This week, we’re deconstructing TGI strategies from David Kadavy. He appeared on TGI 16 to share his story. David Kadavy is a creative entrepreneur, author, podcaster, speaker, and creative productivity expert. His books include The Heart to Start: Stop Procrastinating & Start Creating, Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty (which debuted in the top 20 on all of Amazon), and multiple “short reads”. On his weekly podcast, Love Your Work, David has learned from entrepreneurs, creators, and experts such as: James Altucher, Seth Godin, Joanna Penn, and many more. Here the most effective TGI strategies, based on TGI 16:
Traction: When it comes to traction with regard to the creative passions that David has, he looks for opportunities — whether it is speaking at SXSW in Austin TX, or getting a book deal through Wiley & Sons. The traction that he looks for is progress that enables him to continue his creative work. A book advance would give him runway to write his book — speaking at SXSW would give him authority to speak professionally. Each thing that he looks for is maximizing opportunity and potential. When it came to the idea for his eventual book The Heart to Start, David was primarily looking for speaking opportunities, that would eventually turn into a book deal. He wanted to reverse engineer votes for his presentation at SXSW by posting on a social media site Hacker News. He evaluated different aspects of top posts so that he could replicate their success, and encourage readers of Hacker News to upvote his post, and hopefully vote for his speaking candidacy. What ended up happening, however, was that while his post was successful in gaining notoriety, it got the attention of two publishers — both of which offered him a book deal. He eventually signed with Wiley, and in the end, achieved enough traction to get a book deal from a single social media post.
Growth: Every person has a different interpretation of what growth means for them — for David, growth is the ability to live in a steady state of creative production, which requires recognition from others of the value that he provides by doing what he loves. Traction is one thing, but growth requires that serious progress is made from the sparks of interest that occur as a result of that traction. Growth, therefore, is the conversion of interest, or potential growth energy, to kinetic growth, or the actualization of that potential into income commitments. By stacking these creative projects and transferring that energy from one state into another, he can compound the effect of passive income streams, which gives him more creative space to maneuver. The growth that David has seen in the past was the conversion of interest from two publishers in an idea, to the actualization of a book deal and advance, coupled with past passive income streams. He’s also seen that same growth with Patreon supporters and book sales. Each project that grows gives him more flexibility to do the things that he enjoys most. Additionally, with each project that David successfully adds to his portfolio, the more his confidence increases, which gives him the internal growth and confidence needed to experiment with new ideas in the future.
Income: David really started to see his financial success compound after he got his first couple creative projects off the ground — after his first book deal, he started getting invited to speak, to attend other functions, and could have surely translated past writing success into future book deals. From there, he took that authority and newly found income as a springboard to start new creative projects that yielded additional revenue streams, like his podcast. Collectively, he leverages support from his listeners and readers via Patreon, makes money from continuous book sales, courses that he creates and offers to his e-mail subscribers, sponsors, and affiliate sales. Of those income streams, the majority of his income comes from The Heart to Start sales and Active Campaign affiliate advertising. For a full report of his income, you can check out his monthly income reports on his blog, like this one from September 2019.
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