Hello. This is the Adventures… newsletter: a trip into finding your inner groove, creating work that sustains, and making a little more sense of the world. It’s put together by me, Howard.
It was a Wednesday. Mid February. The kind of greyscale London day where clouds smother and trees crackle. Everyone stoically bundled up, hunkered down.
Yet despite intermittent bleakness, there's something strangely satisfying about the distinct February feeling. And it might be best encapsulated by the institution known as... the pub.
I was stationed in a cozy, oak-paneled boozer south of the river. My stowaway lunchtime location provided shelter from a drizzly runaround between family commitments, US visa authorities, and dormant ties.
This particular Wednesday came with high stakes. My newsletter was shipping the next day, and I needed somewhere to write. Where better?
In keeping with the weather, my immediate view was grey: 500 words of gluey, globular Google Docs greyness. The draft just wouldn’t smooth out - a slathering of alphabetti spaghetti strained through digitised wallpaper paste. It was a most unenjoyable feast. After an hour loop of cut/paste/edit/undo, I could stomach it no longer. I drained my pint and abandoned ship.
The next day, still no joy. On Friday, the gloop was lumpy at best. By the weekend I couldn’t bear to look at the thing again. Deadline missed. Long gone.
On Sunday morning I closed the browser tab for the last time - oblivious to the fact that far more than 500 words just became lost.
This newsletter shipped pretty much every month for over 5 years (honest). Until that week under dark London skies. 19 months ago.
Why the long pause? A long story. Probably one for us to discuss over a pint at the Forest Hill Tavern.
But today, right now, I’m back.
Because something got left behind. Lost. In Sarf London. In NYC. Somewhere over the ocean. And clearly, inside me.
For a while, I didn’t miss the thing. Perhaps I didn’t even realise I lost it. But I think - I hope - I’ve found it again.
You might know the feeling. Maybe you've been there. Maybe you are.
Here in this little email dispatch I share things I’ve noticed that help me - and hopefully you - see the world through a different lens, an alternative aperture. It might even help you rediscover important things you've lost along the way.
One long-time subscriber called this newsletter ‘Rolling Stone meets Seth Godin’. I'll take it as a compliment.
And a close confidant recently said my role is a ‘Curator/Educator’ - spotting places to drill pilot holes so others can see new possibilities and paths forward. Just don’t ask me to put up any shelves. This drilling, my friends, is strictly metaphorical.
So, this edition is a reintroduction of sorts. Sixty-two editions deep, grizzled and greying, yet maintaining a callow, gauche naïveté.
It’s entrepreneurship (especially with a lowercase ‘e’). Stories of underrated humans and ideas. Ways to engage with others. Paths to overcoming barriers. Getting Lost, Being Found.
In this revised, svelte new format you’ll get three things each time:
- A riff: on culture, work, the world - typically inspired by pop/sub culture
- Quick bits: a handful of links to interesting things I’ve recently found or made
- Music from my library: a track, mix, album, or live performance
The goal is a monthly cadence.*
* If, like me, you have a young child in your life you know that 1) routines and schedules are everything, and 2) this applies to them, not you, meaning yours constantly fall out of whack. So... umm, no promises.
Either way, it’s good to be back.
I'm not yet found, but not quite so lost, either. Wherever you may be, thanks for being here right now. Seriously. I see you.
P.S. Tell me what you’re doing, what you’re seeking, what’s on your mind. I want to know, and I always reply.
- The new 'Mom & Pop' store: the next wave of parent-led businesses
- The best 'self-help' video you'll watch this week/month/year: Liz Gilbert on four little words
- My single go-to question for an intro chat: I swore I'd never do clickbait. And then, like London buses... two come along at once.
2 hours of Ennio Morricone movie soundtrack classics. Thanks to the marvelous Murg for sliding this my way.
3 things I’ve been doing of late.
- Coaching: I've started 1:1 coaching again. I realised I really missed it. My main focus? Helping you build a personal brand that's substantive, authentic, and doesn't make you cringe.
- Listening: Lost deep in the audiobooks. Five biographies consumed in two weeks. Also the perfect accompaniment for...
- Washing: clothes, bedsheets, sofas, ladles, my bike. Potty training is a challenge all round, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Just one more thing...
Want more Howard in your life? You do? Well, when you’re ready, I can help you:
- become a more accomplished teacher, presenter and speaker;
- create vibrant content that people want to engage with;
- build a personal brand that feels... well, personal.
Btw - I aim not to check unsubscribes, it’s not good for my wellbeing. So go ahead... make my day.