Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

There Is No Seinfeld Calendar

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Yesterday, Jerry Seinfeld did what is called an AMA, which stands for “Ask Me Anything”. He hopped on Reddit, thousands of users peppered him with questions. My curiosity piqued not because I’m a fan, although Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is awesome, but because of his productivity secret: The Amazing Seinfeld Calendar.

Except it’s all a lie.

Jerry Seinfeld didn’t come up with this idea! He didn’t even reply when asked if he used it. For all we know now he has never tried it and someone at Lifehacker just made the whole thing up! Vicious lies! Although, there is another possibility. Seinfeld may have heard of someone doing it, passed along the information thoughtlessly and forgot about it. This happened to me many years back.

But it doesn’t matter.

As it stands, I come across the term “Seinfeld Calendar” at least once a week. Usually there is “Don’t Break the Chain” somewhere in there. These terms are near and dear to me, as they are the power behind my motivation and direction. I’ll be very clear about my sentiment: Without the chains methodology I would be miserable and disappointing myself.

I’m not miserable, though, far from it. I’m more optimistic about my future than I’ve ever been. I believe I’m on the verge of doing truly great work, to stumbling upon the missing pieces that allow me to fully unlock my potential.

This is why it kills me when I hear people say they’re using any don’t break the chain system, mine or not, to track drinking water or some other mundane task. These systems work because it isn’t tracking a task, it encourages small, daily steps towards a specific goal with immediate feedback.

The power of What Next

My most rewarding and impactful daily goals are very simple:

  • List tasks for tomorrow
  • Tasks for today complete

At the closing of every day, I decide what I should do the next day. I decide on a task betters me; specific, important items to invest in myself. I fervently believe that it is my responsibility to devote time to improve me. This may mean working on the Daily Practice as an extension of myself, my writing or some other task. This is the important but not urgent. While I may be listing a task, the goal is to improve myself. The goal is what matters.

Then I have to answer if I didn’t complete it. These are two streaks I don’t want to break, but for different reasons.

The importance of commitment

When I write down what needs to be done tomorrow I am promising myself something. I’m promising myself that I won’t have an excuse. I won’t get to blow this off. I am investing in myself, maybe only a few minutes. I am deciding what a small part of my future looks like, one day at a time. I’m creating a window to improve, an opportunity for growth. I just need to do it, which is often times easier than deciding what to do.

The importance of follow-up

When I am forced to check off what I did or, unfortunately, break a streak it informs me of my capabilities. Did I have a good reason to falter? Was I just tired? Was I just lazy? Was I afraid? Sometimes I am tired or lazy. Rarely am I afraid, but as I write a book and stretch my boundaries those moments are more frequent.

I hate these moments. At the end of the day when I have a black or white option to answer to myself I must be honest. Having to face the answer, and acknowledge that maybe I was afraid is hard. But that difficulty is often times incentive enough to pick myself up and finish what I promised.

This is the power of daily tracking. It’s about making today better than yesterday. My tomorrow-self will be able to do what is impossible today. While, I’m sorry to learn that Seinfeld didn’t popularize this method, I’m happy it worked out that way. It was an inspiring story and I’m glad it spread. His name and the story gave it credibility, and without credibility it wouldn’t have caught on or been so motivating.

It’s worth noting my original inspiration came from the Bowkett Calendar, a derivative of the now-misnamed Seinfeld Calendar. The name Daily Practice is a hat-tip to James Altucher, who advocates taking small steps as well.

A Successful January

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I’ve never been big on New Years. Neither the celebrations nor the resolutions. Last night, like previous years, I was asleep by 10pm. I am a curmudgeon, just the way I like it! When the kids are older, I’ll probably take them out to watch the fireworks. For now I get to enjoy the benefits of their young age, which suits me well.

However, it’s still the start of a brand new month, which means a brand new challenge!

A Brief Recap

In December, I tried in earnest to describe my purpose. I sat down for at least 15 uninterrupted minutes each day (except Christmas) and thought about it.

In November, I wrote 20,000 words describing my thoughts about how to leverage social sciences in the tech sector. I targeted 15,000 words but went way over.

In October, I reached out and had conversations with interesting people. It was a fantastic experience and I met some awesome people.

In August, I published a post every day. It tested my preparation, planning and endurance to keep things going. It was rewarding to do, but I didn’t notice much benefit (in quality, readership, or enjoyment).

January: Putting it all together.

