“The things that keep nagging at you are the ones worth exploring.” — Ev Williams
The ideas I’ve got for you this week include everything from how to get great, to why you need to make your habits easier, to how to develop your creative voice, to the secret to Hillary Clinton’s latest social media strategy.
Let’s do it…
“Most people aren’t. That’s why they quit. Or never start. They refuse to settle for less than perfection, so they settle for nothing.”
In this post I tackle a truth all creators must face — most things you create won’t be great. But it’s important to accept that and not allow it to derail you from where you want to go. This is why.
“If you go looking in the same place for inspiration as everybody else, you will find your work quickly resembles theirs. Go and see that odd Polish subtitled movie. Be one of the three in the audience.”
This Do Lectures post is a great overview of how to become a more interesting person and create more interesting things.
As it points out, interesting things happen when you do interesting things.
“Simple is good enough when you sell it correctly — the difficulty arrives when you doubt you’re good enough to keep it simple.”
Plus, she’s a branding expert with clever tips about how to write better, network more creatively, and describe yourself in a way that people will actually care about.
“We dream a little too big. The vision of that dream gets in the way of making it a reality.”
This David Kadavy post offers some of the best advice I’ve heard for building a new habit that you’ll stick with for more than a couple days.
He suggests the key to successful habit building is to start at a level that’s ridiculously easy and grow from there. Too often, people’s dreams of an ideal habit set them up for failure. Start small.
“The thing you’re scared to say, worried to write, and afraid to do is the exact thing you should do. You fear it because it reveals what makes you unique. That makes it powerful. Makes it resonate. Makes it your voice.”
Every creative person looks to find their “voice.” But I don’t believe a voice is something you find — it’s something you develop.
In this post, I explain how you can take a more active approach to develop your voice and the unique thing that will make your work stand out.
“When you take yourself seriously you will make others take you seriously. You will put your ideas out there. You won’t hide them. You won’t delete them. You will keep trying.”
Writer Sarah Cooper shares her own personal struggles with taking herself and her ideas seriously and offers a cautionary tale about what happens when you don’t.
“There is so much extraordinary opportunity if you’re curious.”
Juan Enriquez is managing director of a venture capital firm that specializes in life science. But really, all you need to know is that he’s super smart and will give you a ton to think about with regards to our future.
In my profile of him, you’ll learn the implications of our increasing ability to “reprogram life,” consider a new way of thinking about ethics, and reconsider the impact of social networks on our lives.
“The Clinton campaign is particularly good at planning to be spontaneous.”
Politics aside, Hillary Clinton has been terrible at using social media. However, I’ve noticed a drastic improvement in recent weeks as she’s battled Trump on Twitter and this Politico article breaks down the recent strategy and how she’s using his own tweets against him.
“You can’t have a dream for the world if you don’t have a dream for yourself.”
Dan Pallotta is a humanitarian activist who’s made a name for himself with his views about how nonprofit organizations should be restructured.
In my profile of him, you’ll learn why he thinks more charities should merge, how people use clever language to avoid committing to things, and why the way we think about charity is dead wrong.
“’The open web,’ he says, ‘is pretty broken.’ But don’t worry — he has a plan to save it, or, at least, sort of save it.”
This Atlantic article is the story of Ev Williams — and in many ways, the story of the Internet itself.
Williams helped create everything from Blogger, to podcasts, to Twitter, to Medium and this piece is a great overview of his view of the Internet and the dangers of where it’s headed.
If you care about media, technology, and anything in between, it’s a must-read.