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what I want to do vs. what I need to do  RSS feed

 
master steward
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Jocelyn and I made a quick trip to seattle last week.  On the way back she asked me to differentiate what I want to do rather than what I am doing.  What an amazing question.

I need this book to be "out there".   If nothing else, it represents a cohesive position.  A philosophy set.  By having the book exist, then all of the other things I am trying to do become easier.   A bit less of swimming upstream.  

I have another book that I need to get out there.  About community.   But it seems that it might not be as popular as some other things that I also feel compelled to get out there:  https://permies.com/t/106867/future-books-paul

I need to get the bootcamp running at full speed.   I need to get a well at the lab.   I need to find several somebodies to be a great fit here for lots of projects (event coordinator, videographer, natural builder) and maybe we need an overall business manager. We need to improve the overall forward velocity.

And I need several people who wish to harvest the 50% affiliate fee set up on the digital market stuff.  And on thread boost stuff.

I have a need to get the other books done too.  




But what I want ...  instead of need ...   what would be a lovely, leisurely thing to do when all of the needs are not pressing?   What would be a nice and easy delicious thing when there are vast expanses of empty days before me?  I like thing thing I did for the 21 podcast review of sepp holzer's permaculture book.  I like the reviews we do of movies like broken limbs, chemerical or stink.  Or the bagwan show.  I have a list of books and documentaries I have set aside for this purpose.  But that's for when I have lots of time - not for when I am behind on all the things I need to do.

But it is fascinating to contemplate the difference.

 
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paul wheaton wrote:...But it is fascinating to contemplate the difference.



It sure is, Paul.

Nice to be back here exploring the forums again...

...with social media getting on my nerves again - I know that this is one place where I can find "my people"

Less screen time on other platforms (what I want to do) means more screen time and potential connectivity here on permies (what I need to do).

Thanks Paul - hope all is well.


 
master pollinator
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That's a really good question to ask.

I was wondering if you had a single thread that outlines the affiliate fee thing on this site. I am making progress on some of my personal projects, and if I can generate some forward momentum and help this community as well, I would like to.

I don't have an opinion on the community book. I feel that it's time perhaps hasn't come, like the Better World Book's has, by virtue of their levels of completion. I think that if it marinates a bit, or ferments, it will become what you want it to be without having to drain your resources over it.

I also think that what you might need is a project coordinator. Where do farms and land-based food systems start, generally speaking? Because I think that, unless there's a spring-fed watercourse or permanent ponds, my priority would be a well. What's the emergency order of operations, water, shelter, food, right (unless not having shelter immediately will kill you)?

I only say this because there are projects like the books that require your direct and attentive participation. These things can't make any real progress without you. There is another layer of things that require doing, but most of these require your attention in the planning stage. If you had a project manager to take in your concerns about and needs for the project(s) to fulfill, who can then step in and get it done, or organise your people to get it done, you can make lists and consult with one person, whose job it would then be to execute your vision.

I know, easier said than done, and likely right along the lines of what you described as your personnel needs.

Do you have any thought about the nature of your personnel problem?

-CK
 
paul wheaton
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affiliate stuff:  there should be a link at the bottom of every page.

community book:   I feel that solving this massive riddle will solve a large portion of the world's problems and bring joy to billions.  The first step in solving the problem is to try.   And I have a big "try" that is about 50% written.


Do you have any thought about the nature of your personnel problem?



I call it "the faviken problem".  It has to do with living so far away from a pool of jobs.  

So I feel like the root of the solution would be:

    - get water on the lab
    - get allerton abbey to 100%
    - offer a position to live in allerton abbey that pays too much
    - have too much money on hand to pay the person that takes the job
    - hire 20 people, fire 19

And that's for the event coordinator and rental manager.

The hire/fire part suggests that we need a business manager that will fill in and train that person.   So, again, water on the lab ...   a home ...  too much money ... hire and fire ...

Of course, because I am so busy at the moment, my process is "50% of the rental gross to whoever does the work" and hope somebody great happens to show up.  
 
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You're right;"too much money" is probably the only way to get a competent, "go-get-em" attitude employee who can be self-directed and ensure growth of the business, rather than just maintain.  

It probably won't even end up being a Permie-type person (unless they're REALLY self-disciplined), because we get too distracted trying to build stuff and grow plants
 
master steward
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:

It probably won't even end up being a Permie-type person (unless they're REALLY self-disciplined), because we get too distracted trying to build stuff and grow plants


This.

IMHO, this is the personnel challenge in a nutshell. Permies who want to move to our beautiful property, in Big Sky Montana, are folks who no longer want a cubicle life, and who are sick of the rat race, or never had an interest in a desk job to begin with. They want to be out on the property, growing things, building things, getting their hands dirty while under that Big Sky sun.

