How do you know you belong?

Whether in a work, social or family situation, you know you belong when the people there demonstrated care for your experience.

I think this is profound in it simplicity!

Someone you care about

We all have responsibilities…and sometimes it can feel like everything and everyone else comes before you.

Remember to treat yourself like you would someone you care about

Should you build a personal brand?

I’ve seen this advice given quite a bit recently, normally in the context of career…in other words your, professional brand.

The problem with this advice is that it implies that your professional brand is somehow separate from you. Why would you want to portray a version of yourself in the world of work that is different to your authentic self? That sounds like a recipe for an unhappy work life.

By all means , be deliberate about yourself…who you are, what you value, how you spend your time, but don’t construct different versions of yourself…show up with all you are, just as you are. If that doesn’t work for the job or an individual, then that’s not for you.

Too busy

Have you noticed that the more you do, the more you are able to do?

So, are we really too busy? or not busy enough?

Is your idea scalable?

If the scale is limited by your own time and effort – then no.

If the scale has a linear return on effort and money – then not really.

If the scale grows exponentially, with the same or ideally less effort and money – then absolutely.

What got you here

Startup companies often work hard to maintain the culture that “got them here”.

At a certain point however (often around the 50 employees it seems), things start to get messy. Things need to mature, complexity grows exponentially, focus becomes hard and new skills need to be brought in.

Its a case of what got you here, won’t get you where you need to go.

Relative value

No, not the value of your relatives – that would be too controversial!

Rather, what is the relative value of the product feature. Some are game changers, some are deal breakers, some are just hygiene factors. Are your efforts aligned with this relative value?

We become our environment

It is said that you become the average of the 5 people you hang out with…

I think that is true, but your environment also has a huge impact…. if you don’t believe me, go hang out in an inspiring, beautiful place for a day and let me know if you feel different, think different, work different?

Just keep swimming

Once you’ve set your direction, I find it’s useful not to rethink the direction too often…at least not until you given it an honest go.

How do you know you’ve given it an honest go? Well, if it hasn’t gotten hard yet, you probably have a way to go…. just keep swimming!

Is your health ok?

I suppose there are absolute measures of health, like those used for annual medical tests.

A more practical measure is “Can you do the things which you enjoy doing?” That might require elite aerobic conditioning for one person and the ability to walk around the block for someone else.

As anyone who has been sick or injured will know, it’s much harder to return to health than it is to maintain health. So, what are you doing today to make sure you can do the things you enjoy tomorrow?

Get it fixed

It feels good to fix something…can you think of an exception where fixing something felt bad?

So why do we leave things unfixed for so long?

Worst behaviour

I read today that a company’s culture can be defined by as the worst behaviour the leader is prepared to tolerate.

I wonder – is the same true for countries?

A place I used to live

It’s a strange feeling visiting a place you used to live or work. So much has changed in the time since then and yet, so much is still the same. Same buildings…. trees have grown…same restaurant….feels the same.

And yet, people have come and gone, business come and gone, all kinds of now invisible life has passed through here …but it’s almost like they were never here at all.

The only place any of it exists is in my memory and in the memories of those that shared that life, that place, that time. A reminder to have more reverence for the memories I’m creating today.

20 years in tech

20 years ago, I had to develop a new programming language, a new in-memory database, my own load- balancing tech and manage all the hardware, operating systems and databases. All this just to get started. It took 4 people 6 months just to tool up.

All of that got handled last night in 3 hours..

Remind me again how it’s too expensive to build a product?