Moving Forward, Editing Advice, and More – #105

On Moving Forward

Sometimes you have to temporarily go left or right to ultimately move forward.

While on holiday I was running a five-miler along the beach. About a mile into my run, there was a blockade. On the right, a pile of seaweed too large to leap over (not that I actually leap over anything). On the left the sand had recessed, creating a small lagoon. In order to pass, I had to run a good bit to the left to keep moving forward (see map pictured below).

I was immediately reminded of this quote from the movie “Lincoln” where the President says:

“A compass, I learned when I was surveying, it’ll… it’ll point you true north from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps, deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp… what’s the use of knowing true north?”

When I left corporate America to start a business, all I wanted to do was focus on the new business.

But to fund the business, we needed cash, so I took a few consulting gigs.

And to spread the idea of the business, I took a few speaking gigs.

Ultimately it took four+ years to hit our goal…to reach our true North. Without the consulting and the speaking (what I considered at the time to be distractions) we never would have made it.

Just a reminder for those of you working to build your business. Maybe the distraction you are working on is helping you reach your goal?

Lizzo On Editing

As a content creator I want to publish everything I create.

Want, yes. But should I? No.

Whatever content you create, we need to understand that not everything should be published.

Most content creators do. Or feel like they should.

For Lizzo’s last album, she created 170 songs…but only published 12. That’s 93 percent NOT published.

It’s called editing. We all need to be doing more of it.

Be like Lizzo.

Oh…by the way, I have about 20,000 words of my last novel that we cut. It still hurts my soul, but it was the correct decision.

On Shania Twain

I’ve had some fits of writer’s block recently. When this happens, I go for a run.

Most of the time, I listen to audiobooks. On this particular run I asked Siri to play some new music. For the first song up, I didn’t recognize the song, but definitely knew the artist…Shania Twain.

I love Shania. My wife and I have seen her in concert. We also used one of her songs as our first dance as a married couple.

You may know about Shania’s success. She’s sold over 100 million records, making her the #1 bestselling female country artist of all time.

But you may not know this. After releasing her Greatest Hits album in 2004, she was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. It wrecked her voice. At times she could barely sing on key. She was scared to sing in public (think about that…scared after thousands of in-person performances).

Well, you know the rest of the story. She battled through it and started to write her own music again by 2011 (also dealing with a rather horrible break up during that time).

The point? Even one of the greatest musicians and performers ever has to overcome piles and piles of crap to make it.

It’s part of all our journey. We just have to see it, know it’s there, and then take the next step.

I highly recommend Shania’s documentary on Netflix to give you the full picture. Very inspiring story.

ChatGPT News

I feel obligated to tell you that Microsoft is launching an “AI-Powered Answer Service” while Google launched Bard, a ChatGPT rival. For the first time in history Google feels like it’s behind (or it looks that way).

Maybe this is the 2023 version of the cola wars.

But the most important news of the week? Beyonce won her 32nd Grammy Award and now holds more Grammys than any other artist.

Oh…this week’s newsletter is one story shorter than normal. I’m on holiday this week and am entirely unapologetic about it. That said, I wanted you to know. Peace!

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