Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. This ancient love poem from Song of Solomon wisely warns of the relational damage caused by ignoring the little problems. The same can be true in all aspects of life.

I recall a time in my late teens early twenties when my sister confronted me about my conduct and somewhat wild behavior. At the time, I was extremely annoyed at this intrusion. Looking back, I’m glad she said something. She was holding me accountable and letting me know I was not moving through life unnoticed. She loved me, and that’s why she was willing to make things a little uncomfortable. She was willing to ignore the norm of my current behavior and address the truth of my problem.

If done well a client call can build on the excitement gained during the sales process. Inversely, it can also leave the client questioning their decision and wondering if they were sold a load of…well, crap. There’s nothing worse than dowsing the cold water of disorganization on top of client interaction.

Before you ask for readers, write the article you wish you could read. Before you ask for the sale, create the product you wish you had. These were the two quotes from James Clear’s 3-2-1 weekly email that caught my attention this week.

In 2004 I was at a significant crossroads in my career. The company where I had spent the past eight years was slowly dying due to economic changes and the dot com bubble bursting in 2000. During this eight-year tenure, I was able to develop my skills as a designer learning to write clean semantic code that separated structure from presentation (Eric Meyer’s book on CSS was transformative in my growth at this time). The positives that arose from this reality of needing to find a way to take care of my family (My wife and I just had our second baby) forced me to begin my career as a freelance web designer.

There’s the adage that says, Many hands make light work. This truth can also run amuck if the many hands involved are inept and unwilling to work together as a team. The same goes for gathering feedback and criticism on a design project. You need to show others and test on potential users. However, the eyes looking need to be engaged in the process or know the goals so that you avoid drive-by feedback that is without the understanding of what they are observing. Context is key.

A good culture is important. Thus we see companies striving to establish a culture that is energetic, fresh, and full of promise to the talent they are striving to find or keep. Hence, the cool workplaces, bean bags, coffee bars and cubbies for napping etched into the walls.

My father-in-law is a great classical trumpet player. He served as Principal Trumpet for the Cincinnati Symphony for 31 years. It would be impossible to count the hours he spent in practice warming up, running through the scales, and playing études in preparation for an upcoming performance. He was focused and remarkably consistent in his daily routine of training. You would often hear him say “Small Sessions” with regards to his practicing habits as well as to other tasks around the house (small sessions to move a wood pile, small sessions to clean the basement, etc.). I used to laugh when I heard this phrase as my personality and approach is more “all or nothing.” I’ve been known to work myself into a frenzy of cleaning for hours until exhaustion. The casualties this approach has taken on me, and my family is a thing of legend in the Biddle household.

The summer before my senior year in high school I took a job working as a courier and odd-jobs man at a local electrical company. It sounded like a cush job and much better than forty hour weeks on an assembly line at the same manufacturing company I had worked for the previous five summers ( I can assemble and disassemble a gas nozzle like no one’s business).

A wasted day occurs when you are not living in the present. Now this is not an encouragement to avoid planning for the future. Nor is it a request to avoid looking back on the past to learn from success or failures. Instead, future planning and past lessons guide the decisions we make today. That is a critical fact.