Emotional Investors' Update #2 (2023-03-05)
What a month… are you strapped in?
What is this (reminder for those who forgot or are new here)?
Every month I’m writing about updates to my work and life. The idea is that, like a traditional investor update, sent to keep those that have invested monetarily in the outcome of a business, this would be a similar update for those that have had some emotional investment in my past, present, or future. An attempt to keep in touch with friends and family, but also keep an open line of communication about the things that are going on in my life for those that are interested. I’m also (selfishly) using this as a way to regularly write more for my own clarity and growth.
My hope is that after reading this, you might reply and fill me in on what’s going on with you or ask me any follow-up questions you might have. If you want to keep getting these updates, make sure you subscribe here. Onward!
Work: No longer fulltime at Able.com. Doing a 6-week Building in Public fellowship while I build a new product and formulate my consulting offering.
Life: Ireland in April, Airbnb’ing our log cabin in Wisconsin.
Productivity: Finished the Building an Intentional Life program and really appreciative of the tools it provided. I’m working on my “How I use Notion” article and will share it when ready.
Newsletter: I appreciate all your support and kind wishes and everyone who’s reached out. Means the world to me. Especially thankful for the person who subscribed. I’m working on adding some content and perks specifically for paid subscribers, so feel free to if that sounds interesting.
Sponsors (all unofficial): Fathom Analytics, Week of the Website, Chromatic.com
Ready for the details?
Boy, what a month it's been. I’m excited to fill you all in on everything that's been going on. Not really sure where to start, but the biggest change is that starting this week, I’ll no longer be working full-time with Able.com. I’ll most likely still be working with them in some capacity to continue helping them out, but for now, I'm going to be exploring some other projects.
So what am I planning to do to fill up my days? For the next six weeks, I'm going to be taking part in a fellowship program called the Build In Public Fellowship. This is essentially a program for people that are all learning how to get better at documenting and sharing their progress about the projects they are working on and being fairly open about everything going on. The person that is leading it is this guy, KP. He is a well-known build-in-public advocate and aficionado, and I'm super excited to be learning from him. He's a great guy. Super knowledgeable and literally wrote the book on some of this stuff. So for the next six weeks, I’m going to be taking part in that.
As a part of that program, I’ve decided to focus on building a project that I’ve been thinking about quite a bit over the last couple of months. It’s something for myself, but also something I think the maker community at large might find useful. Plus, this project will serve a dual purpose. It’ll end up being an initial case study as I flesh out my future consulting offerings. It’ll allow me to build out my process and the frameworks that I'll be able to share with future clients and will help me shape what my consulting packages look like.
As I get all this going, I'm also planning to be doing some work with Andrew Culver and BulletTrain. It's a tool for Ruby on Rails that helps jumpstart development on SaaS projects that I've used older versions of for a couple of projects in the past. I love it and am excited to get back into familiarizing myself with it again so I can help make it easier for others to work with it.
All exciting things for sure. I’m super optimistic about the future and all its possibilities.
Beyond that, no clue what's going to happen. Kelsey and I are still planning on taking our trip to Ireland with my family in April. We are very excited to have Jasper experience this trip with us.
In addition to our own travels, we have decided to help support others in their own travels by starting to make our log cabin in Wisconsin available on Airbnb. Kelsey and I are very excited about getting to share this wonderful place with more people while also (hopefully) making a little bit of money. It’s such a beautiful place so it’s no surprise we already have one booking scheduled for July (yay!). There are a couple of things that we want to do around the house, but obviously, as we are a little bit more budget conscious these days, we will have to weigh the benefits vs. costs. Regardless, we are very excited to see how that goes. If you or someone you know is interested, here’s the link for you to check out.
In other news, I finished Sean Johnson’s six week “Building an Intentional Life”. It was absolutely wonderful. Really helpful and needed, especially at a time like this. I feel like I'm not so stressed about everything going on right now because he really helped me build out my goals and values and make sure I have a strong foundation for future decisions. I’m really appreciative of Sean and all the amazing people I met and formed bonds with. I’m feeling like I have a much better footing on what I want in my life and in the future because of the tools he helped us learn. I would definitely recommend it to people who want to take things to the next level and build the confidence that they are doing the right things for the right reasons, not just mindlessly going through life and doing what others expect of them.
Part of that program was building out my personal operating system and tools to stay organized and on top of things. I chose to put it all into Notion (affiliate link) and I'm working on putting together a summary and walk thru of what I ended up building. The article will essentially walk thru all of the processes of managing tasks, people, and events and how they interact, and the tips and tricks I used to make the process work for me. I’ll be sure to share it with everyone once that’s ready, being that so many people have expressed interest, but paid subscribers will get some extra bonuses along with it.
🦦 Speaking of productivity… a product I’ve started using that I’ve really been linking so far is Otter.ai (affiliate link). It provides voice dictation recording from your phone and I actually used it to help write the first draft of this newsletter while I was driving up to Wisconsin this past weekend. It allowed me to safely and productively get all the thoughts out and the transcription becomes an initial first draft that then went into Notion to get cleaned up and edited. It has a big easy button that lives on my phone’s home screen that when I click, it’ll just start recording. It has real-time transcription (obviously not using that feature while driving) and then cleans up everything in the background as it gets processed. It's really impressive and makes it so painless to get those ideas out of your head in an efficient and safe manner. Something that I've been looking for for a little bit. Really impressed so far and excited to try it out on walks. But that’s only a small part of their offerings. They also sync up to your calendar and will record, transcribe, and summarize your calls and meetings. If you want to check it out, click here and we both get a free month of premium service.
A bunch of you have asked me what the deal is with the subscriptions for this newsletter. To be honest, it was largely me just playing around with Substack, the tool that I'm using, and exploring their monetization and payment features. But after playing around with it, I thought it was funny and just kind of left it there. To my surprise, someone actually did subscribe, so a big shout out and thank you to them. I'm not going to name names because I haven’t gotten permission to call them out, but they are absolutely amazing and I love them and cannot speak more highly about them. Regardless, I'm very appreciative of the support (especially now). The idea that someone would pay real money to read my words is still a little new to me. It's mostly started as a joke, but if people find value in this and want to show their appreciation, that's totally wonderful and I’m eternally humbled. To help make it more worth it for people, I'm going to start putting together bonus material and perks that I can share with paying subscribers. Things like additional articles, early access to things I build, etc. I want to keep this free for most people to get the updates on everything going on in my life (which honestly, is probably going to be a lot more entertaining or eventful than it was previously because of everything that's going on and the shift in my day to day) but we will see where that goes.
Fathom Analytics - an amazing privacy-focused analytics tool from my friend and former cofounder, Paul Jarvis.
Week of the Website - my brilliant and beautiful wife’s company, which helps creatives build a beautiful and easy-to-maintain website in just one week (or more if you’re doing something really fancy).
Chromatic.com - Ship UIs faster with automated workflows for Storybook. They are hiring too!
Well, that’s a wrap for this month’s update. Not sure if I’ll be able to make it a full month for the next one, as things seem to be moving pretty fast now, so I might have to send these more frequently. Regardless, I’d love to hear from you. Reach out on twitter. Or reply here. What are you up to? Are you working on anything you’re super excited about? Is there anything I can help you with? Don’t hesitate. I mean it. Seriously.
Zack Gilbert’s Emotional Investors' Updates is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.