Content Creation

#46: Compounding Your Knowledge and Credibility with Dickie Bush

Hosted by Josh Gonsalves
2.7.2022
1 HR 19 MIN
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Episode Description

Dickie Bush joins Josh to talk about the intersection of creativity and productivity, compounding your knowledge and credibility, how writing online changed his life, and how he teaches people how to start writing online with his online course, Ship 30 for 30.

About Dickie Bush

Dickie Bush is the founder of Ship 30 for 30, a community and online course that teaches the fundamentals of writing on the internet. But unlike other writing courses, you put your learnings into practice by writing and publishing online every day for 30 days.The idea is to adopt the mindset of a digital writer and consistently publish concise ideas for 30 days straight.

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[00:00:00] Dickie: When you have a creative outlet, everything becomes an idea to write about. And what that means is, you need to be able to capture ideas anywhere because they're going to hit you everywhere. When you give your mind the ability to have ideas anywhere and the comfort and confidence that they'll be revisited in the future, it's like a faucet. It just everything. You're going to come up with them everywhere. So to enable that you need to be able to capture them everywhere.

[00:00:25] Josh: Okay. Dickie Bush. Welcome to Mind Meld, man. This is awesome.

[00:00:34] Dickie: Hey Josh. Thanks for having me. I'm stoked to be here. It's going to be a lot to jam on today. 

[00:00:38] Josh: dude. There's a lot to get through. Like you've been doing some awesome stuff, but um, I know, you know that half to ask this, so we're going to start with this. Get it out of the way. With the name, like Dickie Bush, does that get you into any trouble ever, man, like, does that put you in any predicament?

[00:00:55] Dickie: No, no trouble. Um, some people think it's parody account, but no, That's uh, my, my real name is Richard. So Dickie Bush, you know, kind of flows nicely. You can't give it up and you won't forget it. That's for sure. So, uh, no, that's fun.

[00:01:09] Josh: That's what you meant. It's so true. Like that's what you will not forget it. Like I remember first coming across you on Twitter I think this is where this all started. I think that's where, like all these amazing things have happened for you over like the last couple of years. And even, maybe even just the last year where things just like skyrocketed for you.

[00:01:24] So, I mean, I guess for people listening who are not on Twitter as well, I'd love for you to kind of explain that story of how you started ship 30 and maybe like just, you can even go back a little bit, like for your backstory and what you've been up to and how you got to do online writing and grow on Twitter like crazy.

[00:01:40] Dickie: Yeah. So, you know, if you go back, you can kind of trace my online journey to January of 2020, where I came into the year, feeling a bit, uh, I wouldn't say stuck, but just, you know, working a full-time job and really loved it, but just had a lot of things I was reading and listening to and exploring and learning a lot of things that I felt like I wasn't putting into practice.

[00:02:03] And so I'd take notes on podcasts or books or whatever, and kind of on that journey of improvement. And they just ended up in a notion folder kind of in the back forever, right. It never to be put into practice. So I went into 2020 and said, you know what, what's some of the work I'm already doing that could potentially expose me to some of this internet upside I'm reading all about listening to and seeing.

[00:02:26] So I started a weekly newsletter and I wrote that it was really. Um, my, my mom and roommates for about the first month and a half, it was really just, uh, I'd put together almost a forcing function for me to just clarify podcasts and books, whatever I did that week. And I did that for about eight, nine months, wrote a little bit on my blog, just kind of exploring what it meant to, to write online and play around on the unit on the internet.

[00:02:52] Really, just as a way to explore things I was interested in and did that for nine months and found that towards. Sorry, committed to doing that for a year. 

[00:03:05] And this kind of the boring part of the story that a lot of people will glance over, but really just committed to showing up for a year and said, what, what good's going to come from this.

[00:03:13] If I do it every week for a year and nothing good happens, worst case, I, I understood the things I was learning a little bit better. Work, best case. Um, I, I guess what's happened is definitely a best case. You get to meet incredible people, new opportunities have fun as hell, uh, get to learn, teach others and just kind of explore this world all through the lens of sharing things that you're doing.

[00:03:34] So that was a story up until about, uh, September, October of 2020. I don't know if you want to just go right into ship 30 from there, but really was, uh, I got to a point where I didn't have a very good feedback loop where I was kind of writing on a blog. Wondering if people were interested in what I was actually saying.

[00:03:57] And so I said, I need to up my cadence from monthly to daily. And so I wrote a Twitter thread of the whatever podcast I listened to every single day for 30 days. And I did that from September to, uh, where really it was August, September of last year. So 2020, and I had never felt more energized to wake up and think and had this just creative mechanism that was unlike anything I'd ever experienced.

[00:04:21] I was getting to interact with the people I looked up to because I'd summarize what I listened to when they respond to me. And it was just a great time. And from that, I got to experience just the benefits of doing something every day, building a habit, all kind of with this exponential multiplier that is riding on the internet and.

[00:04:41] That spawned a tweet from a random walkout. I was on a walk. I said, well, I really enjoyed doing this for the last 30 days. I wonder if there's anyone else who'd want to do it with me for the next, because one thing I found was it was almost impossible to do on my own. I needed people around me supportive, all that.

[00:04:59] And so I just tweeted out there. I said, Hey, does anyone want to write with me every day for 30 days? And so for, I guess, fast forward a little bit for anyone unfamiliar with ship 30 to cohort based course, teaching you the fundamentals of writing online. So zooming all the way forward to kind of where we ended up to what we're talking about now to back then, it was just a very challenged based idea for people who wanted to do it with me.

[00:05:21] And the response was overwhelming. And four days, five days later, we had a bunch of people on a slack and we're spamming, uh, writing on the internet for the next 30 days. And that was the initial code. 

[00:05:34] Josh: Dude. That is awesome. That's such a great overview of like how everything kind of happened. Cause I always just remember that come up when you're like posting on Twitter. I think that's when I started following you, because I remember that moment where like, Hey, who wants to do this with me? like, it's just so cool to like, build a community around that. 

[00:05:48] Right, people who want to like, learn to do this effectively. like, you're really a big Testament to that too. One of the reasons why I started this podcast and stuff just like meet people, put content out. And I was like, I don't really have like a goal in mind. I'm not trying to monetize this It's just like, I really want to put out content be creative. Like what would that cadence for podcasts? For me, it made sense to do it weekly. And I think you were, you started doing it like just like you could start it weekly, then you do it daily. And then you're like, Hey, now let's give it a challenge, like 30 days.

[00:06:16] So I would love to hear like why you chose like 30 days. Just like, just keep it neat in a month. There's a reason you didn't do like 90 days or like, Hey, just a week. Like what was the reason for just starting it as.

[00:06:27] Dickie: I think 30 to me is enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel on day one 90. It's like, Ooh, you're not having a good time on day 15 because you're not 50% of the way there you're, you know, 16% of the way. And 30 was just 30, 30 days a month. I think it was August 1st. I was, I got a clean month and just get it going. 

[00:06:48] Josh: And so what really, spawned your thinking to do this? Like even just putting out podcasts. So like you just mentioned that you have a day job and like you're doing other things. Uh, we can get into a little bit of that later on, but like, not too much, obviously. But like you do other things, like you're not, the time you didn't see yourself as a writer, so you're consuming the content.

[00:07:08] I just want to know like what, like spawned in your brain to be like, Hey, like I want to actually put this out there. Like, what was the reason for it?

[00:07:16] Dickie: The reason was 100% selfish at the time was I wanted to better understand all the work I was doing. And I knew that I felt inexperienced that the first time I wrote a Twitter thread, summarizing a podcast, having a creative mechanism that forces you to share something concisely with other people reading is the ultimate way to stress test your thinking, to learn effectively and to make sure you're actually not just consuming for the sake of consumption, consuming for the sake of output.

[00:07:48] You know, whether that's a personal result, whether that's sharing something with other people, this just, and I was so guilty of it because you listened to a podcast and be like, oh, I learned a ton there. I read a book and say, oh, I really absorbed that. And then it's like, go, go write about it. And you quickly see all the immediate gaps in your thinking, your understanding. And so it was really a creative or personal forcing function for me to learn more effectively. 

[00:08:15] Josh: man, that makes so much sense. Cause like, you know, people always say, if you want to learn something, you teach others writing online is basically just teaching others. Cause like you can either listen to podcasts or I can read your Twitter thread and I'll get the same information just in a different way, which is so interesting.

[00:08:30] And you, like you did a newsletter and Twitter, what are your thoughts on both of those formats? Like obviously Twitter, you have to be more concise. Does that bridge over into newsletter writing? Like, do you find yourself writing, like you're tweeting or like how has that influenced the way you write now?

[00:08:45] Dickie: There there's a ton, uh, there with Twitter newsletters, all of that. So let me think about it to me, Twitter. Is the place to go, to get immediate feedback on your ideas. You are putting them out there in this feed and people can respond. You're going to immediately know if something resonated, you're going to immediately know if you were wrong on something.

[00:09:07] People are going to let you know that for sure. Um, versus a newsletter it's a little bit slower. Yeah, They can reply, but you're consuming it with your emails, right? So every medium out there where you put your writing has a different audience, a different cadence of understanding for them. They're different context, right?

