Hello and welcome!
Feel free to spend the next 15 seconds reading the 4 little paragraphs below or go straight to the unsubscribe section at the bottom, in which case, I guess we were never meant for each other. It’s not me, it’s you — I get it.
I, in turn, will pretend that nothing happened, next time we talk or email, it really is (almost) fine with me. I promise it won’t be awkward.
READY FOR A RIDE? HOPE ON, IT WILL BE A FUN ONE!
Sunrise on the Northern Thailand’s famous Mae Hong Son loop.
WHAT DID I SIGN UP FOR?
You might be wondering what lies ahead for this “newsletter” you signed up for.
I am not totally certain myself.
I’ve long wanted to communicate and express myself better with my friends and fellow humans, all the while converting plain old humans into my friends, even if only in digital form.
YES BUT WHY …
I think an emailing list is one of the best way to do it. Or it might turn out to be the worst. Time (and you) will tell.
So below in no particular order of importance a semi-random list of 15 reasons why I started this whole email thing.
If you have anything to add, feel free to reply and let me know. I am sure I’ve missed or overlooked perfectly fine reasons why I (or anyone) would want to do this.
1. I AM FULL OF VANITY!
I am probably as vain as anyone else you know, maybe even more so.
It pleases me immensely to know that I can pull some words out of thin air, edit them a bit and the next thing I know, there are people reading my thoughts around the world.
Or maybe around the town. Or maybe it’s just you. An audience of one.
Still I am happy and brimming with vanity and pride.
I’ve created something, and you’ve read it — YAY to me.
Now it’s time to go and drink a celebratory beer. No domestic “budget” shit, though. Only real premium, handcrafted or imported stuff.
There you go, the first email and it’s already full of opinions and controversy.
2. FEAR AND LOATHING
I am scared to do this. Very scared.
Always have been, hope to be scared for a while.
I am driven by my fears and desires.
Usually away from the former and toward the latter.
What if I flip it upside down once in a while and be drawn by fears and ignore the
If anything, it will be something new for a change.
Don’t know about you, but for me, the idea of sending personal opinions, ideas,
aspirations and thoughts via email to a bunch of people is SCARY.
The blogger, author and investor James Altucher says you have to bleed a lot to be a good writer and a storyteller and I believe him. He is quite good himself.
Bleeding a lot is SCARY. But maybe it’s just me, you be the judge.
3. IT’S FUN
I hated writing in school and college. But when I sat down to write this first email, I realized how much I enjoy the process, even though it can be painful and challenging at times.
There is something about seeing the thoughts and ideas materialize on paper, seemingly out of nowhere and then be able to share that with someone else.
4. BECAUSE SIR RICHARD BRANSON TOLD ME TO
Everyone loves quoting Sir. Richard Branson. I don’t think you can go wrong quoting him.
Most of his books are good, but Screw It Lets Do It says it all in the title.
I like this mantra, and in the past, this attitude brought more fun and growth to my life than disappointment.
It’s early morning and I am too lazy to look up the exact details, but trust me for a moment when I say that Richard’s first business was a magazine. And what is a magazine if not a pretty newsletter?
I think I am on the right path here. Sir Branson is as good of a person to model my success on as any.
Speaking of models, who doesn’t want to kitesurf in paradise with a naked model on his back?
So screw it, let’s do it!
5. NOAH KAGAN AND RYAN HOLIDAY MADE ME DO IT
Noah Kagan (the guy behind AppSumo) issued a challenge to Tim Ferriss’ podcast listeners to start an emailing list right that moment. No more waiting, no more excuses.
I was on the plane as I listened to the podcast, so I had to wait, but soon after this newsletter was born.
I’ve been receiving Ryan Holiday’s monthly email with book recommendations.
It’s one of the few emails that I am happy to see in my inbox and I always read it right away. It’s a great read and I encourage you to sign up as well.
I read books too, and love recommending them (and get good recommendations as well). Ryan’s story of growing the emailing list from a handful of friends to 35000 readers in few short years is as inspiring as any.
6. BECAUSE FB SUCKS AND 160 CHARACTERS IS STUPID
There is a strong probability of me dying and never really understanding why I should use Twitter. I’ve tried twice, and I just don’t seem to get it. Maybe you can explain it to me next time we hang out.
Facebook is so much worse. It limits how I communicate with my friends and audience in many insidious, dirty, ugly ways.
I hate scrolling the newsfeed for 10th time in the day, only to realize that Facebook hid the status updates from my friends and family for days and I am only now seeing them.
Screw you Facebook.
Plus what happens when Facebook goes away (I don’t think it’s a question if, but when). Ask my 10 year old niece and she will tell you that FB is for old people, and all the young kids are on some other platform.
I want my own communication platform. Email is still the best (see below).
