How Much Change is Too Much Change at Once?


I love change. I hate passive acceptance of present conditions.

Most of the time, most present conditions are good and reasonable and don't need a radical overthrow. And it' always worth learning why they exist, a la Chesteron's Fence.

But some do need to be ignored and supplanted. And I think it's usually the complete reverse of those most people think. I think the big, giant, taken-for-granted, bedrock beliefs and assumptions are the most screwed up, and the vast majority of small, daily seemingly silly things are actually on-point.

I think the existence of elections, legislatures, governments as we know them, nearly all schooling, intellectual property, the medical industry, and other big giant accepted chunks of society are ridiculous and ripe for replacement. Then small stuff like the fact that people would rather be a YouTuber than an astronaut aren't worrisome or worth changing. Same for consumerism, or workaholism, or most of the other popular things people think need to change. Those seem to have a pretty decent and open evolutionary market and work themselves out pretty well over time.

OK, so back to all these big changes. You can ignore some beliefs you don't like - say some laws or informal dress codes - at various costs. Each time you ignore the status quo you will suffer, but you will also gain. Only the mold-breakers really do anything transformational, and lack of transformation stagnates into regress. So you have to pay a social price for progress. Note what this does NOT mean. This is not one of those "Have to break a few eggs." You have to pay the social price. You can't force other people to pay the price. If you do, you're a government or any other less well organized gang of thugs.

Real change comes from people who see differently and act differently because of it to the point of paying a high price (and hopefully higher corresponding reward, but that's not always the case) themselves.

But if you're constantly challenging every aspect of everything, nothing works. For example, maybe you hate the cartelized insurance industry (I do) and you hate the current structure of incorporations (a little). You could create a company to disrupt insurance. Or a company to radically rethink corporate structure. Could they be the same company? Maybe, but probably not. Two giant status quo battles on two different fronts are really hard to win.

You can probably keep moving forward in smaller ways on many fronts - writing about your ideas, maybe advising some small startup trying it, etc. - but to go all in on a giant battle requires so much focus, so many resources, and the elimination of as many exogenous threats and liabilities as possible. The person trying to take down five things at once has too many attack surfaces and lacks sufficient concentration of upside in any one area to make up for it.

Or maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. I'd love to upend so many big things at one time if possible.

Me, Inc.


If I write another book on the future of ed, career, and self-ownership, that's the title.

It's not just an option now, it's a necessity. You've got to embrace a worldview in which you are the fundamental unit of economic production and professional progress. You can't outsource it anymore.

Your vision, product, brand, operation, and growth are an entity in themselves. You don't get jobs and wait for them to confer this, you generate and adjust it yourself every day. Some days you earn a paycheck from a company, some from customers directly, some from investors. The mix is in flux. But what matters is the mindset.

That's why we built Crash. A platform to manage the company of you.

The world is so full of opportunity right now I can hardly stand it! The key is changing the way you think about it from rules and conveyor belts and invitations and permission slips to open opportunity if you identify valuable meaningful problems to solve and learn to repeat it.

Winning a Job is Cool. Creating One is Even Cooler.


Level 0: apply with resume to jobs board
Level 1: apply with skills profile to open roles
Level 2: make job hunt a social campaign
Level 3: send tailored pitch direct to hiring manager

Level 5: create value for company so they create a role for you when they weren't even hiring

Some of my best co-workers over the years have ended up where they are via a level 5 approach to career opportunities. But how do you create a job for yourself where one doesn't exist?

When companies post an open role that's their way of advertising they need a solution to a problem they've been able to package up and define neatly enough to call it a role and put a price range on it in terms of expected value. In most cases, it's all a pretty rough approximation. But the problems someone at a company has managed to define, package, and price are far from the only problems they're facing and trying to solve every day, let alone all the opportunity to create more value they'd get to if they had the time, plus those they haven't even thought of yet.

That's where you come in. It doesn't usually work if you come in from day one thinking about what you can get out of them - a job, money, etc. To create your own role, it works best if you truly respect and value the company, product, and mission. Ideally you are a customer. You can immerse yourself in their product, marketing content, hopefully get to know people who work there in a normal non-creepy way, and learn everything you can.

Then start doing stuff for them! If you make a really awesome project, be a great promoter, offer to solve a problem for free, or generally do something unasked that makes their life easier and better and makes them and the company look good, you'll have some social capital to work with. Find something you do really well and some way it can be beneficial to them. (Be aware, however, that some of the fluffier stuff can be a tax on them as much as a help. For example, constant unsolicited email intros to your "network" for open ended convos with fans or fellow travelers who do not have a clear value prop.)

