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Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi

1 year ago

The Only Paid Resources I Turn to as a Solopreneur

More on Productivity

Alex Mathers

Alex Mathers

1 year ago

8 guidelines to help you achieve your objectives 5x fast

Follow Alex’s Instagram for more of his drawings and bonus ideas.

If you waste time every day, even though you're ambitious, you're not alone.

Many of us could use some new time-management strategies, like these:

Focus on the following three.

You're thinking about everything at once.

You're overpowered.

It's mental. We just have what's in front of us. So savor the moment's beauty.

Prioritize 1-3 things.

To be one of the most productive people you and I know, follow these steps.

Get along with boredom.

Many of us grow bored, sweat, and turn on Netflix.

We shout, "I'm rarely bored!" Look at me! I'm happy.

Shut it, Sally.

You're not making wonderful things for the world. Boredom matters.

If you can sit with it for a second, you'll get insight. Boredom? Breathe.

Go blank.

Then watch your creativity grow.

Check your MacroVision once more.

We don't know what to do with our time, which contributes to time-wasting.

Nobody does, either. Jeff Bezos won't hand-deliver that crap to you.

Daily vision checks are required.

Also:

What are 5 things you'd love to create in the next 5 years?

You're soul-searching. It's food.

Return here regularly, and you'll adore the high you get from doing valuable work.

Improve your thinking.

What's Alex's latest nonsense?

I'm talking about overcoming our own thoughts. Worrying wastes so much time.

Too many of us are assaulted by lies, myths, and insecurity.

Stop letting your worries massage you into a worried coma like a Thai woman.

Optimizing your thoughts requires accepting what you can't control.

It means letting go of unhelpful thoughts and returning to the moment.

Keep your blood sugar level.

I gave up gluten, donuts, and sweets.

This has really boosted my energy.

Blood-sugar-spiking carbs make us irritable and tired.

These day-to-day ups and downs aren't productive. It's crucial.

Know how your diet affects insulin levels. Now I have more energy and can do more without clenching my teeth.

Reduce harmful carbs to boost energy.

Create a focused setting for yourself.

When we optimize the mind, we have more energy and use our time better because we're not tense.

Changing our environment can also help us focus. Disabling alerts is one example.

Too hot makes me procrastinate and irritable.

List five items that hinder your productivity.

You may be amazed at how much you may improve by removing distractions.

Be responsible.

Accountability is a time-saver.

Creating an emotional pull to finish things.

Writing down our goals makes us accountable.

We can engage a coach or work with an accountability partner to feel horrible if we don't show up and finish on time.

Hey Jake, I’m going to write 1000 words every day for 30 days — you need to make sure I do.’ ‘Sure thing, Nathan, I’ll be making sure you check in daily with me.’

Tick.

You might also blog about your ambitions to show your dedication.

Now you can't hide when you promised to appear.

Acquire a liking for bravery.

Boldness changes everything.

I sometimes feel lazy and wonder why. If my food and sleep are in order, I should assess my footing.

Most of us live backward. Doubtful. Uncertain. Feelings govern us.

Backfooting isn't living. It's lame, and you'll soon melt. Live boldly now.

Be assertive.

Get disgustingly into everything. Expand.

Even if it's hard, stop being a b*tch.

Those that make Mr. Bold Bear their spirit animal benefit. Save time to maximize your effect.

Ethan Siegel

Ethan Siegel

1 year ago

How you view the year will change after using this one-page calendar.

The conventional way we display annual calendars, at left, requires us to examine each month separately, either relegating the full year to a tiny font on a single page or onto 12 separate pages. Instead, the one-page calendar, at right, enables you to find whatever you want all throughout the year. (Credit: E. Siegel, with a public domain conventional calendar at left)

No other calendar is simpler, smaller, and reusable year after year. It works and is used here.

Most of us discard and replace our calendars annually. Each month, we move our calendar ahead another page, thus if we need to know which day of the week corresponds to a given day/month combination, we have to calculate it or flip forward/backward to the corresponding month. Questions like:

  • What day does this year's American Thanksgiving fall on?

