If you’ve been following my content over the past year, you will realise that I like to share the lessons and experiences I’m gaining freely online. This is because I think there is so much power in choosing to learn in public. As a reminder, this week I want to reshare a refined version of one of my most read and shared blog articles!
There’s a dichotomy in schools of thought when it comes to learning or creating:
Do in silence, show the end product.
Show the process, progress publicly.
In the book Show Your Work!, Austin Kleon explains why the latter is better and he makes a ‘fair-play mate’ type of argument for why we should all learn in public. Over the last year or so, I’ve been public with my projects and I can definitely say that I’m a huge advocate for it now. The main benefits I’ve found include:
Building a feedback loop
Seeing your progress
Establishing a community/following
“By letting go of our egos and sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work, which helps us move more.” — Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
Here are my two biggest take-home lessons from the book.
The instant feedback loop.
Sometimes, when I write these articles, I think who cares? This is all pretty obvious stuff, why am I even bothering? Then I remind myself, what is obvious to you is magic to others. My main goal in creating this weekly newsletter other than it being a weekly opportunity to share insights was to develop a hell of a lot in the process in terms of writing ability, thought formation, and personal branding. This all helps me progress more quickly.
In the book, Austin Kleon argues, we must first launch ourselves on the centre stage (aka the public domain) where all eyes are on us. He says in the book:
"...the only way to find your voice is to use it."
So, an effective method to developing your skills faster is to launch yourself before you’re even ready. Show the world what you’re doing and let the world tell you how to do it even better.
Let the people find you.
The other big message in Show Your Work! is about creating a personal brand. We live in an extremely digital environment - names can be searched, profiles can be hunted down, and people can be very easily found. Why not give whoever is trying to find you a much better first impression. A line I particularly enjoyed was:
“You have to make stuff,” said journalist David Carr when he was asked if he had any advice for students. “No one is going to give a damn about your résumé; they want to see what you have made with your own little fingers.”
Given that we are not at all competing against big brands or corporate giants, it would be pretty easy for you and me to rack up decent SEO against our name — go ahead, search my name on Google and notice how you are instantly able to find my website, YouTube channel, and newsletter. Instantly you know more about me than I could ever convey in a double-sided résumé. Visibility is leverage as Naval Ravikant often says.
If there’s one quote to take away from the book, it’s this:
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” If you just focus on getting really good, Martin says, people will come to you. I happen to agree: You don’t really find an audience for your work; they find you.
With that, I hope that this serves as a continuing reminder of the benefits of choosing to learn/create in public.
One Quote 🧠
Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value. ― Albert Einstein
One Recommendation 🚀
Tech 👨🏾💻 — Lumie Alarm Clock
I’m definitely not a morning person. Trust me, it’s a rough time of the day for me. I’ve been trying to fix this. The most obvious thing to do would be to sleep earlier, which I’ve been doing but I think I’ve hit the jackpot. It’s an alarm clock that has a mood light the mimics sunrise. Slowly it gets brighter, eventually waking you up. I’m going to do a 30-day experiment with it, so make sure you’re subscribed to the channel!
This Week on YouTube 🎥
Q&A - Life As A Doctor, Revealing A Few Secrets:
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That’s all for this week — be safe, be happy!