Passion, success and motivation

The Boagworld Show is back. In this first show of the season we are being joined by Leigh Howells to introduce what is a departure from our normal subject material. That is because in this season we will be discussing passion, success and motivation.

Skip to the discussion or this week’s links.

Boagworld is proudly supported by Dev Bootcamp, the original immersive coding program that transforms beginners into full-stack web developers.

We are also sponsored by proposify! A simple way to deliver winning proposals to your clients and a personal favourite of mine.

Paul: Hello and welcome to Boagworld.com the podcast for all those involved in designing, developing and running websites on a daily basis. We are back! Happy Paul.

Marcus: Wooooh!

Paul: And by we, of course would mean Marcus. But we also mean Leigh of the Howells clan. Leigh you always have to be on the first show of every season now, it’s a new tradition.

Leigh: Absolutely, absolutely. Going to have to be extra passionate about being on this one though don’t I? Wohoo! Wohoo! I’ve been practising that one all day.

Paul: Motivated and successful because that is the theme of this seasons podcast. So yes, Leigh, I want to stress because you always accuse me of only inviting you on the show when I can’t get a guest, and I swear to you, you are the first person that came on that I invited. And what is more you shall always be on the first episode of every season until we all die or get dementia.

Marcus: It has been decreed.

Leigh: I feel honoured and privileged Paul.

Paul: I’ve been missing you guys over the Christmas period. We went out for Christmas dinner didn’t we, the Headscape Christmas dinner and being a shareholder it’s a nice loop hole to allow me to come. And it was like seeing you all again made me miss you.

Leigh: Good.

Paul: Oh.

Marcus: We are having so much fun Paul, you wouldn’t believe it.

Paul: I you really?

Marcus: No.

Paul: Have you been doing lots of exciting things in my absence?

Leigh: Oh absolutely, so many things. So much fun and so much hilarity. You’ve missed it all.

Paul: So how was your Christmas then Leigh? But of course by the time this goes out is almost the end of January. So nobody gives a sheet about Christmas.

Leigh: Christmas, Christmas, yes I remember that. That was a couple of weeks where I almost got out of my office a few times.

Paul: Oh, you haven’t be working over Christmas?

Marcus: No he hasn’t, he’s being passionate about his hobby.

Leigh: Yes I been throwing myself in. Just thrashing around, squealing with excitement.

Paul: I don’t believe you. Marcus have you been billing people making them work over Christmas?

Marcus: Not Leigh. Yes is the true answer. But not Leigh.

Paul: Who’s been working over Christmas then? That’s terrible.

Marcus: Oh no, we just had a couple of issues with sites that were fixed within five minutes, but it was beyond my ability to fix them so I had to give Chris a ring.

Paul: I won’t make any comments about that whatsoever about things being beyond your ability.

Marcus: But it’s perfectly legitimate to do so Paul. My back-end coding just isn’t up to it.

Paul: Neither is mine.

Leigh: But no I did nothing, although it seems to be an annual tradition to look at your own site and rebuild it for no apparent reason. Which I did start to do but then I realised how tragic it really was to be in my office over Christmas, coding and fiddling with grids.

Marcus: I had the quite simple task of tidying up my office. Which I half did. So now it’s twice as bad as it was. This bit, the bit on looking at towards my screen and just in my peripheral vision is fine. Behind me is hideous.

Paul: Behind you looks really nice on the web cam, it’s all moody lighting and guitars on the wall. It looks great.

Marcus: It is nice and here apart from behind me on the floor.

Paul: Leigh’s realised that his background on his web cam is just a shelf and a load of boxes and clothes and things. I like your lazy boy chair though that looks very comfy.

Leigh: It is and is very easy to fall asleep in, I must admit. But now the camera is on the wrong side of the room because it looks better from over there.

Paul: We’re not used to having web cams, we using a new tool to record this today called epi show. Which makes me think of epi razors which women used to shave their legs or my thinking of epilator? That’s what I was thinking of.

Leigh: That’s the thing that rips hairs out isn’t it? Sounds vicious.

Paul: My wife has used one on me before and it was not pleasant.

Marcus: I don’t want to go down this route.

Paul: No, no, no, nothing like that, nothing dodgy. I’m just saying. Right anyway, on that bombshell, we can’t stop we’ve only just started. So yes anybody interested in what I’m doing?

Leigh: Yes, how was your Christmas Paul?

Paul: Excellent and I discovered over the Christmas period that I’d be going to Thailand next week.

Leigh: Ahh, how lovely.

Paul: I know, does that I’d subtly drop that in.

Leigh: Is it next week?

Paul: Yes. It’s so exciting, next Tuesday.

Marcus: This was discussed in the office Paul along the lines of are you managing to get yourself and all your relations going over to Thailand for free along with no doubt, five star accommodation.

Paul: Yes, to all of the above.

Marcus: Cheeky git.

Paul: So basically— I am just so jammy sometimes— I got approached by this big international insurance company that are holding a marketing retreat in Thailand, as you do. And they’ve asked me to go and speak and my fee for doing that, but obviously they are paying for my flight and the place where they are holding it is a five-star hotel in Phuket and my fee is enough to cover James and Cath coming and us staying for two weeks.

Leigh: Excellent, nice work if you can get it.

Paul: I love my life. And what I think is really important about it is that I don’t like to go on about it or make a fuss. I’m very humble and reserved. I don’t want to make other people feel uncomfortable about this kind of stuff.

Leigh: Of course. Unfollows Paul

Marcus: I am going on holiday as well.

Paul: Are you? Where are you going?

Marcus: But I’m having to pay for it.

Paul: But to be fair, I am ultimately paying for it.

Marcus: Because you are going to a marketing conference?

Paul: Exactly. I mean because I could have gone kept the money and the money would have gone into the business and so essentially I am paying for it indirectly, aren’t I?

Marcus: You are.

Leigh: Will you be staying for the two weeks in the hotel with the marketing people? Or somewhere away from Phuket?

Paul: No they are leaving.

Leigh: That’s good.

Paul: It’s a really nice hotel so we just can’t be bothered to find anywhere else as it’s all a bit last-minute. Anyway Marcus, where are you going? Pretending I care about your life.

Marcus: Cape Verde.

Paul: Oh cool. When’s that then?

Marcus: Picked an island this time. At the end of the month. 28th of January.

Paul: Superb, that’s good.

Marcus: So when you return and have to go back to work, I will still be on holiday.

Paul: Yes of course, although I am interrupting your last week of holiday aren’t I, to record a podcast.

Marcus: Yes that’s because I had to work so hard last year, I didn’t use anywhere near all of my holiday, I think I had something like a third of them left, I think I thought had taken extra week off as well. I’ll just be pretending to tidy my office.

Paul: Fair enough, can’t say fairer than that. Leigh, you did such a good job earlier right at the beginning of all of this of linking very nicely to our topic for the season. And then we just completely ignored you.

Leigh: We were being passionate about holidays that’s what it was.

Paul: But just so that people know, this season of the podcast, as we said at the end of last season is primarily about the idea of passion. Which sounds really shit for web design podcast but I liked the idea of talking about something that was a bit different from what we normally do with the normal kind of advice about how you build your websites or whatever it is, and actually look at something is a bit more career orientated. One of the things that you hear time and time again is that you have to love your job, you have to be passionate about your job and that if you are passionate it motivates you and if you are motivated it becomes more successful. So over this season I wanted to really ask is that true? Is passion really a necessary part of our jobs? How does it impact what we do? Is it always a good thing? Does it have a bad side to it? And then to explore some of the different kind of aspects of what people are passionate about, the different kind of things that get people up in the morning and inspire them to work. So in this first episode we are going to look in a very broad overview of the season and we’re going to ask questions like what is passion and do we think it is a positive or negative thing, and all those kinds of things. And then over the next few weeks we going to get different guests into talk about specific elements of being passionate. So for example next week we’ve got Vitaly Friedman, the co-founder of Smashing Magazine on to talk about passion within the web community. And then the week after we’ve got Ryan Taylor talking about how to find that elusive passion where you fit into the job that’s the right job for you, and it goes on.

Hopefully it will be something a little bit different and a little bit more interesting and something different from normal.

Marcus: I’ve got lots of thoughts on this, but it’s hard not to talk about it until after you’ve done the sponsors or do you want me to do it now?

Leigh: I think somebody needs to mention David Mitchell’s Soapbox, the passion episode which I’ve watched again this afternoon and just makes me laugh. And now when you say the word passion, I just giggle a bit inside.

Paul: I don’t think I’ve seen that one, I’ve seen most of his, but I haven’t seen that one.

Leigh: It needs a link in the show notes, definitely.

Marcus: This is a general point I suppose so we can talk about it now, but I really don’t like the word passion.

Paul: Neither do I.

Marcus: It’s because your local accountancy will have a poster up with them and suits saying how passionate they are about accounting.

Leigh: That’s the David Mitchell sketch!

Marcus: And is just one of those overused words, and I would like us to replace passion with enthusiasm.

Leigh: Or dedication.

Paul: Well, yes I do totally agree with you and I hate the word passion as well, but I am using the word passion particularly for a reason. And the reason is that it is so overused, it is the word that everybody throws around in the web design community and it’s that that I want to challenge a little bit and talk about. So yes, the very quickly I think people are going to get the opinion that they don’t have the time for the word passion, but it is what people are talking about so I do want to keep it in in some degree, but maybe we shift away from it as the season goes on and talk more about being enthusiastic and what gets is fired up and that kind of thing. I think passion is a bit of an American thing.

Marcus: I think passion should be left in the bedroom. There you go. Don’t you think?

Paul: Yes. It has a romantic overtone. It makes us British people feel very anxious and uncomfortable.

Marcus: Yes I don’t like it at all.

