The Week Of Working From Harrisonburg Coffee Shops

This Week:

  • Getting the UI up for my new software site.
  • The Harrisonburg coffee shops I’ve been working from.
  • Sharing some journal thoughts about creators and my own YouTube videos.

June 2024

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • 🌲 Northern Virginia
  • 🏠 Harrisonburg, Virginia

Live Travel Map 🌎

Metrics From The Week

I’ve been less focused on keeping a streak of 100% sleep scores lately. I’ve realized it’s less about the streak and more the fact that I’m getting 90%+ sleep that matters. Getting 90%+ sleep consistently feels like an indication that I’m prioritizing my sleep and health this chapter of my life. Worrying about a 95% or a 97% feels like the “over optimizing” mindset.

Business Progress Update

Last week I had set up a new server to host my new software site. The plan was to also have hosted on the same server to take advantage of the upgraded specs.

This week I got successfully moved over to the new server and functioning as it was.

Still kickin’!

Then I started working on building the UI for my new site. I decided that I wanted a UI because I wanted to actually use this, and that I’d get more out of a UI I could use than from just a weekly newsletter email (that I may still create, we’ll see).

The tool I used to build the UI for moved to a subscription model for their UI builder so I no longer had access to my project without starting a free trial 😅 oof. I felt like I kind of needed to start over from scratch figuring out what tool I could use to help me build this.

Long story short… I ended up trying Framer, realized it didn’t allow for exporting to code, then found and tried WebStudio, then realized the way it exported the code was too bulky for what I wanted, then found Bootstrap Studio and went with that. If you want to hear the longer story, I talked about it in Frustration leads to learning and How I’m facing the tests of life this week.

To start I essentially just copied my UI and (after longer than I wanted…) got things functionally working and looking decent enough by the end of the week.

Again I’m trying to keep in mind not over-optimizing and valuing speed. At the same time, I want something clean and robust enough that I can actually use and rely on it. I had a lot of internal tension (see my videos linked above) because I had thought that if I “only” made this a newsletter, it could’ve “been done by now,” that kind of thing.

All that said, it’s always rewarding to see something visual and real after spending so much time looking at command line outputs and log files as my way of developing these algorithms.

Entering The Valley

This was my (drone’s) view of last Sunday’s campsite before heading down in to Harrisonburg.

Harrisonburg Coffee

It’s fun to explore a new town/city, especially when they have good coffee shops. I’ve been making the rounds finding good coffee shops to work from in Harrisonburg and landed on a solid three so far: Black Sheep Coffee, Drifters Cafe, and Broad Porch Coffee and Cafe.

They’ve all been great! Lots of seats, outlets, great wifi, great vibes.

Life In Harrisonburg

Other than that, life’s been pretty chill and similar.

Coffee shop in the morning, lunch, chill back at the house in the afternoon, maybe some afternoon work, workout, dinner, sleep, repeat.

Other highlights:

Went to my first Orangetheory class with my brother and sister-in-law! Absolutely destroyed me.

Dinner out

I’ve been thinking more about keeping my private life more private (as in, my family and their lives), so I’ve been pulling back on sharing locations. I can take responsibility for my life, but I don’t want to loop close family into my stuff that I’m making public, which isn’t their decision. So I’ll keep some of the more close-to-home photos to just my future self:

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Journal Thoughts

I’ll put this in a dropdown since it’s a bit of a long one.

Morning journaling about Hamza, influencers, emotions, content creation
# 202406300753 Morning journaling about Hamza, influencers, emotions, content creation, feelings about work, and questions about my travels

## Chris Williamson x Hamza Podcast
I was listening to this podcast between Chris Williamson and [[202210080757 Hamza Ahmed|Hamza]] yesterday (and the past couple days) [Harsh Truths Young Men Need To Hear - Hamza Ahmed]( Chris shared some advice with Hamza about not being so critical about his past self making dopamine videos and they got into some deeper stuff about self-awareness.

### On Hamza
Hamza stopped and said something like "I'm realizing that I don't know myself."

This was a really interesting experience listening to this whole podcast. I had lots of thoughts.

The fact that he is admitting this after 2 years of self-improvement videos and in many, claiming that he knows "the right way." To me, this is a sign of a failure along the way. Though, I value different things and later last night I saw the perspective that it's okay that this happened as he was valuing business, money, status over self-awareness. It just came as a bit of a shock because I had the impression that he knew himself all this time and it wasn't a persona.

