work journal

A letter to Sophie (and maybe to you, too)

April 19, 2024

Dear Sophie,

You told me about the trails you’ve run down in your business. The rocky hillsides, the summit views, and the steep, dark, slippery descents that had you wondering if you’d make it back.

You’ve had success on each of these adventures. Frustrations and surprises and fulfillment, too.

Now we’re here, and you’ve got my full attention.

Yes, you may share your ‘shoulds.’ After you’ve done so, would you please put them on a shelf for a couple hours? I can stick them under that fancy pillow on the other side of the room if you prefer. Either way, they’ll be there later if you need them.

Ok, so tell me about which trails you want to keep exploring. Are there others you’re curious about? Any you never want to see again? Why?

Knowing that what makes sense, given your values, skills and finances? Do you have everything you need to travel safely through these mountains, or are you hanging it out there?

Let’s climb this sidehill. From this vantage, the trails look different. What happens when you hike out to the valley and look at the whole mountain range?

With this perspective change in mind, tell me your next step. And the following one.

What insights do you have now?

“I came to you wanting to focus,” you say. “It felt scary and daunting, but now it feels exciting and doable. I thought I needed to discuss the little habits that I struggle with, but now I know they’re secondary to what I genuinely want to focus my energy on.”

As I watch you walk away through the snow, I feel light as the winter air. When my work is helping vibrant, caring, intelligent people like you see the ways that only YOU can contribute, I’m confident in the trails I’ve chosen, too.


p.s. Thank you, Sophie Tsairis, for inspiring this story and for including me in your journey.

Photos by Jason Thompson.

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