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50 things I’ve learned this year (2022)

Things I've Learned this Year

After many weeks of reviewing the things I’ve learned, certain lesson stand out in my mind.

Every Sunday I look over my notes to select the top ideas from the week. The most useful advice passes the test of time by continuing to offer value and insight. I turned a few into graphs and illustrations worth putting on the fridge! The best things I’ve learned allow me to be more productive and helpful to others.

Keep reading to discover the fifty things I’ve learned in 2022 on habits, business, leadership, writing, and entrepreneurship.

1. “If you’re leading and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk.” — John Maxwell

Lesson on Leading vs Walking

2. Daily habits sound hard but require the least willpower – if you can sign up to do something for 10 or 20 minutes each day you’ll make more progress than trying to block out 1 hour per week.

3. Aim to do one energizing thing each day. Even if it feels unrelated to your work, it will help you keep moving forward.

How I learned to do One Energizing Thing

💪 Top Thing I’ve Learned about Business

4. Feed the pigs so they’re ready to fly. It can take 1,000 days to succeed in business. Most people give up after 300. Build systems that help you persevere.

5. “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

6. In business you are always jumping between making bold moves and then optimizing around what works.

Business Lesson on Being Bold

7. Learning to sell a product prepares you to invent & manufacture even the stuff that isn’t guaranteed to sell itself.

8. Copy other people’s writing by hand to change your style and maybe even your brainwaves.

I've Learned the Power of Copying by Hand

9. To share with an audience you know extremely well, teach for yourself 2-3 years ago. What do you wish your past self knew?

10. Pick a job not for money but for the skills you’ll learn.

Lesson on Work Satisfaction

11. “The best outcomes arise when I double down on the things that are naturally pulling me in.” — James Clear

12. On a steep climb, the view behind you looks more gradual that the mountain in front of you. But if you want to keep going, you need to acknowledge this illusion and remember your progress.

13. Reduce any sense of entitlement and it’s much easier to end each day feeling satisfied.

14. During the negotiation of a deal or contract, the “adversary” in the situation – the person across the negotiating table – is actually your partner. Get them to join you.

15. Ask questions using “what” and “how” to give control to the other person. But the listener actually has all the power.

16. Try using a typewriter to collect ideas – “the violence of it carries everything forward”

🤔 Top Lesson I’ve Learned on Entrepreneurship

17. To pursue entrepreneurial ideas you must fill the gaps in your knowledge that result from working in established businesses, bigger teams, and with resources you took for granted.

18. Side business motivation should be to have fun, learn and connect with others. And yes, money, but that should be secondary, or you’re likely to lose interest and give up.

19. You don’t need to meet someone for them to provide value and help to you. — Marie Forleo (paraphrased)

20. Instead of just letting ideas flow onto the page and calling that an article, filter your topics through some SEO research, write an outline, and let the ideas marinate while you collect quotes and other references.

21. A powerful combination is being willing to look like a beginner but a dislike for being bad at stuff – this consistently leads to big jumps in new skills.

22. For writing to be extremely sticky, offer readers stories they can retell easily at a dinner party, and at the same time offer them things to process more deeply – these are different things!

23. Physical goods and hardware are basically as tough to build as 10 years ago, but software has become 30x easier now based on tools & resources available.

24. “It will require 10x the effort you predict to succeed at your business goals” — Grant Cardone

25. You can learn many times faster by learning from others than if you must experience every lesson yourself. Mr Beast does with a daily phone call to a business peer to share and learn.

**** You might also enjoy my article: The Year’s Most Powerful Quotes (2021) ****

26. It can take several years of creating and sharing with close friends before you find the confidence to share his stuff on social media. And that’s ok.

27. Be careful that you don’t spend several months watch chefs on TikTok show various methods of cooking but never actually try anything yourself. You’re missing out on the actualization!

28. Instead of spending energy trying lots of different productivity systems, put that energy into something creative! Keep your systems simple.

29. It can take 10 – 30 products before you land on the right product for your market, channels, and process.

30. If you find that when you ask for help you get it 100% of the time, you could aim higher. Try to reach out, connect, and collaborate in ways that challenge you and others.

What I've Learned about Asking for Help

31. Find your Zone of Genius – that’s the fun, skilled & energizing stuff. And avoid the work that you’re skilled at but sucks your soul.

✨ Top Thing I’ve Learned on Writing

32. The two easiest ways to get thoughts out of your head are talking and writing. The pressure for writing comes from the blinking cursor. And the upside is that once you’ve written something clear you can share that with 100x more people than you can talk to.

33. One strategic position is better execution. For a physical product that can mean better graphic design, online imagery, and smarter advertising. Innovation can be done in marketing rather than the product itself.

34. Instead of creating your path from scratch, follow the roadmap of another successful entrepreneur and you can always tell yourself “here’s proof this can be done!”

35. Identify trigger events for the audience or customer and reach them at that moment, instead of whenever they just happen to open Instagram and see your ad.

36. What does your brain think about when you shower? That’s your mind’s focus even if you would like it to be something else.

37. You wouldn’t go to the gym and try to bench press 200 lbs first go. Instead of trying to create a home run business first try, start with the 40-lb-bench-press kind of projects.

38. Your execution dictates your success. Alex Hormozi explains that even a business opportunity of Level 4 could become enormously profitable if you approach it with level 12 execution.

39. Marketing brings creativity to the combination of psychology and the latest tools or mediums where people hang out.

40. Ignore financial models – instead ask “is the problem real?” and “will people pay for a solution?”

41. A great manager sets up their team members to go home happy and ready to share good energy with the world. Clayton Christensen says management practice well is the most noble profession.

42. Keep looking for small bets where the loss is 1x while the gain could be 100x.

Lesson on Small Gains

43. A side hustle exclusively for financial freedom falls flat if it doesn’t otherwise fulfill a motivation factor of challenge, recognition, personal growth or larger cause.

44. Writing in the morning defogs the brain. It releasing thoughts and cleanses the mind first thing.

Things I've Learned about Writing

45. Roman emperors forbid citizens from wearing purple under the penalty of death. Be happy you can wear that violet shirt!

46. When explaining things in a video, channel the wonder you had when you first learned or discovered the idea you’re discussing. Sending that enthusiasm through the lens makes the information much more fun and compelling.

47. If 40% of jobs are bullshit, imagine how much value you could create working efficiently on your best business idea.

Micro Business Lessons from This Year

48. People that find the most satisfaction in their businesses pursue the ideas that feel fun.

49. Get motivated by solving the problems around you, even if they are as simple as picking up trash from your neighbors lawn or chores around the house.

♟ Top Idea I’ve Learned about Strategy

50. Smart people often pick the path that leads to a clear outcome, but this limits their success. The visionaries like Larry Page approach every problem from the 10,000 ft view. Take big swings!

This Year I've Learned to AIM HIGH

Thanks for the inspiration Austin Kleon with 100 things that made my year (2022).