“Coincidence is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys.” — Emma Bull
This is the 144th issue of this newsletter and it’s hitting your inbox on my 44th birthday.
What a happy coincidence.
Whether you’re new here or an old-timer, I’m thrilled you’ve joined me on this journey.
I’m not big on birthday gifts, but if you want to give me one by sharing this newsletter with people you think will enjoy it, I certainly appreciate it.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. 44 MOVIE SCENES THAT INFLUENCED HOW I LIVE MY LIFE
“These aren’t necessarily my favorite movies or my favorite scenes in these movies, but each one conveys an underlying message which has helped shape who I am and what I’ve done over the years.”
For the past nine years I’ve published a blog post on my birthday reflecting on things I’ve learned about life or experiences that have shaped me.
This year’s post was particularly fun to pull together.
It features 44 movie scenes that influenced how I live my life including how The Empire Strikes Back taught me the importance of doing, The Matrix reminded me things aren’t always what they seem, and Rushmore revealed the secret of life.
RELATED: 43 ways I’ve learned to make life easier.
2. HOW TO STREAMLINE EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE
“Have a running list of 1-min tasks. Make that quick phone call to reserve a table, quickly cancel a subscription, unsubscribe from a few useless newsletters or book that appointment — all in the 5 min waiting for your friend.”
It’s one thing to be productive, it’s another to be efficient.
RELATED: How to decide which ideas to pursue.
3. 20 TOOLS TO HELP YOU BECOME A MORE EFFECTIVE FREELANCER
“RescueTime assesses what you’re doing while you’re on your computer, helping you understand your daily habits. Nothing motivates you to stay off social media like knowing you’re going to receive an email at the end of the week telling you exactly how much time you wasted there.”
Just because you work for yourself, doesn’t mean you’re alone.
There are a ton of helpful resources out there including these 20 tools to help you become a more effective freelancer that have been compiled by Sophie McAulay.
They include apps to help you track your time, collaborate with others, and save notes and inspiration.
RELATED: 20 social media tools to try.
4. COMMUNITY MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT SUCCESS METRIC
“Community is also an insurance policy against life’s cruelty; a kind of immunity against loss and disappointment and rage. My community will be here for my family if I cannot be. And if I die, my kids will be surrounded people who know and love them, quirks and warts and oddities and all.”
It’s possible the most vital success metric to our lives is one which we increasingly overlook.
Jenny Anderson suggests community is the most important success metric and examines why we increasingly have less of it in our lives than we used to (fyi, social media community is NOT the same as human contact).
RELATED: What makes a community?
5. LOVE WHAT YOU DO IN FRONT OF YOUR KIDS
“The best way to help your children become the kind of person you want them to be is by surrounding them with the kinds of people you want them to be. This includes you.”
It’s not enough to just tell your kids to pursue their passions in life — that message will only stick if they see examples of people who actually do so.
RELATED: You should encourage your kids to argue.
6. HASHTAGS ARE OVERRATED
“If you invest substantial time in hashtag research and identification for Facebook and Instagram, it’s safe to pull back some of your resources and devote them to other, more high-value tasks.”
You can ease up on the hashtags in your next social media post.
Christopher Penn examined some data to figure out how much hashtags matter on Facebook and Instagram and found they don’t typically extend the reach of your posts.
He found a bigger contributing factor to post reach was how many shares it got (not surprising) and the length of the post (a little surprising).
Speaking of social media tips, have you signed up to get my daily tips yet?
7. HOW TO TRAIN YOURSELF TO DEAL WITH CRITICISM
“A simple hack for making conversations around performance easier for everyone involved is to ask for ‘advice’ instead of ‘feedback.’”
Nobody likes negative feedback, but your ability to take and learn from it can have a huge impact on your career.
Fadeke Adegbuyi breaks down how to train yourself to deal with criticism including to recognize negative feedback is better than no feedback, be calculated in your response to it, and be bold enough to seek it out.
8. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR COPYWRITING BY WRITING OBJECTIVE COPY
“Remove self-aggrandizing language like ‘unique’ or ‘special’ and let customers say it for you. Then quote the testimonial.”
One of the reasons so much marketing and sales copy is awful is because it tends to be filled with lies, exaggerations, and hyperbole.
Ryan Kulp suggests one of the best ways to improve your copy is to write objective copy and explains how to do so by using testimonials, replacing exaggerated claims with honest ones, and avoiding “product Freudian slips.”
RELATED: How to write more concisely.
9. A RECOMMENDED NEWSLETTER IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR PERSONAL FINANCE TIPS
“Insider techniques on earning more money, mastering your inner psychology, and even finding profitable side hustle ideas to create additional streams of income.”
There are few personal finance experts whose money advice meets readers where they are, and Ramit Sethi over at “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” is one of them.
His newsletter offers advice on how to earn more, create additional streams of income, or even start a new side hustle on the side.
You can subscribe to it here.
10. FIVE REASONS TO EMBRACE YOUR IMPERFECTIONS
“Seeking perfection doesn’t move us forward — it holds us back.”
The key to creating your best work isn’t to strive for perfection — it’s to recognize the flaws in your creations are what makes them unique and appealing.
In this post I share five reasons to embrace your imperfections including that perfect isn’t interesting, perfect isn’t relatable, and perfect doesn’t exist.
RELATED: Stop trying to have a perfect day.
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WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF
Image via Erik Witsoe.