100x

We have come so far in the last ten years. If I had to put a number on it, I would say we are 10x. 10x faster, 10x cheaper, 10x better.

But what happens when we add a zero to that number?

Sure. It’s inevitable. But there are many people spending an enormous amount of time fighting the wrong battle. Instead of defending the status-quo—fighting for average jobs for average pay—change it. Let work become more digitized and commoditized. Let work become more efficient and more perfect. Let work be something we do on the clock and get paid by the hour.

It’s a race. A race to the bottom. One that you can’t win. Are you able to out Walmart Walmart? At some point, instant is instant. And you can’t find something cheaper than free.

There is an alternative though. At the same time, a door is opening for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and free lancers. It’s a door for anyone willing to do labor.

Labor can continue to scale. Labor is the human work. The imperfect kind. Labor is about kindness and respect.

And if you find some encouragement in your labor, you might find the strength to keep going. To push through the Dip. And if you can find a tribe and solve interesting problems, you might just get hooked.

The world will always need more passionate people—the ones who are willing to do the human work that a machine can never replace.

That’s a battle worth fighting.

Bigger badges

Leadership doesn’t come after years of waiting to be picked.

Following instructions and following the map doesn’t develop your ability to leap, to stand up, or stand out.

No. It’s about incremental steps of taking responsibility without any authority.

No one cares about the badge you carry. Just whether you are ready to assemble the tribe, take us where we want to go, and getting out-of-the-way.

Casting call

A hero hears the alarm, gets up and says: I am going to go out there and kill it today. Then I am going to drag it back to the cave.

Maybe you are the victim and your first reaction was: Why is this happening to me? I am not a morning person. Leave me alone.

Maybe you are the villain and by an act of self-sabotage you hit the snooze button on your alarm and then you turn it off and maybe you turn off your spouse’s alarm. A villain goes out to break the rules so that others can’t play.

How do you wake up in the morning?

Stand fast

And walk uprightly.

You have more power than you think.

It’s a shame that you didn’t grown up in the best neighborhood or had parents that didn’t take enough interest in your education or that you made mistakes in the past.

But it would be a waste to go another day without living to your full potential.

If you don’t like the way your story is being written, then change it.

Yesterday would have been a good day to start. Since you can’t go back, now would be the next best thing.

The only thing stopping us from learning, improving, and getting better in the developed world is us.

We have more access to more information than ever before. Use it.

When ten words would do

Why do we use 100 words to explain ourselves when 10 words would suffice?

Why tell people to read the fine print when no one actually reads it?

And who benefits from the Unions, SOP’s, Policies and Procedures, and waivers?

I think it’s all a form of hiding. We use 100 words to insulate us from the truth.

We think we are doing ourselves a service by protecting ourselves from being assigned a job we can’t do. But were wrong. Doing the same task over and over again, doesn’t make us better.

(Do you have 1 year of experience repeated 30 times or do you actually have 30 years of experience?)

What make us more valuable in the work place is doing tasks that might not work, that might fail. Trying to solve interesting problems (the ones that might not work) is also what brings us meaning.

It’s a skill (and I do believe it’s a skill) to look someone in the eye and be able to tell them the truth: This didn’t work. We failed. We didn’t keep our promise.

No excuses. Just the facts.

Or you can say, you just work here.

The argument room

It’s important to pick and choose your battles.

A while back, I was on the phone with my cell phone company to inquire about an overcharge.

The conversation didn’t go as expected. I asked to speak to a Supervisor. She then hung up. I called back and I was told that someone would get back with me.

It never happened.

I could pick up the phone and call again but I know what I would be walking into. So why walk through that door?

[I decided to fire my cell phone company. Took my business somewhere else and learned a valuable lesson about the argument room. Turns out, I found a better cell phone provider. I highly recommend Republic Wireless. Phenomenal service and is the best deal on the market.]

Leaping

Leaping isn’t something that is innate in our nature. It’s not something we naturally do because we want everything to be okay.

Everything is not always going to be okay.

The leap doesn’t come when you’re comfortable. It doesn’t come when there is a step by step set of instructions or a manual. And it sure doesn’t come when there is a map or a sign pointing where to go.

No. If you’re looking for safety, then you’ve missed the point of the leap.

Leaping means this might work, this might not work. Leaping comes when you’re standing on the edge of something great and something daring and you’ve done everything you can to prepare for your moment. Leaping is about ignoring the amygdala.

Maybe, you’re not quite sure what the outcome is going to be. But taking a leap is never losing faith in the end of your story. Believing that despite what happens you can prevail over whatever comes your way.

12 steps to success

It’s about failure. The person who fails the most will win. In order to keep failing you need to be good enough to keep playing.

This might work. This might not work. If it can’t fail, then it can’t be remarkable.

Failure is an event, not a person.

It’s a marathon not a sprint. So where are you going to put the tired?

There isn’t any set of instructions or a map. Use the fear of failure as a compass.

There are lots of things and choices in our world we are making that are fake. Ignore these distractions.

When the voice in our head says you’re not good enough and who do you think you are, just say the word thinking. And then let it go.

Unless you’re running from a saber tooth tiger, don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing work that matters.

There is no product, good, or service for everyone. If it’s for everyone, then it’s for no one.

Did they get the joke? Maybe you have the wrong audience.

We shouldn’t spend so much time getting all of our ducks in a row. The question is, what are you going to do with that duck? The one duck you have.

If it’s not working, make better art.