Ken Zinser

Consulting as craft


Bud Caddell on being a craft-consultant. There are just too many nuggets to quote them all, so here’s the list—but please read his full post for more gold.

  1. Pursue mastery, however elusive.
  2. Study obsessively.
  3. Practice the work.
  4. Listen like an apprentice.
  5. Hone your ability to reflect without filter.
  6. Learn the art of waiting.
  7. Embrace your full craft.
  8. Know who you serve and how to serve them well.
  9. As you progress and mature, reduce your dependence on rigid Type Two clients.
  10. Plan, but not too much.
  11. Be faithful to all of your clients, past or present.
  12. Improve both the seen and unseen.
  13. Do not neglect the role of repair.
  14. Protect the project’s best interest.
  15. Put your tools in perspective.
  16. Separate hustle from productivity.
  17. Negotiate acceptable tolerances.
  18. Nurture a (truly) harmonious workplace.
  19. Make space for play.
  20. Expand the community.
  21. Foster the next generation.

Patience—and how it fuels creativity—has been a consistent topic of interest of mine.

Wisdom is cultivated not solely from effort, but from time itself. Nurture patience and practice persistence. To become a craftsperson, you must learn to find sustaining reward in doing the work well, as the fruits of your labor may take considerable time to ripen. Resist our culture’s overreliance on instantaneous feedback and fleeting affirmations. Don’t work for the likes.

In time, everything can be improved and everything can be attended to.


A leap to radical reform, without an understanding of existing systems, processes, tools, etc., can cause unknowable harm and chaos.

plus this gem from Jason Fried

Working without a plan may seem scary. But blindly following a plan that has no relationship with reality is even scarier.

—Jason Fried