An Update from the Last Year
It’s been almost exactly a year since my last blog post, which also coincides with a full year of my life, as I turn 26 today.
I felt inclined to write a post somewhat summarizing and reflecting on this last year. With reflecting on this last year, I think I’d like to touch on why I haven’t posted in the last year.
Why Haven’t I Posted Anything in a Year?
I haven’t stopped writing over the last year. I’ve just stopped posting publicly what I’ve been writing. There are three main reasons for this.
1) It takes a lot of work.
I’m pretty good at writing and coming up with ideas. I have plenty to write about. I read a decent amount, and I do enough stuff to where I can consistently come up with ideas that could be expanded into articles.
However, although I can write rough drafts pretty quickly, the time it takes for me to get a rough draft to published takes more time than I’d currently like to be spending on this blog. Also, I’m a sloppy writer. My first draft has a lot of typos and often times can be jumbled up with ideas. If you notice typos in this, it’s because I didn’t feel like editing it.
This means it takes me even longer to get a piece of work that is coherent and ready for other people to read.
2) Early into 2016, I learned that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did
I think I did a decent job preferencing a lot of my articles that I’m not confident in what I’m writing, and it could very well all be wrong. A lot of it is talking about experiments I’m attempting.
However, it was around March last year where things started not to go as I thought they would. My first hire was not working out, which was completely my fault. I had wrong expectations for that.
None of my projects were moving as fast as I thought they would be. One ended up being a complete financial failure, but I did learn good lessons from it.
With this, I figured I should spend less time writing and more time building. Every minute spent on the personal blog is a minute that I could be using to actually get my businesses to a sustainable point.
3) I started to wonder why I was writing
Along with the personal blog came what I thought was personal branding, which consisted of posting to social media and talking about what I was up to. However, I started to wonder why I was doing this. What was really at the core of this personal branding and blogging.
I know that it’s good for making connections online, which eventually can be validated offline. If you are looking to connect with people doing cool stuff over Twitter or other online means, it helps to have a blog that they can check out and see “This isn’t a completely insane person.” And perhaps, if I’m lucky, they’ll even think I have some good stuff to say every once and a while.
But the real issue here of why I was doing it was I knew at my core that part of me wanted recognition. I wanted people to see what I was writing about and think highly of me. At my core, I knew part of me was doing this simply for attention.
This unconscious yearning for attention goes against my conscious philosophy. I want to do things that I inherently enjoy or at least indirectly inherently enjoy, not for social status. So I’ve been wrangling with these battle of knowing that I do enjoy writing on this blog and it is good for making relationships, and getting feedback on my ideas versus simply wanting attention.
Epictetus therefore advises us not to seek social status, since if we make it our goal to please others, we will no longer be free to please ourselves. We will, he says, have enslaved ourselves. – A Guide to The Good Life by William B. Irvine
So those are the reasons I haven’t been writing over the last year. Have I solved my issues with them and will I start writing more this year? Perhaps.
I think with reasons one and two, I’m a little farther along. Two out of the three projects I started last year are profitable, and I am paying myself an actual salary with the main one, which I’ll get into more below.
Specifically for reason two, I know more than I did last year, but I think what makes me more okay with reason two is that I’m more aware of how much I don’t know.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. – Socrates
As for reason three, I think that’s something I need to keep asking myself all the time. Why am I doing this? I think it’s a reason we all need to ask ourselves about a lot of our day-to-day habits. This is a good article on the subject.
So What Have I Been up To?
During my 25th year on this earth, I’ve been building. I’ve spent the majority of the time trying to get my company, Harkla, off the ground and to a sustainable point. Harkla is a company that makes products for children with special needs and has been the most fulfilling thing I’ve done with my life so far.
Things are going well with the company now, and as of 2017, I’m actually able to pay myself a small salary. I would not recommend starting a company if you are living off of savings and credit cards.
Starting this company has forced me to learn more in the last year than any other time. When you have skin in the game, everything is more intense.
Besides Harkla, I’ve also been meeting a lot of new people and trying to build stronger friendships around me.
It’s kind of funny, but the more I work from my computer and grow in my work, the more I understand how important relationships are. You probably aren’t going to regret putting yourself out there and getting people together.
This has been in business and personal. Only good things have come this last year from saying “yes” to opportunities to meet up with people.
Outside of work and relationships, I’ve started a new hobby of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This has been a great experience in that the gym I go to is filled with really great people and it’s a very humbling experience.
I think it’s important to be humbled very often in life. Whether it’s emotional or physical, being humbled keeps you strong and hungry for more. Just keep your ego out of it, and you’ll grow from it. If you’re letting your ego feel the pain, then you won’t learn the lesson.
What Does My Next Year Look Like?
This next year is probably more of the same but at a higher level. I am making my first hire right now for Harkla and hope to add a few more teammates throughout the year. A lot of the year for business will be simple “Block and Tackle.” I am on the right path with the company, it’s just a matter of doing the small, simple, but foundational things over the next year.
My two non-work goals for this next year is to become a blue belt in BJJ and to become conversationally fluent in Spanish. I’ve been doing 20 minutes of Spanish each morning this last quarter, and will probably add some more time to that over the next year.
Amelia and I are planning a trip to South America at the start of 2018, so I’d really like to be able to converse with people while traveling around.
That’s all I have for this update. We’ll see if I keep writing or not. I do enjoy it a lot, but also don’t want to take much focus away from Harkla. Thanks for reading.