Don’t allow yourself to be in between two things
When I was a kid, my uncle, a computer salesman and technician at the time, brought over a personal computer with Windows 3.1 as the operating system. The tower was about the size of three shoe boxes and heavy. It came with a tube-powered screen – also heavy. The color of the housing appeared to be an awkward in-between tone: something white, something grey, something yellow. I remember, how long it took to boot the machine. I still vividly remember the buzzing sound, the plastic scent, and the feeling of creating something from nothing.
Operating a small business is full of these little moments. A new technology arrives, a new hot thing hits the market, a new method and design supposedly changes everything – there’s is always something going on. There is always something that reminds me of this personal computer stuffed with an operating system that is now the equivalent of a dinosaur in computer science. It operated binary. Its users understood it and adapted to the system. It is because of this simplicity, running one application at a time, deep focus on one thing at a time, loading one graphic at a time, that I could feel some fascination when I experienced it. Certainly being a kid helped too. Nowadays, we don’t allow ourselves to follow this binary code. I find myself not quite zero and not quite one. Yet, I found it helps me to have execution days where I ruthlessly follow the binary code. My startup is still in the first dates phase with prospective clients. We know about each other because I run an aggressive marketing model. We understand how beneficial a partnership could be because I detail our process in-depth and tailored to a client’s needs. But we tend to dance around with details and minutia daring each other to make the first move. Don’t allow yourself to be in between two things. Once all required details have been shared, it is time to sign or move on. Establish execution days that start early in the morning and end late in the day. Compartmentalize each task back-to-back without breaks. Allow yourself to be all zero or all one.
This post originated on my substack Codifying Chaos.