The Start of Something New | Internetly Vol.1
Welcome to Internetly, the newsletter dedicated to helping you take advantage of the internet, one idea at a time.
This newsletter is saving me $150.
Let me explain.
For the past few weeks (okay, months) I’ve wanted to start a newsletter, but could never find the gusto to do the damn thing.
For a long time, it was something on the untangible “to-do” list, a mental post-it note floating in the endless hallways of the mind.
So in any situation where you’re unable to find a morsel of motivation, I’ve decided to give myself an ultimatum. I forked over $150 to my boyfriend, swearing to him if I failed to launch this newsletter, he could keep the cash and use it to his own discretion.
Knowing the kid, he probably would use the money to invest in Tesla or Ethereum.
So, here we are. Sorry, Elon.
Jokes aside, it’s my mission to use this newsletter for good. I want to help my fellow 20-somethings, my fellow creators, and overall, fellow human beings.
To do this, I want to teach people how to use the internet to their advantage. To use the internet as a resource to learn new things, find intriguing new ideas, and summon the courage to take the creative leap.
Bare with me as I get used to the formatting and content of this newsletter - it might be a bit shaky the first few editions.
As of now, the layout is as follows:
Content Diet - 3 -5 of the best ideas I found this week.
Freelance Writing Journey - one lesson I’ve learned in my career as a freelance writer.
On Becoming a Prolific Creator - spotlight on a prolific creator or a mental model on how to start creating.
With that, let’s dive into it.
🥒 Content Diet
Here are some of the best 💎 gems 💎 of information I’ve found this past week. Consider this your little vitamin packet of nutritional information.
I’ve been reading “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.”
It’s been delightful so far and led me to stumble on the fact that out on average, we have anywhere between 12,000 - 60,000 thoughts a day. Out of those, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as before. 🤯
The book continues:
“This is the tyranny of impoverished thinking. Those people who think the same thoughts every day, most of them negative, have fallen into bad mental habits.
Rather than focusing on all the good in their lives and thinking of ways to make things even better, they are captives of their pasts.”
If we aren’t mindful, our minds are a broken record replaying the same anxieties, musings, and daydreams in a continuum. It’s a terrible tune to have playing faintly in the background - and yet, we don’t even realize it.
Not to mention, exacerbated by the monotony of life during COVID-19, we’ve been nestled in our status quo for over a year.
So, the next idea or situation that strikes you are unnerving may just be a new thought sticking out in a crowded space. Lean into the uncomfortability.
Chances are, it’s trying to teach you something new.
I’m not a poem-aficionado, but Sasha Fletcher’s poem “Are You Kidding Me” struck a chord.
Her opening line begins with:
“Today my resume feels alive with purpose.”
Fletcher’s poem reminds me of how quick we are to tie our intrinsic value into labor. Specifically, the job application process. Shudder.
It reads like a wistful graduation speech. An alumnus motivating its students to enter the workforce in a zealous pursuit for self-actualization.
Delivered with intense grandiosity, you begin to believe you’re not really someone until someone else hires you to change the world.
Internet Culture Reporter Terry Nguyen does a brilliant job dissecting the poem’s message and how it relates to the daze of post-collegiate freedom:
“Their post-graduate feelings are charted along an inverted U-shaped arc, from feeling “alive with purpose” to crash-landing towards burned, barren ground.
Why this dark and dramatic interpretation? I hear too many complaints from friends who hate their jobs, roles they spent four years preparing and studying and interning and getting in debt for.
The poem’s title, “Are You Kidding Me,” reads like a disbelieving scoff from a child to their older self. Are you kidding me? This is what adulthood is like?”
I could relate (albeit, a little too well) to this poem’s interpretation.
Once the curriculum-based structure of your life dissolves at the tender age of ~22, we’re left to freefall in uncertainty.
On top of that, the sense of purpose we were promised with the “dream job” fails to actualize. I mean, really, who dreams of labor?
Luckily, the internet is here to release us from the shackles.
I’ll get more into that later on.
Futurist Paul Saffo on the Creator Economy:
“But the most successful companies will be the ones that harness creator instincts, and the biggest winners will be the companies who harness the smallest creative acts.
More people watch YouTube than post videos because creating a video is work.
More people read blogs than write them because long-form writing is a hassle.
Meanwhile, the telegraphic sentences of tweets, texting, and Facebook updates are becoming ubiquitous acts of creator haiku.”
Paul Saffo was onto something.
Perhaps this is why platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse are leading the way - because they harness the creative capabilities of the smartphone seamlessly.
In other words, it’s ridiculously easy to grab your iPhone and begin creating original content.
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: Lessons on Writing Investor Decks
For the past three weeks, I’ve been writing the copy of an investor deck.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, let me explain.
You have a startup ➡️ Your startup needs money to launch ➡️ You have to convince investors to give you money ➡️ You come up with a presentation persuasive enough investors willingly fork over millions of dollars.
It’s like presenting in middle school science class…except instead of your grades on the line, it’s your entire livelihood.
To call it an intimidating ordeal is an understatement.
Yet I took on the challenge with a resounding “yes,” for I believed in the startup’s mission and knew with the right copy they would go far. And let me tell you…I’ve learned loads.
A deck is no more than twenty slides, and succinctly explains the problem the startup is solving, why they’re the right people to take on the challenge, and how they plan to dominate the market.
But the problem is all those statistics, numbers, and reports are…pretty boring. Admit it: you scanned the above paragraph just now.
Now imagine investors who are being pitched to all day long. They could care even less than you.
So, how do you make someone care? How do you brazenly ask someone for millions of dollars?
It’s simple: you tell a story.
If you assemble solely the deck’s headlines, they should take the reader on a captivating and riveting adventure.
You want your headlines to read like a whimsical chapter of a Roald Dahl book. To make someone perk up and go, “Huh, that’s interesting. I haven’t heard it like that before. Tell me more.”
If your headlines tie together to read “Problem”, “Solution”, “Market Size” “Our Team,” you’ve got a problem.
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
Last January, I participated in Ship 30 for 30.
I wrote thirty essays within thirty days. Out of those miniature ideas, here was the one that garnered the most attention:
When it boils down to it, people’s fingers hesitantly float above the “publish” button because they’re afraid of what others might think of them.
Your life changes once you realize this is a bit of a self-centered problem.
The world doesn’t revolve around you. Yet, we assume people really care about what we have to say. But here’s the thing: they don’t. Because you’re unique, but you’re not special.
Worst case scenario, someone bashes on your idea or silently judges you. Screw them, anyways. It shouldn’t stop you from expressing yourself creatively and putting yourself out there.
As Marcus Aurelius said,
“We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”
If we can flip that on its head, and instead care about our own opinion over others, we’d be much better off.
Well folks, thanks so much for reading. How did I do? I would love any feedback you have for me. Is this the kind of content you find useful? Is there something missing you’d like to see - or maybe you’d like me to expand on an idea?
I’m all ears 🤗
And hey, if you did like this newsletter, it would mean the world to me if you subscribed down below. I’ll be popping into your inbox every Sunday from here on out.
Thanks for saving me $150 dollars,
- Alice 🌸