Here’s why Twitter software engineer Buster Benson or Y Combinator founder Paul Graham think that you need to learn to love to toil.
The personal slog
Writing on his always-interesting SVBTLE blog, Benson says there are different modes of work:
- Introspection: Finding yourself.
- Exploration: Finding everything else.
- Goal-making: Based on values found during introspection.
- Strategy-making: Hypotheses about how to achieve your goals.
- Experimentation: Trying things, playing, iterating.
- Finding fit: Person/universe fit.
- Slogging: Executing. Doing the work.
Each draws on different moods, states of mind, and brainwaves, Benson says, and we tend to excel at some and suck at others.
These processes don’t happen sequentially; they’re simultaneous. If your workflow is a startup, its organization is flat: Each mode is strongest when the others are strongest, and neglecting one hurts the others.
And it’s the slog that’s getting things done.
An inquiry into human schlepping
Paul Graham is Silicon Valley’s godfather who defines what makes a startup a startup (growth) and what a founder really is: an economic research scientist. Part of that research is schlepping.
“One of the many things we do at Y Combinator is teach hackers about the inevitability of schleps,” he writes in a recent post. “(They) are not merely inevitable, but pretty much what business consists of.”
We don’t like schleps, Graham says, and that dislike provokes an unconscious blindness. We are, unknown to ourselves, pulling away from doing hard stuff (like seeing your friend in Queens).
But because everyone’s scared of the schlep, the toils are doubly valuable.
So keep calm and schlep on.
Here’s the full story.