I decided to take back up writing because as I was re-doing my resume and preparing for what possibly could be a career transition, I listed all the personal projects that I did. My newsletter, this website and my youtube videos. Add this to the fact that my brother just recently asked me what were my top 3 accomplishments, I felt really proud to put all those things on my CV.
I never really got big in any of those 3 ventures, but there’s still something prideful in writing my thoughts and posting them on the internet. Especially my newsletter. I was at letter #34 when I stopped. 34 weeks of constantly posting something almost non-stop.
Most importantly, it was also a means for me to leave my mark on the internet forever. Whether people will find them later on is an unknown, but I know at least one person who can always go back to them, ME. Just like how I re-read not long ago the few Medium posts I did while I was working at Tactio.
Anyway, this wasn’t really the purpose of this post. Also, for people who are subscribed, feel free to unsubscribe because I’m making this my personal thought space and nothing else. I’m writing for myself, but if you decide to keep me in your subscriptions then thank you in advance 😊.
Thoughts on “How to Start a Business or Podcast From Scratch | Tim Ferriss”
I haven’t always been a fan of Tim Ferriss especially in his earlier days of constant optimizations, but as I consume more and more of his content, I can at least say that I respect his thirst for knowledge and especially his thirst of always wanting to learn more. In the sea of all the internet gurus that I’ve encountered, I truly believe that Tim Ferriss is the one who always want to learn interesting things. He is currently learning how to play the hand pan, which looks hard as hell, but he somehow makes it sound so interesting and fun to learn.
The two most important takeaways that really struck me in his “How to Start a Business” video are his 2nd and 3rd points. I will simply copy/paste the notes from user Ryan Phelps in the comments:
Don’t obsess about becoming as big as possible. Don’t worry about winning “Best of iTunes” or having “100 million downloads”. Just do great work in a category (whether product, service, offering, writing, whatever) that makes you new. “Scale” and “Scaling” are dangerous words. “I CERTAINLY don’t want a gigantic business with 100’s or 1,000’s of employees that I must account for or structure an ORG chart for or manage. Those are not my core strengths nor something I enjoy.” Build the best possible product and explain it simply.
- Read: Small Giants
Scratch your own itch. Don’t make something for an imaginary, hypothetical audience. Particularly one that you don’t really understand. “As a 39 year old single male am I going to make a podcast for single mothers? Well, I could OR I can write a book that I want but doesn’t exist such as The 4 Hour Work Week or make something I want that I cant find such as an audio version of Letters to Seneca. I may not know if others want it but I know at least one person does, ME. And if I can get excited about it and I am excited about it then I bet I can get others excited about it too.” That’s about as sophisticated as planning goes. Scratch your own itch.
Regarding the second point, I simply think this is something I’ve come across multiple times through different formats “Don’t chase fame”, “Don’t chase the money”, “Don’t chase the likes”, etc. This is a reminder for myself to really concentrate on building something great instead of going for the likes, fame, etc. Somehow, no matter how many times I remind myself or come across such passages, I always keep on forgetting. I think it’s simply my human nature of wanting things to become big and reach fame and money. It also has to do with the fact that I am not satisfied with my current situation and that reaching a certain level of money or fame would make things a lot easier. By things I mean having time to think about what to do next or what I truly want to do or how I truly want to live.
All things that are already hard by themselves, but add to it the hardships of a bustling daily life and I find myself with a problem that seems to have no attainable solution. It was still a good reminder that my priority should always be about making a good product / service / offering and that everything will fall into place afterwards OR that I’ll at least have accomplished something that I’m going to be proud of.
The third point is really the one that I have a hard time dealing with.
Mostly because on one part, it was worded in a way that I never thought of. My understanding of this was “hey Nick, you’re always trying to build things for other people or thinking about ideas that will blow up based on what other people want, but why not try thinking about things that you want or that you’d want to use or consume?”. Where, I don’t think it’s the only way of doing things, but it’s a pretty good way of aligning external motivations (I would like to make something to my name) and internal motivations (it’s something useful for myself or that I’d want) and thus would be a good way of motivating myself to actually create something.
The second part that makes it hard for me to deal with is the fact that I simply can’t think of something that I want. Or by digging even deeper than that, I can’t think of a solution to something that I want. This became a very recurring theme for me in past 4 months or ever since I really started thinking about what I’d want as a career. I always came up blank because I simply don’t know what I want. I’ve started taking walks every day (it’s only been 3 days now lol) and even during those moments of solitude I am unable to discern my own voice and the noise created by everything I’ve ever consumed in my life i.e. do I really want that or is it a seed that was planted in my mind by someone or something else.
Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m going to do, make or try next, but I think by combining doing something for myself or that I’d want/use and concentrating on building the best possible product is something that I will definitely try to do.
These next 5 years are supposed to be MY years so might as well make everything about and for myself !