[00:09:28] So I think Twitter is beautiful to teach you to write concisely. I tell people who want to learn to write copy effectively to start writing tweets, because you have a built-in constraint, you've got 280 characters you're competing for attention, just like you would, and you have to distill ideas concisely.

[00:09:46] So it's kind of everything. Does that spill over to writing effectively? I think it does because. Conciseness ability to attract attention quickly and not bore people. All of that. I think the more you can learn to write tweets, you're going to be a better effective, a more effective writer across every spectrum.

[00:10:03] So, um, in terms of the trade-offs of, should I start writing to each, I start a newsletter. I think people get way too caught up in the tactics of at all. And you just need to start something and then get going.

[00:10:16] Josh: Yeah, totally. And the first thing I brought, to my mind there was the difference between, cause I'm more like a visual creator, the difference between like YouTube and like Tik TOK like Instagram reels, like more and more people are viewing the short form content. You need to be concise.

[00:10:33] even the writing going into scripting or ideating on how you're going to talk about a certain subject, like we're all on Tik TOK, we're all on Instagram nowadays. needs to be super concise, super quick. So it makes sense that Twitter would be that sort of breeding ground for that.

[00:10:47] Dickie: And on that point, I, I, I have a theory or thesis that I'm working out on the future of content is a barbell, where it's either going to be hyper concise, short, potent ideas, or ultra long form in depth. You ultimate guide style novel, et cetera, right? Where this middle ground, where people, you know, the thousand word, blog posts, thousand word blog posts, that is nothing but bloat. And you're kind of filling a word quota. And all that.

[00:11:19] I think is going away because 99% of blog posts could be single tweets and get the same thing across. And most, few, very few ideas should be expanded into an ultimate guide style or a book or whatever it is, but the ones that are in should be, it should be. There should be more incentive to put those big ideas together. And so I think if you're striking that middle of the barbell, that's how I encourage writers right now. 

[00:11:46] Josh: Oh, it's funny. Again, I didn't want to get too deep on this kind of stuff, but one of my questions for you was how you thinking about writing, in relation to investing. Cause I guess what you do professionally, we don't have to get too deep into details there, but like that term I know just from, you know, reading like, uh, to lab, know that that is an investing term, the whole barbell thing, a lot of people talk about barbell investing.

[00:12:07] So I w I'd like for you to go deeper on that idea, man, let's jam this out a bit like this is so unexpected. It's really cool.

[00:12:14] Dickie: It's, uh, I think barbells are everywhere. So one of my personal kind of values is this idea of polarity where I think you should be always on or always off fully on fully awfully engaged, fully disengaged, you know, giving it your all giving it. And I think that's where all the opportunity lies in just about everything it's in the tails.

[00:12:34] So. Um, you can apply that to just about every area of your life. I think relationships, you want very few deep dense relationships and then a bunch of hyper superficial ones that you, you keep in contact with. But the, that kind of messy middle where you've talked to them every once, whatever is, I don't think there's much value there.

[00:12:56] I think the value in just about everything lies in extremes. So, um, yeah, it's really a barbell strategy. Like you said, investing, uh, something I try to apply just about everywhere in content is the, the current lens that I'm looking at it through. 

[00:13:10] Josh: Wow. Yeah. It's like you have a ton of followers, obviously that you engage through maybe by replying to them and the tweets and the threads there. And you'd have like some really, really deep, strong, actual relationships. I mean, like there's, unlimited how many, um, followers you can have. And I obviously the idea with like any kind of social media is you're trying to build as many followers as possible on that one end.

[00:13:31] an interesting idea, man. I'm going to, I'm going to use that, uh, in my thinking, because that makes so, so much sense. A lot of people are kind of in it or like they're one foot in one foot out. I like the idea of just being all in or nothing. Like that's pretty intense. on that note, That's kind of where I can see the idea for ship 30 comes in.

[00:13:49] It's like, you're going all in for 30 days. happened for it? You can be all out, whatever happens afterwards, you can be all out. So I want to know, man, like when you conceptualize that, do you have that same thought how have you seen people create outcomes from that? Do you see people continuing it after the 30 days? Or do you see them like ending it after 30 and saying I was all in now. I'm all out.

[00:14:10] Dickie: I think the way in this goes back to, I don't know who said it originally, but it's kind of work like a lion, not like a cow where I think novel Shaun period. I've seen a bunch of people this, and you should be sprinting or resting. And I think to build a habit like writing, you have to sprint, you have to do it every single day and kind of immerse yourself in it.

[00:14:29] And we see a lot of different outcomes based on that. We have some people who go to a hundred, dates it to them. This was the thing they need. They have no interest in publishing, long form. They love this feeling of creating an asset every single day, they sit down with one idea, they flesh it out. They had their time of day, they hit publish. They get their day going with momentum. 

[00:14:50] And then we have some people who say that was way too much for me. I'm glad I did it, but I'm going to stop, and I'm going to reevaluate my cadence and we help people kind of find the right kids for them based on their goals after the course. So I think it's a, what's so, 

[00:15:05] The way we talk about Ship 30 and writing every day for 30 days versus kind of the common advice of a weekly blog post or weekly newsletter, is it condenses those every emotion into a 30 day sprint that you could possibly feel over a two year time horizon. You're going to feel burnt out at some point Right. Whether that's on a two year horizon and you feel burnt out after six months or it's 30 days and you get to that on day 10 and you're like, oh my goodness, I have 20 more days of this. I can't believe it. I think it accelerates the feedback loop of, we have so many writers who come in and say, I'm going to talk about productivity tips.

[00:15:40] And about six days in they're like, I can't believe, I thought I wanted to write about that forever. I just said everything I need to say. And now I'm on to biotechnology. Right? You explore all of your interests in a very quick format. So I think there's a lot there to giving it your all for 30 days and then reevaluating, resting and reflecting afterwards. 

[00:16:01] Josh: Too. That's insane. That makes so much sense. Just condensing your learning into a 30 day period where otherwise you'd have to do it over a year or a couple months, whatever it would be. If you're only doing it monthly, just putting in more reps quicker makes so much sense. And I do want to ask you, man. So like these people who have gone through it, I'm sure you've seen people from all walks of life, all types of professions.

[00:16:22] You've probably seen it all at this point. Who have you seen has just like gained the most out of it, like professionally, personally. then on the flip side, What was something or someone who had surprised you that has gone through the program?

[00:16:36] Dickie: So we've had about what's so interesting is I think total number that have gone through something like 1800 right now. And we're still so early in the journey. Four of those, you know, our, our June cohort was 300 something and August was up there as well, and October is 400 and change. Right. So where we're at is everyone's kind of at that early part of the inflection curve and we can see it.

[00:17:08] We have people launching their first products, starting their own business. Um, and so w the way we're thinking about it right now is it's almost like angel investing, where in a few years, there's going to be dozens and hundreds. Hopefully thousands of people who say I just published my first book, it all started with ship there.

[00:17:27] Right. So that is something that is really cool and kind of compounding right now. So I don't want to go specifics on who I think is crushing it and all that right now, because so many are right at that really exciting point where they're they're right there and we've had, what's so interesting. And one of the cool parts, is there a few. W we do a lot to kind of track how people do during the 30 days, make sure we're intervening if the fallen off, et cetera. And there are some who after day five or day six, they just disappeared. We didn't hear for them for a month, two months. And we're like, ah, that's just one who it wasn't for them. And then they come back and say, Hey man, I latched onto a golden nugget in that very first week, I had an idea, I got what I needed and I've ran with it.

[00:18:12] And I just, and they go to a completely different platform. It's like I have a 40,000 person following on Facebook and I share tips. I think George Cisneros is a great example of this. Um, launched on Facebook has a ton of followers there and that was where he was. And we're like, we never would have seen it.

[00:18:29] So those are the kinds of unexpected things that I'm very excited about happening, but for the most part. People still figuring it out, getting going, and we have this, we have it set up where if you launch something, you can reach out directly to me and Cole, uh, and, and send it to us say, Hey, I just launched this.

[00:18:46] We'll hype it up. And it, seeing those people say, I can't believe I just, I started a business. I started a newsletter. I have this many subscribers. So we're at that early point, but a lot of exciting things ahead. 

[00:18:57] Josh: Yeah. Wow, man. That's so awesome. That's very unexpected. You know, like you're writing for like a week and you're like, yeah, I already got what I needed. We expect them to keep going. That's interesting. I wanted to bring that up because didn't know that Cole was your partner on ship 30 until like maybe a week or two ago.

[00:19:15] I don't know how, but it just kind of slipped through my radar, but I've been following his work for years. How'd you guys get to.

[00:19:21] Dickie: So he, we met actually almost a year ago to the day, and it was kind of a very unexpected, we were put in contact with someone who had become friends with on Twitter. So that speaks to the serendipity of this. Our first zoom call was a year ago. We've met in person one time over the last year, uh, which is, which is crazy, the craziest part about the internet by far.

[00:19:39] So we, he was, he joined the January cohort of shift 30 and I was very cognizant of. At the time I didn't have that great of an understanding of how this all worked. What I was good at was building a writing habit that was the origin of ship. 30 was, I will help you build a writing habit because it was a problem that I solved in the last year.

