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The Bitch Slap: The Part Where I Kick Your Ass

Feb 15, 2012 , , , , ,

bitch slap kick your ass erika napoletanoI’ve dubbed 2012 The Year of The Plague. Yesterday marked by 24th day on antibiotics, a concerted effort by two physicians to kill whatever decided to set up camp and play quarters in my immune system.  I popped the last three horse pills yesterday morning, delighted to be done with the nastiness. Yet it seems the universe had other plans. I dreamt of a rumbly in my tumbly and, upon waking at 1:30AM, I realized it wasn’t so much a dream as a violent bout of food poisoning after sharing a lovely, spur-of-the-moment Valentine’s Day dinner with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in over three years.

So, today’s post comes from Erika in Fuck My Life mode and I figured there’s no better day to stop you from fucking up yours than today. Today’s post is sponsored by tainted beef carpaccio, arugula salad, and the letter ugh. Let’s get on with it.

The Way You Run Your Day is Bullshit

Amber Naslund kicked my ass right and proper first thing this morning with a little post about selling yourself snake oil. You know — the process of investing in your business. Investing in you. We’re always looking for shortcuts when we should be spending that time looking to stop wasting our own time. I’ve done it (ahem..do it), you’ve done it (cough cough — still do it). And the funny thing is that we are more than happy to bitch about other people wasting our time yet we’re the last ones give ourselves a smack-down when we’re the viral sheep pong video in our own days.

The way you run your day is bullshit.

We fuck around with nonsense and avoid the things that truly mean something. Like people. Like clients. Like paying attention to our own businesses. We don’t say what we mean or mean what we say. We’re afraid to say no. And we have the audacity to sit at the end of the day and wonder Where did the time go?

I’ll tell you where the time went. It went to a black hole of hedgehog-related ridiculousness on Pinterest. It went to clicking on everyone of those stupid Facebook notification emails you get when one of your “friends” posts on your wall or likes your post. It went to Troll Beads, the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, and whatever other flavor of porn you indulge in to cheat yourself out of doing things that matter and making progress. And I know that every moment we live doesn’t have to be of earth-shattering import, but we owe it to ourselves to be honest, be humble, and participate. And the bullshit way you’re running your day isn’t doing any of those things.

Christ, Erika — I get it. The way I run my day is bullshit. How can I fix it?

You can start by being honest with yourself. Here’s what honest is looking like for me these days:

I’ve been honest about what I needed to do in order to:

And on to being humble

Never forget that the reason you get to do what it is you love doing every day is because of the people for whom you do it. Your customers, clients, kids, spouse, family, colleagues…they’re the reason. Quit running your life like a Wells Fargo, Netflix, or one of these other Silicon Valley assholes that jumps first and asks later for forgiveness. Privacy policy, anyone?

Step 1 towards humility: Stop believing your own press

You are not “too good” for anything. Everyone has something to contribute to the conversation. And while we all might have people who fully deserve this t-shirt, the only reason we ever have a hope of getting better in this life is thanks to the input of others. I don’t care if you’re a bootstrapped startup or a Fortune 50 behemoth. You are never too big to fail. So why not dial-back your grandiose thinking to a level where you’re not only willing to look towards others for their input and support, but look forward to the process?

Step 2 towards humility: Clean out your life

This means clutter. And by clutter, I mean people. We’re willing to tune into episode after episode of Hoarders and will spend rainy Sunday afternoons cleaning out our basements, but when is the last time you cleaned-out the people in your life?

I believe that people pass through our lives for a reason. Every one of them. It might be only for a moment, but we emerge better on the other side of out interactions with them. That is, if we choose to learn. I don’t think we can ever move on, but I’ve become a huge advocate and believer in moving forward. Moving on implies that we pretend things never happened, dooming us to reliving our past mistakes. Moving forward means we carry experiences with us, empowering us to screw up in new and glorious ways.

