Don’t Forget the Work

The funny thing about having a lifestyle business is that you have to actually do the work that gives you the lifestyle. One of the things I love about Failed Normal is that I can do it from anywhere. The problem is making sure I do what needs to be done.

Right now I’m sitting in a gorgeous camp in the Adirondacks. A number of my wife’s friends have come up to stay with us. I cooked a tasty meal that everyone enjoyed, and it’s been a very good and busy day. The issue is that I’ve done everything in the world other than write a blog post. I hiked 3 miles in the morning. I helped clean up the camp to get it ready. I baked a batch of cookies. I cooked an enormous amount of chili, and made sine surprisingly good vegan cornbread. I really feel like it’s been a busy day, and frankly I’m ready to turn in. Sadly until this very moment I did no writing.

A blog post takes me between 30-60 minutes. Logically you’d think it would be very easy to find a bit of time to knock that out without any worry. The issue with having a lifestyle type business is that too often you end up burning all of your energy on the lifestyle, and then end up putting off the work until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, adventure awaits, and the work is put off for another day. Rinse and repeat this cycle until you have a lifestyle that is unsustainable because your business is dead.

This is an issue I see with many entrepreneurs. They get so involved with living the startup life they forget to ship any product. You do it for a day or two and you’ll just get a bit behind the ball. When 2 days turns into 3, and then into a week you risk any claims to actually running a business.

I’m typing this right now even when I feel disgusting. My cloths are sweaty. I have mosquito bites in places I can’t reach. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I want to curl up with my bed time tea, a chihuahua and watch an episode of Brooklyn 9 9. I don’t want to be writing…

I’m writing this post because the value proposition of Failed Normal is a new post more or less every day. People pay for ideas, motivation, and random kicks in the butt. The product I ship is content. To be a content creator I therefore have to publish content. It doesn’t have to always be my best work. I don’t always have to drop mind bending ideas. I do have to say something that’s worth a few minutes of your time.

So the kick in the butt for you today is to ask what product have you shipped? Have you shipped product today, or have you simply meant to ship product? All the good intentions, excuses, and random activities in the world do not equal a product being shipped.

So before you go to bed tonight you owe me one shipped product. At the very least one thing you can point at and say you can bill a client for the work. Because if you can go to bed tonight without shipping anything and sleep well, then tomorrow you’re likely to do the same, and then the day after. I know I can be a hard ass sometimes, but just ask yourself the question, “How many days can you go without doing billable work, and still call yourself an entrepreneur?”

With that I’m going to go and take a long hot shower. This may not be the best post I’ve ever written, but it’s a post, and for today that’s good enough.



    I try not to think of my blog as a product, but a means to self-document things to help further engrain things into my head. I also find it helps me to organize my thoughts in regards to what I’m learning. Up until 2 weeks ago, I hadn’t touched my blog in months. I’m now in the process of preparing my next post which will feature using Powershell to abuse Windows machines.

    Eventually, I’m hoping to expand the scope of topics and when I have about 50 posts, I’ll start making efforts to actually increase traffic to my site. Until then, it’s a journey and as long as I’m posting at least once a week I’ll eventually reach that goal.

  2. There are moments I suppose possibly every person feels like ” more could’ve been done, or have the guilty’s in there somewhere, while engaged in whatever else it is that is not what they could, or should be doing ‘ in relation to their standards of course. During a recent conversation I had with a individual I know to be one of the type that simply cannot go thru a day doing nothing. Must be completing some sort of task I suppose to relieve the itch in the brain.
    What struck me as interesting this occasion, is that he spoke of not exactly being able to pin down what hes doing in all his daily task completing endeavors. Or what for that matter is the seed of the or core task he is missing the ability to identify, Whence viewed from perspective of the whole purpose of it all. What am I working towards what will the lifes picture of mine appear like once its close to end and will there be any meaning ? if so what can I do to amplify the value of that meaning on a day to day egenda. He was so focused on just working and getting it done , he hadn’t even realized the thought never occurred to him ! Well now with this new found great coming to him , asking that question to himself from perspective of whats the meaning of me hear and what will the picture be that ill produce and leave forever in the minds of anyone who cares to look? that he was without the “itch in the brain ” at the snap of a finger and couldn’t quite grasp what work to engage in what activity or task he can do in the little day in and out activities will he do …. to move closer to a picture that will remain even while he is gone that he hadn’t even figured what that picture is .
    Tough to engage in day to day sequence of tasks when he doesn’t know even how to do a task he doesn’t have a picture for.
    Strange seeing a person who has not a reservation in the world doing …
    stuff, to almost doing nothing at all. not even doing what his main skill hes mastered to a good degree let alone to perfection almost as if effortless.
    I know he’ll snap out of it eagerly whence he figures what task is it that actually provides value to ….well whatever the final picture appears like. Raking himself over it for a while now I’ve noticed , I almost want to lend some help in some manner only to realize I don’t have an answer for him let alone myself !

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