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Dandy Cast 007: On the exquisite agony of making decisions

Sean Anderson
Sean Anderson

This podcast episode was recorded as an accompanying audio version of the Dandy Newsletter that was published on January 14, 2020.

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Show notes

The King is dead. Long live the King!

The Dandy Cat Design website that was made on Squarespace is no more. It’s kaput. Hey, the start of a new year is the perfect time to make huge changes in your business, right? If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward, as they say.

Who says that? Me, I guess.

Tired of the annoyances that Squarespace was giving me, I’ve chosen to move my whole website on over to the wonderful Ghost platform. Not only is it much more focused on delivering a great writing experience, you can also support direct membership payments on the platform. Sounds like a win-win to me.

There’s a brand spankin’ new blog post waiting for you. It’s called, Why Every “How-To” Guide Sucks (Including This One).

How-to guides, self-help books, whatever you want to call them... Well, they all suck. Just straight-up suck. They major in suckitude. Luckily, their suckiness comes from one major omission. If they start fixing it, then they could be a lot more helpful. Read this post to find out what they’re missing.

We’re wrapping things up with what I’m watching, reading, and listening to this week. It’s a great assortment of media that’s worth your time.

Links to stuff that was mentioned:

Ghost

Ulysses

Paige Brunton

Kerstin Martin

Lauren Hooker

Why Every “How-To” Guide Sucks (Including This One) - Dandy Cat Design

The Theme System

For All Mankind - Apple TV+

Delinquent Session (Live at BBC Maida Vale) | Team Picture - YouTube

The Woman in the Window | A.J. Finn - Goodreads


The full text

The Dandy Newsletter - 01/14/20

I swear, if I waffle anymore on what services I think I should use for the various parts of Dandy Cat Design, then I’m going to start smelling like maple syrup.

Dandy Cat Design as it existed on Squarespace is no more. I’m perfectly okay with that and I won’t talk about that choice any more than I already have. I’m all in on using Ghost for my website needs now and I’m very happy with that choice at the moment. I’ll have to wait and see how things are after some time passes; I used to think that Squarespace was the jam to my Dandy Cat bread after all. I think having a regular and lively blog is important for my business and the blogging experience on Ghost is amazing. It totally blows Squarespace out of the water.

I can even post right to my site from Ulysses!

Screenshot of the Ghost publishing screen in the Ulysses text editing app.

How crazy cool is that? I can’t begin to tell you how much time that saved me while I was transferring over all my blog posts to the new site.

This has all felt really great to accomplish. I say that with a caveat, though—I don’t know that I’d recommend Ghost to everybody. I believe that Squarespace, for all the issues I had with it, is still the right choice for most people who want to build a website. Especially for those people who don’t have any coding experience. I do have some coding experience, so taking on a Ghost site wasn’t that daunting for me. I can handle CSS.

There’s no better time for self-reflection and decision making than the beginning of a new year. I think some people, myself included, can feel loads of anxiety when given a blank slate, but what I’m feeling now is a sense of great potential. I started Dandy Cat Design by following in the same footsteps as others who have already made a name for themselves in Squarespace web design. The Paige Bruntons and Kerstin Martins and Lauren Hookers of the online world. I offered services that mimicked the services that others provided. I wrote blog posts about Squarespace and business and design. Blog posts anyone else might have been able to write (though surely not in my unique voice).

With my Year of Growth comes the feeling that I want to rely less on doing things the way other people do them, and instead do them the Sean way. That’s why my focus on many things has been changing so often.

I’ve even started billing myself as a productivity expert. That’s mostly because, well, I am. It’s a topic I’ve been interested in for many years. I’ve created systems for myself that have really benefited the way I live my life. It’s something I’m interested in researching even when it’s not for my work. I want to share what I’ve learned with others because I’ve got the productivity skills to pay the life bills.

There are surely other productivity writers and teachers out there, but I’ve reached the point where I’m not interested in trying to emulate anyone else anymore. Everybody’s going to get the pure Sean experience now. That means writing about what’s on my mind, even if it’s tough to hear, developing courses to build a more productive life, and letting people fund my work through direct memberships to the Dandy Cat Design site.

But this has been a tough decision to come to. Again… waffling.

Is there anything better able to get your palms sweating than setting off on a path that has no clear markers to help you along your way? Or that hasn’t even been walked on before? I’ve talked myself into and out of trying new things more times than I can count. Will this post actually help people? Should I invest in this course for myself? Will this thing or that thing or maybe some other thing help me achieve my goals? I’m not trying to become some world famous productivity guru. I’m just trying to make a decent living for myself.

When the alternative to making a decent living for myself with Dandy Cat Design is working for someone else, I start feeling antsy. The suit and tie office life just isn’t for me.

Since the days of building my video studio, I’ve learned that nothing personifies business more than making oodles of tough decisions. If you’re not having to make decisions every day, then I’m not sure you’re running a business. That sounds more like sleep to me than anything else. Making decisions can be a challenge, it can be messy, and sometimes it sucks so bad. It’s also liberating, affirming, and an important part of growth.

So let’s you and me build up the courage to keep making the tough decisions that’ll let us grow into truly kickass people this year, even if we change our minds halfway through. You and I both deserve that in 2020.

This sucks...

I’ve got a new blog post up for you. It’s called: Why Every “How-To” Guide Sucks (Including This One).

I’ll say that if you’ve found a how-to/self-help guide that’s been good for you, then that’s great. Good things are good and they always will be.

But there’s a real problem with the self-help genre. It’s been bothering me for while. Many published books and guides have a quality that’s made them seem inherently harmful, which is a shame because I believe that their authors are usually good people.

I hope they are anyway. In some ways the self-help/how-to world appears to be where Dandy Cat Design is heading. That’s why it’s important for me to recognize that there’s a major disclaimer that every self-help author should be making, but usually don’t.

Click through the link above to learn what that disclaimer is and how important it is to me.

If you ever want to throw some suggestions my way, then leave a comment at the end of one of my blog posts. Or heck, reply to this email.

Seriously friend, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time, stay dandy, cat.

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Sean Anderson

Lover of productivity tips, Apple devices, and vegan ice cream. Mostly, I'm busy petting cats 🐱 and dogs 🐶


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