Stress reduction for the INFP: Your inner life is your hidden strength.


This live, online course runs Nov. 2 – Nov. 5 at 8pm ET. The cost of the course is $195, but if you register in the next four days the cost is $145.  Sign up now!

My editor is an INFP. He is crazy, but he doesn’t know he’s crazy.

The first crazy thing he did was email me out of the blue and ask if he could be my editor. This is what he wrote, “I have no experience editing but I love your writing and the only way I can figure out how to be able to read more of it is to be your editor.”

Maybe he didn’t write that exactly, but something like that.

He is not going to edit this post, so when he reads that, he will smile. It will be a slow, slight smile, but it will be a big smile inside. That’s how he is. Very little happens on the outside, but lots and lots on the inside.

The first thing he edited he cut 75% of what I wrote. I immediately saw he was right. And then I wondered what I had published earlier that he would have cut. All of a sudden I felt like there is no way I could write without him.

That was seven years ago. Neither of us is very good at having friends. We are both too weird, but in opposite ways. He is too weird because everything has to be about meaning, and deep purpose. I am weird because everything has to be about money and how I will expand my empire. We meet in the center as an oddly matched support system.

We don’t talk about being close friends, but when I am too sad to do anything, I call him. I say, “I can’t write. I’m too sad.”

When he went through a divorce, he was nearly incapacitated. Some weeks I talked to him every day about his personal life. But then I’d send him a post about resumes or or a tirade about someone’s book, and he’d edit without missing a beat.

Talking with him on the phone is like talking to the wall. The long silences make me ask, all the time, “Are you still there?” And I have to remember to stop talking to give him space to think. And. Then. To. Talk. But it’s always worth the wait.

My editor is funny and smart and so well read. He is a great editor when my life is startups, he is a great editor when my life is interpersonal drama, and he can even edit post after post about my garden without jumping to the conclusion that no one cares.

Although every time I write about my hedge, he says the post is boring. So I am sneaking the hedge into this post. Do you see in the picture how I cut a tiny passage for little kids?

I tried to be in a reading group with him because he was reading such cool books. I read Junot Diaz but he was reading so much faster than I was. It was too much pressure. He reads and reads and reads. And then he thinks. And then he reads. And I know I’m lucky that he stops in between to edit.

When I found out he was an INFP I told him it’s impossible. I would never like an INFP. They are too sensitive. He was quiet. No response. For anyone else that would mean I insulted him. For him it just means, “That’s okay. I’m fine.” So I talked over him, of course, to tell him why he is not an INFP. But he is.

He is flexible, calm and intolerant of fakery, and miraculously, he also gets paid a lot. Not from me, of course. I mean, I pay him but believe me, he is not editing me for the money. He gets paid a lot in his day job, which is compliance. He makes sure the rules and the systems to follow the rules are in sync. At first I thought this was a terrible INFP job, but then I realized his job is to create a calm work environment. And that makes sense to me, because he creates a calm environment for me, as well, and I think that’s what really makes him a great editor.

I will force him to make a special appearance in this course. He will talk about how to get along with people who are pushy, intolerant, and obsessed with achievement. But really, this course will show you how to think more deeply about the purpose of life, and then set your own life up in a meaningful way while still being able to pay the bills:
Session one: Understand how you fit into the world around you. 
Other people are not like you. And it’s not just that they are different, but often they don’t even speak your language. Luckily, you are an incredibly flexible, sympathetic person, and you are able to understand them. This session will show you how to use the gifts you’re born with to help people understand you. Everyone does, actually, want to understand you – once you know how the INFP personality type relates to each of the other types, you’ll have a clear picture of how to connect in a meaningful way with anyone.

Session two: Get paid for work that makes you feel good. 
You need a job that allows you to be authentic and harmonious in your everyday life. This session will show you how to find that. You work best in ways that are unconventional. For example, you are best in bursts rather than working at a slow, steady pace. And you thrive under a last-minute deadline. You are very valuable when it comes to generating ideas, but you are overwhelmed in a loud, boisterous brainstorming session. This session will give you a clear picture of the work environment that is best for you. Then I’ll tell you how to get it.

