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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Build Beyond Your Own Moat

Image via George Hiles
Image via George Hiles

Build your own moat. The moat is your first line of defense, the fundamental skill(s) that you excel in and give you a chance at survival.

You can always rely on your moat.

But most people stop there. They focus on doing one thing well and forget the rest. They think that 20% of their potential skills produce 80% of their success is good enough.

The moat doesn’t work all the time. Times change, technology disrupts, consumption evolves. You won’t last forever and neither will what you do for a living. At some point, your moat will dry up, and people will just walk all over you.

Keep the moat at bay but your skills elastic. There’s always ways to improve. The moat is just a starting point.

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Quotes

Tina Fey on saying ‘yes’

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“Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward.”

Tina Fey

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Focus is scarce

gif by @jaysprogell

The market is fighting for your attention. You’re one click/touch away from succumbing and losing a grasp on your next big idea.

What’s gratifying right now is probably unimportant and too brief to remember. For many people, those quick hits of happiness through distraction eventually add up to a bunch of regrets.

You can like, share, or comment in two seconds or you can spend that time concentrating on shipping something impactful that everyone will help share for you.

Be disciplined; acknowledge life’s ticking clock and push onward with full focus on your craft. Create and deliver with determination or self-destruct into the abyss of futile networking.

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Productivity & Work Writing

Side projects

We all love side projects. They get us going creatively.

Side projects are typically things we take on because we’re actually interested in them. We enjoy putting in the playful work.

This blog is a side project

Side projects don’t necessarily change the world, have a deadline, or require perfection. We can even build side projects in a weekend and ship them for others to see.

Side projects can be simple and fun, reinvigorating to us and inspiring to others.

Nevertheless, don’t take on a side project that doesn’t come naturally or that’s dreadful. Forcing passion crimps creativity.

The side project may lead to something else such as the next big idea, but this isn’t the point of taking them on. The side project is an exercise in doing, remixing and recasting stuff that already exists and freshening it up.

We should try to create something for everything we consume.

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Books Creativity Productivity & Work Quotes

Joan Didion on writing to think

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“I don’t know what I think until I try to write it down.”

Joan Didion

Writing = Thinking

(via Ben Casnocha)

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Productivity & Work

Consistency is king

Everybody talks about hard work, intelligence, and doing the right thing. But behind all those traits is consistency.

Consistency is the ability to perform at the same level again and again and be at your best when you best is needed.

Consistency makes you the most reliable of the bunch even if you fail over and over again. Past successes make you trustworthy.

In order to achieve consistency, you have to play in your expertise every day. Whether you’re a writer, painter, artist, athlete, YOU CAN’T SKIP A CHANCE TO PRACTICE, EXECUTE, AND SHIP.

Note though that with consistency comes the possibility of burnout. That’s why you must continue to evolve the love you have for what you do.

There will come the day when you slow down and retire, whether it’s because of age, performance, or other priorities. It’s ok to pack up the bags and end on a high note.

If you leave the world with something special, you’ll be enshrined forever.