For a long time I’ve been looking for a project to personally invest in. Well, it’s happened.
What’s the scariest thing you can think of doing?
I think it was Jonathan Fields at WDS who mentioned in passing that it’s not unusual to find that an idea or project that scares us the most is the one we’re probably meant to do. When it comes down to it, those horrifying steps forward are the best ones you can take.
World Domination Summit was a great event that helped me to focus and pushed me over the top. Since then I’ve been getting clearer and preparing to deliver.
Being honest with myself and talking about Christianity
As I dug deep and continually asked myself, “What’s the scariest thing I could think of doing” what kept coming to me was the idea of talking openly about faith (or lack of thereof) in Christianity. It’s certainly something I’ve never talked about in a professional setting or here. Those who know me well or have read enough of my stuff probably see glimpses of its influences.
I come from a family with a long history of belief in Christianity and have spent a good amount of time inside and on the fringes of its subculture. Over the years I’ve made different attempts to adopt and reconcile the proclaimed beliefs of this culture with my own and come up short–usually because my own experiences did not measure up to what was being advertised.
Launching a podcast that examines Christianity
I’m doing that totally scary thing by producing a weekly a podcast called Untangling Christianity. You can listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or by direct download at the website. Give a listen and leave us a comment.
Our podcast explores and attempts to untangle misguided ideas about what it means to be a Christian and know God. We’re hoping the show is accessible and interesting to people that have similar questions or frustrations with their beliefs. It follows the “startup principle” of “create something that you wish you had or would enjoy” with the hope that it will be interesting and helpful to others.
If you are new to Google Analytics or looking for better ways to follow and understand web traffic to your site, a short, but very practical post by Darren Rowse called How I use Google Analytics ‘Compare’ Feature to Motivate Me to Grow My Blog is worth reading.
I like how Daren took a relatively simple topic and in a few short steps, including screenshots, demonstrated how to put it to practical use.
Try out his technique on your website and I guarantee you’ll learn something new about your site.
If you aren’t familiar with Darren Rowse, I highly recommend watching his talk from WDS and getting your dreams back (if you’ve lost them).
Here are some criteria for determining if an idea is good from Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book The Impact Equation (affiliate link):
1) What’s the goal of the idea?
2) How does this idea fit my existing framework?
3) How much work does this idea add to my life?
4) What will it take to accomplish this idea?
5) What additional resources do I need to make this idea work?
6) How will I know whether to keep going or quit?
7) When will I be done?
Also, good ideas make you feel something, attach themselves to other concepts in the brain, and fulfill a need.
The idea here is that with all these things working together you’re invested and engaged enough that you want to push it all the way through vs. trying to brute force or “will your way” through–neither of which I’ve found to be very successful.
And more good questions from Page 117….
- Do I have a market for this? Do I know how to reach the people who might want this?
- Do I have the resources and time and proclivity to do this?
- Is this something people will pay for?
- How sustainable is this business? Can I do it for a while?
- Is this business salable? Can I turn it over to someone later on?
A lot of these questions nicely compliment Avinash Kaushik’s career manifesto.
A while back I was cleaning up a bunch of old book marks for my web browser and came across a bunch of wiki pages, etherpad pages, ticketing systems, etc. that were barely if never used.
It’s tempting as a project manager to think that setting up infrastructure in advance is time saving and helpful. It’s not. If you aren’t ready to create the first five wiki pages or file the first three tickets, don’t create the system until you really will and until you’re sure you’ll create twenty-five more. Otherwise you end up with a dumpsite of half started tools and pages. They usually just get in your way to when you’re trying to get something done.
This idea is not original to me. Rework has a number of chapters on the topic. Going through the clean-up exercise I was doing revealed the pattern.
Some months ago I ran out of patience when someone asked for my advice on an open source project I’d already given lots of advice to. They were trying to help a fledgling project grow it’s “open source wings” behind closed doors (which rarely works).
Here’s what I said, and I still believe it.
Like I keep saying on the REDACTED devel list… my suggestion is to stop discussing and thinking about this internally (immediately) and switch over to doing 99% of anything REDACTED related on the external list and in public places–allowing for that 1% that doesn’t make sense.
I truly believe (from my own experience) that the only way this is going to catch on and grow is if you:
1) Do everything in public
2) Be consistent about whatever you do in public.
– If you say “we are going to have IRC meetings,”
then have IRC meetings each week at the same time
until people are dismayed and up in arms when you skip a week.
– If you say “we are going to do periodic REDACTED releases,
do period REDACTED releases that people can count on.”
– If you say, “We’re going to have a G+ group,” advertise the heck out of it, everywhere, and then do stuff, every day.
– If you say, “We’re going to build REDACTED and enable anyone to do anything they want” then do it!
You can’t do any more “planning”… it’s time to “do,” where people can see stuff happening and build trust that when REDACTED says they are going to do something, they do. The key is building trust and respect. And that’s only going to come from consistently delivering and doing “something” where “something” doesn’t have to be very big.
I know it’s hard to get started. I’ve been there. I want to help, I also think it’s time to “do it!”