Business Entrepreneurship Featured Relationships Society

Build a reputation instead of a personal brand

Replied to The personal brand paradox (

When we position ourselves as a brand, we are forced to project an image of what we believe most people will approve of and admire and buy into. The moment we cater our creativity to popular opinion is the precise moment we lose our freedom and autonomy.

But rather than manufacturing a personal brand, why not build a reputation? Why not develop our character? Imagine what we could learn from each other if we felt worthy as we are instead of who we project ourselves to be.

I think it’s interesting to look at personal brands through the lens of insecurity. I imagine many people think of it as “positioning” or storytelling, but underneath, those are needed if you’re afraid you won’t be enough on your own.

I think it can be helpful to consider personal branding as a form of self discovery, a tool to help determine what you want to do, but there can be a risk of self containment.

Personal Growth The Internet Websites

Add your website to directories

Replied to Promote Your Website Like it was 1998: Old School Web by Brad Brad (

The few tiny search engines and directories that still have a means for you to Add Your URL, need your support by doing just that – submit your URL to them. This helps fight the Big Tech silo duopoly of Google and Bing, Twitter and Facebook.

I haven’t done anything to promote this website or my blog or other websites…and maybe I should 🤔

One part laziness, one part ‘who wants to read my weird junk,’ one part shyness / aversion to attention 🤷‍♀️ It’s a form of (unconscious) self sabotage, doing nothing to get eyes on my work, while also a (not necessarily healthy) means of self protection from fear of criticism and failure. I have a deep-seated fear of looking like an idiot, which isn’t helpful for actually learning 😉 Making this digital garden public has been one step in pushing myself through imposter syndrome, but actually sharing it so people might see it is another 😂

As I’ve been paying more attention to alternative search engines and directory sites, participating in those sites to provide additional content is one way to support those efforts. If I’d appreciate someone else’s website like this, then my site could also be useful to others.

I have been adding my sites as examples on the IndieWeb wiki with this same mindset: I’ve learned from others’ examples, I can pay it forward by adding my small piece. I still feel self-conscious, but remind myself that each exercise of self confidence and visible pride in what I’m doing bolsters my confidence.

Art and Design Entrepreneurship Marketing

Read Your Music and People

Read Your Music and People by Derek Sivers

A philosophy of getting your work to the world by being creative, considerate, resourceful, and connected.

It’s relatively easy to apply this advice to any creative work.

Really inspirational and thought-provoking! I took my time reading this, a few essays at a time, over two months. I really enjoyed Hell Yeah or No but this book is probably more focused.

Key notes:

Whenever you’re feeling uninspired or unmotivated, use creative restrictions to set you free.

When things aren’t working, be smarter, not louder.

You can’t just normal your way through this.

With one interesting phrase to describe your [creative work], you can make total strangers wonder about you.

Loudly reject 99%. It signals who you are.

Are your fans telling their friends? If not, then don’t waste time promoting it yet.

If it doesn’t excite you, don’t do it. There’s almost nothing that you must do.


Attended How to Get People Wildly Obsessed with Your Work

RSVPed Attending How to Get People Wildly Obsessed with Your Work

Alas, not super helpful. More setting the foundation for signing up for her course — arguing that we’re thinking about things the wrong way, and we need to flip our perspective to focus on building connection — but nothing about how to build connection. Or, as the title advertised, get people really into your work.

Key takeaways:

  • puttering away on your own work in your quiet little space out of the way feels like the nice thing to do
  • when people aren’t coming, it’s not that the work isn’t good, it’s that you aren’t allowing people in
  • your work is powerful to your audience because you want to change the cultural conversation and build connection

I think I’m done with these free workshops / course sales pitches for a while. They feel too much like those timeshare deals where you get a free / discounted stay but have to go to the sales pitch. I understand that folks can’t give away everything but it’s frustrating when it feels like you got nothing tangible out of your time, that the answer to how to get people into your work (or fill in the blank) is to join their course. All the success stories were not about how people built an audience, but how they made more work.

Sometimes cynical me gets this feeling, from seeing many creatives offering workshops and classes, that succeeding financially in the creative field is a MLM scheme where you tell other creatives how to sell their work but where you’re making your money is in selling things to creatives. And I say this as someone who’s potentially interested in turning the free planning guide I created for creative types into a published planner. I want to help people, and think I have some useful things to say, but also see it as a market that people are willing to spend in. I read a lot in the “self help” sphere, so I do see value there. But it makes me question how financially successful creative work can realistically be alone, when it seems like a lot of times where the money comes from is eager self-funded creatives lower in the experience ladder.

Entrepreneurship Work

Work that lasts and work of the moment

Bookmarked Stock and flow by Robin Sloan (Snarkmarket)

Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that reminds people you exist.
Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.

This ties back to my thoughts about perennial and annual work.

A good reminder that making the long meaty work isn’t enough, you need to do the connection work, the in between work that gets attention.