Challenges and Learnings from the past 3 Months


Hey friends,

Greetings from 30,000 feet somewhere above Europe – I’m en route to Turkey for a holiday with the family. I find that plane journeys without WiFi are the perfect time to write 🙂

Anyway, this week, I did a personal Quarterly Review with my CEO coach Eric. Here’s the format:

  1. What were the top 3 big wins of the past 3 months and why?
  2. What were the 3 biggest challenges, and what did you learn from them?
  3. What are the top 3 aspirations for the coming 3 months? And what’s the biggest risk they might not happen? And what are you going to do to mitigate that risk?

And these were the results.

Top 3 Wins and Why

  1. Finishing the book! The manuscript has been finalised and is now with the typesetting team at the UK and US publishers 🥳. It’s taken 3 years to get to this point and so it’s a big relief to mark the project as “Finished”. Well, at least the writing component. Now we’re moving onto the marketing phase. More details to come in the next few weeks 👀
  2. Health goals on track – I wrote a few weeks ago about the DEXA scan I had recently, which showed that over the pat 6 months, I’ve gained some muscle mass, and lost some fat, which is exactly what I was aiming to do. I’ve never really set a health goal that I’ve actually hit before, so this feels nice, and gives me a nice boost of motivation to continue going with trying to build a fit, healthy body.
  3. Therapy – I’ve recently started therapy sessions to help me get more in touch with my feelings and emotions. They’ve been going well so far, and I’ve had a few breakthroughs already – in particular, I’ve realised that for most of my life, I’ve been suppressing negative emotions, and that it’s okay for me to express my true feelings about things. Sounds really trite written down like this but it’s been a realisation that took many hours of introspection and discussion to get to, and feels like a real epiphany 😂

Top 3 Biggest Challenges and What I Learned from Them

  1. Making time for filming videos – Last month was the longest break I’ve ever taken from uploading videos to my YouTube channel. We didn’t upload anything for a whole month while I was finishing up the book, and amidst trips to Austin and LA. On one level, this was totally intentional – one mantra that Tintin my YouTube producer started to say is: “Red numbers on the YouTube channel mean a better book” 😂 But on another level, I definitely could have filmed more videos if I’d (somewhat ironically) been better at managing my time. The learning point here is to figure out systems and processes for being able to reliably film 3 videos per week even in the midst of other stuff going on.
  2. Being unaware and non-expressive of my own feelings – This has started to cause issues with some of the close relationships in my life. Hence the therapy sessions 🙂 Going to keep the details sparse on this one – maybe I’ll share more about it another time. It’s always tricky navigating how open and transparent to be online when other people and relationships are involved…
  3. Stress – Feels weird to admit it, but I’ve been feeling weirdly stressed at times over the past few months. I almost never feel stress (or at least, I’m not aware of it if I do lol) but a blood test recently showed my stress markers elevated, and my recent coming-to-terms with my feelings has made me realise “huh I think I’m feeling stressed right now”. This is an unusual experience. Partly it’s because of a lot of moving parts in the business which feels like it’s in a state of transition now that we’ve stopped doing our live cohort courses, partly the pressure of finishing the book and trying to make it good, partly a few struggles with personal relationships, partly not sleeping as much as I’d like to… I guess the learning here is to (a) recognise the feeling of stress, and (b) add more balance and periods of rest to my life. This is perhaps unsurprising – everyone around me has been telling me for years that I’m a workaholic and need to take a break, but I’ve always said: “Nah, I love my work, it feels like play”. But even play can become too much without appropriate time for recharging.

Top 3 Aspirations for the Next 3 Months

  1. Yoga 3 times per week – I’ve realised that I’ve got significant issues with flexibility and mobility that are going to screw me over later in life if I don’t do something about them. I’ve attempted to start doing “10 minutes a day of stretching” for years, but I never end up actually doing it. I’m hoping that by pre-committing and pre-paying for 3 yoga classes a week and making sure they’re in the calendar, I’ll be able to work towards becoming more flexible, mobile and supple, while also getting some of the spiritual / mindful / restful benefits of Yoga. We’ll see how it goes.
  2. Filming 3 videos per week – At this point, now that the book’s done, this is by far the highest leverage thing that I can personally be doing for the business. The more videos I film, the more everything else in the business grows, and the more people we reach with our content. Just gotta build those systems to make it a priority. The biggest hurdle for this is going to be scheduling and energy management – both of which are totally within my wheelhouse to sort out.
  3. Being on track for 100,000 preorders of the book by release date – I think this is the first time I’m publicly stating this as an aspiration. It’s a nice round number and something big to shoot for, while trying to remain detached from the outcome (as I wrote about a few weeks ago). The biggest risk that this doesn’t happen is if we don’t give our audience enough of a reason to preorder the book. And the mitigation is to create a Grand Slam Offer for book preorders – to create such a compelling offer that people would feel like “OMG if I preorder the book for $20 I get WAY more value than what I paid, I’m totally going to preorder the book!”. That’s the dream anyway 😂 On that note, if you’re reading this – please can you preorder the book when we announce preorders in a few weeks 🙏 Would mean a lot xx 😁🥰

