Increasing your value, asking for advice (the right way) and the point of valuations.

Happy Friday.

Hello from Ashburn, VA today.

1. “Finding ways to increase your value while doing the things you love may be the most important thing you do.” [Link] [Tweet]

I’ve been thinking about Imposter Syndrome quite a bit lately. Mostly because it’s something I’ve been experiencing more often than usual throughout 2015 but also because it’s coming up often with students taking my public speaking email course. I’m not sure anyone ever gets over Imposter Syndrome, you just manage it as best as you can.

This paragraph sticks with me: “Well, we often hesitate to believe that what’s natural, maybe even easy for us, can offer any value to the world. In fact, the very act of being really good at something can lead us to discount its value. But after spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

2. “everything worth doing is hard.” [Link] [Tweet]

I don’t know if this is my mid-life crisis or just a rough few months for me, but I secretly envy people that have taken back control of their lives.

3. “The problem is that many founders ask for advice in strange ways.” [Link] [Tweet]

Two things:

  1. Regardless of whether you’re a founder or you’re an entrepreneurial employee (the world needs both, by the way), this article is for you — it’s the one thing you need to know if you want to get on the radar of people that are going places. Askspecific questions, not broad ones.
  2. If there was a Gmail plugin that auto-filtered any email that contained “pick your brain”, “grab some coffee” or any other other common time-wasting phrases, I’d pay for it.

4. “Here’s the thing: everyone hustles.” [Link] [Tweet]

Everyone’s busy. Everyone’s working hard. Everyone’s trying to get ahead. The key, therefore, isn’t to be busier, work harder or get further ahead on your own.

You’re not special but if you help other people get ahead, you will too. Counterintuitive, but true.

5. “What are the point of valuations if you can’t eventually build a business?” [Link] [Tweet]

Unless you’re a VC ramping up to raise your next fund soon or a founder trying to figure out your cap table, valuations are not the yardstick for measuring success.

In fact, focusing solely on valuation is probably a sign that you’re not aware of how complicated term sheets can be in the real world. Someone smart once said: “Here’s a blank term sheet. You can write down any valuation you want as long as I get to set all the remaining terms.”

6. “A dent in the universe is plenty. Curb your ambition. Live happily ever after.” [Link] [Tweet]

DHH FTW. My favorite: “The web is the greatest entrepreneurial platform ever invented. Lowest barriers of entry, greatest human reach ever. I love the web. Permission-less, grand reach, diversity of implementation. Don’t believe this imaginary wall of access of money. It isn’t there.”

7. “Get your head right.” [Link] [Tweet]

In case no one’s reminded you this week: doing your own thing is hard. Really hard.

8. “Starbucks is already handling more than 5 million mobile orders per month—and that figure is growing by the hour.” [Link] [Tweet]

I’ve been using Starbucks’ app for at least a year now but, earlier this week, I used their mobile ordering feature (order anything you want through the app and it’ll be ready for pickup at the nearest store) for the first time.

I have to tell you: it was amazing. Order on the app, walk to the store, head to the pickup area and skip the line in the process. No waiting for people, no fumbling for money and no fuss.

We’re living in the future.

9. “You might be right, but there’s little value in being right.” [Link] [Tweet]

Everyone’s an armchair quarterback, unfortunately.

10. “Most people own things that they don’t really need. It is worth thinking about why.” [Link] [Tweet]

Understanding why people do things is much, much more important than understanding what people do. I call this the invisible game and it’s being played all around you every day.

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Firehose

You can get the full stream of the things I read, it’s all on Twitter — follow me: @paulsingh. Sometimes I write stuff too. You can always find me on Slack, apply to join.

Have a great weekend!

-P

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