  • Which months contain a Friday the thirteenth?

  • When is July 4th? What day of the week?

  • Alternatively, what day of the week is Christmas?

They're hard to figure out until you switch to the right month or look up all the months.

However, mathematically, the answers to these questions or any question that requires matching the day of the week with the day/month combination in a year are predictable, basic, and easy to work out. If you use this one-page calendar instead of a 12-month calendar, it lasts the whole year and is easy to alter for future years. Let me explain.

Rather than a calendar displaying separate images for each month out of the year, this one-page calendar can be used to match up the day of the week with the dates/months of the year with perfect accuracy all in a single view. (Credit: E. Siegel)

The 2023 one-page calendar is above. The days of the month are on the lower left, which works for all months if you know that:

  • There are 31 days in January, March, May, July, August, October, and December.

  • All of the months of April, June, September, and November have 30 days.

  • And depending on the year, February has either 28 days (in non-leap years) or 29 days (in leap years).

If you know this, this calendar makes it easy to match the day/month of the year to the weekday.

Here are some instances. American Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November. You'll always know the month and day of the week, but the date—the day in November—changes each year.

On any other calendar, you'd have to flip to November to see when the fourth Thursday is. This one-page calendar only requires:

  • pick the month of November in the top-right corner to begin.

  • drag your finger down until Thursday appears,

  • then turn left and follow the monthly calendar until you reach the fourth Thursday.

To find American Thanksgiving, you need to find the 4th Thursday in November. Using the one-page calendar, start at November, move down to find Thursday, then move to the left to count off to the fourth Thursday in November. In 2023, that date will be November 23rd. (Credit: E. Siegel)

It's obvious: 2023 is the 23rd American Thanksgiving. For every month and day-of-the-week combination, start at the month, drag your finger down to the desired day, and then move to the left to see which dates match.

What if you knew the day of the week and the date of the month, but not the month(s)?

A different method using the same one-page calendar gives the answer. Which months have Friday the 13th this year? Just:

  • begin on the 13th of the month, the day you know you desire,

  • then swipe right with your finger till Friday appears.

  • and then work your way up until you can determine which months the specific Friday the 13th falls under.

If you know which date/day-of-the-week combination you’re seeking but don’t know which months will meet that criteria, start with the date (1–31), move to the right until you find the day of the week you want, then move up and find which months match that criteria. Every year will always have at least one such combination. (Credit: E. Siegel)

One Friday the 13th occurred in January 2023, and another will occur in October.

The most typical reason to consult a calendar is when you know the month/day combination but not the day of the week.

Compared to single-month calendars, the one-page calendar excels here. Take July 4th, for instance. Find the weekday here:

  • beginning on the left on the fourth of the month, as you are aware,

  • also begin with July, the month of the year you are most familiar with, at the upper right,

  • you should move your two fingers in the opposite directions till they meet: on a Tuesday in 2023.

That's how you find your selected day/month combination's weekday.

If you were curious as to which day of the week July 4th, 2023 fell on, rather than flipping a conventional calendar to July and seeing, you could trace “4” to the right and “July” down, finding where they meet (on a Tuesday) revealing the day-of-the-week. (Credit: E. Siegel)

Another example: Christmas. Christmas Day is always December 25th, however unless your conventional calendar is open to December of your particular year, a question like "what day of the week is Christmas?" difficult to answer.

Unlike the one-page calendar!

Remember the left-hand day of the month. Top-right, you see the month. Put two fingers, one from each hand, on the date (25th) and the month (December). Slide the day hand to the right and the month hand downwards until they touch.

They meet on Monday—December 25, 2023.

Using the one-page calendar for 2023, you can figure out the day-of-the-week of any calendar day by placing one finger on the “date” at left and another on the “month” at top. By moving your fingers respectively to the right and down, where they meet will reveal the day of the week to you. (Credit: E. Siegel)

For 2023, that's fine, but what happens in 2024? Even worse, what if we want to know the day-of-the-week/day/month combo many years from now?

