About Found My Place

Found My Place is a creative musical project by me, Merlin Mann. It is generously sponsored by Squarespace, in conjunction with their kind support of the Back to Work podcast I do with my pal Dan Benjamin. I hope you enjoy it, and many thanks to Squarespace for making this possible.

Find Your Place with Squarespace

Sign up for a new Squarespace account by May 31, 2012, using the offer code “goaheadcaller” and you’ll get an additional 10% off their already-affordable subscriptions.

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Song: "Obstacle Race"


[MP3] “Obstacle Race” by Merlin Mann

Found My Place - Blog - Song: “Obstacle Race” on Huffduffer

(As heard in Back to Work #65: “A Light Dusting of Life”)

Squarespace has been a really good friend to me. I love their service, I adore the people who work there, and I’m very grateful that they’ve been such a supportive and longtime sponsor of the Back to Work podcast I do with Dan Benjamin over on his 5by5.tv network.

This month, I told our Squarespace contact, Ryan Stansky, that I wanted to try something special. Because, I’ve always felt like Squarespace and Back to Work have a lot in common.

Slaying Dragons and Fighting Barriers

Back to Work and Squarespace both try to help creative people to be more productive and to ship more stuff. But, more pointedly, we both share an ardent interest in helping anyone who needs it to identify and remove any barriers—real or imagined—that prevent them from doing and sharing the stuff that they make and love.

Whether that’s not understanding why it can be so hard to write, or letting the fiddly complexity of updating software and installing plug-ins keep you from posting new stuff, we’re both simpatico on this one:

Spend less time planning scaffolding—and more time building stuff.

It Goes Here

I chose to call this project, “Found My Place.” Because, I think having a trusted place to put your stuff can have a huge impact on how much stuff you actually make.

That’s what my first song, “Obstacle Race” is all about: barriers. And finding the courage to beat them out of your way—not by fiddling with geegaws or getting distracted by shiny new objects. But, by picking your platform, working your butt off, and always staying focused on the presents—not on the maintenance of your wish list.

So, Here’s a Song

Anyhow, it’s the first of four brand-new songs I’ll be posting here this month. I hope you’ll come back for the rest, as well as tune in to our show to hear more about the project.

Find Your Place Here

If you’re not already using Squarespace to host and run your online world, please consider giving them a spin. They offer great features, rock-solid performance, and a new pricing plan that’s crazy affordable. If you sign up this month (May, 2012) with the offer code, goaheadcaller, you’ll get an extra 10% off any subscription that suits you.

And, finally, of course, I really hope you like the song. I had a great time doing it and really look forward to sharing the next three this month, right here on Squarespace.

“Obstacle Race” Lyrics

by Merlin Mann

(I) used to wander ‘round
And wonder what I should do.
I didn’t know what to say,
Or who to say it to.
(It’s an Obstacle Race)
Yeah, I was in a bad place.
(You can’t get out).

I bought a dozen notebooks
And a pen or sixteen,
But, then, I never even used ‘em,
If you know what I mean.
(It’s an Obstacle Race)
And, I was stuck in last place.
(You can’t get out).

(Then I) finally decided
To quit dickin’ around.
Pulled my head out of my butt,
And put my FEET on the ground.
Took my newly head-less butt,
And stuck it down in my seat.
Started making things I really love
And wanted to keep.

(You can get out
I quit the Obstacle Race!
(You must get out)
Stop the Obstacle Race! 
(You WILL get out)
Screw the Obstacle Race!

I have finally found my place.

Laps in the Swim Lanes

On the off-chance you’re also a GarageBand nerd, here’s a screengrab of the .band document for “Obstacle Race.” Looks pretty crazy when you see it all in one place like this.

GarageBand File for “Obstacle Race”

CREDIT: The awesome Running Guy image is part of the wonderful Symbolicons icon set, which was created by the lovely and talented Jory Raphael. Which Jory, in spite of his estimable talents and ample moderinty, I inexplicably refer to as, “Jordache.” Go figure.

[MP3] "Obstacle Race" by Merlin Mann