My Brainwaves newsletter was sent twice weekly for over two years. Unfortunately, it ended when the Pandemic started, and I was too drained to create.
As I adjust my personal brand and start the next chapter of my newsletter (it has a cool new name and everything), I did not want the Brainwaves to ride off into the sunset without a proper send-off.
Constraints breed creativity
One of my favorite things about the Brainwaves was the constraint on the character count. Every single issue of the newsletter was no more than 250 characters.
The Brainwaves newsletter, by the numbers:
The next chapter
As the Brainwaves newsletter is officially sunset, I am kicking off the next iteration. This new version is called Nerd Notes, and you should absolutely check it out!
Every week I will share my best tips for starting, growing, and optimizing your business to empower your life’s big adventures. If that sounds like something you are interested in, get in early for free.
I present to you the best of the brainwaves!
- Decide – When it feels like you have a lot up in the air, put your focus on decisions. Be decisive and cross things off your list. A lot of the time, overwhelm is caused by indecisiveness.
- Lean In – When something feels uncomfortable, lean into it. This is where growth happens. Every time I experience personal growth, I can trace it back to something that made me uncomfortable that I didn’t hide from.
- Progression – Don’t compare yourself to anyone when you are just starting out. People ahead of you are for motivation, not comparison. Every step forward gets you closer to the next level. You can’t start at level 5. You have to start at level 1.
- Kindness – When in doubt be kind. It never goes out of style.
- Mistakes = Growth – “It’s through mistakes that you can actually grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.” – Paula Scher
- Problem = Opportunity – Every problem is an opportunity. So next time you hit a roadblock, how can it be turned into an opportunity for growth?
- 2 Minute Rule – If it takes you 2 minutes to test out an idea, just do it; this will either solve the problem or eliminate an option. Either way, you are closer to your goal.
- Right Time – Now is the right time. Waiting for perfection is an excuse to not actually get started. Publish even when it doesn’t feel done.
- Quantity vs. Quality – When you are first getting started, put your focus on quantity. Create as many things as you can. This massive quantity will get you the quality that you are looking for.
- Works for You – Use the tools and systems that work for you. Get inspiration from how others use them, but iterate on your own version.
- Open – Don’t complain about a lack of clients if no one knows you are available. We have all come across that store or building where we thought it might not be open because it was dark and looked like no one was home. So we don’t go in.
- Paths – When is the last time you stopped and looked at your map? Are you where you thought you would be? Paths change. Check-in with yourself and make sure the one you are on is where you want to be.
- Experiment – The Internet is the ULTIMATE experimentation platform. Create. Promote. Optimize.
- Breakpoints – Want your website launch to go well? Remove as many potential breakpoints from the critical pieces of your site architecture as possible. Fewer breakpoints mean less opportunity for something to break.
- Adapt – Every time you do something, you adapt. This is not always good, and sometimes these adaptations can compound. Before you know it, you are no longer playing the same sport. Always check in with yourself.
- Spin – The fact that someone else has already created something does not change anything. Don’t let it stop you. Put your spin on it, the world needs it.
- Cost – Everything you do (or don’t do) has a cost. The most common ones are time and money. Some less common ones that are probably more important are health and relationships. The cost can be favorable, it can be detrimental. But it is always there.
- Pancakes – Make mistakes as fast as possible. Rarely is the first pancake the best.
- Something New – Learning something new sparks creativity. You start thinking of ways to use your new knowledge in conjunction with your past experiences. If you are stuck, take a break and learn something new.
- Win – Keep reminders of your past wins nearby. You may not be winning today, but you win much more often than you think.
- Good Wins – “Bad sells in the short term. Good always wins in the end.” – Garry Vaynerchuk
- Snowball – Feel like you are stuck? Get consistent for a week. Consistency snowballs into results.
- Troubleshoot – When troubleshooting, start by removing all the possible variables and problems from the equation. Get it working, then add back in the complications.
- Pricing – Every project has a dollar value associated with it. It also has a growth value. What will you learn, and who will you meet because of this project? Take it all into consideration.
- Better – Just because you always did something one way doesn’t mean a better way can’t come along. Be ready when it does or it might pass you by.
- Opportunity – Not every opportunity is obvious. Be sure that when you notice one you go for it, full speed.
- Lists – Lists can turn overwhelm into productivity. Often what’s on our plates feels like a lot until we visualize all the items.
- Clutter – I am good at keeping my physical world free of clutter; it’s the digital stuff that needs constant decluttering. That is why I set aside time every Friday to eliminate unneeded bytes.
- Momentum – When stuck on some challenging code, I like to work on some smaller tasks for the project. This helps me build momentum that I can roll into the more complicated code.
- Thick Skin – My lack of thick skin lets me feel my mistakes. I might get knocked down a little faster than someone else, but I am always stronger when I get back up.
- Technical Debt – Technical debt is real. When you get too attached to your current technology and systems, you miss out on growth opportunities.
- Excitement – Never underestimate the power of excitement when working in a group. If you are the type that feeds off this energy, use it to your advantage.
- Ask for help – Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. You can’t possibly know everything. Knowing who and how to ask at the right moment is an important skill.
- Execute – Planning is great and all (I do it every day), but make sure that part of your plan is to execute.
- Permission – We have been taught that we need the permission of someone else to do something. 99.99% of the time, this is not true. You only need permission from yourself.
- Humans – Sometimes you mess up (humans). Own it, propose a solution, and move on. Don’t let a mistake you make define who you are.
- Hit Publish – Hit publish as often as you can. Every time you do that, you give yourself the opportunity to connect with other humans; and that is what it is all about.
- Change – If you are in an industry that changes a lot, embrace it. Your ability to embrace the change will be your advantage.
- Mind Change – Changing your mind is a sign of personal growth. Every day you experience new things which change your perspective. If your opinions are the same as 10 years ago you are not growing.
- Thoughts – Your thoughts do not define you. Thinking is good. Knowing why you think what you think is even better.
- Open Mind – You will always find what you are looking for. If you go in with an expectation, you will probably find that expectation. Go in with an open mind.