Conclusion of the 30-Day Challenge

It’s not May 4th, I’m aware.

For the past few days, I’ve been writing at 11PM, just trying to get something out before midnight. I’ve also been complaining about this challenge I gave myself.

It isn’t productive for the quality of this blog. Therefore, I’m dropping the 30-day publishing challenge.

I learned what I wanted to, though.

  • I have good ideas that aren’t multi-thousand step-by-step guides, and I shouldn’t be afraid to publish them, regardless of the word count.
  • I am not good as a daily writer.

I like to mull on an idea for 2-3 days, and also have a day to edit.

With proper preparation, of course, I can do this as a daily writer, but the biggest problem I’ve encountered is: I don’t have enough ideas.

If I go back (and actually be accountable for) weekly posts, I’ll have enough time to fulfill these three things I learned about myself and my writing style and push out much better posts.

I definitely got out of my comfort zone, though, with posts like Stay Unaffiliated and How to Be Original, so it’s been a good 17 days. I don’t regret taking the challenge or dropping it midway.

See you on Friday!

Exponential vs. Logarithmic Gains

There are three types of gains: Exponential, Linear, and Logarithmic.

Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s more important to recognize what types of gains you’re getting from an activity than to be doing an activity that gives a specific kind of gain.

When you’re taking on a project or jumping down a rabbit hole, it’s important to know when to stop, or when to keep going. If current growth feels slow, but you know that this activity gives you an exponential gain, you’ll know to keep going until the gains start coming in more rapidly than you can handle.

What’s the difference?

Due to issues regarding copyright, I had to draw my own little graph. Excuse the shakiness.

gainsAs you can see, logarithmic gains give you the most results very early on, and then slowly lower. An example of logarithmic gains is weightlifting. In the first few months of lifting, the pounds you’re lifting will grow at at an unimaginable rate, and once you reach your limit as an amateur, gains will turn very steady and slow.

Linear gains simply continue progressing at the same rate. An example of linear gains are the amount of cash in a savings account.There is a set interest, and your money grows according to that interest.

Exponential gains start slow, and then build and build at a faster rate than you can handle. An example of this might be your business. It will take the most effort to get your first 10 customers. Everything’s easier from that point forward, until your company’s as big as Apple’s and the customers line up outside your stores.

This is all basic algebra, but we’re using these concepts to frame our decision-making.

In order to use this as a framework for decision-making, realize this is a model. Nothing is as easy as any of these types of gains, and there will always be obstacles along the way. If you use the growth models as perfect predictions of how you will receive gains, you will be disappointed. There are always obstacles.

How do I use this knowledge?

Think of a project you’re investing in. Do you know what kinds of gains it will yield, and when you should stop?

If you’re hoping to learn psychology to help you understand yourself and make yourself a better employee, know that this sort of research has logarithmic returns. Therefore, reading the three most popular psychology books in the world will give you the most return for your time and money. The more you read, the more repetitive and niche the books will become, and they’ll no longer relate to your situation.

On the other hand, if you’re hoping to build wealth, realize that you build more wealth by having more wealth. How do you get more wealth? Build more wealth. The gains are exponential, and you must realize that if you’re going to build wealth in an effective manner.

Have any questions? Leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].

What am I consuming?

I was going to develop a series called “What I’ve Been Consuming,” last year. The problem is, I don’t consume that much anymore. I read one book a week, watch one movie a week, don’t play video games regularly anymore, barely discover any new music, and I don’t surf the net at all.

I expect to do a yearly review of the books I read at the end of 2014, but I don’t consume enough to justify a monthly series on the topic.

I’m a firm believer in consumption–don’t get me wrong. I think you need it to be original, but I’m valuing more consumption away from the screen these days.

What I do online, though, I’m a die-hard fan for. Everything I’m subscribed to has changed my life at least once. The list always changing, because I’m always experimenting with new blogs and people to follow online, but as of right now–April 17th, 2014, here’s what I’m subscribed to:

Blogs:

I keep out a few things I’m subscribed to, either because the posts are very infrequent or I skip a lot of the received content. I could’ve also forgotten about a few.

Podcasts:

I have a very love-hate relationship with podcasts. There are so many I want to get into (history podcasts in particular), but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I have a very specific taste, and it seems to be very interview-based.

