It’s what every developer would say.
It’s what a marketer might tell you.
Doing a simple job, repeat it each day of his/her life.
Yet they don’t change jobs, even though they’re much more skilled than what’s required to work at mac donalds or lend a hand in a farm.
And that’s a good thing, because if that was the case they would discover the worst thing of all: The fact that problems are not tied to jobs, they’re tied to people.
If yoou’re a software developer you need to market your skills. If you’re a team leader you need to market your goals, if you’re a product manager you need to market your product.
You will always need to market your ideas, no matter what field you’re in. Marketing meant as a way to convince people, not manipulate them, but let them understand your point of view by removing the roadblocks created by theyr own prejudices.
And this will always be marketing, and will always need some of the techniques involved in marketing. Like understanding the right time to say things. It might sound obvious when you’re sending an email at 3am in the morning to your subscribers that it’s not the best idea.
Guess what? It also applies to real life, because timing matters.
You’ll need also to be in the bucket of the things they want to listen to, and then you’ll need to remove all of their roadblocks. Only after this you’ll be able to speak your truth, and if it will be worth it then you’ll have changed a small part of your world.
But in all cases: You need to learn marketing skills.
Today a friend opened a street food bar in our city center.
As both employee and enterpreneur I cannot stop thinking of how big the leap of opening a shop is. It’s a total leap of faith.
To me, building a business, was only a matter of testing and refining. Once I got people that wanted to pay for the product I decided it was worth it.
On the other hand certain type of products cannot be always tested. Food can be tested obviously, but to what extend? How can you be sure that someone would pay for it or that it’ll get enough visibility/success to be sustainable?
It’s a different beast and it requires courage and faith to move onto such uncertain path.
When writing this I was reminded of how we tend to forget our own struggles. When you watch someone you admire, or a successful business we often think “I couldn’t do that. I’m not able, not capable enough”.
But the truth is that we always face our struggles and often we get over them.
There will always be someone that, looking at our work, might say “I couldn’t be able to do that”.
The only difference is in our belief, not in our abilities.
What is our top priority today?
Buying an iphone, having a raise at work, being rich, being famous?
They all seems plausible but in the end we forget that our main goal in life is to live life itself.
Money, fame, work, they will all pass by. What stays is our life until it ends.
Work is not a priority, an iphone is not a priority. Protecting your health is a priority (without being overly extreme obviously).
Living your days is a priority.
Work is important. As such we often confuse it with critical.
No, work is not critical. It’s part of our culture and society, is the soil that allows the society to grow, but it’s nowhere near something fundamental to life itself.
Life is much bigger than that.
When writing articles one might wonder: how do you come up with good topics?
I would say: look at your life. We all spend time thinking all day long, we have opinions on everything, from why did starbucks open a shop in milan to how to fix poverty, or comments on how to improve our job.
All these are topics we can discuss and use as a starting point for an article. They’re tricks to write.
What will then become the final article might be totally different, it might be something about languages, or how the poverty is created by amazon or whatever. We don’t know.
A topic is simply a way to ignite writing, but it’s only when you write that you refine your thoughts, you give them a form, you model them.
And as absurd as it might seem, even talking about how to find a topic, is a topic.
As humans we learn and through learning we begin defining a way of building ideas. That’s why, after learning how to use a hammer, we would use it for everything.
We want to go deep, to learn it to the max.
Hammering, though, it’s not the best thing to do in each situation. We will always be facing new issues and problems and criticism. Listening is fine, acting is fine as it is not doing a thing to change.
What we should keep in mind is that even though we have an hammer, maybe we shouldn’t use it to play cards.
One nice concept about workout is the deload week. Basically after 4 weeks of intense (sort of) workouts you take a rest week.
Why? The body adapts, grows, and the week after you’ll be better than ever.
We could apply it to any kind of topic and I think we could see similar results. Just like sprints in software, a deload week would allow the minds to refresh, to take a moment so they can be more productive right after that.
Read any self help book, watch any motivation video, read inspiring biographies and you’ll soon discover a trait among those people.
They didn’t surrender. Failure, for them, was not a viable solution. They couldn’t accept it, so they continued their work until it made a difference.
It’s normal to admire such dedication, to be mesmerized by these stories.
These stories are much like the teal&orange in blockbuster movies. It’s a success recipe. People like it, it works.
I do think we should not consider failure an option, but in these stories there’s one thing that doesn’t stand out the way it should.
Failure is not an option if you ask for help.
Rarely we saw a man that built an empire by himself.
They were all helped, they all asked for help during the darkest moment.
Asking for help doesn’t stand out though, so the message that pass through is that we shouldn’t consider failure, but this message doesn’t give us a way out.
Because there will come a time when we won’t have enough power, enough money, enough energy. And in those times we will fail unless we ask for help.
That’s a sad truth, we’re more likely to listening to a new person we don’t know very much than an old friend.
His/her advices might be more well received than our friends, but why is that?
It’s not that the friend becomes instantly useless.But we are less inclined to listen to him.
There’s prejudice, we think they are saying that for a reason. And there’s the fact that we don’t really listen to them, but we’d like them to listen to us.
A friend becomes a listener, while in the beginning he was an advisor. And as such, the new, unknown person that seem skilled like our friend become our new advisor.
It’s not always like this, but to have a different outcome you have to play it in reverse. The friend must find the perfect time to share the information so that it can be listened, understood and applied.
Missing that it’s like missing the flight. You might find another one, but you’ll be late.
I’ve been to pitti fragrance today, and one thing I learned is that we can be easily fooled.
Fooled by packaging, fooled by stories and narrations, fooled by nice people.
Shiny things, pricey things, don’t always mean quality. They some times show a great skill (marketing) but hide a mediocre product.
To have success, you need both. A great product, a great message.
Shiny might then be only a thing you want to add if needed, but nowhere required.