Leigh: Yes is totally wrong. All the definitions are all very sexual and full of desire and lust. Yes it’s just not right, it’s not right at all.

Paul: I don’t lust after my job. It’s just not my thing I’m afraid. So yes, let’s do our sponsor. Because I am passionate about our sponsors.

Right we’ve got a new sponsor joining us this season who do some amazing stuff and actually I am really pleased to have them on the show. They are Dev Bootcamp. Dev Bootcamp are the original immersive, you go along take part in it coding program that transforms coding beginners all the way through to being full stack web developers. They are located all over America but are probably best known for their downtown New York course that they run. You can find out more about them at Dev Bootcamp. So if you’re thinking about becoming a software developer then you definitely want to check out these guys. They’ve got short term immersive software development programmes that will transform your ability to code, get you ready for getting a job which is what it’s all about at the end of the day and prepare you to be a full stack web developer. You can learn both front-end and back-end web development skills but they also do those other kind of skills that go alongside being a web developer, the softer skills, things like teamwork and leadership. And all of that inside this inclusive, rigorous, interactive environment. It’s a really exciting thing that they do so check them out at Dev Bootcamp to learn more.

So that is our first sponsor done and dusted and we turn our attention now to passion. Marcus go!

The role of passion in digital development

Marcus: I’ve already said my bit. I was speaking to Lee about this the other day and we realised we’d used all of its material.

Leigh: We did actually, but rubbish now.

Marcus: But I said to Leigh, I’m not passionate about anything.

Paul: Are not even passionate about your music?

Marcus: No but then Leigh described a scenario and yes actually I would be in that scenario. So it’s true. It’s harder to get into the place where you become in that really enthusiastic state of mind and you can’t stop doing something, the old you get. But Leigh said what if you about halfway through an idea, or you’ve recorded a song and you got to mix it? If I spent today recording a song— is a very rare thing these days I get even more excited about it— I’ll come in the door after recording all day and I won’t be able to resist to start mixing it right there and then. So that’s an example of me getting passionate and enthusiastic about something, the generally day-to-day not really. It’s pretty rare that I would get into that state of mind with regard to work. I would imagine that’s less so for Leigh and yourself Paul?

Leigh: It’s a matter of getting in the zone, it’s being in the zone, when you’re being passionate during that period when it’s all coming together and are excited about what you’re doing and you want to see how it’s going to develop. Is the same with music or graphics. But yes getting to that place, starting is difficult.

Marcus: Paul, you recently just done some graphic design. I know you do some user journey graphic stuff, I bet you got all excited about that didn’t you?

Paul: I did actually, yes. I’m quite an enthusiastic person, I guess.

Leigh: Yes you are.

Marcus: I’m…..quite…..enthusiastic.

Paul: So I get into that place quite easily, but I think there’s a fine line. First of all, I agree with Leigh. The big problem is with starting. I’m never passionate about anything when it means starting it. I’m never enthusiastic about starting things. Even getting up. I’m never enthusiastic about that.

Leigh: Passionate about getting out of bed.

Paul: Yes, no. But some people do don’t they? Leap out of bed in the morning. It’s a new day! Bollocks.

But once I get going, I don’t like to stop. Is that compassion or is that obsessive-compulsive behaviour?

Leigh: This is where things become a bit muddy, isn’t it? When you go to meetings and things you can enthuse straight away. You have this ability to switch on massive enthusiasm mode, which I’ve always been very respectful of, because I can’t do that.

Paul: You weren’t going to say respectful were you? You are going to say suspicious and then changed your mind at the last moment!

Leigh: Well whether it involves some kind of helpful stimulant…

Paul: No, just that it was insincere or

Leigh: Well of course, obviously that.

Paul: I’m quite good, I can hype myself into excitement if that makes sense.

Marcus: In a sales situation, so can I.

Paul: Yes, is mainly in a sales situation. You can find something about a project, there’s always something in a project to get excited about. Whether it be the client itself, the organisation, whether it be the particular technical challenge or design challenge or who the audience is the fact that they are going to give you a big wodge of money, there is always something to get excited about.

Marcus: In the sales situation I rate Headscape very highly as I know we can do a good job, so I always get hyped up by ensuring people I’m talking to understand that. That never changes. The sales situation that is always there, so that I think is why I managed to get hyped up about.

Do you— because I’m thinking of a specific example as we did work together last year where you had to write some very long documents— did you not feel the desire to wander off and do something different in the middle of those? Was that more of a case of head down, don’t stop?

Paul: I’m very temperamental. In that kind of situation, I will be very excited and in full stream and then something might happen, it might be the phone goes, it might be an email, it might be my wife sticks her head round the door and that’s it, it’s gone. And I’ve learned not to keep slogging at that point. So I go off, I wonder often play with something else for a bit and then drift back to it later. And then have another overexcited, oh I want to say that, oh and I mustn’t forget to put that in, and off I go again.

Somebody described me once, in that there are some people in life that are work horses, that plod along and those people don’t really ever get excited or passionate about anything particularly. They are very level kind of people and there’s nothing wrong with those kinds of people because they are very, very productive. They’ll just keep going endlessly. But this person described me more as a racehorse. I’d have this big sprint of energy and be very skittish and very passionate and enthusiastic and then I would just die a death and lose all momentum and it would go away and I’m exhausted. And that, I think for me, is my expression of passion if that makes sense. It’s that burst of activity that then goes away.

Marcus, you just said you don’t really get massively passionate about anything, and it might just simply be that you’re more of a workhorse, a plodder.

Marcus: I think it depends on the work entirely. That’s why asked you the question about the long document. I suppose because you said you would be into it and then a distraction will occur, I guess from my point of view on this, if there are tasks where you are less likely to be distracted than others. If you are in the middle of doing so that you particularly loved doing the phone rang and you put it down, you’d see what you are doing and you go straight back to it. Whereas if it’s a bit onerous the task, then you’re more likely to think hang on and take a break here.

So that’s why most of the tasks I do, it’s fine but they are not the kind of thing that fire me up like doing a studio session with the band for example.

Paul: Your background is quite interesting in that regards, talking of passion, because you were a young guy, obviously really into your music then you had what everybody dreams of in that situation. Which is you got signed to a record label, you became hugely big and suddenly your hobby, your passion turned into your career. But I get the distinct impression that actually that was a bit shit?

From a musical point of view yes you got to go to some amazing places, you had women throw themselves at you, you are pumped with drugs whenever you wanted it—in my head anyway— but from a music point of view actually, that passion for music may have been somewhat undermined by it turning into a job?

Marcus: Yes and it’s not that the making music bits weren’t any less enjoyable than they were previously, it’s just that you didn’t do them as often. Anywhere near as often. You were always out having your photo taken or being on a plane or talking to a DJ or something. And all that stuff got in the way. Also because of when it happened to me there wasn’t much of a desire for young bands to go out and play live. We did do a little bit in the UK, but pretty much any other point or any other five-year gap in the last 50 to 60 years, I would have been on the road in America playing live. But that five years it was like oh no it’s a waste of money, don’t do that.

That’s just life. That was just another reason why you felt you know never really working on the thing that you really want to be working on. You accept that you have to promote yourself, of course you do but bottom line is there are too many other parts of the job that didn’t have anything to do with making music.

Paul: And that’s quite an important point isn’t it where people talk about, oh yes you have to be passionate about your job. I reckon you’d struggle to find any job where you are passionate about all of it. I’m loving what I do now, I am passionate about free trips to Thailand but there are still big chunks of my job that I don’t want to be doing. Every week I had to sit down and talk to you for an hour and there are better things that I could be doing. But obviously you are never going to get excited about doing emails, you never going to get excited about talking to your accountant about that are you and as you are on account of this passionate about accountancy. So I think we are sometimes a little bit naive with stuff like that.

Leigh: Yes as you said even the most glamorous of jobs, what appears to be the most glamorous of jobs can be full of rubbishy bits. I had a friend who was working for Sony, writing music and it was a job I went for. He got the job, he told me about what the job actually entailed…

Marcus: You’re not bitter at all are you?

Leigh: No he’s still a really good friend, he’s my best mate but it turned out to be not be as exciting as I had blown it up to be in my mind. There were many, many weeks of just editing sound files and cutting out sound effects rather than doing the bits that I would have been passionate about. So there is always a drudgery to everything, even the things you think you want to do.

Paul: And also don’t you reckon as well that by human nature, we kind of ruin anything for ourselves to some degree? Because even a wonderful thing becomes normal. And so you start to pick it apart.

I remember once seeing the dream job – we run this resort in the Maldives and we want you to come and live here and blog and tweet and instant about what life is like here. And you think, oh what an amazing job, I’d love to do that. But I bet during the rainy season you’d have a good old moan about the rain and miss going to the cinema the weekends. You’d always find a way of pulling it apart. So this idealistic view that there is some perfect job out there…

Leigh: Things become normality and routine and that becomes the job and the day-to-day and then it’s not exciting any more as you thought it was going to be because it’s become normality.

We had an Indian kid staying with us last summer. He was 14 and I hope I haven’t ruined his life, but basically his parents want him to become a doctor. He was in my office fiddling around with guitars and using stuff and he was telling me that he really, really want to go into music. And apparently that was his passion. He loved music. And he was in a particularly great are the guitar or keyboard and I was thinking really, I don’t think you should be following this route, even though you think it might be a passion I am not sure it’s the right thing. I didn’t say this is that it more tactfully, but perhaps his parents were thinking of the long-term and perhaps that that was the better route. If you kept the music is something that you did in your spare time, it was still be enjoyable and fun. Let’s face it, music is an impossible job nowadays unless you are something extraordinary.

Marcus: Or extraordinarily lucky.

Leigh: And I didn’t think he was. So I found myself nudging him towards the boring and of his two decisions.

Marcus: You’re such a Dad, Leigh.

