Monthly-ish Personal Update (Mar 2021)

Hi, this is my monthly-ish personal update to my most valued friends and allies. More info here. Guilt-free unsubscribe link at the bottom.

Here are three updates:

First, I’m starting a cohort-based course on job hunting abroad 🥳 

Barely a month ago, I announced: Job hunting in a new country? I’m starting a cohort-based course. The response has been amazing. Almost immediately, 20+ people joined the waitlist. Many more replied, saying they are interested. A friend in Hong Kong is even sponsoring any friends of hers who want to take our course.

Cohort-based course? A cohort-based course (CBC) is an online course where you move through the program with a group of peers at the same pace. As a result, students keep each other accountable, learn from each other, and encourage each other to keep going. In How to Design an Online Course with a 96% Completion Rate, Wes Kao writes about the altMBA’s 96% completion rate, compared to the 4% average.

Having taken most of the major ones, I am a big believer. Building a Second Brain enabled me to build effective writing and organizing habits, workflows, and systems. From that, I learned to take and organize notes so that future-me benefits from everything current-me is doing, talking about, and thinking. Write of Passage taught me the skill to write through conversation and get feedback on my ideas all the time, with no extra time nor effort. altMBA even helped me with my move to Germany.

Side story: I took altMBA in 2018. I was living in Manila, still dreaming of moving to Germany. I joined the cohort in the London timezone to quickly make friends in Europe. Group meetings were from 1 to 4am my time. (Yes, these were extraordinary times and I even wrote about it in How to account for Alexander’s rise to the top? It’s more than just being nonstop.)

One face in Zoom immediately stood out. It’s this Asian-looking woman amongst mostly white, male faces. That’s where I met Mia, who is today not only one of my closest friends, but now my neighbor in Berlin. How amazing is that?? 😜 /end side story.

Anyway, back to CBCs. I was fortunate (or reckless 😅) enough to be an angel investor in Wes, Shreyans, and Gagan's new startup. They're building the first platform for cohort-based courses. First, I was a student. Then, an investor.

Now, a creator.

Second, finding scenius in Compound Writing.

I first learned about ‘sceniuses’ from Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work!

If you look back closely at history, many of the people who we think of as lone geniuses were actually part of “a whole scene of people who were supporting each other, looking at each other’s work, copying from each other, stealing ideas, and contributing ideas.

Being a valuable part of a scenius is not necessarily about how smart or talented you are, but about what you have to contribute—the ideas you share, the quality of the connections you make, and the conversations you start.

Two months ago, I joined Compound Writing, an invite-only community of writers and editors. It's the writing group, editor, and scenius I've always wanted.

Writing is a superpower. I’m now a decent writer but I know I could still do better. Now that I'm having my writing edited and editing other people’s writing, I'm finally doing this.

Compound has provided the environment for me to finally build a consistent writing habit. Without it, it would’ve taken way more time for me to launch an online course, if at all. I've now published 4 pieces of writing that went through Compound's editing workflow. See this and this.

Finally, I can’t believe the quality of the people and content I encounter through Compound. I believe I’m meeting and working with the next generation of influential online writers and creators.

They recently got funding from Y Combinator. If you are a 'mid-career' writer, I highly recommend checking out Compound Writing.

Finally, I moved to Ghost.

It’s now very fast 🔥 Since 2013, I’ve been on self-hosted WordPress on Hostgator. WordPress’s sluggishness made me want to move for a long time and Ghost’s new $9 per month plan finally made me switch.

OK, I just got this automated email from Ghost that I’m now one of the most active people currently on trial and a potential new VIP customer. Clearly, I've been spending wayyy too much time tinkering with my new blogging platform. 😅

Check out the Ghost 4.0 launch on Product Hunt.

Aaand, that’s it! If you read this far, hit reply. What’s exciting for you these days? I’d love to hear from you. 😀



P.S. Know anyone who’s job hunting abroad for whom the course might be helpful? You can help by retweeting or sharing this post on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Or, by sending an email intro. Thank you 🙌

P.P.S. I’ve written 4 other posts since my last update on February 10. They're smashing through books, technical product management, and grouping todo items and pages vs blocks in Craft.

Thank you to Compound Writing members Ergest Xheblati and Blake Reichmann for editing drafts of this.