're building their own businesses, they've got projects they've cared about, or they care about. And one of the things that's so funny about them is they're just being themselves. They have these like niche hobbies. I was just grooving with someone who grows giant pumpkins for fun. And I was like, that is so cool. I love that like, I love that, that is so you and you're just doing you, like there's something so magical around being around people who're building projects they cared about, care about, but also that are just building these lives that are so them. And that's who it's for. And so you hop on the app, and you can be a part of our 50-minute co-working sessions. So whatever it is in that crazy life that you're building that you need to get done, you can conquer it and a 50-minute session with one to three other people from around the world who were also paving those wavy paths. And then you can also cheer each other on by high fiving each other, by sharing wins together, wins of the week on Fridays, by sharing intentions on Mondays of your goals. So we're building out some new features right now. And you'll see a brand-new website pretty soon with some new copy. But it's, yeah, we're definitely in a moment of redefining who we are.
Nicola Vetter 30:40
Peter Axtell 30:41
Nicola Vetter 30:42
But this is for entrepreneurs.
Taylor Harrington 30:45
Yeah, people who are starting their own businesses, yeah. And work by themselves and are working solo from home and, you know, are missing that connection. I think one of the things that's so interesting is, when you pave that path of being an independent, it often feels like it's coming at the cost of having cool people around you and the cost of community. And we're basically saying it doesn't, you can still have that and it's free and you can meet those people by the click of a button by hopping into a session together.
Nicola Vetter 31:13
Taylor, the two of us, we all about connections. And I love how you dedicated your young life to building community and bringing people together, it's really a beautiful aspiration. And it's so needed in the world that today seems to be so disconnected, right? And I would say it sounds like this is a clear guiding North Star for you in your life, we would call it North Star. And it's something inside of us that really wants to come out. How did you discover that that is your thing?
Taylor Harrington 32:06
Yeah, so I had been going to this co-working space back in college. And as, as we talked about, there are moments where you can have these ahas together. And that makes them even more magical. And I was in this co-working space, and I met a woman named Dana Ray. So I had been going there as a student, it was meant for local entrepreneurs, but I had been going there. And she came for a nightly session where it was all about discovering your ground truth. And I love that phrasing, your ground truth. It's like in you, it's like so deeply a part of you that it's like your it's your ground truth. It's what you live by. And she described it really as this like sentence or two, where you can articulate to yourself, who you are, and how that affects who you are in the world and how we move in the world and how you interact in the world. And she had a step-by-step process for how to get there. And I ended up coming out with my couple of sentences of this is who I am. And so a big part of that was connecting dots. And, you know, I think back to was actually my, my first real day of work ever. I was working with Seth, and we were at a conference in DC that he was speaking at and had this big slideshow. And he's very famous for his slideshows, not having a lot of words and many visuals, and he has many, many slides, you go through like boom, boom, boom, like there's so many slides. And there's always something to look at and think about differently. And one of the slides was about being dot connectors versus dot collectors. And I think Dana Ray, this woman who hosted this workshop on the ground truth also did a good job of explaining that too, she basically said that, if you can root yourself and who you are, that ground truth, that North Star, it doesn't really matter what dot you're getting to next, because you're sure enough about that thread that's gonna get you there. And that's similar to what Seth was saying. If you're a dot connector, right, yeah, if you're a dot connector where you've got that, like sureness, that that good understanding of who you are, then you're going to keep on collecting dots that are within that line that are going to keep helping you get to the next thing and become more you. Whereas dot collectors, they just collect a bunch of different experiences, and they never take the time to reflect and figure out how do these all connect. And so when I think about what my ground truth is, I thought about Okay, here I am, again, I was a college junior at the time. Are you selling advertising, I'm a minor in entrepreneurship, and a minor in disability studies. I ended up graduating with over 10 different jobs and internships and had hosted many different gatherings and led different clubs and organizations on campus, which was crazy. I was a projects person like I knew that growing up, and, and I thought, how do all these different little things that I do connect, and that's what Dana had forced me again, we talked about those moments of like, when you show up and you're asked the right questions at the right time and you're in the right container to then answer them there's something really magical about that. And so I was in the right container at the right time, asked the right question. And I basically realized that all of the things I did connected to me wanting to better understand people, and that was at the core of what I wanted to do in the world. And so I spent my four years better understanding people, whether it was a project that I said yes to, whether it was going on a crazy adventure, whether it was studying, taking a new class, studying deaf culture, or sign language, or I thought it was understanding how to speak to people when you've created a project that you're really passionate about, but they have no idea what you're talking about. And you're an entrepreneur, whatever, whatever the thing was, it all connected to me wanting to better understand people. So I spent four years doing that. And at the end of it, it was, you know, when Bob had asked me that question, what do you want to do afterwards? It was like, Well, I've spent four years understanding people, now I want to go be with them. I want to go make change happen with them, I want to go and help them discover that, I want to go help them do the things that they want to do, the gifts that they have in the world, let them shine, how do we come together and do that?