In December, I realized something about myself. Most of what I work on I simply don’t really care if it hits mainstream. I built my daily habit tracker for me, and it was awesome that other people used it. I’m very selfish.

As I wrote through November a vague discomfort deep inside started to form. As I thought through my purpose in December it grew into uncertainty. This feeling boiled inside me and I tried to not listen. But soon I had to acknowledge this part of me, and I did, but I could not label it. My wife and I spoke and it finally hit me. I want to produce something for other people.

I’m very proud of what I wrote. It aligns, as expected, with my purpose. These ideas mean nothing if I cannot share them, and share them successfully. This is where the challenge lies; I don’t know how to share successfully. My entire life has been building products that someone else defined, or building for myself that just allows others to tag along.

Build a landing page, test, learn.

I’m going to learn how to market. I’m not going to learn everything in a month, but I’ll learn enough. I can devote 20-30 hours of intense study this month, with trial and error and figure it out.

I’m turning what I wrote in November into an actual eBook. I’m planning on launching it as a Kindle Single, but it still is some time off. I have the content written, it needs organization, editing and all the other things you do when you turn a bucket of thoughts into a book.

But I need to test some things first. My December Challenge is to build a landing page, setup an email list, get traffic to it and get people to sign-up. Those who sign up will get pre-release chapters. This will validate the idea, premise and voice of the book.

But wait, there’s more! I’m also going to learn more about proper analytics. This has always been a sore spot that I’ve leaned heavily on others to setup. I’m going to be A/B testing slogans, cover ideas, and comparing what works and what doesn’t.


Success is at least 1,000 unique visitors (this may be too high?).

Testing at least 10 titles, bylines and copy to see what works and what doesn’t and record the comparisons.

Full analytics. I want to know the details of everything I can.

Notably, I’m not tracking conversion rates or anything. The end point here will be a mailing list signup, but I don’t know enough to gauge what a successful campaign would end up with. I could say I want 10% conversion but I don’t even know if that is reasonable. Is 5% reasonable? The success of January will be in discovering what are reasonable expectations for conversion, but not setting a goal.

What I need help with.

  • Book stuff. I read The APE Book and have a strategy for editing, sharing, getting a paid editor, cover, etc. If you know something I don’t (which is likely), let me know!
  • Slogans, bylines, copy! I’m doing this, but I don’t think I’m very good. If you like this sort of thing, email me or leave a comment and I’ll give you more details on what I’m doing.
  • Traffic and advertising ideas. I’m planning on finding the free coupons and just using Google AdWords, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. The book is targeting business and technology. I’m sure my ideas here are terrible.
  • Tips for Google Analytics (and maybe Heap). They’re free. I’m cheap. Google Analytics continues to boggle the mind, though.

If you have other ideas, want to help me success (or walk with me while I fail!), please email me! And, of course, Happy New Years!

December in Review

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My December Challenge was singularly focused and a bit different than previous challenges. I thought it would be easier, and I knew that with the holidays, my anniversary and all other events it would be hard to do an endurance challenge (like my favorite, the August challenge of posting every day).

My December Challenge was to clearly and articulately define:

What is my purpose?

I felt going into 2014 I need to have a single goal that helped guide my actions. I had already defined the 5 critical area’s of my life that I wanted to devote my energy towards, but that didn’t clearly lay out a path. My areas of focus are:

  • Pursuit of social and behavioral knowledge
  • Family
  • My Public Presence
  • Health
  • Build a sustainable business

As I wrote previously, it’s entirely easy to be too vague when discussing these matters. I could say that I’m going to build a business that supports well-being using knowledge! Except that’s what I’ve been trying, and it isn’t focused enough. It isn’t defined enough. A purpose transcends a business, it is the underlying motivation to undertake the irrationality that is starting something fresh and sharing it with the world.

A Small Confession

While I love building TDP and seeing the users, it has always served me. It was my tool, and it just maybe helped others. I didn’t realize how much I had felt this way, even though I love having a product out that people use. Having users feels good, but it doesn’t adequately change my usage or development of TDP.

As I was working through the exercises this month I realized how quick I am to discard completely legitimate requests because they aren’t how I use, or would use, TDP. This is why I suck at building a business, even if I can use a product I enjoy that gets some users.

This discussion came about since I’ve decided I really want to share what I wrote through October as a book. Talking about this with my wife I commented, “This is an odd feeling, right now. I actually have this fear. I want people to like it. I want people to read it. I’ve never felt that way, even with TDP and other projects—I haven’t cared if people like it.”