Paul: It’s fascinating isn’t it because when you say it out loud like that it sounds awful. Because we are constantly filled with this follow your dreams, embrace your passion. But sometimes those dreams aren’t all they are cracked up to be and even if you do manage to get them, going back to Marcus’s experience, you’ve got to be sensible as well.

Marcus: I always said to my girls, do what you like to do. One of them is doing that I think, but I guess now Abigail is being a mum so I guess that’s what she wants to do.

Leigh: It has to be a balance though you have to do what you like to do and to be able to actually exist doing what you like to do.

Paul: And also I think a better way of viewing it is that you should avoid doing what you most like, right? I wouldn’t stain a job that I hated but I might stay in a job that is all right. It will do, that’s okay.

Marcus: Compared to a lot of people in the world, that’s probably a pretty good place to be.

Paul: It’s really interesting, just before we started the season, the signal versus noise blog posted something about, you need to be passionate to be successful in your job? Do you need to love your job to be successful?

Marcus: No.

Paul: And do you know what? It really surprised me because that’s what he said. He said that when he co-founded base camp, I wasn’t passionate about project management. In fact, he went as far as saying the reason why we set up base camp is out of hatred. He hated dealing with project management, he hated the tools that were out there and he wanted something that made it better. So this whole idea that we need to be driven by passion, and you can’t be successful unless you are passionate about what you, is bollocks.

Leigh: Well hatred is a good word. It’s amazing what you can achieve through hatred.

Paul: Yes, the dark side of the force. Darth Vader and the Empire built up a whole empire, hugely successful. What did the light side do? Bugger are all.

Leigh: They didn’t build big death stars or planets with big guns coming out of them. No they just piddled around in little temples.

Marcus: I suppose it does depend on how you define success to a certain extent. I am playing devil’s advocate here. If you are defining success is making money, running a business, then I entirely agree and I don’t think you need to be passionate about it. But if you are talking about successes being happy when you go to work, then maybe there is a grain of truth in it?

Paul: Yes. Let me ask you that Marcus. I think it’s fair to say that Headscape, you enjoy it, it’s a job, but you wouldn’t call yourself passionate about it? Is that a fair comment?

Marcus: I don’t think Chris would either.

Paul: So on that basis, do you think you’d still be as successful?

Marcus: Definitely.

Paul: I think having an enjoyable job doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be the be all and end all of your life. When we founded Headscape we always said right from the beginning, this is a lifestyle business. This business exists to allow us to do what we want to do in our lives. It might be that what you want to do in your life is to travel or do music, or do this or do that. If your business can facilitate that, that is a success.

Marcus: Absolutely and I think that as long as you have an attitude that I have that I think this is just common sense that is when you do work for clients, you do it as best as you possibly can and there are many reasons why you do that, then you can carry on doing that. You don’t have to be, oh this is the best thing in the world, you just have to be professional.

Leigh: Conscientious and dedicated. Professional.

Marcus: But that’s not the same feeling as if I’ve got a song halfway through and I can’t put it down. Or if I’m reading a book that so good I can’t put it down. I’m not passionate about reading a book but I am really enthusiastic about the story. Do I get that feeling about working at Headscape? Very rarely.

Paul: I was just thinking whether you can get into a situation where success actually can undermine your passion? Going back to your pop example. You come away from that experience less enthusiastic about music?

Marcus: I can’t remember. I don’t know really. I think yes, I think the honest answer at the time was yes and it was joining another band five odd years later, that rekindled my desire to play. So yes.

Paul: Because I think sometimes that can be the danger. And it’s not just, it goes back to what we were saying earlier I guess about seeing behind the curtain. Actually when you discover the reality of what you think you want, it maybe isn’t all that it could be. I think about my Dad sometimes, that from being a kid he wanted to be a wildlife person. His dad did what Leigh did to his visiting person, he said, no you would never make a career out of that so why don’t you go into farming instead. That’s a bit like wildlife isn’t it? So that’s what he did. He went into farming and then eventually he got into a position where he could go and become a full-time wildlife photographer. And he loves it, don’t get me wrong and there have been some amazing times and he’s got the best job in the world and I hate him deeply because of it. But on the other hand there are times when you think, wow that’s tough. There were times when he struggled to feed his family. Struggled to pay the mortgage because of the uncertainty in the career path that he’d chosen. And you wonder sometimes was that worth it? Was it worth that battle? And I think it was for him. But boy, it was tough at times.

Give up on your dreams kids, that’s what I’m saying!

Leigh: Get a nice sensible well-paid job and stop dreaming.

Marcus: I wrote a blog post, it’s a rare time that I say that, it was when you, Leigh, Ed and me went to New Adventures in Nottingham. The theme of the conference was, Follow your bliss.

Paul: Was it really?

Marcus: It was following your F***ing Bliss, if I remember rightly. And there was one of the speakers who does really detailed typography stuff and she was talking about the detail that she gets into, and she gets into this place and ended up comparing it to when I was used to be in the band were mirror at home writing songs, or making demos and that kind of thing. And the comparison I made was that you would spend half an hour trying to find the right sound or you’d be fiddling with just something and fiddling and you are completely and utterly drawn into that place. But how many people can have a job where they are like that? Very, very few.

Paul: And also, is that passion or is that obsession?

Leigh: I mean I was doing that all morning. I was fiddling, designing something, being obsessive about the line width and spacing and waiting and the hours fly by and you look back at it and think, oh that’s nice, that took a whole morning. That’s a nice place to be and it is a kind of an obsession.

Marcus: That’s the difference between my job and your job Leigh.

Paul: You don’t have mornings disappear?

Marcus: I won’t have the equivalent. Very occasionally I do. I was playing and making images for a presentation that we are doing tomorrow, Leigh and I liked it. So yes I do Paul, but not as much. And there’s always something more important to be doing, like some report that needs writing or something.

Leigh: Yes if you give me a report to write, that can take just days of struggling.

Marcus: It’s alright Lee I won’t do it again.

Leigh: There is no where did the morning go? Or there is and it’s oh my god I written one paragraph and been distracted a million times.

Paul: I’m thinking that I don’t feel that as much they used to, when I used to do design. You have to wonder perhaps that is a creative thing maybe, because you hear musicians talk about it, you hear designers talk about it you hear coders talk about it and I always say that coding I think is quite creative practice.

Marcus: Problem-solving I guess.

Paul: Perhaps it something slightly different passion, perhaps its focus or being in the zone or something else. Because I’m passionate about the job that I do these days, I love my job, I’ve got the best job in the world but I don’t lose a morning and suddenly go, woah, I was just away with that. That doesn’t happen to me very much anymore. Mainly because I’m getting old enough to get up and go to the toilet every 10 minutes.

Leigh: Yes it could be a creative flow state of mind, couldn’t it.

Marcus: Maybe that’s the case, Paul but I think the way I am framing this in my mind, this discussion, is that it’s how I feel when I’m doing something creative. That’s what I mean by that. When people say I want a job that I love, I think that’s what they want. They want that kind of job where they go in and spend the morning doing something that fascinates them.

Paul: Yes but for me that’s, what people love in a job. Because I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the years, because especially towards the end of my time at Headscape because obviously I was thinking do I want to stay, do I need to move onto something else and so I was thinking what is it that makes me love the job? And its independence, being able to set your own agenda and what it is that you work on etc. It’s the working environment and who you are working with and those kinds of things.

Marcus: So you want to work with no one?

Paul: I didn’t say all of these have improved. It’s a trade-off isn’t it, with some stuff. I do miss you guys and that’s a thing I’ve lost. The big one for me actually in deciding to go independent was a relationship between what I did and outcome. A tangible outcome. And that’s one of the things I think that I lost actually at Headscape, because I was just doing marketing stuff and consultancy stuff and like Leigh, when you sat down this morning he produced a design, it looked beautiful, you could say I did that. I lost that over the years and so moving off and do my own thing has given me a direct relationship that I do this, it leads to this piece of work, I earn money and go and sit on a beach in Thailand. Just thought I’d slip that in again. So the job that you love isn’t just a job you’re passionate about, it’s all these other little factors that make up a good experience.

My sister in law, right, who actually transcribes this podcast….

Leigh: Hello.

Marcus: Hello there.

Paul: She’ll probably put in the show notes ‘He’s talking bollocks at this point’. But she took a job recently and it was really just to bring in a bit of extra money, and she didn’t think she was going to enjoy it very much and it was just a very mundane boring job that she just had to do. Now from talking to her since, actually it’s turned out she has really loved that, not because it’s the best employer in the world, not because it’s the most interesting work, but she’s really liking the people there. So finding a job you love isn’t just about, oh it’s something I’m hugely passionate about, there are lots of other factors involved in it. Or at least I think there are.

Marcus: Absolutely— this is going to sound quite cynical but I think it’s true— I think the job that you are not that keen on, but it’s alright, you get paid lots of money, you’re going to say you enjoy more than if you don’t get paid very much for the same job.

Paul: You’re not allowed to say that though are you.

Leigh: I’m passionate about my paycheck!

Paul: That does make a big difference. Because at the end of the day we are trading our time in return for money. And the more money you get back to that time, the better the deal it will feel and the better you’ll feel about the job. It is a big part of the equation.

Leigh: All of my sons friends and him have been talking about what they are going to do and it’s all about which has got the biggest salary. And I they keep saying things like, well do you really want to be something like a psychologist? Yes, because they get paid lots of money. Have you got any interest in psychology? Yeah…. And his friends are coming up with all these job titles and you’re like, really? Does he really want to do that?

Marcus: Do not remember what it’s like being 14 years old? All you want is the fast car and be able to do what you like when you want. All you do is just associate that with having lots of money. It’s because you got no money. You have to work for a few years before you realise that the real goal should be happiness, not as much money she could possibly want.

