Short On Beer

A site by Josh Short

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Recentering

This clock is well past noon this warm June Sunday and I still have a mild-to-moderate headache from the night of cognac drinking at my father-in-law’s Southern Vietnamese Naval reunion last night. As I was laying on my couch trying to shake the hangover, which I realize are way worse in your 30s than your 20s, I decided it’s time to start writing again. I feel like writing, whether for myself or for strangers on the Internet to read, recenters my mind. It helps me focus on what I need to be doing instead of constantly spinning my wheels trying to get a grip on what’s important.

What is important? That’s a question I keep pushing myself to come back to as often as I can remember it. I can go days without remembering. But when I do remember, which writing helps me do, the clarity it brings is second to none.

My Number 1 Thing

What is important? Each morning I write out my “most important tasks” which I stole from Leo Babauta. A few days ago I changed it up. Above the MITs I added “My Number 1 Thing” and “Next Up”. Why? To help me recenter myself back on what is important. The MITs can quickly become a to-do list that gets ignored and never accomplished. In fact that’s where I’ve found myself for the past several weeks and months. I say these things are important on this little digital notepad but I struggle to get them done or I get them done and they ultimately don’t move the needle and don’t get me to where I want to go. So I’ve simplified it — “My Number 1 Thing” is it. It’s what my whole day needs to be centered around. I won’t always get to my number one thing first thing in the day. It just doesn’t happen sometimes — like being hungover on your Sunday morning then having to take your wife and mother-in-law to the Vietnamese shopping center that is 45 minutes away. Or when your number one thing has to happen after working a full day with a long commute. There’s a zillion other things I could do and want to do. Some could be beneficial like working on a blog post for EVF or running or whatever. Or they could be chilling watching House of Cards. Regardless they aren’t my number one thing. That’s why right away in the morning I have to say, “okay I’m going to do my number one thing at this time and it’s non-negotiable”.

One could ask, “But Josh, if your number one thing today is doing a thorough review why are you writing this instead?” Well, my head is not right to start working on my number one thing. My number one thing today requires my mind to be 100% there as doing my thorough review structures the next week+ of my life. Anddd at my current state I can’t do that.

Okay. I think that’s enough rambling out of me for today. I hope you were able to take something away from this.

– Josh

Less Me

A thought I’ve had for EVF has been to remove a bit of how much “me” there is. I feel such a direct connection to EVF as a person. It’s my baby; it reflects itself to others as me. Or at least I believe that. So when I don’t like my website design or feel 1,000% confident in a post or product (which I never do) I feel uneasy. I feel uneasy because it equals me.

What if I could not let it equal me nearly so much?

I want to be “the cover model” for EVF. Sure. In a sense it’s the story of my trials and my learnings as a freelance video editor. But I also want it to just be it’s own thing. When you think of Lynda.com do you think of Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin? No. Maybe Lynda looks like Lynda.com’s logo. IDK. I’ve never met Lynda and will never.

With EVF I do want a more personal touch. However it doesn’t need to be about me anymore.

Maybe I’m just being a sensitive creative artist. Probably. But I need to find a way to break through all this resistance I’m facing anytime I want to create anything for EVF.

Less me.

– Josh

Tough Work ≠ Painful Work

I’m back from Greensboro on this seasonably hot February evening. I’m still in awe of the motion sickness patch I talked about the other day. I was able to sit in the backseat the entire time with zero side effects. In fact I was able to watch an episode of The OA on Netflix on my phone without feeling motion sickness at all. Life-changing.

About a week ago (two weeks ago when this publishes) I decided to take a bit of a break from EVF. I wrote about why here. So far, eight days after publishing it, I’m still happy with my decision. I’ve done next to nothing for EVF. It feels good. Not great, but good. And I’ll take that for now.

I’ve reached a point where it’s more cost-effective to pursue more freelance work than to work on EVF. I still want to work on it and make it grow into something big and special BUT there’s no need to not enjoy the “work” I do on it. Yes, there are a bunch of things I was doing for EVF that I didn’t enjoy doing — in fact there were a number of tasks/things/projects that drove me crazy. And why was I doing that to myself when I don’t need to do that to myself?

