All humans have a fatal tendency to underestimate the amount of potential ones’ own self can possess. You must assume then that any successful human can only be attributed to an undeniable, unrealistic, unreasonable set of self-imposed expectations.
You have to dream big, far bigger than you can even imagine.
These quotes are from Julien Smith’s blog 100 Tips About Life, People, and Happiness. I loved them instantly and wanted to put something together to spread them to as many people as I could.
I’ve been following Julien for a while now. I read his blog (inoveryourhead.net) regularly, he looks at the world differently and isn’t afraid to tell you want he really thinks. That’s why I like him. He co-wrote Trust Agents, the original bible on social media and more recently wrote one of my favorite books, The Flinch (free e-book).
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1. They’re not just out to give tickets, they’re trying to keep Regina safe. My initial impression of “Cops” per se was that of the stereotypical Farva off Super Troopers. You know what I mean, just complete jerk-faces? (Yes you hyphenate jerk-faces) Yeah, they’re nothing like that at all. I met a few while I was in the back for debriefing and they were down to earth normal people. And no they don’t try to give you tickets, if you break the law in front of them they’re going to give you a ticket. A few bad eggs hurts their reputation that’s for sure.
2. They have a very, very difficult job. A lot of the people they deal with have no respect for Cops whatsoever, you can imagine how their interactions usually go. Any time you have an exchange with a Police Officer it’s usually because of something bad happened. They’re the bringers of bad news. It’s incredibly difficult to imagine that in your day-to-day most people you deal with are not happy with you at all, it must affect their mood and attitude over time. Continue reading »
At Folkfest in Regina this past weekend I saw two girls a friend had recently hired to work for his company. They were volunteering.
That struck me a mildly awesome. There’s a 85%* chance that those girls are younger than you and they took it upon themselves to volunteer at Folkfest.
I told my friend about it and we agreed that that is a very positive attribute to possess, a willingness to volunteer. It shows you care, that you’re not selfish (or a shellfish), that you believe in giving back, that you support local events/causes/entities that need your help.
How do you give back?
* – based on an estimated guess of the average age of my readers, 85% of them would be older than the girls mentioned above.
Terrified of writing? Most people are, that’s why it’s always good to remind yourself of why you go through with the arduous task of attempting to create masterpieces regularly. I found this wonderfully inspiring quote on the fear of writing on Reddit.com, written by none other than Ira Glass himself. Yes, the Ira Glass, you know the one who hosts Public Radio International’s This American Life podcast. The podcast that has 1.7 million listeners. He’s easily one of the best story tellers of our generation. You must read this:
You need to write. That’s the only thing that will make your writing better. You’re afraid to write something that’s shit, that dishonors. But even Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” It’s just a starting point. You have to get something down in the rough before you can perfect it.
Stories about your ancestors are what you should write. They engage your feelings because they mean something to you. You need to be emotionally engaged in your story. If you write about things that you don’t feel about, you won’t care about the material, and it will be gray, flat, and lifeless.
So start. Once you get your first draft, go back through and polish. Do it until you’re happy with it. Walt Whitman, the famous poet, started writing Leaves of Grass at 37, and kept rewriting it to perfect it until he died at the age of 72. You don’t have to publish it. You can keep it secret, and polish it until it shines with its own light.
But you have to get it on paper first. Here’s what will happen: You will write, and a lot of it will be shit, and you will worry that you’ll get run over a bus and someone will find it and know what a hack you are. But you ignore that inner perfectionist, because it’ll keep you rewriting the first paragraph until it’s perfect and you’ll never get anywhere. You keep going until its done. You write the whole thing. And then, when you’re finished, you read it.
You won’t be happy with it. You’ll cringe over the awkward sentences, the poor transitions, the pacing, blah blah blah. But you’ll find these moments of beauty captured in words, like poetry, alive and breathing. And you’ll move back a paragraph and build to that moment, and then the page will come alive, and you’ll feel the rhythm of the words and how their energy leads into the next moment. And you’ll struggle with the turn of a phrase that’s not just right until, with a twist here and a tweak there, you realize you’ve captured one of life’s secrets on the page, and you’ll glory in it. You keep going like that. And every time you do, you’ll feel your ancestors smile.
This is the way it’s done. This is the way that it’s always been done. Continue reading »
The larger your target market the more customers you can service and a better chance to make a lot of money. Service a large number of people and you’re sure to be a success, you don’t want to leave anyone out or exclude anyone do you? Create a product that the average person would like. You’re sure to make a lot of sales selling an average product to average people, right?
(targeting the early and late majority is the largest, most profitable chunk of the curve but they are a difficult group to market to, for the most part they follow what the innovators and early adopters are doing. As well you have much more competition in the early and late majority)
Pick the smallest possible niche you could possibly target and focus on them and them only. Relentlessly seek feedback from your best customers and constantly figure out new ways to delight them. If you consistently exceed expectations they will have to talk about you to others. Never worry about the people who aren’t in your target market, you must exclude others to allow yourself time to treat the select few customers you do want to work with extra special. Inevitably people will be offended, upset, and even pissed off at what you do, this is a sure sign you’re on to something.
(targeting the innovators of your target market is difficult but if done properly, very profitable. Remember, the late majority follows the early majority, the early majority follows the early adopters, and the early adopters follow what the innovators do. Focus your efforts on the innovators and over time it will be exponentially)
You can only pick one strategy, choose wisely.