How The Most Productive People Grow Their Network While Still Getting It All Done

Whitney Johnson was a classically trained pianist with no financial background who blazed a trail on Wall Street, one 80-hour week and valuable connection at a time. Now she's a well-connected investment exec whose relationships fuel everything she does.

Most people know Whitney Johnson because she challenged them, literally, to Dare, Dream, Do with her best-selling book. It's a concept she's very familiar with as a classically trained pianist with no financial background who blazed a trail as an equity analyst on Wall Street, one 80-hour week and valuable connection at a time.

Whitney Johnson

As cofounder of Clayton Christensen's Rose Park Advisors investment firm, Johnson now balances speaking engagements with a schedule of writing, mentoring, and advising startups that would overwhelm a less organized person. Yet for her, everything is connected. "I see the world as a series of opportunities to invest—in stocks, in ideas, and in people," she says. "My connections (new and old) are the foundation of my productivity."

Time She Wakes Up

"7:00-ish."

The First Thing She Does In the Morning

Meditate.

Apps And Other Assists

Rapportive ("Love!"), Buffer, LinkedIn, exercise.

Philosophy

"Do the hard stuff first."

Johnson also believes that taking the time to cultivate intrapersonal intelligence--the ability to identify personal feelings, goals, fears, strengths, and weaknesses--is key. "The willingness to look at myself--and to doggedly improve, and to make just one more call, to write one more piece--has helped me to become a high performer. Salvador Dali said, "Intelligence without ambition is like a bird without wings."

Last Thing She Does At Night

"Read." Ever since her days of taking night classes in finance to climb the corporate ladder, Johnson's been a proponent of lifelong learning, as long as you don't forget how to be a beginner. "When we allow ourselves to go into the rapid iteration of trial and error, like a child learning to walk, the feel-good neurological response just may charm away the snake of a strangling ego."

Time She Goes To Bed

"11:00-ish." So she has ample time to dream of having it all.

Secrets of the Most Productive People

Read Fast Company's ongoing guide to productivity here.

Related Story: How The Most Productive People Master Nonstop Travel

[Image: Flickr user Sarah Joy]

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