And sometimes, moving forward means leaving people behind who clutter-up our lives. They’re the ones who don’t believe in us. Who bring us down. They take us for granted. The ones we allow to steal our most precious asset of time. And I know my life is  a better place for having revisited my definition of “friend” after Facebook so successfully blurred the lines by making friendship something that’s available with a click.

Stop worrying about whom you’ll offend and start honoring yourself by giving yourself the room to be humble and develop relationships in every aspect of your life that matter. There are people who need to go. You know who they are. Load up the catapult and get to launching.

And we must participate

The way you’re running your day makes you feel like your participating, but you aren’t. You’re firing off emails and phone calls, feeling as if you’re getting something done when all you’re doing is going through the motions. We can only participate when we’re already indulging in honesty and humility, because participating isn’t about us — it’s about the people we allow inside our lives.

When we fill our days with all of this easy-to-access, mindless bullshit, we’re missing out on humans. Ecards can’t replace friendships. Emails can’t take the place of sitting in front of a colleague or client and hashing something out.

Participating is about people, not motion.

Participating is about action. And shit howdy, it requires a bit of time to fully participate. I don’t know about yours, by my best days are the ones where:

A conversation yesterday — one where I was participating (on uncomfortable levels) — yielded a thanks from someone for our relationships that was open and devoid of bullshit. My response was this:

Bullshit & openness: Lacking one gives people the privilege of practicing in the other, methinks.

The participation that resulted in this day-long conversation was the best part of my day. And not because I whipped out some poignant response to discourse on bullshit and openess.

It’s because I liked having this type of conversation. And I realized that the only way I’ll continue to have conversations like these is to participate.

So, maybe you want to win a book

Which is why you “participated” in this blog post for so long, right? Share a comment with me about the biggest change you’ve either MADE or ARE GOING TO MAKE to dispense with the bullshit way you’re running your day. I’ll pick one response, based on “likes” from other readers in the comments, at noon MT this Friday. You’ll win a copy of Jason Womack’s Your Best Just Got Better. Thanks for participating and for being a huge part of what keeps me humble.

78 comments
Bhaskar Sarma
Bhaskar Sarma

I am pretty sure I am not in time for the book but this post was just so good I had to jump in and comment. First thing. Tough conversations are good. The other day I had a miscommunication issue with a long term client that could have poisoned our relationship. I talked the tough talk, stuff involving trust and letting things go and apologies and you know, it all worked out. My client understood that it was an honest mistake and I didn't have to go to a shrink to work on my resentment (Kidding . I would probably watch the LOTR triology and tell myself "One does not simply get depressed over what a client says") So we are good now. Second, MIT works. I have an app called joesgoals.com which lets me make a simple list and tick off stuff that I want to do for the day. Whenever I don't use this tool my day resembles what New Orleans might have looked once Katrina's floodwaters receded. Another mental thing which I have used to make my day productive is the "What's your legacy" question. I read this in a Jonathon Fields post and that has resonated with me. So this is the question that I ask myself every night before I turn out the lights. If I get a good answer, next day is rinse and repeat. If not, change the bathwater  

JanethD
JanethD

Great article, and thanks for the comment Mike. I am reading it now. 

