So I've crossed off two of my five goals for this month (http://sebastianmarshall.com/community/what-are-aiming-to-get-done-in-october), and I'm working hard on the third right now.
That goal is to start a consulting business. (My long-term goal is still to build a product business, but I realised for someone in my position, a decent chance at building a $million company is better than a 1% chance at a $billion company). Anyway, since many in this community are successful entrepreneurs (and unlike Hacker News, it seems like there's more consultants here), it'd be awesome to get some advice from you clever people :)
So far, I've built a basic website: http://thectonetwork.com/ (note: please don't link this elsewhere just yet, I'm not ready to publicly launch), and recruited some of my smartest friends. Right now my focus is on testing out the concept with potential clients.
1. Does the basic concept make sense? (Allowing business guys with money to 'rent-a-CTO'). Is it something you'd use?
When you have a real* problem, you need to quickly patch it to fix its real symptoms. A patch is a good idea because it is immediate and you can't fool yourself into thinking you have fixed the root problem, and you can't yet fix the root because it requires research, the right tools, and so on. Even if the patch is messy, it's better than the alternative of doing nothing, and it's better than fixing the root problem because it's very difficult to fix the root while the symptoms are distracting you. Patches cost time and/or money, so this is another good reason to stay solvent and able in every area of life so you can respond to problems as they come up.
As soon as you've patched the problem**, begin the principled correction, that is, the fix of the problem at the deepest, most original point possible. This is much more work, but you're motivated because you know you'll be patching the same problem over and over until you've cut off its source.
Roots have their own roots, and fixing a root problem that has its own causes is just a deeper patch. The only solution is to patch the deepest visible root and dive more deeply into the problem. This makes it sound like any fix is "patches all the way down," but it's not true. Eventually you will reach the point at which the problem is equal to your understanding and make your last correction. Beyond that, you won't be able to tell whether you're making things better.*** Or, possibly, you'll reach the root of all problems, but I can't advise you there as it's well out of my league.
It's also important not to rotely patch one step at a time. Start as deep as you are able and skip as many steps (as other people see them) as you can without creating more work and distraction for yourself.
This surface-to-root approach applies to any field, although I'm writing this with business and programming in mind. If you reach the point where the nature of your work itself is the problem, you don't have to give up what you do, but you will have to find the solution outside of your field and change it.
The thread last month helped me a lot. I find a month to be a good length of time to get some significant work done, and the shared accountability helped a lot.
I got all 5 of my 5 goals crossed off - obviously, this month I need to stretch myself more. (Will list my own goals later).
But what are you working on, and how can we help you?
As a college student, I find that my list of productive things to do generally involves reading. I'm studying for classes, then I'm reading SETT blogs, then I read "On Writing Well"...the list goes on. I'm spending a lot of my time consuming information (albeit valuable information), and this leads to feeling unaccomplished.
I know that the first step to improvement is to gather information (reading). How can I do something correctly if I don't know whether or not I am?
But, I also remember reading in Four Hour Workweek - Tim Ferris suggests not reading more than one non-fiction book at a time.
So how do i switch gears and do more when I don't know what to do?
I'm guessing people here are familiar with the idea of 80% of the results coming from 20% of the effort. Although the numbers don't hold in every situation, the basic idea works for most. I'm guessing people are also familiar with the Lean Startup, which emphasises quick 'n' dirty versions to enable rapid testing. People might not be familiar with Boyd's OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act) -- but the idea is you want to move through the loop as fast as possible, and gain a strategic edge on the opposition.
I'm guessing people are also familiar with Apple, which follows a different philosophy -- aim for 100% every time, even if it means your products cost twice as much as the competition.
These philosophies aren't really opposed. Sebastian had a good post about this (which I can't find right now). You want to aim for 80/20 crappiness, or 100/100 awesomeness. You don't want to get stuck at the sucky zone in the middle.
However, how can you decide which things to 80/20, and which things to 100/100?
OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, so please research this on your own.
I found out about the original racetam (Piracetam) via Sebastian's blog. I have taken it for two months now, 1600mg 3 to 4 days a week, with good results.
Starting Tuesday, I will take the 1600 mg and one capsule of Pramiracetam together. I can't verify any of this, but I have read that Pramiracetam is the strongest and can even have positive effects AFTER you stop taking it.
I bought it from an online store that ships internationally. Next week I will update with results.
Has anybody else taken the Pramiracetam plunge?
For the past seven days I have fought against a virus of some kind. It kept me out of the office, out of the gym, and out of my krav maga academy. It held me prisoner in my own apartment. That is how I felt, at least until today. I still haven’t fully recovered or gone to any of the sacred places I listed above. However, I went out to lunch with family and friends, performed a few sets of pushups and pullups (on my door frame), and am writing this post!
During this week, which seemed to last an eternity, I had plenty of time to sit and think. Something I consider invaluable when healthy (and busy). All I did was nap and watch Breaking Bad (until I finished it; then more naps, of course). I was not angry or miserable, though a bit frustrated at first. Just mentally clouded and physically exhausted. I believe in fate and accept my current circumstances. These things happen, and I am thankful it happened during a relatively uneventful week.
And now that I am on the way back up, I am super-excited to get going: creating solutions at work, hitting PR’s (personal records) in the gym, improving my krav skills, etc. I am going to crush it like never before.Seriously. Better than ever. Why? Being sick and abstaining from my regular activities showed me how awesome everything I get to do everyday really is. It was eye-opening. I will appreciate these things that I have taken for granted.
Post is from my blog http://www.howtobeast.com
It's been 30 days since you started the happiness challenge. How did it go?
Was going to email you this, but figured that others would probably be interested in hearing the results, too.
1. Trust yourself
2. Break the rules
3. Don't be afraid to fail
4. Ignore the naysayers
5. Work your butt off