You do not have to be good: a winter pick-me-up

You’re burnt out. You’re sick of stu­pid news head­lines. You’re tired of sil­ly requests. You’re dis­gust­ed hear­ing about ware­house and suit­case start­up work­ers being mis­treat­ed. You’re exhaust­ed by Black Fri­day mad­ness and spark­ly pack­ages and Cyber Mon­day hol­i­day deals. Yes, that was only a week ago.

Guess what? Me, too.

So, my friend, let’s treat this winter as fortification for the mind. A good stiff drink of bark and moss and some self-disciplinary tonic for the soul. On Dec 21st, shut the tiny door to your self-healing cave and do not in let any shit for two whole weeks if you can help it. Nobody can take away your thinking space unless you let them. And our societal open-door policy has really gone rogue. So let it swing shut. Just for a bit.

Say no to working overtime and staying late and ‘can we justs’ and dorky networking parties you really don’t want to go to. Say yes to soft silence and warm socks and the tiny animal sounds you make when you let go and become a human after 8:23 pm. These sounds will catch in your throat if you’ve silenced them long enough. Let them rush up to the surface.

I couldn’t say it better than the late Mary Oliver:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

—Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Snow man with its twiggy arms on its hips

I’ve been thinking…

Our first human instinct is to assume mal intent instead of looking at a breakdown in the system that caused it. You think your PM is a failure. You think your boss is a jerk. You think your team doesn’t appreciate you. You think your clients are ridiculously impatient. But then we must remember:

Most of the time, in most situations, people are operating at their available capacity. They aren’t doing harm on purpose. They’re just tired.

And they need their little healing cave to rest. So cut them some slack.

“So when you hear people say that change is hard because people are lazy or resistant, that’s just flat wrong. In fact, the opposite is true: Change is hard because people wear themselves out. And that’s the second surprise about change: What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.” —Chip and Dan Heath, Switch

Multinational corporations like Facebook, though, they are just monsters. Don’t cut them any slack. They’re going to eat us all like a pretzel snack.

From the #bookshelf

The best links posted in Slack this week. Straight from our apprentices and their trainers:

Surviving… Thriving in Chaos Our very first alumni, Patti Epstein’s speaking debut at the DPM Summit

Prioritizing author experience An excellent talk on setting up your CMS for a better client experience, by one of our newest apprentices, Katie Fritz.

Making an Insanely Good Author Experience (AX) And here’s Katie discussing author experience on the wonderful devMode.fm podcast.

How to optimize your agency’s process A great workshop summary by Brett Harned.

Digital Dollars and Cents A fantastic read-it-in-an-hour by Jody Grunden, of Summit CPA.

Digital Project Management Foundations

Hit the emergency shut off valve

Digital Project Management Foundations Course

Our Digital PM Foundations course beta was a hit, so we’re launching it officially this January.

“This is such an awesome course. I keep telling people how great it is to have training that is so specific to the type of work I do every day so I can make changes quickly. It’s honestly invaluable.”

Laura Salter, Kickpoint

Great for dialling up your PM and Ops processes a few notches.

Four spots left.

Starting at $3990.

A match

Or take your company up to eleven this February…

The Digital PM Apprenticeship

You spoke, we listened. We’re dropping the regular starting price down to $7990 and commitment down to 8 months so your digital PMs, account managers, coordinators, and design and dev leads can hone their skills like a hungry falcon—but in less time.

Graduates of this intensive program are quickly moving into business development, operations, and PM leadership roles in their companies. They are shifting the ways their companies operate. Call it a proverbial agency launch pad. Classes start in February.

Starting at $7990.

(Pssst. We’ve got one earlybird spot left starting at $6990)