From idea to “I did it!”: Seth Godin’s ShipIt Journal

Seth Godin updated his ShipIt journal in collaboration with Moo.

The Shipit Journal works for a simple reason: It’s difficult to write things down. Difficult to break a project into small pieces and take ownership over each one. Mostly, it’s difficult to announce to yourself and to your team that you’re actually on the hook to do great work.

I’m delighted to let you know that the journal is back, but it a much more beautiful format. Created in conjunction with my namesake moo.com, you can find it right here.

It’s a blank book, but one with words in it. Designed to have you add the rest of the words, to write in it, to commit, to share, to ultimately make a ruckus.

Because ‘later is not the way you will ship.’ Do the work.

Note: You can find still find Seth’s original ShipIt Journal Five Pack on Amazon.

‘Don’t read the words. It’s bad enough that people use Powerpoint as a sort of teleprompter.’

Animation Presentation GIF by David Urbinati-source.gif

If you use Powerpoint, a few principles and tips to keep in mind when using type on a slide:

Don’t read the words. It’s bad enough that people use Powerpoint as a sort of teleprompter. Much worse that you don’t trust the audience enough to read what you wrote. If you want them to read the precise words, stand quietly until they do. If you want to paraphrase the words, that can work.

Big font, few words. And use pictures. Your narrative is the message.

Words on slides by Seth Godin

Seth Godin on writer’s block

writers block
gif via rewire.org

Writer’s block is a myth created by people who are afraid to the do the work.

There are various reasons writers let the blank page get the best of their emotions.

  • Trying to be too perfect
  • Procrastinating en route to excuses that usually include the word “But….”
  • Unwilling to fail or write poor sentences first
  • Living up to someone else’s expectations
  • Being afraid to share the work

Writer’s block appears to be the work of the evil. It wants us to quit and hide in shame instead of “dancing with the amygdala” as Seth Godin pleads on the very subject in his new podcast: No such thing (as writer’s block).

In reality, no one gets talker’s block just as a plumber never get’s plumber’s block. Stuckness is a work of fiction.

'The work is doing it when you don't feel like it. Doing it when it's not easy.' — Seth GodinClick To Tweet

Forget inspiration and do the work

If we choose to be professional, we choose to show up consistently and dance with the fear. We develop habits that allow us to unlock what Steven Pressfield’s calls ‘the resistance‘, compelling the muse to work with us rather than against us.

Says Godin on the resistance:

“The resistance never goes away. The more important the work is, the louder it gets. The harder you try to make it go away, the hard and more clever it gets in response. The work is doing it when you don’t feel like it. Doing it when it’s not easy.”

Pro tip: Want to escape writer’s block? Try blogging it out 👇

Fear leads to intertia which leads to regret. We start by doing it poorly and zigzagging through the maze of bad ideas. And then we tweak.

As Martin Luther King Jr. alluded to, “Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

Perfection is futile. The best time to be ready is right now. Don’t whine, don’t complain, get to work and make things. And refuel with Seth’s podcast below:

We are ‘brilliant only in tiny bursts’

linchpin“The law of linchpin leverage: The more value you create in your job, the fewer clock minutes of labor you actually spend creating that value. In other words, most of the time, you’re not being brilliant. Most of the time, you do stuff that ordinary people could do.

A brilliant author or businesswoman or senator or software engineer is brilliant only in tiny bursts. The rest of the time, they’re doing work that most any trained person could do.

It might take a lot of tinkering or low-level work or domain knowledge for that brilliance to be evoked, but from the outside, it appears that the art is created in a moment, not in tiny increments.”

— Seth Godin, [easyazon_link identifier=”1591844096″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?[/easyazon_link]

It often appears that discoveries come out of the blue when in fact, they are the result of consistently doing the work. In other words, big results are the upshot of small things with focus and with care. There is no such thing as overnight success.

Keep dripping.

The unique shall inherit the Earth

via giphy

There are three ways to stand out and be remembered:

  1. Be so good that they can’t ignore you.
  2. Be so interesting that they can’t ignore you.
  3. Be so unique that they can’t ignore you.

Talent is usually enough, but everyone can take a great picture. Technology and the internet leveled the playing field.

Grabbing attention can be fleeting. Remember the digital tenet that new things get consumed and forgotten.

But what cements you in someone else’s memory is acting remarkably daring and different.

In a world of masses, it pays to go micro. But the loopholes in individuality are getting smaller and smaller.

