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August 14th, 2012

If You Build It, They Won't Give a @#$%

Welcome to the densest, most competitive information marketplace in history.

Never before have people been so ready to send out more marketing messages. Never in history have people cared less.

Just five seconds ago I was invited to yet another religious Facebook group for a religion I’m not even a part of. Gee, thanks.

You already know this intuitively. There’s a reason people don’t join your groups, subscribe to your mailing list, or share your content. It’s why they’re not telling friends about your business. It’s also why, in the long run, you will become the vultures and hyenas of the attention ecosystem.

Effective immediately, the reality of the new world is that

if you build it, they won’t give a shit.

3 actual facts (that will actually help you)

ONE. Your ideas are actually total garbage. You are probably surrounded by yes-men, idiots, or both. They tell you that your idea is great because…

a) they have no idea how ideas succeed in the actual real world. Their only exposure to ideas is through the front page of the Huffington Post, the newspaper, the radio, or their Facebook wall. But I have a message for you! Exposure to ideas that have already won does not help you create winning ideas!!!

b) they are lying to you and you are surrounded by the wrong people. A business is like a living creature. Your idea must be exposed to the environment to survive, and you have created an artificially safe environment around you where people don’t tell you the truth.

If you actually think your idea is great (when it isn’t), the onus is on you. Your ideas are failing because of you. They are not interesting, they are not positioned correctly, they are not different or clear enough and you aren’t willing to put in the work to fix it!

Is your idea competitive enough? If you cannot launch a blog post, a marketing campaign, or a business and have people go WOW, instantly, then scrap it immediately and design it again. It isn’t good enough. Give it more edge, or more round. Make it stand for something. Notice and exploit a weakness in the marketplace, or a rising trend (not a fad!).

ONE THING YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW. Multiply by 5 or 10 the number of ideas you throw out every day. Twitter, Facebook, blog, wherever else. See what swims and what sinks and then correct accordingly for tomorrow.

TWO. No one actually hears your idea. You are responsible for your own success and no one else. If you have no mailing list, no blog (or ability to get other bloggers’ attention), you are straight up DOA. No one will give a shit because no one actually fucking even knows you exist.

This is different from the previous problem, where people may know you exist, but they don’t care, because your idea is horrible (by the way, there are only two kinds of ideas– horrible and great– nothing else). The problem of platform is that no one has the ability to HEAR YOU because you have no direct connection to anyone.

The way I’ve encountered this most recently is through differences in book launches. You can watch Chris Guillebeau launch his book in a crazy successful way because he has impacted enough people enough times already and so they care about him. Yes, they care, and they will stop their day to help him out.

ONE THING YOU CAN DO NOW. Build a permission asset that will carry forward with every project you work on. It’s about YOU, not about the project, and so the people that follow will continue to be interested even past the project’s completion. Also, personal is the new cool.

Anyway, if you can’t build platform, you are 100% screwed. I think that’s clear, so let’s move on.

THREE. The people you know have no ability to help you. In the past three months since I have been working on my new project, due to my existing network, I have been able to get in contact with billionaires, CEOs of super successful companies, or people with just straight up valuable insight. 

You might be like “oh look at Julien showing off” but hey, you know what? That’s bullshit because I worked fucking hard to have the network I have. And the people I know who have the same are among the most fearless, driven people I know.

Can you be counted among the most fearless and driven people you know? If not, you will never reach the people you are capable of reaching, and they will not be able to open the doors that need opening.

Here’s how I explained it to a friend the other day: “How do you expect to get deals done if you don’t know who’s signing the paper?”

ONE THING YOU CAN DO NOW, AND SHOULD. Connect mercilessly and remove your negative impression of “networking” out of your head. As Peter Thiel recently said, the best sales are covert sales. Likewise, the best network building is actually nothing more than just hanging out.

In other words, if your network building comes from “networking events,” you are fucked, because no one interesting actually goes there.

Platform, Idea, and Network are the new marketing. Here’s why.

Everything else you work on can be valuable, sure. But the reason these three are valuable is because the Idea, the Platform, and the Network are all MULTIPLIERS. They each compound on all of your success by producing more effort for less work.

But the trick is that the work is actually just front-loaded– like Kickstarter– and comes at no promised reward because there’s no project you’re currently using them for.

