Wired This Way
On finding mental, emotional, physical & spiritual well-being as a creator
By Jessica Carson
Available for pre-order soon
Creators are complexly wired. In their lightest moments, they are passionate, ambitious, intuitive, and possess a host of other bright qualities. But entrepreneurial spirits are often victim of a darker side of their nature: They are particularly prone to mental health issues, stress-related illness, and other vulnerabilities of mind, body, and spirit. The media has breathlessly chronicled the peaks and valleys of today’s creators—glorifying their strengths and villianizing their weaknesses—not realizing that the light and dark within entrepreneurial spirits are two sides of the same coin. Wired This Way explores why the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual distress among creators is not an indication of brokenness, but of a rich inner complexity that’s prone to imbalance. A creator’s struggles and strengths are one in the same, and the solution doesn’t come from without, but from within. Using the wisdom of 10 creator archetypes found within the entrepreneurial spirit—the Curious, Sensitive, Ambitious, Disruptive, Empowered, Fiery, Orderly, Charming, Courageous, and Existential Creator—readers will learn how to integrate the light and dark qualities of each archetype for mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Rooted in psychology, neuroscience, mindfulness, and ancient wisdom traditions, Wired This Way is a user’s manual for self-understanding, self-acceptance, and self-care as an entrepreneurial spirit.
Praise for Wired This Way
"The creative mind is a hotbed of alchemy, divination, and anxiety. Creatives are often visionaries, capable of exteriorizing the contents of their minds, in song, poetry and other astounding forms. Yet they are often burdened by what they know, by the trappings of immense awareness and feeling. Jessica Carson has taken a journey deep into the creative psyche, mapped its physiological and psychological underpinnings and crafted a book for the ages, a user-manual for the creative mind, and an enlightening guide for those who live in their wake. A must read."
—Jason Silva, Futurist & Former Host of Brain Games
"If you are an entrepreneur, you MUST read this book if you want to understand yourself and succeed in business. It’s now well established that entrepreneurs are a little bit manic, but this is the first book to explain in practical terms how to manage that temperament, offering simple but powerfully effective guidance on how to avoid its pitfalls and exploit its assets. If your business fails, it will most likely be because you made one of the fatal mistakes outlined here. Simply put, you can’t afford not to buy this book."
—John Gartner, Ph.D., Author of The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little bit of) Craziness and (a Lot of) in America
"The essential user’s manual for the entrepreneurial spirit, with all its blessings and hardships. I only wish I’d received this profound, comforting guidance when I began my journey—it would have saved me a lot of struggle and heartache!"
—Justin McLeod, Founder & CEO of Hinge
"An incredibly important book for anyone who takes on the difficult work of an entrepreneur. Carson demonstrates that creators do not operate in isolation, and their creations have an impact on the reality we all live in. By elevating the mental health and well-being of creators, we can see ripple effects across global trends and markets for the better. Investing in the well-being of creators has very real social, economic, and ethical implications, and this is a message that should be emphasized in universities, incubators, and institutions responsible for educating the next generation of entrepreneurs."
—Howard W. Buffett, Associate Professor, Columbia University
"This book is a true piece of art and one of the most engaging books I’ve ever read. Carson’s ability to demonstrate the complexity of a creator’s mind, from a deeply empathetic yet rational perspective, allows capturing the nuance of paradoxical traits that often go hand in hand. This is a book for every creator who tries to understand oneself better—and more importantly, it is a wonderfully compassionate eye-opener for those close to these beautiful minds. Told in vibrant language and based on the author’s vast experience with creatives and entrepreneurs, it captures that the very thing that makes them brilliant and successful is often also what makes them more “complex.” I wasn’t able to put the book down until reading it from cover to cover, it felt like looking at a mesmerizing painting—a pattern of succinct and emerging colors and characters, composed harmoniously to shape a beautiful work of art. Breathtaking."
—Christian Busch PhD, Faculty at New York University & Author of The Serendipity Mindset
"Wired This Way is part self-exploration, part examination of the creative spirt, and part manifesto. But the sum is even greater than the excellent parts. Carson gently guides her audience to look inwards, and as she does the same, she reveals something deeper: our best creativity comes not from any one trait, but the weighty work of integrating our darkness and our light."
