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This morning routine will save you 20+ hours/week

Plus: Why self-advocacy can help you become an invaluable collaborator

Today’s Tech Creator: A 5-Minute Read (1328 Words)

Welcome to this edition of Today’s Tech Creator. In this issue, we dive into Chris Fralic's masterclass on growing connections, explore the most productive morning routine, and discover how to develop underrated skills like self-advocacy.


How to become insanely well-connected

Chris Fralic, a partner at First Round and renowned super-connector, has mastered the art of building lasting professional relationships.

His journey from a curious software salesman to a highly influential venture capitalist is a testament to the power of networking. 

Here are 7 ways you can leverage Fralic’s strategies to become well-connected in your industry:

1. Convey genuine appreciation. Actively show warmth and high energy. People feel valued when they sense your genuine interest and enthusiasm. Greeting others in a way that shows you are genuinely happy to see them and focus on what you can learn from them. This mutual exchange of value builds strong connections.

2. Listen with intent. Listening is more than just hearing words; it’s about making others feel truly heard. Engage in “backchanneling” by giving short, enthusiastic responses and asking follow-up questions. This shows that you’re fully present and interested, which is crucial for building rapport and trust.

3. Use humility markers, acknowledge your own fallibility to make yourself more relatable. Especially in situations where there is a power dynamic, showing humility can put others at ease. When rejecting someone, do so with consideration and take the time to explain your decision personally, rather than via email. This fosters respect and appreciation.

4. Offer unvarnished honesty. Be as honest as possible in professional interactions. Root your honesty in utility for the other party, ensuring that your feedback is constructive and helpful. This builds a foundation of trust for future interactions.

5. Blue-Sky brainstorm. Even if you can’t provide what someone is looking for, help them think differently about their challenges. Engage in brainstorming sessions that offer new perspectives and potential solutions. This collaborative approach makes your interactions valuable and memorable.

6. End on a positive note, conclude every conversation with optimism and positivity, setting the tone for future interactions. Assume you’ll meet everyone again and aim to leave a lasting, positive impression. This approach ensures that future meetings start on a high note.

7. Don’t fake it till you make it. Avoid pretending to be something you’re not. Authenticity is key to building long-lasting relationships. Prepare thoroughly for interactions with key individuals, understanding their backgrounds and what you want to achieve from the conversation. This preparation shows respect and genuine interest.

Why it matters: Chris Fralic’s approach to networking is a masterclass in building meaningful, lasting relationships. By following these 7 principles, you can become a well-connected individual in your industry.


Why self-advocacy can help you become an invaluable collaborator

Becoming a successful collaborator requires various skills and values. While attributes like good communication skills and transparency are essential, one trait that is sometimes overlooked is self-advocacy. 

Building self-advocacy skills can help handle situations that might otherwise become unfavorable or unfair. 

What it means to be a self-advocate:  Self-advocacy is the willingness to speak up for your own interests and needs. According to Carnegie-Mellon University, self-advocacy occurs “any time people speak or act on their own behalf to improve their quality of life, effect personal change, or correct inequalities.” It involves understanding your needs, knowing the available resources, and communicating your needs to those who can help.

Here are six clear signals that it's time:

  • Practice positive self-talk: Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Encourage yourself regularly and remind yourself of your strengths and capabilities. This will build your confidence and empower you to speak up for your needs and interests.

  • Track your accomplishments: Keep a record of your achievements, no matter how small. This helps you recognize your progress and reinforces your self-worth. When you know what you’ve accomplished, you can better advocate for yourself in various situations.

  • Ask for help when needed: Don’t hesitate to ask. It ensures you have the resources and support to succeed. The more competent and knowledgeable you are, the more confident you’ll feel about advocating for yourself. Attend workshops, seek feedback, and strive for personal and professional growth.

The bottom line: The term “self-advocacy” might sound self-focused, but it has broader benefits. By developing self-awareness and problem-solving skills, you become a more effective collaborator. You’ll be better equipped to communicate effectively, find solutions that meet everyone's needs, and help your partners express their needs. 

Self-advocacy not only creates more wins for yourself but also facilitates true win-win scenarios in every collaboration.


This morning routine will save you 20+ hours a week

The traditional 9 to 5 workday is poorly structured for high productivity. Countries with shorter workdays often see higher productivity, and highly successful individuals frequently work fewer hours with better results. 

To achieve more in less time, adopt these 6 principles to maximize your efficiency:

  • Intensive work followed by high-quality rest and recovery is more effective than long, drawn-out work hours. Engage in "deep work" for one to three hours without distractions to maximize productivity. This means being 100% on when you’re working and 100% off when you’re not. It’s the same concept as intensive exercise followed by proper rest, where most growth happens during the recovery process.

  • The first three hours of the day are the most productive—reserve this time for your important tasks. The brain is most active and creative immediately after sleep, making it the best time for thoughtful work. Psychologist Ron Friedman notes that this is when we are most focused and capable of strong contributions in planning, thinking, and speaking.

  • Start your day early, ideally around 6 a.m. Have a high-protein breakfast to maintain energy levels and focus. Spend a few minutes in prayer, meditation, or journaling to set clear goals and intentions for the day. Daily objectives can help you achieve clarity and focus, setting a productive tone for the day.

  • Avoid scheduling meetings or checking emails and social media in the morning. Dedicate this time solely to output and focused work. This is the time when your mind is sharpest and most capable of deep, productive work. Protecting your mornings from interruptions allows you to make the most of your peak performance hours.

  • Incorporate exercise. Schedule your workout around midday as a mental break after your intensive morning work session. Exercise with food in your system for better performance and productivity. This not only serves as a break but also helps rejuvenate your mind for any additional work you may need to tackle later in the day.

  • Fully detach from work after your productive hours to recover and gain creative insights. Engage in play and relaxation to enhance creativity and well-being. Proper detachment from work is essential for maintaining energy, engagement, and overall health. Activities that promote relaxation and play can significantly boost your creativity and productivity.

A structured morning routine focusing on high-quality work and adequate rest, can boost your productivity 20x and save time. Prioritize your tasks in the first 3 hours of the day, protect your mornings from distractions, and balance work with proper rest. When done right, this routine not only enhances your efficiency but also improves your overall quality of life.


Everything you need to know today

That brings us to the end of this week’s edition. We hope you’ve had some key takeaways and news to keep you fuelled for the week ahead.

We’ll see you again next week, same time, same place!