July 17th, 2020

What Are You Willing to Sacrifice on the Alter of Your Dream? - Friday Notes 109

A novel will take you two years to write. Or three or four or five. Can you do that? Can you sustain yourself financially? Emotionally? Can your spouse and children handle it? Can you maintain your motivation over that length of time? Your self-belief? Your sanity? If necessary, can you scrap your first eighteen months’ work and start over from scratch? - Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit

Pressfield is talking about writing books, but it applies to anything.

Will you put in 2 or 3 years to launch your business? Will you work extra hours to get that YouTube channel launched? Are you willing to take an income cut as you try to build the next thing that will bring income in your business?

How will you manage that in the midst of having a family? How will you make sure that you don’t kill all your friendships at the same time? How are you going to maintain a basic level of fitness so that you don’t turn into a lazy slob?

How I Started my Business

I started my business between 2007 and 2009, with the bulk of that push happening in late 2008 as I worked almost all the hours available to get my business off the ground. My wife made dinner, and took care of the house so I had that time.

This was before kids, but still it was a bunch of work for her after she worked a full day. Looking at that type of commitment now, I have no idea how we’d do it because we have kids that rely on our time.

But I’m Dad Now

At the end of a regular work day, I’m tired and there are still so many chores to do. Kids seem to all have a cloud of mess that follows them.

As I climb the stairs from my office to the main floor of the house shirts, pants and underpants greet me. They’re tucked under couches and sitting on the floor. I swear they breed on their own because I clean them all up every night.

I head to help with dinner, then clean up. Then we tag team putting three kids to bed. We finish the dishes, and put at least one of our kids back to bed between five and two thousand times before we get 20 minutes on the couch in a dazed state looking at the house that still has toy bits spread around. We trundle off to bed to both try and get through the next day hoping the kids aren’t little terrors tomorrow again, and fearing that they may be even worse.

Starting my business and relying on my wife to do all that extra work without me would be a pipe dream. Not only would she not have the time now, I’d be sacrificing my time with my kids. I wouldn’t get to sit dazed beside my wife as we talk about the day and try to spend some time with each other.

My current dreams and projects are tempered by the life I have to live now. I have no less than 5 books I want to write. I want to build a few online tools. I have more video ideas this week than I could produce in a month.

Instead of the break neck pace I could run 12 years ago, I take a step forward every day if I’m luck. More realistically, I take a step forward every week or month.

As you dream, don’t evaluate your progress against mine, or anyone else’s. Focus on taking a step forward regularly. Once you look back in a year, you’ll see all those steps add up to plenty of forward motion and you’ll be closer to your dream than you realize.

I Shipped

Monday I talked about my latest mechanical keyboard purchase the Anne Pro 2. I love how small this keyboard is, and how programmable it is. Highly recommended.

Wednesday I put together a short video on DEVONthink To Go Smart Groups. While the DEVONthink mobile version needs some polish so that it has parity with the desktop application, Smart Groups is a very useful feature that many people miss.

Today I put together a post on Automating Sorted3 with Shortcuts. Sorted3 is an interesting application that focuses on putting your tasks on a calendar. I’ll come back to it later and give it a full review.