2020 taught us that ultimate stability is a myth.

The world can change in dramatic ways over the course of a few months, and with it the shape of our daily lives and the strength of our financial security.

How do we approach creative work, and the building of a creative business, with so much uncertainty?

To start, I’m embracing the ideas that author Todd Henry learned last year, shared in a podcast episode and summarized in these sketchnotes:

It’s that first lesson learned that I’m paying close attention to right now: diversify your portfolio before you need it.


Three weeks ago I quit social media.

That left me with some newfound time and attention that I didn’t want to squander. So I pulled the book Deep Work by Cal Newport, which I’d read years earlier, off the shelf.

I have no doubt that my first reading of that book planted the seed that eventually grew into the action of deleting my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, but I’d forgotten many of the details about how to do deep work well.

As I revisited the book, I used my underlines and margin notes to create one-page sketchnote summaries for…

For the past decade I’ve been building my online business under the assumption that I needed to be on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in order to succeed.

I’m now testing that assumption.

Earlier this week I deleted each of those three accounts, without notice, and I’d like to explain why.

First, a bit of context.

I run an education business where I teach a skill called sketchnoting, which helps you tap into the visual processing power of your brain when taking notes and sharing ideas with others.

Sketchnoting merges hand-sketched images and diagrams with brief phrases to succinctly capture an idea.

The primary places where I share ideas about sketchnoting are on my website…

Doug Neill

Sketchnoter, solopreneur, twin dad. Founder of Verbal to Visual, where I teach sketchnoting skills: www.verbaltovisual.com.

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