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The Gold List - A journal written by David Sherry

The Future is Creative Freelance Summit

The Future is Creative Freelance Summit

March 2, 2017

Most of what I try and write about is how to build a life with intention, which happens to include navigating the ever-changing landscape of technology and culture. 

The truth is that it takes courage to put things out in the world. It takes courage to notice where you're at and where you'd like to be, and then take the leap into the void in between those two points.

What helps is finding others like who are passionately living a journey in the gap. Or maybe finding those with the wisdom of experience who are years ahead of where you'd like to be.

I was recently interviewed for the Freelancer Business Summit where I talk some about audience building among other things. 

Finding the right inputs and channels for learning for yourself are critical to your growth and success. I'm not saying this is the right thing for you right now, maybe it's not.

But it is free, it's on-topic for what many of you might be thinking about right now, and I'd like to think there's some good wisdom to be had. 

I can vouch for a few others I know who are also part of the summit like Dennis FieldJane PortmanRyan Battles...

They even called me an "industry guru" so we'll see if I live up to the hype...

My video interview should be live on March 16th if you're curious to check it out.

David

David Sherry
The App Game Developer Lens of seeing the world.

The App Game Developer Lens of seeing the world.

February 28, 2017

I’ve been trying to pay attention more to how different ways of thinking inform our actions. 

Because it’s clear: The questions we ask determine our results.

Here’s an example.

If you want to get more fit, you could ask yourself…

How can I lose 1 pound?
or
How can I lose 10 pounds?
or
How can I lose 10 pounds in 10 days?
or
How can I be sustainably fit and happy for the next year?

Whichever question you choose to answer determines your strategy, your result, and the perspective you bring trying to solve for it.

This is more profound than it sounds, so I’ll let you think on this for a moment about how it relates to your life. 

In this email, I'll try and introduce a different viewpoint for approaching a certain problem. 

Scott Adams calls them “lenses,” so I think I’ll use that as the term from now on. Lenses are viewpoints that inherently have certain types of questions baked into them. 

While we know that asking the right question is critical in the result we get, we can then say, almost more critical is having the right lens to look at something through because a lens has many questions baked into it. 

For example, through the lens of a staunch Republican, there is a baked-in viewpoint with the question of “how do we reduce the size of government." 

Using a new lens is a great way to try and change your results.
 
Or as a way to change your mind.

Here’s a lens to try on today.

The App Gamer Lens for Marketing.

I recently downloaded a game on my phone that had to do with solving puzzles.

I noticed something really interesting during the on-boarding for a new user to the app. 

When the game begins, they have to teach you how to play without using long text or sound. So, what they do is start with the simplest puzzles possible to get you to figure out how to work the game, moving around blocks to create a path for a ball to roll through to the end. 

Every level, starting with level one, is gamified to show you what percentage of other people who played this level and completed it.  

Now, you’d think that once you started playing this game, the easier levels would have higher levels of completion.

And that as the puzzles get more and more difficult to solve, the percentage completion would go down. 

The thing that struck me, though, was that the level of completion for level 1, the EASIEST level there would be, was only 1.7% of everyone who tried it.

When I played level two, I noticed that it was 3%.

Level three was 5%. 

And it’s continued up from there. Why?

Presumably, this is because there's so much drop off onboarding people into the game, that those that are serious get hooked and stay longer and longer. 

I’m assuming that there’s a level somewhere down the line, where in the total number of people who play it, 30-40% pass. 

So what did we learn? 

Most people won’t care about the journey.

But those that stay...Those few are dedicated enough to solve difficult puzzles to get to the next step. 

They're the ones that come back for more. And they’re your best customers. 

In a normal world, you’d like to create a game where many are able to solve the beginner puzzles and few solve the difficult ones.

With the App Game Developer Lens, you say to yourself, how can we create dedicated, returning fans that drive our most ad-views. You’re perfectly happy with a very small percentage of people, say less that 5% solving the simplest puzzle there is, because you know that those that do care will do so increasingly as they progress through the game. Those are your best people. You want to make sure that puzzles 5-10 are AMAZING because you want to increasingly keep them hooked. 

