Mindset emerging from practice? Really!?

I so badly want to agree with this piece from Tim Williams, but my actual experience offers at least one important point of disagreement.I think the one excerpt that best sums up Tim’s argument is this:


At a time when many firms are attempting to upgrade their time tracking systems, they should instead be upgrading their paradigm. Selling knowledge work by the hour is a defective paradigm, which has spawned a multitude of faulty practices. The right mental framework (professional firms sell expertise and problem-solving, not time) will naturally engender and nurture the right practices. Change your mind and the practices will follow (it never works the other way around).Source


My actual experience suggests some surprising exceptions to this idea, while also reinforcing it. :)Here’s one personal example where Tim’s general point is 100% right: money mindset.I’m working on mine right now, and it’s slower going than I’d like. But I realize that no matter how good my business is, the biggest restraint on my success is likely to be my own mindset about money.And here’s a surprising counterexample of practice leading to mindset shift: working in public.My version of working in public is this email list. Not every email does this, but in many I’m leaning all the way out on my skis, trying to push the envelope of my expertise. I’m mostly not pushing it wider, but aiming to go deeper, and more dense with a more nuanced PoV.Every person I know who has committed to publishing something of value 5 or more times per week has seen the following:Greater insight emerges from the practice of working in public through daily publication.I’d be happy to speak to anyone who has tried it for 3 months or more and not seen this outcome! But so far I’ve not seen any other outcome besides: greater insight, greater confidence (eventually; this doesn’t show up right away), and deeper connection with those who tune into your daily publication.So to me, this is a great example of a practice leading to a mindset shift. Maybe it’s the only good example of this, so maybe I’m being unfair to Tim’s argument. But it’s an example I can’t help but point out. :)David Baker recently published a very good piece that touches on this same issue from a slightly different perspective. At one point he says, “… you’ll never sharpen your thinking without the risk of public sharpening.”Mic drop.Again, David’s and Tim’s pieces are well worth the read.-P