08 January 2018

My 90-year old regret list

No matter how much we try not to; we all have regrets. 

But the trouble with regret is that it’s an emotion suffered with the aid of hindsight. It’s hard to know you’re going to regret something until a certain passage of time has has elapsed. 

Or is it? 

Try this if you want to put some wind in your sails: grab a pen and a piece of paper (or a note-taking app on your smartphone if you’re a fancy fucker) and give it the heading “My 90-Year Old Regret List”.  

Then - and this is the crucial part - you have to really believe that you’re aged 90. You’ll probably be looking at corking it soon, and you’re looking back on your whole life. What do you regret? What do you regret doing, but also not doing? Write everything out. 

If you’re anything like me the list will start small and it’ll be quite hard, until all of a sudden you hit some kind of critical mass and things start flowing out of you that you never could’ve imagined. 

You have to be really honest with yourself and don’t just limit it to big regrets like: “never joined the army”. Put the smaller ones on there too, such as: “wish I told x that I loved them more often”. 

When you’ve finished re-read it a few times. Let everything sink in. Then bring your mind back to the present and get to work. 

by Nino Rosella
07 January 2018

Fixing the roof whilst the sun is shining...

...is a great idea.

This is when it’s easiest, and when it makes complete sense. Access to all the necessary resources are right at your fingertips.

But fixing the roof whilst it’s raining is also a great idea. Who knows when the sun is gonna start shining again?

Leave the hole unchecked and do you honestly know how long you have before everything starts to spoil? Before irreversible damage is done and the whole thing collapses and needs rebuilding?

by Nino Rosella
06 January 2018

There’s a time and a place to break the rules...

…and the tricky part is knowing when and where.

Srdja Popovic's revolutionaries in 90’s Serbia broke the rules and the result was a revolution that ousted a despot and changed an entire region forever. 

AirBnB broke the rules of the entire hospitality industry - as well as numerous local and national laws - by letting you book a stay in somebody else’s house. 

Journalists at News of the World broke the rules and ended up losing their jobs when the paper was forced to shut down. 

Marcel Duchamp put a goddamn urinal in an art gallery in 1917 and cemented his place in the art history books. 

British Airways got caught red-handed employing dirty tricks against new upstart Virgin Atlantic and the result was the infamous British Airways Christmas Bonus

You have to ask yourself what you’re hoping to achieve. Is there a laudable goal in sight, or is it just for the hell of it? Or even worse: is it out of spite?  

If you’re going down this risky path, is this particular rule one worth breaking? 

by Nino Rosella
05 January 2018

Putting things into perspective

This post is going to make me sound like a grumpy, 90-year old curmudgeon, but I don’t care.

I was just reading an article on Vogue.com and I came across the following sentence: "Burned out from her own career in technology and the results of the 2016 election…"

I’m sorry… burned out from a career in technology and the results of an election that - as a single individual - you can do nothing to control or change? Please, give me a fucking break. Is this what we’ve become? 

I think us privileged, entitled, first-world millennials could do with putting things into perspective.

Things that you can be burned out from:

  • Walking from Syria to Europe with your wife and children, with all your worldly possessions in a wheelbarrow because ISIS tried to kill you, rape your wife, and burned your house to the ground, only to get to Europe and be put into a detention centre

  • Trekking 18 miles every day through the African desert and hoping you don’t get malaria just in order to get some dirty drinking water

  • Being in a relationship where your significant other not only mentally abuses you, but actually kicks the living shit out of you when you return home from your second job because you need to support three kids

  • Laying your life on the line for months at a time as a member of the Armed Forces, deep behind enemy lines with rationed food, no beds, 50kg+ on your back and under constant threat of being killed by the enemy

  • Living with an advanced form of cancer knowing that at any moment you could be leaving your loved ones behind forever

  • Etc, etc

I often think about scenarios like this whenever I think that things are getting on top of me. It’s a reality check. Am I really in a bad situation or am I just whining?

More importantly: is this situation something that I can control or something that is out of my control? This is what stoicism has taught me and I’m thankful for it every single day. 

You can’t control it: then let it go. Forget about it entirely. What’s the point otherwise?

You can control it: make a detailed and realistic plan of action that will get you out of said situation, then execute on it immediately. 

