I don’t feel like it

Show up
What’s it?

Why do you need to feel like something in order to do the work? They call it work because it’s difficult, not because it’s something you need to feel like.

Very few people wake up in the morning and feel like taking big risks or feel like digging deep for something that has eluded them for some time. People don’t usually feel like pushing themselves harder than they’ve pushed before or having conversations that might be uncomfortable.

Of course, your feelings are irrelevant to whether or not the market expects great work. Do the work. Ignore the feelings part and the work will follow.

You rock

This is deceptive. Its really not entirely true…

You don’t rock all the time. No one does.

No one is a rock star, superstar, world-changing artist all the time. In fact, it’s a self-defeating goal. You can’t do it. Rock starts are rock stars during their performances.

No, but you might rock five minutes a day.

Five minutes to write a blog post that changes everything, or five minutes to deliver an act of generosity that changes someone.

Five minutes to invent a great new feature, or five minutes to teach a groundbreaking skill in a way that no one ever thought of before.

Five minutes to tell the truth (or hear the truth).

Five minutes a day you might do exceptional work, remarkable work, work that matters, generous work.

Five minutes a day you might defeat that fear and to stand up and make a difference.

And five minutes of rocking would be enough, because it would be five minutes more than just about anyone else.

This week just set aside at least five minutes of rocking.

Do it because you matter, do it because you can…

If you don’t start, you can’t fail

It sounds ridiculous when you say it that way.

But of course, it is ridiculous. It’s (quite possibly) the reason you’re postponing starting that business, that project, that course because you don’t want to fail so to be safe you rather not start.

On the other hand, there’s no doubt that, “If you don’t start, you will fail.” Doing nothing is the same as failing. The Startup revolution rewards people who start, hence the terms “start-up.”

Not starting and failing lead to precisely the same outcome, with different names.

The brand is a story about you, not about the brand.

Whats your story

The brand is a story. But it’s a story about you, not about the brand.

Why prefer Coke over Pepsi or iPhone over Samsung or Merc over BMW?

In markets that aren’t natural monopolies or where there are clear, agreed-upon metrics, how do we decide?

Yes, every brand has a story—that’s how it goes from being a logo and a name to a brand. The story includes expectations and history and promises and social cues and emotions. The story makes us say we “love Google” or “love Johannesburg”… but what do we really love?

We love ourselves.

We love the memory we have of how that brand made us feel once. We love that it reminds us of our mom, or growing up, or our first kiss. We support a charity or a soccer team or a perfume because it gives us a chance to love something about ourselves.

We can’t easily explain this, even to ourselves. We can’t easily acknowledge the narcissism and the nostalgia that drives so many of the apparently rational decisions we make every day. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not at work.

More than ever, we express ourselves with what we buy and how we use what we buy. Extensions of our personality, totems of our selves, reminders of who we are or would like to be.

Great entrepreneurs don’t make stuff. They make meaning. Entrepreneurs don’t sell “products,” they sell experiences

The woodcutter and the blunt saw

Cutting Wood
There is a story of a woodcutter whose job is to cut down trees in a forest. He has a certain target to meet. He works very hard, but he is so busy trying to achieve his target that he never takes time to sharpen his saw. Each day it takes him longer and longer to reach his target, and he is exhausted. A passer-by asks him why he does not take the time to sharpen his saw.

The woodcutter replies that the is too busy working to take the time to sharpen it.

What the woodcutter does not realise is that the short time taken to sharpen his saw would save him many more hours of hard work in the future.

This story is often told in the context of time management. For me, there is a far more instructive lesson to be learnt.

The entrepreneur’s tool is his mind. This is where the business is conceived, and without a sharp mind, growth is unlikely.

Entrepreneurs who do not take the time to sharpen their tools will, like the woodcutter, find themselves exhausted and ultimately, working far harder than they need for less reward.

A sharp mind makes the work easier and the entrepreneur more efficient.

As an entrepeneur, the noise in your head can drown out any rational thought. There is relentless pressure that seems to come from all directions. You may feel that you have no resources left. An entrepreneur, without resources, whether physical, spiritual, mental or emotional, is unlikely to succeed.

It is imperative that you give yourself the space and permission to just ‘be’ and allow your mind to wander, without judgement and without critical correction.

In this way, you give yourself an opportunity to tap into your powerful subconscious which, in my experience, always produces results.

We are not living in a movie

We’re not even living in a lousy reality show, or in some TV series with endless seasons.

Entertainment has seduced us into believing that we have a chance to live the life they live in the movies. Even the people in the movies don’t live that life.

It doesn’t take 135 minutes to make a life, it takes almost a century.

Everything doesn’t depend on what happens in the next ninety seconds. Ever.

The people around us don’t live secret lives. Spaceships and evil cowboys and diseases are not going to turn the world upside down tomorrow, either.

Life is actually far much better than it is in the movies. And it even takes longer.