Important Lessons From My 11 Week Reverse Bet


Three months ago, I wrote a five figure check to Aaron Rodgers and gave it to my roommate.

I told him:

If I don’t accomplish the following goals, make sure A-rog gets this cashed.

Here was my list:

Well, if you are reading this, it means I won my reverse bet.

And in this post, I want to share a few important lessons I learned.


Minimum Posting Frequency: Probably Not An Ideal Metric

Hitting minimum posting requirements sets a “floor” for content output.

This was good, in that, it prevented me from not posting at all. Or, from posting too infrequently.

However, I noticed two problems with this approach. Firstly, during weeks where I was “on” and could have posted more than the required amount, a part of my psyche prevented that from happening. Secondly, during weeks when I was “off,” the quality of content had to drop to allow me to get a post up.

In future reverse bets, I plan on incentivizing both quantity and quality.


Take A Break

There was no turning it off in the midst of thick black sharpie tallies going up every single day.

IG: @mikevacanti

IG: @mikevacanti

Which is kind of cool, because #grind.

But in hindsight, not being able to turn off for a day probably wore on me a bit and stifled creativity.

Historically, my best work comes when creating with a sense of purpose and drive. During the reverse bet, I often felt like I was filming or scouring old photos with sense of urgency to just post something, an external pressure not to fail.


Picture Quality Is The Biggest Driver Of Instagram Engagement

Just something I learned!

Other relevant factors: the story you are telling, your caption/copy, and the rule of thirds, baby.


Restrictions, Boundaries, and Action (all good things)

I made a video a couple years back called Create Your Own Hunger.

This reverse bet reminded me of the importance of that concept. Getting too comfortable makes you weak, soft, and scared.

Reverse bets provide structure. And, they provide a man-made kick in the butt. I would much rather feel overwhelmed than bored. So, while my metrics may have been imperfect, the concept is still monumentally important.

Forcing myself to take action on goals that are aligned with my values, like I have these past 11 weeks, has been the most effective way I know to live a life mostly free from fear or anxiousness.

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