Archive | Don't Kill Yourself

20 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

toys

toys

Owning a digital camera doesn’t make someone a photographer.

Buying a guitar won’t instantly turn anyone into a musician.

Having a collection of pens isn’t a magic wand to become an author.

With a computer sitting on your desk, the programmer within doesn’t automatically emerge.

The hammer, chisel and saw in the garage won’t produce a carpenter out of you.

A gym membership isn’t an instant conversion for the member to athlete status.

The tools are unimportant. You will have undoubtedly heard this many times before: to do something, anything, that you really want to do takes time and hard work. Break your back hard work. Stay up all night hard work. There isn’t an easy way. I’ve searched for years and it’s not there. There are tools that can make the path easier, but there is still a path that needs to be walked.

To break through the hard work you have to have a goal you’re aiming for and want to reach it. You can visualize it, it makes sense and there’s a burning fire inside you that feeds you the persistence you’re going to need during the hard work to keep you going to the end.

You will learn a lot more than you know now. You will have to rely on and ask for help from others. Your ego and pride will have to take a back seat. Your heart will grow and the desire you have will be so big others will want to attach themselves to it.

You will have to depend on yourself, point the finger back at you and trust your own drive and judgement. One of your first major battles with yourself will be about having patience and giving yourself time to concentrate, learn and carve a path. Nothing big has ever happened overnight or in a few weeks. Nothing. Ever.

Routine forgoes the need to have to have build willpower every day. You’ll need to build that routine.

Tools are toys and mostly irrelevant. Work is hard and, ultimately, will give you what you were looking for.

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21 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

flashlight

flashlight

You are alone and in a dark room. It’s completely black and you cannot see a single thing around you. In your right hand you have a pretty powerful flashlight/torch. You switch it on.

Standing there, you make sweeping movements to build up a quick view of what’s around you. The intense circle in the center of the beam shows up the most distinct detail. You can see what you’re pointing at and everything else around it fades into darkness in ever widening, blending circles.

You see the only door in the beam you’re casting across the room. It’s over to the right. Slightly ajar, it makes sense to head that way and leave the room you’re in. It’s your way out of here and the starting point of where you’ll go next.

This somewhat simplistic analogy has recently had a more profound meaning for me. Having cleared my life of all my habits around email, Facebook, Twitter, meetings and other interruptions; I started to move in a room with no light.

Start reading a book I’ve been meaning to. Hit a section early on that would be cool to try out on the iMac. So I stop reading and do that. Tinkering with code I remember that I wanted to send a payment out for a bill. I flip over to that. Knee deep in Bank of America’s website the nagging of did I/didn’t I leads me to the cupboard to check if I marked another bill as being paid. On a shelf there’s a snowball mic. I really wanted to record some audio for the book (long story, will explain/demo another time). So I do.

The result? Lots of little things. Lots of nothing really. No big result. No result.

It’s too easy to underestimate the importance and pure effectiveness of sitting down, uninterrupted, and concentrating for a solid period of time on doing just one thing. Like sleep, your brain takes a short while to warm up to what it’s absorbing right now. In the early stages of reading a book you will be distracted with other thoughts. If you let them.

From spending time with children to conversations to absorbing a book, experience or something else that’s going to add value to your life: be present, switch on your flashlight, point it at the door and walk toward that. Switch on a light and you’ll see everything, want to use everything and end up never moving. Or lots of moving around but with no progress forward.

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10 May 2010 ~ 0 Comments

thirty minutes a day

thirty minutes a day

If you restricted checking, writing and responding to emails to just thirty minutes a day…

Only two and a half hours of your working week would be taken up with email. That’s just 6% of your Monday to Friday hammering the keyboard to clear your way through the modern equivalent of the paper memo stack.

A five-day-week work habit turns into a mere 122 and a half hours a year hunched over a keyboard, smacking keys to continue ever lengthening threads of notes from your colleagues.

