Learning from counterfeiters

Also: new writing, new workshop

:::Issue #8. Why are you receiving this? You’re friends with Cam Houser. This is where I share atypical stories of creativity, entrepreneurship, and the ups and downs of Actionworks:::

🎟Welcome Zain, Chris, Brianne, Sukin, J, Janet, K, A, Becky, Ski, Mari, Hala, Scot, Zakk  🎟

Greetings, Rulebreakers!

What I’ve been up to:

  • 📹 Prepping my next big push: a course on how to use video to advance your ideas, thinking, and career

  • 🌶️ Infusing tequila with serrano peppers, part 2. This batch was weak. The first batch was too strong. Hopefully, third time’s a charm.

  • Prepping for Dan Runcie of Trapital to speak to my Creative Entrepreneurship class on the intersection of business and hip hop.

New writing: Accelerate your career with cameraphone video

I understand why getting started with video intimidates so many people.

Consider YouTube, the dominant video platform.

As a creator, Youtube is a nightmare when you’re starting out. The platform is a sprawling mess with its own set of conventions and rituals, from creators tweaking their content to appease YouTube’s algorithm to begging viewers to like and subscribe.

But there’s another side of making videos. One where you ignore the social network aspects of YouTube and use it as a service to showcase your work and your potential.

In this mode, Youtube is really more of a free, easy-to-use video hosting platform. Taking this approach might not get you to megawatt influencer status, but it will give you an advantage that sets you apart from your peers.

This approach to video is quieter and smarter. In this approach, entrepreneurs, students, and professionals use video as a tool to advance their careers and support their work.

In this approach, creators are unaffected by changes to the YouTube algorithm. Creators freely ignore the “like” and social share buttons. They feel no anxiety when they click “publish.” And some of your most watched videos are only available to small sets of people.

If you’re curious about making videos but unsure of where to start, I’ll review five low-stakes, high value ways to get started. Instead of maximizing for view counts, this approach gives you confidence on camera, a slow burn approach to understanding techniques, clarity of expression, and the ability to make someone's day.

Read the rest here: https://actionworks.co/accelerate-your-career/

💸 Learning from Counterfeiters

If you’re a counterfeiter, you need specialized equipment and resources. If you’re counterfeiting the $20 bill, you need a printing drum etched with Andrew Jackson’s face on it.

But no manufacturer on this side of the world is going to make that for you. Because you’re making fake money, obviously.

So what do you do?


You go to a part of the world where no one recognizes Andrew Jackson.

That’s what counterfeiter Frank Bourassa did:

Frank paid $15,000, routed under a surrogate’s name through a Swiss bank account, to a company in Düren, Germany, that manufactured a drum etched with the likenesses of Andrew Jackson’s face. How did he manage that, exactly? “It was easy,” said Frank. “To you, he’s Andrew Jackson. To some guy in Germany, who the f*** is it? Some guy’s face. He doesn’t know."

The lesson?

We all operate in different contexts. In some contexts, everyone knows who Andrew Jackson is. In others, he’s just a random guy.

If you’re struggling to find or leverage an opportunity, consider experimenting in a new context.

Article on Frank here: https://www.gq.com/story/the-great-paper-caper

🎥 Making a video in one hour with no planning or prep?

Last week, we ran a Zoom session that one of the attendees (Julia? Zain? Erik?) dubbed “Lights, Cam, Action” 😂

The participants—all brand new to making videos—showed up empty-handed and left the session with a completed video. In this case, they created videos to welcome visitors to their newsletters and websites.

The energy and sense of community was a blast. And a reminder of the power of learning-by-doing, peer feedback, and unreasonably fast timelines.

I’m running another session this week aimed at timezones more accommodating to folks outside of the Americas: Thursday, 11:00 am CST/12:00 pm EST.

In this workshop, we'll make short videos and learn about lighting, audio, and more.

If you’ve missed previous sessions and want to learn about the following, join this session:

  • Getting confident on camera

  • The quality bar you can reach with your cameraphone (hint: it's high!)

  • How to make videos such as the hello video, the pre- and post-job interview video, the conference follow up, and the proposal accompaniment

Register for Thursday's workshop

How you can help: join this session and share this email with people who want to learn video

See you in gallery view,

Web: actionworks.co
Twitter: @cahouser
For professional grade virtual courses and workshops, email cam@actionworks.co

P.S. Want a guest video for your newsletter? Tell me what’s on your mind and let’s talk.

Just for fun: Motion graphics experimentation (bumper video for my video creator course), v3

Just for fun: slow motion bird footage from my balcony to your inbox…

Animated GIF