Every year on this day I watch Benjamin Button, have done since 2009. But not this year. Didn’t feel the urge. Went ice skating instead. Hard to know sometimes if it’s best to do something even when you don’t feel like doing it, or if you should yield to the resistance.
You ever get that feeling like you’ve done a load of work but have little to show for it? I tend to feel like that whenever I’m about to launch something new, always thinking more about what more should be done instead of how much has already been accomplished. Launching an update of my site tomorrow and mostly I’m seeing all the holes still in it.
Last call with my coaching group. This was a 5-call trial run for a bigger coaching program I was planning this year, but decided not to go ahead with it. I like coaching in many ways, but turns out I’d much rather be working on my own site, or even doing freelance work. Scheduling is perhaps the biggest downside to the coaching, having to be on calls at certain times.
Pro tip: when you switch to a new email marketing tool and message your list of 3,438 people boasting about how smart you are because the move saved you $700/year… best make sure you didn’t get all the names jumbled up in the transfer. Been getting replies all evening along the lines of, “My name is Paul. Why did you call me Muhammed?”
Long coffee with a couple who make a living via their Instagram. Very cool people, open and honest. Tough game though. See a nice Instagram photo and mostly I’m thinking about all the work that went into it. The organization, the shoot, the editing, networking and responding to comments. And you have to keep doing it. Take a break for a few days and you fall out of favor with the Instagram gods.
Flying to Vietnam today. Savvy travel pro that I am, only realized yesterday that I need a visa. Mad scramble to get it organized, brain fart cost me almost $200. Now I’m sitting at Ho Chi Minh airport, waiting an hour for my name to be called. Tomorrow I’ll be on a tropical island but rather than looking forward to that I’m wishing I didn’t have to travel at all. Problems of privilege.
Getting here was a pain in the ass. More stress at the airport this morning. Now it’s evening and we’re walking along a quiet beach after a soft sunset, playing on a big swing and finding tiny stars in the sand. This is Vietnam’s biggest island, and it’s experiencing a bit of a tourist boom. There are plenty of beautiful beaches, resorts, wildlife… mixed with mad roads lined with rubbish.
Making our way through a crowded market, on a scooter. Raw meat hanging from hooks. Little old ladies selling seafood. Beeps and smells and chatter. The whole place is chaos. We have to double back to find an escape route, end up twisting our way through several alleys, past run-down shacks and sleeping dogs, piles of garbage and live chickens, brushing by entire families on two wheels.
Bats don’t rely on eyesight to navigate. Instead they emit high-pitched sounds and listen for an echo to determine if anything’s close by. This is very similar to how people drive in Vietnam. They rarely keep an eye out for other vehicles on the road. Instead they emit a series of high-pitched beeps and listen for anyone beeping back at them. Doesn’t work great though. Their rate of road fatalities is 6x that of Ireland.
Finally, I can swim. Never learned as a kid. Started teaching myself in spurts 11 years ago, but only recently has it felt like I’m actually swimming comfortably. We’re staying at a resort on the beach here. I’m in the sea 2-3 times per day. I can be out there front-crawling for half an hour without a break, without losing my breath. Like going for a nice stroll. Total Immersion has helped a lot, but it’s taken a good bit of practice.
Been reading The Millionaire Fastlane and getting a lot out of it. I especially like his CENTS framework. If you want your business to make you rich, the more of these the better:
- You should control the system (no one person/company should be able to disrupt your income)
- There should be barriers to entry (to discourage competition)
- The business should fill a need in the economy
- Income should be detached from your time
- The business should be scaleable
In a little roadside shop. Most of these places seem to double as living quarters. There’s an elderly lady and three young kids sitting down to a meal at the end of an aisle. I ask them for tissues. No English. I mime a sneeze. They hand me baby wipes. I take a tissue out of my pocket and show them. They look at it curiously. I consider miming something else but think better of it and Google Translate “toilet paper” on my phone instead.
Airports are so broken, man. Getting to and from Pho Quoc has been a gigantic pain in the ass. Horrible customer service, convoluted procedures, booking a refundable flight you’ll never take just so they can tick a box, taking your shoes off because some dude fifteen years ago had a bomb in his, rushing to stand in line after line after line… really puts a dampener on travel. Got in a foul mood today wading through all that shit, felt like kicking kittens and punching old ladies.
Okay, gotta shake out of this grumpy mood. Back in Chiang Mai now and everything is easy again but still suffering from some lingering crankiness. Feeling unsocial and uncooperative. Really hard to like myself when I’m behaving this way. Let me go do something nice for someone. That might help.
Spent about 7 hours programming a feature on my own site these past two days. Not my strong suit, and it’d be more cost effective to outsource it and spend the time doing client work. But hey, I was enjoying myself. There’s a craftsmanship to coding, feels good when you weed out all the bugs and get that thing working nice and smooth. I believe Derek Sivers still does much of his own coding despite being a multi-millionaire. Something I can appreciate.