In the tiny hours of darkness, you can build something spectacular.
It just won’t feel that incredible when you start. It will feel like nothingness. That’s a good thing. I follow many creators on Twitter. I read their threads every day.
One idea stood out: each of them built their tiny empires after hours. None of them magically quit their job. They didn’t have a flashbang spark of an idea that turned into the next Facebook. They weren’t friends with Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos didn’t give them his best life advice while building evil robots that deliver packages disguised as bombs to your doorstep
A content creation habit isn’t about becoming a successful writer or going big time on Youtube. This habit is often full of confusion.
My ideas are fantasies. Half the time what I think is good is actually trash talk. An empire is built on ideas. Validate and verify your thinking.
The best place to start with content is Twitter. It takes zero effort. I can write a one-sentence post in about 3 minutes — so can you. One sentence can become a headline. A headline can become the title of a list. A list can grow into a 1300 character LinkedIn post.
Taking a break can sometimes give you that big break.
Daydreaming is a habit where your unrelated thoughts thread together to become an insight. You can’t effectively daydream while stuck in the typical grind. Daydreaming is best after you’ve emptied your mind and put your phone away.
You can daydream in the shower, while doing dishes or while staring out your favorite window. Tiny empires start with an insight.
The things you know how to do is an underrated approach to build stuff.
I thought for years that writing on a Wordpress blog was obvious. I thought LinkedIn was an obvious way to find customers for a product you haven’t built yet. Or a great place to network your way to a better job, or a boss who treats you right. I thought publishing eBooks was obvious.
Guess what? What you think is obvious probably isn’t. The best place to start is your day job. You complete actions/tasks every day at work. Other people want to know end to end how they can do them too.
Habits are useless when they don’t appear in your calendar. Read that again.
A habit missing from your schedule is a fantasy. And boy have I had some wild habit fantasies! I think of after hours habits as new directions in life. When you schedule new directions you open yourself up to alternate paths.
I’m in the process of scheduling two new directions: networking and public speaking. My public speaking died when the pandemic struck, and so, my communication skills have gone back to zero.
Money is validation. Money shows you your potential.
My $20 habit was selling an eBook. Your $20 habit might be selling cakes, getting a freelance client, ghostwriting one social media post, publishing a 60 minute course that costs $19.99, or doing a single coaching session.
When you make a few dollars from a new habit it validates in your mind that you’re not stupid — that you can build a tiny empire. A $20 habit gives you accountability, too. Someone in the world needs what you’ve learned and they’re willing to paying money for it.
The easiest way to find after hours habits is to write out your ideal day. If your current employer offered to pay you for the next five years and didn’t want you to do any work, what would you be doing? Map it out.
On Monday morning you would…
At 5 pm you would…
If you had more time you would…
Then you experiment. Play with this list of habits after hours. Notice how you feel. See which habits produce results you’re proud of. Observe which habits give you energy, and which ones steal your energy.
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