5 Things I've learnt from Ali Abdaal
An internet personality whose popularity has been consistently growing for the past few years, Ali Abdaal has become a social media influencer known for providing tips and tricks surrounding productivity. Having started as a medical student at the University of Cambridge, Ali came across the notion of multiple sources of income and has been testing it's worth for a few years to a point where he generates income by sharing what he has learnt.
With his own online education business designed for medical students thriving, he has explored the field of productivity hacks by studying the likes of Derek Sivers, Tim Ferriss and Austin Kleon to name a few. He implements his ideas in his own life before sharing them which is very clear in his content through his ability to combat imposter syndrome which has paved the way for his ever-increasing confidence.
Having followed his social media journey for the past few years, we have come up with 5 main takeaways from Ali’s productivity content that helps break the mental barriers we have created, yes we are the problem, not external factors, which leads us nicely into the first point.
People don’t care about you 🙄
It is human nature to care about what people think and that is okay. It does however become problematic when our actions are influenced by other people’s perception which underpins the concept of imposter syndrome.
Have you ever thought ‘I want to ask this question but it’s so stupid’ or ‘My drawings look awful in front of hers’ Chances are, you have? The reality is you are the only person thinking about your work and it limits you from asking that question. As a result, we don't release our full potential for the fear of what other people might think. Ali Abdaal quotes Olin Miller in combatting imposter syndrome:
"You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do"
When you realise people are not fixated on you, it liberates you to make the decisions you want without fear of judgement. So next time, please ask that question and own your work!
There is no such thing as a new idea 🧨
On social media, at architecture school or even at work please know that nobody really has new ideas. Even that one person who appears to have the most creativity probably pinched it off of some serious Pinterest scrolling. It's the same at university as we search for key precedents that help inform our design decisions whether that be from Vitruvius, Corbusier, or even Norman Foster.
Previously executed ideas are upcycled for different audiences and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If anything, it helps the industry in innovation! Coming to terms with this reality removes any self-imposed pressure of creating something original. Most of Ali’s productivity tips are sourced from Tim Ferriss or Derek Sivers, this doesn’t mean he is doing them a disservice rather it means he is sharing what he has learned and offering the authors their well-deserved credit.
Your website is your online home 💻
Building a personal website in this day and age is paramount. It is a little home you have on the internet where you can express your views, show your personality and even convert into revenue – should you wish to. The beauty of the internet is not knowing who you will connect with and where that interaction will take you.
It can land you your next job or client or even a different direction. Therefore, a website is also an ongoing record of how much work you have produced over the years and is a testament to your growth as a designer. The more presence we have on the internet, the greater the chances to achieve those goals through pure serendipity.
Multiple Incomes 💸
Adults commonly complain about the same thing – not having enough money, wanting a raise and more about money. That is largely because people prefer staying in their comfort zone by working a stable yet not always financially rewarding 9-5 job that cannot fund their desired lifestyle.
Ali emphasises that everyone can reach their financial goals by having more than one income to rely on. We have seen in the past year how precarious employment can be. Countless people were furloughed during the pandemic, businesses went bust and some industries remain closed even after half the country has been vaccinated!
To avoid this from ever happening again, Ali Abdaal suggests securing multiple passive incomes that allows you to do your full-time job because you want to and not because you have to. By extension, employee productivity will be enhanced! Sounds like a win-win situation. He refers religiously to author Tim Ferriss’ book titled The Four Hour Work Week which we think is definitely worth a read or just watch Ali’s review in the video below.
Nobody needs permission 🧊
After all of the above, there will be some people reading this thinking ‘…but who will want to listen to me? I don’t have a standing’ Well you’re right, you probably don’t but that doesn’t mean you can’t. I mean nobody gave us a certificate at :scale to start writing a blog, we just did and you as a reader have found this interesting enough to still be here so that is enough validation for us.
Ali repeats you don't need permission to start your own business, a YouTube channel, a business Instagram account or even a website to meet your goals. Just get started and be consistent.
So this wraps up our five key lessons from Ali Abdaal, we hope you enjoyed it and can implement some techniques into your own life. Let us know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share!