How to stand out in a crowded niche, why content isn’t your differentiator, and how to unlock the golden handcuffs of success

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: Stand out or sit down

I’ve talked before about how I’m building a cohort-based course to help entrepreneurs build a fulfilling life and business (sounds lofty, I know).

With so many fake gurus peddling products that promise perfection, and the flood of creators and educators designing mediocre cohort-based courses, it’s easy to get lost in all the noise.

To stand out, and make sure I create something truly valuable for people, I’m following Gagan Biyani’s “Minimum Viable Test” framework.

If you’re curious, I wrote a full breakdown of how I plan to:

• Avoid the top 4 mistakes people make when creating a minimum viable product

• Follow the 3 critical steps to building the best product in your category

Check it out here:

Using Gagan Biyani’s MVT Framework to Build a Cohort-Based Course

Insight 2: Content isn’t your differentiator

Marie Poulin is the Queen of Notion.

Her Notion Mastery course has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A single Notion template has earned her $24k.

But there are tons of Notion “gurus” and tutorials out there.

How has she carved out a place within such a crowded niche?

Here’s her answer:

“Content can be copied; content is not your differentiator.

You are literally the most unique element of your course/content/creations.

​No other person on the planet has your weird mix of experience and perspective that shapes why and how you create what you create.”

Here’s a deeper dive into how she’s leveraged her “weird mix” to join the ranks of Notion Royalty:

Standing out as a creator

Insight 3: Only you can unlock your golden handcuffs

It’s hard to build a successful brand.

It’s even harder to walk away from one.

Sunk costs, what ifs, a hard-earned reputation, and tons of money—many an entrepreneur has spent their life shackled by the golden handcuffs of a successful business.

How do you unlock your cuffs?

By redefining what success means to you and developing the courage to remove your self-imposed shackles.

Steve Schlafman is an executive coach who recently wrote about how he removed his golden handcuffs after building a highly successful brand—High Output:

“I was in the prime of my career, but High Output had taken its toll on me. My body, mind, and spirit were crushed. In October, I walked away from my new venture fund at the 11th hour. I looked at my daughter’s face and knew there was more to life than the kind of achievement our society and this industry recognizes. I was prepared to abandon everything I had worked so hard to build to make space for something new and authentic to emerge…

I don’t want a High Output life. I confirmed this by asking myself what I do want: a high quality of life where I have impactful work, to help leaders evolve, to earn enough income to support my family, and have the freedom to do what I want. That’s the dream.”

It’s a fantastic, candid look into how hustle culture can destroy your wellbeing, and how to develop the courage to pursue fulfillment on your terms.

Check it out here:

I’m Not High Output: Why I’m Sunsetting My Brand & Betting On Myself

Question for the Week

How does what you’re currently building resonate with the person you want to become and the life you want to live?

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.

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