In our ordinary world, we'd say WHAT?! only 1.7% completed the EASIEST puzzle that you have? You need to make an easier puzzle.

In our app developer world, we'd say YES! 1.7% of people have made it through easy puzzle #1! Now let's create puzzles 5-10 so that we really get them hooked.

David Sherry
The Coffee Shop I Want

Ideas for a thoughtful coffee shop.

February 24, 2017

coffee.png

Over the past 4 years, I’ve worked almost exclusively in coffee shops. From Columbus to Santa Monica, I’ve tried them all. I spend 4-6 hours per day in them. Mostly, as someone looking to get work done. Occasionally, just to read or hold a meeting.

I don't know if this makes me an expert on anything, but there are some things I've noticed about them. And if I were to build a shop, I wanted to go over what I'd do differently or be thoughtful about.

2 days ago, I switched shops because the one I’d gone to previously was having wifi issues. Over the last two days, I’ve had a soreness in my upper back I can’t explain why. But then it hit me, it was the chair at the shop, combined with the height relative to the desk, that had created a knot. It was an awkward position to be in or such a long time.

I know it’s a ridiculous detail to notice, but I probably won’t go back. And even if I didn’t know what specifically it was that bothered me, could I have started associating “bad” with that shop just from the pain. Could this shop have prevented this?

Since I’ve spent so many hours in so many shops across the country, I wanted to create a list of questions or ideas that I’d think about when considering the formation for my very own coffee shop.

*Note that I’m a specific type of customer, the “get stuff done” customer. Call it bias, but I do feel that more and more I see a majority of people coming to these specialty coffee shops to accomplish something or other. A task, a meeting, or working remote...

Here's my list for ideas on how to make a thoughtful coffee shop.
 

1. Seat height and quality.

Most shops tend to go for the low-cost option on this. Something semi-aesthetically pleasing but also from ikea. To me, adjustable height would be a must, even above comfort. This is because the angle at which you’re able to rest your arms, use your laptop, or hold your cup needs to be comfortable and being that we all come in different shapes and sizes, we should accommodate for that. Seat comfort can be secondary but is a bonus.

2. Line formation.

Specialty shops all have lines because the coffees are all made to perfection for every individual customer. Usually, this is because the person at the register is also the barista. I have no problem waiting in line, however, the problem begins when the line starts to pour into areas that do not seem designated for standing in. I’ve had meetings where people hovered by our table, as they were just waiting in line. If you’re discussing legal matters or anything personal with your friend it’s awkward for both parties that the line is an intrusion into customers space. 

I’d aim for a line that had a clear demarcation of what the boundaries are for. Americans are especially great at following rules and being fair about lines. Just put us where you’d like us, give us what we need to read in an easy to consume way, 

3. Wifi with an easy to find password. 

How frequently do you find yourself asking either the barista or a neighbor about the wifi password? It seems so simple as a fix I’m unsure why shops don’t advertise. I can’t really think of a good excuse not to have this easily available to find. While it’s not a big deal to ask, it’s an extra effort, a negative brain moment for a customer, some may be too shy to ask.  I won’t even get into wifi here, as to me it’s a non-negotiable – either get super fast wifi that can handle big crowds OR go no wifi at all. The in between seems like a bigger headache than the expense is worth. Just save the customers and the baristas the time explaining and repeating the wifi situation.

4. Service to your table.

A lot of times it’s hard to judge whether or not, by the time you get your coffee, you’ll be able to have a seat or not. You're meeting with someone and you don't know if you should sit down first or wait for the coffee first. I’m not saying this is a total necessity, but the best interactions I have with baristas is when they bring the coffee right to you. For some reason, it adds a fun bonding moment, sort of like at Starbucks when they write your name on the cup. "Here, I made this just for you." It's part of why we choose a small shop over a chain. 

5. Really Healthy snacks. Protein for the caffeine. 

Most shops have the baked goods covered. It’s almost always croissants, muffins, bagels, and then only potentially some fruit or oatmeal. I’m always amazed at how few healthy options shops have. I think it’s because coffee pairs amazingly well with a croissant but poorly with, let’s say, an apple. 

What I would push for is some unique solutions to this problem. There's got to be some healthy items we can pair that are cheap to provide.

