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Share your by-products

There’s a chapter in Rework titled “Sell Your By-products”.

The TL;DR? You can’t make any process 100% efficient but — if you’re creative — you can sell both product and waste.

I think it’s good advice.
So good, I’d intended to share it with you today.
But the truth is — it’s advice that’s made me really tired.

As knowledge workers, we produce a lot of waste.
Brad Frost calls this “creative exhaust”.
It’s formed from all the stuff we learn and discern but use only once.
And it’s this ether that makes modern creatives so fixated on sharing.
We know the wastefulness of our work and sharing is our attempt to redeem or dignify it.

But I’ve learned that selling and sharing are different.

I’ve tried selling my by-products and failed.
The products were fine.
They made a little money.
But I felt shitty about selling something I couldn’t provide service and support for.

So, is the advice bad?
Should I feel shame for sucking at selling?
Am I just thinking too much about it?

Maybe all of the above but today I put something together:
That chapter wasn’t written for me.
It was written for businesses.

I remain employed to avoid responsibilities of running a business
But selling anything means being employed and running a business.

So… Sell your by-products — if you can. If you can’t, share them.