The Power of No

The Power of No

The Power of No

The Power of No

The Power of No

The Power of No

The Power of No

The Power of No

The biggest trap for creators with traction

It sounds silly, but the hardest thing to do when you’re seeing success as a creator is to remain laser focused on the thing you were successful at in the first place.

Here’s what typically happens to creators:

  • They struggle for years to get traction on anything they make. It sucks

  • Something finally starts working. They find magic at the intersection of some topic in some format across some medium (e.g., documentary-style, startup founder breakdowns, on YouTube)

  • That channel starts really growing. They’re feeling great. They begin to monetize in a small way on that channel (e.g., Adsense)

  • At this point, they’re probably 1-2 years deep on creating for that channel. Still at the flat part of the hockey stick curve. The money they’re earning is enough to keep them alive, but barely. Maybe it’s $5-$10K per month. They’re doing their best and putting a lot of hours in. They come to realize that in order to make the life-changing money they want (e.g, $500K+ per year), they need to supplement their primary channel with something else. Another channel, other types of content, digital products, physical products, consulting services, etc. They’re also probably getting a little bored of only focusing on one thing

  • So they think to themselves, “Amazing. If got this thing working, I can make anything work. Let me throttle down my time commitment on my core thing to 50% (but it’ll keep growing at ~80% of peak because I’m better at it now) and I’ll pour half of my time into starting something else”

But then something terrible happens. Either…

The new thing doesn’t work and the original thing stalls due to the lack of time/intensity.

OR

Both things start working but the creator gets burnt out and can’t sustain max effort in both areas. They end up with both things operating at 30-70% of max potential and they are forever treading water.

On accident, they effectively stunted the compounding of their primary thing.

Ironically, creators are probably better off going all-in on their core thing and putting blinders on long enough to get to the “stick part” of the hockey stick curve.

Almost certainly money will come in bigger bunches than expected and the effect of compounding on one channel will supercede the sum of several others that are all pre-explosion.

The problem is, spending 10 years on one thing isn’t very fun and takes an uncomfortable amount of discipline.

The feeling of wanting to do more and adding other things is natural, but it can result in a vicious cycle.

Two of my favorite creators talked about this in the last couple weeks. Ali Abdaal is a big-time YouTuber. He was being interviewed by Colin and Samir and broke down how this impacted him. Matt Wolfe, another YouTuber and all-around AI guru, had a great tweet on this.

Now here’s the truth.

It’s fun to take on new and exciting projects. For someone like me, it’s not realistic to assume I will spend 100% of my time on one channel forever. That just wouldn’t be enough fun for me.

So the question is…how do you sustainably onboard new projects and slowly build up the stack without sacrificing the primary channels or personal livelihood?

In my opinion, there is a “right way” to do it. I’ll explain it in context of how I’m thinking about building my own content empire:

  • 1️⃣ Start with one: When you’re starting out, it’s important that you only have one thing on your plate. If you have a full-time job and make content on the side, that’s fine, but make sure you’re only taking on one type of content (e.g., short-form videos). At first, this primary thing should take up as much of your time as possible, so you can learn as fast as you can and begin taking reps. For me, this was short-form videos. That’s all I started with for the first 6 months

  • 🧐 Noticing efficiencies: Over time, you will start to notice efficiencies, both because your skills are improving and you’ve uncovered new tools and processes to help you automate tasks. Your output is getting better while your input is getting faster

  • 👑 Compounding is king: It’s important to realize how valuable compounding is. It is king. There is nothing better. So when you get started on something, your primary goal is to keep the compounding working…at all costs

  • 🕑 When to add a second thing: When it comes time to add a second channel or project, you must ensure that the first doesn’t diminish in input quality or quantity. For example, if I was making 4, high quality short-form videos per week, my #1 objective when adding something else into the mix is to ensure that I am able to beat or maintain at least 4 videos per week at the current quality. If I’d need to go below that input level to add a second channel, then I shouldn’t add it. Why not? Because dipping below my current input level will stunt the compounding, breaking the #1 rule

  • 🤝 How to add a second thing: There’s two ways to add something to the stack without dropping the input of what you’re already doing:

    • Unused time: You had free time you previously weren’t using to do your primary thing that you can now allocate towards the secondary thing. For me, this was writing the newsletter on Sundays. I wasn’t making videos on Sundays so I had that time free

    • Hiring: You can hire someone else to take on some of the workload of your primary thing or the workload of your new thing

  • 🔁 Rinse and repeat: This process can work forever. You do something. It works. You learn to do it faster. You hire someone to take some of the workload. That helps maintain input quality while freeing up some of your time to add a second thing. And so on.

Now the secret is to do this slowly. Rapidly adding or trying to combine multiple new things at once will almost certainly result in your primary thing suffering.

