This post is brought to you by the C train and 36-minutes of
commuting quiet reflection between meetings. Today is my third anniversary of starting my own big thing. On March, 1, 2008, I became fully polyfidelitously employed–my term for non-monogamous employment…er, working for myself. Chief Amusement Designer, the title, happened later: November, 2008. And much later came this site.
While on the C train today, I recounted how 3- or more- years can just fly by. “On my 79th brithday, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Who is this old lady?’ Last time I checked, I was just 39.” – My Grandma on her 82nd birthday.
What follows are 36 musings. Each musing is a little something I might say to an earlier version of myself or to anyone venturing into unknown territory.
1. Make the distinction between business and busyness. Get rid of the y; and pay more attention to the why.
2. Don’t worry about being “7% different than __________”. Instead, be 100% you.
3. Flip your to-do list upside-down at least once a week. All the good stuff is usually at the bottom.
4. Say no early and often.
5. Can’t find a group that you would like to join and get support from? Start one.
6. Always question assumptions.
7. Don’t spend $500 on business cards when you can just spend $40 on BUSINESS CARDS. The lesson: Impact trumps convention.
8. Never use the word vertical like this: ‘marketing vertical’.
9. For God’s sake, follow your $%&&^@ impulses.
10. Pay attention to what you pay attention to. Related: Pay attention to what pisses you off. Great ideas lurk here.
11. List all the things that “hold you back”. Now, turn those things into your biggest assets.
12. You don’t have to know what your ‘little sausage’ looks like, but you should know that it exists. Note to the head-scratchers: The little sausage will make an appearance soon. And this sentence will link to that story. :)
13. Get–and use–Evernote.
14. Email will eat your lunch if you don’t have a system. Here is a system that you will use.
15. Find possibility in unlikely places.
16. Being self-employed can easily become trading in one boss for a bunch of bosses. Don’t do that.
17. Quit it with all of the binaries.
18. There is a reason why you aren’t an accountant.
19. Pay your taxes on time. You’ll sleep better.
20. Do things that feed your joy.
21. You don’t use PowerPoint or Keynote when you present/speak. That’s okay.
22. Ask for help.
23. You can only over-deliver if the things you do are the things you’re best at.
24. Put yourself in everyone else’s shoes. Ask yourself, “How will this land before you hit ‘send”‘?
25. It is your job to teach your clients how to work with you.
26. Stop being a cobbler with no shoes or whatever that adage is. Or, if this were an airplane: “Put your own mask on first.” Your work–not just ‘client work’–is important.
27. When you do more of the things you would gladly do for free, you make more money. And you’re way more fun to be around.
28. Your biggest asset is also the easiest thing to lose: Your vision.
29. No one knows what you need unless you tell them.
30. Make a commitment to yourself to leave town once every six weeks. And then stick to it.
31. Get a puppy.
32. Use the stuff you create. Job Title Jackpot just said you were an “Innovative Meaning Maven”.
33. The CAD lib for today: lamentation. Thank you, Sean Roman, whoever you are who left no backlink. (See #32).
34. Stop cheating. (See #33).
35. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t.
36. Be thankful, grateful, and compassionate. With yourself and with others.
Thank you to my collaborators, partners, the bird, and everyone who has made my work-life and my life-life so rich.