[00:20:03] He has been writing online since 2014. He's been all over Quora, medium blog on one of the Warcraft. I mean, just absolutely crushed, literally wrote the book, uh, right everywhere, everywhere. And so it was just this perfect match where it's like, look, I have all these people who want to start writing.

[00:20:18] They've started now, how do we get them going? And I wanted to learn from him. You have this wealth of knowledge. I still learn from him every single day. So we partnered up in for the February cohort and had been partners ever since. And I could not picture, ship 30 going any other direction other than just flat, because I knew the limits of what I could put together.

[00:20:40] And so I've gotten to learn a ton from him. Now we're coming up with our own frameworks and just, it's been a great part. 

[00:20:46] Josh: Dude. That's awesome. Okay. So for anyone listening, I'm just gonna make a mental note of this now. Um, I'll put the in the description to Nicholas call stuff. Do you think his website would be the best place to point people to,

[00:20:57] Dickie: Yeah, I think there are Twitter, probably Twitter at this point. 

[00:21:01] Josh: okay. I'll link you guys to. 

[00:21:02] Dickie: Jojo, you'll go down the rabbit hole from there. 

[00:21:04] Josh: Yeah, I'll definitely ask you to put me in touch with him later on to his brain on this as well. That'd be super cool. Or even both of you guys at the same time, it'd be really cool to see how you guys like interact and how your ideas clash and combined and just, you know, synthesize.

[00:21:18] So that'd be super cool, man. um, yeah, because I wanted to ask you like, uh, like, were you a writer before? I mean, obviously your big thing was building the habits, so it totally makes sense that you'd bring, does he go by Nick or does he go by Cole?

[00:21:31] Dickie: He goes by Cole. So his first name's Cole, but online Nicholas Cole. Yeah. So you'll hear me call him call and people are like, oh, who's that? 

[00:21:38] Josh: Okay, great. That makes total sense. So yeah, it makes sense that you'd bring Colin and you guys would of learn from each other and share both sides of your knowledge with people, but like, did you learn like writing before? Like, did you, were you trained, like, did you learn it in school? Were you even remotely interested in it before? did that come about. 

[00:21:57] Dickie: I just, I actually wrote it to put a thread on this yesterday of kind of recapping the way I think about learning something. And I knew nothing about writing online. I was a math and computer science major in college. Um, pretty much taught me nothing to do with writing. I took one writing class as a freshman, I hated it because you had to have a word count and all that. 

[00:22:17] So I wanted to learn about right. And so the best way as I found with podcasts and just listening to things was I needed to write about it. So I started studying the best writers, and I think this goes to writing advice. In the very beginning, you have to build credibility, something.

[00:22:35] And in the very early stages, it was just me exploring the best copywriters. And, uh, the James clears, mark Manson's Tim Ferriss, these common authors that are really taking a bottoms up approach to the way they're writing. And I just immersed myself. I listened to what they said, read everything they had.

[00:22:53] And then going back to this creative forcing function, I wrote about it. I shared it. I distilled it. And the result after about a year of immersing myself in this, as I become a somewhat credible source on writing. And if you'd have told me 18 months ago that it's like, that's what people are gonna think you are good at. I'd say I'd laugh because I was horrible at it. But, um, you know, I learned, I call this. 

[00:23:17] The way I think about sharing anything and learning anything online is something I call the two year test. And a lot of people, they, they say, I want to start writing and they'll they go, well, what am I going to write about?

[00:23:30] I don't know. And my first answer to that is yes, you do. And to think about it there, I think at any time you should be writing about two things, something two years ahead of you that you want to learn more about in some, two people, two years behind you solving the problems that you've solved during that time.

[00:23:53] So I'll take an example of ship 30. I wanted to learn about copywriting specifically. So I started writing a ton about that and learning, and I studied all the grades and wrote threads on it and all that, and kind of immerse myself. So that was my forward to your test. Now I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of it.

[00:24:12] At the same time I was writing about how to build a writing habit, something that I had done myself very specifically, that I knew how to teach and knew how to talk about. And so at any time, you're kind of moving yourself across this continuously, and this is the beauty of having this. Is I pick a topic, I learn about it.

[00:24:31] I distill it. And then two years later, I know a bunch about it. Now I'm going to put it in Bree, package it and frame it for someone two years behind me. Here's all the mistakes I made. Here's what I wish I had. Here's you know where to start what, to not focus on all that. And you're just, you have this endless spectrum to explore.

[00:24:49] Um, and you're going to learn along, meet people, build an audience in the process, and that's really the playbook I've been executing on for the last two years. 

[00:24:57] Josh: Oh, wow. And it works like it clearly fricking works, man. Okay. The other thing is we're talking about compounding knowledge here at this time, too. So at what point, when you're talking about like, teaching people two years behind happens, man? When you're like 50 or 60 years old, you have all this stuff it's probably stored in your quote unquote, like second brain.

[00:25:18] We can get into that later. I'm really interested in that. Um, you know, like what happens when that's all exponential and it's all compounded and you're like teaching your kids or like, you know, teaching people who are in their twenties when you're like 60, like just like an unlimited amount of like, just knowledge.

[00:25:34] I'm wondering how you will like distill that that's going to be insane.

[00:25:39] Dickie: I'm hoping I distill it along the way, such that it's all there, right. If it's all there and it's already done, then I have this collection of here's everything I studied every year for the last year. I'm a big, big, big journaler. I've written in a journal, both digital and physical just about every morning and night for the last four years.

[00:25:57] Um, and we're right at that point now where I have every morning, I pull up my journal and it auto-populates with that entry from three years ago, two years ago in a year ago. And the most ex uh, I use Roam, I in, I am used to use notion. I used to have at hand journal, I had them all transcribed and uploaded and then put them all into Roam.

[00:26:17] And I think who knows if that's the right one, but I just have all the raw materials somewhere and. Gives me this, I have this vision of being 60 years old and sitting down and looking over my journal entries for 40 years. And that thrills me of, I wake up on a Tuesday and it's like, here's this day for the last 40 years.

[00:26:40] Like that to me is one of the coolest ideas of compounding, uh, that there possibly is so big, big, big journal are highly recommended if you've never done it. But anyway, that's the way I think about it. 

[00:26:51] Josh: dude that blew my mind though. It's so true. Holy shit. Like, just like recording your thoughts, your ideas, your life. Have you ever thought about vlogging too? Cause I'm just thinking about these bloggers. Like even Casey Neistat who did it like daily, then you go back, you know, this whole idea of like, you know, you can see your life flash before your eyes on your death bed.

[00:27:07] Like people can literally do that now because they have so many videos and photos on their phone. Do you like journal like that way on your phone to take a lot of photos and videos?

[00:27:16] Dickie: I actually don't. You know, I think I could do a better job incorporating photos and like a picture of the day or a blog or something like that. I think if you want to get real futuristic stick, I think it will be passively done for us at some point, right. Where our days are kind of auto cataloged. It'll be very easy to do, but for now I think I'll stick with just the handwritten. 

[00:27:37] Josh: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. And also it's going to help you flex the writing muscle to write more than anything. I think that's kind of like the idea. you write it all in Roam now. So is that kind of where you store everything? What's your process for daily journals? And then also like when you come across something on the internet or like article or a podcast, I'd love to know how you capture that and categorize it so you can make it useful.

[00:28:00] Dickie: Um, so I've, we can link to it. I've written a couple of things on my idea capture system. And to me, the important thing, when you have a creative outlet, everything becomes an idea to write about. And what that means is, you need to be able to capture ideas anywhere because they're going to hit you everywhere and it's kind of this chicken or egg problem.

[00:28:22] So what I mean by that, when you give your mind the ability to have ideas anywhere and the comfort and confidence that it will, they'll be revisited in the future, it's like a faucet. It just everything you're going to come up with them everywhere. So to enable that you need to be able to capture them everywhere.

[00:28:42] So I have a, it's not here right now, but a notebook next to my desk, a whiteboard in the shower, a quick capture app. I use the drafts app on my phone. I go on a lot of walks and just always capture everything into kind of a drafts folder. At the end of every week, I sit down and I parse it out. So I'll put it into Roam.

[00:29:01] I kind of have this idea inbox of here's everything I read, listen to I'll recap. I don't write the newsletter anymore, but I'm still in that habit of kind of looking for the single ideas and what I can do. Um, so it all syncs up into, into Roam from there. And I sit down at the beginning of the week and say, I want to put out this amount of content.

[00:29:21] I'm going to write these three things. I want to write two threads, whatever it is. And then kind of just brainstorm of, um, I'm not, I never stare at a blank page because I always have something refined during a morning walk and night block, whatever it is, three or four bullets here or there all you need to kind of get started for me.

[00:29:36] So as long as I'm having those and comfort that those three bullets are going to be, I will revisit those in the future. Um, my mind just kind of goes at all times. So sometimes like if I looked down at my notebook right now, the number of just dots I have here of little things I thought about during the day, um, I'll go capture those later.

