Building a billion dollar audience, learning to say no and embracing the rule of awkward silence
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The Rule Of Awkward Silence

Hi everyone! 

Welcome to the 80+ people who've joined us since last week. There's no overarching theme this week so do enjoy the medley of stuff which ranges from templates to help you say no, to having a pool party in your pocket.

I want to say a huge thank you to Thomas Alan & Matt for supporting me by buying me a coffee. It's the first time I'm getting this type of support for writing BrainPint and it left me beaming like a kid in a candy shop.

This week, I'm giving feedback on any of your business ideas, projects or landing pages, in exchange for 15 minutes of your time. If you're keen, check out or hit reply to this email.

Thanks again for reading. Do hit reply or DM me @JanelSGM to share what you liked, and what you didn't.



Interesting Reads

Building A Billion Dollar Audience

Nathan Barry shares how creators have built an audience and leveraged it to create massive businesses. Examples: Dr. Dre (Beats), Kylie Jenner (Kylie Cosmetics), Jessica Alba (The Honest Company)

Templates That'll Help You Say "No"

Saying no is hard, because we don't want to feel like we're letting others down. But we need to protect our time as it is a finite resource. These templates help you to say No without overthinking it. Found this resource from Dan Shipper's interview with Andrew Wilkinson. Read more: The CEO of No

How the Language You Speak Influences Your Mental Frameworks

Polina Marinova shares that when she's speaking Bulgarian, she's "straightforward, logical, and thoughtful". When she speaks in English, she's "extroverted, friendlier, and more emotional". I speak three languages (English, Mandarin, Spanish) and agree that each one changes my thought patterns.

Intelligent Minds Like Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos Embrace the Rule of Awkward Silence

"The rule of awkward silence is simple: When faced with a challenging question, instead of answering, you pause and think deeply about how you want to answer." Critical thinking requires careful consideration, so perhaps we should fight the urge to instantly respond and think before we speak.

Bessemer's Seed/Series A Memos

Bessemer released their original investment memos for companies like Shopify, Pinterest, Twitch. A wonderful, behind-the-curtains look into early stage investments in iconinc tech giants. Key themes: 1) Investment in people. 2) Everyone had competitors, 3) but good differentiated products. Check out the Shopify memo.


    How To Fix Limbo Copywriting

    Wes Kao shares useful tips to improve your writing & ideas. Key picks: 

    • Add rhythm by varying the sentence structure
    • Trim excess fat to make your writing tighter
    • Sound like a human, not what you think a business professional sounds like
      Resources & Tools
      Meta Tags

      Meta tags with optimized links are clicked more than those without them. This free tool allows you to edit and preview how your webpage will look on social media. 

      The Full List of “.new” Shortcuts - A few weeks ago I shared that if you write in your Chrome browser, you can instantly open a new Google Doc. Turns out that you can do many other things. Fun finds:, (instantly drop & send a file to a friend)

      Circle Of Competence's Business Vault - A collection of investors, entrepreneurs, and companies that are worthy of study. Includes investing checklists and primers.

      Airtable - I'm really loving using Airtable as a database. It works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power to organize anything. They raised another round this week and released new features. We can now create apps & automations (e.g. use triggers to create notifications from Airtable to Slack) With my link you can get $10 credit to start.

        Communities / Newsletters

        Ness Labs - Join a community of curious humans who want to achieve more without sacrificing their mental health. I recently became a member of the community and am enjoying the discussions that teach me about Mindful Productivity.

          Take A Brain Break
          Poolside FM Screenshot

          Poolside FM for iPhone

          Great background music for play & work, with retro, sun-drenched vibes. A pool party in your pocket.

          Cookie Open
          Not Your Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

          Here's a recipe for a break-apart cookie with a melty chocolate middle if you want to enjoy a sweet treat.

          Side note: We just started brewing kombucha at home. If any of you know great flavors to try, please hit reply and let me know!

          Seen On Twitter
          Steve Schlafman🌎 Steve Schlafman🌎
          View on Twitter

          "Asking for permission" is a ninja skill few managers use effectively.

          When used appropriately, this creates psychological safety and trust.

          -Would it be helpful if...?
          -Can I add to what you just said?
          -Would you like to brainstorm with me?
          -Can I make a suggestion?

          111 See schlaf's other Tweets
          Quote Of The Week

          “Be kind along the way. Kindness matters such on that journey of endeavor. It's what separates the good from the great"
          – Bear Grylls
          (Share on Twitter)

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          Written with love in Spain by @JanelSGM
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