Laura Roth
Laura Roth

Oh my. I have just spent a good 20 minutes reading comments after this article. Reading comments looking for new friends to fill the void of all the friends I kick out of my life today.... Be careful--don't sever relationships worth reprogramming. If it's a friend worth keeping but you're sick of the bullshit--Tell them. Make a pact to not suck the soul out of each other and if that doesn't work, then it's time to say "bye-bye". As for facebook--get real. It's fucking facebook. I pride myself on the fact that I forget to check it more often and I secretly smile when I apologize to "friends" who criticize me for not checking it more often. Twitter--never heard of it. Not really, but I have yet to book a flight on the bluebird's itinerary. I like real people, which does mean I weed out people who suck positive energy from my soul but I'm always open to people who contribute positive energy to myself and the cosmic air around me--and sometimes that takes some time and some listening. I've acquired many a unexpected friendships and writing jobs just listening to people I meet in dive bars, Target check-out lines and mindless hours at high school wrestling tournaments. My point is, sure wrap yourself up in yourself and move forward (not on) but don't forget the human spirit which presents itself in some of the most unexpected places, real places not cyberspace. MY advice--Get out there. Go to a used bookstore and strike up a conversation with the owner. If you like to drink (who doesn't) go to a dive bar alone and talk to the people around you. If you don't already smoke, consider taking up the habit and hang out with the people outside and join the conversation--some of the most interesting and creative people are those slowly killing themselves while striking up thoughtful conversation on a smoking patio. If you don't smoke (good for you) try this little experiment--go outside to the patio and hang out anyway. My point--don't wrap yourself up in yourself so much that you neglect to notice and join the human scurry happening all around you. Sure a lot of its bullshit, but a lot of it is real and it's saturated with interesting people, creative prowess, and professional opportunity. If your not finding human connection in real time, then maybe you just need to find new spaces to hang...  

Sylvia
Sylvia

Thanks for the bitch slap! It's so easy to shift the blame to that which "drains" your day....when all along, WE are the ones who voluntarily, allow it to happen. Tomorrow, Friday, I will detach from that which wastes my time. Thank you!!!!

Danelle Wettstein
Danelle Wettstein

I've started every day in February with a list of MITs. Made from 1) upcoming meetings in the calendar that I need to prep for and 2) my most pressing projects. And I cleaned out my Google Reader. Lots of great information, but so much crap. I think I killed half the subscriptions. And I don't miss them.

michellelamar
michellelamar

I love you.  And when I say those three words I mean it in the true "I wish I could be as smart and funny as you" sense and not in the "Smiley face/lol/stupid bullshit banter of social media" kind of way.  You made me spew my drink all over my keyboard while at the same time wishing I could be at a dive bar with you RIGHT NOW.  You are just that awesome.  This.Post.Rocks.   You rock and I can't wait to read your book.

Jess Kinghorn
Jess Kinghorn

We run our own business and I also run an ovarian cancer nonprofit event in SLC. I just realized that I can still be quite responsive to requests, questions, rants about the event if the e-mails go to their own special "I can wait until Jess has more time" Inbox. Doing it this way, I increase my focus, get more real work done and spend less overall time answering e-mails. Win-win.

Andrew Mueller
Andrew Mueller

Love this post....Now going to wake up at 5AM to start my day and eat my frogs for breakfast!

Rich Bonn
Rich Bonn

Great post.  The changes that I have made most recently to help me through busywork are: 1) Prior to finishing my work for the day, I write up my execution plan for the first hour of the next day (those are my big things.)  I plan out my 1st 10 phone calls, print whatever needs to be reviewed. 2) Time blocking with Whitespace.  Whitespace is amazing.  It helps my timeblocking be more efficient and realistic.  It gives me time in case projects run over or appointments run late. 3) Email, facebook, twitter, texts, and inbound phone calls are relegated to two hours per day.  The rest of the day, I set the tempo!

zoeSocial
zoeSocial

I do a hard-core intense work-out (at home, not a gym) every morning. Like you said, I need to focus on me first. I kick-my ass physically and the rest of my day falls into place. I look better, I feel better, my confidence and energy levels are high - I'm ready for anything! The workouts are amazing and so is the community - check it out at www.bodyrock.tv

Rabih Najjar
Rabih Najjar

I'm the happiest at work when I don't look at any administrative piece of paper and just hang out with my staff and customers. I've taken 3 days of the week and 90% of my day being out there. Shaking hands, catching up on family stories, thanking customers, supporting my employee's decisions.  I feel accomplished yet as I write this I'm angered that I used to put such a higher priority on getting my own shit done over the people.

Amelia Morrison Hipps
Amelia Morrison Hipps

Erika, Thanks to you, I decided to own my own owl, or in my case, hippo, in 2012. The past six weeks have been exhilarating, frustrating, eye-opening and down right scary. However, I haven't been so sure of any decision in many years in both my heart and head as I was the decision to start Capitol Newswatch, LLC with my husband. Favorable responses are beginning to translate into contracts. So thanks, Erika, for shooting straight and inspiring me to take a hard look at what I want for my life - both personally and professionally. Your words helped me to find to the courage to take a true leap of faith and move forward with my dream. That said, your column today again hit home, especially about cleaning out your life. The most eye-opening aspect of leaving my former position as the managing editor of a community-based newspaper has been discovering who are my real friends and who were my friends because of the former position I held. I always knew there are people who "liked" me because of what I could do for them because of my position. Walking away from that position really showed me who I can count on today as a true friend. And you know what, it has been truly liberating to cut out those who could really, deep-down care less about me. Years ago, I cut out of my life a 2o-plus year friend because it became apparent that the only time I heard from her was when her life was in a crisis. When things were running smoothly, I never heard from her, and when I would initiate contact, she never had time to talk and repeatedly broke promises to call back and/or visit. Finally, I had enough and ended the friendship. Did it hurt? Yeah. Do I miss her? Yeah. Was she healthy for me? No. I made the decision because I believe I'm too precious to hold onto those who are toxic to me. Does that make me sound arrogant and too important for my britches? I don't really care if others think so. What is important to me is my family, friends and clients who believe in me and support my efforts to grow and become the best I can be both personally and professionally – even to the point of being brutally honest and giving me a bitch slap when I need one. I, too, agree that people come into our lives for a season or a purpose, and that many of us don't recognize this fact and often try too hard for too long to hang on them. Some are meant to be a part of our lives forever, but generally, those people are few in number. For our own sanity, we need to recognized who falls into that category and hold them close and cherish what they bring into our lives. Equally important is recognizing those whose season has past and let them go. By cleaning out those who bring negative energy into our lives, we open up space in our lives to those individuals who sincerely care, who want only the very best for us and who are willing to cut out the BS and get to the heart of the matter directly and honestly for our own good. And, personally, I'd rather have more room in my life for those type of individuals than the other.

Cindy
Cindy

Great post, Erika.  Love this:  Moving on implies that we pretend things never happened, dooming us to reliving our past mistakes. Moving forward means we carry experiences with us, empowering us to screw up in new and glorious ways.

Jeff Savastano
Jeff Savastano

This may be the best thing I have read in a long while.  Thanks for being so frank.  I'm buried under useless emails and need to reduce the number of accounts and inbound messages.  It reminds me of a past job where meetings were run from 8AM until 6PM.  No one did anything EXCEPT attend meetings.  I started to skip them and became more productive.  It's time to start skipping the hypnotic pull of someone's BS email message.

Emily Merkle
Emily Merkle

Do you have a tip hotline? Amnesty? Self Help book on demonstrating value you truly want to yield for good?

jewelfry
jewelfry

I painted sections of my desk with chalkboard paint. Everyday I write a list of what has to be done that day.  I make notes and keep track of projects. Because it's chalkboard I erase and clean it often which means things have to get done. It works and it saves paper.

Emily Merkle
Emily Merkle

Bullshit can be monetized pretty damn well. Zuckerberg! Genius!

Jay Kulpa
Jay Kulpa

Thank you - getting this in my inbox was EXACTLY what I needed to read today. The SO and I have been having an ongoing conversation, running about five days now, about how scattered our focus has gotten. There's so much we say we want to do and then we look back to discover we've pinged inbetween all our different accounts, just wasting time.  He's about to offer his laptop for getting shot in youtube videos and I'm getting completely burned out on my job/jobhunt (social media) and ready for a reboot. Thanks for the slap, and the kick in the ass.

