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I found a new guru to steal from
👉 this will work for you too
I’ve just been binge-reading newsletters from a guy with some brilliant ideas. who focuses on the same audience as me. And best of all: he’ll never know I’m stealing from him…
Who is this
It’s me, from a few years ago.
[I’ll wait while you groan in disappointment]
Bear with me though. Because I think this could be really valuable for you.
Context: as part of moving email systems I decided I wanted to save most of my previous emails for
the sake of my ego posterity.
In one sense it was a big mistake. There were a lot more than I remembered and they were a lot more difficult to save than I expected. I should really have paid someone else to do it.
But it also worked really well. I’ve re-read a lot of my old emails. At minimum the subject lines.
And they weren’t half bad at all.
Style-wise they were a bit of a mess. I started out trying to sound like an educated expert. Then I seemed to get the “persuasive writing” bug. Then I seemed to have decided to channel Seth Godin.
But after a while, I found my own style.
More importantly, I had some decent ideas. Many of which I seem to have forgotten over the years. Ideas I could come back to as a source of useful new material for future newsletters.
Don’t get me wrong, not everything was golden or re-usable. Back when I started writing people only had a handful of connections on Linkedin for example, so it was a useful source of personal introductions. It also wasn’t quite so cringey.
And young me seemed much keener on hard work than old me is. Much, much keener.
Overall though, there was some good stuff. And some good stories and examples I can dust off. Even some research I’d forgotten - like the studies showing that as you get older you’re more easily distracted. Or something like that - I didn’t finish the article as I spotted a squirrel.
More importantly, this is something you’ll find valuable yourself.
Not the mechanical bit of saving your old emails for posterity. Definitely pay someone to do the grunt work on that.
But reading them. And your old blog posts and articles.
If you can get over the initial cringe of reading your younger voice, you’ll rediscover some gems you can use right now.
Gems you can reuse directly. Or add to. Or polish up with new stories and examples based on new experiences.
They’ll give you fresh new material you don’t need to sweat bullets to create. And they’ll give you confidence that your ideas are pretty good after all.
In fact, I’ll bet they’re more insightful than any Johnny-come-lately guru you might be following.
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