Most players in the digital business world are proudly anti-establishment.
We all got into this because we didn’t want to spend our lives sitting in cubicles, punching in at 9 o’clock every morning, and hoarding PTO for winter vacation.
But in our enthusiasm to “redefine business,” we’ve gone too far.
→ We hate email…so we manage our teams with a strange (and grossly inefficient) blend of Voxer, Slack, and Facebook Messenger.
→ We hate cubicles and clock-in times…so we work from bed at 10pm, with The Office reruns playing in the background.
→ We hate politics…so we hold back from building industry-disrupting empires that would require a full-fledged team.
→ We hate red tape…so we refuse to create basic SOPs, job descriptions, and business plans.
→ We hate management…so we hire pricey consultants and high-overhead agencies instead of hiring and training for a few key roles.
→ We hate corporate speak…so we bash, swear at, and make fun of our clients—and call it “personality marketing.”
I think it’s time we take back the middle ground.
I think it’s time we leverage our perspective, and distill lessons from corporate giants, lean startups, and modern digital businesses.
Look, this isn’t a trendy message.
It’s not gonna gain traction from any wannabe entrepreneurs, I can promise you that.
No one’s going viral for yelling “let’s take a more balanced approach to business development.”
But learning from a variety of business models, structures, and philosophies is the fastest path to sustainable growth.
And sustainability is my not-so-secret obsession.
- I want to still own a business in ten years.
- I want to maintain a 4-day work week, year-round.
- I want to make more money next year than I’m making today.
- I want to pay for my kids’ college.
- I want to take my wife to Hawaii for our 20th anniversary (and our 50th!).
- I want to enjoy my life, next year and next decade.
And that means, for me, that I’m optimizing for sustainability and peace of mind.
Not growth. Not agility. Not even scalability.
My two core values drive every business decision.
- $20K mastermind? Nope. I’d have to work 45-hour weeks next month to recoup the investment.
- 16 new clients? Nope. I’d be stressed about fulfillment, and I want to enjoy the holiday season.
- $5K/month marketing agency? Nope. I can get the same results if I train a $20/hour employee for a few months.
If I was optimizing for the fastest, sexiest, scalable-est growth, those investments might make sense.
But they don’t make sense for me.
I want to open my inbox to zero client messages. I want to spend two days a week writing, reading, and recording my podcast. I want to sell an offer I actually care about, and deliver it profitably—without stress. I want to take Fridays off.
That’s success to me.
And I’m letting my choices guide me there.
My name is Justin, and I’m optimizing for sustainability and peace of mind.
What about you?