10 Ideas Worth Sharing This Week

“Luck is created by the prepared.” — James Altucher

This week’s ideas include everything from how to write better, to how to improve your social media strategy, to why positive thinking may hurt you more than it helps you.

Let’s do it…

1. THE TWO MINUTES IT TAKES TO READ THIS WILL IMPROVE YOUR WRITING FOREVER

“Delete the word ‘that.’ At least 90% of the times you use the word ‘that’ can be removed from your writing and it will instantly make your sentence stronger.”

This short, simple post has become the most popular thing I’ve ever written as more than 100,000 people read it this week and it was the most popular post on Medium for a couple days.

It features four quick tips you can use to improve anything you write.

2. THE DEATH OF THE INDUSTRIAL ADVERTISING COMPLEX

“Broadcast television is cursed with being a swimmer and every 11 minutes someone takes a dump in the pool. You literally get interrupted by something that is shocking, is ugly, makes no sense, is disturbing, is totally out of context, and you literally have to stop swimming and go, ‘What is going on here?’ And then two minutes later, you start swimming again.”

Scott Galloway is an NYU business school professor who has become one of my favorite speakers.

In this recent talk he shares some mind-blowing stats about the state of the media/advertising business and makes a compelling case that the traditional advertising business is doomed.

And it’s likely to take down the companies who rely on it in the process.

3. 50 LIFE LESSONS FROM A 50-YEAR-OLD

“If you are OK at one thing, and OK at another thing, then you can be the best in the world at the intersection.”

James Altucher is a smart guy so it’s no surprise this list of things he’s learned over the years is packed with great observations including your choice of spouse will be the most important career decision you ever make and there are three different money skills you need to develop: making it, keeping it, and growing it.

4. YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE FOUR QUESTIONS ARE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

“The clarity of your goals, audience, and value are a bigger determinant of your social media success than any follower, engagement, or algorithm strategies.”

When people ask me for social media advice, I always ask them these four simple questions.

In this post, I break down the questions and explain how your answers to each reveal the foundation of a strong, custom social media strategy to help you achieve your goals.

Speaking of which, if you’d like some help with your social media strategy please email me.

5. POSITIVE THINKING HOLDS YOU BACK

“Positive thinking impedes performance because it relaxes us and drains the energy we need to take action.”

This Aeon Magazine article presents a counterpoint to the hype about the power of positive thinking.

It turns out, based on scientific studies, positive thinking may prevent you from accomplishing your goals instead of helping you achieve them.

The studies show positive thinking can trick our minds into feeling like we’ve achieved our goals which ultimately leads us to put in less than the necessary effort to achieve them.

6. JOURNALING FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO JOURNAL

“Lists make terrible news articles, but great morning brain stretches.”

This Todd Brison post shares an approach he’s come up with for daily journaling that avoids “spewing vomit” all over the screen every day.

He simply writes a list each morning on a particular topic, adds a thing he’s grateful for, and calls it a day.

7. MEET THE PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE ALL THE MUSIC YOU LISTEN TO

“The goal is to train you to think less about a song’s genre and more about the way it makes you feel.”

Twenty percent of the songs played on streaming music services are played within playlists. That’s quite a stat, huh?

This Buzzfeed article takes a deep dive into the creation of those playlists and finds less than 100 people are the ones who craft those official playlists and determine what most people listen to.

It’s a fascinating look at who they are, what they do, and how they do it.

8. GRANT CARDONE IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW

“Your greatness is limited only by the investments you make in yourself.”

Grant Cardone is a sales trainer and expert on how to grow your business and raise your income.

In my profile of him you’ll learn why he thinks your biggest mistake is thinking you can’t become a millionaire, how to enhance the value of what you sell, how to repackage products to generate more profits, and more.

9. THIS IS WHAT 90 MILLION TWEENS ARE DOING RIGHT NOW

“The handsome teen boy does not have to come up with his own original romantic promises. He can smolder into the camera while lip-synching a song about how much he loves only you.”

I don’t know a lot of tweens, but now I know what they’re up to thanks to this Elle magazine profile of the insanely popular Musical.ly app.

The app allows users (75% of whom are female) to create 15-second videos where they lip-sync to their favorite songs.

Its success says a lot about the state of pop culture, social media, celebrity, and fandom among soon-to-be teenagers.

10. HOW GOOGLE’S MOST INNOVATIVE DEPARTMENT INNOVATES

“Technology is the tool, not the end game. We want to fall in love with a problem, and aim to understand it so deeply that it becomes easier to find fresh new approaches.”

A few weeks ago I profiled Google X leader Astro Teller and now he’s written a post where he shares the operating manual his division uses to develop “moonshot” ideas like self-driving cars.

He explains how their teams approach projects with the assumption of failure and how they determine which of their many ideas to pursue.