Friday, November 19, 2010

The Grind & Taking Some Time

Almost 8 months ago, I walked away from corporate life to start The Style Cooperative.

It was a really bold (read: ballsy) move. This, I admit. I was looking for ways to exercise my thoughts and energy in a way that felt fulfilling. I began designing and working on an idea that I had come up with years before, and it became my life.

If you're into twitter and follow a lot of like-minded folks who are young, creative, entrepreneurial, and passionate about their craft, you start to see a lot of similarities.  One thing that I always see and hear from other people working to develop their future is the proverbial "grind-off".

The Grind-Off (n): The act of expressing publicly how hard one works, typically in a passion project that is expected to result in positive creative work to be consumed by the masses. Common phrases include: "The grind never sleeps", "I'll sleep when I'm dead", or some other expression indicating the lengths they will go to be successful.

And I shall not throw stones, because I, at times, am guilty of this as well. But there comes a point when you realize that even if you never sleep at all, there will still always be work you could do. Our work and ideas are not in a vacuum, and in order to progress and come to the table with the most original, ridiculous, and effing fantastic work we've ever produced, sometimes you have to know when to push pause.

Then I saw this video with Stefan Sagmeister on TED about design and the power of time off.  From all the self-induced stress that many of us are under, I feel like this is an interesting look at the idea of job vs. career vs. calling, and what it means for each of us today before we hit a plateau, wall, or anything else similarly uncomfortable.

Think about it.


  1. good write but u know some people speak more of "the grind" than action. just a thought.

  2. good post.I agree with you as well, the grind is a mindset that is built on the idea that you would do whatever it takes to make something happen(given the persons moral/principles)...with consideration of some type of payoff in the future. Once a person starts grinding and receives whatever payoff they are looking you think they become addicted to it?..the grind that is. For example, creating a design company (needs much grind)...then creating a design company with longevity...

  3. @ayo I definitely know what you mean- it seems like if ppl were working as hard as they say they were, there wouldn't be all that talking right. Like I said, I probably shouldn't be throwing stones.. sometimes we just want other ppl to know we're working on it

  4. @evin i think you're talking about being a stereotypical workaholic. Now that... is very real. I took the day off for the first time in a while last weekend, and I was freaking out bc I didn't know what to do w/ myself if I wasn't working or out with people. Sometimes, we just all need learn to be still. Or do something different. The video gets at that in a great way as well.