I think the one-page calendar shines here.

Except for the blue months in the upper-right corner of the one-page calendar, everything is the same year after year. The months also change in a consistent fashion.

Each non-leap year has 365 days—one more than a full 52 weeks (which is 364). Since January 1, 2023 began on a Sunday and 2023 has 365 days, we immediately know that December 31, 2023 will conclude on a Sunday (which you can confirm using the one-page calendar) and that January 1, 2024 will begin on a Monday. Then, reorder the months for 2024, taking in mind that February will have 29 days in a leap year.

This image shows the one-page calendar view for the next leap year we’re going to experience: 2024. Note that the monthly patterns have changed from how they were in a non-leap year, displaying a new pattern unique to leap years, corresponding to the fact that February has 29 days instead of 28. (Credit: E. Siegel)

Please note the differences between 2023 and 2024 month placement. In 2023:

  • October and January began on the same day of the week.

  • On the following Monday of the week, May began.

  • August started on the next day,

  • then the next weekday marked the start of February, March, and November, respectively.

  • Unlike June, which starts the following weekday,

  • While September and December start on the following day of the week,

  • Lastly, April and July start one extra day later.

Since 2024 is a leap year, February has 29 days, disrupting the rhythm. Month placements change to:

  • The first day of the week in January, April, and July is the same.

  • October will begin the following day.

  • Possibly starting the next weekday,

  • February and August start on the next weekday,

  • beginning on the following day of the week between March and November,

  • beginning the following weekday in June,

  • and commencing one more day of the week after that, September and December.

Due to the 366-day leap year, 2025 will start two days later than 2024 on January 1st.

The non-leap year 2025 has the same calendar as 2023, expect with the days-of-the-week that each month begins on shifted forward by three days for each month. This is because 2023 was not a leap year and 2024 was, meaning that an extra 3 days are needed over and above the 104 full weeks contained in 2023 and 2024 combined. (Credit: E. Siegel)

Now, looking at the 2025 calendar, you can see that the 2023 pattern of which months start on which days is repeated! The sole variation is a shift of three days-of-the-week ahead because 2023 had one more day (365) than 52 full weeks (364), and 2024 had two more days (366). Again,

  • On Wednesday this time, January and October begin on the same day of the week.

  • Although May begins on Thursday,

  • August begins this Friday.

  • March, November, and February all begin on a Saturday.

  • Beginning on a Sunday in June

  • Beginning on Monday are September and December,

  • and on Tuesday, April and July begin.

In 2026 and 2027, the year will commence on a Thursday and a Friday, respectively.

The one-page calendars for 2026 and 2027, as shown next to one another. Note that the calendars are identical, save that the day-of-the-week that each month begins on is shifted by one day from the prior year to the next. This occurs every time a non-leap year is followed by another non-leap year. (Credit: E. Siegel)

We must return to our leap year monthly arrangement in 2028. Yes, January 1, 2028 begins on a Saturday, but February, which begins on a Tuesday three days before January, will have 29 days. Thus:

  • Start dates for January, April, and July are all Saturdays.

  • Given that October began on Sunday,

  • Although May starts on a Monday,

  • beginning on a Tuesday in February and August,

  • Beginning on a Wednesday in March and November,

  • Beginning on Thursday, June

  • and Friday marks the start of September and December.

This is great because there are only 14 calendar configurations: one for each of the seven non-leap years where January 1st begins on each of the seven days of the week, and one for each of the seven leap years where it begins on each day of the week.

This example of a one-page calendar, which represents the year 2028, will be valid for all leap years that begin with January 1st on a Saturday. The leap year version of the one-page calendar repeats every 28 years, unless you pass a non-leap year ending in “00,” in which case the repeat will either be 12 or 40 years instead. (Credit: E. Siegel)

The 2023 calendar will function in 2034, 2045, 2051, 2062, 2073, 2079, 2090, 2102, 2113, and 2119. Except when passing over a non-leap year that ends in 00, like 2100, the repeat time always extends to 12 years or shortens to an extra 6 years.

