Episode 246 – Shaping and shifting with Jonas Altman

‘I have a lot of enthusiasm. I bring in so many things and often the reader [is] like, where are we going?’

Jonas AltmanJonas Altman finds writing hard. Which is lucky for us, because he’s done the work to discover a way through, and he generously shares it all in this conversation. 

From identifying the protagonist to finding flow, from working with an editor to a more fluid approach to footnotes, he sets out his writing journey with soul and humour. 

Uplifting listening. 

Shapers site: https://www.shapers.life/

Jonas’s site: https://www.jonasaltman.com/

Social Fabric on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sfagency

Alison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bookstothesky

The Extraordinary Business Book Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447064765612358/

10-day Business Book Proposal Challenge January 2021: https://pi-q.learnworlds.com/course?courseid=proposal-challenge-jan-21

The Extraordinary Business Book Club bookshop: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/extraordinarybusinessbooks

My K-day countdown for the National Literacy Trust: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alison-jones1000

Alison Jones: I’m here today with Jonas Altman, who is a speaker, a writer and entrepreneur on a mission to make the world of work more human. As the founder of award-winning design practice Social Fabric, he creates learning experiences to elevate and grow leaders at the world’s boldest organizations. He speaks regularly at conferences about the future of work, advises companies on culture change and travels the globe, or at least he used to when we did that sort of thing, learning about the changing nature of work. His chronicles have appeared in the Guardian, Quartz, Telegraph and Sunday Times.

And he’s the author of Shapers: Reinvent the way you work and change the future. Welcome Jonas.

Jonas Altman: Alison. Thanks for having me.

Alison Jones:  It’s really good to have you here and yeah, we’re not doing that much of the traveling stuff at the moment, are we?

Jonas Altman: We’re virtually traveling through our hearts and souls and minds.

Alison Jones: Well, you’ve got such a great way of framing things. I love that. Okay. So it’s not that you’re stuck at home guys, it’s just that you now have the opportunity to travel wherever you want.

Jonas Altman: Well, yes, and I’ve got a stack of books here and people say a book is in some ways, like, it’s a person on their first date, it’s the best version of their self.  I’ve got James Clear’s Atomic Habits, Rutger Bregman’s Humankind, David Kadavy’s Mind Management and Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, and I just sit there and I look at them and I’m like, I guess that’s my traveling for today or this morning. And I just picked so, you know, or whatever, it might be a conversation with you.

Alison Jones: I think it was Neil Gaiman that called books door-shaped portals…

Jonas Altman: Oh, I like that.

Alison Jones: Isn’t that great. Yes.

Jonas Altman: He also taught me in this pandemic the word fermata, or actually my mom taught me that word through Neil Gaiman, which is when a conductor has his hands at the top with his sticks and he’s waiting for the big crescendo. That moment, at the top, is the fermata. And we’re kind of in that holding pattern and the UK is kind of going back into that moment, where you’re just waiting to be able to breathe out again. And so we’re basically being tested again and again, with these fermatas.

Alison Jones: It’s fabulous. Isn’t it? When you have a word for something, suddenly you feel slightly better about it. It gives you a sense of control. That’s the power of the book. We have to articulate these things. We have to give them names. Yes.

Jonas Altman: And your kids can also just make up a word.

Alison Jones: I love that. Let’s talk about Shapers, because that’s a cracking word isn’t it? Why did you choose that word for what you’re talking about with the way that our attitude to work is changing?

Jonas Altman: Do you want the full, full story or the short version?

Alison Jones: Oh no, now you said that we need the full one. Come on. We’ve got hours, go on, crack on, nobody’s going anywhere.

Jonas Altman: Okay. So, I had a person that I had been introduced to who is a brilliant man and has done amazing things. And really has the same mission to humanize work, make it suck less. And we had all these conversations and he told me his story and I was going to use him as my protagonist, as sort of a character to weave in some of the themes.

And as I was interviewing him and talking with him, it just became strained and it felt like I was trying to force something. It wasn’t that he wasn’t suitable or open to it. It just didn’t feel… it felt like I was doing something that was more convenient and I wanted to involve him in some way, but he wasn’t necessarily the right fit.

So I kind of called it what it was. He had no problem with it. And I had written an article about it. So then I was on the search for another protagonist. And, it might’ve come to me in a dream or subconsciously or through Instagram, but I have a friend who lives in a small town outside of San Diego in Leucadia, which is like in a time warp.

