The Permission to Suck

“I needed to give myself permission to suck in order to get better. When I did, it felt like a weight had be lifted off my shoulders. Shortly after that experience, I hit “publish.”

I needed to give myself permission to suck in order to get better. When I did, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Shortly after that experience, I hit “publish.”

It may seem like this is in direct conflict with what I posted yesterday but I’m not sure you should see it that way.

I see this more along the lines of allowing yourself to learn to walk before trying to run. With any endeavor, you can strive for quality, but you can’t let a never ending pursuit of perfection prevent you from taking the next step. In the case of what I hope to share on the Patagonia Dad blog, I want the content I deliver to be interesting, quality, and contribute to your life in some way.

However, I can’t do that if I don’t give myself permission to suck every now and then.

How does the saying go?

  • “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” –unknown
  • “The best is the enemy of the good.” — Voltaire
  • “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” — Confucius

Permission to suck – The Writing Cooperative

Quality vs Quantity

“You do not need to be prolific to find success with your words. You just need to commit yourself to creating your specific value in the world and allow others to join in on it too…”

You do not need to be prolific to find success with your words. You just need to commit yourself to creating your specific value in the world and allow others to join in on it too.

You are not a product of the quantity of your output, but the quality of the value you put out into the world around you.


Do you see your contribution to the world as work en masse? Going for volume like a kid piling up a bunch of rocks to prove how many he can stack until they fall over?

Or do you have a paced intentionality? Work that may never be impressively voluminous but will make someone stop and really look at what you have created – bringing them moments of peace and reflection.

​It is easy to get excited when starting something new…even if it is something you have done before, like me with this website. I fell in to that trap with my past sites, and not only did I burn myself out doing it, but I didn’t always have a site that I was completely proud of.

I’ll have to take heed of this as I move forward here. Call me out if you see me falling off the quality train and appearing to go for quantity!

You Don’t Have to Be Prolific to Accomplish Your Blogging Dreams

Links of the Week (8/26/2019)

​Found some great reads this week. It’s not often that I come across 2 or 3 articles that really make me think twice about my life.

7 Steps to Successful Selling with Teespring

Good advice from an expert.

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Ira Glass

Good advice from an expert. This obviously applies to more than just selling things.

I Figured out Why Kids Don’t Eat the Crust

Lessons from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Lessons from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich


There are many things that kids do that confound us. As a parent, I often look at my kids sideways, wondering why they thought it was a good idea to see mud and head straight for it, why they think that dipping cheetos in chocolate milk will make them taste better, or why they diligently avoid the crust of any sandwich they eat.

Today it hit me…

They’re Going Straight For The Flavor

I was standing there watching my daughter eat a bagel with peanut butter, getting it all over her face. After I had wiped her face a couple times, I gave up – waiting for her to finish before I went in with another wipe. As she chomped away, her eyes were focused; she was determined to get to the heart of the semi-melted peanut butter bagel that held her attention like no preschool teacher ever could.

All she could think about in that moment was how good that peanut butter was going to be and again how good it was while she was eating it. Nothing else. She could have had peanut butter from her lips to her ear lobes and she would still be happy.

Which led me to my second realization…

They Don’t Stress The Mess

A couple days ago my oldest had jelly from his pb&j on his ear and either had no idea or didn’t care. His first priority was not making sure he looked good or wasn’t messy, he was enjoying the moment. He wasn’t really avoiding the crust of his sandwich, he was just going straight for the flavor, and not stressing the mess. No inner voice saying “Look at your face man!! You look like you rubbed an uncrustable all over it!”.

He was all in on that pb&j…not a care in the world about the somewhat superfluous things that adults care about.

Two Lessons From A PB&J

Think about those two things.

  • Go straight for the flavor
  • Don’t stress the mess

How many places in your adult life do you think you could apply those two lessons? The next time you plan a family fun night…a trip…a kid’s sleepover?

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that as we gain more responsibility, it becomes harder for us to let go – because we know that we have to do the “adulting” on the backend of any event, big or small – sandwich or family vacation. However, thinking about everything you have to clean up or do afterwards often takes away from your ability to enjoy the moment. Hell, sometimes I end up not enjoying it at all…I don’t get any flavor from the peanut butter and jelly of life! That’s no way to live.

