“Gun to the head—what would you decide now?”
“Fast forward 6 months after your sabbatical--how would you decide: what criteria is most important to you?”
“Putting aside a list of pros/cons, what’s the *one* reason you’re doing this?” “Why is that the most important reason?”
“What’s end-game here?”
“What does success look like in a world where you pick that path?”
“What would the best version of yourself do”?
“The Quakers have this idea where you don’t speak unless the spirit moves you. I'm waiting for the spirit to move me.”
h/t a friend
A/ Thanks for sharing because I value this relationship + want both of us to get needs met
B/ What I heard was X (summary)-- was that accurate?
C/ How can I contribute to meeting your needs?
“….” Don't’ say anything!
Take a lap. Or cold shower. Workout. Change your mind state before re-entering the conversation
“....” Still don’t say anything!
Ask for a pause: “Do you mind if we take a quick break and return tonight? I want to make sure I can fully listen to your story + appreciate where you are coming from.”
That last part is key.
“…” Probably best not to.
Unless you ask the caveat: "Are you interested in hearing feedback?"
Instead of “Why did you do that?”
Maybe: “What was going on for you?”
“If you had a billion dollars what would you do with
a) the money
b) your time”?
This shows where they want to change society and what they truly want to be doing.
This determines how they'll talk about you in the future--whether they'll view you in a charitable light or not.
“I’m going to pause right there for reactions”
Conversational tactic:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 28, 2018
After rambling so much you either forgot your intended original point and/or don\u2019t know how to elegantly stop talking, say \u201cI\u2019ll pause for any thoughts or reactions.\u201d
“Let’s take this offline”.
“Why not bootstrap it so you can control your own destiny and have more optionality over selling for 50m, 100m?”
Also just a good question for every founder to ask themselves.
9/ Note: The Q should come from a place of seeking mutual benefit. Or else it\u2019ll ring hollow and manipulative.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) December 4, 2018
When asking for a raise, it's less: \u201ctrue for you to feel I deserve this?"
More: \u201ctrue for you to feel it\u2019s in all of our best interest?\u201d
And you genuinely mean it.
More from Erik Torenberg
Why is this the most powerful question you can ask when attempting to reach an agreement with another human being or organization?
A thread, co-written by @deanmbrody:
Next level tactic when closing a sale, candidate, or investment:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 27, 2018
Ask: \u201cWhat needs to be true for you to be all in?\u201d
You'll usually get an explicit answer that you might not get otherwise. It also holds them accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
2/ First, “X” could be lots of things. Examples: What would need to be true for you to
- “Feel it's in our best interest for me to be CMO"
- “Feel that we’re in a good place as a company”
- “Feel that we’re on the same page”
- “Feel that we both got what we wanted from this deal
3/ Normally, we aren’t that direct. Example from startup/VC land:
Founders leave VC meetings thinking that every VC will invest, but they rarely do.
Worse over, the founders don’t know what they need to do in order to be fundable.
4/ So why should you ask the magic Q?
To get clarity.
You want to know where you stand, and what it takes to get what you want in a way that also gets them what they want.
It also holds them (mentally) accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
5/ Staying in the context of soliciting investors, the question is “what would need to be true for you to want to invest (or partner with us on this journey, etc)?”
Multiple responses to this question are likely to deliver a positive result.
Like company moats, your personal moat should be a competitive advantage that is not only durable—it should also compound over time.
Characteristics of a personal moat below:
I'm increasingly interested in the idea of "personal moats" in the context of careers.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
Moats should be:
- Hard to learn and hard to do (but perhaps easier for you)
- Skills that are rare and valuable
- Compounding over time
- Unique to your own talents & interests https://t.co/bB3k1YcH5b
2/ Like a company moat, you want to build career capital while you sleep.
