Content is a weird thing.
First, it works in a way no other product does. In no other business is there such a lack of patience when it comes to product quality.
You never see people opt-in for some “cheap” content simply because it’s cheaper. You never see content discounts. If Godzilla were cheaper than Star Wars, it wouldn’t suffice if Godzilla sucked. Price isn’t a big motivator.
We’re ruthless with content. If it doesn’t meet our expectations, we quit consuming it. We move on to something else — there’s plenty! — and never look back. …
About nine months ago, I wrote a series of articles for Medium that spoke about content creators as businesses.
My thesis in all three was simple and encouraging: Content creators are businesses. The world doesn’t realize it yet.
Needless to say, they all went viral. My first article received somewhat like 12,000 claps (and counting) and has made me several thousand dollars on Medium, alone. The follow-up articles were less popular — as the case with all sequels — but they performed well nevertheless.
Of course, the performance wasn’t the point. I didn’t care or think that these articles would…
When I was 15, my parents sent me to a rigorous maths school in Moscow.
We had 14 hours of math lessons per week. In fact, we had four different types of math (calculus, geometry, algebra, and a course called “special math” where we solved complex logical problems). And because this was Moscow, the teachers treated us like shit and often told me I would end up to nothing.
I hated it.
But one thing this three-year army-like experience did teach me was that every problem has a solution.
When one of us was stuck with a geometry task, the…
Sometimes I feel like I am not going anywhere.
Like I don’t know myself and that there are too many options to follow. I can’t stick to any one option for too long. I am too impatient.
And then I remind myself of one of my heroes, Kevin Kelly.
When he was my age, he was literally lost. Of course, back then (in the 60s-70s), the word ‘success’ wasn’t as frequently used or thought of today. But I am sure he had his own share of discomfort about his foggy future.
He dropped out of college and went to roam…
Enough asking for permission.
Enough waiting for the perfect opportunity to come.
Enough waiting until you find that “right” community.
Enough waiting until COVID ceases or lockdowns are lifted. Enough waiting in general.
Enough wishing you had more money or education or a better upbringing.
Enough looking for a “brilliant idea.”
Enough cutting yourself short with your insecurity.
Enough jealousy, negativity, and self-pity.
Enough discipline, time management, and self-development books.
Enough working yourself to the bone.
Enough living the drugs-and-booze part of a musician’s life but not writing the songs.
Enough worrying about money, death, or failed relationships. …
Someone reached out to me today by email.
“Did you know that your article was translated to Arabic?” he asked me.
Then he added:
“You’re a smart person. That’s for sure. But definitely not wise. You merely pretend you’re wise. People wait to write about such things for a reason…”
Four years ago, such a comment would have offended me. Back then, I was young, arrogant, and stupid.
These days, I am just young and stupid.
So instead of getting offended, I started thinking: is that true? Am I making a fool out of myself by writing what…
We all want one thing: control.
We want to control our bodies, our work, our money, what people think about us, whether we’ll be successful or not, so on.
The need to control makes us worry.
The Stoics have a thing about control. The whole philosophy is built on a simple idea: control what you can and let go of the rest. Then you have nothing to worry about.
But recently, as I was paying tribute to Larry King by re-watching interviews with him, I realized something important about control.
When we feel we’re in control, it’s a symptom we’re…
I’ve spent so much time trying to understand how to write.
I tried many different approaches. I wrote long articles, short articles, listicles, books, 1,000-word Medium posts, experimented with headlines like “This Is What You Need To Know About XYZ…”, so on, so forth.
I realized this much: none of it matters.
The only way to write anything decent is to start with one true sentence. Some deeper truth sits inside of you, waiting to come out.
For different people, there will be different ways to get that truth out. For some, like my sister, it’s drawing. For others, like…
The most important muscle you could be working on is the ability to not give a fuck about what other people think. Seriously, fuck people.
So many dreams, hopes, and aspirations are crushed because we care too much about what Billy237 will say on Instagram or what our friends or parents would think if they saw what we’re up to.
We might not even realize it, but we all care about other people’s opinions. And it’s killing us from the inside.
A short disclaimer. When I say you shouldn’t give a fuck about what people think, I don’t mean being…