Learning something new can be fulfilling, rewarding and fun. It can also turn into another job that you don’t want that is draining, exhausting and downright painful to do.

In today’s edition, I’m going to be talking about how to find the fun to build your personal brand. Once you embody what we cover today, you’ll be in a better position to pull this off.

Today’s edition is inspired by Ali Abdaal’s Feel Good Productivity book where he focuses on making the hard tasks easy and fun.

Before we get into the details, make sure you go watch this week’s YouTube video:

Start your personal brand in 2024…my journey to freedom

Let’s get into the details of how to make things fun.


  • How to find the energy to start your personal brand
  • Creating the stamina to unblock obstacles (that will show up)
  • Creating a sustainable lifestyle that lasts for years (or decades)

How to find the energy to start your personal brand

Phil Knight is one of the greatest business creators alive today.

We all know this quote because it is iconic. The swoosh and this tagline are known around the world. There is a reason for that. The message is clear – which is to just get off your @$$ and do something about that thing you want to do.

It’s important to think about life and building your personal brand like playing a video game. There are characters, levels, cheat codes, side quests and community. With this focus, let’s focus on these three things:

Choosing your character: You want to find the cross between what you’re good at, what people will pay you for and what you have knowledge in. My character is helping individuals build their personal brand with writing and motivation. I’m doing this all while focusing on building my own brand.

Finding your side quests: Try different paths that can lead you to different adventures. Not every quest will lead to a treasure but you will stumble onto something eventually that makes all of the quests worth it. Side quests are your experiments with different approaches, platforms and anything else you find along the way.

Finding confidence: Imposter syndrome is real (and everyone has it). On LinkedIn yesterday, I talked about how Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) was dealing with this going onto the Tim Ferriss podcast. Find your new project and learn by doing. You’re going to be 10x better by doing the thing vs. reading or talking about doing it. Trust me…I have a YouTube channel now.

Alright, once you’ve moved through finding your energy, we need to make sure to remove the obstacles that show up.

Creating the stamina to unblock obstacles (that will show up)

According to Inc.com, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolution goals?

Another way of thinking about this is that a goal is just a dream without a system or process to achieve it. In order to follow thru on your goals, it will be imperative for you to do this:

  • Define your NICE goals (not SMART goals)
  • Listen to the 10/10/10 rule
  • Find an accountability buddy

Define your NICE goals (not SMART goals)

Did you know that SMART goals have been found to lose sight of staying true to our values?

According to Ali’s Feel Good Productivity book, there are studies that have shown this goal setting system causes us to lose motivation because we become overly focused on an end goal. Because of this, he put together the NICE goals framework which focuses on the hear and now.

It stands for:

  • Near term
  • Input Based
  • Controllable
  • Energize

Here’s what it means:

  • Near term: Concentrate on the steps right in front of you to continue on the journey. This helps to avoid the long term bigger picture which can create anxiety, stress and overwhelm.
  • Input based: Focusing on what you can do immediately vs. the long term of what the potential outcome looks like. It’s no fun to have a lofty goal that is so far away and feels unattainable. Focus on what you can do today to feel good.
  • Controllable: Defining a goal that is completely unrealistic isn’t helpful to anyone. Set a small goal you can achieve on a daily basis that is more realistic.

Energize: Find a way to get energy from any task you’re going to be doing related to your work. The #1 thing I’ve found from this book is turning on music to any task that may be challenging. Try it next time you’re doing something you don’t want to and see what happens.

Here are some goals I’ll be setting using the NICE framework (in categories):

Fitness: Go to the gym 3x/week, lifting heavy weights between 5-6am that will be fun and enjoyable.

Personal Brand: Dedicate 3 hours a week to ideation and content creation for my LinkedIn content.

Learning: Spend 30 minutes a day reading a book that I’ll enjoy sharing learnings from in this newsletter.

Listen to the 10/10/10 rule

This is one of the most powerful productivity hacks I have implemented that has changed my life.

I typically find 1-2 things in a book that I’ll walk away with that I’ll implement throughout my life. I like using this newsletter to talk about more than that but this 10/10/10 rule has been a game changer for me.

Here’s what it is:

  • Will this matter in 10 minutes?
  • Will this matter in 10 weeks?
  • Will this matter in 10 years?

Here’s how to use it:

Think about an event that occurs in your life and ask yourself those three questions.

Here’s an example from my life:

My LinkedIn post from today got no engagement and flopped.

Will this matter in 10 minutes: I might feel sad or frustrated by it and don’t want to talk to anyone about it.

Will this matter in 10 weeks: Probably not and I won’t remember what post didn’t work 10 weeks ago.

Will this matter in 10 years: Absolutely not. Each post is a learning lesson of what doesn’t work so I can get closer to what does work.

