Skip to main content

At some point during 2023 I decided to finally listen to my doctor and start doing some physical activity with “some” consistency. If you know me, you know I am not a huge fan of running and I have tried the gym-route too many times and failed, it’s just not for me. But I love walking and it’s the one thing I miss of my time in NY. It turns out these morning walks have helped my mental health just as much as they have helped my body. As I go on these walks, I often listen to audiobooks or podcast, and in general it allows me to think about my work and my Company. I decided to start posting these on Linkedin, and I have received great feedback and a push to keep on walking and writing. As we launch this website, I thought it would be good to have the collection of the 2023 Morning Walks here. You can also read them and follow the comments on my Linkedin page.

The Morning Walks

In school, growing up, most teachers told me I was a good writer and storyteller (in my native language, italian, that is). I always liked telling stories.

When various social media emerged, I used them, mostly Facebook because I like words more than pictures (and I am a terrible photographer). But I didn’t really care about putting my thoughts and words in writing with the intent of distributing them to an audience, I just used them to say things I wanted to say, share moments, or feelings, with my friends.

On the work side, I never thought I wanted or needed or cared to write about what I did, what I thought, what I saw happening into my work-related world. When we started Kinetic, my Partner(s) pushed me to write, because sometimes I would say something and they would go “uh…you know that’s pretty deep, right? you should write it” and I was like “eh…sure…I don’t have time to do it”. It felt just like when my doctor told me (every year actually) “you’re doing great, but you need to do physical activity” and I always was like “eh, sure, I don’t have the time”. It felt to me like writing was done to market me, market my Company, and I did not feel like it was going to make any impact, so I kept not doing it.

Recently, as I was going through a very dark moment, several people told me (including my therapist and many good friends) that writing/journaling can be a helpful therapeutic tool.

And so I thought – well the old tricks (…) to keep my mental health are not working, I need to try something new. So…I listened to my doctor, started going for walks, every morning after school drop off. It freed my mind, gave me time to think about stuff. It makes my mind and body feel good. And those thoughts? I decided to take the cap off the bottle. Start writing them. I keep the personal thoughts off Linkedin and save them for my personal journal. Listened to the advice of Janna Zagari: do it! and that it takes commitment and just a bit of time to build the muscle memory. So I scheduled a slot of time to come back from my walks, type up my ideas, reorganize them and publish them here, when they were something I thought people would enjoy, or find helpful.

For the last few days I have been doing this and it’s helping me a lot to deal with a very stressful life (will spare you the details). I don’t really care about how many likes or comments or impressions I get. I am doing this for me, so please bear with me…and read away…or not, that’s ok!

Starting tomorrow, my posts will be called “The Morning Walk”, I will try to publish them with “some” level of consistency, but I am not trying to game the algorithm so do not expect too much! And maybe, who knows, one day I could make a live podcast out of it instead (let me know if you want to come on a walk with me!). Or write something longer than a post. I don’t know, I am just excited to finally put, in my life, a bit of me out there for myself, and feel like I am taking more than I am giving.

The Morning Walk #1
Unpacking Corporate Biases

In the corporate world, and at Disney for the longest stint, I was coached and groomed and managed to grow and position myself, and eventually succeed, as a seasoned Integrator, a role I learned how to excel in through successes and failures. I thrived in structured environments, shaping strategies, and bringing grand visions to life. But it’s ironic (a theme) how corporate life can create biases that cloud our perception of ourselves.

I was successful in the corporate realm, and success led me to believe that my professional identity was that of an Integrator. It wasn’t until I ventured into entrepreneurship that I truly began to question this assumption: is that who I really am…and is that what I really like.

First came the realization that the biggest factor that allowed me to thrive as an Integrator was the people that supported the business (finance, to name one…to HR, and accounting, and IT and the list goes on).

Then, reading the book “Rocket Fuel” opened my eyes. It highlighted the vital interplay between Visionaries and Integrators in successful businesses. While my corporate journey had groomed me to be an Integrator, I realized my true identity has always been that of a Visionary. When I look back at my resume, it’s also pretty obvious yet…how did I develop such biased self-image?

The awareness emerging from this realization was liberating. It was a journey of self-discovery, challenging the biases I had unknowingly acquired. It’s a reminder that our past roles don’t define our professional identity.

Corporate life can indeed shape us, and for me personally, my corporate life also had huge impact in my personal life in huge and amazing ways: moving to the US, buying a house, building a family, traveling, meeting people who have become friends for life. I have loved my time inside Corporate, mostly, but now I know it led me to develop a biased self-perception of myself.

This journey of self-awareness, the process of unlearning biases, and the rediscovery of my authentic self is among the many things I am thankful and proud to have done in these years at Kinetic Energy Entertainment.

The Morning Walk #2
Old habits, new commitments

Today I did not go for a walk. Instead I scheduled a meeting at 8am, and then a back-to-back series of meetings for the day. I did not schedule nor had time for lunch and had my last call at 5pm. I am 100% responsible for that. That’s how most of my days in corporate used to be, with the exception of lunch which had most often a business reason or purpose.

Today I have felt less productive, less awake and less happy – I think part of it is the lack of that “brain activation” that walking early in the morning does to me, part of it is the frustration at myself for falling for old habits.

Tonight, I will move all my upcoming meetings that would conflict with my Morning Walk. And I am not doing it just so I can write better posts (that too 🤣 ), but as a small self reminder that commitments always require effort!

The Morning Walk #3
Procrastination: The Entrepreneur’s Silent Saboteur

Time is money, and procrastination is a thief.

For entrepreneurs, procrastination isn’t just a bad habit; it’s a silent saboteur. In the race to innovate, hesitation can cost you dearly. Your groundbreaking idea may become old news before it even gets a chance to shine.

