Go beyond next

If you haven’t seen the SpaceX mars colonization plan that was unveiled today, please go find it. It would be amazing to look back on this day 10-20 years from now and see what came of this plan. It’s ambitious to say the least, sure. It’s ambitious the the point where the richest and most powerful nations aren’t attempting anything to this level. On one level that alone is impressive - on the other - you begin to question if SpaceX can pull it off. 

But, what’s really cool is that even though Mars is the overall driving force behind Musk and SpaceX, it didn’t stop there during his presentation. The thinking is always big and then bigger. It’s not - “Hey lets try to get people to Mars and we’ll be happy”. No. It’s about colonizing Mars, then terraforming Mars, then using it as an outpost to visit the rest of the solar system. He stopped short of going interstellar, but the thinking presented in that 1 hour segment was mind blowing. What’s more impressive is that they’re actually attempting to do it. 

The lesson (the very meek lesson) I can take away here is to look beyond the ultimate goal, to look past even your greatest dream and continue to think big. I’m personally glad to have people like Elon Musk attempting remarkable things out there in the world - where it’s not personal gain for the sake of personal gain. It’s personal gain for bigger ideas that help humanity (despite likely most people in the world thinking it’s ludicrous). Y

#everydaycreativebattle 189/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Passion is infinite

The difference maker

The secret weapon

The way small wins

The way you zero in on a vision

The way you win

Passion is adaptable. It’s crucial and absolutely necessary if you want to create something meaningful. I doubt you’ve ever heard of a successful start up or a business that is absolutely not passionate about what they’re doing. It’’s not the money. It’s not the success. It’s the passion.

And the thing is - it doesn’t have to be the thing you absolutely love. Passion can be extrapolated. If your passion is design and making better stuff, that world is large as in, it’s not limited to just lamps or telephones. If your passion is art, you can be in advertising or in graphic design. It’s all related - you just need to zoom out a little bit. Passion is crucial but, its not finite. It can be infinite. 

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This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Quit the right things

This is likely the best advice you get if you dive into Godin. Quitting isn’t all bad. Quitting the thing that isn’t right is absolutely the right thing to do.

We all have a limited amount of energy to expand on what we want. We may also want to chase more things that we can handle. Some folks also take on projects knowingly that are too tough - using that as an excuse when they fail. Conversely, some take on projects that are too easy where they fail to gain any traction. 

It takes effort to look at what you have to offer, combine that with what you would like to do, then quit everything else that doesn’t meet up with those goals and then get to work. If we quit the right things, we can focus on doing the remarkable things we’re looking to do.

#everydaycreativebattle 187/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Timing

Timing is important. It's relevant. It's needed if you wish to succeed on the market. It's needed if you want to be the first or the best. 

It's tough to nail timing. You're either early, you're too late, or yours right there right in time.  

It comes back to doing the necessary research and doing your leg work. Being too early is rare. Being too late is common. Do the necessary work and find your niche. Your timing should work if you've got something remarkable to offer.

#everydaycreativebattle 186/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Resiliency

This is an under appreciated quality when it comes to the creative culture. Can you keep going in the face of adversity? Can you figure out what to do in an environment that isn’t suited for what you’re trying to accomplish? Are you resilient enough to work within the difficult confines of your situation?

We all wish our environment was better and more conducive to the type of work we’d like to do. We all wish things were easier. The wishing is where things fall apart. The reality is that it’s never perfect and that great things don’t come easy. To achieve great, you have to fight through garbage, through mediocrity and through good. To achieve great you have to get there and be resilient enough to last through the difficult process. 

The reason why not many succeed is not talent, not the need or the want. It’s not money. It’s resiliency. If you’re resilient enough, the rest of the pieces will fall into place. If you want it enough, you’ll achieve it. How much do you really want it?

#everydaycreativebattle 185/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Experience isn't the answer

Sometimes your ability to learn has more value than someone else’s experience.

Experience can close you off from looking at the problem through a new set of eyes. Experience tends to tell you that “This has been tried before and it didn’t work” and “That’s how the industry does it”

Experience can breed status quo. If you let it. 

Elon Musk is a great example. He had no prior experience in building rockets or cars, everyone dismissed his efforts in the early days. And now, it would seem that every car company has a “Model S killer”.

Sometimes experience has value, but it’s not the only answer. The answer is that ability to learn and adapt quickly. In business and in design - it’s a consistent rule that will stick.

#everydaycreativebattle 184/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

How to do better work

It’s actually quite simple. Do more of it. Do the work you have the urge to do, then do the opposite. Then, do what’s in between. The trick is to produce a lot of work. It doesn’t have to be good, but it has to have a purpose. 

The thing is, most folks are their own worst critics. When creative people create, they only see the flaws. They forego the positive parts of the work. I know I do. Often times I go back and look at my own work from years past. Work that I hated at the time - work that I found useless and uncreative. I look at it now and think - “Hey actually look pretty good”. My mind can’t help but wander to the possibility where I would have continued to output more work on a more consistent basis. Where would I be now? 

The answer is - I’d be here but, doing better and better work.  

So produce. Despite criticism, despite laziness and despite yourself. The more work you do, the better you get.