7. I SUCK AT WRITING AND I WANT TO BE BETTER THAN MY SISTER AT IT
English is a second language for me, Russian first. We don’t have articles in Russian.
I know, what a bunch of weirdos.
So expect to see lots of misplaced a’s and the’s. I am ok at an’s, I think.
So I want to get better at this article shit soon.
Aside from the article problem, I have another one.
I have a sister, who is is a writer and author herself. She is way way better than me at the whole article thing. And I am starting a siblings rivalry.
When I grow up, I want to be a better writer (and author) than her. She has a huge head start and a published book on Amazon.
I will race you to the finish line, sis!!!
8. TOO OFTEN I AM AWFUL AT THINKING CLEARLY
When I read good authors I get envious. They seem to be able to think so clearly.
Mark Manson is one of the best at that.
I want to learn to think and write as clearly and poignantly as he does.
Having a smart and discerning audience is a great way to improve.
Thank you for reading this!
P.S. I am getting better at pandering to the audience.
9. JOE ROGAN
This little one minute video is in my “Regular Review“ bookmark folder.
The hero of my life’s movie is in dire need to start a newsletter, right now!
10. EVERYONE LOVES STORIES
“In principle I believe that every human being on this planet has at least one good
story to tell his neighbor“ — Paulo Coehlo On Writing.
I do have way more than one.
I want to share them with you.
You love stories, it’s what we are hardwired for.
I am sure you will like some of mine too.
11. I AM ONE CONCEITED GUY
This one goes well with the first point on vanity.
I’d like to kid myself that some of the ideas, links, articles and hacks I share will help
I will, in turn, be a proud idea-daddy forever.
12. “IDEA MACHINE”?
Speaking of ideas. Ever heard of an “idea machine”? I want one!
James Altucher outlines how to become one in his blog. This involves a lot of writing
down of ideas. Smart ones and the dumb. I am doing that now.
By the way, see if you can spot where I “stole” the idea on how to structure this email.
13. EMAIL IS NOT DEAD, DON’T BELIEVE THE FEAR MONGERS
Let’s keep this one short.
Email is not dead. Nor is it dying.
It’s still one of the best way to communicate with your audience.
Feel free to call me and argue. Or email me. I would love that.
14. BILL GATES HAS ONE, AND HE IS NOT EVEN COOL
Ok ok, I am gonna go easy on good old Bill. He is actually one of the coolest people on earth.
Being directly responsible for
A) cleverly masterminding an almost complete takeover of humanity by some of the worst software in the history of mankind and
B) helping save the world for all of us, makes him a very cool dude in my book.
I recently read that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped to build “a global collaborative that has inoculated nearly half a billion kids worldwide, and saved 7 million lives.”. That’s incredibly cool.
Oh and and he has a newsletter too.
Yes, I just put myself in the same rank as Bill Gates.
I know, I know … but please see the point 1 above as to why I did this.
15. WHAT WOULD YOU ATTEMPT IF YOU KNEW YOU COULDN’T FAIL?
Now, that is a stupid question.
Smells like “The Secret” movement to me. Too hypothetical and new-agey. Can you tell I am not a fan of the “Law” of Attraction?
Let me clear something up for everyone. No, you can’t jump out of the window and fly.
You will fall and fail. Don’t be stupid!
The laws of physics still exist and will be here for a while, no matter what the next “guru of quantum reality” tells you.
But the laws (and rules) of human behavior are fluid and ever changing. Especially the laws that I’ve created in my own head.
One of the reasons I am starting this newsletter/email is that I am rather certain I cannot fail. Too many upsides and none of the downside.
I might be oblivious to the downside though, and get blindsided by it down the line.
I will deal with that “when and if” it happens.
16. MARK TWAIN,
famously wrote “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead”.
This is definitely the case here. I know I promised only 15 points at the beginning and here we are reading the 16th one?!
Under promise, over deliver. I am all about being a prolific writer.
I really am terribly happy to see you stayed with me for these ramblings. That was a long long read. I promise to be more concise in the future, as I get better at this thing.
It’s late morning now, and I have to start packing for the two week trip to Las Vegas and Mexico. I am attending a workshop in Las Vegas and a super exciting entrepreneurship event in Mexico. Stay tuned for more details and an update in a week or so.
Until next time,
P.S. As always, feel free to reply and let me know if you need help. You’re welcome to email me questions or raise issues for discussion as well. I read all emails and will go looooooong way to reply to them all.
P.P.S. I am documenting my personal system that helps me to easily learn more, retain knowledge better, be a better reader and writer and be HAPPIER. It’s a fun little report with lots of images and not too much text. Just what people like.
I should have it available for downloading by the time the next newsletter hits your inbox. So keep an eye out for it, if you are drowning in emails, newsletters, articles, podcasts and other content and interested in improving your reading and learning skills as well as in organizing your digital life better.