Order An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake:https://amzn.to/2LVjgQa Listen to the @UnmistakableCR podcast in iTunes http://apple.co/1GfkvkP
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Jack Bauer is an agent for a fictional government agency known as CTU (the counter-terrorism unit). If you’ve never seen the show, this is what you need to know.

Jack does more in 24 hours than most of us will do in a year. Throughout the day, he puts out fires, interrogates suspects to get information, and prevents the country from some disaster. Every time he solves one problem or puts out a fire it leads to another one.

  • Suspects with critical information to his mission get shot.

In 8 seasons of…


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Photo by Guille Álvarez on Unsplash

Outliers are the people we look up to and admire. They determine our definitions of success and the standards we measure ourselves against. Their stories might be inspiring. But, outliers are bad role models for most of us.

They are anomalies. And it’s unlikely you’ll get their results by following their advice.

“Observing a few instances of a strategy working does not make it universally effective. IT is necessary instead to study many examples and ask what worked in the vast majority of cases” — Cal Newport, So Good They Can’t Ignore You.

Modeling outliers to make the most important…


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Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, one of my readers sent me a beautiful email about her aspirations to become a writer. I saw so much of my younger self in her. I asked her if I could turn her email into a newsletter.

Matt Damon once told an interviewer that when people tell him they want to be an actor, he tries to talk them out of it. When the interviewer asked him why he said, “if I can talk you out of this in conversation, you’re not cut out for this because it’s so hard.”

Even though I’d never try…


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Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

A few months ago, one of my readers asked me what I would do differently if I started my business today. How many times in your life have you said, “If only I knew what I do now”?

But if you had done something different in the past, you wouldn’t know what you do today. It’s easy to recognize your mistakes in retrospect.

Regardless of the advice that you receive from me or others, you will still make many mistakes. You must learn something from them. Some of your most valuable lessons will come from your biggest blunders.

1. Develop Good Work Habits


A few months ago, one of my readers asked me what I would do differently if I started my business today. How many times in your life have you said, “If only I knew what I do now”?

But if you had done something different in the past, you wouldn’t know what you do today. It’s easy to recognize your mistakes in retrospect.

Regardless of the advice that you receive from me or others, you will still make many mistakes. You must learn something from them. Some of your most valuable lessons will come from your biggest blunders.

10 Things I Would Do Differently if I started my Business today

1. Develop Good Work Habits

things I would do differently
things I would do differently

Many people…


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Photo by Alexandre Pellaes on Unsplash

There’s a lot of bad advice that sounds good in most of the media we consume.

It sounds good because the job of the people who create this kind of content is to inspire people who consume it. If you package and promote anything this way, it’s easy to convince people that it’s good advice.

1. Follow Your Passion

Follow your passion is probably the worst advice that sounds good. If you’re passionate about something nobody will pay you for, you won’t make a living from it.

As Ashley Stahl says in her book, “We’ve heard it all before: “Do what love and the…


People think productivity and creativity are mutually exclusive. But they are not. The most creative people in the world are also some of the most prolific and productive. I would describe this approach to making art as creative productivity.

  • Seth Godin publishes a blog post every day and has written 17 best-selling books.

What makes these people so productive and creative is…


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Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

Kevin Kelly originally proposed the idea of 1000 true fans in 2008.

To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans. Kevin Kelly

Today everyone has access to more tools, resources, and distribution channels that are cheaper and easier to use. …


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Photo by Polina Podlesnaya on Unsplash

There’s a hidden danger to peak experiences that people rarely talk about. When you have a peak experience like going to a motivational seminar, you’re emotional instead of objective.

Instead of using rational optimism to make a decision, delusional optimism guides your choices.

The consequences of those choices are more often than not detrimental. Quitting your job without a clue how you’re going to come up with next month’s rent might get you many likes when you announce it on Facebook. But when reality sets in and the rent is due, what appears to be courageous ends up being stupid.


The First Six Weeks of the year can have a profound impact on how your year turns out. Most people start a new year with the best of intentions. They set ambitious goals and make grand plans.

They want to make more money, lose weight, etc. At the end of the year, they often look back and realize they didn’t accomplish most of their goals.

The Start of A New Year

First 6 Weeks
First 6 Weeks
FriPhotographer: Danil Aksenov | Source: Unsplash

At the beginning of the year, your desire to accomplish your goals and change your behavior is usually at an all-time high. When the excitement of starting something new fades, your motivation will decline.

The…

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