#everydaycreativebattle 183/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Understanding the source

I recently listened to the Elon Musk documentary again, and I always walk away inspired. One thing that stood out is how Musk would try to get to the core of a subject. “Take it down to the physics”. In order understand what’s possible, his mind goes to the core structure of materials and the physics around a problem. Only then can he have a realistic conversation regarding what is in fact possible. 

This is an awesome lesson. Often we make decisions and assumptions based on not truly understanding what we’re doing. Sure, it might be rooted in lessons from the past, but understanding where something came from will allow you to make better decisions as to where it should go. Otherwise you’re doomed to remake the same mistakes. 

This applies to design quite well. Do you know why a chair was designed a certain way? What was the thought process behind a logo? Do you understand the criteria? Sure, you can judge the final product, but if you really want to learn and progress things, understand the source should be part of the equation. 

#everydaycreativebattle 182/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

One eye on the future

If you want to succeed in the market, its advisable to play the long game. The long game means you have to split your focus. Part of your focus needs to be on whats going on around you today. What immediate problems can you solve right now? What is your biggest contribution to the organization? What is your true immediate value?

At the same time, you have to constantly be asking about the future. You must look forward to make sure your path aligns with that target. 

Both aspects must be considered. Both must be executed. Both or nothing. If you only see whats around you today, you might be going in a completely wrong direction. Sometimes you have to find the time and look forward, evaluate and adjust as needed. 

#everydaycreativebattle 181/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Your capacity is adaptable

There’s an article out there where a Navy Seal talked about mind over matter and testing your limits. There’s a rule he figured out - that when you think you’ve reached your absolute limit,  your wall,  you’ve only reached about 40% of your true capability.

This is an amazing finding if it’s close to the truth. And I imagine it is. Mind over matter applies in all aspects. There’s an assumption from people that those folks who are capable of great feats must be extremely talented. People getting out of bed at 4:30am to go do a 12 mile run must not be tired in their mornings. It’s likely nothing further from the truth. Everyone is tired. Everyone struggles. Everyone works through difficulty - it’s really whether or not your mind can be stronger than your body. 

If you apply this mentality to creative work, your inability to be creative is nothing short of a mental exercise. It’s possible to go past it, go beyond it, and do the thing that most won’t.

#everydaycreativebattle 180/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Recharge

This is the 2nd time I was unable to post on a day. I was in New York city on that day. Actually we were walking through Chelsea not too long before the Chelsea explosion took place. Makes you think about what's important. 

I considered giving this up. I decided to keep going. I'm past the halfway point now - the experiment goes on. 

#everydaycreativebattle 179/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

People change brands

Brands are built and cultivated. Their honed and refined. They'reexposed and brought out into the wild. People experience the brand. They absorb it. The judge it. They either buy in or they move on. 

Some brands lose their way. They pander to a mass audience. They forget why they exist. The forget what made them special. People who follow the brand may complain of the change - people who work on the brand may want to change the brand. 

It's people. It's not the market. It's not the economy. It's people. 

#everydaycreativebattle 178/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Never stop searching

If you haven't found it, if you're not consumed by it, if you're not thinking it then you must keep searching.  

#everydaycreativebattle 177/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Why small can win over big

I don’t know much about the companies in Silicon Valley, but I’m guessing this rule applies there as well. The larger the organization and the older it is, the more unresponsive and slow it becomes. That formula can likely be calculated. 

Older companies are likely run by older systems. They adhere to older rules. They do business the older way. They see past successes and try to replicate them. They think they know the market and understand the customer. Mind you, this has nothing to do with age. An older company can employ people out of school and raise them into their older systems - some of those people will become believers. When you hear something often enough, you begin to believe it. 

So, why am I talking about this? Those old companies are/were likely the leaders in their industry. Slow to adapt. Slow to change. Preoccupied with the wrong things. That’s the insight. That’s what every small player needs to understand. The trick is to not become big and cumbersome and move with the times, adapt as you need, do the right things and always be open to change. Something an old organization can never do without drastic measure.

#everydaycreativebattle 176/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Think about it

What do you find yourself thinking about day to day? Whether its your commute or perhaps your run in the evening. Maybe it’s some down time on the weekend when you can just relax and unwind… Where does your mind go? What do you linger on? What do you think about?

I’ve been recently listening to an audio book called “Surely, you myst be joking Mr. Feinman”. It’s a collection of stories from Richard P. FIenman and his quirky approach to life and everything around it. He was known as the kid who would fix Radio’s by thinking about it. What does that really mean? Well, without getting too much into it, it seems that Feinman would constantly busy his mind with useful thoughts. Whether it’s about his work and being a professor, or solving problems and helping build the atomic bomb, or something more devious and fun like learning how to crack a safe and pick up some ladies at the bar. He had a curious mind that was always thinking. Always questioning. Always enjoying what was around him. It’s a great book for anyone interested. 

So what’s the takeaway? If you want to get better at your job or with your project, you need to spend time thinking about it. Not just how great it could be, and how difficult things are right now, no, you need to think about what you’ll be tackling next and what you can do to solve the problem in front of you. I’m quite certain that if we count up all the time we spend thinking about absolutely nothing it would be tremendous. What if all that energy and time went towards actual problems? What if all that brain power was put on what’s important?