So, I’ll give you an idea of the town, it’s so evolved that Starbucks can’t thrive there. Like, no one will go to Starbucks. And literally everyone knows your name. Like when he walks down the street, people smile like, Hey Manny, what’s up? Hey, hey dude, Hey, what’s up? And I’m like, what’s going on here?

This is like, I don’t know if you ever watched a show The Wonder Years, but in America that’s like, you know, the quaint town. And so I’m like, ah, he’s my guy, Manny’s my guy. And he was reluctant, because he’s super humble. So I’m like, I’m going to write about you. He’s like, what do you mean?

I’m like, I’m going to write a story about you and he’s like, well… So we did an interview call and I started writing it and then I sent it to him and I asked him to fill in the blanks and then we got going and I realized how awesome and cool his story is. He is a surfboard shaper. So for many years, he tried to do anthropology and film, and then he worked in like outdoor retail.

And at the age of like 30, early thirties, he had a niggle, which is a word I’ve borrowed from Richard Hallman, who is a really cool dude as well, has a podcast. And the niggle was: ‘there’s something not right. I have something in me, a creative itch, an impulse that I can’t ignore. And I can’t not live my life without trying’.

So, Manny is a surfboard shaper, but that’s not how the book became Shapers. So I wrote the book and then when I was writing the proposal, which you helped me with greatly, the publisher said, who’s your target market? And when I was writing the target market, I put ‘shapers and shifters’. Shapers are people who have a high degree of agency and autonomy in their work and life so they can shape their work and life quite easily. Startups, entrepreneurs, independent workers. And shifters were people working in large organizations or public service, public sector who were changemakers, pirates, mavericks, shit disturbers. And they wanted to shift and transform work from within.

And so I sent it off and the publisher was like, we love Shapers for the title. And I fought them. What’s the expression, neck and tooth, tooth and…

Alison Jones: Tooth and nail. Tooth and nail, we normally say in the UK.

Jonas Altman: You’re going to find that happens a lot in this conversation. Tooth and nail…

and I just was like, well, why do I have resistance? And the reason I had resistance, which I worked on with my editor, was I felt like I was co-opting and doing something sacrilegious to all the surfboard shapers out there by hijacking it and saying anyone can be a shaper. No, not anyone can be a shaper.

You have to learn how to make surfboards.

Alison Jones: And that’s why you put that sort of apology in to the surfboard shapers?

Jonas Altman:  It’s like when hip hop gets commercial, like it’s going to happen, right? And if it makes more awareness to this craft and skill, because what’s happened in surfboard shaping, like every other industry, is they’ve created a mass manufacturing process where you can just cut and paste a surfboard shape and make it basically through machines. But the real beautiful surfboards are custom made to the individual. So I have a surfboard here where I am that Manny made for me. There’s one in the world it’s made for my body type. It’s got, you know, all the imperfections and all the beauty and that’s the craft. But I could also just go into the store right now and for half the price get an off the shelf kind of made in, you know, made in Peru or made in China kind of surfboard.

Alison Jones: And just for anybody that’s not getting the analogy, just spell out for us. I mean most people can probably see it immediately, but just spell out for us why that matters in the context of work and how our attitude to work is shifting. And our expectations of it are changing.

Jonas Altman: Oh, well, you know, there’s a bias there. I was having a conversation and a lot of people use the acceleration of the last hundred years from post-World War One through the industrial era, into the internet age. And I don’t even know what age we’re in now, attention economy, we don’t really want to necessarily get into politics, but we’re in a very interesting time where people are kind of invited or experiencing more introspection and existential openings to say, why am I here? And what is it I really want to do?

And so when Manny had that, or even I had that in my career, you start to say, well, if I’m going to double down on doing something that matters to me, I want to be able to put my stamp on my work and I don’t necessarily want to conform to a model of working that was based on the machine age.

And that shift is taking decades and it’s kind of hitting its, I think it’s hitting its crescendo now. Where there’s 30 to 40% of the U S economy or of the working world is independent or has more than one employer. We have obviously a huge amount of unemployment on the horizon and precarious work.

But generally if you’re in an advanced economy or in the Western world, there’s an opportunity to say, okay, what am I good at? What do I enjoy? What can I get paid for? And find that Ikigai, that beautiful sweet spot. And you’re seeing it specifically with people who do not want to sacrifice their morals and their value systems when they go to work every day, or if they go to their kitchen and go to work every day from their kitchen, they still don’t want to sacrifice on who they are.

