Big Problem. No BANT. No Problem.

Chase a big problem.

A problem so complex, so big, so hairy, so audacious, Walter Sobchak would be at a loss for words.

“STFU, Brian. You’re out of your… Wait. Really? You’re working on that? Wow.”

No budget. No authority. No need. No time.

But it matters. So you do what you can when and as you can.

Go where nobody else is. Try making a difference.

Suit up. Floor it. And aim for the roses.

Ichimai-iwa.

Hack Sack & Trash Bags

Memories & stuff.

Ever notice how much of your life revolves around dealing with your stuff?

What how little your life revolves around some of your stuff?

I’ve been casually trying to downsize this year. Haven’t made much progress.

As I write this, I have three Craigslist ads up, all going on a week without a single bite.

I’ve sent a couple trash bags full of clothes to Goodwill, too—but I want to get rid of more.

Strange how hard this can be.

There’s a polo in my closet embroidered with the logo of the company I worked at in 2001 when I moved to Phoenix. The company went under years ago. So why am I holding on to it?

It doesn’t even fit anymore!

But we can’t just throw that away. It’s ours and it’s cool and we paid good money for it, right?

Sunk cost is a tough pill to swallow.

It’s not easy to get rid of things when they represent memories.

I’m going to start asking myself how often I think about those memories outside the context of the stuff associated with them. If the only time I think about that no-longer-exists company back in Kansas is when I’m trying to decide whether I keep the shirt or not, it should be easy, right?

I don’t care how much fun we had playing hacky sack on our breaks.

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.