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Showing posts with the label work

The wolves are breeding the sheep.

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Be sure you're answering the same question.

Several years ago, I read a short newspaper article that depicted the struggle western ranchers (particularly those with sheep) were having with the reintroduction of wolves.

At a townhall-type meeting, several government wildlife officials were presenting their plan to solve the problem of wolf attacks on livestock to a packed house of ranchers. They outlined how they were tagging wolves, and then selectively sterilizing them to reduce the population.

At the end of the presentation, the officials opened the floor to questions, and an elderly rancher stood up in the back. The wildlife official at the podium motioned for him to speak.

The rancher paused for a moment in the silent room, and then said, with a hint of confusion in his voice, “Son, you don’t understand. The wolves ain’t breedin’ the sheep. They’re eating ‘em.”

I was reminded of this during a recent heated discussion at work regarding a particular feature of a new app we are …

The files from whence ideas connect.

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I'm constantly on the lookout for new ideas or for new information that might relate to something else I'm working on. It never ceases to amaze me how, by simply choosing the next project to work on, so many of the magazine articles or books I randomly read connect or fall into place in the current project. Most of that is simply choosing a new project or focus of interest, with the rest not being magical coincidence, but simply your mind being aware of the new focus and already attuned to how the new information could fit in or relate.
Still, I always love those moments when I'm reading something and it strikes me how much this applies to my current project or area of interest. I also save a lot of clippings and other items that I find interesting that I end up referring to later in various ways. It looks a bit like this:
Since I always have a project on the burner, everything I read falls into place nicely. I'm not sure what the experience would be if I weren't …

Why it's good for you to clean toilets.

Kill your pride as soon as you can.

Don’t ever be too good for any job.
An acquaintance of mine left a job over the feeling that she wasn’t given the proper respect that her education deserved. She would tell me that she was certain the management was jealous and felt threatened, and so she left on very bad terms only to discover she couldn’t find another job.
The idea that she was above certain kinds of jobs made it difficult to find employment. She continues to take college classes and spends money after money on more education, believing that she will, at some point, be guaranteed a high-wage job because more education is the ticket to wealth and what she is worth.
I want to tell her the truth.
She needs to get a job cleaning toilets, ASAP.
She needs to stop racking up student loan debt.
She needs to learn to live on less, in her finances and her pride, and in her opinion of herself.
I can’t say I loved most of my jobs. Nigh shifts at the post office loading dock, working in a kitc…

Why Self-Published Authors Ought To Reconsider Amazon

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I'm a self-published author. My understanding, from every writer's convention or publishing forum I'd participated in was that I could not make it as an author without Amazon. For some who have found significant success, particularly due to the ebook format, perhaps that is true.

But let's be realistic: most of us aren't going to be that smash self-publish success story. Some of us are writing simply because we can't not write. Because of that reality, I want to tell you why you should rethink Amazon.com as a "must" for how you sell.

First, let's get a few minor things out of the way from what I've learned from a pretty standard self-publishing experience in which you get a little local PR, make some sales, get your book in the local bookstores, and are mostly satisfied because you simply have a book of yours finished and on the shelves somewhere.

Minor: Readers who refuse to pay for shipping.
When I published my book, a few people wouldn'…

Lives of quiet desperation during tax season.

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"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation...But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things."-- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
Quiet desperation rears its ugly head most often during income tax season.

For example, today as I sat down across from the accountant to hand over a few sheets of paper that symbolized a year's worth of work, knowing I'd be paying many hundreds of dollars to her for the privilege of having a percentage of that money given to the government, I felt a quiet desperation.

Should I be embarrassed at how low my income is?

Should I worry what the accountant is thinking about my work as a freelancer and making a judgment on me based on what ended up being a slow year?

Should I be concerned at the shift in clients from one year to the next and the fog of future war?

"What's your best guess for next year's income?" she asked.

That's a fantastic question that desperate freelancers …