From an old friend. Very effective guy -
If there's anything I can do to help -- websites, marketing, design, tech are all areas of expertise, among others -- just let me know.
Want to see you succeed!
Let's do a Skype right now. I'm doing some crazy shit, we should talk. I was just thinking about you too incidentally.
give me a sec ... I'll get online
"Man, Seb, I love what you're doing. Why is it so hard to find people who do what they say they'll do?"
"It's just life dude. You know what though? I don't care. I need, like, a wrecking crew of 20 solid people. 20 people, that's all, that's enough to get in and do some business and get out constantly, whenever I want, cover all skillsets, and have contacts with whatever skillsets we don't have. Like, we find some project that's delayed by months and costing a company millions of dollars, 4 guys in our wrecking crew come in and we get it online in 3 weeks, they pay us a million dollars, we split up 250 K each. This seems possible, if you've got super solid people and you're all in sync."
"Hah, I love it."
"Yeah. So I told everyone in my life they have to do better to stay in my life. I mean, do better, philosophically speaking. Like, not just more effective or harder working, but smarter, more humane, more cool, more appreciate, everything. Do better."
"I want in. What can we do together?"
We start talking about it. He's got a lot of stuff going on. Brilliant guy. He's doing some sort of statistical derivations on the effectiveness of print advertisements these days, or something. Used to work in a hedge fund, but quit because he didn't like finance. An artist, a really brilliant and good guy, someone you want on your side. In his free time, he makes iOS apps, does a lot of yoga, a bit of consulting, and is just a stellar dude.
So we're running over anything that we can do together, and it's like there's almost a fit, but not quite... 30 minutes pass, 45... conversation is good, but it's stalling out.
You know what's about to happen? A whole lot of fucking nothing, that's what's about to happen.
"Dude, you know what? This is stupid. This is fucking stupid. When's the next time you're free for five days?"
"Uhh, I haven't been in America for a while. When is that?"
"It's the third week of --"
"No, I mean, what dates?"
"Umm... the 24th to the 29th."
"Okay. I'm flying you out to Beijing."
"Well, maybe. Let me check tickets. Hold on."
It's like $800 and change.
"Yeah. It's 800 bucks. I'll put you up in an apartment when you're here... I rent a room from a really nice couple with a baby, but the baby is quiet and my room there is far away from them, I've never heard crying. I'm usually not there anyways, I usually sleep in my office... so I'll put you up there.... I can't hang all the time, I've got a lot of shit going on. But come hang out at the office, meet my staff, they're all excellent. You're super sharp, so I bet you'll have some realization about something we can do that'll help us make sales or something. And we'll get some time in Starbucks to see if we can hammer out a way to do a quick project, make some cash. How's that sound?"
"Umm, well, I've got to check my calendar and --"
"No, fuck that man, I'm saying I'll do it right now. I've got the tickets open. You in?"
"Give me a second."
Time passes. I presume he's checking his appointments and commitments.
He's back. "Okay. I'm in."
"FUCK YEAH. Alright, this is awesome. Think about how we can make some money together. If we can get money together, we can do this a lot."
"This is awesome Seb. Jeez, I'm so pumped. Wow."
"Well... yeah, this is what high level people do, isn't it? Like, I had always hoped that if my profile got high enough, the Sheik of Dubai would drop me a line, set me up a room in his palace, give me some money, and just let me work on whatever I wanted. Maybe tutor his son in history as my official duty. Then once a year or something, I'd probably come with a big win to increase the efficiency of their government or whatever... I mean, why not right? I've studied all the top historical figures, put immense time into strategy, learned what works, patterns, whatever... that would just make immense sense.... but it kept never happening. But you know what? You're high level. I bet you've been thinking the same way. Why doesn't anyone recognize my talent and just treat me like gold, and I'll produce immense amounts for them?"
"Well, okay, I'm done waiting. I've just got to be the guy that does it. So you come here, let's hammer some stuff out... I mean, what's the downside? I'm out 800 bucks, no business is done, but we get to hang out and catch up? I haven't seen you in, what, five years? That's too long anyways."
