Sometimes Things Get Better

Like if you hold your breath long enough sometimes things start falling into place.  Let me rephrase that.  If you work your ass off WHILE holding your breath long enough things start falling into place.

Rewind about 2.5 weeks ago.  I realized that I just wasn’t giving work my all.  I wasn’t.  I mean, on a to do list it looked ok but if I really asked myself if I was giving life my 100%, the answer was no.  Nobody else would have been able to say that.  Only me.  Because I know myself and I know what I am capable of doing. I knew I could do more.

And I also vowed this year to just stop lying to myself about shit.  I’m tired of it.  There’s no point.  In fact, that’s probably the thing that got me in the hot mess shit hole in the first place.  I mean, if I was honest with myself and just took stock of life a few years ago (hell, lets go ALL the way back to some 3-4 years ago) things could have been different. But until time travel is invented (which I’m SO down for), all that KIND of doesn’t matter.  So new beginnings, no more self lying.  And I’ve also decided that there’s nothing wrong with saying hey Anu. Guess what.  You know you can do better than this.  Sometimes you can’t.  And I’ve been there too. But that’s not where I was 2.5 weeks ago.  And I’ve been around the block enough now to know the difference.

So that’s when I found another gear and dialed into it.  Put it in motion. And you know what? Things started moving.  People who I was trying to connect with for MONTHS randomly contacted me back.  I was figuring out how to reach out to the World Bank and guess what.  They reached out to me.

I really believe that when you, deep down, figure that you can do better, and you actually dig deep to move- the world tries to help you back.  I’m a big believer in that.  Also, it kind of doesn’t matter what the end result of all this stuff is.  Maybe nothing will work out with any of the leads we are getting.  But at the end of the day, I just FEEL better.  I FEEL like I’m living up to my potential as a human being on this planet.  I FEEL like I’m moving in the right direction.

And I’ve realized that when your life is usually a chaotic hot mess, that feeling of creative fulfillment, is sometimes enough.

Notes On Very Public MeltDowns

So I was talking to my friend and she was like oh man Anu.  I was reading your blogs.  I loved the way you publicly melted down.  That was epic.  I hadn’t actually thought if it like that until now but I was like…yeah.  That happened.  It’s mainly because I tried to see a therapist and she was like…uh…blah blah blah…I think we’re done here, you don’t have to come any more.  And then I’m like…BUT I”M SITTING HERE STILL CRYING IN YOUR SEAT USING YOUR ENTIRE BOX OF TISSUES WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM WOMAN.  Except I didn’t actually say that, I just said ok and stopped going.  And then I tried to find a better one, but I think all the real ones actually charge shit tons of money and have years of waitlists I don’t really have shit tons of money and I’m impatient AF so I was like…THE INTERNET IS MY THERAPIST.

Also, I really really enjoyed reading other people’s ish around when shit was hitting the fan so I was like…lets contribute to this body of literature.  Public melt-down-ing. That’s a genre now.

Things are somewhat chaotic but I think things will always be chaotic. I’ve decided my life is always going to be chaotic.  For the near to distant near future at least.  I am going to call it…un boring.  Sometimes in the morning I struggle to get out of bed, this is true.  Mostly because I’m dreading what’s going to happen that day. Also, sometimes, my biggest accomplishment is taking a shower.  Or so it feels.  I didn’t just stay in my pajamas all day.  I took a shower and got dressed.  YES.  And other days are really great.  I”m up before my alarm and I’m on top of my ish.  Sometimes I avoid the world for a few weeks, and sometimes I’m all about trying to meet people.  It’s a grab bag really.

Anyway, that’s what the world of Anu looks like right about now. Chaotic AF and who knows what the day will hold.

The Difference Between Your First #Startup And Your Second One

I feel like I’m living that Luvs commercial: First kid, second kid.

Company Logo:

Startup #1:

$700 and 3 months later, we have a logo (which we change a year later)

Startup #2:

“Hey Devin, I think we need a company logo”

“Oh… yeah. Probably”

“Hey can we just use a glyphicon from the noun project?”

“Let me check..yeah.  We can”

$2 and 10 minutes later, we have a logo.

Company Website:

Startup #1:

$2000 and 2 months later we have a website (which we promptly change after 1 year)

Startup #2:

Code Academy Bootstrap Course: $7

Download Free Boostrap Template: Free99

$7 and 2 weeks later, we have a website.  

 

 

 

Life Thoughts: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Do you ever feel like the pieces of happiness are right there, right in front of you, you’re just not putting them together the right way? That’s how I feel right now.  It’s so infuriating because I feel like I’m so close and yet, somehow, it’s just evading my reach.

One big thing I’ve realized is that what got me here won’t get me to where I want to be.  What does that mean? It means that I have to chuck every strategy and method I’ve used over the past 29 years and get new ones to get me to where I want to go in my 30’s.

