You Are Not a Startup

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The term Startup has invaded our dictionaries heavily in the past 5 years. It’s been overused and abused. Here, I explain why most businesses are not a startup.

If you are a newly established design agency, you are not a startup.
If you have a small law firm, you’re not a startup.
Running a salon on the side? Nope. Not a startup.
Selling t-shirts online? Yep. Still not a startup.
Unique concept bakery? You guessed it. Not a startup.
Providing consultancy services? Not even close. Not a startup.
New restaurant around the corner? Don’t think so. Not a startup.
Got a hobby app with thousands of downloads? Sorry. Not a startup.

In most cases, you are not a startup. You might have been referred to as a Startup, but that doesn’t make you one.

Here’s what makes you a Startup:Read More

How to Live a Good Life

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“The world is this continually unfolding set of possibilities and opportunities, and the tricky thing about life is, on the one hand having the courage to enter into things that are unfamiliar, but also having the wisdom to stop exploring when you’ve found something worth sticking around for. That is true of a place, of a person, of a vocation. Balancing those two things -the courage of exploring and the commitment to staying- and getting the ratio right is very hard.”

$2 Psychology Words: Conscientiousness & Industriousness

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Meet my new $2 words! Conscientiousness and Industriousness are very similar concepts.

Also, meet my new favorite modern psychologist! Jordan Peterson. He’s a YouTube star from the videos of his lectures and the vlogs he shares (which he records at midnight when he has thoughts keeping him awake instead of writing them down on a piece of paper).

Here are my favorite videos for Dr. Peterson. I’ve been sharing them very religiously with those I care about.

Wasting Time and Opportunities

Peterson here speaks about the “capacity” at which we work, also known as performance, which is something I’ve always thought of. He says that from his experience, most people run at about 51% of their capacity.Read More

Questions To Live By

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Recently, I stumbled upon a couple of very thought provocative questions on separate occasions which had me pause for a while and think. Today, I created a list on Google Keep of those questions aiming to update them and go through them every week or more frequently.

Here, I will share those with my insight on each, and I’ll update the post whenever I find another one that catches me off-guard.

What are your 10 year goals? How can you achieve them in 6 months?

Woah. Well, fuck. First of all, most people -myself included- probably don’t even have 10 year goals outlined. But forget that. Put your 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years goals. Why can’t you achieve them in less? I’m a huge supporter of challenging myself to achieve what’s unimaginable. I think that’s how the best things are created. A lot of great characters advise to constantly challenge yourself and prove that you can do WAY more than you think you can. This could be simply proved by doing 30 push-ups when you think you can only do 10.Read More

Don’t Find Yourself. Make It.

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Typical self development gurus will often advise to go about life finding and discovering yourself. Realize what you like and dislike, know what you’re good at and what you’re not, etc…

But wait, was I born this way? With my likes and dislikes predetermined? With my skills preprogrammed?

“I’m an introvert, public speaking isn’t my thing”
But.. who stamped the introvert label on my personality?

While acknowledging genetic traits that affect your personality, I’m a big believer in the incredible power of the brain and its psychology.
You don’t find yourself. That’s a rather limiting approach. You make yourself. You build, create, and influence it. Again, it’s more choice, less chance.

Yours truly was a shy introvert one day who never thought he could present in front of an audience. Today, I genuinely enjoy public speaking.

What I’m trying to say is, your journey shouldn’t be about discovering yourself. It should rather be about creating yourself. You’re not lost, you’re just a clear canvas. You get to draw on that canvas.

Chance vs. Choice

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“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”

As much as I truly admire this quote and understand its core, it treats “life” as a reactive experience that happens to you by “Chance” and fails to realize that it could be a proactive experience with independent “Choice”.

I realize more as I grow that once you get over this bias, once you realize that life accepts inputs that were not given as options, and once you understand that your life decisions do NOT have to be reactive to events that happen to you or around you, then life will never be the same experience.
How you react to things is very important, but I for one believe that decisions which are not reactive are the most vital.

You get to shape, form, and influence your own life. And this could be in bold decisions as simple as deciding to wake up an hour earlier every day to read, or as seemingly transformative as migrating to a new country. They are both equally effective decisions that could steer your life in a different direction.

You would live this as a maker/writer/artist or entrepreneur because nobody will get you out of bed every morning. Nobody will tell you what you should think, strategize, or execute. You’re acting, not reacting. That’s at the core of innovation.

Life is 100% what you do.
Most of it should be independent choice, some of it is reacting to chance.

Note to Self: Fear the Fake Success

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Is this real? Do people truly think I’m successful? Is this how it feels like? Am I really doing so well, hitting success that good that fast? Damn, I must be great.. or am I?

Sometimes, I feel good about myself. I hate those times. Maybe because I think they’re fake, temporary moments of joy and self-satisfaction, knowing that I’m only 0.0001% of where I aim to be, or maybe because I just despise the feeling of being on the top of my world, as it puts me right back into my comfort zone. I don’t like thinking that I’m doing great, because I know that this is where I could stop growing, or at least slow the hell down gradually. I don’t want to do that. Why would I ever do that? If I have oxygen going through my nostrils and processed by my lungs, pumping that warm blood through my heart and giving energy for my brain to think, then I sure as hell should use it. My time is limited. It’s not thinking about life as a rat race. It’s not me trying to speed up so I can catch up with others. It’s about me reaching my maximum potential. Achieving things that help humanity, and contribute to elevating the human race to reach places we never thought existed and do things we never thought possible. It’s not greed. It’s ambition.

I wrote this letter to my future self, to read whenever things seem to be great. I want this to be a slap on the face for when I think that I’m too good. When I get interviewed on a newspaper, magazine, or a TV channel for my ‘achievements’. When I’m asked to speak in a conference and tell the world my bullshit ‘success story’, and get told how ‘inspiring’ I am. While I might be to some, and it makes me happy, I don’t want it to be the thought on my head every day.

Read More

Money = Success

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There, I said it. Now some of you might think I’m a filthy materialistic prick.. And for those I say, congratulations, you’re right. But let me explain why I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Linking money with success at least, not being a prick.

Walking away from the “money doesn’t buy happiness” argument, this blog post is more oriented towards explaining my concept of how money is, with no shame, the unit of success. Yes. Money is to success what meters are to distance (unless you’re american, then it’s inches.. thanks for ruining everything). The best schools, hospitals, and companies also happen to be the most expensive ones. The most skilled developers, engineers, and project managers are surprisingly the ones who get paid highest. The best quality products in any industry are the highest priced.Read More

My Life Plan

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What do I want to accomplish from this project? Why do I want to apply this technique? Where do I see this business in 5 years? How do I make that happen? When will I start working? Questions I ask myself frequently as I work on different projects, until I get lost. All of a sudden, I feel like I’m in the middle of a void space. I’m no where. What am I doing with my life? Why am I in this again? Where exactly am I going?

I wish it was as easy as when I was in elementary school. “What do you want to become?”
– “An engineer, like my father!”
As I grew up, that question became the most frightening thing anyone could ask me.
– What do you mean by what do I want to become? Gees, I don’t know.. I guess I haven’t had the time to think about that yet. Do I still want to become an engineer and join the club that already has a billion people? Work in the same job for 40 years? Won’t that be boring? Wouldn’t I be pretty much a replica of someone else?
I only have one life. In a best case scenario, I already wasted 30% of it growing up.
– When will I actually know what I want to be? Will I have enough time to achieve it?Read More