posttitle = Work With Me – new site page titleClass =title-long len =34

Work With Me – new site page

I’ve recently added a new page to my website called Work With Me. The page will evolve over time but I’m going to write a short blog post about the concept and share the initial snapshot of how it looks, for archival purposes.

Why a “Work With Me” page?

There’s a lot of stories I could tell here. I’ll tell a few slightly fictional versions before getting to the actual series of events that occurred.

One fictional version is that I was inspired by Derek Sivers’ /now page movement but I wanted something that created more affordances for people to connect with me, including regarding opportunities that I’m not actively pursuing now on my own. This is true in the sense that I was thinking about /now by the time I published the page, and in the sense that I would love to see Work With Me pages show up on others’ sites. You could be the first follower, who starts a movement!

Another fictional version is that I was thinking about my Collaborative Self-Energizing Meta-Team Vision and wondering how to make more surface area for people to get involved. I’m someone who thinks a lot about interfaces, not just between humans and products but also between humans and other humans, and it occurred to me that there wasn’t a good interface for people to find out how to plug in with me to work on self-energizing projects together. So I made this page! This was also on my mind, but it’s still not quite how it happened.

The actual series of events actually involved me getting an email from someone named Ashley who does marketing for a company who sells a chic version of a commodity product I won’t name because I don’t want to attract more marketers like this.

Ashley wrote: “We’d love to find a way to collaborate with you at” (bolding hers) and indicated that the company were looking for sponsored blog coverage or giveaways, and could send product samples.

My blog is honestly not that popular, but it’s popular enough that I get emails like this periodically, and they’re frustrating because that’s such a completely different concept of what a “blog” even is than the one that uhh we use around here. On this particular day, I felt like not just archiving the email (because they often send further follow-ups) or replying irritatedly, and instead I played around with seeing if I could initiate a tiny collaboration with her on how to avoid future such offers.

Malcolm: Not interested in offers like this. Can you advise me on what sort of message to display on my site to indicate that I’m not open to such engagements?

And lo! A reply saying:

Ashley: You could put a note at the footer of your website and also in your about page. Something simple “Not open to collaborations” or “Not looking for collaborations”

This illuminates the “completely different concept” situation so much further. I can’t say “Not open to collaborations”, since I am very open to collaborations, it’s just that my concept of what “collaboration” is does not include sponsored blog posts. I wrote back saying as much, and Ashley wrote back:

Ashley: I’d suggest making up a ‘Work With Me” page then. That way you could specify exactly what kind of collaborations you would want to do with brands and what you don’t want.

You’d want it to be easily found on your website so as an option on the footer of the website/in the menu or a simple link in your About Me page (at the end, something simple like ‘Want to work with me? Check here for details (<hyper link that)’.

I was like… …brilliant! Except of course the collaborations I want to do aren’t with brands.

So I wrote up this page. This real story is, honestly, better than the fictional ones, because it captures the amazing feeling of transmuting my initial frustration into not just a “no” on my website but a big “yes”! Exalt what you want to see more of.

In the month or so that I’ve had this page live, I’ve already been contacted by a couple people about possibilities here, and I think that’ll only get better as the page gets more attention and as I get more clear articulations of who I want to work with.

So yeah, keep reading (or if it’s July 2021 or later, click through) to learn how to Work With Me. And make a WWM page on your own site!

Work With Malcolm Ocean (2021-06-20 – view latest here)

I want to collaborate with people in various ways, because

People I’m currently actively looking to work with:

If any of these sounds like you, maybe get in touch! If many of these sound like you, definitely get in touch!

  • music producers: someone to turn the songs I write into tracks. I’m a good songwriter and singer and multi-instrumentalist and even sometimes arranger but I’m like 3/10 at DAWs or whatever (have just started using Bitwig since I’m on Linux). In my ideal world this is not me paying you but us working together excitedly as a duo, sharing rights & profits to the completed track. Contact me for vocal tracks you can play with!
  • publishers etc: I have some well-regarded original takes on topics like habits, motivation, productivity, and I’d love the chance to get some of those ideas (could be new as-yet-unpublished writing) published in popular outlets. This is the main item here I expect to make me any money in the immediate term, because they all relate to the philosophy of Complice, the app I built, so part of my aim would be spreading the word about Complice.
  • backend NodeJS dev: my meaningful-productivity app Complice could use some stability & performance improvements to the backend, which fits neither my skills nor my appetite. I’d love to work with someone at least short-term and (if it’s a good fit on many levels) potentially ongoingly.
  • entrepreneurs: I like and am skilled at doing high-level product design (particularly using metaphor) and business model design, and I’ve helped various people get way more clarity about the sort of business or app they want to create. I’ve done this for lifestyle businesses and the biggest startup of 2020.
  • …assistant+mentee: not sure what this would be but basically if you think my work is super cool and thus it seems like a good deal to take on 3-10 hours per week of helping me with random stuff, for fairly little money since I’m not yet rich, let me know and we’ll find a small project to start with to see if that might be a good fit.

I’ve written about my collaboration philosophy in A Collaborative Self-Energizing Meta-Team Vision. If you read that and you’re like “omg I want that!” then feel free to get in touch about your ideas even if you’re not sure what specific projects might be a good fit for the two of us. There might be some possibility with me or with someone else I can introduce you to.

Art by Silvia, who can also make art for you! (Our collaboration to make the pic is very much this whole vibe.)

British Columbia: I don’t have a specific role/project in mind here, but I moved out to Coastal BC in late 2020 to build ~Game B community, and if you are also in this region and likewise interested, I’d love to be in touch.

Things I’m not interested in:

The original impetus for making this page was actually to tell marketers not to bother emailing me, but I thought I would make it something beautiful rather than just “go away”. Amplify what you want!

I am not interested in:

  • guest posts: the name of this blog is It’s me. If I want your writing on it, I’ll ask you. Don’t ask me.
  • marketing deals / promotions: I did one of these ever for shits & giggles and it got me some shits & giggles but it’s completely not the point of this blog. This blog is for sharing my writing, not making money off of irrelevant or tangential product placement.
  • generica: If you are sending essentially the same cold email to multiple people, I do not want to be one of those people. Doesn’t matter if you customized it slightly.

If you have something you think will be suitable for me, based on this page (even if not listed here) reach out to me on Twitter. (You can email me if you already have my email but I’m more responsive on Twitter anyway.)

Btw! We’ve got a couple more sessions of our online Goal-Crafting Intensive workshop coming up in mid-July. It’s not an tedious zoom lecture, but rather a Choose Your Own Adventure of life visioning, strategic thinking, & planning. If you want to make a point of setting aside some time to plan the rest of the year, whether that’s how to make it through more lockdown or which new hobbies & clubs to focus on as lockdown ends (depending on where you are in the world) we’re there to help you think about it.

If you found this thought-provoking, I invite you to subscribe:    
About Malcolm

Constantly consciously expanding the boundaries of thoughtspace and actionspace. Creator of Intend, a system for improvisationally & creatively staying in touch with what's most important to you, and taking action towards it.

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