Separating your Ego from Your Work

I used to lament that in the meetings I had with my PhD supervisor each week it seemed that he was awfully light on practical advice and instead seemed to be covering the same ground again and again. Talking to other PhD students I’d hear how their supervisors had prescribed exactly what they were to deliver the following week and how they could attack the problem at hand. At the time I felt frustrated, fearing that I wasn’t receiving the … Continued

Don’t Set Goals—Create Systems

Cartoonists are an interesting lot: they have a job that many would see as being unproductive or even pointless, but since when did being incisive become unproductive? Bill Watterson’s insights on life as expressed through Calvin and Hobbes have entertained and helped millions. If you haven’t seen this bit of tribute art, where a fan has drawn artwork to accompany the text of a speech by Bill then I highly recommend you take a look now. If you’re working from … Continued

8 Ways to Improve Your Sales Process

If you’re looking to improve your sales process, here are 8 angles to consider that all came up during MicroConf Europe. From good habits you can develop to useful tools to thought experiments, if you approach the problem of how to sell your product from all of these perspectives then you’ll almost certainly see an improvement in sales. 1. Teach Something Why not teach what you know to your customers, for free, and give them some value right at the … Continued

On the Power of Prioritising at Work

Prioritising isn’t the most exciting of tasks but I have found that, done right, it can radically transform any given day for the better. Done regularly therefore, suddenly your weeks, months and years are more many times more productive and at the same time you enjoy both a sense of control and so freedom. At work, as an employee, tasks will come from all directions: tasks from your basic job description, extra tasks that come from your own initiative, urgent … Continued

Tomorrow’s Fires

It’s common to find teams fighting fires on a near-daily basis if the company or department has grown too quickly. The over-zealous management is selling the service to new clients before the proper infrastructure is in place and the team is suffering, bouncing from one fire to another which is draining them of energy and robbing them of the composure they need to improve the product and process behind the delivery of the service. In such a situation I will … Continued

The Risk-Averse Entrepreneur

It isn’t often that I take time out to listen to entrepreneurial podcasts or watch videos but yesterday when a video of Tim Ferriss interviewing Noah Kagan (of AppSumo) popped up in my Twitter feed I had a feeling it was going to be one worth watching. It’s a bit on the slow side unfortunately; I took some notes (below) so you can perhaps save some time by skimming them, I’ve also added in my own thoughts. Noah’s top 4 … Continued

On the Power of Slow Hunches

Last year I read The Invention of Air by Steven Johnson which looks at the origins of some fundamental discoveries and inventions from the last few centuries. Key to many of these discoveries was something Johnson characterised as a “slow hunch”, a nagging thought that keeps coming back to you, often barely above a whisper but audible enough that it is at least vaguely in your conscious thoughts such that you keeping chipping away at it or at least muse on it. … Continued

Love Coffee or Are You Just Addicted?

At least once a year I quit coffee cold turkey. Usually at some point due to a perceived need, circumstances or an enthusiasm for a particular project I’ll push myself about as far as I can go and beyond, using coffee to help me get there. Generally I’ll have one coffee a day, perfectly brewed for maximum strength and smoothness in a Moka pot, but during these times when I’m really trying to go the extra mile on a project … Continued

On the Benefits of Keeping a Journal

This is really great: Jennifer Dewalt aims to create and publish 180 websites in 180 days because she wants to learn to code. At time of writing she’s just published day #114. Not only does it show focus and dedication it shows great creativity: she isn’t doing 180 tutorials in so many days, she’s been creating all sorts of whacky (in a good way) sites from scratch. There are quite possibly many better ways to spend 180 days if you … Continued

How Much Are Your Dollars Costing You?

The other day I was leafing through a funny little title written by Don Lancaster, who Wikipedia describe as being a “prolific author, inventor, and microcomputer pioneer”. The title had the rather off-putting title of “The Incredible Secret Money Machine” but it is a purely tongue-in-cheek title and reflect’s Don’s fun nature. The cheery cover (shown) also reflects this. I didn’t finish the book by any means but I may do so as I have much to admire in his … Continued