Take Your Time To Think

take your time to think

Note: This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, THINK STRAIGHT.

 

I used to think that smart people are fast thinkers. “He thinks on his feet. He’s really smart.” I tried it for many years.

Every time I faced a problem, discussion, or when someone asked me a question, I thought, “QUICK, QUICK, QUICK!”

Naturally, my first answers sucked.

Derek Sivers, one of my favorite thinkers, says he’s a slow thinker:

“It’s a common belief that your first reaction is the most honest, but I disagree. Your first reaction is usually outdated. Either it’s an answer you came up with long ago and now use instead of thinking, or it’s triggering a knee-jerk emotional response to something that happened long ago.”

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5 Audiobooks That Will Inspire, Humor, And Entertain You

I love to learn. And reading is my favorite way to learn. But sometimes I get tired from reading. Do you know that feeling?

I try to read two books per week. But when I’m working on a lot of things, and have an irregular schedule, like the past three months, I tend to read less.

But no matter what’s going on in my life, I must read at least one book a week. Why? Reading is simply my favorite time of the day. Reading gives me energy and new ideas. That’s why I do it.

But for the last three months, I’ve been working on a lot of things. We opened a new office, and I spent a lot of time with my hands tied: Moving, decorating, putting together new desks, painting walls, building a garage-gym in our warehouse, you name it.

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Should You Build Your Own Audience or Focus On Guest Posting?

build your own blog

“How do I build an audience? Should I try guest posting or focus on building a community on my own site?”

I asked myself those questions when I started blogging. I’ve learned that there are three types of options when it comes to building an audience:

  1. Post your articles on every platform that allows publishing (LinkedIn, Medium, Facebook, Tumblr). Some argue that it will increase your traffic.
  2. Only post your articles on your own site, and drive visitors exclusively to that site. Some argue it’s better for SEO traffic.
  3. Find a balance between the two above strategies (which is what I do, but more on that later).

You can be successful with all strategies. Some successful writers publish everywhere and syndicate their articles to a bunch of outlets (James Altucher). But other bloggers only stick to their own site (Mark Manson).

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How To Start A Blog Without Knowing How To Code

A 3000+ word guide that contains everything I’ve learned about starting a blog: In 10 simple steps.

When I started my first business in 2010, I asked a few people and companies for estimates to build a website for me.

And like most starting entrepreneurs without much cash, I thought, “are you kidding me? 10K for a website? I’ll do it myself!”

Of course, that’s flawed thinking. It cost me a lot of time. But fortunately, I had a lot of time back then.

I also made a lot of mistakes that cost me additional time to fix. For example, I had to learn the hard way that you need to back up your website regularly.

One day I made a mistake and poof, my whole website was gone! I had to start from scratch–again. This happened to me twice. Not funny.

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If You Rest, You Rust. So Always Keep Moving.

if you rest you rust

Picture this. You have a job that pays okay. But you don’t really like it. Well, let me put it this way: You like the money, but you wouldn’t do that job if there was no money involved.

“Screw it, I need money to have a life!” You might think.

We all have bills to pay, people to take care of, and important tasks to complete. We do these things because if we don’t, we might get fired and lose our income.

And without income, we can’t pay for our house, clothes, vacations, etc.

I’m describing a “normal” life. I call this normal because this is how 99% of all people that I know live.

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I Quit

That’s what I think three or four times a month.

To be honest, the thought of quitting whatever I’m doing in my life has been on my mind as long as I remember. When I was in high school, I wanted to quit and just find a job. When I played basketball, I wanted to quit.

When I started a business, I wanted to quit and get a job. When I got a job, I wanted to quit and get back to my business.

I can go on and on until I reach the present. I know, it sounds like an existential crisis that people in the first world only have. But that’s not what’s going on.

You’ll never find me crying about stuff like missing out on parties, not being able to get my hands on a ‘one-of-a-kind’ t-shirt (you hype beasts out there), or a dead battery.

But no matter how much I love what I do, the thoughts of quitting and just walking away show up in my mind every time things get hard. And in the past, those thoughts cost me many nights of sleep.

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Life Is Math—Not Magic

Some say life is like chess, running a marathon, or playing a video game. I like those simplified looks on life because it’s already complicated enough.

But even though those ideas are fun, they don’t provide a practical strategy to base your life on. Sure, you must be smart, strategic, try to accelerate your learning, get results, and be consistent at the same time. We get it.

But what do you do when things don’t work out?

About three years ago, I wasn’t satisfied with my life and career. It’s difficult to explain why. To be honest, I didn’t understand why at the time. I just didn’t know what I was doing.

I just did what others expected me to do. Or, things that conventional wisdom tell you to do. I went to college, got two degrees, started a business, but I thought I also needed to work for a multinational firm, live in a big city, buy expensive stuff, and drive a cool car.

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