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Michael Gardon

  • Writer's pictureMichael Gardon

The 5 Pillars of Work Life Transformation - The Break Issue 58

Updated: Mar 13

The Break is . . .

The moment that changes everything. We do stories and actionable tips to help you break your relationship with work so you can build the future you want.

If you like what you’ve been reading, forward this to someone who needs it, and follow along on ​Linkedin​ for more community and conversations about breaking work.

#58: The First Step To Change

Every single day I hear from people trapped in their current version of work-life. They WANT to make a change, but their overwhelmed by the complexity of the problem and don’t know where to start “figuring it out.”

So here are the 5 layers of making a work-life transformation, that nobody explains. #1 is where 90% of people need to start.

First, A big thank you to our sponsors for helping me bring this newsletter to you!

Advantage Mapping Foundations My course that’s dropping at the end of the month Finally!

​Sign up for the waitlist here​ and enter to win one of 4 signed copy of Discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday! Plus, be eligible for a special launch discount!

Looking for a new job or looking to hire in 2023?

Start with ​ZipRecruiter​ today to find the best opportunities and candidates out there. I’m proud to partner with this award winning company to bring you this newsletter absolutely free.

– ​

The Solopreneur Playbook​ by Dennis Geelen. If you're wondering how to start your own 1 person business, this is a great place to start. My friend Dennis is "The Accidental Solopreneur" and this playbook is a masterclass in how to turn the tables on on work.

Back to the Newsletter --> 5 Pillars To Transform

1. Create Space At Work

The largest barrier to starting is by far the general overwhelm and task switching of day to day existence sucks all the oxygen and mental creativity out of your body.

To embark on this transformative journey, you need space to focus on you, and what you want with intention. No more 5 minute daydreams or late night scroll sessions. You need time during the day to plan, scheme and create. That means space between you and your current job responsibilities. Here are some ideas:

  • Pull your identity out of work, and lower your emotional attachment.

  • Protect your time fiercely. Let your boss know you need dedicated time, agree on a 2 hour window and schedule it.

  • Decline optional meetings.

  • Get out of the office.

  • Start to view work as a utility that funds your creative pursuits.

  • Use a 1 page project summary and train executives to refer their basic questions there (See more from my WSJ article).

It’s essential to prioritize “me time.” This involves dedicating time in your week to explore your curiosity, develop your skills, and discover your true self. Remember, giants like Google have embraced this concept with their 20% time policy.

And my favorite wise sage, Charlie Munger, would always give himself the first hour of his day to learn and plan out life.

2. Sharpen Your Advantage Edge:

Society wants to put us in a box, but your uniqueness is an intersection that needs exploring. Skills are vital, but true advantage can come from all over. Your edge is built from a unique blend of attributes, competencies and circumstances. In my ​Advantage Mapping Foundations​ course, here are the 8 Areas of Advantage we explore:

  • Curiosity

  • Energy

  • Personality

  • Aptitude

  • Expertise

  • Support

  • Learning

  • Decisions

Create your own “Advantage Map” by taking the time to understand these elements and how they interact. This knowledge will help you explore overlooked opportunities in competitive world.

3. Build Your Options Portfolio:

The liner world is over. No longer can you plan one track and expect it to produce wealth and happiness over a long period. In a changing world, high odds don’t come from putting all your eggs in one basket. Instead, we need to create a portfolio of opportunities. Several potential options that leverage our Advantages and align to the future we want to create. We need to experience these options and decide which to dedicate more effort towards.

To build your portfolio, ask yourself:

  • What are my foundational advantages, and how could I use those differently than I am now?

  • What are three options I could pursue right now?

  • What actions can you take to test all three?

Having multiple paths increases your chances of success.

4. Execute Like an Entrepreneur:

To thrive in a world where we need to consider and test our options portfolio, we need to embrace an experimental approach to gathering information. View your life as a series of experiments.