I bring a snack every day myself now to the coffee shop, usually something with protein as caffeine is balanced in your body a bit through protein (and sugar). I feel bad sometimes eating something that's not from the shop, but I would buy something if there were something that's within my current diet. 

I typically bring An Epic Bar (chicken siracha or bison), A Healthy Warrior Chia Bar, or some type of nut/protein bar. 

I actually find that starbucks has done a better job here than most smaller shops in sourcing healthier snacks, although they also have a lot of snacks that appear to be healthy but aren’t. 

6. Elegant lighting, light blocking.

The lighting is massively important to setting the mood of the shop. You can almost control the whole brand experience with the light, choosing between fluorescent lights to hanging lights or big windows. 

Then there’s negative light, too though. Light negatively covering the screen of my computer, light in one person’s eyes during a meeting, light that keeps you from taking beautiful photos to share with others. 

7. Education.


One Line coffee changed my perception about coffee. This was through education, and not the pretentious education. I honestly didn't know what a pour over was, or what the difference between a cappuccino or a Cubano was. Later, I learned about its origins and sourcing. Education helped my appreciation, but it also helped me not feel dumb or nervous when I ordered.

At my shop, I'd make sure every barista was taught how to simply explain, in a non-pretentious way what customer options would be, and help them choose accordingly. 

(Shout out to Mick, Sean, Tyler, and all of the other kind staff there). 

I would be remiss to not mention some shops that I think have done a wonderful job of the above items. I've spent many hours back in Columbus at Mission and One Line. Maybe some day I’ll create an entire blog dedicated to my experiences and thoughts on particular shops around the U.S. for going to. 

Some of my favorites:

La Columbe, Chicago.
Spyhouse, Minneapolis.
Milstead, Seattle.
Stumptown, NYC.


What shops have been great for you? What have you noticed? 

David Sherry
Marketing Rules, February '17

Marketing Rules, February '17

February 21, 2017

1. Passionate people lead companies that have passionate fans.


 Most people are zombies. Passion stands out on its own because it's rare. Passion is half the battle to convincing someone to give your idea a shot, keeping them around, and following you your lead to the promised land.

2. Keep existing customers happy, it’s better than finding new ones. 

Most people get so attracted by numbers that they miss the opportunities in front of them. Make the first people happy, first. Keep making them happy. Until this is working like a charm skip out on growth. If you can’t serve 10 or 100 people in an extraordinary way what makes you think it will be better with 1,000?

3. Good is worth zero. 

You've got a big challenge. If people already have a solution similar to what you offer, they no longer have the problem anymore.

This means, the later you enter a market, the less people there are in that market.

So how do you win?

You only get early adopters by being extraordinary. And by offering something new. Even if you just tell them it's something new. 

“Er” is over. I learned this from Russel Brunson.

He says that nobody wants a “bettER” or “FastER” option. They want something totally new to try. We don't want a "better donut" we want a "Cronut." Something you've never tried before.

People rarely switch services to something slightly better, it’s too much of a hassle and they're already satisfied. Good is redundant. 

People switch when you offer something new. And when that something new is extraordinary. 

4. Ideas still spread from one person to one person.

There is a type of pre-suasion that happens when you get word of mouth. 
Credibility is built in the background. 

The subconscious of your customer is where the decision making happens.

We try things because of our exposure from direct sources we trust.
We try things because of repetition, or brain sees patterns and...

Other people shape our preferences. 

5. Effective business ideas are built to spread. 

Marketing people need to be product people, too, because the advertising of your business needs to be baked into the product. The classic metaphorical example here is Tattoos. The more people that get tattoos, the more people see them and want them. So advertising is part of the product. It was the original viral idea. Snap's glasses will run off of people seeing them in public. Then they will see videos from them in their feed, see that they are circle shaped viewpoints, and it’s naturally viral. Rehab centers, on the other hand, you might avoid sharing about. Maybe we're too embarrassed or it's a cultural faux-pax to talk about. So it's anti-viral. People don't want to talk about it. And it doesn't spread. 

6. Companies win when they treat their customer attention as a precious resource, not something to be robbed for all it’s got. 


Our attention spans are dwindling and our options are increasing...

