Thrive And Beyond

As I continue to set free written pieces out in the world. I noticed that sometimes I do get ideas for posts that don’t specifically fit in any of my feeds. So rather than just shrug the ideas off (even when they get distracting, I believe that each time an idea comes — it should be noted in some form), I continually collect them as they ‘hit’ me.

 

One category that pops up every now and then is relationships. I know it’s sort of close to a bit on what is on Thrive, yet I get the feeling they should be curated in a separate one.

 

The next step is to find the right sites, so I’m currently reaching out to contacts (both old and new!) to get their help on finding the right publication to publish.

 

Looking at the stats for some of the sites where my pieces are published:

 

I’ve included a breakdown more topic related here.

 

I can either go for equivalent sites:

  • Huffington Post – 137.67 M
  • Elephant Journal – 2.56 M
  • Thought Catalog – 17.95 M
  • Tiny Buddha – 2.6 M
  • Mental Floss – 15.74 M
  • She Knows – 14.64 M
  • Primer Magazine – 800 K
  • Made Man – 1.03 M
  • Entrepreneur – 18.52 M

 

 

Or next level ones:

  • The Verge – 64.59 M
  • The Atlantic – 40.08 M
  • The Washington Post – 227.76 M
  • Wired – 29.16 M
  • CNet – 176.91 M
  • Techcrunch – 31.32 M
  • Inc – 20.87 M

 

One thing I enjoy about being a contributor for Thrive is how the pieces themselves look when they are published. I don’t need to worry about page load times (or ads that ruin the reading experience).

 

I know I can’t always have that freedom whenever other sites publish my written pieces, it’ll just be a nice bonus.

 

Are there publications that you discovered recently that fit your pieces? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)

 


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The Benefit Of A Repeat

It’s amusing to think that everytime I stuff up (forget to save — or not notice I’m not online when I hit save on a webpage), I get annoyed whenever I lose things and have to retype them.

 

However there are times when I do want a redo. But wouldn’t be able to get a chance to. Either because of time or maybe because a lot of events have folded itself into it and to change that event would be…equivalent to finding the right approach to solve the ice epedemic.

 

It happened with this entry (Link TBA — I’ve sent it off for publishing.) when I had issues with my word processor and the darn thing wouldn’t let me open a new file (hush! I have a process!). The post I was typing up was being developed as I went along, so there was no draft to work on (I have maybe 20 files waiting to be published on thrive…after maybe some tweaks).

 

My usual process is: ‘pick a draft’ work on it, and save the new version in the word processor. I have a folio that has handwritten drafts on it (and now with a mix of short story ideas), and it is steadily growing. For my entry, because the idea popped up right when I had the opportunity to allot some time to write it….I made sure to sketch up some sort of a structure.

 

Thankfully, the writing process has gotten significantly easier now that I have this structure to refer to. If you don’t see a structure…that was me. Yes, you can give me a reminder why I would risk wasting my time (and time does slip through my fingers really quickly and next thing I know, I’m in a rabbit hole!).

 

 

So now…I have to remind myself to smile and say: ‘I don’t usually get a chance to do this’ — whenever I am ‘forced’ to redo something.

 

Are there specific incidents that you tend to look back on that make you glad that you had a chance to ‘redo’? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)

 


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What Is A Hero?

I like how the more I ponder on something, the more likely I’d understand it.

 

As I was listening to Clay Scroggins’ talk, a thought came to me. Then I found myself wondering who’d I consider a hero.

 

It would be someone who is:

  • Able to hold back their biting comment — and wait for the right time to share it (maybe after arranging it as a ‘not so biting’ comment so the recipient wouldn’t be so defensive)
  • Alert to their surroundings, so much that they are able to notice when someone is not okay — and take the time to ask.
  • Taking an hour out of their day to report unhelpful comments on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram (you’ll be surprised how much inappropriate posts there are on popular tags)
  • Intentional in creating margin — so if they spot someone in need they can just stop. And not worry about being late to the next thing on their calendar.
  • Mature enough to redirect their energy when it is being used wastefully (like complaining and plotting ways to ‘get even’) and find ways to lift up someone in their circle.

 

 

 

 


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The Best Thing For Today And Tomorrow

Do I want to spend two hours and be heard by 5 people or 300?

 

I would have thought my daily choices point to the latter (thereby leveraging my time). But after a quick audit of my activities, I still have a tendency to pick broadcasting to 5 over 300.

 

While watching a documentary earlier today…I got a stark reminder that I am one of those drivers Danny Kahneman was talking about. The scenario was that even if Taxi Drivers know that they get more passengers during rainy days vs sunny days, they don’t make it a point to work more hours on rainy days (and take a day off during sunny days). What’s worse, is the Taxi Drivers stop working once they hit their daily goal (which is the same during sunny days) even when there are tons more earning opportunities.

