February 5, 2019

Deceptive Tasks

It's amazing how consistently things that look annoying, tiresome, or scary to do as a founder actually turn out to be pretty fun and simple once you dive in.

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    Related: It's amazing how consistently things that look simple, quick, and easy to do as a programmer actually turn out to be big hairy messes that take longer than you predicted to implement.

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      I think I like that corollary even more. This is what dev feels like at times 👉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbSehcT19u0 (Hal changing a light bulb)

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    I thought registering a company was going to be hard – nope, took like 15 minutes from my kitchen table.

    I thought using an accountant was going to be hard – nope, I just dropped off some papers and they took care of the rest.

    I thought setting up a business bank account was going to be hard – learned that banks love business customers. They were so pleasant and fast!

    I thought legal stuff was going to be hard – nope, there are templates online for everything, and lawyers don't charge a lot to review your prepared documents.

    I thought doing full-stack development was going to be hard – nope, it's one of my favorite things to do now.

    The only thing that's annoying/tiresome/scary for me is sales/marketing...

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    would love some examples.

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      Marketing, sales, talking to users, hiring, managing people, writing blog posts, maintaining a newsletter, etc.

      I remember back when Nathan Barry of ConvertKit was first building his audience. I was on his email list pretty early on. While I appreciated everything he was doing, I remember thinking, "That looks exhausting. I would never do that as a founder. I'd rather just code." Then a few years later I was doing most of those same things and they weren't so bad.

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        This is a such a great point. I really enjoy doing sales + talking to customers now but avoided it for way too long.

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    I believe that it is possible to turn any boring task into something fun. The trick that works for me is trying to turn boring tasks into a learning process on how to do it better:

    – I hate to do a sheet with metrics -> let's try to automate it with Google Data Studio.

    – I can't grow my twitter followers -> let's study how the network works and what do people with high follower count do to get there.

    Making process challenging will always leave you with a sense of accomplishment at the end, thus positive reinforcement for the next time you face a task that looks boring.

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    Yes and yes! The reason being that we are looking at these brand new tasks from the perspective of the "unknown" and we have been conditioned to believe that the "unknown" is always scary. So when we muster up courage to come face to face with the "unknown" we realize, it was all in our head and the "unknown" is a pretty ok thing to do.

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    I'll bet fixing keyboard-based scrolling for this kind of post on IH is one of them!

    It worked once, then it was broken and now it works upon loading a page but no longer works after up-voting someone...

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      Thanks for the bug report, didn't realize upvoting broke it. Will add to my list of things to fix.

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        Thank you so much.

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    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work"

    That quote changed how I looked at annoying things :)

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