Dr Alex Young

📔 How To Grow From Zero to One

Published over 2 years ago • 3 min read

Sunday CEO: Growing From Zero to One

Hey Folks,

This week I’ve been reflecting on some of the new things that I’ve started over the last 18-months. I started to learn guitar, started to learn CrossFit (in particular the muscle-up and hand stand press-up) and as a CEO I have also started sharing more externally to help build an audience and community of like-minded people. This week our marketing team at Virti launched a Facebook community and my YouTube channel hit 100 subscribers and over 3000 views after I started it a few months ago for fun. All of these things started at zero. Zero followers, zero number of reps or zero hours of practise. All of these things take time and consistency to grow. At first it can seem overwhelming and doing things without the immediate feedback of seeing obvious improvement it’s hard to stay motivated. As Josh Kauffman says in his TEDx talk on the first 20 hours of learning, the start is tough as you basically suck, but with consistency and dedication you will push through this and learning a new skill becomes fun and much easier. I have previously written about how to get started at anything and part of having intrinsic motivation is holding leverage over yourself and motivating yourself to keep going even when there is no obvious benefit or reward in the early stages. To help get through these horrible early stages there are a few hacks that can help remove procrastination: 1. Remove barriers to getting the thing done - an example of this might be having a dedicated study space or setting up a YouTube recording area so you don’t need to assemble your camera every time you want to film something; 2. Research and deconstruct the process - whether you are growing a community or learning a new skill understand how others have done it and the best approach before you start so that you can approach the task in the most efficient way possible using a method that you know will lead to success if followed; 3. Get through that first 20 hours of doing it - keep going, remember why you are doing the task and reward yourself to get through the early stages. Once you have an audience or are adept at a skill things are much more rewarding and motivating, so keep going.

Have a productive week!


✍️ Quote of the Week

Life is 10%what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. - Charles Swindoll

🏔️ What I've Learned This Week

I was back speaking at in-person conferences this week and travelled to the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham, UK to give the final talk at a medical technology conference. Having a live audience when speaking is hugely helpful as you receive immediate feedback and just by seeing the faces of people in the audience you can tailor your talk and humour to keep people engaged and entertained. Although zoom calls, remote meetings and recording YouTube videos is fun and convenient there is nothing that beats being in front of a live audience for honing your speaking skills. This sentiment applies to most other skills too. If you are only practising in your home rather than challenging yourself to perform in front of others or share your skill live you’re not really testing yourself under pressure and you are limiting your growth. So get in front of real humans and get real-time feedback to improve faster.

📚 Weekly Highlights

🎤 TED Talk - I’m going to plug Josh Kaufman’s excellent TEDx talk here again as I re-watched it to write this newsletter.

🎙 Podcast - Bit of a guilty pleasure but I listened to a wrestling podcast from All Elite Wrestling for an interview it’s CM Punk who returned to wrestling after a 7 year hiatus. I’m always inspired by sports professionals and wrestlers in particular sacrifice lots and have a heavy travel schedule all because they love their craft. If you have no interested in Pro Wrestling skips to 37:35 for a great take on how to treat life opportunities like an amusement park.

🎬 This Week's Videos

📰 This Week's Press and Articles

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Dr Alex Young

AI, learning and productivity

Hey I'm Alex! I’m a Surgeon, Founder and CEO Focused On Learning and Human Performance. I explore the systems and techniques that help us live healthier, wealthier, happier and more productive lives.

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