[00:29:56] Uh, sometimes it gets a little bit too much, but for now it's working. 

[00:30:01] Josh: Yeah, I was going to say like, is there a point where you're like, could capture everything. Is there a point where like, Hey, like, no, like I either don't feel like it or, Hey, it's too much. Or it was like overkill. Did it, does that ever cost across your.

[00:30:14] Dickie: Uh, just about every single day or I get the, I call it like the review scaries where I've captured too many things and I'm like, I don't even want to go dig into those because I know I captured too many things. Uh, so I actually, It's like a very stupid problem, to have, but it is when I have some 

[00:30:30] but Yeah. that's true.

[00:30:32] That's 

[00:30:32] Josh: Yeah. And where did you learn this whole process, man? Cause I know there was like the whole building, a second brain cohort. There's like Rite of passage. Did you go through any of these courses?

[00:30:43] Dickie: I didn't go through any of the official courses, but I've learned a ton from those guys. I mean, I, I went down the rabbit hole of all of their stuff and, but what I think I did a good job of was quickly capturing, like, what are the big ideas are saying? And then getting it to work for me, I think a lot of people will get caught up in some of those systems and say, that's my new project is making sure that that's optimized and.

[00:31:03] That can turn into a rabbit hole in and of itself where you end up never getting started because your note taking system isn't ready. And so for me, mine is still very, very unpolished. It's probably some optimal, but I'd rather be suboptimal and moving quickly than optimal, but kind of liking along. 

[00:31:21] Josh: Yeah, man. That's so true. Like you just want to be able to do the actual work. It's all about the output and not really this process, I think there's this like idea. I think it's called. Um, or like this term is called a mental masturbation basically where you're like spending all this time, like rearranging your notion and like Roam and like all your tags.

[00:31:37] And like, you're like migrating notes from one system to another. Like, you feel like you're doing work. You're not doing shit.

[00:31:43] Dickie: Yeah. I have a very good and potent framework that I keep in mind to remember this. So I once heard a story of these two fishermen or future fishermen. They said, I want to learn how to fix. And so the first one says, okay, I'm going to learn to fish. I'm going to go get the nicest rod I can get. I'm going to go buy a new fishing boat.

[00:32:07] I'm going to go pick up every book on the topic. I'm going to go hire a fishing coach. I'm going to make sure I have everything in place to get started fishing. And he went and did that for four or five months and then felt really good about getting ready to fish, takes his boat out. And he gets there and there's no fish in the lake.

[00:32:28] And what happened was the first fishermen had already sucked it dry that first fishermen on the first day said, you know, maybe I could go do all this planning, but I'm just going to grab the shitty rod I have here. I'm going to put a hot dog on it and I'm going to go start with. And for the first three days, nothing worked.

[00:32:44] Then he found a spot that had a little nibble. He iterated, he moved in from there. He, he found out what worked, had a new fishing processing. By the time the other guy got his boat out there. This guy had caught every fish in the lake, started a fishing education business, a restaurant, and done everything there.

[00:32:58] Right? So this idea of grabbing a shitty rod and start fishing is so potent in my head of anytime, I feel like I need to make a plan, have everything sequenced all the way. Every single step is Nope. Just get started and figure out that you go. 

[00:33:12] Josh: Oh, man. That is awesome. That's like the perfect story to illustrate that, right? Like us with anything. I mean, that's obviously like a, um, a zero sum type of game, right. Where it's like, you're racing to the end, which there's a lot of things are happening right now. Like, I mean, there's a whole race with, um, cryptocurrencies with the metaverse with like Facebook rushing there.

[00:33:34] But like when somebody's like writing, guess the only person who really letting down is yourself, right. It's just like, you could've done it in a week. You could have done it in 30 days, you waited like six months, you waited a year and then new kept putting it off, kept putting it off. He tried to find a perfect system.

[00:33:48] That's interesting. It's all about speed. Just get it done. That's.

[00:33:51] Dickie: It's speed. It's it's really speed, but a tight feedback loop. You don't want to be going fast in the wrong direction, but you want to get moving and then figure out the right direction to go. So I think that again, anytime you have, if you find yourself with a, once I get blank, then blank, you're probably author path.

[00:34:14] It's not ever a once. This is right, then I'll get going on this. Once I hit this, then I'll do this right? Because the goalpost is always going to move. I think you could apply that once I get. To just about every single area of your life, where once, once things slow down, then I'll start that side hustle.

[00:34:33] Or once my, this is my ongoing joke. Once my note taking system is ready, then I'll start writing, write this. Those, those are always going to move. They're always going to go. And the timing will never be right. So again, grab a shitty rod, just start fishing.

[00:34:47] Josh: I love that so much, man. So what advice would you give people who want to start a side hustle? Cause like ship 30 for you is a side hustle right now. Anyways, what are your, what are your advice for people who want to like do this? Like the timing will never be right. Like you're still working another job.

[00:35:00] Like how would you say people can balance this and get started and then, you know, once you do get started, how do you balance it with the other stuff you have going on in life?

[00:35:09] Dickie: I think you want to find something that doesn't feel like a side hustle or extra work or anything. So I spend most of my day looking at charts and predicting economies and thinking about the macro and all that and writing for me was almost. Where it was never extra work. It's still not extra work. And it's the reason I'm able to do all that I do is I never sit down at the end of the day, exhausted time energized.

[00:35:31] I wake up every morning, excited to I'm grateful that I get to work on multiple things. And I think if you're, you're looking around and saying, what is a side hustle? Right? All it is is your helping people solve a problem that you've already solved. And this goes back to the two year test where if you want to start a side hustle, look at things, you know, things you've done problems you've solved.

[00:35:54] And the internet guarantees, there are millions of other people on that exact same spot as you with that exact same problem. The more specific you can get, the more you can go out of your way to put your ideas in front of them, make it clear that, Hey, I've had this problem. I've solved it. Here's the benefits of unlocks from it.

[00:36:14] So in my example, it was, I've been where you are. I wanted to start writing. I didn't know where to start. I procrastinated. I had distractions. I had imposter syndrome, all of these things ship 30 helps you overcome them. And that was me solving a very specific problem for a very specific type of person that was just earlier than me on their journey.

[00:36:34] Right. So if you're thinking about starting anything, you can really just probe to say, what do I wish I had a year ago? And then go make that thing, because there are millions of other people who, if you can distill correctly, would love to have that problem solved. And there's probably a market for it. 

[00:36:51] Josh: Yeah. I mean, yeah, that's the internet, right? It's like, Probably billions of niches like this, anything that you could possibly think of exists on the internet. And so I do want to bring it back there from the beginning we were talking about was like participating in this like unlimited upside of the internet.

[00:37:06] Where did you first learn about that? Where did you first see that this was like a thing that was happening and then like, what was that thing that kind of pushed you to like jump on this and be like, Hey, I know that this is on the right path. This is going to be participating in the next wave of the internet.

[00:37:20] I just want to know like what that was for you, that kind of clicked in your.

[00:37:24] Dickie: don't think it was anything that clicked all at once where it was more just, I kind of dabbled. I saw other writers and people I looked up to and I kind of looked and said, well, how do I look up to them? Well, they're putting things out there into the world and I'm consuming them. Right. So if you want to reverse engineer that and have other people look up to you and you help them and you solve their problems, right.

[00:37:47] You had to do the same thing. And it was clear that this internet, uh, I mean, we're talking like the internet just came out or something. And I still think, um, or early on people recognizing it. If you ask your high school friends, how many of them are writing on the internet? I bet one out of a hundred, say it.

[00:38:03] And so for anyone who thinks we're saturated, we're not, but yeah, it was more just a. Awareness of where was I spending my time. It was consuming, consuming, consuming. So someone somewhere was on the other side of that benefiting of it, benefiting from it. And how could I get myself on that side of the fence? 

[00:38:26] Josh: That makes sense. And then who were like the creator? So you mentioned like a bunch that even like that I'm very familiar with it, you know, the Tim Ferriss of the world. Um, you mentioned like James clear. So I think maybe we're all just on like the same side of a Twitter, but also, probably before that, just like on the internet and all these creators, like I have all those same probably books that you've read here.

[00:38:45] Like these are like for a reason. And it's like this almost like this personal or self-development sort of niche or like. Culture within the internet. How did you like learn about that? I'm always interested to hear how people like fell into this. Because me it was like almost like an awakening moment.

[00:38:59] Like I wasn't into this kind of personal development sort of stuff, but then I know that as soon as I did and I went on this jury literally was a journey in my life has been so different after.

[00:39:09] Dickie: Yeah, it really came from me, uh, when I stopped playing football or graduated from college. So I played offense blind college. I was 280 pounds. My, my job was to be as big and as strong as possible at all times. And so I really faced this question of when I stopped playing. I like to say there was two ways I was going to go.

[00:39:30] I was either going to weigh 380 pounds or 180 pounds. And I had about six months to figure that out. And during the first three or four months, I was clearly headed in the wrong direction because I kept everything up that I was doing and just had stopped playing football so that wasn't going to Trent Trent.

