Monday Morning Edge (03/15/2021)

Back in June 2020, I changed the name of this newsletter from “Tanner Talks” to “Monday Morning Edge”.

When the first edition of MME went out on June 8, it wasn’t even geared towards coaches. I didn’t really know what I was doing, and have slowly become less clueless with each week’s newsletter. Today’s the 36th version of MME, and I’m willing to bet this newsletter will be different 36 weeks from now.

Similarly, back in January, I started offering subscribers access to my digital notes library in what I called the “Monday Morning Edge MVP Knowledge Library”. 11 people bought it in the first week but then nobody purchased it again for two months, until last week after I decided to rebrand it as “Tanner’s Notes”. In the 48 hours after I made the change, more people purchased it than had bought them under their previous name.

The lesson? Never stop iterating.

Your first attempt will be nothing like your 36th attempt which will be different from your 100th attempt.

It’s easy to feel like you’ve failed when things don’t initially work out as you hoped, but when you keep iterating, you give yourself more swings at the plate to make it work. And with enough swings, you might finally connect.

So what do you say? Let’s get the 36th iteration of Monday Morning Edge underway…

New Article: 10 Ways Writing Makes You a Better Coach

1/ Writing improves your thinking.

Writing is the medium in which thinking takes place.

If you can’t articulate an idea in writing, you don’t understand it well enough to coach it.

2/ Writing draws out your best ideas.

Paul Graham says to expect most of your good ideas to come after you’ve started writing.

If you never write, your best ideas will remain dormant.

3/ Say more by saying less.

My final drafts are shorter than my first drafts.

As the ideas get compressed, the insights pop off the page.

When you coach, say what you need to say and nothing more.

4/ Get to the point.

Your first sentence should grab the reader.

Short sentences are better than long ones.

Avoid putting multiple thoughts in one sentence.

Most coaches are long-winded. Don’t be.

5/ Good writing creates emotional resonance.

You want your audience to be thinking about what you said today, tomorrow.

Invent your own phrases. Make things memorable. The shorter the better.

Remember: players remember how you made them feel.

6/ Leave room for interpretation.

Good writing gives the reader grey area to work through by not explaining everything.

Let the reader (and your players) do some of the work of figuring out what they should do.

7/ Speak in problems and solutions.

Nobody cares what you can do, everybody cares what you can do for them.

Speak to the reader’s/player’s problem and show them how you can help them solve it.

8/ Writing leverages your time.

Writing is asynchronous. You write today and the reader consumes it without you there.

To leverage your time, you need to find a way to communicate asynchronously.

This is the great coaching secret.

9/ The best story wins.

We’re suckers for good stories.

Whenever you can, learn to convey your point in a story. The more personal, the better.

10/ Good writing takes time.

Thomas Mann said that “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

When you write, time slows down, allowing you to focus your attention many layers deeper than our default while going through a day.

Similarly, your coaching journey is a marathon, not a sprint.

Take a breath. Don’t fall prey to the cult of busyness or hurry.

Bonus ideas from the community:

Some readers chimed in with their experiences about how writing has helped them become a better coach. Here’s what they had to say:

Drew Carlson wrote that:

Good writing connects.

Connects people to ideas.

Connects people to people.

Starts conversations. Builds relationships.

I can’t tell you how many amazing people I’ve met since I started writing. Spot on, Drew!

Cody Royle noted that writing is a great tool for improving your thinking:

Writing allows you to receive peer review / have others build on top of your ideas, which sharpens your thinking even more.

TJ Wharton resonated with point #10:

I like #10. It slows down the thoughts in your head so you can better interpret them.

TJ Manastersky made a great point that writing helps you appreciate nuance:

As much as writing brings clarity to ideas and helps cement your philosophy, it also highlights there are no absolutes.

What about you?

If you write, I want to hear how it’s helped you grow! Shoot a response to this tweet and let me know.

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this article, would you mind retweeting the original Twitter thread?

Best of the week

1. 17 Tips for Great Copywriting

Copywriters use writing to create change.

As I’ve studied copywriting, I’ve recognized how similar it is to our topic.

In this article, Harry Dry gives 17 tips for great copywriting. I especially liked number 6 — avoiding “landing page words”.

Frontend mentor copywriting

Every industry has jargon. We’re no different. If you’re not sure what your jargon is, ask yourself what regular things you say would be totally confusing to a beginner.

For example, when I was first learning more about golf 3 years ago, I kept hearing about “shallowing the club”. I had been watching and playing (extremely poor) golf all my life, but was completely clueless as to what this meant. It wasn’t until Adam Young broke it down in one of his courses that I understood what it meant.

2. How to be a Prolific Writer (Thread)

On the theme of this week’s article on writing, I stumbled on this thread over the weekend and really enjoyed it.

If you want to improve your coaching by writing, this thread is a great primer to give you the tools to get started.

Also: If you’re intrigued by what he calls a “commonplace”, you’re going to want to check out this article which breaks down how you can create a “second brain” full of the best information you come across. And if you want access to my free email course to walk you through how to do it, shoot me an email and I’ll get you signed up.

3. Solitude and Leadership – The American Scholar

This was the first article I shared in the first iteration of MME, and I want to share it again today because it’s that good.

A favorite quote:

I used to have students who bragged to me about how fast they wrote their papers. I would tell them that the great German novelist Thomas Mann said that a writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. The best writers write much more slowly than everyone else, and the better they are, the slower they write.

That’s all for this week!

Thanks for starting your week with me.

If you enjoyed this iteration of the newsletter, would you please share it on social media or send it to a friend? You can share this link and write a note on what you liked about it. 🙏

Excited for the 37th iteration next week,