Sticky Notes - How to reinvent yourself.

Here's how to avoid ending up on Cameo.

Early on in your career, before you've had the chance to make any sort of name for yourself, it's worthwhile to be hyper-focused in what it is that you do. 

Nobody knows who the hell you are and you have yet to prove yourself and so to stay top of mind, you need to become known as "the _____ guy" or "the _____ gal". 

When my grandfather was growing up in the small town of Francisco, Indiana there was one of everything.

There was one gravedigger.

There was one blacksmith.

There was one carpenter.

There was one milkman

There was one roofer. 

When you needed something done, you knew exactly who to call. And, if you didn't know exactly who to call, you called someone that did. 

This is still mostly how folks make decisions nowadays. When we need something done, we thumb through the Rolodex in our minds and if we come up short, we ask those around us if they "know a guy". 

Decision-makers with deep pockets at big companies operate in much the same way.

When Nike needs a kick-ass graphic designer to take on a special project for them, they're not Googling "best graphic designers". They're calling their friends over at Apple and asking them if they've recently worked with a graphic designer that blew their fucking socks off. 

Where young guns get themselves in trouble, is they drop their trousers, pump themselves full of Viagra and attempt to fuck the world. They attempt to be everything to everyone. 

You don't build a career this way, at least not early on; you build a career by choosing a specific skill and then becoming one of the best in the world at that specific skill. 

Some examples of folks who've done this incredibly well are Aaron Draplin over at Draplin Design Co., Colson Whitehead who writes novels like The Nickel Boys, Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings (now The Marginalian) and, of course, stars we all recognize who've made careers singing, making art and playing in movies.

However, as you get further along in your craft and you become known as "the _____ guy" or "the _____ gal" and you make a metric fuck ton of money being known as "the _____ guy" or "the _____ gal"... you risk becoming a Caricature of yourself.

The three-part Netflix documentary, Jeen-Yuhs, shows an up-close and personal look at the risks of becoming your own Caricature.

There are artists like Jamie Foxx, Jay-Z and Kanye West who are still setting the world on fire decades after the footage for the documentary was originally captured... then there are artists like Scarface who are now on Cameo. 

The difference between lifelong success and ending up on Cameo is reinvention.

Jamie Foxx isn't just an artist, he's an actor who has played astounding roles in Baby Driver, Django and Ray.

Jay-Z isn't just an artist, he's a renowned businessman and investor, who has made a fortune in Uber, Oatley, SpaceX, JetSmart (Uber for private jets) and countless other enterprises.

Then, of course, there's Kanye West who isn't just an artist (constantly pushing the boundaries in music) but who has become one of the most influential minds in fashion alive today.

(Though, his antics off the stage and runway may eventually lead to his fall...) 

The reason so few people reinvent themselves is because once you become known for a specific thing and become loved for a specific thing and become paid handsomely to do that specific thing over and over again, reinventing yourself risks you losing... everything.

But, not reinventing yourself might mean you one day looking up to an empty arena, as folks have grown tired of the same joke. 

By Cole Schafer.

P.S. If someone forwarded you this newsletter and you aren't easily offended by the word "fuck", click the black button down below and subscribe. 

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Speaking of reinvention, subscribe to the Milk Road. 

My homie, Ben Levy, is writing the only newsletter I'm reading at the moment. The Milk Road is essentially an idiot's guide to all things Web3 and Crypto.

It doesn't take Nostra-fucking-damus to predict the pair will drastically change our lives over the next decade and so I think it's worth 5-minutes each day to educate ourselves on the space. 

It's also damn good writing and wildly entertaining. So, even if you aren't remotely interested in Web 3 or Crypto, I'd consider subscribing for a daily lesson on writing a damn good newsletter that people actually want to read.  

Creamy Time.
How to combat momentum (and how to keep it on your side). 

Momentum can be defined as “mass in motion”.

Some say that when a full-size Siberian tiger builds up enough momentum, being hit by him can feel akin to being hit by a small car.

You quickly understand the repercussions of momentum in hand-to-hand combat.

In Krav Maga, the infamous Israeli self-defense, you’re taught to “close the gap” between yourself and your adversary.

In part, because it’s within close proximity where you can gain access to vital pressure points like the eyes, groin, nose, ears and chin; and where you can wield your most deadly weapons, your elbows and knees.

In part, because it’s within close proximity where you can lessen the range of your opponent’s strikes and, in turn, prevent them from building momentum.

A fist is not dangerous at rest.

It only becomes dangerous when it is cocked back and swung; when it has the opportunity to gain momentum.

When a tiger can fully cock back and strike with his paw at full force, it can be so momentous and dangerous that it can shatter the skull of a bear.

There’s another kind of momentum, though, that not a lot of people talk about.

Momentum can also be defined as “energy in motion”.

Growing up, playing basketball, it was astonishing how you could be winning a game by fifteen points and then, in a matter of two minutes, the momentum could shift and you could find yourself down a handful of points.

Coaches, at least the good coaches, keep momentum on their side or prevent their opponents from gaining momentum through what is called a “time-out”.

If you watch good college coaches, they’re quite strategic about when they call a time-out.

Oftentimes, it’s not when the opposing team has the chance to make a run by ten or so points but right after they’ve made two great plays in a row.

By calling time out, they’re giving themselves time to catch up to the momentum and preventing the opposing team from building up any more of it.

Momentum works off the court and mat, too.

When momentum is on your side in your career, it’s the greatest most beautiful thrill you will ever know. But, when it’s opposing you, it feels like punching at a moving target underwater.

In the moments where momentum is on your side, run as fast as you can in the direction the momentum is carrying you: work harder, work longer hours, capitalize on opportunities, say yes to everything.

But, when you look up to find the momentum is against you, have the wherewithal to call time out, to take a step back, to rest, to recharge, to take inventory, to say no.

Find a good, warm place to hide while the wolves pass you by and the momentum has a chance to die.

Out cold.
Bottoms up.
Bottoms up.
Bottoms up.
Bottoms up.
Bottoms up.

If you like what I'm doing and you want to say thank you, the cheapest way for you to do so is to share something I've written over on Twitter, Linkedin or Instagram; or tell someone you care about to subscribe to Sticky Notes.

However, if you have some extra dough lying around, you might consider blowing it on one of these goodies... 

* My course on building a freelance business
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You can also show your appreciation by buying me a drink.

I'm talking Moscow Mules.

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