Are you a fixer?

I have a problem.

There’s this one Mexican restaurant I keep walking by. Through the windows, I see their curtains, which are coloured green, white, green. And I keep thinking:

“Guys, change just one of those and you’ve got a Mexican flag! How great would that be?”

Of course, in reality, this is none of my damn business.

But I can’t help myself. I’m a fixer. You probably are too.

We have absolutely no problem thinking of fixing other people’s projects, but our own? We have no idea what to do. Somehow, our own projects are never as obvious.

Why not?

Maybe we need to form a collective or something. Create little, incremental changes for each other. Push the envelope just a bit. Maybe learn how to see our projects from the outside, who knows.

If this compulsion isn’t going away, we might as well do something creative with it, right?





10 responses to “Are you a fixer?”

  1. Julien Avatar

    fyi, i’m having a few comment problems right now. if your comment doesn’t show up right away, i’ll fish it out of spam… sorry. 😛

  2. AndyCast Andy Avatar

    I see my self in a very similar light. When handed a problem, my immediate impulse is to find a solution or work around or some way so that the problem doesn’t get in the way.

    I wonder if we are able to look more objectively at other people’s projects and clearly see what could be tweaked or fixed to make it better.

    I know that’s true for me. I really have a hard time being critical of something that I’ve pour my sweat and time into.

    I’m lucky. I have my wife! I implicitly value her judgment and insight into the projects I do and many times she has the made them much better than I had ever imagined. The current form of the AndyCast is based mostly on her suggestions.

    I think if we can find people that we can trust that deeply to provide us with the objectivity that we ourselves are not able to, then I think we’d all be able better for it.

  3. Moses Avatar

    I’m all for changing your friends for the better. I use the term “cultivating,” thinking of a farmer who will weed a little here, snip off a dead leaf there, but otherwise leaving the plants to their own devices.

    I think, if you wanted to make a change in a friend’s life, the best thing to do is to offer that friend a opportunity, then let them take it or not take it as they please. It’s really important to be okay with them not taking the opportunity, no matter how hard you worked to bring it around — people can only really change themselves, so you can’t force something down their throat and expect they will swallow instead of choke.

    I think the circle of friends you mentioned should come up with new, unconditional opportunities for each other.

  4. Brent the Closet Geek Avatar

    I’m the same way though I think my inability to fix my own stuff is due partly to this crazy idea in my head that doing so would be narcissistic.

  5. Laurent LaSalle Avatar

    Bon, c’est où? J’vais régler ça là…

  6. Dave Delaney Avatar

    I’m that way too. I love helping other people, but I do it myself and…
    On that note, I’ve created and it’s been a huge hit in Nashville. Each month about 30-40 people turn up to have breakfast, meet each other and talk tech stuff.

    It’s a perfect opportunity to meet other fixers too. I’m in the process of helping some folks get their own social media events in the works. What goes around comes around.

    Cheers Julien.

  7. Julien Avatar

    @Laurent: hehehe, it’s on St-Laurent, right below Moog Audio.

  8. embee Avatar

    I think it’s easier to spot a problem others have and hence easier to fix. It’s like writing a paper. You spend too much time doing that, you loose track of the coherence and flow. Even some spelling mistakes might pass your eye. If you give it another look after 2 days of not working on it, you see it in a different light and have more ideas how to make all better.

  9. Beth Harte Avatar

    Hi Julien, I found your blog through Giles (@webconomist). I am guilty as charged…a huge fixer. I always want to roll-up my sleeves and fix things that *I think* could use a little help. Which makes me wonder, is it arrogance or being helpful?

    I agree with Andy: “I wonder if we are able to look more objectively at other people’s projects and clearly see what could be tweaked or fixed to make it better.”

    Maybe this is where us “fixers” help out the most— when other people ask for opinions or insights. We just need to keep in mind, of course, they might not take our offered “fix” and that’s okay. Afterall, aren’t fixes just opinions?

    But when people aren’t asking, perhaps it’s best to just keep on walking by and keep our opinions (however great they may be) to ourselves. Either that, or start a collective as you suggested…


  10. whitney Avatar

    This is what I thought that brief mindmeld thing might do; I’ve been talking with Penn about we need a guild or something- even if a bunch of us could spend some time looking over and tweeking each others projects, we’d get so much more done. But I think we all resist this “looking under the hood” in order to look like we have it all together and know all the answers, when we know we don’t- we just don’t want to always say that out loud.
    But I think we could all benefit from fresh perspectives on our own work, and even if we give our friends only a few minutes of our time- we could keep jumping these gates a lot faster than ever before. It requires that we all become each others trust agents as well. I’m game if you are.

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