Burst into Flames

What a website launch can teach you about preparation.

February 11, 2020

The Startup San Diego team and I launched the new San Diego Startup Week website yesterday. We thought we'd covered everything. We had tested user flows, we'd checked all of our links, but we could not have anticipated one thing: how much engagement we got.

For an hour we had unresponsive voting features because our automation service was at max capacity (and we'd already beefed it up).

However, this paled in comparison to the fact that we had record breaking numbers of users, ticket sales, etc. Small bump int he grander narrative.

The point is this:
you can plan for everything in the world for your brand, a new website, etc. but you will not burst into flames from having small bumps in the road.

More you say?

Break the Rut-Tine

I'm pretty dedicated to routine, but why let it go the last two weeks of the year?

12.23.2019

Routine is what produces results. Consistent dedication to a series of habits will beat talent any day of the week. Personally, my morning routine consists of the following:

  • 7am wake up (I'm a night owl, not an early bird)
  • Stretch, run, pushups, and squats
  • Journal and Prayer
  • Bible Reading (1 chapter from the OT/NT and one Psalm or Proverb)
  • Write the MF Punch
  • Jam on a personal project for an hour or so

Obviously, I'm not perfect so this routine gets muddied on occasion. But, it serves as a solid compass for letting me know when I've derailed. So why would I completely forego this routine during the last two weeks of the year? Most productivity hacks will tell you that you should always stick to your routine regardless of what day it is.

I'm gonna be honest and say screw that.

Routines are effective during normal times of the year, when I've got client emails to answer, phone calls to make, and, of course, design work that needs to be done. Here's the difference: none of that happens regularly during the week of Christmas or the following week for New Years. Could it happen? Sure. But the truth is that it doesn't.

This presents two opportunities: stick to your routine despite the change in circumstance or let it go for two weeks. Neither option is wrong, they just present two different outcomes and that's where it gets interesting.

When I give myself these two weeks to completely let go of my routine, I give my willpower a rest. Furthermore, with all of the bustle of the holidays and trips to Las Vegas and Mexico on the horizon, those routines quickly find themselves going out the door.

That's not an excuse to let any obstacle get in the way of your routines. There are 50 weeks out of the year where I don't see a valid excuse to let go of routine. But failing to recognize the significance and abnormality of the holiday season is a recipe for self-defeat. Things will happen and routines are good, but they also become a rut. In the spirit of creativity and constantly adapting, ruts must be broken.

Can you think of a better time to break a routine than two weeks filled with festivities, good food, and time with people you care about? Didn't think so.

So what are my plans for the next two weeks? Eat some good food, stay up late watching Star Wars movies, see my grandmother, and think about all of the good things that have happened to me this year. Lastly, think about my routine and what could be improved for 2020 ;)

That being said, it's time to take a break from these as well. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Check back in 2020 for the MF Punch.

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Responsible

A quest for change can leave one feeling bitter and resentful, don't let it be you.

11.29.2019

The downside to being an advocate of change is that it is hard to see past the muck blocking you from the finish line. What's more, is that the muck might not even be your doing, it's just there.

Most would see the obstacles that lie before them as excuses to turn back and give up. But that is not the rebel way.

Rebels cannot let go of their vision, it is as much a part of them as their skin, hands, and feet.

No one said doing things differently would be easy, or that everything and everyone would be in your favor. Quite the opposite actually.

It may not be your fault where you are at and no one blames you for the external things that have blocked your path. But it is your responsibility to make the next steps. Will they be forward or backward?

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