Here’s a Bunch of Stuff I’m Up To

I'm mixing it up again, after a year and a half streak of daily blogging, I'm gonna switch my routine. I won't be blogging daily for a while, but I'm doing a lot of stuff in a lot of other places!

Of course the majority of my time is spent building Crash into the greatest career launch platform in the world and being a husband and dad and trying to maintain my physical and intellectual health. But I work in a lot of other interests as well, and writing will always be a big part.

Who knows whether/when I decide I can't handle life without daily blogging (it usually happens when I take these breaks), but for now I'm going all in on a new routine.

Verbose Haiku

If brevity is

The soul of wit, well I guess

I am really screwed

Convo with VCs Investing in Bitcoin

(Also available on the Isaac Morehouse podcast)

All News is Fake News

There is infinite information in the universe. Any time you select a tiny slice of info and focus on it, you are creating a story that is different from reality itself.

Imagine a movie sliced into a million still screenshots. Say it was impossible to watch the movie and your only way of interacting with it was with these screenshots. If someone picked three of them and presented it to you as the "truth" of the movie, they'd be wrong, even if the screenshots weren't tampered with or substituted for fakes. If the person presenting the "facts" of the movie to you had an ax to grind or wasn't so scrupulous about accuracy in screenshots, it would be even worse. But the main point is that even if trying to be accurate, any version of the movie selected from a few micro-second still frames will present a story that's incorrect.

Once you realize this, you can select your own slices based on what helps you achieve your goals. It may be no more accurate in terms of explaining the real movie, but none can be, so you might as well choose slices that help you. Better yet, you can stop worrying about figuring out the right version of this movie from the past and start creating your own story going into the future.

News is a specific view of reality. It's always wrong. Worse, it's usually bad for your health and sanity. Choose better slices of reality and your reality will improve.

Small Moves to Setup Big Moves

When opportunity avails itself you're either ready to big seize it, little seize it, or miss out entirely.

It's easy to see someone who makes a big move to nab a big opportunity and think it was luck or good timing alone. But it's not the moment that matters most, but the buildup.

If you constantly make little moves that get you better and better positioned in case of opportunity, you'll be able to make big moves when it comes. This seems obvious, but it's very hard to do.

During no-opportunity times you look around and see no great big moves to make. True. Frustrating. But if you keep looking and thinking about future scenarios, you can spot steady small moves that will compound, each shifting just a bit more of your resources into position to take advantage if big opportunity should emerge. Each small move gets max leverage when opportunity comes, and the little opportunity costs of those little moves comes back and a whole lot more.

Don't worry about how you missed out on big opportunity, or how you don't see it around you. Make small moves to be in position and get your mind ready. It will come.

Assumption of Audience

A lot of misunderstanding and offense online comes from assuming the audience.

When we read posts, we tend to assume we are the audience. When the content doesn't fit us, we assume it's wrong.

Whenever I witness this, I think of the scene in Star Wars, "This is not the post you are looking for". If it doesn't click for you, move on. It's probably not for you. Whether positive advice that seems dumb to you, or a negative attack that seems incorrect to you, odds are it's between two parties you don't understand and they aren't writing with you and your situation in mind.

Trying to educate the poster on your situation and let them know they their content doesn't fit it is almost never a good idea. Because they assume you're part of their audience too. And if you say, "Hey, I'm not your audience but I don't agree with this", it signals a waste of both of your time.

Before you respond, ask yourself who the intended audience is. It helps.

Antagonism and Action

One of the most useful methods I've found to get closer to actionable truth is by creating (non-hostile) antagonism.

If I'm unsure about options, I will pick one and act as if it's true. I'll argue in favor of it as if it's the only way. I'll make the best, strongest arguments for it I can, and won't hedge. This requires someone else to take up the opposite position, if nothing else just to get it a fair hearing. But I'm gonna come on strong, so they are going to have to bring the strongest arguments to match.

