Guard Your Creativity With Your Life

Wake up in the morning, check email, ruin your day

November 27, 2019

When you run your own company, the outside world ends up demanding a lot from you. Certainly in time and more importantly in creative energy. Because most startup founders are constantly seeking ways to grow their company, spending time on to focus and unleash their own creativity seems selfish.

"There are so many things I have to get done today, how can I possibly afford to indulge my own creativity?"

Because if you don't, you will lose the spark that had you create something in the first place. That energy from within that granted you the courage to go out and make something new. The minute that inbox is opened or your messages are checked, creativity goes out the window and it will not come back.

When you get up in the morning do something creative for yourself. Write, draw, play music, anything to use that creative resource before it is thrown to the wolves that would seek its end.

That wave of creativity is for you and you alone. No one else can use it the way you can, nor should they be granted access to abuse it. How can we even think to let such divine potential slip away?

Guard your creativity with your life and do not let the world take it from you, they can have what is left.

More you say?

Stop Being Professional

How being professional kills your brand.

3.26.2020

Alright, let's make sure we're on the same page, as one of the biggest issues with being professional is lack of concrete definition. You probably think of professional as suit and tie, clean cut, and stoic. But that's bogus. And it is off-base for what the actual definition of professional would entail.

Professional /prəˈfeSH(ə)n(ə)l/:

relating to or connected with a profession.
"young professional people"

engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
"a professional boxer"

a person engaged or qualified in a profession.
"professionals such as lawyers and surveyors"

Nothing in those definitions implies that one has to give up their personality, character, or style to be a professional. It seems that the only defining characteristic would be the practice of a specific activity that one gets paid for. You could pop pimples for a living and you'd still be considered a professional, so long as you get paid for it. Do you hear that? So long as you do a job and get paid for it, you are a professional. You don't have to wear a suit, you don't have to refrain from saying what you think or using slang, you have to provide something deemed valuable to be a professional.

Why do I want you to stop being "professional?" Because you box yourself in with your definition (the clean cut, suit and tie version). It makes you boring and totally diminishes the elements of your personality that make you special. Granted, this doesn't mean you should stop taking care of yourself or give the impression that you aren't put together, but that's not a hard standard to meet. If you wear a nice, unwrinkled t-shirt with a good pair of jeans, and sneakers, no one is going to think you're a slob. If they do, screw 'em. They are clearly not supposed to do business with you, but instead with someone who takes pride in posturing themselves to look wealthy rather than doing good work.

Stop trying to be professional and instead double down on being yourself, whatever that means. If you like getting dressed up, go for it! But don't let those fancy clothes become a shock collar that stops you from being yourself, telling your jokes, and saying what you feel is right.

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Burst into Flames

What a website launch can teach you about preparation.

2.11.2020

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.

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