Huh? Are you insane?
Certainly everyone wants this … assurance.
- When a wedding event is planned then the head of the family wants the assurance that the event will go well.
- When a new project is about to begin, the sponsor wants the assurance that it will be successful.
- When a new product line is launched, the Executives, VPs and Sr. Managers need assurance that it will work.
- When a startup is hiring a freelancer, they want certainty that the work freelancer would carry out will be extremely useful to them (and since the freelancer is supposed to be needing the work, she should offer the money-back guarantee too!).
Everyone wants assurance.
The problem with assurance is that we get to know about it when the exact same experience has happened.
Whatever has happened once can be predicted. Whatever has happened once can be estimated. Whatever has happened once can contribute in giving assurance.
Creation is different kind of path. It is based on the ambit of “not sure.”
If the creator is asked, “Can you show me a case study about how you’d go from A to B,” he might not have a definite answer.
The world gets better by the stuff that comes from doing the things that might not work.
Are you doing anything that might not work?
Recently read this news on TechCrunch: Secret App Shuts Down. Details here.
It raises some questions and the answers to those questions come with an opportunity to reflect on important something. Here’re the questions:
- How would your app users react if you take the app down?
- How would your clients react if you stop providing your consulting services?
- How would your employer react if you put up your resignation?
If you stop doing your work, will that be a setback for them?
If your app is a clone of a popular app then no one would ever bother to notice if it is taken down.
If the quality of your consulting services is like just another consulting provider available next door then your client’s reaction might be, “Hmm, let’s hire another one!”
If you are like just another worker, it might be better for your employer to let you go and hire a new one for a less price although it sounds counter-intuitive at first.
But when the “who” becomes more important than “what,” the scenario changes.
Your work matters. Your app is missed if it is gone. Your consulting services is missed if someone else is providing that. You’re offered premium to stay and do what you’re doing.
Become the “who” that is missed and success might never miss you. This thought connects me with the Paul Graham’s classic article – Do things that don’t scale.
Perhaps being the “who,” who is missed if he’s gone is the most effective mean of getting your next gig.
Here’ gig does not mean just a job, it means live performance :).
So, what would you do so you’re missed when you’re gone?
Few days ago, one of my newly hired designers came to me to show a design that was not even mediocre at its best.
He didn’t say anything but got back to his drawing board when I asked, “Is this your best work?”
If I would have measured my blood pressure at that time, I’m sure it would be much higher.
Not because the deadline was about to miss. Not because my designer’s capabilities was any less. It was because the premise that the designer operated from: mediocrity might work this time.
No. Mediocrity won’t work. Not this time. Not anytime. If it works for someone, it is a fluke.
I wish the designer was taught to tell his past leaders on face: Raise your standards for me. I deserve more than what mediocrity may produce in my life.
The designer’s life would be much different if he had worked for a leader who would push him to his limits and bring his excellence out.
Take ownership of your life. Find a leader who does not accept mediocrity. Find a leader who pushes his people to the limits. Find a leader who makes you uncomfortable for all good reasons.
And work for him. Even if you get less salary than what you will get working for a mediocre leader. It’s a very small cost to pay.
Will it make you feel comfortable?
Will it make your life better over the long run?
This applies to you even if the leader is you.
Do you know how to get the shit out of your coding skills?
You can do two things with your coding skills. Sell your skills on per-hour basis, a pretty good source of income, or use your skill to create an app, a product and experience the compound returns on your skills sooner or later.
The developer who writes the code aggressively, without regard for her peers earning pretty good income for more or less the same skills, and partying out loud on the weekends more frequently than she could, often ends up with more opportunities on her way and more possibilities to influence the world positively (including her own world!).
On the other hand, her seemingly happy peers, end up with 7-15% pay increase every year till the market is booming and then when the time is not good, might lose their job wondering what they will do next.
And, of course, it’s the same for designers, writers, doctors, advocates, painters and every kind of creators out there.
Sell your creations for “guaranteed” low returns or compound it through your abilities to deal with an uncertain next.
Is any next certain?
“Screw It, Let’s Do It!” ~ Sir Richard Branson
This is one of the most powerful advices one could ever get. It’s powerful because it can change lives. It’s powerful because it works … however, it’s not so easy to make it work.
The reason is your #1 enemy who pretends to be your friend and lives inside you.
Outside enemies are relatively easy to deal with. You know who they are. You know what their intentions are. You know you have to be careful or you’re gone.
But the enemy inside you, the voice of procrastination and resistance, that’s the one you need to be eagle-eyed about.
Do not be friends with your enemy.
As it turns out, most of us have very generous hearts and we want to be friends with our enemies too including procrastination and resistance.
We act like an edgeless sword against it.
We let their charm take us over.
We let that voice lead.
Run. Walk away. Get off.
Screw that voice, let’s do it.
Do you know what’s your self worth?
Are you in search of things that are beyond the logical boundaries of sorts?
Do you believe in …
your product idea …
… and your startup so deeply that others find your beliefs highly opinionated, unreasonable and outside the generally accepted norms?
If so, then chances are you might be creating your destiny in a way you won’t regret later.
But if your default is to never sound opinionated, unreasonable and you always strive to act within the accepted norms, then you’re probably not living your full potential.
Reflect on it. You would know What You Should be Doing Vs. What You’ve Been Doing is in harmony or not.