Deconstructing magic, Tiago Forte’s 7-figure strategy, and an unconventional gratitude practice

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: Magic is veiled reality

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

— Arthur C. Clarke

I think about this quote a lot.

Specifically, how our imaginations and assumptions on what’s possible limits are potential.

Historically, if our species didn’t understand something, we called it “magic” and moved on.

But most of what we’ve built today would seem like magic to our ancestors:

  • Putting cold food into a box that makes it hot seems like magic to people in the 1500s. We call it a microwave.
  • Calling on the knowledge of dozens of Libraries of Alexandria seems like magic to ancient people. We call it a smart phone.
  • Conjuring cold air in the middle of summer seems like magic to mediaeval people. We call it air conditioning.

Until we believe something is possible, we’ll never attempt to make it a reality.

The idea of magic is wondrous.

But the reality is that we’re capable of more than we give ourselves permission to reach for.

I love this visualization (click this link for an interactive version) on “magical acts” and a timeline of what could be their technological counterparts:

Insight 2: Tiago Forte’s 7-figure strategy

How do you build a 7-figure CBC?

In this episode of Creative Elements, Jay Clouse talks with Tiago Forte, who created Building a Second Brain, a CBC that started out as a way to take better notes in Evernote, but has expanded into a Personal Knowledge Management empire.

Tiago and his team have run 14 cohorts of BASB so far.

Now, each individual cohort of BASB generates more revenue than the first 9 cohorts combined.

Currently, the base tier is $1,500, and their largest cohort had 1,000 people. So napkin math says every single cohort brings in millions in revenue.

And he’s getting ready to publish a book on the same topic.

Why write a book if you have a highly lucrative CBC already?

“If 1% of the people who buy the book buy the course, we are in incredible shape…That is the power of pairing a practically free book with a high-end course.”

Tiago Forte

If you want a peek into his approach to creating and iterating a CBC, check out the interview.

Insight 3: Find your own “Red Mat”

It’s easy to forget where we come from.

Today, Nick “Chewy” Albin is a household name in the BJJ community.

He also:

  • Just hit 300k YouTube subscribers
  • Co-owns a super successful gym
  • Has tons of digital products, book, and other successful projects

But he started out broke, and spent years couch-surfing or sleeping at the gym back when he was a student.

He ate shit and grinded for years. Became a coach. Taught himself how to run a business. Then slowly built everything he has today.

Here’s how he stays humble with everything he has, and grateful for everything he’s been through.

Question for the Week

What could you achieve if you gave yourself permission to reach for it?

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Let me know what you think and what you’d like to see in future issues. I’m always working to making Building Blocks more valuable for you.

Until next time—memento mori,

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Executive Coach


Course: Intentional Life Design