The Art of Finding a Way


I’m writing this post from 32,000 feet, enroute from Tampa to San Francisco (where I’ll connect through to eventually land in Vancouver). Gotta tell ya - the internet up here sucks.

About an hour ago, I decided to write [a post about a skill everyone in a startup should have][dbpost]. It’s a post that’s been brewing in my head for a bit, so I thought the plane would be an ideal place to knock it out.

Luckily, writing the post was easy enough. 30 minutes later, I was ready to kick it out to the world. As is typical for my publishing process, I went to push my commit to Github in order to publish the post.

failed blog post upload

Well, shit. Looks like my SSH connection to Github won’t work through whatever convoluted captive portal they’ve got available on this flight. Bitching about it to my buddy [Josh][josh], this was his response:

josh shows me the way

Problem solved, post published. This, in turn, led to a conversation between the two of us about finding a way, no matter what, and how that attitude is so important.

Ship or Die

If you read this blog often, you’ll hear me extol the virtues of shipping. Shipping is about action - about getting shit out the door fast, asking for forgiveness instead of permission. The reason why that’s so important to me is because that attitude - ship or die - is the foundation of success. When you go out into the world thinking “I’ll find a way, regardless” instead “Oh well, I guess it’s not for me”, your entire worldview changes. Days are brighter. My parents were right - you can do anything you put your mind to.

Attitude Adjustment

Too often, I see people fall into this trap. Something isn’t going right, or they can’t get cooperation. Instead of adopting the shipper’s attitude, they sink into mediocrity, figuring it can’t be done, and stop trying. The shippers in the world figure it out. They’re resourceful, using whatever means they have to turn to in order to get it to work. When you go into the world like that, you’ll get stopped much less often. Scared to bid on that huge project? Bid anyway. Scared to ship that release? Ship it anyway. Assume you won’t get that raise? Go ask anyway. Now. Before lunch.

When you stop accepting defeat, you’ll start seeing more victories. That’s the shipper’s way.

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