It’s Time For A Change

When I first decided to pursue a career in the web, it was because I wanted to build my own businesses and make my own things and experience the freedom of controlling my own destiny.

The web industry is a wonderful place for the entrepreneurally-minded and I definitely found those opportunities within its borders. I’ve been a freelancer now for almost five years. I built a web design and development shop from the ground up that has supported me well. I’ve had the opportunity to work with (and for) my friends, which has been truly delightful. I’ve started lots of side projects, some of which have actually turned into their own businesses (Lift Themes, WP Theory, Goodstuff), and killed even more before they ever made it out the door.

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Paul Jarvis on Values

The horrible thing about tiny compromises in values is that they never seem that big of a deal at the time because they’re so small. But then they turn into a mountain range that feels almost impassible. Then you’re stuck on a slippery slope, which is too steep to climb. And yes, that slope is aptly named, “Unhappy due to lack of alignment with values – Population: Me.”

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You Matter

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you know I write a lot about my fear of failure, insecurity and chronic self-doubt.

I write about this stuff because I’m constantly plagued by it and it’s always in my head. Every time I open Photoshop or Sublime Text, or iA Writer, or sit down at the drum kit, I fight with a voice that says “You’re work is terrible. You have no skill. You don’t matter.”

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The Horn Doesn’t Matter

I’ve been a musician since I was 5 years old. My parents afforded me the opportunity to play lots of different instruments and one of my favorites was the trumpet.

I spent hours listening to stacks of jazz and classical records from heroes like Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis and Doc Severinsen, and dreamed of being able to play like them.

But there was a problem. I hated practicing. Practicing was hard. In reality, I was more obsessed with the *idea* of being a great trumpet player, than actually playing. But I wouldn’t figure that out for many years.

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Confidence: The Holy Grail of Personhood

What is it about putting myself out there that is so compelling? Why do I feel the need to do it over and over again, despite a pretty solid track record of failure?

I know plenty of people who are perfectly happy living a life of privacy. But, for me, there’s something almost primal about the desire need to put my thoughts on display for entire world. And I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.

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Advice for Writers

Some are always in a state of preparation, occupied in previous measures, forming plans, accumulating materials, and providing for the main affair. These are certainly under the secret power of idleness. Nothing is to be expected from the workman whose tools are for ever to be sought. I was once told by a great master, that no man ever excelled in painting, who was eminently curious about pencils and colors.

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Say What You Can Say

Stop worrying about what you don’t know and say what you can say. This is advice my friend Chase likes to give me, but if I’m honest, it has yet to sink in.

So often I find myself struggling to produce because I’m trying to say things I can’t say. In an effort to seem valuable to my heroes, I imprison myself by trying to write things they will find impressive.

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David Rakoff on Writing

You want your piece to be “the world.” And of course it isn’t “the world”. But you go in with these sort of larger, lofty dreams that you have for anything that you might approach writing wise.

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