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From What if? to What is.

Adorning The Dark by Andrew Peterson

He wrote this as he walked home, after finishing one of his books.

The walk down the hill to our sleepy house was the crossing of a threshold. It was a transition from the world of “what if?” to the world of “what is.” 

Andrew Peterson – Adorning The Dark

We were made to make things.

What’s a meal like for a chef? It’s full of preparation and then execution, a culmination of years of training.

What’s a meal like for the diner? They experience it, and enjoy it, but the experience is drastically different.

Who enjoys the meal more?

We are all diners, but how many of us are chefs? How many of us put the time in to learn a craft, train, try, fail, hone, improve and become good? 

Consumption is satisfying, there’s no doubting that, but when we consume it’s over. We’ve experienced it as an individual.

When we create, depending on the medium, uncountable people could be influenced. 

What do you need to make? Make it. 

Giving belief

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

You can give belief.

It’s an actual thing, a tangible, measurable thing you can give. It’s not measured in inches or pounds but you know when it’s lacking or when there’s enough.  

You have more power over others than you think you do. 

Much is made about the power of belief. “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.” So goes the cliché. 

But do we understand the power of our belief in others or are we so wrapped up in our own personal pep talks that we forget that others need our belief as well? 

Nothing is more powerful than belief

Nothing is more powerful than belief.

Belief is the most powerful thing in the world. From belief comes love, violence, industry, poems, divorce, racism, sexism, scholarships, financial investment…everything really. 

Every action starts with a belief 

They will either become what they could be or miss out on their potential. Parents do this for their childen but it’s larger than that. It’s for everyone in every relationship. 

You. Yes, you have that power to influence others. 

Belief is so powerful, with it you can change anyone’s life, anyone’s.

Who do you believe in? 

When’s the last time you told them?

We all need belief, and sometimes we have to borrow it from someone else. 

Go give belief, it’s a powerful gift.

Here’s an image for your phone’s wallpaper…

The Appeal of Weak Leaders

Photo by Olga Doganoc on Unsplash

If you’re heading into a battlefield you want a leader who is strong and confident. If your team is taking the field you want a coach who is confident she has a winning game plan. There are some situations where a leader who shows weaknesses is a bad idea. 


And then there are the other 98% of situations where admitting weaknesses is a good idea. 


If someone can’t admit they have weaknesses they’re not worth listening to. 


Pastors and politicians are the two groups I think of who fall in this trap the most.

Pastor and politicians fall into the trap of trying to appear perfect. It’s a trap for them and us and traps should always be avoided.

Politicians won’t show weaknesses because they want to be reelected. Pastors don’t want to show weakness because they feel a need to perpetuate the myth that pastors are super human or they’re prideful enough to believe that they are actually super human. 

I can’t listen to people who won’t or can’t admit their weaknesses. I won’t work for someone who can’t admit to weaknesses. I won’t sit under the teaching of someone who can’t admit their weaknesses. 

Why Follow The Weak?

We’re all weak, and we can learn from each other’s weaknesses. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are led by people who understand the struggle of alcoholism. They understand the struggle and they are more helpful and compassionate and effective because of it. 


Following someone who readily admits weaknesses means they’re aware of them and are willing to disclose them publicly, which means they’re also inviting accountability. 


This is someone I’ll listen to. 


So, sorry if you’ve got all of your crap together and you’ve got nothing but smiles all the time. I’m not buying it. 


Optimism? I’ve got plenty of it. Confidence? I’m not lacking. Joy? I’ve got enough for me and some left over to share. 


But life is hard sometimes and I want to follow people who know and admit that reality for themselves. 

The weight of perfection


Turns out being perfect is a lot of work because no one’s perfect so you have to lie about some parts of your life. 


I don’t follow liars and neither should you. So let’s get real and follow people who are honest about the struggle. 


We’re all more likely to overcome a struggle when we admit we’re in the middle of one. 



Question of the week: Selfish vs. Self-care

How do you know when you’re being selfish or practicing self-care?


Comment below.

What to do with should

Photo by Vek Labs on Unsplash

I should do a lot of things. So should you. 

But we do what we must. 

If I let the things that I must do go undone, the consequences eventually show up.

Should vs. Must

  • I should be more patient with my kids.
  • I must pay my mortgage.

  • I should exercise.
  • I must get out of bed every day.

  • I should write more often.
  • I must feed my kids.

  • I should have more in savings.
  • I must pay taxes.

What’s on your should and must list?

We all have our own list of should and musts. 

Should is a trap. Must is where change happens. 

Should is a guilt trip, and it’s optional. 

Make your shoulds, musts. 

  • I must be more patient with my kids.
  • I must exercise.
  • I must write more often.
  • I must have more in savings.

This is how I am changing my life, by turning shoulds into musts. 

When I do this I experience less regret, more traction, more clarity, and fewer negative consequences.


I should have done that a long time ago.

h/t to a friend who sent me a Tony Robbins audio that presented this idea. I don’t remember who the friend was, sorry.

63 Rejections

That image is from my email list. A little over 1.2% of my list quit yesterday.

63 rejections. I’ll get more tomorrow. So will you. People will say no to you every day. More than will say yes.

When people leave how will you react? Will you quit too, or will you keep doing the work?

Every day you have one choice, quit or make something else.

Their choice to quit is theirs and your choice to create is yours. They’re not connected.

Keep shipping.

What you can learn from a crooked toothed YouTuber named Jack who bought a Tesla

jack sucks at life tesla
Why do people like this guy? Because he’s like all of us.

He’s like us, and that’s why we like him. 

YouTube can be a horrible place. People can be cruel and harsh to creators.

That’s why I was struck today when I noticed a video I was watching had 7,500 likes and less than 60 👎. (Now it’s up to 10K likes with still less than 100 👎’s.)

JackSucksAtLife is an average guy living an average life, except he lives it in front of people, millions of people. 

If YouTube is such a harsh place it seems an unlikely place for a scrawny Englishman with crooked teeth and a cracking voice. For the record I too have crooked teeth and a cracking voice but without the cool English accent.

Jack has a 99.993% like to unlike percentage because he’s just like you and I, and maybe a little worse. He’s awkward at times. He’s never intimidating, and almost always self-effacing. 

So why do so many people support his new car purchase? 
Why are his comments overwhelmingly  positive?
How does he make a living being himself?

Jack has mastered something great creators all master. 

Jack is unique. 

He is himself. No one can duplicate Jack. No one will ever “out-Jack” Jack. 

There are tactics for growing your platform but beneath all of them is a fundamental truth. 

Being original, and we are all originals, is the best way to avoid competition. 

Jack’s competition isn’t someone else. Your competition isn’t someone else. 

Jack’s competition is his ability to be true to his own uniqueness. Your competition is your ability to be true to your uniqueness. 

What are you competing with? Who are you competing with? Maybe you’re fighting the wrong fight. The fight is with yourself.

And congrats on the new Tesla Jack. You deserve it. 

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The Most Important Thing When You’re Starting

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Ship it. Imperfect, stuttering, poorly assembled, not on brand, full of fear, it’ll never be that bad again, version 1.0 at best and .01 at worst.

The most important part of starting is the moment when what’s been inside of you meets the world around you.

Everything else is a distraction.

The logo.
The website.
The team structure.
The URL.
The pricing.
Serving size.

There’s preparation and there’s execution. By all means, prepare.

By all means, execute.

Hit publish.
Unlock the doors for your “soft opening”.
List items for sale on whatever platform you’re selling on.

The most important thing when you’re starting is for your ideas to live outside of you. Do that, then do it again, and again, and again. Then you’ll stop admiring your heroes so much and become your own hero.