Nicola Vetter 36:05
And help them make a ruckus, right?
Taylor Harrington 36:06
Help them make a ruckus. Yes. And so exactly. So you know, and I think that that's at the end of the day, that's what a ground truth or your North Star, whatever is meant to do is to help ground you, and this is who I am. And I truly believe like today, when we're recording this, I know who I am today. And I feel confident in who I am. I don't know what the next dot is. I have no idea. I have no idea how far away the next dot is, I don't know. But I can tell you that I show up as myself every single day. And I have done enough work on myself to know who that is. And so today, that phrase looks like I'm creating the opposite of loneliness in the world. And that's inside of work or outside of work. And that's just who I am. I that's a phrase that guides me in making better decisions about where I want to go. But also, my friends hear that phrase, and they're like, Heck, yeah, that's Taylor, like that is her.
Nicola Vetter 37:02
And we'll get to that in a moment.
Taylor Harrington 37:05
Yeah, I'm happy to talk about it more. And I think that that's, you know, that's, that's what guides me when I think about, oh, is this a decision that I'm making to help me better live that? And, if so, hell yes, and if not, hell no.
Peter Axtell 37:21
I just want to restate that again. And just so I internalize that this idea of a ground truth, which has the center and has some gravity in some weight to it. And then this idea that you don't know where the next dot is going to get connected, but you do have this center place. So you're not just out there, floating around everywhere, you had this beautiful image. I love that.
Taylor Harrington 37:46
Yeah, you know, it kind of feels like a you know, we're recording this not too far away from Easter. And as someone who celebrated Easter growing up, it kind of reminds me of an Easter egg hunt, like I've got my basket. And either you're so sure about this is my basket, I don't know where the next egg is, I'm gonna find but we're all good. I'm gonna put it in there, once it arrives. Or you're just someone who doesn't have a basket, you've got no ground truth, and you're just collecting eggs. And at some point, all those eggs aren't going to fit into your hands. So what are you going to do then and you're going to probably need to go find a basket. And so if you can preemptively go and build that basket and figure out what that basket means to you, you're gonna be better in the long run I think.
Nicola Vetter 38:26
That's really wonderful. And what I also think is amazing is you had this idea, this is what I want to do, this is who I am, and you managed to connect it in a way to your life that also pays the bills. So it's meaning and paying the bills, right?
