Tag Archives: self employed

Impatience!

8 Sep

Hi all,

This is going to be more of a frustrated rant more than a piece of writing that will add any value to the lives of people reading this..unless they like to oversee a good old rant!

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For the last three days I’ve been mainly confined to my bedroom with boxes of orange juice and tissues. I complained yesterday to my girlfriend that I’d been out of work for the last two days..she patiently explained to me that it is what a lot of people tend to call a ‘weekend’.

Anyway it’s now Monday and I plan to be back into the office tomorrow..taking it slightly easier from now on so I stop running myself into the ground like this every few months.

In bed today I’ve been watching a few documentaries on start-ups:

Nothing to lose – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4g_Hq2pwao
Start up kids – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2279353/

 

During the second of these I began to feel a building frustration and impatience. I think it’s a feeling I’ve been keeping down for a long time. After a year now it’s starting to rise. I keep feeling like I’m playing a game on a really old computer with slow internet…whenever I press a button (or make a business/product decision) I have to wait weeks, or months for the result.

This is the painful part of having a startup where you are having to bootstrap and cannot create the product yourself..you must wait. And it sucks.

The way I’m trying to remedy this is by focusing on preparing the next steps – i.e. the next product development costs, monetisation strategies.

I’ve also started working on an online course – ’30 days of mental well-being’ – publishing on Udemy. This is probably what made me ill – I set a deadline of two months to complete the course and man has it been hard – creating lecture slides, recording audio’s, video instructions, interviews, quizzes, and text. It was all going well, and ahead of schedule and then I realised that my microphone had malfunctioned in recording 13 of the lectures! That made me really angry with myself. So I’ve taken these sick days to not think about it and try and come back to it tomorrow with a fresh head. I hope some of you guys will check it out when it’s ready! I’ll be posting it on my website – http://www.rizenow.com.

Speaking of the website – I decided to describe my personal journey from depression to start up in  video on my website, so feel free to take a look 🙂

 

So how about all of you…anyone else find similarmfrustrations in their work/relationships/lives?

 

 

 

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Return from holidays, recent achievements

12 Aug

Hey guys,

 

Just got back from very nice, well-deserved (if I do say so myself) holiday away from phones, meetings, and computers for a bit of R & R.

While I was away it gave me a chance to look back over the last few months of work, and I’ve realised that although day by day it feels like I’ve accomplished very little, using my holiday as a point to measure the distance between where I started and where I am now I’m able to see that I have achieved a number of things.

With BlueSkies we’ve now successfully held three collaborative events – producing reports for the conservation organisations asking for help, and creating partnerships with them each time. We’ve now worked with organisations in the UK, Nepal, India, and Iran in wildlife conservation. After my first three events I said to myself I’d start branching out to the big local conservation organisations in Cambridge and see if they can help me to develop, so I’ve arranged a meeting with one of the best for this goal – Cambridge Conservation Initiative, to discuss BlueSkies and how it can better achieve its aims.

As for the game I’m working on I now have a very talented team of designers, programmers, and mental health professionals who are happy to work for shares to create this game because they, like me have an optimistic outlook for the success of this project. Not only this but the Cambridge Accellerator program (http://www.accelerate.jbs.cam.ac.uk/accelerator/timetables-dates/) heard about my work from the Enterprise Alchemy event I attended (see previous post) and have asked me to pitch this project and my team for potentially being a part of the accellerator program in September.

What does this mean? It means three months of mentorship from already-successful entrepreneurs associated with Cambridge University, free office space, potential investment capital, and a 10k open salary to continue the project if they believe the game has potential to make it in the market.

Unfortunately I’ve received no reply from the app guy after I told him I wouldn’t pay in money for his programmer’s license, and wanted us to secure our agreements in a contract, so potentially this project won’t be carried forward..no worries plenty more ideas up my sleeve that I have more space to do now! ..

so now that I’m not working on that app it means that I’ll be starting a new project, which I’ll be unveiling in the next post so make sure you tune in!