But your idea creation process will drastically help your future ideas because you’ll be subconsciously aware of what the market wants.

And your platform will continuously build, creating a bank account, compound-interest like asset which grows over time.

Finally, your network and its value will multiply your efforts ensuring every door becomes open when it needs to be opened.

Conclusion. Julien is a fucking genius. Bye.

* Filed by Julien at 8:24 am under rant
* 56 Comments

September 15th, 2011

NEWSFLASH: This isn't my little fucking pony

Tweeting is not a business model.

Rainbows and unicorns will not cut it.

The universe doesn’t care about you. Its natural state is to want to wipe you off the planet. You are temporary. In fact, for a large portion of the planet, you are food.

Is social media is the new real estate? Everyone’s in it, and no one can lose.

Or can they? Hours of your life, attempting to get attention to stuff that isn’t even that interesting in the first place. Why?

Give up on hope and luck. Abandon faith in yourself. Have faith only in the system. (Don’t have one? Try this.)

Yesterday I was asked in an interview whether “passion” was enough of a business model on the internet. The picture on the right is my answer.

Don’t let me catch the rest of you talking like this. This is war, and I will personally eat your fucking heart.

* Filed by Julien at 9:37 am under rant, social media
* 35 Comments

March 17th, 2011

Just send the goddamn email

You know you’ve been delaying it. You know it needs to get done.

It’s on the top of your list, and yet somehow, you just never manage to make it happen. You’ve been saying it isn’t the right time, or telling people that you just got overwhelmed. But you know what? Today is the day.

It’s time you sent the goddamn email.

Is it work? Are you late on a project and don’t want to admit it overwhelmed you? Are you thinking that they’ll forget about you if you just don’t respond? Or perhaps you’re just feeling that you need a bit more time, and everything will take care of itself? Well, it doesn’t matter what the reason is.

Send the goddamn email.

Maybe it’s personal? Is there someone you’ve been meaning to reconcile with, or someone you need to apologize to? Do you need to get together with the guys for a game of poker on the weekend, finally? Or maybe you’ve been putting off the trip because you’ve been having trouble asking for vacation time? Well that’s great– know why?

Today is the day you send the goddamn email.

Life is hard enough as it is. People are trying to make cool stuff happen, and they’re trying to have a little fun while having to work harder than they ever have before. They’re doing it while managing their finances (or keeping afloat in them), while trying to raise a kid, or planning out how they’re going to make it all work. Your dilly-dallying is simply not helping. But you know that already.

Please, for the love of God, just send the goddamn email.

Email is easy. Everybody knows you have an iPhone, a Blackberry, or what have you, and that you have access to your email at all times. They know you’ve read what they sent, and they know you haven’t responded. They’re not idiots, so they’ve probably even theorized as to why.

Yet here you are, lost in some kind of forest of denial that’s whispering “maybe they haven’t noticed,” or “maybe I can make it up.” Well, you can.

You can do it by sending the goddamn email.

This post is designed to be bookmarked. You can also send it out, and use it frequently– as often as needed until it does the job. Make it your homepage. Maybe print it out. Put it on the office corkboard. Whatever works.

If you haven’t sent an email by now, I’m clearly not doing my job. Still, you should send one now. Seriously.

You know the one I mean.

Just send it already.

* Filed by Julien at 7:10 am under rant, taking action
* 30 Comments

March 7th, 2011

Advanced Tactics in Saying No

Saying no should be required learning for the 21st century.

Why? Because we are soft. We have become so through a series of coercion methods that have been used on us since we were infants. So we are eased into it by our parents and our peer groups, and by a variety of authorities that claim control over who we are, what we do, what we spend money and time on, and more.

No is a fundamental act of control– maybe the most basic one there is. I suspect that children begin to say no once they begin to recognize that they are a separate person in the world. It is significant, then, that we learn to say no again as adults. But it’s difficult.

Previously on this blog I wrote a short, introductory guide to saying no to basic 21st century things that take up our time, including email, mobile phones, mail, and more. But that is not enough.

The easiest things to say no to in this world are the most distant. The hardest ones are the closest. So we end up being able to treat our weak ties poorly, while our close friends end up thinking we’re pushovers.

