I have been in something resembling a slump.
I know – broadly – what I want. But what do I do next? What do I fight for? Where do I apply myself? What do I address, what do I let ride?
Maybe slump is right, maybe it’s wrong. It might be plateau.
It feels like Tactical Hell. And it’s a terrible way to spend time. “If I do this, then I can do that, then I can do that, and then I can do that.” We don’t make our business strategy.
Problem #1: Serving Other People’s Customers
When I have a customer that wants to buy, generally, I sell him. It’s not always the correct decision, and sometimes I come down on price too much.
More often it’s that I take someone that is a known nightmare because I feel like I need the money. These aren’t the people that appreciate the lunatic depths that we go, and when they whittle our price down – even a little – it shows that they aren’t a fit.
But I need the money, the money, the money, so I take it. And it’s always a mistake. Petty revisions, lectures and other nonsense ensues. And all of this shit is my fault.
These aren’t Simplifilm customers, these are best served in the legions of lower end companies.
Problem #2: Serving Other People’s Egos
We know how to engineer outcomes in our videos. We know what works, what a good look is. And yet, we get sucked into dramaland when someone doesn’t know how to give feedback professionally.
Why should they? They don’t make videos every day, they have a job to do. And yes, people will be bummers, it’s the human condition. So why get into that fight which means it goes from a shared goal to a contest of egos.
Problem #3: Guilt Service
I am lucky that I work hard. My partner does as well. But sometimes I feel like I need to be “always available” and that produces lower quality results than being “intensely present for a short time.” When I make the time to:
- Be outside
I perform at a high level. When I don’t, I don’t. It’s pretty simple. Those things need to be in my life for me to organize the rest of it. Like my friend Brad Feld, I write to think.
So what fills the time is guilt service. I am here, because my partner is at this moment. Nevermind the fact that we do different jobs…I spend time that has low/negative value when I don’t have the energy.
So this will put you in tactical hell. Each decision makes the escape a little harder.
But you can escape and fight through it. We will, watch us.