Use the initial value you create to get a meeting - buy them lunch or coffee - or email exchange to ask them some more open questions about their growth plans, pain points, etc. Be generous with ideas and actions to help.

Then put together a proposal. Create a role for yourself and a detailed 90-day plan of what you would do and the tangible outcomes you expect it to create. Offer to do it for cheap or free if you want, or put your desired price on it. Tell them if after 90 days both parties aren't happy, no problem.

This is a long play. But even when it doesn't pan out, you actually gain a ton of value just by doing it and it enhances your career value and opens other opportunities more than sending out apps.

Get creative. Be bold. Experiment. Have fun!

Issue #3 of The Inner Game of Startups


The next super secret private Inner Game of Startups newsletter went out today to paid subscribers.

$5/month to join this exclusive club with all the cool kids and get the weekly lowdown on all the stuff I’m going through as we build this company.

Preview of today’s edition: https://isaacmorehouse.substack.com/p/weird-start-weird-middle-great-ending

How to Wait Properly


I'm a bad waiter.

No, not food service. Just waiting. On anything.

I'm probably in the borderline world-class range when it comes to taking action and getting things done when the ball is in my court. But I am easily bottom quintile when it comes to how I handle the ball not being in my court. I'm a fish out of water, grumpy, impatient, and impetuous.

This can mean big stuff, like waiting on big legal or financial things over long periods, or tiny stuff, like waiting 5 minutes for someone to call me at a scheduled time. I get a little crazy.

Most of the time, I end up doing something to try to push the action. Most of the time, it doesn't do any good and sometimes it does harm. I have a hard time letting it sit.

I am getting better though! Or at least less bad. I'm learning to let the balls out of my court alone and go work on something else entirely to take my mind off of it. I've got to treat them as if they will never return and they are dead to me in order to really do this, which makes it kinda fun if/when they do, because it feels like a big bonus win.

So waiting, just like being silent, is something I'm working on getting better at. I don't focus much on my weaknesses because it's more fun and useful to double down on strengths, but I'm discovering waiting and silence to be strengths when applied tactically, so I'm building them up that way bit by bit.

Add it to the List


I often post feature requests to the Crash Slack channel and say, "add it to the list".

This means I like an idea, and I need that idea documented somewhere so I don't accumulate cognitive overhead with it floating around, but I don't know and can't afford to figure out the relative importance of acting on the idea.

I do this in my personal life as well. Lists are my stress reliever. Once listed, outlined, calendared, or added to a to-do, the idea stops hyping me or splintering my brain and becomes resorbed into my system. My system is relaxing because it is trustless and thoughtless. It does all the work so my brain is free.

My inbox status is always zero I never miss my calendar and I obey my reminders. Therefore anything in those systems finds its appropriate place.

But the "add to the list" ideas are those without clear actions. I just keep them listed and jostle and move them up and down and let my brain see them there every so often as they seep into my subconscious. Eventually, maybe after days or weeks or occasionally months, I either act on them or delete them. If deleted, I trust they seeped in enough that any remaining value has already penetrated my brain and will express itself elsewhere.

I never leave the ball in my own court or leave important stuff in my own brain, unless it's the stuff I can't yet articulate or list (which, come to think of it, might be the most important stuff).

That's how I survive and get a lot done without ever really feeling busy.

Customer Service as a Way of Life


I'm sitting in a lab lobby waiting to get blood drawn. The receptionist is one of the rudest people I've ever overheard. Every time someone checks in, every word she says is edgy and nasty and she seems to have no tone except one that makes people feel like idiots.

It was like this last time I came here too. I don't know what's going on in her life or why this business allows her to keep her job, but it got me thinking about customer service. How is it learned?

I had several customer facing jobs when I was young, starting with door to door candy bar sales for little league and collecting payments from newspaper subscribers. I don't remember being coached or taught but maybe I was. I do remember feeling nervous and awkward and reading people's responses. I wanted to not make people unhappy, a tall order in door to door sales but easier when you're 10. So I'd see what seemed to get the best responses and adjust. I wasn't consciously systematic most of the time, just adjusting to the situation.

Over time, I learned lots of little things that worked every time. I got good at it. I practiced more running the concessions and pro shop at a small golf course then bagging groceries. Then I installed internet and phone systems at car dealerships and learned to deal with higher profile people in higher stress situations.

The apex of my customer service work was as a legislative assistant to a state representative. Most of the day was spent on the phone and email and physical mail between me (speaking in the voice of my boss half the time) and truly crazy, angry, or delusional people with an occasional nut job for balance. I turned it into a game and tried to find a way to make people happy while being disagreed with. I got good at it.

