Digital Writing, Twitter Growth and a 7-figure Side-Hustle with Dickie Bush

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Dickie Bush has almost 300k followers on Twitter and is one of the captains behind the popular online writing course, Ship 30 for 30.

In this episode of Creators on Air, Dickie shares the secrets behind his Twitter growth, his current writing routine, and what makes Ship 30 for 30 a big success.

Follow Dickie:

🐦 Twitter

🎥 YouTube

🚢 Ship 30 for 30 

📰 Digital Writing Compass

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dickie: Put a lot of ideas out there. Find the ones that people find interesting, and then use the right tactics to keep the reader engaged, get the reader's attention, and if you just kind of follow that systematic playbook, you're going to grow inevitably.

[00:00:22] Akta: Dickie Bush is one of the captains of Ship 30 for 30. A cohort-based course that has helped over 5,600 students to write online in today's episode of Creators On Air Dickie shares the habits and mindsets that helped him to grow as a writer online. And why Ship 30 for 30 became such a huge success.

00:41: Background

[00:00:41] Dickie: So I hated, uh, and hated is probably not even strong enough of a word despised writing in college.

[00:00:48] Dickie: I, no way. I went to a liberal arts, uh, focus school at Princeton and I. took a freshman writing class that they required us to take, and I was so scarred after it because I thought just the way that they taught the craft, I disagreed with, you know, the fact that you got bonus points if you wrote a longer paper never made sense to me.

[00:01:10] Dickie: I think the way that they kind of had you focus on editing every single word when you didn't really know what you were editing. I, I could go on and on. So I, I avoided writing. I didn't take any politics classes or any real kind of writing intensive classes because I didn't like it. So I did all my studies with math and computer science and things like that.

[00:01:30] Dickie: And then when I entered the real world at BlackRock, I saw that. , the people who had the most sway at the firm were the ones who were writing these long, or I, I shouldn't say long, but dense, highly informational, highly educational emails. And so I quickly saw the power of writing and realized, I don't know how to do this.

[00:01:52] Dickie: So before I even started writing on the internet, I was writing internal emails to my team, to other people at the firm just trying  to get better. The craft of writing and educating and putting my ideas out there. So, mm-hmm , it really started as a, I need to get better at this. This is a big weakness of mine.

[00:02:11] Dickie: How can I do that well with anything? I just need to start doing it. And so that's what I did.

[00:02:16] Akta: And what did your growth online look like from writing online?

[00:02:22] Dickie: My first nine months, uh, I was writing a weekly blog post and a weekly newsletter. And after nine months, because I, that's what I thought you were supposed to do, it was you gotta own your platform.

[00:02:33] Dickie: You need to put your ideas there. And nine months, I think I had a hundred newsletter subscribers, something like that. Um, and I was getting, you know, 50 to a hundred views on my blog posts and I'd say 10 to 20 of them were my mom probably refreshing and rereading it, . Um, so very slow in the beginning and extremely frustrating because it was lonely.

[00:02:56] Dickie: I didn't know whether I was doing anything wrong. I didn't have a community [00:03:00] or a group of people surrounding me. I wasn't getting any feedback on my ideas. So the first nine months, very slow and everything acceler. When I said, okay, I'm ready to give up, uh, this whole writing on the internet thing, but I'm gonna give it one more go.

[00:03:15] Dickie: And instead of writing a weekly blog post on a blog, I'm gonna write a week or a daily Twitter thread. So I had this routine of waking up in the morning. I'd listen to a podcast on a walk. I'd go about my full day at BlackRock, and then at the end of the day, I would summarize that podcast with everything I learned, three to five takeaways, something like that.

[00:03:33] Dickie: And I did that for 30. . And I still remember day 28, I hit publish. And after all this of, you know, there was some growth during that time, but day 28, I, I hit publish on a thread that got zero likes, zero retweets. It was like I was back on my own blog. I was like, okay, hmm, that's it. I'm giving up. Um, this is enough for me.

[00:03:55] Dickie: But I wasn't one to quit early. I only had two days left. So the next day I wrote a [00:04:00] similar. Published it around 6:37 PM Shut my laptop, went to bed, woke up the next day and it went viral. I think it's, to this day, one of my most viral four or 5,000 likes. I went from 500 to 2000 followers overnight. I went from, wow.

[00:04:16] Dickie: So it took me nine months to get to 500 Twitter followers and then, uh, 12 hours to go to 2000 . And uh, that's when I realized the power of you don't. What it is that's going to take off. And so you need to be putting ideas out there consistently. That was the foundation of Ship 30, which, um, I know you took and you've had some others, Elise and EB and Ali, uh, on the podcast as well, who are Ship 30 alums.

