Arnold: On Being Useful
I made time to watch a bit of the new Arnold Schwarzenegger documentary on Netflix last weekend. It was good. And to be honest, motivating. I’m not sure I can recall another person who has been at the pinnacle of success in three different fields: bodybuilding, acting and politics.
If there is a theme in the documentary, it’s about moving forward. Everything Arnold talks about concerning success is about the continuous ability to move forward. Have a failure? It’s in the past, move forward. Feeling depressed, let’s move forward.
Toward the end of the documentary, Arnold spent some time talking about getting older (he’s 75 now and still looks like he’s in amazing shape). He says this:
“Some people take seminars about how to feel better, but I always tell people, stay busy, be useful.”
Be useful. I like that. And I believe he’s right, especially as my wife and I have begun to spend more and more time around older family members who, to be honest, are simply just existing.
Outside of the fact that the documentary is extremely pro-Arnold, it’s a worthy watch.
Two thumbs up.
Say What It Is
I received a link to a marketing-related event. I clicked on it.
When is it? I couldn’t find the dates. Where is it? Couldn’t find that either.
Lots of information about speakers and fun, but if I don’t know when and where it is. Not very helpful.
Later, I received an email from a content creator looking to go full-time. They still have a full-time job, but they want to do the content entrepreneur thing. They asked me to take a quick look and wanted to know what I thought.
I went to their newsletter landing page.
I saw the sign up and the box to submit my email. It said it was an enewsletter. Other than that, I had no idea what I was signing up for.
Okay, great. You told me “what” it was. A newsletter. I can conjure up lots of thoughts about what that could mean.
But…here is what I want to know.
First, the who. Who is this newsletter for? Is it for content creators or for people who like koala bears. I simply don’t know.
What. Yes, you will be sending me electronic words. But the what I’m looking for is the substance. What’s in it? Information about how to disarm a nuclear bomb or the latest reviews from obscure movies that don’t hit the major theaters. Be specific.
When. If I sign up, when will I receive this email with words? Every day, once a week, once a month, whenever you feel like it? There is no wrong answer unless there is no answer.
So I tried, as politely as I could without showing my frustration, that I had questions about the signup – basically, what are you sending me? Who is this for? Why is this relevant to me? What will I get out of it? When are you going to send this to me?
At minimum, that’s what’s needed if I’m going to decide to subscribe or not.
You’d be surprised how often this happens. Could this be happening to you?
(Heck, we received a graduation party announcement in the mail that didn’t include the time.)
Look at your landing pages where you are asking people to do something. Got an event? What is it? Where is it? When is it? Before you get to all the marketing fluff, just say what it is.
Same with your newsletter signup.
Or your course.
Or your book.
Or your webinar.
Schedule one hour in your calendar this week and promise yourself you’ll do a nice little audit of your stuff. Figuring this out will make everything else you do that much easier.
The First Three
The first three hours of the day are the most important.
But most people are putting themselves at a severe disadvantage with something like this scenario:
1. Wake up to alarm on smartphone
2. Grab the phone
3. Look at email or social media
Srinivas Rao contests that spending morning time on the Internet or your smartphone is like eating donuts and candy for breakfast…productivity the rest of the day is either challenging or impossible.
Rao suggests a couple of ideas:
1. Don’t use your devices on the morning
2. Read books, not the internet
3. Do one hour of deep work (totally uninterrupted time)
I have found that the most successful people I know follow this daily. It’s challenging, but it works.
P.S. – one thing I haven’t done yet (but will) is replace my iPhone alarm with an old school clock alarm.
For more on Rao’s work, check out this article (still a great read).
ChatGPT for Autistic People
As most of you know, our oldest was diagnosed on the autism spectrum when they were two years old (they are now 21…how time flies?).
So finding this article on how some on the spectrum are using ChatGPT is simply fascinating.
Sometimes autistic people get into situations where they don’t know exactly what to say or how to act. Simply asking someone for advice can be overwhelming to someone with autism.
Enter ChatGPT therapy.
Now autistic people can type in a situation and ask the AI tool for guidance. While not at all perfect (and sometimes including the wrong answer), ChatGPT is filling a needed hole for these individuals.
We are at such early stages with this, but I already know a number of people who have regular conversations with ChatGPT about all sorts of topics. The movie Her is not too far away.