Free Agents 1: The Temptation of Yes

The show notes for this episode can be found here:

Something I like about this show is that the first episode does not start with any real handholding, it’s the intro and straight into the episode, a lot of podcasts take the first few minutes to talk about the structure of the show before getting down to business. It was a good way to do a show on yes.

I think the key to not getting bogged down in too many projects and forgetting the admin is to just build the admin system first. For myself I knew that I wanted to go out on my own long before contracts and the like would let me, so I took that waiting time to get setup and create a structure to my business.

Now that I am out on my own and working on it, I am able to manage the administration overhead because I had thought about the problems and roughed out a scalable system before hand.

The trick I find about managing yes, is about not being too dogmatic about things, being able to roll with the punches as work ebbs and flows, change systems and working methodology to suit the needs of the moment, while also keeping an eye to the future. I think that ties into what David was talking about, when he mentioned work being tied to identity.

It is easy to get stuck in a rut where you don’t expand scope or experiment because that’s not what you do, and miss opportunities. But it is also easy to gain an identity as someone who only innovate for the sake of innovation. In my mind it’s a balancing act.

Something that people often forget to think about is the lifecycle of work, for me I make products, and it is easy to only think about the immediate needs of the product. But there is more to it’s life then just creation, I have to think about how people will use and maintain the product and how to end of life it.

I would say an important question to ask about any work be it once off and especially if it is ongoing, is what is the exit strategy? So that way, when the time comes to pivot to something else, move on or just stop you have a plan in place, like the old saying a stitch in time saves nine, in my experience the sooner you can start thinking about things the easier they are to deal with when they come.