Build it up (buttercup)

Reality checks Last October I ran the Jakarta half-marathon and found it much harder than I expected. There were mitigating factors – it was hot and humid, and I was running with very low weekly mileage (about 10 miles a week!) – but even so, it was a tough finish. Up until that point I’d always assumed that the marathon-I-never-quite-got-around-to…

Seth Godin on authenticity

Here’s the authentic Seth Godin with one of his best riffs: Authenticity is a crock. Authenticity is overrated. Authenticity is a trap. Because the last time you were authentic you were three months old lying in diapers with poop in them, crying. Ever since then you have done things with intent. You’ve done things on purpose. You wake in the…

Don’t miss a day

Not because they all add up mathematically and contribute equally to the sum of your work. Because they won’t. But because showing up today makes the other days – the days when you do your best work – more likely. Think of it as giving the muse a bigger surface area on which to strike.

Asal dapur ngebul*

Indonesian saying. “As long as the kitchen is smoking.” Um… “As long as there’s smoke from the kitchen (fireplace).” ? “As long as the hearth is burning.” … which is a way of saying, among other things, the important thing is that the important things keep happening… or that you’ve got to do what it takes to keep things going.…

Ben Horowitz – The Hard Thing About Hard Things

This is a great cut-the-crap book about management and building a company. It’s most relevant to the the tech world, but there are plenty of gems here that are relevant to anyone – he’s especially good on shaping your culture (hint: yoga at work is not your organisational culture). Here’s the introduction: Every time I read a management or self-help…

As powerful as a smile

Real marketing is built into what you do and why you do it. It’s part of your story, something that you do organically when your business is aligned with your mission and values. Kept promises, free returns, obsession with the details, returned emails, clean tables, and attentive staff – all of this is your real marketing. Real marketing creates a…

Expectations: tell us what you do

We’re staying at a simple hotel in North Sulawesi. The setting is idyllic. Our hosts are unfailingly pleasant and helpful. Good food is served three times a day, at regular times… plus or minus an hour. Our room is cleaned… intermittently, and our bin emptied when we take it to reception ourselves. We have lights, running water, and even air…