I’ve been doing it all wrong…

From the Order of Operations Department.

It’s settled. Work-Life Parallel and Gearbox Magazine are merging to become The Gearhead Project.

I’ve spent a few weeks thinking about all the nuts and bolts. How to combine all the content here with the content there and then get all of the above onto a new site. There’s so many moving pieces to this, I wanna spit out my guts and cry about it, as Tiffany would say.

But you know what? That’s a trap.

That’s what happened to #nlgs18.

Here’s the correct order of operations:

1. What difference am I trying to make in people’s lives with this change?

2. How will The Gearhead Project make those differences?

3. What’s the experience I want people to have?

4. How do I deliver that experience?


I’m seeing things a little more clearly now.

PS: If you’ve been reading these things, your advice would be helpful.

Damnit, Seth! Origin Stories

From the Things Seth Godin Suggested That Make You Question Everything Department*

We’re always telling ourselves stories. And those unspoken narratives influence our thoughts, attitudes, actions, and outcomes. After all, our thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits become character, and character becomes destiny.

Which is a pretty slick way of saying if you think you can or can’t—you’re right.

Coming back to Seth Godin’s “Akimbo” podcast this week, I caught an episode where he talked about SEO. Long story short, instead of trying to rank #1 for some word to hopefully get in front of everyone searching for that word, we should focus on BEING #1 to a small group of loyal customers.

So I was thinking, if I merged Work Life Parallel with Gearbox Magazine, it would mean worklifeparallel.com would likely become another redirect. Read: I might lose my #1 spot in Google.

Which is a slightly tough pill to swallow, since Gearbox Magazine doesn’t even make the first THREE pages for “gearbox” or “car magazine”.

But you know what’s interesting? I’ve also been thinking maybe it’s time to retire Gearbox Magazine too. Maybe it’s time to combine Work Life Parallel and Gearbox Magazine into a single entity.

Which brings me back to the origin story. If I am who I am because of Gearbox Magazine and the work life parallel pursuit, is combining everything into something new going to result in legitimate synergy—or is this just another distraction from doing the work?

I’m not sure yet—but I just googled “the gearhead project” and things look pretty inspiring.

Back to work!

*If seeing me reference all these made-up departments reminds you of the almost universally loved automotive journalist, Mitsubishi Apologist, and Clunkbucket Creator, Mike Bumbeck—GOOD. I’m hoping a little flattery here and there will prompt the return of one of my all-time favorites.

The Dilemma: Merging?

From the Convergent Ideation Department

The line between these dailies and where GBXM is heading is starting to get blurry.

Suppose I pivoted, niched-down, and made a point of almost always framing them in an automotive/gearhead context—what if I rolled these into Gearbox Magazine?

The Dilemma (I keep coming back to this.)

Posting every day is good for traffic. It’s also good for me, as a writer.

Writing everyday—for GBXM—would be a good thing, too.

And I could make these little things optional in the email subscriptions so only those who really want them would get them (and everyone else would be spared). I also really think this is a good idea, as it will help me focus exclusively on Gearbox instead of splitting my time with these.

It’s where I want to take things, I think.

But how much of GBXM is for me vs for others?

What’s the mission? What’s the move?

Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt. That’s the first thing they teach you.

Gonna need to think on this one some more. Would appreciate any thoughts you might have.