NICHE AT SCALE

This from of the best newsletters out there, Atomic Habits:

If you go to Tokyo, you’ll see there are all sorts of really, really strange shops. There’ll be a shop that’s only 1970’s vinyl and like, 1980’s whisky or something. And that doesn’t make any sense if it’s a shop in a Des Moines suburb, right? In a Des Moines suburb, to exist, you have to be Subway. You have to hit the mass-market immediately.

But in Tokyo, where there’s 30-40 million people within a train ride of a city, then your market is 40 million. And within that 40 million, sure, there’s a couple thousand people who love 1970’s music and 1980’s whisky. The Internet is Tokyo. The Internet allows you to be niche at scale.

Niche at scale is something that I think young people should aspire to.

This comes from a Bloomburg Podcast, which I still need to listen to, but yeah, this is amazing.

It’s easy to look at the giant podcasts, the cool websites, the people living in vans and some wild, joyful dream life, doing yoga while the sun comes up.

But there’s so much space between doing nothing and being at that level, whatever level that is. And there are so many layers. So much opportunity.

I NEED MORE REYNLORD IN MY LIFE

I say I’m not big into the “streaming” thing, but I live Craig Reynolds from The Downbeat podcast and clothing brand and drummer for Stray From The Path.

He’s big into the Twitch thing (here), and I love his podcast. This one he did with Mike Johnston is JAMMED with useful information.

The thing for me is this: he’s not this super high energy, “WHAT’S UP GUYS?!?” sort of character that we see so much of on the internet. I so very much love and appreciate the chill tone, and I think there are so many people out there that are on the same wave-length, and I just want to see more of that in the world.

JUST KEPT MOVING

Not a personal record, not a fast day, but a day of control. Kept it close to the line of easy and too hard on a 10K run with the Delaware River rumbling in the distance. It peeked through the trees, powerfully ignoring me the whole time.

The beautiful fall foliage, lots of reds and yellows, paid no attention. Creeks babbled and paid me no mind.

Nearly 10 or so minutes off my PR, on my third effort here at the 2021 River Ramble, but it felt fine.

My bib was #80, and I came in 80th place. Perfect day.

DO YOUR BEST WHERE IT COUNTS

Remember, all the “growth marketing” stuff you see on socials about companies who struck gold – they had EMPLOYEES working on that stuff non stop. It’s okay if you’re small biz or project doesn’t compare. You’re doing the best you can.

There are teams of people, with DEGREES, in marketing and stuff, getting paid six figures. That’s what they’re supposed to do.

You make hand bags, or sell donuts… a few tips and tricks and hacks can’t hurt, but it’s not magic. If everyone could do it (they can’t), they would (they don’t).

Like, think you need to hop on Tik Tok but still can’t manage to email your best customers twice a month? Maybe work on that first. Yes, fancy named digital currency is cool. So are dollars, and CRM tools.

GOOD ENOUGH TO SHARE

This is a great quote from Sarah, The Illstrumentalist:

“You don’t need a million followers but the belief that your ideas are good enough to share.”

Music Tech

You don’t get to a million without ten. And you don’t get ten without sharing. Maybe not every single day – walk away from the computer and put down your phone – but every now and again.

Remember – online marketing and social media management are actual, full-time jobs. It’s a lot of work. But your real magic is the art you put into the world. You can learn or even hire social media and email marketing help, but you can’t outsource the thing that makes you unique.

GOODNIGHT, METAL FRIEND #16

It’s been a few months, but finally a new sleepy time metal mix, perfect for long walks in graveyards, or disappearing into the fog.

These mixes take awhile for me to make. I started this one about a week or two ago. Lots of work and work-related stuff gets in the way, and I usually go for a run or a bike ride to shake off that work stress, but tonight I wasn’t feeling either of those, so I set off to finish this mix.

Something about sitting here in front of the same machine that I use for work, and instead of fretting over incoming emails, or managing tabs, I get to just watch tracks run for seven straight minutes, and I force myself to stay present and watch the second tick by. The exact opposite of the normal work day.

Track list:

BURN AWAY THE BURN OUT

I’ve been reading a lot about burn out, probably because everyone is fucking burnt out. The thing that makes me the most sad is burning out from things that we control.

Like, I talk weekly with a friend that I made from the Akimbo Freelancer Workshop. We bounce stuff off each other constantly, and one of the big focuses is outsourcing. Getting things off our plate. Giving ourselves the permission to be the boss who takes two hour lunches.

Obviously the various stresses and demands of freelance work can make it hard to take that two hour lunch, but… if you don’t design your ideal work situation, others will. It will be ideal for them.

Emails at all hours. Phone calls. Ridiculous deadlines.

The best busy work is no busy work at all.

Sure, that sounds hippy dippy dream talk, but fuuuuuck it – a person has to dream, right?

It’s the whole “saying no,” thing, which I’m sure you’ve seen all over the internet. The act of saying no is basically saying yes to other things – yes to free time, yes to other work, yes to not working at all!

A while back I said “no more transcribing.” I had done 100s of hours of audio transcribing for writers. It was okay money, but the work required absolute focus. If you lose focus, it’s hard to get back on track. Toss in bad audio, and other work on your plate, and it just got to be too much.

So I said no. Could I have used the money? Of course! I could still use that money!

But saying no to that work gives room for the work I want to be doing (and it’s working).

Saying no to clients with ridiculous deadlines, unreasonable availability, low pay, high stress – that’s the shit you say no to.

Stripping away of the stuff that depletes you that makes space for the time to go outside for a walk, or take a two hour lunch.

So don’t manage your thing – your business, your blog, your music – with what everyone else is doing – make it fit how you want to live.

FANS AND THE LONG GAME

The allure of social media is the quick like. The RT from a mid-size account that gets you 10+ follows. You can post anything, at any time, and within 10 seconds you’ll get immediate feedback.

But building something of substance, and not just flash, requires time. Years. Being a hot item of the month is one thing, but to sustain it? To keep it going? That’s the long game.

PUBLISH TO YOUR WEBSITE

It happened again. Another person was suspended from Facebook, and then they couldn’t reach their fans.

Zuck deactivated me for a few days (was mildly mortifying) but it sparked some thoughts on what I feel insta is doing to our creativity / individuality

I’m also in the process of backing up every post, story, caption I’ve ever written and publishing it on a WEBSITE. It’s very 2010, would recommend 

@shopedelano on Instagram

Another app or service is not going to come along and magically replace Twitter or Instagram or whatever. The open web is here, as it’s always been. No lock in, no “walled gardens,” no algorithms.

But we’ll miss the likes and the RTs, the acknowledgment when we can post just a few words about a movie or a sports event and then at least 5 or 7 people will hit the like button, and we’ll feel like we’re not alone, or just shouting into the void.

I know this, because I’ve been writing on this blog since early 2018. It can feel pointless just writing all these words over the years, and not seeing some sort of acknowledgement.

Though I liken it to a conversation with an old friend. There’s no ROI. There’s no hack for a good phone call. No algorithm to crack with a best friend.

You just write, in public, for everyone to see. If it resonates, great. If it doesn’t, well, you have an excellent online journal that won’t suddenly disappear when Facebook’s server short circuit.