The better the setup, the easier the execution

There's beauty in the breakdown

I had little emotional and mental space last week.

I was highly distracted by life.

  • preparing a house for rent

  • searching for one of my cats who went missing

  • 2-year-old decided to start exploring nudism and potty-training

But I DID cross 100 followers on Medium after a six weeks of writing…

Which brings me to the next exercise for this process for the coming year:

Breaking it all down into little itty bitty steps to make it easier on my poor head.

Specifically, this takes the work from Day 2 and puts it into an actionable structure for me that is filled in with Day 4’s work on my values in a sustainable presence framework.

Every mountain is composed of boulders, rocks, and pebbles.

We’ve stared at the mountain long enough.

Let’s scrutinize down to the pebbles.

It’s a crazy journey, but I’m still building the car…

The Quarter Mile

I’m actually glad I’ve taken my time between these days for development because I’ve had a few really great conversations with my mentors (not to mention my journey on Medium has been evolving as well).

Also, I’m tinkering more with AI to help me organize and analyze data (no, I will not use it to generate my content).

What follows is a plan…a framework that has more detail.

The more structured and specific the plan is, the more flexible it can be.

Does that make sense?

Let’s break down the year into quarters first…

Quarter 1: Priming the pump (foundation and strategy)

From January to March, I want to focus on generating content upfront so that I have time to refine and improve upon it.

It’s always been a “just in time” kind of thing for me (including this newsletter).

I never have the time to really let anything I cook rest the proper amount of time.

If you like steak, then you know the difference between one that’s rested and one that’s just been done.

So yeah, this quarter is about made production so that I can get into the rhythm of it and not get overwhelmed.

Since I already defined my values, I have the five categories that I can brainstorm that are centered around sustainable presence as my core value. This clarity makes it much easier to generate content (See? There is a method to my madness!).

My goal is to have around half of my short-form content done during this time to fuel the long-form content.

The best way to do this is to structure around challenges for myself (I love challenges).

So here’s the breakdown for the first quarter:

  • X:

    • 350 high-quality posts

  • Medium:

    • 25 articles

  • YouTube

    • scripts for 5 long form videos and 25 shorts

  • Publishing

    • outlines for 2 short ebooks or 1 real book

  • Monetization

    • lead magnet to 1 offer

On to the next quarter…

Quarter 2: Unleash the dogs! (Content creation and distribution)

Once I have everything going, I want to slow down the creation portion and start focusing on refinement and polish (not to mention more course work and applications of what I’ve learned).

I plan to place an emphasis on education and continuing to consume the materials I already have. Just because you went through it once, twice, or even three times, doesn’t mean that it’s in your head.

This is why a college education doesn’t mean a whole lot beyond graduation. It’s what you get out of the system for yourself and the meta aspects (and the network) that truly last. If you want to retain the knowledge you were exposed to during this time, don’t throw away your notes and textbooks…

Anyway, here’s how I want to break down April to June:

  • X:

    • refine and post the first 350 pieces

    • 200 high-quality posts

  • Medium:

    • refine and publish 25 articles

    • 10 articles

  • YouTube

    • refine and publish 5 long form videos and 25 shorts

    • scripts for 2 long form videos and 10 shorts

  • Publishing

    • fill in the outline for the ebooks or the book

  • Monetization

    • create the first offer

    • lead magnet to 1 offer

I can see you shaking your head now…”this guy’s a lunatic”.

I might as well go big, right?

Quarter 3: Open market (Publishing and monetization strategy)

Things might have gone completely haywire at this stage. While I know it’s never great to plan too far out ahead, I figure it couldn’t hurt to dream.

I’m hoping that I have plenty of content to work with at this point and that I have some type of monetization being implemented. I should be clear that it doesn’t have to be in a product form. It’s more likely that I get monetization from simply sharing my content on TwiX and Medium at this stage. Affiliate marketing for the courses that I’ve taken is also an option.

