From Google to entrepreneur: How Anne-Laure Le Cunff chased her next thing

Plan Your Next #72

  
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👋 Good morning from Los Angeles! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #72 of Plan Your Next. A Sunday newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.

Welcome to the 27 new fans here! I’ll never forget you. Or, at least I’ll try not to.

This is a special edition where I highlight creators and entrepreneurs who have made their next move. Today I welcome Anne-Laure Le Cunff and how she transitioned to her next thing!


💡 What’s new?

🎨 I casually opened enrollment to Approachable Design 3! It’s a 2-day workshop for non-designers to help uncover your own visual style, and to make better design decisions for you and your business. Join 19 others in an intimate space hosted by myself and 3 other creative advisors. While the workshop is the launching page, we also highly value community and furthering our projects through exclusive Playshops. Check it out!

🖥 I’m slowly helping my friend Charlie with her new website, based on making design decisions from the inside out. Eventually, I’ll turn this into a small course on designing your site from the ground up and building your site in Webflow. But, my main goal is to show how you don’t need to start from a pre-determined minimalist template. What’s your biggest struggle when designing your own site?

🖼 I purchased three more NFTs this week to support artists. I’m bullish on this space, even if it’s highly speculative. But because the space is evolving so quickly, our politicians are writing bills so haphazardly to try and keep up.

Plan Your Next featured guest

This is a special issue of Plan Your Next. I aim to discover lightweight insights from entrepreneurs and creatives who are chasing their next thing. This week, I’m honored to highlight Anne-Laure Le Cunff of Ness Labs.

Who is Anne-Laure?

I first came across Anne-Laure in early 2020 through her newsletter, Maker Mind. Her writing around the topic of mindful productivity—backed by science—always felt more tactical. I emailed her with a question and she got back to me immediately, which led me to join her community Ness Labs.

Since joining, I’ve spent the last year co-hosting a weekly Newsletter Mastermind with my Knighted friend, Sir Steven Wilkinson. The incredible community of people she has cultivated through her writing is far above any other group I’ve been a part of.

I’m pleased to have Anne-Laure share some brief insights.

Tell me a bit about yourself and what keeps you busy most days.
I'm an entrepreneur and a neuroscience student. I founded Ness Labs to help knowledge workers achieve more without sacrificing their mental health.

Tell me a story. When was the last time you made an unexpected turn (to others) in direction, either recently or in the past? And what's one takeaway you learned in sustaining that momentum to see it through?
When I left Google, I thought working on a startup was the next step. Turns out, I love the freedom of building a bootstrapped business. That was definitely an expected turn — I think for the better. I take things one day at a time. I learn every day. And I'm grateful to be part of a community of fellow entrepreneurs who share a similar journey.

What were you doing prior to making this change?
I was working at Google on the digital health team, with products such as Google Fit and Android Wear, and then on a couple of startups in the digital health space.

What would you say to someone who feels stuck pursuing a new idea?
Just give it a try. You don't have to go all-in straight away. Start a newsletter while keeping your full-time job; launch a podcast while freelancing for corporate clients. When you feel ready and the metrics are right, you can go full-time. But it doesn't need to be a big, scary jump.

What is a favorite quote or piece of advice you live by?
I love this quote by Alvin Toffler:

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."

What’s your ask, or something you need help with?
If you are interested in mindful productivity, creativity, and mental health, check out my weekly newsletter :)

Where can someone find you online?
You can find me on Twitter!


⚡️ Three dopamine hits for next week

🧑‍💻 How to freelance: An obvious way to mitigate the blow to your income while you pursue your next thing is to freelance. My friend Paul Millerd recently launched a self-paced course on The Art & Tactics of Freelance Consulting, which helps you position and increase your rates.

🪄 Make the unpredictable, predictable. A great thread by Daniel Vassallo on how individuals need to make many strategic low-risk bets if you want to live a life that divorced time from money.

“To make a living in the Pareto world, you must behave like a venture capitalist, a book publisher, or a major film studio. You must have a portfolio of enough things going on that you can expect a few payoffs to be happening regularly.”—Daniel Vassallo

👩‍🎨 Vincent Van Gough Immersive Experience

Last night was special. It was one of the few date nights Alie and I experienced over the past 18 months. We spent it getting some drinks and going to the Van Gough Immersive exhibition in LA. I’m always a bit down when I think about Van Gough’s life and how consistent he was over time, with no recognition of it during his own life.

We have the ability to create and get feedback so precisely now, it’s hard to imagine how it might have been different for someone like Vincent. We live in a wonderful and inspiring time. Take advantage.


👋 See you next Sunday

If you’ve forgotten who I am, here’s a little bit about me. As always, my calendar is open to chat about your next adventure, crazy idea, or if you’re feeling creatively stuck.

Have a great week,

Twitter: @kadlac
Web: kadlac.com
Workshop: 
approachabledesign.co