"I'm a student, podcaster and writer. I believe that learning is lifelong and everyone benefits from achieving the right mindset."
It's pretty distant from it's current form but I actually started "The Student Mindset Podcast," as a medium for other students to learn how to achieve school-life balance and pursue passions outside of school. For the first five or so episodes I solely brought on other students and I realized that they were all saying similar things packaged in different ways. I put my foot down and decided I needed to change, so now the show has morphed into a series where I talk to creators I look up to about their productive and creative processes.
As a student right now, I have recognized that the ways we are taught to learn is broken. Our interests are skewed by the the pressure to find jobs, our perspective is slanted due to our failure to create instead of consume. The Student Mindset aims to address that, covering:
I started my weekly newsletter because I loved getting a curated list of resources every week from writers I look up to (David Perell, Nat Eliason). What was special about these lists is that they had no general theme but always provided interesting insights. My newsletter starts with a personal lesson that I find each work before I dive into the readings that can help people build up their mindset.
No. I started my newsletter around 2 weeks before my podcast and at the start I did little cross-promotion between the two platforms.
The majority of my newsletter audience comes from Twitter. I use Twitter as an:
I try to encourage two-way communication whenever possible. On my newsletter, I try and incorporate numerous questions to generate discussion. I get a lot of responses on my questions centered around the Quote of the Week. For example, last week I chose the contentious quote “Don’t follow your passion, follow your talent," by Professor Scott Galloway, using questions like "Does following what your good at equate to long-term success and lack of burn out?" to stimulate discussion. On Twitter, I try to have at least one tweet a day where I crowdsource a question to my audience, asking them for the best resource or viewpoint on a certain topic.
I had just built my first ever "Start Here" page and proudly shared it with my 80 or so Twitter followers at the time. When I woke up the next day, one of my DM's actually contained a Loom where a web design specialist gave me a friendly and informed critique. I was not only astounded by how easily he picked apart my page, but that he took the time out of his day to help.
The Idea Refinery. Like I mentioned above, publishing in public exposes you to so many different perspectives that you would never have had access to. There are times where you will need to learn how to sort through the feedback, but your product is only built through iteration, and building in public allows iteration at exponential pace.
The Student Mindset Podcast.
That people began to reach out offering their different products and services. I felt this was interesting as it exposed me to a lot of early stage apps and products in the space (Airr Audio, Shuffle App, Otter)
My favorite builder is Jack Butcher, and I may be a bit biased here as I just recently decided to work for him, but my answer would have been the same before then. His ability to take complex and thought-provoking quotes and turn them into minimal images astound me every day.
Some of your ideas may cause others to lash out and criticize you. If you want to build in public, you have to be able to withstand some level of public critique. Allow you can mostly brush it off, it is jolting at the start when what you thought was a great idea becomes weaponized.
I view replying to them as a benefit to me. It creates an actual connection between you and your audience and allows them to become a "true fan." Also, I'm 19, a lot of people that are reaching out know more about specific fields than me or present really interesting opportunities and resources.
Easy, helping more people achieve mindful productivity.
I only started creating four months ago, when I decided that I wanted to start publishing my weekly newsletter. Joining the Write of Passage community accelerated my growth. It is not "just a writing course," it is a masterclass in audience building and networking, it shakes up your views on information capture and how to form ideas, it leads to lifelong connections.
Season 2 of the podcast is around the corner. Subscribe to be ready for when it drops. Featuring guests like Ali Abdaal, David Perell and Steve Schlafman.
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My online HQ: https://www.brandonzhang.com/
My newsletter: https://www.brandonzhang.com/newsletter