Every Opportunity Comes with a Cost

“As much as we’d like to be nice people, we owe others a lot less of our time than we believe we do. It’s your business, you’re allowed to be a little selfish with it, especially when the net result of saying “yes” to everything to be “nice” is that you have less time to actually spend on your business and serving your customers.”
Paul Jarvis

(via my favorite newsletter)

Grace Bonney on The Art of Thoughtful Emails

“It’s important to own your content in the sense that you take responsibility for it. I’m proud of most of what we produce at Design*Sponge, but I’ve made a lot of publishing mistakes over the years. And owning those mistakes and talking about them publicly (and hopefully helping others avoid those pitfalls or mistakes) is a part of that accountability and trust you have to build with your audience. So I want to make sure that I can go to bed at night knowing I did my best to protect and celebrate the people we’re writing about and that when that goes wrong, I take responsibility and people reading know that we care and are doing our best.”

Taken from Grace Bonney’s interview on The Art of Thoughtful Emails and Clear Communication in Collaboration, part of CreativeMornings’ and WordPress.com’s #OwnYourContent campaign.

Previous articles: John Maeda & Kat Holmes on Designing for Inclusiveness and Ryan Merkley on Licensing Creative Work and How Attribution is Gratitude.

Stay Awake

“Here is the hardest thing for many people about adulthood: Staying awake. That is, resisting the somnambulance that will grow like weeds over any state of habitual life, excepting acute crises. You have to actively invite experiences into your life that will interrupt the smallness of your story and the calcifying generalizations you make about the world based on your own private universe.”

not in any particular order, and not exactly a gospel, but

The People You Spend Time With

“The people you spend time with literally co-create who you are, down to the near-cellular level. You’re building a life. The ones you build it with will be critical to your professional success, not because they’ll be in your field, but because they’ll be in your corner. The good ones will give you a kind of emotional buoyancy and a head-shrinking perspective that will nourish the person you’re trying to become—and yeah, that’ll enhance your job performance immeasurably.”

not in any particular order, and not exactly a gospel, but

Community

“Communities are not built of friends, or of groups with similar styles and tastes, or even of people who like and understand each other. They are built of people who feel they are part of something that is bigger than themselves: a shared goal or enterprise, like righting a wrong, or building a road, or raising children, or living honorably, or worshipping a god. To build community requires only the ability to see value in others, to look at them and see a potential partner in one’s enterprise.”
– Suzanne Goldsmith

How We Define Community: A Collection

Irony Doesn’t Scale

“Eventually I realized that success is not about big hits. It’s actually in the opportunity to improve. How could our sales pipeline be better managed? How could our team be coached on client interaction? Who seems frustrated, who could use coffee? How could our meetings be more efficient, and in lesser quantities? Do we need more plants?”

A interesting piece on the highs and lows of becoming a leader. Irony Doesn’t Scale

(via Jocelyn)

How to Become an Adult

“We start on the path to genuine adulthood when we stop insisting on our emotional competence and acknowledge the extent to which we are – in many areas of our psyche – likely to be sharply trailing our biological age. Realising we aren’t – as yet, in subtle ways – quite adults may be the start of true maturity.”

How to Become an Adult

“Although there are some examples of highly engaged communities being developed via technology (e.g., Peloton riders), when it comes to belonging, real connection will most likely come from in-person interaction in real life. But having physical space is not enough: Brands should create spaces, experiences, products, and services that deliberately foster the conditions for diverse people coming together in respectful environments for shared experiences.”

Excellent read: The Best Brands Are The Ones That Build “Belonging”

Uhm, CreativeMornings, anyone? Every month 20k creative types get together in over 65 countries. For free.

Everything Is Hard Again

“As someone who has decades of experience on the web, I hate to compare myself to the tortoise, but hey, if it fits, it fits. Let’s be more like that tortoise: diligent, direct, and purposeful. The web needs pockets of slowness and thoughtfulness as its reach and power continues to increase. What we depend upon must be properly built and intelligently formed. We need to create space for complexity’s important sibling: nuance. Spaces without nuance tend to gravitate towards stupidity. And as an American, I can tell you, there are no limits to the amount of damage that can be inflicted by that dangerous cocktail of fast-moving-stupid.”

Everything is Hard Again, by Frank Chimero

Community vs Network

“The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it’s so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with.”

Zygmunt Bauman, taken from this article: “Social media are a trap

(via iA)

Spare Time

“The opposite of spare time is, I guess, occupied time. In my case I still don’t know what spare time is because all my time is occupied. It always has been and it is now. It’s occupied by living.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin on “Spare Time,” What It Means to Be a Working Artist, and the Vital Difference Between Being Busy with Doing and Being Occupied with Living

Own Your Content

“We are in the “Internet Two” phase as Steven Johnson called it. Internet One was an open network, open protocols, open systems. Internet Two is closed platforms that increasingly dominate the market and own and control our content and us. We need to get to Internet Three where we take back control of ourselves. It is high time for that to happen.”
Fred Wilson

I am so happy to see more and more folks are talking about how we need to be more thoughtful about owning our content. I predict blogs/personal sites will have a major comeback in 2018. The fine folks of iA put it like this.