[00:39:45] Well, and I really had to rewrite my life's operating system in a way for 20 years. My job was to wake up, go to class, go to school. And work out to get as big and as strong as possible and try to get good grades along the way. And that really changes when I graduated, I moved to New York city. Right. I knew I wasn't gonna be able to live at that weight forever.

[00:40:09] Like I had to do a lot of things to kind of re-engineer myself. And so that's how I, I stumbled down the rabbit hole of the Tim Ferriss. I listen to every episode, right. I went deep and just immersed myself. I said, if I'm going to get better and just improve the way I do things, my personal just way of operating, I have to learn from these people who were clearly. And so I've kind of been down that rabbit hole ever since for the last call. It, I guess four years now, since I graduated. 

[00:40:36] Josh: Jeez. Okay. Yeah. That makes total sense. I love that term that you said that the life operating system. So obviously it's like the, I guess the operating system is like the habits that you have, tools that you use. And I guess like, just like your environment, I mean, you could cut and there's probably a lot more, but it probably boils down to that.

[00:40:53] would you say, like was like the biggest change for you? Like when you're with all that, like you just said you moved, was it like creating new habits? Was it like new tools that entered your world? I wanna to know. Just like, what were the things you think actually catapulted you to like make that change?

[00:41:10] Dickie: I think it came to tracking. So I started tracking the things I did want it to do every day. So that came from habit building. It was journaling. Right. I look at anything that I wasn't doing four years ago when I was very, just on oblivious to everything that I wanted to improve. So journaling exercise eating.

[00:41:28] Right, right. Not that I wasn't exercising and eating. Right, but for a completely new goal where I was no longer trying to eat 5,000 calories and squat, 500 pounds. It was, I turned that around completely and it really, it was just more an awareness that you're going to have to change?

[00:41:44] those habits, waking up early, like all the kind of basic bro science-y stuff.

[00:41:48] But I worked for me and at the end of the day, like I'm all over that kind of thing. I mean, the book, one of the books that probably had the most profound change when I look at some of the things I do every day was owned the day on your life by Aubrey Marcus, and again, a great book, right? And a lot of the things, probably not that true, like not, not untrue, but you don't need to have salt water within 15 minutes of waking up every day.

[00:42:15] But I do it every day. You don't need to take a cold shower. I still do it. Right. All these little things that I was kind of instilled in me as I was developing this new way of doing things, um, that has stuck. So Yeah. the, the rabbit hole is deep And I, you know, I dug into stoic philosophy, those kinds of things.

[00:42:31] Are now ingrained in me that when I talk about it's actually fun to kind of jam on it because you get caught up in what you've done in the last year. But really for me, it's been a three or four year journey kind of just graduating college and entering the real world. And, and here we are.

[00:42:46] Josh: Yeah. And that's exactly it, man. I'm so I'm really glad that we get to jam on this kind of stuff. Cause it's not often that you find too many people that are into these sort of things that are about this kind of stuff. like you said, the internet that kind of enables that for us, there's like Twitter was the network that kind of connected us to this.

[00:43:02] I'm so grateful you agreed to come on this podcast. We can chat about this stuff. Cause like there's not so many people I think about your hometown or even like in a city, like might be people there, but it can be so hard to find them unless they're on these social media platforms and they're actually it out there.

[00:43:18] So I guess this all comes back to, you're interested in this stuff. And you put the signal out by distilling what you are reading and you're learning about and putting it out on the internet, then someone like me sees that signal and I'm like, oh shit, this guy's cool. He's doing some awesome stuff. I need to go chat with them.

[00:43:34] A friend of mine calls up putting up the bat signal. So it's like interesting that like, you're kind of distilling that into like, here's all she'll learn putting up the bat signal. Here's the shit I'm into a relieve it. that's a really 

[00:43:45] Dickie: it's a, it, I say that the internet has democratized access to friendship. So, so what do I mean by that if 20, 30 years ago, if the people you went to school with and see the world the same way issue, they didn't have the same interest as you people in your neighborhood or around your kind of. Right. You, you had nothing to turn to.

[00:44:08] No one to talk to. No one, it was difficult, right? You out of shape. You're right. It was difficult to be unique, but the internet not only allows you to be unique it rewards it, right? If you go on and you be your authentic self, you are rewarded because there's no competition, right? There's no one else talking about nor interested in your unique set of interests.

[00:44:30] And so that's going to attract so many people and no longer do they have to be, even in your neighborhood or school, they can be anywhere on planet earth. And again, you have to be easy to find. So you had to put those ideas out there. And I love the bat signal because it's, you, you get to create your own bat signal, right?

[00:44:48] It's here's, here's what we're looking for. If you like this. And most people won't, and that's the point. Everyone should be able to make a choice. Everyone can make a choice when they come across my Twitter profile and say, I want to. I want to follow this guy. I want to be friends with him. I want to interact with him because you position yourself clearly with your body of work and whatever you've put out there. 

[00:45:09] Josh: Yeah, man. That's huge. So this is kind of like just unlocking more like literal nodes in my brain. So I love doing the podcast and chatting with like incredibly bright people like yourself, man, because it really is just putting everything into perspective here a kid. Like, why would you write for 30 days?

[00:45:24] It's like, well, you need to put up the bat signal that many times for people to find you. Because my question for you is like, how did you grow on Twitter? How did people find you? I mean, the answer is clear. I mean, maybe there's more to it, but it's just by putting it out all the time. Do you think there's something else to it?

[00:45:36] Like. I think there is something else that may be attributed to like rapid growth and growing an audience. Was there something else you did any other like tips or was it purely just, you know, putting in the reps and just doing the.

[00:45:48] Dickie: I think it's a good mix. So at the end of that 30 days, I had a thread. I wrote it on Balaji Srinivasan, um, in September of 2020, and I went to bed. I think 700, 800 followers. And so this was probably the 26th day, I think of threads that I'd written and for like 10, 15 in a row, I mean, talk about crickets of the internet.

[00:46:14] Just nothing like nothing, no likes, no really very little, I mean, I had 500, 600 followers and nothing. And so for a lot of people, they would have given up at that point and I just made the commitment to 30 days and like, look, this is good, no matter what. And again, it goes back to nothing but upside where if it didn't go anywhere I was going to be okay because I was better understanding, but if it blew up, right?

[00:46:38] So again, at this point, what I've written a newsletter for 35 weeks had probably 300 newsletter subscribers. And I wrote a thread on everything I could read about biology. I was fascinated by him. Uh, hit, publish, went to bed, woke up the next day. Nevada had picked it up somehow. And it went viral, a couple thousand likes, and this was huge for me at the time I went from like 500 to 2000 followers.

[00:47:01] My new, I dropped my newsletter link at the bottom and it was like, Hey, I wrote a newsletter and went from, I like to say it took me 40 weeks to get to 700 subscribers and 12 hours to double that to 1500. Um, because people were like, Wow, this guy can concisely distilled it. And that is you have to put in the reps because you need more shots on goal.

[00:47:22] Right? You need more opportunities. And so for those 29 others that didn't go viral. I wrote them because that 30th one was going to, and I think that that is something, a lot of people miss, you just need to get more reps out there. Cause you don't know. I had no clue that that was going to be different than the other ones.

[00:47:37] Right. There's probably no better, no worse written than anything out there. But again, it was just that consistency showing up and you get that upside convexity every once in a while.

[00:47:49] Josh: Wow, man. I did not know that that's K so there's two things I really want to get into there because again, I can already see the investing mindset in there. The idea of like, you know, the VC mindset, if you invest in 10 startups, so nine of them can blow up. And one of them really well is clearly makes sense here.

[00:48:04] Right? The more shots on goal, the more likely you're actually going to get in other thing too here is just like, It just kind of blows my mind. Right? Just the, the, um, exponential and compounding growth curve of the internet. I'm sure you've seen the Jack butcher graphic or it's like nothing, nothing, nothing.

[00:48:21] This is pointless and it just explodes. And that just happened to you. it's just like, you have to be happy, I guess you have to put the right signal up at the right time and have the right person see it. Right. Because in your case novel, almost like surfing where like, like 90% of the time, you're kind of just sitting on your surfboard, waiting for these waves to go.

[00:48:39] And then finally, like the perfect wave comes and you're ready there. So you're like, okay, I'm going to get up. And you just ride the wave. Like, that's, it blows my mind, man. Like just the level of just astonishing compounding that happens on the internet, but just, it doesn't happen anywhere.

[00:48:54] Dickie: Exactly. And so for anyone, who's sit on the sidelines, trying to get involved. You just gotta go. You gotta get out there. And I love the wave metaphor. It's a luck, metaphor, whatever it is, whatever you got to read, whatever sets that just spark emotion, you gotta jump on it. 

[00:49:11] Josh: Agreed man. So as a macro investor, and now we're looking at the internet, if you were to sort of bet on the internet, or you're just looking at like the internet as a whole, what are you seeing as the macro trends here? mean, we're obviously seeing the whole crypto NFT, uh, Dow all this kind of stuff going on.

[00:49:29] there something else that you're looking at or you see as a whole when, cause obviously you're good at like spotting trends and these macro trends. So what do you see about the internet right now as a large trend?

