Best Advice for Dream Work: Take the Hard Class

Best Advice for Dream Work: Take the Hard Class

Why would you ever take the hard class?

Take the hard class? It’s a good question. It’s normal to resist doing hard things because we might fail in the attempt and get things wrong. But if you are not failing with some reasonable frequency, then you are not moving the frontier of what you can create. “Take hard classes,” Erika said, in a recent interview with N&O reporter Evie Thompson. “Don’t be afraid that your GPA is going to fall. When you get out in the real world, no one cares what your GPA is…You’re going to learn so much, and then when you do get out in the real world, you’ll be that person in your workplace that people turn to.” Motee is an example of what taking the hard class can let you create.

Woman taking notes with a college peer tutor take-the-hard-class-motee

Working with Limits

One key aspect of creating Motee has been to work within a limited budget. There’s no doubt that a large budget allows someone to execute faster and cover their mistakes. However, there is a benefit to financial boundaries. We have had to prioritize and scale the service. Doing so taught us how manage the project thoughtfully.
It’s hard to look at a problem with a curious eye and engage with another person on the best solution. It’s vulnerable. It challenges social and communication skills. And that produces growth and creative solutions.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Erika and I work together like students do in a study group. We divide tasks, discuss direction, and find consensus that leads to a positive value, solution, or bold new direction. It is not quick or easy. But it is rewarding and energizing. Our work requires collaboration and cooperative learning, just like a study group or group project. Those are skills for any occupation. We are creating value — value in our own professional selves and a value for learning. As Cal Newton, author of “Deep Work,” points out, “If you can produce something that’s rare and is valuable, the market will value that. What the market dismisses for the most part are activities that are easy to replicate and produce a small amount of value.”

Motee has more to offer than what we have created so far. That might be the most exciting observation. We have a foundation that is letting us reach beyond our own limits. Eddie Izzard, one of my favorite comedians, gives me the most perspective when he says, “Don’t get somewhere as fast as possible. Get somewhere as good as possible.” You can only do that by taking the hard class.

-Paul at Motee