Play To Your Strengths. (Grokking Marcus Buckingham)

We all have weaknesses.  Everyone.  Some people lack the acuity to know what they are, but for those of you that write & read blogs, you’re probably self aware enough to understand what a weakness you have.  A couple of mine are: focusing on one thing for a long time (ADD) and  organization.  They hurt me sometimes and they come in pairs.

Not looking for help on those atm, kthanks.  Trying to make peace with my wiring.

Point is there are so many qualities that, done right and without a limit make someone really spectacular.  Consider:

  • Getting things done FAST.
  • Being totally ACCURATE
  • Being CHEAP
  • Being Luxurious
  • Being flexible.
  • Being  focused.

In many cases all desirable traits.  But fast fights accurate.  Cheap fights luxurious.   Flexible and focused get into tussles.  Yet we want–or managers want to have ALL those qualities.  To be some sort of shamman of everything.

Now, I believe that people who get their biases are better.  DiSC profiles and their ilk are useful for understanding–not overcoming–the way you’re wired.  Being wired to do things a certain way isn’t bad.  Having a skill or bias isn’t bad.

Trying to be more of something your not is a surefire path to insanity though.  Trying to get someone that needs to (in their soul) do things 100% accurately to speed up some is dumb.  Putting them in a position (editor) where accuracy is the only currency that is valued is a big damm win.   Feeling bad about how your wired is dumb.  Usually.  You might be a sociopath and–of  course–it’s 100% fine to feel bad about that.  But, since you’re a sociopath it’s unlikely that you will.

I digress tonight.

The real thing is that we loathe most our weaknesses of character when they appear in others.  We admire most the things we wish we had.  But we gotta make peace with that and try to figure out what we do right & do it right & play up to that strength.

Be world class at what you’re wired for.  Make big gains in what comes naturally, and get a bit better at what doesn’t.  But don’t beat yourself up for being a pitbull or a golden retriever.  They’re both useful dogs.

What Are You Lying To Yourself About?

Iliarliarposter spent my 20’s earning–and spending–a lot of money.

I earned money from being a Real estate agent, and I spent money on nothing.  I had the ostrich head in sand problem for a long time.  Have played at this, but never DONE it.

I’m not unusual.  I have some cash in the bank, but when you take the IRS, the people I borrowed from to bail myself out of the IRS, and everything else, my net worth is -89,000.   That’s negative.  I’m 89,000 in the hole, and happy that I’m not in jail.  In the last 9 years, I’ve only had 2 years that were under six figures.   The bulk of the damage, the state and IRS tax bill that was once $170,000 is now down to $25,000.  It’ll get knocked out. And it’ll make a good story.

I honestly believed it to be less till recently.   I had made a $25,000 clerical error.  A GIGO problem.  A spreadsheet that I worked on had bad data.  But it was interesting, I think.

I hid this stuff from people.  Mostly myself.  I knew how to earn money, and I paid some lip service to frugality, but it was a ruse.  I didn’t care, I figured I’d be a millionaire soon.  Phil Hodgen, International Tax Lawyer (and good friend) says, that the “second you don’t need a Mercedes anymore is when you’ll get one.”   The dissipation of every bit of money I had on stupid schemes that would get me out of the last failed plan was kind of how I lived.  I was grasping for whatever.  When we got rid of the real estate and moved into a dive, things changed, our focus changed some.  Hopefully it’s not too late.

I didn’t spend a lot of money on advertising, I pissed it away on restaurants, shiny tech gadgets, clothing for my wife.  Oh, yeah, and rental properties that were a Bad Idea for anyone to own, that I didn’t care about.  The whole time, I hated my job.  There’s plenty to like to being a Realtor, I just didn’t have the passion for it.

Anyway, I lied to myself for a long time.  See, I had income.  Things are fine, I’m still a smart kid.  I made money, so I can’t be failing.   I’ll fix it later.  Who cares, everyone has these problems.  Thing is, they are preventable.

