Learn To Work

This was the year I really learned what it means to work hard.

I mean with real intensity.

I’ve always put the hours in – and then some. But, at the same time, I’ve always dabbled at work. I’ve put hours in without putting much more than that in.

All my life – all of it – I have coasted. I have done the minimum effort, and tried to make up by spending more time in it.  It’s easy to spot the places in business where coasting is allowed, where it doesn’t take much to shine.  Real Estate. Some sales jobs.  A lot of my life’s effort was bent on chasing the dream of not doing much work .

This is why Rich Dad, Poor Dad sells a ton of books.  We’re meant to believe that we’re just missing some easy trick.  Riches elude us because we just need a few “tweaks” or “hacks”.  You know, our bellyfat can be removed with one weird tip.  Searching for a fake hack is easier than doing real work.

We try to optimize our systems with GTD instead of becoming the right person or doing the right things.

The difference this year – for me – wasn’t the hours – they were fewer than last year (when I made about half the money and built nothing of lasting value).  The difference was the intensity.

I’m not yet a success, and I’m not going to pursue any type of personal brand. But what I did learn is this – and if it helps you, Godspeed.

  1. Talk way, way less. To your wife, to your friends. Make your kids shut up. It’s good for both of you. Talking includes IM and and the rest of it.  Spend the time…
  2. Reading books is huge- it makes you better by getting you outside of yourself. 60 minutes a day is a minimum for a busy day.  You have the time. 60 minutes a day is a hard book every 2 weeks. Alternate fiction and nonfiction.  To much of either is a drag, and most nonfiction stinks.
  3. Understand that doing it differently is way hard.  There’s a roadmap to mediocrity if that’s what you want.
  4. STOP the self congratulations.  Don’t allow it. It’ll wreck ya.
  5. Distractions steal your time.  Time is your life. Skype, RSS, blogging.  Look into RescueTime and figure out how you spend your screen-time
  6. Reduce the number of tools: Some are redundant and others are distractions.
  7. Your natural work rhythm is important.  Learn it, when you have energy. Do your best work then. (For me, it’s about an hour after I wake up and then I get energy around 9pm.)
  8. Remove indignation from your life.
  9. People are Jerks: Generally speaking. You have to work with them. That means that you have to lubricate things and anticipate what people will be thinking or doing.
  10. Eliminate: people that steal your soul, act patronizing.
  11. You need a place to get your thoughts into. Evernote and MacJournal are mine. (Hint: with evernote trunk running in the background, you can hit CMD-CTRL-N and have a note window pop up for later)
  12. Needing Approbation will kill you slowly and painfully.  You won’t get a victory lap.
  13. Indulging your wicked tongue: never helps you. That nasty remark, whate
  14. Cultivate: gratitude for your position.  Reading this blog means that you’re profoundly lucky.
  15. Cultivate:  benign indifference towards most people’s opinions.
  16. Don’t spend time managing complex GTD systems. You need to have a place for todo lists and that’s about it.
  17. Prepare in advance for repetitive tasks.
  18. Connect Daily with people you admire.
  19. Have a bad-ass dream and work to achieve it.

This is the best I can do. It’s what I learned this year. Next year, I hope to learn more.

Some Changes….

Hey, for those that are here, I’m messing with Headway 3 – a Simplifilm Client – and WP-Types.com, also a Simplifilm client.

This might look “Junky” for a while as I get things configured right.

I’m fine with that – I’m just seeing what goes where.

I’ll still be blogging and stuff, but there will be some weirdness here.

Deploy – Improve – Confirm

As we start to seriously think about what Simplifilm is becoming, we’re writing a process thing. Inspired by “the Lean Startup” we have an entire service business to build.


We want to deploy something – get it out there.

An example would be the new “welcome” message.  Let’s deploy something.

“Welcome To Simplifilm: These are the steps to make your video”.

The next thing we do is to improve it.   To make it more like us, to convey the meaning and the imputed values that we also stand for.

“Thanks for picking a Simplifilm. This is going to be a fun process, but there are some tricky parts.  Here’s what we are hoping for…”

Then we confirm that we’re actually improving the right thing. We see what customers do, what they react to and measure what we can measure.