The very thing that brought me to where I’m at today is dead. Not so much because I’m killing it (which I'd discussed possibly doing in a previous post), but because it has died of what would amount to “natural causes”. Today marks the end of my first ever entry into the productivity realm, the website that was once known as Effing The Dog and then became Eventualism.
After listening to Merlin Mann chat with Myke Hurley and Stephen Hackett yesterday on the newly-minted 70Decibels podcast CMND+SPACE, I’ve decided that it’s time to put that project out to pasture. I’m just not feeling it for the productivity parody thing anymore. There’s a lot more out there that I want to explore, and since Eventualism played a huge role in morphing my online writing career into what it is today, I’ve decided that ending it now is a far better fate than what it has been handed until this point (which was stagnation).
Eventualism was started back in January 2008 as Effing The Dog (which when shortened, was called EffTD -- a play on David Allen’s GTD methodology. It came about because I was trying to balance my work life at Costco and my aspirations to write and perform comedy. I was having a difficult time trying to do that, so I read Allen’s book Getting Things Done, as well as other books like Neil Fiore’s The Now Habit, Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and even Tony Robbins’ programs like Get The Edge and Time of Your Life. But what I found was that I was getting really good at learning about how to be productive, but was no more productive than I was before. In fact, I’d added to my list of projects by absorbing all of these different methods and strategies. I came to this conclusion while watching an episode of The Colbert Report, and thought that if I could try to do to the world of productivity online what Colbert was doing with politics, I’d be on to something.
So I gave it a shot.
And it worked.
While the pieces I was writing were somewhat humourous, the fact I was writing them so frequently and still trying to do a myriad of other things all the while, many of them fell flat. That was also due to the fact that productivity was a small niche and a general audience was exactly there for the humour. But it was mainly because they weren’t as funny as they should – or could – have been. In fact, when I met the aforementioned Merlin Mann at MacWorld | iWorld this year, he confirmed that with this quote:
"You were more frequent than funny."
The other mistake I made was trying to emulate Stephen Colbert too much. I tried to make Merlin to me what Bill O’Reilly was to Colbert, and the results weren’t exactly what I’d hoped.1
I also was incredibly green to the blogging world when I started the site. I’ve made all the classic mistakes with Eventualism – mistakes like posting inconsistently, biting off more than I could chew, starting off with the wrong CMS, changing domain names so that a bunch of links wound of breaking, etc. (Note: Many of those links are still very, very broken.)
The great thing is I learned from those mistakes. And I also gained a whole lot more positives from Eventualism than negatives.
Firstly, I made some great connections with some amazing people. People like Brett Kelly, who’s remained a friend since we first connected. I’ve interviewed the likes of David Allen (in an epic interview split into two parts here and here), Seth Godin, Gretchen Rubin, Scott Belsky (another one split up here and here), Leo Babauta (twice! - both here and here) and a slew of others. I self-published my first eBook, The Eventual Planifesto, with the idea of Eventualism being the foundation of the project. I then published another eBook, this one filled with limericks, which (while dated) is still freely available. I learned how to use WordPress efficiently and effectively. I rediscovered my love for writing in a format that didn’t involve a script of some sort. I began my podcasting career with Eventualism as well.
What else did Eventualism do for me?
Eventualism helped land me writing gigs with The GTD Times. From there I went on to write for WorkAwesome, The Next Web, and now I’m the Managing Editor of Lifehack (a site I’ve been reading since I started on this journey – and even used to parody on Eventualism from time to time). I have a book that’s in its final stages of the writing process – and I have a book deal to go along with it. And I’m not poking fun at productivity with this one…I’m embracing it instead.
But most importantly, Eventualism led me here. And it did so – as it should – eventually.
I’m going to miss it, but I’ll continue to infuse my talks and my writing elsewhere with the doses of humour that aren’t just a part of Eventualism, but are a part of me. I'll be keeping the site active until the end of July 2013, at which time I'll shut it down. I'll likely compile the best of my work there into a downloadable eBook of some sort2 sometime between now and then.
So why am I letting Eventualism go now?
I’ve simply outgrown the site, and the charachter of “Mike Vardy, Eventual Productivity Expert” isn’t so much a ficitional character any longer. I’m certainly no expert, but I am “Mike Vardy, Productivityist”.
And now I’m here – fully and completely. It was bound to happen eventually.
Photo credit: Gregg Eligh
1 Far from it. Merlin clearly didn’t take ti this way when I’d met him, whereas had i’d done a better job it may not have gone over so poorly. How poorly did it go over? Let’s just say that I can’t follow Merlin on Twitter anymore due to “technological restrictions”. And if Merlin ever happens to read this, I'll take this opportunity to apologize. It certainly wasn't my intent to put off one of the people that inspired me then...and still inspire me today. 2 If you have any suggested posts you'd like to see or have any ideas on what else I should do with the content there, let me know in the comments below.