4 Short Lessons from a Creators Retreat


Hey friends,

Greetings from Dubai, where I’ve spent the last few days at a creator mastermind retreat thing. It’s a group of 8 of us, all earning (more than) a living through sharing educational content online, building an audience, and monetising through books, courses and other products.

I’ve learned a lot about building marketing funnels, optimising hiring processes, working with agencies and much more, but in this email I wanted to share some of the more generally applicable takeaways from the retreat. As usual, these are “notes to myself” that I’m going to try and remember.

  1. It’s always worth it to surround yourself with like-minded people: There’s something magical about being in a space with people who share your drive, even if their niches or approaches are different. As businesses evolve, the broad strokes offered by books and beginner courses start to feel a bit basic. The real game-changers come from those in-the-trenches conversations, where a casual chat over coffee can spark an idea that propels your business forward.
  2. Nobody’s Got It All Figured Out: It’s easy to look at creators making tens of millions and think they’ve cracked the code. But the truth is that behind every success story is a jumble of challenges, work-life balance struggles, and duct-tape solutions. If you’re ever worried or stressed about how you don’t seem to have it figured out, don’t worry – everyone’s in the same boat, even the biggest names.
  3. Explore outside your usual circles: Some of the creators I met for the first time include Teri Ijeoma, Tiffany Aliche (“The Budgetnista”) and Anthony “AO” O’Neil. They’re all making ludicrous amounts of money, with great products and a ridiculously engaged community, but they’re targeting an audience completely different to my own. My mind was blown so many times by the insights they were sharing, and it made me think “huh I really should explore outside of my own niche and demographic to see what else is out there, and who else I can learn from”.
  4. Focus on implementing just one thing at a time: If there’s one mantra to live by, especially after attending events like these, it’s this – “one thing at a time”. It’s easy to feel “oh crap I’ve learned so much, I need to overhaul everything at once”. But personal history (and plenty of shared experiences from this retreat) have shown me the power of focusing on one actionable step at a time. It’s about finding that next thing, nailing it, and then moving on to the next. Less scatter, more focus. Better to make a lot of progress in a single direction, than a small amount in a dozen different ones.

I love attending stuff like this, as I’ve written about before every time I’ve attended similar events. Hanging out with fellow creators and entrepreneurs is a great way of renewing my inspiration to stick in this career, learning new tactics and tools, and most importantly, connecting with great people.

So here’s this week’s question: With whatever you’re working on, whether it’s in work or in life, how could you surround yourself with other people working on the same thing?

Have a great week!

Ali xx

PS: Sorry for not including the “xx” last week – had a few replies missing it ❤️

PPS: My friend and business mentor Daniel Priestley is hosting two online webinars this Friday (23rd February) and next Thursday (29th February), all about how to generate leads and find new clients for your business. Daniel’s been such a great friend to me and the business over the years – his advice is life-changing and I highly recommend you check out this webinar – it’s free 🙂

🧠 Brilliant – Smarter Every Day

You can make every day smarter with Brilliant.

One of my core values is life-long learning. Once we leave school or university, it’s really easy to just carry on with life and forget about how important it is to keep learning. But, you don’t have to go and get another degree, or retrain in a totally new field to keep your brain active and sharp. All it takes is a little bit of time every day to see a huge difference.

Brilliant is an online learning platform designed to help you improve your skills in maths, data analysis, programming and problem solving. They have loads of cool lessons and puzzles which make learning a fun and easy part of your daily life.

I love using Brilliant to level up my coding skills, so that I can keep up with new ideas in the space. They have classes for all skill levels – so whether you want to hone your problem solving abilities, or just get to grips with the basics, they have something for you.

What I love most about Brilliant is that it helps make learning second nature. You can solve a few problems or do a quick lesson first thing in the morning, or in a break at work, or just before bed. You can gain new skills in just five minutes a day. Join over 10 million people around the world and start your 30-day free trial today: https://brilliant.org/SundaySnippets/.

Thanks to Brilliant for sponsoring this issue of Sunday Snippets 🙏

❤️ My Favourite Things this Week

  1. Fiction Book – I just finished re-reading Warbreaker by my favourite author of all time (as y’all might know), Brandon Sanderson. Warbreaker was the first book of his that I read way back in like 2018, and at the time, I didn’t think it was amazing. But then when I read the Mistborn series, I got completely hooked on Sanderson’s work, and now having read most of the rest of his Cosmere collection, I decided to revisit Warbreaker and got so much out of it. Incredible story, great characters, and so much I realised I missed the first time around. As always, if you’re yet to dip your toes into the world of Brandon Sanderson, I’d recommend starting with The Final Empire and then following this recommended reading order. Trust me – you won’t regret it.
  2. Podcast Episode – As always, my friends Dickie Bush and Nicolas Cole don’t disappoint with their latest episode of Espresso Hour. I love how these two are documenting (almost weekly) what they’re trying and learning as they’re growing their business from 7 to 8 figures. Most of what they’re talking about is very relevant to me, as our business is on that same journey, and there’s a lot to learn from these episodes if your business isn’t there yet as well.
  3. YouTube Video – This 40-minute long heartfelt video from Vanessa Lau is one of the best things I’ve watched this year: I built a 7-figure creator business and quit. Here’s why.​ It’s so rare to watch a video where you can relate to almost everything the creator’s talking about to a tee. Vanessa discusses lots of things that I’ve touched on in my own Life Update video from a few months ago, around burnout, money-chasing, envy, ambition, fulfilment and so much more. Even if you’re not a YouTuber, there’s a lot to learn from Vanessa’s incredible video.
  4. Camera Tech – The Elgato Prompter is by a nautical mile, the absolute best teleprompter I’ve ever used in my life. It’s insane just how good and useful it is, for filming videos, recording podcasts and even regular old zoom calls where I can now make eye-contact with the people I’m speaking to, while still using my fancy camera. It’s literally the best piece of tech I’ve used in a really really long time, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Sadly it seems to be on backorder almost everywhere but if you can get your hands on it, you’re going to rave about it as much as I do.
  5. Business Book – I loved Matt Lerner’s book Growth Levers and How to Find Them. If you’re growing a business, I think you’ll get a lot from it – it’s already changed the way I approach growing my own. There’s a great interview with Matt on my friend Dan Murray-Serter’s podcast Secret Leaders too if you’d prefer to get the video-version of the book to see if it’s the sort of thing that vibes with you.

🎬 My New Videos

⌛ How to Find Time for Everything with a Full Time Job – This is the first of 3 videos in a series about how to manage your time better when you have a full time job. I feel really passionate about this stuff because being able to manage my time well when I was a full time doctor here in the UK, allowed me to start and grow my YouTube channel and business on the side. So I really hope there’s some useful takeaways for you in here.

✍️ Quote of the Week

“If you’re confused about life, you’re not alone. There are almost seven billion of us. This isn’t a problem once you realise that life is neither a problem to be solved nor a game to be won.”

From The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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1 month ago

Wao , I love this quote which you added