Doing these two simple steps will eradicate huge, whopping great swathes of the stress that you built up and that you think is ending your life as you know it.

Y’all motherfuckers need stoicism.

Rant over.

by Nino Rosella
04 January 2018

"You're almost a blogger"

Meaning: “You’re almost a professional”. This was said a colleague of mine yesterday in regards to my blogging. It’s not the first time I’ve heard something similar. 

It’s been widely popularised by Malcolm Gladwell that we need 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in order to become an expert or a master at something. That’s not a small undertaking. It’s often going to require huge sacrifices, lots of money, and plenty of pain. I wonder how many people don’t even start something new because the prospect of putting themselves through this is just too daunting? 

But, what if, instead of aiming for ‘expert’ or ‘master’ we instead aimed for ‘expert enough’? 

In this world of specialisation - where society says you have to pick one thing and see it through to mastery - I think we’d all benefit from lowering the bar slightly. How many wonderful new artists, filmmakers, writers, designers, architects and sports people might we have when we realise it takes a hell of a lot less to be expert enough

After only 84 posts, and a three month break, it’s possible for someone to think I'm practically a professional at this. I wonder what incredible opportunities might open up from being expert enough. The only way to know for sure is to keep showing up day-in, day-out and taking some of the pressure off ourselves. 

by Nino Rosella
03 January 2018

Imporving the hard-to-measure metrics

“If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it”. 

This - along with it’s variations - has been floating around the startup world for a while. 

And it’s a load of bollocks.  

It’s biggest proponents are those who like to parade strange, meaningless vanity metrics around in front of would-be and existing investors to make it seem as though something is actually happening. 

But what about attributes like trust, empathy and compassion? How do you precisely measure it? Can the analytics team plot it on a graph? 

You’ll never see these included on a pitch deck. You rarely see these values adopted as an integral part of a company’s culture - whether between employees, with clients or customers. 
Trying to increase these metrics is not only unglamorous - its incredibly hard work. But the joke is that working on these will increase all others.

by Nino Rosella
26 October 2017


Living in congruence with your values, mindset and beliefs is great - as long as you’re content with where you are.

However, if you want to level up, to succeed, to have more than you currently have, then you need to start living - right now - with the congruence of that future version of yourself.

People like us do things like this.

by Nino Rosella
25 October 2017

Lots of attention

You’re getting lots of attention, but what to make of it?

Negative attention from people not enrolled on your journey. Highly possible you could be doing something right that’s just not for these people.

Negative attention from people enrolled on your journey. Alarm bells should be ringing.

Positive attention from people not enrolled on your journey. You should consider a pivot. You might be in the wrong industry/serving the wrong audience.

Positive attention from people enrolled on your journey. For fuck sake keep going. Double down, in fact.

by Nino Rosella
24 October 2017

The three types of pain

Firstly, you can have an accident (or illness), break a bone, and be in a ton of pain. The bone will grow back stronger, but that might not be much consolation for what happened up to that point. Would’ve been best if it never happened in the first place.

Secondly, you can have heartbreak - from a failed relationship, business venture, or project. This kind of pain probably could’ve been avoided, but all isn’t lost because (if you’re smart) you’ll learn a lot and use this to help you in the future.

Thirdly, you can suffer the type of pain one experiences during the course of advancement. The first few weeks of going to the gym will be agonising, but you’ll be much better for it. The year of sleeping 5-6 hours a night whilst you get your side business off the ground will pay dividends.

Obviously, the third type of pain is the one that we should actively seek out because it’s worth so much and you can create change.

Which type of pain are you suffering?

by Nino Rosella
23 October 2017


If it’s our experiences during childhood that build the foundations of who we are today - mentally and physically - then are we at heart playful and silly?

Just watch anyone under the age of 16 from any country, culture or religion. You’ll very quickly realise how serious us ‘adults’ have become.

Sure, we need to mature in order to look after ourselves and others. We need to stop our children from hurting themselves and getting into danger. We need to make sure that we’re able to provide. 

But we also need to make sure we’re true to ourselves and learn to see the fun in every day.  It’s always there just bubbling at the surface but we suppress it all too much.

by Nino Rosella