Ruthless People
Ruthless People
Year: 1986
Director: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker et Jerry Zucker
Bette Midler

Shiny!! On Cultivating The Art of  Liberating Ruthlessness.

Most freelancers are creative. We just feel better doing our own thing. We’re that round peg in a square hole.

One of the biggest, most easy to miss obstacles for us to bring our craft (whatever it may be) fully to market is what I call the “SHINY!” state of mind. On my most *Shiny!!* days, it looks something like this:




Mailbox: “Here are tons of really cool things that you need to stay up to date on!

Me: “Yeah, it IS really cool to learn ‘How To Track Dark Social Traffic,’ (even though I hire contractors for my deepest, darkest social spelunking for Online Reputation client kerfuffles.)

Facebook Feed:Hey, did you see these cool new tools? Don’t you want to stay up to the minute on everything that could possibly pertain to you?”

Me: “It DOES look interesting. This would be a great thing for *insert student’s name here.* Maybe I should have a look and then see what else is out there to compare it with”

Instagram Feed: “Shiny!!! Look how well done this post is. See all the cool detail? See how you could work this idea?”

Me: “You’re right. That IS cool!! I need to do a lot more of that. Let’s do it right now!”

What’s wrong with being naturally inquisitive and geeky enough to want to research things and do them better? Nothing! Aaaaand… everything.

Being eternally open-minded and creative is a blast, until it’s time to get something to market. So what’s my thought on getting more to market and spending less attention on *SHINY?*

Cultivating The Liberating Art of Ruthlessness

Well, it feels evil and ruthless, right up until I remember that I have only a certain amount of attention to give on a daily basis. This stuff is all asking/demanding/conning/enticing me into paying attention by triggering that (in)famous “fear of missing out” among other things. By savagely cutting away at what’s unessential, trusting that I can indeed search for whatever it is I want to learn about, I can practice The Liberating Art of Ruthlessness.

May I share a fabulous, true story of “The Liberating Art of Ruthlessness” via a friend?

My friend, his wife, and their two Chihuahuas suddenly received great news. She got a fabulous new job!! Suddenly, they had 2 weeks to relocate from Atlanta to Queens. They had cars. They had excess furniture. They had job transitions to think through. He’s a well-known freelance journalist and she has a traditional job, so he had the flexibility to relocate their family in just 2 weeks. When I marveled, asking HOW DID YOU DO THAT?! He said “It’s simple. I just got really ruthless about what to keep, how to get rid of it, and what needed to happen to get us to the next place. I didn’t over analyze anything or try to make anything perfect. I just DID IT.”

So I’m embracing The Art of Liberating Ruthlessness today as I Unroll my email subscriptions. This tool has changed my world, although I do have to ‘Unroll” periodically to keep it current. It’s free, by the way. Just visit for details.

Do you cultivate The Liberating Art of Ruthlessness? If so, please share your tips and tricks!!

Are you currently feel you could be more effective, if only you didn’t have a pile of “Shiny!” you feel obligated to tend to? What do you think is at the bottom of all that “Shiny!” tending? Because I guarantee you it’s about a lot more than curiosity. I know mine is. It’s a perfectionism and fear of not being enough if I don’t have 457 new skills developed or refined on a weekly basis. More or less. 😉

What’s going on with you? Please scroll down and share if it helps you or somebody else!