10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“You can only make sense of the online world by going offline.” — Pico Iyer

Clicks. Shares. Likes. Views. Followers.

With all the online metrics we obsess over, it’s easy to forget actual people are behind each of them.

People with their own unique stories, skills, challenges, and lives you know nothing about.

I had coffee this week with a longtime FTI reader who I had never met in “real life.”

It was a blast.

And a reminder the metrics we chase are nowhere near as valuable as the people behind them.

If you ever have a chance to turn a follower into a friend, I highly recommend it.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. FIVE TACTICS I’VE USED TO GET 18,000 NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS

“I’m not big on secrets. Because the more secrets you keep from your audience, the less value you deliver to them.”

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re one of the 18,000 people who currently subscribe to For The Interested so THANK YOU!

In this post, I break down five tactics I’ve used to get newsletter subscribers including to send weekly follow-up emails, run Facebook ads promoting content as opposed to the newsletter itself, and cross-promote the newsletter with other newsletter creators.

Speaking of which, if you have a newsletter or are thinking of starting one, I invite you to join my Newsletter Creators Facebook group.

2. HOW TO PICK A CAREER THAT ACTUALLY FITS YOU

“When it comes to careers, society is like your great uncle who traps you at holidays and goes on a 15-minute mostly incoherent unsolicited advice monologue, and you tune out almost the whole time because it’s super clear he has very little idea what he’s talking about and that everything he says is like 45 years outdated.”

I rarely use the word epic, but this post is epic.

Tim Urban explains how to pick a career that actually fits you by diving deep into your life path so far, career map, potential, reality, priorities, and how to connect all those dots to develop a career you’ll enjoy.

Plus, there are stick-figure drawings.

3. 40 THINGS ABOUT LIFE JOHN FAWKES WOULD TELL HIMSELF IF HE COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME

“Judge yourself by your inputs in the short term, and your outputs in the long term.”

John Fawkes is a fitness coach, but this post is about a lot more than just how to get in shape.

He shares 40 things he would tell himself if he could travel back in time and it’s packed with life advice including that natural talent is mostly a myth, that you need to get comfortable not having an opinion, and that people tend to assume others are like themselves.

4. FOUR THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED

“Remember that every dollar you take from someone else is a dollar of influence they get to wield.”

If you’re planning a wedding or think you will some day, you need to watch this 14-minute video.

In it, Chelsea Fagan of The Financial Diet shares four things she wishes she knew before she got married including that you can always say no, that people try to prevent brides from seeing the price of things, and that you should avoid using the word “wedding” when getting price quotes because vendors will charge you more if you do.

5. HOW TO BE MORE HOPEFUL

“Optimism changes subjective reality. The way we expect the world to be changes the way we see it. But it also changes objective reality. It acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

It’s impossible to read this one and not feel at least a little more optimistic about the world.

TED Talks has put together a collection of eight TED Talks to help you become more hopeful including advice on how to recognize you can change your life at any moment, how to add some wow to your world, and how to find meaning in your most challenging moments.

6. 43 WAYS TO DEFEAT DISTRACTIONS

“A lot of things happen before the work itself — from traffic, to interacting with other people, something might worry you, so it makes a lot of sense to take a few minutes, leave that behind, and see what’s the first thing you want to focus on.”

I’m sure there’s a joke to be made about how a post featuring 43 ways to defeat distractions in and of itself may be a distraction, but I’m too distracted to come up with it at the moment.

Anyway, this Zdravko Cvijetic post has some solid tips on dealing with distractions of all kinds — biological, mental, environmental, social, and digital.

Speaking of digital distractions, you might also find my post about how I stopped checking my phone so much helpful.

7. 19 GREAT TRUTHS FROM A 90-YEAR-OLD GRANDMOTHER

“There are thousands of people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize everything.”

Several years ago Marc Chernoff’s grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer on her 90th birthday.

He spent the day with her and she read to him excerpts from her diary in which she shared all she had learned over the course of her life. In honor of what would have been her 100th birthday, Chernoff put together this post sharing 19 great truths from his grandmother.

They include that the willingness to do hard things opens great windows of opportunity, that no one wins the game of chess or life by only moving forward, and that you can only fight and win the battles of today.

8. HOW MALCOLM GLADWELL COMES UP WITH IDEAS

“A book comes out and there’s a whole world out there that pounces on it and tells you why it’s bad. A podcast — there is no critical infrastructure. None. Zero. No one ever tells you not to listen to it. And not only that, there’s no expectation of what a podcast is supposed to be.”

In this 17-minute The New Yorker video, David Remnick interviews writer Malcolm Gladwell about his career and where his ideas come from.

Gladwell explains that he’s opposed to simplistic readings of complicated social phenomenons and why he launched a podcast.

9. HOW TO REMOVE RETWEETS FROM YOUR TWITTER FEED AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO

“Retweets make up more than a quarter of all tweets. When they disappeared, my feed had less punch-the-button outrage. Fewer mean screenshots of somebody saying precisely the wrong thing. Less repetition of big, big news. Fewer memes I’d already seen a hundred times. Less breathlessness. And more of what the people I follow were actually thinking about, reading, and doing.”

Would your Twitter feed be more interesting if you removed all the retweets? Maybe.

The Atlantic breaks down how to remove retweets from your feed and explores how social media consumption changes when you pump the brakes on shareability.

10. DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT? TAKE TWO MINUTES TO READ THIS.

“You feel stuck because you don’t know what you want — not because you don’t have what you want.”

Here’s quick read about the most important question you can ask yourself — what do you want?

I explain why if you can’t answer that question, you can’t do anything, why you don’t need the right answer but you need an answer, and why it’s important to think about what you want as opposed to what others want for you.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Creative Mornings, Storythings, Postanly, and Scott Monty — they’re awesome and worth your time.

Image via Mindsparkle.