This is not the way life is meant to be. You need to own what you are by not letting others control your life. That starts today.

The art of saying maybe

I actually don’t believe in saying maybe (although I might click that Facebook button sometimes) because I feel like it’s the most wishy-washy, annoying thing you can do to someone. Will you show up? Will you not show up? Who fucking knows!

It sucks to have someone like that coming to your party. Don’t be that way.

This is why I discourage the use of the word maybe, but for the purpose of this exercise, I would like you to start saying maybe every time you want to say no, but usually end up saying yes anyway, often because of guilt.

Try I’ll see how I feel, or let me see if my girlfriend’s doing anything that day. Now, make no mistake, these are cowardly things to do when you don’t have the balls to say no, but they’re better than outright saying yes. These are baby steps.

If that’s still too big for you, see below, you big wuss.

The art of limiting the yes

Being even minutely internet famous means getting a lot of random requests from people. This means that anyone in this situation gets very good at limiting their commitments (or end up overworked). You know who you are.

The first step towards limiting this, or anything that’s too demanding, is to say “yes I will help,” but being very specific about how. This is particularly helpful if you want to say yes, but if you think it’ll be a lot of work or you’ll end up too spread out.

I got asked to help an acquaintance with their blog the other week and they wanted to know if I could help by publicizing it, etc. So I said, sure, but then I said “You have three tweets. Use them wisely.” Very clear, no?

This trick is a great way to make sure you’re not too indebted to someone by saying yes to them unconditionally. It also ensures that someone knows the value of your time.

Feeling like less of a spineless jellyfish yet? Awesome.

Let’s move on to practical tips.

How to say no to your boss

Of course, the ultimate in saying no to your boss is quitting. We’ll talk about how to do this some other time. For now, some good methods to say no to extra work and staying late.

Display your workload and schedule. Does your boss even know what you do, really? How long added tasks take needs to be clear to your boss, and it’s up to you to tell him. If he knows what you do and why it’s important (as well as what other deadlines you have), you’ll be one step closer to having him respect them.

Make clear your personal commitments. Do you have sculpting on Tuesdays, or the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at lunch? Cool. Let him know your personal plans matter and make them obvious ahead of time. Maybe even explain how they help you work better or somesuch nonsense.

Verbalize how long each task will take. Ok, that sounds like it should take about 5 hours, does that sound right to you? If you’re continuously clarifying this, your boss will stop underestimating the workload of each task he assigns you.

Ask when each task should be completed. When you show your deadlines to your boss, and he knows what you have on your plate, and he knows how long each of them take, the next thing is to ask when you should fit them in. Try this: cool, would you like me to put that between Herp project A or Derp project B? I want to make sure they can all get done on time.

How to say no to your girl, boy, spouse, lover, or donkey

I knew a girl one time whose boyfriend showed up super late at her door, and she was upset so we had talked about it. I told her to call and say it was unacceptable. She did this. He brought flowers and apologized the next day.

Whatever form of life you’re currently mating with, you need to get really good at keeping your boundaries clear with them. What’s acceptable and what isn’t needs to be obvious for the sanity of the relationship or you’ll become resentful, “whipped,” or just get walked all over and get no respect.

A wise person once told me that when you tell people where the line is, they know not to cross it. Saying no in your relationship requires you knowing what is right or wrong, and to communicate it– just not at that moment. Just like any social contract, it needs to be discussed before or after, but not during, a negotiation (otherwise known as an argument). And discussion of any contract always works better when you include the word because.

Because is a magic word that helps people see your inner workings. Saying no works well with it– in fact, because may be the secret sauce that helps people see each other’s patterns, and avoid stepping on their toes.

I suspect the essence of keeping happy relationships is essentially clarity and boundary negotiation. So don’t be afraid to step up to the plate, especially since no one can read your mind.

Stop feigning guilt

Now we’re getting into the hard stuff. I know that when I say no, it’s very easy to couch it with things like “I’m sorry” and “maybe next time.” We do it because we want to make clear that we want to help, etc, but this is really just a vestigial reminder of our previous, spineless self.

It’s ok not to feel guilty, and we don’t need to fake it, either. In fact, in some cases it’s disrespectful to our current engagements, in the sense that oh I really wish I could do this, but I have to do that instead, as if a parent is forcing you.

