Showing Up On Saturday

In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity. I started tracking how I spend my time. I’ve also been reading Turning Pro. I’ve known for a while now that to really achieve my goals with Learning by Doing, I’d need to utilise my weekends for projects way more. There just isn’t enough time before/after work on weekdays and whilst I do work on the weekends; it’s in my living room, TV in the background and housemates in the flat. It’s not optimal for work.

Advice from an old friend

“Show up on Saturday” – Lopo Champalimaud

Lopo is the CEO and founder of Treatwell. I first met Lopo in 2014 when he came and told the Treatwell story (then Wahanda) to the YPlan team. We kept in touch and in 2015 I invited him to do the same for the Deliveroo team. He’s a great speaker and I greatly admire his approach to work, building a business and leading a team.

Show up on Saturday for better productivity
Show up on Saturday

He said something that day that sat with me. “Show up on Saturday”. So simple, but it has it’s nuance.

Taken simply, it means work hard. Work an extra day and you’ll be ahead of the crowd. That in itself is a competitive advantage.

But then there is the “show up”. Physically be present. Show up at the office. For me, this implies not just working hard but working hard with professionalism. Working hard with the same rigour you would work Monday to Friday.  As Steven Pressfield would say in his book, this means Turning Pro.

Level up

So today, I put Lopo’s word’s into action. I packed my laptop and my sketchbook in my bag and jogged into the office. I showed up on Saturday.

This post was typed from my office. It felt good to sit down, in quiet, at a proper desk and write this. It was effective. I felt productive. I have a to-do list of 5 things that I want to get done before I leave today and I feel confident that I can get them done.

Productivity and momentum

And I intend to keep showing up on Saturday’s. Giving up Saturday’s might seem like a big commitment but it takes a big commitment to make something a success. To reference Steven Pressfield’s great book again; you need to put in the work, you need to be a Pro.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about momentum. My feeling is that productivity, energy and momentum are very linked. Sam Altman touched on this in his great how to build the future interview (from 9.15).

Working on Saturday’s may be tough at first, but if it builds momentum, it can be energising. It’s like pushing a tyre. At first, it is hard. But once you have momentum you need less effort to keep it rolling.

So I’ll do my best to keep it rolling. I’ll keep showing up on Saturday.

in the office on a Saturday - productivity goals
(Office) Saturday Selfie

Learning By Doing: Starting Something New

Today, I’m officially starting a new project; Learning By Doing. I wanted to share some more information about what the project aims to do, the genesis of the project and what you can expect to come in the future.

What is it?

Learning By Doing will be the official place I come to blog about my journey into trying to build an income stream online.

What is the Motivation?

There are three key motivations behind this new project:

  1. Acquire digital skills and build practical experience – As I continue to build my career in startups (more information on that over here) I’ve found that I’ve naturally become more narrow and specialised in focus. At the same time, I consider myself a generalist and I enjoy learning new skills. I find myself wanting to learn more and have a desire to get to a level where I can hold at least a base of functional knowledge. In particular, I’m keen to learn the practical skills that can be applied generally to most online businesses:
    – Search Engine Marketing
    – Search Engine Optimisation
    – Paid Social Marketing
    – Monetising online traffic
    – Building commercial partnerships
    A long term goal of mine has been to start my own company and I feel these are all skills that would benefit any aspirational founder. The motivation to learn and in particular to learn with actual practice is what gave birth to the project name, Learning By Doing.
  2. Build passive income stream – I wanted to create an additional income stream outside of work and particularly one that was passive. This means I wanted to create an income stream that wasn’t directly tied to time. With work, I find myself spending so much time and mental energy that I rarely get to focus on my own side-projects (something I previously spent at least some time doing). As Pat Flynn, author or Smart Passive Income puts it, passive income is about:

    “Building online businesses that take advantage of systems of automation that allow transactions, cash flow, and growth to happen without requiring a real-time presence.”

    Some examples may be: writing and selling an ebook or building an affiliate site. The key here is that you can continue to earn money even when you’re no longer putting time into it. This also contributed to the name of the project, as Learning By Doing is really Learning By Doing – see what I did there?

  3. Build an income stream that is detached from location – I live in London, one of the great cities of the world. It is also one of the most expensive cities in the world, something I became all the more aware of when I moved out of my parents home. We live in a unique time where people can earn their living purely online and detached from location. Whilst I’ve never been enamoured with the digital nomad lifestyle; for example, I couldn’t see myself travelling for years on end, I do see an opportunity for some geo-locational arbitrage. In theory, you can make money online whilst living in a much cheaper part of the world. I’d like to put myself in a position to at least have this as an option and make some travel for longer than two weeks a possibility too.
Learning by Doing Motivations
Learning by Doing – Motivations

Why share this all publicly?

Inspired by projects such as Built in Public and the work of Levels, I wanted to document and share my progress for the following reasons:

  1. Keeps me motivated/accountable – By making the project public I am openly accountable for any lack of progress. When my friends ask “how is that going by the way?” I’ll be reminded that I should put more time to it.
  2. To help other people – If there are other people trying a similar thing, hopefully my public posts will serve to help them. I certainly find it helpful when others share their progress and learnings.
  3. To get help from other people – It’s not all selfless. I hope that in sharing my progress publicly, those who are further down the road or have specific expertise might be able to comment with ideas, questions or feedback that will ultimately benefit me along the way.
  4. To learn better – I’ve always found I retain information better once I’ve taken the time to write about it. Writing helps me to structure the information into memorable chunks and also gives me a place to come back to if I feel like I need to go over it again.
  5. Sentimental – I’m sentimental and I found when writing my personal blog that I often look back on it to see how things have changed.

What you can expect?

In general, you can expect me to openly and honestly document everything that goes into the creation and growing of an online, passive income stream.

More specifically, this may take the form of:

  1. Posts about different types of online income
  2. Posts about market research
  3. Posts about marketing online
  4. Posts about growing revenue, etc.

You can also expect this site to change regularly as the project grows and develops. I expect that with time I will want to share different things and keep note of certain milestones. When I do change the site, i’ll keep a log of what’s changed.

What next?

The real work, in short. Unofficially, I’ve already been doing some of the groundwork for 3 months. I wanted to make sure this project satisfied my motivations before labelling it and publishing it as a project.

I must stress, I am on the beginning of a journey here. A journey that I expect to be long and sometimes painful. I’m trying to not set any expectations right now, but I do have two very simple downside and upside goals in mind:

At worst, I’m building valuable knowledge and real-life experience. At best I’ll hopefully make some money too 😉

If you’d like to follow my progress, I’ll be blogging regularly here, tweeting daily and sharing a newsletter monthly.

Watch this space.

Learning by doing, as announced on 27th of December 2017
Learning by doing, as announced on 27th of December 2017

This post was also published on Medium. You can subscribe to my newsletter here.  Any feedback or ideas, please tweet me @stevanpopo.