“No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” — Mark Twain
Away from your routine, problems, and passions.
Away from the work you love and the work you hate.
Getting away for a moment (or more) will give you a new perspective on it all.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. THE SECRET TO GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS AND CUSTOMERS
“You don’t need a huge pre-existing audience or customer base to do this. The answers of just a handful of people can drastically improve your chances of attracting a lot more.”
The answers to five simple questions can reveal the path to growing your audience or increasing sales of your product or service.
In this post I explain why the secret to getting more followers and customers is to tap into the expertise of your existing ones by asking them a series of questions including why they were attracted to your creation in the first place, how they would recommend it to a friend, and what they would change about it if they could.
RELATED: You’d have a lot more followers if you acted like you only needed 10.
2. HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND CREATE SOMETHING IMPORTANT
“You don’t want to be in a career where people who have been doing it for two years can be as effective as people who have been doing it for twenty — your rate of learning should always be high.”
This post is about a lot more than just career or business growth.
Sam Altman breaks down how to be successful and create something important including 13 suggestions that can impact every facet of your life and apply to any definition of success including to have almost too much self-belief, make it easy to take risks, and be hard to compete with.
RELATED: How to optimize your productivity.
3. MAKE DECISIONS BEFORE YOU HAVE TO
“The thing about difficult decisions though, is that making them over and over again only compounds the difficulty. Instead, make decisions once, before you even have to.”
There’s no shortage of advice out there about how to make decisions, but this is the first I’ve come across that focuses on the role of timing in those decisions.
Matt Tanner suggests you make decisions before you have to and offers examples of how making an early decision for yourself can help clarify your goals, relieve stress, and keep you on track.
RELATED: How to reduce your decisions.
4. FIVE CREATIVE WAYS TO INCREASE HOW MUCH YOU EARN
“The moment you start trying to justify what it is you do and the value you provide by focusing on all the nitty-gritty things, you’ve lost.”
What you earn is a direct result of the value you create.
With that in mind, Nicolas Cole shares five creative ways to increase what you earn including to learn what is most valuable about your role, give up short-term raises for long term jackpots, and show people why they should pay you more instead of just telling them.
RELATED: Why an “unraise” may be more valuable than a raise.
5. WHY YOU NEED A POINT OF VIEW
“A POV is not a sales pitch. Not directly. The utility of that point of view is not to capture dollars by selling a thing. The utility of that POV is to capture attention by selling an idea adjacent to that thing.”
Every brand needs a point of view, but few have one or even understand how to create one.
Steve Bryant explains why you need a point of view and shares tips about how to create one including to figure out how your goals, audience, and brand priorities align.
RELATED: Why standing out is essential to survive as a creator, brand, or business.
6. SEVEN WAYS TO MAKE YOUR MEETINGS BETTER
“Score every meeting. Score it out of ten at the end of the meeting. Not just you, all participants. Do it for client meetings too. Nothing below a score of eight counts as a good meeting.”
If you want some simple ways to immediately make your next meeting better, this one’s for you.
Olly Willans shares seven ways to make your meetings better including to score every meeting, use a decision-making framework, and ditch status meetings.
RELATED: Why silent meetings are effective.
7. THE STATE OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE IN 2019
“Knowledge workers, on average, have just 2 hours and 48 minutes a day for productive tasks (or 14 hours and 8 minutes a week). The rest of the day is spent on neutral activities (1 hour and 6 minutes) and distracting activities (1 hour and 12 minutes). In fact, on average, 21% of the workday was spent on entertainment, news, and social media.”
I can’t decide if reading this will make you feel better or worse about the state of your own personal work-life balance these days.
Jory MacKay has compiled data on 185 million hours worth of people’s work time last year and breaks down the state of work-life balance based on the data.
The key takeaways include that 40% of people use their computers after 10 pm, 33% of salaried workers do work at home on the weekends, and the average person checks email or text messages every 6 minutes (yikes!) in a typical day.
RELATED: Measure work-life balance in years, not days.
8. THREE GROWTH MARKETING PRINCIPLES FOR A THRIVING BUSINESS AND ENGAGED AUDIENCE
“There is tremendous power in intentionally projecting a somewhat delusional plan or proposal.”
If you’ve got something you’re trying to grow, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.
Larry Kim of Mobile Monkey breaks down his three key growth marketing principles including to be somewhat delusional, find your unicorn growth hack, and make unicorn babies.
RELATED: Nine useful pieces of advice for people building businesses.
9. SCOTT GALLOWAY’S PREDICTIONS FOR TECH AND BUSINESS IN 2019
“Nothing is more certain than the past nor more uncertain than the future.”
This is a crash course in what happened in the tech and business world in 2018 and an entertaining look at what may happen in 2019.
In a 28-minute video, Scott Galloway — who’s as entertaining as he is smart — shares his predictions for 2019 which include that big health is going to be the story of the year, brands will increasingly see “woke as a business strategy,” and Amazon will spin off Amazon Web Services into its own separate company.
RELATED: Why the four biggest tech companies should be broken up.
10. WHAT I LEARNED FROM WRITING DOWN 510 GREAT THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO ME
“What I discovered surprised me. There were great things that had happened to me just seven days earlier that I had already forgotten. It’s amazing how quickly we move on and forget things we enjoyed.”
A little over a year ago I started an experiment I called the Great List.
Each day I wrote down a series of things that happened that were great and things that were going to happen soon I hoped would be great. It has had a huge impact on my life and I’ve continued to do it (though now on a weekly basis) ever since.
This is the story of what I learned from The Great List and how to try it for yourself.
RELATED: How to improve your life one experiment at a time.
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WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF
I got some of this week’s ideas from Thomas Oppong and Trevor McKendrick — they’re awesome and worth checking out.
Image via Silvia & Frank.