6 min read

Sunday Six: Blue Zones, Niche & Paul from the Bible

What did we learn from Blue Zones? Does niche really matter? Why aren't you hanging out with your friends?

Hey Friend 👋

You know what’s underrated? Sunday naps. I feel like more people should take Sunday naps. Including myself.

I say that because I should be napping but instead am taking time to share this week’s Sunday Six with you guys! (Which I also love to do 😉)

Can I be honest for a sec?

Writing today’s Sunday Six is a bit difficult. But for you to understand that, you’ll need some context.

11 months ago, I read a book called Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. It’s one of my favorite books ever. I’ve read it multiple times. That paired with The Art and Business of Writing Online by Nicolas Cole — I decided to start writing online.

I started for a couple months just writing on Twitter and then in February of 2023, I launched this newsletter (Sunday Six).

In many ways, I’ve truly loved writing online and especially loved writing these newsletter emails. So much so that I convinced many of my friends to also start their own newsletters.

But there is something that I’ve been struggling with tremendously over the entirety of these 11 months writing online. I’ve been wrestling with these questions:

  • What am I incredibly passionate to write about?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • Who does that help?

Some people call this a niche.

To say that I’ve struggled with this is honestly an intense understatement. I’ve read 10-15 books to help me understand niche. I’ve bought online courses. Heck, I do marketing for a living. I literally charge people thousands of dollars to help them understand target to product fit.

And that’s the other thing that’s frustrating.

I can help people do this one thing that for whatever reason — I cannot seem to nail down for myself.

Because here’s the reality, I have commitment issues to topics. And a niche needs commitment. (At least if it’s going to work and solve a problem)

I love all sorts of things:

  • Running
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Sneakers
  • Health
  • Productivity
  • Journaling
  • Creativity

And to a degree, I write about all of those things in their own manner. My interests and curiosities change all the time. I almost never “stay in my lane.” Which is why I believe the Sunday Six has actually stayed around for the last 9 months.

Because it has no niche. I can share whatever I want in here and it just works.

The problem?

It’s hard to connect deeply with people until you pick a niche to dive fully in. And I know that niche unlocks unparalleled opportunities. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it.

In fact, about 8 years ago, I started a business called Bearded Boards. I partnered with some friends to create custom wooden pedalboards for guitarists. And honestly? It was awesome.

My goal with that business hilariously wasn’t to really make money — I just wanted to connect with guitarists and other entrepreneurs in the guitar world. I figured the best way to do that was to start a guitarist-focused business of my own.

It worked.

I met a ton of great people. Got embedded into a meaningful and supporting niche community. I got to run a business that was helpful to those people.

Writing has the power to do the same thing. Except without having to make a product or run a business. You could just write. Connect. Help each other and build community.

I miss that.

Unfortunately I still haven’t figured it out. I feel like I’ve been close quite a few times, but I continue to dial it in.

This may sound like first-world problems sort of thing, and it is. But when you’ve seen the power of a niche community happen before you — you’re hungry to see it again. But this time for longer, deeper and richer.

For now, my goal is to continue writing until I figure it out. And even after I figure it out, keep writing 😄 I will keep you up to date.

Sunday Six ☀️

📚 Meaningful Marketing Book Cover — You asked about it and voted on it. Done by none other than the Jonathan Maloney.

I am incredibly excited about this book cover! Right now, I am going through the final read of the book where I am making sure that I am 100% happy with it before sending it to page formatting.

Then off to the races…

Release date.

2 more months. 😄

Also, shameless plug → Jonathan is the best in the biz. If you need professional design, email him at jonathan@brightfulstudio.com.

He took the tiny little concepts in my head and brought them to life. Unreal.

📖 Paul & Sneaker Obsession — Yesterday, we took our kids to Barnes and Noble to read books, have coffee and celebrate our little Luca turning 2. He loves books. We read many of them.

I ended up picking up two new books to add enjoy, a biography on Paul & Sneaker Obsession. What an “Alin” combination if you know me at all.

I’ve already started digging into them.


🏃 The Power of VO2 Max — I was reading the book of Longevity by Dr. Peter Attia. He mentions that “the strongest correlation to a life of longevity and vitality is cardiovascular health, more specifically VO2 Max”

There best two ways to increase VO2 Max:

  • Walking
  • Running

I’ve been obsessed with running a ton but more lately I’m just trying to get in 10,000 steps no matter whether it’s walking or running.

Here are things that help me:

  • Strolls with my family
  • Walking meetings
  • Post-lunch 18 minute walk
  • Post-work afternoon jog

I’ve been hitting 10,000 steps easy as I do these. And lower resting heart rates.

Create Time for Coffee — Most people my age and stage of life are super busy with:

  • Building their career
  • Being with their family
  • Managing sports and obligations

All good things!

But with that, you tend to sacrifice personal relationships with other people. You’re busy at work, kids are young and restless, chores to do around the house.

I get it.

I’ve been doing it for years.

I am trying to be significantly more intentional about having coffee with my closest friends for the sake of just being good friends.

No business. No frills. Just coffee.

This week, I got to connect with my good friend Lee Baker. He’s a recurring hang on my calendar and I am very grateful for it.

I highly recommend you find one or two people you love to connect with and just put it on a your calendar as a recurring hangout.

We often say "we should get together sometime..."

Stop delaying. Put it on your calendar to prioritize it.

🥑 Fresh Vegetable Stand — My wife, Adri, found us this incredible little fresh produce stand literally minutes away from our house. They are a local farm that drops off incredible vegetables for people to grab whenever.

It’s dirt cheap too. $4 per basket. That’s like pre-COVID prices for food like this! I’m obsessed with finding local farms to get our food from.

I’ve been ordering our meat once a month from hopewellfarmsga.com but have been looking for a fresh produce place. Next dairy…

💙 Secrets to Live to 100: Blue Zone Docu Series — Adri and I binged all 4 episodes in two nights. Last weeks Sunday Six, I mentioned about some tips on longevity from the Italians. Many of you replied to this and told me about this incredible DocuSeries on Netflix.

Here are some the key takeaways I got from this DocuSeries:

  1. Never retire 💪
  2. Cut meat out of your diet 🥩
  3. Walk up steep hills 🚶‍♀️
  4. Drink espresso with friends ☕
  5. Change your environment 🏡
  6. Find your faith community 🙏
  7. Know your purpose for living 🤓

Thanks for tuning into this week's Sunday Six!

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