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Blowing Past Constraints, Kicking Down Pedestals, & Not Getting Stuck on the Details (Reading Notes 6.25.18)

Resource: But why does it take so long?
Link: https://seths.blog/2018/06/but-why-does-it-take-so-long/

Thoughts/Reflections:

The biggest constraints that cause delays in projects are rarely physical (ie. lack of time, money, or physical labor). They’re usually related to things like fear, disorganization, inefficient communication, and a lack of clear vision.

If you want to achieve a major advantage in moving projects forward, get good at communicating clearly, get or become the right person to manage the project, be courageous enough to try new things, and be committed to making continual improvements.

Quotes/Excerpts:

On the advantages of a well-organized and courageous group:

“A coordinated, committed group with a plan for continuous testing and improvement can run circles around a disorganized group of frightened dilettantes.”

On the 4 elements beyond physical constraints that delay our projects:

Coordinating the work of many people often leads to slack and downtime.
Persuading others to go along with our ideas requires clarity, persistence and time.
Pathfinding our way to the right answer isn’t always obvious and takes guts. The first thing we try rarely works, and testing can take a long time to organize.
Persuading ourselves to move forward can take even longer.

Resource: Pedestals prevent friendships.
Link: https://sivers.org/pedestal

Thoughts/Reflections:

Sivers opens with a story about how he went to a big music event in Las Vegas when he was a young struggling musician. He was hoping to rub shoulders with people who could help his career, but everything just felt awkward and he felt like he was trying a little to hard. So he walked outside and sat by the pool to just chill out. Some random guy sat next to him and they hit it off right away by talking about how weird Vegas was, how pretty the girls were, and other random topics. He felt a genuine connection with this guy and was just sure he was a fellow musician. When the guy got up to leave, he handed Sivers his card and said “let’s stay in touch.” It turns out the guy was a big record label executive. The guy turned out to be a huge help to his career by sending him some of his best clients.
The lesson Sivers learned from this experience was how important it is to not place people on a pedestal. Had he known who this exec was, he would have been pretentious and needy. By not knowing him, he was able to relax, act naturally, and treat him as a normal guy. The question to ask is this: How would I act around this person if I just assumed they were a normal person like me? It’s easy to assume that networking means “talking about business.” In truth, networking is just about making genuine connections with genuine people acting in a genuine way. And the best way to do that isn’t necessarily by talking about business, but by being yourself and pushing the pause button on business agendas.

Quotes/Excerpts:

On hanging out with a record label executive without knowing he was an exec:

“I used to think that having connections in the music industry meant that you’d have business meetings, and only talk about your mutual business interests. But again and again I’ve realized that we make real connections by talking about anything else, and just clicking as friends. People send business to people they like. So beware of putting people on a pedestal. It can prevent a real friendship.”

On how connections are really made:

“I used to think that having connections in the music industry meant that you’d have business meetings, and only talk about your mutual business interests. But again and again I’ve realized that we make real connections by talking about anything else, and just clicking as friends. People send business to people they like. So beware of putting people on a pedestal. It can prevent a real friendship.”

Resource: Never wait.
Link: https://sivers.org/neverwait

Thoughts/Reflections:

Put your creative ideas to the test as quickly and as often as possible. If success is the goal, then you need to get your failures out of the way and you need to get started without delay. Don’t psyche yourself out with details. There are definitely unanticipated problems you need to be worried about, but you can figure out how to deal with those things along the way. Do the best you can to make sure handle things with integrity, but never let the fear of making a mistake put you into a state of analysis paralysis. As the saying goes, “move fast and break things.”

Quotes/Excerpts:

“One of the top music industry lawyers in Los Angeles was speaking at a conference. She’s an expert in copyright law, so someone asked her advice on a licensing problem. They had recorded their version of a famous song, but were unable to get the rights to sell it because they couldn’t get a response from the publisher. The lawyer shocked the audience when she said, “Sell it anyway. Don’t wait for permission. Save the proof that you tried your best to reach them. If they contact you to ask for money some day, pay them then. But never wait.” Coming from a copyright lawyer, that was a bold statement. It was a reminder that your career is more important than its details. Success is your top priority. Never let anything stop you.”

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