4 min read

Creators' Corner #2 - Loom, The Promise and Making Money Online

Creators' Corner #2 - Loom, The Promise and Making Money Online
Ali Abdaal and David Perell in their latest colab video.

Hey guys! Welcome to the latest edition of Creators' Corner. I'm back in Munich after spending two wonderful weeks in Cape Town catching up with friends and family.

I typed most of this newsletter on the plane back. Do you also feel more productive when working on a plane or a train? Maybe it comes down to being confined to one space without the option to move or be distracted.

This week:

  1. Three thoughts from me
  2. Two things I consumed
  3. Two creators in the spotlight

1. What's on my mind

The Creator Economy is becoming more relevant

Building a side hustle (or a company that supports others to build their side hustles) is becoming an increasingly popular (and viable) way to earn income. According to the email marketing firm ConvertKit:

"Over the last year we’ve seen venture capital investors pouring over $2 billion dollars into just 50 creator economy startups. And with the estimated revenue of all creators tipping over $100 billion dollars, creators are only going to continue stealing the spotlight."

As we move further into remote, asynchronous working environments, I expect more people to pursue their own business and creative ventures.

The importance of rest

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” ― Alan Cohen

I gave myself last week off. From work, writing and Twitter. It felt weird at first, but I'm much better for it. Screw the streaks. I had the chance to go on hikes with my mom, play golf with my dad and see friends for beers.

In an always-on, always-connected world it is easy to jump to the next task or the next to-do like a rat on a wheel. Sometimes you need to switch off to switch on.

Which breaks do you build into your schedule?

Loom

I made my first Loom video! Some of you will be familiar with this tool, while others might not have heard of it.

Loom is an asynchronous video messaging app that allows you to record your screen while you explain your work. Think - doing a live Zoom presentation but without an audience. This allows you to coordinate work without the need for meetings and check-ins. Very useful in a remote, schedule-independent working environment.

I created a Loom video to explain an Excel pricing model to my manager. In future I will use it to review essays as well. Very nifty.


2. Two things I consumed

Book of the week - The Promise

I'm a major fan of the Booker Prize. It's been running for over 50 years and I am on a quest to read all of the past winners.

Last year Damon Galgut scooped the prize for his book The Promise, becoming the first South African author since JM Coetzee (Disgrace, 1999) to win it.

As a South African the book hits very close to home. It follows the life of a middle-class family over four chapters set roughly 10 years apart. Starting in 1980s South Africa during Apartheid and ending in the 2010s when the country falls victim to state capture. Full of dark humour, The Promise gives a deft commentary of the political and socioeconomic issues that have plagued the motherland.

Video of the week - How to Make Money Online in 2022

Two big creators I admire, David Perell and Ali Abdaal, released a new video (teased in the header image). Both of them have started multi-million dollar businesses - David through writing and Ali through YouTube videos.

Favourite takeaways:

  • Writing is like going to the gym (David). You need to schedule 60 minutes a day to work this muscle. Give yourself a forcing function to publish regularly to improve the quality of your writing.
  • The public-to-private bridge (David). First build an audience on Twitter or Youtube, give them insane value for free and then convert some of them to your newsletter, website and paid products.
  • Architect vs Archeologist mode (Ali). When you start out you will be in Archeologist mode - digging and exploring and testing various different topics. Sometimes you will hit dead ends, while other times you will find a gem. Later you have the luxury to move to Architect mode. You can plan what you want to write about because you have found your niche.
  • Document, don’t create (Ali). Instead of searching for inspiration, look at something you’re already consuming (the books you're reading, podcasts you're listening to etc.) and go one step further by documenting (publishing) the things that resonate with you.

3. Creator Spotlight

Two important building blocks for creators are 1. engaging with your audience and peers and 2. creating a constant flywheel of notes and ideas. As captured by Kevon Cheung and Ev Chapman below.

Tweet of the week

This is a constant reminder for me. To move from passive consumer doom scrolling through the feed to active user replying and engaging where I can.

Atomic essay of the week

This is a great call to action from Ev. It is important to capture ideas when they arise, but you can help your future self even more by fleshing out the idea into a "permanent note". Something that can be slotted into an essay or piece of writing as is.

Until next time! Have a great week - whether you're resting or grinding.


Notes:

About this newsletter: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to johnnicholas.org. Occasionally, I send out longer content on the creator economy and life lessons, amongst other topics.

Hit reply if you have a few minutes to spare. Any comments are welcome! Something like: "Hey, I got it!” or “My favourite Booker Prize winner is...” or "Please write more about x, y, z." Replies train the email account it's not spam and feedback keeps me going.