Her response was dead on:

That’s why you haven’t built a business yet.

So what is a purpose anyway?

A purpose in life is not rigid, it is fluid. It changes, because we change. A purpose does not give meaning to existence, it justifies the gift of the energy we possess.

Purpose is how I choose to manifest my meaning of the life I have.

It took me the better part of the month to figure out how to define purpose. Let alone what I wanted to focus on. I started panicking as we got close to Christmas, because I was still oscillating and vague.

Fortunately, the week prior to Christmas was my wife and I’s 10 year anniversary. My parents graciously arranged a trip to San Diego and babysat our kids, so we got to take off for a few days. Spending a few days near the ocean, talking walks, thinking and talking about this was the best thing for me.

Aside from my wife, I asked the wisest friend I have, Jerry Colonna. He sent me a few books to read; it’s a special type of person that knows just the right books to help someone find the answers to their questions. I hope to some day be that friend and mentor. He gives me something to aspire towards.

Introducing: My Purpose

Ok, first I have some criteria to define. My purpose must be specific and targeted to an audience that I can directly interact with. This means very, very small. Lean Startup small.

I must be able to measure progress, and that means having tactics week over week, month over month, in which I can review and compare desired results versus active results.

This may make my purpose and goals seem underwhelming. I’d rather them be underwhelming and I achieve 70% success than to be amazing and achieve nothing.

Actually introducing My Purpose

My purpose is to be better and document exactly how. I want to talk to more people who also want to do this. I’ve been emailing with Andrew Tarvin and he’s been very encouraging. This is a guy who frames his life around asking, “What’s a quality day?”.

For 2014 I’m going to seek out more of these types of people. I’m going to find companies that want to do better but may not know exactly how. It isn’t about letting everybody work from home, or throwing everybody into an open floor plan (especially, don’t do this). I’m going to be more deliberate about this, tracking what I find works and doesn’t work.

This is my purpose now. It may not be in 2015. For now, this will do.

Don’t Love Your Job

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Choose a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

I am certainly not as insightful as Confucius but I think this statement is wrong. Not in the sense of accuracy but because such a powerful, and motivating statement is far too easy to misunderstand. I may just be sensitive now, because I blame this quote for setting me back in my pursuit of happiness, enjoyment and love.

I build software products and have been teaching myself how to write code since I was a small child. I love writing software. I don’t always love writing software while I am writing software. Did I choose the wrong job?

Pleasure. Enjoyment. What am I doing?

Pleasure, as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is merely the feeling that comes from satisfying a basic need. I’m hungry, I eat. I feel pleasure.

Enjoyment is something distinctly more human. Enjoyment comes from transcending the basic need and entering a realm of luxury. I may eat the same meal as someone else and experience pleasure. My dining companion, however, experiences enjoyment. It’s all in the mindset and perception. Were they exploring their senses, leveraging their imagination to discover what made the meal so good? If so, they were enjoying the meal. I was simply taking care of a basic need, one spoonful at a time.

But what does pleasure and enjoyment have to do with loving a job?

Love must grow, jobs don’t

Love is a touchy subject. People love the idea of love. Our fairy tales obsess over it and assume Happy Ever After. This is where Confucius leads us astray. Love is not a state of being; love is not like happiness. Love is not even an emotion. Love is an activity. Love requires enjoyment, otherwise it dies; pleasure alone is not enough to sustain love.

When you choose a job you love you must reinvest your energy to continuing to love it. Regardless of what Confucius says, that reinvestment is work. It’s hard work. Sometimes it’s terrible.

I experience this in software development and I’m sure it’s not much different in other professions. Things change so quickly. I have to spend hours each week reading through new ideas and new techniques. Many of them are just fads; fads that die within the month.

It’s inappropriate to think that love alone will keep away work like some good luck charm. There are no lucky rabbit foot here. Life is hard and requires work.

Choose a job you love, and you may enjoy the outcome of the required work. Without work there will no longer be any love for the job. This is not discouraging, or should not be. There is so much enjoyment to be had in the work itself if you aren’t chasing fairy tales.

Enjoyment begets creativity

Psychologists have long inspected the links between creativity and insight. I’ve even built a silly tool to test this notion, priming myself and others and seeing how quickly people traverse through problems of insight. While it’s completely unscientific, I’ve definitely observed that people in a positive state of mind perform better.

