Feedback from the Previous Random
Thank you all so much for your feedback on the previous issue of The Random. Many of you will be happy to know that we are to keep going “as is” with the newsletter. That means I’ll continue to share, well, whatever I want and not tie this to my business directly.
That said, I am going to publish most of this newsletter over on LinkedIn as a test run and see how it goes.
With TikTok most likely facing a ban (or a sale to a US-based company) and Twitter not knowing what they want to be right now, 2023 should be a growth year for YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
I’m betting that LinkedIn gets much more attention in 2023 … thus … my current strategy.
My plan is to post at least once per day on LinkedIn, and comment on five to 10 posts of others per day. The goal? To build up my two email newsletters (The Tilt and The Random) and drive content creators and marketers to Creator Economy Expo.
I’ll keep you posted on how it works (or doesn’t).
One of my favorite books of all time is “A Man Called Ove.” I recently learned that the book has been turned into a movie, “A Man Called Otto,” starring Tom Hanks. Apparently, the movie is to be released in the next few weeks. Here’s the official trailer. Fingers crossed that this is good.
The Day After Tomorrow
Like many around the country, Cleveland, Ohio was near zero degrees with plenty of snow most of the week. As I looked out the window, eyeing the snow drifts and frigid temperatures, I had a longing desire to watch the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” starring Dennis Quaid.
I went over and asked Chat GPT for a one-sentence description of the movie for you:
The Day After Tomorrow is a science fiction disaster film about a catastrophic global climate change event caused by global warming, which leads to a new ice age and mass destruction.
Anyway, there is a scene where a group of teenagers and adults are waiting out the big storm at the New York Public Library, desperately trying to keep warm by burning books. As they wait longer and are unsure they will survive, the character played by Emmy Rossum says to Jake Gyllenhaal’s character:
Everything I’ve ever cared about, everything I’ve worked for… has all been preparation for a future that no longer exists. I know you always thought I took the competition too seriously. You were right. It was all for nothing.
For some reason those lines really hit me. So many of us (including me) are focused on the wrong things. So many of us spend too much time engaging in content (TikTok anyone?) or activities that don’t make us better people or impact the world in a positive way.
The rest of this sentimental newsletter comes from that thought.
What Do You Want to be Known for?
It’s the end of the year, so of course you’ve been inundated with every goal setting and prediction piece of content available. Hopefully, you’ve pushed many of these aside to focus on time with family and friends. Maybe de-stress a bit?
I generally do the opposite. Of course, I love spending time with family and friends, but I feel like a clenched ball inside trying to figure out what I’m going to focus on next year (I know … I have issues).
I take this time very seriously.
It reminds me of the famous story when Bill Gates met Warren Buffett.
Bill Gates did not want to meet Warren Buffett. He did not think they’d have anything in common. But at the urging of Meg Greenfield (the Washington Post editor at the time) they met on July 5th, 1991. Gates was nervous and was dreading the meeting.
Greenfield gave both a sheet of paper and asked each to write down the one word that is their key to success. Both, as it happened, wrote down the same word.
From that day, the two became best friends.
Now hold that thought for a second.
Almost a decade ago I read The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. The TL;DR is that focus is indeed king for success to happen … and then they outline a bunch of tactics on how to become a focused person.
In a section of the book the authors talk about sports phenoms such as Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps. Specifically, it was about how talented they were at MANY sports, but they decided to focus on being great at one thing (Woods at golf and Phelps at swimming).
They didn’t just excel. They dominated.
Among the many reasons why is that they CHOSE what they wanted to be known for.
Ask yourself this question:
What do I want to be known for?
This is easier said than done. I’ve contemplated this idea more than most, and it’s sometimes exhausting asking yourself, over and over, the question “what have I been put on this earth to do?”
I believe we can do this by breaking the idea up into smaller, specific parts, for our jobs … our families … the way we think.
For example, let’s pretend you are a marketer 😉. You are trying to choose between more focus on social media or more on content creation for your marketing? If you choose content creation, you can put social media to the side…but don’t stop there. Drill down on content creation. Let’s say you need to choose between TikTok videos and your email newsletter. You choose email newsletter.
You just decided to focus on creating and distributing the industry’s leading email newsletter in 2023. Excellent. But that still feels overwhelming, so break it down even more.
To create an amazing newsletter, you decide that’s going to take three original, thought-provoking articles per week. Are three articles per week specific enough? No.
Let’s say each article is 1000 words. That’s 3,000 words a week.
Dividing that by five business days, you have 600 words per day.
So, to dominate your market, you need to write 600 words a day.
Excellence = 600 words per business day. Anyone can do that, right?
Okay, let’s take personal financing. You are worried you haven’t saved well enough to this point and need a million dollars someday in order to live well into your retirement.
Let’s say you are 40 years old and want to reach this goal before you are 70. You’ve saved $25,000 so far.
Okay, break it down.
At an average 10 percent return per year, you’ll need $4,500 put into your stock market account per year. That may seem overwhelming.
You can break that down to $375 per month or around $35 per day.
At least now you can make the lifestyle decisions you need to and then focus on the goal.
You can do that with each one of your core categories. What’s your ONE thing for each category.
What do I want to be known for in business?
How’s my health? What can I do better?
How about my family? How do I find more quality time?
What about charitable goals? Is there a cause I should align with?
What financial goals do I want to tackle?
How can I keep my mind fresh?
When you run through each of these questions, the output should be one specific thing you can do each day to accomplish your focused goals. It might look something like this.
Write 600 words per business day.
Walk two miles per day.
Spend one hour without devices with my family per day.
Raise $5,000 for my charity once per quarter.
Put aside $35 per day into my retirement account.
Read 20 minutes every day.
I recommend using an app like HabitBull to keep track of your daily/weekly/monthly goals.
This is the type of focus that at the same time keeps you incredibly well rounded as a human being.
If you keep to this, you’ll look back at 2023 as a huge success.
How to Make Decisions
Ben Meer is a great person to follow on LinkedIn. Every few days he talks about systems that help you improve your life.
This one on making decisions caught my eye.
Normalize “no” as you default answer for everything.
Whether it’s new work projects or social gatherings, saying “yes” to non-priorities ruins your priorities.
If it’s not an overwhelming YES, it’s a no.
Rented Land Strikes Back
Twitter seems to be working on its own idea of focus for 2023. A few weeks ago they announced that they were killing their enewsletter product Revue. Revue was a newsletter service like Substack, but could be integrated into a Twitter profile and timeline. Newsletters could be free, paid or a combination.
Can creators move to another platform from their paid Revue newsletter? Sure they can, but accomplishing this is easier said than done. How many subscribers will want to move with the content creator and pay to another platform? A small percentage.
Just another friendly reminder that any revenue generated from content on a third-party platform is fleeting at best. Do your homework and consider the next platform VERY carefully.
Thanks for reading this edition of The Random. Just a reminder that the next pricing deadline for Creator Economy Expo is coming up soon. CEX is May 1st to 3rd at the Cleveland Convention Center. If you are building a business as a content creator, this is the event for you.