Swipe File #42: Shark-Infested Waters

"Don't rely on motivation for anything. It is fleeting and unreliable. Discipline, however, is unyielding. Force yourself to follow through."


Hey All,

Enjoy this week's articles and if you're feeling inspired, pass it on.

How side projects saved our startup via @mikaelcho

This is a really neat story from Crew founder Mikael Cho. He explains how they turned four side projects into revenue for the core business.

Side projects get a bad rep.

To shift this thinking, we need to reconsider what is defined as a “side project.” Calling something a side project implies it’s being done on the side and not part of your main focus. But if you’re doing a project to create value for your company, then this is no different than working on any other value-creating project like your blog.

How to overcome the paradox of choice via @ramit

I'm a huge fan of Ramit Sethi's work. This post explores how to make a few important decisions that guide all the small ones. The result is less stress and more freedom.

If you want to live a Rich Life, focus on the four or five big wins. Get a dream job. Negotiate your salary. Invest automatically so you don’t have to think about it. It’s not a decision.

This type of focus short-circuits the paradox of choice. If you do these four or five things, it doesn’t matter how many lattes you buy. It doesn’t matter if you buy a small Coke or a large Coke. You don’t have to worry about the never-ending stream of little questions because those micro decisions are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Elon Musk’s first wife explains what it takes to become a billionaire via @justinemusk

A Quora user posted this question: Will I become a billionaire if I am determined to be one and put in the necessary work required?

They were probably surprised to hear from Elon Musk's ex-wife. And maybe even more surprised by her answer.

You're determined. So what? You haven't been racing naked through shark-infested waters yet. Will you be just as determined when you wash up on some deserted island, disoriented and bloody and ragged and beaten and staring into the horizon with no sign of rescue?

Read more about Ms. Musk's Quora adventures here.

Why This Company Thrives on the 5-Hour Workday via @LeighEBuchanan

This is just awesome. (I have a Tower Paddle Board and it's great too.)

In 1914, Henry Ford cut autoworkers' weeks to 40 hours, taking advantage of newfangled assembly lines that made people more productive. The internet and related technologies have goosed productivity even more -- and yet, [founder Stephen] Aarstol argues, wages have not gone up, and hours have stayed the same.

"At the same time that people have the ability to be massively more productive, they also now have the ability to massively waste time," he says. With all the available distractions, Aarstol believes that most people, on average, are likely getting in just two or three hours of good work each day.

Your Emails Are About to Get a Lot More Interesting via @smelendez

I tend to nerd out on email, but this is really cool.

The people behind The Email Design Conference made sure to email attendees well ahead of time with the Twitter hashtag for the event.

"We embedded a live, dynamic Twitter feed in the email itself, so as people were opening the email and started to tweet about the conference hashtag, it started to appear in the email," says Justine Jordan, the marketing director at Litmus.

Have a great week!


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