Sign in

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

Budding entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives spend a lot of time trying to find the right product for the market: an app that people will use, or a book that people will want to read. But they don’t spend nearly as much time thinking about whether THEY are the right person to build the app they want to build or write the book they want to write. That’s what Suneel Gupta, author of the book Backable calls “product founder fit.”

When aspiring authors write book proposals, they have to answer three questions.

  1. Why you?

If you…


commercially successful artists
commercially successful artists

The number one thing people overlook when it comes to building an audience for their work is the mindset. Just like building a startup, one of the hardest but most important things about building an audience is managing your psychology. You need to understand the personal characteristics of commercially successful artists.

To become a commercially successful artist, you need to

  • Be persistent in the face of almost impossible odds and know that nothing is guaranteed and anything is possible.


By 2009, “follow your passion” had become a dominant cultural narrative about success. Books like The Four Hour Workweek proliferated the zeitgeist. Bloggers were getting book deals, and people were turning side hustles into full-time jobs. The advice to follow your passion was echoed in self-help books, blog posts, and commencement speeches. But people never talked about the hidden dangers of following your passion.

After this gold rush, the internet was a digital graveyard of abandoned passion projects. And even some of the most famous bloggers of the time eventually faded into obscurity.

Why did this happen?

The passion hypothesis convinces people that somewhere…


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

In 2014, a business partner and I were planning our first conference. And I was simultaneously trying to damage repair with an ad agency that had bought ad spots on The Unmistakable Creative. So, I was checking my email multiple times every hour. And it made me hyperaware that checking email frequently is bad for your brain.

Checking my email frequently decreased my productivity and increased my anxiety A LOT. And I could have easily accomplished these tasks by checking email once a day.

When you don’t check your email for long stretches, it’s natural to worry about a potential…


In 2014, a business partner and I were planning our first conference. And I was simultaneously trying to damage repair with an ad agency that had bought ad spots on The Unmistakable Creative. So, I was checking my email multiple times every hour. And it made me hyperaware that checking email frequently is bad for your brain.

Checking my email frequently decreased my productivity and increased my anxiety A LOT. And I could have easily accomplished these tasks by checking email once a day.

When you don’t check your email for long stretches, it’s natural to worry about a potential…


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A common pattern I’ve noticed in many creative people is struggling to make ideas happen. Their actions do not match their intentions, and this is usually because they don’t have a daily routine.

Below I’ll show you how to create a daily routine that has enabled me to write four books, record over 1,000 podcast episodes, and ship dozens of creative projects.

1. Why Daily Routines are So Important for Creative Work


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…


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…


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…


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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store