Taylor Harrington 38:48
Yes. The fact that I get to make friends for a living and get paid for it is still wild to me. I spent a week last year with my grandma, she lives in Florida. And I spent a week with her working from there. And she would listen to some of my calls and the calls that I would have with Groovers and our community members, and would be like, how do you get paid to just be their friends and help them become friends with each other? That is wild. And I was like, I honestly, I'm still shocked myself like, How is this a job? But I think that being able to figure out what is that thing that like how do you bring your magic into the world? And I'm really grateful that at age 26 I somehow found that really early on and back when I was in college and have been able to make more decisions in line with that. And of course, it's going to change, your ground truth, your North Star it's true to who I am today and it's gonna evolve I'm gonna become more myself over the time. But I think that having a way to articulate it helps you get to the next thing and, you know, I actually was reflecting earlier. As I mentioned, you know let's go back to that conversation I had with Bob back in my senior year of college, when I got on that first call with Seth, was quite a funny call. But at first two things that came from it that I thought are great lessons. One is, I got on and I very quickly started to rattle through like, This is who I am. And like, these are all the things that I work on, and blah, blah, blah. And Seth just said, Taylor, let's just pause for a moment, act as if I'm already sold. Tell me your story, as if I'm already 100% sold on hiring you. And it was a really interesting way to take a deep breath and approach a conversation that typically could be quite a, I don't want to say the word performative. But it's something like that of like trying to, like, wrap up all of these like, oh, my gosh, are all of these data collected? And like, how do I like explain them all to him, and I've connected them. And he gave me permission to just take a breath and talk to him like a human and tell my story like I would a friend. And that was a really cool lesson. And the other one was, you know, he had said, at the end of the five minutes, it was kind of funny. He was like, oh, it's funny, Taylor, actually, I hired someone last week for that job that you applied for. I was like, what am I doing here? What am I doing on the call? So he was like, so I got on this call, and I had no intention of hiring you. But now I can't not imagine trying to work together. Like, let's see what we can make happen. And so that's how we started the freelancing projects. And one of the things that Seth told me about that decision was, I didn't make enough of an impact in five minutes for him to say that. But what I had done is, I had been me for four years that that guy, Bob, that had seen me from a distance, becoming more and more myself over four years, and being able to articulate that to Seth, that I was someone who was living that ground truth, even if I didn't have the words for it at the time, but I was being so me, that it just over time that pays off, that means something. And if you can figure out the words to articulate that, that's what helps people recognize is your gift in the world. And so even though I didn't have the words for it, that I do today, I do think that showing up again and again, as yourself and being that full, authentic self, it pays off in ways that you would never expect.
Peter Axtell 42:18
You're an example, you just kept showing up, you just kept showing up, you just kept showing up, you didn't try and figure this out all by yourself in your own head, you placed yourself in places where opportunity could happen. And I totally agree with you. We talked to somebody yesterday, who used to work in HR, and they talk about the performative thing, where you walk in like a robot and the HR person...
Taylor Harrington 42:41
...you suddenly forget your personality. It's like this weird moment.
Peter Axtell 42:46
He says what we want, we want a real person to show up. It's a beautiful example. But kudos to you and lessons for everybody listening to this, that placing yourself even if you're uncomfortable placing yourself, maybe you're not as extroverted as you are, but placing yourself in those situations and just working on being more and more and more yourself is also developing your reputation. We know that Taylor Harrington when she shows up, I just get chills thinking about you, kudos to you
Taylor Harrington 43:18
Oh my god, thank you.
Peter Axtell 43:21
You know, when she shows up, you're going to get the real Taylor Harrington, you're not going to get a performer. There's nobody trying to work it. She's just being who she is and that either works for you or it doesn't, it's a great lesson for people just show up and keep working on who you are. Because a lot of people I think are asking, Well, how do I, how do I figure out who I am? Oh, I'll just ask you that. How do you figure out who you are? I'll ask you.