Guilt is often implied more than spoken, so if you’ve stopped implying guilt through your words, you next do it by changing your tone of voice. Try saying I can’t the same way you might say a sandwich when someone asks you what you had for lunch. Practice it.

Saying no for real

I read an article in Esquire magazine last month (I think) that talked about a guy who was just answering no instead of doing the usual rigmarole of I can’t, I’m sorry, etc. He said it was freeing, and that’s because it’s what I would call an act of control– something that makes you feel like you have personal power that you can wield to keep your life in your own hands.

This is an important step, if only to experiment with it. You don’t want to become a douchebag, but you do want to see how a straight NO just shuts people down amazingly quickly.

When I was young, I remember my father doing this to homeless people. I found it deeply embarrassing then and I’m not sure I could do it now either, but you should find someone to subject this to that won’t hate you. A sales clerk or someone who is paid to talk to you (customer service, etc) works well.

Another way of doing this is to interrupt a sales/telemarketing call (that we now apparently get from our own mobile phone companies and banks, ugh) by just saying “I’m going to hang up now,” then doing it. Again, these are just experiments, but they’re worth trying.

When you should say yes

Now, one more thing– this post is to help you say no for when you know you should be doing so, not to help you say no to everything. Whenever you’re uncertain, you should be saying yes to speed up the learning process. This ensures that next time, you’ll be sure to say no. That’s when the above applies.

Next: How to get children to shut the hell up

Am I kidding? Who knows! But please subscribe just in case.

* Filed by Julien at 6:15 am under random, rant
* 13 Comments

December 27th, 2010

How To Recognize an Idiot

Do you have a New Year’s resolution you wish more people would make? I do.

I wish we would stop acting like we know what we’re talking about, even when we don’t.

Everyone is so proud of their ignorance in this world that it baffles me. So can everyone just do me a personal favour and make their resolution to stop acting like they know something when they obviously don’t have a clue!?

I call these people Fake Experts (feel free to use #FakeExperts on Twitter since this shit will be going viral anyway). They know everything about every subject and they always have a cooler story than the one you just told. These people are everywhere. You will see many of them at New Year’s Eve parties, so I figured I’d give you a primer on how to spot them real quick.

Example 1. Politics.

Oh man, these people are amazing.

Listen, I don’t care what your political leaning is, I seriously don’t. You can believe that trees are people for all I care, as long as you actually do your research, you feel me?

My favourite is when people spout some kind of half-baked political ideology and you can literally tell what news segment they heard it on. It’s like these dudes are channeling MSNBC, Fox, or the 9/11 Truth Movement, because they trust the horse’s mouth so much that they feel everything they say is sacrosanct. Seriously, all they need is a Ouija board.

I have an idea, instead of watching the news, why don’t you research the issue and come out with a nuanced conclusion of your own!!!???

Solution: Begin posting radically false things about their heroes on their Facebook wall and get put on limited profile faster than Keith Olbermann can say “HOW DARE YOU SIR” or Glenn Beck can start crying. OH YEAH.

Example 2. Social media experts.

Right off the top of my head right now I can name like 5 social media experts whose advice basically sound like Mad Libs. In fact, you know what? I’m going to register SocialMadLibs.com just for this very occasion. There, done. Have fun.

But social media experts are just one branch of idiots which I should really call “(fashionable technology) experts.” They’ll move into the next thing so fast you won’t even remember what their old Twitter bio was. Karen McGrane called it in Iceland when she said that social media experts are now “content strategists.” Yet these somehow, these people have not had any of their own content actually get popular. It’s insane.

Repeat after me: “And how will that help me sell more?” There we go, it’s like crosses and garlic on a vampire. Too easy.

Example 3. Life/career advice.

Otherwise known as morons on the internet telling me about the world like they know better. God, these people are unbelievable.

So I’m sending out a photo of a new tattoo I just got the other day. Arno at Imago here in Montreal (great shop) did it and it’s epic. I tweet it out.

Some douche responds: “There goes your chance at a real job.”

Uh, dude? You are a real estate agent. How the fuck would you know how to do my job?

