Stuck in a Rut

I don’t remember how it started, probably with Taylor Pearson.

In early 2016, we had been working on a long article (booklet?) for a month or so. 1,000s and 1,000s of words.

It, like most of the writing and podcasting projects I was taking on, was turning into hard-drive filler.

Half-finished stuff that would never get published.

I was getting increasingly stressed out about it.

And I could only point the finger in one direction. Clearly the problem was me.

So I tried to toughen up and work harder.

But under the pressure of managing a team, working with the community, and emails everywhere, it was easy to let myself off the hook.

So, as the years went on, we just put less stuff out into the world.

And, since everyone else on the team had their own jobs too, it felt like the solution had to come from me.

In 2015, I only published one blog post that wasn’t an invitation to one of our events.

Which is a bummer, especially because so much energy had gone into so many draft articles and business ideas that had potential.

I would have assumed that the longer we did something, the easier it would get. But for us, it was becoming the opposite.

I’m not sure if I realized it at the time, but I turned, during that period, to something I’ve relied on my entire career: A mastermind. A small group of people, all with similar goals. I was lucky enough to have been working with Taylor already, so he invited me. “Want to join this mastermind? We’re going to be focused on online publishing.”


So last year, every two weeks, I would get on the phone with Taylor Pearson, James Clear, Jodi Ettenberg, and Mark Manson.

I know what you’re thinking. “Man, you got lucky.”

Yep. These people are incredible professionals. I can’t reach their standards, on so many levels, but I didn’t find that discouraging. I found hearing from them inspiring. And I used their advice, and input, to find a way to improve on my own terms. Instead of Googling for advice, I talked through my challenges with them. And I did my best to offer value to them in return.

That mastermind, and the people who were in it, had a huge impact on me.

Since mid-last year this blog has published every Tuesday morning. And last year was the first, since 2009, that we’ve put out a podcast episode every week. We even revived our efforts to email TMBA subscribers.

I joked with Mark, Jodi, Taylor and James that, “I stole everything I could.”

This year I feel I’ve got the publishing anxiety sorted — or at least enough to spend some time focused on other challenges.

This year, aside from helping 100s of other entrepreneurs join their own masterminds, I’m taking a fresh look at other aspects of our businesses.

What a difference a year makes. It’s exciting .. exhilarating even.

When I look back, last year at this time, I was full of anxiety about my inability to fix the problem and to take action. Why? Because every time I tried to take action (on my own) to solve the problem I felt I was losing ground elsewhere.

So, this is a thank you to those fellow entrepreneurs for their advice, and input, and fellowship.

And a reminder of something that can easily be forgotten — if you’re having trouble getting the results you want, it’s easy to isolate yourself. Maybe you just need put yourself around better people.



PS, be sure to check out the podcast this week, it’s one of our first few stabs at a ‘documentary’ style show and it’s been really fun to produce.