TTE: Freeze Frame (Email 6)

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Note: This is an archive of an email from the April 1-7, 2020 launch series of The Traffic Engine (Early Adopter Edition).

Final email before we open up.

I was speaking to Shawn yesterday after our mastermind call. We both agreed that writing these emails each morning has been a real highlight for us.

Today, however, I'm going to forgo writing anything. Shawn's email below sums up everything perfectly.

In true launch fashion, I still have a bunch to do, and that's no word of an exaggeration. I'm off to go do that.

Here's Shawn:

SHAWN: Tue, March 31, 2020

Lots to share today — let's start with some housekeeping, then I'll discuss something that showed up for me recently writing Morning Pages.

André and I have agreed on a couple of exciting last-minute additions to The Traffic Engine I'll mention as well.

Doors open for The Traffic Engine tomorrow, April 1. If you're interested, please take some time to read through the comments and Q&A.

If you have any questions I haven't answered, please leave a comment.

I've been replying to questions several times a day and will continue to do that through the 7th when enrollment for the first live cohort ends. (I'll continue to answer questions after that too, just not as frequently.)

I've been writing Morning Pages for many years. It is, by far, the single most important part of my day, and it's the most consistent, high-value activity I do.

Yesterday I started writing in my twentieth notebook — three pages every day in my tiny handwriting. I wake up, make coffee, then sit down and write.

It's not prose (and that's the point) — I'm writing to externalize and interact with my thinking.

Often my writing is mind-numbingly boring, but that doesn't matter. I show up every day and do the work. And more often than not I'm rewarded with something amazing.

Usually that shows up on page three — frequently in the last half of the page, last paragraph, and sometimes the last sentence.

It's hard to describe what it's like to be wrestling with something, or to be bothered by something just outside my conscious awareness, and then watch as those thoughts emerge in high-definition clarity on the page.

If I could go back and give my 25-year-old self one piece of advice it would be to start writing Morning Pages sooner.

And, if I can leave you with only one piece of advice, it would be to start writing Morning Pages immediately.

Everything you need to know to do it right can be found online for free, or you can buy the Miracle of Morning Pages Kindle excerpt from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way.

You don't need a fancy pen or a fancy notebook. Just sit down and write — three pages — every day. Whatever shows up is right. Prepare to be amazed.

This morning I was thinking about André's email describing the importance of process vs. outcomes, and I wrote the following sentence:

“I can't improve something I'm not doing.”

For context, I have a few things I want to start doing that I've been procrastinating, letting perfect get in the way of progress.

The back and forth dialogue I was having with myself about that made me realize that it would be far better to take some small imperfect action and then improve — at least I'd have some progress and direction that I could make better over time.

I've been thinking so deeply about The Traffic Engine that it was natural for that idea to cross over there as well.

Often I like to pressure-test my ideas to see if they're broadly useful, so I asked myself if that thought is true for TTE as well.

In my opinion, the answer is a resounding yes.

How many times have we thought about something we could do that would improve our business and contribute positively to our lives — financially or otherwise — yet months later (years later…) we've made little or no progress.

We can't improve something we're not doing.

If you're considering enrolling in The Traffic Engine, action and implementation will be significant themes.

The goal is to improve, day by day, week after week, building something of value.

It is not to learn for the sake of learning, it is to learn for the sake of improving meaningfully in the direction of something that you care about.

However, enrolling for The Traffic Engine isn't the only option to do that. Look around your personal mental inventory of interests and possibilities and ask yourself, “where can I take some small action every day that I can improve upon once I've built some momentum?”

Don't try to scale tall buildings — be willing to step over tiny fences.

Just get started.

Finally, I'm excited to announce two additions to The Traffic Engine.

We've described it as an eight-week course and the plan has been to have eight modules total (one released each week). However, after reading through a lot of comments and emails, André and I have decided to include two additional modules.

“Module 0” will be released before the enrollment period ends on April 7th.

It is a high-level view of the entire course so you'll see in advance how everything fits together and progresses from one step to the next.

It's also a “destination postcard”* of what your future can look like if you do the work. It helps me to see the whole picture before I dive into the content and I hope that helps others as well.

I'm also very excited to announce that we'll be including an offer and audience masterclass with The Traffic Engine as well.

This will be in addition to the other content, and most likely will be released on (or around) week-three.

This masterclass will focus on defining an audience clearly, identifying the needs of that audience precisely, and using those insights to create better ad and offer messaging.

It is based on a series of effective frameworks I use in my own business, and includes the single most important highlights from two entrepreneurship classes I teach at Vermont Tech.

(I've had students tell me repeatedly, semester after semester, that one of those frameworks completely redefined how they think about business.)

André and I will continue to email occasionally before enrollment closes on April 7th. For everyone interested, I'm looking forward to meeting you on the first Q&A call.

[* “Destination postcard” is a powerful idea from Dan and Chip Heath in their amazing book Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard.]

One final thing…

We'll have a full breakdown of the training on the site tomorrow before we open up, so you can see exactly what to expect before you enroll.

(This will also include the Agency add-on.)

—André (and Shawn)

All previous emails can be found here.


Tim Ferriss has attributed the success he's had to learning to write, and “freezing” his thinking on paper (al la Julia Cameron's Morning Pages).

Brian Koppelman, writer of the TV series, Billions and the movie, Ocean's Thirteen, said this, “I do morning pages. Each day. And that starts my motor going. Three long hand pages. Stream of consciousness.”