And remember, if compounding is the most important thing, and you’re not allowed to let your primary thing suffer, then you cannot take it on.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The biggest trap for creators with traction

It sounds silly, but the hardest thing to do when you’re seeing success as a creator is to remain laser focused on the thing you were successful at in the first place.

Here’s what typically happens to creators:

  • They struggle for years to get traction on anything they make. It sucks

  • Something finally starts working. They find magic at the intersection of some topic in some format across some medium (e.g., documentary-style, startup founder breakdowns, on YouTube)

  • That channel starts really growing. They’re feeling great. They begin to monetize in a small way on that channel (e.g., Adsense)

  • At this point, they’re probably 1-2 years deep on creating for that channel. Still at the flat part of the hockey stick curve. The money they’re earning is enough to keep them alive, but barely. Maybe it’s $5-$10K per month. They’re doing their best and putting a lot of hours in. They come to realize that in order to make the life-changing money they want (e.g, $500K+ per year), they need to supplement their primary channel with something else. Another channel, other types of content, digital products, physical products, consulting services, etc. They’re also probably getting a little bored of only focusing on one thing

  • So they think to themselves, “Amazing. If got this thing working, I can make anything work. Let me throttle down my time commitment on my core thing to 50% (but it’ll keep growing at ~80% of peak because I’m better at it now) and I’ll pour half of my time into starting something else”

But then something terrible happens. Either…

The new thing doesn’t work and the original thing stalls due to the lack of time/intensity.

OR

Both things start working but the creator gets burnt out and can’t sustain max effort in both areas. They end up with both things operating at 30-70% of max potential and they are forever treading water.

On accident, they effectively stunted the compounding of their primary thing.

Ironically, creators are probably better off going all-in on their core thing and putting blinders on long enough to get to the “stick part” of the hockey stick curve.

Almost certainly money will come in bigger bunches than expected and the effect of compounding on one channel will supercede the sum of several others that are all pre-explosion.

The problem is, spending 10 years on one thing isn’t very fun and takes an uncomfortable amount of discipline.

The feeling of wanting to do more and adding other things is natural, but it can result in a vicious cycle.

Two of my favorite creators talked about this in the last couple weeks. Ali Abdaal is a big-time YouTuber. He was being interviewed by Colin and Samir and broke down how this impacted him. Matt Wolfe, another YouTuber and all-around AI guru, had a great tweet on this.

Now here’s the truth.

It’s fun to take on new and exciting projects. For someone like me, it’s not realistic to assume I will spend 100% of my time on one channel forever. That just wouldn’t be enough fun for me.

So the question is…how do you sustainably onboard new projects and slowly build up the stack without sacrificing the primary channels or personal livelihood?

In my opinion, there is a “right way” to do it. I’ll explain it in context of how I’m thinking about building my own content empire:

  • 1️⃣ Start with one: When you’re starting out, it’s important that you only have one thing on your plate. If you have a full-time job and make content on the side, that’s fine, but make sure you’re only taking on one type of content (e.g., short-form videos). At first, this primary thing should take up as much of your time as possible, so you can learn as fast as you can and begin taking reps. For me, this was short-form videos. That’s all I started with for the first 6 months

  • 🧐 Noticing efficiencies: Over time, you will start to notice efficiencies, both because your skills are improving and you’ve uncovered new tools and processes to help you automate tasks. Your output is getting better while your input is getting faster

  • 👑 Compounding is king: It’s important to realize how valuable compounding is. It is king. There is nothing better. So when you get started on something, your primary goal is to keep the compounding working…at all costs

  • 🕑 When to add a second thing: When it comes time to add a second channel or project, you must ensure that the first doesn’t diminish in input quality or quantity. For example, if I was making 4, high quality short-form videos per week, my #1 objective when adding something else into the mix is to ensure that I am able to beat or maintain at least 4 videos per week at the current quality. If I’d need to go below that input level to add a second channel, then I shouldn’t add it. Why not? Because dipping below my current input level will stunt the compounding, breaking the #1 rule

  • 🤝 How to add a second thing: There’s two ways to add something to the stack without dropping the input of what you’re already doing:

    • Unused time: You had free time you previously weren’t using to do your primary thing that you can now allocate towards the secondary thing. For me, this was writing the newsletter on Sundays. I wasn’t making videos on Sundays so I had that time free

    • Hiring: You can hire someone else to take on some of the workload of your primary thing or the workload of your new thing

  • 🔁 Rinse and repeat: This process can work forever. You do something. It works. You learn to do it faster. You hire someone to take some of the workload. That helps maintain input quality while freeing up some of your time to add a second thing. And so on.

Now the secret is to do this slowly. Rapidly adding or trying to combine multiple new things at once will almost certainly result in your primary thing suffering.

