Marketing is one of those disciplines that everyone has strong opinions about. Myths abound about the best and worst ways to promote yourself and your work.

In this five-part series, I’ll share the biggest myths I’ve heard from freelancers and consultants about marketing and self-promotion. I hope it helps you feel less confused and more empowered to make the right marketing decisions for your business.

What do you think of when you think of marketing? Do you think of spammy emails and deceptive gimmicks? Of creepy retargeting ads and aggressive pitches that would make a used car salesman blush?

I… |

Update: This post used to link to Campaign Zero. A reader directed me to two concerning tweets from two key members of the organization who recently stepped down (see Samuel Sinyanwe’s statement here and Brittany Packnett Cunningham’s statement here). As a result, I’ve removed the link to Campaign Zero and am now linking to Black Lives Matter instead.

Many people are wondering if it’s OK to market their businesses right now. I just addressed this question in my Weekly Marketing FAQ. It’s an important one, so I wanted to share it here, too.

Is it OK to market your business right now?

I have a confession to make: I’m…

This article was first published on

You probably spend a lot of time trying to avoid failure.

You’re a business owner, after all. The whole point is to succeed, right? How many times have you been told to visualize yourself achieving your goals, doing the things you want to do, living the life you want, etc.?

Today, I’m going to advocate for the benefits of visualizing failure. Bear with me. I know it’s a little uncomfortable, but it’s highly useful, I promise.

The Inversion Technique — Used by Stoics, Mathematicians and Billionaires

The Inversion Technique is a mental model that’s been around, in some form or other, for centuries…

Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash

This is issue #4 of my newsletter, Stuff I’ve Learned about Running a Business. You can view all issues here.

TL;DR–Fallow periods are an essential part of building a business. If you’re in the midst of one now, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, respect the dance of rest, replenishment and interconnection that’s happening beneath the surface. You need it just as much as you need those visible bursts of productivity.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short piece about the wisdom of fallow fields.

First, a short history lesson: In the Middle Ages, it was common for villages to have three fields of farmland. At any given time, two of these fields would grow crops while the third lay fallow. Farmers rotated the fallow fields every year, the idea being that after two cycles of farming, the soil needed time to replenish and restore lost nutrients.

This idea…

Empty grocery shelves with a few packages of ramen — photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

This is issue #3 of my newsletter, Stuff I’ve Learned about Running a Business. You can view all issues here.

TL;DR — Uncertainty is fucking awful, and it never goes away. The only way forward is to accept that you will never be 100% certain you’re going to be OK, and to have faith to move forward anyway. There is a realm beyond certainty where your best work is waiting for you.

Well, shit.

If you’d asked me three weeks ago how I felt about my business, I would have said amazing. My workload was growing, my client load was increasing, and I was working on an exciting new project to take things in a direction that felt really good.

Ask me now, and you’ll find me glued to social media, constantly checking the news and dreaming up worst-case scenarios about losing all my clients, defaulting on our mortgage and being forced…

Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash

This is the second issue of my newsletter, Stuff I’ve Learned about Running a Business. You can view previous issues here.

TL;DR — No one is successful all on their own. Creating anything worthwhile is fucking hard, and it takes a village. So stop trying to do everything yourself. Swallow your pride and ask for the help you need.

When I first went into business for myself, I was terrified. That’s a laughable understatement. At night, I would lie awake wondering how I was going to make it work. By day, I did my best to hide it, which felt even worse.

I don’t know exactly why, but anyone who’s taken a big leap of faith can back me up on this. When you first start out, there’s a HUGE amount of pressure to look like you have…

person holding Carpe Fucking Diem book
person holding Carpe Fucking Diem book
Image credit: Allie Smith on Unsplash

This is the first issue of my newsletter, Stuff I’ve Learned about Running a Business. You can view a list of all published issues here.

TL;DR — Think you want to start a business? You have to want it more than you want to spend the foreseeable future feeling safe, secure and comfortable.

It’s been 2.5 years since I went into business for myself.

2.5 years since my company was acquired and the new company said, “Thanks, but no thanks” to almost everyone who worked there.

2.5 years since I learned the hard way that even if you have meaningful equity, even if you’re really good at what you do, even if you worked really hard and contributed significantly to that company’s success, a startup’s obligations are not…

We aren’t in the habit of tooting our own horn here at Infinite Red, but this news is too big not to share. Basically, it boils down to:

OMG We did it!!! We launched our first-ever online course, and it teaches you how to do Machine Learning with JavaScript!!!

Phew! Thanks for letting me get that out of my system. 😀 Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

Machine Learning used to be for academics and data scientists, but not anymore. You don’t need a PhD, Masters or even four-year degree to apply Machine Learning to your business and career. Our online course Beginning Machine Learning with TensorFlow.js

He’d never admit it himself (he’s far too modest), but Ram Narasimhan is kind of a big deal. He started working in React Native at Microsoft after it was first open-sourced. Later, he joined the React Native team at Facebook, where he’s spent the past few years working on the bleeding edge of the technology.

He plans to share some of that knowledge with us in his upcoming talk at Chain React 2019 and was kind enough to give Red Shift a sneak peek.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and context.

So, Ram, what’s your story and how did you get into React Native?

I was working at Microsoft Open…

You’re coming to Portland for Chain React 2019. After listening to Jason Lengstorf wax poetic about the City of Roses, you’ll want to stay for the food, nightlife and natural beauty that make this funky town on the Columbia River so special.

Jason is a force to be reckoned with in the Portland developer community, a Montana native who’s lived all over the world and decided to settle in Bridgetown (one of Portland’s many nicknames) for good in 2018. …

Robin Cangie

I write about radically ethical marketing, self-employment and non-sleazy self-promotion. Learn more at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store