You may call it a healthy kind of addiction. Blogging under this brand is something that I would never quit. This is my first baby online. I will never give this up until I face that moment in life reminding me that I’m no longer a freelance yuppy. Until the day I reach the age of 30, I’m going to blog and love this domain.
Yep, I may stall.
I may procrastinate.
But, I know the itch will always be there. The kind of itch that I love.
This blog is me and there’s no more denying about that.
Adventures of a Freelance Yuppy is a complete reflection of my life. It has gone into different levels of metamorphosis which unitenttionally reflects my life story. I love it.
It may seem that the brand had failed in many aspects of creating online noise but I see no reason to stop and give it up. Failure is a different form of learning. Learning can never be bad for anyone. It’s our link to growth. And for us human beings; growth, development, and evolution are one collective immutable fact of life.
So here I am folks, braving up to get ahold of that process called growth. No shame in failing and learning at the same time. I’ve learned my lesson.
Here are the aspects of blogging where I believe I failed in Adventures of a Freelance Yuppy:
Time Management and Focus
A. Freelancing and Agency
The biggest factor why I failed in generating quality content for this blog was time management. I had to juggle my personal projects, freelancing, and agency projects every day. I was in a constant panic. Panic is never good for creative and quality work. The pressure to create quality content was just too much that I continuously failed in creating content that should have been the lifeline of this blog.
I also built another remote agency which I never thought would be as time consuming as it had become. Having an agency and managing my freelance projects at the same time was a total pain in the ass. At first, everything was running smooth. Yet, when I started scaling my operation and getting more clients for the agency, the backlogs pile up somehow I became the bottleneck of the operation. There are also clients who were unresponsive most of the time which increased the stress level of operation.
B. MMA and Gym
Aside from the clients, I was also too engrossed with MMA. Yep, people. I was so crazy about it that I even committed to my training coach to fight last June – but I did not. Good thing.
I used to spent at least 20 hours of my week training. That 20-hour commitment obviously made a dent to my schedule and focus. Good thing Mr. Reality knocked on my door. Yes, I love MMA and there’s not one day me dreaming of becoming a killing machine. Heck, I often binge watching my Instagram feed of MMA fighters and other fitness buffs out there. I love it. Fit, well-versed in hand-to-hand combat, and having complete control over one’s body are some of the qualities of an optimized man for me. There is war out there and to have superior physique and mental toughness honed by regular desire to eliminate/disable your opponent are just some of the deciding factors to win.
However, I had to ask myself the obvious question. Would becoming a semi-fultime fighter contribute to the long-term goals of Adventures ofa Freelance Yuppy? Clearly, the answer is a resounding “No”. In fact, it’s counter productive to engage to a high-risk combat sport. One of my teammates had (or has, not sure if it’s fully healed) a cracked skull after his debut fight. You might say that it seems like I chickened out. But let me tell you this, if ever we meet in a fair and square fight (same weight-class, same prep time), I don’t think that you would have an easy time punishing me. So before you call someone a wuss, make it sure that you can take him down before he puts you to sleep. Winning in combat sports is always relative, pragmatic, and subjective. All claims must be put to test.
So for almost 3 months now (from the publication of this article), I haven’t had any kind of training. My body misses the training so much that it’s like my blood doesn’t reach the end of my veins anymore >_<.
C. Personal Passion Projects
I got more than a dozen of personal passion projects which are still unrealized. We’re more than half-way of the year and I really want to get things done as soon as possible. I’m cramming and pressure seeps in.
How I’m Dealing With this Now
Freelance Client Management
In 2015, I had at least five clients that I had to be accountable for. Now, I only aim to maintain 2-3 high quality clients. This is the type of client base that can afford to pay my entire living cost for a month. I’m starting to be picky. Basic rules that I now maintain:
- I have to assess the project. It has to have at least 90% of success rate and 100% completion rate. If it’s something that I’m sure that I cannot deliver with great finis, I don’t commit. I don’t take the grab-job-and-learn-how-to-do-it route anymore. I’m gearing towards specialization and perfecting my processes in accomplishing specific types of projects.
- If it’s less than $600 and would take me more than 30 hours to complete, I let it go. I aim for profitability and I cannot reach that unless I stop selling my hours cheap. I’ve learned my lesson. I know I can deliver results better than average digital marketers out there. I have value that I can deliver. It’s just a matter of positioning myself as an expert and getting the price tag that I deserve.
I’ve shut down the agency and retained a few good folks that deliver consistently without any hassle under my watch. The time I used to spent managing the team was not profitable enough to maintain it. I’m also a bit wary about outsourcing and hiring now. I’ve met a lot of people who overpromise and blow their trumpets high enough for the Gods to hear them and at the end of the day fail to deliver.
After reading Tim Ferris’s 4-hour Workweek, I’ve started “templating” and “systematizing” everything that I do. In the future, my agency will run based on processes and systems that I created and I can easily replace people who don’t deliver. My agency and freelance business will operate like a fast food. FAST and delivers REAL FOOD.
