Plan Your Next: Are you lucky or unlucky?

  
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👋 Hello! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #43 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 the designer, Saul Bass. If you’re new here, join us!


What’s new this week?

🎙Reza and I kicked off the new season of It's Gotta Be the Mic, and we chat about how we find ideas to write about. The one small change we wanted to make was to bring more focus on a single topic. We’ll also be bringing on guests periodically so keep an eye out for that!


Good morning from Los Angeles!

Since launching this newsletter, I've been fighting with myself over its direction. Maybe you can tell by the number of experiments I've tried over the course of it.

The illustrations, the audio downloads, the stories, and the links.

I believe in chasing your interests, even if it means you're running all over the place. By chasing these ideas, at some point I'll be able to retroactively look back and see which articles I enjoyed writing most, combined with the feedback I get from you, to have a better idea of where I'm headed.

Through these iterative experiments, I hope I get lucky and figure this out.

Richard Wiseman, a British psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire, ran a ten-year study to understand the role that luck plays in our lives. In one particular session, he split a group of people in half. Those who considered themselves lucky, and the others who deemed themselves unlucky. He handed both groups a newspaper filled with photos and asked them to count the number of photographs in the paper.

The unlucky people took about two minutes. The lucky group took mere seconds.

On the second page of the paper, there was a large message that read, “There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” The unlucky group was so focused on counting the photographs that they tended to miss this message completely.

While unlucky people tend to be less sociable and have tunnel vision, he also discovered that there’s hope for those who feel this way.

Having an open mind and attitude reveals more opportunities you may have previously missed. Looking on the positive side makes it easier to try new things, and changing up your regular routine can lead to unexpected serendipity.

This brings me to a new experiment for this newsletter.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a number of really curious people who have chased their next thing. I recently started to interview some of them and hope to share their insights with you. What I love about this creative group of people is that they’re not that much further down the path if you’re thinking about your next thing.

This will be an ongoing series that will continue, and I hope they inspire you as much as they do me.

I am feeling pretty lucky.


I’m kind of known for unexpected turns. Most of my friends and family expect me to do crazy things like move to Canada and wrestle or start a nootropic coffee co.

Who is Greg Frontiero?

I met Greg earlier this year, and out of nowhere, he continues to surprise you. He’s worked for companies like Yext, Twitter, and Stack Overflow. He’s sometimes a Pro Wrestler. And while being one of the most generous and supportive people I know, he’s created a new type of coffee with his bare fucking hands.

Greg, what do you spend most of your time during the day working on?

NooWave. That’s it. Also, I guess training for a return to the wrestling ring.

When was the last time you made an unexpected pivot in direction, either recently or in the past? And what's one takeaway you learned in sustaining that momentum to see it through?

I’m kind of known for unexpected turns. Most of my friends and family expect me to do crazy things like move to Canada and wrestle or start a nootropic coffee co.

Noowave is different because I haven’t gotten that boredom that follows after the honeymoon period of learning a new skill/job. If I had to guess it’s bc I think I found my “ikigai.”

A favorite quote you live by?

I don’t really live by any quotes. “We can be the bands we want to hear” was the title of my blog announcing NooWave and you can find it on our website but it basically means “you can do the thing you’re thinking of doing the way you want to to do it. There are no rules.” Also “Fuck it” comes to mind so maybe that.

What would you tell someone who feels stuck in pursuing their next idea?

Get your idea out of your head and in front of people somehow (for me was write of passage breakout rooms)

What do you need help with?

Please buy Flow State Coffee @ noowave.co and post about how much you love it so other people buy it and do the same and I can continue doing this for the next decade-plus. Thanks!

My other answer would be to do something that scares you today. Quit your job, ask that person you like out or ship that thing that you think isn’t quite ready yet. Because “fuck it” and “we can be the bands we want to hear.”

Where can someone find you online?

NooWave.co. I do a weekly newsletter there that’s more of a life update or a letter to a friend that you can follow if you like the whole “build in public” thing. Or find me on Twitter screaming into the void @sfwgreg.


⚡️ Inspiration for this week

📖 1,000 True Fans - Kevin Kelly

An oldie but a goodie. Kevin originally wrote this in 2008, and I’ve referenced this often in my own internet journey. It’s the same spirit embedded into Plan Your Next. And if you’re creating something yourself, aim for 1,000 true fans. But why aim so high? Li Jin argues you might only need 100 true fans.

To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.

🐦 10 Significant lies you’re told about the world: On startups, writing, and your career

Julian explains some of the lies we hear about startups, writing, and your career. My favorite is the sixth knot in this thread.

The world is not run by exceptional people. This is the hidden reason for imposter syndrome. We mistakenly think imposter syndrome is due to low confidence/anxiety. No, it’s caused by not accepting that your new, world-class peers aren’t that special. It’s mostly discipline.

🏋️‍♀️ The Whoop Band

If I didn’t own an Apple Watch, I’d definitely pick one of these up. The band monitors your sleep, measures your recovery, and builds strain by recommending a daily exertion level.


👋 See you next Sunday

If you’ve forgotten who I am, here’s a little bit about me. As always, my calendar is always open to chat about your crazy ideas or if you’re creatively stuck.

Have a great week,

Twitter: @kadlac
Web: kadlac.com