By @deanyeong on July 3, 2017
In my last Monday Digest article, I mentioned that I’m undergoing some restructuring in work and life. This article is an update on what is happening right now, and what you can expect from me in the future.
HINT: I’m not shutting down this blog. I’m doubling down on growing it.
If you ever visit my /now page, you’ve probably noticed that I’m currently working on OkDork by Noah Kagan. I’ve been working on freelance projects in the past few years. But this is my first fully-remote, full-time job with people I’ve been following for a long time.
It is a great opportunity for me to invest more time and energy on writing and to learn about growing a blog and online business.
So, what is coming to an end?
If you think writing is what I’ve always been doing since Day 1 of my life, you’re wrong. I only started writing in the past 20 months. Before that, I’ve been working in the F&B industry for over 10 years, including the past 20 months when I was publishing an article a week.
While I was working in a restaurant, I picked up coding skills (turned out helping me to build this WordPress theme), graphic design skills, and now writing skills.
It’s not that the F&B industry is bad, but it’s a challenging industry for an average Joe like me — with limited connections and money — to grow and leverage into something meaningful. At the same time, I prefer to have a remote lifestyle where I can work anywhere, anytime.
The more I write, the more I fall in love with making an impact with words.
With the new responsibilities, I’ve made the decision to quit the coffee shop I’ve been working in for 2 years and invested all my time and energy towards:
I’m very passionate about entrepreneurship, investing, and personal finance. The thing is, I tend to be more of a consumer of these topics instead of the creator. Part of the reason is that I always practice a low-risk, sustainable, long-term approach to almost everything I do. My writing on these topics might bore the hell out of you and other readers.
Instead, I’m going to continue writing about what I’ve been writing over the past 20 months but with better stories, better research, and better structure. Below are a few topics I’m going to focus on for DeanYeong.com in for the coming years.
I’ve broken down the focus of DeanYeong.com into three main questions below:
Everything I’ve done in the past — till this moment — has been motivated by an idea in my mind that’s called success. Yet, I have very little idea what success actually looks and feels like.
I know it isn’t goals. I’ve achieved many goals in the past. I set a goal to get a scholarship to the University, and I did. I wanted to build a great relationship with my girlfriend and I know I’m doing well at that. I set a goal to write every week, and yes, I’m still writing.
At the end of the day, these didn’t feel like successes. Maybe success isn’t a destination, it’s always a work in progress.
As the noise of the Internet becomes louder and louder, I find that more and more people are getting lost in this journey of seeking success. Some devote their life to making more money without knowing what they actually want at the end of the day. Some spend their lifetime seeking happiness only to end up miserable. Some fall to addictions as a form of illusion or relief.
I’m going to spend more time trying to understand what it means to be a high achiever with fulfillment, where is the balance, and how to get there.
Our life outcome is the result of every decision we’ve made in the past. Thus, the ability to make better decisions is crucial to producing a better life.
Studying successful people on how they make decisions is a good place to start. However, I don’t think we should stop there. It’s important to acknowledge that success — more times than you think — happens due to serendipity.
We tend to shine a spotlight on successful people because they are successful. We attribute their success to something they did because they got a positive outcome as a result of their actions. What if the outcome is negative? Is what they did still consider as good decision making?
To take this further, we’re going to look at the process instead of the outcome. I’m interested in exploring more about the cognitive process of decision-making, the flaws we all have when forming considerations, and how can we reduce these thinking errors to make sound decisions.
If answering “what is success?” is about knowing where we are going, and answering “how to make better decisions?” is about what we should/can do, then “how to perform better?” is about how to do it, and do it better.
How to live healthier, physically and mentally? How to grow, emotionally and intellectually? How should we approach rest and sleep? These are ideas, strategies, and techniques to maximize productivity, stay focused, and improve output. In fact, these questions have been one of the primary focuses of my blog and Quora answers for a long time.
The challenge is that there are countless articles like this being produced by thousands of writers on the Internet. Some of them are incredibly useful, but most of them are junk. Obviously, I want to fall into the first group.
