M&Ms 56: Just Start
The people that impress me the most now are the ones that start:
writing online regularly
a YouTube channel
Starting is impressive to me because I now know how hard those things are to start.
I remember my own challenges when I first started putting myself out there a year ago. The fears and the feeling like an imposter, like what I was doing was just not good enough. And here we are, 56 editions in, and my writing has improved significantly from the first few editions; I have made a lot of friends along the way too.
And a little over a year later, I get to teach others how to do this too. This week we finished the second week of the Newsletter Launchpad, where ten strangers started their own newsletters (or are improving an existing one).
To say it's been a lot of fun helping these folks get started would be an understatement. It's been awesome so far.
The most important thing we are teaching them is that starting a newsletter boils down to making this easy enough that they stick with it and publish every week. So we taught them our systems that worked for us over the last year. If they can make the newsletter fit their lifestyle rather than the other way around, they might just succeed long term.
But just like they are finding the courage to start something new, my friend Chris and I started something new with this too. We started teaching people live for the first time in this course.
While it turned out to be incredibly fun, the truth is we had many of the fears most people have when they start anything new. Especially anything new in public. Chris and I ran live free webinars before the course started, where we promoted the course and pitched strangers from the internet; that wasn't easy for us. We had to push through the nerves and emotions to build these skills. Push through the awkwardness and the stuttering of having to present to total strangers. Both Chris and I can be pretty awkward at times, like many introverted people in a crowd full of strangers.
But these skills of teaching, pitching, and selling are incredibly valuable to build up. Especially now as an entrepreneur. Heck, they are valuable for anyone aspiring to reach leadership positions.
But to build anything meaningful, skills, relationships, knowledge, assets, and so on, one has to start. One has to push through those emotions and you never know it may turn out to be a lot of fun.
The Best Three Tweets I ran into this week:
I am a sucker for Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet knowledge, especially as we head into tough times. And today, I have a few things from them I want to share with you.
I have found that far too many people rely on calculations and data far more than they rely on thinking and intuition.
Another way of saying show me the incentives and I will show you the outcome.
VCs have started writing to their portfolio companies and preparing them that tough times are ahead. YCombinator, the leading incubator of Startups, wrote a fairly brutal email to their founders that you can read in full here.
But specifically, in that Note to founders from YC was what Pieter Levels is quoting above. That many companies at various stages may not make it through what's coming, and that will open up many opportunities for those that can do that work more efficiently.
Pieter is no stranger to this because his biggest business, a remote work job board, outlasted a much bigger competitor, StackOverflow jobs, a few months back. When that got shut down, it led to a huge surge of business for Pieter.
Daniel Vassallo, in Small Bets, calls this making time your friend. If you survive long enough with an idea then when the right time comes you can capitalize on it.
This is now a huge reason I no longer shut down any of my side projects. Even things like TapeX that aren't doing a lot of business right now.
One Article I Loved This Week:
Speaking of Buffet, I came across this old article from him back in 1999.
In it he discusses some really important things about the phase we are headed into. He says that interest rates act as gravity on stock prices. The higher the interest rate (which is risk-free), the higher the return stocks need to give for them to be worth it. So, in essence, the interest, the higher the gravity.
Buffet also discusses the dangers of investing in "hot" industries in this article. Specifically, he says that there was no hotter industry than cars; back in the early 1900s, there were over 2,000 car companies started, and by 1990, only three were left. Same for airlines and airline manufacturers.
No one can deny that those industries didn't have a massive positive impact on society, but most investors did terrible trying to pick the winners. There are a lot of parallels between investing in hot new industries today.
One quick update from me:
The ninth episode of The Engineering Advice You Didn't Ask For podcast is out.
This one is all about climbing up the ladder fast.
Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
P.S. you can respond directly to this email and I will do my best to reply. I'd love to hear from you.