Instead of getting overwhelmed by the infinite choices between where you are and the destination, the only question you need to ask is “what is the next piece of information I need in order to know if I should continue on this path, or change directions? Make finding that information your guiding star and you’ll get to the answers more quickly than sitting in a chair and thinking about it.

This mindset allows you to adapt and change more easily, rather than banking everything on a single decision.

5. Create a Sovereign Mindset:

Last but certainly not least, mindset is crucial. A sovereign mindset prioritizes what you can control and places you at the center. It’s like being a ninja warrior, always ready for whatever comes your way. Unlike the fragile nature of optimization, a sovereign mentality is the sturdy foundation on which you break through your limitations.

Here are a few examples of sovereign mindset shifts:

  1. One choice → Many

  2. Narrow vision → Wide

  3. Scared → Excited

  4. Skill → Advantage

  5. Thinking → Doing

  6. Knower → Explorer

  7. Passion → Purpose

  8. Outcome → Process

  9. Optimized → Resilient

  10. Productive → Selective

  11. Perfectionist → Experimentalist

Incorporate these five pillars into your journey of work-life transformation, and watch as you reinvent yourself, creating a life that aligns with your true self.

Stay tuned for more insights and guidance on leading your career transformation, becoming more resilient, and embracing adaptability.

Here’s to breaking your old habits and becoming the best version of yourself!



P.S. My Advantage Mapping Program is all about systematically building a "high odds" path to your version of success. In order to build high odds we first need to break our low odds habits and scripts about work. This is hard work, but I personally guarantee you will find your path that aligns who you are with what you do. I'd love you to check it out ​​Join the waitlist


Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

2. Get in the Breaking Work conversation on Linkedin. Messages are open - anyone can say hi here.

3. Promote your brand/business to 14k+ subscribers by sponsoring our newsletter contact (Booked out 4 weeks)

Resources To Make Your BREAK

  • Curated Job Board​: I teamed up with Pallet to create a tech focused, remote first board. I’d love it if you joined 20+ followers. Maybe, just maybe you’ll find your next big opportunity here.

  • Career Quiz: Take the Advantage Mapping step of learning how you're wired and for what roles!

  • Recommended Reading​: My list of must reads to BREAK your view of the world and what's possible for you.

  • Side Hustle Database: Over 200+ ideas to bring out your creative side as you explore your path. Maybe it will end up being your BREAK!

  • LinkedIn Headline Analyzer: See how your LinkedIn headline stacks up and how you can improve it to attract better opportunities.

The Latest Conversation on THE BREAK Pod

We've got an incredible guest in the house – a friend from the past who's has broken himself on purpose, and undergone an extraordinary journey of reinvention. But before we dive into this conversation, don't forget to hit that subscribe button and share our podcast with your friends and family. We've got a lot of inspiration coming your way.

Let me set the stage for you. Sean Sweeney and I go way back. We attended high school together, shared memories, and then life took us on separate paths. For over 25 years, we didn't cross paths, until one day, Sean's intriguing Twitter feed caught my eye. He'd reinvented himself multiple times, and that got me thinking. What led him down this transformative road?

Today, many know Sean as a successful real estate developer and Twitter influencer. More on that later. But we're not delving into real estate. No, today, we're talking about how he went from a 23-year-old actor to receptionist at 27 to becoming a big real estate developer with over $200M portfolio. I’ll give you a hint as to how he did it – he overcame the same mental roadblocks and hurdles that can hold you back from realizing what your true purpose is.

You can check out more of what Sean is all about by following him on ​Twitter (@SeanDsweeney)​ and checking out his substack called ​The Bright Build.​ A weekly design-driven and community-focused newsletter mapping the moves and mindset that are crucial for both the seasoned and aspiring real estate developer.

I hope you enjoy this episode with Sean Sweeney.

You made it to the end! Hopefully you learned something about breaking your career today! If so, please share this with someone you care about.

P.S. What did you think of today's email? Click one of the ratings below to send us your feedback. We'd love to know what you think!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ​This was super helpful!​

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