Holy shit, I’m still alive. Sorry, that’s just the first thing I always think when I wake up on New Year’s Day. The world didn’t end (every year since 2012 is another quiet little victory over that horrible Roland Emmerich movie), but I’ve got a problem. And it’s one that can only be solved by a decisive, all-encompassing, fundamental change in how I go about this business of building my game.
We all know how New Years Resolutions go, because Google Trends tells us so. That said, I need to make what I’m about to try and do in the form of a pledge to me, to you, and to everyone, because if I don’t make this stick -
MY. COMPANY. WILL. DIE.
Thanks, Franklin, great to have you on the program. Seriously, though. It’s all hanging out there – let’s find out why, and what we can do to turn it around. [Read more...]
I think it hits us all when we sleep. Mine are in the form of boats, struggling in the shallows with no lights and no charts in the gathering twilight, or diving off spectacularly tall waterfalls, lead keel and mast and sails and all, just tumbling over the froth.
I wake up – and it’s week five. I’ve had a spectacularly bad start to the month, having caught a case of flu, swimming through fever dreams, night sweats and coughing fits. In that time I had reason to question my sanity ever leaving my corporate masters to try this crazy indie thing.
But, rule one of entrepreneurship: don’t make decisions when you’re sick. Don’t look at your numbers, your charts, your strategies. Don’t try to put together excel sheets. Do not attempt math.
Eventually, it passed, leaving me the leftovers in my lungs and a lingering doubt in my mind – with my math cells back on line and knowing my burn rate, I calculated the flu had just wiped out 1/36th of my cash. And I froze inside. Pure spacebound carbon-dioxide ice, from the heart outward.
I was terrified. Terrified I hadn’t made progress. Terrified that all my PowerPoints, excel sheets, all my planning and thinking was going to come to nothing, just an endless unstoppable burn of cash until the last dollar goes up like a thin flap of flashpaper and there’s nothing but darkness.
Why do we procrastinate? Plenty of folks have answers, some are good. For me, procrastination happens because of the terror of failure – and they both follow a similar pattern I had to recognize. [Read more...]
I’ll start this week’s post off with an honest-John moment about money: I’ve always been a money-tracking nerd (I cried when Microsoft discontinued MS Money – especially since I thought I’d “won” by picking Money over Quicken and watching Quicken bite it a few years beforehand), so my cavalier attitude expressed in the graphic below isn’t really true. But it’s there for dramatic effect because something…well…dramatic really happens to the way you think about money when it’s your own business, and it feels to me like night and day enough to say that in comparison – I didn’t really give much of a hoot about personal burn rate before I opened the business.
Let’s show you the difference:
Now remember – I’m a new indie, a newbiepreneur, and I’ve been slathered in corporate BBQ sauce for over a decade. This has some detrimental effects. [Read more...]
I took my own advice from last week’s thrilling episode, and got a shave. As it was my first straight-razor shave (done professionally, thank the fortunes), I had the opportunity or was forced – you decide – to contemplate things that were near and dear to the physical, which is hard to avoid when you’ve got a slim beak of sharp steel up against your neck. Like Al Capone. So, I’ve been thinking about image a bit. It’s one of the three main work threads for this business running right now in my CEO hamster wheel: building strategy, improving image, and establishing a routine.
We talked about routine a bit in the last episode. This time I’d like to talk about image – and it’s not discussed a hell of a lot, so this is a good opportunity. [Read more...]
I’ll say it: after you’ve been a part of a corporate culture as big as Microsoft for almost nine years, you can’t leave without going through shock. Real, honest, psychological trauma. I’m right in the middle of it and I’m swimming as hard as I can to get out, but there are some serious sharks here. What are the big ones and how am I coping? They’re not the ones I would have thought. [Read more...]
Right along with the Resignation Letter, folks have been wondering how it’s been over 4gency’s first year and a half. At this year’s Casual Connect conference in San Francisco, I got to tell the whole story in fifteen minutes: