Bi-Weekly Newsletter

February 27, 2017

Snow & Video

I wanted to share two breakthroughs with you.

Both happened in a span of 12 hours for me.

We had some heavy snowfall and one evening my wife Emilia placed a shovel in my hands and commanded that I go and clean up the driveway because she'd had enough.

I had a pretty busy day, so having a short physical break seemed like a good idea.

The first couple of minutes were great!

It felt like real winter!

Snow! Stars! Red shovel! Just great, right?

Well, a few more minutes in, I started getting tired of tossing around heavy wet snow.

A few more minutes later, I had a vision.

I tried imagining Bill Gates with a red snow shovel in the middle of his quest to build Microsoft into the software empire that it is. 

It wasn't working. 

I could see him do many things, but shoveling snow wasn't one of them—especially since I knew how futile my attempts were as more snow was expected overnight.

Don't get me wrong, after reading piles of books and attending months' worth of seminars, I knew everything I need to know about the value of my time and the virtues of delegation and outsourcing. I've been preaching this concept myself for years!

Yet, here I was with that repulsive red shovel and my back aching.

I tried again to see Mr. Gates cleaning up his driveway—not even because he'd want a clear driveway, but because local regulations called for prompt snow removal.

When that image did not conjure up, I tossed away the shovel and came home, went straight to my computer and found someone on craigslist, who 20 minutes later showed up at my doorstep with a snowplow—and cleared the entire driveway and the surrounding road in less than 10 minutes!

I don't know if this was the best $80 I've ever spent, but if's up there.

That same night, as I was celebrating my growth as a business owner who finally said no to snow shoveling, I realized that I was falling behind on my plan to launch the Kick-Ass Brands Show. (Yes, we're getting closer to launching the first few episodes!)

I opened my Adobe Premiere and started building the intro. 

At about 2:30am, after spending about 3 hours and getting nowhere fast, I said to myself, "I'm done! No more." 

I spent the next 30 minutes writing a very detailed description of what I needed done and posting the gig on UpWork. 

When I woke up the next morning, I had a lineup of very experienced video editors for me to pick from. By 9pm that day, I was reviewing the entire first episode of the show.

This reminded me of the way I hired our web developer, Vitaly. 

As you know, I am pretty good at coding. In fact, I wrote the code for the first version of the Trademark Factory® website myself, including the script that generates a personalized contract between Trademark Factory® and our clients.

The great thing about coding is that, unlike law, you get instant gratification when you're done. With coding—you run the code and it either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't you fix it until it does. When it does, you celebrate.

With law, you do the work—and wait. And wait. In the best case scenario, you find out whether what you've done is any good days later. Sometimes months.  Sometimes years. Sometimes, you never get to find out.

I like instant gratification as any other man, but one night, I was coding until 5am, and for the first time in my life I caught myself thinking, "I'd rather be sleeping now." 

I went to bed without finishing the code—and hired Vitaly a few days later. He's been a full-time developer with Trademark Factory® for 3 years now.

And the moral of the story is, yes, I can do a decent job writing code, editing videos, and even shoveling snow. But I'd much rather focus on high-income, high-impact, or high-enjoyment activities—and pay someone else to help me with everything else.

If this sounds self-evident, let me ask you a question, what did YOU do in the last 48 hours that you wish somebody else did for you?