[00:04:41] Dickie: But that was the foundation where I realized writing every single day and shipping something out into the world is really the most powerful thing you can do at this time. Uh, on the internet and Ship 30 has been a way of getting that idea into as many people's [00:05:00] daily kind of routine as possible.

[00:05:02] Akta: Yeah, definitely.

[00:05:03] Akta: I, I definitely agree with what you said, and that resonates a lot with me, is that you, you don't know which piece is going to help you take off. Like, I've had the same experience with YouTube. It took me, I think, like two years to get to 4,000 subscribers and then. In the space of a couple of weeks, went to like almost 30,000 subscribers, so I, it does happen a lot.

[00:05:23] Akta: But do you think there's anything about your threads or the way that you are writing on Twitter that actually helps you grow? .

[00:05:32] Dickie: I think most of my Twitter threads, I have a pretty good idea at this point that they're going to be successful because I follow a framework we talk about in Ship 30 called lean Writing.

[00:05:43] Dickie: Mm-hmm. And it's, instead of thinking you need to have this perfectly crafted idea, it's all about using Twitter to refine those ideas. So anytime I have an idea for a potential. I will try to summarize it in one tweet and I just throw that out there, kind of off the cuff. And when I do that consistently, like I'm, my bare minimum is I put out two tweets every single day.

[00:06:05] Dickie: I've done that for now, two and a half years at this point. And by doing that, I'm getting two and a half times 30, 75 ideas every single month that I now have audience feedback which ones were the most interesting, right? All of those tweets have replies, all of those tweets have likes. I can kinda look at it and say, oh, this was clearly something people are interested in.

[00:06:26] Dickie: Now I'm going to expand that into a thread. I'm gonna put a good hook on it that gets people to read. And so I'm, I'm kind of following a framework, more or less. Put a lot of ideas out there. Find the ones that people find interesting, and then use the right tactics to keep the reader engaged, get the reader's attention.

[00:06:41] Dickie: And if you just kind of follow that systematic playbook, you're going to grow inevitably because you're gonna be writing about things, people enjoy reading, and you're also going to. Figure out what works, right? Because you're looking at what works, you're doubling down on it. Then you're gonna learn from those threads.

[00:06:59] Dickie: So I think it's not as much my writing that has led to the growth. I don't think it's more my analytical approach to it of, I know the writing I'm putting out is going to be helpful for people cuz I'm validating it beforehand and, and that means I never waste time, right? I'm never wasting time writing something that I'm assuming people wanna.

[00:07:17] Dickie: I'm always writing kind of the highest leverage thing at any given time that I know, uh, is gonna be helpful for people.

[00:07:23] Akta: That's actually a really good idea. So you're constantly getting feedback and using that feedback to drive what you're spending time on. I'm really impressed though, that you've been managing to write two, two weeks a day for the last like two years or so.

[00:07:34] Akta: How have you managed to say so consistent? Like what are your habits that are helping you to carve out this consistent writing practice?

[00:07:42] Dickie: It is recognizing that putting out two tweets a day is a byproduct and not a result of anything I'm doing. And so I've, I made a YouTube video on this. I've kind. Dove into the YouTube world over the last, uh, month and a half.

[00:07:55] Dickie: Oh, nice. And, and made a weekly video there. It's been a lot of fun, but good. One of them were, some of the writing habits I found from studying a bunch of legendary authors, and the biggest takeaway was that the best writing was not a result. It was a byproduct. A byproduct of how they spent all their other time.

[00:08:11] Dickie: So for me, it's very easy to write two tweets per week because I'm always thinking and capturing ideas. Anytime something comes to. Um, I got post-it notes right here. I got, what else do I got? This, this notebooks with me almost all the time. I have quick capture on my phone with a bunch of different apps, and so I love that I, right.

[00:08:31] Dickie: I treat ideas as precious currency because I've created this, um, I guess container where I know I need to be having at least 15 ideas a week. How do I do that? I'm always in the lookout for 'em, and so, Writing two tweets is, it's almost more difficult to not write them because I'm capturing so many ideas.

[00:08:50] Dickie: I sit down on Sunday morning and kind of go through that list and it's, I, I forgot I even captured those ideas, but I'm so glad I did. And that's why I know the habit is working is because there's no way I could have held onto it. And if I tried to, um, I was gonna be distracted, right? My mind. . This is a creative principle we talk about in shift 30, but when the mind is free to have ideas, it's going to be overwhelmed with them.

[00:09:14] Dickie: So if you have a system to get them outta your head, um, ideas kind of take care of themselves.

[00:09:19] Akta: No, that's really true. I like that you've got such a good system for getting the ideas and capturing them. Um, I wanna talk about niche actually, because. You seem to have so many ideas, um, but I know you as kind of like the writing guy on Twitter.

