Month: February 2019


"For a cautionary tale, everyone cites Paul Bradley Carr." - THE SUNDAY TIMES


Wasted Time

One of the fun things about rebuilding your life from scratch in your 30s is realizing how much easier self-improvement would have been if you’d started in your 20s.

An example: I’m officially at the halfway point of my eight week Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) “transformation challenge” and I gotta say, I’m feeling pretty pleased with how it’s going.

This past Wednesday’s workout included a 12 minute “run for distance” – i.e. a test to see how far you can run, without dying, in 12 minutes.

Now. Please remember that, as of December of last year (that is, less than three months ago), I had never in my life set foot on a treadmill. Moreover, I literally didn’t understand the mechanics of running for more than a few seconds at a time. I spent much of the treadmill time in that first OTF class trying not falling flat on my face.

Fast forward to this week and imagine my sense of achievement when I crossed the one mile mark of my run and the timer showed just a hair under eight minutes. An eight minute mile isn’t going to win me any road races – my cursory Googling suggests that eight minutes is an OK average per-mile time for a reasonably fit casual runner – but for me it represents gigantic progress.…

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Sniff

Hi everyone.

Sniff.

I have a cold.

Sniff.

It’s pretty annoying.

Sniff. Sniff.

But it could be worse.

I used to feel sick every day. Lethargic, achy, usually with a headache. Sometimes I’d have heart palpitations. Or maybe my teeth would hurt, or I’d feel nauseous.

Those were the good days.

On the bad days, I literally couldn’t get out of bed before noon. Or 4pm. I missed meetings, and appointments, and friends’ birthdays, and flights. Those were the days when the symptoms until late at night, or even into the next day. Times when none of the purported hangover cures worked – not even hair of the dog. Drinking on a hangover just made me feel even worse, and made the next day’s hangover-hangover twice as bad.

I’m not sure if it’s because I drank more than most people, or if there’s some other physiological explanation, but my hangovers always seemed far worse than everyone else’s. Even on days when I wasn’t officially hungover, my baseline feeling was blurgh. Or perhaps urrrrrkkkkkkk.

I was not a well man.

Then one morning, a few weeks after getting sober, I woke up feeling great. Better than great. Spectacular. It was as if someone had crept in during the night and injected me with whatever that spider injected into Peter Parker.…

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Style

First off, thank you to Katie for the hat.

Now, let’s talk about my impeccable sense of style…

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,
and say we’ve no money for butter.

— Jenny Joseph

In my early 20s, I discovered a great hack for getting away with being an alcoholic in London: Don’t dress like a drunk.

Back in those days, if you saw me staggering out of a nightclub or into a pub, chances are I’d be wearing a dress shirt with french cuffs, probably with a jacket. Possibly a cashmere sweater. But never, ever a t-shirt.

Understand, this had absolutely nothing to do with vanity, or style (I had plenty of the former but none of the latter) but rather it was a question of practicality. As readers of The Upgrade will know, back in those days I was something of a master of “blagging”: That is, talking my way into fancy parties or night clubs or conferences in order to score free booze and other entertainment. I also liked to hang out in members clubs, and other places where rich and important people could be found.…

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Invisible

A slightly late, slightly truncated update this week. I’m in Malibu (pictured above, at its best) on a work trip, racing to write the newsletter in the bar of a Sheraton, sheltering from a combination of lightning storms, flooding and mudslides, exacerbated by the recent wild fires.

Question One: Why would anybody, let alone anybody rich, choose to live in this fucking hellscape? One element conspiring against you might be a sign it’s time to move – but all of them?

I’ve had a busy week. Before flying to LA, Sarah and I hosted the employees of Chairman Mom for a “team retreat” at Cavallo Point in Sausalito. We used to host similar retreats for the Pando team, and they were always productive, and fun. There’s something about being out of the office that helps focus, and encourages big ideas. Also, the food is better.

Chairman Mom is the company Sarah and I started a year or so ago to help working women (in particular working mothers) get help with the hardest problems they face. If you’ve read Sarah’s book, you’ll understand the genesis of the idea. What you might not know is how well it’s going: The millions of dollars of venture capital raised, the thousands of paying users, and thousands more tough questions answered.…

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Copyright Paul Bradley Carr 2021

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