@keithprivette
@keithprivette

So one of the biggest changes I made is work is focus time to get the project I am implemented. no distractions (well maybe an occasional one), but much more focused than I ever have been. Also it has only been 2 days now since #beonfire, but bought a new notebook and started making my important life tasks a day. This is focusing on balancing life and work.  There are still non-work things I like helping out with. So far so good. Now I give you full permission to call and check up on me, only if it shows up on your MIT... ASS KICKED by #beonfire!

Victoriataylor0
Victoriataylor0

It's been two long years of change ... starting with kicking out my ex, who enjoyed his days thinking up things to criticize me about while I slaved at a full-time job and three home-based businesses:  running an organic poultry farm, developing, promoting and SELLING all-natural therapeutic products for people and pets and a fledgling career as a freelance writer (including self-publishing and promoting five children's books).  Shame on me ... for 20-years I drug that anchor and finally realized that if I just let go I could swim the ocean at light speed without expending one iota of extra energy. Moved to a new home with property-mates (should be okay, right?  After all, we'd been friends for 30-years).  What a huge mistake!  Learned that I simply can no longer tolerate the insipid excuses others invent to give themselves permission not to take the reins of their own lives.  While I was trying to wrap my head and heart around walking out on such a long-term "friendship" I fell and broke my knee and wrist and then developed breast cancer.  Nothing like being sidelined for a few weeks to make you look -- really look -- at what's not working in your life.  And at this point I realized that making the right decision meant life or death for me.  So .... As I progressed through post-surgical chemo, I found a fabulous new home and moved away from the prison that I had created for myself ... who needs friends who spend their time thinking of ways to criticize you or of new "problems" that you need to solve for them?  After all, these folks are relatively able-bodied and retired -- they've got the whole day to do something -- even one thing -- positive and not self-absorbed.  Good luck with that. I'm still working full-time and looking forward to getting my final chemo cycle tomorrow.  Since my move six weeks ago I've once again taken up freelance writing for a former associate half a world away, have begun filling orders for my therapeutic product line, became a non-denominational Ordained Minister to mark the milestones in lives of others, and started working one day a week at an esoteric center where I teach, perform therapeutic massage, perform readings and sell a wide range of *magical* products. I've lightened my load by nearly a dozen people I'd previously thought I couldn't do without (or thought they couldn't do without me) and am seriously cautious about welcoming anyone into my inner circle.  I'm too busy for other people's BS ... go rain on someone else's parade; I'm marching to the cadence of my OWN drum for a change!

Elle
Elle

I moved to another state to pursue my second degree in a field I had no previous training in but loved the work I was doing. I wanted every opportunity to get as far as I could. I had an unhealthy routine in my previous existence that involved a lot of sitting around, a lot of internet, a lot of time spent with people who - while lovely people - were not interested in moving forward the way I was. So I made the big jump to move on. We live in an age where I can maintain the relationships that were most important to me, but I am no longer part of the daily do-nothing routine. I've made work priorities lists and I only take breaks when enough work has been accomplished for me to have truely deserved a break. So one big change - the biggest of my life - has cut out so much bullshit, has made me feel more focused and excited about something than I have been in a long time, and has given me the creative energy to keep following my learning and goals in other creative ways in my down time. Thanks for always posting great stuff. I always link my boyfriend to you because he's in the early stages of his own design/communications business.

Mary
Mary

Tomorrow I will close Outlook, my browser, put my phone on do not disturb, and call my favorite client whom I haven't checked on in far too long and make sure they are happy with the service my company provides. And hopefully the conversation will go to the place where I can ask for a referral to someone else who can use our service.

Laurie Lamoureux
Laurie Lamoureux

My 2012 NY resolution was to Speak Up and Stop Avoiding Confrontation (because NOT speaking up is BS, too). So last week, I sucked up my courage and told someone I was disappointed that they were paying less attention to their core competency and becoming our competitor.  My comment led to a conversation; and that led to a new working relationship with their company in which we both do what we're good at for the benefit of our soon-to-be mutual clients!

