10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“Serendipity always rewards the prepared.”

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.


“Serendipity always rewards the prepared.” — Katori Hall


You never know what it may lead to.

I encourage people to create and share things with the world because I see the opportunities that emerge as a result of doing so.

This week, a reporter from NBC News in Houston contacted me to discuss a post I had written months ago about how I stopped checking my phone so much.

She interviewed me and a couple days later, this was the result.

Things like this won’t always happen — they’re not guaranteed for me or you.

But they might.

You’ll never know until you create and share something with the world.

I hope you will.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. HOW TO MAKE YOUR NEXT BLOG POST BETTER

“What will you say about your topic that others can’t, don’t or haven’t? This question forces you to hone in on what you have to offer that’s not already out there — and doing that makes your post infinitely more valuable.”

I’ve been testing out a new system to improve my blog posts and this one explains exactly how it works.

It’s a list of eight questions to ask yourself before you write your next blog post that will help you hone your idea and present it in a way that gives it a great chance to succeed.

The questions include what problem will your post solve, what’s the core idea in one sentence, and how will your post further your overall goal.

2. WHAT YOU GAIN WHEN YOU LEARN TO SPEAK LAST

“You will be told your whole life that you need to learn to listen. I would say you need to learn to be the last to speak.”

We usually can’t wait to share our thoughts. But, if you can fight that temptation, you may unlock some incredible opportunities.

In this one-minute video Simon Sinek explains why you should always try to be the last to speak.

He suggests doing so accomplishes two powerful things — it allows everybody else to feel they’ve been heard and gives you the benefit of having heard what everybody else thinks before rendering your opinion.

3. HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR NEWSFEED

“If you are relying on social newsfeeds to be updated, you are shutting yourself out from a wealth of information that makes you much more objectively informed, smarter, and productive.”

We’ve become dependent on our newsfeeds and no matter what your social platform of choice may be, the chances are your newsfeed is failing you.

Richard Bertin shares four steps to improve your newsfeed including to realize your feed is failing you, develop a habit of purposeful web browsing, and balance your news sources.

4. HOW TO BECOME MORE PRODUCTIVE BY FOCUSING ON JUST ONE HABIT

“The habit you should initially focus on is the first habit in your day with a lot of potential to go sideways. It’s usually easy to identify if you just think about your usual progression of mornings for a few minutes. The habit you’re looking for marks a turning point in your day.”

Are you trying to develop too many habits at once?

Niklas Goeke suggests an alternate approach and believes you can become more productive by focusing on a single habit.

He shares a simple morning routine he’s constructed to run on “autopilot” and explains how it ensures the first half of his day is productive, which in turn almost always makes the second half of his day productive.

5. HOW TO WRITE EMAILS LIKE LOUIS CK

“Louie manages to write to his fans in a way that seems far more personal than the marketing messages that promote other entertainers in his class. The genius of his approach is that he’s using email the way a politician does — a mock-personalized approach to reach and influence a huge mass audience — only he does it with a level of credibility and authenticity that politicians never quite capture.”

There’s a lot you can learn from Louis CK — even if you’re not a comedian.

The Atlantic shares an interesting analysis of how he writes emails to his fans and breaks down why they’re effective tools to help him market his work and connect with his fans.

6. LOOK OUTSIDE YOUR INDUSTRY TO FIND INSPIRATION

“Figure out what objects and places inspire you and immerse yourself in them. Pay attention to those details. Then, instead of imitating competitors, you just might find your voice.”

Most companies in most fields look to each other and their competitors for inspiration. That’s why so many things wind up looking and feeling the same.

Jason Fried suggests an alternate route. He explains why you should look elsewhere to find inspiration and recommends you venture beyond the business world to find inspiration in everything from nature to chairs to fuel a truly unique idea in your industry.

7. THE MOST SUCCESSFUL KIDS HAVE PARENTS WHO DO THESE 9 THINGS

“Let them fail. Children who have experienced defeat will build resilience and be more willing to attempt difficult tasks and activities because they are not afraid to fail.”

This will either help you figure out how not to screw your kids up or you can send it to your parents to inform them about how they screwed you up.

Inc. breaks down the nine things parents do that help their kids succeed based on scientific research including to eat dinner as a family, read to them, and make them work.

8. 20 SECRETS TO GETTING MORE PEOPLE TO SEE YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS

“A big piece of the organic reach puzzle is competition. You have to fight for the attention of your audience. Want to know the best way to always be ahead of your competitors? Find your differentiating factor and flaunt it. Both your visual and written content should stand out.”

If you want to know how to get more people to see your Facebook posts, give this one a read.

Neil Patel shares a lengthy breakdown of 20 secrets to boost your organic reach on Facebook including to focus on providing value, use organic post targeting, and publish evergreen content.

For more on the subject, check out my explanation of how I doubled the reach of my Facebook posts without spending any money.

9. HOW DIGITAL ADVERTISING GOT OUT OF CONTROL

“Facebook and Google’s advertising infrastructure is one of humanity’s most marvelous creations. It’s also one of its most terrifying, because, in truth, pretty much no one really understands how it works.”

This is an important read if you work in the advertising business, and an even more important one if you don’t.

John Battelle offers an overview of how Facebook and Google’s advertising business became so dominant, the impact their methods have had on the world, and how it’s spun out of control.

10. DOES FINDING YOUR DREAM JOB REALLY MATTER?

“There’s a lot of pressure in life to not only know what your dream job is, but to also succeed at doing it.”

I don’t want to tell you too much about this video other than I bet you’ll enjoy it.

It’s a talk from Nik Daum at a recent Creative Mornings event on the subject of serendipity — or as Nik titles it, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

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Thanks for reading!

Josh

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