Stop sending me Calendly links

If you do not know someone — if you haven’t established a working relationship with them — you should never send them a Calendly link.

For those of you who don’t know what Calendly is, let’s break down how it works. It’s basically a link to someone’s schedule, and they’ll have a list of open slots where you can reserve a half-hour or so of their time for a meeting.

The demonization of normality

When faced with problems, as humans we like to knee-jerk a hundred eighty degrees in the opposite direction. Faced with vanity and self-obsession, we like to condemn good looks. Faced with greed and hedonism, we like to condemn financial success. Faced with sloth and incompetence, we like to condemn relaxation. Faced with overwork and exhaustion, we like to condemn work. Of course, this doesn’t really make any sense. It’s never accurate to judge one swing of the pendulum by the extent of the counter-swing. In this maelstrom of polarities and counterpoints, society has developed into relying almost entirely upon ad hominem attacks. We are no longer judging the usefulness of a thing by the thing itself, but by who does… 

Nothing smells rotten in the state of Denmark

It’s August.

Reports say New York City has lost or is going to lose nearly one-third of its small businesses.

The $3,000 to $4,000 per month that over 33 million people are claiming from unemployment has just ended…for now.

1 million new unemployment claims are being filed each week.

Logistics companies lost 33% of their revenue in the past quarter. Entire industries like travel and hospitality have essentially flatlined.

By all accounts, something very bad is happening or is on the cusp of happening.

Failure disguised as caution

I knew a girl in college who was paralyzed by fear. She’d see a fire truck drive by and start worrying that her dorm was on fire. She’d hear about a robbery and ask people to walk her to her car. She’d study for weeks for mid-terms and literally shake in fear as she was leaving them, thinking she’d missed some crucial question. She would use hand sanitizer every few minutes.

Abby was a very bright girl. She got a good job and ended up with a great life. But despite a healthy intellect and marketable skills, she was fighting an uphill battle of risk avoidance. She was afraid of something — anything — going wrong. It’s hard to blame her. A lot of things go wrong.

the thin liquid line

In a crisis, there is a very thin line between crashing and soaring.

Sometimes it’s the industry itself, and that’s not the fault of the company. No airline or hotel business model exactly thrives in a global lockdown.

But outside those specific hammered industries, you can look around at other industries: businesses in the same field either seeing record profits or going flat broke.

universal basic mug

Money helps people.

Due to many factors – decreased violence, technological advancements, increased education, charitable aid, foreign investment – the amount of poverty in the developing world has decreased drastically over the past few decades. In 1990, over 36% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. By 2015, that figure was under 10%.

Regardless of how the folks got the money, having it is clearly positive.

marketing gurus and backwards ball caps

I have a blanket policy of turning down all sales meetings.

The tricky part comes when you don’t know it’s a sales meeting.

We’d recently announced that Discosloth was hiring. I was looking for a paid search specialist, and it took me a few months to find the right fit. Those few months brought an onslaught of inquiries and emails and phone calls – people looking for a job, people trying to sell outsourcing services, people selling software.

Lording it

I was sitting in this fellow’s office, and he was absolutely lording it over me, and I wasn’t even sure why.

I’d gotten to know the owner of a small media company in Little Rock, and he’d wanted me to meet his director of production. I went over to the studio, got introduced, and then sat down in the fellow’s office to get to know him.

Here I was, the naive 24-year-old freelancer, confused as heck.

I was just a camera guy. I made websites on the side. I was broke, had a lot of acne, weighed 145 pounds, and just wanted to hang out around some other media nerds. I was no threat.

Yet somehow that didn’t matter – I was fresh meat and this guy was out for the kill.

control is bred by desperation

Have you ever noticed that whenever a profession is slipping out of first place, tactics get a little more desperate? Whenever something is falling out of favor, and the former experts are getting a little grey around the temples, suddenly there’s a last-ditch grab for control.

I’ve seen it in countless situations. It happened with old-school barbers. It happened with film vs digital photographers. I’m even seeing it start to happen with online marketers.

Here’s how it plays out in real life.