Super-productive startup teams use these 4 hacks to make meetings efficient.

In the next 2 minutes, we’re going to share 4 team meeting hacks you’ve probably never heard of that could save you and your team hours each week.

Before that, here are 3 questions:

  • Can the meeting content be shared asynchronously?
  • Can you agree on the meeting items without a meeting?
  • Will less than 50% of participants need to engage during the meeting?

If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations! You don’t need a meeting. That should save you some time. …


The way you disagree is probably wrong. But you can fix it.

I can’t be certain of course, I don’t know you (yet). As a general rule, the way most of us disagree and negotiate is fundamentally flawed. It runs counter to what we now know about how the brain processes disagreement from the last decade of Cognitive Science research.

How do I know?

Simple. Because I was guiltier than anyone else. I was in sales, failing miserably. And now I’m trying to change that.

From FBI negotiators to Presidents-club salespeople, the best disagreers (yes, I made this word up…


God, I feel better. Here’s what I did:

I vomited on a page.
And there’s a reason why.

Taken in my very own neighbourhood, would you believe.

This may sound very strange at first, and I assure you, it is. Whilst you might be imagining my brain spraying acidic bile onto a fresh workbook page with a neatly written date top right, it’s actually a lot messier than that.

It’s more like 7 toddlers got together and tried their hardest to write over each other, competing on a page for their scribbles to become the loudest. And the winner was my brain. Because now I feel great.

What I…


I romanticize learning.

Photo Cred: Jolygon, Source: iStock

To some extent, we all do. Probably, because it feels good.

Or maybe, because we associate it with status, power, wealth and achievement.

We lionize the great learners and thinkers of the world. Paragons of humanities prowess; Einstein, Da Vinci, Edison, Plato.

My problem is that in focusing on the what of who these great leaders are, I lose sight of the why.

They learned in order to do.

In an epoch where we are frequently reminded of the necessity to remain relevant through constant, life-long learning, it’s becoming increasingly more relevant to pick and choose what…


My failed attempt at empathy almost broke my relationship.

This week, I’ve changed my definition of empathy. What it means to be empathetic.

I want to tell you it’s because I learnt the brain science of empathy. Because I did.

But that would be a lie. Instead, it was a lesson learnt through failure. A moment when my partner asked me;

“Do you want out of this relationship?”

And it was all my fault. My fault for approaching empathy like a hostage negotiator, not a loved one.

Here’s my painful lesson.

How my attempt at Empathy almost lead to a breakup

I struggled with empathy as a kid. So I…


A Story About Hope. And Marketing. And Neuroscience.

If you want a small business you love to survive the Coronavirus, this story is for you. Let me tell you a story about small businesses staying afloat. They’re surviving thanks to the most human marketing tool of all; telling their story. Locally. Using social media.

My mentor runs a winery. He makes damn good wine, donates generously and his heart could fill a stadium. These last two weeks, he lost 92% of his customer base overnight. His restaurant customers, of 20 years, closed. Some, for good.

Now his legacy, his winery…


Amazon knows it. And they’ve mastered it.

Take your hands. Now rub them together. Vigorously. Do you feel that building up? The fire being fed, spreading warmth through your digits. What causes this heat?

Friction. It’s the hidden force blocking your customers from taking action. It’s also the easiest fix.

This week I was reminded of just how important friction is for conversion optimisation. I wrote copy and an offer, that whilst very representative, was LOADED with friction.

I read it back to myself; it was like a recipe with 47 steps and 22 unique ingredients. …


I struggle to express myself. Emotionally. Once, it almost killed me.

I’m pretty sure its a remnant of my childhood. Of having a father who sits somewhere on the Aspergian spectrum. Late Friday nights in the front seat, driving home from Basketball in silence, my pleas for emotional validation pinging of his windshield of incomprehension. Like the insects marring our Toyota. Splat.

I learnt that insecurity knows no harsher mistress than silence.

It hurt. For a long time, I blamed Dad for my inability to say how I felt.

The truth is many men I know struggle with this. They…


First. Your brain loves what comes first. And what’s last.

The start and end of anything are the 20% that give you 80% of the results.

The first ‘study hack’ I ever used in my study practice was a basic understanding of attention = retention. In fact, I credit passing my entire degree to it.

Understanding and using this principle let me study twice as much, in half the time. Because I actually retained the information.

Now you’re probably thinking; this guys ‘study hack’ is that I can remember stuff I’m paying attention to? What a schmuck. Whatever he’s selling, I ain’t buying.

Hold. Up.

Serial Position (Primacy/Recency) Effect

I used this principle after learning about the Primacy/Recency effect. Which…


And what you can steal today from these Mental-Athletes.

Did you know there are memory athletes who compete in memory Olympics? Apexes of mental athleticism. They can do impressive but erroneous feats like memorising thousands of sequential cards. There’s a fun book on the subject, Walking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. I loved it.

Anyway, not everyone wants to recall 4140 binary digits. Most of us just want to stop forgetting important stuff. Like names, people and new things we’re learning. So how do memory athletes master their brains?

Here are 7 Brain hacks they use. I’ve saved the best for last, but it won’t make sense unless you read the rest.

Photo cred:

1. Space — Memory athletes make spatial references for everything. They turn numbers and facts into locations in their mind (memory palaces)

NEUROSCIENCE: We have ‘place’ and ‘grid’ cells in our brain, which…

Sam Holston

Brain-friendly writing about how your brain works. https://www.samuelholston.co/

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