100 Thoughts

I wrote everything below in 2017. Why, oh why, didn't i just publish it?

For 2017, one of the things I want to focus on is creating valuable content for The Journal that is my content. My focus, in 2016, was linking to others’ content. This needs to change in 2017.

I’d like to focus on less social content (perhaps cutting down on Twitter?) and refocus my efforts on more self-generated content for The Journal.

Each post needs to be a five minute read, maximum. Cross post on:

  • The Journal
  • Medium
  • LinkedIn…?

Here are some ideas. These are very rough!

If you want something, make something…

Talk is cheap, action is harder. Shit or get off the pot. If you want something, make something.

The real value lies in execution. Having great ideas is only a small part of the equation, realising those ideas is what really matters.

This is worth referring to:

One of the perils of living in an X Factor culture is the belief that you’ll be plucked from obscurity. The reality is that being plucked from obscurity and propelled to fame happens rarely, if at all. Fame requires hard work, there’s no substitute for that.

Don’t allow yourself to be lost in the stream at the expense of making things that really matter.

The people who make a difference are the people who have executed. Doers, not talkers.

Tell a story again, but differently…

Don’t be put off by the fact that someone may have pursued your idea before. Rather re-imagine that idea. There is always room for improvement.

As Kyle MacDonald puts it, in One Red Paperclip:

If you get caught up in how your story is similar to others it will just discourage you.

The reality, of course, is that your story is different… because you are you (and no one else).

You can tell the same story again, but differently. The sum of your life’s experiences will lead you to a different outcome. Why? Because your experiences are yours, and yours alone. There is no one else in the world who is exactly like you.

Embrace this difference.

There is nothing new in the world. Everything that’s new is actually made up of a recombination of old elements.

Who are you convincing?

Your ideas all have potential, don’t lose sight of that fact. The only way to convince others of their potential, however, is if you actually do something to turn your ideas into a reality.

Only when something is real can it be judged.

Make your ideas real and you at least have the opportunity to reap the benefits. Leave them unformed in your mind and you’ll never know if they might have worked or not.

Somewhere in the world it’s the cocktail hour…

We live in a massively connected world where – somewhere, regardless of how remote – it’s the cocktail hour.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that you should be drinking cocktails 24/7… Perish the thought! (And not something I’d recommend.) What it does mean, however, is that your storefront is never closed.

When you make something and offer it up for sale, you offer it up for sale to the world and the world is ever-awake.

The always on, connected world we now live in offers us tremendous opportunities to generate passive income every waking (and every sleeping) moment.

Somewhere in the world it's the cocktail hour. Somewhere in the world someone's perhaps looking for the product or service you're offering. Don't waste time, get your storefront up-and-running. The quicker you do, the quicker you can reap the rewards.

No one likes a complainer…

As Kyle MacDonald puts it, in One Red Paperclip:

Why complain when you can do something about it?

I think we can all agree that there's a great deal of negativity in the world. Why add to that negativity when – instead – you can do something about it? Put your time to a more constructive use.

When you encounter something you disagree with, why not address the problem with your own creativity? That's a far better use of your time than putting others down.

There is room in the world for more than one opinion. If you see something you think you can approve, put your best efforts behind making something better. That's a far better use of your time than adding to the world's seemingly endless supply of negativity.

Make Your Tomorrow

Tomorrow hasn't happened yet (it's still in the future).

Your future is in your own hands. If your today wasn't exactly what you wanted it to be, why not change your tomorrow?

Find a way

There is always a way, you just need to find it.

We all have dreams. The difference between the truly successful and those who whine from the sidelines, is that the former made their luck.

If you have an idea that you'd like to turn into a reality, the only things stopping you is your own inertia.

Make your idea real. As Derek Sivers neatly summarises:

Ideas × Execution = Value

Great ideas are worth nothing without execution. If you believe in your idea, take the first step and turn it into a reality. Find a way. Of course there will be challenges, but – as the old saying goes – "Rome wasn't built in a day."

Today is your first day. What will you do?

Conversations Drive Ideas

Your idea is only the first part of the equation. The second part of the equation is execution. The third – and critical part – of the equation is driving the conversation. That's what really matters.

We live in a world crying out for meaning. Ask yourself, "How can I spark a conversation about this new \\\\\\\\ [insert your idea here].

The world is driven by stories. Stories spark conversations. Understand that and you can change the world.

Enjoy the Journey

It might look easy – from the outside – to say, but enjoying the journey makes a great deal of difference.

When you're enjoying what you do, your passion and enthusiasm shines through. (The moral of this story? Pursue what you enjoy.)


Expand on this idea here. Kyle MacDonald calls this 'funtential', I like that word, it's a portmanteau that encapsulates 21st century thinking. More on this here.

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The Details Matter

My better half, Cara, is a silversmith. In her teaching (and her work) she talks about the importance of, "Focusing on the back of the brooch." To many, the back of the brooch doesn't matter. After all, who sees it, except the wearer?

The back of the brooch, however, deserves to be finished to just as high a level as the front of the brooch.

To put it another way: the details matter.

As Charles and Ray Eames put it:

The details are not the details; they make the product.

Sometimes you’re too close to the work at hand to see the small, but important things. If you're blinded by your closeness to the process, it can help enormously to find an outsider – a critical friend, with a keen eye for details – who can help you identify your 'back of the brooch'.

Pay attention to the details and you'll find yourself in the top 1%. (That's a nice place to be.)

Too few focus on the details, but focus on these aspects you – and I hope me! – will sit apart from the rest.

Ask yourself: What's your 'back of the brooch'?

The Karma Bank

Put more in than you take out. Look at Seth Godin’s ‘How Many Hops’ piece. This is what I’m talking about in a nutshell.

Every good deed you do adds to your ‘karma bank’ and one day, often when you least expect it, that pays off.

Ask yourself what you can do for others. Then help. Not in a ‘quid pro quo’ way, that’s not how it works, just in a ‘you need help and I’m happy to help’ way.

Use No Bad Ideas Brainstorming to Come Up With Ideas Look at the redesign issue. What can I learn from Kleon and Do Books. Consider pacing.

Think of the books as a cross between a slide deck and a book. You can scroll through them on your devices, however they’re more broken up with diagrams and illustrations.


Talk about this from the Octavo Redux Kickstarter emails. (Interview Pt. 2 in the email of 24 May.)

"The biggest lesson is things don’t just happen, they get made, and that takes a lot of hard work, a lot of energy and huge commitment."

Buy One; Give One

This about lessons learned from companies like Madlug, The Good Little Company, etc..

Do Not Disturb

This is about finding focused time by using the iPhones Do Not Disturb function… Keeping you focused (a la Cal Newport).