Alison Jones: It’s a very hopeful picture that you paint actually. And, you know, really energizing. I did love that. What did you… through the process of writing it, tell me a little bit about that shift in you. And I think it’s fascinating actually that you started with the protagonist. I mean, I know that you had a false start, but tell me a little bit about why that, it’s almost like that’s the kind of seed around which you build it and what writing looks like for you.

Jonas Altman: Hmm. So the first thing is, the first podcast I did the person thought I was a sceptic and they thought that I was like, George Orwell or someone, because I have a chapter that’s looking at  sort of doom and gloom.  And then I turned the wheel around, right. And, so I appreciate that, I do think there’s an optimism there.

 I think the writing process, and you know a lot about this, is a couple of things, sit your butt in the fucking chair and stay there. Write to think.

Alison Jones: If you’re taking notes, that was a good one to note

Jonas Altman: Yeah. Write to think, don’t write to have your ego fluffed or to be seen as cute or smart or funny, unless you’re Judd Apatow or Seth Rogen and you’re writing to get people to laugh and you have to test it.

Actually in some ways, writing for someone… I actually wrote quite a lot for Alison Coward. She’s a very good friend of mine. I know you know her. So I would write for her and I’d say like, you’re my guy. Like, you’re my girl. And so that helped.

And then I kind of… okay, well you’re an architect, you’re someone who has a high degree of agency in your work. You’re someone who’s every day trying to make work better, make it more inclusive, make it more, have more vitality for people.

But I also had a problem because I have a version of self-diagnosed ADHD. And so therefore focusing is very difficult for me, and it was not easy to carve out time every single day for next to four years, including research and interviewing.

It’s like running a marathon. I started telling people that I was writing a book. And then I’d get reactions. And then I felt external accountability. I had internal accountability to myself like, I can do this.  I can write an article, so I just need to write another 50,000 words to the article. No big deal.

And then surfing came in. So I actually started the book in Bali surfing every day and  I really kind of underestimated the rhythm of how to get into flow. So I would wake up and I try to write, but I was irritated or itchy because I hadn’t moved my body or moved my mind so to speak. Because not working is when most people do their best work. So it took me about a month, maybe three to four weeks before I found my groove. And then often I would surf and get like some sort of immersion. And then I’d come back and I’d have like an hour, maybe two to two and a half hours of bliss. And I would just get a thousand words on the page and, you know, shitty first drafts. I would look at again. I was like, what the hell was I thinking?

But often I’d get something in there. I get that nugget or the arc of what am I trying to say here? Like, what’s my, okay, I coughed, I got everything out and then there’s something there. And that’s always been my challenge because I have a lot of enthusiasm. So I bring in so many things and often the reader, or even a conversation, people are like, where are we going?

Like, hold on, I thought we were talking about, you know, social justice and I’m off to like fish tacos. And so that’s a challenge for me.

And so I think writing was helpful for me to distill and to cut and as designers say to leave things out, the beauty of the negative space and of the words that you took out that are not needed.

Alison Jones: So tell me a little bit more about the different types of writing. I love that idea. I coughed and then we sort of see what comes out. Kind of vile, but, you know.

Jonas Altman: You’re clearing your throat and then that first paragraph is totally not necessary, but you got it out.

Alison Jones: Necessary because you can’t get beyond it without it

Jonas Altman: Exactly. Precisely.

Alison Jones: It reminds me of Murakami talking about running as well.

Jonas Altman: Ah, I’ve got that book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, but I haven’t read it.

Alison Jones: Yes. Oh, it’s wonderful. I think it would resonate with you.

Jonas Altman: That’s next. It’s actually on a shelf next to my bed. It just sits there and it looks pretty and I’m like, one day…

Alison Jones: I’m the kind of person that has this book by my bed

Jonas Altman: Yes, exactly.

Alison Jones: Yes. So that sort of sense of getting things moving, getting the body moving, getting the endorphins going, getting into the flow state, which we were sort of talking about before we came on air, about surfing and that absolute presence and flow state that you have to be in to make it work.

And then building on that with the writing, that’s great for that early energy. And as you say, just getting it all down on paper. What then? How do you shape that? See what I did there? How do you shape that into the book that came out at the end?

Jonas Altman: Well, the caveat here is I have so much admiration for fictional writers, if that’s the right term. So nonfiction…. Is that the right term, fictional writers?

Alison Jones: Fiction writers. Novelists. Yes.

Jonas Altman: Novelists, writers who write fiction. And so I’ve been reading quite a bit.  I just read The Great Gatsby again for like the second or third time, and it blows my mind.