The best way to find ways to rejuvenate the love of your job is to first identify what problems you face. Write down the sources of discontent or obstacles. Next, find a pleasurable place to be and unleash the creative aspect of your mind upon what are likely trivial challenges.

Creativity begets enjoyment

When creativity and insight are leveraged to solve challenging problems we often times feel overjoyed. I’m not necessarily talking about the often quoted Flow. The other day I slogged through some thoroughly mundane work to get me back to a good place. I enjoyed the victory, but there wasn’t one moment that went by where I wasn’t wishing I were doing something different.

If it weren’t for stepping back and discovering creative ways to get through it, I may not have made it. I may have given up. If I gave up, I wouldn’t be doing a job I loved. I would have failed at that and it would be Confucius’s fault.

Three Biggest Questions

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For December, I am declaring one highest goal, one purpose.

We all seek higher purpose; but how many strive to define it in very specific terms? I know I failed at doing this, and feel compelled to at least try. This is a beacon to move towards, something that all my goals will connect to. This is a hard decision to make. I found it too easy to sidestep, I caught myself making useless, vague statements. I will share happiness!. On the other hand is a slippery slope bringing myself into a delusional state: I will solve world hunger!

This difficulty needs to be managed, and I resorted to my previous technique of starting with good questions. I’ve spent countless hours not trying to answer anything, just definingy exactly what questions I need to answer. I have finally settled on the following:

What do I devote my life focus on now?

Why is this the most important thing now?

How will I accomplish this, and how do I measure progress?

As I thought about these questions and my experiences in life a few answers began to form, but they’re young. I definitely want to leverage the results of my November challenge; I wrote a small (currently unedited) book about how social science can help companies operate more effectively.

I need to remember nothing I decide now is permanent. However, it requires real effort to commit and that commitment must be real. This is why it is critical to be able to assess progress, then I can knowingly change course.

I’m excited at the answers that are forming, and am most eager to start working on the How.

December Challenge

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My November challenge was to write something of a mini-ebook. I wanted to work more on a continuous, larger than a blog post, piece of work that required daily writing. The topic itself was something I’m strongly interested in. I wrote about how to apply the behavioral economics, social psychology and established coaching principles in tech companies.

Since I’ve never written such a long document, I didn’t really know what to expect or even the best way to measure success. Writing around 500 words a day doesn’t seem to strain me, so I multiplied that by 30 days and came up with 15,000 words to write through the month.

I hit that goal with a week to spare! Then I spent the last holiday weekend working on formatting it as an ebook. This was a great experience for me and I really enjoyed it. I’m conflicted on what to do with the book now, in terms of time and effort. I’m quite busy now; I’m worried about how much time I will spend trying to release the book.

I have plenty of time to figure the time allocation out, though! I’ll be continuing to edit and revise the book as I do want it released sooner rather than later. I’m not putting a time table on it until I get it cleaned up more.

And what about December?

December is a little different, and something I’m tremendously uncomfortable doing and it isn’t glamorous at all. I feel profoundly blessed, happy and grateful for my life. My life hasn’t been easy but it has been mine. The last few years have shown me not only how lucky I am but how many wonderful and interesting things there are in the world.

I want to push the boundaries of what we, as humans know and what we’ve done. Doctorate candidates get to do this with their thesis, for those of us not in the academic world this involves something substantially larger than just a product. I love working on Daily Practice but in the end, it’s just a product.

I need a goal, a focal point, that is higher than a product and even higher than any startup. I need a beacon in which to move forward in my life. For the first time in my life I feel enough clarity in who I am and who I want to be to clearly find it on a map. But I need to define it, and that’s hard. It’s so hard it’s my December challenge.

My challenges must have a measure of progress and success. This is a bit nebulous, but I have something. I’m going to dedicate a minimum of 15 uninterrupted minutes each day in reflection and thought. This will be very hard for me. I couldn’t even build a napping habit! Fortunately for me, unlike naps reflection can be done at any point in the day.

What does success look like? A mission statement, first and foremost. Clearly identifying what I hope to achieve in my life, an outline of the skills required and some thoughts of the tactics. It’s not enough to list “What is my ultimate goal?”, I need to also answer “Why is this important enough?” and “How will I achieve this?”

