It's been quite the year. A year where I learned a lot about myself, my wife, and my child. They are the most important to me.
I'm aggressive when testing my limits and pushing myself deeper into personal development. Life is like a game, an obstacle course of sorts. Today I remember the old PC game The Oregon Trail, and life is just a more elaborate version of that.
This year, I experimented with various interests, learning that exposure to multiple opportunities until you find the right one can be a cheat code to the game. However, it is imperative to stay vigilant for distractions.
Diving in, here are a few things I learned:
A significant personal life decision for me was buying a house (probably should've waited longer). It's been quite the balance of DIY, paying folks to come out and do work and putting in some late nights. But it's worth it, having a nice place to live and call your own.
Putting in the effort to become a better husband and father, I got plugged in with Better Help, did a few therapy sessions and am learning how to be a better person.
Reading more books
I challenged myself to read twenty-four books this year, that didn't quite go as planned; I reached thirteen total. I did learn a better strategy for dividing up pages to read, starting this today.
My top 3 books were:
The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum by Camila Russo (This book was my "gateway experience" into getting serious about crypto. Also got me obsessed with learning more about Vitalik Buterin).
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh (RIP Tony, your passion for constructing a culture that delivers excellence has stuck with me)
Shooting my shot
I tested my knowledge publicly and saw an increase in social media engagement; the goal was to help folks breaking into tech. I posted the videos for thirty working days in a row on LinkedIn and TikTok. The results were pretty solid; I met some great individuals in the space and established several quality relationships.
One of the most incredible things I learned this year was persistence and shooting my shot, even when uncomfortable. A little backstory starts with "Tech TikTok" I saw a startup developing a product/service that aligned with my experience, and I decided to pursue it as an opportunity. I did some research and sent out multiple messages before getting a response. I eventually got an answer, landed an interview, then landed the opportunity as a product developer. Pretty exciting to be part of such a fantastic team of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Gratitude and Contentment
Stayed consistent with the Five Minute Journal; always great to start the day with gratitude and penciling in what would make it a great day. 2022 I'm kicking it up a notch and going with The Six Minute Diary; here's to more daily thought-provoking questions.
A stress point for me was dealing with some unexpected financial challenges. Thanks to Ramit Sethi's book I will Teach You to be Rich and Ryan Odom (founder) of the Bullish Academy community, I'm on track to tackling my debt and have automated my finances.
In the final quarter of 2021, things started to take off. As an avid Twitter user, I aim to produce value as much as possible weekly. The intent is to Tweet from an angle that demonstrates my knowledge and experience publicly for free. Delivering value has resulted in DM's from creators and agencies looking for web developers/designers. I signed on with two, and the work started to flow. Currently, the goal is to eliminate the full-time job and opt-in for more agency work.
Down the "rabbit hole"
Since we're discussing web development, I've been diving deeper into the Web3 "rabbit hole." Minted my first NFT from the Developer DAO (DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organizations). I now have the privilege to help contribute landing page design ideas for the upcoming D_D Con, which is quite the experience. I'll also mention, I bought a .ETH domain (including link here because xyz turned it into a landing page for my NFT's).
The second part of my Web3 interest is in DeFi (decentralized finance). The DAO concept applies to finance too. These communities are forming to invest in projects of their interest. Here, some of the financial concepts at play involve a treasury, staking, bonding, and being rewarded. My other interest in DeFi is using ownership of blockchain nodes to create passive income.
For those curious about my blockchain interests, I'm interested in projects developed on the Fantom blockchain and also curious to see how Ethereum 2.0 will change the landscape, considering the recent outrageously high "gas fees." Some of the most intriguing concepts to me at the moment are game theory and prisoner's dilemma.
Summing it up
I wrapped up the year a better listener in conversations, speaking less about myself to others (unless directly asked a question about myself) and executing on things rather than just talking about doing those things. Listening is imperative in becoming a better person, dad, husband, and friend.
What's cooking for 2022:
Spend more time with the family, which means scaling back on activities or projects that can be outsourced. It also means increasing my passive income streams.
Focus more on my mental health.
Pursue a business mentor and visit with a therapist more regularly.
Pay off ALL of my consumer debt.
Build a more excellent IRL network of driven individuals.
Read twenty-four books (I have a great strategy to implement, suggested by my favorite book guru.)
That's a wrap...
2021 taught me more about mental health, family needs, and getting the most out of life.
2022 will be a continuation of that just on a more magnified level.