And remember, if compounding is the most important thing, and you’re not allowed to let your primary thing suffer, then you cannot take it on.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The biggest trap for creators with traction

It sounds silly, but the hardest thing to do when you’re seeing success as a creator is to remain laser focused on the thing you were successful at in the first place.

Here’s what typically happens to creators:

  • They struggle for years to get traction on anything they make. It sucks

  • Something finally starts working. They find magic at the intersection of some topic in some format across some medium (e.g., documentary-style, startup founder breakdowns, on YouTube)

  • That channel starts really growing. They’re feeling great. They begin to monetize in a small way on that channel (e.g., Adsense)

  • At this point, they’re probably 1-2 years deep on creating for that channel. Still at the flat part of the hockey stick curve. The money they’re earning is enough to keep them alive, but barely. Maybe it’s $5-$10K per month. They’re doing their best and putting a lot of hours in. They come to realize that in order to make the life-changing money they want (e.g, $500K+ per year), they need to supplement their primary channel with something else. Another channel, other types of content, digital products, physical products, consulting services, etc. They’re also probably getting a little bored of only focusing on one thing

  • So they think to themselves, “Amazing. If got this thing working, I can make anything work. Let me throttle down my time commitment on my core thing to 50% (but it’ll keep growing at ~80% of peak because I’m better at it now) and I’ll pour half of my time into starting something else”

But then something terrible happens. Either…

The new thing doesn’t work and the original thing stalls due to the lack of time/intensity.

OR

Both things start working but the creator gets burnt out and can’t sustain max effort in both areas. They end up with both things operating at 30-70% of max potential and they are forever treading water.

On accident, they effectively stunted the compounding of their primary thing.

Ironically, creators are probably better off going all-in on their core thing and putting blinders on long enough to get to the “stick part” of the hockey stick curve.

Almost certainly money will come in bigger bunches than expected and the effect of compounding on one channel will supercede the sum of several others that are all pre-explosion.

The problem is, spending 10 years on one thing isn’t very fun and takes an uncomfortable amount of discipline.

The feeling of wanting to do more and adding other things is natural, but it can result in a vicious cycle.

Two of my favorite creators talked about this in the last couple weeks. Ali Abdaal is a big-time YouTuber. He was being interviewed by Colin and Samir and broke down how this impacted him. Matt Wolfe, another YouTuber and all-around AI guru, had a great tweet on this.

Now here’s the truth.

It’s fun to take on new and exciting projects. For someone like me, it’s not realistic to assume I will spend 100% of my time on one channel forever. That just wouldn’t be enough fun for me.

So the question is…how do you sustainably onboard new projects and slowly build up the stack without sacrificing the primary channels or personal livelihood?

In my opinion, there is a “right way” to do it. I’ll explain it in context of how I’m thinking about building my own content empire:

  • 1️⃣ Start with one: When you’re starting out, it’s important that you only have one thing on your plate. If you have a full-time job and make content on the side, that’s fine, but make sure you’re only taking on one type of content (e.g., short-form videos). At first, this primary thing should take up as much of your time as possible, so you can learn as fast as you can and begin taking reps. For me, this was short-form videos. That’s all I started with for the first 6 months

  • 🧐 Noticing efficiencies: Over time, you will start to notice efficiencies, both because your skills are improving and you’ve uncovered new tools and processes to help you automate tasks. Your output is getting better while your input is getting faster

  • 👑 Compounding is king: It’s important to realize how valuable compounding is. It is king. There is nothing better. So when you get started on something, your primary goal is to keep the compounding working…at all costs

  • 🕑 When to add a second thing: When it comes time to add a second channel or project, you must ensure that the first doesn’t diminish in input quality or quantity. For example, if I was making 4, high quality short-form videos per week, my #1 objective when adding something else into the mix is to ensure that I am able to beat or maintain at least 4 videos per week at the current quality. If I’d need to go below that input level to add a second channel, then I shouldn’t add it. Why not? Because dipping below my current input level will stunt the compounding, breaking the #1 rule

  • 🤝 How to add a second thing: There’s two ways to add something to the stack without dropping the input of what you’re already doing:

    • Unused time: You had free time you previously weren’t using to do your primary thing that you can now allocate towards the secondary thing. For me, this was writing the newsletter on Sundays. I wasn’t making videos on Sundays so I had that time free

    • Hiring: You can hire someone else to take on some of the workload of your primary thing or the workload of your new thing

  • 🔁 Rinse and repeat: This process can work forever. You do something. It works. You learn to do it faster. You hire someone to take some of the workload. That helps maintain input quality while freeing up some of your time to add a second thing. And so on.

Now the secret is to do this slowly. Rapidly adding or trying to combine multiple new things at once will almost certainly result in your primary thing suffering.

And remember, if compounding is the most important thing, and you’re not allowed to let your primary thing suffer, then you cannot take it on.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The biggest trap for creators with traction

It sounds silly, but the hardest thing to do when you’re seeing success as a creator is to remain laser focused on the thing you were successful at in the first place.

