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Doing > Thinking

At the end of 2020 I worked on my unique ability. In case you're unaware, the unique ability is a short coaching programme created by Dan Sullivan. I'm not usually in favour of coaching - most of the industry is fraudulent - but this guy is one of a few exceptions.

My unique ability clearly shows that I am the sort of person who generates ideas and creates the system for other people to make my idea a reality. Sounds like a dream job for many people. But I'm not happy about it.

This means I'll always be beholden to someone else. Someone with the building and doing skills that I lack. Someone who could do what I propose alone (and probably should). I appreciate the value in being the sort of person who creates ideas and systems but it's not enough for me.

For the past 10 years I've been coasting on the sweat of others around me. Not once have I truly been the master of the creation of any product or service. My agency did custom work for clients. I came up with the ideas and sold them on it but I never made anything. My first tech startup was my idea but we outsourced the build. Being so far away from the nuts and bolts of the product was shit. I couldn't roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty whenever a new idea (of which there were many) popped into my head.

Another downside with my unique ability is that I rarely have the opportunity to get into the flow state like a programmer or builder can. There are two occasions when this happens - when I write and when I paint. Both are hobbies and both will remain entirely on my own terms. I don't want to be the sort of creator who does what other people tell me to do.

There is one skillset in particular that thrives in the flow state environment: the programmer.

A programmer can get an idea at 1am and start working on it immediately. Right now my midnight ideas just keep me awake and ruin the following day.

I've always struggled with being a doer. But things have started to change. A couple months ago I came across a Trello board by Pieter Levels that has seriously increased by ability to get shit done - importantly to ship good work.

Here's what it looks like. Read more about Pieter's process here.

It's a new year and I don't believe in resolutions. But I do believe in building better habits. 2021 will be the year that I slide across from thinker to doer.

I realised that anything I need to know the answer to I can just google. Which removes the need to memorise shit. So if all of the answers to all of the worlds questions are just a second away, what are we supposed to be good at?


Which consists of making good decisions about what to ship and then getting the fuck on with it.

So while I respect Dan Sullivan's unique ability workshop. And I do know that the results are correct, I'm not willing to sit and accept them.

On Noah Kagan's podcast, the blogger and entrepreneur Tynan, spoke of his mate who has a very deep and remarkable voice. When Tynan asked him about it he said, "it wasn't always like this, I trained myself to have a deep voice after getting bullied for having a high one". Conventional wisdom tells us that we're stuck with the voice we're born with. This guy said fuck that.

So I'm saying fuck that to my results, too.

Let's see how I get on.

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