MYB#10: In alignment with your values
Hey there, it’s Naomi.
Welcome to another issue of Mind Your Bite. A weekly newsletter sharing resources to help creators de-stress, stay mindful, and more productive with their creations.
Last week was crazy.
22 new creators have joined Mind Your Bite Club!
I got nominated Vidya to be featured in Share A Coffee Newsletter and received my first 3 coffees online. Big thanks to Vidya and Curtis Cummings for buying me a coffee. ☕️🧡
Since I sent out this survey, some of you have responded with many kind words and suggestions to improve the newsletter.
Thank you so much for reading and giving so much love! It just means a lot.
One more reminder before you read on — Go easy on work next week and have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones.
Down to this week’s ideas: 👇
Do you get drowned by having too many articles online to read?
A quick tip: Don’t read an article when you come upon it. Save it in a place like Pocket. Block out time every day (or every week) to read them. As long as you don’t let the articles pile up, it’s fine.
Try it with articles I recommend this week. Don’t read them now (unless it’s your reading time).
Codie runs the Contrarian Thinking newsletter which currently has over 100,000 subscribers (Crazy, eh?). Her story of going from 0 to 10,000 subscribers in 30 days is even more incredulous. Although not every newsletter can achieve this massive growth, there are a lot of golden tips for newsletter creators at any stage.
3 lessons stuck with me most:
Write a post you’ll be proud of. If you don’t write a post that is 10X the value of the time people read it, don’t write it at all. (Perfection isn’t the goal. But you should put in the effort and never churn out something that wastes people’s time).
Join a community in your niche. Misconception: If you produce something amazing, people will come. They won’t. Go to where your audience is and provide massive value. There’s plenty of groups on Facebook, Reddit, Indiehacker, Slack, Discord. Choose a few in your niche and block out time to actively engage. (You don’t have to show up every day, but remember to provide value whenever you’re there).
Tell all your friends about it. You have a massive network on LinkedIn, Twitter, email contacts, phone numbers. Reach out to them and tell them you start a newsletter. The key is to reach out to them with a solid reason why they should join — what’s in it for them. (I haven’t tried this yet except for a couple of Facebook friends. Gonna try it out next week — well, maybe the week after Christmas).
My definition of success has changed over time:
Before: Make a lot of money to live the kind of life I want.
Now: Be independent to do what I love every day.
What’s the difference?
The former is attached to the wants and needs, the latter is attached to values.
I’m not trying to be philosophical here. But from my “teary, stress-y, and occasionally depress-y” experience, happiness comes from living in accordance with your value — attributes of the person who want to become or qualities you rank above anything else (e.g. independence, giving, knowledge, hard-work)
That said, it’s not easy to align your actions with values.
Early this week, I stumbled upon this article by Eytan Messika. It has clarified a lot of things for me.
3 resonating points:
Understanding your values is the best thing you can ever do for yourself.
You can change your values if you don’t like them. (The tricky thing is it’s like changing a habit. You will need to put in some effort).
Choose the path that aligns with your values. (“Fulfillment in life means taking the path you need to take.”)
Not an expert but I think writers write for 2 reasons:
They’re not good at communicating ideas in other forms (or lack confidence).
They have no one around when their head is teeming with ideas.
Or a mixture of both.
They must write. To express themselves.
Sometimes though, the writer may stop creating. Mostly due to the lack of recognition, discouragement from well-intended friends and family, or the belief of “no-money art”.
So when I read this post by Vidya, I feel related.
It also brought me encouragement to write even though I’m not quite good at it yet, when writer’s block is real and tangible, or when I feel like a fraud and wasting my reader’s time.
I’m reminded of this quote in “Bird by bird”:
“I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good enough at it”.
There are plenty of excuses to stop writing. But if writing brings you a lot of joy, why stop?
By the way, if you enjoy reading about writing, life, and no-code tools, hang around Vidya a bit longer — she’s brilliant (I might be biased, but why not go and check it out yourself?).
Last week, I stumbled upon this post Grow Without Goals by Patrick at the Investor’s Field Guide.
Felt like I just got back home after a long time of drifting in the ocean.
I have been chasing distant goals (milestones, achievement-based, one-time goals).
They drain my energy and cripple my creativity. I get deeply disappointed when the goal isn’t hit.
There’s an easier way:
Ditch the one-time goals. Set contains goals instead.
What are the continuous goals?
Those are the things you do daily you’ll make you feel fulfilled. A set of daily habits aligning with your values.
Instead of making a one-time goal to grow website visitors to [number] — Write 1 quality post per week & block out time for promotion.
Grow newsletter to [number] subscribers — Deliver 1 newsletter per week with quality resources.
Build a no-code product that goes viral — Explore & build something useful.
Write a tweet that goes viral — Provide value in every single tweet.
Continous goals are not a milestone to reach for. You don’t stop after you’ve reached your goal. You keep doing it because it’s meaningful to you.
When you shift from one-time to continuous goals, you’ll have more freedom, creativity, and peace of mind.
I’m not quite there yet, but taking little steps every day to get there.
Here’s my post where I talk a bit more about it (Sorry, the website isn’t quite done yet. I’m working on it in a couple more weeks).
📙 A book I’m grinding on
“The Power of Less” | Leo Babauta
When I decide to live a goalless life and build it around good habits, I find it super hard.
Luckily, I came upon this book by Leo Babauta “The Power of Less” to guide me.
The key is not trying to change 2 - 3 habits at a time. Start with one habit. A stupendously simple one for 30 days and move on to the next one.
Also, set limits for your habit — Don’t waste endless time on a task. Set a time or quantity for the task you do and maintain focus while doing it. Stop when you reach the limit.
This applies to emails. Phone calls. Tweets. Instagram posts. Blog posts.
Quality beats quantity — set limits, you can focus on less but do better.
A habit I’m currently building: Check emails only 1 time per day. (Open once in the morning, read & respond thoughtfully to 5 emails).
💌 A newsletter you may like
The Startup | Richard Awoyemi
I first read the newsletter yesterday. Deeply in love with minimalist illustration to drive the point home.
If you enjoy a light yet smart reading on entrepreneurship, personal development, and life, check out the newsletter here.
This week’s issue: “Unicorn traits” — Early signs of A billion-dollar company.
🐦 Best in Tweets
Consume great content. Then create your own awesome work.
“The more you write for somone with peculiar interests, the less you compete for their attention” — David Perell.
Little victories during the day make your day great.
A community for newsletter creators with Discord Chat to talk about your day-to-day activities, showcase your work & receive feedback, as well as getting answers for your problems.
Free online course delivered by Oliver Cantin (who grew his Twitter account to over 25.000 from just over 300 subscribers in June 2020).
Disclaimer: Not a rich-quick hack. Real lessons on copywriting and providing value to a community.
Something I learned recently from the course:
To be a good creator, consume great content. Consume it deliberately. Keep your eyes open. Because everything around you can turn into content. When you spot something good, note it down or save it in a swipe file. When it’s time to create, look into your notes, and connect the dots.
⛏️ Cool tools for creators
Airtable: Create forms (surveys, interviews) and share with a link or embed code.
Example: Mind Your Bite Newsletter Survey.
Carrd: Create one-page sites for your landing page, portfolio, etc. from free templates.
Notion & Fruition: Best for building one-page sites or keep a learning journal/personal blog.
Chilipepper: Make forms (email sign-ups, data collection) for Notion pages.
That’s it for the week.
How do you like this issue?
If you enjoy what you read, why not share it with a couple of friends or you could buy me a coffee ☕
Thanks a lot!
Until next time,