Coffee

Good or bad?

It’s a question I’ve been pondering for a while.

Mr Newton has once again aided my thinking:

Newton’s Third Law of Motion:

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Caffeine is a great way to boost energy and mood.

No doubt.

However it comes at a cost.

A useful tool. But perhaps one to use with caution.

The power of setbacks

I am secretly incredibly lazy.

Whilst working as a waiter during my adolescence, one Head Chef described me as “Doing the minimum account required to get by.

He was bang on. Alas it’s too little stress that plagues my life rather than too much.

Despite this fact the last year was a rather productive one.

I went from the monotonous routine of a 9-5 to quitting my job, launching two companies (down to one at time of writing), blogging daily and running a public speaking group.

Why the change of pace?

Setbacks. Thank god for setbacks.

What setbacks have I had? Less than most. And almost all were caused by my own stupidity.

I’ve failed university exams. Drunk myself into oblivion. Lost large chunks of money gambling. You get the idea…

Whist these were and still are embarrassing, and tough to swallow, I’m grateful for these moments. As they alone have helped me gain real control of my life for the first time in 25 years.

If I had more carefully toed the line, my motivation would have stayed close enough to zero for the change of pace to have never arisen. But I didn’t. Instead I tripped over the line frequently..

But with each of these trips I gained the clarity and energy needed to change my course.

Whilst I haven’t remotely achieved any “Success” by all objective measures, I do finally feel in the driving seat. So cheers to the setbacks.

Over communicate

Pick up the phone. It’s often a superpower

Just about every problem in business (and life?), as far as I can see, either comes from or is worsened by a lack of communication.

But it’s easy to get wrong!

Any issues I’ve had in my short tenure as a founder have been a result of me not picking up the phone frequently enough.

It’s amazing what a quick, open conversation can do.

Simple.

Adjusting

I’m writing this whilst listening to a racket.

The culprit is a building site across the street from my third floor flat.

Typically they started at exactly the same time I quit my job and began working from home.

What are the chances?

I remember sitting at in my home office (living room) on day one shocked at the commotion coming from across the road.

Drilling. Shouting. The clang of metal. It was overwhelming.

“How on earth is this going to work?” I pondered.

But then a funny thing happened.

I got used to it.

The longer this scenario played out, the more the sounds faded into the background.

Today it’s virtually become my background music. I’m now worried how I’ll cope when it’s over!

But I will cope. And that’s just it. We adjust. It’s the same with everything in life. We can often feel there’s no chance we can cope with a new exercise regime or a new city even but we are remarkably adaptable creatures.

Pushing through the initial discomfort is often all that’s required.

Keep Launching

You’ve launched.

No one noticed.

Fantastic! You have one big advantage here:

No one noticed.

So you can launch again. And again. And again. And bit by bit people will start to notice.

This is what the founders of Airbnb did. They’d go to one event, “launch”, and then “launch” again at the next one.

Genius.