Publish everything, promote selectively

I’d previously corresponded with a prominent author who had dabbled with writing every day. They concluded that the practice wasn’t for them—they weren’t capable of developing a good new idea every day, which would reach hundreds of thousands of readers.  This stood out in contrast to my recommended approach, which is to make a lot […]

Beginner’s luck

From Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist: “It’s called the principle of favorability. When you play cards the first time, you are almost sure to win. Beginner’s luck…. Because there is a force that wants you to realize your Personal Legend; it whets your appetite with a taste of success.” Then, much later: “It seemed as if […]

It wouldn’t be the same without you

The title was inspired by some words I saw on the pavement near the Flatiron building a few weeks ago. I didn’t write down who wrote it, though it clearly made an impact. My life—and I’m guessing dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands, of others—wouldn’t be the same without them. Some quotes that have […]

Aiming high vs. aiming low

There’s a saying attributed to Norman Vincent Peale, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” The idea is, by aiming high, even if you fall short of your expectations, you will land further than if you’d had no expectations at all. While this could make for a good goal […]

Publish it anyway

One of the biggest differences between talking and writing is the element of spontaneity. When you speak, once the words are out, you can’t take them back. The closest thing you can do is amend your words, by saying, “I take back what I said,” or, “I misspoke.” By contrast, when you write, it is […]

Focus on the future

In Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, 50 Cent writes about buying Mike Tyson’s mansion, which cost him $70,000 in monthly utility bills. It was no longer practical for him to own (emphasis added): I’m not sure why I even waited so long to make the move. At first, money was part of it. At one point […]

Seizing your right to make art

Over a year ago, @THECOOLISSUE writes:  rich kids being able to do art for a living may be a reflection of their privilege but it seems to me like a reflection of the fact that a human that doesn’t have to worry about money will often choose art. everyone is an artist until rent is […]

On developing your capacity for self-doubt

A few years ago, a bunch of college students visited Conan O’Brien. One asked him, “When does the nervousness and self-doubt end?” O’Brien’s response was, “I have really bad news for you. There’s always some of that.” When O’Brien debuted on late night television, nobody knew who he was. “I had to learn how to […]

The squeeze

Whether it’s rising Uber rates, declining organic reach at Facebook, Netflix cracking down on shared passwords, companies are squeezing now. They do this because they believe they don’t have to worry about customers leaving; people are too used to the service and will endure the new terms, increased prices, or lowered surplus benefits.  You can […]