Session three: Create the ideal family for you. 
Your sixth sense about what feels right will be a good guide for finding a mate. You are unique, and you need to rely on your instincts rather than conventional wisdom. This session will show you how to rely on your instincts with confidence when it comes to your personal life. No one is a better guide than you, but that’s not the message you get from the outside world. Your high expectations are both inspiring and frustrating to yourself and those around you. This session will show you how to channel your strong values and high ideals to create a caring and harmonious home life.

Session four: Ask me anything! We can talk about anything that’s on your mind.
Remember, the cost of the course is $195, but if you register in the next four days the cost is $145.
Sign up now!

Let your definition of success evolve over time

I wake up at 5am and while I wait for the coffee to brew, I do a yoga pose. Not so much to do yoga, because yoga’s been torturing me for years and I’m sick of it. I do the pose to celebrate my kitchen floor. It’s so clean.

No one’s got ideas like an ENTP. Here’s how to use them.

This live, online course runs Nov. 9 – Nov. 12 at 8pm ET. The cost is $195.  Sign up now!

Whenever I feel like I am a social aberrant because of how many corners I cut, I think about my ENTP friend Cassie. What do you call it if you are cutting more than the corners? Slicing and dicing? That’s what Cassie does.

Cassie is the only person I’ve ever met who has more ideas than I do. Cassie’s attention span is like, fifteen seconds, so her ideas flow faster than mine. Basically, Cassie stays with an idea long enough for everyone to tell her it’s brilliant, and then she moves on.

Cassie and I take little vacations, with Melissa. We do weekends away.

Qustion: What do an INTJ (Melissa) an ENTJ (me) and an ENTP (Cassie) do in a swanky hotel room far away from home?

Answer: We work. But it’s so fun to work in the same hotel room because we all like doing each others’ work. Here’s how it goes.

30 Women who have revolutionized the tech sector

I get included in a lot of lists (19 Blogs You Should Bookmark Right Now, Top 10 Aspergers Blogs, Top 100 Education Blogs, Top 50 Productivity Blogs) but I generally don’t pay a lot of attention. Lists are subjective, I don’t know who put the list together, and I mostly measure my success by if people care about what I’m writing (I usually judge by comments and social sharing) and if I’m making enough money to stay out of debt (a seemingly impossible feat).

A hidden job market for people who love art

Where’s the return on investment for that a bachelor’s in art history or an MFA? How do artists support themselves. What can I do if I’m a visual thinker?

You can answer those questions with, “Get a day job.” But there’s a lot more you could do besides that. Here are some career paths that are open to visual thinkers, whether or not you have a degree.

Where I am on 9/11

Every year I write about 9/11. Because I was there. But this year, I didn’t want to. But then I woke up today and decided that I want to.

How to keep your career from getting outdated

We’ve never been good at predicting the nitty gritty of the job market (who could have thought of the term community manager 20 years ago?). But we are pretty good at predicting mega-trends (for example, 20 years ago we knew we’d all be working with computers by 2015).

Women should not bother negotiating salary

In a survey of graduating professional students, Linda Babcock, of Carnegie Mellon University, found that only seven per cent of women attempted to negotiate their initial offers, while fifty-seven per cent of the men did so. After years of analysis, she concludes that women might, in fact, be better off not negotiating.

Babcock is not the only person to draw this conclusion. Here’s why:

What would you have done in Nazi Germany?

I ask myself this question all the time: What would I have done if I had lived in Nazi Germany? I am Jewish, so I ask myself if I’d have left early on. Early enough. When I could have left.

I watch lots of movies and read lots of books about life in Nazi Germany.

ENTJ course: Accomplish whatever you want. Then do it again.

This course includes four days of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this course for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.  Sign up now!

I remember the shock of finding out I was an ENTJ. It’s so embarrassing to find out that all you care about is power. Well, power and money, because money is the measure of power. Well, and also with control, the more control I have over things I can build my power base with, and keep the money flowing.