In an interview with Neil Patel, in regards to producing content that spreads, the interviewer says, “It’s quality that matters, not quantity.”
This is true and is likely the right advice, but it’s not very good advice.
The issue is that you often only can start to get quality from creating quantity – this has been proven a lot.
Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, says “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
Look at the first YouTube videos of Ray William Johnson, the top subscribed channel in the early 2000s – his videos were terrible.
The first video for Oney Cartoons was god awful compared to him now.
Southpark & Simpsons were a bit ‘off’ in their first season few episodes.
TV show Friends had a pretty boring pilot episode.
Rhett and Link, with over 10 million YouTube subscribers, have some hilariously low production value videos when they started.
Too Short, successful rapper that pioneered West Coast rap, used beats from a simple drum machine when he started.
Almost everyone starts off awful, but only some keep producing that product and learn from each iteration, try harder for the next one, and also know when to give up and pivot to something else as discussed in Seth Godin’s book, The Dip.
Knowing that quality matters and is the goal is true, but quantity is the way to get there.
Consider the question your asking google. If there’s a money trail, the answers you’re getting are likely useless.
Books may win yet another battle over free web articles.
If you ask,
“Do I need an attorney for XYZ” The answer is ALWAYS yes, because every attorney website will pop up giving you free “helpful” advice for why you need one.
“Do I need an electrician to wire up an outlet?” Pay up! Of course you do, you don’t want to be electrocuted, right?! Don’t worry about how you can do it yourself.
The point is, if doing it yourself requires no one, there’s no money in that, and you’ll never get the real answer.
When it comes to free advice, you often get what you pay for (TruthCake excluded!).
For all you entrepreneurs, there’s a monster gap right now in unbiased consultative services that empower people.
If you want to learn to do simple taxes yourself, almost no CPA will teach you.
If you want to set up a corporation, no lawyer will explain that you don’t even need it.
If you want to sell your house, the real estate agent won’t tell you that you could sell it faster yourself.
Granted, some YouTube videos empower people, but when it comes to advanced stuff where there’s a big market to charge someone, the chances of finding those videos that really empower you start dwindling. It’s too easy to fall to the dark side and fear monger people into paying for your product.
You also don’t need a shovel to dig a hole when your hands will do just fine.
Digging faster with your hands can happen for numerous reasons:
If you were born with big hands
If you work out, you’ll scoop out dirt faster
If you’re a good planner, you’d dig near the coast in sandy soil
If you were born lucky, you hit a tunnel that had already been dug
If you were born smart, you might come up with better scooping techniques
So you conclude that your success of digging a hole was some mix of:
Nature – Being a strong, big handed man
Nurture – Working out, planning to dig in sandy soils
Luck – Hitting open cavities in the earth
And conclude that other people may need that self-improvement crap, but you don’t.
People get rich without considering mindset (but ever known someone rich and miserable?).
Some don’t need to consider mindset / visualization if luck slants heavily in their favor like for a lottery winner.
When you see the rich & famous people and they never read Think and Grow Rich nor go to every Tony Robbins seminar, it’s not because that stuff doesn’t work. It’s because they simply didn’t need it anymore than they need a bobcat to dig a hole when they can dig with their hands.
I’ll take the bobcat.
No one cares about that.
There’s 3.2 billion internet users. If my policy saves 4 seconds of life * 3.2 billion = 12.8 billion seconds saved. Average human life span is 79 years, which is 2.4 billion seconds. That means 5.2 lives are completely wasted (murdered?) with stupid policy mandates. Start adding up the amount of time webmasters take to update their policies, and so on, and you see how nasty it is.
Save a life – complain to your politician that policy updates are murdering us all, 2 seconds at a time.
Gold? Etherium? Guns!?
Time is going to be the next generation of currency.
Everything is getting cheaper – unlimited games, unlimited entertainment, our cars last over a decade, and consumerism is falling as people realize that spending their money on luxury items isn’t bringing the advertised joy. We have more of everything – except time.
I’m bullish on anything that saves time for people. The best theatrical movie still has people looking at their phone during it. Why – is it not exciting or amazing enough? No, they just don’t have time to just be doing ONE thing like watch a movie.
Making better future bets is easy when you see emotional trends in people. Anything that gives people more time is going to be a safer bet:
Podcasts over video, since you can do 2 things at once when you listen to a podcast.
Self-driving cars over manual, since you can do 2 things when your car is driving.
Organized courses over YouTube, since 1,000 free YouTube videos is often disorganized and slow.