[00:49:42] Dickie: I am, I am fascinated with the web three space. I think we are moving towards a world where middlemen are eliminated. So the rent collection of what 2.0 I think is going away. I think we're very, very early to kind of even wrap our heads around what's happening. There's obviously a fervor in the space to me.

[00:50:01] It's people are going to be spending more and more of their time in digital spaces. And that's the inevitable trend to bet on. So what does that mean? You're going to build an identity, right? Whether that's pseudonymous, whether that's your real self. I think there's a lot of different things that could happen there.

[00:50:16] I mean, look, we are. We're just at, I think the next five to 10 years are going to be the most interesting time of building generational wealth in history because of the reallocation of different business models, the upending of things, right. We were just seeing more and more change faster and faster. So I don't know where it's heading because you can't predict an exponential curve like this, but all I know is we're sitting in the middle of an exponential curve and so shit is going to keep changing.

[00:50:50] And that means being, being ready to pounce on opportunities, staying liquid, staying mobile, all those things I think are going to pay dividends over the next five to 10 years. 

[00:50:59] Josh: Ooh. Okay. Instead, I'd love for you to expand on that on just kind of, I guess that's like the, um, there's a term for it. The optionality, the optionality approach is that sort of what you're thinking like, Hey, just don't go again. That all in or all out mentality, like just stay liquid, wait for that perfect opportunity.

[00:51:15] Or what are you thinking? I mean, because again, you're right. You can't predict what's going to happen. There'll be, it will be moving to a certain trend, but you can only just be ready to take the opportunity. So do you suggest that we can do that? We can actually take those opportunities.

[00:51:29] Dickie: Obviously, if I knew I'd probably be in Barbados, not on a podcast, if I could, if I could predict all those things. Right. So the, the thing is to me, again, setting yourself up to seize opportunity means not bogging yourself down. I think there's, you can get caught up trying to do too many things at once, trying to keep up with too many things.

[00:51:51] Just know that I think it's hard. It's definitely a hard trade off of when you go all in on something, when you keep making small bets. Um, and it's all about what you're optimizing for. So I'm lucky to be a single 25 year old with no external responsibilities. So I can pretty much live how I want. And that is a completely different way of going about things.

[00:52:14] If I was 40 and had three kids and a mortgage and all that, right. It's a, it's definitely a personal kind of thing wherever you're at. And you just need to figure out what you're optimizing for, but I know no real Sage advice other than I wish I knew. Cause then I, I I'd be here. 

[00:52:35] Josh: Well, I'm glad you didn't hit a big, just yet Dickie. We get to have this conversation. I'm super grateful, 

[00:52:40] Dickie: That's right. That's 

[00:52:41] Josh: guess what? We'll be looking back on this. Or at least I will in five, 10 years and be like, fuck it. I got it right before, before he took off. 

[00:52:48] Dickie: That's right. That's right. There we go. Before I disappear. 

[00:52:51] Josh: He's like, he's gone, man.

[00:52:52] He's sold off ship 30 as kind of internet franchise, crypto thing. I don't even know eventually. Yeah, you're gonna, you're gonna expand to the tech talkers and like podcasters and it's just going to be a whole other thing. You're going to start an online university or something like that's so 

[00:53:08] Dickie: Who knows man, Nika. I can't look that far ahead. That's what's fun about this is the last year has really been like a weekly thing. It's like I get up every day. I try to execute with the aggressive patients, knowing that whatever I'm doing is, is going to work out in the longterm, but no patients to do anything in, I guess, just to fully flesh that I live by this aggressive patients idea where I know I'm on the right track.

[00:53:33] And so I can keep a long-term view, but every single day it's like, I gotta execute. I gotta put a brick cut labor down, lay some kind of foundation down and know that if I'm on the right path and executing really well in the short-term that the long-term kind of takes care of itself. 

[00:53:47] Josh: Oh, man. That's such a great mindset because a lot of people you're right. Do get too bogged down thinking about the longterm. Like, you know, why is that when asking us, what's your tenure 20 year goal? What's your vision? It's like, I don't even know what's going to happen in five years. like Jay, you're creating a world for someone you don't even know yet.

[00:54:04] Like they don't exist.

[00:54:07] Dickie: the idea of having a 10 year goal, like a tangible goal is laughable. You have no clue what it's going to happen. So to me, it's gotta be input driven. Like I want to be, I know like, let's look at this or do I want to be in 10 years while I want to be healthy as hell. I want to be in tremendous shape.

[00:54:23] I want to be happy. I want to have deep, strong relationships. Right? None of these are going to be, I want to own this or this much or whatever it is, because you don't know what conditions are going to create those things. And so it's gotta be just almost high level where you can glance at it and say, I'm on the right path. And today I'm going to execute on today.

[00:54:41] Josh: And I can see the stoic philosophy shining through there on the,

[00:54:46] Dickie: yeah. I know that. See, it's ingrained. It's ingrained, right?

[00:54:49] Josh: yeah. Have you read the new, uh, Ryan holiday book?

[00:54:53] Dickie: I have not. No, I've heard good things about it, but really the only three I've read on, on stoicism are the big three. Meditations letters from a stoic and the cheer and Teridion I guess, um, from Ft dis and those three are just, uh, I usually keep a copy around here. It's not next to me right now, but, um, there's somebody that's in that one.

[00:55:13] Um, Yeah, it's just, it, flashes through everything I do.

[00:55:17] Josh: Yeah, that's awesome. I can tell, I can tell, like, even all your writing, like you're just taking those ideas and those foundations and bringing it in. That's really cool, man. I love that. Um, okay, so we're, we're heading up to an hour. How you feeling, man? Do you want to keep going for a little bit, or do you want me to head into some of these final 

[00:55:31] Dickie: I'm good. Whatever you got. Let's keep going. 

[00:55:34] Josh: Dude, I really love this. I'm really, uh, really grateful for you to, uh, to share your time here and have this conversation with you, man. This has been awesome so far. I know for sure. I've learned so much from this, so hope I'll be able to distill this then I create a lot of clips and then maybe I can send you some good notes and you can do a little thread, cause you're way better at distilling shit than I am, but I can give you a ton of video 

[00:55:55] Dickie: Yeah, man. 

[00:55:55] Josh: Yeah.

[00:55:56] Dickie: Oh, huge. Really? That, that that'd be.

[00:55:59] Josh: Yeah. And that's kind of. 

[00:56:00] Dickie: I think I've had some good monologues in this one. 

[00:56:02] Josh: Dude. Yeah. You have like three round, like I'm noting that noting that that's going to be a clip for sure. So that's kinda like the value add why I love to do this podcast so I can like give you content, right? It's like free content that you don't have to take time to think about it.

[00:56:13] You don't have to edit it. So they came in, here's free content for you. And that's where I love getting back into the whole internet thing. It's like these like transformational rather than transactional relationships where like, like we just randomly met on Twitter. You agreed to do this conversation with me.

[00:56:27] And I'm like, this is awesome. I want to make it worth your while I want this to be something that you'll walk away from. I don't want to just be like, Hey, come on my podcast. Like, I want this to be like something that's really cool. Right? Like you said, like building friendships, which is so crazy to me. I never would've thought, even though, you know, you and I grew up on the internet, basically, I never really thought that you would meet with strangers and actually become friends with these people like you with Cole, like for the, probably the best example.

[00:56:51] Dickie: Yeah, no, without a doubt. And I think you're spot on with the more that you can. Turn your value out of someone coming on your podcast to a value add for them. Right? Cause we're, we're here right now and I love going on them because I just like talking about this stuff and I can point people towards it.

[00:57:06] Right. There's going to be, if you're listening to this and it's 20, 23, like shoot me a message because that's fucking cool as hell. And that shows the power of this. Um, but again, from your side, it's like, oh, not only is it going to be worth your time, but it's going to be well worth your time because I'm going to give you more value. That's such a cool, I think every podcast or should take notes on that because if I'd go on just about every single show off the value add was not only is this good for you, but here's 10 clips that you can go post. And I did all the work for you. Like, wow, that's cool.

[00:57:36] Josh: That's awesome. I appreciate it. And then on the other side of that, I'll be posting it to so like a whole other audience will see you and they'll be able to go see what you're doing, man. 

[00:57:43] So I guess this is a good time to take a little break of just like, you know, if people want to learn more about you, they want to learn more about ship 30, where would you point them to? \Where would, where should they go to connect with you and learn more about what you.

[00:57:54] Dickie: So I spend too much time on Twitter. You can go to at Dicky Bush that's D I C K I E B U S H all one word, um, in terms of where to point people for ship 30. So what we have is we over about 2000 people have gone through ship 30 at this point, and we just got around to kind of distilling some of our best frameworks.

[00:58:14] And we put them into this 13,000 word ultimate guide to start writing online, very specifically for people who want to get started. So you can go to start writing online.com and download that ultimate guide for free. It's got a seven day email course, we'll take you through it. And that I think is kind of where we're pointing people right now, because it just gives them that, oh, I didn't even know what I didn't know about this world.

[00:58:38] And we, we wrote it in a way where it was like, again, solving your own problem. what do I wish I had a year ago? This guide? Because it takes you.

[00:58:45] through everything you need. 

