12 projects in 12 months, deconstructing and reverse-engineering a viral post, and why growth isn’t always good

Building Blocks: Actionable insights to build an Intentional Life

Hey everybody,

Here’s another batch of actionable insights to start your week off right, so you can be more intentional with how you live, work, and create.

Let’s get started.

Insight 1: Split your eggs across different baskets

What if you built 12 companies or projects in 12 months?

That’s ~30 days per project.

If even one of them became profitable, how much could that change your life?

And how much would you learn along the way doing 12 experiments?

Talk about iteration.

Turns out, more entrepreneurs are exploring this approach.

Here’s a great article on how one entrepreneur plans to spend 2022 exploring his curiosity, living a life aligned with his Core Value, and betting on himself:

My Studio Approach: 12 Projects in 12 Months

Insight 2: Deconstruct and reverse-engineer what works

The term “viral content” gets thrown around a lot and gets marketed as the key to unlocking your wildest dreams.

“JuSt MaKe ViRaL cOnTeNt, BrO.”

But what actually makes a piece of content spread?

Every platform and algorithm is a little different, but human psychology stays the same.

Here’s a quick dive into a viral Twitter thread I had last week and why I think it worked, so you can reverse-engineer it for your own content.

To preface, I’ve written 50 threads over the past year no one read.

But #51 went viral.

Here’s the thread, for reference:

Here’s what made it different:

  • In their Twitter Audience Building course, Sahil Bloom and Julian Shapiro said people retweet and share threads for two main reasons:
    • To bookmark it on their timeline (a lot of people don’t use the formal bookmark feature)
    • To signal intelligence (I shared a smart thing, so I must be smart by proxy).
  • Intriguing hook with an analogy (Chrome tabs)
  • Format is easy to read (mostly single sentences instead of dense paragraphs)
  • Each individual tweet stands on its own and easy to RT, so people can like/RT ones that resonate with them (cherry picking)
  • Takes a concept people have experienced and gives it a name, then delves into nuance
  • Practical takeaways
  • CTA to follow and subscribe to newsletter

This thread tapped into the two main reasons Sahil and Julian believe people share content: They wanted to remember it, and they wanted to signal to other people.

“Cool, Corey. But what’s the point of deconstructing a viral post?”

This one thread resulted in a 57% increase in newsletter subscribers (if that’s you, welcome!) , and a 67% increase in Twitter followers in like 2 days.

So yeah, I’ll be referencing my notes for what works the next time I write a thread.

Hope it helps.

Insight 3: Growth isn’t always good

After a friend recommended the book, Company of One, by Paul Jarvis, I picked it up and prepped by listening to a few podcast interviews with the author (a solid strategy to get the high points of a book before you start reading).

It’s an intriguing premise: Growth isn’t always good. Or in the subtitle’s words, “Why staying small is the next big thing for business.”

While most entrepreneurs think they have to continually grow and throw more at their problems (more money, more employees, more ads), Jarvis makes a case for intentionally staying small. Because the bigger you grow, the more complications and headaches you take on.

Jarvis walks through how to define what “enough” means to you, and how to make decisions that optimize for satisfaction instead of growth for growth’s sake.

Check out one of the interviews here.

Question for the Week

If you had two weeks to start and finish a project, how would you do it?

Insights in Action

One of the best ways to clarify your thinking is to write it out.

So if you want to develop your thinking on this question or start applying insights from today’s newsletter, send a tweet to @CoreyWilksPsyD with your thoughts and put #BuildingBlocks at the end so I can find it.

Not ready to “think in public” yet? No problem. You can also reply to this email if you want to share your thoughts with me.

Until next time—memento mori,

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Executive Coach

Building https://coreywilkspsyd.com/