267 episodes

Love Your Work is the intellectual playground of David Kadavy, bestselling author of three books – including Mind Management, Not Time Management – and former design advisor to Timeful – a Google-acquired productivity app.

Love Your Work is where David shows you how to be productive when creativity matters, and make big breakthroughs happen in your career as a creator. Dig into the archives for insightful conversations with Dan Ariely, David Allen, Seth Godin, James Altucher, and many more.

"David is an underrated writer and thinker. In an age of instant publication, he puts time, effort and great thought into the content and work he shares with the world." —Jeff Goins, bestselling author of Real Artists Don’t Starve

Love Your Work David Kadavy

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 187 Ratings

Love Your Work is the intellectual playground of David Kadavy, bestselling author of three books – including Mind Management, Not Time Management – and former design advisor to Timeful – a Google-acquired productivity app.

Love Your Work is where David shows you how to be productive when creativity matters, and make big breakthroughs happen in your career as a creator. Dig into the archives for insightful conversations with Dan Ariely, David Allen, Seth Godin, James Altucher, and many more.

"David is an underrated writer and thinker. In an age of instant publication, he puts time, effort and great thought into the content and work he shares with the world." —Jeff Goins, bestselling author of Real Artists Don’t Starve

    My Low-EMF Computing Setup

    My Low-EMF Computing Setup

    I recently got a message from a reader, who said, “I don’t know if it’s meditation or you reaching a new level professionally, but I feel like your writing is on FIRE!” I do feel my writing has improved over the last year. They’re right to think the meditation I talked about on episode 246 has helped. If I had to pick one thing that has improved my writing, it’s starting to use the Zettelkasten method I talked about on episode 250. But I wouldn’t be able to manage my Zettelkasten if it weren’t for a recent breakthrough in how, physically, I write. It wouldn’t be possible without my new low-EMF computing setup.
    What are EMFs? On episode 206, my Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs summary, I talked about evidence suggesting non-ionizing EMFs, or electromagnetic fields, may cause health problems. EMFs are emitted by electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers – even the electricity these items run on emits EMFs. (I’m cautious to use the term “radiation”, since – as the irrationally rational are always quick to point out – it’s non-ionizing radiation. But it is radiation).
    When I learned about these potential health effects, I started to look more closely at my day-to-day exposure. What I discovered through trial-and-error has changed the way I use electronics, and it has improved my well-being, and thus the clarity of my thoughts and the clarity of my writing.
    Your Mileage May Vary I’ll preface this with a couple things. One is that I have long struggled with a mysterious illness. I won’t go too far into details here, but my worst symptoms are chronic muscle tension, brain fog, and a wide breadth of food sensitivities. One doctor thinks it’s chronic Lyme disease, and I’m one of the unlucky people highly sensitive to the contents of amalgam fillings, as I’ve been responding very well to replacing my fillings and following a heavy-metal chelation protocol.
    Everything I just said is controversial in traditional medicine, and I remain open-minded about the true sources of my suffering. The fact remains I’m one person, living in this body for what remains of this life, and I can’t wait for definitive answers when it comes to treatment and management – especially when all traditional avenues have repeatedly failed me.
    But I mention these things to say, also, that Your Mileage May Vary. You may have zero sensitivities to EMFs, and you may deem the potential health risks worth the benefits. I am not here to convince you that I am sensitive to EMFs, nor that you are sensitive to EMFs. I’m only here to share what I wish I had known years ago.
    Electrohypersensitivity (EHS): Is it real? I’m 95% sure that I have electromagnetic hypersensitivity, or EHS. This, once again, is controversial in the medical establishment. Some say this is totally a thing. Others say it’s all in my head. Governments such as France and parts of Sweden recognize EHS as a disability. But The World Health Organization does not recognize EHS as a medical condition, despite the fact a former head of WHO claims to suffer from EHS. The WHO suggests – in addition to searching for other root causes such as noise or flickering lights – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Still, as much as 10% of a population have reported they suffer from EHS.
    Well, I’ve done plenty of therapy, and I’ve done a ton of meditation. I’ve pushed the edges of self-control and self-knowledge in emotional, behavioral, and dietary interventions. I’ve systematized and tracked diets and symptoms, trying to reduce noise and find patterns. I’m an active student of the many biases and errors of observation that can cause one to fool oneself. Still, reducing my exposure to certain bands of EMFs has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in my health struggle.
    I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m sure enough that I’ve chang

    • 17 min
    Why I Lost $4,000 on my BookBub Featured Deal (& Why I'd Do it Again)

    Why I Lost $4,000 on my BookBub Featured Deal (& Why I'd Do it Again)