The ability to interact with lots of people and leave them feeling good after the interaction is really powerful. When I did fundraising for a non profit these skills with receptionist and assistants and gatekeepers worked magic on helping me get meetings.

I'm not sure why some people seem to learn customer service skills and some don't. It really baffles me. I wish I could crack the code.

Oh, as an aside, say what you will about the U.S., but the customer service in this country is typically about ten times better than any other place I've been, save maybe heavily touristy places in Africa. Mises said under capitalism consumer kings rule. It feels so good to be made to feel like a king for merely existing. Vegas is probably the greatest example of this.

My Current Morning Routine


I don't have regular routines. Well, I do, but it's just that they are typically in short phases and I vary them a lot from phase to phase. I've never found any great benefit to a single type of routine to start or end a day, but I definitely benefit from changing things up to go with what phase of life I'm in.

My current routine:

  • Get up at 7am (I set the alarm, but I've been waking up naturally between 5-6 every day. I'm getting old I guess.)
  • Get my teen son up
  • Do a 30 minute workout with him
  • Eat eggs and meat
  • Shower and head to the office
  • Make pour over coffee
  • Check messages and emails for emergencies
  • Write a blog post
  • Clear my inbox to zero
  • Review my calendar an list out my to dos for the day
  • Jump in (it's usually about 9 or 9:30am by now)

The big difference in this sequence from most others I try is that I am not checking my phone or computer at all until after workout, breakfast, shower, arrival at the office, and even my cup of coffee. Though I typically start checking it during the coffee making. Still, it's work for me to resist. When I awake, the first thing I want to do is obsessively get my inbox to zero and my task list ready and start knocking things off. It's very hard for my brain to do anything until I have done that, which is why most of my morning routines involve immediate work for an hour or two, then blog post, then shower and late breakfast. But I gotta say, right now I'm liking this new one.

It's more possible than it used to be because more of my work involves talking with people on West Coast time, so they don't start getting into my day until 11am usually, which is awesome. The downside is dinner time with the family is a very popular time for meetings and calls and urgent emails from that side of the continent.

Oh, and if you can't tell, I still can't bring myself to stop daily blogging. It's just too relaxing and grounding.

Isaac Morehouse


Isaac Morehouse is the CEO of Crash, the career launch platform, and the founder of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program. Isaac is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning.

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How Much Change is Too Much Change at Once?


I love change. I hate passive acceptance of present conditions.

Most of the time, most present conditions are good and reasonable and don't need a radical overthrow. And it' always worth learning why they exist, a la Chesteron's Fence.

But some do need to be ignored and supplanted. And I think it's usually the complete reverse of those most people think. I think the big, giant, taken-for-granted, bedrock beliefs and assumptions are the most screwed up, and the vast majority of small, daily seemingly silly things are actually on-point.

I think the existence of elections, legislatures, governments as we know them, nearly all schooling, intellectual property, the medical industry, and other big giant accepted chunks of society are ridiculous and ripe for replacement. Then small stuff like the fact that people would rather be a YouTuber than an astronaut aren't worrisome or worth changing. Same for consumerism, or workaholism, or most of the other popular things people think need to change. Those seem to have a pretty decent and open evolutionary market and work themselves out pretty well over time.

OK, so back to all these big changes. You can ignore some beliefs you don't like - say some laws or informal dress codes - at various costs. Each time you ignore the status quo you will suffer, but you will also gain. Only the mold-breakers really do anything transformational, and lack of transformation stagnates into regress. So you have to pay a social price for progress. Note what this does NOT mean. This is not one of those "Have to break a few eggs." You have to pay the social price. You can't force other people to pay the price. If you do, you're a government or any other less well organized gang of thugs.

Real change comes from people who see differently and act differently because of it to the point of paying a high price (and hopefully higher corresponding reward, but that's not always the case) themselves.

But if you're constantly challenging every aspect of everything, nothing works. For example, maybe you hate the cartelized insurance industry (I do) and you hate the current structure of incorporations (a little). You could create a company to disrupt insurance. Or a company to radically rethink corporate structure. Could they be the same company? Maybe, but probably not. Two giant status quo battles on two different fronts are really hard to win.

You can probably keep moving forward in smaller ways on many fronts - writing about your ideas, maybe advising some small startup trying it, etc. - but to go all in on a giant battle requires so much focus, so many resources, and the elimination of as many exogenous threats and liabilities as possible. The person trying to take down five things at once has too many attack surfaces and lacks sufficient concentration of upside in any one area to make up for it.

