5 years ago, I worked at Home Depot

Now I'm a full-time creator

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Alright it’s Home Depot time. Then some super spicy memes of course.

5 years ago, I was working at Home Depot lifting mulch in the hot summer.

Today, my work is writing on the internet.

Do you understand why I work so hard now?

It’s because I’m grateful as hell I get to do this for a living. I don’t “HAVE” to write a newsletter every week, I “GET” to write a newsletter every week.

All the small problems around making content feel like nothing compared to lifting mulch in the summer and pushing around shopping carts. You think I’m gonna give up because my tweet didn’t do well or because my software crashed? Not a chance. There’s nothing that’ll stop me from doing this. I’m living the dream bro, ain’t nothing stopping me.

I look at some of the fuckers who never worked a shitty job in their life and they’re attempting to make content now and they’re confused why it’s not easy. They think it’ll be easy because the rest of their life was easy. They never had to do shitty work. I’m not even just talking about the physical aspect of manual labor. These people never felt the mental anguish or pure boredom of lifting mulch and pushing around shopping carts (if you’re a smart person, it’s the boredom that really causes the mental pain). So when these people go to make content, they can’t stand the shitty work and pain so they eventually give up. I see this time and time again. They all eventually give up.

If you want to be a creator who actually makes money, you gotta adopt a blue-collar work ethic and do the shitty work. You gotta do the boring shit. You gotta be bored and depressed sometimes if you wanna make it.

“Do shitty work,” wrote Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt.

Everyone wants to write a newsletter, no one wants to edit at 2 AM. Everyone wants to make funny videos, no one wants to film again and again until you get it right. Everyone wants to go viral, no one wants to do the work for it.

This is some of the shitty work I get to do:

  • Interviewing people on the street in NYC is so shitty. I go out in the cold, drink a motherfucking Red Bull, walk up to strangers, ask them if I can interview them, 80% of them reject me, I give myself a pep talk again and again, my partner and I walk around for 2-3 hours, we’re fucking exhausted afterwards and I need a fat nap after. But hey, it’s better than Home Depot.

  • Making beautiful artwork is shitty as hell. I have the best newsletter cover art in the industry, it’s no fucking comparison. How do I do it? A lot of shitty work. I type in prompts to DALL-E, wait for them to generate, retry for anywhere from 5-20 minutes until I get something decent, download the files, upload to Photoshop, then edit out the parts I don’t like using manual select, blurring tools, etc. It’s a lot of shitty work, but goddamn I have the most beautiful newsletter in the world. And it’s a hell of a lot better than Home Depot.

  • I’ve posted a blog every Sunday for 2+ years. No Sundays off—how? Simple. I type words, edit them until they’re good, then press publish. I have no idea how long it takes. I don’t track time, what the fuck am I a wage worker? I’m a writer. Sometimes that means staying up til Saturday night at 2 AM. Sometimes it means skipping plans Friday night and pissing off my wife. Sometimes it means drinking so much coffee I want to scream. But writing is shitty work. Writing isn’t some romantic Shakespeare shit. Writing is just typing words, editing until good, and pressing motherfucking publish. That’s writing. And it’s a hell of a lot more fun than lifting mulch or pushing shopping carts.

I’ve dreamed of being a full-time creator since I was 11 or 12.

I think I can suck up the shitty work to live the dream.

You need to decide what shitty work you’re willing to do.

How bad do you want it?

How much shitty work are you willing to do?

 As Spielberg said, “pain is temporary, art is forever.”

Join my community of creative hustlers.

I run a community called The Strategists for creators and founders who are working their asses off to win the great online game.

This is a community for marketing nerds with blue-collar work ethics who are putting their all into making some internet money. If you live, breathe, and eat making content, this is the place for you. No half-assing allowed.

We have a private Slack channel and meet 2x/week to ideate on social media strategies and marketing tactics.

  • Starting a newsletter and need growth hacks? Ask The Strategists.

  • Launching a startup on Product Hunt? Ask The Strategists.

  • Need to get press coverage? Ask The Strategists.

We’re for creative maniacs only.

Grow your socials in 30 minutes/week

Here’s 3 ways I can help:

😂 Meme Subscription: I’ll send you 10 custom niche-specific memes every Monday PLUS send you trending meme templates during the week.

👻 Ghostwriting: I ghostwrite on Twitter/LinkedIn for startup founders.

🎤 Man-on-the-Street-as-a-Service: My partner and I will film man-on-the-street interviews and post them to your brand accounts.

Turn your socials on auto-pilot and let a marketing nerd take the wheel.

Reply to this email or send me a DM if you’re interested.

📘 I published my book highlights for “Trust Me, I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday and “Oglivy on Advertising” by ad legend David Oglivy.

🛠️ A celebration of 12 Epic Feats of American Engineering via Pirate Wires. I didn’t realize copper mines were so beautiful.

Memes of the Week:


me at parties

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PLUS: get access to an exclusive interview with a memelord and startup founder who made $3 MILLION from memes on Twitter.

Thanks for reading, nerds.

Let’s blow up the internet together.

Jason Levin