I’ve always been excited about the idea of remote, collaborative work. Why? Well, I think the idea that you need to have 100, or even 10 or even 2 people sitting in the same room or the same office in order to get things done is ridiculous. Some offices have embraced this technology with everything from remote workers or agents to office messaging and communications software. I have a vision for the future and it doesn’t include the traditional “sardines in a can”. What does it look like? Here goes.
I recently decided to watch the movie Jobs for the first time. As an Apple “fanboy” and an entrepreneur, it certainly strikes a chord with me. It’s hard not to be inspired by an individual who has made such a huge impact on the world in so many ways. I’d like to take a look at the things that I learned from this film. Now, not all of them are good. In fact, some of them are terrible. Such is life.
Sometimes everything just comes together. Earlier today I “pocketed” an article about writing. Later in the day, a good friend of mine asked some advice about “how to get a novel out of her head and onto the page”. I have within me great pride in that I completed a novel and even greater pride at being considered a resource on the topic. The advice I gave her and the advice the article gave were different, but complimentary. So, the question remains; how do you get a novel out of your head and onto the page?
When I heard about iOS7, through this year’s WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference), I was really excited. Apple hasn’t changed their OS in any major or fundamental way in a very long time….or, well, ever. I was excited. It LOOKED really pretty and I was excited about some of the changes that they were bringing out. And then it launched. Now, there’ve been a lot of complaints so far. And I’d like to address them now. At least, the ones that I’ve dealt with.
I used to love meeting. During my corporate days, there were management meetings, team meetings, client meetings, training meetings, etc. It was the best. You know why? Because most of our time was spent sitting around talking, drinking coffee and trying to figure out how we could improve our metrics. Do you know how many good ideas came out of those meetings? About three. So why do we have meetings? Well, we have meetings because that’s what people do in business, right? I once worked for a consulting firm that spent a couple of hundred dollars on business lunches with me, the end result of which was that we decided what kind of phone I was going to get. As you can imagine, this is not productive. But how do you break the cycle?
Distractions are terrible, am I right? I mean, you’ve just settled down into a groove and suddenly a song comes on the radio that you really like and you find yourself singing along and finding yourself unable to focus on the spreadsheet you were working on or you lose your train of thought on that TPS report (thanks Office Space). If you don’t know that I’m sarcastic by now, you haven’t read enough of my blogs. I love distractions. Not only do I choose not to avoid them but I choose to face them head on. And here’s why.
I sat down tonight (well, last night now) and had absolutely no idea what I was going to write. Having written a novel, I understood all to well that what I was suffering from was a writer’s block. It is dreaded, it is common, it is indescribable. And here it was. So I thought, maybe I will get inspired by listening to some Dan Millman (probably my favorite writer). It turns out that I was right. I remembered something that I had learned from him while doing his Peaceful Warrior workout routine. He said something that changed my life and hopefully now it will change yours. Ready? Here’s goes.
Autumn is a difficult time for my wife. On one hand, she’s extremely excited because I believe that in a past life she was a migrant fruit picker, roaming from region to region collecting apples, peaches, pears and anything else that grows on a tree and she likes to pick them. On the other hand, it’s fantasy football season. ‘Nuff said. On reflecting a little bit, I realized that my experiences with fantasy football can be very closely linked to my experiences with business. Although hopefully with a little more success (pssssst, I’m not very good at fantasy football).
I am not cool. I mean, I’m cool, but I have some coolness challenges. But I’m going to explain to you why that’s ok and why it’s so important to admit it. When you lie about whether or not you’re cool, it can have terrible repercussions on your entire life. Sounds serious for something like “pretending to be cool” but let me run this by you and we’ll see what you think.
The other day, a friend of mine, a far younger and cooler friend than me, asked me if I was “still rolling a whip” or something very similar. Now, if you are cool, you probably know what he meant. But if you are as white and as old as me, you are incredibly confused. Luckily, the conversation was via text message and I did the unthinkable; I googled “whip” and I found out that a “whip” is a car. So my friend was merely asking, and it made perfect sense in the conversation, if I still had an automobile.
You remember, right? Your whole life, people telling you “it’s so wonderful to learn from your mistakes.” Is it? Is it really? I don’t know. Well, I think I know now, but just follow along here because as of a couple of days ago, I don’t think I actually knew the answer to this question. I’d read one book and it would tell me that when you’re starting a business, the most important thing in the world is to learn from your mistakes and then I’d read a second book that would tell me that you don’t learn anything from failure. Who’s right? Who knows?
The standard argument is that failure provides an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. That’s what they say, right? You learn from your mistakes. But do you? Do you really? Let’s run you through a scenario and see what you think. Ok, so you take your life savings and you invest it in an up and coming tech company. That company fails miserably and you lose your entire life savings. You lose your house, your car and any semblance you have of a future. But luckily you’ve “learned” a valuable lesson. So, now the next time that opportunity presents itself, you’ll know what to do.