Making Something Meaningful Takes Time| Internetly Vol. 20
On avoiding instant gratification, who you spend the most time with, and how to land your dream client (without cold pitching).
Someone broke into our house last week.
It was a late Tuesday evening, and I’d just finished having dinner with my parents. The three of us were putting away the dishes when suddenly I heard someone come through the front door. Thinking it was my 18-year-old brother, I waited to hear his clunky footsteps climb up the stairs.
But he didn’t come up.
I waited for a while, suspended in hesitation. Should I be freaked out? I wondered.
No. I’m sure it’s fine. I went back to loading the dishwasher.
At 10 PM, we realized someone had ransacked our foyer. The culprit walked out with my dad’s custom-made, very expensive bike, and a handful of my mom's vintage coats from Paris. Not the worst haul.
I saw the Ring footage of the man as he exited our house and was perturbed. Rather than sprint away from the crime scene, he calmly lingers in front of the house for a few moments, fixing the coats on the bike. Considering this man knew we were home, the fact that he seemed so reassured is unsettling, to say the least.
While I’ve been uneasy since the incident, what makes me feel better is the sheer randomness of the event. In Tim Ferriss’ essay “11 Reasons Not to Become Famous”, he discusses how the larger the pool, the higher likelihood of an unfortunate incident.
For instance, go back to your elementary school days. There were probably 20-30 of you in a classroom. Maybe one kid was kind of weird. Now think about High School, where there are hundreds of students in a building. There were bullies, degenerates, or people who made you uncomfortable. The larger the population, the more opportunities (and problems) you will have.
I live in NYC, where the population is 8.4 million people. The statistical likelihood of a robbery is slim, but not impossible. Knowing this guy probably was going door-to-door waiting for an unlocked front door lessens the severity of the situation, in some bizarre way.
In short: Lock your doors, mmkay?
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: The Three-Year Rule
Making something meaningful takes time.
Whatever creative venture you embark on, whether it be starting a podcast, Youtube channel, newsletter, or selling jewelry on Etsy, you have to give yourself the opportunity to succeed. And that kind of success will take longer than you think.
But this isn’t the narrative we’re sold to on social media. We’re exposed to stories of 19-year-old girls propelled to TikTok stardom in under six months or people hitting 10K followers on Twitter overnight. This causes us to try to hyper-accelerate our trajectory and then feel worthless when we don’t garner the same results.
Matt D’Avella coined the Three-Year Rule which is exactly like it sounds. You commit to any project for a minimum of three years and only move on after those three years are up.
The pros of seeing things long-term are astounding. It allows us to no longer identify with short-term failures and change the way we see risk. Not to mention, it instills a sense of ease, which does wonders for your creativity.
Avoid the instant gratification mindset by using the three-year rule when embarking on your next creative project. 🧞♂️
🥒 Content Diet
I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
I’ve read quite a bit of self-help finance books. Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Millionaire Next Door, Stock Investing for Beginners.
But I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi takes the cake. It’s a straightforward, no-BS manual on the basics of getting wealthy and I highly recommend this read.
Buy this book if you have no idea what a Roth IRA is, you have zero credit score, and no savings account. 💸
Who Do You Spend the Most Time With? By Our World in Data
Here’s a fascinating breakdown of who you spend the most time with.
Phew. Where to begin?
Firstly, it’s critical you like who you are as a person because if you don’t, I’ve got some bad news. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with yourself.
Secondly, the co-worker aspect is daunting. Why do we spend more time with co-workers than pals? This suggests we might need to switch our priorities around.
As the workforce moves to remote only, this chart is bound to be flipped upside down, but only time can tell.
Learn to like yourself. You’re going to be spending a lot of time alone. 👤
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: How to Write for Dream Clients
Who’s your dream client?
Envision it for a moment. Closing the deal and working on projects you’re passionate about. Now the question is, how can we make it an IRL thing?
Besides cold-pitching, there’s another strategy we can use here. Let me show you how with a little example.
Let’s say you would love to work with a skincare CBD brand. You’re going to begin by setting up a website with a blog where you can post your articles. Still with me? Great.
Next, you’ll go on Google and see what common pain points of skincare marketers might be. Let’s see what happens when we ask “how to market a CBD skincare brand.”
From here, you can begin to gather common pain points by looking at the “people also ask” section. Now, let’s click on the first Google result.
I bet the author, Ms. Shannon Brown, gets a lot of requests to work with skincare CBD brands. By writing articles offering solutions to common pain points, she’s establishing herself as an expert.
You can do the same thing. All you need to do is research your dream client’s pain points, learn how to structure an article, some basic SEO, and then provide answers to their problems. This makes you a “consultant”, and consultants get paid much more.
You can watch this video here that breaks the process down in way more detail.
Fun fact: This strategy worked for me. I wrote online about creativity, self-development, freelancing, and being a content creator for months when I got a message from Stephen Wise. Turns out he works with Matt D’Avella, and they were looking for a writer to write their newsletter, Snail Mail, that focuses on the exact same type of content.
It’s a dream gig. And I didn’t even go looking for it.
So, write for your dream client. Don’t wait for them to hire you first. Just go for it.
To write for dream clients, write articles solving their pain points so you can pose yourself as an expert. 🤓
And there you have it!
This edition is longer than usual. I hope it illuminated your life in some way. 💌
If so, why not share it with a pal or subscribe (if you haven’t already?)
Have a beautiful week, and I’ll see you soon,
P.S: Good lord. I just checked how long this took and it was 101 minutes. Yeesh.