Season 3 – Episode 07

The Quest to Shape a Life
That Ripples with Impact


Photography by Gregory Berg

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We’ve spent this season on the podcast exploring the beauty of an excellent life. And our listener-heroes have some difficult questions about the process of daring to excel. You asked:

What role does FEAR play in advancing our best work?

Is the rise of entrepreneurship bringing with it a destructive rise of SELF-CENTEREDNESS?

How do you protect the INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY of your brand’s frameworks?

Today, Jeffrey tackles the themes of fear, self-interest and intellectual property in the life of an entrepreneur. He explains how positive stressors can serve to deepen our insight and shares his process of inquiry when catastrophic thinking takes over. Jeffrey also reflects on the difference between self-interest and self-centeredness, discussing Adam Grant’s research around balancing self- and other-interest to have the most significant impact. Finally, he offers several current examples of egregious self-interest AND robust other-interest, addressing what we can do as entrepreneurs to keep our egos in check. Listen in for insight around how Jeffrey protects his brand language and frameworks—and learn how to approach someone who seems to be appropriating your intellectual property.

Key Takeaways

[0:10] The three listener questions we’re exploring in this episode

  • What is the role of fear in advancing our best work?
  • Is the rise of entrepreneurship bringing a destructive rise in self-centeredness?
  • How do you protect the intellectual property of your brand’s frameworks?

[2:58] The role of fear in advancing our best work

  • Can catalyze OR paralyze depending on situation
  • Meaningful challenges necessary to excellent life
  • Distress narrows attention, performance declines
  • Positive emotions broaden input for insight

[11:20] Questions to consider when catastrophic thinking takes over

  • What am I feeling?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • How real is that fear?
  • What does this endeavor mean to me?
  • How could this endeavor impact others?

[14:47] The potential correlation between entrepreneurship and self-interest

  • Self-interest different from selfishness (not always bad)
  • Every human motivated in part by own wellbeing

[18:25] Adam Grant’s research around impact and self-interest

  • People with little self-interest NOT as effective
  • People with little other-interest NOT as effective
  • Most impactful balance self- with other-interest

[20:03] Jeffrey’s examples of egregious self-interest

  • Uber’s sexual harassment scandal + driver protests
  • FYRE festival organizers defrauded investors $27M
  • Rise of expectation for job to fulfill emotional needs

[26:08] Jeffrey’s examples of robust other-interest

[28:36] What we can do as entrepreneurs to hold our egos in check

  • Grow with integrity (mission matches policies, practices)
  • Seek collaboration vs. cutthroat competition
  • Cultivate healthy doses of WONDER

[30:26] How Jeffrey protects phrases like patch of the planet + brand artist

  • Constant contact with IP lawyer, trademark many brand nuggets
  • Team signs non-disclosure agreement and non-compete clauses

[35:58] How to protect our intellectual property as entrepreneurs

  • Use repeatedly in public to establish legal grounding
  • Include copyright notices on printed material

[38:12] What to consider before confronting someone for use of your IP

  • Be sure language is truly distinct
  • Asses how it’s being used (e.g.: casual social post vs. monetized)

[40:18] How to approach someone who’s appropriating your frameworks

  • Contact by phone to clarity perception, discuss flow of influence
  • Come prepared with solution and engage in open conversation

[43:22] Jeffrey’s top takeaways from this season of Tracking Wonder

  • Essential to keep getting better at craft and processes
  • Keep learning to heed own voice of self-reliance
  • Keep unlearning and practice art of not knowing
  • Turn setbacks into opportunities for new life design

[43:58] The advantage of slowing down in a rapidly changing world

  • Open up to new possibilities, pathways to life of mastery

Season 3: Gregory Berg

Gregory Berg is a veteran photographer, multimedia storyteller, and the host & producer of Life on Purpose, a podcast that explores how to lead a more intentional life. Since he began his career as a professional photographer in 2004, Gregory has traveled the world seeking to capture the light and beauty that connects us all.

Gregory’s quest has led him to visit breathtaking destinations and photograph amazing humans, including world champion skateboarder Tony Hawk and distinguished entrepreneurs at Camp GoodLifeProject, a summer camp for adults where he has served as a photographer for the past five years.

After realizing the power of mindfulness and intention to infuse creative expression with transformational power, Gregory has developed projects (coming soon) to share this revelation with others. In the meantime, he posts stunning iPhone photography with his reflections on the world around him each day on Instagram.

For a brief primer on mindful photography, see his post written for Digital Photo Mentor. To see more of Greg’s photography, visit his website:

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Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists – all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and – yes – wonder.