Cordelia
Cordelia

A to the Men! This year, I resolve to dispense with the bullshit of undervaluing my own time and talent.  Yes, I may be a newb freelancer, but you know what?  I'm still Damn Good at it. I don't need to hem and haw about charging my clients a fair rate, because I am worth what I am asking for.  I don't  need to get all sheepish before firing off a quote to a potential new client, because if they're not willing to pay what I'm worth, then I shouldn't be wasting my time with them. I am done with content mills. I am done with "if that works for you--I'm HAPPY to negotiate!!!" I am done with selling myself short, literally. I am, of course, humble and open to working fairly with people who also want to work fairly with me.  But I won't let myself underestimate myself.  I can do this.  I have done it.  Moving on...

Rick Copper
Rick Copper

Yep. Good slap. I learned this "madness" by stepping off life's wheezing smog-filled treadmill. Yep. Bowed out of my job… and then organized. Get up, get to my "office" (local roast-their-own coffee shop) no later than 7:30 (6:30 on days I take my uber-talented son to the train so he can go to the performing arts high school). Write/edit/create and talk to my artist folk from then until Noonish up until 2pm. Home. Nap with dogs. Get up, get going on consultant work. Work until 5:30 or so, take care of my two teenagers. Get. Off. The. Couch. Stop listening to what other people say about things being too "complicated/hard/impossible/too many walls. etc." Your cell phone is not a lifeline. I have teenagers so I never shut it off. However I have the ability to ignore it. Plus I made up phrases to send to callers such as "too sane to talk right now." AND - good point - cut the bullshit. BE HONEST. Takes way less tim to be honest than it is to remember a lie. You are full of awesomeness Red.

Adrienne Preuss
Adrienne Preuss

I need to stop living by my @ replies, likes, and comments and just go about my day. It must be something about wanting affirmation that what I'm posting is good, but seeing it when I've finished accomplishing something that's actually USEFUL won't make it feel any less pleasing. Thanks for the giveaway. 

Janine
Janine

I have a rule that my friends get to vent about any problem for 20 minutes, one time. Then the question becomes, "and what are you going to do to fix this?" This rule applies to me most of all. What's funny is that I never have to tell them the rule, they're just used to interacting with me this way.

Judy
Judy

Great post! I start each day by writing (by hand in a journal) in the method recommended by Julia Cameron, author of "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity." By doing this, I clear my mind of all the bullshit that is fogging my thinking and blocking what really matters. After my morning musings, I can move on and focus on what I need to do to move forward. I'm also a list maker. Making a list kinetically commits me to getting things done. Phone calls, email, Twitter, etc. just can't compete with a completed list in the FEEL GOOD category!

cmejam aka Shawn Scott
cmejam aka Shawn Scott

Thank you Erika may I have another? Because frankly I'm in the crosshairs of the TRUTH SCAR scenario.  You know, the one where, when I walk far enough away to see it right-sized I can tell if it was caused by a scalpel or a jackhammer?  I prefer scalpel, but my procrastination gene keeps flagging down that effing sweaty plumbers-butt lookin jackhammer dude.

Mickey
Mickey

a change i've made: as i get older, more mature (?) and comfortable with who i am, i call people on their bullshit as well as ask them to do the same for me. i always TRY to "keep it real" to avoid misunderstandings. since being diagnosed with MS, i no longer have the patience (not that i had much to start with) or time for the interpersonal games we play with others or, most especially, ourselves. i believe i do OK with this. i may have lost a few "friends" but, i'm guessing, they couldn't be as real as i, yet, and i can do without that, anyway.... i'm always a work-in-progress and i'm ok with that, as long as i'm progressing!