One of my greatest assets I have at my disposal is that I’m still very, very patient with EVF. I’m approximately 2.75 years into working on it. I know there is so much more time I need to put into it in order to make it into the business I envision it becoming. And with that time comes work. That work doesn’t have to be painful. Some work will inevitably be tough; that’s fine. Tough work is okay (or good in a lot of ways). But painful work, the work that makes you want to quit something, doesn’t have to exist if you have no deadlines for achieving “success.”

Alright. I think that’s enough out of me for today.

– Josh

Reviews & Planning

In a few minutes I’m jumping on Skype with Nick to talk about our vision and goals for Command+Edit, our podcast, for the rest of the year. Maybe we should have had this conversation back in December but just because the calendar flips over to another year doesn’t mean you can’t have these type of conversations.

Heck. Each week I do a review in OmniFocus of all of my current and upcoming projects. At the moment there are 98 different projects of varying degrees of difficulty and importance. Those range from a newsletter to a course for EVF to doing my freelance books each week to taking out the trash every Wednesday night.

Planning is so important. Figuring out that vision of where you want to go…that’s always so much fun to do. What sucks is buckling down and doing the work. Hey, haven’t I talked about this ad nauseam? Back to today’s talk with Nick.

We already chatted about what we need to figure out — mainly a revised mission statement and our top goals and how we believe we’ll reach them. We took the weekend to write up our own thoughts and let things digest. Now we’re teaming back to up hash out the details and make decisions. After that then the work begins. The hard part. The thing that we all struggle with the most.

Alright. That’s all I have for today.

– Josh

Private Ramblings – Ep. 442: Content Burnout

My weekend has begun. This post is the very first action I’m taking now that all my worldly duties from the past 5 days have been completed. Now starts 2ish days of small freelance projects, working on EVF and hanging out with friends and my wife. This weekend feels so gosh darn needed.

We have some friends coming down from Philly to stay the night before they head to Richmond in the morning. We’re going to take them to one of our favorite spots. I’m going to get my favorite dish there. Hopefully we’ll get our favorite server and it’ll be a fun night.

Editor’s Note: I did not get my favorite dish because of a kitchen error and I thought I was over it but after re-reading what I wrote I don’t think I am.

Sorry, kinda all over the place right now. Last night I realized I might be becoming burnt out from all this “content creation”. Not from here; actually this is generally quite simple and painless and fun for me to create. But creating a podcast, publishing a weekly newsletter and coming out with a new blog post or video each week for EVF/Cmd+Edit on top of building my freelance business is taking a toll. I can feel it. The spark and urge isn’t there all the time. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy all the content I create. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. However I’m starting to feel this weird pressure from all of it and it’s interfering from creating what I actually need to create (products, finding more coaching clients and finding more freelance clients).

My upcoming trip should release a lot of this pressure and hopefully reinvigorate me. If it doesn’t though it might be worth reconsidering how much time I’m spending and figure out what is and what isn’t working.

Alright. That’s all I have for today.

– Josh

Private Ramblings – Ep. 384: Weighted Tasks

Today I had one of those productive days that flew by and you got a lot done but you somehow feel like you accomplished nothing. Sigh.

It was that kind of productivity that doesn’t “have” to be done but needs to get done eventually. I did things like sort through and put away a mound of mail. I went through a few dozen starred emails with actions associated with them and completed them. I helped a friend with a project she’s working on. I sent Nick new verbiage on a mission statement for Cmd+Edit we’re working on. None of those will make or break me or EVF but they had to get done. They were just weighing on me.

Back in college while working on a paper I came across this Thomas Jefferson quote about productivity. I don’t remember it verbatim but to paraphrase it went something like, “A man with much on his mind will never complete the one task he needs to do.” The moral of that quote? The way I interpret it it’s that if there’s a bunch of small tasks taking up your mental RAM, sometimes you gotta take a day and clear them out so you can start fresh the next day.

That’s all I have for tonight.

– Josh

Private Ramblings – Ep. 381: Brewery Day

Today’s been a good day. My wife and I gutted and cleaned our garage then hit up a couple breweries — Lake Anne Brew House and Aslin Brewery. Now in the waning hours of Sunday night we’re laughing at old Taking Back Sunday music videos while the Nats lose a game they shoulda won on national tv.