Attitude of Optimism

“In 2018, how about cultivating an attitude of optimism? Not as a judgement, or a reaction to the world around you, but as a choice, by which you navigate and affect the world around you. In our own experience, the personal benefits of waking up every day and deliberately making that choice are profound.”

“Most importantly, it’s a collective optimism, one that recognises that progress doesn’t happen by magic, but is the result of sustained, committed efforts by millions of people over decades, who keep on showing up and insisting that it’s possible to create a vibrant, life sustaining global society that works for everyone.”

Do yourself a favor and read the full post: The Crunch # 51 Also, I just signed up to support Gus and Tane on Patreon.

(Thank you Marc)

Saying “No” With Grace

“As long as you are tactful, I have found that 95% people are extremely receptive to a clear “no.” Especially if you tell them why.”

Saying “No” with Grace, by Jocelyn K. Glei

The Need To Be Alone

“By retreating into ourselves, it looks as if we are the enemies of others, but our solitary moments are in reality a homage to the richness of social existence. Unless we’ve had time alone, we can’t be who we would like to be around our fellow humans. We won’t have original opinions. We won’t have lively and authentic perspectives. We’ll be – in the wrong way – a bit like everyone else.”

The Need to be Alone

The Sum of Your Company’s Working Environment

Your company’s working environment is the sum of these three parts:

1. The character of your employees
2. The business’s priorities
3. How people actually get work done

Found in this FastCompany Article.

Transparency is a Spectrum

“At the end of the day, transparency is truly a positive force. When it does backfire or causes fallout, it’s often because a leader hasn’t often taken the time to consider these two things: Transparency requires context, and transparency is a spectrum.”

How transparent should you be as a leader? by Claire Lew

Cindy Gallop

“There is a formula for success in business, and it goes like this: You set out to find the very best talent in the marketplace, and then give them a compelling and inspirational vision of what you want them to achieve for you and the company. Then you empower them to achieve those goals using their own skills and talents in any way they choose. If, at the same time, you demonstrate how enormously you value them, not just through compensation, but also verbally, every single day, and if you enable that talent to share in the profit that they help create for you, you’ll be successful. It’s so simple, and virtually nobody does it, because it requires a high-trust working environment, and most business environments are low-trust. In order to own the future of your business, you have to design it around trust.”
– Cindy Gallop

The Most Provocative Woman in the World: Cindy Gallop

Why We Don’t Have Nice Things

“Every creator that desires to fly higher needs an audience willing to cheer them on and go for the ride as well. That’s our part of the deal.”

Why We Don’t Have Nice Things, by Seth Godin

Kindness Scales

“It scales better than competitiveness, frustration, pettiness, regret, revenge, merit (whatever that means) or apathy. Kindness ratchets up. It leads to more kindness. It can create trust and openness and truth and enthusiasm and patience and possibility.

Kindness, in one word, is a business model, an approach to strangers and a platform for growth.It might take more effort than you were hoping it would, but it’s worth it.”

Seth Godin

None Of Us Comes Fully Equipped

“Let us temper our criticism with kindness. None of us comes fully equipped.”
Carl Sagan

Contribute To The Present Moment

“I don’t think it is possible to contribute to the present moment in any meaningful way while being wholly engulfed by it. It is only by stepping out of it, by taking a telescopic perspective, that we can then dip back in and do the work which our time asks of us.”

A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times, by Maria Popova

Love Your Customers

I was just reminded of this wonderful post by MailChimp co-founder Ben Chestnut from a few years back. I recommend you give it a read if you haven’t seen it yet.

Ownership Levels at Buffer

Level 1 — No ownership responsibility. Learning and being actively developed by others

Level 2 — Fully owns an area, channel, or discipline. Accountable for deliverables in that area.

Level 3 — Consistent record of very strong ownership for their area. Accountable for results in that area.

Level 4 — Exhibits ownership across the team, as it relates to the impact of their area. Accountable for executing on their area’s strategy.

Level 5 — Fully responsible for all aspects of their area. This person is rare. This takes an exceptional level of dedication to the craft and is a big jump from Level 4. Very few companies will have someone at this skill level.

This ownership/responsibility framework by Buffer made me think. They don’t consider it a ladder, meaning, they don’t expect that everyone will reach the highest level in the framework. Interesting! Read the full article: How Individuals Advance at Buffer, Without Becoming Managers, by Hailley Griffis

(via Erica)