I believe most of us were taught that work is about being hired to perform a specific task or function. Madelin Woods provides a new model for what work will be all about moving forward. She wants to inspire you to make learning your work.
I met her recently at a mastermind group I organized in New York City. I was immediately impressed by her curiosity and desire to learn. Sadly, it’s also rare to meet a woman with her depth of programming experience!
She’s the founder and CEO of Walden, a platform for connecting solopreneurs with coaches or “invisible co-founders” as she calls them.
Lot of great lessons in our conversation including:
- How Madelin uses freelancing to bootstrap her startup.
- The difference between a growth mindset from a fixed mindset.
- How she started developing her programming skills as a kid and how she continues to develop those skills.
- Why she believes jobs are great apprenticeship opportunities.
- How working for herself has helped her learn about herself.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Plan your actions
- Embrace discomfort
- Self-direct your learning
- Practice self-awareness
- Make learning your work
How Madelin Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 8:00 – 9:00 am
- Core work activities + habits: 1) Be on top of her stuff all day, every day. 2) Really taking time to pause when she does have moments to pause. 3) Find ways to stay inspired.
- Ideal work environment: Both alone space to get into deep work, but also sometimes in places where she can take a break and bump into other people for conversations. Additionally, lots of plants and natural light.
- Superpower: Growing things from nothing to something.
- Book recommendation: The Artist’s Way, Deep Work, and Jobs To Be Done.
“If you’ve done something to the point where you’ve failed, you learned so much more than somebody who succeeded.”
“You don’t always have to work for yourself or by yourself.”
“No one is entitled to a job.”
Madelin had this advice for getting started on anything:
1) Figure out what’s blocking you from getting started and find ways to remove the blockers. For instance, if you have a fear of perfection, fill 100 sheets of paper with nonsense and then throw them away.
2) If you have too many different ideas, start building a framework around budgeting to figure out what scope of a project is feasible for you.
Resources + Bonus Materials
Connect With Madelin