The main difference, at least in my head, is really about feeling. I’m one of those people that avoids feelings like the plague.  I like to compartmentalize, avoid, work over/through and pretend that feelings are some alien concept to me until the cows come home (or populate the streets of Bangalore).  I think it’s because I’m terrified of what I feel. Half the time I don’t even know what I’m feeling, and the other half I pretend like they don’t exist.  I’m terrified of the work that it takes to actually face them head on.  Does this mean that I’ll never be successful? Will I turn into a bag of mush and never be able to leave my house through the sheer lack of will due to the terrible nature of this thing we call the human existence?  (Do I need to redefine my definition of success??)

These are the questions that terrify me and make me want to keep avoiding feelings for all of eternity.  Except…I know deep down that this is a terrible idea.  I know that avoiding my feelings got me this far, but I also know that if I want to be the best version of myself, I need to tap into this part of me that’s been dormant for 29 years.

What worries me? The fact that I already cry like a baby at movies like A Cinderella Story (yes, with HILLARY DUFF THAT ONE JUDGEY MC JUDGERSON). That’s with me TRYING to suppress these feelings.  My greatest fear is that I will be one hot mess that can’t even find the will to get up in the morning.

What do I have going for me? Well, I’ve already been a hot mess, and I figure I can get out of that so even if I do turn into a big bag of mush, I’ve been there.  I mean the hot mess bit.   And I’m sort of on the other side (at least to me it feels that way), so really this won’t be new.

I still think the potential upside far outweighs the downside.  Hot mess vs…a more fulfilled life? Yeah, I’ll take that.

What does this look like? I still don’t know.  But I’m starting from ground 0 again.  And if I’ve done it in a big way before, I’m probably going to avoid it.  Try something new.

What is this new stuff? I guess that will be the content of future blog posts.

To be continued.

#BeastMode: Random Thoughts About Mindset

What’s the one thing that’s going to take me to the next level in my entrepreneurial career? Changing my mindset.  I need to learn to love the process.  Carol Dwek talks about this in her book, Mindset.  It’s pretty great, and the more podcasts I listen to, the more I’m convinced that’s what it takes to get me to where I want to go.

I’ve realized something interesting though.  This sort of mindset requires a lot of focus.  I also believe in the idea of deep work, Cal Newport’s catch phrase.  I think that’s where exercise comes in.  At least CrossFit.  I think if I use CrossFit training as actually a way to practice focus and discipline, I can see how that will help me be a better entrepreneur.  Because going for the sake of physical health is not really doing it for me.  I can be doing a lot of things that are not as intense as CrossFit, and not as demanding.

I have realized that greatness lies in the pushing of intellectual boundaries.  For example, right when I want to stop researching smart metering contracts, that’s when I want to push on for another hour.  That’s where the magic happens.  Because then I discover interesting things and have insights I never had before.  And that requires focus, and discipline.

So one of the habits I want to cultivate is to go to CrossFit 3 days a week.  Learn to not only be ok with the pain, but love it.  And really be present, focus, and get through that hour like a champ.  I’m going to do that for the next 3 months, see what happens.

All Right All Right- I’m Mostly Doing It Because It’s Fun.

I was talking to a friend of mine and he’s like umm.. Anu.  Really? You think this is the easiest way to make money? And what is up with your obsession about money?

Good questions.  I actually have no good reason for my obsession with these things other than I think they are fun to think about.  It’s crazy how little I know about something that literally makes the world go round.  I want to think about making money because it’s interesting and useful.  I also think it’s interesting to put constraints on ways you are going to make money. I want to only make money in ways I find interesting.

So at the end of the day, I’m actually actually not doing any of this for the sake of money.  Because if that was what I was optimizing for, I would be doing so many different things.

I’m really just doing it…to see if I can.  And that’s pretty fun.  Pushing your own boundaries.

Project Self Made Millionaire: Update I

I think these should become more regular, but I’ve been doing a lot of reading/interviews/research on this one.  The book I found most helpful was: The Ten Roads to Riches: The Way The Wealthy Got There And How You Can Too.  These are pretty much the only ways people become millionaires:

  1. Start your own business
  2. Become CEO of an existing successful company
  3. Hitch to someone you believe will be really successful and make you rich in the process
  4. Become a celebrity and turn it into wealth
  5. Marry Rich
  6. “Steal It”- meaning sue someone I think
  7. Use other people’s money to make more money
  8. Invest in future revenue streams
  9. Make money through land
  10. Save a lot of money

I thought it was a decently exhaustive list.  I didn’t really even understand a few of them but you can pick up the book if you want.  It’s a…weird read.  The guy has a writing style all his own I must say.  Anyway, for various reasons I pretty much narrowed it down to start your own business.  The other ones seemed more complicated.  I feel like I have to make money somewhere, and I can either start through a job which I have savings and then invest it wisely and well, or take a chance and start your own thing.  For various reasons, I didn’t really consider the other options (although they are pretty good ones).

I did give this a lot of thought, and to me, right now, I feel like I need to take the chance and start another thing.  Mostly because a) it’s the only thing I know b) I’ve already made so many mistakes it HAS to be better the second time around and c) that seems the most interesting.  I also figure I’m still decently young, few responsibilities, and that’s not going to be the situation forever.  May as well try this now.

