“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” — Chauncey Depew
The fears. The excuses. The failures. The problems. The challenges. The disadvantages.
The reasons why it can’t work.
You can decide they don’t matter.
And then they won’t.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. HOW I WRITE THIS NEWSLETTER
“Since my newsletter is largely curated, the first step is to find interesting content to curate and the best way I’ve found to do that is to follow other curators. And when it comes to curation, nobody’s better at it than newsletter authors.”
I often get asked how I create this newsletter each week so I thought I’d share a behind-the-scenes look at how the “magic” happens.
In this post I break down how to write a newsletter including the tools I use and the 10-step process I follow every week to create and distribute it to 25,000+ awesome subscribers like you (thanks!).
RELATED: How to write newsletters that people want to read.
2. A SETH GODIN Q&A ABOUT CREATIVE WORK
“How do you ship stuff that you’re proud of? Ship stuff that you’re not proud of. Keep shipping bad work over and over again for two reasons: One, practice will help you get better. And two, shame will push you to improve.”
This video is quite a gift.
Seth Godin appeared at a Creative Mornings retreat and spent two hours answering questions from the crowd about all sorts of topics.
You can watch the full Q&A here, but if you’re pressed for time at least check out his comments at the 35-minute mark about how to be more productive.
RELATED: How to convince the unconvinced.
3. 27 USEFUL THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW YOU CAN DO IN CHROME
“Chrome can strip all formatting from copied text as you paste it — eliminating links, fonts, colors, and anything else you might not want to carry over. Once you’ve copied some text, hit Ctrl- or Cmd-Shift-V to give it a whirl.”
I’m not a Chrome user, but if you are I bet you’ll find a bunch of helpful stuff here.
JR Raphael has compiled 27 useful things you can do in your Chrome browser including hidden shortcuts, browser tricks, and ways to eliminate annoyances.
RELATED: 10 hidden Gmail productivity hacks.
4. THE 65 MOST POPULAR SELF IMPROVEMENT IDEAS ON REDDIT
“Habits are what form and deform your life. Humans are short-sighted. Build a ritual that will, much like compound interest, build an amazing life.”
A Reddit user with a lot of time on his hands went through all the top self-help threads on the platform and charted all the similarities in the advice shared to create this list of the 65 most popular self-improvement ideas on Reddit.
They’re broken down into five categories including advice about success, finance, social, health, and business.
RELATED: A 12,000 comment discussion about the one change that most improved people’s lives.
5. STOP ASKING KIDS WHAT THEY WANT TO BE WHEN THEY GROW UP
“I’m all for encouraging youngsters to aim high and dream big. But take it from someone who studies work for a living: those aspirations should be bigger than work.”
It may seem like encouraging kids to talk about their dream job will fuel their ambition, but Adam Grant believes it may cause more harm than good.
He believes you should stop asking kids what they want to be when they grow up and suggests it’s better to have conversations with them about what kind of person they want to be.
RELATED: How to nurture creativity in your kids.
6. THE 11 LESSONS THAT CHANGED GUY KAWASAKI’S LIFE
“If you’re not learning, you’re dying. Learning is not an event that ends.”
Guy Kawasaki has had a lot of interesting experiences in his life including working as Apple’s chief evangelist in the early years of the company.
In this post he shares 11 lessons that changed his life including to find a community who challenges you, question everything, and learn how to sell even if you’re not in sales.
RELATED: Steve Jobs on how to live a broad life.
7. IF YOU WANT TO REMEMBER A MOMENT, DON’T TAKE A PHOTO OF IT
“When you take a photo of something, you’re counting on the camera to remember for you. You’re basically saying, ‘Okay, I don’t need to think about this any further. The camera’s captured the experience.’”
Here’s an interesting side effect of your Instagram addiction — the more photos you take of things, the less likely you are to remember them.
Manoush Zomorodi breaks down research that discovered you’re less likely to remember a moment if you take a photo of it because it sends a message to your brain that the moment doesn’t need to be remembered.
Another interesting finding: You’re less likely to remember a moment if you’re in the photo than if you simply took a photo of that moment.
RELATED: How to photograph your vacation.
8. QUESTIONS TO ASK CLIENTS BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER WORKING WITH THEM
“Your relationship with a client shouldn’t end just because a project has been completed. Great clients are just as hard to find as great freelancers. When a gig goes well, both sides have a vested interest in staying in touch and looking for future opportunities to work together.”
If your work involves clients, this will come in handy.
Dan McDermott shares a list of questions to ask clients before, during, and after working with them including “Tell me about your problem,” What’s your target customer profile,” and “How’s the solution working out?”
RELATED: How to get your company and clients addicted to your work.
9. HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR FOLLOWERS
“You’re not monetizing. You’re not extracting a resource from a passive thing and not drilling an oil well. Your audience is composed of other people, and if you want those people to give you value, you have to give them value in return.”
It’s one thing to attract a following, it’s another to monetize that following.
Christopher Penn breaks down how to monetize your followers and suggests you think of it in terms of a trade — what do you have to sell, does your audience want what you have to sell, and what value can you give them in exchange?
RELATED: Want to make money from your expertise? Start here.
10. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING IN SIX STEPS
“Idea generation is the process of coming up with concepts, while writing is the process of communicating those concepts. They’re related, but different.”
I’ve written a lot of different things over the years and there’s a simple process I’ve found to help improve all of it.
In this post I share how to improve your writing in six steps including tips about how to generate ideas, edit your first draft, and publish your work.
RELATED: 100 resources that will make you a better writer.
WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF
I got some of this week’s ideas from Lauren Holliday, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Ben Rosenfeld, and Creative Mornings — they’re awesome and worth checking out.
Image via Priscilla Du Preez.