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Good morning, amazing human being!

First of all, I'd like to thank you for the incredible emails that followed my last week's announcement that I'm closing Friday Read. I'm sorry, I feel bad for not getting to answer all of you, but you should know that I did read every single message and I'm grateful for your support and great vibes. 💛

In the meantime I realized I need to have some sort of closure, so this is what today's email is about (and the emails that you'll get from me in the following Fridays). I'm going to send a series of Friday Reads about a few people I highly trust and I recommend you to follow them. This is the best way to show my gratitude - they've all had a huge positive impact on my life and contributed to my growth. I'm better every day thanks to them, and this newsletter also evolved with their help.

I'm proud to say that I influenced them a little bit also: I convinced them all to start their own newsletters in the past year :P These are folks that I love and respect, whose interests and values match my own, so the odds are you'll enjoy their thoughts as well.

And, at the end of this series, I'm hoping we can all get together, meet - in real life - and celebrate a new step in this journey (this will be in Bucharest, the city where I'm based, but more on this later).

Today I'm going to talk about someone I've known for over a decade and our paths kept intersecting, until we started working closer and closer together. He's a former high school colleague of mine, we founded the first Romanian collective blogs, and he even had the chance to witness my first public speaking failure... and my most recent one. :P A few weeks ago we organized together a workshop on making and breaking habits, that we only communicated through Friday Read. By now you probably realized that I'm talking about Andrei Roșca, who's also been my coach for the past year and a half - a new direction that he pursued after many years of entrepreneurship.

Here's what I was writing about him and our coaching sessions a year ago on Linkedin (I'm copy-pasting exactly what I wrote in August 2017, so please excuse any typos / misused words):

"I should start by saying that I don’t usually ask for help. As a highly introverted individual, I prefer to bury myself in books or just keep banging my head against walls until I reach a solution.

Needless to say that my way of approaching things can not work forever. Few months ago, I ended up at a crossroad, stuck, with no clue if I should remain on the same professional track (a successful one - at least according to public perception, one that I poured a lot of time and energy into, but just didn’t feel right) or I should completely change course.

Realizing and accepting that I need outside help was my first crucial step. The next one was reaching out - and here enters Andrei.

I can’t pinpoint exactly what convinced me to give him a call. He wasn’t a complete stranger, we’ve been bumping into each other for almost 10 years, as our social circles occasionally interfered. I was religiously following his blog and kept track of his professional ascension, all the entrepreneurial accomplishments and his reorientation towards coaching. A mix of all these factors made me contact him and set up a meeting. And although at first I was skeptical, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve taken.
Progress was obvious from the beginning: it took me only one meeting with Andrei to transition from an anxious and frustrated mood towards a peaceful one. Once he helped me disentangle the wires in my head and gain clarity, it was easy for me to take the right decisions, and make sure that I don’t fall into the same trap ever again.

The following sessions brought even more and more insights about myself - why I work and react the way I do, why I create certain stories in my head.

He paid close attention to what I was saying, how I was saying it, even what I don’t say, and interpret it objectively, without any trace of judgement. Through a pragmatic, no B.S. approach, he helped me clear the fog in my head, get to the core of my problems and identify the next steps I need to take (even the tools that could come in handy).

And I know this will sound cliché, but Andrei helped me see the forest for the trees.

Don’t expect him to be the magic wand you can access whenever in need. He can’t discover solutions or do the right things in your place, only you can do that. But he will lead you towards your goals.
Would I have reached the same solutions on my own? Probably. Eventually. But Andrei helped me accelerate this process and get there much faster than I could have done alone."


I'm re-reading this now, a year later, and I realize that the process of acceleration that I was talking about only amplified in the meantime. Andrei has been the one who helped me stop lying to myself and clarify what's going on in my head.

Well, it seems that I also helped him accelerate a few processes of his own. Andrei recently started a mailing list where he was sending episodes of ZeroPlus, his new podcast about change strategies and how to improve ourselves a little bit every day. He was pondering to transform his newsletter into something bigger... and, thanks to my decision to close Friday Read, he took the leap. :D

If you subscribe to his weekly emails you'll get to peek inside his mind and find out more about the lessons that he learned - and yes, that includes book recommendations (I should warn you though that he reads waaay more than I do). He'll announce there any kind of events he organizes, including workshops that we'll run together - some of these will be promoted only to those subscribed to his newsletter.

p.s. I forgot to mention: Andrei's newsletter is in Romanian language - sorry, my dear international friends, you'll just have to wait for next weeks' recommendations.

What are you grateful for?

- Cristina

[sum-up: this is the beginning of the end :) as closure for Friday Read, I'm writing a series of emails about a few people who changed my life & I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn from them. and I'm hoping that at the end of this series we'll get the chance to celebrate in real life - a small friends get-together in Bucharest - TBA]

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