Here’s what typically happens to creators:

  • They struggle for years to get traction on anything they make. It sucks

  • Something finally starts working. They find magic at the intersection of some topic in some format across some medium (e.g., documentary-style, startup founder breakdowns, on YouTube)

  • That channel starts really growing. They’re feeling great. They begin to monetize in a small way on that channel (e.g., Adsense)

  • At this point, they’re probably 1-2 years deep on creating for that channel. Still at the flat part of the hockey stick curve. The money they’re earning is enough to keep them alive, but barely. Maybe it’s $5-$10K per month. They’re doing their best and putting a lot of hours in. They come to realize that in order to make the life-changing money they want (e.g, $500K+ per year), they need to supplement their primary channel with something else. Another channel, other types of content, digital products, physical products, consulting services, etc. They’re also probably getting a little bored of only focusing on one thing

  • So they think to themselves, “Amazing. If got this thing working, I can make anything work. Let me throttle down my time commitment on my core thing to 50% (but it’ll keep growing at ~80% of peak because I’m better at it now) and I’ll pour half of my time into starting something else”

But then something terrible happens. Either…

The new thing doesn’t work and the original thing stalls due to the lack of time/intensity.

OR

Both things start working but the creator gets burnt out and can’t sustain max effort in both areas. They end up with both things operating at 30-70% of max potential and they are forever treading water.

On accident, they effectively stunted the compounding of their primary thing.

Ironically, creators are probably better off going all-in on their core thing and putting blinders on long enough to get to the “stick part” of the hockey stick curve.

Almost certainly money will come in bigger bunches than expected and the effect of compounding on one channel will supercede the sum of several others that are all pre-explosion.

The problem is, spending 10 years on one thing isn’t very fun and takes an uncomfortable amount of discipline.

The feeling of wanting to do more and adding other things is natural, but it can result in a vicious cycle.

Two of my favorite creators talked about this in the last couple weeks. Ali Abdaal is a big-time YouTuber. He was being interviewed by Colin and Samir and broke down how this impacted him. Matt Wolfe, another YouTuber and all-around AI guru, had a great tweet on this.

Now here’s the truth.

It’s fun to take on new and exciting projects. For someone like me, it’s not realistic to assume I will spend 100% of my time on one channel forever. That just wouldn’t be enough fun for me.

So the question is…how do you sustainably onboard new projects and slowly build up the stack without sacrificing the primary channels or personal livelihood?

In my opinion, there is a “right way” to do it. I’ll explain it in context of how I’m thinking about building my own content empire:

  • 1️⃣ Start with one: When you’re starting out, it’s important that you only have one thing on your plate. If you have a full-time job and make content on the side, that’s fine, but make sure you’re only taking on one type of content (e.g., short-form videos). At first, this primary thing should take up as much of your time as possible, so you can learn as fast as you can and begin taking reps. For me, this was short-form videos. That’s all I started with for the first 6 months

  • 🧐 Noticing efficiencies: Over time, you will start to notice efficiencies, both because your skills are improving and you’ve uncovered new tools and processes to help you automate tasks. Your output is getting better while your input is getting faster

  • 👑 Compounding is king: It’s important to realize how valuable compounding is. It is king. There is nothing better. So when you get started on something, your primary goal is to keep the compounding working…at all costs

  • 🕑 When to add a second thing: When it comes time to add a second channel or project, you must ensure that the first doesn’t diminish in input quality or quantity. For example, if I was making 4, high quality short-form videos per week, my #1 objective when adding something else into the mix is to ensure that I am able to beat or maintain at least 4 videos per week at the current quality. If I’d need to go below that input level to add a second channel, then I shouldn’t add it. Why not? Because dipping below my current input level will stunt the compounding, breaking the #1 rule

  • 🤝 How to add a second thing: There’s two ways to add something to the stack without dropping the input of what you’re already doing:

    • Unused time: You had free time you previously weren’t using to do your primary thing that you can now allocate towards the secondary thing. For me, this was writing the newsletter on Sundays. I wasn’t making videos on Sundays so I had that time free

    • Hiring: You can hire someone else to take on some of the workload of your primary thing or the workload of your new thing

  • 🔁 Rinse and repeat: This process can work forever. You do something. It works. You learn to do it faster. You hire someone to take some of the workload. That helps maintain input quality while freeing up some of your time to add a second thing. And so on.

Now the secret is to do this slowly. Rapidly adding or trying to combine multiple new things at once will almost certainly result in your primary thing suffering.

And remember, if compounding is the most important thing, and you’re not allowed to let your primary thing suffer, then you cannot take it on.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The Power of No

The Power of No

The Power of No

The Power of No

© WavyLabs. All rights reserved.