My guest this week is Justin Mikolay. Justin is a senior writer and the host of a podcast for Gumroad, an online platform that facilitates the sale of products by creators directly to consumers. He’s also the creator and instructor of the online course, 10x Creator, an intense three-week experience that teaches you how to launch successful online products. Beyond this, he maintains a never-ending list of side projects that he constantly works on.
As a strong writer with an uncanny ability to find gems and reorder messy thoughts, he’s worked as a speechwriter for General Mattis, General Petraeus, as well as Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. So many of the skills he learned in this time are applied to his course, which helps people turn their raw ideas into purpose-built digital products. As one of his students said – it helps them go from selling time to storing effort in digital assets.
In this episode, we break down that process – we break it down from the perspective of Justin’s process, where he has become known on Twitter for distilling the ideas of top creators’ into extremely valuable threads. This often starts as a list of 3000 tweets, over 180,000 words, and ends in incredibly useful, concise, dense 1800 words of actionable information. We demystify Justin’s process for doing this, as well as unpack the way he’s helped other creators create their courses, and is now helping students of his program launch their own digital products.
This was probably one of the most actionable episodes I’ve ever recorded. I took copious notes and will be going over it again myself for ideas. This was probably also one of the best descriptions I’ve ever heard of how to go from consumption to creation.
So please, sit back, and enjoy my episode with Justin Mikolay.
- Finding calm in the storm. We talk about Justin’s creative rhythm, and how he finds flow through so much noise and messy information. (00:02:45-00:03:40)
- The natural part of the creative process: the ability to condense messy ideas into crystals through observation, listening, and feedback. (00:03:41-00:07:30)
- Navigating the challenge of being an inspired creator, while still making a product that fits the market. (00:07:31-00:10:39)
- Action matters. The importance of starting small when taking the big leap of creating your product. (00:10:40-00:15:15)
- His note-taking and filtering style: pursuing the fundamentals, and getting into a person’s creative input and output. (00:15:16-00:18:28)
- Young seeds bloom. Justin speaks about the roots of his own passion for the creative process and writing. (00:18:29-00:20:19)
- The creative output function: a byproduct of curiosity and learning. (00:20:28-00:23:09)
- Justin shares his learnings from General Mattis and talks about “The Book of Wisdom”. (00:23:10-00:28:38)
- Justin talks about his own Book of Wisdom and his file of “Thoughts worth keeping.” (00:28:39-00:31:59)
- From consumption to creation: finding your niche and creating your own brand. (00:32:00-00:34:12)
- Transitioning into creating: Justin discusses his method for navigating the creative process. (00:34:13-00:40:15)
- Getting feedback: how essential it is for creators when producing significant creative output. (00:40:21-00:46:17)
- The Creator manifesto: getting valuable feedback from people. (00:46:18-00:48:42)
- Justin talks about his big idea summaries: the challenges and learnings. (00:48:43-00:54:53)
- We discuss Justin’s course, The 10x Creator – what can a student expect to gain and the valuable lessons learned and relationships formed, along the way. (00:54:59-00:59:58)
- The best advice Justin can give to anyone who is starting out as a creator. (00:59:59-1:05:50)
Selected Links from the Episode
- Arthur Schopenhauer
- General James Mattis
- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
- General David Petraeus
- Eric Hoffer
- Jack Butcher
- The Tim Ferris/Balaji podcast
👉 Are you an expert? Want to create your own online course?
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