With two people fully going to bat for the two positions, the truth is more likely to reveal itself far faster than if we just dance around the weaker "on the one hand but on the other hand" stuff.

Not only does going all in on one position draw out useful arguments from others for the alternate position, but it lets me test drive being a devotee of my position and see if it resonates with my gut. The most important truths are those you just know with your knower, even if you can't consciously articulate or understand why. Indecision is when that gut feeling isn't strong enough either way to cut through the intellectual pros and cons. Examining positions objectively at a distance is an intellectual exercise that doesn't always help discover the gut feeling.

But putting on a position like it's true and going all in gives a taste of what it feels like to live in that reality. The gut gets a chance to scream "this feels off" or "Yes, this is right!"

The hard part about this approach is that it can feel shocking or disheartening or overwhelming to people if they aren't used to it. I grew up in a loud, talkative, interrupting, arguing household. To me, disagreeing is not offensive. There's nothing personal about attacking each others arguments within a trusted context. But I've learned over the years this is not normal and I often end up bowling over people and they just yield to my pigheaded arguments...even if I'm just test driving them myself.

I've tried to ease back some, but mostly to collaborate with people who can get down with strong argument as a form of truth discovery.

PS - I find this works really well for action items. I do not like this approach for discovering philosophical, moral, or abstract truth.

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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Launching: Job Hunting 101

I didn't intend to get into the business of launching careers - I was just trying to make my own awesome!

I set out on my professional journey with one overriding rule for myself: don't do stuff you hate. Other than that, I followed the path of maximal interestingness and went hard after the opportunities I saw (or imagined). Through a process of learning and elimination, I moved through a lot of cool jobs. Everywhere I went, I found myself connecting people to opportunities. I realized I got a high from finding "hidden talent" and helping it find where it could flourish. I was always recruiting interns and making excuses to hire assistants. I loved to do what some people had done for me and give people a shot before they knew they were ready.

Eventually, my official job became to help young people get internships and jobs. I discovered that one of the things that makes me come alive is helping others discover and do what makes them come alive. After a while, the entrepreneurial itch grew too damn strong. In 2013, I started Praxis, a better path to skill development and career prep than college (and it's not even close.)

At Praxis, we uncovered some pretty powerful secrets about finding and winning great jobs. It reinforced my belief that nearly everyone is capable of a better, more fulfilling job than they think possible. It revealed that what employers say they want on job postings is almost always inaccurate, but most candidates get scared away by it, thinking they lack the experience, credentials, or skills. What we discovered as the powerful secret was essentially the art of "pitching". It's not a passive application with a generic resume, it's an active sales and marketing process with something made just for each company.

When job seekers treat the process like a hunt, where they must prep, study, stalk, take aim, and fire, they feel empowered and in control. And they win much better jobs, and fast! We routinely helped 17, 18, 19, and 20 year olds with no degree and zero experience land great jobs that said "4 year degree and 2-3 years of experience required". How? Because we helped candidates find a way to show instead of just tell. We helped them uncover their own skills and abilities, put them into the form of tangible projects, connect them to a specific company, and present that story to the hiring manager.

It works. Big time.

In 2018, I got the itch again. Praxis had become a force to be reckoned with, helping hundreds of people opt out of college for something better. But I sensed an opportunity. We couldn't deliver the intense, in-depth life-changing Praxis experience to the whole world. It's too demanding and not everyone can do it. But we could peel off that one layer - the secrets of the job hunt - and build the best job-hunting platform the world has ever known.

Crash was born.

We spent the last 18 months refining a powerful tool to create digital profiles and tailored pitches and run the job hunt like a pro. Early users have had tremendous success - nearly 1,200 interviews and 400 job offers, just among a small group of beta users, most of it during a tough 2020 job market. Crash pitches get a response over 80% of the time, and lead to a job offer over 30% of the time.