The problem with these people is that they seriously believe that the world they live in is the only world that exists. In this guy’s world, if you have tattoos, you are a loser. In my world, a tattoo does not stop you from hitting the New York Times bestseller list! So go fuck yourself.

But this isn’t the only example I can find in this category. Let’s not forget retired in-laws that give you outdated, stupid career advice, or fashion advice from people who dress like they’re homeless!@#$%

I’ll tell you what, once you take your head out of your ass, I will listen to your advice.

Example 4. Wine.

Protip. Stop swishing it in your mouth like a fucking buffoon.

What’s great is that these fools are so predictable that restaurants actually design their wine lists around them.

Nobody wants to look cheap in front of a date or the waiter. This means everyone order the 2nd cheapest wine instead– and restaurnts use this to their advantage by making it the worst deal on the menu. Fake wine experts fall for this every time because they’re afraid of looking stupid or asking questions.

Wine guys exist in every environment. They’re afraid of not knowing about a certain band so they nod in agreement during a conversation, or they don’t know about the newest movie so they just stay quiet and let people assume. Hint! People know you’re faking it! The waiter does, and your date does too.

So stop it.

Example 5. Science.

I’m having a conversation with an acquaintance about food and, after ridiculing alternative methods of eating, he says: “I think everyone should just eat a balanced diet.”

This shit is my absolute favourite.

First of all, how the hell would you know what’s balanced and what isn’t? Have you read any science, or are you just reading Men’s Health and/or Cosmo and then defending it by saying you “heard that” something is true?

In fitness, there is a word for this. It’s called broscience, and it’s not based in reality at all.


Thanks to Martin Berkhan for the pic.

The same thing applies, on both sides, to people arguing global warming, evolution, and many other fields, and you know it.

We are convinced by these people because they themselves sound convinced, not because what they’re saying is real. They’re demagogues who appeal to emotion and intimidation in order to make you feel like you have to agree.

People like this use words like ”balanced” all the time. Why? It’s one of those words that sounds positive, but generic enough that you can’t disagree with it. What’s the opposite of balanced? Unbalanced, I guess. And nobody wants that! That sounds bad!

I have an idea! How about you read the science, dumbass???

Wipe out these generic words from your vocabulary. To people that know better, they label you as a fucking idiot.

Look, here it is right here. Everyone needs to get better at the following phrase. Repeat it out loud with me now and use it 5 times today.

“I don’t know.”

“I haven’t really informed myself.”

“I wish I knew more about that.”

You see how you’re not stupider, smarter, or anything after using that? You see how no one ridicules you? Get used to that phrase, people, because it’s true about almost everything.

We need to do ourselves, our peers, and everyone in our lives a favour and stop being proud of our own ignorance. Maybe read a book, even. Learn a thing or two before we open our mouths.

The world would be a better place.

Thank you. Please tweet this out, and enter your email address below and press enter if you like this post. Cheers.

* Filed by Julien at 10:00 am under rant
* 95 Comments

December 3rd, 2010

Stop being a fucking pussy

Ok, you want to be successful. You think you’re trying your hardest. Dammit you are pretty sure you’re gunning for it, really hard!

But here is the truth: You’re not.

In every industry, there is an edge. In your business or personal life, it doesn’t matter– somewhere, there is a cliff. Most people don’t want to get to close to it, because they’re afraid they’ll fall off.

Thing is, the edge is where all the cool stuff happens. I know you don’t want to make a decision that is irrevocable and wrong– a decision from which you might never recover– that’s natural. But guess what?

You are actually in the middle of an open field, inside your house, clutching your purse, crying like a little girl while looking at an edge you see on television.

In other words? You are nowhere near the goddamn edge.

It’s time you stopped being a fucking pussy.

You want a better blog, a more profitable business, a happier marriage, or a better life? You want to meet a girl, or travel to Asia, or lose weight, or meet an Asian girl who’ll help you lose weight, or something else? Great! So does everyone.

Just to be clear: for other people, it is entirely clear that you haven’t fully committed. If you had, you would be closer. Why?

You would do the exercises.

You’d put in the hours.

You’d take people’s advice (especially if it made you uncomfortable!).

You’d learn to talk to people.

You would find a system.

None of these things require money! All they require is work and understanding yourself. It’s not that hard!

