Dr Seuss’s Surprising Strategy For Success

In 1960, two men made a bet. There was only $50 on the line, but millions of people would feel the impact of this little wager.

The first man, Bennett Cerf, was the founder of the publishing firm, Random House. The second man was named Theo Geisel, but you probably know him as Dr. Seuss. Cerf challenged Dr. Seuss that he wouldn’t be able to write an entertaining children’s book using only 50 different words.

Dr. Seuss took the bet and won. The result was a little book called Green Eggs and Ham. Since its publication, Green Eggs and Ham has sold more than 200 million copies, making it the most popular of Seuss’s works and one of the best-selling children’s books in history.

At first glance, you might think this was a lucky fluke. A talented author plays a fun game with 50 words and ends up producing a hit. But there is actually more to this story — and the lessons in it can help you become more creative and stick to better habits over the long run.

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The Simple Trick to Achieving Your Goals

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In the last six months, I’ve experimented with a simple strategy that has improved my work and my health.

Using this one basic idea, I’ve made consistent progress on my goals every single week — without incredible doses of willpower or remarkable motivation. I want to share how I use this strategy and how you can apply it to your own life to improve your health and your work.

The Problem with How We Usually Set Goals

If you’re anything like the typical human, then you have dreams and goals in your life. In fact, there are probably many things — large and small — that you would like to accomplish. But there is one common mistake we often make when it comes to setting goals. (I know I’ve committed this error many times myself.)

The problem is this: we set a deadline, but not a schedule.

We focus on the end goal that we want to achieve and the deadline we want to do it by. We say things like, “I want to lose 20 pounds by the summer” or “I want to add 50 pounds to my bench press in the next 12 weeks.”

The problem is that if we don’t magically hit the arbitrary timeline that we set in the beginning, then we feel like a failure — even if we are better off than we were at the start. The end result, sadly, is that we often give up if we don’t reach our goal by the initial deadline.

Here’s the good news: there’s a better way and it’s simple.

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Make Recurring Revenue and More! The Best of the Internet

Pugtastic! Onto the best of what we shared on the interwebs this week:

How iDoneThis got to $1,000 in recurring revenue — besides nerves & anxiety.

Why Teams with Contrasting Time Management Styles Are Stronger.

Transparency is the competitive advantage that keeps on giving — and that includes your hires.

Writing things down can help us see.

The distributed company advantage has two sides.

Beyond Funnel Vision — choosing people over leads.

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Attain a Flexible Mind: The Best of the Internet

Kepp Your Head UpYo ho ho and onto the best of what we shared on the interwebs this week!

GitHub + iDoneThis: Bring in your commits!

We also teamed up with Draft to make it super simple to track your writing progress and share it with your team.

Why does Jeff Bezos give a hiring anti-pitch?

Self-promotion is part of your job.

You have to stretch, little by little, to attain a flexible mind.

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Draft + iDoneThis: Celebrate your writing progress

We’ve joined forces with Draft to make it incredibly easy to track your writing progress and share it with your team. When you’ve written up an awesome piece in Draft, record your accomplishment as a done in iDoneThis with a single click inside of Draft.

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Why?

We do a lot of writing here at iDoneThis for our content marketing efforts, so we’re always in search of better writing tools.

We used to use Google Docs for collaborating on writing pieces, but it’s not great at dealing with versions and merging individual edits. I used to use WriteRoom for distraction-free writing, but it’s designed for single-player writing, not for collaboration.

We found the solution in Draft, distraction-free version control for writing.

We use it every day at iDoneThis, and we found that we were always sharing our drafts in our company iDoneThis. We found that it was an awesome way to keep the whole team in the loop on the marketing and messaging efforts that were happening, especially for team members not part of the direct draft-edit workflow.  Also, it was a great way for the content marketing folks to show, not just tell, what they were getting done.

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The Dullest, Most Vital Skill You Need to Become a Successful Manager

The exemplary manager is often shown delivering a rousing speech that inspires her troops to achieve ever greater heights. But the truth is a lot less exciting than that.

To three highly effective and successful executives, a boring, often-overlooked ability is one of the most vital skills you can have as a manager — the ability to write.

“Written communication to engineering is superior [to verbal communication] because it is more consistent across an entire product team, it is more lasting, it raises accountability.”

— Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz

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Written communication creates lasting consistency across an entire team because a piece of writing is leveragable collateral from which everyone, from marketing to sales to QA to engineering, can work and consult.

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Jessica Stillman, Writer and Non-Pod Person, on Work

Jessica Stillman is a columnist at Inc.com who writes about work, unconventional careers, productivity, leadership, and entrepreneurship. She also writes for Brazen Careerist and Women 2.0, among other fine publications. 

Her Twitter bio urges, “Have a career. Don’t turn into a pod person.” We talked with Jessica about how she managed to do just that, the benefits of quitting, productivity personalities, and the future of work.

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman on The Yellow Wallpaper

I … went to work again–work, the normal life of every human being; work, in which is joy and growth and service, without which one is a pauper and a parasite–ultimately recovering some measure of power.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, on why she wrote The Yellow Wall-paper, after a specialist had told her to refrain from intellectual life, “never to touch pen, brush, or pencil again,” — words which led her to near “mental ruin.” Indeed, it is heartening to remember that there is the possibility of power, joy, growth, and service in work.

The Science of Resolutions

While 75% of us keep our new year’s resolutions for two weeks, the chances are slim that we’ll make it further. Here are some tips drawn from two awesome posts by Eric Barker and Buffer’s Leo Widrich on the science of resolutions and how to make them stick.

1.   Break down the goal into baby steps. 

2.   Write it down, and keep track of your progress.  This keeps you accountable and motivates you to keep going.

3.   Dust yourself off and try again.  You can’t learn how to ride a bike without a couple falls. Don’t give up when you slip up!

(Source:  https://www.youtube.com/)

Motivation and Self-Discipline: The Best of the Internet

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Happy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week!

How socially conscious startups find motivation.

Jeff Bezos’s peculiar management tool for self-discipline.

Are you happy at work? I believe you have my stapler…

A case for the workplace’s digital village.

The less-is-best approach to innovation is simpler and quieter. Ahhh.