Chores in the 21st Century

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When I was a kid, around age 12, I wanted nothing more than to learn how to program. I was using BASIC but I craved something more. I knew about better languages, but little about how to learn them or even get started. Buying the software was prohibitively expensive. It was more reasonable to buy floppy disks and make some, ahem, backups from the local college. (As an aside, I’m sorry, Borland. I didn’t buy Borland C 3.1 which I learned so much on. I did buy 5.0, years later, after I was able to earn money from my programming abilities. I hope that makes us even.)

Instead, I grudgingly made money in the ways a 12 year old was expected at the time. I walked around the neighborhood, gradually expanding the radius. I recruited friends. We simply did chores. I had a hard time with pricing and found that the best way was a simple question.

Hi, I’m trying to earn money through the summer. Do you have any chores you would like done? How much do you want to pay for that to be done?

This worked well for me. People who had chores suggested the chore and a price. I could counter, of course, but I rarely did. I ended up washing a lot of cars (most profitable), mowing lawns (least profitable) and at one point spent most an afternoon simply moving large bags of dirt from one end of a yard to the other. I still don’t know what that was about, but she paid us well for it.

However, the only thing I learned was I’m bad at pricing but good at organizing labor and teams. It was not a successful experience and there was no progress towards my goals.

These experiences built fond memories. I obviously want my children to have these experiences and the memories. The world has changed, so have the opportunities.

The world has changed, neighborhoods barely exist. It’s all thanks to Etsy and other marketplaces. The neighborhoods are anywhere with Internet connectivity, the chores could be building new, specialty products. This diversity is an opportunity that simply didn’t exist until recently. My son’s interest in electronics and invention can be used to earn money all while pursuing his passions. I see my daughter’s art being turned into crafts with real value.

It’s a marketplace based on real skill development. There’s nothing wrong with mowing lawns or babysitting, but now there are options that compete withe the historical standard. And these options help kids progress inline with their goals and aspirations.

Most importantly, the kids see it, too. Well, my son does. Daughter is still a bit young. To think someone wants to buy something he makes gives him more direction and purpose. They’re both still years away from ever selling, but as we work on more projects they see them as also creating real value.

The type of product I see my son loving to make.
Until he’s skilled enough you can get this today off Etsy!

My children get significantly more engaged and motivated when their work is evaluated and appreciated, and not just from a casual, “That’s nice, honey.” When they start wanting money and understanding, what better validation to show them than a marketplace where their interests align. All while doing the same crafts they would otherwise be doing.

What’s a Quality Life?

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I feel good. Especially since I’ve started the habit of asking guiding questions when I’m not sure what I should be doing next. I am accomplishing more important tasks while removing unimportant things from my infinitely long todo-list. There is quantifiable progress in my projects and a harder to measure but more important increase in my general state of contentment.

Things are good, but they’re not good enough.

The choices we make, why and how.

I recently read How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, a very short read from Arnold Bennett, that tersely discusses how much we can benefit through deliberate living. We must question our actions, what causes them and the decisions we make, for the effect is against time. We have a limited amount of time to live. I want to make the most of it. This isn’t about more work or even productivity; it’s about enjoying and benefiting from my time. It’s quality.

For the last 6 weeks I’ve been very fixated on the notion of quality. I keep asking What is quality? In August I wrote about what matters most to me. I re-read that list almost every week, and I know why it’s important. Unfortunately I don’t know how to prioritize my days.

I recently had a friend visit who is very active. My physical health took a positive tick upwards, playing in canyons and riding bikes around the desert, finishing with a 5K. Through the 3 days, my family balance was off; I missed my family and they missed me. The balance in the best of times is precarious.

Managing the important but not urgent.

I recently released a new feature on the Daily Practice which is a defensive mechanism against being out of balance. The idea is that some daily activities are worth more, they contribute to the important points. As I write every day, it improves my knowledge. When I go for a walk with my family I enhance my relationships and health.

I got this idea from Andrew Tarvin, and so far I’m enjoying the extra little incentive to my practice.

The important task at hand is to change my daily goals to be more inline with what’s important to me. This is a deliberate choice, by listing things to work on I choose what to work on. I choose what quality means, and that decision gives me a why. With the goals I track I now have a how. So far it’s working.

Since the Quality Day feature is so early on in its development, it probably isn’t for everybody and also requires a TDP Plus subscription. I’m still exploring the feature myself, and would love to hear any suggestions to improve it.

