Louis' Learnings 41 - Low-Hanging Fruit
Don't Work Yourself To Death, Instead Work Yourself To Sleep
Happy Monday from Las Vegas, Nevada 🌞
I’m moving to Nashville this week to start the next chapter of my life. A change of scenery will be exciting, and I look forward to exploring a new city and joining new communities.
If you know interesting folks in the area, let me know! I’m open to meeting new people.
Onto the newsletter!
What I Learned This Week
1) On crossing the 10k milestone!
The Louis and Kyle Show finally crossed 10,000 audio downloads 🎉.
It took us about 550 days, but we got there 😎. Next stop 100k
Fittingly, we were recently approached for our first sponsorship offer for the podcast (and this newsletter). Expect updates in the coming weeks/ episodes.
2) Questions Are The Most Powerful Tools I Have
I’ve been repeating this mantra to myself the past few weeks.
Good questions are the most powerful tools I have.
A good question (and undistracted reflection on it) is the way out of most tough situations.
What can I do with the next two weeks to make them extremely fun without spending any money?
What could I change to become more excited about life?
What would it take to run 1000 miles this year? (Do the math)
If this was my last month, would I be spending my time any different?
Would I benefit more from consuming more information, or from locking myself in a room and making sense of the bombardment of ideas I’ve been ready to do something with? Just me?
The mind will almost always suggest something resembling an answer to just about any question we throw at it.
My favorite demonstration is simple. Construct two lists.
First, list reasons to be happy today. Second, list reasons to be sad. You’ll almost immediately come up with many good answers to both prompts. No matter what mood you were initially in, the question you ask can shift your mood to where you want it to go. So why not ask exciting questions?
Challenge → Set aside a few minutes to ask then thoughtfully answer one question that would improve your day. One might be, “What could I do to make today amazing?” By thinking about the question, answers come.
3) Unpredictable Outcomes & Repurposed Content
For the first time in a few weeks, I checked in on my Medium analytics (another website where I host some of my writing).
Two things stood out to me.
First, my most read post is a snippet from one of these newsletters that I randomly reposted...🤔 Content where Medium was just an afterthought ended up outperforming everything else.
Second, my most viewed posts (well actually 2/3) were originally school assignments that I reposted because… why not? One was a book review for a career strategy course and the other was a research paper for my databases class.
Third, our most popular (organic) YouTube video was just a 2-minute clip from the full episode. If I never repurposed my content, I’d have left so much value on the table.
My challenge to you… think about what low-hanging fruit you are leaving on the table? How can you repurpose your existing body of work?
Here are some of mine I still haven’t gotten around to doing:
Four of our top ten most popular podcast episodes by audio downloads (#1 included) still haven’t been published to YouTube.
I’ve only republished about 10% of the content from these newsletters to Medium. There’s probably fodder for ~30+ mini-essays.
The majority of the organic traffic to LouisShulman.com comes from book reviews. I have probably 20-40, 70% finished book summaries I’ve never taken the time to finish and post.
4) Sleep Rules
I’ve been avoiding getting in bed until I’m near certain I’m going to fall asleep instantly.
This is helping me form a new sleep rule called “working myself to sleep.”
I hate lying in bed awake, so I try to devise ways to avoid it at all costs.
I use the word “working” loosely. Basically, I’ll do one of the following
Light chores. Clean my room, clean my closet, clean the kitchen or bathroom.
Read (but not in bed).
Write (on paper, in the notes app, in an online editor).
Eventually, at an unexpected moment, a wave of fatigue will strike. Only when that wave comes will I get in bed.
I’ve found two big benefits from practicing this.
First, I no longer suffer from the dreaded “in bed can’t sleep I’m mad and anxious about not being asleep” hell loop. That dead time has been replaced with aimless reading/cleaning/writing.
Second, I’ll actually accomplish something (cleaned space), thoughts on paper (which become writing drafts), or book progress. Fun fact, 40% of this newsletter came about on a Tuesday night “work myself to sleep session.”
This is a new addition to my small but growing canon of sleep knowledge/ rules.
Caffeine cut off 10+ hours before planned bedtime
Blue light blocked as early as possible (sundown is best)
Some moderately strenuous exercise (at least 30 mins duration)
As much natural light as possible (outdoors)
(new) Don’t wait in bed if you aren’t falling asleep. Busy yourself until “the wave” hits
Content I Humbly Recommend
Honestly, props to the team for a descriptive title. Past podcast guests Joe & Scott plus 7 co-authors give ‘advice’ to their 18-year-old selves.
If your screen time is too high, this book is worth reading.
Since the price of Solana has shot up recently, this primer from Not Boring is one of the best places to start to get some semblance of bearings on the situation.
Grant McCarty on doing undergrad in 2 years, making test-prep more accessible, and marketing consulting.
Mitko Karshovski on creating an online business school for remote entrepreneurs.
Thank You For Reading!
Feedback and suggestions are always welcome.
Until next time,
Photo of the week
My friend Jackson recently came to visit me for a weekend in Vegas.
We took this photo at a Karaoke Bar on Fremont Street.