 

Finally my music. This isn’t going too fast at the moment. The blues band is going slowly since we lost our bass player and we’re trying to get the band regrouped so we can’t focus on getting gigs. The new band I’ve started is really fun, with two very talented people, learning and composing a lot of great songs. So although that’s going well in terms of enjoyment I have to be very patient as we probably won’t be giging for a while. I’ve set up our first gig for Sept (non-paid) at a pub just to get us some experience, so we’ll see where it goes from there.

In terms of the acoustic music I have one or two gigs a month but nothing really special. I’m not sure how to take this to the next level now. I’ve contacted all of the pubs, bars, and a lot of restaurants and already gotten a clear yes or no, so I’ve run out of venues to ‘sell’ to.
Although thinking now, I guess once that’s been done I can try and re-sell to those I’ve already played at, and offer lower price packages to those who rejected me. There we go! There’s always something more that can be done.

So here we are – through the months of hard work I haven’t made any eye opening developments but I’m developing in confidence and skills, and my projects are now showing potential to be sustainable and strong in their applications!

Where there’s a will there’s a way!!

Happy progressing.

 

 

Persistence is a good key

14 Jun

Alright that’s it that .. last orders for the end of my first week!

Number of hours worked – 40

money made from projects this week – £0

Jaw dropper I know! But that’s how it is and that’s how it’s going to be for quite a while. Fortunately I’ve saved up sufficient money, and I’m spending basically nothing (I’m quite the catch, I know!). These projects are less tuned towards make a quick buck, and more to planting a seed for a big tree: a slow process of developing towards an effective person who is eventually able to create very valuable services/products/etc. I’ve realised if I stick with worrying about money at this time in my life I might very likely end up in a random, possibly half-enjoyable job and still be fairly poor from spending anyway (see Parkinson’s law for more details), maintain some possible security, and probably be happy.

Happy? Secure? Nahh .. I’ve decided to invest my time and energy into personal botany. My vision is that if I slowly develop the skills I want on such an open canvass as entrepreneurship, I’ll be able to become the person I want to be to a larger degree of freedom instead of having a stick up my backside – metaphorically – that makes me develop in the standard career-ladder way. I’m not saying I’m right in this hypothesis; just that I’m giving it a try. Hopefully this experiment will help you guys to see if it is correct or not from your own evaluations.

I’ve just written a list of the main things I’ve accomplished this week. It may not seem like much, but still I’m proud because every one of these things I’ve done, I’ve done through my own initiative, perseverance, and camomile tea. Here’s what I got done (see ‘projects’ for background details):

Project 1 – Social project:

– Created social media sites for BSc

I suggest that everyone goes and likes these pages .. they will make all of your dreams come true

..

One of my weaknesses is definitely keeping up with social media. I’ve never done twitter before, and I don’t much see the point in Linkedin as of yet. My facebook has no likes and I’m not sure how to change that. But my aim for this week was to get them up. Maybe next week will be to get 10 likes, or twoots, or linkin vouchers, or whatever it is.
But you see – One step gets done (put up the site), next week it’s get ten connections, next week will be a step up. So long as you can keep progressing, and resting/going easy on yourself when required, your projects will become stronger. If your project takes a knock, take a breath, stand back up, and YOU will be stronger.

 – Got the website ready:

I’ve filled in all the content, and set up emails for the website. I have no idea what photos to put up for the website. I know it sounds like a small thing but it’s bugged me the whole week and I haven’t got anything done. I’ve gotten to the end of the week so I’m going to stick with what pictures I have and update them when I’ve got inspiration..sometimes it helps to be an imperfectionist to get things done. All I need now is to link the social media and publish the site. So keep your eyes open for blueskiesc.co.uk next week!

– I wrote a formal report for OFI concerning our first event. Awaiting their response.

– Reached out to other conservation organisations to take part in our next events coming up.

– Trying to buy lots of BlueSkies t-shirts to give to people who volunteer their time..turns out that’s very expensive..looks like I might have to start looking for some small funding.

 

Project 2 – Game project

Very little. Because this game is to do with anxiety and depression in the public it means I’m going to need professionals on board for this. This seems like a very big ask.

