Monday, March 29, 2010

Posting UnBroken

"You can find a lot of people in life that are still unbroken. You go through stuff and you keep going"

Since launching the TSB blog in late summer of 2008, a number of readers have asked what has now become a familiar and often flattering question.

"How do you come up with something new to write about each day?"

It's a flattering question to hear since it is usually asked in a manner that conveys the professional equivalent of shock and awe. Why would someone invest all that the time, composing thought-provoking threads each business day to share for free with readers in more than 70 countries? And where do all the ideas for the actual subject matter come from? How do you come up with the material? Do you have a staff helping you?

We'll dive into those questions today, but before taking the plunge, there are some things you should know.

First of all, there is no staff.

Secondly, with rare exceptions, more than 400 consecutive posts have been featured on the TSB blog. Other than missing 2 days in January of 2009 while on business in Mexico and 2 days this past January while hosting a conference in Las Vegas posting has happened rain or shine. In both cases, insurmountable technical and Internet issues cropped up. Failure to post had nothing to do with a lack of material.

The ideas themselves stem from a wide range of sources. Besides my own observations on the world of work and how the world is working, I'll discover inspiration from any number of books, other blogs, e-zines, conversations overheard at Starbucks or maybe an e-mail from a reader like you. If it's interesting to me, I think it might be interesting to others and so I start banging away at the keyboard in an effort to create something that you, as a reader, might enjoy. That idea gets dumped into a folder marked "draft" to await the morning I feel inspired enough to complete the piece with appropriate photo and video content, in a manner worthy for your consumption.

The key word in that last sentence is "inspired".

Just like you, I have a difficult time doing my absolute best work unless I am feeling inspired. So what happens on the days when you're not inspired and not posting is not an option?

One word.


Learned the true meaning of that word as a ten-year old delivering newspapers after school.

Believe it or not, there were days when you would rather not be out delivering the Moncton Transcript in the middle of a February freezing rain or a late March snow storm. But, you learned to persevere and keep your promise to those customers looking forward to catching up on the days news.

Waking up at 3:08 this morning, I will confess to not being inspired.

Not today.

No reason in particular.

Just not feeling it.

Like the steps are too high and don't have the energy to climb them.

And so the best I can do for you this particular Monday is to share these thoughts on perseverance.

First, from per·se·ver·ance; steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

PERSEVERANCE: What it takes to keep going even when you don't really feel like it. In other words, doing the hard work you do after you're tired of doing the hard work you already did.

PERSEVERANCE: Knowing how to hang on one minute longer.

PERSEVERANCE: Not a long race. More like many short races, one after another, without knowing how many miles it takes to get to the finish line. And its a race not always won by the swift, but by those who keep on running.

And now you know the answer to the question.

"Broken bones, broken hearts. Stripped down and torn apart. A little bit of rust - I'm still runnin'. Countin' miles, countin' tears. Twisted roads, shiftin' gears.Year after year - it's all or nothin'"

P.S. ... More than three decades ago, a Southern rock band had every reason to pack it in. Three founding members died in a plane crash while several others were badly injured. Recovery from that tragedy was slow and agonizingly painful. As the years passed, no fewer than five other band members passed away, yet this band and brand continues to serve as an example of defiance and determination, indomitable will and survival of spirit.

Stubbornly resolute, despite having only one remaining original member, Lynyrd Skynyrd personifies unstoppable perseverance - touring and recording better than ever - still unbroken.


Laura Booker said...

Gair, as you know you are someone I have looked up to for awhile now, your passion, determination,your heart on your sleeve, you have many characteristics I admire and yes I have to say persistence is one of your best qualities. I think of you often when I sit down to my computer to write and remember the few afternoons we spent writing at Starbucks. What a great post this morning Gair, having just come back to the drawing board after these last 4 mths dealing with Dan having cancer, father in law heart attack, family friend's death etc. this was a very inspiring post from a friend to help me lift my head high and continue as some of the greats do!!
Your friend and admirer,

Carl Fischer said...

Gaer: You never cease to amaze me! We met at Tom Hill's Eagle Summit in St Andrews by the Sea, and I was impressed by your commitment to excellence. And I've read, and learned a lot ever since by periodically reading your blog. And like many of your "faithful", I've always wondered how you managed to create such valuable content. Thanks to this entry, I now know. Which is just another way of saying "Thank You" for putting a bit of you in every piece. Keep flying your Canadian flag proudly over all you contribute to folks like me.

Anonymous said...

Not inspired? I beg to differ. This post was just what I need to inspire me and spur me on this week to persevere and thus accomplish what needs to get done this week. Thank-you.

DesignTies said...

Even though you say you were feeling uninspired, this is a very inspiring post :-) Thanks for the reminder about how important it is to persevere. There are times I want to (and sometimes do) give up when things get too hard or when I don't get the results that I want. Perseverance isn't always easy, but it's almost always worth it in the end :-)