The Download for February 23, 2016

99U: Do Fewer Things, More Often

You can’t do everything, or be everything, all the time. For accomplished creatives, that could be a difficult truth to swallow. There are projects that may never make it past the brainstorm stage. There are ideas that may never grow beyond kernels of thought. But that means that the ones that do will be kick-ass.

Adeline Koh: Academia, You Don’t Own Me Any Longer: Or, Why I Started a Small Business While On Sabbatical

Sabbatical Beauty started as a part of my self care to recover from academia.In essence, academia is toxic. It’s so toxic that taking the risks of starting asmall business in a recovering US economy seemed like a less toxic option. As Jessica Langer has noted, many dynamics within academic culture bear striking similarities to those of an abusive relationship, while others have noted that academia is like a cult (also here, here and here); academic culture asks you to champion some ways of thinking over others (in the humanities: capitalism/neoliberalism = bad!, not getting a tenure-track job at a research institution=failure), in ways which are often completely uncritical, but imperative for one to fit into the culture. At the core of this is what Rebecca Schuman has called “life-boating”, whereby academics who have “succeeded” in the system in the “traditional” ways blame the people who have left for somehow being deficient, and hence being unable to get into the “life-boat” of the tenure track.

Like many others, I’m tired of academia. I’m disappointed and disillusioned by a lot of the promises academia has made and failed to deliver on.

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Contently:How to Craft a Killer Brand Voice and Mission Statement for Your Content Marketing

You have to put your readers first and give them what they’re not getting elsewhere. Your mission statement will be your guiding light, the document that keeps you in check, inspires you, and protects your content from marketing’s shadow. It’s crucial. I don’t know where we’d be without it.

Fast Company: How I Turned A Side Gig Into A Startup (Then Did It All Over Again)

It’s one thing to have a side hustle that informs and enhances your career. It’s another to turn those gigs into full-time ventures, then use them to fund newside projects that do the same, over and over again. I call that process “self-incubation,” and it’s a little tricky but far from impossible. Here’s how to nail it.

The Atlantic: The Perfect Email

Boomerang found that emails that were slightly positive or slightly negative were most likely to get responses. Asking a couple of questions is good, but more than three starts working against you. “Flattery works, but excessive flattery doesn’t,” they wrote in a blog post about the findings. “We also don’t advise penning day-ruining screeds.”

Vitae: The Perils of Moonlighting in Midday

Academia is changing. There will come a day, and perhaps it’s already here, when the ability to navigate between academic and nonacademic work will not feel transgressive or guilt-inducing, but instead will be encouraged and even taught in graduate programs. Meanwhile, all of us in academia are doing it anyway. Whether it’s a day job, a parallel career, or a family, it’s not really a “double life” — it’s just life. – See more at:

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