KAIZEN CH.85 - How to start a project without procrastinating

Thoughts on starting projects, idea creation, intuition and asking dumb questions

Hey friend 👋,

Welcome to the 85th edition of the Kaizen Newsletter ⛩, a weekly newsletter where I share my thoughts, new ideas I learn and make weird connections between self-improvement, productivity, product, tech, sports, anime.

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No essay to share this week. I was working on an essay this weekend, but I didn't like the direction that I was going with it, so instead of just posting whatever, I decided to just push it to next week instead.

This weekend I tasted my first true viral tweet that got me 2K+ likes on Twitter, which was pretty fun.

In other news, I'm finally re-starting posting YouTube videos as well, so expect to see one every week for at least the next month!

Anyways. Enough about me.

On to the newsletter.

💻 Thoughts on Starting Projects

It takes me an eternity before starting any of my new projects.

I like wasting my time on research or asking my friends or family if they think it's a good idea.

And after all that effort, it's frequent that I end up not doing the project at all.

This is why I love Shaan Puri's Kickoff Doc, a document that he goes through every time a new project of his is launched.

The goal? After he finishes writing up the document, he makes sure to end the kickoff with a brainstorm of an action that he can take in the next hour.

It could be as small as talking to a customer or creating a quick prototype or maybe even a drawing.

In the case of a creator, this could be writing out a quick outline of your essay or YouTube video.

Doing this helps you create momentum and pushes you to actually get started instead of wasting a bunch of time on things that won't bring you to your goal.

Read More

🎨 Thoughts on Idea Creation

I recently discovered this Steve Jobs video about his parable on rocks through Salman's video.

In this story, he shares that it’s through friction and hitting other rocks that a rock can become polished. He uses this metaphor to explain how successful teams operate.

It’s through the combination of working together and sometimes bumping into each other that they can polish themselves, but the final product as well.

And this reminded me of why I love having conversations with others about my ideas. Whenever I can bring up my idea, I can test it with the person I'm speaking with and it's through their feedback (friction) that eventually I'm able to polish my idea until it's ready to be written about.

This metaphor is not only a good explanation for product creation, but for idea creation as well.

Watch Video

✍️ Thoughts on Listening to Your Intuition

This video was shared with me by my friend James.

In this video, he shares the 9 lessons that he learned from getting to 1K subscribers on YouTube.

My favourite lesson was his 8th one: Learn from the Best, But Follow Your Own Heart.

The common advice given to beginner YouTubers is to concentrate on quantity first. You want to try to upload at least 1 video per week, but if you can do more, then that's encouraged to do so.

As a reference, Ali Abdaal, who got to 1M subscribers in ~3 years was uploading an average of 2 videos per week during that time span. It took him 6 months to actually hit the 1K subscriber mark, which is around 50 videos.

But Moly (pronounced Moo-lee) got to 1K while only uploading 6 videos in total in a span of a full year.

To me this is what creativity is all about. It's having the courage to listen to what your intuition is telling you to do despite all the perfectly logical advice that everyone else is telling you. - Moly

Even though he knew that the “best” way to grow his account was to post 1 video a week, he didn’t care. He wanted to take the time to edit his videos and he didn’t want to force himself to make a video every single week if he didn’t have anything interest to say. Instead, he followed his heart.

Watch Video

✍️ Thoughts on Asking Dumb Questions

In this interview, Paige Finn, who's an engineer, community builder and aspiring VC shares how she creates weekly venture capital content.

Her trick? She writes answers to those "dumb questions" that others are too afraid to ask.

I love this because a lot of people sometimes think that you need to have original thoughts to write, but that's not true. In this case, she's just asking her community what they want to learn and then she goes ahead and creates content that answers their questions.

Using her approach, she was able to raise 5K+ to write a children's book about venture capital and wrote a guide for syndicates that got lots of input from investors and founders.

Read More

🐦 Tweets

Probably one of my favourite tweets in a while. Simple format, but says a lot.

This ad is so good.

Her facial expressions really make the TikTok 😂

🙏 Shoutout

Shoutout to Ethan, James, Paul, Marco and Graham for the amazing conversations I had last week. It was a mix between old friends, new friends and a whole lot of learning.

👋 End Note

If you want to know what I'm up to now, you can check it on my website here.

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See ya next Tuesday,

Alexander ✌️