6 month coding boot camp schools over 4 year computer science degree.
Short succinct writers over the long rambling writers.
The things that don’t give extra time, but have been considered good ideas to spend money on in the past are dwindling:
New fancy watches, restaurants, cars (that don’t drive themselves), boats / yachts, monstrous houses with endless maintenance, shopping in person (it’s cheaper online and that’s true, but really, it’s also about time).
Items that don’t give time are dwindling. But God forbid they take time (like retail shopping), because if a business takes time, they should give up now.
What’ll people do when they have more free time? Oh, spend it with their friends, truly watch a movie (without a cell phone), and relax a bit. Never mind that they can have all that right now if they wanted…if they just had a little more time.
The cycle continues.
I read a self-improvement blog yesterday. It was filled with the “don’t give up, keep trying, stay positive!” sort of stuff that’s popular among many.
That sort of self-improvement stuff made me a bit sick, and then I wondered why.
I think everyone is at a different level for self improvement stuff. And there’s nothing wrong with any of the levels, but you’ve got to see where you are. A bodybuilder looking to get an extra vascular look for a show is going to be put off from diet advice that says, “Limit yourself to 1 soda per day!”
That’s garbage advice to him, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
We all start somewhere.
Multi-millionaire Lewis Howes is about to stumble into the next level of self-improvement. He wrote the major hit The School of Greatness and was personally already massively successful (the classic definition: lots of fame, fortune, women) at that point. Then he realizes he gets into crazy fist fights and realizes his ego is a beast that puts on different personas around people to be liked (maybe he should stop fist fighting people and read TruthCake.com?!). His newest book talks of how to get rid of these “masks” and be more authentic to your true self.
I find Lewis’ perspective on masks illuminating. Jim Carrey, however, would probably feel sick reading it, since he’s at the next level where he realizes your core persona is just a construct you made up as well. If you watch Carry’s documentary “Andy and Me” on Netflix, you’ll see that he believes we’re all just creations of our own mind. He would believe Lewis’ maskless persona is indeed his genuine self, but a completely hollow construct. Whoops!
We can’t all lift 300 lbs in the gym our first day. Why would we expect that all self-improvement literature be fit for everyone? It’s not. The 300 lbs that makes a muscle grow for a bodybuilder lifting it – it makes them stronger. The same 300 lbs does nothing but tear a ligament for you trying to lift it – it makes you weaker.
Find the “right weight,” that “right idea,” where you grow the most.
Marie Kondo has a book where she discusses the benefits of minimalism. She encourages getting rid of excess stuff by taking an item and asking yourself if you get joy by having it. This works great for people that need to take a step in getting rid of junk that fills their home and mind.
It’s clearly good advice, but what if the right advice is to realize that maybe you don’t need anything and that deriving true joy from an item might not be a solid foundation of happiness. Maybe the right advice is to get rid of most everything. But people can’t follow the right advice – to transcend your human desires to hoard items and not have your joy tethered to mundane stuff.
James Altucher, author of “Chose Yourself,” is known for having thrown out all his items, even his college diploma. Maybe he’s over corrected a bit there from having way too much stuff earlier in life, but don’t focus on this example as much as the underlying concept.
Situation – Your husband is abusive.
Good advice – Have an honest talk.
Right advice – Divorce him tonight.
Situation – Your worm store business is going under.
Good advice – Get your costs down and do some more market research.
Right advice – Shut it down.
Situation – Your 60 lbs overweight.
Good advice – Cut back on soda.
Right advice – Work out a ton, change your entire diet.
Conversely, just because it’s the right advice, doesn’t mean that it’s good. As seen here:
Situation – You’re an alcoholic.
Good advice – Join AA, stop drinking altogether.
Right advice – Only drink a couple beers at a time.
Many alcoholics won’t be able to achieve the right advice. It’s a balance, but you have to see that balance between “good” and “right” to begin with.
How much time are we wasting trying to find the “good advice,” which is advice you can agree with and easily implement vs the advice that’s right and effective, but takes discipline to execute.
Stop looking for good advice and start thinking about the right advice that you don’t want to hear.
What is this site?
Self improvement for smart people.
I follow business leaders, gurus, and philosophers and note things others missed that I’ve found valuable.
This site is my precious treasure chest of ideas on business, philosophy and life. And hopefully during your pillaging here, you get your mind blown.
My life’s goals are to help summarize the human knowledge base, dispel self improvement myths, and achieve a resultant and unrelenting state of 24/7 euphoria. I’m kidding, but we’ll still try!
Follow along on my journey!