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Like company moats, your personal moat should be a competitive advantage that is not only durable—it should also compound over time.
Characteristics of a personal moat below:
I'm increasingly interested in the idea of "personal moats" in the context of careers.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
Moats should be:
- Hard to learn and hard to do (but perhaps easier for you)
- Skills that are rare and valuable
- Compounding over time
- Unique to your own talents & interests https://t.co/bB3k1YcH5b
2/ Like a company moat, you want to build career capital while you sleep.
As Andrew Chen noted:
People talk about \u201cpassive income\u201d a lot but not about \u201cpassive social capital\u201d or \u201cpassive networking\u201d or \u201cpassive knowledge gaining\u201d but that\u2019s what you can architect if you have a thing and it grows over time without intensive constant effort to sustain it— Andrew Chen (@andrewchen) November 22, 2018
3/ You don’t want to build a competitive advantage that is fleeting or that will get commoditized
Things that might get commoditized over time (some longer than
Things that look like moats but likely aren\u2019t or may fade:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
- Proprietary networks
- Being something other than one of the best at any tournament style-game
- Many "awards"
- Twitter followers or general reach without "respect"
- Anything that depends on information asymmetry https://t.co/abjxesVIh9
4/ Before the arrival of recorded music, what used to be scarce was the actual music itself — required an in-person artist.
After recorded music, the music itself became abundant and what became scarce was curation, distribution, and self space.
5/ Similarly, in careers, what used to be (more) scarce were things like ideas, money, and exclusive relationships.
In the internet economy, what has become scarce are things like specific knowledge, rare & valuable skills, and great reputations.
As a dean of a major academic institution, I could not have said this. But I will now. Requiring such statements in applications for appointments and promotions is an affront to academic freedom, and diminishes the true value of diversity, equity of inclusion by trivializing it. https://t.co/NfcI5VLODi— Jeffrey Flier (@jflier) November 10, 2018
We know that elite institutions like the one Flier was in (partial) charge of rely on irrelevant status markers like private school education, whiteness, legacy, and ability to charm an old white guy at an interview.
Harvard's discriminatory policies are becoming increasingly well known, across the political spectrum (see, e.g., the recent lawsuit on discrimination against East Asian applications.)
It's refreshing to hear a senior administrator admits to personally opposing policies that attempt to remedy these basic flaws. These are flaws that harm his institution's ability to do cutting-edge research and to serve the public.
Harvard is being eclipsed by institutions that have different ideas about how to run a 21st Century institution. Stanford, for one; the UC system; the "public Ivys".
Too many patterns leads to a boring, predictable, logical lifestyle.
Get the emotions involved.
Do something spontaneous out of the blue moon & flip the script.
'What's wrong with the patterns?'
Nothing is wrong with patterns.
However, there is a problem when all you have are patterns.
'Can you explain why?'
The thing with relationships is that it's meant to be an emotional experience.
It's very difficult to logically explain love, right?
Well this is where you want to steer the ship the right way.
1. Too emotional is bad.
2. Too logical is bad.
Let me break it down.
1. Too emotional
If a relationship is completely ruled by emotions, then it's too volatile.
You will never reach productivity if you are aimlessly only following each others emotions.
This lifestyle tarnishes any structure for the couple.
'So why do people do it?'
Because it's fun.
You may ruled by this stage in the honeymoon phase.
You'll be so spontaneous that it almost becomes a lifestyle.
But it's hard to level up your life when you're too spontaneous.
Only give these currencies to high value people. Never spend these currencies on low value shitheads eg: trolls, weasels, snakes, naysayers etc.
'Wait, I thought money was the most important currency?'
Once you adopt abundance mentality, you realize their is no shortage of money.
Making the dollars your most important currency will have you leading an empty life.
Time to flip your perspective.
When you strip yourself to the core, you are an emotional creature.
Emotions are your internal worlds energy.
Harnessing that energy is crucial for leveraging yourself to obtain whatever you want.
You have a finite amount everyday, so spend it wisely.
A second that is lost will never be returned.
You start valuing the hell out of this currency the more you mature.
As the years start adding up, you realize time is precious.
You must always have a scarcity mindset towards time.
Once you do so, you will not be lazy.
You can be here, but not present.
Attention is completely mental.
Giving someone your attention means you are clearing up mental bandwidth to make room for them.
Only give your attention to people who help you grow.
For the negative ones?
Ignore their existence
I'm giving up on social media consumption too.