Leigh: Kids want fame as well, but what is the opposite end of the spectrum to that? What happiness do you get from fame when you can’t even walk in the streets and people hate you for your fame? I don’t understand it; I don’t understand why kids are so obsessed. I guess they want to be their heroes and they want to be that hero that they don’t know the actual living it, what it’s like.

Paul: Your rights with the money side of things. Although it does make a difference without a doubt how much you get paid up until a certain point but when you hit a certain point you just live up to your income anyway. Your basic needs are covered the basic things that you need for life are covered and you are just living up to your income, so it actually doesn’t make any difference then because you get a salary increase. I’m better off now than I was at Headscape but I don’t feel better off because it’s just got funnelled away into pensions and ISA savings accounts, and were thinking of getting an extension and that kind of thing.

Marcus: There is a point I am sure further along the line of wealthiness where it does change but none of us are ever going to reach that.

Leigh: No, but it’s a lot further because people stop buying other houses and then more and more and more stuff and people to do things in those houses for them. They must be just spending a fortune. And you do hear about various people you couldn’t imagine ever being poor or becoming bankrupt.

Paul: Michael Jackson went bankrupt didn’t he?

Leigh: I know there are some very surprising people that who turned out to be bankrupt. Yes, he had a fairground didn’t he? People by ridiculous things.

Marcus: I think we need to throw a caveat in here in case younger people are thinking you’re talking bollocks, because we are three old men who have all got their own houses, all drive around in a nice car. We are very comfortable in comparison to where we were 30 odd years ago. We are not rich, but we’re talking about this stuff from a position of comfort. And I think we need to recognise that.

Paul: Although in your case actually, 30 years ago, Marcus you would have had more disposable income than you have now.

Marcus: I deliberately said 30 because that was before I had any hits.

Paul: Oh right, okay fair enough.

Marcus: 1986 so I was 18, no 19.

Paul: So yes, absolutely, money is a part of the mix that makes a good job, a job that you enjoy, a job that you find satisfying.

I want to ask one last thing about this issue of passion…

Marcus: It should be kept in the bedroom, Paul.

Paul: … It should be kept in the bedroom. So that’s going to put a different spin on my question now, which is, can you be overly passionate? Can it actually become dangerous? Because I look around at some people now and think, just get some perspective.

Marcus: I think you can become annoying, definitely. Oh shut up?

Paul: Yes. I don’t care about your vegan diet, that kind of thing. I am sorry Leigh, that’s a bit close to home.

Leigh: I tried it for a month, I now know how silly it is. I think you can become annoying and I think you can probably alienate people if you are too over the top all the time.

Paul: And I think as well you can be damaging to yourself as well because you do go into the realms of never doing anything other than your job. Never doing anything other than what your passion is. And you cease to be a rounded human being, which is what we’re going to talk about in episode two.

Leigh: This topics quite stressful as well, being passionate like that. Can’t be good for you.

Paul: Oh, tiring.

Leigh: Have a cup of tea, sit down.

Marcus: There is a type of person that I think we’re talking about here. It tends to be the entrepreneurial types, doesn’t it?

Paul: And it’s entrepreneurial types that are pushing this whole passion agenda. Well it’s not an agenda but…

Marcus: I remember when I first got my first job after working in the music business and it was for a large paper company, bizarrely. A great place actually, I really enjoyed working there but I can remember there were different departments around the building and marketing was this place that I didn’t really know what it did. I know what marketing is now but obviously back in those days it was, what do they do, how are they different to sales? Basically it seemed to me that shortly after working there, they were the people that lied to themselves, basically about my product is the best product in the world and whenever I am at work and wherever I am talking to you I have to lie, lie, lie about how brilliant it is all the time, otherwise I’m not doing my job properly. And that can’t be healthy? And I think the same applies to entrepreneurs’ times 10. My new idea is the best thing on the planet. They believe that if they don’t think that then it won’t be successful. It either will be successful or it won’t in my view.

Paul: And also it’s okay to produce something solid and good and a good contribution. It doesn’t need to be world changing. This whole thing, it’s all Steve Jobs’s fault in my opinion because he talked about putting a dent in the universe. I’ve got no desire to dent the universe.

Marcus: Old man caveat again.

Paul: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is. You do just mellow with age and go, I can’t be bothered.

Marcus: Give me a gin and tonic in the garden. That’ll do.

Paul: I was going to say we should and with Leigh’s comments of chill out and have a cup of tea.

Leigh: Yes that’ll do. Just calm down.

Marcus: My cup of tea, where is it? There it is.

Paul: The thing that I want to leave people with, because it’s been a very randomly conversation, far too long as well, but the thing I want to leave people with is that by all means go after a job you are enthusiastic about, go after one that you would love to do but just remember that there are a lot more elements that will ultimately impact your happiness in that job more than just how enthusiastic and passionate you are about that job. The people you work with, the environment that you work in, the kind of work you do, your accountability, the money. All of those things are just as important in building a happy and enjoyable career then whether you are passionate about whatever the thing is. So it’s just about keeping it in perspective really isn’t it.

Marcus: It’s about staying away from the music business.

Leigh: Absolutely.

Paul: Apparently so.

Leigh: No money in that.

Paul: Crush those dreams, Leigh.

Leigh: Go work in the supermarket, it pays more. No, do both.

Paul: So going back to what we were saying about Basecamp and how Basecamp ended up getting started because he had a hatred of dealing with project management.

Paul: That brings us very nicely onto our sponsor for this week, which is Proposify. So Proposify is a simple tool that helps you create well-designed, winning proposals. Proposals that work really well and this is I think, a product born out of taking away people’s pain and was probably born out of, oh I hate creating proposals, I wish it could be easier. I use this tool and I have to say it is worth every penny to me because it takes away that pain. It’s one less thing on my job for me to go, oh do I have to do that? Because great proposals can be quite a convoluted pain in the arse and so anything that can help do that is really useful. So basically it streamlines the creation of your proposals and helps you close the whole thing down so much quicker. Instead of spending hours sending word documents or InDesign files or Google Docs back and forth to the client, you can basically just go into Proposify and pre-pick one of their templates if you want to. There is a gallery a professional proposal designs, and then you can deliver this to the client once you’ve produced it and they can comment directly on it and then you can amend it and update it and then finally there is a nice to sign off ability at the end of it. Which, by the way Marcus, I remember you complaining once when we talked about Proposify, that you had to scribble your signature?

Marcus: That’s because I write with my left hand and mouse with my right hand. That was the problem.

Paul: So they fixed it. So now you can just type in your name Marcus, so it’s all right now.

Marcus: How do you type a signature?

Paul: It’s called an e-signature, Marcus. It’s still binding but it’s not an actual signature. So they’ve got some brilliant beautiful designs for your proposals that you can use if you want to. I’ve gone in and customised and created my own proposal that’s in line with the rest of my branding. I have to say was very straightforward, no design experience really very necessary. You can say goodbye to those complex InDesign files that some people use all the rigid nests of other tools when it comes to design. It’s very easy to write something in word but it doesn’t look very pretty always, you can customise the layout, you can fill your proposals, it’s got loads of stuff.

Now this is the good bit, so check out Proposify but what I’m really impressed with is that they’ve given us a really good deal on it. You can get three months of using Proposify absolutely free on any one of their monthly plans. See you can get a 14 day free trial and then on top of that another three months for free, which is superb and you can do that by using the coupon code Boagworld when you sign up for any of their monthly plans. So really guys, even if you don’t do proposals very much, even if you think what you’ve got is perfectly adequate, you might as well give it a go because you are going to get 3 ½ months for free for this thing, so it’s ample time to try it out at least on one project and see what you think of it. So check that out, I use it every day and in fact I was using it today to create a proposal and I was able to turn around a proposal really quickly by duplicating an old one and editing it. It even fills— sorry I will shut up in a minute—

Leigh: You know what you sound like Paul? You sound like you are passionate about proposals and Proposify.

Paul: I’m not passionate about proposals but I must admit I am quite enthusiastic about Proposify.

Marcus: What’s a proposal?

Paul: What’s a proposal? You spend your whole life doing them. And I tell you it solves one of the things that I’ve seen you do before it proposals Marcus, which is where you copy and paste a proposal across and then you forget to change some of the client names in it?

Marcus: That’s happened once in a hundred years.

Leigh: A shocking accusation.

Marcus: It is a shocking accusation.

Paul: It’s absolutely true so it will automatically change the name of the client for you and various things like that.

Marcus: Chris reads all my documents and I read all of hits.

Paul: Well not everybody has someone to read their documents, not if you’re a lone freelancer like me.

Marcus: Poor you.

Paul: Anyway, Marcus did you find a joke? Because I know you were going at the beginning the show, I don’t have one.

Marcus: My problem with proposals is that I’ve written so many proposals now, I’ve got proposal overload where I can remember writing something along the lines of what I want to talk about but I have no idea where it is.

Paul: See well Proposify…

Marcus: No it wouldn’t help, it would just be another place to have more proposals.

Paul: It would, you can search across your old proposals.

Marcus: I can search across my old proposals now, but it doesn’t make any difference.

Paul: And you can take one of those sections from a proposal and save it to a content library and name that section, customer journey mapping, and then you can just drag that into whichever proposal you want. Now you’ve got to admit that’s good.

Marcus: I should have done that at the start, 15 years ago.

Paul: Yes exactly. It would be a pain to go back through them all now.

Marcus: It would take me a year.

Paul: I understand. A year well spent Marcus. Anyway what’s your joke?

Marcus: I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave. As I was standing there I noticed for gravediggers walking about with the coffin. Three hours later they are still walking about with it. I thought to myself, they’ve lost the plot.

[Laughs]

Paul: Oh dear. There we go. Well done. You’ve really got the most out of Christmas this year. Have you been collecting all the cracker jokes?