 

So, in addition to my daily time tracking sheets — I am aiming to pause every few hours to ask the question: ‘Should I continue? Or do I need to pivot?’

 

I know it’s a different scenario for the Notes of Encouragement (which is personalised…and I aim to send each an every one of them myself). But for the Q&A and building the mailing list. There’s an option of guest posting, rather than spending my time on Twitter interacting with individual tweets that are amusing or engaging.

 

Put in another way by Charles Duhigg: “Productivity is not about doing things unthinkingly. Productivity is about pushing yourself to think more about the things that matter…We know that the people who are most productive tend to spend more time thinking about what their priorities ought to be. Instead of getting into their office and just automatically answering emails, and then working on their expenses, and then returning phone calls. Instead of going on auto-pilot….What the most productive people do is they sit down and they say: ‘Okay look, I know I did that yesterday, but is that the best use of my time today?’

 

 

 

Additional Readings:

 

 

Note: The Battle In Your Mind is available for purchase if you’re looking for viewing for your conference attendees.

 


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The Zone and Flow

I was reminded of one of the optimal ways I can get myself to that place where not only do I have the ideas flowing, I also have the motivation to carry me through the activity (however many of them).

 

Surprisingly, it’s using a REALLY old tablet (until I figure out how to root it so I can ‘up’ the system storage), which due to its age…I only am able to keep a limited amount of apps. One I use often is Opera Mini (somehow even less resource exhaustive than the native browser app) to collect posts that would remind me when it is time to create content (either for public consumption — or for clients).

 

Maybe it’s while having a meal (I’m okay eating near phones or tablets — but not a laptop of desktop…) or while cooking.

 

Does one activity come to mind that just gets you there?

 

Additional Readings:

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Systems vs Goals

One takeaway I got from Scott’s chat with Srini was the idea of setting up systems rather than goals.

For me it makes sense, because I do believe that we have no idea where a project could lead to. So as Scott shares how he just started blogging, which ended up helping him write his book (as well as write for publications like The Wall Street Journal), which in turn helped him get speaking gigs.

 

Systems:

  • Writing a joke a day
  • Posting on your blog every week (even if you’re inspired or not).
  • Starting conversations with 10 people a day (Say you’re hoping to find a friend…who’s closer than a 4 hour drive!)

 

Goals:

  • I want to perform at the Late Show (not really a goal of mine! I just thought of Jerry’s one joke a day as an example — so this would be a related goal!)
  • I would like 100,000 views per month on my blog
  • Finding 5 new friends

 

The biggest upside of having a system (or at least focusing daily actions broken down from your goal) is that I can easily focus on what I have control over. I mean I can’t control the number of people who visit my site, and I also can’t control where a conversation leads. Though I can schedule to write every week and publish on specific days, and find a way to start up a conversation with someone who’s carrying a copy of Creativity Inc!

 

 

A supporting theory was mentioned during his chat with James about no one knowing what a good idea is (so don’t be too discouraged if someone tells you something is a bad idea — unless well…it’s a bad idea…like what Jimmy cooked up during Season 1 Episode 1 of ‘Better Call Saul’ to get the Kettlemans to sign with him).

 

 

 

 


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The Journey To One Thousand

My approach to finding my 1,000 is by thinking of the different ways I could serve others.

Since I have a mind that likes churning out ideas, I’ve combined it with my appetite for exploring things (films, books, music, essays, personal development…) — and as a result, there are days when I am a recommendation machine!

Then to make it clearer which group of people the content is for, I make sure that they are classified accordingly. For example, personal development stuff would be on my personal blog. Artist explorations are done within the WNE Q&A Series. For film comments/recommendations — I’m considering signing up to Rotten Tomatoes. Musical ideas are lumped in my YouTube Channel.

Now there’s the cooking and gardening explorations…still not sure which site to publish those entries with. Though I’m thinking it might work better if I just approach sites I’ve found helpful.
Sounds like a lot isn’t it? Well…it is! And my solution on not being overwhelmed (and avoiding losing hours of sleep) is to focus on two actions that I think would make the most difference. Though I’ve known this for awhile now, the path to action was helped along after reading a bit of ‘Good Strategy / Bad Strategy’ by Richard Rumelt. I managed to come up with those two actions based on spending some time with Richard’s three guiding principles in the book.

 

 

  • Diagnosis – “The Challenges the business or project faces”
  • Guiding Policy – “Overall approach for overcoming the obstacles, channeling actions in certain directions without defining exactly what shall be done.”
  • Coherent Action – “To have punch actions should coordinate and build upon one another…”

As a result, I’ve now been dedicating 5 of my 6 days to those two actions. It’s a pain…because the thing I hate the most is doing things repetitively…then I remind myself: ‘For those who are aiming to get to a certain fitness level, daily strategic actions are required to get there.’