Taylor Harrington 43:49
Great. Well, you know, it's one thing that you just made me think of too is, and let's go back to that question in a second. One thing he made me think of though, is, like, if you're figuring that out, and maybe you've been living a life, you know, I was just reading the book The Second Mountain. And so it talks a lot about like how there's like this first mountain and truly I was like skimming it because it was great conversations I was having with Josh, a co-worker, and I want to go back and like dig back into it. But some people are climbing the first mountain in life. And the first mountain is like people who are like working that like traditional job nine to five are looking like, I want to get to like this like, next job title. I want to get to like this next place on the mountain. And it's like, there's a very interesting like me-orientation of like, how do I get to the next measurable thing, the next number, and then people go through like this moment of like, whether it's pain or Aha, or whatever it is, celebration, but you get into the valley, and then people will have a moment of deciding do I get on to the second mountain and the second mountain is where a lot of these Groovers live, a lot of Akimbo folks live, where they say I've done the first mountain and now I want to go and help others. I want to go ahead and live a life that feels very me, I want to design it myself, I want to have flexible days, I want to make money doing the thing that I care about, how can I do that? And so they start climbing the second mountain. And something that I think is not really talked about well is when people make those choices and are having those questions about what's next, like you just talked about of like, maybe you're 45, listening to this and saying, I really haven't sat down and figured out who am I in two sentences, maybe that's an exercise I need to go through, it's going to also mean that you're probably going to need to train the people around you, in some sense to recognize that mountain. Because if you can't articulate the mountain, how are the people around you going to articulate it? It's the same way that people in a simple form will say, like, Oh, don't email me, if you email me after 4pm, I'm not going to respond. And they train their friends, they train their co-workers, whoever it is, is going to email them, they train them, I'm not going to be responding. And I do think that there's, there's a piece of that, that when you are going through this moment of redefining who you are, and leaning into being more yourself in the second mountain or this season of life, if we don't want to call it a full mountain, then remember that there's a communication piece of it, that you need to communicate with the people around you who care about you, hey, this is the journey that I'm going on. And I'm actively figuring it out. And you can run things by them as you're figuring out how you're defining who you are, because they know you. And then if you can share who you want to be, it's just gonna be a deeper level of you. It's not gonna be like a whole other person you're describing. So anyways, it's so long tangent, but it's just more to say like, if you're going to that question of who you are, bring people along for the journey, because they're going to help you out as you figure it out yourself.
Nicola Vetter 46:43
Which brings me to the next question, Taylor. We shortly touched on it, creating the opposite of loneliness. And that is your big thing. I think most people have experienced loneliness definitely these last three years with COVID. And in fact, I read a study that 15% of young men said that they have zero close friends, which I think is scary. But especially also, as an older adult, making new friends is quite hard. Now since you've been obsessed with connection your whole life, what experiences, ideas, or tips, can you share with our audience that could help them feel more connected and make those real connections that we are talking about?
Taylor Harrington 47:50
Yeah, wow. Well, this is like me, peeling back the curtain of my closet and showing you everything inside. Like I love talking. It's filled with ideas. Yeah, so I think you know, I'll give a I think there's definitely different parts of the spectrum like, like Peter called out like, I haven't totally an extrovert, and I love connecting people for a living. And I love connecting people outside of my job. I am. I was in Trader Joe's today. And I had an incredible conversation with the employee like I like, I'm going to talk to anyone that would listen, and I will ask them many questions like, we are going to just get deep and vulnerable quickly. Like that's just like what I enjoy, or we'll just have fun. And it'll be like this light joy moment of delight. And so, you know, there's a couple of different things here. But I think I'll try to stick to just a few. One is, be clear about what kind of people you want in your life right now, what types of connections. So one of the things that I think COVID stripped away from me a lot was what people call loose ties, you know, the interactions with strangers, or the ones that become strangers, and then like later become loose ties, people you see somewhat infrequently. Think about your favorite barista, or the doorman in your building, or someone who sits across from you at the coffee shop you go to a lot, or the person that walks in your neighborhood with their dog, when you walk with your dog. Those types of people, those are your loose ties, you might not even know their names, but you see them and there's a familiarity around that. And COVID took away that type of relationship for many, many people. And for me, that was the type of relationship that fuels my energy. If I'm having a day where I'm like, I am like not feeling like myself. I literally just go outside, and I go talk to strangers. I go to Target, I go to Trader Joe's, I go to a coffee shop, and it fills my cup. So I know that about myself. If you're listening to this and you're like heck no that is not me at all. Then don't take the advice to like find like don't name that is the way that you're gonna go and meet people and get interactions. Oh, what do you what's up?
