5 Tips For The Unrelenting 20-Something Newsletter

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the newsletter. I’ve been deep in course creation mode for the past two weeks and I’m finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank goodness for a bit of time to dive into some deep work. I hope all of you are having a great week and I hope you enjoy this newsletter!

Financial Stability Tip: Build A Personal Monopoly

David Perell defines a Personal Monopoly as “your unique intersection of skills, interests, and personality traits where you can be known as the best thinker on a topic.” From YouTube channels to newsletters like this, building your personal monopoly has the potential to provide long-term financial stability that can support your artistic career.

Tip: Identify one or two things that you think might bring a unique contribution to your field and develop a strategy for how you will share it with the world. David Perell has a great post on developing a personal monopoly from a writing perspective.

Work/Life Balance Tip: Put The Damn Phone Down

My phone is the biggest disruptor in my life. There, I said it. I am constantly picking up my phone to check messages, the news, my twitter account and any number of things designed to help me live a more productive life. Ultimately, my phone keeps me from doing the deep work I need to get done.

Tip: Each time you touch the phone, it will take you several minutes to get back into a flow of your work so try to eliminate it, altogether. Shut the phone off completely and keep it in a different room so you’re not even tempted to pick it up. My good friend Micah Killion wrote a great post that gives some great ideas for keeping your phone habit in check.

Tips On Finding Meaning: Embrace Boredom

Speaking of putting the damn phone down, I’ve found that picking up the phone is especially problematic when I’m bored. My phone fills a space that normally would be a time to let my mind wonder, sparking creative ideas that allow me to solve the problems I face on a daily basis. Instead, my brain is constantly being filled with the ideas of someone else.

Tip: Instead of satisfying your boredom with pointless information on your phone to pass the time, be intentional about how you use the times you identify as being bored. Adopt a daily practice of meditation, develop a daily writing habit, or simply spend some time letting your mind wonder and see what bubbles up.

Field Notes: Creator Towns

Cities have long been the magnet for innovation and creativity. The problem is that the coolest places to live are also the most expensive, making it difficult for artists to thrive. The Pandemic has changed the landscape and there has been a growing exodus out of major metropolitan areas to parts of the country that are less congested and more affordable. With a large part of our workforce able to work remotely, all people need is a good wifi connection to do their work.

Tip: Creator Towns are popping up all over the country and it’s time that practicing artists look at these communities as a viable option to call home. Knowledge workers love the arts and your presence in those communities will help them stay. Your cost of living will be lower than in a large metropolitan area and you’ll likely be able to build a true local following.

The Way Things Work: Adopt The Zettelkasten Method

I am horrible at organizing my thoughts and ideas, primarily because I get the information from so many different places. I have tried several note taking platforms like Evernote and WorkFlowy but I haven’t been able to come up with a system that meets all of my needs for making connections between the things I learn.

Tip: Read this article about the Zettelkasten method. It is clear to me that I’ve been missing the opportunity to connect the things I’ve learned with all of my other interests. The big takeaway for me was to think about my research as a web of ideas, instead of a linear collection of information.

Things I Loved:

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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