[00:09:32] Akta: You're the person I always go to for writing advice. Did you make that plan to go in with the clear cut niche and you know, have that trajectory of where that was going to go? Or did you kind of fall in to being someone who talked about writing?

[00:09:48] Dickie: 100% fell into it, but fell into it with intention of I. I think this idea of finding or creating your niche gets way too much attention because it's mostly a procrastination per described as productivity exercise where it's, I gotta figure out my niche.

[00:10:06] Dickie: What am I gonna write about? Your niche emerges when you put out two tweets a day, every single day for two. Yeah, you're testing enough ideas. So for Meri, talking about writing was mostly my way of learning the craft of writing. So if you go look at a lot of my most popular threads, they're not writing advice from me.

[00:10:27] Dickie: It was, I studied this person's writing routine, here's what I learned. . And so I was more of a curator at the beginning, and through that curation I was able to develop my own system. I was able to learn on my own. And I think that's a great framework for a lot of people to follow, is if you're not quite sure what your niche is, look at what you're interested in learning and then go learn about those things, share it.

[00:10:48] Dickie: And along the way you're gonna build an audience of people behind you who are learning the same thing as well. So at this point, right, I have enough distribution where I can kind of talk about whatever I'd. ,and that's where I think people go wrong is they say, I have all these interests. I want to talk about all of them.

[00:11:07] Dickie: Yeah. And if you extend the time horizon and you say, I'm gonna be writing on the internet for 25 years, it doesn't matter what I talk about this year, right? I'm going to talk about if I just talked about writing for all of 2021 and a lot of this year, which is pretty much what I did, but now I can talk about my exercise routine or my mindfulness practice.

[00:11:27] Dickie: My leadership principles, right? And I have enough people who are interested in writing good chances that they're interested in other things as well. So if you're, if you're kind of scratching your head or banging your head against the wall at night, like, oh, I can't figure out what my niche is going to be.

[00:11:43] Dickie: You just need to start putting things out. Something's going to emerge. , and then you can kind of build, if it's much easier to talk about one thing at a time, one for yourself, because you're gonna really develop a mastery of it. And then two, you're gonna build enough distribution to a group of people interested in that, and then you can branch out from there.

[00:12:00] Dickie: So that's always my advice to people is extend the time horizon. Understand you're gonna be writing for a long time, and then talk about one thing, build distribution, and then.

[00:12:11] Akta: I think that's really good advice. I actually love what you said about extending that timeline because I think because creating online is so uncertain, you don't wanna think long term and you don't wanna think about what your online career is gonna look like in 20 years.

[00:12:25] Akta: I love how you've flipped that on its head to make it almost liberating as if, you know you've got all the time to create whatever you want so you can figure things out as you go along. So that's really good advice. Um, and let's talk about Ship 30 for 30, because. Like I said, I go to you for writing advice.

[00:12:42] Akta: So many people on Twitter will go onto Twitter and see Ship 30 for 30. Why did you decide to start that community?

[00:12:51] Dickie: So Ship 30 started as the solution to my inability to write consistently and my need for accountability. So like I said at the beginning, I started with that personal 30 day thread challenge.

[00:13:05] Dickie: Had a big breakthrough at the end, right? I had something go viral, validated my entire experiment. I said, writing on Twitter is better than a blog. I need to be putting ideas out there. But I was very tired. at that point. , and I realized that what I was missing was, it was a little bit of a lonely thing. I didn't have a group of people surrounding me, so I put out a single tweet.

[00:13:25] Dickie: Um, and it's kind of a legendary tweet that I love to resurface because it, it was about two years ago, middle of November of 2020, and it said, would anyone be interested in joining me for my next 30 day writing challenge? The idea would be to kind of overcome the friction of putting things out there, kill things like procrastination, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, all that, and I think I had thousand followers at the time.

[00:13:49] Dickie: Something like. . Mm-hmm. . And there were hundreds of replies, right? So I was clearly onto something of everyone who had the same problem I had, where they were following what at the time, was the conventional playbook and were not seeing results and not really enjoying the process. So that original cohort, I was so terrified to charge money, but I had to because otherwise there would've been too, too many people.

[00:14:12] Dickie: So it's $50 and you got your money back if you wrote all 30 days. So I'm like keeping this spreadsheet of all the numbers in PayPal, like, oh wow, who's writing every day? I'm managing this whole thing. . Um, and that was the original start of it was I wanted people in a Slack channel with me. So when I didn't feel like writing that day, I had a wave of momentum where I would just pop my head in there and it's like, oh, oh, if you guys showed up today, that means I'm gonna show up today.