    After fourteen rejections, as I outlined on episode 247, I finally landed a BookBub Featured Deal. Once I tallied up my results, I had lost more than $4,000 running the promotion. I’ll tell you why, and why I’d still do another BookBub Featured Deal in a heartbeat.
    My BookBub Featured Deal Results Book: The Heart to Start: Stop Procrastinating & Start Creating BookBub Category: Advice and How-To Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 List Price: $9.99 Deal Price: $1.99 Territory: United States BookBub Promotion Fee: $1,008 Promotion Size: ~1,000,000 subscribers Copies Sold: 2,541 Revenue: $1,841 Supplemental Ad Spend: $4,847 Total Profit (Loss): ($4,014)   The breakdown of copies sold (across all countries):
    Amazon: 2,236 Apple: 204 Barnes & Noble: 49 Google: 36 Kobo: 16 Total Copies Sold: 2,541   The breakdown of revenue results (across all countries):
    Amazon: $1,462 Apple: $266 Barnes & Noble: $59 Google: $34 Kobo: $19 Total Revenue: $1,841   Overall ad spend results, broken down by network:
    BookBub Ads: $1,910 BookBub Featured Deal: $1,008 Amazon: $1,761 Facebook: $1,187 Instagram influencers: $185 Total Ad Spend: $6,051 My BookBub Featured Deal made my book a bestseller across several categories
    The Heart to Start ranked as high as:
    #136 overall on Amazon
    #1 in Self-Help/Creativity
    #1 in Arts & Photography

    #1 in Entrepreneurship & Small Business

    #6 overall in Self-Help

    #6 overall in Business & Investing

    Three reasons my BookBub Featured Deal results were poor (financially) The three main reasons I lost $4,000 running my BookBub Featured Deal are:
    I was trying for a bestseller list I poorly allocated advertising spend throughout the promotion I poorly allocated advertising spend amongst platforms 1. I was trying for the WSJ bestseller list Word on the street is, to qualify for the Wall Street Journal nonfiction ebook best-seller list, you need to sell 3,000–5,000 ebooks in a week, in the U.S. Supposedly you need to sell at least 500 of those copies in a single non-Amazon channel to trigger reporting to the list.
    I contemplated not trying for the list and instead reaping what profits I could, but decided to go for it. I felt The Heart to Start was a longshot, but was curious to learn so I could later apply what I learned on my then-upcoming-now-out book, Mind Management, Not Time Management (read about my BookBub Featured New Release results for my new book).
    Despite spending more than $6,000 on the promotion, I did not break the 3,000-copy barrier. Here is my sales breakdown for U.S. sales (the above sales are worldwide):
    Sales (U.S.)
    Amazon: 2,123 B&N: 51 (countries unknown) Apple: 185 Kobo: 7 Google: 29 Total U.S. Copies Sold: 2,395 As you can see, perhaps harder than selling 3,000 copies overall is selling 500 copies in a non-Amazon channel (for this book in this genre with my audience, anyway).
      2. I poorly allocated ad spend throughout the promotion I broke my ad spend down into three buckets:
    Warm Up: Starting around 10 days before the promotion, I built awareness about my book to “warm up” the audience, so they would act more readily when the deal hit their inboxes. During: The day of and a couple days after my promotion, I advertised the discount (where possible). Last Day: The final day of the promotion, I advertised the discount, with messaging that it was the last day (where possible). My ad spend results amongst these three buckets:
    Warm Up: $2,225 (46%) During: $1,477 (30%) Last Day: $1,145 (24%) Total: $4,847 I do not recommend this allocation. Without much time to plan my promotion, I got overly-zealous, and spent way too much early on. By the time I got to the Last Day, I was trigger shy and didn’t want to spend more money.
    If anything, this should have been reversed. The last day

    • 13 min
    Creative Success in Extremistan (Not Mediocristan)

    Creative Success in Extremistan (Not Mediocristan)

    If you want to succeed in anything creative – whether that’s writing, art, or entrepreneurship – you’re navigating unfamiliar territory. Everyone else is living in Mediocristan, but you’re living in Extremistan. You need a different approach for deciding how you define success.
    “Extremistan” is a term introduced by Nicholas Nassim Taleb in his book, The Black Swan, which I summarized on episode 244. We tend to think we’re living in the opposite of Extremistan: Mediocristan. When we as creatives measure success and make our decisions as if we are in Mediocristan, we ruin any chance we have of succeeding in the world we’re actually in: Extremistan.

    Extremistan defined
    Extremistan is an imaginary place where events are random and unpredictable, and the impact of those events are extreme. It’s a world full of “Black Swans.”

    Extremistan vs. Mediocristan
    Mediocristan is a place that’s the opposite of Extremistan.

