5 Questions With Brian Manning

Brian Manning is currently the SVP and Head of Growth at PatientPing, where he oversees sales, marketing, government affairs and partnerships. He's spent his entire career working at and consulting for high growth startups, including Zocdoc (where we met!) and Next Jump. He was born and raised in a small town in Massachusetts, spent three years in San Francisco, ten in New York City, and now lives in the South End, Boston. He also happens to be married to yours truly <3, and is obsessed with our rescue dog Tick.

You can learn more about Brian and read his writings on his blog: www.briancmanning.com.

1. What values and principles do you live by?

Here are a few:

Attitude is everything. I really believe that some of the most successful people in the world have become that way, more than anything, because of their attitude. Having a good attitude is also a much more pleasant way to go through life.

Being extremely open to being wrong. One of my company’s investors refers to this as “strong opinions, loosely held.” Having the courage to have an opinion or a belief and being open to quickly changing your mind not only improves your relationships, it helps you learn faster.

Change, change, change. The human beings that are still around are around because their ancestors adapted. The same is true for companies. The same is true for governments. You can’t get stuck in your old ways. It’s important to always question the way you’re doing things and look to do things better.

2. What’s one area in your life you’re actively working on or looking to improve?

Seeing the world through other people’s eyes. I’ve noticed the importance of this at my current company. The company has doubled more than three times since I joined. The priorities, perspectives, and worldviews of the people I work with every day are enormously different than they were 3 or 4 years ago. If you don’t stop and recognize that and try to see the world the way your colleagues are seeing the world you’re going to talk past one another completely. And all kinds of bad things happen from that. When you’re running around day to day, it’s hard to stop and think not just about what the person across the table from you is saying but also to understand the lens they see the situation through.

3. What's one new positive habit you've started that has made a big impact on your life?

Meditation. I’ve focused on my physical health my entire life. I’ve had a gym membership since high school. The notion that mental health is equally important and that your brain needs to be attended to as much (if not more) than your body is a relatively new concept for me. Meditation has been a great step in that direction and has allowed me to see my thoughts and emotions more clearly and perform at a higher level at work and in life.

4. What is your biggest challenge when trying to be the best version of yourself, and what has helped you overcome it?

Not overthinking things. High performing people tend to obsess about their craft, and that can lead to anxiety and a lack of clarity and an inability to see things as they are. I’ve definitely struggled with this over the years. Meditation has obviously helped here. But more broadly I’ve found that just taking a deep breath and trying to look at a situation from 10,000 feet goes a long way. I am an enormously lucky person in so many ways. Taking a step back and remembering that can help avoid getting caught up in the minutiae of the less important stuff in work and life.

5. What products or resources do you recommend that have helped you get to this point?

A few iPhone apps have been beneficial to me over the last several years:

Wunderlist. A great to-do list app that keeps all of the lists in life super organized.

Strides. A goal setting app that is brain dead simple and perfect for tracking your goals and progress.

Audible. It can be hard to find time to get through all the books you want to read. I swear by my Kindle but use Audible when walking to work or working out or traveling. It dramatically increases the number of books you can digest.

Calm. An incredible meditation app that makes it much easier to make it a habit.

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