I’ve written daily for 10 years and here’s what I’ve found….
is something that I’d love to be able to say in my life.
Because momentum matters.
Because doing ‘the work’ matters more than planning.
And because most people need a kick in the pants to do something with their life, I tend to hate it when people talk about sleeping more, doing less, working smarter, or whatever the buzz word is.
That stuff applies to me (and maybe you): the 1% of people who are going after it.
But telling people who already suck at getting stuff done to sleep more and not work as hard is ridiculous.
A detox, if you will.
To make things that matter.
Things that aren’t gone in 24 hours.
But I’m going to give it a shot.
Writing every day, or at least publishing every day, for a month. I might be back on social more. Maybe not. But I will be writing.
And thus begins my 30 day writing challenge.
Here area a few selected entries
Entry 1 – Of Rhinos and the Entrepreneurs
The rhinoceros is a dangerous creature….
They can run upwards of 30 miles per hour.
What they can’t do is see very far ahead of themselves.
I remember as a little kid growing up in upstate New York, I used to ride bikes at my grandparent’s house and there were a few hills that you could go scary fast on.
Scary fast is the speed at which you, in your child brain, realize that you are no longer in control of the bike or your own safety.
It was probably about 30 miles per hour.
It’s scary fast.
And here you are, entrepreneur.
Publishing weekly or daily. Crushing it. Working your FACE off. Leaning in so far that you’re falling flat on your aforementioned face.
Only looking at your next post and your next thing.
But you never come up for air. Never stop to see the big picture.
Don’t think that dedicating one day per week of ‘strategy’ is enough. Yes, grinding matters. Yes, ‘butt in the seat’ matters.
But you need to stop looking only a few feet in front of you.
Start looking at where this is headed and start moving intentionally.
This is why a group of rhinos are called a CRASH.
Here’s hoping you don’t.
Entry 2 – I’m Fat… (or Why “Correlation vs. Causation” is a Waste of Time)
When my fitness and nutrition are in order, the rest of my life seems to be as well.
I don’t know if this is causation or correlation.
If it’s simply that when i have the discipline to keep it together with training and eat, I do so in other areas.
Or if, simply, that when my body and mind are exercised, I can better figure out everything else.
I’m not going to waste time figuring it out either.
What a colossal waste of time.
It’s a fast way to get my life in order.
So I’ve found the warp tubes in Level 1–2 and who the heck cares how they work?
You just use them.
Find your hacks and use them.
[For those of you keeping score at home, not all entries are listed here. Remember, most of these daily writings were Letters to My Sons.]
Entry 5 – Why Telling People to Work Smarter and Not Harder is a Mistake
Honestly, you just aren’t working hard enough.
Follow any thought leader long enough and you’ll see they make this weird transition from encouraging people and telling them to work hard to telling everybody it’s about working smart and not hard.
If you’ve spent over 10 minutes reading articles today that have nothing to do with your current goals, you aren’t working hard enough.
If you’ve watched over 10 minutes of television or movies today, you aren’t working hard enough.
How does Seth Godin write so many books and articles (he’s published every day for YEARS)?? He doesn’t watch TV. It’s that simple.
I’d just rather be on the side of history that reminded people to work their asses off and achieve their dreams.
Not the side that allowed people to think they were working ‘smart’ when really they were ‘lazy.’
Why? Because given a long enough timeline, you’re going to achieve your goals. If you treat your life like you’re working on commission and not salary, you’ll get there. It might take one person two years and another person ten years, but we’ll all get there if we just don’t give up.
There’s a story of a salesman who is in town for business and while he’s enjoying his dinner, he looks outside and sees a snowstorm starting to brew.
He turns to the waiter and asks him, “ Do you think the roads will be clear enough to drive tomorrow?”
The water replies, “I guess that depends on whether your on salary or commission.”
My sons will be imbued with the idea that they may never have physical, mental, financial, and geographic advantages (although they do), but the one advantage they do have is the work. They can and will outwork everybody else at what they want to be great at.
They’ll also know that there’s another dad telling another young man the same thing and if they rest, even for a second, they have to know he’s coming for them.
Recuperate after a sprint? Yes.
Coast because you think you have a lead? Never.
