Something being hard is a good indicator that not a lot of people are doing it, or doing it well.
If you can do the hard thing better than the others, maybe there’s an advantage there.
Choosing the hard thing to perfect is the real talent. It can be difficult but totally worth it.
You don’t need everyone, you never have.
If you’re selling bottled water, maybe you need everyone, but you’re probably not.
A restaurant doesn’t need everyone walking past to eat there, it needs 100 who absolutely love the food they make.
A musician doesn’t need everyone to like her/his music, s/he/they need a 100 people who absolutely absolutely love it.
A TV show doesn’t need everyone watching from the first episode, it needs 100 people who absolutely love it.
If a 100 people absolutely love what you do, they will probably tell another 500 people. They might tell another 1000. Ad infinitum.
Would you have a million people who don’t know you or care about you see you when they’re watching TV, commuting to work or would you rather be part of their (albeit smaller number of) conversations where earnestly discuss what you do?
Think long term impact, not sheer numbers.
Here’s Steve Jobs talking about marketing back in the day.
Whether you’re a company or a singular person, it has never been easier to have as much access to your connections. You can measure your likes, followers, open rates, conversions and work towards getting those numbers up. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. what gets measured gets managed.
There’s a downside to that. Asking yourself if they trust you (define ‘they’ as you will) is hard, and harder even to measure but more important in the long run, I think.
I’ve recently been thinking about overnight successes, people who ‘make it’ in their world. Overnight Success stories are scarce, making them remarkable to hear. The media thrives on spreading stories like these.
The ‘other’ successes, the ones who turn up to do their chosen art, craft or work day after day and put in their time. These stories aren’t as sensational so we don’t hear about them often . Sometimes, these stories are covered as overnight successes when they’ve reached the tipping point to make them sound more interesting.
In my intuition, this is probably done for aspirational reasons, so you think you can become the great painter, author, musician, businessperson overnight. This is possible of course, but is it likely?
Ira Glass puts this in an interesting perspective.
It’s almost 2012, and you probably still use email. For work, and for casual everyday things. You probably also get way too many emails – maybe enough emails to take up more productive time than doing actual work?
Seth Godin suggests his email checklist to help solve this problem. His last point on the list was: If I had to pay 42 cents to send this email, would I? Would you?
TEDChris suggests an email charter that makes a lot of sense to me.
There’s also this website that exists to spread the wonderful goal of email etiquette.
You could perhaps pass this along to other co-workers, or if you’ve got authority/responsibility, maybe even make some changes in your company email policy.
Writer Merlin Mann also has a great series called Inbox Zero that tells you “how to reclaim your email, your attention, and your life”
It used to be viagra spam in the 90′s. The 00′s have the problem of attention scarcity. Maybe we can do a little bit and help ease the lives of those you work/play with.
P.S: If you’re a developer with a few spare months on your hand, I will pay to get something like http://personamail.info/ for Windows.
This post was written after countless wasted productive hours of going through unnecessary emails I was copied into, reading 5 line emails where 1 would suffice, etcetera etcetera.