So that was the Quarterly Review. Takes around an hour to do properly, but it’s totally worth it – even writing it up in this email has given me more clarity on what I’ve learned, what challenges I’ve faced, and what the goals / aspirations are for the next 3 months. It’ll be interesting to look back on these goals 3 months from now and see how I do in moving towards them.

I hope you’ve taken something away from this email.

If you fancy doing your own Quarterly Review, I’d recommend doing it with a friend – you can act as each other’s coaches, and it’s a fun bonding experience. Alternatively, if you’d like an accountability buddy, please do to this email with your write-up of your review. As usual, I read everything but don’t have time to reply to everything, so if it would be helpful for you to have a buddy on the other end of the internet to read your review, or if that would help you actually do the exercise knowing I’m reading it on the other end, then I’m here for you 🙂

Have a great week!

Ali xx

🧠 Brilliant – Stretch Yourself

If you’re looking to level up your personal and professional life, it requires both a leap into the unknown and, necessarily, work to learn new things. And that’s a good thing – stretching yourself is how you grow.

Brilliant makes this really easy, with 1000s of interactive, bite-size lessons that let you master complex topics with quick, visual, hands-on lessons, making sure you’re learning at your level and really understanding concepts before moving on. You can gradually master whole topics in as little as 15 minutes a day, and learn from anywhere.

I particularly love their courses on AI and data science, and Brilliant add new lessons every month to keep things fresh.

Join over 10 million people around the world and start your 30-day free trial today.

Thanks to Brilliant for sponsoring this issue of Sunday Snippets 🙏

♥️ My Favourite Things

  1. 📕 Book – I’ve been enjoying reading Ben Hardy & Dan Sullivan’s book 10x is Easier than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing LessBasic message of the book: If you set a really audacious 10x goal, that’ll be more interesting, more valuable and counterintuitively, easier to work towards, than a linear 2x goal. Applies to all areas of life. I’ve been highlighting lots of bits and it’s giving me some new ways to think about what direction to take my business.
  2. ✍️ Journaling Prompt – While on the same flight that I wrote this email, I stumbled upon a journal entry I wrote from 2020 where I tried to answer the question: “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”. It was super interesting seeing what I wrote back then. I decided to redo the exercise and found it deeply helpful. I’ll share my results in a future Sunday Snippet issue 🙂 But I’d recommend giving it a go – it would make a fine addition to the Quarterly Review prompts.
  3. 💻 App – I’m experimenting with going back to Ulysses as my writing app of choice on Mac and iPad. I last used Ulysses way back in 2019 – it’s pretty much the same as then, but with a few additional quality of life features. My favourite feature is the ability to track my daily word count across all my projects, and so far, it’s been working nicely as a minimalistic, distraction-free writing interface for writing these emails and other stuff I’m working on. Not sure if it’s going to stick yet, but things are looking promising.
  4. 📘 Book – I read a very short book (again on the flight to Turkey lol) by J. Krishnamurti (pen name Alcyone) titled At the Feet of the Master. Lots of bits resonated. Feels like the sort of book I’ll be coming back to a lot throughout my “spiritual journey” which has recently started with some brief toe-dipping.

🎬 My New Videos

🎬 How YouTube Geniuses Would Start a Channel in 2023 – I recently interviewed MKBHD and Mrwhosetheboss on my podcast Deep Dive, and they both shared lots of useful information about YouTube. So here’s 25 minutes of youtube advice.

✍️ Quote of the Week

“Real motivation comes after you start. Motivation isn’t the result of hearing a speech or watching a movie or crisping your soles. Motivation isn’t passive; motivation is active”

From The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden. Resurfaced using Readwise.