Performance vs Health

Sometimes we have to stay at the office late, or experience back-to-back days of drinking too much caffeine and cramming for exams, or take 12 flights in a month (and drink a few too many glasses of wine). That’s okay, as long as we invest in our health when that period of performance is over, and restore equilibrium, setting ourselves up for the next stretch where we’ll be tested.

Joe Holder

Go Outside

I’ve stared at my inbox, or my laptop screen in general, trying to think, forcing myself to be creative, to fix a problem, come up with a solution, and rarely does that method work.

Before you make a big decision, walk around the block.
If it’s raining out, take the dog for a run.
End the meeting a few minutes early and go for a stroll with the team.
Instead of an afternoon snack, consider some sunshine.
The less convenient, the more it pays.

A hard habit to create, but definitely worth it.
When in doubt, go outside. Especially when it’s inconvenient.

Seth Godin

Grabbing a jacket (or running shoes) and heading outside is very less convenient, yet I know, from experience, it’s usually the right course of action.

Low Tech Works

Did you know there’s a whole underground pirate radio network that’s delivered via… conference call?

The shows weren’t the traditional kinds you’d find by tuning to an AM or FM band; they were operated independently from media companies by ordinary Hmong citizens, aired live all-day, every day and were free to call into for as long as you’d like. They used free conference call software to do it, a network that is still in place to this day.

Dial Up! How the Hmong diaspora uses the  world’s most boring technology to  make something weird and wonderful

(via Ben Werdmuller)

Getting It Live

The best piece of advice my dad ever gave me was that you start learning to drive after you pass your test. To contrive that to serve my point: your software can only reach its potential when it’s live. You are not your users, so don’t pretend you know what they want/need. Give them the best thing you can make, then let them tell you how to do it better.

Jasper Tandy

I remember launching Noise Creep back in 2008. We had all these ideas at launch, that Tuesday would be one thing, and then on Thursdays we’d post another thing.

That lasted maybe two weeks.

Get your thing into the wild, ship it, publish it, make it live.

Ten Races in 2019

My tenth race of the 2019, my most ever since starting to run in 2016.

This is my second time running the Turkey Trot in Bethlehem PA today. Today was faster (28:02 vs 29:05), and with less effort (155 vs 160 bpm).

I dealt with stomach issues most of the week, which threw me off. That messed with my sleep, and I didn’t get to run much the past few days, so I didn’t run as well as I wanted – I actually stopped at one point to stretch a bit because I had some pain in my shins. But, I still showed up and had fun and told all the puppers I saw that they were doing a very good job.

Oh, and I lost ONE glove this week, too, so my hands with frozen by the end of the run. All in a great day, and I’m definitely stoked and content with the progress I’ve made at racing this year – the logistics, the timing, the pre-race fueling. So many details, but learning so much in the process.

Make the Time, Take the Time

Schedule time to be around the things you enjoy, or else your schedule will get filled with everything else. That other stuff isn’t bad – it pays the bills, most likely! But you gotta put your own oxygen mask on first before you can help anyone else.

If I’m only in react mode, checking things off a to-do list all morning, into the afternoon, there’s no room for magic. No wonder. No dreaming.

The dreaming is the work. It’s where the great things bloom, and become bigger than ourselves.

Pushing Energy

I believe that Metal Bandcamp Gift Club has helped sell over 1,000 albums since 2016. That’s better than nothing, right?

Then today we sold our first email sponsorship. We do sponsorships a little different, because we don’t want your money. You have to give it to a local girls rock chapter, send us the receipt, and then you can sponsor our newsletter.

Seth Godin says before you get hired to do a big for-real job, make stuff on your own. One example he mentions is to design a direct-mailer campaign for a local charity and raise $10,000 for them. “Don’t worry,” he says, “they won’t mind.”

When I started Skull Toaster back in 2011, I did it as a “living resume piece,” to show potential employers, “hey, I can do this.”

In rebooting Metal Bandcamp Gift Club recently, I’m doing it again. Giving, building, pushing energy like this for a common good, and it’s something I enjoy doing.

Making Music Podcasts

My dude Sean Cannon laying it down, talking about music podcasts:

Four years ago, I started telling music industry friends and acquaintances that they should create high-end podcasts built around their artists/albums/labels. At the time, I got two main responses: “So you’re saying we should get our bands on Maron? Do you know him? Can you get us on there?” or “Oh yeah, (insert musician here) is really funny. I’ll have them talk to their buddies.”

I worked with Sean on my music blog from 2005-2008, where he was bascially my right hand man, and helped me really build and expand.

Then when I started Noise Creep at AOL Music, I was able to hire him as my deputy editor, which was both awesome and crazy at the same time (20+ posts a day was nuts).

But Sean went onto to work big time in radio and won a freaking Peabody award. He recently made the the Striped podcast, which is all about the White Stripes.

The thing is, there is so much more to be done with music using the medium of podcasting. Super glad Sean is one of the people leading the charge.

Stop Doing What You’re Good At

Title stolen from “7 leadership lessons over 2.5 years,” from the Signal Vs. Noise blog (wow, if you haven’t been reading that site, you should).

“Doing what you’re good at hurts the team.” Huh? He explained how when you’re the one always doing the thing that you’re good at, you create a dependency within your team. They can never be self-sustainable or perform at the highest level if you’re the one always doing the things you’re good at.

As I find myself gaining stabilty in my freelance work, I’m starting to see where I’m spending my time the most, as realizing the value of that time.

There are tasks I can do in my sleep, but that doesn’t mean I should be doing them. I use TextExpander to save time, and use a timer to make sure I’m staying productive.

But there are projects that I’ve launched that had no shortcuts. They required jumping into the void, with a spirit of “this might not work.” Or as my new favorite Star Wars characters have said, “I can do this, I can do this.”

Today I run a bit faster than I did three years ago.
I’m working on bigger projects. With bigger teams.
Getting there requires a bit of letting go of the things I’m good at.