Brave people don’t live forever, but cautious people don’t live at all.
Ryan Holiday is the marketer behind a lot of books and buzz that you’ve heard about. I worked with Ryan on Seth’s book trailer by SimpliFilm for The Icarus Deception. Most recently, he authored a short and insightful book called Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising.
The book mentions conferences, concepts, authors, books, and founders that are well-known among people like us. Unfortunately, the narrator of the audiobook was not so familiar and made such gaffes as Steve ‘WOZE-nee-ack’ and ‘aye slash bee’ tests and some ‘Ess Ex Ess Double-You’ conference *.
It’s a bit challenging to convey the pronunciation errors in print, but suffice it to say that this guy had never heard of any of these things. So it took me from a place of reflection and learning to amusement and slight irritation. This guy isn’t one of us, he has no idea what he’s talking about…
What makes this even more amusing is that Ryan is outspoken in his personal opposition to audiobooks:
I don’t do audiobooks for a couple reasons. 1) I don’t spend that much time in the car and when I work out, I prefer not to be working. 2) I don’t speed read but I am faster than most narrator. 3) There is absolutely no way to take notes or mark passages. 4) Honestly I think the only full audio book I’ve ever made it all the way through was the reading of TMIL and that’s because they paid me.
So I’m not even sure he listened to the audio version before it was published. And that’s fine. It’s just a reminder to me how the “secret handshakes” we use to align with our tribes are both represented by the things we know, and characterized by the things we don’t.
- Ryan’s personal website: Mediations on Strategy and Life
- Ryan’s last book: Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator
- Ryan’s latest book: Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising
Quality information is no longer scarce, and the amount of it that exists online is only going to increase. You can learn how to program, become a designer, play the piano, or pick up [the opposite gender]. For free.
But you knew that already. So what’s stopping us from becoming astrophysicists on our spare time?
One of the reasons is that we’re just plain distracted. Any time I see interesting or exciting new courses or tutorials available online, a part of me is like “cool! well…add it to the list of things that I’ll never take advantage of.”
I have dozens of PDFs I’ve downloaded and ebooks that I’ll never study. Countless courses to which I have access. Several memberships to sites whose technical library is both impressive and growing.
And I’m not alone in this.
So the simple (not easy) thing I can do to set myself apart and to look back in six months and be happy about is to focus on one thing that I really want to improve…and make a priority of developing the habit that gets me there.
Kinda like this guy.
Again, filed under “reminders to myself.”
This weekend, there’s an event called HACKFit taking place in Boston.
I found out about the event through a flyer at the office, and I shared it with my friend John whose life already embodies the ethos of the event. A few conversations later, it was decided that John would come up for the event and since I couldn’t exactly leave him with a “cool, have fun” at that point…I’ll be in the number as well (smile).
I don’t have any interest in launching a fitness startup, but one of the ways I stay sharp and creative is by exposing myself to experiences that are tangentially or un-related to my career and expertise.
Plus the event looks like a lot of fun, and stepping away from the keyboard every once in a while is apparently good for you.
So I’ll be there with a couple friends (Samantha is going to make sure I don’t end my life during the rock climb that I’m excited about) and if you’re in the area, you should come say hi.
[And don't tell anyone, but I might steal away to check out Comedy Hack Day as well.]
I’m learning how to accept “the way things are” as the demands on my time grow. I’m uncomfortable with the idea of owing responses and updates to people, but this is an inevitable consequence of providing a valuable service. Sure, it’s possible to mitigate this to a degree but I’m not sure that’s the problem that I should be solving right now.
Instead, I’m adjusting to these demands by ensuring that I mentally frame up my tasks in a healthy way. I don’t recall where I read it recently, but a best practice followed by [insert person whose blog post I read] was that they don’t respond to negative/frantic energy.
This resonates with me quite a bit, as we’ve been conditioned to expect things to happen instantly online and I interact with many customers who frequently (and sometimes frantically) inquire as to the status of the work they’ve ordered. I can drop what I’m doing to talk them off a bridge or rush to deliver the work so they’re placated, but this negatively impacts my workflow and focus and my ability to accomplish the day’s tasks.
So the problem I need to solve is ensuring that my daily workflow is optimized and that expectations are set properly (among half a dozen other things) rather than trying to please one person which does a disservice to myself and other customers.
Another update I’ve been itching to share is about W3 Total Cache Pro. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m excited to see the results that our customers are experiencing.
W3 Total Cache version 0.9.3 ships with the ability to unlock the Pro features, the most notable of which is fragment caching. Since I know that the vast majority of my readership is non-technical, suffice it to say that this feature results in pages being served faster both to you (when you’re logged into the WordPress dashboard) and your visitors.
There were a slew of updates shipped with this release as well, and you can check those out here and read the full announcement over on the W3 EDGE blog. In the weeks to come, we’ll publish more in-depth posts that show you how to maximize fragment caching in your theme.
Drop us a note if you have any questions or issues.
The book is available on November 5th and word on the street is that there will be a party in NYC when it drops. Better keep an eye out for details.
Reminder to myself: successful people manage to get their important work done (growing the business, innovation, streamlining) every day in addition to dealing with the distractions that destroy a normal person’s productivity.
Maybe you should. Maybe you shouldn’t, I don’t know.
What I try to take into consideration is my pride, risk, motivation, what the outcome actually looks like if I get what I want, and what the total cost of ownership for me “winning” is.
I don’t believe there’s a formula for determining when it’s best to fight for something, but life experience helps, as does being proactive about decision-making as opposed to letting things just happen (as a result of time running out).
Every day, millions upon millions of people are forced from their homes by a disaster called work. Work they hate.