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I'm Olympic Gymnast Turned Investor Shawn Johnson East, and This Is How I Work
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I'm Olympic Gymnast Turned Investor Shawn Johnson East, and This Is How I Work

Nick Douglas, Gawker Media

Nine years after winning four silvers and a gold in gymnastics at the Beijing Olympics, Shawn Johnson East is joining the investor team on CNBC's Adventure Capitalist . In the meantime, she's released a memoir and YA novel, won an ESPY and a Teen Choice Award, and competed in Dancing With the Stars , Celebrity Apprentice , and a charity episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? We asked her how she gets it all done.


Location: Nashville, TN
Current Gig: Influencer/Entrepreneur and Investor on CNBC's Adventure Capitalists (Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT)
One word that best describes how you work: Driven
Current mobile device: iPhone 7 Plus, waiting for X
Current computer: MacBook Pro

First of all, tell me a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I am an Olympic gymnast turned influencer. I competed in the Olympics at the age of 16 and have learned a lot about marketing, branding, and business through the years and have developed a strong interest and passion for the influencer world. It's not what I ever pictured for myself; I always dreamt of being a doctor. But it's challenging and unique and constantly keeps me on my toes.

What apps, software, or tools can't you live without?

Instagram, YouTube, YouTube TV, Boomerang , Final Cut Pro, Bitly

What's your workspace setup like?  

It's more like a workspace on the go. Since I travel a least once a week I've kind of mastered the office in a bag. I travel with my laptop, Bluetooth headphones, Canon 70D and lenses, and all the cords for hookup.

What's your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

Don't procrastinate, and make your work time super efficient. I learned early on in gymnastics that the more efficient I was, the more free time I got. So in work I do the same thing.

What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Honestly, an old school paper planner. There is something about writing out my to dos that makes it easier for me to comprehend and digest. If I write it I won't forget it, and nothing feels better than crossing it out once I'm done.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What's your secret?

Adapting to change. My schedule, my home, my daily duties tend to change on a daily or hourly basis, so learning to just adapt and roll with it is something I have pretty much mastered.

What do you listen to while you work? Got a favorite playlist? Maybe talk radio? Or do you prefer silence?

Either country or Freakonomics  ... they are my go to.

What are you currently reading? Or what's something you'd recommend?

Anything by Malcolm Gladwell ! I can read every book of his a hundred times over. Furthering on how I've mastered adapting to change, my favorite book that speaks on that is Who Moved My Cheese .

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Silence and work out!

What's your favorite side project?

Coaching and mentoring-I love working with kids and seeing them learn. Kids have the purest form of passion and drive and it's inspiring to be around.

What's your sleep routine like? Are you a night owl or early riser?

Oh my... I am 10000% a night owl and definitely not a morning person. I love my sleep and slow mornings filled with coffee and silence. I get all of my work done in the afternoon and later evenings to myself.

Fill in the blank: I'd love to see ______________ answer these same questions.

Philip DeFranco

What's the best advice you've ever received?

It's more of a mindset than anything but I was once told by my coach that no matter what I believe... whether I believe I am capable or not... I will always be right. It just taught me at a young age that no matter what, believing in myself and believing in my goal is 99% of the battle.

Is there anything else you'd like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans?

I'd say if I were to go back to high school and tell you what my life would look like in 10-20 years, I would have told you that I was going to attend Stanford University and be an orthopedic surgeon. Now my career couldn't be any different but it makes me happy and challenges me on a daily basis. The point in saying that is a lot of us get caught up in believing we know what our path is, what we are supposed to do, and we get discouraged or blinded when our paths change. Instead of letting change pull you down, embrace it and thrive!

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Nick .


The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Ishita.

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