 – I’ve already contacted one person who seems to have some good content http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/ (there’s a lot of wishy-washy, or just fake ‘life coaching’ things out there to be wary of). She says she’s too busy unfortunately but wished the best of luck. So I’ll continue looking..this is going to be difficult but I will continue trying next week.

 – I’m meeting up with a game/app designer this evening who I get on really well with. He loves the idea and so I think I have a great partner here for the project. We’ll discuss the display and asthetics of the content for him to create.

 – Recruiting a programmer: now this is more difficult. Programmers tend to be pretty well paid, and are less up for accepting shares of a project. I’ve been to numerous events in cambridge to do with gaming and apps. I’ve met some great and talented people but yet to find one who believes enough in the idea to dedicate their time. This week I emailed a few of them..have one potential guy to meet in two weeks but.. The search continues!

 

Project 3 – App project:

This week I wrote up the main content of the app that the users will be reading. I had a meeting with the programmer today and we added it into our basic skeleton draft we have of the app. Now if there are any enthusiasts of iphones here you’ll know that IOS7 is soon to be coming out. There are a couple of features on this that we are planning to use that may be very exciting..however we have to wait a couple of weeks before I can get him onto programming because of this.

 

Project 4 – Personal project (Music):

 – Band gigs: I got one potential gig for us coming up through the phone call I described in the last post. Fortunately the bassist and singer are great at finding gigs. So we have quite a few lined up.

 – Acoustic gigs: Now this is where I’m really proud. If this is your first read of my blog you’ll now see this is a big aspiration of mine – to start making money from my own original music. What I did this week was that I located a pub/bar map of Cambridge on the internet and divided the map into sections. I then called a quarter of all of the pubs and bars in Cambridge (A LOT of pubs) and asked if they were interested in my performing at their venue. I got a lot of positive responses. They said they’d listen to me playing on BBC Cambridge this weekend and then decide after! A really great step for me. I hated cold calling but it paid off in this instance.

Guitar lessons – This is probably what’s going to pay the rent. Put an ad on gumtree and with a lessons agency. If I get three or four a week then I’m all good!

 

Now why did my subject title highlight persistence when I’ve barely talked about this in my post as of yet? Congratulations on reading this far because now you’ll be rewarded.

This week so far, every day, at least 5-10 times, I think to myself “What the hell are you doing man?? You’re not making any money whatsoever..you’re just a bum with a Linkedin profile!” Indeed I am at the moment. But letting this trail of inner conversation go further than this doesn’t help me. I’m looking to develop myself in a new way, and hopefully be successful in doing so.

When I was really down and out; no job, no motivation, no idea what to do, I pretty much thought those thought were ME. I even tried going to a life coach for two sessions to help me sort things out. Now I believe there are a lot of good ones out there who do amazing things for people and are very talented in what they do, and please go out and form your own opinions. My opinion is that there are lot of people out there who get into over charging for a service they learned to ‘sell’ and provide, from an institution that was made by someone else who didn’t really know what they’re doing. There is a big mix of good and bad so if you want to try something like this just take your time and be objective: identify what useful things you get from a session and decide if it’s worth the cost.

Anyway I learned one very valuable thing. When I start having negative thoughts that aren’t helping me, it helps me to become aware of this, and say to myself “what do I want and how am I going to get it?” “what do I want and how am I going to get it?”. It can be very simple “I want to be warm, so I’m going to have a hot drink”, “I’m lonely so I’m going to call someone I care about”, etc. I recommend to everyone try doing that 5 times a day for a week and just see what happens. It was a helpful tool for me, maybe it could help someone else 🙂

My perseverance is in every time I had my thoughts that I’m wasting my time this week, I brought my attention to what I want to get done and how I’m going to do it. This has helped me a lot this week, and I’m sure will be invaluable in this initial process of getting started.

Anyone else with any similar thoughts that take over sometimes and get in the way of what they want in life I wish them the very best of luck, and would like to give a gentle reminder that those thoughts (in my opinion) aren’t you. What is you is something probably a lot wiser, kinder, and stronger. Go ahead and find it.

And with that new wisdom and strength find your path.

Happy exploring!