Creators’ Corner #14 - personal monopoly reflection, build your own course and we're not insects

Creators’ Corner #14 - personal monopoly reflection, build your own course and we're not insects
Photo of the week: we went hiking up Wallberg in the Tegernsee lake area last weekend. Very lucky to live near the Alps. There are so many mountains left to explore.

Hey everyone 👋. Six new people join us this week bringing us up to 131 subscribers. Thanks so much for being an early subscriber. If you enjoy the newsletter, please forward it on. If you have 10 seconds to share a comment or idea, please hit reply.

Line-up this week:

  1. Reflection post Personal Monopoly Accelerator
  2. New sketch: newsletter system
  3. Creator in the spotlight: Alexandra Allen
  4. My favourites: article and thought of the week

1. Reflection post Personal Monopoly Accelerator

Michael Sklar's Personal Monopoly Accelerator course ended on Thursday.

The course definitely delivered on the 'accelerator' part. Thoughts and ideas that might have emerged over two years of self-reflection came in rapidly during a month of probing and testing.

My brain hurt after each live session. It felt like doing speed work when training for running. My course mates and I mapped out our personal assets, generated writing ideas, spoke about what fires us up, unpacked our limiting beliefs and moved closer to finding our niches.

Like with running, the benefits of training hard and digging deep will emerge over time. I am excited to see where we all are six months from now.


As we move through life, we usually look forward to the next big thing to achieve. We don't always take a moment to reflect on what we've achieved so far.

I am a different person to who I was eight months ago. I've gone from never having published anything before to posting 20 essays and (now) 14 newsletters. I feel more inspired. I have met curious, talented people. I have overcome limiting beliefs. I have increased my luck surface area. Even though it feels like I'm still starting out, I'm proud of what I have achieved so far.

Some weeks have been difficult. I haven't always known what to write about next. I haven't always known what the point of it all is. But I'm happy I haven't given up and gone back to safety. I'm grateful for the support I have on this journey. I'm happy I've been able to help others one or two steps behind me.

A path is emerging. I've had a taste of the opportunities that come with putting myself in the arena and there's no turning back now. I will continue to pitch up every day. Over time, the benefits will compound.

Keep pushing on, but remember to take a moment to reflect every now and then. What are you proud of? What have you achieved over the last six months?

2. New sketch: newsletter system

I’m trying to map out my newsletter system.

The main output each week is the product – the newsletter. In order to create something, I have a steady stream of thoughts and ideas that go into my writing inbox (my info capture system). Writing the newsletter is one thing. After this, I also need to get it out into the world. The outbox is the distribution on different platforms. Email replies (thanks to all of you!) and conversations are a loop back into my inputs.

As I refine my system, the process of writing and distributing the newsletter becomes smoother each week.

3. Creator in the spotlight

Our creator in the spotlight this week is Alexandra Allen.

I first met Alexandra in Write of Passage cohort 7 in September last year. It's been great following her journey since then as she has carved out a niche in the online learning space.

Alexandra has helped over 50 entrepreneurs and creators launch and scale courses. She's also been Head TA for Maven’s Course Accelerator and, in March this year, she was a mentor for Write of Passage cohort 8.

This week she launched her first paid product on Gumroad. A workbook for creators looking to launch their first online course that is packed with all her hard-earned wisdom in this space. Link here:

Well done on making your first $ online, Alexandra! This is a big inspiration for me.

Follow and subscribe here:

Wednesday Wonders
Helping experts and organizations design transformational courses. Click to read Wednesday Wonders, by Alexandra Allen, a Substack publication with hundreds of readers.

4. Favourites

Article of the week

This piece by Maria Popova, the creator behind The Marginalian (previously Brain Pickings). First saw it in The Pathless Path by Paul Millerd.

Hope, Cynicism, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves
“Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté.”


"Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté."

Thought of the week

Specialization is for insects:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Robert A. Heinlein

Angel investor Naval Ravikant had something similar to say during his podcast with Joe Rogan:

“I don't believe in this model anymore of focusing your life down to one thing. You have one life – just do everything you're gonna do."

We are the sum of multiple parts. We are the result of multiple small bets. Write about what excites you. Follow your curiosity.

Have a great weekend and happy creating.

– John


About this newsletter: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to

If you are a new or recent subscriber, I'd love to know which country you are signing in from and where you heard about me. It's always great to meet new subs.