It’s like a habit. (not comparing myself to Feinman) I’ve been on some very creative kicks where my mind was completely only focused on a specific problem. Day in and day out. And it worked. You begin to move quicker. You can make better decisions. You can iterate and refine a lot more before even getting to work on something.  So, yes, think about it more not by spending more time on it, but using the time you have and putting it to good use. 

#everydaycreativebattle 175/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

You choose...

You can’t choose your interests. You can’t choose your natural talent - you can train your talents, but you don’t get to choose them. 

You can choose to to be the hardest working person.

You can choose to be the most consistent person.

You can choose to the person who does whats necessary.

You can choose to be the person who “gets it”.

 You can choose how much of your time is spent on whats important. 

When people complain about feeling powerless and unrecognized, it’s likely they haven’t taken those choices. Or perhaps they haven’t fully committed to them. Always remember that most of what you do and how well you do it is your choice. What would you choose?

#everydaycreativebattle 174/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Design will change the world

That’s right.

Look around you. Every single object was intentionally designed and created. Someone thought about how it looks, how it works, and how it will survive out there in the world. They thought about how you bought it, how you thought about it, how you pictured yourself owning it. They thought about the story you told yourself to justify the purchase.

So what does this mean?

If every single thinking the world is designed, then design effects how the world works. Anything and everything can be designed. It can be improved and made better. It can be more efficient and better looking. It can be better designed. 

Design will change the world, you can decide if its for the better.

#everydaycreativebattle 173/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Know your capability

Do you deliver on your promises? How good are you at estimating time? Creativity is a difficult and full of turmoil and unknowns. Yet still, as a creative professional individual you need to have the ability to estimate how long something will take. It can be as simple as quoting hours to as complicated as quoting a complete project (which could be over a year). So, how good are you? What’s your hit rate?

I often hear the excuse of unknowns. “But I’ve been working hard that whole month”.  

No excuse is a good excuse. Any professional individual needs to understand their capability. She needs to commit to her estimates, deliver what she promised. And yes, there are unfortunate and unforeseen unknowns. In those cases, extreme foresight is necessary. In the case of unknowns, the team or the client needs to be aware of the forthcoming unknown. Giving your team a heads up on your progress can help keep expectations in check. No one likes a nasty surprise on the day something is due. “I didn’t have time to get to it this week” is a tough sell. No matter the circumstances.

Everyone needs to know their capability. Everyone needs hone and constantly evaluate what they can do and how quickly they can do it. We live in a competitive world. If you don’t understand your capability, it’s like an olympic runner not caring about their lap times. You have to know in order to improve. You have to.

#everydaycreativebattle 172/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

What if you do it for yourself?

You wake up early. You have to shower and groom yourself. You gotta get dressed. All before 7am. You gotta fight the traffic and the weather to get to a place. You stay there and you work. You’re there to contribute your time and energy on something for someone. Someone is taking your effort and putting it towards achieving something. They are using you for profit. In return, you get a steady paycheck. So you can fight traffic and get home, and then sit and watch tv and eat and attempt to enjoy your life by entertaining yourself… all in an effort to restart the same day over and over. 

This is life for 80% of people. What’s mind boggling is that when people loose this perceived stability, they get upset. (I’m part of this group btw) They seek to fix the situation. They look for another job. Another reason to repeat their daily routine.

The question I often wonder about is - what if you put the same energy on building something for yourself? No, it’s not for everyone, but it is for some people. What if you take all that effort and energy and put it towards your own projects? What would happen? What if you do it and get all the benefit and glory? What if you collect the fruits of your labor? 

Whats amazing is that knowing this, it’s more comfortable to do the other thing. It feels safer to stay at the job and work for someone and do the routine. As Seth Godin says - what used to be safe isn’t safe anymore. It’s time to wake up. It’s time to channel our energy and think about the real future. Future work won’t be the same work that you see today (or what was there in the past). Future work will be different. It’s time to realize it. It’s time to grab your future by the horns.

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This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov

Same time. Same place.

Projects and ideas are difficult. They’re rough and weak and usually very fragile. If you’re alone working on it, you’re at the mercy of making all the decisions yourself, and potentially losing interest. When you have partners you have the ability to team up on based on your strengths. You also have the added benefits of cross influence and inspiration. This can be a great asset. Like a couple of runners egging each other on to keep up and do better each time. Partnerships can be wonderful. 

They can also be difficult in themselves. Difference of vision. Different schedules. Different ideas and timing. Different histories and needs. Picking the right partner can be the thing that makes a difference in your world. And it can be a decision that you’ll live with for as long as your project persists. 

So what do you do?

Front load it. Get to the same page as soon and as quickly as possible. Full on due diligence. Full on commitment. Full on everything. Why? Take a look at Hyperloop. 

Got on the same page as soon as you can. And if you can’t then it’s likely time to move on to better things. You may have a project that deserves that.

#everydaycreativebattle 170/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking. 
Dmitry N. Rusakov