Stephen Moore
Writer | Business Insider, Thought Catalog, Forge | Co-Editor of the Post-Grad Survival Guide stephen@sjmblog.com / stephenmoore.substack.com

Wise Words Column

It takes more than being good at writing

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Photo: Burst/Sarah Pflug

I’m a pretty damn good writer. (Based on the handful of people who have said something of the sort. I swear.)

But so are a million other people. It’s a busy space, and we’re all fighting for the attention of the same eyes, vying for clicks, claps, and views in some kind of cyber warfare.

Somehow, despite the crowds, I’ve managed to get myself noticed. I’ve had some super successful articles here on Medium. I’ve been published in premier publications like Business Insider and Forge. I have some promising leads with book publishers and had other exciting opportunities like podcast guest spots. …


Hey post-grads, pre-grads, and everyone in between.

Thanks again for another week of great submissions, and thanks for coming back here day after day to read the stories we publish. This weeks newsletter features some amazing work from some of the best on the platform.

We’ve also been continuing to build our external site, which you can visit here, and filling that with even more must-read content.


This weeks featured stories.

First up, we have this piece from Zulie Rane, on the 3 steps she has taken to earning 6 figures at 25 years old. Yeah… sign us up too!

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“But more than just throwing resources at my hobbies, my financial success came from recognizing that each opportunity led to the next, and from understanding that I may not know what the next stream is for me.”


The power of being a divisive brand

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Image: Crocs/kindPNG

For those about to Croc, we refute you.

This epic slogan was printed on T-shirts sold by the website I Hate Crocs. Yes, Crocs — the strange colorful plastic clogs with holes in them — were hated so much, a whole website was dedicated to “the elimination of Crocs and those who think that their excuses for wearing them are viable.”

Ouch.

It’s easy to see why, though. The shoe breaks every rule in fashion. The color choices are obnoxiously bright, they look horrendous, and when worn on a hot day, they smell even worse. …


Hey post-grads, pre-grads, and everyone in between.

Thanks again for another week of great submissions, and thanks for coming back here day after day to read the stories we publish. As we fly through September, the pub is continuing to see over 1,000,000 minutes read, and over 550,000 views. Amazing stuff!

We really can’t wait to see where we go for the rest of this year. We’ve also been continuing to build our external site, which you can visit here.


This weeks featured stories.

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First up, we have this great read from Sergey Faldin who dives into what he wants to dedicate his twenties to — while acknowledging that if things change, it’s perfectly ok. …


It’s found an unlikely savior in a global pandemic

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Photo: Blue Apron

Whether you’ve used Blue Apron or not, you’ve likely heard of them. The company was the quintessential sound of podcast advertising between 2015 and 2018.

With a frightening level of frequency, host after host blurted out a semi enthusiastic rendition of the advertising script, offering a code to get money off the service, or your first box free.

And it worked… until it didn’t.

Blue Apron began to get a serious foothold in the meal kit delivery market around 2015. In 2016, it delivered over 8 million meals per month and raked in over $1 billion in revenue.

Within just five years of its inception, it was employing 4500 people, and, at its peak, was valued at over 2 billion dollars. …


Hey post-grads, pre-grads, and everyone in between.

Thanks again for another week of great submissions, and thanks for coming back here day after day to read the amazing post-grad content we publish. As we reflect on August, the pub hit over 1,000,000 minutes read, and over 500,000 views — it’s blowing our minds!

We really can’t wait to see where we go for the rest of this year. We’ve also been continuing to build our external site, which you can visit here.

In the meantime…


This weeks featured stories.

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First up, we have this hilarious read from Tab Parker who gives us the real truth behind the budget of a 25-year-old, and it’s sure to be relatable to most of you. …


Talk about a slam dunk

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Image: Dunkin’

Dunkin’ Donuts was the self-proclaimed #1 retailer of donuts in America. The company had over 12,400 stores in 43 countries. It was selling over two billion cups of coffee every year.

And yet, it was fighting to stay relevant.

So in 2019, it went all in.

It dropped its donuts.


A ‘Hole’ New World

Remember Fred the Baker? Way back in the 1980s, Dunkin’ Donuts’ famous ad, Time to Make the Donut, depicted ordinary man Fred’s dedication to making their donuts fresh, all day, every day. Fred was so influential that upon his retirement in the 1990s, the company decided to pivot towards coffee.

YouTube

Follow the basic principles of being a good person and coworker

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Photo: fauxels/Pexels

She couldn’t stop crying.

Every time she looked at me, I could see her eyes welling up, and she would have to take a minute to compose herself. Luckily for me, these were those strange ‘happy sad’ tears.

It was my last shift at a hotel I had given the previous three years of my life too. …


If you can survive this, you can survive anything

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Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

As I type these very words, I can hear a tidal wave of distractions in the background. The constant tapping of a keyboard, the aggressive clicking of a mouse key, the notification dings, email pings, and phone rings.

Not to mention the worst of all.

The intermittent heavy sighing.

Working about 5 meters away from my fiancée is now part of my daily work routine. And this current situation is an improvement. In the initial weeks of lockdown, our setup was almost laughable. We shared a single, round table, that’s barely adequate for one laptop, let alone two and every other tool required for our jobs. …


Wise Words

The answer is the one you don’t want to hear

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Photo: Anna Shvets/Pexels

Let’s start with a home truth about writing — there will be occasional days, or perhaps many days when the process of putting your thoughts into words will be the last thing you want to.

Some of those days will be so grinding to get through that you’ll convince yourself you’d be happy never to type or write another word again in your life.

As I type this right now, I’m having one of those days.

So yeah, ironically, I’ve resorted to writing about not wanting to write.

Many writers have great techniques to keep their content flowing, and their consistency is commendable. …


Hey post-grads, pre-grads, and everyone in between.

Thanks again for another week of great submissions, and thanks for coming back here day after day to read the amazing post-grad content we publish. The pub currently has over 1,000,000 minutes read — it’s blowing our minds!

We really can’t wait to see where we go for the rest of this year.

In the meantime…


This weeks featured stories.

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First up, we have a great read from Jessica Wildfire, in which she asks you to drop your happiness script for a minute and look at your life the way her brother — the so called loser — would. …


You’ll work up to 20,000 hours in your 20s, so do something you love

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Photo: Reshot/Nina Photographer

It’s important that you work a job you love for many reasons, but none more so than the fact you will spend up to 20,000 hours working in your 20s.

20,000 hours.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

When I read that, I nearly choked on my cornflakes. …


3 questions to help you answer this difficult thought

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Photo: Keegan Houser/Pexels

I feared Coronavirus would kill my business. And it did — though not the way I assumed it would.

When you offer design, manufacture and install of interiors, and your main clientele is the hospitality sector — the industry that is currently shut, or working at low capacity — it was easy to see the writing on the wall.

And yet, the business is still alive, though, in what form is currently unclear. …


Wise Words

Deleting your account isn’t the answer

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Photo: Burst/Matthew Henry

“The first two pieces of writing I’ve ever produced didn’t get curated. I’m clearly in the ‘curation jail.’ There’s nothing I can do but delete my account and start again.”

Sigh.

I wish I had only seen this line of thinking once, but the truth is, I’ve seen it hundreds of times. Everything about it is so backward, it’s hard to know where to start.

Writing of any sort is a tough gig, and it’s fiercely competitive. Getting your head above the crowd long enough to be seen, let alone acknowledged, is a challenge.

When you start, you start at the bottom. There’s no queue of clients eagerly waiting for you to chose them. There’s no immediate mass following ready to drink in every word you publish. It takes graft, commitment, and consistency, and that’s just to get one foot off the ground. …


They blew $120 million for what you can do with your hands

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Photo: Courtesy of Juicero

The Juicero was an interesting concept. It was a Wi-Fi-connected, cold-pressed juicer, priced at $700, that looked like the love child of an alien spacecraft and an Apple product.

The product was marketed as a modern solution to healthy living — “raw, plant-based nutrition” — with a lot less mess and a lot more convenience.

As Atlantic writer, Derek Thompson put it best. “To review: Juicero cuts up fruits and vegetables and sells them to consumers, who drink the produce in liquid form. …


Hey post-grads, pre-grads, and everyone in between.

Thanks again for another week of great submissions, and thanks for coming back here day after day to read the amazing post-grad content we publish. It means the world!

We recently updated our guidelines, so before you next submit, take a read of them to give yourself the best shot of getting published!

In the meantime…


This weeks featured stories.

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First up, we have a great read from Rebecca Murauskas, in which she talks about when she decided to live life on her own terms, and how she did just that.

“The heaviest question, the one that took my breath, was, if money, time, and resources didn’t matter — what would I do?”


Hey post-grads, pre-grads, and everyone in between.

Thanks again for another week of great submissions, and thanks for coming back here day after day to read the amazing post-grad content we publish. It means the world!

We recently updated our guidelines, so before you next submit, take a read of them to give yourself the best shot of getting published!

In the meantime…


This weeks featured stories.

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First up, we have a great piece for Darby Days with a strong message: Time flies — so get your finances together with these top 3 investments.

“the most important thing to remember from this piece is that you are completely capable of becoming financially-informed and comfortable.”