[00:14:36] Dickie: And that I think is the most powerful part of Ship 30, is if you join, you're gonna be inundated with other people who are writing. And so if, if that doesn't motivate you, it might not be the right. . But if you are someone who gets inspiration and motivation from other people being surrounded, like James Clear has a great quote in Atomic Habits on this.

[00:14:55] Dickie: It's to start doing a behavior, just surround yourself with a group of people who are doing it right. So if you wanna write every day, why wouldn't you join something that has hundreds of other people riding every day? Because. It just, it's the normal behavior. You wake up, you write, you publish. So it all started as a way for me to have accountability to keep writing, and then it emerged and scaled as clearly this is a problem that people are experiencing.

[00:15:20] Dickie: Let's scale the solution to, to more of them.

[00:15:24] Akta: love how you took your own problem and solved it by building in public and that turned into your business. That's amazing. Um, how has it actually scaled? Like how did you go. First cohort into like a cohort-based course. Was that, was that kind of just a natural progression or, or did you have to kind of sit down and plan

[00:15:43] Dickie: that?

[00:15:44] Dickie: It has been an iterative progression, so we've run 15 cohorts now. Uh Oh wow. I partner with Nicholas Cole in January, 2021. Anyone who doesn't know him, he's been writing online since 2014. He's really engineered a lot of the frameworks we talk about, and it was the perfect combination of skillset and, and mindsets and all.

[00:16:03] Dickie: and there's been no big master planning. It's just do a cohort, ask everyone in the cohort for feedback, improve the course. Do it again, do it again, do it again. Mm-hmm. . And here we are two years in and it's been a wild ride for sure, but there's, there's no playbook to doing it. I think it's, if there is a playbook, it's, I held 55 0 one-on-one interviews with the first 50 people on ship, 30 for 30.

[00:16:28] Dickie: And I'm still, to this day, referencing the notes from, Because I have such clarity on what the problem was at the time. Every person, I scheduled a one-on-one call and said, what worked? What was your favorite part? What could be improved? How could this be more helpful? What's your next problem? And just built up, built up, built up this understanding of, I know exactly the words that people are using to describe their problem.

[00:16:53] Dickie: I know what's most helpful and. The, the longer I do it, the more I understand that there's more we could do, right? Mm-hmm. , it started as a small accountability group, but there's so much more we could do to really turn Ship 30 into something everyone loves and tells their friends and wants to stay a part of forever.

[00:17:12] Dickie: So definitely only the beginning of the journey on that side, but it's, there's no master plan with any of this. It's just one cohort at a time. Learn, iterate, and prove and do it again.

[00:17:23] Akta: I think that's, uh, great advice. It's actually reminds me of the episode that I had with Ali Abdal last season, and he said the best way to figure out your business model was just to jump onto calls with your audience and find out what they want or their problem is.

[00:17:36] Akta: And it seems like that's exactly what you did without realizing that's what you were turning this into a business. Why do you think it's been such an ongoing

[00:17:44] Dickie: success? People like it, . That's the, the good thing is right. . The, the courses that are doing the best are the ones that are solving problems and turning students into supporters, fans, lifelong community [00:18:00] members.

[00:18:00] Dickie: They tell their friends. I think 20% of our new members, every single cohort come from referrals, right? So people within the community bringing their friends along, and that number is scaling up and up and up. And that's a signal that we're doing the right. where we know that if we do a good job helping people that, yeah, the number one most powerful marketing is word of mouth, right?

[00:18:23] Dickie: Because that person says, oh my gosh, you, gosh, you have to try this. That person tells another person. That person tells another person. And so our whole thing is how can we conduct an experience where at every point along the ship, 30. Someone goes, this is amazing. I gotta tell everyone. And we're not quite there yet.

[00:18:40] Dickie: There's always mistakes and there's always things we can improve. And that's what's fun about it. Mm-hmm. . But I think the, the number one thing is it's work to solve problems for people. They tell their friends. Their friends tell their friends, and then it's kind of self-perpetuating in that way.

[00:18:54] Akta: Yeah. And I can definitely vouch for the course being amazing.

[00:18:56] Akta: I did the beginning of the year. What I really liked about it was how strong that community was. Um, because I'm based in a completely different time zone, so I wasn't even in all of the calls, and yet I constantly felt that community come through through Twitter. How did you guys manage to make a course that did really strengthen that community aspect of it?

[00:19:20] Dickie: luck and the type of person that it attracts, right? If you are interested in writing, you're interested in meeting other people, you're interested in sharing ideas, you're interested in improvement, right? So when you put that big group of people, and what I love about Chip threading, we say this on our every kickoff call, it's, there is no other place in the world where you are going to surround yourself with people from every demographic, background, time zone, age, gender.