Money matters, and procrastination can drain your funds faster than you think. In entrepreneurial environments, every moment counts.

And speaking of counting, it’s not just dollars. Procrastination can tally up the toll on relationships, leading to founder burnout (with co-founders, friends, family) and missed opportunities.

Don’t let procrastination steal or stop your dreams. Make every moment count, because in a super-accelerated world, time is the most precious currency.

The Morning Walk #4

The morning walk today featured a pretty usual scene for my family: hospital. It always helps bringing perspective.

So today’s walk is short, a fake haiku: I am lucky.

P.S. Tomorrow morning I will double my walk.

The Morning Walk #5

This is probably not LinkedIn material, but…stay with me.

Today I went for my morning walk with my wife (first time ever we do this). Kids are both in school (finally, but it’s a different story).

We talked about many things, including things that have to do with my job (she gives good advice). We got back home, and we both went for our busy days with a smile on our face.

I had a great meeting today, few productive calls.

The morale and reminder: work-life balance makes both work AND life better. Do it.

The Morning Walk #6


The Morning Walk #7
Resilience: The Key to Thriving Amid Chaos

To every reader of this post: raise your hand if you work in entertainment and over the last 3 years (5? 10?) you have felt that the increased pace of constant change and disruption has turned into pure chaos. I can tell you that I have certainly felt that way, many times, especially over the last year. Chaos can become paralyzing.

Resilience is more than a buzzword; it’s a game-changer. Entrepreneurs and corporate leaders define it differently.

For entrepreneurs, resilience is a daily test—a relentless pursuit of bold visions amidst uncertainty. It’s staying committed when others would falter, like the famous Jeff Bezos memo titled “Disagree and Commit.”

For corporate leaders, resilience takes a distinct form. It’s navigating the complex dance of hierarchy and strategy. It’s enduring challenges of scale and bureaucracy, like transforming a centuries-old legacy into a thriving tech giant.

For me the concept of “resilience” has evolved over the years.

For a long time, I defined resilience as the stamina that one develops when it works in highly political and matrixed organizations, especially in public companies, where performance is not always an outcome of your effort, and recognition is a rare gift, and constant changes, re-organizations and layoffs reset pretty often roles, expectations and metrics of business and personal success.

Then came my daughter Zelda and her disability and daily challenges: resilience became our daily life: surrender control, accept negative surprises, deal with trauma on the daily, and develop acceptance.

Acceptance: a big and powerful key to tame anxiety and develop resilience. So, for me, trauma is what helped me develop resilience.

Later came Kinetic Energy Entertainment and my first real entrepreneurial job.
That’s when I started realizing that resilience and trauma can be intertwined.

For entrepreneurs, it’s the trauma of setbacks and failures that forges their resilience. It’s learning from adversity, dusting off, and charging forward.
For corporate leaders, it’s the trauma of a crisis—a market crash, a cyberattack, a global pandemic—that tests their resolve.

Business challenges these definitions daily. It’s the surprise price increase for the key ingredient to your product; or the relentless competitor, or the global pandemic. These trials demand resilience in unique ways for both worlds.

So, how do you learn and practice resilience? First: embrace the unknown. It’s leaning into your ability to pivot, like Zoom did when schools closed. It’s building a team that bounces back from adversity. And it’s cultivating the mental strength to see opportunity where others see chaos.

Resilience isn’t just a trait; it’s a muscle. Exercise it daily. Your business journey may test it, but it also builds it.

Embrace Resilience. Thrive.

The Morning Walk #8

Today my feeds are all about Disney 100th Anniversary.

Disney has been and in many ways still is a huge part of my life.

For starters, is what got me here and helped me become a US citizen. Helped me get my family started and plant some roots.

It is a place where a learned a tremendous amount of skills and knowledge.

It is where I met some of my best friends, who have forever transformed my life for the better.

I am and will always be forever thankful to the Mouse. There were parts of it I am happy I left behind, but I miss many parts of it: the team, the camaraderie, the incredible opportunities to tell Stories to global audiences and create memorable moments for many.

Right now I am thinking about the many friends who are still there and everyone who works really really hard and with a ton of love for the brand and for the worlds they get to “shape”: you don’t make magic, you are magic!

To the next 100 years!

The Morning Walk #9
No walks, but a lot of labor!

Last week I did not take a single morning walk. Instead, for a full week I have volunteered at my daughter’s school to help setup a haunted maze, carnival and other festivities for Halloween.

Please note that I do not excel in arts and crafts, I am an average DIY’er and a less than average constructor, painter, decorator, etc. The way I position myself for this volunteering is: hey, I am here, happy to do anything.

I ended up budgeting, buying supplies, cleaning, setting up, building, painting, cleaning again, moving things around. Lights, sounds, music, flow, timing, safety, fun, storytelling, visual effects. A whole production.

The setup is interesting: imagine a team of parents volunteering, having to work with and around LAUSD policies, insurance, liabilities, logistical challenges, protecting all the existing setup in an auditorium and transforming into an experience.

After one week of really hard work, lots of very happy and excited kids, I am back to LinkedIn with a reflection on teamwork and leadership, in no particular order:

– if you want to lead, check your ego at the front door.

– great leaders do not focus on seeing themselves represented in the work they do. They see it as a reflection of their effort.

– leading by example goes a long way

– you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. There is creativity potentially in each and every task. Creativity is a mindset, and it is 100% tied to curiosity

– take time to celebrate the wins, and the losses too: they are just as important

– the outcome of a very well assembled team is always greater than the sum of its individual component. In a great team, 1+1+1 makes at least 4

– if you want someone to learn from you, show them, don’t tell them. Most definitely do not do it yourself!

Leave a Reply