UPDATE: Mar. 2011 Having gone 3 years without posting, it didn’t make sense to keep this blog as a blog. I’ve converted it all to static HTML pages, removed the commenting option, and will leave it up for archiving purposes. Reading 4HWW helped kickoff a fun couple of years for us.

Simplify Before You Organize

Philosophy

As we prepare to move (yet again), we’re faced with the same question we always ask: what should we do with all our stuff? Despite paring down each time we move, we as human beings (or maybe more so as Americans) just tend to accumulate stuff. It comes in through your mailbox, in grocery and shopping bags, and via all those many packages from Amazon (hey, free shipping!).

I recently took an airplane-ride-skim of a little book called 30 Days to a Simpler Life. It’s about ten years old, but the advice was largely still relevant. One of my favorite takeaways was to

Simplify before you organize

It makes perfect sense when you read it, but it’s easy to work quite differently. Whether you’re looking at too many shoes in your closet, projects scattered around the office table, or even todos that are rolling around in your head, the tendency might be to think “okay, I need to put all this in a nicely structured system, and then I can decide what to do with it all.”

wrong.

Instead, whip through whatever mess you have and mercilessly delete things. Delete might mean throwing it in the garbage, recycling it, giving it away, or crossing it off your mental list before it ever sees the light of your GTD app. In the end you’ll spend less time organizing, and you’ll buy less stuff to organize with.

Outsourced Wednesdays: Wicked Tickets

Outsourcing

Most of the time, outsourcing is well worth it. Occasionally, there will be a glitches of miscommunication that you chalk up to lessons learned. But every great once in a while, it all comes together; fate gives you a big toothy grin and the results are better than you ever expected…

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5 Tips for beginning bloggers

Philosophy

I never thought I’d write a post like this. The internet is already packed full of entire blogs devoted to blogging about how to be a good blogger. But increasingly I find myself repeating the same little tidbits of advice (usually in a grumpy, ranting tone) to all my friends that start new blogs.
I’m [...]

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Keeping it legal: paying your virtual assistant

Outsourcing

I was recently asked about the logistics of paying our virtual assistant. It’s actually pretty simple.

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One Year Ago Today…

Background

…I sat in a hotel room in Toronto, amidst the FITC conference (just like I’m doing right now). I had given my notice of resignation to my corporate employer, and we had decided to move back to Chicago. Much of my digital attention was focused on ways to be more productive and make the best [...]

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Haircuts and Tradeoffs

Philosophy

Eliminating the obvious time- and space-wasters is a great first step. After you get those out of the way, it’s time to start making the tougher decisions.

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Outsourced Wednesdays: Going Local

Outsourcing

We started in India, then moved onshore. A few weeks ago, I added a new assistant to the roster, and he lives right here in Chicago.

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Video: Entrepreneurial Lecture Series

Entrepreneurship

10 years ago I took a college class that inspired me. Each week we listened to entrepreneurs tell their stories. The only assignment for the class was to read the E-myth Revisited and write a short paper. I used to think to myself “someday I’m going to come back here and speak.”
Last week I did [...]

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3 Surprises from Personal Outsourcing

Entrepreneurship, Outsourcing

Taking a quick break from the usual outsourcing examples this week. I’ve been thinking lately about how our experience during the past year of Personal Outsourcing has differed from my initial expectations. As I read and talk to more people that are trying it out, I find these differences are not uncommon.
#1- I’ve used it [...]

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The Internet Changes Everything

Entrepreneurship

The Internet Changes Everything

Recently, Tim got to interview Michael Gerber. I’m jealous. It’s been 10 years since I read E-Myth Revisited, but I haven’t forgotten the principles that Gerber shares.

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