I felt a little betrayed because of this. Looking back on all the advice I heard him say, I feel like it's similar to that quote about divorce and how it changes the past. I look back on all that advice with a different lens now, one where I see him expressing certainty, but with a level of delusion because he hasn't actually experimented.

I've been valuing self-awareness seemingly a lot more than he was/has/is. Maybe you can say I value self-awareness _too_ much, that I lean too heavily to that side. But, I like this. I'd like to think I actually know myself better than he knows himself.

I feel as though that's one advantage I've had over the past 2-3 years.
- I started my [[202211100731 DailyV|DailyV]]s with no intention of publishing them. I started the habit true to myself, then integrated making them public later.
- I have a feature of my Life Updates where I can make things private to only me, to share what's true to me but not make it public.

I don't want to claim that I'll always be true to myself, but man, I feel like I'm in a better position (with this value ladder) than [[202210080757 Hamza Ahmed|Hamza]]... which was just surprising to think.

### On Chris
Hearing him talk about the integration of emotions and feelings, and valuing balance, was refreshing to hear. I actually resonated more with his views than Hamza's.

It was a similar moment of rewinding back in time, pulling up all the moments where I heard Hamza sharing something about how X, Y, Z, works, about not expressing your emotions, about how you shouldn't express your feelings to your woman, I remember all that and think stuff like "man, all that advice was just shit, I can't trust it now, I can't believe I listened to that."

But on another vein, I feel more empowered myself. I feel like I'm on the right path.

The other thing was, I listened to all the things Chris told Hamza during that podcast, then I see Hamza continuing to make videos out there and I just think man, did he forget what he heard here? Maybe that quote "we need to be reminded more than we need to be taught."

I also get this feeling that I can trust fewer people online.

I do want to throw in here though, one of the top comments was something like "say what you will about Hamza but he got me off my addictions and on to self improvement" and I thought about that. It's true. I do have to credit a lot to him (or his persona) the past 2 years on getting me more intentional about self improvement, working out, taking things seriously. I think that perspective is important to remember.

## Certainty and Generalized Claims
It was on a similar topic/theme to the podcast, I talked about people speaking with certainty about generalized claims in this DailyV: [Why do so many people claim it should be THIS way]( "Why do so many people claim it should be THIS way")

I think about [REDACTED] as well here.

I just feel so uncomfortable speaking in a way that "this is the way." I'm sure this is influence by some lower self-confidence and maybe anxieties, but I've noticed that when I speak I try to be truthful.
- I feel a particular tension and discomfort when people share stories that aren't the way I viewed it (related: [[202207111112 Frustration at the distortion of truth]]). I feel some discomforts when telling stories when I, myself, distort the truth even just to make a better story.

So with this, I feel somewhat discouraged at my own efforts making content. I don't speak with the same certainty that Hamza or [REDACTED] do.

But as I was thinking about this, I remembered a conversation I had with [my cousin] that I had in Da Nang Vietnam, actually, exactly at Z! Coffee & Roastery, when I was asking her about relationships, feminism, independence, etc. I remember framing my questions "what I'm observing is..." and really asking with curiosity to learn and understand.

I think that's my advantage that I have over these people. I don't assume I'm right. Rather, I seek to learn the truth.

If I project forward, I think that if I continue this path, seek the truth, and only speak certainly when I have a foundation to stand on, it will result in better ideas, better advice, better coaching.

In terms of how to actually _do_ this, something Chris Williamson said in that podcast was a valuing of experimentation. Think you like entrepreneurship? Put both feet in and try, figure it out. Going out drinking with friends, you're going to learn 10x more from that experience than from reading 10 books on social skills and virtue signaling about how you're better than that and don't drink and always get 100% sleep.

Now that I think about it, I remember making YouTube videos (ah I think it was something about sleep, sometime in SE Asia, maybe Vietnam) where in my advice I said, TRY 6 hrs, TRY 7 hrs, TRY 10 hrs, and see how you feel.
- I like this methodology, one of the scientific method, much more than "you need 9 hrs of sleep because _I_ need 9 hrs of sleep." I feel proud of this method of sharing learnings and value through content creation. Sure, it'll attract a different crowd, but at least I can feel confident about speaking that as truth.

