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I Hate Monday: Edition #5

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Welcome to I Hate Monday, the most productive way for small business owners & bloggers to procrastinate until it’s not Monday anymore.

  1. I won’t give you the gift of hating you.” A man pens a letter to the terrorists who killed his wife, Helene, in Paris.
  2. How many times have you not done something because you were worried you’d suck? This new art exhibition is a tribute to suck. Called Permission to Fail, it showcases all the fuck-ups that came before the masterpiece.
  3. It’s never too late to change course. Maybe what you’ve done for so long is now…simply done. (That’s not the actual moral of this story, but it’s the most salient for me).
  4. On a lighter note, this week’s, ahem, creative business? Professional cuddling. As in, getting paid to spoon with someone. As in, someone actually made a business out of this. I’m not sure which is more…interesting: The fact that this legitimately exists, or the fact that there’s a demand for it.
  5. Everyone knows urgency is an important part of any sales equation. Give someone an open-ended timeline to buy something, and they’ll procrastinate it forever. (“Don’t have the money this month, but maybe next month…” or “I can always buy it later if I really want.”) Give someone a time limit, however, and they’ve got to pull the trigger or risk missing out. And nobody puts Baby in the corner likes missing out. That said, one historic challenge for sellers, however, is finding ways to legitimately & authentically introduce urgency—without resorting to made up deadlines, fabricated “limited time offers,” or engaging in other unsavory, bullshit behaviors. That’s why I like Amazon’s Black Friday page they’re rocking this year, which displays different deals every five minutes. It does a great job at increasing urgency in a way that does the customer a favor—not rope them into a scheme. Also to note: The one-click buy button has never been more dangerous!
  6. Cartoonists for The New Yorker talk about where they get their creative ideas from—and why being rejected ain’t no thang. One cartoonist even states: “I used to be a model and I had to hand my photos over to people who would smirk back at me…Do I think handing in cartoons is hard? Try handing yourself in. I can live with rejected cartoons.”
  7. Count yourself as one of the bazillion people who always wanted to write a book? Now, you can get a publishing contract from Amazon by letting the readers vote.
  8. Learning. Sex. Running. <—The new holy grail of brain cells. Bottom line? If you’re finding yourself unable to “think of the right word” as much as me these days, you might want to get some nookie. After finishing a 5K. After memorizing the Chinese alphabet.
  9. Not ready to become a professional cuddler? Perhaps you’d enjoy sending people potatoes with messages written on them. GOTTA MAKE THAT PAPER. Errr…potato.
  10. In 12 hours, he earned $250,000. After 12 days, sales topped $1 million. All because he chose to sell it himself online…instead of going through traditional sales channels.
  11. It’s not about “producing content.” It’s about being the best answer.
  12. Creepy or cool tech? A Smart Barbie doll that talks back—and records your child talking to it so it can learn from their past responses. AKA if your child says “divorce,” smart Barbie files that under “foot in mouth”—and will filter her responses to not include statements about, say, mommy and daddy sitting in a tree.
  13. “When you look at the most successful people in any industry, one key distinction between them and the rest of their peers is the ability to focus on what’s important. Not what’s simply in front of them at that moment in time.”
  14. Shallow work versus deep work.
  15. This is consistently on of the biggest mistakes I see creatives make: Trying to follow a schedule built for managers…not creatives. I live and die by large, unstructured chunks of time in my day for writing—and when I’m in maker mode, I avoid all appointments for that reason. (Perhaps more importantly, I don’t guilt myself about it.) As Paul Graham once put it: “I find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. A meeting commonly blows at least half a day, by breaking up a morning or afternoon. But in addition there’s sometimes a cascading effect. If I know the afternoon is going to be broken up, I’m slightly less likely to start something ambitious in the morning. I know this may sound oversensitive, but if you’re a maker, think of your own case. Don’t your spirits rise at the thought of having an entire day free to work, with no appointments at all? Well, that means your spirits are correspondingly depressed when you don’t.”
  16. Ever want to be one of those lovey dovey assholes who watches movies together online…even when you’re thousands of miles apart? Now, YOU CAN. (One step forward for…couch potatoes?)
  17. “Selfie” might be the word of the decade (based on a very un-scholarly observation by moi), but there’s still a lot of selfie-shame that comes with letting the world know you are unabashedly taking self-important photographs of yourself. Then things got much worse: The selfie-stick was born. If you’ve ever had a love/hate relationship with the mere thought of using a selfie-stick, perhaps this selfie smart mirror is more your speed.  Or, you know, you could always do what this man in Japan did.
  18. This is one of my favorite pieces on the power of using analogies to create an emotional response. (And one of the concepts we talk about in my Six Appeal writing course for people who want to learn how to persuade with emotion.)
  19. When all else fails, I think we should all probably buy one of these massage blankets. After all, the struggle is real.

 

There we go. Politely piss off now, Monday. We’ll see you next week.

Love,

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and This Blog

 

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