I recently read a newsletter by Tintin Smith called Quantity Over Quality. The premise of the newsletter is that in content creation it is more important to create a lot of content than to focus on quality. If you keep creating content over time you will become better at it, but if you get stuck in making sure your first blog post or first video is great you will postpone putting it out there. Practice makes perfect and this is no different in content creation.
Another thing Tintin brought up is the fear to display what you create. This is something I struggle with and I am sure many other creators do too, it can be scary to put your ideas and creations out into the world. At the same time that is a big reason why we create, to hopefully inspire something in others. This inspired me to advertise the blog a bit more to the world and post about it on social media so if you are here for the first time, welcome. I hope you will enjoy it.
A second reason for sharing the blog more publicly is that it will serve as a function to hold me more accountable. This is something I picked up from Tim Ferriss as he considers it a good tool to give yourself stronger incentives to accomplish what you set out to do. Having people expect me to publish a blog post each week will help me stay disciplined to do it. Hopefully, this means this is the first of many blog posts you read.
I just finished Courage is Calling by Ryan Holiday. This is the first book I finished since setting the goal of reading 18 books in a year on my birthday on the 24th of September, so I am a bit behind schedule, but it should be fine! The book is the first part of a series on the four stoic virtues by Ryan Holiday, the virtues are wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice. Ryan Holiday describes himself as a modern-day philosopher and an author sharing his ideas and thoughts on stoicism and living a good life. I have always been drawn to stoicism and find the philosophy incredibly interesting and maybe even more so the people who practice it. Some of the most remarkable people in the world have practiced stoicism. A great book to start with is "A Guide to the Good Life" which was the inspiration for another post about stoicism that I wrote here.
The book is a great read if you have an interest in philosophy and history. Ryan Holiday explains what courage and bravery mean through stories of bravery about courageous people like Florence Nightingale, Charles De Gaulle, and Frederick Douglas. Binding the concepts to stories makes them more memorable to me and it is easier to recall than just a theoretical explanation. I liked that the chapters were short and punchy too, this way I could manage to read a chapter on the bus to school and not be in the middle of a chapter when I stopped reading
A part of the book which I found incredibly interesting was when Ryan Holiday talked about Reed Hastings. First Ryan gave Reed credit for being courageous in transforming Netflix from mailing DVDs to the streaming giant it is today. But then he recalls a moment when Reed was not as courageous, regarding Netflix removing an episode of the Patriot Act because it was critical of the Saudi government's involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Ryan writes:
"What good is being a billionaire if you can't use it to take the pretty straightforward stance against dismembering members of the press?"
This reminded me of a quote from David Heinemeier Hansson creator of Ruby-on-Rails and co-founder of Basecamp in response to a question about why he makes controversial stands against Silicon Valley culture:
What’s the point of having ‘f--- you’ money if you never say ‘f--- you’?
I think it is important to have the courage to put morals over money in a capitalistic world. I am a big believer in capitalism and free markets, I think they have created great things in the world but we must not let greed govern our actions.
I would recommend the book if you have any interest in stoicism, history, or bravery. The book is thought-provoking and provides touching and incredible stories throughout. I often found myself googling to learn more about the people presented in the book.
Podcast of the Week
The Founders podcast by David Senra and his episode called Paul Graham's Essays. This episode is the first part of a series of episodes on the entrepreneur and thinker Paul Graham's amazing essays which can be found on his site. David helps filter out some real nuggets of wisdom from Paul's essays but I do recommend you to read the essays too if you find the episode interesting. The essays contain great information about entrepreneurship, startups, and career advice. Being the founder of YCombinator, the premier startup accelerator in the world Paul has some fantastic insights into the startup world and shares amazing wisdom and tips. His writing is incredibly precise and he shares his ideas extremely well.
One essay that I found incredibly interesting was the opening essay David talked about, How to do What You Love. Paul talks about the fact that as kids, work is often portrayed as awfully boring and a necessary evil before you get to go home and live your life. This is a dangerous way to think about work as it might create the idea that being unhappy at work is normal. Paul then goes on to talk about finding what you love to do and what it might look like. One sentence that stuck out to me is when he is describing what the lower bound for work you love is, Paul writes:
As a lower bound, you have to like your work more than any unproductive pleasure.
This resonated with me as I have struggled with procrastination, but when you find something truly interesting it is not so hard to sit down and do it. Of course, that does not mean it will always be easy to work, but nobody has to force you to do it. To find the things you like to do you have to go out and try different things. Some of them will be awful but others will be enjoyable and you go through life exploring and finding new things you like.
I found the Founders podcast through two other great podcasts, Infinite Loops by Jim O'Shaughnessy and Invest Like the Best by his son Patrick O'Shaughnessy. Both their podcasts are chock-full of wisdom on investing, business and entrepreneurship. I can't recommend them highly enough. David was a guest on their podcasts and then his podcast Founders joined the Colossus network which is Patrick's podcasting business. The basis of most episodes of Founders is that David has read a biography of a great founder/entrepreneur during the week which he distills in his podcast. Currently, he is on episode 275 so he has read a few biographies.
Have a great week and I will see you next Sunday!