I’m just like, I have to read the paragraph again. And I’m like, how, what, is that? You know,

Alison Jones: Fitzgerald’s writing is just…

Jonas Altman: Elizabeth Gilbert’s kind of like these people are vehicles and the genius comes through them and they’re a conduit. So I really, whether that’s true or not, it’s kind of nice to think, or maybe they are geniuses and they just sat there, you know, the whole thing with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, you know, it’s said that he wrote it in a burst of a few weeks, but actually his brother or some other person said it was actually four years of editing.

And so my default answer is editing, editing, editing and having a great editor. I had actually  two great editors. One was much more English teacher and kind of like make it easy for the reader with commas and wordage and spacing and have a casual style of writing and one was much more of a provocateur who would just stab me and saying, what are you trying to say? Or this doesn’t really bring the reader from A to B to C. So connect the dots.

So that’s one thing that comes to mind. I think there’s… I’m reading a book called Ego is the Enemy. And I wonder if, when you’re writing, when you’re writing for yourself and to scratch your own itch versus the reader, if you go down sort of rabbit holes, and I think there’s several times where I was trying to sound smart or I was being a smart ass.

And so I would find ways to either leave that out or put it into brackets or make it a footnote. Or test drive it with a few people. So that was about knowing yourself and starting to write to think, and then sort of a self discovery of, I’m not trying to write like anyone else, I’m trying to write like me.

And that took me a long time because I was many ways I’d read something and I’d be like, Ooh, I like that. Okay. I’m going to try and like borrow, riff, steal that, repurpose it. And the more I did that, the more I kind of was frustrated because it wasn’t sounding like me. So maybe it’s finding your voice or your signature.

Most nonfiction books, if you read some of them and some of my favorite ones… So I think Daniel Pink is one of my favorite authors, and he has a sense of humour. So you’re reading something and then all of a sudden he’ll just say a line and you just almost, you chuckle inside or maybe out loud, and that’s often left out of research-y, leadership-y business books.

So that’s important to me because if it’s enjoyable and it’s educational, you’ve got a win-win.

Alison Jones: Yes. And there’s real neuroscience behind that: if you’re enjoying something, if there are positive emotions associated with it, then you’re laying down memories much more effectively. It’s going to stick more

Jonas Altman: For sure. I mean, I’m like, that’s what I want to read. So I was like, why wouldn’t I write something that I want to read too? Right.

Alison Jones: Yes. Right. And it’s so interesting that you talk about the value of the editor and that there’s different approaches to editing. Just backing up a little bit as well, I know that you did a proposal. How did that transition from what you just kind of envisaged or mapped out in the proposal, translate into the finished book?

Was it a helpful start? Was it something that you had to just jump away from? Just how did that transition work?

Jonas Altman: You know, the revisionist history, people love the convenient narrative of leaving things in or out. But the truth is, is I pretty much wrote the book without an editor or a publisher. And then I got to the point where I was in San Diego surfing and a little bit of Alison Coward and a little bit of Alison Jones were saying it’s time to write your proposal because otherwise this may never see the light of day, it would just sit in a drawer. And you were instrumental in helping me shape a proposal that was sexy enough for people to bite.

So the first part of that question was back to that struggle I had of, like, what’s the essence, what’s necessary, what’s the big why here? And who’s this for? And what job is it going to do for the reader?

So that was really a struggle for me. And then when I got it, you were very supportive. And I thought, because I was delusional, that you would just give me a deal or you would send it off to someone and I’d basically just kick off and head out into the water and collect my royalties.

And then it took another year of painstaking going to the dentist without Novocaine and having all my teeth crushed. The editor asked me to rewrite the first chapter and the last chapter. The artwork took forever. COVID came and the publisher moved the date several times.

I had to turn down a publisher who I really wanted to work with and explain to them why. And I had to set a boundary of like, this is what I think, then I had to be realistic that the author has to do 80% or more of the heavy lifting if you’re in today’s world. And I just got all of the reality checks that I had been told by people, but I had conveniently ignored.

Alison Jones: It’ll be different, it’ll be different for me. Yeah. I know. I know.

Jonas Altman: Yeah, I was living like in the era of like Quincy Jones, where you just come in and you play some bass guitar, and then next thing you know, Michael Jackson’s hit record’s on every station and I’m thinking like, somehow I’m there. I’m totally delusional.