  • The pattern is repeated in 2025's calendar in 2031, 2042, 2053, 2059, 2070, 2081, 2087, 2098, 2110, and 2121.

  • The extra 6-year repeat at the end of the century on the calendar for 2026 will occur in the years 2037, 2043, 2054, 2065, 2071, 2082, 2093, 2099, 2105, and 2122.

  • The 2027s calendar repeats in 2038, 2049, 2055, 2066, 2077, 2083, 2094, 2100, 2106, and 2117, almost exactly matching the 2026s pattern.

For leap years, the recurrence pattern is every 28 years when not passing a non-leap year ending in 00, or 12 or 40 years when we do. 2024's calendar repeats in 2052, 2080, 2120, 2148, 2176, and 2216; 2028's in 2056, 2084, 2124, 2152, 2180, and 2220.

Knowing January 1st and whether it's a leap year lets you construct a one-page calendar for any year. Try it—you might find it easier than any other alternative!

Maria Stepanova

Maria Stepanova

1 year ago

How Elon Musk Picks Things Up Quicker Than Anyone Else

Adopt Elon Musk's learning strategy to succeed.

Photo by Cody Board on Unsplash

Medium writers rank first and second when you Google “Elon Musk's learning approach”.

My article idea seems unoriginal. Lol

Musk is brilliant.

No doubt here.

His name connotes success and intelligence.

He knows rocket science, engineering, AI, and solar power.

Musk is a Unicorn, but his skills aren't special.

How does he manage it?

Elon Musk has two learning rules that anyone may use.

You can apply these rules and become anyone you want.

You can become a rocket scientist or a surgeon. If you want, of course.

The learning process is key.

Make sure you are creating a Tree of Knowledge according to Rule #1.

Musk told Reddit how he learns:

“It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang onto.”

Musk understands the essential ideas and mental models of each of his business sectors.

He starts with the tree's trunk, making sure he learns the basics before going on to branches and leaves.

We often act otherwise. We memorize small details without understanding how they relate to the whole. Our minds are stuffed with useless data.

Cramming isn't learning.

Start with the basics to learn faster. Before diving into minutiae, grasp the big picture.

Photo by niko photos on Unsplash

Rule #2: You can't connect what you can't remember.

Elon Musk transformed industries this way. As his expertise grew, he connected branches and leaves from different trees.

Musk read two books a day as a child. He didn't specialize like most people. He gained from his multidisciplinary education. It helped him stand out and develop billion-dollar firms.

He gained skills in several domains and began connecting them. World-class performances resulted.

Most of us never learn the basics and only collect knowledge. We never really comprehend information, thus it's hard to apply it.

Learn the basics initially to maximize your chances of success. Then start learning.

Learn across fields and connect them.

This method enabled Elon Musk to enter and revolutionize a century-old industry.

You might also like

Khoi Ho

Khoi Ho

1 year ago

After working at seven startups, here are the early-stage characteristics that contributed to profitability, unicorn status or successful acquisition.

Image by Tim Mossholder

I've worked in a People role at seven early-stage firms for over 15 years (I enjoy chasing a dream!). Few of the seven achieved profitability, including unicorn status or acquisition.

Did early-stage startups share anything? Was there a difference between winners and losers? YES.

I support founders and entrepreneurs building financially sustainable enterprises with a compelling cause. This isn't something everyone would do. A company's success demands more than guts. Founders drive startup success.

Six Qualities of Successful Startups

Successful startup founders either innately grasped the correlation between strong team engagement and a well-executed business model, or they knew how to ask and listen to others (executive coaches, other company leaders, the team itself) to learn about it.

Successful startups:

1. Co-founders agreed and got along personally.

Multi-founder startups are common. When co-founders agree on strategic decisions and are buddies, there's less friction and politics at work.

As a co-founder, ask your team if you're aligned. They'll explain.

I've seen C-level leaders harbor personal resentments over disagreements. A co-departure founder's caused volatile leadership and work disruptions that the team struggled to manage during and after.

