One of my favorite movies is called “Layer Cake” a 2004 film set in London that focuses on an unnamed successful cocaine dealer (played by Daniel Craig). At only 29, he has a respected place amongst England’s Mafia, and is secretly planning to retire from the business. There’s a couple of quotes in the film that I find particularly relevant to my career, first is the main advice of the entire plot, imparted upon the main character by the wealthy businessman near the end of the story:
The art of good business is being a good middleman.
This is a meaningful quote to me because for most of my career I’ve been working at being a good middleman, even if you consider the purpose of web publishing, more often than not, it’s about providing information to readers related to places, people, products or knowledge in the hopes of bringing them together to consummate a deal. Web publishing is about being a good middleman, it’s important not to forget that the surest way to become successful in this business, or any business, is to help other people get what they want.
Another favorite quote is from the same character, the successful businessman to the dealer:
You’re born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you’re up in the rarefied atmosphere and you’ve forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son.
My slant on that advice as it relates to web publishing is that, over time, if you consistently publish respectable web content and learn the tricks of the trade, sharpen your product-knowledge and focus in on reaching your target market, the day will come when the work get’s easier, generates more revenue, and brings you closer to that point in time, when you own a valuable web publishing business and control your destiny.
Silicon Palms has continued to grow, the products have improved and more and more opportunities are introduced to me, whereas one upon a time I had to seek products to sell. Now the process has become easier and more lucrative. Perhaps the rarified atmosphere of having forgotten what shit even smells like has finally arrived?