I have developed a bit of an unnatural relationship with the show Gold Rush. After watching Todd, Jack, Dakota Fred and Parker through two and a bit seasons all I can say is I take perverse pleasure in watching a train wreck happen. Gold Rush is also a touching story about America’s pioneering spirit and rediscovering the American Dream. (Or more darkly: Then they dug for their gold till the land was forsaken and wrote it all down as the progress of man.)
Through two seasons, the three mining camps talk big and then struggle. They don’t seem to know why. Their business simply put, is dropping ‘pay dirt’ into a ‘wash plant’ and gold comes out of the wash plant a long with a whole lot of mud.
All three camps have refined the operation so that there is very little efficiency they can gain. There isn’t too much gold being lost in the tailing’s. So to make more money they want to run more ‘yards of dirt’ through their wash plants.
The plot of every episode involves a breakdown of some vital piece of equipment preventing this activity, causing as much swearing and tantrums as an episode of Geordie Shore. Why this show is a train wreck is the crews are only “dimly pre-aware” that if their wash plant isn’t running and there isn’t gold bearing dirt being dropped in it they aren’t making money. And they never take any preventative measures to keep everything running.
When production stops the crew is losing money in actual fact – not just not making money. In Alaska, you can only mine for about 140 days a year before everything freezes over – so lost production is really expensive. (Captain Super Nerd can work it out but who wants a maths lesson?)
What the show can’t reveal in prime time is the impact of those losses.
For those of us with newsletters to get out every month we feel a similar impact – if you leave everything to the last minute you are in effect eating into time to work on next month’s newsletter. (Kind of like a really short gold mining season) Then it all seems to go to hell in hand basket.
We have some clients who want to do part of their newsletter themselves – it is a lot of hard work. We encourage it because when a client is actively involved with their newsletter the results are much better. The problem is one or two have gotten behind and it often takes an intervention to get them back on track.
Basically if you have to put off doing something for one month’s newsletter it becomes twice the work to get back on track. You need to do two newsletters in order to get back to even. A relative mountain of work. And to be honest unless you actually like writing – doing two newsletters at once is about as much fun as a root canal.
Our most successful clients have actually become good students of our system – keeping their production calendars with them so that all their article ideas end up in the same place. Asking for help early when they get stuck.