Don’t forget the human on the other side of the screen

I want to share with you my biggest breakthrough in copywriting and marketing.

Here it is: Regardless of how many people I am writing to, there’s only one person on the receiving end.


  • He isn’t aware of how many people you are writing to.
  • He doesn’t like being a mere line item in your email list.
  • When you say “hey guys,” he usually has no idea what you’re talking about or who the guys you’re referring to are.

So regardless of your medium — email, blog post, a concert — and how many people you are writing to, remember that someone, a human individual, is reading it.

Make him feel special.

Like he’s the only person in your world right now.

Do that and he will reward you for it.

Today, I am happy with myself

Which is very rare.

Sebastian suggested I track my time so I can find out and optimize where it’s going.

Here’s the theory: I’m guessing I’m spending 2 hours working on something, but the reality is I probably spent 1 hour and 45 minutes of that feeling anxious and scared… And 15 minutes actually doing the thing.

I lost the morning, but here’s the rest of the day:

(I bolded the productive time and italicised the attempts at it)

2:34 PM Editing blog post on How to Do Really Simple Customer Onboarding on Project [20]
2:44 PM Said hi to Jezze [33]
3:17 PM Editing blog post [28]
3:45 PM Looking for photo [12]
3:57 PM Looking for where GR subs are coming from [28]
4:25 PM Break [28]
4:53 PM Going through github issues; added tooltip for qualify [9]
5:02 PM Going through github issues; contact page UI [21]
5:23 PM Gym [1 hour, 41 minutes]
7:04 PM Designing Calls UI [56]
8:00 PM Team call [40]
8:40 PM Drive thru and drive home [55]
9:35 PM Write email for last year’s Gotta Be Good Tour attendees, followed up with 2-3 student leaders with eventbrite details, coordinated with Kai on replying to someone, got mixed in with talking to a relative on the phone, and some email [1 hour, 38 mins]
11:13 PM Deciding if I’m going to send this to Sebastian [3]
11:16 PM Write blog post [26]
11:42 PM Go to sleep

I woke up at 7:30 AM and it is now 11:30 PM — a 16-hour workday. I only got about 4 hours of productive work in.

It may look bad, but this has probably been my most productive day since I returned from Saigon. So I’m happy with myself.

This is my 4th attempt at tracking my time and using that awareness to be more productive. Maybe this time I finally sustain the practice.

If you want to try tracking your time, here are some guidelines from Sebastian.

Things that scared me today

Sending out an email and cc-ing Sebastian and Kai so they can help me improve my email outreach.

Realizing I wasn’t doing as much work as I thought I was, and admitting it.

Getting on a call with a friend’s friend, someone who generously offered to host me while I’m in SF, just to say hi. What should I say??

It felt uncomfortable…

But I sent the email. Admitted the shortcoming. Got on the call.

I was told the email is good. Sebastian’s going to help me optimize the process and get over my neuroses. I made a new friend.

Scary, but worth it.