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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Lessons from a 9-year-old

Chloë, my nine-year-old daughter (pictured above), decided to create a blog last week. And in her second blog post, simply titled, "How I Got Started", she explained why and how:

I started my blog because I saw my parents creating their websites. I thought that it would be really interesting if I could start a website. I looked on Google for free websites and that is when I found So I choose it and then I started creating on It took me a bit of time and concentration but after the afternoon of working on my website, I finished it. I am so proud of myself for doing all that work in such a short period of time.

That's the full text of the post, but there's so much we can learn from just those six sentences.

People see what you do. Sometimes you might not realize it, but people are watching you and how you spend your time. So try to set a good example, not just for any kids you might have, but for all those around you. Chloë saw how much time her mother and I were both spending on our laptops, and what she asked us what we were doing, we told her; that gave her the idea to have a website for herself. She had a little bit of guidance from her Mama, but for the most part, she figured everything out on her own... because that's what she saw her non-technical parents doing.

Not knowing how to do something isn't an excuse. My nine-year-old daughter decided she wanted to have a blog, and by the end of the day, she had one. We live in a time where all the information in the world is just a Google query away, so if you want to do something but don't know how... that isn't really a valid excuse. You're never too old (or young) to learn something new.

You can get a lot done with a little time and concentration. Most of you are probably reading this in an open-office environment. I don't mind them myself, but I also don't hesitate to put on headphones when I have to get something important done and need to concentrate. Don't let distractions get in the way of accomplishing your goals.

Be proud of what you accomplish. There's no shame in being proud of your work. Celebrate your wins!

As it happens, I took those same lessons and applied them to this week's newsletter. Last week, I didn't know how to optimize the newsletter for mobile... but after I realized I made many of you squint at your screens to read my inaugural edition, I learned what I did wrong and applied it to this week's email. (Fortunately, only one person unsubscribed! Thanks to everyone who stuck with me for issue #2... and good riddance, Tim.) Making the changes took me a lot more time and concentration than I would have liked -- I had to throw out the template I painstakingly build last week and start from scratch -- but I think it'll be worth it. And I'm proud of the result.

- dp


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