2. Team stayed.

Successful startups have low turnover. Nobody is leaving. There may be a termination for performance, but other team members will have observed the issues and agreed with the decision.

You don't want organizational turnover of 30%+, with leaders citing performance issues but the team not believing them. This breeds suspicion.

Something is wrong if many employees leave voluntarily or involuntarily. You may hear about lack of empowerment, support, or toxic leadership in exit interviews and from the existing team. Intellectual capital loss and resource instability harm success.

3. Team momentum.

A successful startup's team is excited about its progress. Consistently achieving goals and having trackable performance metrics. Some describe this period of productivity as magical, with great talents joining the team and the right people in the right places. Increasing momentum.

I've also seen short-sighted decisions where only some departments, like sales and engineering, had goals. Lack of a unified goals system created silos and miscommunication. Some employees felt apathetic because they didn't know how they contributed to team goals.

4. Employees advanced in their careers.

Even if you haven't created career pathing or professional development programs, early-stage employees will grow and move into next-level roles. If you hire more experienced talent and leaders, expect them to mentor existing team members. Growing companies need good performers.

New talent shouldn't replace and discard existing talent. This creates animosity and makes existing employees feel unappreciated for their early contributions to the company.

5. The company lived its values.

Culture and identity are built on lived values. A company's values affect hiring, performance management, rewards, and other processes. Identify, practice, and believe in company values. Starting with team values instead of management or consultants helps achieve this. When a company's words and actions match, it builds trust.

When company values are beautifully displayed on a wall but few employees understand them, the opposite is true. If an employee can't name the company values, they're useless.

6. Communication was clear.

When necessary information is shared with the team, they feel included, trusted, and like owners. Transparency means employees have the needed information to do their jobs. Disclosure builds trust. The founders answer employees' questions honestly.

Information accessibility decreases office politics. Without transparency, even basic information is guarded and many decisions are made in secret. I've seen founders who don't share financial, board meeting, or compensation and equity information. The founders' lack of trust in the team wasn't surprising, so it was reciprocated.

The Choices

Finally. All six of the above traits (leadership alignment, minimal turnover, momentum, professional advancement, values, and transparency) were high in the profitable startups I've worked at, including unicorn status or acquisition.

I've seen these as the most common and constant signals of startup success or failure.

These characteristics are the product of founders' choices. These decisions lead to increased team engagement and business execution.

Here's something to consider for startup employees and want-to-bes. 90% of startups fail, despite the allure of building something new and gaining ownership. With the emotional and time investment in startup formation, look for startups with these traits to reduce your risk.

Both you and the startup will thrive in these workplaces.

Pat Vieljeux

Pat Vieljeux

1 year ago

Your entrepreneurial experience can either be a beautiful adventure or a living hell with just one decision.

Choose.

Bakhrom Tursunov — Unsplash

DNA makes us distinct.

We act alike. Most people follow the same road, ignoring differences. We remain quiet about our uniqueness for fear of exclusion (family, social background, religion). We live a more or less imposed life.

Off the beaten path, we stand out from the others. We obey without realizing we're sewing a shroud. We're told to do as everyone else and spend 40 years dreaming of a golden retirement and regretting not living.

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” - Shannon L. Alder

Others dare. Again, few are creative; most follow the example of those who establish a business for the sake of entrepreneurship. To live.

They pick a potential market and model their MVP on an existing solution. Most mimic others, alter a few things, appear to be original, and end up with bland products, adding to an already crowded market.

SaaS, PaaS, etc. followed suit. It's reduced pricing, profitability, and product lifespan.

As competitors become more aggressive, their profitability diminishes, making life horrible for them and their employees. They fail to innovate, cut costs, and close their company.

Few of them look happy and fulfilled.

How did they do it?

The answer is unsettlingly simple.

They are themselves.

  • They start their company, propelled at first by a passion or maybe a calling.

  • Then, at their own pace, they create it with the intention of resolving a dilemma.

  • They assess what others are doing and consider how they might improve it.