David Sherry
A Product I Want To Buy Right Now

A product I want to buy right now

February 16, 2017

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we become the people we want to become. 

Meaning, how do you change? How to you improve? And how do you change our mind and habits to transform into that which you seek to become.

I’ve realized that when we seek to change or to become something, all of us follow a general process.

The first thing we do when we want to change is we increase the amount of inputs we consume on a subject, to help us reach our goals.

Inputs meaning information or things we consume, conversations, ideas on a subject.

We listen to books on tape or podcasts with information about the subject. We talk with people, ask questions, and generally just consume. We educate and acquire an understanding through these inputs so that we’re better able to navigate the field, industry, or lifestyle. 

The second thing is that we to create habits that use the new knowledge we’re absorbing. After all, knowledge without action is useless. It becomes merely entertainment. 

Habits are the actions and repetition are necessary to help us achieve our results.

But there’s one thing missing.

There’s a third dimension to this in which we have to spend the time necessary to find the right inputs, and the energy necessary to enforce our habits. It’s a tremendous amount of work to do this. To constantly find the best right input and then force ourselves to follow through with our habits. There’s misinformation, and we fight a lack of motivation to continue.

But, since we’re industrious humans, we’ve also found a solution to this third dimension.

This is precisely why we hire an “expert”

There are two reasons we hire an expert.

  1. The first is that we believe that the expert has already figured out, read, consumed and synthesized all the right inputs for us so we don’t have to do the looking ourselves. They sifted that information, and can deliver it to us in a way that leads us to progress.
  2. The second thing an expert does is that they enforce our habits. They force us to show up at the gym, keep us accountable in class or in our phone calls, and make sure we’re on track.

Basically, experts hold us accountable and give us the correct custom inputs we need to find success.

The other benefit of hiring an expert is that now, instead of spending all of our time and energy finding the right inputs, or spending our time or energy enforcing habits, we simply need to spend the time necessary to FIND the right expert. And then fit the bill to hire them.

But that’s a finite cost, as it only takes one push of energy to find the expert. We rely on them to keep up with the knowledge and hold us accountable. We’ve exported these task to them. And that’s why they’re so effective.

So that brings me to the idea I have for an app. If someone wants to help me build it, hit me up.

It’s called Input.

The point of input is to help you achieve your new goal.

Let’s say, for example ,you’re looking to become much healthier both in your diet and exercise.

Here’s what input will do for you.

When you install input, it immediately silences all inputs online that don’t relate to the stated goal: improve my fitness and diet by a more than marginal amount.

It takes over all of your social media accounts and your browser to only show you ideas and inputs that help you on your way to your goal.

It auto-subscribes you to the best newsletters on the subject.

It immediately follows the right people on twitter and Instagram who share about the subject and transforms your feed into a fitness and diet feed.

It auto-reccomends books to your kindle on the subject of diet or exercise.

And for good measure, your calendar fills with events in your city and meet-ups to attend that push you to a healthier lifestyle.

After all, you need to gain knowledge, change your opinion, create new habits, find new peers, and create long term sustainability to reach your goal. This is A LOT of work. And it’s also the reason we almost never follow through.

But with Input, we reduce the friction. We give you everything you need to reprogram yourself with the click of a few buttons.

Note that I said reprogram, because half the battle is changing your mind.

Input is different because it adds a layer of Artificial Intelligence that’s more effective in staying up to date on what the actual science on the subject is saying. The Ai can consume 10,000 articles a day if need be. It also doesn’t have a bias towards a specific resource, or get suckered into something with flashy design. It simply uses data to analyze what an optimal idea, concept, or training method might be. It then curates and serves those inputs right to you. Sort of like Google but with a bend towards helping you achieve something. 

With humans assisting the Ai, which is consuming of knowledge and resources, it’s even more effective than relying on friends for finding the right information.

In fact I think input has the chance to disrupt our MOOC and education systems.

Our school board of education is doing this technically for our high schools, except that they do it.. terribly.

They need to pick the most up to date and relevant information, and help us students create habits that help us achieve goals. (literacy, grammar, writing, etc.).

The real trick after that is in choosing the process and flow of information and determining the speed of the coursework related to each individual student.