As Andrew Chen noted:
People talk about \u201cpassive income\u201d a lot but not about \u201cpassive social capital\u201d or \u201cpassive networking\u201d or \u201cpassive knowledge gaining\u201d but that\u2019s what you can architect if you have a thing and it grows over time without intensive constant effort to sustain it— Andrew Chen (@andrewchen) November 22, 2018
3/ You don’t want to build a competitive advantage that is fleeting or that will get commoditized
Things that might get commoditized over time (some longer than
Things that look like moats but likely aren\u2019t or may fade:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
- Proprietary networks
- Being something other than one of the best at any tournament style-game
- Many "awards"
- Twitter followers or general reach without "respect"
- Anything that depends on information asymmetry https://t.co/abjxesVIh9
4/ Before the arrival of recorded music, what used to be scarce was the actual music itself — required an in-person artist.
After recorded music, the music itself became abundant and what became scarce was curation, distribution, and self space.
5/ Similarly, in careers, what used to be (more) scarce were things like ideas, money, and exclusive relationships.
In the internet economy, what has become scarce are things like specific knowledge, rare & valuable skills, and great reputations.
More from Life
18 Things I Would Do At 18:
I was a dumb 18-year-old. I thought I had the world figured out. I didn't.
I stayed up till the wee hours. Drank every liquor invented.
Partied non-stop. Woke up after noon.
Surfed the web aimlessly.
Read BS self-help.
If I could do it all over again, here's 18 things I would do...
PHASE ONE: GET MY MIND RIGHT
ACTION #1: Break the chains - I wish I made the decision earlier. I didn't. I was scared. Anxious. Nervous. I knew once I made the decision, there was no going back.
Don't be like me.
Make the decision at 18. The decision to pave your own path in life. To go against the herd. To choose your own adventure. To commit to whatever sets your heart on fire.
ACTION #2: Cut off every negative person in your life.
Scroll through the contacts in your phone...
Notice how the names make you feel.
Delete any and all names that fill you with doubt and negativity.
ACTION #3: Condition your mind to embrace the producer mindset instead of the consumer mindset.
Consume 20% of the time. Produce 80% of the time.
ACTION #4: Set an intention to make $10k a month and write it out every MORNING and NIGHT as if you already achieved it (in the past tense).
Visualize yourself already having the money as you write.
Does it work?
PHASE TWO: EDUCATION
You May Also Like
It was pretty simple to do—Apple Time Machine backups let me do it with one click.
That first tweet captures, in two pictures, how badly Apple has “lost the plot” (to quote @wylieprof). On the right is the Apple MagSafe adapter, from 2013. On the left, what I had “upgraded” to.
Thanks, Apple! I really was nostalgic for worrying about yanking my computer off the table.
Oh and I really appreciated not knowing if my computer was charging. What was great was the little whoop sound you used, so that the speaker before me could be informed I was charging my laptop.
We're basically fucked.
The tech world has gotten so huge, self-reinforcing, and insulated from reality they can no longer even vaguely look at themselves (and their actions) as others do. They just live on a different planet than most people.
Conversely, the average tech consumer doesn't understand the technology that has slowly taken over their lives, and their designated emissaries to figure it out--politicians, pundits, regulators, journalists--understand it barely better than they do, and have their own agendas.
To say more than generalities for a moment, here's what I think is likely the core problem.
Techies take weird, improbable visions, and make them realities: some BS pitch deck to a VC, mixed with money and people, really does turn into some novel thing.
Most people work inside a legacy industry that's evolved that way over time (usually for good reasons), and they think about the future via some analogy with their present (which is a function of a long-ago past). The interruption that tech will introduce is often hard to grasp.
Since then we've started a remote web dev company @SquarecatWebDev and been lucky enough to have completed several freelance projects 💻 that have kept us on the road.
In the last few months we've become a huge part of this amazing new Maker community and have found so many new friends from @makerskitchen, @women_make_ and several others! 🥰
We love travelling together (even if I'm only a glorified laptop watcher 😒) but we're both much happier being able to share our ideas outside of our own little bubble and our products have benefitted too!
Here's to another year of nomading with my favourite person and to the Maker community continuing to grow with our help! Maybe one day we'll all get to meet each other ✌️ 💛