Look, your lack of progress pretty much stems from things you’re avoiding because a) you are unsure of how they’re done, or b) you’re unconsciously (or consciously!) unwilling to do them. In other words, you are a fucking pussy.

You are either paralyzed by the fact that you don’t know how to get to your goal (hint: ask someone who does or fucking Google it!), or you’re afraid of doing it (hint: you clearly don’t want it bad enough). It’s actually that easy.

It’s time you looked your delaying tactics in the damn face.

What, exactly, are you afraid of?

Is it getting ridiculed or judged?

Will people around you stop loving you?

Are you afraid of looking stupid, or going broke?

Do you think you would offend people?

Let me tell you about offending people.

Today, my designer Justin emailed me a draft of a pop-over thing we’ve been talking about. It is crazy offensive. Would you like to see just how offensive it is? Click on the images below.

(The second image is what happens when you get rid of the first one. Yes, it actually says “Annoying Subscription Pop-Over” on it. Hehe.)

Did it make you laugh? It definitely made me laugh. You might like it, or hate it, but I’ll tell you one thing: it will work and it is not for pussies.

(Also, it vanishes after that and is for first-time visitors. Chill out.) ;)

The bottom line

Look people, use your common sense. Millions of us all over the world are having the same problems as you. All of us have the same blocks– you, me, everyone. Those of us that get through our anxieties and just do the things we need to do, we are the ones will make it. The others won’t.

You might be saying, “No Julien, I’m just procrastinating. It’s in my nature. I’m just bad at being organized.” I call bullshit.

Examine your intentions. There is a real something holding you back– I guarantee it. Unless what you really want to do is sit around playing Nintendo DS all day, there is something else there.

Look, the weekend is coming up. I’m going to give you a chance. All you have to do is not be a pussy for a whole weekend– very easy, ok? And if you feel anxious about absolutely anything, do the following:

Ask yourself out loud: What am I afraid of?

I guarantee that when you do this, when you say it out loud and listen to the answer, your answer will sound stupid. Because most of our issues are pretty stupid.

Then, after you do that, you will get down to business. You will do what you have to do, because it will be clear what you’re avoiding. And after a weekend of that, you will come back here and you will tell me what happened, ok? I’m counting on you.

Look, some of you are probably offended by this post. That’s fine. For those of you in that camp, I would like to inform you of two things:

  1. You’re probably a fucking pussy (heh); and
  2. I made a version for you and your pussy Twitter friends. See below.

Stop Being Such a Darned Wuss

The rest of you, get back to fucking work.

Hey, you know what else? I just realized something. People have been asking me forever what this blog is about, and I’ve never had an answer. I think I just found one.

If you want to find out more about how to actually do what you have to do and own it, then subscribe. Good stuff will happen.

Here, I’ll put a subscription box right here. Type in your email address and press enter. And if you could tweet this out too, I would really appreciate it. People really need to hear it. Thanks.

* Filed by Julien at 8:55 am under direction, rant
* 149 Comments

November 29th, 2010

The Quick, 12-Step Guide to Quitting That @#$%ing Job You Hate

Guess what, it’s Monday! And you’re still at that job you hate. Nice.

1. 9am. Get to the office. Go straight to the coffee machine. Hang out there for 10 minutes before heading to your desk. Dread the workweek.

2. 9:10am. Check Facebook and email, despite having just done so on your iPhone 15 minutes prior. Delay the inevitable start of an empty, energy-draining day which will leave you uninterested in social interaction, learning, and sex.

3. 10am. Look around at your co-workers. Realize that they are all either a) mindless drones, b) shriveled, pathetic versions of their former, bright selves, or c) social-climbing douchebag sociopaths. Question the purpose of your existence as you stare at your reflection in your computer monitor circa 1995.

4. 10:05am. Realize how much longer you’ve been at this job than what you intended, awakening in you a horrible, hateful anger which had until now remained dormant like a sleeping dragon for longer than you thought was possible.

5. 10:10am. Begin shaking in rage. Pop a blood vessel in your eyeball. Briefly choke the telephone as if it were some unknown person’s neck before regaining your composure.

