Serendipity may play a bigger role in our professional lives than we realize or care to admit. But by recognizing that truth and creating opportunities for lightning to strike, we open ourselves to new possibilities.

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Photo by Cynthia Magana on Unsplash

For those focused on building businesses, crossing things off to-do lists, or crafting life plans, counting on luck or serendipity might seem frivolous or even outright silly. Surely, making big moves and getting things done does not leave time to wait around for luck.

Many people probably consider luck and serendipity similar concepts, even to the point of being synonyms. In fact, I bet you didn’t bat an eye when I used them as such in the paragraph above. I want to suggest here, however, that they are dramatically different in their impact on our established mental models of the world. …

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Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

We often tend to think of gratitude as a mysterious force that shows up when we succeed. But by mindfully seeking it out, we become better leaders in business and happier people overall.

Gratitude has the potential to reshape the world around us, but as business leaders, it can be easy to forget its power or dismiss it entirely. We think we’ll automatically feel gratitude when we’ve made it, when that next round of funding comes in or when we make that next big hire to finally relieve an overworked team. …

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One of my biggest challenges since I began traveling full-time in June 2015 is to keep up and care for my health. It can easily feel like a new location brings a total shock to any good habits I’ve previously built up.

The main health areas which are most difficult to maintain — and most vital to my wellbeing — are: strong mental health, maintaining an active lifestyle, getting outside my comfort zone, and eating a healthy diet. …

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Photo by Lonely Planet on Unsplash

“Your time should be spent doing the things you love to do and do best.”

Seems basic, right?

I first learned about Dan Sullivan’s concept of “Unique Ability” after a leader I admire raved about how impactful Dan’s process was for him. The process helped him define what his best work looked like—the work that he was world-class at and enjoyed doing.

The problem is — like many entrepreneurs I know— I spent most of my career devoted to tasks that I was great at, but couldn’t say I enjoyed. As a “startup janitor”, a founder doesn’t always get to hone in on the tasks they enjoy day-in and day-out. Someone has to meet with the attorney, answer the customer service calls, and fumble through being a sales person in order to keep revenue coming in. …

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Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

All kinds of interesting topics are sparked each week in the Buffer Slack Community. The other day, SEO guru and all around amazing human Areej AbuAli asked a question that really got me thinking:

“What’s the difference between a mentor and a coach? Yup, I know there are tons of articles on that but what’s your personal experience on it and how does one know which one they need?”

Early in my career, I had read dozens of blog articles about the power of mentorship. Naturally, I came to the conclusion that I had to have a mentor to have any chance of success. …

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Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

The Buffer Slack community is a supportive and positive space for social media marketers and enthusiasts to discuss the latest in social media, help and learn from one another, and meaningfully connect on a deeper level.

I first joined the community sometime in the spring of 2016. When the Buffer team launched the “Community Host” program, I was thrilled to be part of the first cohort. Community Hosts are volunteer leaders in the Buffer community who come onboard for 6-month terms. Each cohort works together to build a thriving, active, energetic community of social media enthusiasts. …

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Photo by Redd Angelo on Unsplash

When was the last time you learned something just for fun? Or experimented with a new way to express your creativity? Do you prioritize your mental and physical health like you think you should? Have these three things ever been at the very center of your everyday life?

Each of these things rarely made it to the top of my priority list, let alone a starring role in my daily life. For as long as I can remember, I chose something different to place at the center of my life. My primary focus was my career — I did great work, I was paid well, I felt accomplished. …

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Photo by Jeremy Ricketts on Unsplash

Americans are infamously terrible at using the paid time off they get from their jobs. Over the past fifteen years, American workers have been taking less and less vacation. Project: Time Off, an initiative to promote taking time off, found the American worker’s vacation usage had fallen to 16 — nearly a full week less than the average between 1978 and 2000.

Project: Time Off calls this time America’s Lost Week.

Our focus on demanding work and career chasing doesn’t leave much room for time off to focus on other things, much less a balanced everyday lifestyle where values like curiosity, passion, and awe are at the top of the list. …

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Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

“What is the hardest part about writing a book?”

As I’ve read interviews and talked to writers, their answers range from challenges landing a publishing deal and feeling overwhelmed as a slow writer, to fears around vulnerability and the struggle to shed self-doubt. Will people read the book? Will my ideas resonate with anyone?

Most writers I have come across tell me writing a book is both extremely rewarding and at the same time one of the biggest challenges they have ever taken on.

When I decided to write my first book, I came across an ideation framework that made perfect sense to me as a former venture-backed startup founder. Even better, many of challenges I heard from experienced authors seemed to be helped along with a new approach, too. …

You may know Carl Richards as the creator of the weekly Sketch Guy column in the New York Times. I first met Carl when I heard him speak at a Meetup. At that time, I was building my startup and I was unsure about what I was doing. I needed to hear the story of another entrepreneur to get back to inspiration.

Carl’s story did the trick.

Carl shared his journey from sketching financial concepts on napkins for clients to crafting a life’s work around taking the complex and making it simple. It lit a spark within me. I thought about Carl’s simple sketches for hours after I saw them. …



Jacqueline Jensen is a COO, digital nomad, former venture-backed startup founder, TEDx speaker, author, and Royal Society of Arts Fellow.

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