Dean's Notes (Apr 2021)

New venture, work and life principles, product leverage, and more

Happy Monday!

I'm back with the monthly Dean Notes—a roundup of things I'm exploring, learning, and creating to help you become a better thinker and leader.

A quick intro: I'm Dean Yeong (@deanyeong). My favorite topics include productivity, self-education, health and fitness, leadership, money, psychology, entrepreneurship, and more.

Let's dive in... (or you can read the newsletter here)

What's new

First things first, I want to apologize for canceling my previous Master Your Time live class.

I had to do it because I was occupied by the work at AppSumo and a new project my wife started (I'm part of her team). What's this new project? You ask.

Meet Wolo Yoga.

My wife and I partnered up with a friend and started an ecommerce store selling yoga accessories in Malaysia and Singapore. So I was busy setting up the entire store (plus running a giveaway campaign + launch) in the past month.

Quick question: Would you be interested to see me writing more about entrepreneurship and marketing?

I've been thinking about writing a few case studies of how we (the AppSumo team) grew the blog from scratch to close to 100k organic traffic in a year and how I built and launched an ecommerce brand.

Let me know if that's something you like to read more about.

Recommended books

Principles by Ray Dalio. I bought this book at Book People Austin, Texas during my first visit to the States and read it during my trip there.

In Dalio's words, principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life. They can be applied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals. And this book is packed full of the principles he learned throughout his career and life.

In case you don’t know about Ray Dalio yet, he's the Founder, CEO of Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut-based Hedge Fund with over $160 billion under management. He has gotten more active on social media lately (which I'll share more later) and that reminds me about this book I read two years ago.

Articles worth reading

A tweet thread on product leverage by Eric Jorgenson. Levers are force multipliers people use to get 10x, 100x or 1000x the results. And this thread is all about how a product could make a great lever in your work and business.

Life is a game of leverage by myself. As a side note, I've written a post on a few other levers: courage, knowledge, relationships, and time—on what you could do to leverage your inputs into greater outputs.

Your life journey exercise by Ray Dalio. This LinkedIn story comes with an app. Unfortunately, it isn't available in Malaysia. But the article itself is super useful in helping us think about our life journey. Use it to find out where you are now and where you should or want to go next.

Stop doing low-value work by Priscilla Claman. If you don't like your job, redesign it. It's your job to make it works for you after all. And one of the best ways is by getting rid of low-value work.

Quotes you might need

New goals don't deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is a process, not an outcome. For this reason, your energy should go into building better habits, not chasing better results. —James Clear
How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself? —Epictetus

More interesting finds

Two tools I've been using and loved:

  1. Obsidian. Last year, I shared my online note-taking process in a blog post. Since then, I've learned more about note-taking and improved my process. Instead of using Roam Research, I've switched to Obsidian. If you're interested in learning more about taking notes using Obsidian, Nick Milo from Linking Your Thinking is the person you should check out.
  2. I've using for my live classes for over six months now and it's getting better. It used to be a landing page for Zoom classes. But it's more than just that today. While I don't use all its features because migration would be a lot of work, you can use it for email marketing, live classes, memberships, Patreon-style subscriptions, and more as a digital creator.

Share the newsletter

That's it for this week! If you enjoy these newsletters and think a colleague, friend, or family member should read them, please get them to sign up on this page. I will be forever grateful for the kind gesture.

While we are at it, there are more ways to support and help me spend more time and energy here. Check out this page to find out more.

Have feedback and ideas to share? Let's connect via Twitter.

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Dean is a strong voice in the self-mastery space. His newsletter consistently delivers insightful ideas on how to become a better version of yourself and is the only newsletter that I always read.

Sebastian Kade

Head of product and engineering