Are you being ignored?

The Law of Remarkability

For a mission-driven project to succeed, it should be remarkable in two different ways. First, it must compel people who encounter it to remark about it to others. Second, it must be launched in a venue that supports such remarking.

Cal Newport

Decide what capital market you are in

There are two types of markets. Winner-takes-all and auction. In an auction market, success requires a multitude of skills. Early stage entrepreneurship is an example of an auction market as founders are responsible for product development, sales, operations and marketing to name a few. Alternatively, a winner-takes-all market relies on one skill. A writer needs to be able to write.

The dilemma exists when we misinterpret a winner-takes-all for an auction market. A fitting example is Summi. Many components make up Summi, but everything is second to one thing. My ability to write compelling articles (still pending).

Conversely, if I assumed Summi belonged to an auction market, I would spend more time polishing the font, posting Snapchat content and contacting people to join the mailing list. None of these matter if my content is abysmal. Similarly,  a chef must focus on the food, a rapper on the music and a teacher on the lesson. Finding the right market funnels your effort and time into skills that will prove fruitful in the long run.

Define ‘Good’

Whatever your area of work, seek what you consider to be ‘good’ work. Eliminating ambiguity from your goals, helps you to target them and achieve them. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, listen to great speakers.

Finding the appropriate ‘mentors’ in your chosen field should aid in the clarification of ‘good’. Excellent public speakers are inundated with requests to speak at events, seminars and conferences. Deciding that your target is to secure just one request to speak at an event, regardless of size or prestige is an unambiguous goal with a clear archetype for ‘good’ ; speakers whom are requested to speak at public events are ‘good’.

Stretch and Destroy 

Are you working on a skill right now? Does practising it make you uncomfortable? If the answer if no, then you are not stretching enough. Pushing the boundaries is exhausting. The notion that we can push ourselves at maximum intensity for considerable lengths of time is a false notion. Burnout is real, so we must use our energy meticulously.

Runners know what it is like to stretch during training and I am not talking about the warm up. I am referring to the last stretch of the athletics track, legs seizing up,  filling up with paralysing lactic acid. Lungs wheezing, erratically trying to gather oxygen.  The finish line in sight. Your shoulders tighten, hanging on to your body for dear life. You tilt your head forward and cross the line. A heap of flesh and bone lays on the track. It is over… until tomorrow.

Pushing ourselves is the only way we can grow. If you are serious about improvement, then your ‘deliberate practice’ will not be gentle, just like any runner knows that coming down that home straight is excruciating agony. But a runner must run and ‘deliberate practice’ is the art of replicating the intensity of the main event so when that moment indefinitely arrives, you are prepared for the onslaught.

Missions Require Capital

If you have a dream, what are you doing today that will bring you closer to it?  If you want to be a renowned photographer, do you have a set time each day dedicated to your craft?

Our life goals are attained through skills. Firing an arrow into a target requires pulling the string until tense. Skills are the muscular strength that make this happen. Without the necessary capital or skills, the target will remain unscathed and firing thousands of arrows will not change the outcome. Alternatively, a trained archer needs just one arrow to hit a bullseye.

Three Disqualifies for Applying the Craftsman Mindset

  1. The job presents few opportunities to distinguish yourself by developing relevant skills that are rare and valuable
  2. The job focuses on something you think is useless or perhaps even actively bad for the world
  3. The job forces you to work with people you really dislike

Cal Newport

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