[00:58:47] Josh: That's awesome, man. So on that note too, then has Cole taught you? Cause you guys connected and he probably showed you a lot of this stuff. What has Cole taught you about that obviously he's teaching everyone who will be going through this, but you specifically.

[00:59:03] Dickie: I mean everything, right? Just the ability to understand specificity, I think is what Cole does the best of explaining that when you try to write for everyone you're writing for no one, and the key to standing out online is to solve a specific problem. I think I'd inherently done that a little bit of getting people started building a writing habit.

[00:59:23] That's a very specific problem, but how do you use headlines to write specifically how to make sure your words come off, specifically.

[00:59:30] writing with one person in mind? And he just has this brain for understanding, um, connection with. Where you're almost writing with an empathetic lens through, um, I understand your problems.

[00:59:43] I'm helping you. I'm solving you. Um, I'm solving your problem and using that lens to frame your writing as almost helpful, it should be helpful. That's definitely the biggest thing.

[00:59:54] Josh: That's awesome. So what, when you're writing, who do you have in mind? Like, are you thinking of a specific person you mentioned like kind of writing for someone two years behind you, are you just thinking like, Hey, here's a two year younger me or who are you thinking about when you're.

[01:00:07] Dickie: Yeah, I, so I call this pinpoint writing and pinpoint writing is writing for one person to solve one specific problem to unlock one specific benefit. And you do that by leveraging one specific emotion. 

[01:00:20] So at the top of every single thing I write, I write, what problem am I solving? Who has this problem? Why is it a problem? What have they tried in the past, right? Those two have kind of the same question. And then what benefit is on, is it unlocking and you, at that point, you're just having a conversation, right? From that you write a headline and it's, here's the problem solving who it's for what it's doing, what it's unlocking. And from there, you just kind of can talk it out, right? 

[01:00:47] So the more specific you can be where I'm writing this for the one person who has wanted to start writing online, but is over always overwhelmed with the fear of being judged. And so they never get started, right? That's a very easy conversation to have.

[01:01:02] And then in the headline, you very clearly say how to overcome imposter syndrome so you can finally start writing 99.9, nine, 9% of people. That's not going to resonate. But for the 0.001 who say that and say, that's me, you've just built a new lifelong fan. And that's what writing does is you compound those people who see you solve something so well for them that they have nothing but loyalty to everything you write in the future, because wow. That provided so much value for me. I bet everything else you do something helpful as well. 

[01:01:32] Josh: Yeah. Yeah, no shit. So dude, hold case. So where is your mindset then? Where do you pinpoint the whole niche versus. Going a little bit more broad. Like we, we met, we talked about it before. We're like, just be yourself. every human being is pretty complex. There's and that. We're interested in so many different things.

[01:01:50] So many things happen in life, but then you're like, okay, like you want to talk about one specific thing? My, my problem, I guess, in the past has been about niching down. What is your thought on that? Do you need to talk about one specific topic or can you just like kind of cycle through things? W what do you think about.

[01:02:07] Dickie: I think at any time you should have a general audience and a niche audience. And this is one of the key frameworks that we teach. And what that means is I'll walk you through an example and we can link to the Twitter thread. I read on this of how I advise someone who's starting writing online, where say, I want to write about productivity tips. What most writers are going to do is they're going to go and write 10 kind of commodity advice, blog posts on the Pomodoro technique or the Eisenhower matrix, right? That's what they think they people want to read, but every reader's going to come across their profile and say, why should I listen to you?

[01:02:44] And in the beginning you don't have any credibility. So you need to build that credibility somehow. And the way to do that without niching down too much is you build up what I call this goes back to barbells of barbell of credibility, where you say something either hyper-specific. Almost uncomfortably specific or you lend on expert credibility.

[01:03:09] So let's look at two examples. If I want to write about productivity advice instead of writing, here's what the Eisenhower matrix is. I say, here's how 10 billionaires use the Eisenhower matrix. I curate information on that general topic from experts, from productivity wizards. Then people come and view my profile.

[01:03:28] I could have one post. And if it says, how do use the Eisenhower matrix? They're probably gone. But if it says how these 10 billionaires use the Eisenhower matrix, doesn't matter what I am because there, if Elon Musk does it that, or Elon Musk does it that's enough for them. And so they'll read it. And then if I do a good job, it's stealing it.

[01:03:48] I build credibility points with them. And so, boom, I built a little bit of a reader. Now on the other side, niching down is instead of saying how to use the Eisenhower matrix. You say how middle market, SAS portfolio managers or portfolio product managers can. Leverage the Eisenhower matrix. You say something so specific that, that only true.

[01:04:10] Every single redrawn earth knows whether or not that's for them. And for again, 99.99, nine doesn't matter. But for the 0.01, that's like, wow, I'll a middle market, SAS PM. This is super helpful for me. You've got a little bit of an audience. So at the same time, you're building an audience of people who see you as a trusted source of curation.

[01:04:28] That's not niche down because you're talking about a general topic. And then you're also building a tight feedback loop of individuals who see you as a trusted source on a niche topic. From there, you can expand in both directions across the barbell, right? For the general advice, you can start to talk about a little bit of your own opinion on things, not just this expert opinion.

[01:04:47] And since these people see you as a trusted source, they're going to say, okay, I, he was really good at curating this. I probably care what he has to say about this. And on the niche side it's wow. There were. Product manager was interested in productivity tips. He's probably interested in self-improvement tips or whatever it is, and you can expand all these different directions, but it does start with being hyper general, curating an expert and hyper niche with something so specific to you that you've escaped that credibility argument entirely because you're so specific that you're the only person that could be credible on that topic.

[01:05:28] Right. So I think people get confused with, oh, I have to niche down niche down. It's down. You have to, if you want to say anything, that's going to resonate with people or you need to borrow a bunch of credibility because you can't live in this middle world. Again, like we talked about with barbells of, I want to write about, for me, for me, for me, I think when people say, oh, I just want to be authentic.

[01:05:51] That's a escape for saying I'm not being specific. And it's only when you up that specificity, that you can really unlock the benefit. So that's kind of a long-winded way of saying that there's a couple approaches you can take, but that I think is, and look, this, the reason I wrote this threat up was it was the exact playbook I used.

[01:06:11] I curated all the best writing advice from Gary Halbert, Eugene Schwartz, Tim Ferriss, James clear, all these guys are dug into the writing process. And that was me borrowing credibility. I did it in a way that was more concise than anyone else. And then I sold a very specific problem of building a writing habit, right.

[01:06:29] And I built this barbell of credibility, and now I've been kind of spanning that spectrum for the last year. Now I get to explore people, trust me on this. I can make my own frameworks up. Right. I can do expand to other topics. And it all started with what that barbell. 

[01:06:43] Josh: Man. I love that. That actually makes so much sense. And just having that example, like, I mean, also your story there so much sense and my mind started kind of spinning not just with writing, but it's like, we're seeing a lot more YouTube burgers and people on Tik TOK. Again, I think all this stuff that you've been talking about when you're writing, you're coming up with the ideas for the content, it works so well for video as well.

[01:07:06] Do you ever think about that? Like, I mean, obviously you, you're not like a video guy, you're writing guy, but if you were to give some sort of advice from like what you've been learning and what you've been distilling and teaching over the last year transferring that into video, or Jasick where the Internet's kind of like really heading, know, most content consumed will be video.

[01:07:24] most people who are even writers, they ended up doing video at some point. Cause it's just like, it makes sense for the platform and for discoverability. would you think about like, if you were to do it yourself, if you were to give advice to someone like me who is going to be doing video. What would you say would be the best way to tackle that?

[01:07:42] Dickie: I would say you do the exact same thing with writing, because you're going to have to write out every single video and then you record. 

[01:07:50] Josh: Exactly.

[01:07:51] Dickie: There's almost no, there's, there's no change. You're going to do the exact same thing, but instead of, um, bribing, you're going to take it it's harder. Right. Cause you're going to have to do all that writing anyway, but then record.

[01:08:03] Right. So you're, you're just adding an extra layer and you're probably going to be rewarded for that extra work. It's a lot harder to, I think it's harder to gain traction as a writer than a YouTube, despite that, because it's just extra work. Um, relative to the amount of written content that's out there. 

[01:08:18] Josh: Agreed. It's a whole other bar that's been raised. Right. And we talked about early, always people making mistakes, Really making mistakes, but making these assumptions of like, oh, I can't do X until Y well, how many people have said that? Oh, I can't do YouTube until I get like the best camera, the best lighting.

[01:08:33] And there's like so many more barriers to that entry, even though the barrier is so low nowadays, but people in their minds keep creating all these 10.

[01:08:44] Dickie: Again, look, we, we what's cool about this conversation is we keep coming back to things. We talked about where the number of people who don't start a YouTube channel because they think their studios not just right. Go watch. MKBHD is the hundredth video where he hit, you know, a thousand subscribers and he's like recording on a Motorola, right?

[01:09:02] He didn't wait till you had a perfect studio. He just got started. And look at him now. 

[01:09:06] Josh: It's all about just getting started. I love that advice. Um, yeah, man, I want to get to these final questions.

