As we’re approaching the end of 2022, a big goal of Mäd this year was to launch a product.
After exploring various options with the team, we settled on creating an ebook that compiles 10+ years of experiences, achievements, and mistakes into easy-to-reference frameworks and models to help professional service firm founders build successful and thoughtful organizations.
The Work Like Mäd ebook seemed like a fitting start to our venture into the digital products space. The process of writing it helped me reflect and solidify why and how we work, giving us clarity as we begin to slowly grow this new side of our business.
For those reading, you know we’re still adding some finishing touches to our ebook, but if you missed our previous email, we’ve recently sent out a free, downloadable chapter of Work Like Mäd as a taster before you decide to purchase the whole book — you can access it here.
What’s more important: work or life?
Well, it depends.
Most of us will spend the majority of our lives at work, and so it will help you immensely to find work that is not only enjoyable but also meaningful and productive.
Typically, there are two main reasons why people work. They either
Neither choice is good or bad – it’s more about the priorities of each individual. Some people place more meaning in their personal lives outside of work, using work as a means to financially support their lifestyles and activities. Others might immerse themselves in work and even integrate it with other parts of their lives – yet the work might be purposeful enough to make this worthwhile.
Without meaningful work, though, we might experience a lack of meaning. And if work takes over everything else in our life – even if it’s meaningful and enjoyable – we risk getting burnt out and losing interest.
The important thing is to find an equilibrium between how you work and how you live that’s aligned with your personal values and goals.
You might already know from our past newsletters that we’ve been actively preparing to publish our first ebook, Work Like Mäd. If you haven’t received our previous email, we’d like to invite you again to read a complementary chapter of Work Like Mäd to get a preview of what’s to come!
“There is something special about working on a project of your own.”
As kids, we often experience the excitement of working on projects of our own thinking. But usually, this is incredibly difficult to integrate into the work we do as adults. Graham compares having your own project to work on vs. simply working, with skating vs. walking. Both methods will get you somewhere, but the means of getting there is far more fun if you skate, right?
In the same way, finding a passion project and being able to turn it into your work means that you’re working on something that takes over your time – just because you choose to. This is what transforms work/life balance (split) to work-life balance (unified).
When working with clients, we often need to audit and evaluate their existing structures and platforms. So before we can begin to adjust anything or remove redundant elements, we try to interpret and define how and why certain things were designed or coded in a particular way. After all, “the first step before modifying an aspect of a system is to understand it.”
Here we apply second-order thinking, which means considering not only the consequences of our choices and actions but also the consequences of these consequences. This also relates to the actions of others – just because we question why someone does something, doesn’t mean that it was done for no reason (even if we disagree with it).
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
(Read the first chapter here.)
A Black Swan is a rare, unexpected, and highly impactful event. According to Nassim Taleb, everything in the world, “from the success of ideas and religions, to the dynamics of historical events, to elements of our own personal lives”, can be explained by a small number of Black Swans. But for some reason, humans tend to restrict their thinking to irrelevant occurrences while continuously being caught unaware by these incredibly large and consequential events. In his book, Taleb expands on the concept of Black Swans, how (and why) they occur, and what are some ways to navigate and anticipate a complex Black Swan world.
We hope you’ve had a great first month of fall. As usual, we’re here to support you with any concerns and inquiries.