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M&Ms #33: Transparency

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
4 min read

Hey Team,

I have two things for you this week a lesson I learned on Transparency and some BIG NEWS.

This week I posted a fairly personal thread on Twitter.

It's not like me to do that.

It took me months to become this comfortable sharing, right down to financials, with the world. I felt uneasy; I wanted to go and delete it the whole time. (I still might delete it, so go read it before I do.)

But on the flip side with all that sharing, several people have messaged me personally and thanked me. They shared their own deeply personal stories about their journey. Some are in a similar situation or trying to accomplish similar things.

The hard-earned lesson from this week is that if you want to connect with people, they have to trust you. For people to trust you, you have to be transparent.

This isn't some abstract thing. I mean, people need to trust you aren't full of shit or lying. The best way to get people to trust me, that I know of, is to be incredibly transparent. I learned this lesson while running my engineering teams; transparency always creates trust. But somewhere along the way I sort of forgot it or thought it only applied to teams.

Everyone wants other people to trust them, but most would prefer not to share anything about their lives.

They prefer to keep all the cards next to their chest. As if there is some sort of leverage in secrecy, in information asymmetry. I have news, we live in the information age.

Information is abundant, and whatever secret you think is valuable, chances are someone else has it and is teaching it or giving it away. Don't worry if you are still processing this and if it feels wrong at first; it took me a while to accept it too.

But think about it, people like Elon Musk, everyone knows everything about their financials. They don't get to hide. To change the world, to get people to follow them, they need to be transparent, or no one trusts them.

So why do we think we can make a big impact on the world while also keeping everything about us a secret?

I have some BIG NEWS from this week.

Something really exciting happened today and I would love your feedback on it.

I found out that my friend Chris Wong and I got accepted into the final stage of the Maven Course Accelerator to do a Cohort Based Course on Newsletters.

As you know, I am a huge believer in newsletters; this year, starting this newsletter changed my life in many ways.

Newsletters are a fantastic catalyst to get started creating on the internet. They grow slowly with you, and it's a safe environment; I mean, I know most of you that subscribe to this, there is no safer place for me online than this. They also have the effect of causing better content consumption; I cant share junk with my friends on here. Then there is the fact that they are weekly and build up the habit of writing online regularly.

The reasons to start one are numerous, and I'd like to help others start one too.

Also, you know I am not some newsletter big shot, and neither is my friend Chris, but I have published 33 editions so far. While we are both only a few months in, everything we learned about getting started online is fresh and we would like to teach that.

I would love to gauge your interest to learn from  me and Chris. If you are interested in taking our Cohort Based Course on Newsletter

Fill out this quick form.

We don't know what we will charge for it yet through Maven;  but we do know that anyone who fills it out that form in the next week to support us will get a very deep discount.

We will give a 50%+ discount, from the final price, for those that fill the survey this week.

A few ideas I ran into this week:

This old thread I came across (thanks to my friend Danny) by Andrew Chen is just amazing.  Andrew wrote that thread in 2017 but the value of writing online has never been higher than it is right now.

This podcast clip by Naval, from an upcoming Podcast with Joe Rogan, is one of my favorite teachings from him. It's about how powerful social contracts can be.

Memes from this week:

Of course this wouldn't be the newly renamed Memes and Motivation newsletter if I didn't have a few good Memes for you this week:

Breaches are so common now that while this is a joke, its a pretty solid idea. Anyone that's had to deal with CSVs knows, this will annoy the hell out of the hackers.

This joke tweet is pretty good, especially if you've ever had to deal with SVGs. If you zoom into the code you'll see the designer has duped the developer.

As an immigrant to the US and with a lot of immigrant family members that sound like Borat, this meme made me giggle.

The best way to deal with those fears is to run straight for them, chase them down and make them scared of you.

Send me an email if you have feedback or if you need my help in any way. You can respond directly to this email.

Have a great weekend,