Modern Makers #50 - How to Beat Resistance

⚔️ The War of Art 🧱 Synced Blocks are now available on Notion

Welcome to issue #50 of Modern Makers

In the agenda:👇

⚔️ The War of Art - some learnings from Steven Pressfield's book
💰 Figma raises more money
🧱 Notion introduces Synced Blocks
🤝 Sheet2Site got acquired


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Welcome to the new makers who have joined us. I hope you are well and that you have been able to make progress on your projects while enjoying the summer.

As for me, I visited the city of Oxford (I love this iconic English city located less than an hour from London). I am also reading at a frantic pace. I try to devote several hours a day to this new passion, discovering and buying new books every week. Here's an overview of my current reading:

  • Open: Andre Agassi's autobiography

  • On Writing by Stephen King (one of the best books I've read this year)

  • Harry Potter #1 and #2 (so good, I'm trying to read the whole saga this year)

  • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

  • A World Without Email by Cal Newport

  • Doing Content Right by Steph Smith

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I will feature some of these reads in the newsletter soon. Reading so much makes me want to create even more content. And explore different formats (podcasts?) and topics in the future.

What are you reading at the moment?

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📚 Book of the week

The War of Art - Winning the Inner Creative Battle
Author: Steven Pressfield
Release date: 2003

I've lost count of the number of times I've seen people mention this book by Steven Pressfield. A writer and screenwriter, best known for his book The Legend of Bagger Vance. The War of Art is short and didn't quite live up to the high expectations I had of it. But it still contains some key learnings:

  • For a writer, writing is not the hardest part. The hardest part is sitting at your desk every morning and writing. What stops us from doing that is what Steven calls Resistance.

  • We have the ability to produce something original and inspiring. But very few of us do because Resistance holds us back. The Resistance is invisible. It cannot be seen, touched, heard or smelled. But we can feel it. It is a negative force. It is internal. It is the enemy within.

  • The most important thing you can do is to sit down every day and work. Don't focus on the end result. It doesn't matter if what you produce that day is not great or if you are not happy with the result. What matters is that you beat Resistance on that day. If you manage to do this daily and maintain this effort over time, magic will happen.

  • We have two lives. The one we live. And the unlived life within us. The one where we are not doing what we are supposed to do. Between these two lives is the Resistance. Are you a writer who doesn't write, a painter who doesn't paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a business? Then you know what Resistance is.

  • You must become ruthless. With yourself but also with others around you. Some people will try to sabotage you if they feel you're about to beat Resistance. If they can feel you're on the verge of success. They won't understand why you're able to defeat Resistance while they can't deal with their own Resistance. You don't want to tolerate problems and chaos in your life, as this will prevent you from doing your job. Try to banish all sources of problems around you.

  • Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equals the strength of the Resistance. Therefore, the more we fear something in particular, the more certain we can be that it is important to us and to our personal development.

  • Professional versus Amateur - The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays to win. The amateur plays part-time, the professional full-time. The amateur believes he has to overcome his fear before he can start creating. The professional knows that there is nothing wrong with being afraid. We are all afraid. Let's not let fear stop us from doing the things that would make our lives better.

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now."

Three other content that caught my attention this week:

🙋🏼‍♀️ Selfish vs. Selfless: Self-Promotion in Communities - Article - The Bootstrapped Founder - Promoting your content or your product is an essential step. Without it, no one will find out what you created. Here's how to promote your projects, without annoying your audience. Instead of saying "I made this!", the key message should be "I made this for you!”. When you join a community, take the time to participate and understand the needs of other people. You will succeed in creating a level of identification with your audience by creating a product with and for that community.

💼 You don’t need to quite your job - Article - Steph Smith - You don't have to quit your current job to work on your projects and grow your side-business. This article details the benefits of having a full-time job while working on projects on the side. How to use your free time to achieve your goals and continue to acquire new knowledge and skills.

✍🏻 Why You Should Share Your Ideas Online - Article - Stew Fortier - It has never been easier to share our ideas and create content. The benefits are many: being able to create a business around yourself, accelerate your career and meet other inspiring creators. The effort required is substantial but the payoff is worth it.

🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code

Figma announced a $200M Series E. This new funding round, which now values the company at $10 billion, will be used to launch new products (or even to make some acquisitions?). As a reminder, Figma recently launched FigJam, a product to create whiteboards where you can brainstorm with collaborators.

Figma also plans to have 500 employees by the end of the year (versus 140 at the beginning of 2020). It testifies to Figma's incredible success in a competitive market historically dominated by Adobe.

A new block is available on Notion. Synced Blocks will allow you to duplicate a block on several pages. Each time you make a change to the original block or to one of the duplicated versions, this change will be automatically applied to all the blocks. This saves a lot of time and ensures that your content is instantly updated on all instances.

These blocks have a red outline to distinguish them from traditional blocks. Notion then offers you two possibilities:

  • edit the source block

  • copy this block to insert it elsewhere

Find out more about this new feature in this video by William Nutt.

Sheet2Site allows you to create websites from Google Sheets. This tool launched in 2018 is one of many projects created by Andrey Azimov. This week, Andrey announced the acquisition of Sheet2Site by entrepreneur Neil Witten. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Andrey gives more details in this Twitter thread. It is interesting to see the huge impact of the pandemic on his company's MRR (almost multiplied by 10X overnight). Further evidence that Covid has dramatically accelerated digital transformation and has seen many people and businesses turn to tools like this to create web apps and websites.

📦 And also…

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Have a great week and keep learning.


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