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.

Writing a Blog Again

I had no problem blogging, er… writing back in 2005. That was before Twitter!

Maybe you’re thinking about blogging again on the open web, and have difficulty in getting started.

My advice – instead of retweeting something on Twitter, write about it on your website.

Copy and paste a nice quote, provide a link, and offer your take. We all come from a different angle, show yours. Fill in the gaps with your unique experience, maybe it’ll resonate with someone else, and you never know where that could lead.

Blogging More

As I spend less time on social media networks, I find I’m reading more of the open web.

If you are frustrated with the state of social networks, I recommend blogging more.

Manton Reece

I miss the tiny updates from friends of course, because I’m not refreshing Twitter as much as I have in the past, but it’s why I’ve been saving my own tiny updates and forming them into blog posts here.

Instead of reaching for Twitter whenever I have a quick idea, I’ll throw it into WordPress, which then give me more space to stretch my legs. Before I know it, I’ve written a paragraph or two, and now that quick update has become something bigger.

Maybe not better, but it’s bigger. A little more heft. And maybe somebody gets something from that, or maybe I look back at it two years from now and wonder what the heck I was thinking.

I just know that two years from now I’m probably not going to remember that quick update on Twitter, and will definitely not ever find it, really.

How to Make a Podcast

Holy heck this video makes me want to start a podcast again, for the 100th time. Seriously, this looks so damn good.

I think I’m okay at building newsletters, because they’re very direct. I created the Skull Toaster email newsletter because it gave the answers to the metal trivia I posted everyday on Twitter and Instagram.

The Metal Bandcamp Gift Club newsletter gets sent out when someone has a birthday, and it links to their Bandcamp Wishlist.

Both of these newsletters serve a purpose. Want answers to metal trivia? Yes? Subscribe here. Want to help support music and labels? Yeah? Click here. Boom.

Podcasts, though, have eluded me. I did one called the Workbench Podcast with my pal Bill Meis for awhile, and Metal Minute (a sort of parody metal news show), but haven’t really done anything since.

Keep Moving

Objects in motion stay in motion:

The point here is just to do something, to get your body used to moving. I always say I want to “make movement a movement,” so that we can get people thinking about a workout as some simple body movement, not as blasting your pecs into oblivion.

Joe Holder

No one can give you fitness, or fulfillment. These things you have to take. You have to want them, and so you build them for yourself, one day at a time.

Arriving at fitness, or fulfillment, doesn’t happen. As I used to believe it was a goal, the goal is always moving. Run a 10 minute mile, then I want to run 9:45, 9:30, and so on.

Make a living? Well, I wanna make more of a living. Make more money. It’s never enough.

So placing my idea of fulfillment in a goal doesn’t work for me. Which is where movement takes hold.

Keep moving, keep breathing, keep striving, keep looking ahead.

The Rise of Bandcamp

Hard to believe that Bandcamp has only been around since 2008. That’s when I launched Noisecreep for AOL Music.

In this episode of All Songs Considered, CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond says that when an artist succeeds on Bandcamp, Bandcamp succeeds. That philosophy has driven the company since 2008, with over $425 million paid directly to musicians and record labels. 

The 2010s: The Rise Of Bandcamp on NPR

If you haven’t seen, I help run a project called Metal Bandcamp Gift Club, and was interviewed by Bandcamp.

The new 16″ MacBook Pro

My current MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017) does the job. Even with just a 128GB HD, I’ve made it work. Right now, today, I have no need for this new 16″ machine.

But in talking with a fellow Mac nerd today about this new 16″ MacBook Pro, who also is in the same boat, we sort of just agreed that this machine isn’t for us… today.

Back in 2003, when I got my first iBook – that machine blew me away, because it was fresh, and new. A whole new world, since I was coming over from the PC world.

It’s like… I haven’t needed a favorite band for awhile. When I was 10 or so, Guns N Roses released Appetite for Destruction, and that did the job. Not too many bands can have that effect over 40+ years.

So this new machine – it’s outstanding, priced right, looks amazing… someday.

Marketing Magic

From ‘The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising.’

“Bad methodology makes everyone happy,” said David Reiley, who used to head Yahoo’s economics team and is now working for streaming service Pandora. “It will make the publisher happy. It will make the person who bought the media happy. It will make the boss of the person who bought the media happy. It will make the ad agency happy. Everybody can brag that they had a very successful campaign.”


Marketers are often most successful at marketing their own marketing.

More than Positive

I love this so much, on how “just be positive” isn’t a complete strategy.

Exorbitant positive thinking is not the way that most people have solved issues. I’m more of a fan of being pragmatic. You hope for the best, but you work for what’s real. But a lot of people just hope for the best without working and that decreases your motivation because your brain thinks you’ve gotten done what it is that you’re constantly yearning to do. You have to envision things going positively but also envision the roadblocks that may be ahead—then you can mentally prepare yourself for how you are going to respond to that.

Joe Holder

Visualize the successes, and the failures, the let downs, and how you’ll bounce back. Apart from that, it’s taking a damn second to even visualize anything, without me looking at my phone, watching a video, or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram which is, oddly enough, where I discovered Joe.