Matt D’Avella – Filmmaker

Matt D’Avella is a producer, director, and brand ambassador at Catalyst. He likes taking notes, good coffee, and these good things.

Good things to read.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.  I just finished reading Gladwell’s latest book David and Goliath. This one lives up to his past bestsellers as the author takes a look at how underdogs take down giants. Not only that but he explains why we shouldn’t be surprised. It turns out there are certain advantages that come from being underestimated.

The Flinch by Julien Smith.  You can get this book for free on Amazon but don’t let the price tag fool you. This book is worth paying for. If you’re in a funk or often have hard times getting motivated The Flinch will get you off your ass. It’s a no bull shit guide to taking control of your life and doing things that matter. It’s also really short. You can probably finishing the book within a few hours.

 The Total Money Makeover.  I graduated college with $95,000 in debt and at the time I did the most rational thing I could think of: I bought a new car. That brought my total debt to $113,000 with no immediate plan out. After signing up for Mint.com I realized that I had a serious problem and I needed to take control of my debt. I checked out The Total Money Makeover from the library and dug in. The ideas in the book are great, but more than anything it got me to look closely at my finances. And it gave me a goal to strive towards: a net worth of $0. Three years later I’m down to $40,000 in debt and I’m quickly moving towards my goal.

Good things to watch.

Elementary.  Elementary is one of the latest Sherlock recreations based in New York City. It’s kinda like CSI on crack. Not that I’ve ever done crack. You can enjoy the story and have fun guessing who done it. Watch the pilot. I think you’ll like it too.

The Daily Show.  I’ve been an avid watcher of The Daily Show for years. Jon Stewart has an uncanny way of bringing sanity (and hilarity) to current events. Plus you can learn a lot from the non-celebrity interviews. I get a lot of good book suggestions from the guest’s he has on the show.

Not Reality Shows.  Can I say that? I worked on a reality show for a large network a few years ago and it was really eye opening. Staged shots, alternate endings and forced interviews all left a bad taste in my mouth. To be honest I wasn’t much of a reality show watcher to begin with, but the whole experience changed my perspective. From that point on I swore not to work for another reality show.

Good things to use.

TeuxDeux. There are a ton of to do and list apps available but I really like TeuxDeux for its simplicity. You can create items to do on any given day and add additional lists for back burner items, groceries, etc. It doesn’t have a lot of extra bells and whistles and that’s what I love about it.

Freshbooks.  This seriously changed my business. Before Freshbooks I would create invoices sloppily in Photoshop and throw them into a folder. My organization was horrible. Now I use Freshbooks for keeping track of invoices, estimates, time tracking, and expenses. The best part? At the end of the year I simply export a file and send it to my accountant. Taxes have become fun. Okay, not fun. But you get the idea.

AeroPress.  Coffee lover? You can’t do much better at home than an AeroPress plus fresh ground coffee. I’ve been using this combination for the past year and it’s made my mornings so much better. Kick the Keurig to the curb and step up to the AeroPress. It’s incredibly simple to brew and even easier to clean.

Connect with Matt on Twitter, @MattDAvella.

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