Marcus: No, this is me going back to jokes of 10 years ago, that I could probably get away with saying again. But still send me more!

Paul: So there we go, this week, the end of passion and jokes about death. I’ve hope you’ve enjoyed the show, thank you truly for joining us. It’s very good to have you back and goodbye!

Marcus: Wooooh!

Paul: And by we, of course would mean Marcus. But we also mean Leigh of the Howells clan. Leigh you always have to be on the first show of every season now, it’s a new tradition.

Leigh: Absolutely, absolutely. Going to have to be extra passionate about being on this one though don’t I? Wohoo! Wohoo! I’ve been practising that one all day.

Paul: Motivated and successful because that is the theme of this seasons podcast. So yes, Leigh, I want to stress because you always accuse me of only inviting you on the show when I can’t get a guest, and I swear to you, you are the first person that came on that I invited. And what is more you shall always be on the first episode of every season until we all die or get dementia.

Marcus: It has been decreed.

Leigh: I feel honoured and privileged Paul.

Paul: I’ve been missing you guys over the Christmas period. We went out for Christmas dinner didn’t we, the Headscape Christmas dinner and being a shareholder it’s a nice loop hole to allow me to come. And it was like seeing you all again made me miss you.

Leigh: Good.

Paul: Oh.

Marcus: We are having so much fun Paul, you wouldn’t believe it.

Paul: I you really?

Marcus: No.

Paul: Have you been doing lots of exciting things in my absence?

Leigh: Oh absolutely, so many things. So much fun and so much hilarity. You’ve missed it all.

Paul: So how was your Christmas then Leigh? But of course by the time this goes out is almost the end of January. So nobody gives a sheet about Christmas.

Leigh: Christmas, Christmas, yes I remember that. That was a couple of weeks where I almost got out of my office a few times.

Paul: Oh, you haven’t be working over Christmas?

Marcus: No he hasn’t, he’s being passionate about his hobby.

Leigh: Yes I been throwing myself in. Just thrashing around, squealing with excitement.

Paul: I don’t believe you. Marcus have you been billing people making them work over Christmas?

Marcus: Not Leigh. Yes is the true answer. But not Leigh.

Paul: Who’s been working over Christmas then? That’s terrible.

Marcus: Oh no, we just had a couple of issues with sites that were fixed within five minutes, but it was beyond my ability to fix them so I had to give Chris a ring.

Paul: I won’t make any comments about that whatsoever about things being beyond your ability.

Marcus: But it’s perfectly legitimate to do so Paul. My back-end coding just isn’t up to it.

Paul: Neither is mine.

Leigh: But no I did nothing, although it seems to be an annual tradition to look at your own site and rebuild it for no apparent reason. Which I did start to do but then I realised how tragic it really was to be in my office over Christmas, coding and fiddling with grids.

Marcus: I had the quite simple task of tidying up my office. Which I half did. So now it’s twice as bad as it was. This bit, the bit on looking at towards my screen and just in my peripheral vision is fine. Behind me is hideous.

Paul: Behind you looks really nice on the web cam, it’s all moody lighting and guitars on the wall. It looks great.

Marcus: It is nice and here apart from behind me on the floor.

Paul: Leigh’s realised that his background on his web cam is just a shelf and a load of boxes and clothes and things. I like your lazy boy chair though that looks very comfy.

Leigh: It is and is very easy to fall asleep in, I must admit. But now the camera is on the wrong side of the room because it looks better from over there.

Paul: We’re not used to having web cams, we using a new tool to record this today called epi show. Which makes me think of epi razors which women used to shave their legs or my thinking of epilator? That’s what I was thinking of.

Leigh: That’s the thing that rips hairs out isn’t it? Sounds vicious.

Paul: My wife has used one on me before and it was not pleasant.

Marcus: I don’t want to go down this route.

Paul: No, no, no, nothing like that, nothing dodgy. I’m just saying. Right anyway, on that bombshell, we can’t stop we’ve only just started. So yes anybody interested in what I’m doing?

Leigh: Yes, how was your Christmas Paul?

Paul: Excellent and I discovered over the Christmas period that I’d be going to Thailand next week.

Leigh: Ahh, how lovely.

Paul: I know, does that I’d subtly drop that in.

Leigh: Is it next week?

Paul: Yes. It’s so exciting, next Tuesday.

Marcus: This was discussed in the office Paul along the lines of are you managing to get yourself and all your relations going over to Thailand for free along with no doubt, five star accommodation.

Paul: Yes, to all of the above.

Marcus: Cheeky git.

Paul: So basically— I am just so jammy sometimes— I got approached by this big international insurance company that are holding a marketing retreat in Thailand, as you do. And they’ve asked me to go and speak and my fee for doing that, but obviously they are paying for my flight and the place where they are holding it is a five-star hotel in Phuket and my fee is enough to cover James and Cath coming and us staying for two weeks.

Leigh: Excellent, nice work if you can get it.

Paul: I love my life. And what I think is really important about it is that I don’t like to go on about it or make a fuss. I’m very humble and reserved. I don’t want to make other people feel uncomfortable about this kind of stuff.

Leigh: Of course. Unfollows Paul

Marcus: I am going on holiday as well.

Paul: Are you? Where are you going?

Marcus: But I’m having to pay for it.

Paul: But to be fair, I am ultimately paying for it.

Marcus: Because you are going to a marketing conference?

Paul: Exactly. I mean because I could have gone kept the money and the money would have gone into the business and so essentially I am paying for it indirectly, aren’t I?

Marcus: You are.

Leigh: Will you be staying for the two weeks in the hotel with the marketing people? Or somewhere away from Phuket?

Paul: No they are leaving.

Leigh: That’s good.

Paul: It’s a really nice hotel so we just can’t be bothered to find anywhere else as it’s all a bit last-minute. Anyway Marcus, where are you going? Pretending I care about your life.

Marcus: Cape Verde.

Paul: Oh cool. When’s that then?

Marcus: Picked an island this time. At the end of the month. 28th of January.

Paul: Superb, that’s good.

Marcus: So when you return and have to go back to work, I will still be on holiday.

Paul: Yes of course, although I am interrupting your last week of holiday aren’t I, to record a podcast.

Marcus: Yes that’s because I had to work so hard last year, I didn’t use anywhere near all of my holiday, I think I had something like a third of them left, I think I thought had taken extra week off as well. I’ll just be pretending to tidy my office.

Paul: Fair enough, can’t say fairer than that. Leigh, you did such a good job earlier right at the beginning of all of this of linking very nicely to our topic for the season. And then we just completely ignored you.

Leigh: We were being passionate about holidays that’s what it was.

Paul: But just so that people know, this season of the podcast, as we said at the end of last season is primarily about the idea of passion. Which sounds really shit for web design podcast but I liked the idea of talking about something that was a bit different from what we normally do with the normal kind of advice about how you build your websites or whatever it is, and actually look at something is a bit more career orientated. One of the things that you hear time and time again is that you have to love your job, you have to be passionate about your job and that if you are passionate it motivates you and if you are motivated it becomes more successful. So over this season I wanted to really ask is that true? Is passion really a necessary part of our jobs? How does it impact what we do? Is it always a good thing? Does it have a bad side to it? And then to explore some of the different kind of aspects of what people are passionate about, the different kind of things that get people up in the morning and inspire them to work. So in this first episode we are going to look in a very broad overview of the season and we’re going to ask questions like what is passion and do we think it is a positive or negative thing, and all those kinds of things. And then over the next few weeks we going to get different guests into talk about specific elements of being passionate. So for example next week we’ve got Vitaly Friedman, the co-founder of Smashing Magazine on to talk about passion within the web community. And then the week after we’ve got Ryan Taylor talking about how to find that elusive passion where you fit into the job that’s the right job for you, and it goes on.

Hopefully it will be something a little bit different and a little bit more interesting and something different from normal.

Marcus: I’ve got lots of thoughts on this, but it’s hard not to talk about it until after you’ve done the sponsors or do you want me to do it now?

Leigh: I think somebody needs to mention David Mitchell’s Soapbox, the passion episode which I’ve watched again this afternoon and just makes me laugh. And now when you say the word passion, I just giggle a bit inside.

Paul: I don’t think I’ve seen that one, I’ve seen most of his, but I haven’t seen that one.

Leigh: It needs a link in the show notes, definitely.

Marcus: This is a general point I suppose so we can talk about it now, but I really don’t like the word passion.

Paul: Neither do I.

Marcus: It’s because your local accountancy will have a poster up with them and suits saying how passionate they are about accounting.

Leigh: That’s the David Mitchell sketch!

Marcus: And is just one of those overused words, and I would like us to replace passion with enthusiasm.

Leigh: Or dedication.

Paul: Well, yes I do totally agree with you and I hate the word passion as well, but I am using the word passion particularly for a reason. And the reason is that it is so overused, it is the word that everybody throws around in the web design community and it’s that that I want to challenge a little bit and talk about. So yes, the very quickly I think people are going to get the opinion that they don’t have the time for the word passion, but it is what people are talking about so I do want to keep it in in some degree, but maybe we shift away from it as the season goes on and talk more about being enthusiastic and what gets is fired up and that kind of thing. I think passion is a bit of an American thing.

Marcus: I think passion should be left in the bedroom. There you go. Don’t you think?

Paul: Yes. It has a romantic overtone. It makes us British people feel very anxious and uncomfortable.

Marcus: Yes I don’t like it at all.

Leigh: Yes is totally wrong. All the definitions are all very sexual and full of desire and lust. Yes it’s just not right, it’s not right at all.

Paul: I don’t lust after my job. It’s just not my thing I’m afraid. So yes, let’s do our sponsor. Because I am passionate about our sponsors.