    Extremistan is unstable. Mediocristan is stable. Extremistan is the world of the unpredictable and unexpected. Mediocristan is the world of the predictable and expected. Extremistan is full of singular events (“Black Swans”). In Mediocristan, the same things happen over and over. Extremistan is full of variables that scale infinitely. In Mediocristan, all variables fall within a range.
    We’re used to Mediocristan
    Our modern world is built to be Mediocristan. We think we can predict what will happen. Some of this may be that our mental hard-wiring makes it difficult for us to think in terms of the unpredictable and unstable. Some of it is definitely because we’ve spread, across the collective, risks that face the individual.

    An hourly-wage job is in Mediocristan
    Imagine you have an hourly-wage job serving coffee at Starbucks. You’re working in Mediocristan.

    There are plenty of unpredictable things Starbucks has to deal with serving millions of customers across tens of thousands of locations. Employees will call in sick or stop showing up. There can be a coffee bean shortage, causing prices to suddenly spike. Someone might slip and fall in the bathroom and sue for millions of dollars.

    All these things affect Starbucks’ profits. One month, they may make a big profit. The next month, they may lose money and need to take out a loan to stay in business.

    But all the while, you know exactly how much you’re getting paid each hour you work.

    Starbucks can handle these shocks and pay you a steady wage because they spread risk across the entire organization. You don’t even notice if a water main breaks, flooding another location, or if the Director of Operations gets in a car wreck and ends up in the hospital for seven weeks.

    Your hourly-wage job at Starbucks is mind-numbing, it’s boring, you’re living on rice and beans from Aldi. But, it’s impressively predictable. It beats the heck out of foraging in the jungle and hoping you don’t get pounced on by a puma.

    Creative work happens in Extremistan
    A Mediocristan job is a pretty sweet deal if the wage is livable. Though, stable, well-paying Mediocristan jobs are more and more scarce. That’s not the thing I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is how important it is to understand that when you’re doing creative work, you’re not in Mediocristan, rather you’re in Extremistan.

    An author works in Extremistan
    Imagine if when you get off your shift at Starbucks, you sit down and write each day. After you build a writing habit and keep it for several years, you finish your first novel.

    You upload your novel to Amazon, and: nothing. You get a few sales a month. Then one day, you log into your Amazon dashboard, and see a huge spike. You’ve sold 3,000 books, and it’s not even 10 a.m. Turns out an influencer shared your book on TikTok.

    3,000 books is just the begin

    • 13 min
    NOTE: Join the "True Fan" Patreon level (for a limited time, at patreon.com/kadavy)

    NOTE: Join the "True Fan" Patreon level (for a limited time, at patreon.com/kadavy)

    Just a quick note here to tell you loyal listeners about a new opportunity over on Patreon.
    As I’ve said in my Patreon pleas at the end of the episodes, some money that I make feels better than other money. When I sell a book, that money feels good. When I get a sponsor for the podcast, that money feels...not as good.
    Other money I get that feels good is the money I get from Patreon supporters. This is why I don’t take podcast sponsors anymore. Each dollar feels like a little note that says, “Hey, I like what you’re doing. Please keep doing it.”
    And practically speaking, the money I get from Patreon supporters helps keep the business running. Books are the biggest part of my income, but it takes a long time to finish a book. Getting a few bucks a month from a reader helps me keep doing my work until I have enough ideas worth putting into a book.
    I’ve asked you over the years many times for your support and many of you have joined, and for that I’m grateful.
    But now I have a special opportunity: For a limited time I’m offering a special “True Fan” level. The name of this is inspired by Kevin Kelley’s essay, “1,000 true fans.” Basically, if you can find 1,000 people who think your work is worth $100 a year, you have a sustainable business.
    This special True Fan level brings you all the benefits you’d normally get at a higher level of support, but at a discounted price. You get early access to episodes – there’s two waiting you could listen to right now – plus audio of my monthly income reports, masterclasses with folks like Noah Kagan, and patron-only Q&As – all delivered to your own personal RSS feed you can easily copy and paste into your favorite podcast app.
    Normally, all of this goes to Patreon supporters at the $15 a month level. For a limited time, you get all this for only $9 a month.
    If you’re already a supporter, this offer is open to you, too. Whether that’s bumping your support up a bit, or if you’re at a higher level you can get locked in for the same benefits at a lower price.
    The offer, as I said, is only available for a limited time, but after it goes away, you’re locked in at this price. Plus, if I add anything to the package in the future, you’ll get that, too. The more members we have, the more cool things I can offer.
    Not everyone is in a position to pay for something they could get for free. If you can’t support my work, nothing will change and you can keep enjoying my free work as long as I can afford to do it from here in South America (assuming I can still live in South America). So far we have over 250 episode of Love Your Work from the past five years, and more than 100 Love Mondays email newsletters, all free to enjoy.
    Otherwise, if you consider yourself a “True Fan” *and* you have the means, please take advantage of this special Patreon level.
    As I said this is a limited-time offer. It’s an experiment, and I will close sign-ups to this level at some random time in the near future, so do act now. Again, that’s patreon.com/kadavy

    • 3 min
    Amusing Ourselves to Death Book Summary

    Amusing Ourselves to Death Book Summary

    Can the way we consume information make us unable to tell truth from lies? Neil Postman thought so. In his book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman says everything has been turned into entertainment: Our politics, religion, news, athletics, our commerce – even our education – have all been turned into forms of entertainment. This has weakened our ability to reason about society’s important questions. In this Amusing Ourselves to Death book summary, I’ll break down – in my own words – why Postman believes the shift from a society built around reading, to a society built around moving pictures and music, has devolved our discourse into a dangerous level of nonsense.

