Louis' Learnings 44 - Being Larger Than Life, Sponsorship, New York City, and Moderation
Meeting Your Heroes, Being Flexible, and Learning Without Ego
Happy Monday from Los Angeles, California 🏖️
Since last time (October 25th), I’ve been mainly focused on settling in to my new job at Bitcoin Magazine. My first piece of content has been published, and I’ve spent a lot of time on various other internal projects.
This week, I share my side project updates, personal updates, and, as always, a few “learnings.”
The Louis and Kyle Show 🎧
The Podcast had pretty much its best month yet for YouTube. I attribute this to about 25+ thumbnail redesigns, SEO tweaks to our more popular videos, the general long-tail benefits of ever-growing library (140+ videos), and our Peter Voss interview performing very well.
If you haven’t kept up with the show these past few weeks, I really enjoyed the most recent two episodes.
Our 2022 goal is to become eligible for YouTube’s Monetization program by exceeding 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
Our First Sponsor 💸 🖥️?
I’m excited to announce I’ve partnered with my first sponsor, espresso Displays, for both Louis' Learnings and the podcast.
Espresso Displays are the thinnest portable touch screen monitors in the world. I've been using an espresso for the past 2 months, and I absolutely love it. The screen and magnetically connected collapsible stand fit easily in a backpack and make it possible to use the luxury of two screens (laptop + espresso) anywhere I work.
Support Louis' Learnings by checking out espresso here.
In large part this deal came about through interviewing one of espresso’s co-founders who subsequently became a fan and wanted to support our show/this newsletter. The power of podcasting 🙌.
NYC Vacation Highlights 🌆
I spent Halloweekend in New York City visiting a mixture of podcast guests and college friends who now live there.
Citi-biking countless miles around the city—all hours of the day and night. Sometimes on the phone (AirPods), sometimes in silence, sometimes with a podcast.
Getting lost in the most sophisticated VR set-up I’ve ever tried.
Eating pizza, shawarma, and bagels like there’s no tomorrow.
Working remotely from Washington Square Park and meeting friendly strangers there.
NFT NYC events. Meeting Tom Bilyeu in the streets randomly. Watching Gary Vaynerchuk interview Beeple live, and watching the Beeple mini-documentary debut.
Riding the subway in a provocative halloween costume (photos not included).
Seeing true NYC basement comedy. Dan Soder was the highlight.
Meeting 3 podcast guests offline for the first time.
A Few Learnings (Four, Actually)
(1) Remote Work AND Vacation Hybrid Was Awesome 🚶
Craving variation and feeling trapped at home, people get the nomad bug. They are seduced by anything other than the same desk staring at the same wall. They think, 6-12 months of exploration is the ONLY way out. Sell everything. Circumnavigate Earth.
IMO, it takes less time to scratch the itch than you might think. Six days in NYC was perfect.
Short enough to not take the city for granted. Long enough to avoid feeling rushed.
I woke up and took care of work for a few hours, but instead of cooking lunch, I went for a walk and tried a new place. I’d work in the afternoon in a unique location as well. At the end of the workday, there was urgency to go and do something else new and interesting because I was in New York!
After a week, however, I was eager to return home, have a routine, and stop spending money on restaurant/halal cart food. Now 3 weeks later, I’m in California/Vegas for some weeks of remote working again.
I believe this model will gain popularity. Have a home base with friends, activities, and communities, but periodically escape without necessarily taking time off. Mentally refresh without actually cashing in vacation time.
NYC was my first remote work vacation; it won’t be my last.
Q+A: Does the “work” ruin the fun?
No. How often do you pad vacation days with 16 hours of genuinely interesting activities? On most vacations I end up getting bored. Work gives you something to do throughout the day then encourages deliberate use of remaining time. Of course I will still take proper vacations on occasion.
(2) Moderation: 75HARD, 75% of The Time 📊
I talk a lot about 75HARD because it is a life-changing program for everyone who completes it. During 75HARD, you feel like a warrior and don’t want to lose momentum. The problem is that the program is pretty inflexible and can be difficult to manage socially.
Refresher: The 75HARD daily tasks are (1) Read 10 pages of nonfiction on paper (2) Workout twice, 45 mins each, one outside (3) Gallon of water (4) Progress picture (5) Follow a diet, no cheat meals (6) No alcohol… 75 consecutive days. 1 mistake? → restart at day 0.
The difficult part of 75HARD is that life always gets in the way. What if you have a friend come to town for a weekend, what if it is New Years, what if you just want to have fun? I say let loose.
Disclaimer: It is important to run through 75HARD in its true form at least once. The no compromises, no mistakes, no apologies brutality is necessary to learn many of the lessons. But in the long term, how do you capture the benefits without getting in the way of life?
I propose 75%HARD, or 75HARD, 75% of the time.
From a mental toughness and physical fitness perspective this protocol is drastically inferior to 75HARD, but superior to having no program.
