I tweeted out a thread today about why copying me might make you unhappy and you should probably do what makes you happy instead of reading every blogpost I recommend on Twitter.
A lot of friends joke that they unfollowed me because they couldn’t keep up with my recommendations and my continuous writing made them feel like they were not accomplishing enough. Just a reminder: You don’t need a content strategy to succeed in life. I am just a middle manager.
There are people in my own company who have accomplished far more than I have in my life, without even having a functional Linkedin account, forget full-blown social media presence.
Forget Gojek, let’s take the CPO of Stripe: the most innovative company in the world. I am sure you don’t even know his name. Once I was curious about the product org of Stripe and had to google search to learn more about that dude.
I write because it helps me crystalize my thoughts. Helps me create playbooks. And it helps me accomplish more with the limited time I have. Example. I onboarded a new PM in my team last week, and despite being swamped with work, it was not hard because I could just reuse this onboarding template.
I can’t Pareto my life without having playbooks for various processes. Or having mental models for decision making. And reading and writing help me get there.
Just know you don’t have to read more books because other people on social media are reading them.
Also, you might have other obligations. One PM in my company who has a small kid was asking me how I find time to read so much when she can barely manage work and personal life during covid. I told her that as long as she can do her job she does not need to optimize for reading. If you are a random person reading this thread know that it is okay if you want to watch a Netflix show over reading another book. I recommend books because people DM me asking for the same. And posting on my timeline is far more scalable.
I have been active online since college when I started a satire blog. Sharing ideas, writing threads, putting out blog posts is second nature. You might not be the same. Just do your job well and in the remaining time: do whatever makes you happy. No one will count the number of books they read before they die.
Note: I do set OKRs for myself. It is because that is the only way I can operate. Knowing that I have to read X books every year helps me track my reading habit.
Same with other habits.
You don’t have to copy, follow what I do. And yes, feel free to unfollow if my tweets give you anxiety. I have blocked my Linkedin feed because I don’t care about virtue signaling thought leadership. But there is a deeper reason. Sooner or later, I start comparing my career growth with other people in my network. Judge my performance, my own life decisions based on how good others are doing. I hate that. I don’t want to be externally driven. I want to just do what makes me happy.
As James Clear mentioned: the people who you think have the strongest work ethics and focus, and can stick to their habits have actually low will power. Hence they remove distractions in the first place. Avoid temptations. Set up processes to avoid defaulting to their baseline. Same with me. I know that if I am on Instagram, I will eventually start comparing my life with the highlights of other people’s lives. Oh, maybe I should have become a travel blogger like I wanted to. Or moved to the US. Or bought that nice monitor setup. So, I never bothered to install the app. I have severe existential dread. I have been thinking about my death since I was like 10. I always thought I would die early. Yeah, so basically I don’t want to pretend to be this person who people think has figured out everything in life. I get annoyed when people DM me telling me how “sorted I am”, “how I am killing it”.
I sometimes wonder if the real reason I left Quora was that I was tired of 15-year-old kids DMing me and asking me for life advice. And acting like I am this studboi who has accomplished so much in life.
I have digressed from the main point of this thread. Like most threads, I started out wanting to write about something, and then it turned into something else.
What I am saying is that when I send out a tweet about a book recommendation, don’t feel like I am pushing you to read it. When I put out my OKRs (because I know I will do it again), don’t feel that you have to create your own.
And finally, you don’t need a “social media strategy” to be successful in life.
Because my tweets delete, I will post this on my blog too. So that I can send this to the next person who DMs me asking me how I read so much.
I want to add a few more things that I missed putting in the original thread:
- I will write a detailed post on why I write.
- I still think writing is a better activity than networking with random strangers online.
- I recommend the following to the people I mentor
- First, be good with your craft
- Share your learnings in an authentic way. Don’t chase the latest hot trend on Twitter. Don’t tweet 👇👇👇 threads just because it is the hot thing Twitter influencers are doing
- Find balance. If you see the people at the top in your company, you will probably realize most of them don’t even have a Twitter presence. Give gyaan, but first, work hard and deliver at work.
- If you have more time, build side projects. People want doers on their team and not people who are 24*7 on social media networking
- If you have more time after doing the above, only then spend networking with others
- Ask WHY you are doing something. If you are clear about the WHY, the HOW will follow
- Don’t just blindly follow people on social media
- It is perfectly fine to do other things in life. If you are doing well at work, reward yourself with Netflix than hustling more and churning out more content. But if doing the second makes you happy, then don’t let others shame you into focusing on the first
- IMHO writing is the best activity one can pursue. It helps crystallize your thoughts and help you become a better thinker.