If you’re the sensitive type, go click on the affiliate link over there and make us some money. If you’re not, stick with me for a bit, but know that there are cuss words coming! Sometimes, you just have to blow shit up.
I don’t actually mean putting dynamite in an old Chevette, tho’ that might be a lot of fun. What I mean is that sometimes you just have to take the set of notions you’ve been working with and chuck ‘em into the blender. Re-examine the assumptions you’ve been making about your work, relationship, hobby, mission, or philosophy. Or sometimes – and that “sometimes” is today for me, bub – you just have to shout at yourself at the top of your lungs. I mean, for Gosh sake, Suino, get your act together.
Here’s comes the yelling part:
DON’T START NEW SHIT!
I have enough cool stuff going on. I mean, really, I run one of the most awesome high test martial arts schools on the planet. I’ve got an online marketing business that’s growing almost faster than we can keep up with it. My co-conspirator on THIS site – the diabolical Ian Gray – and I have recently published a book and we’ve got about a million-dozen other great projects in the works at the same time. My wife is glorious, my daughter is amazing, and my hobbies make me giddy with excitement.
But still this mess of synapses and ooze keeps kicking out all these ideas that seem truly compelling. And the other bunch of junk inside the hollow brain casing keeps answering back with “dude, that’s a great frickin idea.”
I have too much on my plate. I love what I do and what I have, and I got to remember that it needs my attention. So my first rule of personal don’t-screw-this-up-mister is “don’t start anymore new shit.”
DO THE CURRENT STUFF WELL!
So with all that hoohah and Hamtramck going on, I need an accountability partner to whack me over the head on a regular basis and say “focus on the thing you’re doing, fancy-pants.” Pay attention, remember what you know, get your hands dirty, and do it well. The rewards you want will come with the quality of what you do. If you love it, do it, do it, and do it well. If you don’t love it, quit doing it.
ALWAYS PLAN A PRE AND POST MEETING!
I just need this item, folks, tho’ maybe you don’t. I need to spend a little time before all the meetings making sure I know what I’ve done and getting my notes in order. Flying by the seat of these Levi-Strausses is working, but it’s not working well enough to get me where I want to be. Prepare ahead, dammit!
I also need to spend a little time afterwards processing what I did in meetings. Do one or two of the simple tasks you assigned yourself to get the processes moving. Organize your notes into a simple plan for getting things the fuck done. Send a thank you email to the folks at the meeting, except for that one guy who kept talking about useless sheee-ite.
YOU KNOW THE SYSTEM – DON’T INVENT A NEW ONE – USE THE ONE YOU KNOW, DAMMIT!
I have to say I have a fairly complete understanding of things like marketing, client relations, and business operations. So at this point I really don’t need to keep inventing new ones. I mean, enough already! Use the ones you know. Like Ian keeps saying, sometimes you just have to sit down and do the work. It might be quicker than trying to invent yet another new “system” to do it for you.
If you’re still reading, I bet you’ve tried before to create some method for doing a task you don’t necessarily love. But I also bet you’ve once or twice spent a whole lot more time trying to create the system than you might have if you had just done the gosh-darned work!
You haven’t? Then you ain’t human, sister.
But I have, and I’m tired of it. Don’t invent a new system, Suino. Use the one you have, dammit!
ASK: HOW DOES THIS ADD VALUE TO MY LIFE?
And more than anything else, ask how the next thing on your agenda is going to add value to your life. If you have any control over how you spend your time, spend it on the things that really matter. Spend it with the people who help you be most productive. Spend it in the places where you feel most alive.
Luckily, I’m pretty darn good at this last one, and I suppose that’s why I get to be around such terrific people and do such rewarding work. But I could be a lot, lot better about asking the question when I think about starting yet another business or project. Whenever the answer is anything less than a resounding “this adds a LOT of effin value,” I’m gonna turn the thing down.
Listen, folks, now that I’m about done yelling at myself, let me say this to you about that: life is incredible, wonderful, all encompassing, challenging and exciting. But only if you really dig in and do what you were put on this earth to do. And that thing might not be so obvious here amidst the din of commercialism and cynicism that is American life in 2012.
How ya gonna find your mission? I say, start doing things, and doing ‘em big. Try the thing you think you want to do, and once you try it, try to grow it. If it turns into something else when it grows, why fight it? That new thing might be the thing. Or once you know the thing you’re doing ain’t the thing you should be doing, get the hell out. There are lots of folks who won’t ever heed this warning – let them do the book-keeping.
You and me, we got a lot of great shit to do!