Here’s a metric that can help you determine if you’re on track for reaching your goals: are you spending your time, money, and attention differently than most people?
Late last year, soon after launching this weblog, Shawn (amongst others) urged me to visit Macworld 2012 in San Francisco. Despite my relative nascence in the independent community, the idea was nevertheless appealing. Submerging myself within a community of like-minded individuals — people enjoying varying degrees of success for pursuing their true passions — seemed a prudent thing to do.
Although the visit lasted for only three days, my time cut short by the restrictions of a typical workplace environment, my time in San Francisco last January has proven to be one of the most important trips of my adult life thus far. Surrounded by considerate, open-minded, and forward-thinking developers, journalists, and entrepreneurs, the conversations I shared allowed the true shape of my own hopes and aspirations to come into clear sight.
Such introspection was not derived from lengthy discussions of page-views and writing, but instead from stories of families, lives, and homes. Lending personality to a stark, digitized environment and emphasizing the sacrifice, thoughtfulness, and courage that is required to pursue your hopes, I found a near-endless supply of encouragement from these individuals, regardless of the time we all spent in the same place.
In the ensuing months, I've established conversation as one of the outset goals of my future, whatever it may prove to be. Meeting with entrepreneurs of all industries, artists of all mediums, and thinkers of all disciplines, I have grown ever-more confident and self-assured in my own path. From these individuals of intense personality-driven success, I have derived confidence and heaped it onto a growing framework for the future.
As much as business may require an adept understanding of the arts of shrewd negotiation and advantageous perception, the most fundamental — and strangely overlooked — element of success resides with the people of an industry. Cutting to the core of personalities, learning the nuanced subtleties paving the way toward success, and comprehending the differentiation of one person's success over another person's failure, it is from this vantage point that you may truly come to understand yourself. To find the means to progress onward in your own environment.
Perhaps such conversations cut away at valuable hours of the working day, but they directly correspond to the degree of success that an individual may ever truly achieve.