What I’ve done and lessons learned. More for me than for you.

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Hello! Inspired by my friend Francois Vigneault, I’ve decided to capture what’s happened over the last year. Also, since 2020 has seemed like a time warp of sorts, I’ve also wanted to include 2019, which was also a huge year for me, before it got lost in the foggy haze of memory. Enjoy!

If you’d like to jump straight to the part where I talk about what I’m bringing forward into 2021, you can just scroll straight to the bottom.

2019 — The Year of New

(Kaiju) Coaching

I not only kicked off my own coaching business (inspired by monsters, of course), but I coached a few sessions of the altMBA as well as a session of the Bootstrapper’s Workshop for Akimbo. I figured out my coaching style and what I want to focus on for the individual work that I do. I also landed my first few private coach clients! …


We often give people facts and aggregated data, but this often isn’t enough to change minds. Personalization and the telling of individual’s stories with details often suddenly highlights your point…


A simple single word change that can be incredibly powerful

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Credit: Warner Bros.

To be fair, this change was less influenced by the film itself, and more by me considering how to review the film. After watching, I peeked on Twitter to see what other people were saying.

If you look at Twitter today, most of the #WW84 reviews are either super positive or generally negative. There’s not a whole lot in-between, and I honestly think that the film falls in that grey, middle space.

It’s not the most amazing film ever (even though I was really looking forward to it and wanted it to be). It has some really great scenes and some pretty emotional moments, and also some completely ridiculous plot holes and muddles its thematic messaging when you look closely at it. …


No hyperbole, just lessons learned from processing the experience

A wilted pink rose that has lost all of its petals, which are covering a white surface
A wilted pink rose that has lost all of its petals, which are covering a white surface
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

I got a text from a friend from college who I hadn’t spoken to in a few years. We exchanged pleasantries, doing the usual “How’s life in a global pandemic” exchange, and then she asked me if I had heard the news about one of my ex’s, who we’ll call Beth (obviously not her real name). I definitely hadn’t heard the news as we don’t run in the same social circles, but given the title of this piece, you are assuming right — Beth died yesterday.

To get this out of the way, given the times we’re in, no, it wasn’t COVID. I know people who have died from COVID, but this was not one of those cases. My friend didn’t have all the details (she’s friends with Beth’s friends), but apparently it was some sort of disease and not an accident that took her life. …


How we can learn to deal with impostor syndrome by learning from our doppelganger.

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Original photo by cottonbro from Pexels, creepiness by the author.

Doppelgangers, or otherworldly creatures that look exactly like us have always fascinated me since I first heard about them from the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering as a kid.

You may be most familiar with doppelgangers from the 2013 British film The Double, which brings us a doppelganger replacing an officer worker’s life, or Jordan Peele’s 2019 movie Us that showcases an entire family of deranged doppelgangers from beneath the Santa Cruz boardwalk. While these are both creepy films, the idea of an exact double actually has a much more positive origin.

The term doppelganger was actually first coined by the German author Jean Paul in 1796, in his novel Siebenkas which is about a man who meets his own doppelganger and gets love advice from it. The protagonist leaves an unhappy marriage by faking his own death and then goes on to find his true love. …


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Photo by Jonas Friese on Unsplash

They* said it didn’t make any sense.

Who is going to listen to a podcast that mixes short horror fiction with monster mythology and personal development?

Sure, if you’re looking at a starting a podcast and consider things like minimum viable audience or the numbers of listeners you need to gain advertising deals, or the number of new podcasts started every day, then starting a very niche podcast like this probably makes no sense.

However, if you’re looking at starting a podcast as an opportunity to put yourself out there, create something that YOU want to see happen in the world, and take a beginner’s mind in terms of audio production, refining your thoughts, developing a schedule, and building the habit of creating every day, then this totally makes sense. …


A practical way to learn about how to build trust

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If we want to get better at earning, building, and restoring trust, an insightful exercise is to consider who YOU trust.

Think about online shopping. This is actually a fairly high-trust transaction. You’re basically telling some stranger on the internet,” Hi, I’d like to buy something you’ve shown me a picture of. Here’s my credit card information, my phone number, my email, and where I live. Please only take the amount of money I’m asking you to, and please actually send me what you said you were selling.”

Think about the last thing you bought online. …


Practical advice on how to change your brain

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Change can be really difficult — especially when we’re looking to change our own behavioral patterns. Whether you’re trying to give up smoking, become a more empathetic leader, or trying to stop checking up on your employees, the difficulty in changing these behaviors gets down to the fact that it’s hard to get out of the patterns that we’ve built for ourselves.

People like patterns

You see, as human beings, we really, really, really like patterns. Our brains crave patterns. We like knowing that green lights mean go, hungry alligators might bite us, and that cake will taste sweet and lemons sour. …


Choosing courage over fear

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Via me.

“What does fear look like?”

I would suspect that your answer to what fears looks like would be more like failure than Frankenstein’s monster. Perhaps its closer to being laughed at than being slowly chopped to pieces as part of a demonic pact.

Our fears have evolved, mostly away from certain death towards modern anxieties like being shamed on the internet, or having a scammer steal our bank info. They are also often also misplaced- the fear of flying is much more prevalent than the fear of driving, even though you’re much more likely to die in a car than in an airplane. …


Leadership is a loaded word.

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Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Whether you’re part of a flat organization trying to democratize your team, have worked with leadership that has felt limited to title only, are overwhelmed by the over-usage of “leadership” as a buzzword, or are hesitant to call yourself a leader, we get it.

That said, we want to invite you to reclaim the term leadership. Contrary to what you’ve certainly experienced at some point in your life, leadership is not about hierarchy, power, authority, or brute force. It’s not about babysitting or sitting in the director’s chair. It’s not leading followers, and it’s not just about your job title. …

About

Rick Kitagawa

Exploring trust, leadership, art, business, skeeball, and horror fiction — Co-Founder, https://spotlighttrust.com + Coach @ altMBA + www.kaijucoaching.com.

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