👋 Hello! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #44 of Plan Your Next. It’s a newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.
Every Sunday, I aim to make this newsletter as timeless as Quincy Jones’ line, “we need more fucking songs, man.” If you’re new here, join us!
What’s new this week?
🎙In this weeks’ podcast of It’s Gotta Be the Mic, Reza and I chat about the tools we use for note-taking, creativity, and writing. Tools for thought, if you will.
Good morning from Los Angeles!
The last job requiring me to be in an office was thirteen years ago. Let’s just say remote working—especially working alone—is not new to me.
When you’re working alone, it’s easy to feel like you don’t belong. The days pile up, the work keeps coming—if you're lucky—and the best relationship you have is between you and the glossy piece of glass with your reflection.
Around 2010, I spent a few years working most of my days in a coworking environment, called CoCo. Coworking spaces weren’t a new concept, but in Minneapolis around that time, they resembled empty real estate offices with bad coffee.
CoCo gave nomads like me a place to make a few friends, build support, and get some shit done.
I wasn’t alone, staring at my own reflection. What CoCo discovered like many other coworking spaces is that this is a problem shared by many people. Coworking felt like the future of a professional community.
It’s what Adam Neuman tapped into when he started WeWork. He seemed to defy all economic laws of nature by sticking around longer than seemed possible before math caught up to him.
At the core, the concept seemed to work, if only because humans need other humans.
The pandemic has changed everything. It’s like a bowling ball careening down a lane, knocking our habits, lives, and careers all over the place. There are a few standing, but many of us have been smashed.
For a lot of people, this opens a few new ways to look at the world. A changed perspective brings new clarity.
One of the interesting new ways to bring focused clarity and creatives back together are smaller, tighter communities, for longer periods of time.
Nat Eliason just mentioned his new project to build a town on top of another town.
Naming confusion aside, I haven’t experienced a shift in the creator mindset like I did in 2020. I believe it has to do with new business models to support individual creators for the communities they are cultivating. This takes time, an enormous amount of effort, and technology to support it. But instead of building out a community using a paid advertising model, you can support them using paid subscriptions, virtual events, digital goods, apps, and simply tipping/donations.
I joked with a friend a couple of years ago about how it felt that everyone was overusing the word “community.” It was true, but most were confusing the word “community” with “audience.” A community is not schlepping gear or aspirational platitudes to followers on Instagram.
We’re at the forefront of true community building. The lessons from 2020 have launched us forward faster than we could have imagined.
You can now find your creative nook on the internet. And if you can’t, build it.
⚡️ Inspiration for this week
🎁 Amanda Gorman’s, ‘The Hill We Climb.’
Wow. The power of this speech is unlike any other in recent memory. My favorite line, “Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It's the past we step into, and how we repair it." Much work needs to be done, and she didn’t gloss over that.
🤑 You don’t have to believe your own made-up story
Just a good reminder not to get caught up in your own identity, and how you think people view you. I do this all the time. I’m Nate, a designer. Who else could I possibly be?
🎶 “We need more fucking songs, man.”
Whenever I think about quality vs quantity, this quote by Quincy Jones is always top of mind.
We need more songs, man. Fucking songs, not hooks. [...] the song is the shit—that's what people don't realize. A great song can make the worst singer in the world a star. A bad song can't be saved by the three best singers in the world. I learned that 50 years ago." —Quincy Jones
👋 See you next Sunday
Have a great week,