Summary October 2020

What happens when something drags you for so long that you forget what the normal life looks like? When you have a constant buzz in your ear, or a never-ending pain in the shoulder, you get used to living with that. Likewise I got involved in an extremely bad investment 5 years ago that changed the course of my life considerably.

I got invited by a family friend to participate in a project, and I approved of it to one of my close family members. The person asking for the money had a good business track record and we knew him for a very long time, which was the main reason I took my guards off and haven’t done any due diligence whatsoever. In the course of the next few years the project went from nice to sour, original owner disappeared, and I managed to get the ownership. After that I poured in huge amount of cash (going into debt) in order to try and save it. In the process I got robbed and betrayed several times more due to me trusting people. Finally few weeks ago I managed to sell it.

All of this has caused me lots of anxiety, depression, very dark thoughts, and hundreds of sleepless nights. I remember reading Marcus Aurelius and thinking, that I could let go everything I cannot influence except that project. It was holding me back. Now that it’s over, I need to re-learn how to live freely. How to enjoy life and not think that you still need to pour in lots of money in order to get nothing back. It’s a weird feeling.

I wanted to list the things it has taught me:

  • Never do business with Russians. Ever. Musk figured this out early on.
  • Do not give investment advice to your family
  • Always, always do the due diligence on any investment opportunity
  • Pay for the job done, not for the job to be done

While this was the biggest event in October, few smaller ones happened too. My RC car project came to a screeching halt because I couldn’t disassemble one part of the model, specifically the drive shaft. To be able to mount the two motors on the back, and two on the front, I need to re-design the shafts to make them more compact. And I simple couldn’t disassemble the old ones in order to take the measurements for a 3D model. Finally I called for help on Reddit, and the community managed to guide me through. Now I’m back in the game again.

I also took a week off the work. My last vacation was exactly one year ago. And being a solopreneur is almost impossible to grant yourself any time-off. But I had to shut my brain off and switch to something else because I was rapidly losing all my remaining motivation for work. We don’t have a double-digit weekly growth. There are no lines of investors offering their money (although I do occasionally receive enquiries). And I have to get out of my comfort zone fairly often. All of these combined take a heavy toll on my emotional well-being. So I just closed my computer and spent the time doing outdoor sports, preparing for the winter swimming season by swimming in the river. Framing the space posters and hanging them on the wall in my bedroom. And finally just chilling and doing nothing. And all of that actually helped. It revived my motivation to move further, and re-filled the depleted energy reserves.

Finally, I slightly upgraded my home office. Got rid of the small table and bought an ultra-wide. It can now house an external monitor, my laptop, and keyboard on one side, and all my tools and RC car parts scattered on the other side with still plenty of room left. And I switched a shitty chair for a comfy office armchair. Now only thing missing is the door lock and noise-cancelling walls so I can self-isolate from family sometimes :-)

All in all an event-rich October.