Nicola Vetter 49:56
You know what I'm doing? I mean, it's crazy, but when I'm at Whole Foods, they now have established those machines, those checkout machines, I hate them, they never really work. I'm standing in the line, even if I only have a few things to buy, because I really like the interaction. And I think they are doing a total disservice to humanity by putting those machines in there.
Taylor Harrington 50:28
I completely agree. I'm right there with you. It's funny, I was at a I was at Whole Foods the other day, I was in the downstairs area where they only have the self-checkout. And I had I had bought myself a, like, I went to their like, counter where you like pour yourself soup into a container. So I had to figure out how the heck to like scan this thing and measure it so that it would be the right price. And I clearly did it wrong. Because my little thing of soup somehow came out to $18. And I was like, this is actually crazy. If Whole Foods is selling this little thing of soup for $18, I can't go here anymore. Like that's the reality. So I like call someone over and I'm like, Hey, so is this soup actually $18. And this woman and I had this like good laugh about like, this is actually crazy. No, it's 6.89. I got you. And we were laughing about like what soup would have to include in order for it to be $18, like there would have to be gold in there. So we were just having this like really fun conversation. And so even in a moment when I had do use self-checkout I'm like, where's the human and how can I talk to them?
Nicola Vetter 51:28
Taylor Harrington 51:29
So if you're listening to this, and you're like, This is so not me. I don't want to talk to that level of like stranger or even like I said, loose ties again. I live in a big apartment building in New York City that has a doorman. I go downstairs and like wow my doorman I like walk down there, I'm like Val, what's up? And he's like, Taylor was up? And we like have this cute little back and forth. And that gives me energy. I'll go down there just to fill up my laundry card. So I could go talk to Val. So yeah, what I'm trying to say is, if that's not going to fill your cup, don't put yourself on the hook to go and figure that out. And to start having more of those connections, figure out what actually is going to fill your cup. So another way to do that is by figuring out what types of relationships are you missing in your life. Another type of relationship that I'm missing in my life, was missing, I should say, is I love country music, I love live music, but country music, there's something about like, the repeat of the song that by the end you know the lyrics even if you didn't know it before you showed up, and there's just good vibes. But in New York City Country concerts, you're gonna find way more of those in Nashville, Tennessee, not so much in New York City. So I've been thinking to myself, like I have a lot of great friends in the area. And I am lucky to say that I grew up somewhat nearby in Connecticut. And there's a lot of Penn Staters in the area. And I have other internet friends that are now here too. And I've met friends here. So I do have quite the community here at this point. But I don't have a good country music friend, who would go with me to a concert and know the lyrics like I want someone who's going to like go and study beforehand, even if you can figure it out. And I have friends that would go with me, they just aren't going to be passionate, and I want a passionate friend. So I've kind of been putting this into the world recently being like, if anyone has any friends that love country music, let me know because that's what I need in my life. And I kept telling people for like a good two or three months, and I went to a party a couple weeks ago for a friend's birthday. It was like a small little hangout, we had cake. And I was talking to this girl and she was from Australia. And she just moved to New York. And she came to America for college and decided to stay here went to University of South Carolina, fell in love with country music. And I was like I have been dreaming of you. We need to be friends. So I do think that there's something worth naming what type of interactions and what type of friends or connections are you looking for in your life, because the more that you can be vocal about them, the more easy it is to find them. If you're not getting clear about who that is that you're looking for it's really, really hard to find them. And like I said, I think you know, I I haven't explored I think it'd be a really great experience for me to go somewhere where I don't know anyone. I was just having a conversation with a friend the other day. She had moved to Philadelphia after college. And she was like I moved here and like I know a couple of people but like I definitely don't have close friends here. And it's really hard to make friends in this area. And the reality is, is I've made a lot of friends because I like to gather people I'll say hey, I'm going on a picnic bring whoever and I have constraints for what's happening at the picnic. So there's one that was for community leaders I had a sweat pants and coloring night in my apartment recently like, I