Right we’ve got a new sponsor joining us this season who do some amazing stuff and actually I am really pleased to have them on the show. They are Dev Bootcamp. Dev Bootcamp are the original immersive, you go along take part in it coding program that transforms coding beginners all the way through to being full stack web developers. They are located all over America but are probably best known for their downtown New York course that they run. You can find out more about them at Dev Bootcamp. So if you’re thinking about becoming a software developer then you definitely want to check out these guys. They’ve got short term immersive software development programmes that will transform your ability to code, get you ready for getting a job which is what it’s all about at the end of the day and prepare you to be a full stack web developer. You can learn both front-end and back-end web development skills but they also do those other kind of skills that go alongside being a web developer, the softer skills, things like teamwork and leadership. And all of that inside this inclusive, rigorous, interactive environment. It’s a really exciting thing that they do so check them out at Dev Bootcamp to learn more.

So that is our first sponsor done and dusted and we turn our attention now to passion. Marcus go!

The role of passion in digital development {#discuss}

Marcus: I’ve already said my bit. I was speaking to Lee about this the other day and we realised we’d used all of its material.

Leigh: We did actually, but rubbish now.

Marcus: But I said to Leigh, I’m not passionate about anything.

Paul: Are not even passionate about your music?

Marcus: No but then Leigh described a scenario and yes actually I would be in that scenario. So it’s true. It’s harder to get into the place where you become in that really enthusiastic state of mind and you can’t stop doing something, the old you get. But Leigh said what if you about halfway through an idea, or you’ve recorded a song and you got to mix it? If I spent today recording a song— is a very rare thing these days I get even more excited about it— I’ll come in the door after recording all day and I won’t be able to resist to start mixing it right there and then. So that’s an example of me getting passionate and enthusiastic about something, the generally day-to-day not really. It’s pretty rare that I would get into that state of mind with regard to work. I would imagine that’s less so for Leigh and yourself Paul?

Leigh: It’s a matter of getting in the zone, it’s being in the zone, when you’re being passionate during that period when it’s all coming together and are excited about what you’re doing and you want to see how it’s going to develop. Is the same with music or graphics. But yes getting to that place, starting is difficult.

Marcus: Paul, you recently just done some graphic design. I know you do some user journey graphic stuff, I bet you got all excited about that didn’t you?

Paul: I did actually, yes. I’m quite an enthusiastic person, I guess.

Leigh: Yes you are.

Marcus: I’m…..quite…..enthusiastic.

Paul: So I get into that place quite easily, but I think there’s a fine line. First of all, I agree with Leigh. The big problem is with starting. I’m never passionate about anything when it means starting it. I’m never enthusiastic about starting things. Even getting up. I’m never enthusiastic about that.

Leigh: Passionate about getting out of bed.

Paul: Yes, no. But some people do don’t they? Leap out of bed in the morning. It’s a new day! Bollocks.

But once I get going, I don’t like to stop. Is that compassion or is that obsessive-compulsive behaviour?

Leigh: This is where things become a bit muddy, isn’t it? When you go to meetings and things you can enthuse straight away. You have this ability to switch on massive enthusiasm mode, which I’ve always been very respectful of, because I can’t do that.

Paul: You weren’t going to say respectful were you? You are going to say suspicious and then changed your mind at the last moment!

Leigh: Well whether it involves some kind of helpful stimulant…

Paul: No, just that it was insincere or

Leigh: Well of course, obviously that.

Paul: I’m quite good, I can hype myself into excitement if that makes sense.

Marcus: In a sales situation, so can I.

Paul: Yes, is mainly in a sales situation. You can find something about a project, there’s always something in a project to get excited about. Whether it be the client itself, the organisation, whether it be the particular technical challenge or design challenge or who the audience is the fact that they are going to give you a big wodge of money, there is always something to get excited about.

Marcus: In the sales situation I rate Headscape very highly as I know we can do a good job, so I always get hyped up by ensuring people I’m talking to understand that. That never changes. The sales situation that is always there, so that I think is why I managed to get hyped up about.

Do you— because I’m thinking of a specific example as we did work together last year where you had to write some very long documents— did you not feel the desire to wander off and do something different in the middle of those? Was that more of a case of head down, don’t stop?

Paul: I’m very temperamental. In that kind of situation, I will be very excited and in full stream and then something might happen, it might be the phone goes, it might be an email, it might be my wife sticks her head round the door and that’s it, it’s gone. And I’ve learned not to keep slogging at that point. So I go off, I wonder often play with something else for a bit and then drift back to it later. And then have another overexcited, oh I want to say that, oh and I mustn’t forget to put that in, and off I go again.

Somebody described me once, in that there are some people in life that are work horses, that plod along and those people don’t really ever get excited or passionate about anything particularly. They are very level kind of people and there’s nothing wrong with those kinds of people because they are very, very productive. They’ll just keep going endlessly. But this person described me more as a racehorse. I’d have this big sprint of energy and be very skittish and very passionate and enthusiastic and then I would just die a death and lose all momentum and it would go away and I’m exhausted. And that, I think for me, is my expression of passion if that makes sense. It’s that burst of activity that then goes away.

Marcus, you just said you don’t really get massively passionate about anything, and it might just simply be that you’re more of a workhorse, a plodder.

Marcus: I think it depends on the work entirely. That’s why asked you the question about the long document. I suppose because you said you would be into it and then a distraction will occur, I guess from my point of view on this, if there are tasks where you are less likely to be distracted than others. If you are in the middle of doing so that you particularly loved doing the phone rang and you put it down, you’d see what you are doing and you go straight back to it. Whereas if it’s a bit onerous the task, then you’re more likely to think hang on and take a break here.

So that’s why most of the tasks I do, it’s fine but they are not the kind of thing that fire me up like doing a studio session with the band for example.

Paul: Your background is quite interesting in that regards, talking of passion, because you were a young guy, obviously really into your music then you had what everybody dreams of in that situation. Which is you got signed to a record label, you became hugely big and suddenly your hobby, your passion turned into your career. But I get the distinct impression that actually that was a bit shit?

From a musical point of view yes you got to go to some amazing places, you had women throw themselves at you, you are pumped with drugs whenever you wanted it—in my head anyway— but from a music point of view actually, that passion for music may have been somewhat undermined by it turning into a job?

Marcus: Yes and it’s not that the making music bits weren’t any less enjoyable than they were previously, it’s just that you didn’t do them as often. Anywhere near as often. You were always out having your photo taken or being on a plane or talking to a DJ or something. And all that stuff got in the way. Also because of when it happened to me there wasn’t much of a desire for young bands to go out and play live. We did do a little bit in the UK, but pretty much any other point or any other five-year gap in the last 50 to 60 years, I would have been on the road in America playing live. But that five years it was like oh no it’s a waste of money, don’t do that.

That’s just life. That was just another reason why you felt you know never really working on the thing that you really want to be working on. You accept that you have to promote yourself, of course you do but bottom line is there are too many other parts of the job that didn’t have anything to do with making music.

Paul: And that’s quite an important point isn’t it where people talk about, oh yes you have to be passionate about your job. I reckon you’d struggle to find any job where you are passionate about all of it. I’m loving what I do now, I am passionate about free trips to Thailand but there are still big chunks of my job that I don’t want to be doing. Every week I had to sit down and talk to you for an hour and there are better things that I could be doing. But obviously you are never going to get excited about doing emails, you never going to get excited about talking to your accountant about that are you and as you are on account of this passionate about accountancy. So I think we are sometimes a little bit naive with stuff like that.

Leigh: Yes as you said even the most glamorous of jobs, what appears to be the most glamorous of jobs can be full of rubbishy bits. I had a friend who was working for Sony, writing music and it was a job I went for. He got the job, he told me about what the job actually entailed…

Marcus: You’re not bitter at all are you?

Leigh: No he’s still a really good friend, he’s my best mate but it turned out to be not be as exciting as I had blown it up to be in my mind. There were many, many weeks of just editing sound files and cutting out sound effects rather than doing the bits that I would have been passionate about. So there is always a drudgery to everything, even the things you think you want to do.

Paul: And also don’t you reckon as well that by human nature, we kind of ruin anything for ourselves to some degree? Because even a wonderful thing becomes normal. And so you start to pick it apart.

I remember once seeing the dream job – we run this resort in the Maldives and we want you to come and live here and blog and tweet and instant about what life is like here. And you think, oh what an amazing job, I’d love to do that. But I bet during the rainy season you’d have a good old moan about the rain and miss going to the cinema the weekends. You’d always find a way of pulling it apart. So this idealistic view that there is some perfect job out there…

Leigh: Things become normality and routine and that becomes the job and the day-to-day and then it’s not exciting any more as you thought it was going to be because it’s become normality.

We had an Indian kid staying with us last summer. He was 14 and I hope I haven’t ruined his life, but basically his parents want him to become a doctor. He was in my office fiddling around with guitars and using stuff and he was telling me that he really, really want to go into music. And apparently that was his passion. He loved music. And he was in a particularly great are the guitar or keyboard and I was thinking really, I don’t think you should be following this route, even though you think it might be a passion I am not sure it’s the right thing. I didn’t say this is that it more tactfully, but perhaps his parents were thinking of the long-term and perhaps that that was the better route. If you kept the music is something that you did in your spare time, it was still be enjoyable and fun. Let’s face it, music is an impossible job nowadays unless you are something extraordinary.

Marcus: Or extraordinarily lucky.

Leigh: And I didn’t think he was. So I found myself nudging him towards the boring and of his two decisions.

Marcus: You’re such a Dad, Leigh.

Paul: It’s fascinating isn’t it because when you say it out loud like that it sounds awful. Because we are constantly filled with this follow your dreams, embrace your passion. But sometimes those dreams aren’t all they are cracked up to be and even if you do manage to get them, going back to Marcus’s experience, you’ve got to be sensible as well.

Marcus: I always said to my girls, do what you like to do. One of them is doing that I think, but I guess now Abigail is being a mum so I guess that’s what she wants to do.

Leigh: It has to be a balance though you have to do what you like to do and to be able to actually exist doing what you like to do.

Paul: And also I think a better way of viewing it is that you should avoid doing what you most like, right? I wouldn’t stain a job that I hated but I might stay in a job that is all right. It will do, that’s okay.

Marcus: Compared to a lot of people in the world, that’s probably a pretty good place to be.

Paul: It’s really interesting, just before we started the season, the signal versus noise blog posted something about, you need to be passionate to be successful in your job? Do you need to love your job to be successful?

Marcus: No.

Paul: And do you know what? It really surprised me because that’s what he said. He said that when he co-founded base camp, I wasn’t passionate about project management. In fact, he went as far as saying the reason why we set up base camp is out of hatred. He hated dealing with project management, he hated the tools that were out there and he wanted something that made it better. So this whole idea that we need to be driven by passion, and you can’t be successful unless you are passionate about what you, is bollocks.

Leigh: Well hatred is a good word. It’s amazing what you can achieve through hatred.

Paul: Yes, the dark side of the force. Darth Vader and the Empire built up a whole empire, hugely successful. What did the light side do? Bugger are all.

Leigh: They didn’t build big death stars or planets with big guns coming out of them. No they just piddled around in little temples.

Marcus: I suppose it does depend on how you define success to a certain extent. I am playing devil’s advocate here. If you are defining success is making money, running a business, then I entirely agree and I don’t think you need to be passionate about it. But if you are talking about successes being happy when you go to work, then maybe there is a grain of truth in it?

Paul: Yes. Let me ask you that Marcus. I think it’s fair to say that Headscape, you enjoy it, it’s a job, but you wouldn’t call yourself passionate about it? Is that a fair comment?

Marcus: I don’t think Chris would either.

Paul: So on that basis, do you think you’d still be as successful?

Marcus: Definitely.

Paul: I think having an enjoyable job doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be the be all and end all of your life. When we founded Headscape we always said right from the beginning, this is a lifestyle business. This business exists to allow us to do what we want to do in our lives. It might be that what you want to do in your life is to travel or do music, or do this or do that. If your business can facilitate that, that is a success.

Marcus: Absolutely and I think that as long as you have an attitude that I have that I think this is just common sense that is when you do work for clients, you do it as best as you possibly can and there are many reasons why you do that, then you can carry on doing that. You don’t have to be, oh this is the best thing in the world, you just have to be professional.

Leigh: Conscientious and dedicated. Professional.

Marcus: But that’s not the same feeling as if I’ve got a song halfway through and I can’t put it down. Or if I’m reading a book that so good I can’t put it down. I’m not passionate about reading a book but I am really enthusiastic about the story. Do I get that feeling about working at Headscape? Very rarely.

Paul: I was just thinking whether you can get into a situation where success actually can undermine your passion? Going back to your pop example. You come away from that experience less enthusiastic about music?

Marcus: I can’t remember. I don’t know really. I think yes, I think the honest answer at the time was yes and it was joining another band five odd years later, that rekindled my desire to play. So yes.

Paul: Because I think sometimes that can be the danger. And it’s not just, it goes back to what we were saying earlier I guess about seeing behind the curtain. Actually when you discover the reality of what you think you want, it maybe isn’t all that it could be. I think about my Dad sometimes, that from being a kid he wanted to be a wildlife person. His dad did what Leigh did to his visiting person, he said, no you would never make a career out of that so why don’t you go into farming instead. That’s a bit like wildlife isn’t it? So that’s what he did. He went into farming and then eventually he got into a position where he could go and become a full-time wildlife photographer. And he loves it, don’t get me wrong and there have been some amazing times and he’s got the best job in the world and I hate him deeply because of it. But on the other hand there are times when you think, wow that’s tough. There were times when he struggled to feed his family. Struggled to pay the mortgage because of the uncertainty in the career path that he’d chosen. And you wonder sometimes was that worth it? Was it worth that battle? And I think it was for him. But boy, it was tough at times.

Give up on your dreams kids, that’s what I’m saying!

Leigh: Get a nice sensible well-paid job and stop dreaming.

Marcus: I wrote a blog post, it’s a rare time that I say that, it was when you, Leigh, Ed and me went to New Adventures in Nottingham. The theme of the conference was, Follow your bliss.

Paul: Was it really?

Marcus: It was following your F***ing Bliss, if I remember rightly. And there was one of the speakers who does really detailed typography stuff and she was talking about the detail that she gets into, and she gets into this place and ended up comparing it to when I was used to be in the band were mirror at home writing songs, or making demos and that kind of thing. And the comparison I made was that you would spend half an hour trying to find the right sound or you’d be fiddling with just something and fiddling and you are completely and utterly drawn into that place. But how many people can have a job where they are like that? Very, very few.

Paul: And also, is that passion or is that obsession?

Leigh: I mean I was doing that all morning. I was fiddling, designing something, being obsessive about the line width and spacing and waiting and the hours fly by and you look back at it and think, oh that’s nice, that took a whole morning. That’s a nice place to be and it is a kind of an obsession.

Marcus: That’s the difference between my job and your job Leigh.

Paul: You don’t have mornings disappear?

Marcus: I won’t have the equivalent. Very occasionally I do. I was playing and making images for a presentation that we are doing tomorrow, Leigh and I liked it. So yes I do Paul, but not as much. And there’s always something more important to be doing, like some report that needs writing or something.

Leigh: Yes if you give me a report to write, that can take just days of struggling.

Marcus: It’s alright Lee I won’t do it again.

Leigh: There is no where did the morning go? Or there is and it’s oh my god I written one paragraph and been distracted a million times.

Paul: I’m thinking that I don’t feel that as much they used to, when I used to do design. You have to wonder perhaps that is a creative thing maybe, because you hear musicians talk about it, you hear designers talk about it you hear coders talk about it and I always say that coding I think is quite creative practice.

Marcus: Problem-solving I guess.

Paul: Perhaps it something slightly different passion, perhaps its focus or being in the zone or something else. Because I’m passionate about the job that I do these days, I love my job, I’ve got the best job in the world but I don’t lose a morning and suddenly go, woah, I was just away with that. That doesn’t happen to me very much anymore. Mainly because I’m getting old enough to get up and go to the toilet every 10 minutes.

Leigh: Yes it could be a creative flow state of mind, couldn’t it.

Marcus: Maybe that’s the case, Paul but I think the way I am framing this in my mind, this discussion, is that it’s how I feel when I’m doing something creative. That’s what I mean by that. When people say I want a job that I love, I think that’s what they want. They want that kind of job where they go in and spend the morning doing something that fascinates them.

Paul: Yes but for me that’s, what people love in a job. Because I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the years, because especially towards the end of my time at Headscape because obviously I was thinking do I want to stay, do I need to move onto something else and so I was thinking what is it that makes me love the job? And its independence, being able to set your own agenda and what it is that you work on etc. It’s the working environment and who you are working with and those kinds of things.

Marcus: So you want to work with no one?

Paul: I didn’t say all of these have improved. It’s a trade-off isn’t it, with some stuff. I do miss you guys and that’s a thing I’ve lost. The big one for me actually in deciding to go independent was a relationship between what I did and outcome. A tangible outcome. And that’s one of the things I think that I lost actually at Headscape, because I was just doing marketing stuff and consultancy stuff and like Leigh, when you sat down this morning he produced a design, it looked beautiful, you could say I did that. I lost that over the years and so moving off and do my own thing has given me a direct relationship that I do this, it leads to this piece of work, I earn money and go and sit on a beach in Thailand. Just thought I’d slip that in again. So the job that you love isn’t just a job you’re passionate about, it’s all these other little factors that make up a good experience.

My sister in law, right, who actually transcribes this podcast….

Leigh: Hello.

Marcus: Hello there.

Paul: She’ll probably put in the show notes ‘He’s talking bollocks at this point’. But she took a job recently and it was really just to bring in a bit of extra money, and she didn’t think she was going to enjoy it very much and it was just a very mundane boring job that she just had to do. Now from talking to her since, actually it’s turned out she has really loved that, not because it’s the best employer in the world, not because it’s the most interesting work, but she’s really liking the people there. So finding a job you love isn’t just about, oh it’s something I’m hugely passionate about, there are lots of other factors involved in it. Or at least I think there are.

Marcus: Absolutely— this is going to sound quite cynical but I think it’s true— I think the job that you are not that keen on, but it’s alright, you get paid lots of money, you’re going to say you enjoy more than if you don’t get paid very much for the same job.

Paul: You’re not allowed to say that though are you.

Leigh: I’m passionate about my paycheck!

Paul: That does make a big difference. Because at the end of the day we are trading our time in return for money. And the more money you get back to that time, the better the deal it will feel and the better you’ll feel about the job. It is a big part of the equation.

Leigh: All of my sons friends and him have been talking about what they are going to do and it’s all about which has got the biggest salary. And I they keep saying things like, well do you really want to be something like a psychologist? Yes, because they get paid lots of money. Have you got any interest in psychology? Yeah…. And his friends are coming up with all these job titles and you’re like, really? Does he really want to do that?

Marcus: Do not remember what it’s like being 14 years old? All you want is the fast car and be able to do what you like when you want. All you do is just associate that with having lots of money. It’s because you got no money. You have to work for a few years before you realise that the real goal should be happiness, not as much money she could possibly want.

Leigh: Kids want fame as well, but what is the opposite end of the spectrum to that? What happiness do you get from fame when you can’t even walk in the streets and people hate you for your fame? I don’t understand it; I don’t understand why kids are so obsessed. I guess they want to be their heroes and they want to be that hero that they don’t know the actual living it, what it’s like.

