🥂 Toast to 2021: 5 Lessons on Hardwork, Creativity & Success
Today’s issue is a deep dive into 5 lessons that 2021 taught me.
Hey-o Newsletter Fam, today you’re joining almost 19k+ founders and entrepreneurs curious about building an online voice. If you enjoy reading the Personal Brand Brief, forward it to a friend. ✉️
What’s brewing today? ☕
How to stay true to your New Year’s resolutions
The secret to never running out of creativity
How to be invincible at what you do
New Year’s is around the corner. So I wanted to spin back some memories from 2021.
Since I want you to be with family this week, I’m keeping it short and snappy.
Let’s jump in.
1. Working Smart > Working Hard
Would you say fishing in a lake with no fish is a waste of time?
Then so is spending time on a project that no one cares about or needs.
Lesson: If effort is not focused in the right direction, it’s a waste of energy transfer.
Teachers and mentors won’t tell you that, but anyone that’s rigorous about execution will.
So what’s the hack to find the right direction?
“Build something your community is asking for.”
Build feedback loops into your eyes and ears to catch existing problems 👂
Or watch for big waves taking over industries.
Quick story: A month back something struck me while I was drumming up ideas for another newsletter that I write. Thanksgiving was around the corner and I knew 95% of people wouldn’t have the time to read through a long newsletter.
So, instead of working 10 hours on a newsletter no one read, I emailed my team, shortened it down and wrote no more than 50 words.
I played the cards I was dealt to my advantage and made time for more projects I could work on that had stronger alignment. No one complained, everyone was happy, and I saved myself 10 hours of work.
Two questions that I’m revisiting every month to set some perspective are:
What would I kill from my list if I only had 6 months to reach my goals?
What should be the time/result ROI of the project I’m working on?
2. Daily Reps >> Yearly Goals
A lot of people set new years' goals which is great.
90% of people drop their NY goals by February, which is not great.
It’s a shame all of those Moleskine books get wasted…
A while back, I flipped the NY goal equation. Instead of building lofty one liner goals, I did this:
Turned my yearly goal into a daily rep
Grabbed a friend and put money on the line
Each week we’d check in and pay up where we fell short
By the end of the year, I knew how much money I lost and how many times I failed.
Instead of racing against motivation, I raced against my bank account which makes completing my goals 100x more inspiring
I hit 85% of my goals in 2021 and dropped none of them in February.
I targeted 20 goals around career, writing, health, travel, etc. but since each of them had a daily process or an end result they were easy to evaluate if it was a pass/fail.
I find greatness is *actually* the result of consistent reps, not some once-in-a-lifetime change you make. Without constant iteration and feedback loops, no lifetime change will be discovered.
The vision for success starts in your 5 or 10-year plan and is achieved through daily outputs.
As Shane Parrish very rightly said,
3. Curiosity Is Your Endless Fuel ⛽
Let me share a little secret that every self-help book doesn’t want you to know:
Curiosity is your best motivation.
Requires no wifi
Fully remote and flexible
Agnostic of industry or age
And realllyyyy contagious 🤝
When you tune into the right people - podcasts, tweets, books - you can tap into an unparalleled curiosity that can drive forward any idea you have.
4. Choose One-To-Many Over One-To-One
Instead of building for one, build for many.
The amount of energy we spend on one person can be directed towards creating something that many people can derive value from.
A good example is doing podcasts over one-on-one coffee chats.
Or creating a Loom video instead of having your sales rep screenshare demos every day of the week.
More and more people are inclined towards the one-to-many idea and are leveraging media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, e-books, podcasts, Gumroad, Shopify, etc.
Any platform with viral network effects has this theory weaved into it.
But what exactly happens when you help many people vs just one person: you get quicker traction and it allows you to build a community.
I’ve been doing the same with my newsletter, Maven Course, and LinkedIn content. Steal the hack if you like it.
I love a good 1-1 coffee chat, but the pandemic has pushed me to utilize more of the one-to-many framework and it is proving to be more impactful.
5. The Power Of Collaboration: Bringing On New Talent
Building a world-class team that thinks creatively, challenges ideas, and gets jazzed about projects was one of the most exciting things I did this year.
Behind any great result is a smart team.
And I’d be a poor newsletter writer not to call them out for their hard work.
So, here we go:
Monique, thanks for helping lead the charge on multiple projects, Maven classes, and newsletter topics. Your creativity is infectious and your eye for grammar is out of this world. Thanks for journeying with me and making every step of the process enjoyable.
Sakshi, your curiosity, consistency, and drive for results is inspiring. Thanks for being a driving force with every project you take on. You make everyone around you shine brighter and l appreciate your constant focus on incremental improvements.
Sakshi and Monique have both been key pillars in making this weekly newsletter a reality. So here’s me sending a virtual congrats for a hell of a year:
I’m ending 2021 on a note of gratitude for everything this year has been.
Wishing y’all a joy-filled and meaningful 2022.
Stay safe, stay curious, and go build something that scares you.
💡RIFF OF THE DAY
Remember to let loose and have fun over the holidays. We all need it.
Thanks for reading! I try hard to make it a newsletter you look forward to each week, so if you have any suggestions about content you’d like to see or ideas that sparked, let me know.
Stay outta’ trouble and catch you next week.
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