What’s the point here?

This framework helps you recognize that you’re most likely worried about something that doesn’t matter as much as you think. It definitely doesn’t define who you are. You may have some fears around certain topics but ask yourself these questions the next time something comes up that gets you down.

Find an accountability buddy

Did you know that if you share with someone else that you’re committed to completing a goal, your chances go up 65%?

Even more interesting is if you have specific check-ins with partners your chance of success increases by 95%. Humans are creatures that don’t want to let others down. You will want to find someone that’s going to keep you accountable and be disciplined, kind, patient and supportive.

The last thing you need is someone yelling at you about how terrible you are for not showing up to the gym (or posting on LinkedIn) today.

Use this as an opportunity to increase your chance of success by finding someone that will keep you accountable and decide how you’re going to hold one another accountable.

Creating a sustainable lifestyle to build for years

Making the decision to start your own personal brand or use it to help your business grow is a big decision.

Many of the big YouTubers are quitting. If they had followed some of the information in this edition, they may not be. There are a lot of ways to build a business but it’s really important that you think about it upfront before you just start to say YES to things.

Ali Abdaal talks about why YouTubers are quitting in this video and it helps validate some of what I’m talking about in this newsletter.

Now, let’s get into what you can do about this to minimize the downside potential.

3 types of burnout

All burnouts are not created equal and it’s important to understand the differences to identify them early (if they show up in your life).

Overexertion burnouts: I like to call these the traditional burnouts where you’re just saying yes to everything. You’re taking on too much work and you don’t have time to do anything else in your life. If you haven’t experienced this, you’re probably pretty good about saying no.

Depletion burnouts: These are typically seen in my previous life working at a SaaS company. I had this happen to me and why I ultimately left my job in 2021. I didn’t take bigger breaks to recharge my mind, body and spirit. I just kept going and never really disconnected from anything. Everything becomes depleted and you shut down. It’s a terrible feeling.

Misalignment burnouts: If you’ve ever put time into something for months or years and later find out that you’re really not happy. This is where you need to take a pause in your life to re-evaluate what you want and how to get it. Don’t continue going down the path you don’t want to be on. Stop and walk backwards down the mountain to find a new path.

Once you’re able to recognize the burnout you’re having, it makes life much easier to figure out what to do next.

Energy Investment Portfolio

Think of your time and life as a portfolio of energy where you can distribute your investment.

You can have as many sections as you want but it will add up to 100% of your energy. The way I’m thinking about it now is in two clear sections: Dreams, Homes and Ambitions; Active Investments.

Dreams, Hopes and Ambitions: These are my longer term projects that I’d like to accomplish at some point in my life.

Active Investments: These are things I’m doing right now. Within this week. This list should be really limited and I typically keep it around 3-4 things.

By focusing on your energy in this way, you’ll be able to remove a lot more from your list – if you stick to this framework. I sure have.

Odyssey Path

Ali Abdaal opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about your life.

It was pulled from the Design Your Life book that used this approach. I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you too. To be fair, I have started this exercise but I haven’t completed it.

I keep rewriting parts of it as I’m thinking through what I want in life.

Here’s how it works:

Your Current Path: This is just what it sounds like. Write down what your life looks like if you continue on this path for the next 5 years. Get specific about all aspects of your life and think about what that means. Do you like it?

Your Alternative Path: If you took a completely different path, what would your life look like five years from now? You may have an idea of an alternative path so think about that and get clear on what 5 years from now looks like.

Your Radical Path: This is the one I’m having to rewrite. If I took a completely different path, where would I be with money, social obligations and what people would think, what’s relevant and irrelevant to you?

It’s wild to think about what your life could look like and be like if you take this Odyssey Path exercise seriously. Try it and reply to this email and let me know where you end up.


We’ve covered quite a bit and it’s important to recognize how important (and short) life is.

The learnings from Feel Good Productivity will allow me to level up one more time with some of these cheat codes to life that Ali’s provided. I’m thankful he spent the time to pull this book together and allow us to take advantage of his learnings.

The biggest takeaway I have from this is that life is a game that you can find cheat codes to. If you know where to look and how to use them – they can change your life for the better.

The flip side is that you can do nothing and continue on the same path you’re on. By going through the Odyssey Path to determine where you’ll end up on the Current Path, you may come back to this newsletter edition and change directions.

Send me an email and let me know the #1 takeaway is for you and how you’re going to implement it in your life.

Till next time.

Your Personal Brand Copilot


P.S. Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

#1: Apply for my Audience to Leads service (the best way to supercharge lead generation for you in 2024). >>> Discover more here

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#3: Follow me on LinkedIn and YouTube for more on personal branding, writing and motivation.