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All posts from May 2020

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898 What Will It Take?

“Do whatever it takes” is a terrible guideline for important work.

“Whatever it takes” hemorrhages time and cash, pushing everything else into a similar state of emergency that put this project into “whatever it takes” mode.

“Whatever it takes” breeds freneticism in teams that won’t stand the test of time when pitched against teams who prefer to ask, “What will it take?”

“What will it take” nurtures mindful contributions of time and cash, enabling them to be efficient and essentialist with their resources. This mindset outperforms and outlasts chaotic competitors stuck doing whatever it takes.

If your work is important, don’t declare “whatever it takes”. Instead, inquire, “What will it take?”

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897: If It Creates Stress, It’s Bad Design

Many social media platforms spent countless dollars trying to make their services more “sticky” for people like us.

To produce nervous energy in their visitors which releases only once that visitor returns.

They’re effective at doing what they set out to achieve… but let’s not pretend it’s “Good design”.

Good design helps people to…

…Understand things: Nothing is really being understood on those social platforms. Instead, people are just left wondering where the last 20 minutes of their lives went.

…Complete tasks: There are tasks that get completed, but these interfaces were designed to create tasks for visitors faster than visitors can complete them.

…Solve problems: The tools are designed to prevent people from solving problems. Otherwise they’d optimize their designs for connecting with the right people and fostering relationships, instead of pandering for Likes and rewarding consumption. You’re not supposed to leave, remember? Because ads.

Some honest questions to ask ourselves about our work:

  • Was our work designed to help people understand, or stay stuck?
  • Was our work designed to help people get things done, or add to their load?
  • Was our work designed to help people solve problems or keep them hooked?

Do we like the answers we end up with?

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896: If It’s Important, Slow Down

Wait, what?

Shouldn’t it be that the important stuff should be done double-time, before all else, at any cost, as soon as possible?

Don’t disrespect important work like that:

Important work needs to be thought about. If the prescribed solution – and implementation thereof – isn’t worth properly thinking through, surely it’s not very important work?

Important work needs to be done right. If it just needs a quick throw-it-together response, surely it’s not very important work?

Important work needs no reactive behavior. If you’re moving fast, you’re reacting to things that come your way, rather than really considering things and acting in their best interests.

Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

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895: Giving Lame Presents

Does your business give lame presents?

Let’s take a look at your social media profile. Is it mostly photos of yourself doing things you like, or pictures or boring office shots and periodical award posts? These are all pretty lame presents to gift your audience with.

Let’s take a look at the emails you send. Is each a reflection of your fiduciary responsibility to elevate the lives of your recipients? Did each reflect your ability to serve? No? Then they’re likely lame presents to gift your audience with.

Look across your whole company. At everything that touches your choice of market.

Are you giving lame presents, or presents so thoughtful that they’ll tell all their friends?

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894: The Trick Course

I almost made a trick course.

One that advertises on Facebook, portraying a young “guru” negotiating the halls of his achievements, attributing his wealth to a simple course he’s prepared for a low low fee of $497.

One where victims, upon submitting to the waves of unrelenting emails that would follow, would buy into the sarcophagus of secrets.

One where, upon opening the course, they would be met with a single PowerPoint slide, which reads the following:

“The path to success is to not buy sensationalist crap like this. Focus on doing your meaningful work for those you wish to serve, no shortcuts.”

I decided to save you the embarrassment by writing this blog post instead.

Focus on doing your meaningful work for those you wish to serve, no shortcuts.

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893: There Is No Business

“Business” is not a skill.

“Businessman” is not a job title.

“Business books” aren’t about business.

So what is there?

Real skills, such as the ability to resourcefully produce something from vision, either through the work of your own brow or through leading others (or both).

Real jobs, such as leading, accounting, marketing and development.

Real books, such as autobiographies documenting the experience of others, or tombs of wisdom on very specific subjects.

What are you doing today? (Hint: it’s not “business”)