And yet coordinating all the things and people here - sending them directions, acknowledging registrations, setting up and booking events and rentals, making money to pay for all the things, even ordering food and supplies - it all means computer time. Desk time.

Paul and I have both had increased desk time after moving here, which is an ironic thing to have happen after you purchase more than 220 acres.

I work with small businesses and small farmers. None of them want to sit at their computer to do the bookkeeping or some of the other data crunching tasks that make their business sing. I tell PDC students this all the time:  if you want to host events or rentals at your property, be sure you're ready or have helpers to set up those websites, and collect the data. It means computer time.


 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote: Permies who want to move to our beautiful property, in Big Sky Montana, are folks who no longer want a cubicle life, and who are sick of the rat race, or never had an interest in a desk job to begin with. They want to be out on the property, growing things, building things, getting their hands dirty while under that Big Sky sun.



Which leads one to wonder: if Paul wants to spend his time making podcasts and documentaries, what makes him a Montana permie?
 
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It might not be necessary in the moment to have that person live in Montana. It might work out just fine to hire an online person who doesnt mind the computer time. There is a whole industry of online personal/ business assistants. You interview and choose one and that person works somewhere in the world doing the tasks you set for them. Some people specialize in websites, others at answering emails and calls, others at coordinating events/ appointments. In this capacity you probably wouldnt get a business manager, but you might get a coordinator in order to take screen time away from you all. They tend to be pretty reasonable in hourly rate and only get paid if they document what they do on an hourly basis.

For the business manager person, it might work best to put an ad out in the missoula area. A good business person doesnt have to be a permie person, as long as they can understand and promote the ideals.

Here are a few companies that I found that do the virtual assistant thing:

https://www.zirtual.com
https://www.evirtualservices.com/executive-assistant
https://www.upwork.com
https://www.virtualassistants.com



 
Jocelyn Campbell
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For most of the jobs, we need people here onsite at wheaton labs. For gobs and gobs of reasons.

Even for virtual assistant jobs, it's a matter of trying out folks to find a good fit. Both Paul and myself have tried out virtual help recently, and, frankly, we have just needed a break from that for a while. Some times, for some things, it's just easier to do it yourself.

So what I hear Paul describing in the OP is that he wants to create more content. I'm biased of course, though I think he's really rather brilliant at creating content (writing, podcasts, videos, forums!!, etc.). It makes sense to me that he'd love to do more of that.

And as for doing things under the Big Sky sun, I've heard Paul express that he wants to see some of his content and theories come to life here at wheaton labs. Though it's rather impossible to create the things he wants to create all by himself. (I think it would be impossible for anyone to create "all the things" all by themself, unless they dedicated decades upon decades...) So there are layers upon layers of how the content fits with real life/meat space.

Lately, I've been very grateful that we've had residents, guests, and boots who understand that it takes a huge amount of desk time to run an online empire, to work to pay for all the things a massive project like wheaton labs entails, and to feed (literally and figuratively) and facilitate all the people learning and visiting and such.

We are in the trenches trying and doing "all the things." In fact, Paul led the boots in building shelves part of the day yesterday (because we're still basically snowed in), and I just took a break from the computer to chip at the ice that is still over small parts of our front walkway. It's warming up, so it melts during the day but then freezes at night again, creating more ice for the next day. Later this afternoon I'll be cutting short my accounting work to make/coordinate a big dinner with Paul, Fred, Jeremy, Robbie, Logan, Dylan, and Dale.

We've also been wonderfully lucky that the recent boots have been super awesome housemates. This reduces my stress of sharing our home by about 1000%. And I'm starting to see down the road to having some wiggle room in my time. Maybe. I've been less available in the last year or two for making podcasts or doing reviews with Paul, and he's been overbooked as well. So it's been a bit of a sad thing.

In any case, I've been re-evaluating my own focus and looking for ways of being more proactive than reactive this year (and the next few years). Hence the conversations with Paul about "what do you want to do?" I think this thread was Paul expressing how he has lots of things he wants to do that are difficult to get to.



 
Nathanael Szobody
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:.

So what I hear Paul describing in the OP is that he wants to create more content. I'm biased of course, though I think he's really rather brilliant at creating content (writing, podcasts, videos, forums!!, etc.). It makes sense to me that he'd love to do more of that.

And as for doing things under the Big Sky sun, I've heard Paul express that he wants to see some of his content and theories come to life here at wheaton labs. Though it's rather impossible to create the things he wants to create all by himself. (I think it would be impossible for anyone to create "all the things" all by themself, unless they dedicated decades upon decades...) So there are layers upon layers of how the content fits with real life/meat space.



Gotcha.

Which is totally social permaculture in action. Paul has found a unique "niche in time and space" that only he can fill right between the internet and the boots. We, the larger ecosystem, are benefiting enormously. Keep up the good work! ... And I love permaculture documentaries :-)
 
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