—Allen Gannett, Author of The Creative Curve
Like the products that entrepreneurs create, Carson iterates her way through Wired This Way toward a unique formulation of a path to wellness and wholeness for entrepreneurs. Within that context, she helps us to understand that entrepreneurs are not only people, but people who matter.
—Michael A. Freeman MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF School of Medicine & Mentor, The Entrepreneurship Center at UCSF
"Like a Canterbury Tales of entrepreneurs, you will soon be walking your journey with fellow pilgrims, all real people themselves, including the author herself, who will show you that creativity and disorder go hand in hand, that your extraordinary gifts would not exist without their concomitant liabilities. With Jessica as our river guide, we are reminded that as we shape the outer world, we must remake our inner worlds as well, giving our minds, bodies, and spirits our full attention, and recognizing that it only when those worlds come into alignment that we can reimagine everything about who we are, and who we can be."
—Andy Dunn, Co-Founder of Bonobos & Founder at Red Swan Ventures
“Entrepreneurs make a huge positive impact on society, and our world needs more of them. They solve problems, create value, and build prosperity in ways that we should all celebrate. But let’s face an important truth: entrepreneurs are human, not superhuman. In Wired This Way, Carson illustrates how their humanity means that, like all of us, entrepreneurs are full of complexities and imperfections. Most importantly, she provides a clear message to any aspiring entrepreneur that IT IS OK TO BE YOU, to recognize and acknowledge all the facets of your humanity, and to bring your whole self to the creative endeavor. Anyone who works with aspiring entrepreneurs should read Wired This Way and share its messages broadly. Her message is both convincing and reaffirming, and is a must-read for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.”
—Jeff Reid, Founding Director and Professor of the Practice, Georgetown University Entrepreneurship Initiative
"Jessica's tapestry of creator stories, interwoven with science, psychology and spirituality, provides a unique and much needed perspective on the mental and emotional health challenges faced by those trying to create a new world. Her rare ability to observe others without judgement has revealed to her the variety of masks that creators wear, and in sharing these revelations with the reader, she sheds light on what might lie beneath the masks of others ... and beneath one's own masks too. After reading Wired This Way, creators will undoubtedly feel more understood and more empowered by knowing that their vulnerabilities are superpowers in disguise. The way they are wired makes them special ... but not crazy."
—John Stokes, Founding Partner at Real Ventures
"If you are a parent, you read The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. If you work with founders, you should read Wired This Way. Jessica’s research in the field is a gift to the startup community; founders can identify themselves in one or more of the types detailed in the book, and come to finally appreciate their blessed complexity. Founders will find relevant remedies that help them celebrate their strengths while acknowledging their liabilities. For those working with founders, use this playbook to identify a founder’s light, and support them with the appropriate tools so they can fulfill their destiny. Thank you Jessica for so many a-ha moments!”
-Osnat Benari, VP Product & Programming for WeWork Labs
"Wired This Way is a huge contribution to the world of entrepreneurship. We need to move beyond the one-dimensional caricature of the entrepreneur in the garage busting through walls through sheer force of will, and instead recognize the deep complexity of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs themselves. Jessica Carson helps us do that with this book. By illuminating the many different ways of being an entrepreneur, Carson makes a powerful contribution by saying implicitly 'you, too, can be a great entrepreneur.' But unlike so many others, this book doesn't fall in the trap of pushing everyone into entrepreneurship or glorifying its every moment. Quite the opposite, Carson highlights the real sacrifices and struggles of entrepreneurship. In doing so, she and this book point the way to a healthier life as an entrepreneur, as the first step in any worthy personal or professional pursuit is being honest about one's own experience. Kudos to Carson for inspiring that increased self awareness and understanding in us all."
—Jon Staff, Founder & CEO of Getaway & Author of How to Get Away: Finding Balance in Our Overworked, Overcrowded, Always‑On
"Finally, a book on the inner life of entrepreneurs that grapples courageously with all of our complexities. Wired This Way combines solid research with Carson’s powerful perception and empathy, captured beautifully in its pages. Carson attends to the whole experience of being a creator—not just the photoshopped and edited versions that we too often see in the media. Wired This Way is an important contribution to re-capturing the soul of creative work."
