How to Read More: What I’ve Learned Reading 100 Books in 2020

Before 2020 started, I set a goal of reading 100 books. Then the pandemic happened…. and I still achieved my goal? Some would say the pandemic made it harder, some easier. I’m not sure how it affected my goal, all I know is I made it!

Over the years I’ve made a concerted effort to read. Back when I started this journey I thought there was no way I’d ever be one of “those people”. It started around 10 years ago when I decided I needed to track what I read. At that point I realized, while I’d never been a reader growing up, reading was one of the few reliable ways to grow once out of college. I started slow, between 10-20 books a year and by 2015 read 50 books for the first time. In 2017 I read 70 books and thought that pace was insane! So for the next few years, I oscillated between 50-70 books per year. Something clicked at the end of 2019… I realized I was only limited by my imagination on what I could do. So I took a step back and set my goal of 100 (also, I could have been motivated by my wife finally beating me and reading more books than I did). Continue reading >

3 Ways to Keep Doing the Work You Love

A few years ago at work, there was a project that required the expertise of an outside party. We needed something very specific created for the software we use, so I called our account representative and explained what it was we needed. After the initial call, he connected us with their internal expert and fixer. On this call, the fixer came across as goofy. He didn’t seem very concerned with my problem and when I asked questions or for clarifications, he couldn’t provide great answers. I got to the point of questioning his ability to do the task. My thought was “Why did they give me the new guy? I’m going to ask for someone else after he screws this up.” I was frustrated because I knew it’d be a waste of my time. On the call, I was not impressed with this fixer. I know a little about how to create the solution but was not in a position to do the work. As the fixer met all of the requirements with sighs and responses of doubt, I became a little frustrated. On top of this, I was concerned his skill level might not be high enough and we’d end up being charged more hours than if we had a more experienced fixer handling the project. I even considered going back to the account rep and expressing that we’d like to get someone else to work on the solution.

After the call, I was sent an agreement for the services and asked a few follow-up questions. In the email signature of the fixer, the title was “VP/Co-Founder.” As soon as I saw this, I froze. What is the VP/Co-Founder of a 30-year-old company with a growing employee count doing working on my simple little need? Continue reading >