On your generic, semi predictable weekday, complete a typical 75HARD day. Move your body. Get outside. Read for a bit. Plan to carry it through the weekend. But if there’s some compelling social plan that pops up, or some short weekend trip, let 75HARD go, and pick it back up when routine returns.
A theme of this week is seeing the spectrum of options that almost always exists. Don’t think in binaries. There’s more than all or nothing.
Sustaining 75HARD 4 days per week for an entire year has the potential to be superior to 75HARD for 75 days of the year as you’d complete about 208 “75HARD” days.
I’m considering adopting this goal for 2022. Completing 208 days of 75HARD in a year would mean hundreds of workouts, tens of books, and many many healthy meals, and I avoid being the guy who ruins the fun because of my overly strict protocols.
(Full disclosure, I will probably end up doing a proper 75HARD in 2022 anyway, but this will be my plan for outside of that dedicated period).
(3) Languages and Ego 🪞
This idea is still in its infancy, and it came together when grabbing dinner with Danny Miranda. Shoutout for the help, Danny.
Some of the most prolific public learners seem to share two common traits: obsession with languages, and a readiness to admit devastating flaws in their past work.
Brutal honesty about what they don’t know.
Humility to take a few steps backwards and accumulate fundamentals.
Courage to make attempts in the unknown.
Egoless polyglots…. A deadly combination.
This theory came up because we were discussing Scott Young’s writing. Danny brought up how Scott is extremely thorough about admitting flaws in his past thinking and criticizing inaccuracies in his old work. I proposed that this lack of ego probably came from his year without English, which forced him to learn new languages by total immersion.
In my observation, most Americans are unwilling to do this which is why most don’t successfully learn anything other than English. Trying to communicate when you don’t know a language is extremely uncomfortable. You feel embarrassed. You become insecure and self-conscious. You are afraid of looking and being thought of as stupid. Ego becomes the enemy of learning.
Tim Ferriss and Scott Young seem to demonstrate that once this fear is overcome, the speed of language acquisition increases exponentially. My theory is that the mindset shift transfers to learning in other domains.
Brutal honesty about what they don’t know. Don’t skip steps.
Humility to take a few steps backwards and accumulate fundamentals.
Courage to make attempts in the unknown. Willing to experiment.
I don’t know which direction the arrow of causality points. Does successfully learning a language teach you to become egoless, or does the existing lack of ego set you up for success? Either way, letting go of insecure self-consciousness is an essential step for improved progress.
I’ll repeat that this is an idea in its infancy. I’m curious if anyone has thoughts.
(4) Larger Than Life Fallacy 🦸
Quest Nutrition founder Tom Bilyeu is by far not the first or biggest celebrity, influencer, or business man that I’ve ever met. But I still nervously fanboyed when I bumped into him in Times Square and introduced myself. Why?
Following him online for so long with such reverence, he became a larger than life character in my mind. After a few minutes of extremely friendly conversation, it dawned on me that he’s just a normal person, a realization I’ve made every other time I’ve met someone famous/successful/rich etc.
Why the repeated mistake?
Online personas are dramatized. He’s in a studio. YouTube’s scale is overwhelming. Six million viewers have seen this video.
Instagram projects a hyperreality. The blue check is subliminal messaging of his increased importance relative to plebeian non-verified users. It’s some The Wizard of Oz dark arts psychological mumbo jumbo that makes you think the man behind the screen is larger than life.
To be clear, this is not to say anything negative about Tom. He was extremely nice and generous with his time. My point is that he was a normal dude, but his online personas led me to fall for the celebrity fallacy yet again.
Why write about this?
By documenting my biases, I hope to make fewer mistakes.
In the meantime, I’ll be proactively reminding myself not to fall for the trap again.
Elon Musk? Classic high IQ eccentric dude who loves memes.
Joe Rogan? Clearly just a bro.
Jordan Peterson? No different from any professor, only unique in that his ideas actually warrant an audience.
Nat Eliason? Most of you don’t even know who he is 🤣
This book was an engaging guide to early Bitcoin history (2009-2015).
For Bitcoin History from 2015-2020, I recommend the Blocksize War.
Grant Sanderson is one of YouTube’s best math educators. He created a summer challenge with a $5,000 prize to the best math educational video he received. This was one of the winner. The animations are incredible.
I watched this Mushroom documentary while flying from Nashville to Los Angeles.
First, it was visually beautiful. Second, it made me so curious enough about mushrooms that I bought flight WiFi after finishing the documentary so I could immediately binge more mushroom content.
→ Victoria Ransom: Founder & CEO at Prisma, The Business Of Reimagining 4-8th Grade Education
→ Tony Lopez: Combatting the Housing Crisis with Alternative Living Spaces, Tiny Homes, and Shipping Containers
→ Joe Bastardi: Meteorologist, Bodybuilder, and Penn State Wrestler.
Thank You For Reading 🙏
Feedback and suggestions are always welcome.