So what do you do?

You step back, self-reflect, decide to change, then change. Next time you take your kids out you go straight for that flavor and don’t stress the mess.

I know that I may be stretching my illustration a bit…but I think next time I eat a pb&j…I won’t eat the crust.

Song for the Weekend (8/22/2019)

Throwin’ songs at you on Thursdays so your Fridays can be jammin’.

Throwin’ songs at you on Thursdays so your Fridays can be jammin’. Not a bad way to start the weekend. (I’ll link to this and all future songs here)

This week’s song is by The Bros Landreth.

Got to Be You

Joey Landreth, David Landreth, Wyatt Durette

She got her hand in my pocket
She walks with a swing
My baby she gives me that old school thang

Now she don’t mind
If the whole world stares
She’s so fine you know it just ain’t fair
She’s so fine you know it just ain’t fair

Oh, What can I do?
She’s the only one
I’m helpless it’s true
I’ve come undone
Honey It’s got to be you

When she calls me in the nighttime
Talkin’ sweet and low
My heart skips a beat oh brother don’t you know

When she kisses and a hugs me
It makes me wanna sing
She got a shiny kind of love like a diamond ring
Shiny kind of love like a diamond ring

Oh, What can I do?
She’s the only one
I’m helpless it’s true
I’ve come undone
Honey It’s got to be you

She got her hand in my pocket
And she walks with a swing
My baby she gives me that old school thang

When she kisses and a hugs me
It makes me wanna sing
She got a shiny kind of love like a diamond ring
Shiny kind of love like a diamond ring

Oh, What can I do?
She’s the only one
I’m helpless it’s true
I’ve come undone
Honey It’s got to be you

Blogging about Vlogging

Last year about this time I got bit by the vlogger bug. Pretty bad too. As you saw from my previous post, I learned a lot in 40 weeks. That’s solid 9-10 months of vlogging!! It was exhausting and I learned what I was hoping to learn…but in reality, I only learned a tiny piece of what’s out there. BUT it was great.

Now that I’m back up and on my own website, I’ll probably split my time between vlogging, blogging, and doing nothing. One thing I know about myself is that if I feel too obligated to do something, it often loses the sense of fun that keeps my passion running it. However, what I also realized I can do…is blog…about my vlog. It’s all about finding material and content right?

Blogging about Vlogging!

You should always assume that you are not the first one to come up with an idea (unless you can get a .com domain name…like I did here…boom baby!) . And if I am not the first one to write about blogging about vlogging, the PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I would love to read another blogger’s take. There is no better way to get better than to see what else is possible and strive to elevate oneself to a higher bar.

my first vlog ever

My First Vlog

The above video was my first vlog ever. Not bad in my opinion. I pretty much spelled out why I started the vlog, and it actually reflects why I started it back up after a 6-7 month break.

  • I want to record my family memories
  • It incentivizes me to do more with my family
  • I like the creation process
  • Learning and using the gear and software is fun

I honestly think that the only reason I didn’t start sooner was I didn’t know it was a thing until recently. (yes…I work too much) But I’m glad that I did because it scratches so many itchs for me. I do look back at my videoing techniques and editing faux pas and cringe every now and then…that’s also part of the fun.

Be Careful Though

One of the things that I discovered when I was vlogging regularly, was that I got sucked in to looking at my metrics. Before I knew it, I was checking the YouTube studio app , which is great regardless of my previous obsession, read incessantly about how to keep my video interactions high…all that stuff.

Thus I had to back off…I was enjoying it, but it started eating at me a bit and I would get frustrated if I didn’t “have content” to make videos…when really I just need to take a day or two off. So I took a few months off – ha!

All That to Say…

I’ll be blogging about some of my vlogging.

Topics I’m considering:

  • technical lessons learned
  • how I picked my gear
  • why I picked the gear I did
  • technique lessons learned
  • how to get comfortable talking to a camera you’re holding
  • how to explain to your family what the hell you’re doing and why
  • and more…

If any of these interest you, let me know and I’ll cover that one first. That way you can say you contributed to the next installation of ‘blogging about vlogging’.