“It seems a farmer was out working his field when his plow caught on something, and it wouldn’t budge. The horse reared up and the farmer cursed. After calming the horse the farmer yanked back on the braces. But the plow still wouldn’t budge. Because he was an impatient man his first reaction was to go into Judger. Had a rock or other obstacle broken his plowshare? That could mean losing at least two days’ work while he hauled the broken parts to the blacksmith! Cursing, he began digging around to free the plow. To his surprise, he discovered that it was caught on an iron ring buried six inches under the ground. After freeing his plow, the farmer got curious. He cleared away some of the dirt and pulled on the iron ring. Off came the lid of an ancient chest. He peeked down inside it. Before him, glittering in the sun, lay a treasure of precious jewels and gold.
This story reminds us that it is often by confronting our toughest obstacles that we find our greatest strengths and possibilities, but sometimes we’ve got to dig deep to find them. Campbell had a phrase for it: Where you stumble, there your treasure is.
To uncover that treasure you’d ask yourself questions like: What could I discover? What haven’t I noticed before? What might be valuable here?”
Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching, and Life by Marilee Adams and Marshall Goldsmith
Crave companions, not competitors. I want people to sail with me through this puzzling and frightening world. I expect to fail at moments on this journey, to get lost—how could I not? And I expect that you too will fail.
“This is required reading for founders. Experienced entrepreneurs all know this period Scott refers to as ‘the messy middle’ and a few of us have worked our way out of it, but this is the first time I’ve seen an expert—both as a founder and as an investor—break down in such detail just how to endure, optimize, and make it through.” —Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Initialized Capital and Reddit
“Scott Belsky is a master of generous work worth doing. The Messy Middle will help you see that you have more control than you dare to admit, and the ability to make a difference if you care enough.” —Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
“Having been through the ups and downs of the messy middle many times, it’s critical to understand the challenges ahead. This insightful book empowers you to approach them head-on. Belsky’s powerful toolkit, based on hard earned experiences, is an essential guide to building a compelling product, revolutionizing an organization or growing your leadership abilities.” —Tony Fadell, inventor of the iPod, co-inventor of the iPhone, founder and former CEO of Nest, Principal at Future Shape
“Building a lasting business is 1% idea and 99% resilience. The Messy Middle details the unglamorous but essential lessons every founder needs to learn.” —Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder & CEO, Rent The Runway
“The Messy Middle is one of my favorite business books of the last decade. It’s humble, smart, vulnerable, and precise. If you do complex work (don’t we all?), this book will show you how to navigate the most difficult part of any endeavor.” —Todd Henry, author of Herding Tigers
“With The Messy Middle, Belsky delivers a brilliant book that goes past dogma and slogans into key tactics and ideas. … Small business teams and evolving start up teams will find The Messy Middle useful for refining every aspect of their game.”— Small Business Trends
We must answer the big questions. What are the questions that need posing? Philosophers, theologians, scientists, and great teachers have debated this for ages:
- What is real?
- What is honest?
- What is quality?
- What has value?
Whether you are governing a country, running an organization, or participating in a committed personal relationship, your ability to effect change will increase as you become more responsive to your world and to the individuals who are central to your happiness and success.”
– Fierce conversations by Susan Scott Continue reading
Is a portfolio life the story you would like to write in your second half? It may take a while before you can jump the full-time job track and fully embrace this life, but I’m guessing you will agree that this is a very appealing choice. Continue reading