For me, the last four months of 2020 were kind of tough. That said, I still learned a great deal that is now benefiting me in a significant way.

In this post, I wanted to share some of my discoveries with you. If you take these to heart and implement them in your creative workflow, you will set yourself up for more success in 2021.

1. Level Up Your Association

I’ve talked about how I accidentally weaned myself off social media before.

But now when I go on social media, I see it as an opportunity to hang out with my Dream 100 and learn from them.

For example:

On Twitter, Ty Frankel (you can find my podcast interview with Ty here) is always dropping value bombs on how to build a six-figure agency. And I’m learning lots from the way Ralph Smart shares and promotes his content.

On Medium, I’ve picked up quite a bit from Tom Kuegler and his Medium strategies (and yes, they are working!). I learn from his headlines and content ideas as well.

The point is that, while social media can be a blackhole of stupidity, if you follow and model the right people, and interact with them, you can learn plenty and create valuable connections.

It takes some work to curate your feed (that’s something I should write a post on as well), but if you do this, you will think bigger, set bigger goals, and accomplish more. That’s the power of leveling up your association.

2. Publish Daily

For me, publishing daily is not a decision. I wake up every day knowing that I will publish. This is in service of my future self, as I know I will look back on it later glad I made the decision.

This isn’t to suggest that you must publish long-form, definitive, comprehensive, skyscraper guides all the time. To me, their conversion rates are a little suspect anyway.

My average post is somewhere in the 900- to 1,300-word range, but I’m not saying you’ve got to go to those lengths, either. By the way, I also publish my share of 100- to 500-word posts.

Your posts can be long and detailed, if need be, or they can also be short and pithy. It’s a matter of how many words you need to get your point across – not how much you can pad your content.

It’s a matter of how many words you need to get your point across – not how much you can pad your content. Click To Tweet

Derek Sivers and Seth Godin publish their share of short form content, and you will find that this is the exact approach they use – they focus on the message, not on the word count!

You can take a cue from Sivers or Godin, or even Austin Kleon, who tends to share more visual content with some commentary wrapped around it.

But what is the benefit of publishing daily?

My friend Chris Naish started publishing comics on January 1, 2020. On December 15, he announced that he’d drawn 200+ comics and gained 18,000 followers on Instagram (congrats, man)!

Chris Naish comics

I’m not going to make any promises regarding what publishing daily will do for you, as I don’t have any standout results to report on after 161 days of consecutive publishing.

Then again, I am still refining, and I was able to 5x my Medium income, even though it’s still small.

The point is that if you are a creative or creator, you will always have something to promote or share with the world. And publishing daily can help you build a following and get your projects in front of more people.

Publishing daily can help you build a following and get your projects in front of more people. Click To Tweet

3. Plan Your Weeks

I’ve been doing #StrategySunday planning sessions for a little over a month now. I’ve even shared about how these sessions can improve your life.

Although I’m a big believer in following my heart, using my intuition, and even leaving large unplanned gaps in my schedule, there’s simply no denying that planning has made me more productive overall.

Again, I’m not suggesting that you follow my example to a tee and plan on a Sunday. You can do what works for you.

Sunday works for me because of my publishing schedule, which I’ve detailed on my about page.

Although I believe in being in action, it’s also good to take a step back and think. When you do, you can:

  • Determine how to structure your week for productivity
  • Achieve more clarity on your goals
  • Brainstorm tactics and ideas
  • Eliminate tasks from your to-do list that aren’t high priority
  • Attain a big picture view of everything you need to do and what matters to you most
  • Create a routine that serves you
  • Cut unneeded expenses and increase your spend on winning tactics
  • And more

Just don’t force yourself to do something out of obligation. You probably won’t follow through on it.

Do everything (or as much as you can) on your own terms. That way, all your efforts will be in service of you and not the other way around.

Do everything on your own terms. That way, all your efforts will be in service of you and not the other way around. Click To Tweet

Final Thoughts

As you look to create new habits in 2021, keep it simple, and don’t bite off more than you can chew. In most cases, working on one high level habit (until it is fully integrated), is of greater benefit to you than trying to work on 10 habits at once, because there’s a good chance you will give up.

Find what works for you and keep doing it, because at the end of the day, what works for another may not work for you.

What are you doing to set yourself up for success in 2021?

Let me know in the comments below.

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From: David Andrew Wiebe
To: You!

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