Tweets in Medium Form
Expanding on some things I’ve been learning lately
When your back is against the wall, you can do basically anything in any amount of time. It’s honestly super human.
When you don’t have time to think, you have to commit on instinct (and your instinct is way sharper than you give it credit for). You don’t deliberate, you don’t flinch. You hustle and flow and you get it done.
So: you can either have a real wall of actual deadlines, or you can impose them yourself. Make hard deadlines and make consequences for yourself for failure. It’s not ‘oh well’ — it’s got to hurt in some way.
This is the biggest thing I’m learning.
The fact is, it’s not a meritocracy. Or at least, not for skills alone. I know people who are sort of useless but they’ve self promoted and stumbled upwards to such a staggering degree.
Likewise, I know fantastically talented people who don’t even have social media accounts. They just make things in their backyard and no one beyond the immediate few family and friends even knows what they do all day.
There’s some mix of things, then: if you have the skills already you have to learn a certain level of charlatan magic and be a little more shameless about getting yourself out there. Your biggest battle in life is often mere obscurity, as awful and tragic as the implications of that can be (my tendency is to remain someone who just wants to be anonymous, but it’s hard to do that and also find work as a known gun-for-hire in your field)
I don’t know why I can’t seem to practice this. I’ve known it for years, and my closest friends are pretty much trained at this point to tell me to go eat something or bike ride when I get whiny or mopey.
You can cure seemingly any stress just by being balanced — imagine that!
It’s often the most obvious advice that we fail to implement.
This is related to the second one above: marketing, I guess.
In the more meta of the conversation, I’m not convinced there needs to be such a entrepreneur / wage slave dichotomy. I think there’s this pressure that in order to be an entrepreneur you have to be this rebel who can’t physically stand to have a boss or your skeleton will crumble. Maybe some people are like that, but I don’t think I am. A business that you’re an employee for is a useful framework too: they feed you work so you don’t have to look for it — isn’t that sort of anyone’s ideal consulting setup?
So really, the problem with jobs is just what, the flexibility? The sorts of work you’re actually doing day to day? That’s just a crappy job, not a crappy existential framework for how you’re running your life.
All that to say: I don’t know. There’s pros and cons to each and I’m happy to be hustling on this side of the fence for a while. Maybe I’ll go back — surely there’s cool projects with ‘real’ companies that I could lend expertise to in exchange for dental benefits. I don’t see much point in staunchly saying I’ll never go back. Careers are this flexible thing, you don’t have to be staunch about anything.
Just, keep living and doing whatever you feel like at the time.
Not mine, but I retweeted it and coming across it again now I agree even moreso. Related to the above: careers are flexible and that whole depressing job entrapment feeling is likely a result of this specialization more than a slightly annoying Debby in HR. She’s not the real reason you hate your job.
Also, Bucky Fuller was the coolest dude. Go look him up if you’re not familiar. I really ought to write a PHD in Curiosity about him at some point.