Monday, February 11, 2013

Introspective Graph - Still on Board

One of those days.  We all have them.  You know, the times when you think, "what the 'H__' am I doing?"  Or maybe for you it's one of those times when you think, "I must be the dumbest person on earth."  Or maybe you've never had thoughts like those. Could it be that I'm the only one?  Well the point is, and I know this happens for one reason or another, people just decide to "throw in the towel".  (OK - I'm going to pause here and look up the origins of that phrase . . . give me a sec, please.) Thanks! 

As mentioned, the thoughts above belong to me.  Sometimes, frequently!  But I also find encouragement as well.  Have you subscribed to Seth Godin's Blog?  His articles seem to resonate with me on a regular basis.  And the one from February 9, 2013 managed to ping my inner senses once again. 

Seth Godin Graphic from Roller-coaster of Shipping 2/9/13
Click to Enlarge
"X" axis - time
"Y" axis - joy or excitement

Seth Godin has a Stanford MBA with degrees in Computer Science and Philosophy.  He's an accomplished Author as well.  I've noticed that sometimes, people with his level of intelligence have difficulty communicating with the general public.  But this guy seems to be able to get right into my head. 

The graphic that you see is based on the idea that all of us go through a myriad of emotions when working to "ship" (definition: The project has been placed in the hands of a consumer).  The author (project manager, owner, artist, originator) of any "product" goes through a series of ups and downs.  Seth has graphed this process for us and explained how this works as an author in his article entitled,

1. The manic joy of invention. The idea arrives, it's shiny and perfect. I can't wait to share it.

2. The first trough of reality. Now that I've pitched the idea to someone (and I'm on the hook), the reality of what has to be done sets in precisely as the manic joy of invention disappears.

3. Wait! The epic pause of reality. It's not quite as bad as I feared. I can see a path here, maybe. I'm still in trouble, sure, but perhaps...

4. The horrible trough of stuckness. The path didn't work. The data isn't here. Critical people have said no. People in critical roles have said no. I can't find any magic. Sigh.

5. Flow. This is why we do it. The promises made as a result of #1 pushed me through the horrible trough, and the lights are coming on and my forward motion, my relentless forward motion, may just be contagious. Let's not talk about this, because I don't want it to dissipate.

6. The pre-publication lizard-brain second-guess. I see the notes that have come back to me, all that red pen, the not-quite-ebullient look on the face of a trusted reader. I am sniffing everywhere for clues of impending doom, and yes, there they are.

7. The realization that it's good enough. This is the local max, but not the universal one. Optimists welcome. It's not perfect, but it's going to ship, and good luck to it.

8. Post-partum ennui. "Why haven't you read my book yet?"

9. Life. And this is the long haul, the book in the world, the hearing about a book you wrote ten years ago that's still impacting people. The crepe paper grand opening bunting has been taken down and there is no one left to write a snarky review, because the book is on its own, touching, spreading and being.

And then, sometimes, #1 happens again. Or not. 

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Thank you Seth!  In a humorous and yet so hit-the-nail-on-the-head way, you've explained my emotions.  I'm afraid that my personal diagram will eventually end with many more curves.  However, even though I'm not a true fan of roller-coasters, I'm still on board. 

"THANK YOU" to all of you supporting the efforts of Responsible Referrals in the quest to provide funding to the advocates and front-line soldiers fighting youth homelessness.  Your emails, "Likes" and "Shares" help me to know that you're with me during the ups, downs and loops of this roller-coaster ride and THAT means absolutely everything to me!
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And in case you want to know about the origins of that "phrase", Click here!

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