Hi, I’m Alice (ah-leece). This is a Wednesday bi-weekly newsletter to help you take advantage of the internet, one idea at a time. Don’t hesitate to reach out if something piques your interest.
Greetings from Brooklyn, New York!
July has lolled to a stop, and I marked its completion with a miniature celebration. During this time, I hired two subcontractors, helped launch an email newsletter to 75K (!) people, and landed a client a lucrative (previously dead) deal thanks to my case study. 🥲
Last Friday, my friend asked me over chicken kebabs and baba ghanoush if I considered myself lucky. I replied, “I feel like I’ve won the lottery every day.” *
* No, I am not the person who won the 1.3B lottery this past week. 💔
Ironically, a few days later I stumbled on Ali Abdaal’s podcast with Richard Wiseman titled The Sure-Fire Way to Be Luckier in Life. Wiseman conducted a study observing the difference between people who thought they were either “lucky” or “unlucky”.
Here’s what he found:
The most interesting takeaway? “Lucky” people are lucky simply because they believe they are.
Granted, we can’t ignore the immense role privilege plays in our success—as Veritasium eloquently explains in this video. There is a difference between someone who calls themselves "self-made" (when they were born with major advantages) versus someone who considers themselves hard-working, talented, and lucky.
But, the good news is anyone can adjust their behavior to increase their luck.
After all, you are lucky. You’re literate, have WiFi, and are blessed with great taste (you’re here, after all). Kidding.
But, this is a great baseline. From there, you can increase your luck by publishing online, meeting new people, and practicing optimism.
Luck influences our future fortunes. The best part is it starts with us.
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: Embrace the Garbage
If you’re a creative, I hope you’re publishing garbage.
It’s human nature to recoil at our mediocre creations. No one enjoys the queasy feeling of when your [insert creative venture here] is painfully average, leading to no (or negative) attention.
But shipping “garbage” is a great thing for three crucial reasons:
1. You’re Not Letting Perfectionism Win.
If you’re able to hit “publish” on something you’re not satisfied with, you’re slowly beating down any perfectionism tendencies. And as they say, done is better than perfect, because perfect is never done.
2. You’re Not Waiting For the “Perfect Moment.”
I’ll ship something when I have X more years of experience. I’ll hit “publish” when my kids are grown up and I have more time.
Whatever your excuse, there’s no such thing as the right time. By publishing now–even if it’s not your best work—you’re defaulting to action.
3. You Help Make Other Creators Feel Less Alone.
Imagine your favorite creator never shared their early work. You’d be convinced they automatically reached success. In reality, it took them years (and lots of garbage) to come to where they are today. By sharing your garbage, you tell other creators it's okay to not be great on the first go.
Don’t forget —regularly publishing crap is how you get to the good part. Embrace it.
🥒 Content Diet
🎙How to Build Career Momentum with Noah Kagan by Deep Dive with Ali Abdaal – In this delightful conversation, the eclectic and buoyant Noah Kagan gives his best career (and life) advice. Considering Noah went from Employee #30 at Facebook to creating his own eight-figure business, his wisdom is worth a listen.
✍️The Glamorous Lives of TechTock by Fadeke Adegbuyi — In this deep dive, Fadeke explores “techtock”, a subgenre of content where people display their opulent lives working in tech. But what happens when TikTok romanticizes an entire industry?
And now, some (bitter) food for thought… 🍲
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: Agency Versus One-Person Freelancer
A few weeks ago, I tweeted a big accomplishment: hiring my first subcontractor with the goal of one day running an agency.
As someone who’s had to decline opportunities because of bandwidth, opening an agency seemed to be the next logical step. Hire people, take on more opportunities, make better money. Right?
Not quite. I chatted with online-writing-superstar Nicolas Cole about the matter, and he had a divergent opinion.
Cole’s speaking out of experience. When he was 26, he built a successful ghostwriting agency that was pulling 2M ARR. But if you pulled the curtains, he was deeply miserable, tense, and got shingles (ouch).
So, who’s right? To agency or not to agency?
Just as agency life isn’t for everyone, freelancing solo isn’t for everyone. It all depends on your personality and ambitions. If you’re eager to manage a team, expand your influence, and collaborate with a breadth of clients, agency life might be calling you.
But, an agency is not the only way to scale. Take Laura Belgray, who’s been able to run a seven-figure copywriting business with zero employees. Her secret? Subcontractors.
The argument isn’t so black-and-white. As for my side, I'm still mulling it over. I'll see how far I can expand with these contractors, and we'll go from there.
What about you? Is your goal to open an agency or stay a one-person show?
That's it this week, folks!
Thank you so much for being here, and if you liked this newsletter, share it with a pal!
Have a beautiful week, wherever you are.