    America was built upon reading
    In 1854, in a lecture hall in Peoria, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln was in a debate. His debate opponent, Stephen A. Douglas, had just finished a three-hour speech. Lincoln reminded the audience it was 5 p.m., he himself would be speaking for at least three hours, and Douglas would get a chance to respond. He told the audience, Go home, have dinner, and come back for four more hours of lecture.

    Is today’s technology “nothing new?”
    Every time a new technology comes along, there are people who think the sky is falling. There are also people who say it’s nothing new. They’ll show you that old picture of men on a commuter train, with their faces buried in newspapers, or they might remind you Socrates worried people would be made forgetful by the breakthrough technology of: writing. If we think back to our own memories from ten or twenty years ago, we have to conclude that not much has changed. It’s different technology, with the same people.

    Yes, attention spans are shorter
    But this scene from Lincoln’s debate from more than 150 years ago is a stark contrast from today’s world. It’s hard to imagine ordinary citizens gathering in the local lecture hall to sit and listen to seven hours of debate, without so much as a smartphone to stay occupied if things got dull. What’s even more remarkable is neither Lincoln nor Douglas were presidential candidates at the time – they weren’t even candidates for the Senate.

    America was the most reading-focused culture ever
    Postman uses this lecture scene to paint a picture of what he says was probably the most print-oriented culture ever. Unlike in England, in Colonial America reading wasn’t an elitist activity. Postman estimates that the literacy rate for men in Massachusetts and Connecticut was around 90 or 95%. Farm boys plowed the fields with a book in hand, reading Shakespeare, Emerson, or Thoreau.

    Thomas Paine, who wrote the mega-best-selling Common Sense had little formal schooling, and before coming to America, had come from England’s lowest laboring class. Still, Paine wrote political philosophy on par with Voltaire and Rousseau.

    When Charles Dickens visited America in 1842, it was as if a movie star had visited. Dickens himself said, “There never was a King or Emperor upon earth so cheered and followed by the crowds.”

    Today’s media is built around images
    Since Amusing Ourselves to Death was written in the 1980’s, it’s not concerned with Facebook nor TikTok nor Twitter. It’s concerned with television. But as Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message”, and the characteristics of the television medium translate well into the characteristics of today’s media. Today’s media isn’t built around words – it’s built around images.

    Television is images
    It’s easy to turn the channel on a television, or to turn the television off completely. They sit running in the house while people do other things. Remember from my Understanding Media summary that pieces of content within a medium compete with one another in what I summed up as a “Darwinian battle.” Only the strong survive, and to survive on t

    • 18 min
    NOTE: Listen to Mind Management, Not Time Management free (at kdv.co/mindaudible)

    NOTE: Listen to Mind Management, Not Time Management free (at kdv.co/mindaudible)

    I just got word that the Mind Management, Not Time Management audiobook is now live on Audible.com. And you can listen to it free.
    If you are not already an Audible member, you can listen to the Mind Management, Not Time Management audiobook free, with a free trial. Just go to kdv.co/mindaudible.
    If you prefer another platform, check it out, Mind Management, Not Time Management is probably available there. I’ll leave a list in the show notes with links to the audiobook on many retailers, but it’s going live in forty retailers, so I can’t get them all. It may even be available for check-out at your local library.
    Here is a partial list of retailers where the audiobook is currently live:
    Audible Apple Google Play Kobo/Walmart Scribd Chirp Barnes & Noble NOOK Hibooks Thanks to Findaway Voices’ distribution, the audiobook is slated to go live on forty platforms. Check out your favorite platform, and it may even be available for check-out at your local library. I’ll try to keep the Universal book link updated as it becomes available in more places.

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
187 Ratings

187 Ratings

Ima listener ,


Highly recommend! David is an awesome host and speaks on much needed to hear topics!

vitalej17 ,

THIS is the kind of podcast biz owners NEED!

This podcast is a triple threat -- It teaches you how to affect your mindset, business strategies, and team culture with actionable steps. David's (and his guests) thoughtful advice and guidance is refreshingly straight-forward (no clickbait titles here) and also fun and easy to listen to.

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcadst!!!

David, host of the Love Your Work podcast, highlights all good aspects and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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