Turning Pro

So there’s some news to share.

On May 8, 2017, I turned in a resignation letter to my employer and began my journey into fulltime self employment. I always thought this post was going to be easier to write than it actually is.

My friend and WordPress development ninja, Topher, told me at some point last year that “As soon as you’re at a point where you would have made more by spending your day freelancing rather than going to your job, it’s time to quit” …. or something like that.

In reality, this jump was 4-5 months overdue, but the security that comes with a steady paycheck — even if it’s a job that’s far from a great fit — is an intense drug.

5 espressos had a year of huge growth last year, as we had the opportunity to start working under more established businesses, and this year has continued that trend. I’m pretty excited about where things can go- though this transition still feels pretty intimidating.

My strengths make looking out into the future really easy and enticing, but my workload suggests that the most important thing is just taking things day by day- finishing the work that has to be done, and then moving onto the next day. With more clients come more opportunities and more responsibilities, but it also comes with the chance to try new things, and each new experience has the chance to be magic.

Steven Pressfield, in his book Turning Pro, writes of the difference between an amatuer and a pro, that there’s a definitive point where you decide that your days of amatuer habits and practices are over. That from that point forward, you’re a pro, and approaching each day dedicated to your craft and all that’s involved in that craft. Last week was that day for me.

It’s terrifying, it’s exciting. It’s time.

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners.

I love this quote by Ira Glass:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me.
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap.
For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Seth Godin’s Assorted Tips for Life

A few years back, Seth Godin put together a list of Assorted Tips.

It’s interesting how much of an impact a random blog post can have on you.

I’ve referred to different points on this list countless times, I want to post them here so I can reference them quickly. Maybe they can help you too.

  1. No stranger or unknown company will ever contact you by mail or by phone with an actual method for making money easily or in your spare time. And if the person or company contacting you asserts that they are someone you know, double check before taking action.
  2. Don’t have back surgery. See a physiatrist first, then exhaust all other options before wondering if you should have back surgery.
  3. Borrow money to buy things that go up in value, but never to get something that decays over time.
  4. Placebos are underrated by almost everyone.
  5. It’s almost never necessary to use a semicolon.
  6. Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite.
  7. Cognitive behavorial therapy is generally considered both the quickest and most effective form of addressing many common psychological problems.
  8. Backup your hard drive.
  9. Get a magnetic key hider, put a copy of your house key in it and hide it really well, unlabeled, two blocks from your house.
  10. A rice cooker will save you time and money and improve your diet, particularly if you come to like brown rice.
  11. Consider not eating wheat for an entire week. The results might surprise you.
  12. Taking your dog for a walk is usually better than whatever alternative use of your time you were considering.

Told you they were assorted.

The World’s Quickest Advice Column

I love this article over at Nerd Fitness.

The World’s Quickest Advice Column.

When someone is asking me for advice, or talking me through one of their life situations, I am always trying to connect dots to the simplest and quickest solution.

It’s not always (read: rarely) subtle. Sometimes it’s not even really appropriate: there are times where the story teller isn’t looking for an answer, but rather just looking to share a story.

I look for answers and freely give them. However, when I think over one of my own life situations I tend to analyze from every angle.

Steve’s article is exactly what I needed: the simplest answers that cut through the layers of excuses and rationalizations that we accept in our lives.

Like that girl? Ask her out.

Have too little time to get your stuff done? Committ to doing less.

It’s simple.

I needed that.