Confession: I have an addiction 😱

published9 months ago
4 min read

Hey friend,

At the start of 2023 when I was making my ‘start, stop, continue’ list I realized I had an addiction 😱.

Btw if you don’t know this exercise, it involves making three columns (titled Start, Stop and Continue). From there you add habits and activities to each column of things you want to stop, start and continue doing.

One thing I was doing everyday had become an addiction and I needed to stop.

What was it?

True Crime.

“Hi, I’m Cathryn Lavery and I’m addicted to true crime podcasts.”

And I’m not the only one. Turns out, women are far more attracted to true crime than men are.

The addiction all started when I last moved a few years ago. Packing was slightly less painful when my girlfriend (now wife) and I listened to true crime to pass the time. I was able to focus my ADHD brain on a boring task only if I was able to listen to a show at the same time.

Then next it became something to do while we cleaned the house. “Should we clean and listen to murder?” was our way of making that process more tolerable 🤣

Do you relate at all?

Inputs vs outputs

I'm a big believer in compounding. What I have today is not from what I did yesterday.

It's from 5-10 years of compounding decisions.

When I first started in entrepreneurship in 2012, I devoured business books. The E-Myth. Rich Dad Poor Dad. The Four Hour Work Week. I devoured hundreds of books.

If I wasn't reading them, I was listening to them. Everything I did was about personal development and feeding my brain.

Five years in though, between that and building my business nonstop I burned out. Understandably.

(sidenote: I worked with BestSelf to create this tool for burnout that just released today. Something I wish I'd had back then.)

Now, I’ve talked about compounding actions and how to look at things we buy:

If we used the new thing every day for the next year, would we be a better version of ourselves? Or a worse version of ourselves?

If not, don’t waste your money. Invest it.

This lesson translates to everything we do, consume, buy, etc.

So back to true crime – My observation about a possible addiction started with the birth of my daughter.

I wanted to be more conscious about what I let her (now 10.5 months) listen to. Even as a newborn, of course I didn't want her to overhear stories about gruesome murders, r*pe and kidnappings – despite the fact that she wouldn’t know what was going on.

(I didn't want to subconsciously turn her into a serial killer.)

That’s when I took a step back to my younger way of thinking:

  • If I don't want her to listen, then why am I listening?
  • If it's not going to make me a better mum, wife or entrepreneur, should I be listening?

Actions compound. Best case scenario, true crime is a net neutral to my and my families’ life. Worst case, it’ll have a negative impact.

And don’t forget about the opportunity cost of missing out on what I could be doing because my time was spent consuming trash.

One of my 2023 goals is to create more. Writing, tweets, videos etc.

To create better output, we must control the inputs.

👉🏻 Garbage in, garbage out.

At the end of the year when I sold my business I realized there was now a void of time that would be filled with junk if I wasn't intentional. This should be a time of exploration, building new skills while I out what I was going to do next.

There would be a huge opportunity cost if I wasn't intentional with how it would be filled.

So I'm taking a step back from true crime and replacing it with things that will be a net positive to my life.

Here's a few things I've been consuming:

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughy

Few books I enjoy listening to more than reading the book for, this was a noteable exception. Matthew McConaughy narrates this book himself (definite ASMR voice btw), which is part autobiography and part life guide on his philosophy of "catching greenlights".

Greenlights are events that let you know you're on the right track in life. Red or yellow lights are failures, illnesses, attitudes which when you come up against you need to choose whether to persist, pivot or surrender.

Right now I'm listening to my friend Dan Martell with his new book Buy Back Your Time.

Danny Miranda podcast
I started listening to this during my most recent move and it’s truly a great podcast (I shared an episode I loved in the last newsletter). Danny is super curious and a great interviewer, it's not like interview podcasts where they talk about the same stuff all the time.

That's why when Danny invited me on the show I was honored. My episode went live last week.

I believe it was the best interview I’ve ever done. Likely because it was in person and I forgot we were recording most of the time (and prob shared / was more vulnerable than usual because of it.)

Check it out here.

Got a book or podcast recommendation?
Repy to this email and let me know (I read them all!)

2023 Goal: Build dream backyard

As you'll see in my annual review and goals post (coming next week!) I've got some plans for my 2023 that are more personal than prior years. One is building my dream backyard ✨

The backyard I never thought I would have the opportunity or freedom to do. Especially the years I lived in NYC when my biggest goal for my living space was an in-unit washer dryer and a fridge with an ice machine 😆).

I’ve been working on a TON of house projects over the last month. From converting our old house into an airbnb, to building a barrel sauna in our backyard:

Over the last month I've learned how to wire new outlets, breakers, install blinds and bidets — all thanks to Youtube!

Future projects:

  • Outdoor shower
  • In-ground cold plunge
  • Hydroponic system for growing own vegetables

Current Favorites:

Best show: The Last of Us on HBO is excellent. Only 5 episodes in and it’s brilliant. If you aren't watching, do yourself a favor and start.

Best things under $50 I’ve bought recently:
This Lamy fountain pen. It’s so great to write with that I have started doing my morning pages again which helps me feel more clarity.

House upgrades:
Smart Dimmers ($20) you can control remotely/with Alexa
USB-C outlets ($20) so no charging blocks needed
Bidet attachment($30), once you have a bidet it's hard to go back

Future writing ideas:
Have a few writing pieces already started, what would you like to learn more about?

  • Fun ways I’m using ChatGPT as a parent & to learn new skills
  • How I’m setting up my smart home
  • Designing my dream backyard (ice plunge, outdoor shower)
  • How to sell your business
  • How I delegate my life to a VA in the Philippines

Reply to this email and let me know what you’d like to hear about first!

Win the day!
- Cathryn


💰 Sold over $45 million DTC 👉🏻 Topics: Business, Personal growth, Money & Life Tips ⚡️ Bootstrapped founder of @bestselfco (acquired 2022)

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