## DailyV Idea Drought
Man, making videos this season has been harder. I keep finding I don't have stories to tell or things to share. I feel more scattered on camera. I feel as though I'm rambling more.

I think back to videos I made in Phuket (okay that was an exception), even Bali, Kuala Lumpur, and I just feel like I had more passion, more stories to share, more things to talk about. It feels like every video I make I'm thinking "man I don't feel like I have anything interesting to share."

Then I compare myself with someone like [REDACTED], who's been growing a lot lately on YouTube, and who speaks with such certainty in his videos, and I feel like I'm taking longer to get the success that I want. "If only I would make more value-packed videos, maybe then I would get more subscribers and views and stop spending so much time in this plateau of making 'eh' videos that don't seem valuable to other people."

Okay let's unpack this.

- I think it's firstly important that I'm playing a different game on YouTube than other people, like [REDACTED]. He's using it as direct marketing for his coaching program. I'm using the videos to document my thoughts and struggles for my future self to look back on. But at the same time, I _am_ posting to YouTube and thus implying that I want other people to watch the videos. To that point, I _do_ want them to be valuable to other people.
- Why are we assuming that getting more subscribers and views gets me closer to my definition of "success?" Does it?
- Maybe it comes more down to the feeling that I'm not being as helpful as I could be. That I want to be more valuable. I want people to watch my videos and get something out of them.
- I noticed the people commenting on my videos recently. Seeing this made me think, I wonder if by the nature of my style of videos, I wonder if I'm attracting a particular type of viewer, someone that I'm wouldn't want to attract? I've previously thought that I want to attract intellectual conversations, I want to talk about life and deep shit, I want to get better. Is this the type of viewer I'm attracting right now? If it's not, something needs to change.
	- Either I need to change my goal of what I want to get out of my videos, to something more intellectual, something more valuable, and away from just documenting what I'm thinking about.
	- Or I need to keep my goal and change my expectation that this is the type of person I want to attract.
- A lot of my highest value attention and focus right now is going towards building software. That's by design. I've pondered recently what my YouTube might look like if I spent those 3-4hrs per day of highest focus on building my personal brand... But nonetheless I'm valuing software over the personal brand. That's a decision I've made and as per the money conversation above, I think I need to be reminded of.

On the topic of software, in some ways I like having this problem because it means I'm actually solving a problem that _I_ have with [this new software]. I like that, rather than solving a problem that I _envision_ people have. I think I can ground myself with that. If [the french guy] ends up moving on and not wanting to use my site, then so be it, I can use it myself. THAT I think is powerful still. But at the same time it means I actually need to solve the problem well. It's not been producing results that I like yet. [[202401252056 CommentCompass - YouTube content generator via comments|]] is actually still pretty good. I like reading these questions and request comments. It sparks video ideas in my head. I'm on the right track for solving this, at least for myself.

I really really want to get this to a place where I can stop developing and start moving towards _using_ it. I just envision this situation of starting to use and rely on [this new software] to generate video ideas and titles, releasing this feeling of not having anything to talk about, sharing and teaching my learnings, having videos start to pop off, growing my own channel, and going fuck yeah this is valuable. After all, as [[202210080748 Alex Hormozi|Alex Hormozi]] has said, there's a distinct turn off when he gets DM's from accounts with 43 followers on how they could help him grow his account. It's like, prove it first. So in that regard, I'm excited to use this because I think it's valuable to me, but also it unveils all the flaws in the product. It's not at a point where I feel I can rely on it yet.
	- All that said, maybe this drought IS the opportunity I can leverage to explode the success of this software I'm building.

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Interesting Content From The Week

Harsh Truths Young Men Need To Hear – Hamza Ahmed (from Chris Williamson) – From listening to Hamza so much in the past 2 years, it was a bit surprising to hear him claim that he didn’t really know himself, that there was a difference between his public and private life. I talked a bit about creators talking with such certainty and making generalized claims in Why do so many people claim it should be THIS way this week. I’m not saying I never do, but I’ve taken a vastly different approach.

Why People Prefer More Pain (from Veritasium) – If you want to have better memories, create more “peak” experiences (novel experiences, adventures, quality time moments, etc.) and make the end of the whole experience pleasurable. The end of an experience affects how we remember it much more than the duration. Fascinating.

Food From The Week

What’s Next?

I’m back on grind mode so probably not much outwardly exciting 😄


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