Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Create the job you want without leaving the job you already have with the help of this global CEO’s book review! [Friday: Mindfulness by Miles]

August 18, 2023

Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:


Happy Friday and welcome to “Mindfulness by Miles!”

We’re excited to share with you another insightful topic today. Our hope is that this will encourage you to turn your dreams into reality and live your best life.

In this article, allow us to share with you a few insights from a particular book.

Read on to find effective ways to thrive, change, and find happiness in your current job.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Mindfulness by Miles

Bill Burnett is an award-winning Silicon Valley designer and the Executive Director of the Design Program at Stanford University.

He directs the undergraduate and graduate programs in design, which are both interdepartmental programs between the Mechanical Engineering department and the Art department at Stanford.

As a designer, Burnett has worked on a wide variety of projects, ranging from award-winning Apple PowerBooks to the original Hasbro Star Wars action figures. He holds a number of mechanical and design patents, and design awards for various products including the first “slate” computer.

Aside from his duties at Stanford, Burnett is a board member of VOZ, a socially responsible high fashion organization that advises several Internet startup companies.

Did you know Burnett is also the author of some of The New York Times bestsellers?

In 2016, he wrote the book, “Designing Your Life.” Then, in 2020, he and his co-author Dave Evans wrote a follow-up to this bestseller, titled…

“Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work!”

Photo from Amazon

In this book, Burnett and Evans apply life design concepts to one’s work life. Their goal is to help readers understand how to use design thinking to increase happiness and satisfaction in their jobs and work experiences.

“Designing Your Work Life” can be a useful tool for independent career development professionals working with clients who want to choose or change careers, as well as those seeking better satisfaction in their current work or better integration of work into their lives.

Some of the most relevant lessons discussed in the book are thinking like a designer, reframing problems, and addressing the false dichotomy of “meaning or money” in career development.

Applying Design Thinking to Careers

With backgrounds in technology design, Burnett and Evans apply several concepts from design thinking to career development, including prototyping and design-in-place.

Prototyping involves being curious and trying new activities, growing one’s professional network, and trying new experiences. Career practitioners acknowledge this recommendation as similar to career happenstance, which encourages individuals to take action to increase the likelihood of positive events happening in their lives.

Design-in-place exercises focus on identifying ways individuals can reinvent and reinvigorate their working lives without searching for a new job. The book’s guidance on differentiating overwhelm from burnout, along with managing feeling overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks, became particularly relevant during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reframing Problems

Borrowing from cognitive-behavioral approaches, Burnett and Evans discuss work-related cognitive errors, irrational thoughts, and magical thinking, which they refer to collectively as “dysfunctional beliefs.” These beliefs contribute to feeling stuck and powerless.

Case studies provided in the book demonstrate how a reframing exercise can help individuals identify their agency and ability to impact a situation in small, actionable ways.

For example: The dysfunctional belief, “I’m not happy in my job, and I have no idea how to make it better” can be reframed as, “I recognize my intrinsic motivations and I know how to increase my autonomy, relatedness, and competence.”

The authors utilize reframes frequently throughout the book, noting that reframing a problem is not the same as renaming a problem. Reframing helps individuals focus their energies on things they can control, identify possible solutions, and reduce over-identification with the problem, while renaming simply describes a problem in new language but does not necessarily unpack one’s motivations or desires, which are clues to possible solutions.

The technique of reframing goes deeper than renaming, with the potential to be effective in resolving various types of career concerns.

The False Dichotomy of “Meaning or Money” in Career Development

Burnett and Evans have observed that people tend to value career opportunities as either money-making or meaning-making opportunities, and feel that they have to choose one at the expense of the other.

Instead of evaluating opportunities based on potential for money or meaning, the authors suggest reflecting on one’s ideal “Maker Mix.” With the metaphor of a sound engineer using a mixing board, they suggest that identifying the right mix of financial reward, creative expression, and impact-making will allow for greater career satisfaction.

Miles Everson, CEO of MBO Partners says he personally finds the contents of this book helpful and insightful. He agrees that this is a valuable book for career changers and for anyone seeking to advance their career or improve satisfaction in their current employment.

Another thing Everson likes about the book?

It is written in a conversational style, making Burnett and Evans’ concepts and recommendations understandable. While many examples are taken from the authors’ personal experiences in the technology sector, case studies that represent various education levels, career fields, and industry backgrounds are also provided.

By following the exercises in the book and learning from the case studies, Everson believes readers will feel increasingly encouraged, validated, and confident about taking control of the next steps in their careers.

We hope you find this book empowering and interesting, too!

Remember: It’s up to you to define and find your own happiness in an ever-changing work landscape that is rich in opportunities and possibilities… and with the help of Burnett and Evans’ insights in their book, you’ll be able to answer one of the most challenging questions in your life—how to best use your work hours.

Have a great day, everyone!

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles”

High-performance businesses are run by people who think and act differently.

In other words, these are people who are high-performing individuals.

Companies and individuals of this kind have found ways to escape the grind of commoditization and competition by focusing on the RIGHT goals.

High-performing businesses and individuals are also “return driven” businesses and “career driven” individuals. They conscientiously develop unique capabilities and resources that allow them to deliver offerings in ways no other firm or individual can.

Every Friday, we’ll publish tips and insights from MBO Partners and The I Institute’s “Business Builder, The Independent Minds” newsletter.

These will help you gain knowledge on the things that Miles Everson, the CEO of MBO Partners, often talks about regarding the future of the workforce.

We’ll also highlight other mindfulness advice on how you can be a high-performing individual both in your career and personal life.

Hope you’ve found this week’s insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Mindfulness by Miles!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research

View All

You don’t have access to the Valens Research Premium Application.

To get access to our best content including the highly regarded Conviction Long List and Market Phase Cycle macro newsletter, please contact our Client Relations Team at 630-841-0683 or email client.relations@valens-research.com.

Please fill out the fields below so that our client relations team can contact you

Or contact our Client Relationship Team at 630-841-0683