  • WTF with Marc Maron – I just discovered this podcast recently, and I am obsessed. I love Marc Maron because he’s not afraid to talk about the dark side of life. Each episode is funny, dark, and inspirational at the same time.
  • The School of Greatness – This is the only sort of self-development podcast I can stand. There’s a huge cast of people that Lewis interviews, from athletes to entrepreneurs to celebrities, and he knows exactly what to ask them.
  • Mountain Shores – This is a monthly (or so) chat between Fabian Kruse, Milo McLaughlin, and (sometimes) Michael Nobbs about making it with a creative life.
  • Love Bollywood - It’s the only Bollywood podcast I know of. Interviews with the people I adore are always fun to listen to.

Even though this might seem like a long list, consider that the average frequency of publishing is once a week. Consuming my online media takes so little time every day, it’s almost disappointing. Do you know of any blogs or podcasts that I might enjoy? Leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].

How do you make change?

What is your political agenda?

What if I told you that I knew how to make this political agenda happen?

If you’re willing to get on the path to push your ideas forward, here’s how to make the public you’re going up against change their minds.

First of all, become a radical. This doesn’t mean you have to be very progressive, but you have to take an extreme side of things. I know, your political agenda isn’t extreme, you just want a moderate change in the world, that’s all. You’re willing to accept just this one small change.

You can’t get a moderate change without going extreme. There are two advantages to going radical:

  • You’re controversial. Controversy gets media attention, and media attention is what you want the most. You’ll garner supporters who agree with you, and people will know who you are, which gives you credibility.
  • When you propose a moderate change, people will warm up the idea more. More on this below.

There is a concept called the Overton window. The basic idea is that the public has a general range of ideas that they’ll accept. It’s quite a narrow window.

Let’s say, in your city, there’s a law stating that children under 18 must wear a helmet to ride their bicycles. You want to reduce the law and make it children under 12 must wear a helmet to ride their bicycles. This is pretty moderate.

The problem is, if you say this, nobody cares.

The way to get attention, and further, credibility, is to state that there should be no law regarding wearing helmets. In fact, you could even go as far as saying that helmets are harmful.

Now, look at these two titles for the local paper:

“Local Wants Freedom for Teenage Cyclists” (I’m not a journalist, I apologize.)

or

“Local Proposes that Helmets are Harmful!”

Which is more compelling?

Which story would you read?

Of course, there had better be an amazing story under that headline. Do substantial research and make people who are reading that story because they think you’re wrong rethink themselves. Make sure there are case studies, quotes, all the subtle ways to manipulate people in a debate. Make sure there’s a call-to-action, and consistently show up with the same radical ideas. After you get the first paper and the first attention going, maximize it. Use Ryan Holiday’s method for media domination.

If you did this correctly, you’ll have a devoted, core following, which will kind of be like Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans. They’ll spread your concepts like wildfire, garnering more and more attention. All you have to do is seize the opportunities that come with that attention–TV, newspapers, online media, interviews, always showing up prepared, intelligent, and ready for rebuttals.

Don’t let them think you’re just some crazy person. Present yourself well. What makes people most uncomfortable is when someone who has crazy ideas is actually smart and someone that they respect.

Saul Alinsky, who I’ve talked about before, had some insane views. The thing is, no one can deny that he’s a genius, and that his tactics are genius. That’s what made him so successful.

Eventually, you’ll reach the government.

There will be a petition with 100,000 signatures or something, which is undeniably large following for a simple city law. The government can’t ignore it.

You will have extreme opposition that’s keeping the government from passing your law. There will be hate mail and death threats (but you didn’t get into this because you thought it’d be easy, right?). Think of the moms!

When you reach this point, you simply propose a “compromise.” What is this compromise? Your idea in the first place! Only make it illegal for children under 12 to not be wearing helmets while riding their bicycle.

Everyone will think you’re stepping down, not getting what you really wanted in the first place. The government will be so pleased that it can reach a middle ground which will decrease the tension, they’ll pass your law!

You win! You changed the world! This is all thanks to being a radical in the first place.

Obviously, this is a vast oversimplication of the process. Nothing is that easy. But, the likelihood of making the change you want vastly increases once you take advantage of radicalism.

Next up? Read Rules for Radicals. Look forward to a post about it in the future.

Have any questions or comments about making change and being a radical? Leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].