The chemicals between us

giphy (8)
via giphy

We all want to experience pleasure all the time. But it’s utility is temporary, the dopamine hit comes and goes. Addiction is the attempt to make it last forever. Spinning the social media wheel, again and again, is a prime example of its superficiality.

Happiness, on the other hand, “is long-term, additive and generous.” It’s a state of mind built over time through sustained effort toward true connection and generosity. It’s a deeper emotional investment with zero emphases on cash-value.

We have two choices: the taking of short-term dopamine or the giving of long-term serotonin. We become what we choose.

Being an artist is like…

Comic by Castor Comics
Comic by Castor Comics 

Is it good enough? What will the audience think? What will our closest friends think of what we made with our bare hands?

As an artist, fear and doubt pervade our craft. But it’s also what guides it. If we’re afraid to publish our work, that most likely means we should do it anyway.

‘This may not work’

A clap, likes, a positive comment – reassurance is not the end-goal. In fact, what should drive the artist is the fact that what they make may not work. Much of artist work is what they can get away with.

“Dance with the fear. Use fear as a compass to push you toward bringing your best creative work to life.” – Seth Godin

We’re all weird

we_are_all_weird
We’re All Weird by Seth Godin

Inspired by Alain de Button’s tweet, below is a collection of highlights of the word weird from Seth Godin’s 2011 book, We’re All Weird.

Weird by choice, on the other hand, flies in the face of the culture of mass and the checklist of normal.

The epic battle of our generation is between the status quo of mass and the never-ceasing tide of weird.

It’s human nature to be weird, but also human to be lonely. This conflict between fitting in and standing out is at the core of who we are.

The way of the world is now more information, more choice, more freedom, and more interaction. And yes, more weird.

The weird are weird because they’ve foregone the comfort and efficiency of mass and instead they’re forming smaller groups, groups where their weirdness is actually expected.

The next breakthroughs in our productivity and growth aren’t going to be about fueling mass. They’re going to be relentlessly focused on amplifying the weird.

Pre-historic cultures, not nearly as productive as ours, show little evidence of the weirdness our culture has recently developed.

When you don’t feel alone, it’s easier to be weird, which sort of flies in the face of our expectation that the weird individual is also a loner.

We don’t care so much about everyone; we care about us—where us is our people, our tribe, our interest group, our weirdness—not the anonymous masses.

The weird are now more important than the many, because the weird are the many.

There’s a long tail of channels, and at least one matches every person’s precise definition of weirdness (if there’s no match, go ahead and start another channel).

My proposed solution is simple: don’t waste a lot of time and money pushing kids in directions they don’t want to go. Instead, find out what weirdness they excel at and encourage them to do that. Then get out of the way.

It’s human nature to be weird, but also human to be lonely. This conflict between fitting in and standing out is at the core of who we are.

Normal is boring

jakob-owens-208989


Paddington Bear
– The Purple Cow
– An Albino Giraffe

Standing out is what it means to be remembered. To be remembered is to be unique.

Never has the conformist or the lemming lived on to make a name for themselves.

Normal is too forgettable. Life is cooler at the edges.

When you know you’re different, you’re condemned to accept it.

The internet saves your individuality. It celebrates weird and flattens the middle of the bell curve of normalcy.

2011-bell-curve
From Seth Godin’s book, We Are All Weird

Now you have no choice but to show people who you really are and what you believe in.

Your tribe awaits and it wants you to break the status quo.

Losing our edge

jakob-owens-286972.jpg
Being weird used to be lonely. But then the Internet happened. It connected the vinyl collectors, the sneakerheads, and the want-to-be Romance novelists. They came together, competed, collaborated, cheered each other on while a select few took their micro, macro until their weird became the new standard.

“Success blurs. It rounds off the rough edges.”

John Peel

We’re not all weird. We’re not all normal. But some of us are curious and forward-thinking. We search for what’s next before it even hits the trend spotters’ radar. We dig deep in the underground to avoid the peril of sameness.

The closer we get to normal, the closer we are to losing our edge.

Always a good reread: We’re Are All Weird

The power of rituals 

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Photo by Wells Baum

Rituals:  They drop heart levels. They alleviate anxiety. They deaden the fear by practicing it beforehand, strengthening confidence.

At the end of the day, you’re either ready or you’re not. But priming the mind with a ritual — whether it feels random or not — may just be the thing that gets you over the hump.

“Habits are more important than fears.” – Seth Godin

Read The power of rituals: they calm nerves and boost performance