Dean's Notes (Oct 2021)

AppSumo SEO strategy, a simple path to wealth, define happiness, 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

💪 High Performance Notion Pack is the Notion templates I use to manage and organize my work and life—digitally. If you're using Notion and looking for a productivity system you can copy and use, HPNP is for you. Now you can get it via AppSumo.

📈 How AppSumo 15x blog organic traffic in a year. While I share mostly about self-improvement and productivity in this newsletter, I'm a content marketer by day. In this article, I share how we grow the AppSumo blog with the step-by-step guide that you can follow and get traffic from Google.

Book of the month

💰 The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins. I've read quite a few personal finance books in the past. That said, this book is more of a refresher of what I've learned.

Summary in 100 words or less: The simple formula to financial well-being: spend less than you earn—invest the surplus—avoid debt. Your goal is to save up F-You money, generally 25x of your annual expenses, to regain your freedom. During the wealth accumulation stage, allocate 100% of your investment portfolio to Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) or its ETF (VTI). When you're closer to your retirement, adjust 20-50% of your portfolio to include Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBTLX) or its ETF (BND). Aim for a 3-7% withdrawal rate during your (early) retirement.

If you're just getting started in learning about personal finance, The Simple Path to Wealth is a great place to start. I would also recommend you read I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Dollars and Sense, and The Psychology of Money.

A couple of notes

😇 Different cultures define happiness differently. A handy way to understand what happiness means to you is to distinguish between two ways of focusing on happiness. The first is an “inner” or “outer” focus on happiness—that is, on introspection versus interaction with others. The second is a “relation” or “task” focus—people-oriented versus doing-oriented.

🙅‍♂️ Stop asking for permission to profit. No one owes anyone anything. We have employees and we report to someone else. And every single one of them has every right to say no to us. Yet, in this day and age you simply don’t need to have someone “pick you.” You can and should pick yourself. That is the beautiful part about the world we live in. It’s what we do every time we develop another income stream, every time we build a new startup, get a side hustle, invest, or buy a rental property. We choose ourselves.

More interesting notes

⏳ What procrastination really is: Plan for the present and manage the future. To overcome it, remind yourself to plan for the future and manage the present. See tweet

🪴 Every week, take at least a day off from your weekly work routine. No checking emails, no reading tweets, no planning for your work. Do something that lets you feel the present. Spend the time creating moments worth capturing. Or do nothing at all. See tweet

🎨 Being a specialist pay well sometimes. But for most things we do—being an artist, running a business, living a good life—requires us to be generalists. See tweet

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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