- Scott H Young - https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog -

15 Things I Wish I Knew

The great thing about writing articles is that I get to pick the topic. I try to only pick topics that I either have some familiarity with, have done research on or have at least spent a lot of time thinking about.

The problem with writing articles is that people assume I know everything. The 800 articles I’ve written and a few small books represents a few cherry-picked ideas I’ve obsessed over and believe in. But, there are still a ton of things I’d like to know.

Considering the power of this audience in contributing answers, I thought I’d share a brief list of some of the skills I’d like to be better at, and the ideas I wish I had. Hopefully some of you brilliant people can share answers (or at least suggestions) to some of them and we can all learn from the crowd-sourced wisdom.

Links to blog articles, books or even personal responses are all welcome if they address any of these questions.

So, here goes, a brief list of things I’d like to know:

  1. How to Collaborate Productively. I’m great at managing my own time and energy. But I wish I could read a guide for how to work productively with contractors or joint ventures. Particularly in an online setting where you may never meet the other person face-to-face.
  2. How to Network Online. Having spent most of my life located in the vastness of the Canadian prairie, I can say it’s often difficult to meet people with similar careers/businesses, face-to-face. As a result, almost all my networking has been online. Only problem is that I’m much more effective at meeting people face-to-face than on the web.
  3. How to Get Started Writing Fiction. Beyond no-brainer advice like, “start writing,” I’d be interested in reading some basic tips for writing fiction. I’ve contemplated writing fiction as a hobby for a long time, as I think it has the ability to improve my non-fiction writing as well.
  4. How to Train Yourself to Pronounce Foreign Sounds. Although, to a certain extent, it’s almost impossible to completely replicate the sounds of a foreign language after the age of 10 or 12, some people are good at getting very close. I’d like to know how they do it, as being able to soften my accent is a goal of mine in learning French.
  5. How to Create Higher Quality Video/Audio Recordings, Without Tons of Time/Money. Moving beyond text is something I’ve wanted to do since starting this blog. However, my skills at creating professional recordings are far below my writing ability.
  6. How to Sustain an Exercise Routine While Traveling. Admittedly, this is something I could figure out on my own. However, I’m interested to know how experienced vagabonds manage the bizarre schedule and culture shock while continuing to exercise.
  7. How to Manage Irregular Income Streams. Irregularity of income can be nice (irregular income boosts), but it makes it harder to budget and plan for the future. I’d like to know how people with 10+ years of experience manage it. Particularly when they have bigger commitments such as kids or a mortgage.
  8. How to Conduct a Proper Product Launch. Perhaps I’m the only one here who cares about this problem, but after only 3-4 product launches of my own, I wish I knew more.
  9. How to Go From Good to Great with Writing. The bulk of my writing improvement came in my first 100-300 articles. But now, on article 800 or so, I don’t feel my writing is still improving. I’d love to know what steps other writers have taken to improve their craft once their main writing gigs have become routine.
  10. How to Understand Website Statistics. I know what page views, incoming traffic and the various numbers on my Analytics dashboard are. The question is, what do I do with all that data? I’d love if there were a guide that actually went, step-by-step, in teaching how you can cut out all the noise of irrelevant data into a clear process for decision-making.
  11. How to Sustain Friendships Over Long Distances. I’ve had the privilege of meeting many cool people, from all over the world. The difficulty is in keeping up ties which, realistically, I may not have a chance to reconnect with for a decade or more. Does anyone have tips they’ve gleaned from international friendships?
  12. How to Do a Handstand Push-Up. Alright, this one is just a vanity, but I’ve been curious since I’ve started working out. I managed to train myself to do a one-arm pushup. However, I’m not sure the best way to go about training for a handstand pushup. Has anyone done it before? What were your intermediate steps?
  13. How to Live Abroad While Running a Business. Well, this one I’m doing successfully right now. However, my year-long visa was based on a student exchange program. I know of similar visa-granting procedures for work-exchanges. But what if you don’t plan on switching your job? I’d like to know in case I choose to live in another country after I’m no longer attending university.
  14. How to Cook on a Budget. My grocery expenses doubled moving from central Canada to southern France. But, more than just recipes, I’d like to know if there are any all-purpose tips that can allow you to eat frugally without completely sacrificing taste or nutritional value.
  15. How to Travel Without Checked Luggage. I have friends that can do a several day trip with nothing more than a handbag. While I’m a fairly light packer, I don’t yet have the mysterious science of carry-on luggage perfected. I’d be interested to see how people pack so light while traveling, and, in doing so, what they choose not to bring with them.