Well, Crap

I logged in to WordPress this morning to compose my daily blog post, and it notified my that my theme (previously Blaskan) had an update available.  Accustomed to software updates that generally only make things better, I clicked “Update”.  It replaced my theme with something awful, and completely destroyed the look of the site.

I just spendt an hour picking a new theme and getting all my stuff back.  Grrr.  I like to keep it simple, and I don’t like to mess around with design stuff on this site unless it’s truly dire.

Oh well.  A new year, a new look.

When You Deliver Work Late, You Invite More Scrutiny

Here’s another reason to get your work done fast (yep, even (especially!) deep, creative work):  you’ll get less scrutiny and fewer requested edits.

If you crank out a design, page, or product FAST – on or ahead of schedule – the momentum bleeds into the perception of the work by the recipient.  They’ll like it more, and be less focused on changes because they’re so happy with the speed.  They’ll respond to speed with speed: you got it to me fast, I’ll approve it fast with little deliberation.  Let’s launch this baby!

Take longer than you told them?  Get ready for them to respond in kind with long, drawn out, deliberative decisions over tiny details, lagging last minute tweaks, etc.

Every day past expectation the project takes, the expectation for perfection ratchets up.  From your customer’s perspective, it goes something like this: “I’m waiting so damn long for this thing, it’d better be perfect.  Is it perfect?  I don’t know.  Maybe we should tweak this one more thing…”

Creative types are notorious for delivering later than the expectations they set.  Then they get frustrated when people want to make changes and get picky.  When you kill momentum, you turn an otherwise big, excited greenlighter into a slow, skeptical analyst.

Tired of lots of late change requests?

Work faster.

Don’t Make Me Sell Something You Can’t

“Meet my friend/husband/sister/coworker.  Can you tell them about how awesome X is?”

I get this from time to time.  I hate it.

X can be unschooling, writing, economic freedom, cryptocurrency, podcasting, or any number of things.

It’s not that I don’t like discussing stuff I’m interested in, it’s that I don’t like doing it with unwilling audiences.  (This is one of the reasons I could never be a professor.)

If you drag someone to me kicking and screaming and ask me to get them interested in something you haven’t been able to sell them on, I’m gonna politely pass every time.

I only like preaching to the choir.  They came for the sermon.  I’m not interested in hounding poor souls just trying to go about their day.

Skin vs. Talk

I just saw a Tweet by someone divesting themselves of all their crypto holdings in a particular coin because they were tired of being accused of conflict of interest and wanted to prove their unbiased commitment to the project.

This is a losing game. And backwards.

If you run around appeasing every accuser, you become a slave. And they never stop accusing.

If you keep your skin in the game and ignore their talk, you won’t ever have to worry or engage self discipline to stay committed to the project.

Incentives are better than opinions.

The Comparison Trap

I’ve been playing around posting to the platform Yours.org lately, and I noticed something funny.

Actually, my colleague Derek Magill pointed it out, and the minute he said it, it rang true.

Yours allows you to post content for 10 cents, and then people can pay you for the content, to comment, etc.  It displays how much each author has earned on the piece of content right at the top.

If I post something there and it only earns 10 or 20 cents, my immediate subconscious reaction is to feel kinda crappy and not really want to post more.  It feels like failure.

Yet at the same time, I happily post to my WordPress blog every single day without earning a dime and it doesn’t feel like failure.

Why would earning money for a post feel worse than not earning any at all?

The comparison trap.

The feeling of success is subjective and contextual, often more about our perceived standing relative to others than to our own stated goals.  On Yours, it’s easy to see all the top posts with 5, 50, or 500 bucks.  Next to that, 20 cents feels lame.  On WordPress, nobody’s content has earnings, and traffic numbers aren’t publicly displayed, so there’s no threat of being perceived as a failure.  If WordPress emailed me out of the blue and said, “We’re sending you 20 cents for your post today”, I’d feel like a badass.

If you can overcome this external definition of success, you’ll be unstoppable.  You’ll create a life of untouchable wonder and fulfillment.

It begins by asking what your goals are, being honest, and sticking to a definition of success that only measures progress against that internally chosen standard.

I blog because it changes me.  I blog because I enjoy it.  If I pay attention only to my goals with blogging and forget the good opinion of others, earning a few cents can only ever make me happier than earning nothing.

Forget Your Category and Do Your Damn Job

Forget ‘how to be a man’.  Forget ‘how to be a freelancer’.  Forget how to be a good conservative, liberal, or libertarian.  Forget how to be a mentor or mentee.  Forget how to be a philanthropist, environmentalist, atheist, reactionary, revolutionary, artist, or entrepreneur.

Forget any effort aimed at your ontological status in the abstract.

Instead, do your damn job.

Your job is whatever activities you’re engaged in and committed do.  Just do them.  Do them right.  Do them now.  Do them with pride.

If you won’t, quit and switch to things you will.

Seeking or giving advice about your state of being is beyond pointless until your state of doing is beyond reproach.

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