Carole
Carole

I don't know that I have anything specific to bowl you over with, though obviously, winning the book would be nice. I just want to tell you that I feel like I can breathe again, because you made me realize I've been spending way too much time lately on things that are important (club newsletter, etc.), but that aren't promoting my business anywhere I want it to go. I'd been feeling overwhelmed about getting all this stuff done, when in fact, the only part that NEEDS to get done is the business stuff. I felt as if I was holding my breath, or gasping for breath, from running so hard, when in fact... I can exhale...aaaaaahhhh....when you cut out the clutter, life gets a lot simpler and easier to do. As always, thanks for the slap.

Alcott
Alcott

Thanks I needed a kick in the a** today.  It's so easy to waste time that "feels" like work but is no better than sitting on the couch eating bon bons. Someone also reminded me this week the only way to work on your business is make the time, even though I rolled my eyes, that person was right.  Sitting around saying "I don't have enough time." is bullshit.  I realized what a victim I let myself become, thanks for the reminder today - no victims, no excuses.

Rochelle Mitchell-Miller
Rochelle Mitchell-Miller

Practicing humility, true humility, not the "aww shucks" bullshit-but-in-my-mind-I-know-I'm-awesome humility. Truly being humbled by what I do as a collective with those I work with for the improvement of other peoples lives. Difficult when you run a non-profit humanitarian organization and people already think you're a Mother Theresa type.

Vicki
Vicki

I made a commitment to myself to make ONE high value phone call every day.  Not to say I can't or won't do more, but I WILL make one.  This one shift led to an immediate increase in my business.

Darle J. Dawson
Darle J. Dawson

Line from a recent e-mail to my best friend of ten years, wherein I recognize (with humility and as bare a soul could ever be) I've been lying to myself.  A lot.  And telling myself I like it.  Ick.):   "I'm not having an issue regarding fitting in; my issue is redefining acceptable limits of bullshit - including my own. What I choose to believe of others' and the lies I tell myself". And that is where it begins.  An incident two weekends ago (insulting, brazen, immature) brought my former fuzzy logic of accepting unacceptable stuff clean into focus and my brain snapped to attention so hard it's a lucky thing I'm not in a wheelchair.  Stay present.   Stay real.  Keep it in check.  (Change what I can about myself and see others for what they are - limitations and glorious boundaries and all.)  The part about staying present is key. Here.  And.  Now.

adam
adam

I've finally started being honest with people, telling them what I think and purging them from my life (and facebook friends) if necessary. 

Jason Ramsey
Jason Ramsey

If I 'Participate' in one  more thing I think my head will explode.

Jim Brochowski
Jim Brochowski

My word, what I'm working on for 2012, (I actually started working on it in October) is resolve. I spend a lot of time talking about what "I'm gonna" do and very little on actually doing, i.e. resolving. This year I'm doing. That pile of crap on my desk is down from 2 towers to 2 notebooks, (about that size) and I'm not done yet. I'm resolving things and not letting other crap get in the way. This has put my LinkedIn account and Twitter feed on life support, my Facebook wall runs in streaks,   and my blog has seen one post all year. But I have gotten a ton of stuff done, actually accomplished.. and it feels awesome!

Mkreinhardt1
Mkreinhardt1

Go get some Probiotics - it will help with the food poisoning AND replenish what the antibiotics have wiped out.  AS for answering the blog - I have to kick my ass, read it again and figure shit out.

Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA
Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA

Ok Erika, I'm on your team... I want to see you: Launch 2 books Take care of scaling my business (and considering I just wrote a book that deals with the subject, I need to eat my own dog food — and now) Give myself time to live — as the people in my life and my interactions with them remain the most important thing I’ll ever be rewarded with during my time on this glassy blue ball.

Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA
Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA

  Barbara, I have been using this as a metric with the clients I work with. I sit down, and before they get to tell me about them, their history, their success/failures, I ask: "What Makes You Money?" Changes everything!