With something like Input, every student could be filtered the right inputs, directly when they need them, immediately once they’ve completed a task (Rather than when the rest of the class has gotten there).

In reality, everyone’s education is asynchronous. We just batch everyone together, for now. 

But I digress.

The point is that input solves this all for you. It ensures that you’re no longer wasting your time thinking about or finding what to learn. It’s a trainer for your subconscious. 

Just install Input, and watch yourself as you slowly transform into that person you didn’t think you could be. 

Pretty cool.. huh?

David Sherry
Stop Using Your Brain

Stop using your Brain 

 

February 15, 2017

And start listening to your heart.

Ohhhhh boy. I've gone off the deep-end haven't I?

You're thinking, "OK David, sure, Live Laugh Love. And all that shit."

But entertain the idea for me for a second.

Think about a difficult choice you have to decide on right now in your life. 

I'm betting that you actually know what decision to make. 

Sure, you rationalize and debate between them. 

You make a list of the pros and cons. 

You switch back and forth and back and forth.

"I should do this, I shouldn't."
"I should move, I should stay." 
"I should quit! I should stay."  

The bigger the decision the more you rationalize why it's a complex decision.
"This is complex, be careful to make the right call!" Your brain tells you.


But all along, in the background, you've got a voice telling you what you want to do. 
Your gut, your heart, your subconscious, whatever you want to call it, it knows. 

The decision part, as it turns out is actually simple.  

Here's the real problem: You know the answer, but you have fear about what that decision means. 

Or what it implies about you.
Or what you have to do to follow through with it. 

Decisions are hard to act on, not as hard to decide on.

So, what we really need to do when we're having a tough time deciding something is to hone in on our skill of listening to your gut.
And that means quieting the rational thinking, analytical part of your brain. 

I find that exercise or relaxing hobbies are best.

Here's a sample list: 

  • Golf
  • Meditate
  • Swim
  • Long walks
  • Head to the woods.
  • Yoga
  • Hot Shower


The real error, is now that we're making bad decisions. 

The real error is the lengthly process of going back and forth for days, months, or years when you already know the answer.  

I'm working to shorten that timeline.


*Quick Quiz for you:

Does this argument make sense logically or does it make sense in your gut?

David Sherry
Rational Vs. Irrational

Rational Vs. Irrational 


February 10, 2017

 

The customer buys based on a rational decision.

— If I buy a coffee, I get energy.

The customer buys based on an irrational decision.

— I spend $3 extra on this coffee because I like the atmosphere in the store, it makes me feel smart.

The customer refers based on a rational decision. 

— If I share I get a $30 credit to anyone I sign up. 

The customer refers based on an irrational decision

— If I’m the first to know about this brand, I’m unique in my friend group.

The customer leaves based on a rational reason.

— I no longer can afford this expense in my budget.

The customer leaves based on an irrational reason.

— Something about this brand feels out of line with my values.

If we confuse when our customer is being rational with when they’re being irrational, our story won’t connect. 

The trick is understanding when to use which, so that the story we tell resonates at the right time, and with the right emotion. 

And, if it's you that's the customer, are you using the optimal part of your brain for the decision at hand? 

David Sherry
The Democratization of Products

The Democratization of Products

February 9, 2017

The democratization or our products is here.

It’s been brewing ever since manufacturing was outsourced and specialized and since aggregation sites like product hunt pulled together everything in one location. Word travels fast. 

Done something incredibly interesting lately? Expect to see it elsewhere in the ether soon. 

Look at your Instagram feed… how often are you seeing something that truly catches your eye? That really can’t be passed up? Lately, it’s all more of the same, plants, overhead coffee shots, hiking photos. We stay safe and post what others post. OR what we think people want to see. We push the genre… only slightly. 

I’m not saying I’m excluded from this group, all I’m saying is we’re more synched up on the culture than ever before. And most of your ideas will no longer remain that special. 

And if you build something of value, something new…. it get’s ripped off immediately. 

This 24 year-old beats Kickstarter’s to market.

All it takes is some guts, some phone calls to China, and an eye for what’s picking up traction and you can rip anything that’s produced, rebrand it, throw ads up and take advantage of the innovator’s success.