That’s only three entire weeks of your business year typing to avoid picking up the phone and calling someone. Possibly even lifting cheeks off seats and walking over to the people for whom a quick conversation would avoid the need to type out an explanation and a request.

But you don’t spend just thirty minutes a day on email, do you?

(feel free to remove the term ‘email’ and insert Facebook, Twitter or the name of your favorite social media cocaine instead)

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01 April 2010 ~ 0 Comments

profit and loss

profit and loss

More often than most realize: the fundamental core of business is thrown out the window when a fire needs doused, an issue needs taken care of or a topic has a committee thrown at it.

We have to invest time, people, effort and resources into things that will bring us more money. Only these things. Anything else is against the very core of maintaining a healthy and growing business.

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18 January 2010 ~ 0 Comments

death by email

death by email

Email… it’ll kill you if you let it. The points in this video may sound extreme, however they are entirely practical and realistic.

If you find yourself about to write an email…

1. Phone the person or, even better, visit the person.
2. If you absolutely have to email: use facts only. No emotion or opinion.
3. Someone sends you an email, reply in person not by email.
4. No cc:’s

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04 January 2010 ~ 0 Comments

exclusive

exclusive

To contradict almost every sales intention ever created – if you have something to sell, do not try and sell it to anyone through every medium.

The more channels, partners and mediums you sell through the lower they will drag your selling price down. Resellers and value add supplier channels only serve to serve themselves. They compete against each other and do you no favors in trying to succeed (or even simply stay afloat). Too much of what you have in circulation inevitably makes the price go down.

If you “put out” for everyone who asks, you end up being a cheap slut.

When faced with the risk of reducing your target market into a commodity market, narrow down to an exclusive deal with a single significant player. Create value through scarcity.

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24 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

immaturity bites

immaturity bites

I regularly find myself trying to deal with someone and things simply aren’t working out. Usually I put this down to not having enough in common with the other person and occasionally going so far as to suspect I may have done something wrong or misunderstood the circumstances that led to the distancing.

While my own mingling inhibitions may be a factor – I read an interesting article on the Seattle Times website that, for at least some people I have come into contact with, would explain why I struggle to be able to communicate.

The article’s premise is that maturity is not related to age, and argues that most adults never reach more advanced stages of human development. Big statements to make.

From the article:

People who are less mature tend to engage in the following habits:

1. Black-and-white thinking with no gray area.

2. Inability to see the world from the perspective of others.

3. Low empathy.

4. Low tolerance for painful emotions.

5. Low tolerance for differences.

6. Lack of insight into themselves and others.

If you’re faced with someone with these characteristics, lower your age expectation and deal with them at the age they are acting – and not the age they are…

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13 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

the meeting disease

the meeting disease

Meetings are a disease. They kill time, productivity, life, energy and people. They are almost always a symptom of lack of clear and visible ownership of tasks – which is a problem usually only solved by kicking someone’s ass or firing them.

Never ever arrange or attend a meeting with a group of people unless you absolutely have to. Decline every meeting possible. Instead, figure out what needs done and go do it. Or nominate someone to do it. Just go fucking do it. What’s the point of wasting an hour talking about it?

If you have to be in a meeting:
- don’t start without knowing what the intended outcome is
- have a list of every item that needs decisioned and/or actioned
- record the list of actions, who is responsible and when it’s going to be done by
- shut the meeting down as quickly as you can, especially if the above isn’t going to happen

Yip, sad news – you’re going to have to be the asshole who sets the outcome/action/decision stuff and walks out if it doesn’t happen. If this worries you, read a book about minimizing fear.

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07 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

going for the throat

going for the throat

It doesn’t matter what the medium through which it is delivered; a direct attack on someone never wins anything for anyone involved.

If you feel like you’re about to rip someone’s head off and piss down their throat – don’t. Walk away and give yourself until the next morning before you do anything.

By then you’ll have come up with lots of ways to shoot them in the knees that are far more subtle and less likely to draw attention to you.

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