Barbara E
Barbara E

On days when I "deprive" myself of something I really love to get MIT's done, like not being able to jump onto Facebook until I've booked 3 shows, makes me work like a hedgehog on crack.  I get an amazing amount done in short order.  And it's easy to say I'm on Facebook to promote my business so I'd better post 5 times a days.  But, if I want to make a sustainable plan for my work day I'm going to need to take your advice and map out my day first thing in the morning.  I'll bet I can still schedule time for bullshit like FB, Pinterest (awesome boards, BTW) and other what-nots AFTER I get the things done that will line my bank account.  My new mantra - If it doesn't make me money it's just bullshit.

James Taylor
James Taylor

Erica, For my part, I needed to take out the garbage I was carrying around. Sometimes people don't like how I do business, and I needed to go find people who support my method, and learn to step back from those who throw rocks. Realizing that most people who throw you under the bus are just hiding their own fears and inaddequacies (sp?) from the world is liberating, leaving you to concentrate on your own system. SOme days are better than others at following my own advice of course, but if you invest in you, your rewards become the ones that matter to your life. Incidently, your blog helps me to see how many other leaders think irreverently and practice excellence in spite of being themselves!

Mike Sobol
Mike Sobol

Great question. My biggest changes have been twofold: 1. I start the day with creative action. Not planning. Not reading the news. Not reacting to emails. Not checking off to do items. I work on new ideas. It's energizing, helps me set my own priorities, and I ensure that I'm the one who benefits from my best thinking. As an added benefit, I find that I am more likely to go to bed thinking about what I want to work on in the morning, rather than the pile of things I "have to" do. 2. What I can handle right now is enough. In fact, it's everything. Action is only taken in the moment, and the more time I spend on productive action, no matter how small, the more progress I make every day, week and month. I've cold called and made sales before a website was even done, because I couldn't make the developer work faster, but I could make that call. Who cares about appearances or perfect planning? Waiting for your ducks to line up in a neat little row is a sure way to spend your life waiting. I once held a leadership position in which hundreds turned to me for guidance and advice. Striking out on my own, the authority that came with that nominal title evaporated, and I longed to get it back.  As soon as I stopped giving a shit about how to get it, and unapologetically focused on what I need, I found that there is an endless supply of people willing to give it to me. Two developers are working on a couple of my projects for equity instead of cash, writers are calling for work, clients are grateful, not demanding... life got easier because I had enough of making it hard.

Stacey Graham
Stacey Graham

I forgot to find my phone yesterday. I couldn't believe how much I'd gotten accomplished by ignoring the gobs of texts I get a day. Now to cull facebook from the herd.  ;) Great post!

Emily Merkle
Emily Merkle

I would be willing to wager that your favorite client - after being fed and watered with sincere appreciation for all the money they have wired you willingly on time and over time - will not only e more than happy to refer you to a potential opportunity - but will do so without your request. People who are professional and exceptional at what they do are people that I want to e associated with. They are not always the Experts or such - hell some cannot even figure out how to not offend people in their crusade - but when you know it and them - they make you look good. So I hear. I hope. Oh and numbers and logic - hard to argue with.

The Redhead
The Redhead

I think that might be a factor of feeling obligated versus investing, no? :)

Barbara E
Barbara E

Thanks Jason!  I actually let a few calls go to voice mail and shut down email during my time carved out for money-making activities today.  Felt liberating.  And ya know what?  No one was upset that they didn't reach me immediately and were happy to chat when I called them back later during MY allotted time.  Show me the money!!

The Redhead
The Redhead

We should lose our phones more often :)

Jason Ramsey
Jason Ramsey

You are correct. Now I just need to participate in working on that.

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  1. [...] amok in this digital playground, smashing all those neatly outlined task lists to bits. In fact, a rip-snorting post from Erika Napoletano gave me just the swift kick in the ass that I needed to snap myself out of a [...]

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  6. [...] New wisdom acknowledges that to move forward, we think about “leaving people behind who clutter-up our lives,” as Redhead Writing advises. [...]

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  8. [...] It is an article by my crusty, foul-mouthed, and respected peer, Erika Napoletano titled “The Part Where I Kick Your Ass“. Maybe you need your ass kicked, [...]