You Are Your Habits with Julien Smith

  • Ideas can’t be owned: I wrote a blog post called The Complete Guide to Not Giving A Fuck. The blog went crazy for years. It was made into a book by someone else. That book sold millions of copies. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.

  • A synopsis of the blog post: I’ve been too focused on what everyone else thinks. It is time to start taking care of myself. Time to figure out what I want my life to be.

  • I wrote a book called The Flinch: The book is about why people say they want to do things but never do them. They have certain goals or things they want out of life. They have all the information to do those things. But they don’t actually do them. It is a fundamental paradox that is inherent in everyone’s life.

  • Why Julien started Breather: After writing three books I thought I was just a talker. I haven’t done anything. I wondered if I was a phony. Could I actually start a business? I did. That is what I do now.

  • The idea behind Breather: Commercial space should be useful and accessible by phone. We didn’t realize that we were reinventing a section of commercial real estate. 

  • Advice for creators that want to invent or start something new: Look at something with fresh eyes. Ask why does it work this way? I don’t understand why lots of people are following these rules. They don’t make sense to me. Then have the audacity to attempt to recreate that thing. Withstand the assault of people telling you that you are wrong over and over again.

  • An entrepreneur is as good as the chip on their shoulder: You have to be willing to be misunderstood for a long period of time. If you don’t have a chip on your shoulder you will give up.

  • Entrepreneurship is powered by a belief in your self: As an entrepreneur, if you don’t believe in you, then who will? If you don’t believe in your idea, who will? If you don’t believe in your passion, who will? 

  • One of the best ways to know if your idea is good: People use your product in a different way than you originally intended.

  • A habit I had from my book writing days that continues today: I wake up and write 1,000 words. I do it every morning. I’ve been doing this for 10 years.

  • We are mostly quitters: We mostly quit things. When you don’t quit then something actually happens. By publicly starting Breather I put myself in a situation where I couldn’t quit. I just need to outlast my own bad habits. I just relentlessly pursue it. Humans, by their very nature, are incredibly good at long term suffering.

  • It’s okay if your passions change: You have to feel like you can make another future for yourself. Even if your present is actually pretty good. If it’s not meant to be, build another future. [His passion changed from being a New York Times best selling author to a company builder.]

  • As an entrepreneur every negative quality you have will be a negative quality reflected in your business: If you are lazy that will be reflected in your business. If you are dishonest it will be reflected in your business. It’s weird to see your own personality cause problems in your business. At some point, you have to work on yourself.

  • Naval Ravikant wrote about this on Twitter: All of human knowledge is accumulated in books. And it is all accessible. It is really cheap or free. Over time you accumulate a set of things you know that other people don’t. The longer you go on the better it is.

  • The most amazing thing to learn: Habits will make you into the person that you are.

  • Full podcast here.