Which's the most important skill you should learn if you want to work for yourself? ...

I don't think you learn this by reading about it, but by becoming determined to figure out what motivates people to take out their wallet and pay for things.
I started by observing my own behavior when I came to make purchasing decisions. Whenever I found myself choosing to pay for something (or choosing not to), I would try to reflect on why I was making that decision.
Even though everyone is different, we're much more similar than we think, and studying yourself is a good heuristic to start learning how to sell.

The next step is to have something to sell, and experiment with your marketing.
But don't just try random experiments and hope for the best. Try to do things that you feel reasonably convinced they will work (based on your observations about your own buying motivations). If they work, you learn something; if they don't, you learn something as well.
If you don't have something to sell yet, try to make people do something for free, such as clicking a link, reading a post, or joining a mailing list. This is still good practice for figuring out what motivates people to do something you want them to do.

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More from @dvassallo

18 Nov
Some of my favorite books and my main takeaway:
Punished by Rewards — People hate being controlled with carrots & sticks, and only intrinsic motivation lasts.

Man's Search for Meaning — A good life is a story you're proud of.

4 Hour Work Week — Design your lifestyle based on your preferences, not on preferences of others.
Unconditional Parenting — Be on your child's side, unconditionally, all the time.

Blue Ocean Strategy — Find uncontested markets.

Alchemy — Rational is what works, not what makes sense.

Rework — Constraints are advantages in disguise.

Hell Yeah or No — Do almost nothing.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
How to build a portfolio of small bets (without hating your life):
Remember that to thrive, you must first survive. The order matters.

Instead of trying to succeed, try not to fail. Make sure your self-employment arrangement becomes sustainable quickly by going for the low hanging fruit.
Low hanging fruit are opportunities that require very little cost, time, and effort — even if it means they're not the most enjoyable and have limited upside.

Try as many of these "small bets" as you can, and run them in parallel — no need to wait for a failure to do the next.
Read 5 tweets
31 Aug
How to be happy (without getting lucky):
Learn your true preferences. Knowing what you dislike tends to be more reliable than what you think you'll like.
Try new things, but always keep a realistic option to quit. If you're on the wrong train, every stop is the wrong stop.
Read 15 tweets
14 Aug
How to get your first 1000 followers 👇
Start by taking notice of what people in real life ask you about. Chances are that if your friends are interested in something you're doing, the internet will help you find thousands more like them.
"But what if I'm not doing anything interesting?!"

Almost everyone is. It doesn't have to be anything spectacular. You might be:

- Learning a new skill
- Doing a side hustle
- Going for a road trip
- Remodeling your home
- Studying something obscure
- Losing weight
Read 11 tweets
28 Jul
In a normal economy, almost everyone is able to make a living trading their time for money. But you definitely can’t say the same thing about product owners.

Everyone wants to decouple their income from their time — the problem is there’s no predictable way to achieve that.

You can’t ignore the odds.

If you want to take shots at the product business, you can stack the odds in your favor with the barbell strategy.

On one side do something predictable that pays the bills, and on the other side something speculative. Nothing in between.

You can do the barbell in parallel:

1. Find a low-stress job/gig that pays the bills and leaves you with some spare time & energy.

2. Use your spare time & energy to do whatever you want, without being beholden to anyone, and without risking anything consequential.

Read 4 tweets
22 Jun
1/ "What's the best career advice you've ever received?"

The best advice I received was paradoxically the worst advice! But it made me realize something important.

It was my 4th year at Amazon, when a career mentor told me that everyone wants just two things from their job:
2/ Making a lot of money, and making a big impact in the world.
3/ My mentor assured me that if I kept it up, I will almost certainly achieve both, and if I worked really hard I will likely contribute to something that might even be remembered forever — maybe even have my own Wikipedia page!
Read 6 tweets

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