The following list is a token of appreciation to all the awesome thinkers who write newsletters I highly recommend. These are content sources that I’ve been closely following for a few years, learned from them and applied their lessons in my own personal and business life.
I’m trying to keep a zero inbox (“try” being the key word here – I’ll often procrastinate replying to an email for an unpermitted long time), but, at the end of the week, the odds are I won’t leave unread any single one of the following newsletters.
If you happen to know any more similar mailing lists, please drop the links in the comments below.
1. Daily Stoic
Every afternoon I receive a nugget of stoic wisdom, just when I seem to need it most. On the website you’ll also find long articles with stoic reflections and exercises, together with interviews with stoic thinkers and leaders.
In the past years I’ve tried to keep a stoic state of mind – an ancient philosophy with principles that are timeless.
I probably should have started with Ryan Holiday‘s newsletter, since this is the one I’ve been subscribed to for a longer time than anything else. He sends a monthly reading list of what books he’s personally read and recommends. His newsletter was among the factors that motivated me to start Friday Read, so now I hope you understand why in every email I include a link of an article or any material related to him.
Ryan’s a media strategist and one of my favorite authors (he published 8 best-selling books by the time he was 31). I deeply admire him for his work, thinking process, values and how he’s educating the public. Thanks to Ryan I discovered stoicism and he’s also ‘guilty’ for most of the books I’ve read, right next to…
[The photo above was unashamedly taken from his Facebook page]
Brain Food from FarnamStreet Blog. A curated Sunday newsletter with content released that week on FarnamStreet Blog, together with book recommendations and articles curated by Shane Parrish, the creator of this project. This is also one of my favorite sources of brain-expanding knowledge.
I’ve mentioned Shane’s work so many times before that I’m hoping you’re already familiar with him. If not, drop whatever plans you had for today and delve into his work. Start here.
[photo stolen from Shane’s Facebook page]
What I enjoy most is that every few weeks he’ll invite an interesting thinker as a guest to curate his newsletter – something that I’ve been recently considering doing for Friday Read as well. One of his newsletters was curated by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia until 2016 and first digital head of state, for example – how awesome is that? (I think I forwarded that one to 11 friends or so).
Azeem Azhar is a strategist, product entrepreneur and analyst, currently working as the Senior Advisor for AI to the CTO of Accenture.
[photo stolen from Azeem’s About page]
5. Derek Sivers
20 years ago, he founded CD Baby, a company that helped indie artists distribute their music (you have to understand the context: this was happening back in the days when musicians were still dependent on record labels). He sold it 10 years later, after he either automated or delegated all the processes of the company, so he didn’t need to intervene in day-to-day activity. He donated all the $22 millions to charity and has been travelling the world ever since, writing and launching new, smaller projects. He’s currently working a few new books. My ‘Now’ page from the Menu above is part of one of his projects.
[copyright photo: Pat Shepherd, taken in 2014]
6. James Altucher – I’ve been following James for 8 years or so – I highly admire his fearless way to present his vulnerabilities and failures. James is (or was) an entrepreneur, investor, hedge fund manager, venture capitalist, author and podcaster – and a really good one, I should add. He’s able to squeeze some really personal and valuable insights out of his guests.
In the past, he’s founded 20 companies or so, invested in over 30, most of them failed in time, he’s had a few breakdowns and lost all of his savings multiple times, along with his marriages (he’ll soon be married for the third time). And he shares everything publicly in a transparent way.
James has put a lot of his soul on a plate, exposed for everyone to take a peek into it. You can start discovering him from here.
[pictured above: James and Ryan Holiday, photo stolen from James’ Facebook page]
Tim’s an entrepreneur, author and podcaster, known for his experiments on himself, and also for the transparent way he’s sharing his journey. As you probably know by now, I’ve read all of , even multiple times, and I’m a loyal listener of The Tim Ferriss Show, his podcast, where he talks to. I’d recommend it to anyone who plans to start a podcast – supposing you don’t already listen to it (it’s one of the world’s most popular podcasts and the first that has exceeded 200 million downloads).
Andra Zaharia, one of my best friends, recently started a weekly newsletter about decision making, called “How do you know?“. Together with it, she also started a podcast where she interviews guests on this topic.
So far she released two episodes: in the last one, she talked to Benji Hyam, from Growth and Convert, whose work I’ve been following for more than two years.
The first episode was with Eric Moeller, Director of Product Marketing and Andra’s altMBA coach (altMBA is Seth Godin‘s intensive online workshop designed for high-performing individuals who want to level up and lead).
I highly recommend both her newsletter and her podcast episodes – lots of lessons to be learned.
Andra’s a cyber security warrior – she’s working as the Marcom Manager of CyberGhost VPN provider, and she’s an altMBA alumnus.
9. Sol Orwell
Sol Orwell‘s newsletter – it’s actually a series of thoughts, personal stories and lessons learned from his experience. Sol’s been making money online for almost two decades, he’s the founder of Examine.com, the largest database on nutrition and supplements. I highly admire Sol for his no-bullsh*t approach – he’s honest and direct, and he’s also got a lot of lessons to share. When he speaks, you’d better listen.
Come to think of it, I first found out about Sol a few years ago from one of Benji Hyam’s newsletters, when he wrote about how Sol built a 7-figure business off of Reddit (see what I wrote above at #8).
I also recently had the chance to interview Sol for The CEO Library, where he talked about why he dislikes business books. It’s a small world.
If it would have been easier for me to travel to the North American continent, I would have attended Sol’s Charity Chocolate Chip Cookie Off events.
10. Taylor Pearson
Taylor‘s an entrepreneur and author, who writes about the future of jobs, thinking models, business strategies, blockchain technology, personal development and more. I only discovered him last year, thanks to Vladimir Oane, and I soon ended up binge devouring everything he ever wrote.
[the photo above is Taylor’s Facebook page main pic]
11. Writing Routines
Writing Routines is the third newsletter I’m mentioning today that was initiated by Ryan Holiday – and I swear I’m not getting paid for this. It’s simply that good. If you’re like me, fascinated to learn more about other people’s routines, you’ll probably enjoy this one. It’s about the habits & routines of those who make a living out of writing.
CreativeMorningsHQ – another awesome source of curated articles from around the web. I hope you already know about the CreativeMornings series of events – this is actually how I ended up subscribing to this newsletter, I wanted to keep up with their events in Bucharest, where I’m based.
I also get a mix of curated articles from Medium – another awesome resources for discovering interesting content. Their Weekly Digest is based on an algorithm somehow similar to how your social media’s newsfeed works: what you’ll receive in it depends on whom you’re following and what publications you’re subscribed to. Follow junk, get junk in return.
14. Pocket Hits
Pocket Hits is curated by their team and is a mix of the most interesting stories saved to their app. Pocket is one of my main digital tools, alongside the RSS feed reader, so I’m an old, loyal and paying user of their app (and probably one of their biggest hoarders of articles waiting to be read – I’ve reached somewhere over 1,400 last week – I swear I’ll do some cleaning soon).
[I’m working on a separate article, dedicated to my process of digital information consumption.]
Am I allowed to add my own newsletters to the list? My Friday Read is a weekly email with personal thoughts and curated content in all forms – from articles to books, podcasts or videos I recommend, together with my two cents. It’s where I share most of the things I’ve learned from all the wonderful folks I’ve mentioned above.
I’ve started the newsletter only one year ago and, so far, more than 1,000 people have subscribed to it, growing only by word-of-mouth (actually, there would have been somewhere over 1,400 subscribers, but I automatically unsubscribe anyone who doesn’t open my emails for several weeks in a row – I won’t say how many, it doesn’t matter).
I also write The CEO Library‘s weekly newsletter. The CEO Library is the project I co-founded last summer together with Bobby Voicu, with books recommended by successful entrepreneurs, for aspiring entrepreneurs. I’ve interviewed more than 200 business leaders since starting this project on the subject of books that shaped their journey and lessons learned, so there’s a lot of wisdom in one place.
Anything I’m missing out on?