November 13th, 2020

Forget the Niche, Where is Your Passion - Friday Notes 124

I never liked studying when it was forced on me in school. Now that I get to study what I want though, I read far more than I did. That is a key, getting to work on what you find interesting. I don’t think that anything I do is too complex for anyone to learn...if you care enough and want to learn it. - What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Page 35

Haruki Murakami and I are on the same page here. My school grades would go between 52% and 98%. If we looked at different years the same subject would be 90% or higher and then barely pass and then back to over 90%, usually because the teacher gave me freedom to tailor my learning or not. For most of high school I transferred into Mr Dodington's English class because he gave me the freedom to choose my own books to read. I still had to do a book report, but I could give him three options that I was interested in and then I'd do the book we agreed on.

I could read other books in the back of class or magazines...as long as I wasn't disruptive.

Even my first year of education after high school was marked by huge fluctuations in my GPA. Overall, I barely had a high enough GPA to get into college after my first year at an outdoor school. I was told that if my GPA slipped at all I'd be on academic probation and it was only the stellar letters from some of my teachers that meant I wasn't on it to start.

At the end of my Counselling Degree it had the highest GPA I could get once you factored in how low I had started. The big difference was that I wanted to take all the courses and thus put in the work.

These days I have a programming business because programming was interesting to me. I taught myself programming at the end of my Counselling Degree simply because it was more challenging than my school work and seemed like something I'd want to do.

I get paid to review books that I find interesting.

I do video about stuff I find interesting and enough people also find it interesting that I earn money from it.

I made courses about stuff I was looking at, and people take them because they're interested as well.

I've been given advice to niche my content, but I'm not going to do that...unless you count the niche of what Curtis finds interesting week to week a niche.

You can support this content and my videos by joining me on Patreon.

Even my sporting pursuits follow what I find most fun. I spent years racing mountain bikes. I've rock climbed and ice climbed some pretty hard stuff. I've dropped 40 foot waterfalls in a kayak. I've done bike touring. The last four years have been mostly running as training for 50km mountain races. In the midst of all these pursuits I've taken breaks, like right now I'm running less and riding bikes more again.

The only thing I make call myself is a cyclist since I started racing at 14 and have ridden and bike commuted since then. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

One of the regrets of the dying is that they didn't live a life more true to themselves. I don't want to be there, so this ride you're on with me is always going to be whatever I think is interesting. I make no promises to talk about running a freelance business, parenting, iPad tech, books, or outdoor stuff consistently forever.

I'd get bored and stop.

I wish you'd do more of the stuff that you find interesting too. I always lament the personal blogs that were random but went niche or dropped off. I loved Ben Vallack's recent talk about garage organization. Yes I followed him for the Moonlander talk, but I just want to see what he's passionate about.

What are you passionate about? How are you sharing it in a way that you own? Social media links don't count.

Reply and tell me about it.

I Shipped

Monday I did a video covering iPadOS 14 Scribble support in Things3. I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but Scribble is really cool.

Today you'll find a review of Barking up the Wrong Tree. This is a book that talks about why the productivity advice you hear is sending you up the wrong tree.

Over at Nexcess I talked about doing product pages the right way. Found lots of interesting research when I went through that piece.