Jeff Krasno is an author and conscious capitalist. He is the co-founder, CEO, and podcast host at Commune Media, Inc., a course platform for personal and societal well-being. Krasno has also written several books including, Wanderlust and Find Your True Fork.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I had a peripatetic youth, moving 11 times before I was seven across Europe and South America. If you want a detailed account of one of the horrifying experiences of my youth that long colored my sense of identity then read this article.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I am not my ego. I am not what people think of me, what I have, what I do, my job title, my position in society. I am not separate from others, nature, my divine essence nor am I in competition with them.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
I don’t love quote card spirituality though I am, at times, guilty of it. Ideas like “everything happens for a reason” or “everything is connected” may be true on a deeper philosophical level but they tend to get thrown around like spiritual confetti without a lot of critical thought.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
I built a significant company from a speck of an idea in my mind. I dedicated all of my creative energies to its growth and success and after ten years was rather cruelly elbowed out of it. Of course, I felt angry and betrayed. I spent countless sleepless nights contemplating retributive justice. And all that time that I was holding that ember of vengeance, waiting to throw it, it was me getting burned. During this time, I discovered compassion through self-compassion and forgiveness through self-forgiveness. Further, I was immersed in my work that I had alloyed my identity and self-worth to that work. I learned to peel back the sheaths of who I really was during this time. In this internal excavation, I found the infinite essence of myself that could not be defined through any trivial job title.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
I have an innate desire to connect with people. I revel in making introductions and sharing contacts freely. And, in turn, that has really contributed to a vast community network that scaffolds both my personal and professional life.
What is your morning routine?
I have always been an early riser. And having three children necessitates a timely start – though, admittedly, less with them home during COVID. Lately, I have been engaging in a short gratitude practice before getting out of bed – reflecting on all of the abundance in my life and sending lovingkindness to those around me. I concoct a horrid elixir of green powder and turmeric extract and down it with two capsules of Vitamin D. And then … coffee … beloved coffee.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Mindfulness. This can manifest as meditation. But, more generally, I have trained myself to non-judgmentally witness thoughts, emotions and sensations arise and subside in consciousness moment to moment. For example, when someone does something to enervate me, I can perceive the anger appear in my awareness. As soon as I shine the light of my attention on it, it will dissipate. I am not always living in this space – but, more and more, I am capable of not identifying with and clinging to emotions.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of strategies around productivity. I have significant output but I am not a disciplined “time blocker.” I often swing from task branch to task branch like a monkey when I am not in my long-wave thinking state. That being said, podcasting and writing do require long periods of sustained attention. When I am writing an article or interviewing a guest, virtually nothing else exists in my field of awareness. This kind of concentration spills over into other areas of my life. It helps me finish things – like this interview ;-).
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
This list of books that have influenced my life is too numerous and diverse to properly name. The books that have followed me around for the last five years are Man’s Search for Meaning (Frankl), Sapiens (Harari), Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu), Waking Up (Harris), The Untethered Soul (Singer), Healing the Soul of America (Williamson). I have more recently discovered the treasure of James Baldwin.
I have a complicated relationship with ideas. I am both frustrated and drawn to complex and nuanced concepts that I don’t initially understand. I will read a section of a book over and again, find it annoying, again eventually crack its code.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankl