Say What You Think #1

Hey there,

Welcome to my first Letter.

A weekly read for freelance entrepreneur’s wanting to better themselves and connect with me.

You’re receiving this letter as you entered your details via my website If you would not like to receive this newsletter, I’d ask you to indulge me this once, otherwise, you can unsubscribe at the bottom.

This space is intended to provide value to you while scratching my writing itch. Currently, the outline is in two parts, external and internal, these are loose ideas at this stage.

External goes outside of my headspace and focuses on others in two parts, people and projects. Internal goes within my mind which is broken down into action, gratitude & motivation.

The very nature of how this is structured is to put others before me, to highlight external achievements before my own internal ones. A selfless trait I’m working daily to apply.

Lastly, I’m not a writer, I barely passed basic English in High School and if it wasn’t for oral presentations I would’ve failed. This newsletter is to achieve a consistent writing goal and improve basic writing skills. Both reading & writing are two of the most basic and essential skills for humans, and they’re both not strong skills of mine.

A Growing Collection of Amazing People

I’ve started a ‘People’ database in Notion. Since 2013 when I studied web technology I loved finding amazing designers, freelancers and inspirational people. I’ve noticed that I much prefer finding inspiration from people who you won’t find one a quote-generating website or has a full-length documentary series on Netflix.

I love discovering regular people who are doing amazing things with their own skills and pure motivation to help others. A lot of the time people’s portfolios really catch my eye, I’m drawn to well-designed web pages.

Here is a link to the Notion page.

An Incredible Builder of Online Things

Rob Hope is a web designer and developer from South Africa who has built amazing online platforms, runs a podcast & is an incredible public speaker.

I found Rob Hope from researching videography web design on Pinterest which showed one a layout from of his projects,

He’s highly skilled at deconstructing landing pages and teaching everything there is to learn about them.

Check out his talk called ‘Rob Hope #WCEU 2019 Talk – A Conversion Tale from Witzenhausen

It’s all about landing pages. I’ve already taken a tone of valuable notes from this talk and am putting it into my learning space in Notion. His project I’d like to highlight is, ‘One Page Love‘, a beautiful gallery of inspiration, templates and examples centred around single pages.

Taking Time Off

It’s been a bit of a long week. My wife and I have been able to take some time off over the school holidays. I got some great advice from one of my business partners, he said when you take time off, to really take the time off. He meant to mentally really forget about work, be present with the people you love and enjoy the moment… or at least that’s how I took it.

Receiving Acknowledgement From Ali Abdaal & Noah Kagan

If you don’t know Ali Abdaal, he’s quickly become a favourite YouTuber and all-around inspirational figure for me. I can’t even remember what YouTube video I found from him first, but his content quickly became a regular part of my weekly consumption.

Just a few weeks ago while searching for a new podcast, I found Noah Kagan interviewing Ali, it’s a must-listen podcast episode.

If you don’t have the time to listen to it all, Noah released a video of the episode highlighting the key points.

I’m grateful for Ali & Noah’s content. I expressed my appreciation and they actually liked a tweet of mine:

Tweet over here

One of the best podcast episodes of any podcast!! Loved every second of it.— Ashley Ball (@mrashleyball) July 6, 2020

Story Time – ‘A Bad Meal’

I’d like to share a quote from Ali Abdaal’s newsletter, yes I’m quoting a quote; “Don’t ignore your dreams; don’t work too much; say what you think; cultivate friendships; be happy.”

Just after I read his newsletter, I had this story happen to me;

While at a café waiting for my wife & my breakfast to arrive, I was reading Ali Abdaals latest newsletter and he quoted a book about the five biggest regrets of the dying, a guy took those five regrets and turned them into a power statement to live life by. One of those is ‘say what you think’, it’s really resonated with me. So I’m sitting there thinking about that concept.

Our breakfast arrived, the food was okay, not great, little disappointing for the price tbh. And it hit me, that’s what I’m thinking, but when the waitress inevitably asks, “how was everything?” What will I say?… we finished our meal, and she comes over and asks us how it was, I instinctively answered, it was alright. I did it, I said what I was thinking. She jumped on “alright” so fast. I explained, it was underwhelming, I felt like I could make it, the bread was way too hard, like rock hard. And she was lovely and thanked us.

Even when paying the cheque, she thanked me again and said how valuable feedback is and even commended me on how I delivered the feedback. It was a simple, small moment, but quite a big revelation for me personally. I said what I thought, even when it wasn’t easy, to someone I didn’t know resulting in an awkward conversation with positive outcomes, and I wasn’t a tool.

Thank You Friends

This is the first of my letters, this project is a mix of emotions as it’s revealing myself and inviting others in. These letters will change over time, so the plan I have this week may not be exactly the same as next week. Until next time.

Kind regards,


Mr Ash
Mr Ash
“Learn, create, share, repeat.” • IT teacher, former web designer, learning CyberSec • Road to #100DaysOfHacking on Hackers Learning Path.

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