Last Week’s Hurdles and Lessons (Week Ending 6/2/24)

Because I’ve received feedback that others got value when I shared the struggles from my current personal project, I’ve decided to build this project in public and share my ups and downs openly.

Current Personal Project: Reading Books about Entrepreneurs and Sharing What I Learned from Them via Blog Posts and Audio Recordings Distributed as a Podcast

What I struggled with:

  • Reading two books, writing seven blog posts, and recording eight audio posts to distribute via podcast is a lot. I hit a wall toward the end of the week. Finishing out the week was tough.
  • This week felt harder than last week. The above weekly goals I’ve set have me in a state of discomfort. I recognize this because I experienced this feeling when I started blogging daily in 2020. My brain feels overloaded, and I’m mentally tired some days. I’m pushing my limits and expanding them each consecutive day I do this. Said differently, the discomfort I’m feeling is likely growth. Hopefully this will get easier as my brain realizes this is our new normal.
  • I’m still not as concise as I want to be in communicating insights from books. The series on Ed Thorp highlighted this for me. Even though I’ve read this book twice, I struggled to balance getting the recordings done and communicating my points clearly. “Done is better than perfect” won. But I did record a bonus episode for Thorp because it bothered me that much and this is one of my favorite books.

What I learned:

  • The difficult part right now is what I do between reading a book and sharing what I learn by writing and recording—that is, distilling a large amount of information down to what I want to convey.
  • Sumner Redstone’s autobiography was hard to write and record about. I didn’t describe the wisdom from it clearly at first, so I needed to think about it more. I ended up thinking about what I had read for a day before recording (I’d already written my post), and that was helpful. More time to process helped me connect the dots on insights that weren’t obvious and draw parallels to my experiences as an entrepreneur. I want more buffer time between reading and recording to process. I think what I share will be more valuable if I have it.
  • There’s no consistency in the format of my recordings. It’s early, and I’m experimenting, so this makes sense now. But I’m not a freestyle-it-every-time kind of person. A consistent format could help me prepare to record (I’ve decided to work toward this), increase the likelihood that each recording is valuable to listeners, and set listeners’ expectations.
  • During a feedback session this week, I learned that someone purchased a biography because I’d recorded about it. I would never have known that without that conversation. Someone purchasing a book is the ultimate sign I’ve given them value, but I don’t have any insight into this. I want data! Amazon’s affiliate program seems like the best (and only) way to see this data.
  • Google NotebookLM is an impressive AI tool. I’m really excited about it. I can see lots of value in using the power of AI to search specific documents and your own notes. If it would allow users to query the documents and notes of others (with their permission, of course), that would be game changing. I’ll be watching closely to see how this product evolves.
  • Extracting my highlights from books I’ve read is something I’m excited about, but it’s a lower priority right now. I believe I’ve found a good partner for this when the time is right to tackle it.

Those are my struggles and learnings from this week!

Prefer listening? Catch audio versions of these blog posts, with more context added, on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here!