ruckusmaker

Brené Brown’s research shows us that vulnerability is a necessary prerequisite to courage.

There is no courage without vulnerability, no innovation without failure and no greatness without risk.

You don’t become a master at anything by bathing in comfort or skirting around failure.

If you’re comfortable with a reality in which you enjoy the modest comfort in choosing not to strive, all the power to you.

As for the rest of us, it’s time we stopped kidding ourselves and started making a ruckus.

Writers less creative than you have published books.

Producers less organised than you have made movies.

Entrepreneurs less intelligent than you have built million dollar businesses.

You are not the sum of all your parts.

You are the sum of how well you work. Not how hard, but how effectively.

There comes a time in every leader’s tenure when it’s time to start letting go.

Time to pass the batton, or risk letting their team die.

A good leader makes themselves replaceable.

A bad one leaves their project to perish along with their involvement.

If you’re not replaceable, your project isn’t sustainable, and unsustainable projects aren’t worth much investment.

It’s fine to start things on your own. Sometimes it’s the only way things get made.

But your ceiling operating alone is far lower than working alongside a group of compassionate people you trust.

Find your tribe.

Make a ruckus.

Get to work.

We’re at our best when we’re creating.

We create at our best when we’re connected.

We’re most connected when we surround ourselves with brilliant people who care.

And we attract those people by being brilliant ourselves.

Next time you’re wondering what to do, think about what you have to give.

Then give it.

If you’re worried about everybody liking your projects, they’ll all fail.

Show anything to enough people and someone’s bound to hate it.

Luckily, this works in reverse too. No matter how many times you get told it’s worthless, there is someone out there that your project suits perfectly.

Whether people tend to like or dislike the work you do is simply another metric to measure it by.

Van Gogh sold only one painting before he died. From his perspective, almost all of his projects failed.

Now they rest in galleries and museums all around the world, admired by thousands each day.

Projects don’t succeed when people like them and fail when people don’t.

There’s much more to it.

Likeability is a metric just like order quantity, quality or returns.

A cigarette isn’t better than a Porsche just because more cigarettes are sold each day.

So why would your project necessarily be worse than any other purely based on how many people like it?

Select carefully the metrics by which you measure failure and success.

In most cases, likeability will prove a far less useful metrics than impact or reach.

In the process of making anything, you need to make a number of choices. These choices shape and define the work we do.

Making these choices is hard. When we’re try to decide who our work is for, we wrestle with a conflict at the core of all creative work;

If our work is going to resonate with some, it will likely upset others.

“It’s impossible to create work that both matters and pleases everyone.”

Seth Godin

The more we cater our work towards a demographic, the more specific we tailor it, the less relevant it becomes to the masses.

In times gone, too much specificity implied imminent irrelevancy. If you couldn’t get it in front of enough eyes who cared, what was the point?

Today, you can go to resinobsession.com and network with a whole community of people bound by their love of resin dice.

(Dispel Dice on kickstarter)

The internet is connecting people who would never have been able to find each other two decades ago.

Our work can now do the same.

There isn’t value in sacrificing specificity for relevancy any more.

“There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”

James P. Carse

Much of what I write and think about revolves around how we can think about the finite games we like to play in infinite ways.

How can we program ourselves to relish opportunities for growth, even when they look like failures?

How do we play to win while also play simply to keep playing?

And how do we play finite games alongside those who can’t see the infinite possibility within all games?

Imagine that every person in your workplace wanted to accomplish the same thing; that you were all motivated by the same clear objective.

And each day you all gave everything to see that objective accomplished.

No stalling. No work for work’s sake. No dodging responsibility.

Now snap back to reality and identify why that’s not the case.

How does your organisation motivate the people who define it to do great work?

Do they do a good enough job?

If not, tell them.

If they don’t like it, there’s never been an easier time to start something.

The best way to ensure that your organisation has your best interest at heart is to be your own organisation.

“Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.”

Naval Ravikant

In both art and business, we are usually defined by those we can be likened to.

We’re lumped into genres or styles, niches and roles.

When competing for success, we are often assigned a category.

Maybe you were proactive enough to assign yourself the category which best defines you.

This is great news, on one condition;

That you’re the best in class.

If you’re going to allow yourself to be defined by a category, ensure that you’re the best fish in the pond.

When in doubt, dig your own pond.

Don’t be a slightly-above-average animal photographer when you can be the world’s best Quokka photographer.

(Photo: Natalie Su)

Never call yourself a ‘pretty good’ sales assistant when you could be the best speckled beanie salesperson in the state.

Why would you be a writer with a blog when you could be the only young West Australian writer with a BJJ blue belt who publishes original work daily?

(If there’s another one, someone let me know, I’d love to meet them.)

You do you.

I only ask that you do us all a favour and do it brilliantly.

“How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable.”

Seth Godin

Today marks 100 days of putting my thoughts on the line.

Three months feels like a blink. But in such a short time, this already feels like one of the most meaningful commitments I’ve ever managed to uphold.

In honour of that, it seems like as arbitrary a time as any to look back, reflect and take a moment to thank those of you who’ve been the fertiliser to my grass-roots.

The growth I’ve experienced over the past few months has been overwhelming. I’ve written some crap, and I’ve written some work that I’m intensely proud of.

Having a tangible accumulation of ever-improving work is something I still can’t wrap my head around; some posts I was proud of two months now embarrass me to revise.

I can see the weeks where I allowed myself to be tired or overworked.

I can pick out the posts I published in a rush at 11:58pm instead of getting writing done in the morning.

The clear disparity in the quality of that work motivates me to take care of myself properly.

Beyond all that, I’ve benefited hugely from cataloguing a d categorising my thoughts.

By organising thoughts into the ‘clusters’ in the menu bar, I’ve been able to refer back to information quickly when I’ve needed it.

When I started out, I didn’t think I’d go back re-consider content nearly as much as I do. I revisit the ruckus cluster often, usually when I need a boost.

In terms of readership, the views and visitors to the site have been on a slow but steady incline.

These metrics aren’t what I measure the success of the blog by, but the fact that there is an upwards trend means that more people are hearing about the blog.

Because I don’t pay to advertise the blog anywhere, this means that a significant portion of this extra traffic will be from word-of-mouth.

If you’ve been a part of that, thank you.

Seriously. Some of the most delightful conversations I’ve had in the past few months have sprouted from;

“Hey! I read that thing you posted about…”

Conversations like that mean everything to me. And if you’re someone who regularly likes, comments on, shares or talks about my content, you’re responsible for a portion of that joy.

Thanks also to those of you who have followed the blog on WordPress, or via email.

There’s more than 50 of you now, and while I’m sure that at least a couple of you are Russian bots, I know that there’s a chunk of you who are lovely, real, genuine people.

It means a great deal that you’re willing to get notified every time I put something out there (not just when it’s good enough for me to share it on a social platform).

Launching this site has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing, but it’s also fundamentally changed the way I think.

It’s hard to express how valuable forcing myself to constantly seek out stimulating information to distill has been. Every day brings with it a looming pressure to notice things, and I’ve never felt more engaged with the world.

So far I’ve had the opportunity to share 2374 views with 1408 visitors, through 37,212 words.

All it took was finding an idea worth persisting with, a little grit and an unrelenting desire to make ruckus.

Thank you for being here to celebrate 100 posts with me.

I’ll check back in on the 13th July 2020, after 365.