 

So now I know the how.  Next post I want to get down to the nitty gritty of the mechanics of this.

Experiments And Projects for 2017: Updates

Turns out, I actually don’t like all my projects this year (she said as Feb is halfway over…)

It’s ok. I’m not really the person to care about changing things in the middle.  I’ll be more clear about what I want to do this year.

Project Self Made Millionaire: This is currently underway.  I totally read a book on this (updates in a future post) and I have a plan of action.

Project Athlete: I decided I’m chucking this.  I actually don’t care too much about it this year.  I felt like I should care about it, but upon reflection, I really don’t. I don’t really care enough to count calories, which is pretty much what it’ll take to make this happen ( I think, after the research/interviews conducted).  I think I’ll definitely take it up at some point in time, but not 2017.  For now, I’m just going to eat decently, and try to exercise but not die of exhaustion.

Project Helping People is now changed to Project Meeting People.  I’m just trying to meet as many people as I can, both professionally and personally.  I’d also really like to dig deeper with each person I meet, and record these events.  Thinking about them makes me happy and I want to just keep meeting more interesting people doing really cool things.

New Project: Learn Hindi.  I just realized how utterly useless I am in any sort of Indian language.  For various reasons I thought I would start with Hindi, and then once I gain more confidence that yes, I can actually learn a language, I can move on to other languages.  But Hindi is the language of the year.

Anyway, those are the updates.

I Love You, But Would You Hate Me If I MIGHT Love My Maid More?

It’s true.  Any woman with a good maid will tell you that a good maid is hard to find.  First of all, I feel very Indian talking about maids.  Like very very upper class, let them eat cake sort of Indian.  Which is weird.  I feel like I try to compensate by making them tea after they clean my house.  Or offering them juice.  It’s the American in me coming out. It just feels wrong.  WHY MUST I ENCOURAGE CLASSISM?! Maybe if I was British I’d feel more ok with this whole maid thing.  But in any case, I don’t feel weird enough to NOT have a maid- lets be clear here.  I’m not that crazy.  I effing love my maid.  She’s the best.  I mean she cooks AND cleans my house.  HOW IS THIS ANYTHING BUT AMAZEBALLS?  She is probably one of the best things in my life.  No joke, if she doesn’t come for more than a day or two, I start to hyperventilate and wonder how my life will go on.  I genuinely question this.  I think about if I’ll starve, and also, where did she leave the mop/dish cleaning equipment (I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT THAT THING IS CALLED- is it a scrubber? A dish scrubber? WTF.  I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER)

What really sealed the deal is that my boyfriend is over at my house a lot.  And she hates it.  Like really really hates it.  Because well.  I mean. Lets be super gender biased here and just play out the stereotypes.  She has more to clean now.  I love that he cooks, but she hates that she has to clean his…artwork.  The kitchen definitely looks like a Jackson Pollock painting after he is done.  And she hates it.  To the point where today she kind of said look.  If this doesn’t get better, I may have to go.  She didn’t say it outright.  But there was that threat.

And my first thought was genuinely- GOD DAMNIT HE NEEDS TO BE AT MY PLACE LESS! I CANNOT LOSE MY MAID! I WILL STOP BEING LAZY AND GO OVER TO HIS PLACE! PLEASE MAID DON’T LEAVE ME! I WILL DIE WITHOUT YOUUUUUUUUUU

I feel like that makes me a terrible girlfriend. Picking my maid over my boyfriend. But there. I said it.

What can I say? Basic necessities sometimes may have to win over love.  I’m just saying.  He wouldn’t want me to starve or die would he? Really, I’m doing this for us.

Random Thoughts on What To Plan Vs. What I Can’t Plan

I’ve realized that life itself is really hard to plan.  I liked what my friend Eve said in a comment on the last post- goals.  Goals are important.  My cousin echoed that and gave more clarity on what sorts of goals we can have.  1 year, 3 year,  5 year.  I don’t really know what the 5 year ones are yet, but 1 and 3 seem doable in my head.

But I also realized that goals aren’t planning.  Goals don’t tell you how to do something- they tell you what you want to achieve to make your life meaningful.  They’re also not really binary- even if you only achieve 70% of your goal, that’s still usually pretty great.

Planning is different.  Plans are binary.  They either happened or they didn’t. For example.  I planned my entire day last night.  Nothing went according to plan.  I may still be on track to achieve my goals, but my plans have failed.

I think, the sad truth is that most of us are poor planners.  I’m only saying that because I feel like I am a poor planner (and I also read this article that said as much).  I realize that I didn’t schedule in half the things that I feel are important (sleep, talking to friends, catching up on emails, reading, blogging, eating-yes I started scheduling those too).

Another thought- my excessive planning needs to be diverted to achieving goals.  Goals in work and goals in life.  And getting to be a better planner on how to achieve my goals (and also how to use my time) is going to be key.

Time as a currency.  Being able to understand time.  I feel like there’s something there that I’m missing.

Happy Friday