To write more about this, and write about it better, I’m going to do extensive research on these topics and back up everything I write with real scientific studies. And if it’s appropriate, I’m going to spend more time on testing and experimenting with them.
Quitting the F&B industry after 10 years of working in it is a big deal. Working with incredibly smart people in a field that I am highly passionate about is a bigger deal. It doesn’t only affect my work, it also impacts my life — first, in a negative way in the short run because of all the restructuring of roles, time, and energy — but it will have a positive effect in the long run.
First of all, thank you. You might have noticed that my English is not perfect after reading a few newsletters, but you still stuck with me here. And thanks to everyone who offered to help me with proofreading in the past. Also thanks, Lana, who is helping me with proofreading and editing right now.
By taking off a big block of work (coffee shop) from my life, I get to have extra time and energy to improve my writing. I’m going to take a few courses on both writing fiction and writing blog articles to strengthen and expand my ability to write in a different style and format.
Here are some areas to improve:
I’m also going to hire an English teacher to pinpoint my grammatical errors in my articles so I can speed up my improvement rate and communicate better.
Here is an overused quote by Jim Rohn,
You’re the average of the five people you associate with.
The more I observe, the more I see the importance of nurturing great relationships. First, good relationships don’t just help you a ton in your career, they also contribute to your happiness — and sanity.
The people around you either lift you up or pull you down. The people around you become the environment that shapes your behaviors, and thus, your outcome.
Communicating and dealing with people is both an art and a skill. It doesn’t come naturally, at least not for me. I’ve been focusing most of my time and energy on work. Even when I was hanging out with people, it sometimes felt like work.
What changes now is that I want to stop networking. Instead, I want to start building genuine relationships. I want to get into a relationship to first contribute, and I want to always achieve a win-win for both sides in the long run.
There is just so much for me to learn.
This blog isn’t a charity. This blog is a business. The only difference with many other businesses is that I don’t charge everyone who consumes my content. 95% of the content here is free for everyone.
What about the other 5%? That is exactly the plan I have for the future.
I’m going to build in-depth digital courses to turn this blog into a business. One of the courses I’m working on right now is the Focus Workshop. At the same time, I’m also exploring ways to leverage this blog in order to get a few offline speaking gigs in the future.
Why a business you ask?
First, everything costs. The domain name, the hosting, the tools I’m using to send you this weekly newsletter. Then, many hours I’ve spent and countless cups of coffee I’ve consumed to build these contents required investment. It won’t be able to sustain itself for long if it doesn’t generate income. And I’m in this for the long run.
As I’ve mentioned above, I’m very passionate about entrepreneurship. I’ve been starting businesses and shutting down businesses for the past few years. Most traditional businesses require a significant sum of capital upfront plus tons of continuous investment.
Running a blog is a great way for me to restart and practice entrepreneurship at low costs while helping others and doing what I love doing.
Although I used to work as a personal fitness trainer for a short period of time, I’m no expert on the health and fitness industry. Instead of learning every trick and tip available, I always prefer to stick with the fundamentals.
I believe a training routine should always be aligned with your goals. Therefore, I have no right — or interest — in convincing you to practice a particular method if your goals are not aligned with it. That said, I’m not going to write a lot about this but only about the things I’m practicing.
Instead, I’m going to spend more time and energy to master what I’ve been practicing for a long time — strength training and intermittent fasting. If I write anything about training, these would be it.
At a quick glance, everything I’ve included above is a massive challenge. However, I don’t think so. Instead, I believe that these things represent tremendous opportunities. Yes, it might be hard, and it might not be pleasant sometimes.
However, the point here is not to be comfortable. The goal is to grow and transcend to a better self, one step at a time.
I hope you do the same too.
The only thing is that I have a tendency to rush things. I want things to happen more quickly than they do and that makes me anxious sometimes. So, here is what I need to remind myself of:
Never rush. Never pause.
Glad you asked. Frankly, you’re part of the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. Another part of the reason – every reader who hasn’t discovered this blog yet.
If you can, I would like you to share the Monday Digest with anyone you think might need it. Also, share any article you find helpful.
(You can also pay me $1 per month for absolutely nothing)
Lastly, share your stories and goals with me. I’d love to hear about them.