[00:19:48] Dickie: Every single thing like that, all with the same goal to start riding on the internet. Right? And so that's so true when you do that, that's where all the power comes from, is that for every year in human history, before honestly Ship 30 started, there was no way to gather yourself with people from every part of the globe.

[00:20:08] Dickie: every ba, everything. But that wanted the same thing as you. And that's what makes the community so enrich, enriching, is you get exposed to all these different people, but every one of you have a single line of communication that you could talk about, right? So it has this like pinpoint and then all these things around it that make the community kind of what I think is, is the best one on the.

[00:20:31] Akta: and um, what I love is I always know when a new cohort has started because I see the hashtag ship 30 for 30 just flooding Twitter. Was it an active decision to integrate your course with Twitter and to have this hashtag that represented the course and everyone who was doing it?

[00:20:50] Dickie: Well, the, I think the whole point of Ship 30 is that most writing ends up on a blog that no one reads.

[00:20:56] Dickie: So how can we engineer a community where you're guaranteed that you have readers, so you can figure out what works. You can figure out what people are interested in, what's resonating, right? And so some people use the hashtag, some people don't. We don't require it by any means, but what it does is it just allows you to say, Hey, everyone else that's doing.

[00:21:14] Dickie: I want to improve. Can you help me by reading this? I'll read yours. Right. And so it, it's all about accelerating feedback loops in that way. And so there was just no way to do that in private. Right? We had to leverage these social platforms if we wanted to do it.

[00:21:28] Akta: That makes a lot of sense. And your pricing has changed quite a lot since that first cohort, so I didn't realize it was $50 back then.

[00:21:34] Akta: How did you go about pricing the course and knowing that you were pricing up the right amount of.

[00:21:41] Dickie: So we still don't know. I think most people say we're still charging not enough by any means compared to a lot of other courses on the internet right now. Given what, yeah, what we do, and that's the whole point, right?

[00:21:53] Dickie: We're charging $699 at this point. and every time we've raised the price by a hundred dollars, we said, how have we added a thousand dollars of value to this ? And so it's always we make a 10, 10 x jump, and then we add a hundred dollars, right? So we went from 50 the, but then January of 21 it was two 50 and we've kind of added a hundred dollars to each one.

[00:22:15] Dickie: But the number of upgrades we've made to the course each time, our goal is that in our offboarding survey, we ask people how they felt the value. and the number one answer we set, it was some formula of, this is an insane amount of value. You guys need to charge more. And we just kept seeing that, seeing that, and we still see it.

[00:22:35] Dickie: Right? So that's why we've, we've kind of held off here because I think a lot of online courses right now are overpriced relative to, um, the amount of access it gives people, right? Or the amount of people it gives access to. And our goal is to help a million people start writing on the internet. And so we can't be charging in the, in the fives and tens of thousands of dollars for that, but we feel like this is the perfect price point that allows people to make an investment where they're going to get the most out of the course while also not being out of the range of too many people.

[00:23:10] Dickie: No, we have payment plans and things like that. .

[00:23:13] Akta: I like that you have been so accessible with the course. Cause I, I do think there are some courses online that aren't that accessible and I think it's hard, especially when so many people want to build a career because they wanna write online. Um, I wanna talk about type share as well because when I did ship 30 for 30, that's one of the platforms that you guys have shared.

[00:23:31] Akta: It's something that you are working on in the background. What was the thought process behind starting, uh, type share?

[00:23:39] Dickie: There actually wasn't one, we had someone who was watching Ship 30 on the sideline and he reached out and said, Hey guys, I've built this atomic essay writer for you guys. How, how would you like to use it?

[00:23:50] Dickie: And we ended up partnering with Sam, who is the, the head developer on type share. And it really started as what if there were was a way for us to create a writing platform where we could do the education that we're talking about. So we're still very early in, in what we're building on that. But instead of saying, Hey, go write in notion.

[00:24:08] Dickie: Go write in Apple notes, go write in Rome, whatever it is. What if there was just a writing platform where you generated your ideas, you kept your ideas, you figured out what works. There was education built in. There'll be community built in eventually. So it's more a vision of scaling what we think is the right way to write on the internet to a software platform that allows us to customize.

[00:24:30] Dickie: our education to a software product, right? So if we're not just people, one thing we found is a lot of people will waste a lot of time making decisions about which platform to use, what time of data post. Mm-hmm. , where to write. And so they'd rather just be told, use this, right? Because it just eliminates a decision.

[00:24:50] Dickie: So when you join Ship 30, on day two, we're like, use type share. Launch your social blog. Here's the best way to do it. Here's how to publish your first. And that for so many people, it's like, I've been waiting for months deciding between Squarespace and Wick and WordPress, whatever it is. And it's like, I came in here and I launched this thing and now I just focus on writing.