They’ll never feel that they’re owed anything in life. The only thing we’re ever owed is the struggle and the opportunity to do the work. We’re never owed a salary, or health insurance, or a family, or eachother.
The gratitude necessary to understand this type of thinking is massive.
I’m so grateful for all of the things that I’ve been given in my life, all of the advantages.
From gender to ethnicity to a mom who made sure that I was a critical thinker and loved to read.
From being born in the United States in an era when the internet would allow me to compete with (or, in some cases, be ahead of) people who have decades more experience than me by telling stories in my writing, podcasts, and videos.
I’m grateful for it because it’s not owed to me. It was given.
Entry 9 – This is Scary to Say Out Loud
I don’t need to quit my job to be happy.
It feels totally insane just to write that. Or think it. Or say it out loud.
This is because I’ve felt that way for years.
It’s the dream that’s been sold to me.
But I’m a teacher.
And starting tomorrow, I get two months off.
Maybe my dream is what I already have… maybe it’s enough…
Entry 15 – Why I’m Not Giving Up
And why you shouldn’t either…
Doing anything for 30 days is hard.
Hell, doing anything important even once is hard.
Lots of people go their entire lives never doing anything challenging or important.
But what’s even harder is taking on something worth doing.
What’s even harder than that is taking it on, messing it up, and continuing to do it.
And that brings us to today.
I committed to write every day for 30 days.
Because I know I have something to say and if I don’t write every day, there’s a chance that I might miss it.
I know that somewhere in this practice is greatness.
So I commit to the work.
I write for 3 days, missed two, wrote again, and then stopped for over a week.
But here I find myself again.
Butt in the seat.
I’m going to keep writing as often as humanly possible.
Whatever you started and stopped. Start again. I’m giving you permission.
The only thing happy/great/successful/adjectiveyouwanttobe people have in common is that they didn’t quit.
They didn’t give up.
Entry 19 – I’m Drawing a Line Between Worker Bee and CEO
I’ve taken a break from a lot of different things.
I took a 2 week break from my mastermind.
I rescheduled all of my podcast interviews.
Part of this break is simply that I’m helping all of these other people improve their lives, their businesses and not doing any of the things that grow mine.
Not writing what I want to write.
Not writing the things that I need to write.
I’m not able to focus on my podcast. Or Ok! Kimonos. Or GiReviews.
The majority of my time is spent helping people grow their companies through advertising on my site, coaching people, etc.
But those all go away eventually.
It’s the Maker vs. Manager.
I’ve gotten into a place where I’ve lost the focus.
I’m so focused on the day to day that I can’t see 10 feet in front of me.
This is even more dangerous because I’m moving a million miles per hour.
Compound this with two young boys (6 months and 3 years), and my ability to help and support other people is very low.
The hardest part is not being able to help and support my wife during this time.
She’s a linebacker. She’s on the field with me. Fighting.
But she shouldn’t have to.
So I’ve taken time off to reset.
If you see yourself in this, maybe you need to… too.
Entry 30 – Don’t Break the Chain (Lessons Learned From Writing Daily for 30 Days)
Nearly thirty days ago, I set forth to publish an article every single day. Here’s whats happened so far:
With this task nearly accomplished, I realize that the discipline that I’ve cultivated in this practice has bled over into other areas of my life:
- I’m exercising regularly
- I’m eating smarter than ever before
- I’m sleeping better
I’ve found that achieving discipline in one area easily intrudes into other areas. Thus, finding the easiest thing for me to create a ‘chain’ in is important to addressing
It builds momentum and allows for easy wins toward more difficult tasks.
This discipline is derived from a commitment to doing something regularly. Every morning, when I sit down to write, I say to myself ‘Don’t break the chain.’
I imagine a calendar with all of the days I’ve published so far checked off and I imagine, for the first time, having to leave a day blank. Breaking the chain is easy at first because the chain is short and weak. As it grows, it becomes easier to keep going than to stop.
An additional benefit is that I’ve been able to express thoughts and ideas that I’ve long held onto and finally, released onto a page, they can grow beyond the bounds of my mind.
It forces me to express myself beyond a tweet or a Facebook post; something that I believe everybody should attempt.