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Photo: Reshot

I’m not that guy who became a millionaire by 25.

I’m not that guy who has managed to build up thousands in savings or a retirement fund, nor have I figured out the secret to investing.

I’m not even that guy who makes an ‘average’ salary.

I’m just a guy who gets by comfortably enough through the various plates I have spinning around me. Put it this way — if you saw my bank balance, it wouldn’t make you green with envy.

I spent many years of my life post-graduation building a company I co-founded. During that journey, there were many spells in which the income dipped to some pretty extreme lows. My bank account resembled a barren desert with some tumbleweed blowing around in the wind. When I read over my statements to sort out my tax returns, some of it made grim reading. Thankfully, as I began writing and took on an editorial role at a publication, my wage is at least up to living standards these days. …


What I wish they had taught me in school

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Image: Stocksnap/Bruce Mars

Every single one of us has made mistakes that haven’t shown us in the best light. When we reflect on them, they make us shudder with embarrassment and guilt.

In my lifetime, I’ve made more than I can count. But one, in particular, is etched in my memory. After some underage drinking, none of us were willing to go back to our own homes in fear of repercussions. So, in a panic, we called our friend who had the thing we needed so badly at that moment: parents who didn’t give a shit if we were drinking or not.

He point-blank refused. …


An ode to a piece of technology that has been through it all

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Photo: Sergey Zolkin/Unsplash

The year was 2011, when you came into my life.

It wasn’t without difficulty, however. My parents weren’t convinced by you, adamant that you were too expensive, and they found plenty of potential suitors at a more reasonable cost. …


Hey post-grads, pre-grads, and everyone in between.

Thanks again for another week of great submissions, and thanks for coming back here day after day to read the amazing post-grad content we publish. It means the world!

We recently updated our guidelines, so before you next submit, take a read of them to give yourself the best shot of getting published!

In the meantime…


This weeks featured stories.

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First up, Ashley Cleland, M.Ed.


In a world where we rent out planes for Instagram photos, something has to change

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Photo: Matthew Henry/Burst

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar.

Someone around you, family, friend, partner, is scrolling through a social media feed. Their focus is completely transfixed as they swipe past beautiful people on beaches, incredible homes and interiors, exclusive travel locations, rich people doing rich people things, and so much more.

Tired of being ignored, you ask them, “Do you know any of these people?”

They will reply, “No.”

You respond with the question, “So why do you follow them?”

They will likely have no answer.

And yet, it’s clear they can’t help themselves from endlessly scrolling through the images. They can’t stop comparing their life to those of strangers, the influencers, and the famous, despite realizing it’s making them more depressed by the second. …


Wise Words

Notes from the Editor

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Photo: Carlina Teteris/Getty

“Can you please give me a reason for why you rejected my article?”

As an editor of a popular online publication, I’m asked that question at least once a day.

First off, I get it. When you write something, it can be hard to see the sky through the clouds. It’s your work. As you’ve put a lot of time and effort (well, that’s true for most cases), you’re proud of it, believe in it, and assume it’s good enough to be published.

Hell, you may even expect it to be published.

To have somebody say, “thanks, but no thanks,” sucks. I know, because I’ve been there many times. My work has been rejected more times than I can count, sometimes so quickly, I don’t even believe the editors opened my submission up. …


Hey post-grads, pre-grads, and everyone in between.

Thanks again for another week of great submissions, and thanks for coming back here day after day to read the amazing post-grad content we publish. It means the world!

We recently updated our guidelines, so before you next submit, take a read of them to give yourself the best shot of getting published!

In the meantime…


This weeks featured stories.

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First up, we’re excited to launch the first part of Itxy Lopez’s 15-minute guide, How to work hard in your 20s (and still have a life). 20-somethings want to kick butt they also don’t want to lose their 20s to work. It begs the question: how can we work fewer hours, but still get things done? …


Ask yourself, who would you give an organ to?

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Photo: Fernanda Publio/Burst

When I was growing up, my friends meant everything to me, and, likely in service of my ego, I had lots of them. I had childhood friends. Skatepark friends. High school friends. Music scene friends. Older friends. Younger friends.

The bigger, the better, right?

As university approached, I was confronted with the sudden realization that most of us were about to go to different cities, experience new environments, and meet new people. I was confident my friendships would survive this challenge.

But more times than I can remember, my dad would shit on my parade.

He’d say to me, “Son, your high school friends won’t be your friends forever.” His assumption was based on his own experiences. I would relent. He clearly didn’t have friendships as strong as mine. Each time we had this conversation, I’d shout back with something like, “Shut up, Dad, you don’t know that!” Then I’d run off to my room. …

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