[00:25:10] Dickie: And that's the whole goal, is to make it have a, a software product that makes it extremely easy for people to start writing. And, uh, it's been working out well. There's a lot of things we can fix. A lot of things we're going to improve in 2023. It'll be a big priority there, but it's, uh, The goal is to create the writing platform that Cole and I want to use to write every single day.

[00:25:31] Dickie: And we know that if we do that, then everyone else is gonna find value in it as

[00:25:35] Akta: well. I, I love that you are, um, trying to reduce the friction for other writers, because I do think when you've got that friction, it's so easy to procrastinate. And I guess that leads me on to my next question, which is, How you manage everything you are doing because you are writing on Twitter, you've got the new Sass Air blog, you've got the course type share.

[00:25:54] Akta: You've started YouTube now. How do you make sure you're actually giving everything enough time and staying consistent with it, especially when you've got the cohorts going on. Does that not. Affect your routine.

[00:26:06] Dickie: Yeah. So if anyone has good advice on this, please, please, please send it my way because the truth is I, I don't manage it all that well.

[00:26:15] Dickie: I think you can easily put on a, not facade, but it can appear that things look organized on the outside. from anyone who has any kind of consistent publishing strategy. But it is, I mean, I got . I was just going through, so I, I spent the last week, uh, in Sedona, Arizona with my phone on airplane mode. Um, didn't use the internet, didn't use any of it, just kind of spent it hiking.

[00:26:40] Dickie: And I came back and I was like, man, I got a lot going on. And I kind of dove back into it and I'm like, trying to get organized here and I'm sure I'll, I'll get it all figured out. But the truth is like, every single time I've tried to construct an elaborate system that helps me organize it all, it crumbles within about one or two weeks, and I've probably done that into the new year, every year for the last three years, and then throughout the year periodically.

[00:27:04] Dickie: So this year I'm like, I'm sticking mostly pen and paper or just one big long list of projects that I'm working on. And I do my best to segment my day if I can do one thing right? It's from 5:00 AM when I wake up. 12 or 1:00 PM I do what's called maker time and for maker time, for me, that's writing, that's YouTube.

[00:27:27] Dickie: That's kind of building any kind of system where I don't need to be talking to anyone else. I don't need to be on the, really don't need to be on the internet for the most part. I kind of have the IDs in my head, and if I can get four to five hours of that and have that as a staple as part of every single morning for me, then the rest takes care of itself because I don't have to worry about when I'm gonna do all these things.

[00:27:46] Dickie: I know I have enough time to do. . And when you minimize the time of what I call manager time, so that administrative checking, Twitter, checking in with our team, all that, you can actually batch that very easily to way less time than you think. So I give myself like an hour to run through a long list every day.

[00:28:04] Dickie: Um, right when I kind of open up things, I'm like, I'm gonna look at Slack, I'm gonna look at Twitter, I'm gonna look at LinkedIn, I'm gonna look at my messages, I'm gonna look at email. I'm gonna make a long list, and then I'm gonna tackle that whole thing in an hour because most of it doesn't. an entire day's worth of work, right?

[00:28:18] Dickie: So then I have as much time as I possibly can focused on high leverage creative things, and then minimal amount of time, kind of closing loops, unblocking my team, things like that. But do I stick to that every single day? No. Do I find myself checking Twitter too much in the morning? Yes. all that, right? By no means do I have a perfect system, and so I, I try to be.

[00:28:41] Dickie: as transparent and like open about that because I remember for years thinking everyone else has it figured out and I'm so disorganized. But yeah, I think anyone who, anyone who is extremely, extremely organized with some kind of perfect system, ironically, isn't doing very much because you, you can't organize everything.

[00:29:04] Dickie: You just can't. Yeah. And the second you think you are, You add something to your, to your plate, it's gonna break the whole system, right? And so that's been very freeing for me. And I said the, the most productive thing I've ever done in my entire life was giving up, trying to have the perfect productivity system.

[00:29:21] Dickie: Right? The second I did that, everything else was like, oh, uh, I was doing so much work, like thinking about how to organize all this. But yeah, then. Avoiding the work to begin with, right? So I should probably just pick fewer things to do where I don't need this 12 step notion dashboard, right? Or perfectly planned calendar.

[00:29:41] Dickie: I need a couple blocks and this cup of coffee and I just get to work.

[00:29:46] Akta: Yeah, no, it's such a paradox, isn't it? How productivity, you can stop us from actually being productive. So I think that's really good advice. And I actually really like your, your routine as well, because something I struggle with. I feel like I always need to be creating, and it means that I don't spend enough time on things like analytics or any of the, like the more business side of things.