"Thanks Seb... jeez man... you know, I've never been..."
"What? To Asia?"
"No. First time."
"Ah jeez, that surprises me. Well, cool, you'll like ------ Wait! You've got to get a visa for China! Shit, I almost forgot, that would've been a nightmare."
We look up visa costs. There's an agency that does it with a five-day turnaround for only $50 plus the application fees. He says he'll get on (and confirmed the next day he did).
Things is happening.
Oh, I suppose everyone wants to know what's happening with Simon and Schuster?
Yeah, I got a bunch of panicked emails telling me to delete the post, call them, and all sorts of things. Here was my reply -
"I see a lot of demands being made, and not a lot of problems being fixed."
Two things, the first of which doesn't matter much.
What you say about bipolarism is pretty much current thinking on the subject, so long as you accept "heat" as a metaphor, rather than a literal description or diagnosis. IR cameras aren't all that expensive; in fact you can make one by getting a cheap chip camera and taking the IR-absorbing glass out of it. Have somebody point it at your head when you're up and when you're down. You won't see a significant temperature difference. But in essence you're right -- when you're up, you're consuming a lot of different neurotransmitters and other hormones much faster than they can be produced. When they run out you crash, and you can't avoid that any more than you can keep the car going for just a few minutes after it runs out of gas. Your body then goes into a mode where consumption of those substances is inhibited, allowing production to catch up -- the down phase. The drugs they use nowadays inhibit the rapid-consumption phase, and if you don't have a deficit caused by rapid consumption you don't get the crash.
Now the bad news: You aren't gonna get what you want and need, not unless you hit it so filthy fucking rich you can buy a throne, an underground fortress to put it in, and a long-haired white cat to stroke, and hire legions of toadies to support you. Why is that? Well, to make a long story short, your self-description, seen from outside, doesn't differ in any material way from that of the thousands or millions of lazy fucking "artists" anxious to sell themselves, from Mr. Micawber on. There is no way in Hell for anybody who isn't you to tell the difference until and unless you actually produce -- and that doesn't happen until well after all the resources have already been poured into the project. Ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine of the people offering your prospectus are frauds -- though ninety-nine thousand of them aren't aware of that themselves, which makes the problem worse -- and the best thing to do when you present yourself is to play the percentages and say "No, thanks." You're a Hell of a salesman, but that's just one of the natural attributes of the terríbles you look like at first glance. You may very well actually be all that and a bottle of Kirin, but it's impossible to tell for sure, and the wise person will shy away.
And even if you do manage to deliver, we're most of us growing wearily accustomed to the genre. Free and shareware software are full of examples. It's glorious. It's fantastic. It works wonderfully -- until it doesn't, and no lesser being can make head or tail of it. It's a single, self-contained unit that makes little or no reference to anything else anywhere, and not even you can fix it or extend it to meet changed conditions, because it's the product of a gestalt that only occurred, and can only occur, once -- like the story you started, didn't finish before the manic phase ended, and now can't do anything with. Without your realizing it you've provided, in that story, an emblem for everything you've ever done.
So hie thee to a skilled MD neuropsych and get some medicine for that. Look at it this way: you can always throw the drugs in a ditch somewhere, right?
Hey Sebastian, just wanted to say that your last five-or-so posts have been truly inspiring. I've been a daily visitor since the start of this year and get a good amount of ideas/motivation/inspiration from your site. Thanks for taking the time to share, as you march towards your goals.
It's been interesting to read the disagreement/dislike many people have expressed (as is their right) in response to these posts. They seem to either think that you've lost it, fundamentally disagree with your chosen goals, or you've reminded them of a time when some one spoke to them straight and hurt their feelings.
Whatever the reality of it, or people's opinions about it, the underlying message resonates with me. If you want to meet and exceed your capacity as a human to produce and achieve, do it. Don't be a joker about it.
Question: "Why doesn’t anyone recognize my talent and just treat me like gold, and I’ll produce immense amounts for them?"
Answer: because THEY already know everything you do and more.
