My life from birth to 23
It’s been my goal to publish something everyday.
I like the idea of using a blog as a self-invention tool. But I’m so stuck on the mindset that it’s a self-promotion tool… That I never publish anything I don’t think be useful to you.
But I don’t think it’s possible to do that every single day. Unless I just regurgitate things I learn from books. I don’t want to do that. I’d rather link to them.
But I gotta publish something. Just because I want to. To start, here’s my life from birth to today, at 23 years old. It’s not written to help you accomplish specific things.
I hope you enjoy this piece anyway. And maybe even learn a few things.
- I was born.
- Mastered the multiplication table at 4 years old. Because my mom was rewarding my 7-year old sister every time she memorizes one table. I wanted ice cream too.
- Got zero items right on an achievement test on addition. Because I multiplied everything. Teacher let me pass anyway.
- Discovered Archie comics. The foundation of my reading and writing English.
- Started competing in interschool Math competitions. Wow, I enjoy hanging out with people smarter than me.
- Read Harry Potter. Fell in love with reading.
- Spent most of grade school reading Judith McNaught novels.
- I theorize this shaped my character forever: I wanted to be like the heroines in the novels. A woman who was fiercely independent. Guarded to most, except for very few, special people. Defies expectations.
- Cried out of joy in an airplane. I qualified to compete in international math competitions. Something I’ve been failing to do for 5 years.
- Realized being the dumbest person in the room is a good thing.
- Spent the summer training with the smartest Math geniuses in the Philippines
- First international math competition in China. Only award my team won was “most friendly.” Oh well.
- Got fat.
- Getting fatter.
- Tried jogging. It sucked.
- Ran for student politics. Got cold feet.
- Lobbied for everyone NOT to vote for me. Did not vote for myself. Won anyway.
- Did not enjoy it.
- Tried vegetarian diet. Fruits diet. Boxing. P90X. Insanity. Zumba. TRX. Other things I’m forgetting. Nothing fucking works.
- Almost gave in again to peer pressure. This time, for student council president. Filed for candidacy.
- Made a very public withdrawal.
- Learned you shouldn’t do things just because people want you to. It’s OK to disappoint people. It’s OK to change your mind. One year later, you’ll see it’s not a big deal. You don’t have to do stuff, especially if they make you miserable.
- Discovered NerdFitness and Paleo. It works!
- Graduated magna cum laude, a hard-won achievement.
- I needed a perfect grade in all my subjects. And all my professors historically do not give out perfect grades. At the beginning of the semester, I told them the grade I need. I asked what I had to do to get it. Throughout the semester, I checked in with them on my progress.
- Discovered the recipe for doing anything you want.
- Be very clear about what you want.
- Let stakeholders know you want it. Ask what you need to do to get it.
- Do the work.
- Follow up on your progress regularly.
- Communication is equally (if not more) important than being able and doing the work. Set and manage expectations.
- Got my first job as an international management consultant. Without applying.
- Got my first moneyz.
- As a benefit of my job, I got to travel around the United States (Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, California, New York, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, Florida)
- Monday morning flights with consultants and investment bankers. I see most of them are rich, fat, and miserable.
- This is not who I want to be when I grow up.
- Quit my comfy job with a vague plan to be a freelance copywriter, a job I could do from anywhere in the world.
- Got a lot of crap for trying to do my own thing without any experience. Tried not to care.
- Joined Location Rebel.
- I will spend 3 months studying copywriting (i.e. reading about it)
- Everything I knew about learning was wrong. I’d always thought I would do excellently in life because I was smart. But you learn and achieve by doing, not by reading. Being able to comprehend is not enough.
- If you’re intelligent, beware the cleverness disease.
- Feeling stressed out about money not coming in.
- Started SEO writing. Got my first $ online: $7/article. I loved it.
- Quit after 1 month. I needed to experience earning money online… But I could do better than this.
- Emailed Sebastian Marshall, my biggest online hero.
- He offered to get on the phone. Felt TERRIFIED and almost didn’t follow through.
- I followed through anyway. Life has not been the same ever since.
- Writing for $45/article now.
- Entered Damn Fine Words (business copywriting course worth $1400) scholarship contest. With her big audience on Men With Pens, I doubt I’d win.
- I won.
- Freelance copywriter now.
- Now I’m an online direct marketing consultant.
- Got a $1000 email autoresponder project.
- Read Running Lean and discovered Lean Startup.
- I was spending too much time (months) studying marketing and copywriting, before selling my services. How do I apply Lean methodology to services?
- Realized I didn’t enjoy working with clients as a freelancer.
- Started a “Cambodia Cash” business, Location Asia.
- Even though I didn’t know shit about booking flights, lifestyle, or traveling in Asia. Thinking Lean now.
- Pitched Kevin Dewalt, founder of SoHelpful, on “analytics services” to test a business idea. Didn’t know crap about analytics, but also didn’t want to waste time studying something I can’t sell.
- Copied and pasted sales copy from an analytics book, emailed him “I’ll do this for you, will you hire me?”
- He said yes.
- Location Asia on track to do five figures.
- Saw SoHelpful as a rocket ship. I fired my clients and joined SoHelpful full-time as a marketer.
- Got a lot of crap from entrepreneurs because I “quit” my business.
Life is good. I have never felt more sure that my life is on track.
If you have any thoughts and questions (i.e. be more specific about how I did certain things), I’d love if you leave a comment :)