So little substance.
Need to devote more time doing. More time creating.
Who needs another "5 ways to boost growth" post? I click and am disappointed every time. Not again.
I don't want to poop on content marketing, but marketers need to step it up.
Or at least, founders need to know that doing something is not always better than doing nothing.
Why is content marketing not as effective as it used to be? An innumerable amount of factors...
But one things for damn sure.
Things have to change.
Two of the chief sins:
1. Unoriginal research/story/study/etc
2. Not having anything more to add that's meaningful
Why blog/podcast/vlog/etc about something that's already been said? Already been done?
Do we really need another interview with founder of x hot startup? Do we really need another ultimate guide about facebook ads?
Not all content is like this...
Sometimes, you get an occasional piece that truly leaves you better off than you were before. That doesn't make you want to skim.
An original case study. A first time interview with a founder. An honest account of an experiment. An explanation of a change, shift, or realization.
This isn't actually right, so here is another suggestion.
2/ I remember being 26 and writing about reading 52 books a year. I wrote blog posts about it. They got copied. It became "a thing." Now it's in Twitter bios. It looks impressive but it's insanely useless and I shouldn't have done it.
3/ what I should have known at that time is that only young idiots like myself, with no accomplishments, find list of tiny achievements impressive. Anyone who has actually done anything of substance doesn't gaf
4/ what is actually difficult, and worthwhile, instead is to do ONE single thing for a very, very long time. It's much harder and much rarer and results in outlier outcomes much more often.
Of course you can find this out too late if you are chasing the dragon of Ted talks etc
5/ if I had only worked on a startup for a year, I would've gotten nowhere, the same way that if you lift for 3 months, it achieves nothing. Everything good in life comes from perseverance, but at the beginning, you're just like "I need to be somebody!!!"
If you are compromising too much, there is a chance that you are getting manipulated.
Why are you the one that's always compromising?
How come the other person always gets their way?
Be more curious.
If something seems off, stick up for yourself.
'Wait, you sure I am being manipulated?'
I have no clue, that is only something that you can decide for yourself.
'Dang is there anything I need to look out for?'
But let me give you a few things to look out for.
I see manipulation as skillfully controlling someone's behavior for egotistical or unethical purposes.
'How come people don't leave when it's happening to them?'
Because most people have 0 clue that they are being manipulated.
1. Guilt Trip
You ever made a mistake around someone, only for them to hold it over your head?
The will always bring up the mistake when you 2 are not seeing eye to eye.
These people will use that mistake as leverage to get what they want from you in the future.
2. The Rationalizer
This person will commit the worst acts & find a way to rationalize it.
Example: cheaters when they get caught.
They have every excuse in the book for why they did it.
Heck, they are so good at rationalizing, they will make it seem like your fault.
- Forget what you don't have, make your strength bold
- Pick one work experience and explain what you did in detail w/ bullet points
- Write it towards the role you apply
- Give social proof
"But I got no work experience..."
Make a open source lib, make a small side project for yourself, do freelance work, ask friends to work with them, no friends? Find friends on Github, and Twitter.
- Show you care about the company: I used the company's brand font and gradient for in the resume for my name and "Thank You" note.
- Don't list 15 things and libraries you worked with, pick the most related ones to the role you're applying.
-🙅♂️"copy cover letter"
"I got no firends, no work"
One practical way is to reach out to conferences and offer to make their website for free. But make sure to do it good. You'll get:
- a project for portfolio
- new friends
- work experience
- learnt new stuff
- new thing for Twitter bio
If you don't even have the skills yet, why not try your chance for @LambdaSchool? No? @freeCodeCamp. Still not? Pick something from here and learn https://t.co/7NPS1zbLTi
You'll feel very overwhelmed, no escape, just acknowledge it and keep pushing.
A long time ago, I was a talent agent. I worked for a woman named Susan Smith, who had her own small boutique agency. She was known for three things:
1. She had fantastic taste in clients. If there is someone you admire, odds are good that at some point, she was their agent,
2. She could negotiate a deal like few who have ever trod the earth. Casting would give her all the money they had budgeted for that part, plus a little more, plus promising to get her dog Barnaby groomed. She was magnificent to watch.
3. She was insane.
I'm sure you're thinking, "Quinn, it's the entertainment industry, they are all insane." Yes, many are. So consider this; if you told someone you worked for Susan, people who worked for insane people would look and you and whisper, "I hear she's insane."