Today, I’m joined by Cullin McGrath (@Cullin). Cullin McGrath is a writer that any ambitious creative person needs to know. If you’re a fan of Ryan Holiday or James Clear, then you’ll appreciate Cullin’s insights on what it means to live a life of meaning. I recommend starting off with his newest essay, The Danger in Full-Throttle. It’s an intelligent, revealing story about Cullin’s experience with the often overlooked darkness of self-improvement.
Cullin is also building a paid community of writers at Writer’s Bloc, which I’ve had the privilege of beta-testing. It’s transformed my writing in ways I could not have imagined. I’ll post a piece that I’m working on, and within a few hours, I’ll get generous feedback and support from other aspiring writers. If you want your writing to level up (fiction or non-fiction), I highly recommend checking it out.
“You have to operate in life around something that excites you and fills you with purpose.”
- What was it like at a Tony Robbin’s Seminar? (2:45)
- How can introverts promote their work online? (7:20)
- The pitfalls of self-improvement, the balancing act of building and decompressing (9:30)
- How building things online has always been a part of Cullin’s life (12:30)
- When does Cullin feel the most at ease when he’s working towards his goals? (13:40)
- What meaningful work feels like (14:20)
- Don’t point fingers at people who aren’t entrepreneurial (15:00)
- What’s the future of newsletters? (17:20)
- MattressMatt.substack.com (19:00)
- Doing the books instead of reading all the books (22:00)
- Can reading fiction improve your non-fiction writing? (24:40)
- On Ryan Holiday (27:00)
- How message boards (remember those?) inspired Cullin’s writing (31:00)
- How has writing for an audience changed Cullin’s thinking? (32:00)
- Building confidence as a Creator (35:30)
- Cullin’s transformation through writing (38:00)
- Balancing entertainment with ambition (40:00)
- Books that broke us (46:00)
- Why we don’t follow GaryVee on social (51:00)
- The benefits of being disagreeable (55:00)
- The big questions (1:00:00)
- Will we really be working for ourselves? (1:04:00)
- The Future of Writer’s Bloc and the problem of scale in paid online communities (1:08:00)
- Cullin’s message to people who are stuck (1:13:00)
- Reading Marcus Aurelius in middle school (1:16:00)
Show Notes and Resources
(And here’s a trailer of the documentary about his seminars.)
The incredibly detailed process of writing a book when your name is Ryan Holiday.
The Four-Hour Workweek – The book that broke me.
The Third Door Book – The book that broke Cullin.
Ryan Holiday on the impact of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius