Too Long; Didn’t Write
Today we’ll be discussing:
Something a little different
A roundup of new things that launched this week, including a line of fragrances to pair with fava beans and a nice chianti.
When even Amtrak ads become a… slippery slope.
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🔑 For The Love of Telling it Like it Is
I had big ambitions for this week’s newsletter.
It might sound trite, but writing this newsletter is the highlight of my week. I love diving into startup trends and talking to inspiring founders, but I’m a perfectionist and it takes me A LOT of time. If you need proof look no further than my patient editor/husband’s Twitter feed.
I thought I was going to hate writing. In high school, writing was my weakest subject. I was convinced that I was terrible at it, so I didn’t do it very often.
I’ll let you in on a secret — not doing something for a long period of time is *not* going to make you better at it.
Starting this newsletter was my way of getting practice, and, in the process, sharing some observations I’d been making in the startup space.
Although I wasn’t sure who’d be interested, if anyone.
While I’m proud of the work I’ve done — I’ve built two companies, one of which grew to multi-million dollar revenue, I don’t have a unicorn to my name nor do I come from a big-time agency, one of many who claim to have launched X, Y, or Z brand into a success.
I thought that disqualified me from having useful information to contribute.
I’m glad I didn’t let that derail me. I never anticipated my newsletter would grow this quickly, and I’d connect with so many amazing people — I love getting insights and feedback from all of you, and it motivates me to put the time in to create something of value (I hope) every week.
This week, I just didn’t have all the time I wanted for another ambitious post, so I’m turning to you for help.
Instead of researching a trend, I’d like to write about actionable, tactical advice. I’m going to share mine, and I’d love for you to share yours. More on that later.
My natural perfectionist inclination is not to share anything until it’s absolutely perfect. That was a roadblock to getting my newsletter out. I spent 2.5 months (!!!) writing the first issue.
Yes, you read that right.
What made me finally publish it?
I told everyone I knew that I was going to do it.
Did this make it easier to get past feeling like I was a subpar writer? Or my insecurity that I didn’t have anything of value to say?
What it did was make it seriously embarrassing every time I spoke to anyone before I published it. After over 2 months, it felt ridiculous to tell people that I was still working on it.
I had to just publish whatever I had.
Being accountable to all of you (and knowing that your time and attention are valuable) has forced me to think about how I can add the most value with each newsletter, and *bonus* it’s making me a better writer in the process.
In the spirit of practicing what I preach, and keeping myself accountable, I’d like to share what I’m working on. Alongside a handful of consulting projects, this newsletter, and participating in the On Deck Fellowship, I’m starting two businesses.
By the end of the year, I plan to launch two startups:
A business I’m starting with Charlie, my husband, called Visible Work, where, as the name implies, we’ll help accomplished professionals raise their public profiles and get credit for their work and expertise. It’s not about becoming “influencers,” but sharing achievements and valuable knowledge with their networks, and creating work opportunities with people and companies that share their values.
Inspired by all the incredible feedback from my article, “The Tingling is How You Know This Newsletter is Working,” I’ve decided to build a platform for science-backed reviews of products. Think Wirecutter (or Consumer Reports for those of us that remember paper magazines) for beauty and wellness. It’s called — well, I don’t know what it’s called yet.
Now that all of you know, I have to deliver!
It works, I promise.
Whatever you’re dreaming of, tinkering with, or building — rip the bandaid off, announce it publicly. It will get you motivated, or at the very least, embarrassed enough to follow through.
My trend deep dives aren’t going anywhere but, as I said, every once in awhile I’d like to give you tactical advice, and I would love to feature some of your advice in the process.
Since you’ve been emailing me, I know that you’re a group inspiring founders, creatives, marketers, and investors with great experience and ideas.
Send me your single best hack or piece of tactical advice.
It can be about branding, time management, people management, marketing, social, running a business, or anything else you think is your most useful, shareable tip.
I can’t wait to hear all your best hacks and if you have any feedback or questions about what I’m working on, feel free to send those over too!
In the meantime, I’ll be back next week with another overly-ambitious trend piece.
🔥 For The Love of Newness
Anthony Hopkins launched a line of fragrances and candles. I did not test to see what the candles are made of. That’s for my aforementioned future business.
From the founder of Girls Night In, Whiled is a new line of charming puzzles, for “downtime, emphasizing good design, while winking to the unexpected, sparking curiosity, and making the minutes melt away.”
Goldune is a “better, brighter, sustainable-er way to shop” for beauty and home goods.
Hive is here to stock your pantry with brands with ingredient integrity and a low carbon footprint.
Your favorite chickpea pasta-maker now makes chickpea pizza.
Allbirds, maker of wool for your feet, is now making wool for the rest of your body, too.
Dream Pops is a new line of plant-based frozen treats “packed with superfoods & adaptogens.”
💡 For The Love of Usefulness
For all you founders in the retail and consumer goods space — XRC Labs is now accepting applications for their 11th cohort. Startups in the program get $135k, 14 weeks of programming, and access to mentors (including me!). You can apply here before Nov. 15th. Good luck!
🔍 For The Love of the Details
This is just *a lot* of bedside moisturizer for a guy alone in a train car lovingly eyeing a tablet.
I won’t comment any further, lest this newsletter go…
...off the rails.
Thank you for being part of For The Love!
A few more things...
Is there a topic you think I should cover? Or a funny ad I can dissect? I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, respond to this email, or drop it in the comments ⬇
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Written by Aja Singer, a brand and creative strategy consultant interested in all things startup, mission-driven, and community. Born in Canada. Based in Brooklyn. You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter.