The Art of Breaking Out with Craig McBreen

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Syndication

My guest, author, investor, and innovation expert, Whitney Johnson, is a trained classical pianist. And when she moved to New York City years ago, she didn't go there to play at one of New York's iconic music halls. No, she moved to make it on Wall Street.

Whitney is best known for her work driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. And in this show, we get into her amazing story—how she ended up in NYC as a music major, fell in love with Wall Street, then went from secretary, to equity analyst to working with the "Warren Buffett of Mexico," Carlos Slim. It's a rich and varied path that has led to such a unique career.

Whitney is best known for her work on driving corporate innovation through personal disruption. We get into her amazing story—how she ended up in NYC as a music major, fell in love with Wall Street, got a job as a secretary to equity analyst to working with the "Warren Buffett of Mexico," Carlos Slim. It's a diverse background that led to such a unique career.

Whitney and I discuss the details of how she transitioned to something entirely different around 2005. After working in midtown Manhattan for over a decade, and at the top of her game, she decided it was time to quit. Her friends thought she had lost her mind, but this shift would lead to bigger and better things. She wrote her critically acclaimed book Dare. Dream. Do, started teaching others how to dare to dream, and sparked major changes leading to her current focus.

Whitney has received widespread recognition for her thinking and was inducted into Management Thinkers50 in 2015, and was named one of Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter in 2014. She co-founded the popular Forty Women Over Forty to Watch, is formerly the co-founder of Rose Park Advisors alongside Clayton Christensen, and is a fellow at the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards.

You'll love our conversation on a topic I love—innovation and change through personal disruption.

Questions I Ask:

  • What are the main lessons your learned early in life?
  • What is competitive risk? What is market risk? And, what do both mean to you as a solopreneur?
  • Do you think the future of work ins about combining a variety of skills in new an interesting ways?
  • What do most people do wrong when it comes to execution and getting things done. Most people don't value what they do best.
  • What is David Blakey's story and how did he change his life?
  • How do you structure your day and break up your disciplines?

What You'll Learn

  • How she went, from classical pianist, to banking analyst, to personal disruption expert.
  • All about personal disruption
  • How important dreaming is to growing, in life and in business.
  • The importance of getting "buy in" with your ideas.
  • Pillars like planning to fail, plan not to plan, etc.
  • What are some of the initial steps you would advise someone to take if they are not happy with their career?
  • The things we are most passionate about are not necessarily the things we should pursue in business.

Links mentioned in the show:

Clayton Christensen
James Altucher
Brene Brown
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Always, Always, Always Show Up
WhitneyJohnson.com
Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream
Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work