Can you protect yourself? 

No, and worrying about the knock-offs is time wasted… 

Anyways, the first mover still typically garners 10x the profits and brand awareness.

The Fidget Cube raised $6 Million whereas the knock-off only brings in a few hundred k.

People want the originals. Not the knock off’s. Would you rather meet up with Bob Barker or Drew Carey? Would you even care that much to take a meeting with Warren Buffet or the 2nd most prominent HedgeFund you haven’t heard of? 

The originals will be remembered, but we will also move on from them unless they continue to do something that’s scarce. 

You build something, ship, take a risk. If it hits, you’ll be rewarded greatly.

This is competition. It’s business. It forces you to win on what’s actually hard to create.

We all have a leg up thanks to those that come before us.

We all follow frameworks and take hints and gather inspiration. Artist’s who build value use frameworks but add their own flare. They remix and tweak the mold, rare would it be that something totally new is created.

Can we be so arrogant to think that we can own an idea? That it’s “our art” ?— when we all stand on the backs of artists from all of history until now? 

But people still get upset by this. Somebody taking your idea? Innovate! 

Are we mad that 2 different fashion brands both make can Blue Jeans? Or that two car companies both make vehicles that essentially take you from point A to point B?

Instagram copied Snapchat. And now Instagram just hit its fastest monthly growth ever.

And Facebook took hints from Myspace..

When our ideas are democratized, we’re forced to do what’s risky. And innovators do what’s hard.

This is how you build value. Do something that’s really freaking hard. When a product becomes democratized it’s no longer difficult to create, thus the value drops. Prices go down. 

Compete elsewhere or reinvent.

Making the first iPhone was incredibly hard. Making the 8th iPhone is no longer “hard.” There’s just not much room left to go with it. The parts are all made at the same manufacturer as every other phone.

The product is made by dozens of other companies. 

Brand awareness and attention, that’s hard.

A global supply chain, that’s hard.

And eventually, the category will be reinvented. This is what Apple did well. They defined a new product category. 

That’s what’s needed today. Once it’s been democratized innovate again, or get left behind. 

So if you’re just now starting a blog, ask yourself what’s actually hard about this?

And if you’re posting photos of your cat hoping it will catch on… what are you doing that’s hard? 

You figure out “what’s hard” in your line of business and you overcome it. It’s the only way to succeed.

Doing what else is readily available in the market and you won't get heard. Do what others can't do, and you can charge for your value. 

There are no easy rides to success.

That’s Art. It’s hard. The Beatles played over 600 shows before they were signed. 

That’s business, it’s hard. Apple started in a garage in 1976. Keeping at it this long is hard.

Don’t be surprised that you’re forced to keep going instead of resting at the top of the mountain. 

We must reinvent, again and again.

David Sherry
The Next Adventure.

The Next Adventure. 

February 8, 2017

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The world is ready for you. 

The next adventure is the one that we make for ourselves. 

There are itches out there waiting to be scratched. And how we choose our work determines how well, and how likely we are to scratch them. It’s never been a better time to be an artist.

On this adventure, I believe we can have amazing experiences in our work that are rewarding in an entirely different way than was previously possible.

We’re not here to own more things. We are here to reach our highest capacity and see the fruits of being stretched into new territories. Fruits that look like meeting and working with our heroes, speaking at the conference when we thought we’d be in the audience, writing the book we didn’t think we had in us. More than money, we seek access to feelings and spaces that cannot be bought. Opportunities that arise serendipitously out of our work that couldn’t have been imagined. Our work grants us new relationships (and a relationship to the masses behind our cause).

Work not as a paycheck, but instead a method of building a larger life-path where trusted partners who support your growth and lifestyle.

We’re in a time where there is massive opportunity in what sort of work we choose to do, massive change in our work habits and relationships, and massive opportunity in the lifestyle we are able to create.

And so we must all be artists because we need to pursue work that can’t be done by automation, efficiency, and scale. We need to pull back a bit on the aspect of “measurement” in some areas, so that we can make art that changes peoples hearts and minds. We need to work in smart groups structured sustainably for these changes.

