If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I’m a big fan of what I call “personal growth.”

But you may have wondered, “What the heck IS personal growth?” I’ve honestly struggled to define it:

  • It’s not religion, though it often has a spiritual flavor
  • It’s not philosophy, although it can easily get metaphysical
  • It’s not merely professional development, though there is a lot of overlap with performance at work
  • And it’s not just a different word for “learning,” though of course, it involves a lot of learning.

Besides the difficulty of defining it, the world of personal growth is also full of pitfalls. It’s filled with shady marketers, get-rich-quick schemes, overpromising headlines, cultish leaders, and pyramid schemes.

We’ve all heard stories of horrible experiences and megalomaniacal leaders, all the more concerning in an environment where vulnerable people are looking for help.

Yet despite these risks, self-development remains one of the most rewarding things we can do. It gives us the possibility of improving the most fundamental parts of our lives: our self-awareness, relationships, peace of mind, and of course, our productivity.

In this interview, I introduce you to someone who can provide guidance on how to realize that potential. His name is Joe Hudson.

Joe has one foot firmly planted in the practical world of business – he is the founder and managing director of One Earth Capital, a boutique venture capital firm that invests in executive coaching, sustainable agriculture, and financial services.

But his other foot is firmly planted in the world of self-development. Joe has spent more than 20 years studying and practicing dozens of spiritual traditions and psychological frameworks, and incorporating them into his own coaching and teaching.

For an introduction to the depth and power of Joe’s work, read about my experiences at his Tide Turners and Groundbreakers workshops.

I’ve never met anyone who has such broad AND deep knowledge of self-development. Who understands it as a practical field one can study and make real progress in. Of all the programs and teachers I’ve had experience with, his work is some of the most modern, science-informed, and transparent I’ve ever encountered. It is a rare example of inner work that is also aimed at having a positive external impact on the world.

So many people devote themselves to one approach to self-development, believing it to be the One True Path to the exclusion of all others. Or they jump from one practice to another, never going deep enough to realize its full potential.

In this conversation with Joe I hoped to balance out that tendency: to evaluate various frameworks for self-development objectively, comparing their strengths and weaknesses based on what you specifically are trying to achieve.

We touched on ancient spiritual traditions and the latest neuroscience, compared approaches from the East and the West, and contrasted self-development work that occurs at physiological, emotional, and psychological levels. I asked Joe to give us frameworks for evaluating the numerous paths to personal growth that are available to us, so that you can find the best investment for your time, effort, and money.

Below you can find the full recording (1-hour interview plus 30 minute Q&A), a list of the resources recommended by Joe and others on the call, and a full chat transcript with timestamps.


From Joe:

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