Impostor syndrome is typically associated with high achievers. So, if you feel like a fraud, the chances are that you’re more capable than you think.

Impostor syndrome will have you thinking that you got to where you are because you managed to fool someone else into thinking you deserve something that you actually weren’t qualified for.

Imagine yourself telling all the people you think you have fooled about how you tricked them. How would they respond?

Most likely, they would tell you that they didn’t give you a good grade, promotion or award because you charmed them; they might even be annoyed that you doubt their professional judgment.

I am plagued with underselling myself. If you’re anything like me, I encourage you to vocalize your self-assessments so others whose opinions you trust can help you recalibrate your own expectations of yourself. …

Winners and losers have the same goals

My notes are in italics, grouped by topic, with some context provided underneath the quotes.


The mere act of tracking behavior motivates you to change it

People don’t lack motivation; they lack mental clarity. Make a specific implementation plan.

MAKE IT (the new habit) NORMAL

You can’t stick to positive habits in a negative environment.

It’s easier to build new habits in a new environment because you’re not fighting old cues.

Normal habits are attractive behaviors. Join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.

Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. …

Strangers are awesome and dangers are awesomer

strangers are friendly

I walked in with a board and my pads, not knowing how to use any and hoping I’d leave with a handle on at least some. A stranger came over and taught me how to put on my helmet (have to start with the basics), how to position myself on the board, how to skate, how to fall, and how to turn. He spent over an hour of his time teaching someone he did not know, which I doubt he was expecting to do with his night. Nonetheless, he did it with kindness, patience, and love. He said it was brave of me to show up at a place that looks so daunting, knowing no one and nothing. I really appreciated that because I hadn’t felt brave up until that point; I had just felt foolish. …

Welcome to the chatter in my head as I watch the popular Netflix original about a prodigy playing chess

It’s a miracle. I doubt she’ll see it that way.

The trauma of being in an accident, losing a parent, and having to move to a new home with new people all as a child is a lot to handle at any age, let alone that young.

As someone with mental illnesses that resulted from traumatic childhood experiences similar to Elizabeth, I think that it’s interesting how Netflix decides to play out how she copes with her experiences and how her home enables potentially unhealthy coping mechanisms.

21 girls here … all just as sweet as you.

This was said by Mrs. Theodorf while giving Elizabeth a tour of the home. …

It has a lot of hype and as with every product, it could use a lot of help


I asked that question every day when I continued to see people on Slack requesting invites.

I describe it as ‘interactive podcasts’ where you get to be a fly on the wall as people speak about topics you care about. Others I know called it ‘an app for chat rooms’ but my Gen Z self didn’t comprehend that analogy.

You have the ability to raise your hand (which some rooms disable for the audience) from the audience so the moderator can bring you up on stage to ask a question or speak on the topic in a room.

Image for post
Image for post

Rooms show up in your homepage feed (which is called a hallway?) and you can tap to listen in on a room if the topic you see as the room name is of interest to you. …

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve thought that books are the most underpriced things in the world. Getting an hour of the same person’s time or attending an event that they’re speaking at would easily cost you triple digits whereas the only books that I know that are triple digits are required college textbooks.

Today is Black Friday and while many line up to spend money on more material objects to surround themselves with that’ll never compensate their internal sense of dissatisfaction, I’ve had the pleasure of finishing yet another book on personal finance.

I’ll admit. I did get a Nintendo Switch and JBL speaker today so I am not free from the allure of material add-ons. In my defense, my friend bought the Switch for me as a gift and the speaker is something I’ve had in mind for years. I tend to avoid impulse binge shopping but here are some of my impulse binge reads…

Can we get an MLA format guide for resumes?

Resumes are critical to positioning yourself for new positions. Yet, they vary widely. With variance, there’s preference. With preference, there’s bias.

If companies can spend ample time A/B testing button colors to optimize conversion rate, you’d be incorrect in believing small differences in resume layout get one qualified person picked over another similarly qualified person.

If I were to redesign resumes, I’d:

eliminate photos

It’s a breeding ground for unconscious and conscious bias.

eliminate names

It’s a breeding ground for unconscious and conscious bias. We all get unique identifier numbers and are emailed when we’ve been selected to move to the next round. At that point, demographic information will become apparent on that phone screen or first-round interview. It might be really uncomfortable to go into an interview not knowing the name, gender, or race of the person you’re going to speak with but I am infinitely more uncomfortable with people being denied access to a position because of their name, gender, or race. …

I was super excited for a better camera and animojis but my animoji has been looking more and more grumpy as I use my new device

Face ID never works.

I’m either too close to my phone, too far, laying on a pillow, or have a mask on. Once it doesn’t work, instead of signing in once your face is in a clear position, you have to swipe up once again to tell the phone that your face is here to be scanned once again.

No Do Not Disturb icon in the top bar.

On my previous phone, I could see that moon to tell me ‘Hey, you’re not going to get notifications because you turned them off.’ …

Pretend Product is a series of musings on a product that should exist in the world or improvements I’d offer to an already existing product

Every good product starts with a user problem to solve

User problem: I want to know how food tastes before I take the risk of buying a meal that I won’t enjoy.

Current solution to the user problem: ask around from friends who’ve had it before or look at photos and ingredients to reverse engineer what it might taste like.

will smith visibly disgusted by his food
will smith visibly disgusted by his food
William Smithson trying a meal he didn’t look for on Tysther

Proposed Solution

Tysther (pronounced “tester”, named after two former classmates of mine) is a site of reviews of a meal that go beyond ‘tastes good’ or ‘filling’ to details like spiciness, texture, sweetness, saltiness, softness, crunchiness, temperature, aftertaste, etc. to give you a better understanding of a meal before you try it.

For calibration, the rating scale wouldn’t be numbers. …

Pretend Product is a series of musings on a product that should exist in the world or improvements I’d offer to an already existing product


There was some controversy with Tinder presenting only people it thought was in your league. Limbo uses that sort of algorithm so you initially start with being presented the “best” matches when you first join. However, the bar for your matches keeps getting lower the longer you stay on the app.


No pictures. No names. Only after you swipe right on their responses to personality and values questions are you presented with their photos. …



Product manager | Leading with empathy.

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