The Zoey Blog: Living with uncertainty...and some other junk. FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Friday, December 10, 2010

Living with uncertainty...and some other junk.

This is what I decided today...that living with uncertainty is almost always more profitable than living with certainty.

People don't like doubt, so they pay money and give up incredible opportunities just to avoid it. Entrepreneurship is largely about living with doubt, as is creating just about any sort of art, and sticking to your beliefs and values.

If you need reassurance, you're giving up quite a bit to get it. If you can get in the habit of seeking out uncertainty, you'll have developed a pretty great instinct.

I decided that this was something that I believed in...well, that, and the fact that a Starbucks Venti Christmas Blend needs a crapload of sugar to go down easy...a crapload.

I also came to this random conclusion...

The world's worst boss is you. That's what I said,

In a single, solitary moment of quietude today I found myself scribbling this nonsense. Even if you aren't self-employed, your boss is still you. You manage your life, your day, your responses and reactions. You manage how you sell your skills and your education and experience...and the way that you talk to yourself, that inner voice, it's your own. Odds are, you're doing it poorly. We all are. I know I am.

If you had a manager that talked to you the way that you talked to yourself, you'd quit. If you had a boss that wasted as much of your time as you do, they'd fire her. If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would go under.

It's surprising how often people choose to fail when they go out on their own, or when they end up in one of those rare jobs that encourages you to set an agenda and manage themselves (like mine). Faced with the freedom to excel, they falter and hesitate and stall and ultimately punt. I don't want to punt. I don't even like kickers, let a lone kicking. I want to go for it on fourth down...every fourth down. Punting is for, well, punters. Punters suck.

You're surprised when someone self-directed arrives on the scene. Someone who figures out a way to work from home and then turns that into a two-year journey, laptop in hand, as they explore the world while doing their job. You are shocked that someone uses evenings and weekends to get a second education or start a useful new side business. And you're envious when you encounter someone who has managed to bootstrap themselves into happiness, as if that's rare or even all that difficult to manage.

There are books on being a good manager. There are fewer on managing yourself. It's hard to think of a more essential thing to learn. It takes time, and it takes honesty. A lot of us aren't used to either.

Blah blah blah blah blah...and the colored girls go doo da doo, da doo, da da da doo da doo...

I was stuck doing interviews all day today...trying my best to give ten kids a life altering opportunity to make money, get stable, build connections, and maybe, if they're really right and really ready, find some inspiration and some mentorship. What I find every six or so months is that it's a rare thing to find someone who knows what they want, knows why they want it, and goes and gets it. It's an even rarer person that will reach for the ring when they haven't got any of the answers to those questions yet. We're bad at inspiration. As a society, we're awesome at pulling the curtain back and showing people what's out there, but that's not necessarily inspiration. I'm just sayin'...

I think I wrote more of the stuff down that was happening in my head than I did what was coming out of the interviewees mouths. Is that bad? It sounds bad.


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