“No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.” — Gary Vaynerchuk
I’m launching a 30 DAYS OF DOIN’ IT program on January 2nd, 2018 to help you have a productive start to the new year!
Here’s a quick overview of what it is and how it works:
If you register before January 2nd, you’ll get an exclusive email every day for 30 days filled with tips, inspiration, and motivation to help you do your thing.
Your thing could be writing, working out, dieting, taking risks, reading books, meeting new people, or whatever you want to do for 30 days.
Each day’s email features a combination of original tips about how to get things done and curated advice from experts on Doin’ It — everybody from Steve Jobs and Tim Ferriss, to Albert Einstein and Elle Luna.
And it’s designed to help you do what really matters — get your thing done.
The last time I offered this program, participants loved it.
89% rated it at least 4 stars on a scale of 1–5.
90% did their thing for at least 15 days of the month.
78% said they’d like to do the program again.
It’s a great way to kick off your 2018 with a bang and/or execute on your New Year’s resolution.
You can view a sample email and sign up here.
I hope you’ll join us — it’s going to be great.
(Registration closes on Jan. 2nd, so don’t wait too long to sign up!)
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
1. MY FIVE FAVORITE PRODUCTIVITY TIPS OF THE YEAR
“New ways to plan your day, use your phone, and manage your inbox.”
I’ve shared 500+ ideas in this newsletter over the past year and thought it would be helpful to recap the best of them on specific topics.
The first of these recaps is this collection of my five favorite productivity tips of the year, each explained in less than 140 words to make for a quick (and valuable) read.
The tips include how to stop checking your phone so much, how to design your day using anti-goals, and the best auto-reply email I’ve ever seen.
2. HOW GARY VAYNERCHUK DISCOVERS NEW TRENDS
“My mentor is you. It is far better for you to look up to the 31 people that leave comments on your shit than to watch me more.”
Gary Vaynerchuk’s been ahead of the curve on a lot of things in the past decade, so it’s worth paying attention to how he does it.
In this one-minute video, he shares his secret to spotting new trends.
It’s simple and anybody can do it. He analyzes what people follow, like, and share online and then asks himself why they’re doing that.
3. HOW TO GET FOCUSED FOR 2018
“One of the biggest mistakes I see students make when setting goals to get focused is that they start to think about how to accomplish the goals before just laying out what they want.”
Most people go into a new year with a vision for how their year is going to play out. And most people wind up being wrong.
There are a lot of reasons for this and some are unavoidable, but Taylor Pearson — author of The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5 — has put together a plan to help you get focused for 2018.
He explains why most people’s planning systems fail and suggests you sync your goals with a 25-year vision and a 90-day North Star.
4. WHAT MARKETERS DON’T UNDERSTAND ABOUT CRITICAL MASS
“Most marketers are fooling themselves. They imagine that the audience size necessary for critical mass is right around the corner, but it’s actually closer to infinity. That, like a boat with a leak, you always have to keep bailing to keep it afloat. If you don’t design for a low critical mass, you’re unlikely to get one.”
Once again, Seth Godin challenges the conventional wisdom about marketing.
In this post, he explains why a key to successful marketing is to focus on attracting minimum critical mass for your product — it’s to build something where the number of people necessary for it to work is as low as possible.
He offers examples of products that have achieved this such as Facebook (it only needed 100 users to eventually conquer the Harvard campus, which then was enough for it to go on and conquer the world), and his book Purple Cow which was seeded to just 5,000 people and went on to sell millions of copies.
5. YOU NEED A NEMESIS
“Declaring an enemy of your work — whether a person, product, or idea — gets it noticed, supported, and ultimately helps it succeed.”
Do you know what your work is fighting against?
In this post I explain why you need a nemesis and suggest declaring what you’re against helps you get what you want.
The advantages of having a nemesis include that it rallies your audience, helps you stand out, proves you’re doing something meaningful and more.
6. 52 INTERESTING THINGS LEARNED IN 2017
“Facebook employs a dozen people to delete abuse and spam from Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page.”
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite annual posts.
Tom Whitwell has published a list of 52 interesting things he learned this year and it’s a fascinating compilation of stuff.
For example: Uber is the most lossmaking private company in tech history, men who travel first-class weigh more than men who travel in economy (the opposite is true for women), and 50% of Playstation game systems that are sent in for repairs in New York are infested with cockroaches.
For more stuff like this, check out the things he learned in 2016.
7. SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW SMOKING
“Silicon Valley faces a crucial imperative to tell the public about their morally questionable practices they have — unfortunately — learned from the tobacco industry, which is, setting an addiction that is extremely good for business.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard social media compared to smoking, but it’s one of the more comprehensive explanations I’ve seen about why the analogy may be apt.
Orge Castellano declares social media is the new smoking and poses the question, “How many likes are you chaining per day?”
He points to a number of similarities between the addictive nature of both “vices” and calls for the social platforms to come clean about the danger of their products.
8. WHY A BREAKDOWN ISN’T NECESSARILY A BAD THING
“A breakdown is not merely a random piece of madness or malfunction, it is a very real — albeit very inarticulate — bid for health. It is an attempt by one part of our minds to force the other into a process of growth, self-understanding and self-development which it has hitherto refused to undertake.”
Nobody wants to have a breakdown and we assume a breakdown is an awful thing. But what if we’re wrong?
The Book of Life makes the case that a breakdown isn’t necessarily a bad thing and explores what actually happens when we lose control or get overwhelmed.
It reframes the entire event not as a collapse, but as part of a “logical search for health.”
9. WHAT IT’S LIKE TO RAISE A TEENAGE DAUGHTER
“Hannah is the most competent person in our house, and she’s a puddle. She wants to know the correct answer, what other people would like her to say, but she’s furious if she thinks the right answer is untrue. I want to say: I’ll give you all I’ve got, but I wasn’t that great at being a teenager, and I’m a pretty flawed adult, too.”
I don’t have a teenage daughter, but I’m guessing this will resonate with anybody who does, used to, or will some day.
Elizabeth Weil shares a personal look at what it’s like to raise a teenage daughter and deal with the pride, fear, frustration, and love that comes with one.
10. HOW TO BUILD THE MARKETING TEAM OF THE FUTURE
“Remember: the only way to get a [good] reputation is to consistently provide value for people over a sustained period of time.”
The future of marketing is constantly evolving and navigating it requires a flexible team with a varied skill set.
Lauren Holliday shares her vision for the marketing dream team of the future, explains why the marketing director needs to be replaced with a managing editor, and how a better team will lead to better content.