November 9, 2022

Reader question(s) from Mark Modesti

Fellow list member Mark Modesti wrote in to ask me a series of wonderfully deep questions that really made me think. Maybe you’ll find them interesting (shared with permission):


When I look at your “money-making activities” I think of how much I have to learn.

Do you recall, or have you written about, your approach to research and learning?


I don’t think so, but I’d be happy to.

Can you send over a list of specific questions that I could answer on the mailing list?


Thank you, Jonathan.

This is probably one of those topics that are clearer in hindsight than it was when you were ‘on the curve.’

This is too many questions, but I’d be happy to hear as much as you are willing to share.

Thank you,



Great questions, thanks!

Replies inline...

Q: How much of your learning has taken place on the job?

A: It’s funny, but... I don’t really understand this question because I draw no distinction between “my work life” and “my life.”

Q: Do you have a deliberate learning program in place?

A: This one really made me think. My gut instinct was to say “Yes, I have a deliberate learning program in place,” but at the same time, I didn’t immediately know how to articulate it. After some consideration, I think my philosophy that “everything is practice for the next time” pretty much encompasses my deliberate learning program. To convert this to actionable advice, I’d say: Experiment daily.

Q: How did you look at learning when you were getting started as a solopreneur? Was your approach “as needed”? Programmatic?

A: When I started out, I was attracted to learning things that I found useful. As I got older, I became attracted to learning things that the people I wanted to help found useful.

Q: Most of the people I follow and trust are relentless readers like you. Do you have a system for collecting and processing insight?

A: When I read something that gives me a brilliant insight, I can’t help but remember it and work it into my daily writing, which is synonymous with my thinking. I wouldn’t really call this “a system,” but I guess maybe it is.

Q: Did you spend a lot of time and money on courses?

A: “A lot” is subjective, but I would guess that I spend more than the average person on such things. Good books and courses from smart people are the best deal on the planet.