We've learned that a product isn't quite enough for everyone. This approach is so new, and so different from what everyone's been taught, so job seekers don't just need tools, they need to actually see the world differently - to see their own value, and all of the great companies who could use it. They need a radical new perspective on the job hunt, and a guide along the way. We always say, Crash is really a mindset wrapped in a product.

Today, I'm thrilled to announce the launch of a comprehensive course designed to walk job-hunters through, step-by-step, the process of finding and winning jobs that we've seen work time and time again. There's something magical about watching downtrodden job-seekers go from depressed to empowered when they reframe the whole process and take charge. It not only changes the outcome, but it makes the process of job hunting itself actually exciting, interesting, and fun!

This course is a distillation of not only my learnings (and secrets! You've gotta add the word "secrets" to really get those clicks! ;-) over the last 15 years, but of the entire Praxis team, Crash team, and all our thousands of customers and users. We've been deep in the career launch world for a long time, and teased out some stuff that seems obvious after you learn it, but nobody is taught! People are still taught to get good grades, format their resume, and click apply 150 times and wait and hope. Boo. That's some bullshit if you ask me.

If you or someone you know is on the job hunt, or might be soon, go check out:

Job Hunting 101: A Crash Course

And give me some feedback! Let me know how you like it, and how we can make it even better!

The course is a one-time purchase of $120, and comes with lifetime access to the entire Crash job-hunting platform and tools, and access to the Crasher Slack group. Plus the whole Crash team and community at your back.

Our mission is to help people discover and do what makes them come alive. I'm excited about this course, because it is the best distillation of the key steps in this process we have yet found.

Go forth and create a great career!

Creative Freedom

It's harder to find creative freedom within flexible, self-imposed constraints than rigid, exogenous constraints.

When I feel cramped by my own decisions and commitments, creativity is massively difficult to muster because I can always question whether I should stick to those decisions and commitments or alter them to enhance creative flow.

When cramped by forces beyond my control, it's easier to create in spite of it. There is nowhere else to look, no choice but to get creative.

This poses a conundrum. Maximizing agency is a key to living fulfilled, happy, and free. But a choice freely made is better fully committed to - ships burned behind - than leaving options open in perpetuity.

Self-imposed constraints must be real in order to open creativity.

School is Weird

My nine-year old daughter started attending some once a week homeschool classes. After the first week, I asked how she liked it. She said, "It's OK. It's fun to see people and I like lunch and recess. But the rest is weird."

I asked what was weird about it.

"We sit in the same place for 45 minutes in each class and just listen to the teacher talk. The entire time! We're supposed to learn just from listening to what she says and memorizing it?! It's so weird. That's literally ALL it is!"

She wasn't complaining. She was genuinely mystified. I don't know what she expected, but this classroom experience was so foreign to her, she seemed to be wondering why no one else finds this odd and who in their right mind would think people would learn in this fashion.

She's a curious kid and very hands-on. It was a good reminder how the main thrust of schooling is to condition kids out of natural learning and make blind obedience, even with no clear goal or measure of effectiveness, normalized.

Setting the Trajectory of the Day

A day is like a rocket without steering. The trajectory on which it begins determines the arc. Small changes in that trajectory matter a lot.

Beginning the day on my terms is important. The challenge is that those terms change and it's not always easy to tell what they are. What will allow me to feel free and in control of the day, vs. feeling dragged along by it?

Today, it was starting with a walk outside and a blog post. I knew I needed to avoid any screens until I had some protein, got some movement in the morning sun, and sat down with a fresh cup of coffee. When I sat down, I realized I needed a playlist and a few minutes to write before I opened emails or Slack or surveyed and prepared my week or work.

This allows me to create and think independent of any demands as the first activity of the day. It puts me in a frame of ownership. I feel balanced. So when the demands start coming, it feels easier to field them because I feel autonomous.

Some days I get up, hop right on my computer and immediately start checking emails and Slack and reacting to what I missed overnight. It feels chaotic and those days don't end well.

So consider this post the setting of my trajectory for today. Take charge of yours and enjoy it. I'll do the same.

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.

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