The change you experienced last night at midnight is available to you every moment of every day.
1 January 2010
Ten years ago, my girlfriend flew home to celebrate new year’s eve in San Francisco, but I had to stay in New York to work, so we spent the turn of the millennium apart.
A friend of a friend threw a party. I attended, grumpily, as shown here.
Ten years ago, but it may as well have been a thousand. Everything is different now. Everything except that I am once again separated from those with whom I would most wish to mark the falling away of old things and the luminous beauty of new beginnings.
My marriage resulted in a daughter, Ava, and a dog, Emile. My daughter, thank God, is fine. But Emile has become ill, first with pneumonia, which he survived, and now with pulmonary hypertension, which is going to kill him.
The pneumonia manifested as coughing, fainting, dramatic weight loss, and lack of energy. A week in a veterinary hospital’s intensive care unit saved his life. And, for a few weeks afterward, although still underweight, he seemed to be recovering.
Then he began fainting again, often falling into his own urine and feces, sometimes while emitting what sounded like a scream of terror. The light would go out of his eyes. Grabbing his feet, patting his side, I’d lie on the floor, coaxing him back from the other world. Then it was back to the veterinarian, or, as two days ago, to the veterinary hospital’s ICU.
At the hospital, they prescribed a new medicine, which he starts today. They also told me, in doctor language, that he won’t be with us much longer.
It’s too soon to give up hope, too soon to pull the plug, but the day of horrible choices is approaching.
I am sad that my five-year-old wrote on our door in permanent marker. She knows better. I’m proud that she is learning to write. And that she chose to write these two words—her name and mine.
When she showed me her work, I had a choice: reprimand her for writing on the door. Or tell her proud I am of her.
I think you can guess which I chose.
Happy Thanksgiving, Americanos!
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You are a shameless self promoter!” he said.
I can’t speak to the “shame” part, but for the rest: guilty as charged.
Self-promotion may appear revolting, but it’s the only promotion that’s guaranteed in this business. Do it right, and only haters will hate you for it. To get, you must give.
Love your work
If you write or design, you must believe in what you do. If you don’t believe you have something to express, there are plenty of other jobs out there. If you believe in what you do, and if you’re doing it for real, you must find ways to let people know about it.
Sometimes this takes the direct form of a case study. The assumption in publishing such a study is that someone out there might be interested in the service your team provided, the thinking you brought to the problem, and so on.
There is a difference between being arrogant about yourself as a person and being confident that your work has some value. The first is unattractive, the second is healthy and natural. Some people respond to the one as if it were the other. Don’t confuse them. Marketing is not bragging, and touting one’s wares is not evil. The baker in the medieval town square must holler “fresh rolls” if he hopes to feed the townfolk.
The love you make
But direct self-promotion is ineffective and will go unnoticed unless it is backed by a more indirect (and more valuable) form of marketing: namely, sharing information and promoting others.
Is your Twitter feed mostly about your own work, or do you mainly link to interesting work by others? Link blogs with occasional opinions (or occasional techniques, or both) get read. The more you find and promote other people’s good work, the more in-the-know and “expert” you are perceived to be—and the more you (or your brand, if you must) are liked.
You can’t fake this. If you’re linking to other people’s work as a ploy to make others link back, it’s obvious, and you’ll fail. If you’re sharing half-baked information half-heartedly, nobody will stick around.
This may sound Jedi-mind-trick-ish, but never create a blog or a Twitter feed with the explicit idea of promoting yourself. Create for the joy of creating. Share for the joy of the sharing, and because the information you’re sharing genuinely excites you. Do that, and the rest will follow.
Shot by Mr Greg Storey.
A LONGING for love and approval. That’s the dirty little secret of success.
Yes, you must make something people want. Of course, you must improve and extend it. Certainly, you must give 110% where customer satisfaction is concerned. Definitely, you must convert your customers to evangelists. All of that is true, always has been and will be.
But you won’t be able to do those things, not really, not all the way, not as they must be done, unless there is a brokenness in you that continually craves attention and affection you somehow missed out on.
You have to have been abandoned, betrayed, ridiculed, unsupported at some point when you needed it most.
This sounds terrible and it is. But it’s the facts.
A contented person with a whole heart, who has never doubted for a moment that she is loved by God and the universe, should not bother trying to succeed as a creative entrepreneur. She should get a job working for someone else, turn it off at 6:00 PM, and come home to the people who love her.
Only a restless, broken heart can drive you to do what is necessary.
And that’s how to succeed in business without really crying.