There is something magical about trains.
Trains are romantic—the perfect place for a writer to feel inspired. I took a train five minutes ago, and I felt an energy that put me immediately to write.
I am not going very far. It doesn’t matter a lot. An hour and a half is enough time to get anything done when you have full focus, no distractions, or nowhere to go. My destination is a small city in the middle of Poland, a place that probably none of you have heard about before.
52 Tiny Challenges to Try Something New Every Week in 2021
At the beginning of every year, I always think:
“This year is going to be different. This year, I am going to do and achieve and try MANY things.”
And you know how everything ends up. After some weeks, all my goals evaporate.
Normally my goals are just something I do alone, so I thought. What if we do it together?
So, here is my proposal:
Every Sunday, I will send you a small challenge to try for the week.
During the week, we do it together. From Monday To Sunday, you try it. And we share your experiences.
Next Sunday, I will send another challenge, plus one learning from the past week, plus I’ll highlight experiences from other people, so we all can enjoy what others have experienced.
We repeat it 52 times (those are the weeks of 2021) until the end of the year.
I will design every challenge — also open to thoughts from you. It could be anything, but the intention is to have something relativity easy to try.
The final result of each experiment is to incorporate a practice, a habit, an action to our daily life. The aim is to explore new things that may become part of our daily routines and life. To expand our knowledge and grow.
I will send the first one on the 3rd of January of 2021.
If you want to get to know other people doing the same, please introduce yourself on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #52TinyChallenges and tag me @jrleonr.
Downhill Product Making an easy approach to start making
In the last edition of Balance, I told about one important learning I had.
Working hard and results are not correlated. You can work hard and have zero results. Also, you can do something in five minutes and have an amazing outcome from it.
It’s easy to understand why. Imagine that you have to ask someone how to go somewhere in a foreign language. You have to put a big effort to speak, defeat your fears, and to understand what the other person is saying.
If a native speaker does the same, the effort that this person has to make is close to zero.
But the outcome is the same.
If we translate this to starting a business is clear to realize that this could happen in many situations.
So, when you start, you need to find something that’s natural to you, that feels easy, and that you can do for a long time.
There are three options.
Uphill Product Making: You need to push your idea and constantly keep pushing to avoid it going back.
Flat Product Making: You need to push your idea, and if you stop, the results stay, but it won’t grow.
Downhill Product Making: You give it a little push, and without doing much, it goes downhill.
Consider these 3 real examples.
Uphill Product Making
I was talking last week with Carlos Tenor (@carlostenor), founder of podstatus.com. He’s worked on this project for almost two years, every day from Monday to Sunday while having a full-time job. He had some happy moments and some spikes in traffic over these two years, but for most of the time, it’s like going up the hill.
He has to take care of his current clients. Find new ones. Keep adding new features. Take care of the servers.
One key thought. He likes it (most of the time). But still, it’s a big effort.
That’s hard. You have to be very stubborn to keep going. And the results from this massive effort can be really high, but also the chances to quit.
If he stops, the project goes down. So he needs to keep pushing every day.
Flat Product Making
This project is similar to the previous one, but with the big difference that if you stop pushing, the project stays in the same place.
I started a project around coffee and I had to go and find people to join, it was a community. I stopped working on it, at least for now, but the results stayed. The people who joined are still there.
You still need to put in the work, but if you stop for a couple of months, or only work on it a day a week, it won’t go back.
Downhill Product Making
This is for me, writing about habits, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle. I love it. I enjoy it. I like sharing, I love the feedback and the interaction with people. It feels like playing.
Plus, every article I published, has an impact. Sometimes a big one, like the article for, the last newsletter that made me almost $700, and others a small impact, but it feels natural to me.
I don’t have to make any effort. People ask me for more. I don’t have to go a sweat promoting or programming. It’s just something that comes naturally to me. For others, writing this content would be a nightmare, for me, it’s a pleasure.
Entrepreneurship shouldn’t feel hard.
If you are starting today and you don’t have much time, because you have a full-time job, or don’t want to spend forever working on something. Aim for the last one.
How to recognized it?
I think you need to find the intersection between fun, work, and verify the results you are getting. But honestly, you know it when you see it. If you have doubts, keep trying new things.
By the way, the city is called Kalisz.
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