In the long run we’re all dead.  That’s what Keynes said.  But the thing is, how we lived matters.  I can’t endure the stress of it.  Deal is: I had all the means to have a good pile of wealth now.  Somehow, my ego never let me feel this.  I always find some excuse, some reason that everything was still OK.

It’s not OK.  The debt is suffocating.  I’ve taken it from $150ish (realmoney) to $89.  Now it’s time to home stretch this thing and get this smoked forever.  It’s all survivable, and it’s all a distraction.  You can’t operate with debt, not like you can in reality.  Think about this:  At 10% (my average interest) I’m paying $9,000 a year, or $750/month to debt.

Think about that.  That’s before I do anything, I gotta pony that money up.

It’s fixable, though.  I’m earning at a good clip.

I’m pretty sure at this point that there aren’t going to be any other ‘surprises’.  I honestly had believed that the debt was down below $20k.   And it’ not, and so this thing is going in a google doc.  that google doc is gonna get iframed into the sidebar.  And I’ll be updating it once a month.  All the component parts of the debt will get added in.    I’ll do this tomorrow.

I want to be transparent for selfish reasons.  I’m not bragging.  I’m currently doing pretty well.  I collected up all my debts and spreadsheeted ‘em.  I’m going to get rid of them one by one as fast as I can.  The first goal is a $4800 loan that costs $200 a month and is at a ghastly 14% interest.    I can do it.

Here are some personal finance bloggers:

The Simple Dollar – more consumerist than I’d like to be, but better than I am.

Five Cent Nickel – opinionated.  Tough.  And good.

The Cult of Speed Manifesto: Speed Is Everything.

spedometerSpeed is everything in business.

The fast eat the slow.  The fast are the ones with the advantage.

I can launch a product and do it perfectly before you can have a meeting and talk about it.  Speed is everything.

How do you keep accelerating?  How do you floor it and get a better engine all at once?

Speed is everything, man.  It’s the end all-be all.

If you are slow, you are behind and you have to work three times as hard to catch up.  Speed in business is what needs to happen.   Elephants danced, but the gist is that you’ve gotta move your business, your life and everything fast.  You’ve gotta get the fast habit.

The Cult of Done Helps.

But I’m gonna talk about the cult of speed.

  1. Realize that someone already has your idea, and your idea is rotting.  Get it out there and put it to use.
  2. Realize that time is the enemy of all:  done today is better than perfect tomorrow.
  3. Realize that perfect is a ruse:  even in art, getting the gist out there clearly is important.
  4. Realize that complex loses.  Make your widgets super simple.
  5. Small Projects Are Always Better Than Big Ones because they get done.
  6. Realize Everything is an opportunity to demonstrate virtuosity.
  7. Realize that speed is soon nothing special and the ticket to the table.
  8. Realize that most mistakes are recoverable, most mistakes are easy to fix.  It’s impossible to fix it when you’re beat.
  9. Realize that it’s easier to sustain a lead than it is to overtake someone.
  10. Realize that people are all getting better.  Work on getting better, faster.
  11. Realize that all your soliders need to be on the field.
  12. Realize that your first draft goes live and you can correct it later.
  13. Realize that today isn’t soon enough and your ideas are already rotten.
  14. Realize that NDAs and bloated meetings are a waste of time.
  15. Realize that your throughput needs to get faster and higher and more, and it only does so when you have and increase your capacity.
  16. Realize you need a timer to measure and firewall projects from eating days.
  17. Realize that the faster you get your stuff done the more time that you can spend on the people you love.
  18. Realize you need a list to work off of to keep going fast and you need it with you somehow.
  19. Realize you must learn time saving shortcuts to produce more.

That’s it.  That’s the cult of speed.  That’s what you need to do–there are 19 things that make you faster, better more.  And that’s it.  There’s nothing to add, but you have to get faster, today.  Others are.  America needs to be obsessed with speed.  Making quick decisions, producing faster, having a culture of speed and getting things done.