come up with a theme I set the container and then I tell people who to bring and then they do it and they bring one friend or they show up on their own and I don't know what that experience is like to move to a city and not know anyone so I can't really speak to that. But there are people out there like me in your city. I promise you that who are gathering people for some specific reasons and if you are looking around for them, go to places that they would hang out, go to, you know, look up organizations that are doing regular meetups, whether it's a book club in the area, or a sports league, or, you know, live music that happens every Tuesday at the cute wine bar near you, whatever it is, and start to just meet people because you never know who's going to be those closer friends. There are so many interesting organizations building community out there, because we're not alone in wanting this to exist. We're not alone and wanting friends as an adult like this is this is a common thing people are thinking about. So you know, there's like, for example, there's a in New York City and many, many places around the world, there's CreativeMornings is another place where it has people like us, it's an incredible organization that has pop-up events every single month, where they bring in really amazing speakers, and you have breakfast on a Friday morning with a bunch of people. And it's like a big event, it's not super intimate. So if you're like, I don't know, if this is gonna be my vibe, bring a friend go by yourself, whatever, almost, I would say, probably 80% of people go by themselves. But when you go every single month, you start to see people and become a regular. And so that's a really nice way to do it. Another one. And like I said, they have I mean, hundreds and hundreds of chapters, if not 1000s. And another one is The Moth, which is an incredible podcast, but also storytelling event that happens in many, many cities around the world. And if you go to The Moth moth.com maybe, you can look it up. And it's truly a storytelling event, you hop into a room full of people, a couple of people get up on stage, and they tell their story under a theme. And so you hear these great stories. And when you hear someone else's story, it makes it so much easier to talk to the person next to you and say, Oh, that was crazy what they just talked about up there. Like, let's just chat about it. Or have you ever had an experience like that the one that I went to, was about taking the wheel. That was the phrase. And it really was an interesting reflective experience to say, oh, when have I taken the wheel in my life. And you heard from I heard from four different people and how they had taken the wheel in very, very different ways. So there are experiences out there, where it's very normal to show up on your own and meet people and become a regular or to strike up a conversation. And I would start googling around of what's going on in your city because you're not alone in wanting it.
Nicola Vetter 57:24
You are full of resources Taylor. So I have a request here because we could go on for hours and hours. But we are getting close to the end here. Would you send me just a short list of some of those places that people could find that I could add to the show notes. I think people would love that.
Taylor Harrington 57:45
I'm happy to do that. Yes. And you know, and I think the other the other thing I'll add to that, too, is like it doesn't have to happen in person. As we've seen, there's magic of meeting those people online. And so depending on what type of connection you're looking for, and what type of goals you have, at this point in your life, there could be an opportunity to meet those people online. One of the coolest spaces I've been a part of in the last few years was during the summer of 2020, I joined something called The Reach Out Party, which was built by a woman named Carly Valency. And for 27 days, we showed up on Zoom, and we reached out to a new person. And that's what it was, was a way to come together and say hello to someone new. Whether it was someone who you admired. I wrote a, you know, an email to an author I admired I wrote an email to someone's newsletter, someone who writes a newsletter that I love. And I reached out to my third-grade teacher one time, like I reached out to people of all different waves of walks of life and parts of my life. And it was a cool practice. And so if you're looking for a community of practice, there's a lot of great ones online in that respect too. I'll send some of your way.
Peter Axtell 58:51
You wrote an article called The Power of Living by Your Definition of Success. When I think about the people who are trying to figure out what's next going through our Figure Out What's Next Program and trying to figure out what their next moment is going to be, a lot of it is all based on, I must be successful. And what that means is so you suggest that instead of someone say, Hey, how you doing? Hey, I'm crushing it, I'm crushing it, that the better question to ask is, what does a successful day look and feel like to me? And I just love that question. Speak more about that, about how you measure success on a day-to-day basis.
