Everyone, at some point in their lives, struggles with being different. Growing up in an immigrant home in Minnesota, I’ve always been an outsider. Thankfully by middle school, I learned to be very comfortable in that role. In most instances I’ve been able to find my merry band of misfits. We have a good time together.
However, as I age, I’m becoming even more of an iconoclast. If I received a nickel every time someone told me I was “unique”, I might be able to graduate from HBS debt-free! Misfits are harder and harder to find and it’s isolating. Last night I was having dinner with some colleagues. I made some seemingly uncontroversial statements (“I’m trying to radically decrease the number of things I own”, “motherhood has limited appeal to me”), and people looked at me as if horns had sprung from my forehead.
With a class of 900, I should be able to find some like-minded (or simply open-minded) people at HBS. But I’m getting a little nervous that I won’t.
Humility is something I regard very highly in others, and something I strive for myself. I’ve been thinking about how I can be a more humble person. Two ideas after the jump;
If you are like me, you may struggle with managing the amount of e-mail you receive. I conducted an online investigation of best practices. Below is a summary of my key findings:
1. First Principle: Your inbox should be completely empty
- Imagine if your e-mail were actual pieces of paper. In front of me I would have a stack of urgent documents, doodles, research reports, and paper invitations that require my RSVP all jumbled up in a pile. It’s incredibly disorganized and that’s what I look at every morning when I fire up Outlook/gmail. Frankly I don’t think it’s good for my mental health, because I always have a nagging feeling that I need to reply to something.
2. When you read an e-mail, you should immediately do 1 of 3 things:
The primary purpose of this blog is to help me figure out where I need to go post-MBA.
In my experience, prose is the best way to synthesize facts, ideas and opinions. Speaking, Twittering, or creating (my beloved) PowerPoints come nowhere close. In a few months when I start my MBA, I will be inundated with all manner of information and pressure (peer, financial, and other). I see this blog as an oasis. A place where I can clearly articulate what I know, what I think, and ultimately what I believe in.
It will be rough in the beginning, but hopefully my writing will improve over time. Please let me know if you find typos.