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Issue #44: What would you change?


James Costa

February 13 · Issue #44 · View online

A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

Starting Phuse 8 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. A lot in my life had changed when I made the jump to freelancing, and I was surprised at the amount of interest I was able to drum up. In growing Phuse from 1 to 2 and beyond, I unknowingly created processes and decisions that still impact the business today. I relied on others’ experiences and snap-judgements to make decisions that in hindsight weren’t great. In a lot of ways, the company we have now was formed by a lost 17 year old.
I often find myself trying to pick apart the problems caused by foundational decisions that were made without much thought to long-term impact. Things like our 30 hour work week or unlimited vacation sound great, but in reality are tough to base a scalable business on. A lot of the time the solution to an operational problem is a fundamental change, but we’re scared of the impact it might have on other parts of the business.
When I’m forced to face some of these issues, I tend to think “wouldn’t it be nice if…?” From how we bill, to how much we pay our staff, to how we work with clients… how great would it be to change it all? We tend to push off this thought as impossible because we think about it as now but the real way to think about these changes are as goals to move towards. We tend to think of change as immediate, but some changes can (and should) be made more gradually. If hindsight is 20/20 and we now have hindsight in our business to make change, why don’t we make it? 
Often the answer to that question is that we don’t have the time, but taking the opportunity to map out your entire business as a mind map and define the decisions that you would have made with the insight you now have is a liberating process. It takes time, but chipping away at it daily as problems arise allows you to slowly build a map for the ideal business you should move towards.
The idea shouldn’t stop at running a business: we say the same things about our lives. If you’re in a career you hate, how can you take your hindsight and use it to make better decisions moving forward? By outlining the path and writing down the decisions you would have made differently, you can start to map out the ideal life you want to move towards.
The change won’t (and shouldn’t) happen overnight, but we should always be looking for ways to put our learning into action.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or replying to this email with your favorite Justin Bieber GIF, it would mean the world to me.
PPS: Sorry for missing last week: I posted on Twitter, but I was trying to knock the last bits of a cold out of my system to start the week fresh. Back to our regularly scheduled programming! 📺

Does More Money Change What We Value at Work?
Let’s stop calling them ‘soft skills’
How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want To
“I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality and then in retrospect.”
― Sophocles
Lately I’ve been trying to keep data on everything I do: I’ve got things for tracking my sleep, weight / body composition, where I go, how many steps I take and my heart rate throughout the day, and even what I do on my computer. Hell, I even have an app that tracks all the data from those apps! It’s gotten pretty addicting, I won’t lie, and the data has already helped me to determine the optimal amount of coffee, and timing of when I should be in bed by to get the best sleep. Definitely something to play around with if you have some time!
As always, if you have any questions or I can help you in any way, all you have to do is respond to this email!
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