10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” — Henry David Thoreau

You don’t realize what you’ve learned in your career until somebody asks you questions about it.

I was lucky to be interviewed by Jesse Shapiro for his excellent podcast The Subplot, and had a blast chatting with him.

You can listen to the full episode or watch a short video excerpt here (or on iTunes), or watch the full episode on YouTube here.

In addition to hearing my personal journey, you’ll get advice about how to grow audiences, advance your own career, and make the most of opportunities.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. THREE THINGS THE BEST BLOG POSTS DO

“The true point of writing in public is to leverage your ideas and experiences to enlighten and inspire an audience to take action.”

When I write a blog post, I try to accomplish three things.

In this post I explain the three things the best blog posts do including to provide value to an audience, reach a specific audience, and convert readers into action takers.

Plus, I offer advice on how to accomplish these in your next post.

RELATED: 10 quick tips for bloggers.

2. HOW TO IMPROVE YOURSELF IN SIX MONTHS

“If you improve at anything, you are improving yourself. And the way you do anything is the way you do everything.”

This is a must-read if you’re into self-improvement.

James Altucher breaks down how to improve yourself in six months including tips about how to find your one thing, why you should focus on micro-skills, and how to go where it’s least crowded.

RELATED: How to ensure your next month is better than this one.

3. HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE TIME YOU SPEND LEARNING

“You could potentially learn more about yourself in five minutes embracing your fears than you could reading 100 books.”

This will make you think twice about the information you consume and what you get out of it.

Benjamin P. Hardy explains how to make the most of the time you spend learning and points out information is not wisdom, imagination is more important than knowledge, and true learning is emotional as opposed to intellectual.

RELATED: How to capture the wisdom you gain.

4. YOUR WORK IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS

“An artist’s job is to create masterpieces. Period. Everything else is secondary.”

I’m a good marketer, but all the marketing expertise in the world won’t make For The Interested a success if the newsletter itself isn’t good — that’s the top priority.

Ryan Holiday sums this concept up and declares your work is the only thing that matters.

He suggests too many people get distracted by the ancillary activities around their creations — social media, marketing, etc. — and fail to put in the necessary time and effort into their creation itself.

RELATED: Seven ways to prioritize your work.

5. FOCUS ON MICROSHIFTS, NOT BREAKTHROUGHS

“Breakthroughs are what happen after hours and days and years of the same mundane, monotonous work. But a mind-blowing, singular breakthrough is not what changes your life. A microshift is.”

Our lives don’t change with big behavioral changes — they evolve through a series of small tweaks to our choices.

Brianna Wiest explains why you don’t need a breakthrough, you need a microshift to improve your life.

She believes trying to shock yourself into a new life won’t work and that the only way to make changes that last is to attempt one microshift at a time.

RELATED: Five small ways to change your life.

6. THREE RULES FOR WRITING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

“Our job as writers is to make it as easy as possible for our readers to grab the next line and hold on to it for dear life.”

Smart writers recognize readers no longer consume information in the same way they used to and adapt accordingly.

To help you do so, Niklas Göke offers three rules for writing in the 21st century including to format for curiosity, avoid using the same words over and over again, and condense the hero’s journey.

RELATED: Nine storytelling rules from Michael Lewis.

7. LIFE LESSONS FROM A THOUSAND TINY EXPERIENCES

“An easy formula for getting great work done is make it exist, and then make it better.”

Yes, this is yet another set of life lessons from somebody’s personal experiences, but it’s also packed with good insights.

Michael Alexis shares his life lessons from a thousand tiny experiences including observations about finances (“Your ego is making you poor.”), productivity (“20 minutes after a movie starts, pause it and decide if you want to keep watching.”), and relationships (“Answer ‘How are you?’ with at least two sentences.”).

RELATED: A life’s worth of lessons in 300 words.

8. HOW TO DECREASE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR WORK

“Last month, I ditched my top ten list. I kept the index card, but I limited myself to three tasks — a morning, afternoon and evening activity.”

Just because you cross a bunch of stuff off your to do list, it doesn’t mean you’re getting meaningful work done.

Barry Davret explains how decreasing your productivity can improve the quality of your work and breaks down how he adapted his work methods to shift away from overrated concepts like multitasking.

RELATED: How I got more done, reduced stress, increased focus, and mastered time management in 10 minutes a day.

9. HOW TO BUILD AN ICONIC BRAND

“Brands must nurture what makes them iconic instead of what makes them appear new and shiny.”

Whether you’ve got an established brand or are starting a new one, this article has some valuable lessons to offer.

The American Marketing Association breaks down how to build an iconic brand and suggests brands need to figure out the thing people love them for and what makes them stand out.

RELATED: Brands need a rallying cry, not a tagline.

10. NINE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE INTERESTING

“We get in the habit of instinctively saying no to stuff because it’s ‘not the kind of thing we do,’ doesn’t interest us, or scares us. That’s how we end up bored.”

Sometimes, life gets boring. If you feel stuck in a rut, this post can help.

I share nine ways to make your life more interesting including to change how you start and end your day, ask questions you’ve never asked, and do something you haven’t done in 10 years.

RELATED: 10 creative ways to declutter your home.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Postanly, DO Lectures, Dean Yeong, and Connect4Insight — they’re awesome and worth your time.

Image via Izayah Ramos.