Be So Good They Can Ignore You

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Be so good they can ignore you by GradSimple.

I want fulfillment now, not eventually.

In So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport argues that by developing exceptional, “rare” skills, we can gain more control over our time and ultimately achieve fulfillment. He suggests playing the long game, and investing in mastery.

do I need to become master Shifu

While becoming a master at something may work, for most of us, I say ain’t nobody got time for that. 

First of all, you’re telling me that it’ll take 10,000 hours to truly master a skill. I need to work my ass off, sacrifice my health and time for an employer, just to maybe attain fulfillment? And along the way, I get what? A promotion or two that comes with – if I’m lucky – a measly 10-15% raise? 

Fulfillment aside, pay also does not scale linearly with effort. I may put in 2x, 3x more work or even generate 10x more results. My financial payoff simply doesn’t scale that way. 

Look, I’m not saying you should never grind or strive to be the best at what you do. Heck, I work 70 to 90 hour weeks voluntarily these days. But, only for myself.

Can I just be kind of really good?

I do my 9 to 5 job, and I do it well. I do it well enough that I’ll still get recognized as a top performer and maybe rewarded with raises and promotions.

Though you’ll never catch me staying late nights and preaching sermons about how great my employer is. I’m not a corporate cult member whose identity revolves around my employer. 

I strive to be so good they can ignore you. 

Let me be clear. I’m also not in the “argh I hate my job, fml, I can’t wait for the weekend to grab some pints with the boys” club. 

I’m in the make sh!t or die trying cult.

You know that nagging little twerp in your head that tells you to be “rational?” The one that says “now’s not a good time” and prevents you from embarrassing yourself or messing things up? Well, I pinned that little sh!t in my head on a cross. 

When something piques my curiosity, I explore it, unabashed like a child would. 

I get a thrill from seeing what I can create to get someone to willingly hand over their hard earned cash. This has forced me to be creative and happily learn new skills that I otherwise wouldn’t have. As a one man operation (plus my girlfriend, who’s helping me edit this post), I can’t just be like oh marketing will handle this or I’ll just get the web designer to do it. It’s all me baby. 

While it’s a lot of work, I feel like my self-imposed personal development regimen has helped me find purpose and fulfillment. I know I can’t get this from the monotony of my 9 to 5, and that’s fine. 

Thankfully, I have my side-hustle.

What’s Next?

Word on the street is that if I were to resurrect Cleopatra, she would have the hots for GradSimple. She was known for her intelligence and charismatic personality – like everyone at GradSimple. So in the words of Cleopatra (not really), join GradSimple

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The human who runs the ship. Occasional writer, occasional web developer. Yes, this is the guy who hired a raccoon (if you know, you know).

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