MMA and Gym
For this year, I’m giving up the dream to fight in a cage. I’m niether young nor too old for the sport. I believe I can catch up once other important aspects of my life start to run smoothly. I decided to allot 3.5 hours per week for training. Since my body is not used to sedentary lifestyle, I’m committing at least 20 mins in the morning to running. This is also a great time to walk my dogs. In this way, I can focus on the things that really matter and contribute to my goals.
Personal Passion Projects
Since I have freed time from my MMA training schedule, I can allocate that time to my personal projects. That’s 3.5 hours per day six times a week :) I’m excited to what I can accomplish.
System Optimization, Mindset, and Habits
For the past few months, I’ve been life experimenting in different aspects of life optimization. I made lots of different test and I would really love to share it with you. From quantified self to productivity, there are a lot of major improvements that I made in optimizing my life. Realistically, this is not all boon on my part. Shifting one gear from another, changing minute details of a system, and adapting to that system affects my productivity as well. Obviously, I’ve sorted it out. You wouldn’t be reading this if I were not successful tweaking under the hood. Here are the things that affected my blogging activities.
Trial and error of system
If you’re improving things with a hit-and-miss mindset, the rate of your growth would take some toll. This is why you have to devise a growth system that will not drastically affect the existing system that you have. One of the aspects of my life that had undergone a major hit-and-miss system was my daily schedule. I want to maintain a steady routine. I feel productive and creative when I’m fully aware of the next thing that I would do after another activity. Tweaking my schedule and routines more than a dozen times had crashed my productivity.
I’m not sure if it’s in the genes but my mom is a chronic overthinker. She overthinks every effing thing in our lives. At home, I was trained to think that way and it sucks. The level of overthinking that I have leads to analysis paralysis. I end up doing nothing and just calculating endless unforeseen chain reactions based on unrealized actions. I’m a great strategist but I’m not a good doer. Something that I’m starting to overcome.
There are at least a dozen of new habits that I want to stick. This also puts a toll on my focus. My habit optimization journey is a classic case of poor trial and error approach. I ended up frustrated and not maintaining habits that I like to incorporate in my life.
How I’m Dealing With this Now
Minimizing effects of Trial and Error System
I gave up ruining an entire well-structured system just to test a hypothesis that I have or read online. I don’t succumb to the next shiny things anymore. I’ve also learned how to test a small tweak that I like with caution. I don’t drastically test hacks and forget about the system that I already have. I’m also adapting a minimalist framework in almost every aspect of my life. The truth is, our attention just like our will power is a finite resource. Minimalism makes a lot of sense if you want to get more out of life. I’m starting to apply minimalist framework in different aspects of my life. Tim Ferris has a succinct set of rules on how you can apply minimalism in your decision making process. Do check it out.
Overcoming Overthinking Through Rules of Minimalism
I urge you to read Tim Ferris’s blog about minimalism and how it can improve your life 10x. Adapting this mindset and setting simple rules that you can apply by default in particular situations, make things a lot easier. It also helps you conserve energy, will power, and attention. I will write more about minimalism and some of the things that you can implement without tramping down your existing system. If you want to know more about minimalism and have an actionable list of rules that you can apply within the day, go and read Tim Ferris’s post about this. Better yet, read his 4-Hour Workweek book. It’s so valuable and jam-packed with “lifehacks” that I read it in less than six hours. I’m in awe that I can say I retained almost 90% of the lessons I learned from the book.
Small Easy Steps to Optimize Habit Creation
I will write more about habit creation but to make things simlper, never build dozens of habits all at once. You will fail. Monitoring the effects of several habits can be cumbersome. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.
My inability to focus and maintain a healthy mindset had costed this blog a lot. I’m reversing the effects now by sticking to the plan and learning that I gained from my experience. There are a lot of new things that you can put your hands on when it comes to making money, productivity, and life optimization. The thing is, if you don’t have any system to sift the chaff from the real deal, you will end up impeding your growth contrary to what you aim to accomplish. Chase Wardman Reeves of Fizzle.co shared an illustration that perfectly sums up my point. It’s ADHD.
(See post here if not available to public: ADHD)
Conclusion: Hey I’m back
With 2000+ number of words of pure reflection of my state of life and mind, I feel that I’m “empowered” to make the right decision and free myself from the manacles that had slowed me down to this journey. Hey, I’m back! That’s what’s important. You get up strong, wiser, and better! I hope that you will find some value with what I’ve shared in this article.
If you’re looking for a support system to help you conquer your own personal demons, I urge you to have an accountability partner or hire a coach. Currently, I’m doing free coaching for a month on Coach.Me to build my expertise. If you’re looking for someone to help you with your current life situation, I encourage you to take the one-month free coaching service that I offer (limited to 10 people only). Look for someone who’s doing what you want to achieve; someone who is continuously learning and selflessly sharing his journey; and someone who wouldn’t want you to break the bank. (*Ahem, “Me, me, me!”*)
To get my free coaching service for a month, share this blog post and mention me on Twitter. It’s limited to 10 slots.
Resources Mentioned in this Blog Post:
- The Choice-Minimal Lifestyle: 6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm
- 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
- Illustration by Chase Reeves
- Treat Your Attention as a Resource to Budget it More Effectively
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