10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Each week I share 10 ideas with my For The Interested newsletter subscribers. Following is this week’s newsletter — sign up here to get future issues.


“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill


This is the 87th edition of the For The Interested newsletter.

I mentioned that to somebody today and it blew their mind, but I barely think about how many I’ve written.

Because the way to do something for 87 of 88 weeks in a row (I skipped my wedding week) is to not think about what it takes to do something for that long.

I focus on each week’s newsletter. Every week.

And when you do that, the rest takes care of itself.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. HOW TO CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA POST 100% OF YOUR FOLLOWERS WILL LIKE

“Rather than post content about a specific topic that at best appeals to 50% of your audience, post content that enables 100% of your audience to project their own personal favorites on to it.”

Most people think the secret to successful social media content is to focus your posts around popular topics related to your niche. But I’ve found a different strategy often performs better.

In this post I explain how to create a social media post 100% of your followers will like and break down how I learned to create posts that are flexible enough to appeal to your entire audience.

2. 12 RULES FOR LIFE, ACCORDING TO A WOMAN WHO JUST TURNED 45-YEARS-OLD

“Always order one extra dish at a restaurant, an unfamiliar one. You might like it, which would be splendid. If you don’t like it, all you lost was a couple of bucks.”

There’s no shortage of people sharing life lessons online these days, but this one’s got some suggestions that go beyond the typical stuff.

Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle’s 12 Rules For Life include to go to the party even when you don’t want to, give people living eulogies instead of just compliments, and give yourself permission to be bad at something because mastery is boredom.

3. HOW TO CREATE A SCHEDULE THAT WORKS FOR YOU

“The most successful people consistently get their most important work done first.”

Most people either under-schedule or over-schedule their day and their work suffers as a result.

Fast Company spoke with several experts to compile a collection of advice on how to create a schedule that works for you.

The tips include to create time bookends to your day, start the day with a full schedule, and set your availability to the minimum amount of time you can (hint: the default time for your meetings doesn’t have to be 60 minutes).

4. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING NON-RACIST AND ANTI-RACIST

“You going to bed with a clear conscience is not going to stop college kids from getting assaulted. You thinking climate change is terrible is not going to stop climate change.”

This two-minute Guardian video is about a lot more than just racism.

Marlon James offers a powerful take on the difference between being non-racist and anti-racist and urges people to take action on the issues they care about as opposed to thinking it’s enough to just be against things.

5. HOW TO CHALLENGE YOUR OWN IDEAS OF FAILURE

“When you make a mistake you have two choices. One is you can accept that the final product is gonna be flawed, and maybe no one will ever see it but you will always see there’s a little hole right there. The other alternative is to start over. And either of those options is totally fine.”

Eve L. Ewing is a poet, author, and sociologist who also happens to have some smart things to say about how to challenge your own ideas of failure as a writer or creative person.

In this Creative Independent interview, she explains that sometimes creators are too quick to assume they’re bad at something when the truth may be they’re just not ready to do it yet.

6. HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL SALES PAGE

“If you find something that makes you really FEEL something — guilty, afraid, or even excited — don’t let it sit buried in some skimmable paragraph. Take a step back and ask yourself, ‘How can I go deeper here?’”

If you sell something, you’re going to want to read this Growth Lab article.

It’s a case study of exactly how a $100,000 sales page is made featuring a step-by-step breakdown of the recent creation of a sales page for an online course called “Teach Yourself Anything.”

The process includes to talk to your potential customers before you write a single word, come up with more ideas than you need, and use the “Guilt Trip Test” to craft emotional copy.

7. HOW TO CREATE A MORE & LESS MONTHLY CHALLENGE

“Each month I selected a new theme: something I would add or subtract to my life for the entire month. I invested each full month to explore and analyze the theme, and my relationship to it.”

I’m a fan of trying different experiments to improve my life (see my Great List experiment I wrote about last week).

I haven’t tried Alex Abelin More & Less Challenge, but it seems like a simple way to make some positive changes in your life.

In 2017, he decided to do more or less of one thing each month and tracked the impact those shifts had on his life. He details the results in this post, including what he learned from spending months doing more good deeds, more sweating, and more journaling, as well as months where he did less spending, social media, and alcohol.

8. CRAFTSMANSHIP IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE FOUR-HOUR WORK WEEK

“To think of a business as a series of hacks and transactional relationships, you’ll never amass the expertise that your future self and future businesses need to succeed.”

Our collective obsession with productivity hacks and passive income is leading many entrepreneurs, businesses and artists to miss a key point — craftsmanship is more important.

Daniel Tawfik makes the point that craftsmanship is the alternative to the four-hour work week mindset and suggests you optimize for the long term and focus on mastery of your craft.

9. HOW FACEBOOK IS KILLING COMEDY

“We’re used to a world where if you put something out there that’s good, people see it and share it. But that’s just not true in this world. Someone can make something really good, and just because of some weird algorithmic reasons, or if it’s not designed specifically for Facebook, it doesn’t do well. And then it becomes impossible to know what a good thing to make is anymore.”

While I don’t 100% agree with everything that’s in this one (it’s not just Facebook’s fault — there are also issues with publishers/creators, advertising-based business models, and audiences), there’s a lot of truth to it.

Matt Klinman, a former Funny or Die employee, tells Splitsider why he believes Facebook is killing comedy and echoes concerns of other publishers about how Facebook’s algorithm has essentially wiped out the opportunities the Internet once offered creators.

It’s an excellent read about how all creative industries (not just comedy) are being impacted by Facebook.

10. WHAT TEENAGERS ARE LEARNING FROM ONLINE PORN

“‘There’s nowhere else to learn about sex,’ the suburban boy told me. ‘And porn stars know what they are doing.’ His words reflect a paradox about sex and pornography in this country. Even as smartphones have made it easier for teenagers to watch porn, sex education in the United States — where abstinence-based sex education remains the norm — is meager.”

This one might blow your mind (no pun intended).

The New York Times magazine spoke to adolescents, educators, and sex researchers for a break down of how online porn is impacting teenagers and they found it’s essentially become the country’s default sex education. Yikes.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Kyle Westaway, Dave Pell, and Ann Friedman — they’re all awesome and worth your time.

The header photo comes from Stefan Cosma.

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Thanks for reading!

Josh

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