We have access to tools and communities that will enable this more than ever before. Tools that will help us shape a new lifestyle. Ease of travel and communication, ease of collaboration and remote work. This ever-growing web of tools will help us track, manage, ideate, and unleash new communities and complex webs of work and art that will be the new invisible edifice, replacing the skyscraper.

In your new adventure, shake off the notion of working for a company. The reality is we all manage ourselves, and we join with others who align with who we want to serve and in the larger path of our careers. We’ll weave into alignment with companies for a time. We’ll adapt our strategies with our team based on desire, based on community feedback, based on our capacity to be generous and based on art that we dream up to share with the world.

We’re moving away from a static world of corporations, to one that’s based on the fluidity of teams and co-conspirators. Companies will expand and contract based on skill-sets necessary for current initiatives. The best leaders are organizers, and the best collaborators are specialists. These fluctuations in our teams can open the door for the artist and freelancer. Someone to step in and make art and connection.

This is very different than what we’ve seen before, wherein companies grow to support a large infrastructure and team. With benefits and roles that slowly evolve or that have ladders to climb within. Instead, it’s the small group, the diverse culture, the rallying force, who takes a swing and attracts a community that will delight their audience which stands most poised to find fulfillment and inertia in their work.

This is because we’ve finally tapped into the crowd, and the crowd is leverage. To build the crowd you need to see them not as a tool, but as a group we serve and build trust with. And in return, this trust translates to goodwill, which, like any good friend, can be activated in times of need.

Our work is built on relationships. And like any relationship, it means that our product, our project, our brand or service, will always be in flux. In your relationships, with you community and your co-workers, you’ll make mistakes, you’ll make your community happy, you’ll disappoint. And they will keep you on your toes but also support you when you fall.

Our work is to reimagine.

We have a lot of unlearning to do
, and we’re in the midst of the flux that is happening. Tools of automation will only further accelerate this change. Some of it will be natural, we are built to create relationships, we just forgot how. We forgot what it’s like to meet all of our neighbors and be part of a dynamic group. We forgot how to express ourselves into the medium we work with. We forgot how to vulnerably share with our communities. We can bring these forgotten skills back into our work.

To continually adapt our service to our community. To continue to be generous, we often have to change how we serve. Get used to your work changing every year. The thing that won't change, however, is this; The scarcest resource is trust and attention.

You gain this through generosity, from being tuned into the community, and from naturally sharing our art from a place of humanity.

So when you embark, start with generosity. Start with building trust.

And knowing this in advance, we must build our teams in a way that facilitate these relationships. To create a unit that is fluid, and leverages a community to both achieve new levels for themselves. The organizers and the specialists.

This is an adventure that won’t be easy.

The value we provide will come from something we’ve got deep inside of us but has been mostly squashed out. To share our gifts we’ve been repressing for fear of the critic. But it’s exactly that natural art you have inside that will get you farther now.

If we can get through this shift in our work, I believe we’ll find something of quality on the other side. Something that we’re lucky to be able to have as an option. Something only possible thanks to the very automation that is disrupting our current work. 

The next adventure happens by choosing to be on an adventure…

So I’m asking you to begin.

Because like any good adventure, once you embark, that’s when all of the magic begins to happen.

David Sherry
How To Get More Referrals.

How to ask for a referral 

February 7, 2017

If you freelance or run a small business, your business probably runs on referrals. It’s the quickest way to build your income stream, and the easiest way to secure new work. 

And it’s really quite simple. 

There’s just two steps.

First, add so much value to the client that they feel like they are getting an incredible deal working with them. You’ve made a meaningful impact. You’ve built a strong sense of connection with them. And you’ve given more than you’ve received. 

Basically, they loved the work you did. 

Second, just ask for a referral. 

Here's a basic outline for what you should say when making the ask: 

“________ (name)

Are you able to pay forward how I’ve been helping you, so that I can help others?

By now, you know the work I do. 

Since the last time we met…Do you know 3 people who could benefit from the relationship we have?

Thanks,

(your name) 

-------------

If you’ve over-delivered, and they love the relationship you both have, they will say yes. 

If they do not, repeat step 1 until step 2 works. 

It’s surprising how uncommon this is.

David Sherry