The Week I Reassessed The Direction Of My Business Venture

This Week:

  • A day in the life here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Reassessing my business direction.
  • You won’t believe how cheap the food here is.

January 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Day In The Life

I settled into a nice little routine here so let’s do another day-in-the-life routine breakdown.

  • 6:30am – wake, brush
  • 6:45am-7am(ish) – morning walk around the block (usually 15 min)
  • 7am(ish)-7:15am – 15 min meditation
  • 7:15am(ish)-7:30am – morning daily YouTube video (~15min)
  • 7:30am-8am – change, get ready for the day, pack up backpack, go down to 1st floor co-living space in the hotel
  • 8am-11:30am/12pm – work
    • Sometimes I stopped working a bit early because I knew I’d work longer in the afternoon
  • 11:30am/12pm(ish)-12:45pm/1pm(ish) – lunch at Kubis & Kale in the shopping mall area
    • (this picture is the other side of the Food City food court, absolutely packed with people at noon on a weekday)
  • 1pm(ish)-4:30pm – afternoon work session, either on the A/C’d first floor in the rooftop area
    • Added some admin-y work here
  • 4:30pm-6pm – gym workout/run/walk
  • 6pm-6:30pm – shower/change
  • 6:30pm-7:15pm(ish) – dinner at the Food City food court
  • 7:15pm-8pm – toying around on the laptop, minor tasks
  • 8pm – bedtime routine
    • 8:15pm(ish) – meditation (5 or 8 min)
    • brush, shower, change, etc.
    • Daily journal
  • 9pm – sleep

I ended up making my old cold brew coffee because the Starbucks auto-coffee machine on the ground floor of the hotel was (and still is) under maintenance. The only other option? 7/11 coffee down the street 🥲

I also have to admit that I got a black sugar bubble tea ($1.36) more than once (4 times lol) this week at lunch, an extra kick for the afternoon work sessions. My dentist won’t be happy with the amount of sugar in these 😅 BUT this is probably the best bubble tea I’ve ever had and I’ve more than once paid over $6.00 in the U.S. for bubble tea that’s smaller and not as good 🥲 (More on how crazy the food prices are here at the bottom of the post)

Metrics From The Week

I think this run was a good representation of this week:

SUCH a good run. Starting exhausted from working and ending physically exhausted from running. Single-minded focus. Just pure bliss man.

Productivity Optimization Update

I finished it this week! I was reaching that point where I had accomplished the main 80% that moved the needle and what was left was the 20% that 1. probably wouldn’t help that much and 2. would take me 10x as long to actually do.

So I finally called it and closed it out.

Was it worth it?

I’d say absolutely. The main results were a completely new overhaul of some structure to my Obsidian workspace and adding a new Projections tab to my budget that shows me how much I’ll spend in the future based on what I’m currently spending. Trying to figure out how long my cash will last.

The Obsidian workspace update was the core of it. I did a lot of little micro workflow improvements that were causing a lot of friction, particularly on my phone’s Obsidian app.

This is one of those things that’s hard to measure how actually helpful it is, but I believe this was well worth the time.

This is only a micro-fraction of what changed but here’s my new homepage and workspace in Obsidian (again shoutout to The French Guy™️ for the structure inspiration):

Business Progress Update

I jumped back into the business venture this week!

And what a whirlwind. Let me see if I can summarize all of this.

I had left off in December having just sent 2 detailed engagement reports to bloggers that used maps. The next problem I was trying to solve was scaling up my reach outs offering this free engagement report.

I started creating a tool to help me scale up lead generation, to get a list of 1,000+ travel blogger emails and whether or not they use embedded maps. This piqued my interest. A tool that could generate qualified leads with personalization, at scale? That sounded to me like an INCREDIBLY valuable tool for really any business, outside of the travel blogger niche.

So I left December with positive feedback about my engagement reports and a potential new completely different business idea.

This week, as I was reflecting on the direction I was headed, I was reminded of what my goal was for the free engagement report offers. It really came down to this:

  1. What does the data actually look like for engagement with embedded maps? Do people actually interact with them?
  2. What do real travel blogger analytics look like nowadays? Are blogs growing in viewership?
  3. Can I use this free report as a foot-in-the-door to figure out a more valuable and profitable problem to solve that travel bloggers have?

And I realized that I had already pretty much answered all 3.

  1. The data was slim. ~0.5% of users that landed on the blog interacted with the maps. Not a lot of users were interacting with maps and they weren’t interacting for very long. 75% of views were under 5 seconds. The promising thing here though, was that there’s a small minority of users who ARE interacting with the maps and they make up a significant portion of the map interactions (multiple views, long duration views, multiple clicks, etc.).
    • So the answer was “yes-ish.” I didn’t like how few people interacted and how short they interacted. It felt like rowing upstream to try building a business or something around this small minority of people who interact with the maps.
  2. I wasn’t particularly enthused by the travel blogging analytics I saw. I worked with some really solid blogs that average a good amount of views and their viewership was pretty much flat over the last 2 years. And when I started diving into broader trends I saw similar insights: travel blogging (web) seems to be relatively flat. Travel interest in video seems to be growing more rapidly.
    • I had grown and grown concerns over the travel blogging niche in the past 2 months as I learned more and more information. However, I also think because of this I’ve been looking for the negative validation to “cut my losses” and move on. That said, a lot of this comes down to what business model I’m specifically looking for. It’s not that there are no opportunities here or that “travel blogging is dead.” It’s more that the type of business I’m looking for isn’t as feasible as I want here.
  3. Building off of #2, this seemed to be irrelevant if I decided to ax going after the travel blogging niche entirely. But regardless, what I did learn was that offering customized, detailed, and insightful analytics to bloggers is a potential direction here and is probably the biggest opportunity.

