Before You Ask What the New Thing Is About

Maybe what you need next is a surprise.

I am not great at chit-chat at the best of times, but I’m most challenged when someone asks me “What do you do?” By which they mean for paid work, because wealth-generating labor is the only labor that counts and the point of chit-chat is to figure out what someone can do for you and therefore how nice you should be. (Anything else is conversation, not chit-chat, and conversation is great.)

Whew, that was developing a tone. What I mean is: when people ask “What do you do?” and I say, “I edit a magazine,” the next question is always, always the same: “What’s it about?” The question I answer is never the one they asked.

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How to Reach X,XXX,XXX Goals by XXXX

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Knowing what counts, without the quota

Last week, the Medialyte newsletter ran an interview with Pipe Wrench’s favorite Catherine that included this question and answer:

Is it the hope that Pipe Wrench will become a full-time job for its members? What kind of financial and audience goals have you set internally?

We expect the business to sustain itself. Michelle and I both work second jobs that we intend to bequeath to successors when the time comes. There are break-even numbers.

But to quote Margarita Noriega, “Metrics are not goals. And goals are not values.”

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