Modern Makers #44 - Ego is Your Enemy

🤳🏻 How to control your ego (and why you should) 🤖 The benefits of automation for SMBs

Welcome to issue #44 of Modern Makers

This week in the agenda:👇

🤳🏻 Why ego is your worst enemy - 5 learnings from Ryan Holiday’s book
🎨 The new features presented by Figma at Config 2021
🤖 The benefits of automation for SMBs by Zapier

Enjoy.


Welcome to the new makers who have joined us this week.

In the last few days I’ve been able to meet some of my readers. I had the opportunity to chat with Ali who is currently working on a Google Chrome extension. This extension allows you to capture sections of text on the web into Notion. I will test it soon and share my feedback with you.

I also discussed automation for salespeople with Matt. He managed to convince me to join the Shiny Object Social Club created by Tom Osman. A paid community where we discuss no-code, automation and cryptos.

I also talked with Pascaline who launched the Business As Visual french newsletter.

These conversations are for me the best reward of my work around this newsletter. By creating content on the web, you get the chance to meet interesting people. And you increase the number of opportunities you have access to.

Feel free to use the button below for those of you who want to organize a call to get to know each other better.

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📚 Book of the week

Ego is the Enemy: The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent
Author: Ryan Holiday
Release date: 2017

In Modern Makers #42 I told you about the book Stillness is the Key. Today we are back with another book by Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy. In this book, Ryan focuses on our ego, probably our worst enemy. The book is structured in three main parts: Aspire / Success / Failure. If not properly controlled, our ego is likely to impact us at each of these stages of our lives. Here are 5 essential points:

  • 🎒 Be a student - put yourself in the shoes who someone who is always learning. Show some humility. Assume you know nothing. You can only learn if you believe that you don't know. If you're already convinced that you know all the answers or that you're the best, you won't learn. As Epictetus said, “It is impossible to learn that which one thinks one already knows”. You must become your own teacher and be self-motivated. "No matter what you've done up to this point, you better still be a student. If you're not still learning, you're already dying."

  • 🍾 Beware of praises - it's easy to be on guard against negative people and criticisms. But early praises and validations when we just start showing some promises can be dangerous too. Don't let those positive comments, praises or awards disturb you and feed your ego. Easier said than done as our egos crave recognition. The feeling of importance is what motivates us after all. Don't let these praises spin your head and stay focus on your work.

  • 😴 Why is success often ephemeral? - Because we tend to relax after winning. We don't focus enough. We stop learning. We reduce our efforts. We feel invincible. We think because we made it once we can easily make it twice. We feel superior. Our ego is often the cause of all these things. To deal with this, we need sobriety, open-mindedness and organization (a system & habits we follow no matter what). We can’t keep learning if we think we already know everything.

  • 🔍 Focus on yourself - No matter how much success you have, you will always meet people who are more successful than you. They will make you feel insignificant or inferior. You will envy them and want what they have. This mindset will never bring happiness. Instead, it's about being as good as you can be, pushing your own limits and trying to do your best. Accomplishing the most that you're capable in whatever you choose. That should be the true definition of success

  • Don’t wait for a wake-up call - The most important changes in our lives usually happen after we are demolished. After we hit the bottom. When everything around us collapses. That's usually when we are finally forced to make the changes we were supposed to do. It's our wake-up call. Ego can prevent us from making these changes in the first place. We will delay things. Pretend they don't need to be done. That these things only happen to others. That our situation is different. And then one day you get slapped in the face. It could be your partner leaving you. Or your boss firing you. Or your doctor delivering bad news about your health. Don't wait for the chaos to knock at your door to act.

Humble in our aspirations - Gracious in our success - Resilient in our failures


Three other content that caught my attention this week:

  • 🙁 Feeling Blah During the Pandemic? It's Called Languishing - The New York Times - an article about an emotion that has been dominating the world since the beginning of the pandemic: not burnout or depression. Rather a feeling of stagnation and emptiness. The author suggests some antidotes, including the state of flow - the ability to focus for several hours on a project or task without being interrupted.

  • 💶 Save Like A Pessimist, Invest Like An Optimist - Collaborative Fund - one of the concepts that struck me the most when I read the book The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. Yes, optimism and pessimism can coexist. Especially when it comes to managing your money.

  • 🤫 How to Create Spaciousness, Move from Essentialism to Effortless, and Quiet the Mind - The Tim Ferriss Show - a conversation with Greg McKeown, the author of I, one of my favorite reads of last year. His new book Effortless is out this week and will probably be featured in this newsletter at some point this year.


🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code

Config 2021 happened this week. A conference organized by Figma who introduced several new products and features:

  • A brand new version of the mobile app (iOS and Android) will soon be available, allowing you to share and view your designs

  • Audio, a new feature that allows you to call your colleagues within Figma. This feature will only be available for Pro and Enterprise accounts. You can join the waiting list

The full keynote is available on Figma’s Youtube channel.


Zapier has published a report - The 2021 state of business automation. This study was conducted with a sample of 2,000 employees of small and medium-sized companies in the US. Some of the stats are really interesting and a few points in particular seem to be unanimously agreed upon by the participants:

  • 94% of participants said they perform repetitive, low-value tasks in their jobs

  • 9 out of 10 participants say that automation has improved their work environment

What are the most common use cases for automated workflows?

  • 38%: reduce the time spent manually creating, copying and transferring data

  • 32%: document creation and internal organization - booking management, to-do lists etc

  • 30%: lead management, including following up with new leads

The benefits of automation are allowing these businesses to compete with larger organizations. Automation saves time, allows them to focus on more important value-added tasks and reduces the risk of human error.

Automation also has a positive impact on the mental and physical health of employees: reduction of stress, increase in job satisfaction and effective fight against work burnout.

Here are the 10 most popular apps on Zapier:

Read the full report


📦 And also…


As always, if you're enjoying Modern Makers, I would love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I do my best to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

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I also invite you to contact me if you have questions or need help with no-code tools. Or if you want to have a virtual coffee with me ☕

Have a great week and keep building.

Martin,

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