[00:30:11] Akta: So do you feel like your routine helps you with that? Getting the balance of creating versus kind of more non-creative, but things that drive your business forward?

[00:30:22] Dickie: Yeah. I, I think I actually think of creative work the same way I. Kind of business, high leverage work, where that goes into my maker time in the morning.

[00:30:32] Dickie: Okay. So if I'm, if I'm brainstorming a, a new email sequence or a new landing page or some upgrades we make to the community, I think of maker time as anything where I'm thinking and not talking to anyone else or letting notifications into my life. So something falls into maker time is if it's going to work for me forever when I do.

[00:30:56] Dickie: And so email courses or Twitter threads, YouTube videos, systems, documentation, anything that is, once I build it, I have built a new system that's going to more or less be an employee of mine. Um, even if it's a digital employee working for free, like Zapier, things like that. Um, yeah, I know that it, those are, that's what's compounding.

[00:31:18] Dickie: So if I can spend my mornings doing things that are compounding over time, I know the rest of the day kind of takes care of.

[00:31:25] Akta: We're gonna finish off with a quick fire round. So I'm gonna ask you five questions that I ask every creator that comes on, and I just want you to answer the first thing that comes to mind.

[00:31:33] Akta: So we'll start off with Awesome. What's your favorite thing about being a creator?

[00:31:38] Dickie: That I can spend a week in Sedona, Arizona with my phone off and come back and nothing has changed. Whereas, oh, when I was working at. BlackRock or on a full-time job. I just felt like there was this pull I, I'd come back, there'd be fires, and at least coming back to my own business and my own creative pursuits like they're my fires.

[00:31:59] Dickie: And so that's the number one thing is that I'm in control and I get to kind of do what I want versus being told what

[00:32:06] Akta: to do. Yeah. And what's something that gives you a lot of inspiration?

[00:32:12] Dickie: I have a good list of mentors that kind of have no clue I exist, which I love . Um, so people like, I'm, I'm actually very inspired by a lot of fitness YouTubers, ironically.

[00:32:24] Dickie: So, oh, my, my fitness journey has been, I played offensive line in college and I was a hundred pounds heavier, and so I've been on kind of a journey of health and fitness improvement over the last five years, so I've been inspired by a lot of those people and they. Have, they're all like the ones I really follow are two or three years older than me, but have been following this entrepreneurial journey.

[00:32:48] Dickie: And I've kind of been soaking in it without really recognizing that they were doing it. There were launch brands, products, services, things like that. Um, and so I'm very much inspired by them, but then applying that in a slightly different way to an education company versus a gym or fitness company. So yeah, those people are the ones that inspire me the most is anyone.

[00:33:08] Dickie: I think it's kind of an addicting feeling to improve your physical situation. Um, yeah, that it almost inevitably leads to wanting to improve your business and financial situation because you get a taste of, of ownership of one thing and then it's like, what else could I do that I get to decide and I get to build?

[00:33:26] Dickie: And for me, that turned into business. So it started with health, became obsessed with a lot of people on YouTube and watched a lot of them and. , um, applied some of those things I've learned to Twitter and writing and, and that kind of thing.

[00:33:37] Akta: Um, what's one of your favorite tools for creating

[00:33:40] Dickie: tools for creating?

[00:33:41] Dickie: So, let's see. Um, the drafts app on my phone is one of my favorites. Just allows for super quick capture. Um, that is, I capture that idea everywhere. This Muji, uh, I think it's a b, let me see, I I always get it wrong. I'm pretty sure it's a five. and this 0.5 clicker pen. So I, if you follow me on Twitter, I post pictures of these.

[00:34:07] Dickie: I'm not sponsored by mochi. People are like, you gotta disclaimer your sponsorships. I'm like, I would do anything, anything for mochi to sponsor me so I could get all their beautiful gear. Um, yeah. What else? I, I've recently just started only using Apple Notes for everything, and it has made my life so much simpler, even though it's not perfect, it's so much simpler.

[00:34:26] Dickie: The notion where I get over. Yeah, most, I am very much a liquid, takes the shape of its container kind of guy. So if you give me notion where it's like tables. automation, all this stuff. It's like my brain's like I have to use all this. Mm-hmm. But if you just gimme notes, it's like half the things don't even work.

[00:34:45] Dickie: Perfect. All it does is text. Perfect. It's on all my devices. Perfect. I can access it anywhere. Like I'm, I'm big on just eliminating the number of decisions I have to make. And so that's been super helpful. And then tweets. Type share hype, fury, both of those. Hype fury for scheduling and some of those nice features, um, to allow me to not be on Twitter all day.