Or maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. I'd love to upend so many big things at one time if possible.

Me, Inc.


If I write another book on the future of ed, career, and self-ownership, that's the title.

It's not just an option now, it's a necessity. You've got to embrace a worldview in which you are the fundamental unit of economic production and professional progress. You can't outsource it anymore.

Your vision, product, brand, operation, and growth are an entity in themselves. You don't get jobs and wait for them to confer this, you generate and adjust it yourself every day. Some days you earn a paycheck from a company, some from customers directly, some from investors. The mix is in flux. But what matters is the mindset.

That's why we built Crash. A platform to manage the company of you.

The world is so full of opportunity right now I can hardly stand it! The key is changing the way you think about it from rules and conveyor belts and invitations and permission slips to open opportunity if you identify valuable meaningful problems to solve and learn to repeat it.

Winning a Job is Cool. Creating One is Even Cooler.


Level 0: apply with resume to jobs board
Level 1: apply with skills profile to open roles
Level 2: make job hunt a social campaign
Level 3: send tailored pitch direct to hiring manager

Level 5: create value for company so they create a role for you when they weren't even hiring

Some of my best co-workers over the years have ended up where they are via a level 5 approach to career opportunities. But how do you create a job for yourself where one doesn't exist?

When companies post an open role that's their way of advertising they need a solution to a problem they've been able to package up and define neatly enough to call it a role and put a price range on it in terms of expected value. In most cases, it's all a pretty rough approximation. But the problems someone at a company has managed to define, package, and price are far from the only problems they're facing and trying to solve every day, let alone all the opportunity to create more value they'd get to if they had the time, plus those they haven't even thought of yet.

That's where you come in. It doesn't usually work if you come in from day one thinking about what you can get out of them - a job, money, etc. To create your own role, it works best if you truly respect and value the company, product, and mission. Ideally you are a customer. You can immerse yourself in their product, marketing content, hopefully get to know people who work there in a normal non-creepy way, and learn everything you can.

Then start doing stuff for them! If you make a really awesome project, be a great promoter, offer to solve a problem for free, or generally do something unasked that makes their life easier and better and makes them and the company look good, you'll have some social capital to work with. Find something you do really well and some way it can be beneficial to them. (Be aware, however, that some of the fluffier stuff can be a tax on them as much as a help. For example, constant unsolicited email intros to your "network" for open ended convos with fans or fellow travelers who do not have a clear value prop.)

Use the initial value you create to get a meeting - buy them lunch or coffee - or email exchange to ask them some more open questions about their growth plans, pain points, etc. Be generous with ideas and actions to help.

Then put together a proposal. Create a role for yourself and a detailed 90-day plan of what you would do and the tangible outcomes you expect it to create. Offer to do it for cheap or free if you want, or put your desired price on it. Tell them if after 90 days both parties aren't happy, no problem.

This is a long play. But even when it doesn't pan out, you actually gain a ton of value just by doing it and it enhances your career value and opens other opportunities more than sending out apps.

Get creative. Be bold. Experiment. Have fun!

Issue #3 of The Inner Game of Startups


The next super secret private Inner Game of Startups newsletter went out today to paid subscribers.

$5/month to join this exclusive club with all the cool kids and get the weekly lowdown on all the stuff I’m going through as we build this company.

Preview of today’s edition: https://isaacmorehouse.substack.com/p/weird-start-weird-middle-great-ending

How to Wait Properly


I'm a bad waiter.

No, not food service. Just waiting. On anything.

I'm probably in the borderline world-class range when it comes to taking action and getting things done when the ball is in my court. But I am easily bottom quintile when it comes to how I handle the ball not being in my court. I'm a fish out of water, grumpy, impatient, and impetuous.

This can mean big stuff, like waiting on big legal or financial things over long periods, or tiny stuff, like waiting 5 minutes for someone to call me at a scheduled time. I get a little crazy.

Most of the time, I end up doing something to try to push the action. Most of the time, it doesn't do any good and sometimes it does harm. I have a hard time letting it sit.

I am getting better though! Or at least less bad. I'm learning to let the balls out of my court alone and go work on something else entirely to take my mind off of it. I've got to treat them as if they will never return and they are dead to me in order to really do this, which makes it kinda fun if/when they do, because it feels like a big bonus win.

So waiting, just like being silent, is something I'm working on getting better at. I don't focus much on my weaknesses because it's more fun and useful to double down on strengths, but I'm discovering waiting and silence to be strengths when applied tactically, so I'm building them up that way bit by bit.

Isaac Morehouse


Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program making degrees irrelevant for careers. Isaac is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning.

Featured on -

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