Alison Jones: You mentioned notes earlier. I wanted to come back to that before we move on, because you do something that I’ve never seen anybody do before with notes. I really liked it. So you don’t use footnote numbers or anything like that or end note numbers. You actually write the sentence that you’d written in the book and then you kind of add some more gloss after it, which makes all kinds of sense, but where did the idea come from?

Jonas Altman: Oh, I stole it.

Alison Jones: Excellent.

Jonas Altman: It came from, I read a lot of nonfiction books. I actually only read, up until this year I was like the self-help, non-fiction business book guy. Like you name it I’ve either I mean, I’ve heard about it and thought about reading it or I’ve read it. And I came across Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead, a friend of mine read it on the airplane, like cover to cover. She was like, you got to read it. And I went and bought it that day and I was reading it. I was like, why is this flowing so well? And of course it’s because she has that ability to make you laugh and swear. But then I realized there’s no footnotes. Like I’m just reading and reading and all the research – and she researches shame and vulnerability – there’s no interruptions for the reader to be like, Oh, there’s a four there. Okay. Maybe I’ll look into the back of the page or there’s a note at the bottom.

And I realized that what she was doing was doing me a service and saying, if you are curious about these topics, just go to the back, flip to chapter 15 and everything’s there with actual more depth and shimmer and texture. So I asked my publisher if I could do that. And they’re like, we don’t know, like, we’re not sure. And I kind of was adamant about it because I have a problem where I can’t stop researching. So if you look at chapter 18 with universal basic income, I’m pretty sure there’s 40 or 50 citations, which if you read about 2000 words with 40 or 50 citations, it’s disturbing. It’s like reading an academic paper. No one wants to read that like casually on a Sunday. So it was really about one, I was doing a service to the reader, I believe. And two, I personally enjoy reading that way and I thought it would allow me a little bit more freedom to write bits and bobs.

I think Mark Manson does it as well, but not necessarily in the back, where he’ll write a sort of a cheeky little thing and then the link to the HBR article. And I did that in a couple places, like with the shaper hijacking, I would put a footnote  that was something that I wanted to say, but didn’t need to be in the main book or I would cite the link or the book that I was citing.

Alison Jones: I love notes, actually. I think Terry Pratchett does these really well as well. Just a little kind of, you know, random asides, which he puts into his books and they’re just, they give a bit, I love that word you used shimmer because that’s a really good way of describing it just adds a different dimension.

And interestingly, I read Dare to Lead well, I read, I consumed Dare to Lead as an audio book, so completely missed out on the notes.

Jonas Altman: Funny enough. I gave my copy to my friend, who’s a lawyer who works with indigenous communities. He’s like, what’s the book I should read about leadership? I said, there’s so many, you can read Stanley McChrystal, I think it’s Team of Teams, or you could read something like Brene Brown.

He’s like, well, what do you recommend? I was like, well, knowing you, I think this is your cup of tea. So I gave it to him and basically what I’m saying is you should definitely, if that’s interesting to, you should get a copy and just look at how she’s done the footnotes.

Alison Jones: Yes, notes matter. Brilliant. And in fact…

Jonas Altman: That sounds like another podcast, notes matter, is it a music podcast, a book podcast, or sticky note podcast…?

Alison Jones: It’s one of those ideas that’s waiting to happen. It’s going to go through the universe and somebody is going to pick that up, I hope, and do something magnificent with it.

But in the meantime, I’d like you to recommend a book to us as well please. I will ask you for your tip in a minute, but because we’re talking about books and recommendations, it seems a good moment.

Jonas Altman: Yes. I’m going to recommend Ken Robinson’s The Element.

Alison Jones: Ooh. Go on

Jonas Altman: So Ken Robinson has, I believe the most viewed TED talk of all time, How Schools Kill Creativity and other TED talks. And, that book I think is, what is it called, underrated? Not many people know about it.

Alison Jones: I’ve never read it. I mean, I’ve heard of him, but I haven’t heard of the book.

Jonas Altman: Yeah, it’s the book that when people say, Oh, how do you find your purpose? Or how do you find your calling? Or how do you find your jam?

The way he approaches that. So, you know, there’s this famous story that he talks about. So, a woman was bringing her child to all of the top New York psychologists and psychotherapists and counselors saying what’s wrong with my daughter. She wasn’t able to focus, she wasn’t excelling in school and she was very frustrated. And so what happened is she finally brought her daughter to the specialist and he said, Do you mind, sweetie, if I leave the room for a second with your mom, just to have a quick chat. And she says, okay. And as he leaves, he hits play on the radio and he walks out with the mom and she’s like, well, what’s going on? What’s wrong with her? And then he says, look, and they turn and they look through the window, the glass, and she’s doing pirouettes and dancing. He’s like, there’s nothing’s wrong with your daughter, she’s a dancer. And so that’s the story and that’s unleashing and being a steward to your gifts and finding out what you’re here on this planet to do, which is your element or moving in and towards your element.