[01:09:11] I have some really interesting sort of like generalized questions for you now that we're over the hour hump. So again, man, I really appreciate 

[01:09:18] Yemen with me here, man. I really appreciate it. has been awesome. Like seriously, dude, like there's so many things here that like, you know, I sent you my notion doc before, like so much stuff that we just went off.

[01:09:28] That is so unexpected and that's, I love that. That's what I know. It's been a great conversation. So thanks man, for being such a great conversationalist with me.

[01:09:37] Dickie: I'm excited to listen to this one. I think I've, I've, we've talked about some cool stuff that really, this has just been a writing exercise for me. I'm going to go transcribe some of these and they're going to be new ideas for me. And so been really fun. 

[01:09:48] Josh: That's awesome, man. So final questions here. What is your best productivity advice for anyone trying to get anything done?

[01:10:01] Dickie: I think we, I think we talked about it. Just get started on it. Stop planning. You. I'm always amazed at the amount of work that I can do with one hour set on a timer. This cube timer I got right here. So get a cube timer, set it for 60 minutes and do whatever you're uncertain about. And the rest will take care of itself.

[01:10:21] You just have to get started on whatever you're doing.

[01:10:23] Josh: I love that. And then flip side, best creativity advice you have.

[01:10:31] Dickie: That's gotta be you take a 60 minute walk every single day. If you can get outside for 60 minutes with either a podcast or you go on an aimless walk or whatever it is that I don't think people have fully wrapped their heads around the power, the creative power of just paying. And something about that just steady low intensity just gets the creative juices going.

[01:10:52] And like, I think 99% of everything I write is either thought about listened or outlined while on a walk. And I sit down once I know exactly what I'm going to say, because I've already kind of ripped on those ideas, uh, for, for plenty of hours before that. 

[01:11:08] Josh: Man. That's awesome. Nothing like literally getting the brain juices, flowing, going for a walk. That's fantastic. And, uh, putting, putting those together, where do you think that productivity and creativity intersects. You've talked about these ideas and capturing ideas and I'm just like outputting them. Would you, like, I think there are two sides of the same coin. How do you think they intersect.

[01:11:30] Dickie: I think the writing process is a mix of productivity and creativity. So what do I mean by that? I think there's two sides and I just talked about both of them. Where For me, you need a lot of aimless creativity where you're free to capture ideas and a trusted system to go about that. So for me, that's on walks, that's journaling, that's whatever, but then you need a street and you need no boundaries on that.

[01:11:56] You can't force creativity in that way, but you can force productivity. And I think having all those ideas out there, you still need to sit down and hash them out. And that to me, needs to be done every day on a cadence at the same time, the same place with no distraction, right? So it's this striking a balance of, I give myself enough lack of constraint to go out and explore, but then I know that I'm going to wrangle that altogether because I do this every day from 6:45 AM to 8:00 AM.

[01:12:24] And That's pretty much what I do where I know I have the freedom to explore ideas and the productive time to kind of hammer them together.

[01:12:31] Josh: That's awesome. I love that, man. It's really, really good advice. And, um, want to know, so you're kind of in the middle of this cohort, now, you guys are growing, um, as a company or as like a side hustle, I guess it's technically a business at this point and you know, you're still working. What kind of challenges are you facing right now? Kind of with those balanced or just like life in general or your creative.

[01:12:54] Dickie: You know, I think what's a good problem to have is that I think there's a ton of opportunity around and picking and choosing where to apply efforts on any given day can feel like a stretch, right? I think anytime you have your own project that you're working on, there's technically infinite number of things you could be doing at any time.

[01:13:15] And you can get kind of on a treadmill of, I gotta be always optimizing, always fixing, always doing this. And so it's that finding that balance of putting in enough work, but at being enough on. And for me that could just be keeping it to the to-do list where I actually check off everything I've done and make sure that I reflect at the end of the day and say, yes, you could keep working.

[01:13:35] You could keep doing this, but today's enough. And you get back on it tomorrow and you do that tomorrow. And that to me is the biggest struggle of like, when do you strike the balance of this is good enough. And I don't think you're ever going to find it, but that's why we do this. Right. And I like to say that some of the problems I have now I would have begged to have months ago, years ago.

[01:13:57] Right. I have too many exciting things to work on. Imagine that. So, uh, it's just a gratitude most times where I try not to have too many quote unquote struggles because my struggles are laughable compared to some of the other ones that other people have. And I try to step back and say, just shut the hell up.

[01:14:14] And you really don't have any problems right now. 

[01:14:17] Josh: Exactly. Just putting it into perspective. And once again, the stoic philosophy coming through, man, I love that. okay. So if you had a $1 billion advertising budget you can send a message across every social platform, Google, YouTube, all at, once everyone on their device, their computer billboards.

[01:14:35] They'll see your message. What would you send out?

[01:14:41] Dickie: So, is it just One message. or is it a full campaign? One, one message. I think it's gotta be the, timing's never going to be right. Just get started or the number of people who have, if you executed on every single idea that people are intending to do in the world right now, 99.9% of them would be good, beneficial for the world and we should get going on them.

[01:15:06] Right. But so many people that are these artificial barriers. So just that subtle reminder, like, Hey, if you're looking for that, that shining message that says permission to get started, you know, here. 

[01:15:18] Josh: That's awesome. That's really cool. I think that really sums up, puts a nice bow on the whole conversation. I think just like your philosophy and your mindset on content creation. That definitely boils it right down. So that's really cool. Um, okay. So final question. What is something that you're super excited about?

[01:15:33] I mean, you got a lot going on, man. Like, I don't want to hear what the challenge is like, obviously it's not too bad. What do you, what are you excited about?

[01:15:40] Dickie: I mean, I I'm excited about?

[01:15:41] everything every single damn day, I get to wake up and work on things. I'm passionate about joining, loving, meeting, crazy people, interesting people, just having a blast doing it. So I think the next, like I said, the next five to 10 years are just such an exciting time of acceleration technology opportunity, everything.

[01:15:59] Right. So I hope I bring the energy and to come off with that excitement, because look, there's just never been a better time to be doing what we're doing. If you're listening to this right. You are in such an incredible position because you probably have AirPods in you're using the internet and write the number of things that can go.

[01:16:17] Right. Just based on that, I know that about you is, is very good. So take that for what it's worth. Um, I think that the amount of opportunity that's out there right now, everyone should be excited. So for me, it's just going to execute. I get to work on a business, work on investing everything I love. So excited about, just about everything right now.

[01:16:35] And, uh, um, fun to reflect. 

[01:16:39] Josh: That's awesome, man. That is super exciting. I'm really excited for you that you've kind of found your stride here, that you found a really great thing a, it seems like you were searching for it's like, this is obviously still just a stepping stone into like the next thing, whatever that is. But what I love about your mindset is, you know, we thinking about that.

[01:16:55] You're just thinking of the day to day, here's what I'm doing now. Let's just execute, do the best I can be the best I can be just take it day for day. So, man, I really appreciate it. mindset has just been so refreshing and just so exciting. So I really appreciate you on the podcast and chatting with me, man.

[01:17:12] Dickie: Hey, thanks for having me and anyone who listen to this. If anything resonates, my DMS are open on Twitter. Hit me up. We'd love to hear from you. And again, thanks for having me. This has been a blast. 

[01:17:21] Josh: Absolutely, man. And I guess just one last thing before we can get going, do you have other resources that you can point people towards other than your Twitter? I know your Twitter is just like jam packed with resources, um, the ship 30 site, anywhere else, you can point people to.

[01:17:36] Dickie: No, I think that's it. Start writing online.com will be a good one. If you're, if you're trying to dig into some of these things, my newsletters linked online, uh, on my Twitter. If you want to follow along with that and just hit me up, dams are up in love to chat. Love to hear from you. If any of this resonated, let me know. 

[01:17:51] Josh: Absolutely. And for everyone listening, there's going to be tons of show notes links in the description. So for most of the things we're talking about, I go pretty hardcore on all of the show notes and links to everything. So pretty much everything we've talked about will be in the show notes those links there.

[01:18:07] So we'll be able to find everything we've talked about. So no problem there. Dickie once again, man, this has been an absolute pleasure. It's been so awesome to chat with you and help we get to do it again at some point or our paths cross at some point. This is awesome, man.

[01:18:21] Dickie: Absolutely. Let's put a pin in it and do it a year from now. Hopefully we're listening to this beforehand. And if you're listening to this a year from now, hope the year went well and, uh, we'll do it again. 

[01:18:29] Josh: Awesome man. Take care, everyone. Thanks for listening.

Thanks for coming this far! if you're reading this, it is no accident. The universe brought you to this corner of the internet for a reason, and you're on the right track. I already know that you're an amazing person and I can't wait to connect with you!

— Josh

Episode Transcript

Josh Gonsalves
Mind Meld Podcast Host

Hi, I'm Josh Gonsalves, the host and producer of Mind Meld. I'm also a Canadian Academy Award-nominated director and Co-founder of Contraverse, an immersive media company. I'm a multi-media experience designer living and working in Toronto, operating at the intersection of design and exponential technologies to develop solutions that change the world for the better.

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