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Dean Notes (Nov 2021): Smartcuts, self-renewal, marketing framework, how to produce great work, and more

Hey there! 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). Here, I write and share about productivity, leadership, money, psychology, marketing, and more.

Let's dive in.

What's new

I've added two new templates to the High Performance Notion Pack (HPNP) since its launch this September:

  1. Personal CRM. Use it to build your network and keep track of your contacts.
  2. Book Notes. Use it to retain and revise what you've learned from a book.

If you want to level up your performance and productivity using Notion, get HPNP on AppSumo today.

Book of the month

🏎 Smartcuts by Shane Snow. The book covers principles and strategies to work smarter and achieve more—without creating negative externalities. While shortcuts sound amoral, you can think of smartcuts as shortcuts with integrity.

Summary in 100 words or less: New ideas emerge when we question the assumptions. Successful mentorship happens when we have a mentor guide our journey, not just our practice. Negative feedback spur improvement but we need to separate ourselves from the perceived failure and learn from it objectively. While hard work is important, deliberate pattern spotting can compensate for experience. Giving makes us a superconnector and creates serendipity. Momentum is the predictor of success. Simplification gets what we do from good to amazing. Constraints make us more creative. Going after a 10x goal forces better thinking and attracts supporters.

A couple of notes

🎢 The road to self-renewal. Our lives are a series of self-renewals with new-found—or stumbled upon—identities and experiences. And the process isn't always an easy one. This is a speech by John Gardner delivered in 1990 to McKinsey & Company that still resonate well with many of us today.

🔮 Become an uncertainty killer. Whether you have a boss to support, clients to impress, or individuals to manage, this specific advice will work wonders for you and your career. What is it? Reduce uncertainty for others as much as you can.

🧠 The ORB marketing framework. There are endless ways to think about digital marketing. And having a framework helps us fit countless isolated marketing strategies and tactics into a bigger picture. The ORB framework breaks everything down into three main categories: Owned, Rented, and Borrowed.

More interesting notes

🎙 Tweet thread by @Julian explaining how Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean, and Christopher Nolan consistently generate great work. (See tweet)

🤷♂️ "You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough." — William Blake (See tweet)

🌴 When you retire, with very few exceptions, nothing you did in your working life will be remembered by anyone but yourself. So it's important that you be content with it. (See it on HackerNews)

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