5 minute read

I’m not an entrepreneur, but I do love listening to the My First Million podcast. In the most recent episode, ShaanVP describes some framework tips he uses to succeed. Here’s a summary:

On Task Lists

Todo lists are sub-optimal, instead try “One Big Thing” - focus only on the highest impact and most urgent task you have. You might have to write down other tasks to get them onto paper and out of your mind, but use a “power box” with impact and urgency columns to prioritize what comes after your One Big Thing.

On Starting Projects

  • Define winning in clear terms
  • Set anti-goals; costs you don’t want to pay in order to win
  • Do back of the page numbers of what completion will take, to start exploring options
  • Get one hour of momentum; choose some action to take as part of committing to the project to kick-start motivation and progress

On Goal-Setting

Set goals of both kinds; attainable goals and ambitious “fuck yeah” goals.

On Marketing

Nobody cares about you or your product, only what value the product can give them. Market as such.

On kinds of responses to plateaus

  • Dabblers hit a wall and give up,
  • Stressors hit a wall and repeatedly smash the wall to break through at high personal cost (stress, happiness, etc),
  • Masters, who embrace plateaus with patience and persistence - be a master

On improving mood with the 3 Ms

  • Music
  • Movement; get active (don’t overlook the body wrt mood)
  • Meaning; ascribe to the task a different meaning, e.g. that this will be a great story, that it is a great opportunity, etc

On being stuck

Think what Suli would do. Who the fuck is Suli? It doesn’t matter who Suli is, imagine someone you admire working on this problem to get a new perspective. Be patient with results, but not with action.

On whether to build an audience

Having one makes everything easier; marketing, getting help and feedback, finding opportunities and networking.

On founder psychology mistakes

Thinking that bad news demoralizes people and that people might avoid looking for things, fearing what they will find. To combat this, always put a positive spin on news to make it good, by being positive, by viewing bad outcomes as learning opportunities, etc.

On choosing projects

Work like a lion, not a cow (h/t Naval) - don’t plan for routine like a cow continually chewing grass, but rather look for high leverage / juicy opportunities to feast on, and exploit them.

On marketing approach

We don’t sell saddles here (h/t Slack). Instead of selling a product (a saddle) to people who already know about saddles and already have one, instead promote horseback riding to the masses (to new audiences), who might then just buy a saddle from you now that they need one.

A sales tactic

Use the context of an internal email from a VP of Sales to a Sales Rep as a way of reaching out and breaking the ice; e.g. VP of Sales sends email to the Sales Rep suggesting they reach out to the target client as a lead, on some inviting basis. The target client seeing the internal email gives them a feeling of being special and provides a good hook for engaging.