—Luke Arthur Burgis, Entrepreneur, Professor at Catholic University, and Author of Wanting: The Hidden World of Desire
"The potent talent that comes with a creator of any kind must be handled with great care and applied intentionally. Wired This Way serves as a guide for self- discovery and growth. Each page nurtures the nature of an entrepreneur. Jessica blends her story with science; her words will help, heal, and harness the creative powers within you."—Kristin Gregory Meek, Founder & CEO of WYLD
"Today’s technological advancements, if developed and deployed correctly by entrepreneurs, have the capacity to change our world for the better. However, in this time of breakneck innovation, we must also ensure that entrepreneurs can succeed—not just professionally, but psychologically—amidst the hustle and bustle of building businesses. Wired This Way provides deep insights and a road map for enhancing entrepreneurial success. Through research on the genetics, psychology and neuroscience of entrepreneurs, Carson is converging the components that make up the individual creator. This work is critical for entrepreneurs and anyone who endeavors to support them—educators, executives, investors, philanthropists, policy makers, and the like."
—Harris Eyre MD PhD, Brain Health Entrepreneur, Neuroscientist & Innovation Diplomat. Affiliate of Stanford University, Texas Medical Center and The University of Melbourne
"For anyone working through the chaos of bringing new ideas to life, Wired This Way offers you this: the strength of your own complexity. Carson’s book acts to refreshingly unravel the oft-repeated platitude to ‘bring your whole self’ to your work. With each chapter, we more deeply understand our manifold parts and how to intelligently wield them for the betterment of our communities, our creations, and ourselves."
—Jessica Straus, Venture Partner at Dundee Venture Capital & Kauffman Fellow
"Carson’s style of storytelling, weaving intimate human relationships and personal experiences with scientific and spiritual insights, creates a colorful tapestry that is hard to put down. She artfully blends vulnerable personal stories in a way that paints a vivid picture of the entrepreneurial experience and archetypes that enables the reader to understand and integrate this work on a mind, body, and soul level. I felt transported on a journey that left me with a deeper sense of self-understanding and an unexpected but profound self-appreciation - and dare I say love - for my gifts and quirks, my light and dark, as a creator."
— Kelly Ingraham, Intuitive Guide & Wellness Entrepreneur
“I have the joy of working with tech executives and entrepreneurs to build better products for improving mental health, and have seen that one of the most critical yet under-appreciated contributors to the success of a product or business is the mental health of those creating it. As a psychiatrist treating executives and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, I'm grateful to Jessica Carson for putting together a book that is the psychiatrist's dream come true—clinically robust, empathetic, and actionable. Wired This Way should be required reading for every executive and entrepreneur...it's the first book I've seen that will simultaneously transform your product, company culture, and daily life!”
—Nina Vasan, MD, MBA, Director of Brainstorm: The Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Chief Psychiatrist at Silicon Valley Executive Psychiatry
“Carson says: Calling All Complex Souls. This book will undoubtedly become CORE reading and an essential part of the self-study process for entrepreneurs and creatives from all walks of life, at all different stages of their developmental and transformational journey. Thanks to Jessica’s brave and deeply, urgently, always aspiring, seeking soul, she has managed to share with us hard-earned insights and wisdom acquired through her own ongoing, evolving journey of self-study. I believe in the transformative powers of self-study, and Jessica shines a light on creators by using multiple vantage points and perspectives (psychological, neuroscientific, research-oriented, emotional, spiritual, and mythological)… all within her evolving awareness … to make clearer the steps in this developmental journey. She shares her story and the stories of others, beautifully capturing the driving life-force of the creator in all their obvious and subtle complexities. Moreover, her creative use of language propels the reader further into the book, getting them more and more excited about where she will take them next. There is an energy fully alive and present in Jessica’s voice as a creator—her message is distinctive, palpable, and magnetic. In Wired This Way, Jessica takes us into the intellectual realm to provide data to support her ideas, but what really hits home is her embodied level of knowing that the evolving creator can trust. She comforts the reader with her ability to prepare, guide, and lead them to the top of the mountain … toward greater self-understanding and self-acceptance … when they are ready to get acquainted with all aspects of who they are. I am so moved by this brilliant work of art—an illuminated path and roadmap for the entrepreneur’s transformational growth and realization of true creative purpose.”
—Paula Christian Kliger, PhD, ABPP, board certified clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, organizational consultant, and author of Power Your Heart, You Power Your Mind: Self-Study then Build A Bridge to Someone