Taylor Harrington 59:30
Yeah, I think it's funny, it's when someone asked me like, Oh, what is your day to day look like? I'm like, which day? And I think that that's part of the magic of what does success look like is the success of today looks different than the success of tomorrow. And you know, I was talking like I said we're really rebuilding how we brand Groove and how we talk about it in the world. And one of the things that came up in that conversation was what feels good? What feels like an energy gain versus an energy loss? And how do you balance those out? I had a coach. Well, it was like a mentor once was part of a mentoring program. And her name is Heather. And Heather had said, Think of it like the spoon theory Are either of you familiar with the spoon theory? Okay, so I love this metaphor, it's so the idea in there, you can look up more of the background on it. But the idea is that everyone gets a certain amount of spoons every day. So let's say we have 10 spoons when we wake up. Well, throughout the day, we give and we get spoons, depending on what gives us energy. And so when I think about what a successful day looks like, it looks like bouncing out so that I still have enough spoons at the end of the day to still feel like myself. And so an example of a spoon is my friend Lauren always laughs because I use her as an example all the time, because I think it's such a good one. Let's talk about a shower. So when you're in the shower, my friend Lauren, college roommate, we had one bathroom for five girls. And Lauren loved to take like a 15-minute-long shower, it was very, very energizing for her. And she would get a spoon at the end of that shower. Meanwhile, I'm like, in and out, I'm like a four-minute gal, like I'm like three or four minutes, and I'm out, I got what I need to do, I'm here. So I don't give or get a spoon. Taking a shower isn't one that's going to, I'm not giving or getting a spoon, you know, in a different example is someone who has a physical disability, getting into the shower and asking someone for help to get into that shower can be really, really hard. That could be two spoons worthy. That could be three spoons worthy, maybe not just one. And so throughout the day, we do things that give and get spoons. And I think that a successful day is being in tune with my spoons and where I'm at with it. And you know, last yesterday, like I had, I had a pretty like intense workday. Like I said, we're doing this brand strategy stuff. It's been pretty intense. And so I was gonna go to the grocery store and meal prep for the week. And I was like, I don't have enough spoons for that. And also to like battle the New York Trader Joe's at 6pm on a Monday with every other person my age in the Murray Hill area like no. So I decided to wake up early. And today I went at 8:30. And it was so pleasant. Everything was in stock. There was no one else there. I've listened to one of your podcasts while I was inside of Trader Joe's. I was getting my spoons this morning in Trader Joe's. And so suddenly something that could have been giving away my spoons gave me my spoons today. And so finding pockets throughout the day to check in with yourself and see how your energy is doing. And if you're really balancing that out is is how I approach my success of how a day went. And you're gonna have days where you've got no spoons left to give at the end of the day. But how do you make sure that you have all of them tomorrow? And I think that's the biggest challenge.
Nicola Vetter 1:02:51
That's a beautiful, beautiful part to end. That is your truth that you just shared.
Peter Axtell 1:02:58
That's a major spoon. I mean, that's heavy spoonage.
Taylor Harrington 1:03:03
Yeah, I mean, we love a good spoon.
Nicola Vetter 1:03:07
So, Taylor, thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure. And I hope we'll do this again.
Taylor Harrington 1:03:15
Of course. Well, thank you so much. And thanks for letting me share my story. And hopefully it inspires a few folks to really ask what's next.
Peter Axtell 1:03:24
Thank you, Taylor. We had a blast with Taylor, and hope you enjoyed this interview too. The biggest takeaway for me is the concept of one's ground truth. It's like a WHY but somehow it feels more grounded, particularly the word truth as it applies to a person. In that respect it's very much like the North Star that we teach.
Nicola Vetter 1:03:47
Definitely. The biggest reminder for me was how important it is to choose carefully who you spend your time with. Choose the kind of people who remind you that the life you want is in fact possible.
Peter Axtell 1:04:06
Wonderful. To learn more about Taylor, head to whatsnext.com/23, where we share the transcript, links and more. Again, that's whatsnext.com/23.
Nicola Vetter 1:04:23
And if you like what you've heard, share it with someone you care about. And subscribe, rate, and review our Inside-Out Career Design podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts or watch it on our YouTube channel whatsnextcom and subscribe so you'll never miss an episode. Thanks so much for joining us here today. We'll see you next week for another episode. Same time, same place.