“People that are different have a shot at being original.” — Jim Carrey
This might be the last time I send you this newsletter.
I hope it’s not, but it might be.
Because when I send this newsletter to 12,566 subscribers, it’s inevitable some of you will decide you no longer want to receive it and will unsubscribe.
It’s easy to feel the sting of those unsubscribes but I don’t — because this newsletter isn’t for those people. It never was.
I do this for those of you who find value in it and choose to receive it.
Not for everybody. For somebody.
I’m lucky to have a lot of somebodies out there along for the ride.
If you’re one of them, thank you. And don’t worry — this won’t be the last time I send you this newsletter.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. HOW TO GROW YOUR AUDIENCE USING FACEBOOK
“Everybody focuses on getting more followers, but that’s not really how you get value out of social media — followers are a misleading vanity metric. This isn’t to say there’s not value to using social media — there’s huge value. But the key to that value is to use social media to reach a specific, narrow target audience and/or use it to connect with individuals you want to be aware of you and connect with you.”
A comedian recently asked me for some advice about how best he could use Twitter to grow his audience and I told him to use Facebook.
In this post, I explain how anybody looking to grow an audience can best do so — specifically using Facebook and spending a couple dollars per post on highly targeted Facebook ads.
If you don’t have any budget to invest in Facebook ads, you can always follow my other suggestion about how to double the reach of your Facebook posts without spending any money.
2. HOW TO HARNESS THE POWER OF STORYTELLING SCIENCE
“How is it possible for you to be so easily tricked by something so simple as a story? It all comes down to one core thing: emotional investment. The more emotionally invested you are in anything in your life, the less critical and the less objectively observant you become.”
David JP Phillips is a presentation skills coach and this TedX talk makes me think he’s probably a good one.
It’s a look at the science of storytelling and how stories can be used to trigger specific reactions from an audience to makes them more likely to do what you want, connect with you, or empathize with you.
But the most interesting element of the talk isn’t just the information shared, but rather the way Phillips “induces” you as a viewer to feel these emotions through his presentation.
3. IF YOU CAN’T BE THE BEST, CHANGE THE CATEGORY
“We can all do this. We get to choose what to be best at. But we have to be careful, because optimizing for one thing almost automatically means you can’t be good at other things.”
You can always be the best at what you do…if you choose the right category.
Jeff Goins shares his philosophy that if you can’t be the best at one thing, then change your category.
He points out how you can create your own category by slightly pivoting to highlight what you enjoy and do well as opposed to trying to beat somebody else at their own game.
4. HOW TO GET BETTER AT FOLLOWING THROUGH ON THINGS
“Your brain values long-term benefits when they are in the future, but it values immediate gratification when it comes to the present moment.”
The Akrasia Effect is what ancient Greek philosophers called our tendency to act against our better judgment — it’s what prevents us from following through on what we set out to do.
James Clear explores this phenomenon and spells out a framework to beat procrastinationthat includes to design your future actions, reduce the friction of starting, and utilize implementation intentions.
5. JIM CARREY ON WHY WE MAKE ART
“I think what makes someone an artist is they make models of their inner life. They make something physically come into being that is inspired by their emotions, or their needs, or what they feel the audience needs.”
It turns out Jim Carrey can do more than just make people laugh.
In the past couple years he’s stepped back from making movies and instead focused his efforts on painting and sculpture — and his work is shockingly good.
In this six-minute documentary he shares his view on what it means to be an artist, how he approaches his art, and the value he finds from doing it.
6. 28 GREAT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS TO ASK A POTENTIAL EMPLOYEE
“How does this position relate to what you really want to be doing?”
Sometimes the simple posts I share are the most valuable. This is definitely one of those times if you ever need to interview somebody for a job.
Tina Roth Eisenberg has compiled a list of 28 great interview questions to ask based on suggestions from various people she’s encountered over the years.
The list includes questions like, “What are you learning right now?,” “Tell me about some people you’ve helped in your career,” and “I’m going to give you five minutes — teach me something new.”
7. HOW TO WRITE 3,000 WORDS A DAY
“Silence the internal editor. In other words, don’t listen to any of your critical voices while you try to hit your goal; just keep writing.”
Romance novelists tend to be prolific writers so Quartz asked several of them what it takes to churn out up to 3,000 words a day.
The result is a collection of nine tips to become a more prolific writer including to set a daily word count goal, train your other senses with triggers, and avoid getting stuck on specific words.
8. HOW TO CHANGE YOUR PAST
“Memories are reconstructions of the past based on our current understandings of the world. Memories change, little by little. They fluctuate. They are filtered.”
Maybe we don’t need a time machine to change the past after all.
Mandy Chew explains how to change your past by recognizing that we see the world differently at different stages of our lives and therefore our memories are malleable.
She believes you can change your past by changing how you feel about it and in doing so can redefine the world you live in.
9. WHY WE’RE ALWAYS IN A HURRY AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
“What is the result of always wanting more, always wanting to maximize? It’s rushing, grabbing onto everything, never having enough, never being satisfied, never actually stopping to enjoy, not really appreciating each moment because I’m greedy for more great moments. Indulging in this greediness for more, this maximizing everything, doesn’t satisfy it. It just creates more wanting for more.”
If you’re constantly trying to cram more of everything into your day, this one’s for you.
Leo Babauta in Thrive Global examines why we’re always in a hurry and what we can do about it including to recognize that slowing down is an act of generosity toward ourselves.
10. HOW OUR PROJECTS SHAPE OUR PERSONALITIES
“What you do affects who you are. That’s because personal projects are all about the future — they point us forward, guiding us along routes that might be short and jerky, or long and smooth. By tracing their route, we can map the most intimate of terrains: ourselves.”
We tend to think our personalities as a set of traits established by elements of our nature and nurture background. But this TED Talks article suggests there’s a third key component: our projects.
The article breaks down how our projects shape our personalities and notes this also means what we do can remake who we are.