[00:35:06] Dickie: And then type share is where I write all my threads and post them.

[00:35:10] Akta: Yeah. I love your choice of tools because I, I love the simplicity there. I think that's so important. Um, and then finally, oh no, I've got two questions left. Um, what's one thing that helps your work-life balance?

[00:35:20] Dickie: So, I, I actually reflected a lot on this, is I don't.

[00:35:26] Dickie: To me, work-life balance never made sense. It's like it's all one thing to me. Mm-hmm. , it's more how do you get your mind out of the same thinking pattern where for me, that turns into almost always work. So I have a few kind of brain melting activities. It's getting out in nature without my phone. where I always return more energized and excited.

[00:35:47] Dickie: I play football in college, so I love watching college football on Saturday. Just blown away. It's, I'm, I get immersed in the games. I've been to three of the biggest games this year, and so that has having one or two things. I don't think that you can run a, a, a business and have a hundred extra things to do or a hundred extra hobbies, but I also want to disclaimer.

[00:36:10] Dickie: I'm 26. I live in Miami. I'm single. I have way too much free time, , and way too few responsibilities. And so I don't have advice for anyone with a family and I, I get a lot of flack for that when I'll post like a morning routine and people are like, you clearly don't have kids. You clearly don't. I'm like, yeah, I know, but I can't wait till I do.

[00:36:28] Dickie: I'm lucky to be where I'm at right now and that's how I'm, yeah, I'm living. But, uh, that, that's kind of my 2 cents on work

[00:36:34] Akta: life. No, I appreciate the honesty. I think that's quite refreshing, to be honest, to, to give that perspective that, you know, you don't have those things going on. Um, what swamp piece of advice that you'd give to other creators,

[00:36:47] Dickie: there will never be a perfect time to start anything.

[00:36:50] Dickie: And so my framework for this is called Killing Your once is where anytime you find yourself saying once. Finish this project, then I'll do this. Or once work slows down or once I feel better or more confident, or once I learn this thing, it's like that time is never going to come because you're gonna fast forward to the future, think you're gonna be less busy.

[00:37:10] Dickie: And so it's anytime I'm inspired to start something that I know it's not a shiny object, I start it right away. Like not even the next day. It's how do I get out a piece of paper and move the ball forward on this? And so, My framework for this is called Grab a Shitty Rod and Start Fishing . And it's, it's burnt into my gray matter of this story of two men learning to fish.

[00:37:34] Dickie: And the first one, it's he's, both of these guys have never fished and the first one goes and buys 15 books on fishing and gets a new carbon fiber rod and buys a new boat and starts watching hundreds of YouTube videos and. Spends three months preparing to start fishing, right? He's got everything, everything he needs.

[00:37:56] Dickie: And the other guy on the first day grabbed a stick, [00:38:00] threw some string on it, put some bait on the hook, and went down to the lake and started fishing. And he learned on day one where there were more fish than the other spot. So we iterated on day two and day three and day four and day five, and by the time the guy in his big boat in carbon fiber rod, um, Was ready to start fishing.

[00:38:16] Dickie: The first fisherman had sucked the lake dry. He started a restaurant that now serves the fish. He started a, uh, education company that helps other people start fishing, right? And so it's, there's never going to be, you're never going to feel ready to start. So find the easiest way to get started, and you'll iterate and improve much faster than the person that waits and prepares and pretends to get ready to.

[00:38:40] Dickie: Yeah, I love

[00:38:40] Akta: that story. I think that illustrates the issue of perfectionism perfectly, which I think a lot of creators do struggle with. So thank you for sharing that, and thanks for coming on air. It's been such a great conversation. I really appreciate you doing

[00:38:52] Dickie: this, Okta. Thanks for having me. And I love what you're doing with the podcast.

[00:38:55] Dickie: I know you've had quite a few other shippers on here as well. Excited to keep following along with, uh, other, uh, creators. If, uh, anyone else wants to learn about Ship 30, they can go to Ship 30 for and see everything there. And then we also just released a new ebook that we're giving away called the Five Pillars of Digital Writing.

[00:39:15] Dickie: It's kind of a condensed version of everything you'd need to start writing online. And you can go to digital writing and download that for free as well. So just to get people started into the new year.

[00:39:28] Akta: I love how feedback was such an integral reason why Dickey was able to grow online and why Ship 30 for 30 was able to become such a big success.

[00:39:37] Akta: You can find Dickey on his website, Twitter, or if you want to start writing online in 30 days, then check out Ship 30 for 30. And if you want to do sponsorships without the hassle, then check out Passion Fruit. We handle sponsorships, bookings, collaborations, and payments all in one place. I'll see you in the next one.