Category Archives: Personal

What is it like to follow your passion?

I gave a talk on following your passion at PressNomics 6. This is the companion article that I wrote for it.

Most of us dream of following our passion. We want to do things that we’re enthusiastic about every day. We hope that, by doing that, we’ll bring eternal happiness to our lives.

But is that how happiness really works? And what is it like to try to follow your passion that way? Can it even lead to success?

I’ve dedicated the last few years of my life to “following my passion”. It’s been an eye-opening journey full of interesting choices. It did bring me happiness, but it definitely came at a cost.

Continue reading What is it like to follow your passion?

2018 in review: A challenging year

We’re almost at the end of 2018 and, like everyone else, I l do a review of my year. It’s been a few years that I do it now. My first review was for 2012-2015. I’ve done one for 2016 and 2017 since then.

As usual, I’d like to open up by talking about why I do these years in review. If this is the first time that you read one of them, you should know that I write them mostly for myself. I find it useful to have a historical record of what I was thinking during the year. So it’s important to write it while it’s still relatively fresh.

I also do this so that I can be transparent with you. I live a pretty non-standard life. I don’t want people to think that it’s just all sunshine and rainbows. It’s useful to see that there are always tradeoffs and that it’s not for everyone.

And finally, it’s a way for me to also keep track of my progress. Progress towards what? As I’ll talk about later, the answer to this question isn’t as clear to me as it was the previous years.

But again, that’s the goal of doing these reviews. I love documentaries where you can see how someone’s experiences shaped their path through life. It’s always my hope that these reviews also help you reflect on your own as well.

Continue reading 2018 in review: A challenging year

2017 in review: YOLO

2017 is coming to a close and with it comes the shower of yearly retrospectives. Well, I’m no different from everyone else in that regard! I did my first year in review two years ago covering 2012-2015. And I also did one last year for 2016 only.

If this is the first year in review of mine that you read, you should know that I do them for transparency. I want a historical record of what I’ve done that’s as faithful as I can make it. That means writing it down as close to the time that it happened as possible. I don’t keep a journal (nor do I want to) so this is as close as I’ll get to that.

It’s also a way for me to keep track of my progress towards where I’d like to see myself. I don’t keep a yearly goal list or anything like that. But I definitely have a vision of where I’d like to be and whether I made progress towards it or not.

Needless to say, that this article is more for me than for you. But I think there’s always something to learn from other people’s life experiences. (That’s why I love documentaries like “Abstract” and “Chef’s table“.) I hope that me sharing this helps you through your own journey through life.

Continue reading 2017 in review: YOLO

2016 in review: #Carl2016

Well, we’re almost done with 2016! Around the same time last year, I did my first year in review. (In reality, it was more of a 2012-2015 review!) I want to continue this trend by doing a review of this year.

It’s a way for me to be transparent about what I’m doing. It’s not something that I’m good at. (The most common question I get is still “What do I do?”) It also lets me document what I’m doing to see if I’m making progress towards where I wanted to go the year before.

This means that this article is more for me than for you. That said, I think there’s a lot of value in reading how people are navigating the complex game of life. (Not that game of life!) That’s why I like reading them!

Continue reading 2016 in review: #Carl2016

2015 in review: Teaching everything I know

I feel I should have done this a few years ago. I know that it’s pretty common for writers to do these “year in review”. At this point, I think it’s good for me to be open and transparent about what I do. I always admired Buffer and their values so it’s my way to emulate them a bit.

That said, it’s also useful that I have something written down. Our memory has a tendency to alter facts when we just tell the story over and over. This creates a historical record that I can refer to. (Why yes, I am a history geek! What makes you think that?)

In order for this review to make sense, I’m going to have to give you a bit of a background on my current situation. I don’t want it to appear to you that I got to where I am overnight. There’s a story and that story will give you some context about where I am today. It’ll also help you understand how I’m reviewing my year.

With that out of the way, let’s begin!

Continue reading 2015 in review: Teaching everything I know

I failed at writing

I started this blog because I wanted to be a better writer. I also thought it would help me while I built my first product (still working on that!). In retrospect, that was not a strong enough motivator to keep the habit going. For the curious, my original goal was to write one article a week. I kept it up for about the same amount of time someone tries to go to the gym after new years. About a month. Pretty lame.

So if you know about the stages of change, I was more or less in the action stage for a month and relapsed out. This post is more or less a preparation stage step pep talk as I move back up to action stage.

About writing

There’s a lot of things I need to improve, but I would say first of all I need to write faster. I am not sure if it is possible, but I would like to think that if I write more often it will get easier in general. For now, my goal is to write 500+ words (not only blog posts) every day I work on my product (so 5-6 days/week). I hope it can translate to 2-3 posts a week.

Second element is finding my style. I liked doing technical posts because they made me sound smart, but it’s not always useful. I will probably do more, but I need to focus on writing things that are useful first and foremost, but also good/fun to read. I tend to have a weird sense of humour and I am not sure if it would translate into writing either. I think it is something you have to get comfortable over time with.

Making this post useful

So I’ll finish with some, hopefully, useful information. I have to say that not taking writing seriously sooner will probably end up being a huge mistake on my part. To go back on the stages of change, this was me in the contemplation stage as I have gained a better understanding of what it means to build a product when you are no one, I started to realize that I neglected a very useful way to reach out to people.

Distribution/Marketing/Growth on the web is primarily about getting people to know you even exist. It is also a way to educate your market which is critical when dealing with a new market scenario. There are multiple ways to create traction and it is a very poorly discussed aspect in startup literature. So I plan on expanding on that topic in the future.

What about your product!?

I am “pretty close” to putting something out, but not quite yet. It’s going to be all sorts of embarrassing, but you have to start somewhere!

So here we are at 505 words. I don’t think I’d want to read a longer mea culpa. That said, I hope to look back and see this as a starting point, but who knows really. Also this distraction free writing mode is pretty awesome!