Profit is an enabler. It’s usually (not always) an indicator that you’re doing something that your customers really need, at a price point that makes sense. Profit gives an organization the ability to iterate faster, reach more people and beat subpar competitors. And most importantly, stay in business.
Entrepreneurs: Don’t listen to the “must be not-for-profit if you want to change the World” bullshit. The folks who figure out how to build a truly profitable and lasting company will be the ones that really change the World.
Matthieu Ricard, in his book of conversations with his philosopher father, “The Monk and the Philosopher”
Ernest Hemingway, on the paralysis that often comes when stopping and restarting projects.
Dale Carnegie, from Alex Godin’s post Stop Hustling, Start Listening.
The idea that, without “hustle,” without throwing away nights and weekends, without putting your life on hold for your work, you’ll somehow be more successful, more productive, is ridiculous to me, yet continues to be pushed by participants in our industry left and right. This is, quite simply, insane.
So, dear reader, I implore you: If this post at all rings true, sounds a little too familiar, do yourself a favor — take a vacation. Get away from your work for a bit. Reset. And when you come back, pick some number under 35 and try working that many hours per week, and no more.
I could not agree more with these words of wisdom from Kyle Bragger. When I left the interactive agency world to start Style Hatch I completely eliminated working on the weekends, on average I work less than 40 hours a week, rely on my team more, and frequent vacations with my family disconnected from work. As a result my time in the office is far more focused and productive when I know that my day ends at 5pm.
Often I’m faced with that nagging urge to go back to putting in 80 hour weeks and out hustling the competition, but I would rather choose a pace that I can stick with for a lifetime while valuing time with my wife and three kids.
Work smarter not harder.
Brene Brown, written in her new book Daring Greatly
You know what is fun? Making things. Turning a spark of creative insight into a thing that you can show people — a thing that people can use and from which they can derive some iota of pleasure or utility. Start with a simple website. Basic HTML and CSS. No product is too small. In fact, the opposite is true. If you don’t know how to build the first version of your product in a weekend — a usable working version, don’t try to build it. Programming is a means to an end, not an end in itself. You should be trying to do as little of it as possible to make the thing that you want.
The fastest way to make something is to simply start. Don’t get caught in the never ending process of learning, researching, and over-thinking your idea.
> “And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually turn it – you could eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much.”
“If you go to work and do what you’re told, you’re not being negative, certainly, but the lack of initiative you demonstrate (which, alas, you were trained not to demonstrate) costs us all, because you’re using a slot that could have been filled by someone who would have added more value. […]
Not adding value is the same as taking it away.”
— Seth Godin
I could not agree more with this post by Seth Godin. Having people on your team operate at neutral is often more costly than having someone negative on the team. At least with someone underperforming or negative it’s clear when you need to part ways, but the neutral team members tend to stay around longer than they should.
Jason Fried, from Ignore Details Early On
The old rules: Play it safe. Stay in your comfort zone. Find an institution, a job, a set of rules to stick to. Keep your head down. Don’t fly too close to the sun.
The new truth: It’s better to be sorry than safe. You need to fly higher than ever.
This is an inspiring and well produced video featuring Tina Roth Eisenberg, Josh Rubin and Sarma Melngailis to promote Seth Godin’s latest book, The Icarus Deception. What art are you going to create?