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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How do you measure success?

Who is so think-skinned that they can listen to bone-cutting insults (in the guide of "helpful advice") for over 30 minutes?

Yesterday, I listened to a podcast. The famous Penelope Trunk was giving advice to an ordinary blogger. Within about 10 minutes, she was meanly tearing into him for "limited ambition." Her point was that you have to have goals, to know where you're going to get there. And that if you're a real writer, you can't be a people person. Here it is: Podcast.

One thing she said really resonated with me: to be successful, you have to take "insane risks." Yes, I agree with that. And that you have to focus and work...hard with the wind at your back.

So here's where she and I diverge: she worked for 7 years blogging for free. I've never - ever - worked for free or even cheaply. Insane risks are one thing; starving is another - never an option. Besides, I believe that you devalue yourself in your own eyes when your work is worth nothing, zero, nada. For most of civilized society, "success" in work or business - unless you're working for a higher cause - is measured by income.

I'd love to hear takeaways from this Podcast. It was (and continues to be) unsettling for me.

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