[PMC Weekly Consulting Insight] Why daily?

At its best, daily publication is steroids for your thinking, but without the negative side-effects.

I advocate publishing something online, and doing so daily.

I advocate doing this during a certain phase of your career, but not necessarily for the whole career.

Why this madness?

What is daily publishing?

In pharmacology, there's this concept of the minimum effective dose. Wikipedia defines MED as "the lowest dose level of a pharmaceutical product that provides a clinically significant response in average efficacy, which is also statistically significantly superior to the response provided by the placebo."

The MED for daily publishing is 3x/week.

The reason I compare daily publishing to a pharmaceutical is because both of them change you, hopefully for the better. At its best, daily publication is steroids for your thinking, but without the negative side-effects.

Daily publishing involves publishing. If you write or create but don't publish, you don't get all the benefits because you're not exposing your thinking to others in the same way. Publishing what you write or create builds a sort of honesty into the process. It raises the stakes.

You can't just think or write any old shit; if you're publishing what you write, you're willingly subjecting yourself to feedback -- perhaps from anonymous randos -- so you feel pressure to maximize your performance, which is to say you feel pressure to maximize the quality and coherence of your thinking and your articulation thereof.

If you're publishing something that you've written or created online 3x/week or more, you're practicing daily publishing.

Again, why this madness?

The expertise enema

I advocate daily publishing for folks that need to cultivate a functional foundation of expertise, and would like to do so quickly even if the speed creates emotional discomfort.

What's functional expertise? 1) It's relevant and valuable in the marketplace. 2) You can articulate and apply it proactively in ways that help your clients.

I think of expertise like the human skin, which has three layers. The exterior layer of skin -- the epidermis -- is thin and somewhat lifeless compared to the others. Thank you, Wikipedia, for this illustration:

Most of us live in the "epidermis of expertise". We understand how to do things, and call that expertise. Which, to be clear, it is. But it's a kind of expertise, and it's not the only kind nor is it the most valuable kind.

The dermis and hypodermis are the much thicker, much more alive layers of the skin. And in my model of expertise, these deeper layers represent deeper, more valuable expertise.

Daily publishing moves you from the "epidermis of expertise" to deeper layers, and it does so by forcing an "expertise enema". (I'm loving the medical analogies today!)

Most folks who accept the daily publishing challenge start by sharing what they know about how to do things. This is good, but eventually you've shared basically everything you know about how to do $THING. What the heck do you do then? Do you quit this high frequency publishing?

If you're following my advice, no, you don't.

You keep going. You've "hit the wall", and you keep digging, keep pushing, keep thinking, keep publishing, and keep striving.

What happens next, in most cases, is that you move through the epidermis of expertise and you enter the dermis. This isn't an overnight state change; it's a multi-month metamorphosis.

The "dermis of expertise" is the domain of knowing why, of seeing subtle distinctions, and the beginnings of mastery. In the dermis of expertise, you become aware of how context and second-order consequences interact with your area of expertise. You abandon simplistic ideas of how things work, and embrace the complexity and chaos of the real world and seek to cultivate an expertise that can at least survive this complexity and ideally work effectively within it. To do this, you engage in "side quests" where you recruit complementary forms of expertise in order to make your own more effective. You also keep working hard on cultivating your own expertise. You don't lose focus either. Those complementary forms of expertise are secondary in nature, and organized around yours in order to strengthen your focus, not dilute it.

To move past the epidermis of expertise, you need the expertise enema. You need to quickly flush out of your system all the simplistic models your expertise is based on. You need to pick the low-hanging fruit of teaching what you know so that you can feel in your bones that you do not know enough and you must know more. You hit the wall quicker if you practice daily publishing, thanks to the expertise enema.

Hitting the wall hurts like hell. What lies on the other side of that wall, if you're willing to push through to it, is the rewarding combination of power, pleasure, and humility that comes from exploring the dermis and hyodermis of your expertise.

That's why

There's a whole other area to explore here, which is the question of how daily publishing is received by your readers. And also the question of when in your career to embrace this daily publishing practice. And there's also the other question: "Does it have to be writing, or can it be video, audio, etc?"

I'll tackle that stuff next week.

In the meantime, if this idea of an expertise enema is interesting to you, check out http://theexpertiseincubator.com, where you join a small group of business owners and willingly embrace this challenge, and 4 subsequent challenges, that truly function as an incubator for your expertise.

To conclude, I ask you: was Marcel Proust talking about daily publishing here?

A pair of wings, a different respiratory system, which enabled us to travel through space, would in no way help us, for if we visited Mars or Venus while keeping the same senses, they would clothe everything we could see in the same aspect as the things of the Earth. The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; and this we do, with great artists; with artists like these we do really fly from star to star. -- La Prisonnière, Proust


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