6. 10:30am. Analyze options. Consider that, perhaps, you could ask for a transfer to another department or another city. With horror, become conscious that everytime you’ve spoken to them on the phone, they seemed even more brain-dead than the mouth-breathing sycophants in Human Resources.

7. 10:45am. Think back to the time you were offered the cool job with the startup downtown. Have dark thoughts about the we-need-you guilt-tripping that was done to prevent you from quitting. Attempt and fail to slit your wrists with a stapler. Finally acknowledge that you will have to either quit, or throw yourself off the roof, this week. It’s a toss-up.

8. 11am. Awaken to the reality that you may still have much to live for. Recall that time you wanted to work on that documentary or be in that punk band. Realize the guitar is still in the basement, and that no one has yet tried out the website idea you had that your girlfriend was excited about.

9. 11:10am. Start a list of the worst things that could happen if you quit right now. Finally acknowledge the possibility that it wouldn’t actually be that bad, despite how anxious you are about it. Picture yourself on your deathbed.

10. 11:20am. Ask yourself if you can live without your daily soy non-fat latté, your gourmet BLT with aioli mayo, or your 100% pure fruit 2pm snack bar. Ask yourself if starving for a few months is better or worse than being here and simply starving on the inside.

11. 11:30am. Realize that, fuck it, you’re better than that. Walk into your boss’ office and quit with dignity.

12. Noon. Emerge from boss’ office, possibly glowing. Go to lunch. Begin your new life.

* Filed by Julien at 6:54 am under guide, humour, parody, rant
* 80 Comments

November 22nd, 2010

How to Make Popular/Influential Friends

There are three ways to make popular friends.

First, you can meet them before they’re popular. This isn’t exactly obvious. You could be strategic about it (being in high a high growth industry or something), that might get kind of douchey.

Second, you can meet them in exclusive places. The limited guest list means they feel like you’re on their level. Then you can have a regular conversation to them to prove how down-to-Earth you are despite your popularity/influence.

The third and final way to make popular is to do something awesome. This is the hardest way, because you have to find something awesome to do, but when you do it, influential/popular people may want to talk to you. (Be careful about this though, because people will get jealous and wonder why they don’t have popular/influential friends.)

This post inspired by a bunch of talk going on recently that I don’t want to give more attention to.

* Filed by Julien at 6:28 am under rant
* 1 Comment

November 20th, 2010

No, you do not need my phone number.

If I’ve bought something from your website, you already have me. You don’t need my information to send me more stuff later on. That’s not what I’m buying. I’m buying this book, and that’s it.

Last week I typed into a captcha field ten times, and I never got it right. Eventually, I gave up. Did that really captcha benefit you?

It’s very simple. Every field you ask for is another reason for me to say no, or to type in false info that will ruin the integrity of your database.

Or you can get a small chance to impress me by doing something right, or cute, or helpful.

Or you can get it wrong by saying you want to call me.

Interaction between a company and its customers is touchy. They want to be reached only certain times, and only certain ways.

If you don’t know this, you are probably doing it wrong.

* Filed by Julien at 6:10 am under marketing, rant
* 13 Comments

August 12th, 2010

You Do Not Have an MBA

If you’re John Doe, there are a lot of hoops for you to jump through if you want to become Dr. John Doe.

Between Jane Doe and Jane the lawyer, there are hoops, too. In both cases they’re pretty important to go through a certain way.

This is not the case with an MBA. But they’d like it to be. It isn’t the case for almost any degree at all. But they keep offering them anyway.

There is no single institution in the world which will go away willingly. Even if they were 100% useless, you can bet they would stick around as long as they could siphon us of our money and let us whittle away our years in exchange for their continued existence.

There is no institution in the world that has the one true path to the Answer (or the Truth, or Salvation). But all of them will convince you they will, as will your parents and mentors.

You do not have an MBA, and you do not need one. No one needs to give you permission; you need to take it.

Unless enough of us do this, these same institutions will be around siphoning your children, and their children, and so on until eternity. They will convince you that you need to read their newspaper, or their buy overpriced textbook, or follow their useless path. But none of those things are necessary at all. Many never were.

Oh, by the way, who is it that goes through hoops? Not people, just animals… and clowns. Are you either of those?

* Filed by Julien at 9:50 am under clear thinking, random, rant
* 23 Comments