That’s what the book’s about.

Alison Jones: That is brilliant. I love it when somebody recommends a book that I just never heard of. Our To Read lists are just getting longer by the second, aren’t they. That’s fantastic. Brilliant.

And I’ve got to zip back now, cause I’m doing it out of order and ask you for your best tip. For a first time business book author, I’m really interested to hear this.

Jonas Altman: Okay. Here it is. Write and then write and then keep writing.

Alison Jones: And the application of the bum to the seat was involved in there, wasn’t it, at some point?

Jonas Altman: Yes. Well, before we chatted, my bum is in my seat right now, but I’m not writing today, but yes, strap it in, get some sticky tape and turn off all of your notifications and give yourself a almond croissant treat that when you get to 500 words, you’re going to walk up to the coffee shop.

Alison Jones: And this is why they talk about the writer pounds, the book pounds that you carry afterwards. Yes. It’s I mean, yes,  it’s funny, it’s short, it’s sweet, but it’s so true, isn’t it? Because actually you can talk about it all your life, but until you actually start writing, it ain’t happening.

Jonas Altman: Yes, and I would recommend, you know, I have some favorite favourite books, but Bird by Bird, which is Anne Lamott, and Dani Shapiro Still Writing and, On Writing is another book. There’s, there’s several books out there

Alison Jones: Stephen King?

Jonas Altman: Yes. And there’s another one that I have, maybe I could send the link to you if I can remember it..

Alison Jones: All we’re doing is giving them a list of procrastination. ‘I am going to going to write by reading…’

Jonas Altman: There are a few books that were very helpful in exposing that everyone’s going through this stuck struggle. I mean, probably actually probably the best one was Steven Pressfield…

Alison Jones: War of Art, that was exactly what is coming to me.

Jonas Altman: So, those are companions. And so when you’re sitting there and you’re like, okay, something’s off. If you don’t believe in writer’s block and you think it’s a myth and it’s just a story you’re making up,  then you could pick up one of these books and go, ah ha, everyone experiences this because everyone’s human.

Alison Jones: And that’s, to be honest with you, I think that this is public service for writers of this podcast as well, because it’s very rare, I have had like two guests ever in 200 and whatever episodes it is, the who said, Oh, I just really enjoyed it. I sat down and wrote and the words came tumbling out. Everybody else is like, Oh, it was awful.

And I was so stuck and it was really hard. And I think that, you know, hearing that it’s really encouraging if you’re in that space yourself.

Jonas Altman: Yes, and I had to Google just now. So Bird by Bird is by Anne Lamott. I think she’s a poet and a novelist and On Writing Well is William Zinsser. Yeah. And so you’re right, they all humanize what would be a deliberate practice. And if you have a cello player or a hundred meter sprinter, or a filmmaker, they’re all going to go through the resistance and the doubt and the imposter syndrome.

And it’s just how you choose to deal with that, is it an avoidant behavior. Do you dip into it? You reach out to a friend who’s in a similar position and you know, I think someone like me who is a little bit of ‘I can do this on my own, and I don’t need any help’, a little bit stubborn, has found the beauty in being vulnerable and speaking with people like Alison Coward or yourself and being like ‘I actually don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. Can you lend me a hand or can you just listen?’ And, I think that that’s really important because the quietly suffering is not a great strategy. It is for tortured souls, but it often leads to, I mean, it can lead to really beautiful creativity,

Alison Jones: It can lead to poor personal outcomes

Jonas Altman: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well said.

Alison Jones: So write, write and read, and reach out. I’m going to summarize all that. Brilliant. Love it. And Jonas if people want to find out more about you and more about Shapers, where should they go?

Jonas Altman: Sure, they can go to shapers.life, they can go there. and there’s also shapers.life Instagram, and that’s on the website and if they want to find out more about me they can go to jonasaltman.com.

Alison Jones: Well, that was easy. And of course I will put those links up on the show notes  at extraordinarybusinessbooks.com. Jonas, absolute joy talking to you today. Thank you so much for your time.

Jonas Altman: It’s been such a blast. Thank you, Alison.

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