Paul: Your rights with the money side of things. Although it does make a difference without a doubt how much you get paid up until a certain point but when you hit a certain point you just live up to your income anyway. Your basic needs are covered the basic things that you need for life are covered and you are just living up to your income, so it actually doesn’t make any difference then because you get a salary increase. I’m better off now than I was at Headscape but I don’t feel better off because it’s just got funnelled away into pensions and ISA savings accounts, and were thinking of getting an extension and that kind of thing.

Marcus: There is a point I am sure further along the line of wealthiness where it does change but none of us are ever going to reach that.

Leigh: No, but it’s a lot further because people stop buying other houses and then more and more and more stuff and people to do things in those houses for them. They must be just spending a fortune. And you do hear about various people you couldn’t imagine ever being poor or becoming bankrupt.

Paul: Michael Jackson went bankrupt didn’t he?

Leigh: I know there are some very surprising people that who turned out to be bankrupt. Yes, he had a fairground didn’t he? People by ridiculous things.

Marcus: I think we need to throw a caveat in here in case younger people are thinking you’re talking bollocks, because we are three old men who have all got their own houses, all drive around in a nice car. We are very comfortable in comparison to where we were 30 odd years ago. We are not rich, but we’re talking about this stuff from a position of comfort. And I think we need to recognise that.

Paul: Although in your case actually, 30 years ago, Marcus you would have had more disposable income than you have now.

Marcus: I deliberately said 30 because that was before I had any hits.

Paul: Oh right, okay fair enough.

Marcus: 1986 so I was 18, no 19.

Paul: So yes, absolutely, money is a part of the mix that makes a good job, a job that you enjoy, a job that you find satisfying.

I want to ask one last thing about this issue of passion…

Marcus: It should be kept in the bedroom, Paul.

Paul: … It should be kept in the bedroom. So that’s going to put a different spin on my question now, which is, can you be overly passionate? Can it actually become dangerous? Because I look around at some people now and think, just get some perspective.

Marcus: I think you can become annoying, definitely. Oh shut up?

Paul: Yes. I don’t care about your vegan diet, that kind of thing. I am sorry Leigh, that’s a bit close to home.

Leigh: I tried it for a month, I now know how silly it is. I think you can become annoying and I think you can probably alienate people if you are too over the top all the time.

Paul: And I think as well you can be damaging to yourself as well because you do go into the realms of never doing anything other than your job. Never doing anything other than what your passion is. And you cease to be a rounded human being, which is what we’re going to talk about in episode two.

Leigh: This topics quite stressful as well, being passionate like that. Can’t be good for you.

Paul: Oh, tiring.

Leigh: Have a cup of tea, sit down.

Marcus: There is a type of person that I think we’re talking about here. It tends to be the entrepreneurial types, doesn’t it?

Paul: And it’s entrepreneurial types that are pushing this whole passion agenda. Well it’s not an agenda but…

Marcus: I remember when I first got my first job after working in the music business and it was for a large paper company, bizarrely. A great place actually, I really enjoyed working there but I can remember there were different departments around the building and marketing was this place that I didn’t really know what it did. I know what marketing is now but obviously back in those days it was, what do they do, how are they different to sales? Basically it seemed to me that shortly after working there, they were the people that lied to themselves, basically about my product is the best product in the world and whenever I am at work and wherever I am talking to you I have to lie, lie, lie about how brilliant it is all the time, otherwise I’m not doing my job properly. And that can’t be healthy? And I think the same applies to entrepreneurs’ times 10. My new idea is the best thing on the planet. They believe that if they don’t think that then it won’t be successful. It either will be successful or it won’t in my view.

Paul: And also it’s okay to produce something solid and good and a good contribution. It doesn’t need to be world changing. This whole thing, it’s all Steve Jobs’s fault in my opinion because he talked about putting a dent in the universe. I’ve got no desire to dent the universe.

Marcus: Old man caveat again.

Paul: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is. You do just mellow with age and go, I can’t be bothered.

Marcus: Give me a gin and tonic in the garden. That’ll do.

Paul: I was going to say we should and with Leigh’s comments of chill out and have a cup of tea.

Leigh: Yes that’ll do. Just calm down.

Marcus: My cup of tea, where is it? There it is.

Paul: The thing that I want to leave people with, because it’s been a very randomly conversation, far too long as well, but the thing I want to leave people with is that by all means go after a job you are enthusiastic about, go after one that you would love to do but just remember that there are a lot more elements that will ultimately impact your happiness in that job more than just how enthusiastic and passionate you are about that job. The people you work with, the environment that you work in, the kind of work you do, your accountability, the money. All of those things are just as important in building a happy and enjoyable career then whether you are passionate about whatever the thing is. So it’s just about keeping it in perspective really isn’t it.

Marcus: It’s about staying away from the music business.

Leigh: Absolutely.

Paul: Apparently so.

Leigh: No money in that.

Paul: Crush those dreams, Leigh.

Leigh: Go work in the supermarket, it pays more. No, do both.

Paul: So going back to what we were saying about Basecamp and how Basecamp ended up getting started because he had a hatred of dealing with project management.

Paul: That brings us very nicely onto our sponsor for this week, which is Proposify. So Proposify is a simple tool that helps you create well-designed, winning proposals. Proposals that work really well and this is I think, a product born out of taking away people’s pain and was probably born out of, oh I hate creating proposals, I wish it could be easier. I use this tool and I have to say it is worth every penny to me because it takes away that pain. It’s one less thing on my job for me to go, oh do I have to do that? Because great proposals can be quite a convoluted pain in the arse and so anything that can help do that is really useful. So basically it streamlines the creation of your proposals and helps you close the whole thing down so much quicker. Instead of spending hours sending word documents or InDesign files or Google Docs back and forth to the client, you can basically just go into Proposify and pre-pick one of their templates if you want to. There is a gallery a professional proposal designs, and then you can deliver this to the client once you’ve produced it and they can comment directly on it and then you can amend it and update it and then finally there is a nice to sign off ability at the end of it. Which, by the way Marcus, I remember you complaining once when we talked about Proposify, that you had to scribble your signature?

Marcus: That’s because I write with my left hand and mouse with my right hand. That was the problem.

Paul: So they fixed it. So now you can just type in your name Marcus, so it’s all right now.

Marcus: How do you type a signature?

Paul: It’s called an e-signature, Marcus. It’s still binding but it’s not an actual signature. So they’ve got some brilliant beautiful designs for your proposals that you can use if you want to. I’ve gone in and customised and created my own proposal that’s in line with the rest of my branding. I have to say was very straightforward, no design experience really very necessary. You can say goodbye to those complex InDesign files that some people use all the rigid nests of other tools when it comes to design. It’s very easy to write something in word but it doesn’t look very pretty always, you can customise the layout, you can fill your proposals, it’s got loads of stuff.

Now this is the good bit, so check out Proposify but what I’m really impressed with is that they’ve given us a really good deal on it. You can get three months of using Proposify absolutely free on any one of their monthly plans. See you can get a 14 day free trial and then on top of that another three months for free, which is superb and you can do that by using the coupon code Boagworld when you sign up for any of their monthly plans. So really guys, even if you don’t do proposals very much, even if you think what you’ve got is perfectly adequate, you might as well give it a go because you are going to get 3 ½ months for free for this thing, so it’s ample time to try it out at least on one project and see what you think of it. So check that out, I use it every day and in fact I was using it today to create a proposal and I was able to turn around a proposal really quickly by duplicating an old one and editing it. It even fills— sorry I will shut up in a minute—

Leigh: You know what you sound like Paul? You sound like you are passionate about proposals and Proposify.

Paul: I’m not passionate about proposals but I must admit I am quite enthusiastic about Proposify.

Marcus: What’s a proposal?

Paul: What’s a proposal? You spend your whole life doing them. And I tell you it solves one of the things that I’ve seen you do before it proposals Marcus, which is where you copy and paste a proposal across and then you forget to change some of the client names in it?

Marcus: That’s happened once in a hundred years.

Leigh: A shocking accusation.

Marcus: It is a shocking accusation.

Paul: It’s absolutely true so it will automatically change the name of the client for you and various things like that.

Marcus: Chris reads all my documents and I read all of hits.

Paul: Well not everybody has someone to read their documents, not if you’re a lone freelancer like me.

Marcus: Poor you.

Paul: Anyway, Marcus did you find a joke? Because I know you were going at the beginning the show, I don’t have one.

Marcus: My problem with proposals is that I’ve written so many proposals now, I’ve got proposal overload where I can remember writing something along the lines of what I want to talk about but I have no idea where it is.

Paul: See well Proposify…

Marcus: No it wouldn’t help, it would just be another place to have more proposals.

Paul: It would, you can search across your old proposals.

Marcus: I can search across my old proposals now, but it doesn’t make any difference.

Paul: And you can take one of those sections from a proposal and save it to a content library and name that section, customer journey mapping, and then you can just drag that into whichever proposal you want. Now you’ve got to admit that’s good.

Marcus: I should have done that at the start, 15 years ago.

Paul: Yes exactly. It would be a pain to go back through them all now.

Marcus: It would take me a year.

Paul: I understand. A year well spent Marcus. Anyway what’s your joke?

Marcus: I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave. As I was standing there I noticed for gravediggers walking about with the coffin. Three hours later they are still walking about with it. I thought to myself, they’ve lost the plot.

[Laughs]

Paul: Oh dear. There we go. Well done. You’ve really got the most out of Christmas this year. Have you been collecting all the cracker jokes?

Marcus: No, this is me going back to jokes of 10 years ago, that I could probably get away with saying again. But still send me more!

Paul: So there we go, this week, the end of passion and jokes about death. I’ve hope you’ve enjoyed the show, thank you truly for joining us. It’s very good to have you back and goodbye!

Boagworks

Boagworld