We both have the day off tomorrow (Labor Day) which is fantastic since I haven’t touched anything to do with EVF since TUESDAY. Yeah, I’m a bit behind but I’m not sweating it. These past few days of vacation were well deserved and needed. My mind is a bit all over the place though. There are visions of more trips and more vacations and more travel that’s 1) preventing me from doing work but 2) motivating the heck out of me to do work. It’s a weird tug-o-war going on up there.

Time to walk the pup and get ready to start grinding again tomorrow.

– Josh

Private Ramblings – Ep. 338: Blue Ribbons

Friday nights always feel right for trying to mess up your website with unnecessary changes. I remember a few months ago I just about darn near ruined EVF trying to make CSS changes. I don’t know how to code, let alone CSS or anything to do with how WordPress works.

I just got done walking the dog and doing the last “responsible” thing I have to do today. It’s 10:32PM and I’m wiped out. Too wiped out to try to tackle website changes (even though I desperately want to try to screw something up).

On our walk I realized that I’m actually steps away from the finish line on this project. I’ve somehow spit out a couple hundred words every day for a year. I never missed a day despite being positive I would. I’m so close to being able to say, “I did it!” and accept my blue ribbon and pat myself on the back.

I won’t actually win a blue ribbon. No blogger awards will be given out. I might glance at the site stats for the first time. That’s it though. Once this is over the site will pivot somehow. Have I mentioned how much I hate that word, “pivot”? It’s awful. It should only be mentioned when you’re talking about turning your heel when you’re doing a Tae-Kwon-Do kick. It’s not meant for startups or businesses. Hmm. Going to pick that battle another day.

Okay. Time to go watch some Korean action movie on Netflix and pass out. What a week.

– Josh

Private Ramblings – Ep. 331: Catch-22

It’s Friday morning and this half cup of coffee isn’t doing anything. I stayed up too late and woke up too early. But I’m here grinding away again.

In the constant battle to actually build and launch something for EVF I might have had a mini breakthrough last night. Well, not really a breakthrough but a plan has been put into place and I’m moving forward with it.

Recently I’ve felt completely unmotivated to create anything for EVF. I’ve been resisting and thrashing about EVERYTHING. So I asked myself why I was feeling this way.

It’s because I’m not seeing any “wins.” I know there are wins everyday — new subscribers, vanity metrics like page views, etc. — but it’s not the win I’m looking for. And the win I’m looking for is to make a gosh darn profit. So without a profit I’m discouraged from creating anything yet I can’t make a profit until I create. Catch-22, aye?

Next I asked what I could realistically create and launch in the next two weeks. I settled on an eBook that I have half-written and fully outlined. I started on it probably 18 months ago and spent ~15-20 hours on it. Then I just stopped… So I’m picking that torch back up and am now going to complete it.

I wrote out all the steps that it would take to create and launch it. Or at least all the steps I could think of at 1:15AM and two beers in last night. Then I scheduled what I’m supposed to do today for the project.

The next step is to actually execute. So with that being said, it’s time to get to work.

– Josh

Private Ramblings – Ep. 317: Quick Freewrite Sess

I’m sitting here with my hands on the keyboard and nothing is coming to mind to write about so I’m just going to freewrite a bit.

My wife texted me seconds ago. She started texting again so the three dots popped up on the screen. I kept staring at it until I realized this was taking too long to write and she probably erased whatever she wrote and Apple and AT&T haven’t caught up yet to my phone.

I have to write a blog post for EVF today. Of course I don’t have to but I want to get something new out this week. It’s always good to know the purpose of a project. So what’s my purpose for today’s post? It’s probably too vague but my purpose is to continue building a library of blog posts there that’ll get new readers to come over to the site who will hopefully one day buy something from me…that is if I ever put out anything to sell!

The struggle to get things made and published and being sold is a completely other topic for another day. There is no coffee running through my sleep-deprived brain ATM and that can of worms is too big to open for my mental state.

My folk/hipster/acoustic track is coming to an end. So I think I’ll cut this post off now too. Have a good Friday.

– Josh