The Things You Do Often

“For many things, your attitudes came from actions that led to observations that led to explanations that led to beliefs. Your actions tend to chisel away at the raw marble of your persona, carving into being the self you experience from day to day. It doesn’t feel that way, though. To conscious experience, it feels as if you were the one holding the chisel, motivated by existing thoughts and beliefs. It feels as though the person wearing your pants performed actions consistent with your established character, yet there is plenty of research suggesting otherwise. The things you do often create the things you believe.”
– Benjamin Franklin

From this Brain Pickings post.

Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing

“… The real trick to producing great work isn’t to find ways to eliminate the edgy, nervous feeling that you might be swimming out of your depth. Instead, it’s to remember that everyone else is feeling it, too. We’re all in deep water. Which is fine: it’s by far the most exciting place to be.”

Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing, by Oliver Burkeman

2 Essential Rules in Sales

1. Never answer a question that the customer hasn’t asked.

2. Never provide information that the customer hasn’t requested.

2 Essential Rules Most Salespeople Forget, by Geoffrey James

(In some way, we are all in Sales, aren’t we?)

Jon Setzen on The Great Discontent

“I’ve had shitty jobs and internships: folding t-shirts at radio stations, working in a stock room at Nordstrom, delivering pizzas, and all of that. It’s important to have those shitty jobs so you understand when you actually find a good job.”
– Jon Setzen

Read the full interview over on The Great Discontent

In Tune With What You Love

“…the difference between people who are successful and not are that those who are successful seemed to know from the age of 7 or 8, maybe older, they’re very in tune with what they love. I compare it to a voice inside their head, not literally a voice but something that says “you really are drawn to this subject” and they hear it throughout their lives. For me it was writing and books, since I was a kid. At any time I deviated from that love and went into something else, I was just so unhappy and I knew that I wasn’t doing the right thing. It’s just this voice that keeps drawing you back to what you really, really love.”
– Robert Greene

Found the above quote via this blog post, feed your head + find your soul, by Justine Musk. Something I think about a lot, hoping I’ll be able to help my kids find what they really, really love.

Pitching Like A Girl

“I don’t want to be afraid to say what I haven’t yet figured out or to give realistic projections of what we can deliver when. As a designer, I never promised a client anything I couldn’t deliver, and I won’t start now as a founder.”

Pitching Like a Girl, by Ellen Johnston

Doing That Thing On Your Own

“You’ll become known for doing what you do. It’s a simple saying, but it’s true…The only way to start being asked to do something you want to do is to start doing that thing on your own.”
– Jonathan Harris

Beautiful feature in The Great Discontent

Malcolm Gladwell on Criticism

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Love this thought snippet by Malcolm Gladwell on criticism. I recommend you read (and listen) to this entire Brain Pickings post.

The Panda and the Bicycle

“…Tribes thrive when they connect and coordinate and synchronize. They work when they create a cultural connection. But they can’t thrive when they merely embrace (or deny) the reality of the world around them.

As you organize and lead your tribe, then, the opportunity is to be crystal clear about what you stand for, but to give the alert observers within your clan the ability to stick with you and what they believe without having to pretend that the world outside doesn’t actually exist.”

The panda and the bicycle, by Seth Godin

Massimo Vignelli, 1931-2014

“I was already at my desk on my first day of work when Massimo arrived. As always, he filled the room with his oversized personality. Elegant, loquacious, gesticulating, brimming with enthusiasm. Massimo was like Zeus, impossibly wise, impossibly old. (He was, in fact, 49.) My education was about to begin.”

Michael Bierut remembering design legend Massimo Vignelli

THE DISTANCE

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Today Jason Fried and his team at Basecamp launched THE DISTANCE, an online magazine that celebrates interesting private businesses that have been in business for 25 years or more.

Read Jason’s blog post about it and the first issue of THE DISTANCE featuring Chicago’s Last Tannery.

30 Second Habit

“Immediately after every lecture, meeting, or any significant experience, take 30 seconds — no more, no less — to write down the most important points. If you always do just this, said his grandfather, and even if you only do this, with no other revision, you will be okay.”

The 30 second habit with a lifelong impact, by Robyn Scott

Understanding Innovation

Novelty: Something new
Creation: Something new and valuable
Invention: Something new, having potential value through utility
Innovation: Something new and uniquely useful

Horace Dediu explains innovation.

(via Kottke)

Surprises

What makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial

A true gem discovered by John Maeda in this PDF; What makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial? by Saras D. Sarasvathy

The Crossroads of Should and Must

The crossroads of should and must

Excellent long read: The Crossroads of Should and Must, by Elle Luna

(via Michael)

Communication Patterns

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Loved this Business Insider article on cultural communication patterns. As someone who grew up in Switzerland and then moved to the USA at 26, I can attest that there are clearly different communication styles at play.

British linguist Richard D. Lewis charted communication patterns as well as leadership styles and cultural identities in his book, “When Cultures Collide“.

Read the Article.

Made In The Future

Made in the Future is an effort to capture IDEO’s musings about what a not-so-distant tomorrow might look like. They broke their findings into five themes: Meaning Economy, Outer Skills, Making Exchanges, Raw Systems and New Matter.

Some fascinating food for thought.

(via Kary)

On Criticism

“At the core of criticism, there should always be an intent to assist.”

Inspire or stifle? Reconsider the purpose of criticism, by Sean Minogue

Secret Ingredient for Success

“The successful people we spoke with — in business, entertainment, sports and the arts — all had similar responses when faced with obstacles: they subjected themselves to fairly merciless self-examination that prompted reinvention of their goals and the methods by which they endeavored to achieve them.”

Secret Ingredient for Success, by Camille Sweeney

(via Joe)

On Owning It

“… Every time you use waffle words, back off from a clear statement of values and priorities and most of all, think about what’s likely instead of what’s possible, you are selling yourself out. Not just selling yourself out, but doing it too cheaply. Own your dreams. There is no better way to make them happen.”
Seth Godin, On Owning It

The Curse of Email

“The only way we will avoid being crushed by the weight of the hundreds or thousands of emails we receive every day is to free ourselves from the need to treat each one like it matters and like it merits a response. The only way we will avoid being emotionally crushed by having other people not respond to our emails is to stop expecting a response. If we can adapt our expectations to fit the realities of this new paradigm, we will all crawl out from under the weight of the curse of email. Email will prove a blessing.”

Taken from this blog post: The Curse of Email by Tim Challies

Creativity

“You can’t teach creativity; all you can do is let it blossom, and it blossoms in play.”
– Kyung-Hee Kim

The play deficit, by Peter Gray. If you’re a parent, please read this.

(Via Tinybop)

How not to say the wrong thing

nottosaythewrongthing(Illustration by Wes Bausmith / Los Angeles Times)

How not to say the wrong thing by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman, an insightful and important read.

Party Etiquette

“The biggest tip I can give you to up your introducing skills is to always assume that whoever you’re talking to knows nothing about you or your work. No matter how big of a deal you are, if you abide by this rule, you win at life.”

Amen to this. Jessica Hische packed some really good tips into this Non-Creepy Networking: Party Etiquette article.