I’m anticipating that I’ll be more interested in finding my stride and cadence to balance long-form and short-form content, but I’d like to start ramping up video content at this stage as well.

Here’s how I envision July to September:

  • X:

    • refine and post the first 550 pieces

    • 100 high-quality posts

  • Medium:

    • refine and publish 35 articles

    • 10 articles

  • YouTube

    • refine and publish 7 long form videos and 35 shorts

    • scripts for 2 long form videos and 10 shorts

  • Publishing

    • complete the first draft for the ebooks or write several chapters of the book

  • Monetization

    • create the second offer

    • lead magnet to 1 offer

I’m beginning to wonder if I have the volume right on the content…

Quarter 4: The Lift off (Launch long-term projects and products)

Call me crazy, but at this point, I’m pretty sure I’ll be exhausted from all the effort I’ve put in from the first three quarters.

Even if the mileage varies at this stage, it’ll be FAR more than I’ve accomplished this year (I hope).

Or at least the results will hopefully be much more evident than they have been this year since I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing right now.

Let’s wrap up October to December of 2024:

  • X:

    • refine and post the first 650 pieces

    • 50 high-quality posts

  • Medium:

    • refine and publish 45 articles

    • 5 articles

  • YouTube

    • refine and publish 9 long form videos and 45 shorts

    • scripts for 1 long form videos and 5 shorts

  • Publishing

    • complete the second draft for the ebooks or complete the first draft of the book

  • Monetization

    • create the third offer

    • lead magnet to 1 offer

Wow that’s a lot. Just breaking it down by quarter seemed fairly daunting.

Now that I look at what I’ve planned, I think breaking it down further might not quite be as useful as I first thought.

Enter ChatGPT.

I know…I’m punting (and it’s high time I got better at prompt engineering anyway)!

What do you think of AI?

Can I get a little help here?

It might not seem to be very fair and you may think I’m a sellout, but I think AI is impacting us in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine yet. It’s already pervasive in every level of our lives, and we just don’t know it yet.

I've been using it to generate images for me this year, but I haven’t used it nearly as much to plan, structure, and design systems that I know it’s capable of.

So for this next segment, I decided to ask it to break down the quarters into months and weeks to see what it came up with based on my criteria.

I’m actually rather impressed:

Yes, it’s blurry because I had to zoom out to grab the entire table.

Voila! I have a framework broken down into months and weeks.

However, these aren’t quite how I want to execute my strategy. I can work work with what it has given me, though.

Now all I have to do is to start filling in the details of each month and each week based on the metrics that I want to aim for and center them around my values.

Here’s a recap from the last session on what they are:

AGENCY - the choice in how to live and act and to enable others to do the same

GRATITUDE - appreciation and thankfulness for the positives in me, others around me, and existence in general

CONNECTION - full engagement with all my being and striving to be present with all interactions; be it a person, a place, an object, or an idea (AKA a noun)…

PERSISTANCE - consistent and disciplined action in the face of challenges

SELF-DEVELOPMENT - improving knowledge, skills, character in all ways mentally, emotionally, and spiritually

Again, all five are centered around SUSTAINABLE PRESENCE.

I think I’ll stop here. The rest of the process is going to be placed in Notion, and I want to figure that system out before sharing further.

Project presence

I realize that this gets very big, very fast if I keep the year perspective.

Perhaps I should pare back and plan this out on a quarterly basis.

Day 5 was about fleshing out the target metrics over the year in terms of the volume of content

  • each quarter had a theme

  • balance of short and long form shifted

  • AI used to assist in structuring out the grand strategy

Having this brainstorming session after talking with a few others along the way has only made it more clear.

Day 6 will be focusing on the actual monetization vehicles. I’ve only had a vague sense of what form these products could take, but the sky’s the limit for the next session. Not all of them will be viable for me, but it will be a fun exercise.

Hopefully, I’ll have more time to ramp up on my content creation strategy and maybe even get a jump on it before the year ends!


P.S. What do you think of AI? How much experience have you had playing with it?