IN: Business 101

Annndddd intoxicate 2012 continues!

{Read post 1 of the intoxicate series here.}

On a Friday night. Except you’re probably not reading this on a Friday night. Because you’re probably doing something all cute with your significant other. Or maybe you don’t have a significant other, in which case you’re most likely out drag racing cars, a la Fast and the Furious. I know that’s what I’d be doing. I’m pretty sure it’s going to become my next hobby. Which pair of heels should I race in today? Fuck the meaning of life; these are the important questions.

Speaking of life, this morning I was with my friend Carlos (who we call Carlitros, because–get it?–litros as in litros of beer?) taking a leisurely ride around the beach. But instead of the usual conversation one has while tooling around up at the beach–you know, like the weather, the tide, the iguanas–we suddenly find ourselves in a conversation about death.

Of course we do.

Don’t ask.

The singular, only reason I am telling you this story is because what came out of his mouth next made me laugh for approximately 11 minutes straight, and clearly, while intoxicating ourselves with possibility, we can all use a good laugh. (Poor guy. He’s totally reading this right now, and he’s totally plotting to run me over with that car the next time he sees me, I’m certain.) Carlitros, who speaks impeccable English from having spent a part of his childhood in the United States, turns and looks at me, and says in the most serious of tones:

“When you die, do you want to be creamed?”

I lost it. In fact, I’m losing it right now, as I write this.

Do you want to be creamed?


So, while we’re on the topic, I thought I’d take a moment to kindly remind everyone that–guess what!–you’re going to be dead soon! And maybe even creamed!

So even more reason to stand up, and start pursuing your ONE THING that we talked about yesterday.

Speaking of that ONE THING – let’s talk more about it.

Today, as a part of INTOXICATE 2012, my challenge to all of us is to get more up-close-and-personal with our ONE THING. (Even if you have a variety of things, you’ve got to start somewhere with one, right? Pick. Be decisive. Be in control. To hell with wishy washy. Choose. Make one thing fucking happen first. And then you can move onto the next.)

The way I want us to get up-close-and-personal with our ONE THING is a small task, but a difficult one, nonetheless.

Know what I want you to do?

Name. It.

As in put a name on your ONE THING. Call it something. Give it an identity.

Writing a book? GIVE IT A TITLE.

Starting a new business? PICK THE DAMN URL.

Going to pick up and travel? GIVE YOUR TRIP A NAME. (Personally, I like Operation: James Bond.)

Injecting some new excitement into your life? CALL IT MISSION: ___________.

I don’t care if you’ve simply decided to celebrate your vagina more often – CALL THAT MISSION SOMETHING.

Whatever it is that you intend on doing, make it personal. Give it a name. And any other details that will make it come to life, with a real, live identity.



Because if you had no choice but to throw newborn baby into a dumpster (horrific, but bear with me, because that’s precisely what we do with our dreams every single day): Which scenario would make it more difficult for you?

An anonymous, naked baby with no name.

Or a baby girl named Sophia, with blonde curly hair, and hot pink booties, who can’t stop smiling at you?

Name it.

Give your ONE THING an identity.

Make it real.

As always, I’m right here doing this with you, so here it goes.

I’ve been kicking around the following title + subtitle for my book:

The United Nations of Sex

A disturbingly impulsive, vodka-slugging writer flees to South America in search of fulfillment and other typical horseshit (but all she has to show for it is this hilariously inappropriate collection of stories from the foreign men she bed.) (Mostly.)

Sounds like something I’d author, right? Clearly any book I write will require an obnoxiously ridiculous subtitle.

And, shit. As I just took a step back, I realized that perhaps the title of the book should simply be: The Middle Finger Project. But I’d want to keep my obnoxiously ridiculous and long subtitle.

I think the toughest part of the writing process will be in marrying the entertainment value, which I want to be a central selling point, but also the serious, big picture, meaning-of-life theme. But I’m up for the challenge. That’s what my goal has been with TMF all this time–taking typical, dry business advice and talk, and turning it into something people actually wanted to read. Something fun to read. And while fun may not seem like a worthwhile end goal to many, for me, it is the ultimate.

If I can produce a piece of work that injects more fun into people’s lives, making them laugh and experience pleasure, I’m pretty sure that my work is done.

But it’s taken me a long time to understand that. Like I mentioned yesterday, for a long time I felt that this piece of work had to be groundbreakingly meaningful, deep, and ungodly amounts of insightful. And that’s what caused a lot of the procrastination.

But when you tap into why you really want to do your ONE THING, and discover, for example, that the reason is because it’s FUN, more than anything else, then slowly, but surely, things start to come into focus.

And you can saddle up and ride ‘er on into the sunset.

So today’s homework: Give your project an identity.

The more detail, the better. For example, I know that the paperback version of my book would not be shiny, if I had any say. (Matte covers look much more sophisticated to me, thankyouverymuch.) I know that the artwork would involve lots of black and white, and a splashy pop of bright orange-red, with a rocker appeal mixed with the feminine–like leather and pearls. Actually, maybe it’d even include some texture, somehow. I know that I’d want the physical experience of reading the book to be as good as the mental one, and therefore would push like hell for luxuriously thick pages, with big, giant, bold chapter titles. I know I’d include a whole host of funny footnotes. And hell, maybe even a treasure hunt within the book, like I just did on the site, to unlock some type of bonus chapter that could be read online.

The details are important.

Lay ’em out.

Here we go, baby. Intoxicate 2012: Life shaken, not stirred. And definitely straight up.