TEYCSTW #11

I have exciting news!

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on something new…

… and if you’re the kind of person who struggles to wri…

Wait! Hang on a second…

It’s Sunday. You don’t want to hear about my exciting new thing…

You’re here for “Thomas Edison’s Yacht Capsized Stylishly Towards Weymouth”.

(Yeah… there’s no way I’m coming up with a new acronym for “TEYCSTW” every bloody week…)

Here are your emails:

(I’ll get to the exciting thing tomorrow… maybe)

1. “Can we fix it?”

Destroying stuff is a lot of fun, but building stuff can be pretty cool too.

If I were to ask you, “what was the first thing you ever built?”, what would your answer be?

… because I AM asking you that.

Any time you decide to devote a decent amount of your time to building a solution to a problem is a pretty significant investment. 

There’s a lot of thought and planning that goes into building even the smallest of projects.

Whether you weaved a life-sized model of Darth Vader from your back hair, or successfully managed to assemble a bookshelf from Argos without swearing like a docker, sharing the story of something you actually built – what the problem was, how it was affecting you, why you built it etc… – tells your audience a lot about you approach stuff.

It’s worth doing.

(12 bonus points if you can link it back to what you do)

2. “I just speed read ‘War and Peace’… it’s about Russia.” – Woody Allen

Books.

We’ve all seen them.

Maybe you even know someone who’s read one.

If you’re working your way through a book at the moment, it can make good content for your email.

Here’s why:

One of the best things about emailing your list is that it’s a reflection of what’s going on in your world NOW.

You’re not trying to create a piece of evergreen content.

There’s no better sign of what’s going on in your head that what present rests on your nightstand.

(as opposed to what’s IN your nightstand… you know… that “thing” you keep at the back, you filthy devil)

Don’t try and impress folk by choosing a weighty tome either. You don’t have to be reading The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to make a good email out of this.

If the last book you read was “Peter and Pamela Grow Up”, use that.

What are you reading now? Why?

3. “For my last wish…”

As a magician, I’ve always wanted to be able to come up with a way of doing the following trick:

I’d walk up to a table, holding a wrapped present, introduce myself and hand the gift to one of the guests.

I’d then ask everyone else at the table to think of things that could be in the box. They could think of ANYTHING, as long as it would fit inside the box.

The person holding the present would choose one of the suggestions, open the box and discover that the present actually contained the suggestion!

Great trick, right?

Trouble is… I have no idea how I would do it.

(Actually, that’s not true. I did actually come up with a version of this trick, but it’s not quite as awesome as the dream version)

It’s good to stretch the mind with these kinds of thought experiments once in a while, so why not have a think about what you’d come up with if you had magic powers?

Would you create a drink that melts away fat?

How about a device that you could feed your messy paperwork in and it would produce a perfect set of accounts?

Or maybe an Augmented reality app that shows you the exact twists and turns you’d need to take to move your new couch into the lounge?

You might think to yourself, “What the hell is the point of this?”, but here’s the thing…

Coming up with these weird ideas is different and fun, plus you never actually know where it’ll lead.

Maybe you won’t discover the fat melting drink…

… but learn that you can add something to your morning Ribena to increase your metabolism.

Maybe you know nothing about AR, but someone on your list does and sends you an “about the AR idea you had…” email and something happens.

Maybe I will end up creating that magic trick one day.

If you’ve got a dream you’re heading towards – even if you have no idea how you’re going to get there, it can still be fun to bring people along on the journey.

Tell your list the dream you have. Share why it’s impossible and what you’d need to do to make it happen. Give them a peek inside your notebooks and show ‘em how close you’ve got so far.

Show them that, even though you’re an expert, you’re still working hard… still trying to get better.

Have a good Sunday,

John