  • In contrast to them, they respond to it in their own way by adding a unique personal touch. Therefore, it is obvious.

Originals, like their DNA, can't be copied. Or if they are, they're poorly printed. Originals are unmatched. Artist-like. True collectors only buy Picasso paintings by the master, not forgeries, no matter how good.

Imaginative people are constantly ahead. Copycats fall behind unless they innovate. They watch their competition continuously. Their solution or product isn't sexy. They hope to cash in on their copied product by flooding the market.

They're mostly pirates. They're short-sighted, unlike creators.

Creators see further ahead and have no rivals. They use copiers to confirm a necessity. To maintain their individuality, creators avoid copying others. They find copying boring. It's boring. They oppose plagiarism.

It's thrilling and inspiring.

It will also make them more able to withstand their opponents' tension. Not to mention roadblocks. For creators, impediments are games.

Others fear it. They race against the clock and fear threats that could interrupt their momentum since they lack inventiveness and their product has a short life cycle.

Creators have time on their side. They're dedicated. Clearly. Passionate booksellers will have their own bookstore. Their passion shows in their book choices. Only the ones they love.

The copier wants to display as many as possible, including mediocre authors, and will cut costs. All this to dominate the market. They're digging their own grave.

The bookseller is just one example. I could give you tons of them.

Closing remarks

Entrepreneurs might follow others or be themselves. They risk exhaustion trying to predict what their followers will do.

It's true.

Life offers choices.

Being oneself or doing as others do, with the possibility of regretting not expressing our uniqueness and not having lived.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”. Oscar Wilde

The choice is yours.

Jayden Levitt

Jayden Levitt

1 year ago

Starbucks' NFT Project recently defeated its rivals.

The same way Amazon killed bookstores. You just can’t see it yet.

Photo by Jason Redmond | AFP | Getty Images

Shultz globalized coffee. Before Starbucks, coffee sucked.

All accounts say 1970s coffee was awful.

Starbucks had three stores selling ground Indonesian coffee in the 1980s.

What a show!

A year after joining the company at 29, Shultz traveled to Italy for R&D.

He noticed the coffee shops' sense of theater and community and realized Starbucks was in the wrong business.

Integrating coffee and destination created a sense of community in the store.

Brilliant!

He told Starbucks' founders about his experience.

They disapproved.

For two years.

Shultz left and opened an Italian coffee shop chain like any good entrepreneur.

Starbucks ran into financial trouble, so the founders offered to sell to Shultz.

Shultz bought Starbucks in 1987 for $3.8 million, including six stores and a payment plan.

Starbucks is worth $100.79Billion, per Google Finance.

26,500 times Shultz's initial investment

Starbucks is releasing its own NFT Platform under Shultz and his early Vision.

This year, Starbucks Odyssey launches. The new digital experience combines a Loyalty Rewards program with NFT.

The side chain Polygon-based platform doesn't require a Crypto Wallet. Customers can earn and buy digital assets to unlock incentives and experiences.

They've removed all friction, making it more immersive and convenient than a coffee shop.

Brilliant!

NFTs are the access coupon to their digital community, but they don't highlight the technology.

They prioritize consumer experience by adding non-technical users to Web3. Their collectables are called journey stamps, not NFTs.

No mention of bundled gas fees.

Brady Brewer, Starbucks' CMO, said;

“It happens to be built on blockchain and web3 technologies, but the customer — to be honest — may very well not even know that what they’re doing is interacting with blockchain technology. It’s just the enabler,”

Rewards members will log into a web app using their loyalty program credentials to access Starbucks Odyssey. They won't know about blockchain transactions.

Join the waitlist here

Starbucks has just dealt its rivals a devastating blow.

It generates more than ten times the revenue of its closest competitor Costa Coffee.

The coffee giant is booming.

Credit — Statista.com

Starbucks is ahead of its competitors. No wonder.

They have an innovative, adaptable leadership team.

Starbucks' DNA challenges the narrative, especially when others reject their ideas.

I’m off for a cappuccino.