Plan Your Next
Plan Your Next
Reach out to your heroes

Reach out to your heroes

Plan Your Next #53

👋 Hello! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #53 of Plan Your Next. It’s a newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.

If you’re one of the thirteen new subscribers, welcome!

What’s new this week?

🎨 Approachable Design sold out in less than one day! If you’re interested in getting on the waitlist for the next one, sign up here.

🎤 It’s Gotta Be the Mic #16. Reza and I chat with Charlene Wang on how to embrace your true self.

✍️ I showed a group of writers how to add personality to their articles by remixing photos and illustrations using Procreate. Here’s a couple I Illustrated for Erik Newhard and Paul Underhill.

⛳️ On Deck Course Creators: I am joining Andrew Barry’s On Deck Course Creators as a peer supporter. I want to inspire creators to make their courses more personal through design and creativity.

Reach out to your heroes
An illustration for Erik Newhards article

Good morning from Los Angeles!

In 2018, I was sitting on my black, faux leather Ikea sofa, and just put down the book, ‘Conspiracy’ by Ryan Holiday. It’s the true story of how Peter Theil—one of Silicon Valley’s most infamous investors— bankrupted Gawker Media, with Hulk Hogan acting as a proxy.

I was stunned by the story and cleared through it in a brief 36 hours.

After setting the book down, I immediately scoured the internet for Ryan’s email address and shot him a quick note. Within minutes, he replied and we exchanged a couple of emails back and forth.

At that moment, I realized how important it is to show support for the humans behind the work you are inspired by.

Reaching out to compliment a creator’s piece of work changed my life, because it humanized the person, closing the gap between what seems like a chasm.

Author Neil Gaiman once said, “I learned not to meet my heroes if I wanted them to remain heroes.”

On the surface, this seems like logical, sane advice. Our heroes are fallible people who may not live up to the idolized version we have in our heads. I imagine I might be a hero to my future daughter until she realizes I am a regular person, full of fuck-ups and insecurities like everyone else.

“I think that heroes are more important than mentors. A hero is somebody who you can emulate; somebody who raises the bar for you. Heroism scales, so one person can be a hero for a lot of people.” —Seth Godin

Soon after that email exchange, a combination of events happened:

Ryan Holiday came to LA for a book reading and I got to meet him in person. Rich Roll was towering over everyone in the room, infusing the tiny bookstore with incredible energy.

I then had the confidence to email entrepreneur and writer, David Sherry, of Death to Stock and spent 45min chatting with him about creativity.

After that phone call in the summer of 2018, I went to Substack and launched this newsletter.

Every time I sit down to write, I think of my heroes as a way to find inspiration and motivation.

This week I met two of my recent heroes. It’s easier than ever now to reach out to them. Serendipity is waiting to happen.

A signed copy of Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday
My signed copy of Conspiracy, by Ryan Holiday

⚡️ Inspiration for this week

✍️ If you think, “you can’t draw.”

If drawing works like language, then it should be learned the same way: by acquiring the visual vocabulary in your environment. So, the whole idea of “learning to draw” is framed wrong. It’s not “learning to draw” it’s actually “acquiring a visual vocabulary” —Dr. Neil Cohn

Epic Design Fails

A hilarious site full of design fails.

Epic Design Fails

🧐 How to get honest and transformational creative feedback

👋 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.

And if you’re creatively stuck because you ran out of coffee, save 10% on Flow State coffee. Flow State uses l-theanine and raw cacao to lower anxiety and support creativity. (Affiliate link)

Have a great week,


Twitter: @kadlac

Plan Your Next
Plan Your Next
I'm Nate Kadlac, designer of Plan Your Next. A weekly newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.