Motivation

Finding A Mentor

  A few years ago my friend Kevin decided to get a few guy-friends from undergrad and B-school together for a weekend getaway on a farm in Lexington, KY. The idea was to get some younger, bright business people together with some more experienced mentors for...

Collaboration

When Ideas Become Burdens

One of the frustrating aspects of creating for a living is that we are often responsible for executing our own ideas. Over time, this can cause us to self-limit because, subconsciously, we don’t want to generate an idea that we’ll have to find the time and energy...

Process

Every Day Is A Job Interview

How hard would you work today if you knew that keeping your job was dependent on the value you contribute? Imagine that there is going to be a fifteen minute exit interview at the end of the day, and in this interview you are going to have to account for all of the...

Process

When You Don’t Care

Inevitably, there will be some projects in your create-on-demand role that you will be - let’s just say - “less than passionate” about. In fact, there will be some things you’re required to do that seem downright ridiculous and generally like a waste of time. How...

Motivation

How Much Noise Is In Your Life?

In sound recording there is something known as the "noise floor". This is the amount of constant ambient noise in the recording environment or that results as a function of the method of recording. The goal for any recording engineer is to maximize the amount of signal recorded in comparison to the amount of noise. The more noise is present, the more difficult it is to discern the signal, or the subject of the recording [...]

Maze
Collaboration

Permanent Solutions To Temporary Problems

It can be very uncomfortable for us when there are open loops, or problems inhibiting productivity. We grow so uncomfortable, in fact, that we often will do nearly anything to resolve the dissonance these problems introduce, which usually means inventing some new system or developing a process to deal with them. But not all problems are equal. Some problems are temporary in nature, and we're ultimately left with the permanent systems even after the problem is long gone.

Process

Obligation vs. Opportunity

Think about how you've spent your last 24 hours. How much time did you spend on building something rather than on maintaining something that already existed? Most of us spend the majority of our lives in maintenance mode, whether it's professionally or personally....

Process

What Do You Want To Be Known For?

In a podcast interview with Kristian Andersen (to be released on Monday) he said something that caught me off-guard and caused me to think about my day-to-day work. The gist of his comment was that we need to decide what what we want to be known for, and then get working on it. In other words, we need to make sure that our daily activities line up with where we want to be headed.

Collaboration

Meeting Creep

I was having a chat the other day with a peer about the struggles we each have with "meeting creep". This is a medically diagnosable condition with the primary symptom being the inexplicable expansion of meetings into every crevice and corner of your schedule.

Process

On Becoming A Linchpin

We're very excited about our recent interview with Seth Godin about his book Linchpin [amazon link]. There are few people who consistently bring the kind of energy and insight that Seth routinely delivers as a matter of course. I think that this book is destined to be considered one of his best, and it was a privilege to hear his perspective on it on the podcast.

Process

Closing Doors

I don’t like to say “no.” I think it’s partly because I tend to gravitate toward possibility rather than pragmatics. But that tendency to always look for new solutions has at times significantly hamstrung my creative process and has, in the past, seriously affected...