Launching Your Next Chapter with Sanyin Siang: PYP 295

Sanyin Siang is a CEO Coach, Author, and the Executive Director of the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE) at Duke University. In other words, quite a big deal.

So when my son dropped me off in front of her building for our in-person interview, we were both mortified when he pointed out all the stains on my dark shirt. (I'm deutans colorblind, so I don't really notice subtle discolorations – by which I may mean anything short of neon green on a black background.)

We switched shirts (he's a much classier dresser than me, so it was fine), and I proceeded into the august halls of the Duke University Fuqua business school suitably attired.

When I mentioned this to Sanyin as we introduced ourselves, she laughed. “Oh, I have young kids. I usually have all sorts of food stains on my clothes.”

Thus put at ease, I was able to relax and totally enjoy the hour-long conversation with this remarkable teacher and leader. Sanyin is the author of The Launch Book, a little (in the best and most intentional sense of the word) volume full of stories and examples of people who took steps to create something new in their lives and the world.

Subtitled “Motivational Stories to Launch Your Idea, Business, or Next Career, The Launch Book is both a road map and a cheering section for you to unfold the next chapter in your life.

When I reached out to Sanyin and asked her to appear on the podcast, I had two audiences in mind. First, plant-based entrepreneurs like myself. (Actually, as a co-founder of a startup, I just kind of wanted to pick her brain.)

Second, anyone who wants to grow anything new in their life. A new habit. A new lifestyle. A new identity as a healthy person.

The conversation ping-ponged between these levels. I hope you find it useful, whatever idea or venture is bubbling within you.

We covered:

  • the 3-word decision heuristic for deciding just about everything
  • how to battle FOMO (fear of missing out) and the paradox of choice
  • how to spend five minutes in the morning to make the rest of the day more effective
  • a twist on the “origin story” – not “a moment that changed me” but “a moment that revealed me”
  • how to avoid seeing failure as a personal indictment
  • how to use the “goal gradient theory” to keep your progress strong as you near the end of a project
  • the significance of handwriting
  • the origin of the Thinking Cap Princess series
  • confirmation bias and failure
  • how The Launch Book was launched
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box or audio recording box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Sanyin's professional page

The Launch Book on amazon

The Thinking Cap Princess series on amazon

Sanyin Siang on the Bregman Leadership Podcast

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


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