Starting from Zero

I’ve thought about starting an email newsletter for some time.

However, when I look to successful newsletters for inspiration, I’m often overwhelmed by how good they are, and in comparison, how far away I perceive myself to be. This makes me feel less confident about my ability to start something myself and feel more inclined to “leave it to the experts”.

I’ve seen this in other projects as well. When I was writing my book for medical students a few years ago, there was a period where I got hold of all the similar published books that existed and read them. This was probably a bad idea, however, because I felt overwhelmed with how “insufficient” my book was at that time, and it temporarily became much harder to write. Eventually, I managed to get over that mental block, continued to make slow-and-stead progress, and was very happy with the end result.

My personal take-aways from these experiences are that often the most important thing is just to start, and to avoid comparing with others (particularly in the early stages).

Every project, company, skilled person, etc that we see today must have started from zero at some point. At one point, Amazon didn’t exist, David Beckham couldn’t kick a football and Seth Godin hadn’t written a single blog post.

So this is the start of another project where I’ll be starting from zero. I hope you enjoy being a part of it.

Favourite podcast from the week

575: How & Why I Scanned My Entire Library

I found this fascinating; Joshua describes in-detail the process he used to digitise every book that he owns (spoiler: basically by tearing the books apart and running them through a scanner). I’m continually looking for ways to store and access the information in my books more efficiently, and think I may well take a similar approach at some point down the line.

Coding exercise

Predicting Hospital No-Shows using Neural Networks [coding exercise]

I delivered a coding workshop for students in London this week, and wrote up the coding exercise as a blog. If interested in learning to code, feel free to check it out. There are other great exercises at CodeMD.