The Kaizen Newsletter #27 (12/18/2019)

The importance of building your own guild

Mini disclaimer:

I have to admit, I had the hardest time writing this article, and that’s why I sent it out a bit later. I’ve been writing, re-writing and scrapping a bunch of paragraphs over and over, but nothing seemed very coherent. And it was really only around 12:30AM today (so, yes I was already late on my newsletter) that I had a “ha-ha” moment and found the direction where I wanted to take this article.

I starting re-writing all of my paragraphs AGAIN and instead of publishing a kinda half-asses article, I decided to just go to sleep and to work on it with a fresh pair of eyes (and brain) instead. Hence, here we are!

The importance of finding your own guild

I’m going to show more of my nerdy side today, but remember when you were a kid and pretty much every cartoon/anime show that I would watch would always revolve around “if you have friends, then you can do anything”. Just to illustrate the cringeyness of some of these friendship quotes, here’s one from Tea Gardner from Yu-Gi-Oh.

No matter how dark things may get, the special bond I share with my friends will always find a way to shine through! I may be scared, but that fear won't keep me from dueling! - Tea Gardner

Although I don’t think friendship will protect you from every failure, I do believe that it almost gives you superpowers.

Don’t get me wrong, you still need to put in the work, be patient, be consistent and still have a bit of luck, but being surrounded by like-minded who are also following a similar path as you are, makes the trip to success a lot more enjoyable but a lot more easier as well.

That’s why I believe everyone should be building or finding their own guild.

A guild? Yeah, my geekiness is coming out again. Basically, if you’ve ever played any sort of MMO type game (my memories are mostly from Maple Story), there would always be a possibility to form a guild - a group of people that would share a common goal inside the game, that would help each other along the way, share tips and secrets and train together. It basically made the game a lot more fun and easier, since you could always rely on other people to help you out.

A guild IRL?

So what does an IRL guild look like?

Well, I’ll be honest and say there’s almost no difference between an MMO guild and an IRL guild. The only thing that changes is your goal really. If you think about it, you’re still playing a game right? The game of life.

Find people that share a similar goal

Although everyone that plays the MMO has the goal of reaching lv 200, it doesn’t necessarily mean that EVERYONE playing the game will play it the same way as you are. Some people want to be the first to get to 200 and will be putting in 12h+ a day to get there. Some people want to get to 200 eventually, but they also have other activities they want to do on the side, so maybe they’re only putting in a few hours per day instead. Some people don’t actually care about getting to lv 200 and they just like to play for fun (plebes 😒).

So when you’re finding/building your guild, you want to make sure that the people you find also fit how you play the game. If your goal is to become Director of Product in 2 years, but someone else wants to stay as a product manager forever, then maybe it wouldn’t be a good fit. If your goal is to start writing more, but someone else’s goal is to actually write a book, then that wouldn’t be a good fit either.

Find people that are around your level

If let’s say the highest level you can get is lv 200 and you’re lv 130, then it wouldn’t really make sense for you to bring on people that are lv 50 with you, since they would also slow you down but it also wouldn’t make sense for someone who’s lv 190 to join your guild either.

This can feel similar to the above, but I do what to make the distinction between both. The best example I can give is if you want to become the best podcaster in the world and you ask Joe Rogan to be a part of your guild, but you “only” have 10,000 views per episode you release. I’d say it is very unlikely that he actually accepts since it probably wouldn’t be worth his time. And it’s probably the same thing if someone who’s completely new would come to ask you to be a part of his guild. You’d also probably say no. But if someone who has 1,000 views? Or someone who has 50,000 views? I think there are good chances that all three of you would be able to learn from each other.

How will the guild help?

Once your guild is set into motion, that’s really when the fun starts. You get a lot more feedback, you get motivation from seeing your guild members also working hard so you don’t want to stop either and if your guild is good, then most likely every member will start seeing success around at the same time.

It’s funny because I actually never actually experience being in a really good guild (that’s one of my goals in 2020), but I’ve seen it work time and time again. And instead of writing about the benefits, I’ll just show you examples of it working.

One of the best examples I saw in the past year was David Perell and Tiago Forte on Twitter. Although they were both doing pretty good on their own in 2018, both accounts really exploded in 2019 when they decided to launch their Write of Passage school. And since then, both of them are travelling all over the world for a bunch of different gigs.

I mean just look at their follower count since Jan 2019 (when they first tweeted about Write of Passage).

A lesser-known example would be eCommerce kids from B.O.S.S Builder. I think this is my ideal type of guild because they all bring something very specific to the table, they all share a similar goal and are pretty much all on the same level as well. Nate Schmidt and Scotty are the co-founders and provide the vision, direction and business acumen to the gang and are also excellent copywriters. Du and Kobe Gatsby both bring in branding. The “Ecom Sharks” Aman and Sunny and “The Ads Alchemist” all provide their expertise in FB Ads.

And now, well I can’t really find how much they’re making, but with tweets like the below, I’m pretty sure that all of them are doing really well.

Heading into 2020

So hopefully that convinced you that finding your guild is pretty important. As I mentioned above, my goal in 2020 is to also find my guild, but I know it’s not something I can force either. And until you find your guild, the best thing you can do is continue publishing and providing value to others. That’s the best way to attract people.

Now, on to the newsletter.


Weekly Favourites

📺 Media

  • Kanye West on 'Jesus is King', Being Canceled, Finding God + A Lot More - Finally got the time to watch this interview with Kanye. Remember when people would say that Kanye never smiles? Man it feels good to just see him smile and be happy. I know wherever he goes, he brings a lot of controversies, but I can’t seem to NOT like the guy. Like he actually makes a lot of valid points throughout the interview and overall it’s just a joy to watch. Definitely recommended.

  • Sean Lew - Down Bad (Choreography) - YO. This kid is sick. He really snapped on this song. He’s only 18, but I already know that he’ll become really big in the dance community.

📚 Books

  • The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company - I’m actually ashamed to admit it, but this is the only the second book that I’ve read this year (and actually haven’t finished it yet), but reading this book reminded me how much more I enjoy reading books more than reading multiple short articles. I’ve never actually heard of Bob Iger before reading about him, but man this guy is smart. The book gives plenty of lessons on leadership, mentorship, how to make hard decisions, working hard, etc.

🐦 Tweets

🎧 Music

Albums

Songs

🙏 Shoutouts

  • Shoutout to my brother Nicholas for the really good random talks we often have about self-development right before we both need to go to bed.


👋 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. They can sign up here.

Feedback is always appreciated, so let me know what you liked and what I can improve on by replying to this email.

If you see any cool articles, links, tweets, stories or podcasts that you think are interesting, feel free to share as well at alex@alexhughsam.com