Whenever I get off the phone with Chris, he asks if there’s anything he can do for me.
It’s not the “let me know if I can help with anything” lip service that people hope you never take them up on, it’s an “adding value to your life would bring me joy, and it would be my pleasure to assist” kinda thing. And Chris has an enviable network of prominent startup founders, CEOs, and artists so the offer is not insignificant.
Chris doesn’t need another action item added to his list, his business is rapidly growing and he doesn’t owe me any favors. He does it because that’s the kind of person he is. 99% of the time, I will politely decline and thank him for taking the time to ask (again).
In the world of what-can-you-do-for-me opportunism and selfish networking, leading with generosity speaks volumes.
When I left my predictable suburban life in Atlanta a few years ago, I started changing locations much more frequently. I switched apartments, traveled for pleasure, and attended conferences regularly.
An interesting realization I had this weekend was that the most cringe-worthy client interactions and project failures to date all occurred when I was either traveling or in an irregular work routine.
I’ve historically rejected the idea of “settling down” in one place since my life for the last few years has been optimized for freedom rather than location or money, but perhaps it’s time I grow up and stop ruining my life with habits that undermine progress.
I guess that means I should invest in a proper coat for this coming winter in Boston.
I’ve been making a lot of updates to my site recently, and noticed that one of my go-to plugins—cbnet Ping Optimizer—was no longer needed. I found this out through the plugin’s information page in the WordPress Codex. The tagline currently reads:
Doesn’t do anything. Isn’t needed. Core WordPress handling of Pings is oh-so-fine!
The plugin was designed to prevent sites from being penalized by search engines for “pinging” them too frequently as a result of frequent edits that trigger the pings.
The functionality provided by the plugin is now built into the WordPress core, so there’s no need to install it anymore. But instead of abandoning the project like some authors do, Chip took the time to publish an informative explanation on the functionality, how it’s handled, and why it’s no longer needed.
That’s classy, and the mark of a true professional.
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.
* = WOZ-nee-ack, A/B tests (you don’t pronounce the slash), and “South by Southwest” are what he was searching for.