Most people I talk to admittedly have bad memories, which leads me to think: people probably have the same conversations multiple times…that’s crazy... but I digress. Human memory is pretty inaccurate and given that reality is just an interpretation of our memories, then what we remember dictates what is real to us. We can easily delude our own thoughts into thinking things happened a certain way when they really did not.
To prevent myself from tricking myself, I began writing things down, and I began to notice an improvement in my memory. My friend Gabriel Stein once said, “I think I have good memory so I don’t write things down, but really I have good memory because I write things down”. Which is true for myself. So many things I write down I tend to remember, but I won’t remember the things I don’t write down.
But I think the merit in writing things down is more than just keeping reminders for ourselves. It ingrains the things we learn. You should carry a notebook to conferences and take notes on the speeches. Take notes when having a mastermind. Take notes on every interesting thought or idea you have (I do it via Google Keeptransfer all the important ones to Evernote, the rest I archive). It doesn’t matter if its messy or scrambled, what matters is that its recorded. One thing I’ve overlooked but is really important is to take notes on lessons you already know — insights that you’ve already learned. It might seem redundant but writing it out again grounds the insight deeper with each repetition. There’s a reason why your RAS picked up that certain phrase even though its nothing groundbreaking.
Yelp.com for lists of local businesses
Odesk.com to hire email list builders
Yesware.com for the mail merge. Note: Yesware's mailmerge costs $25 bucks a month, but its a great software, and you can really do a lot with the free features too, like email tracking, templates, etc.
After about 2 years of a lot of cold emailing, I’ve learned a few things about increasing open and response rates. I’ll share some tips later in this post, but first let me give you a round up of some good Cold Email articles (surprisingly hard to find considering the amount of people cold emailing, and interested in cold emailing).
1. Kurt Elster On Winning Clients through Direct Outreach (Episode 18 of the Creative Freelancer Podcast)
2. Bryan Kreutzberger's template
3. Scott Britton's blogpost
A few tips:
I find normal conversations pretty boring, its just that its the same getting-to-know-you fluff. I want to get straight to saying and talking about what’s interesting, however, this leads to breaking rapport and sometimes people will think you’re weird.
So an easy way to keep the conversation congruent and I don’t know why I never realized this, is to tell the person you’re conversing with of any anticipated breaks in rapport. Basically, tell them ahead of time if you’re going to act a little different from the norm.
Say you’re at a networking event. The question you answer most is “What do you do?”. Say your ideal answer is something elaborate like:
I help tech excutives that are focused on company growth fine tune their project management, and work with their UX/UI team to make their product more scalable.
I've been using Trello for a long time to manage the tasks and operation of my video business. But since I have multiple projects going on, I wasn't really organizing my personal tasks, or my daily everyday tasks.
I've read before that pen and paper is the best way, and I've tried building a habit out of making a daily task list everyday. It works, but the problem was I wasn't doing it, and I had a a lot of recurring tasks that I didn't necessarily want to write out everyday. I looked into the phone apps stuff, but around the same time I learned Asana from my friend Arielle Hale, who is an operations expert.
This program is so good for looking at an overview of all your tasks for multiple projects. I can create recurring tasks and set them up for myself and organize by client. Check out the video.
I started using Quickbooks Self Employed as a way to do my taxes. Basically its like having a mint account, and based on the receipts I have, I create a schedule C.
Everyone's a critique and everyone has their opinions. But I think there should be a way to asses whether or not something is actually good.
Art: The purest expression of oneself
Design: A creation made with purpose
When you study good design, you realize more and more that good design has nothing to do with good art, it has less to do with yourself, expression, emotions or how you feel, and more to do with creating something with an end user in mind.
Headspace and My Fitness Pal.
Headspace: I've tried for months to get into consistently meditating everyday. It seems easy right? Take 10 minutes everyday, and just sit there and breathe. Problem is I would just forget about it. Even though I have a push notification telling me to do it everyday. I wouldn't. So I downloaded Headspace and I put on headphones to listen, and for some reason it feels effortless. I don't have to try to meditate or concentrate on my breath, I just listen to the bloke guide me in meditation.
My Fitness Pal: I've tried hard to eat more and gain weight. I thought I ate a lot, all my friends tell me I eat a lot. But without a calorie tracker you don't realize you're not eating enough. I was only eating around 2000 calories a day when I need to be eating a 3000 calories. Also I never realized how little calories there are. If you buy a quart of milk (4 cups) thats only 600 calories! Its hard to eat that many calories and its uncomfortable to be eating that much food. But you know what? I'm trying to gain weight. It's a goal -- Its suppose to be hard. Its suppose to take effort when you're tired at night and you want to go to sleep and you've only tracked 2400 calories that day. So you open your fridge and eat half an avocado and two eggs to make the 600 you need. Without a calorie tracker I would not even know that I was falling behind.
When you’re consuming content, you typically value the practical stuff more. Stuff that teaches you how to do things, or gives you techniques on improving things you’re already doing. We value this stuff because its applicable..
But you hear people tell you that you shouldn’t focus on tactics, you should focus on strategy. Personally, I agree and I think we’re trying too hard to look for the implemental things. Really, its not just tactics vs. strategy, there are a lot of different levels.
From philosophy to mindset to habits and theory to strategy all the way to tactics, we should aim to consume the entire spectrum of content. Each level is important and learning from each level helps you understand the whole picture.
I run a video production agency. What I would like is an action guide on doing Linkedin lead generation or google adwords. These things would benefit me right away, but I would be missing out if I didn’t read Built to Sell and learned to productize my services. I would be missing out if I didn’t attend a mastermind about systems and scaling. It doesn’t stop there. I could take it a step higher and listen to Tony Robbins talk about mindset. I would be missing out, yet still, if I didn’t watch Tristan’s videos on Purpose and Spiritual balance.
Each piece of content has merit on its own level. Knowing this, the best way to consume content is to think about where you are in your trajectory and what pieces of information you’re missing, then fill in the gaps in that information. Funny enough, the only way to realize which info is missing is to consume content on life balance from a woo-woo life coach guru (I’m being slightly facetious). What I mean is to pull back to a hyper birds-eye-view of your life and understand what true balance is. Only then can you zone in on your business and know that the actions you’re taking today will benefit you the most long-term.