Kaizen 72: 5 Lessons learned from my viral tweet-thread

Thoughts on creativity, creators and writing

Hey friend 👋,

Welcome to the 72nd 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.

First of all, I just want to welcome all of the new subscribers that came from my tweet-thread 🙏

I had an absolute blast speaking with Danny Miranda around a month ago and the podcast episode finally dropped on Monday! We spoke about Kaizen, how to remain consistent, how to be the best version of yourself and lessons learned from completing 75 hard. You can listen to it here.

(if you got referred to this page by a friend or are simply visiting you can subscribe here👇)

Now, on to the newsletter.


In last week's newsletter, I shared how I convinced Ali Abdaal to "give" me $749.

I then decided to turn the story into a tweet-thread, and it blew up (thanks to Ali’s retweet).

After 3 days, I had an increase of ~200 new followers and ~100 new subscribers to my newsletter (thank you once again🙏), which is absolutely insane for my standard!

But enough bragging.

Whenever something like this happens, I like to break-down the situation and turn it into lessons so that I'm able to understand why it happened and how I can potentially replicate it for another time.

Here are 5 lessons that I've gathered from my "successful" tweet-thread:

1. Provide value first

It’s sad to say, but truth is, 99% of people don’t care about your story.

They care first and foremost about them and how you can help them in their own journey.

Which explains why my tweet on how to create a good cold email was the most liked one.

It was the most actionable tweet out of all 13 I sent out.

Whenever I write, I always ask myself “what lesson can the reader take away from this story/text I am writing?” And if not, I update my text to incorporate one.

2. Leverage your content

I thank GaryVee for drilling down the importance of leveraging one piece of content and distributing it into different platforms.

That's why I turned my newsletter into a tweet-storm.

What’s important to remember is that you can’t just copy and paste the essay in Twitter and press send.

You have to adapt it to the platform you're posting it on.

Because Twitter rewards brevity (because of the limit in characters), I had to cut out a lot of the details and get straight to the point.

3. The importance of copywriting

This is probably the most important lesson I've learned in the past few weeks: copywriting is king.

What I mean by that is that copywriting is everywhere and it gives you a huge advantage if you know even just small copywriting basics and start applying them to your writing.

Just to give you an idea, copywriting has helped me get bumped to the premium membership of the YouTube course I’m taking and also got me to 200+ followers on Twitter and 100+ subscribers on my newsletter.

If you want any resources to start learning copywriting basics, I have a tweet-thread that links free resources to use. If not, I would also recommend checking out this post about AIDA, a helpful copywriting formula that can improve your writing.

4. You can only control what you can control

If Ali Abdaal didn’t retweet my tweet-thread, then it wouldn’t have had the reach it got and would have never blown up as much as it did.

And that’s something I can’t control. Like it or not, luck often plays a huge role in your success.

However, I’ve also learned that the only way to not rely on luck is to continue to produce value with everything that you create and eventually, luck will have no choice but to reward you eventually.

5. Don't let the dopamine get to your head

This might be the most important one for me.

I have to admit, I baked in the dopamine hits for a good portion of the afternoon (while my tweet was blowing up).

It just felt really cool seeing subscriber after subscriber popping in my inbox.

But I realized that although numbers on the screen increased, nothing in my life actually changed.

I need to remind myself to not get caught up with the dopamine hits and to continue working hard and providing value to others because that’s how you succeed.


🤔 Thoughts

🧠 Thoughts on Creativity

One of my favourite writers, Julian, shared a mental model that he learned to generate world-class writing. He calls it the creativity faucet, which he describes as follows:

Visualize your creativity as a backed-up pipe of water. The first mile of piping is packed with wastewater. This wastewater must be emptied before the clear water arrives.

Basically, only after generating a lot of bad ideas will the good ideas come to you.

That's why in copywriting when you're trying to figure out a headline for a piece, you want to spend a few minutes just spitting any title that comes to mind and it's generally only after a few hours or even a day later where you are "struck with inspiration" and this amazing headline magically comes to you.

In reality, it's because you got rid of all your bad ideas, so the good ideas start coming out.

🎨 Thoughts on Creators

What exactly is a creator? It seems like anyone defines themselves as a creator, but I love Hugo's take:

A creator isn't someone who creates. A creator is an individual who scales without permission.

He believes that a creator is at the intersection of individuality, leverage and rebellion.

You can read the rest of his reflection here.

✍️ Thoughts on Writing

I consider myself lucky that I have no problem writing my newsletter while also working for another company, but I understand how it can potentially create an awkward conversation between you and your boss. Nick, a fellow Kaizen subscriber, shares his thoughts on how you can integrate your writing with your profession and navigate the potential muddy waters that it can create.

As he explains in his essay, the easiest way to align both your profession and your writing together is to overlap the audiences together. Although I don't personally do it for my own newsletter, I think it's a good idea if you're afraid that your writing can potentially be seen as "distractive" for the company.

🐦 Tweets

The not so secret to a happy relationship.

Loved this diagram on how to create a goal and stick to it by Khe Hy.

Might not dabble into Procreate after all is this is the bar to attain after day 1 👀.

🙏 Shoutout

Shoutout to my new Twitter/YT crew: Khe, Jen, Joanna, Kyle, James, Michael and Marc. We're going to slowly takeover YT in the next few years, so watch out! 😎

Thanks to Stacy for providing feedback for this edition of the newsletter.


👋 End Note

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

If you enjoyed the Kaizen Newsletter, then it'd be cool if you can share it with your friends.

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See ya next Tuesday,

Alexander ✌️