Conversations #21 - Paul Millerd
Writer, Coach, and Consultant
A conversation with Writer, Coach, and Consultant, Paul Millerd—
Read & Listen on Substack
Hey Eclectic Spacewalkers!
“This is the pathless path. Where the journey leads is to the deepest truth in you.” — Ram Dass
This month, we sat down with Paul Millerd. Paul is a writer, coach, and consultant and who I would describe as the epitome of a digital nomad. He is also a freelancer and digital creator. Paul is “Trying to carve my own path. Sharing what I learn along the way” and he recently released a new book called:
“The Pathless Path is an exploration of the invisible scripts that constrain our lives. It is not a how-to book filled with “hacks”; instead, it is a vulnerable and personal account of Paul’s journey from leaving a path centered around getting ahead and towards another, one focused on doing work that matters. It is the ideal companion for anyone contemplating an unconventional path or aiming to improve their relationship with work.”
Paul’s book is a fantastic read and goes deep into his personal journey through the “default path” of business school, working at McKinsey, and chasing prestige as a “world-class hoop jumper.” After a bout with Lyme disease and reassessing what is important in life, Paul realized that “wonder tips the scales” and that he was somewhat fearful in pursuing what he really wanted.
“I’ve found that these fears fall into one of the following five areas:
1. Success: “What if I’m not good enough?”
2. Money: “What happens if I go broke?”
3. Health: “What if I get sick?”
4. Belonging: “Will I still be loved?”
5. Happiness: “What if I am not happy?””
Paul’s message of “Embracing a different kind of journey, one focused on coming alive, embracing uncertainty, experimenting, and being open to possibility” is a liberating thought experiment, a rallying cry for people feeling stuck in their job, and a needed push for anyone who wants to get off the default path.
Summarizing (not absolutely) to finding and walking your “own pathless path.”
Question the Default
Figure out what you have to offer
Pause & Disconnect
Go make a friend
Go make something
Background thread on Paul writing the book:
Paul is also a strategy consultant and runs a four-week course called “StrategyU” where you can “Learn strategy consulting secrets. So you can talk strategy with the CEO. Learn the Frameworks & Principles Consultants Use to Create Compelling, Insightful & Persuasive Recommendations to Clients.”
MECE - Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive
A Framework To Help You Structure Ideas & Information
By sorting into groups and identifying which information is not relevant, you can clarify your message in a way that is easier for your audience to understand
Invented at McKinsey: The Pyramid Principle
Turn Ideas Into Insights
Learn how to use the pyramid principle to turn data, information, and research into ideas that resonate with an audience and motivate them to take action
The course includes two exercises that will enable you to apply the pyramid principle and learn how to use it in complex projects
Strategy Consulting Deep Dive:
Our conversation was wide-ranging and it was great fun to finally get to talk to someone that I have been interacting with on Twitter for years now. We will be instituting some of the key learning from our discussion with Paul moving forward.
Below are timestamps of the conversation to skip around (or just clear your mind and press play to hear a thoughtful conversation).
We thank Paul for their time, research, and eclectic mind. Enjoy the conversation, and until next time - Ad Astra!
Being a “world-class hoop jumper” (03:40)
Strategy consulting and creating StrategyU (10:04)
Being a digital nomad and moving to Taipei, Taiwan (15:00)
The power of Twitter networking (22:00)
Paul’s writing journey, influences, and self-publishing (27:25)
Dealing with fears that inevitably come up (42:10)
Some aspects of being on “The Pathless Path” (45:43)
This is not a business or self-help book (54:40)
Paul’s answer to the “Overview Effect” question (59:58)
More on Paul Millerd:
The Pathless Path: Imagining a New Story for Work and Life: https://think-boundless.com/the-pathless-path/
StrategyU website: https://strategyu.co/