You speak as if everyone in the world is a moron that needs your "high level" expertise. The high level crap is written on the bathroom wall. The low level crap, the getting your hands dirty part, the REAL WORK, that's the barrier to millions, not strategy.
Btw everyone, you are wasting your time/life reading blogs! Think about it! A friend sent me a link to this one, and if I learned anything, I learned that my previous disposition about blogs being garbage is 100% right.
SM, talking about your wrecking crew idea... that mindset reminds me of an ex-Navy Seal writing about business. The man is Richard Marcinko, the title "Rogue Warrior's strategy for success"
In it he talks about team building, not being a joker (he calls it character) the importance of having tasks that require you to perform to your highest level and how quickly teams can lose their edge in a period of complacency. The role of the leader is to a) provide the best tools, intel and planning possible b) empower ever person on the team to make decisions and to be invested in the outcome, and c) lead from the front, always. The hardest trick is not to push too hard and burn them out, or challenge them too little to inspire them.
Basically, you want a SEAL team for business.
Thought you might enjoy the book, although it was written in the 90s and I doubt it's in mp3
Nice Seb. Even if 5% of the population got shit started THAT QUICK -- it would be a dangerous world (in a good way of course).
(A bit pumped up at 12:15 AM)
You know... I'm loving this. The last few posts about not being a joker and getting things done especially made me squirm... I've been a joker who gets distracted on the internet too much.. I just wanted to take time off to say that your blog and just a few others which discuss programming experiments (you know, stuff that's actually useful instead of reading techcrunch and then the same news on every other blog) are all I follow now. Yesterday I shoveled every unwanted piece of paper out of my room and have built up an environment for absolute productivity. And at office, from Monday. I'm going to quit being a joker and be something different.
Thanks for making me squirm. And calling me out too. Good luck with your project!
I admire what you're doing. Keep pressing forward. It's liberating to act like this isn't it? When you come to that realization that you really don't have to take shit, life becomes simultaneously more difficult and easier. But you start seeing results, and that's what really matters.
I look forward to the time when I come to Asia. If you're still there, I'll buy the first round of shots.
The original title of this post was, "The Reason We Didn't Meetup When I Visited Your City" and it was geared towards explaining what it's like to be busy with lots of correspondence. The post grew past this. This one will be useful for people who expect that they might have huge correspondence increases in the future - rarely do people talk bluntly about what it's like. It'll also be useful for the expansive sort of person who reaches out to people they don't know, so you can understand the mindset of who you're reaching out to. It rambles a little bit in the middle, but I think the mindsets and details could be useful for you.
The Reason We Didn't Meetup When I Visited Your City...
...is because I'm disorganized and you didn't drop a line again.
So, I get a lot of correspondence. Which is great. I really dig that. A couple days ago, I had a great Skype chat about international investing and business expansion with a really smart and cool guy out in SF, and then I met three people locally in Tokyo who are all exceptionally cool guys. I learned a lot, and I think so did the guys I got to hang with, and it was good. I like seeing other people thrive and make money, and got to have some good talks on business and entrepreneurship with everyone I met - I think everyone can hustle a bit more cash here or there.
I really enjoy that. I like meeting smart and enterprising people. I say that everyone - on my site, in posts, on my "About" and "New? Start here" pages,
We were having trouble figuring out what to do on Saturday.
I suggested that we sit down and watch the entire Lord of the Rings series with the kids. My wife didn't think it was appropriate for a seven and four year old, so I decided to poll my Facebook friends. It turns out that it was a pretty unanimous agreement with my wife. Apparently, a movie series that involves zombie horses and getting attacked and paralyzed by a giant spider is inappropriate for kids...jeez.
Therefore, we decided to fire up the old Wii and have a Super Mario Brothers marathon.
We grabbed four controllers and went after Princess Peach. For the next few hours, we were in a zone. Goombas were smashed, turtle shells were thrown (mostly at each other), and there were times where the family barely survived. Most of all, were learned a lot about life and each other. Here are some of those lessons learned.
1. Strength Doesn't Always Lie in Numbers