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Hello World! The First Post from James & Stephanie at SANE Digital

Welcome to People, Problems, and Solutions, SANE Digital’s weekly newsletter.

I’d like to start off by saying: Thank You. Whether you joined our list because of general interest or in the name of friendly support, thank you for letting us invade your inbox once a week. In 2019 we all stand on the receiving end of an endless firehose of email, and I appreciate you allowing us to add another drop to the flow. We’ll work hard to repay the favor.

When I was reaching out to people I thought would be interested in joining this list, several of you asked what we’d be writing about. The truth is, I’m not entirely sure yet. One thing I can tell you now is that everything we write will be connected directly to our own personal experience—both in life and in business. I can’t promise we’ll always be correct, but I can guarantee that we’ll do our best to provide some sort of insight with each message we send. You’ll never receive an email written by a robot, and I’ll never write a subject line like “Six Things You Must Absolutely Be Doing Right Now… Number Four Will Blow Your Mind.”

The one thing I’m sure we’ll talk a lot about is Entrepreneurship. I don’t mean the sort of Big-S Startup world, where billionaires throw millions at solving the problems of 20-something urbanites (although I’m sure we’ll talk about that sometimes too) but rather the core definition of the word. Of conceiving possibilities and pursuing them, of taking an idea and making it real, of taking it upon yourself to do what’s right for you.

“Entrepreneur” literally translated, means “one who undertakes.” Such an undertaking can occur at any level or point in your life. It doesn’t mean you need to quit your job and start a business—it just means taking the initiative to pursue an opportunity. Maybe that’s a children’s novel you’ve always thought of writing, a volunteer group for cleaning up your neighborhood park, or a new process for managing clients at your law firm. Each of these is an act of entrepreneurship, even if none of them will get you on Shark Tank.

Its a theme that has run through the core of my personal and professional life, from my (unsuccessful) childhood attempts to sell grapefruit-art on my cousins’ street corner in the middle of a grapefruit orchard—my first lesson in market dynamics—to my startup tenure in Las Vegas. Through my intrapreneurship efforts at Google in Manhattan, to my years as an independent developer and agency co-owner in Brooklyn. All leading to my current life running a product development studio from the beaches of Spain.

Which isn’t to say it’s always been easy. I was fired from the first startup I worked at. I left Google because of the ennui that only megacorporations can instill. My time as a freelancer and solo entrepreneur has been spent making every mistake they tell you not to make. And I never sold a single damn grapefruit. But through it all, the best choices in my life have continued to be the ones that were made because I saw an opportunity and decided to pursue it. The decisions that resulted in that personal undertaking—an act of entrepreneurship. I hope to share some of that experience—both the bad and the good—with you here.

If you’re interested in pursuing such an undertaking, stick around and see what we have to say. And if you’re not, maybe something you read here will help you change your mind.

Next week, we’ll start off talking a bit about the name, “People, Problems, Solutions,” which also happens to be what we call the consulting framework we use at SANE Digital to help founders define and describe the foundation of their new venture. “PPS” is a way of reducing the guessing game that can plague the early days of any project, be it a startup, a creative endeavor, or an intrapreneurial effort. We thought it would be a great place to begin the newsletter as well.

Until then, I’d love to hear more about what you’re working on, or if there’s anything we can help you with as you pursue your own acts of entrepreneurship. You can always reply directly to these emails with any questions or comments, and I’ll do my best to respond ASAP.

See you next week,


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Every Monday, I publish a weekly newsletter based on my experience in entrepreneurship, inviting you to share yours as well. If you want to see what I've been writing about recently, you can see all of our posts below.

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