 

Action #1: Do 100 Pitches per week for the ‘10,000 Notes of Encouragement‘ Project

Action to switch to once milestone (20% funding) has been achieved: Send next 1000 notes.

Action #2: Send 100 Q&A invitations per week.

Action to switch to once milestone (20 interviewees engaged enough to have a weekly response rate) has been achieved: Publish next 10 Q&As.

 

Note: This post started out as a comment for this entry. I liked how the sentences kept coming, so I wanted to do a version here! (At the moment of writing, my comment is pending approval.)

 

Are you also on your journey to finding your one thousand true fans? I’d love to get a chance to cheer you on!

 

 

 


 

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First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. πŸ™‚

What the Feed!?

You know how you expect to see something after a certain action…and then suddenly…something completely different happens?

Usually after posting each entry (both here and the WNE Q&A), I look at the tag feed. To check if the post got picked up, as soon as it has been published. What I found is some tags do not pick-up posts instantly — and even if I haven’t found a use for that bit of information…I’m sure my brain is happy to have it on standby!

Right after I posted Josh’s Q&A — I noticed something odd that came up when it showed up on the tag feed:

Tag Feed - ScreenShot - 2015-02-09 - 10 PM

Comparing what you see when you look through Josh’s Q&A. The summary on the tag feed doesn’t reflect what the entry looks like:

  • Picture of Josh’s ‘book buy stash‘ (Instagram)
  • Teaser: “Josh shares his journey as a reader, one way he makes use of Evernote, and his approach to find homes for a number of books after he got married.”
  • First few lines of the Q&A.

Entry ScreenShot - 2015-02-09 - 10-09 PM

Instead what came up was:

  • Photo for my mini-bio (which you can find at the end of the Q&A with a LOT of scrolling)
  • Text from Josh’s Instagram post.
  • More text from the said Instagram post!

 

When I saw the weird summary come up on the feeds..the following thoughts came up:

  • Wow…I shouldn’t put in my picture there (maybe somehow WordPress puts it as a priority?)…and just leave my mini-bio in text format…and just link to my photo.
  • Now visitors might think that that’s how each Q&A looks like! That it doesn’t make sense (I made peace with this thought). πŸ™‚
  • WordPress….WHY!? (Then I thought of a way to send my message of woe through Twitter or one of the WordPress forums. Though after awhile thinking about it…I realise I have two options: wait and check my next post or just post it anyway…just in case it is an issue WordPress isn’t aware of)

 

Have you experienced something similar? Please…please…oh…please let me know! πŸ™‚

 

The Importance of ‘No’

Making the wrong decision scares the heck out of me. Thing is, in order to grow (and move forward), I can’t just say yes to everything…or do nothing.

My saving grace (on some days) and reminder, came in the form of something from a review:

 

Some examples of the power of saying ‘No’:

 

Additional Reading:

 

Author’s Note: I intentionally keep entries short — elaboration and rants reserved for individual conversations (including those who reach out to me).

Distracted by Corgis?

The problem with having all the good intentions of ‘time management’ by tracking down each task, is at times, other tasks meld into it (like looking at pictures/videos of cute faces of dogs, puppies, and cats).

 

When it happens to me, my time tracking sheet ends up looking like:

  • 1:32 PM – 1:45 PM – Check WNE Facebook responses
  • 1:45 PM – 2:10 PM – Lunch
  • 2:10 PM – 5:45 PM – Check email (whoops! got distracted a LOT here!)
  • 5:45 PM – 6:10 PM – Exercise Time

 

Because I tend to have multiple tabs open at a time (those ideas have to be caught when they drift in!), I’ve found myself getting a thought…wanting to watch a quick video (to make sure it is the one I wanted to forward)…then ending up losing an hour or two while on my ‘check mail task’.

 

My solution to minimise this happening is to set a 20 minute timer, and to make sure that I vary my tasks between 20-40 minutes (to avoid sitting for long stretches of time). This way I can escape the hold of those cute furry faces (or even an interesting article or essay — as I would be best to catch up on it later).

 

…of course sometimes it doesn’t work as well…and I drift towards…well…what ‘feels good to watch’ (again…like cute furry faces that make you smile and go ‘awwww…’)

 

If I get frustrated when I have those moments when I realise that I’ve lost track of time or have not invested it wisely. One of the quotes I’d turn to would be from a review of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ — which was written by Mark Hughes:

 

 

Need me to be your timer (maybe not every 20 minutes…maybe just to check how you are doing)? Say the word…um…I mean…send me your message here! πŸ˜€