I write to express. Find me on Medium + Ladders + Beyond Definition. Here’s my (not about the news) newsletter → jonahmalin.com/barelyweekly

The “professional” networking platform feels pretty unprofessional lately

Women in a suit
Women in a suit

I just blocked someone on LinkedIn for the first time. Tim Denning explained my reasoning best: “I know blocking is bad, but I’ve been left with no choice.”

It started when I noticed a common trend with posts dominating my feed. They all looked exactly the same.

Heres’ the template:

  • Tell us when you failed.
  • Tell us how you failed.
  • Explain why the world is working against you.
  • Explain why that failure was the best thing ever.
  • Hey, now you’ve made it big time!

I no longer see updates from my co-workers. Or articles from fellow writers. It’s all a recycling bin of the same content over and over again, providing very basic (and obvious) “value” borrowed from someone else. …

How to see the potential in every situation.

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Since the beginning of our existence, humans have collected quotes teaching us how to question, how to live, how to love, and how to think.

As a writer and a reader, I have long been fascinated by quotes — they guide us through complex moments in life with direct, applicable solutions. While many feed off quotes for quick hits of inspiration, continued application is how you turn these short sayings and thoughts into action.

Over the years, I’ve built a commonplace book to remember and categorize my favorites. It’s become an immensely beneficial habit. …

The smallest shifts mold the smartest people.

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What makes someone intelligent?

Is it the ability to recall facts? Being an expert test-taker? Reading two hundred books a year?

Honestly, true intelligence requires a holistic approach. The smartest people are experts at navigating life through learned experiences. They have good judgment in different situations. And, most importantly, intelligent people understand actions speak louder than words.

They don’t need to prove anything by telling us how smart they are.

Their intelligence is displayed by solving problems with abstract thinking, listening before speaking, learning new skills, and being emotionally self-aware.

Fortunately, intelligence is often the result of your willingness to evolve — not just environmental factors. Improving your capacity to think clearly is a skill anyone can embrace. …

On the surprising short-term benefits, picking the right one, and why I’ll use it again.

Hand in mirror reaching for supplement
Hand in mirror reaching for supplement

Health is confusing.

Reading about it as much as I do while living a very fitness-focused lifestyle, I find myself overwhelmed by all of the available supplements out there. Half of them are littered with buzzwords and the other half tell you what they don’t include (dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, etc.) before revealing their actual ingredients.

This has made me a relatively skeptical consumer.

But my levels of stress have been steadily increasing since March. I am excessively worrying, feeling unraveled throughout the day, and struggling to sleep. …

From accountability tools to adaptogen supplements, here’s everything you need to stay on track in the New Year.

woman holding yoga mat and water bottle
woman holding yoga mat and water bottle

Consumer behavior has changed a lot during the pandemic.

Like many, I found myself shopping for things I’d never cared about before. My partner and I went through a home improvement phase to upgrade our living space followed by aesthetic tweaks in the kitchen.

Seemingly overnight, another category feeding this newfound impulsive habit emerged. From lifestyle influencers to friends and family, everyone wanted to improve their “self-care.”

Go on Instagram and you’ll find thousands of #selfcare images promoting an idyllic lifestyle: sunrise coffees backdropped by nature and camper vans, exfoliating masks, pills and powders in colorful packaging.

A frugal shopper at heart, I’ve long been skeptical about self-care.

But when traditional advice like “go for a walk” stopped working, I started researching alternative solutions. …

3 self-inflicted mistakes you’re making

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Let me tell you a quick story.

About a year ago, while working as a content marketing supervisor, I was approached by one of our founders. He is an incredible salesman who believes success in one aspect of business made him a thought leader.

This individual wanted to know why the president of a competitor had such a large and engaged social following, despite doing far less in sales than our organization.

Within minutes of research, the answer was obvious:

  • The other individual was constantly engaging with industry leaders on LinkedIn, replying to comments, and leaving thoughtful questions on posts.
  • The other individual published a bi-weekly newsletter roundup, distributed for free to his network. …

You are worth more than experience

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I got my first taste of freelancing over email.

“Hey, my partner and I love your writing style! Would you be interested in setting up a call to talk about doing some writing for our small business?”

Of course, I took the call.

Thirty minutes in, I agreed to write an article for them. I had never been in this situation before and considered it the beginning of a working relationship. They talked the talk. Promised more work down the line. We even discussed rates.

I spent three days on that article, meticulous with every word. Their business was in a market I knew nothing about, which meant several hours of research. I didn’t care — this was the start of my freelance journey. …

I spoke with Minna Khounlo-Sithep, Co-Owner of The Product Boss — here’s what she told me about entrepreneurship

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“Scrappy and creative will set you apart.”

Those were the words Minna Khounlo-Sithep, Co-Owner of The Product Boss, left me with after a recent phone call. Despite nearly 40 minutes of thoughtful commentary on the state of small businesses and the strategies she offers clients to help them grow, this comment stuck.

It’s such an elegantly simple piece of advice in a world that’s anything but straightforward.

Yet, as Minna explained, now is the time to look forward not back. Consumers have headline fatigue. They know the world has changed. They're ready for 2021 — for the better days ahead. The small businesses that are positioned to thrive next year aren’t waiting around for things to be normal again— they have “boots on the ground” to bring experiences to their customers. …

An update to ColdPressed submission guidelines, a call for new writers, and a promise to grow this publication together.

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Friends, thank you to everyone who has contributed to ColdPressed so far.

A few weeks ago, I was laying in bed at 1 AM trying to fall asleep. While I tossed around in the darkness as one does, my mind wouldn’t shut off. It was one of those quarantine moments where everything came to a head at once in the worst possible way— stress, anxiety, and looming questions wondering if I was doing enough with my life.

For some reason, I couldn’t shake the guilt of letting this publication fall to the wayside. I started ColdPressed as a passion project of sorts in 2019 for one reason: because I am obsessed with health & wellness, and I wanted to share my opinions with the world. At the time, I didn’t see a place on Medium for the everyday person to write about wellness. …

And why you need to fix them immediately

One woman whispers into another’s ear.
One woman whispers into another’s ear.

If I’ve learned anything in my seven years of marketing experience, it’s that there isn’t a perfect formula for success. Marketing is about striking a delicate balance between art and science, which looks different for every organization.

Yet, marketing teams copy each other. They jump on trends late and ride them until they're stale. Why? Because a lot of marketers are stuck on the big ideas that worked in the industry decades ago.

There’s often an absence of imagination as a result of becoming too comfortable in their ways. …

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