Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Agile Magic Manifesto -- A Guide to Agile Magic

Hey all, as part of the work I'm doing on my course, I wrote a 15-page guide to working agile magic based on the Agile Magic Manifesto. It's a quick start to approaching your magic (and your life) from an agile perspective.

In addition, you'll get the CircleThrice newsletter, full of practical advice on PMPM and agile magic.

My newsletter is WAY less crumply though

Subscribe and get your copy of the Agile Magic Manifesto and the CircleThrice Newsletter:

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Steal from the Rich -- Robin Hood the Shit Out of 2018

One of the most interesting types of feedback I get on CircleThrice (sometimes directly and sometimes obliquely) is that people don't think my stuff is relevant to them because they aren't "corporate." Now certainly, not everything I write is going to make sense for everyone out there. But I want to be super clear here, if you think that something doesn't benefit or impact you because it comes from some big money-making entity -- you are really, really wrong.

Just because something is "corporate" doesn't mean it's not important for you to know about. In fact, just the opposite.

First, because when you use some technique for process or project or efficiency or management that comes out of corporate-land to re-enchant and empower your own life... well, that's some rebellious, subversive, Robin Hood shit right there.

After all, corporations are some of the biggest, most powerful entities in the world right now. And they are entirely invested in being productive, making money, and meeting their corporate goals. You don't think you can't steal that stuff for your own plans?

Oo-de-lally and Shit
It's like when pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars researching the medicinal benefits of plants. Sure, they want to use that knowledge to weaponize what they find and overcharge sick people in a sick system. But if you steal their data, you can use it to heal yourself without their interference.

When it comes to risk analysis, productivity, and human resources tools, companies don't even bother to hide what they learn! No, they brag about it and publish it in smarmy management books and blather about it in TED talks and keynote speeches. They're practically begging you to steal it.

Plus they have the best clipart!

Second, because those same tools will be mercilessly used against you so you better know how they work. And you need to realize that even if you don't think of yourself as corporate, you are likely impacted by corporate interests.

Yes, maybe you are a pagan poet who works as a barista to pay the bills. Do you work as a barista for the green mermaid people? If so, you work for a major corporation, and if you want to keep paying those bills, you need to keep on top of corporate trends in your own industry. Ones that might make your job disappear or open up new opportunities. Interestingly, I don't know anything about the coffee sales industry. I found this information through about 15 minutes of Googling so it's not like it's time-consuming or hard. I've paid money for access to information that might impact my job -- and I consider it money well-spent.

Or maybe you want to find work in an office. Have you researched the completely unscientific and bogus personality assessment tools that HR departments are using to qualify -- and disqualify -- employees? If not, I recommend you do because you may be asked to take one and your answers could keep you from getting a job.

Not to mention the literal weaponization of these techniques that might just destroy the world: "...the flexible nature of hybrid warfare allows for more of a “trial-and-error” approach to foreign intervention, not unlike the agile development process used in marketing and technology firms."

Which is why this new series for 2018 (which I'm getting a late start on, please see previous post) is going to be all about digging deep into the tools and techniques that come from the corporate or government fields, analyzing how they are used and misused, and figuring out how we can jailbreak them and steal them for ourselves.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

New Priorities in the Face of Change

Hey there. So, the past two weeks have been an absolute shitshow in my life. Technical glitches, lots of illness, discovery of antibiotic allergies (the hard way) and so forth and so on. It's been exhausting and we're only just coming out the other side.

As is my habit, when bad stuff happens I like to consider what useful lessons or feedback I can take from it. OK, it's mostly after the dust settles, I admit. During the bad stuff, I'm scrambling and freaking out just like anyone else. Now I'm not in the habit of beating myself up because, hey, shit happens and it's not anyone's fault. But if I can glean some kind of actionable lesson from it, well, that's at least something.

In this case, it seemed like the week contained some interesting takeaways directly related to the big changes in planetary alignment that started on Dec the 19th. Here's my short list of lessons -- items that I'm considering serious advice for the coming year(s):
  • Follow the rules that matter: don't half-ass stuff and follow the process if there's a process
  • Be disciplined: particularly in taking care of ourselves and sticking to our goals
  • Be proactive: take care of things when they arise and don't put things off
  • Don't overreact: take things one step at a time and add new things (like medication) judiciously
  • Stay positive: manifestation is rapid and direct, so watch what we say, think, and do
  • Keep moving forward (or Just keep swimming if you're more Finding Nemo than Meet the Robinsons): don't let everything else get derailed when something goes wrong
Fortunately I'm having a long weekend to catch up on sleep and other projects. This includes creative stuff like coursework, practical stuff like budgeting, and prosaic stuff like sorting and organizing my dresser and catching up on -- you guessed it -- laundry. I'm also doing some planning (you know when I feel low, what I really want is a good dose of planning to lift my spirits), in this case short term magical planning to assist with the lessons we just learned.

I feel like this period of time is going to require, not so much new values and focus, but a re-prioritization of existing values. Because it's clear to me that behaviors in alignment with the astrological weather will cause better results than those that aren't.

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Something Special I've Been Planning

I am super excited about a project that I've been working on since back before the new year, and something that I've been thinking of even longer. And I just can't keep it to myself anymore...

My hair is better though...
When I work with clients one-on-one, they get a very personalized level of service. Everything we do together is tailored specifically to that person. But I appreciate that it's not feasible for a lot of people to engage with me that way. And frankly there's a limit to the number of personal clients I can commit to as well.

So I've been taking the most critical elements of my PMPM practices, the things that can help the broadest number of people -- regardless of their goals -- and organizing them into a set of lessons.

It's one part agile project management and one part magic and it's going to have audio and written content (slides!) and probably a workbook too. And I think it's going to be awesome! Plus I'm planning some cool bonuses (that all my private clients will get too because I love and appreciate you all!).

When you find something you really love to do and people tell you that it's useful -- well, you want to reach out to as many people as possible. Keep an eye on the blog or shoot me an email at and I'll let you know when it's ready.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Cheater's Resolutions -- Kicking the Year off Right

I'm offering a $20 discount for a consultation you schedule during January (see details at the end).

So, did you end up making new year's resolutions or did my previous post scare you off?

This year I made some cheater's resolutions instead. What's a cheater's resolution? It's the equivalent of finishing a task and then writing it on your todo list just so you can have the satisfaction of checking it off. It's when you trick yourself into doing something by just making it super easy to do -- the opposite of applying willpower.

Which is why, since the first week of December I've started working on a couple of goals that I wanted to do for the start of 2018. By starting early, I gained a couple of benefits:

  • No pressure! New Year's Resolutions are kind of fraught. In addition, they often hold the seeds of failure within them. If they were so important, why did you wait until Jan. 1st to start them?
  • No hard deadline! Some things are easier if you ease into them. Like a change in your eating or stopping smoking. So you get going and it takes time to figure out what works for you. There's not one moment where everything changes... it's a process.
  • Time! The end of December is often a time when people have days off. I had a number of them this year. That leaves time for making changes and getting them set as habits before the busy start of the year.

So for this New Year, I got to write down resolutions knowing that I'd already made headway on them -- I am a complete cheater!

But what happens if you didn't make cheaters resolutions? Well, make them now. Decide that you will do something for Groundhog Day / Imbolc / Candlemas... but start now so you can cheat when you get there!

And to help you with your cheater's resolutions (or any other goals you're working on) I'm offering a $20 discount for a consultation you schedule during January. This is for new and existing clients (I hate when people do promos only for new folks) and yes, it includes my clients who've already made January appointments (you're welcome!). Only one discount per person please.