Tag Archives: start

Speed and edges

When I first learned to snowboard, I fell. Often and hard. I fell on my wrists. I fell on my ass. I was black and blue and wet.

The second time, I got a little better.

The third time, something clicked. A light bulb went on and I realized the two things that make snowboarding easier.

Speed and edges.

Unlike learning to downhill ski, you need to build up a certain amount of speed in snowboarding for your edges to work. Starting on the bunny hill doesn’t work for snowboarding because it’s hard to build up enough speed to make a turn.

You’re always on your edges. This simple truth is the one thing I would tell any beginning snowboarder (and the one thing I wish someone had told me). The only time your snowboard is flat against the mountain is when you’re transitioning from one edge to the other. You go from heel edge to toe edge and back again. It’s only when your board is flat against the snow that it’s easy to catch an edge and fall hard.

The same is true in business.

Inertia kills.

Going faster is actually safer.

Speed begets speed and allows you to find and use your edges.

What can you do to go faster?

[Photo credit: Gatto Ashutto]



If you have kids that aren’t in high school yet, they’ll never need a resume.


Resumes are broken and they are dying (but not quickly enough).

By the time today’s 14-year old today starts a career, they will be judged more by their digital footprint and reputation than by a Word document outlining past job responsibilities.

So why don’t you own the domain name for all of your children?

For $10 / year (two Starbucks lattes) you can give your child the platform on which to build their personal brand. It could be a blog or pictures or even just a digital scrapbook or scratchpad. It will evolve. The point is not to make it perfect, it’s to realize that resumes and similar representations are going away quickly and a personal URL is flexible enough to be whatever the future requires.

[photo credit: Vince Alongi]

Confusing motion for progress

The noted French naturalist, Jean Henri Fabre, studied processionary caterpillars in great detail. This caterpillar is special is its instinct to follow in perfect lock step behind the caterpillar in front of it. A unique characteristic, it can also be deadly.

Video here.

Processionary Caterpillars

Zig Ziglar tells the story of an experiment Fabre coordinated, placing a number of processionary caterpillars around the rim of a flowerpot, each caterpillar’s head touching the caterpillar behind it.

Then Fabre placed the caterpillars’ favorite food in the center of the circle. The caterpillars followed each other for seven days, eventually dying of exhaustion and starvation, unable to divert their course to their favorite food only inches away.

They did something humans doe everyday. They confused motion for progress.

Motion: Ordering fitness DVDs and buying new workout clothes.
Progress: Finishing the program, losing the weight and convincing a friend to join you for Round 2.

Motion: Registering a domain name you’ve wanted.
Progress: Starting a blog and dripping interesting content often enough to get your 1,000th subscriber or your 100th die hard fan.

Motion: Buying a cookbook.
Progress: Hosting a dinner party for ten friends once a month.

Motion: Brainstorming a new and innovative project at work.
Progress: Taking the third project live and planning the fourth.

Motion: Organizing all your notebooks, pens and software, telling yourself you’re finally going to write that book.
Progress: Finishing Chapter 2.

Motion: Listening to the Rosetta Stone CD’s.
Progress: Moving to Italy for six months and learning the culture and the language.

Motion: Registering a twitter account for your organization.
Progress: Executing a comprehensive social media strategy, listening to, connecting with and engaging your customers.

The timing is never right

I was talking to a good friend and he said he was “very close” to starting his blog, getting more involved in Twitter and really developing his personal brand online. “As soon as I get some downtime”, he said.

Unfortunately, the downtime never comes.

When was the last time you crossed off the last item on your to-do list?

Have you been putting something off? Starting that addition to the house? Quitting your job to freelance? Writing the great American novel? Starting a blog? Taking dance lessons? Learning Chinese?

As Tim Ferris says,

“the stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up all the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually’, just do it and correct course along the way.”