Just One Question

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Over the last few weeks I’ve changed. I think I’ve been more productive, but that’s not important. What’s important is that feeling of productivity; the joy of progress is what I seek. I feel I’ve made a breakthrough here, and it was so simple of a change.

I’m living one question at a time.

Yesterday I wrapped up a project, looked around and immediately felt the pressing weight of my full, and ambitious, todo list. I took a breath, stopped thinking about it and asked myself:

What can I get done in the next hour that I will enjoy the most tomorrow?

The answer came to me pretty quickly. I went outside, replacing the flat tire on my bicycle. Now my son and I can go for a ride later today. Without asking that question I would have forgotten about the flat tire. He would ask to go for a ride, I’d hang my head in shame because I’ve been telling him I’d fix that tire for the last 3 weeks. I’m forgetful and he suffers for it.

It’s hard to ask good questions

When I first started this exercise, I would ask some really pointless questions that amounted to navel-gazing.

What will make me the best person?

That’s a really stupid question. If I knew the answer to that I wouldn’t need to ask any questions.

Over time they’ve improved and the questions align to the 5 areas of focus in my life. When each question has a clear outcome, I’m able to answer in a tangible action-based manner. Adding these constraints is critical to asking good questions, and even more important when answering.

What I’ve been asking…

Have I written at least 500 words today?

Nope, well, better start!

Have I completed my One Thing task today?

My One Thing is a task decided the night prior to get done. When I’m wondering what to do next, that’s the first thing to do. Usually they’re small tasks that require some degree of willpower to get started on, but are easy to complete.

Sometimes, though, vague is good and appropriate.

What can I do to enjoy the next hour the best?

Asking myself this before sitting down to dinner with my family has helped me be significantly more engaged. When I ask these questions to myself, it’s easier to ask questions to others.

The space to really listen

And, unsurprisingly, I found when you ask someone a question and really pay attention to the answer, enjoyment is almost guaranteed.

Whether you are asking someone else a question or questioning yourself it’s important to give space and really listen. Don’t interrupt, don’t listen to respond, just consume. Absorb the information like absorbing good food.

And if you think you can’t interrupt your own answers, I’d wonder if you’ve ever asked yourself a hard question.

October Challenge

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November 1st already! October was a blitz it seemed. My challenge for October was to meet someone new, which meant an introduction of some sort, scheduling a call or meetup and then… well, I allowed myself an out for no-shows. Good thing, or I would have failed this challenge.

In a nutshell, success!

I sent quite a few emails and other messages out, some replied but most didn’t. Of those who replied, most people were interested in hopping on a hangout or Skype. I even had some in person conversations, created by watching what other people were up to and sometimes just asking for introductions.

I upped the ante a little bit, and declared that I must also have a very specific question to ask of them. It may be help, advice or satisfying some curiosity. This gave the entire process a lot more meaning.

I met, or at least spoke with, a total of 7 new people in October.

The point of these challenges is to help me refine or develop a new skill. This one definitely delivered. Some of my previous apprehension about just sending an email is gone now. I feel more comfortable talking to people and also thinking about how I could help them or a question I’d like to ask.

More importantly I’m actually more invested in looking at the people behind the work that intrigues me. I’m admittedly very bad at thinking of the human side of things, but I’ve really enjoyed this little bit of outreach. I’m still an introvert and find it fatiguing to be social; what changed is that I’ve really began enjoying the experience.

Some details

The first person totally amped me up for success. I spoke with Andrew Tarvin over at Humor That Works, specifically about his Quality Day System. Given my work with daily tracking this was right up my alley. Andrew was great, a lot of fun to talk with and I enjoyed my time.

Week 2 was my no show. Last minute cancellation, but that’s ok. I made a connection, got it on my calendar and was available. These failures are great learning experiences, too. Especially in the context of not being discouraged. After the no-show, I set out to identify other people to chat with.

Week 3 was geeking out with the absolutely stellar Peter Cook. He’s an awesome d3 developer and we’re using some of his components. We spoke about the fears and concerns in the Open Source world and how to navigate them. I can’t say enough great things about Peter, but it may just be because he’s British and as a crass American, they’re all just so damned charming.

Week 4 shifted things around a lot. Rather than hiding behind the comforts of my computer I ventured out into the real world. Las Vegas was hosting the Tech Cocktail Celebrate event, which meant that a lot of interesting and awesome folks were coming out. I ventured out into the real world and met up with as many as I could. Here I met some awesome folks from QuickLeft and Keen.IO.