Jun 12, 2018
Ben Hardy is a Husband & father of 3. PhD candidate in Organizational Psychology. Bestselling author of WILLPOWER DOESN'T WORK. He has over 120,000 email subscribers. His work is featured at Fortune, Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, and others. In this EO 360° episode, he talks about his articles going viral on Medium. Ben also shares his writing process and his productivity secrets. Tune in now!
01:19 There's about one point 2 million blogs posted every day. Wouldn't it be nice just to get a couple thousand people added to your list monthly? Well, Ben Hardy here gets $20,000 added monthly. He's the number one writer on medium. If you're not familiar with Medium, it's one of the mainstream blog channels on the internet. His latest book, which was just talking about willpower doesn't work. Paid them a $250,000 advance a just released a week ago.
02:04 I'll find out today, but I think between 10 and 12,000,
02:07 Ben adopted three kids. Currently getting a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology and his work has been featured in a psychology today, Huffington Post, business insider, New York Observer, thought catalog and Inc. magazine.
03:33 Working out is essential to my ability to write the way I write and think the way I think and just be in a general positive, good mood. I have all sorts of routines to get me into the right mental place to kind of write and get into flow states.
04:16 I spend the first 20 minutes writing in my journal thinking.
06:14 Thomas Edison, for example, a famous inventor. Someone who's brilliant at making ideas real, would think really hard about his ideas and then go take a nap and just let himself rest.
07:40 When I'm in my best routine, all of my writing should be done by like 9:00 AM, and then I just can spend the time reading or doing podcasts. The course of the morning routine for me is what I call getting into a peak state.
08:19 I write between 2000 and 5,000 words and the goal is just to not filter my thinking.
11:15 I think that the concept of productivity needs to be shifted because I think we're still thinking about productivity as if we're in the industrial age where were physical laborers, you know, where you need to work nine to five and you need to keep going and going and going. but we're all mental laborers now. You know, we work with our ideas, our mind, we're trying to connect things. We're trying to connect relationships we’re trying to innovate and come up with interesting ways of thinking and your brain, you know, I think it only weighs like five pounds, but it costs you 30 percent of your body's energy.
13:15 So in my opinion, good writing or good thinking involves clear and intentional communication. What is the purpose? What are emotionally invested in and What field do you know about?
15:55 Three years ago to the day, right now, no one knew who I was. You know, I actually had never even written a blog post, you know, on March 12th, 2015, but I did have a domain name and I was getting ready to buy an online course that taught me how to write headlines.
18:27 So within two months of blogging that eight things before 8:00 AM article went viral on Medium.
22:09 There was traffic coming from everywhere and I kept looking at my infusionsoft account and being so confused because there was a little place on my website where people could enter their email, you know, and I was thinking, you know, with millions and millions of views, people should be a giving me their email. I should have thousands of you are subscribers. But it had none. Literally was getting none. And so I kind of had the aha that I need to go into the article at the end and say, if you liked this article, please click this link and get my free ebook.
24:39 So I changed my landing page, change the giveaway, made it a lot more clear and actionable and I went from five to about 20,000 emails a month without changing the amount of traffic. And so what I got out of that and what's kind of been replicated a lot senses that simple, actionable giveaways are the ones that are the most compelling to people.
27:39 I think that websites are a bad idea. They're a piece of wallpaper, maybe the purpose is just to be that wallpaper to get people who stumble upon you to learn about you, but as far as growing a huge audience and then getting those people to fail, you need to be very thoughtful about getting them in.
30:23 The premise of the book is that willpower is
like the worst approach. It changing your life and it's the worst
approach from so many different angles. The angle I go off of is
that your environment always wins. So if you haven't set up the
environment, if the environment is opposing your goals, then you're
forced to think about your behavior. If the environment hasn't been
set up, then you're going to lose.