So with that in mind, I didn’t see the value in continuing to scale up my free engagement report offer unless it was a strategy to develop a new opportunity (i.e. the lead gen tool).

This left me with a couple paths forward:

  1. Pivot into a digital analytics business for websites/bloggers
  2. Pivot away from the travel blogging niche, but stay within analytics
  3. Pivot to something else tangential to maps, traveling, blogging, etc.
  4. Pivot entirely to the next opportunity available: scaled personalized lead generation
  5. Pivot to something entirely different

The common theme here?


I think it’s time.

It feels a little disappointing to feel like I’m back to square 1 of researching and analyzing opportunities, but I’ve certainly learned a whole lot in the past 2-3 months.

And when I think back, I never really got past the “research” stage anyways for the travel blogging x maps idea. It kind of feels like this whole 2-3 months of research should have been like… 1 week. In reality, I had taken longer and had already made a couple pivots, just more minor.

  • Idea: auto-generating embedded google my maps for travel blogs
  • Feedback: nobody finds them that challenging to create
  • Pivot: what other more valuable problems can I solve? I started looking more broadly and asking more broad questions.
  • Feedback: wait, nobody I’ve talked to actually has data on if embedded maps are actually helpful
  • Pivot: build an analytics MVP to track embedded map interactions
  • Offer: free engagement report

Anyways, I’m somewhat back to trying to figure out what direction to point myself in. I never really like the feeling of these situations, but I’d rather find an opportunity that fits my end goal than continue down a path and look up in a year to realize I got sucked into something I never wanted in the first place.

The biggest opportunity I see here is the whole digital analytics for bloggers business model. It just doesn’t really settle well with me though. I could do it. I could build a business around it, but in 2 years I don’t really see it becoming what I envisioned I want.

And on that note I think I want to just double clarify something…

I have a bunch of criteria I’ve laid out for my end-goal, the TYPE of business and opportunity I want to pursue here. I’m in the fortunate position right now that I don’t HAVE to pursue an opportunity because it’s an opportunity to make money. I’m being selective here. It may not be like that forever, but it’s like that now so I’m taking advantage.

Thus, again, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not that there is NO opportunity to go after the travel blogging niche, to make money from doing so, and/or create a niche solution there. There ARE opportunities, but the ones I’ve uncovered (there will be many more!) just don’t fit my criteria as well as I’d like. And that, is something I didn’t realize until halfway through.

So yes, future Peter, I’m leaving money on the table here, but I’m doing so because I know there’s something better out there.

If you want the full story of basically what I’ve spent the last 3 months on, I went through everything in this video.

This is one of those videos that no one’s gonna watch but that will be SO valuable to my 80 year old self looking back on this period of my life, reliving memories, and feeling gratitude and accomplishment for how far I’ve come.

I’m very much in the thick of it, struggling, learning, banging my head against the wall, ideating, analyzing. It’s exhausting.

When I zoom out, I’m grateful to be here and for this opportunity.

Interesting Content From The Week

Do Modern Women Still Want Masculine Men? – Eric Weinstein – I watched this full podcast a couple months ago and found it fascinating. As for this video, I’m just glad to hear these conversations are being held somewhere. I’m nowhere near the type of genius with ambition they’re talking about, but I want there to be space for that as an option.

The Science Of Building Extreme Discipline – Andrew Huberman – apparently there’s this brain area called the AMCC that’s been somewhat overlooked. It’s largely what controls the willpower to do things you don’t want to do (and maybe even one’s will to live). It’s the thing that decreases in size as we age and that we want it to maintain or even grow in size. Pick micro and macro sucks to keep working it, it has to be things you DON’T want to do in order to work it.

Food From The Week

All those poke bowls were $8-$10. A single meal at the food court is ~$3 and I usually got 2, or 1 and a side. The price to quality ratio here is actually insane.

And this lunch place I eat at, after three rewards “stamps” I get a free “lite bowl” or sandwich.

So here’s my $0.67 meal (all I paid for was the watermelon). (To be fair the bowl is a V shape so it looks like more than reality, but it’s a decent amount, I mean it’s free like com’on)

Ate ate the same places every day except two – Vietnamese place in the same mall, and The Farm in another mall.

The Farm was actually fantastic! Delicious mango ice cream milkshake, breaded+fried portobello mushroom vegetarian burger, fried cauliflower bite ($20.50). This is considered INSANELY expensive compared to what I’ve been eating at the food court, but I’d say it was worth it.

Views From The Week

I haven’t seen the sun in weeks LOL. Every morning for my walk it’s dark 😢. Most days are pretty cloudy here, occasionally the sun will poke through for a bit but that’s about it.

What’s Next?

Find out next week if I extend my stay here or find a new place 👀


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *