Last month I didn’t send out a single newsletter. I thought I had to focus more on Trickle, but that was mostly an excuse.
What happened was: I broke the chain. After a streak of 18 newsletters in a row, I didn’t finish one newsletter and thought, I’ll be catching up soon.
But once the chain was broken the pressure was off and it felt all right to make compromises. Et voila! No newsletter for a full month.
This allowed me to experience an important lesson first hand:
“80% of success is showing up.”
That's true on so many levels. Just look at my missing newsletter from your perspective. Even if you noticed its absence there was hardly anything for you to do about it.
Because I didn’t show up, nothing happened. No results, no feedback, no growth, no motivation.
In contrast, a flashy guy in my YouTube feed was showing up: Akira the Don, a colorful musician turning inspiring quotes from podcasts into songs (I love this nugget of Jocko Willing).
Akira did show up with regular status messages. A picture with his son, a selfie at a beach bar, a picture of some new audio equipment at his desk. The content was of less importance but I could see the tangible effect of him just showing up for only seconds at a time. He kept a place on my mind.
Now we all know how it feels to get annoyed by someone sending too many messages. Shouldn’t we be careful and send out fewer messages so that people don’t unsubscribe, unfollow or start complaining?
I don’t think so. At least not at the beginning, when not showing up can mess up your whole creator habit.
Annoying someone is highly relative. Whatever you do you’ll always be annoying to some people. And if you are, it is a sign that they are not an ideal fit for your audience and the value you create, anyway.
At the same time, there is the huge upside of showing up frequently and being in connection with people that do value what you have on offer.
In the Tim Ferriss podcast with Graham Duncan, they mention how Robert applied as an analyst for a company. Graham wasn’t convinced by this person at first but noticed how he followed up and hence kept being on top of his mind.
So he thought out of the box and hired him as a salesperson. This worked so well that “we built our entire business around that guy”. That’s how powerful the skill of showing up can be.
Businesses need both, a product and a method to get the message out. As a knowledge entrepreneur, you’ll be taking care of both. You don’t need to sell but you need to show up!
The mathematical law of multiplying by zero applies. Don’t show up, and your outcome will inevitably be 0. Do show up however and most likely there will be some positive result on the other side.
Walking the walk of a knowledge entrepreneur
Arvid Kahl is a fellow knowledge entrepreneur from Berlin, Germany. He just released his book The Embedded Entrepreneur which he not only wrote in public but that also focuses exactly on the topic of being a knowledge entrepreneur. After selling his last business a few years ago he started his journey as The Bootstrapped Founder. It shows that he is truly speaking from experience. I also like his podcast (which is NOT in interview form for a change). He strikes a nice balance between delivering an insightful monologue in a structured but personal way.
Low friction micro podcasts via Racket
Racket applied beautiful constraints to audio conversations. Two people connect via the browser to record a nine-minute audio conversation. When the time is up, you immediately get a link to share it with others. No editing, no uploading. Racket takes all the friction from creating a micro podcast. Here's an example with my friend Reddy. Recording a Racket is a wonderful excuse to connect back with old friends and a wonderful entry point to get familiar with audio as a medium for creating.
Short stuff from the web
I've now asked 30+ successful newsletter writers how they got their first 1,000 subscribers (@stewfortier on twitter) The messages are legit and I particularly love his visualization of different audience sizes with real-life pictures (thanks Anders).
The Rise of Synthetic Media & Digital Creators Rex Woodbury is writing wonderful reports of emerging trends in digital business and the creator economy. I find the topic of synthetic media fascinating and well worth exploring.
That's it for this week!
It feels good to be back. If you've missed the newsletter, drop me a quick reply and say hello 👋😀
PS: If you'd like to try out recording a Racket, I'll be happy to host you.