Today, as I so often do, I acted on impulse. What follows is a letter of as-yet-to-be-determined consequence that I sent to Dave Pell at tweetagewasteland.com. He’s an entrepreneur and blogger… the rest you can figure out for yourself by clicking on links and googling like the rest of us. I’m adding this guy to my list of people who are inspiring and mentoring me whether they like it or not. Take that, Dave.
Here it is, without any more ado…
I know next to nothing about you, except that I read your article about a particular dinner table forking incident. It was sent to me by somebody very close to me, and her reason for passing the info on to me was that I should like to research and understand a bit about you. My thought was first to reach out to you, then study up. Which leads us (you and I) through some vague segue to the point of having written to you.
Now that the introduction is over, it’s time to get at where I’m going with this: to inquire for some insight. Where do you (does one) start? I’ve spent time in college (graduated even, after a short 10 year stint in different majors). I’ve spent time in sales (light me on fire and throw me under a dumptruck tire before asking me to hock your poorly designed software solution again). And now I’m moving to China (no, I don’t speak any mandarin, and I don’t know how to get a job there yet). I don’t know what comes next.
She (the aforementioned link sharer) is aware that I’m keeping my eyes peeled for potential niches in which to entrench myself and exploit leverage on the world in some vague and yet to be defined way. I’m short on answers and long on solutions. Fundamentally, and more specifically, I wish to ignore the advice I keep hearing: give up on trying to be rich/successful/famous, just be happy. Famous sounds like the after effects of making myself happy. But doing what makes me happy has, so far, not made me successful in any recognizable commercial sense. So it is that I intentionally confuse and reverse the sequence of the steps I take in approaching life.
With regards to the suggestion that I perform some character research and studies I’ve not done much so far, except to stalk a few confessions from your blog… which I enjoyed greatly. Your writing is concise but not without flourish. The humor adds value, and in the few posts that I read, I noticed (I think) an undercurrent of disenchantment with the state of affairs. But there is a positiveness to your approach and a perhaps contradictory objectivity in your analysis that I appreciated.
I was touched by the article about choice abundance and I’ll decline to respect your request to resist the temptation to send you my suggestion: Evernote. The mention of living on the hill was something appreciable from my position. Moving to the cloud is scary business… I know. As an early adopter, all my work is there. In addition to figuring out *which* data, I haven’t yet figured out how I will pull *enough* data back to a local drive to stay on task with existing ‘projects’ when I finally make it to the other side of the Great Firewall (departing July 8). This future disconnect is spooky because of the inherent uncertainty compelling me to relinquish what little control I have over my life, but perhaps unrelated to the diatribe I’m in the midst of delivering at you.
In the interest of somehow bringing this to a close, I’ll start with some questions for you and the disclaimer that I’ll more than likely post this email in it’s crude and unedited entirety to my blog (which nobody reads) for the global audience to digest at it’s disinterested leisure. If you choose to reply, I promise to keep in confidence anything that you specify as unsuitable for non-private digestion. In other words, if you take the time to respond, I’d love to post your responses but I will not do so without your permission. Here goes:
As an internet professional who is no doubt confronted frequently with opportunities for distraction, how have you balanced your wandering attention to new interests with the need to deliver a good and specific tasks?
How did you prepare yourself to become an entrepreneur? What problems did you encounter as you ‘came up in the game’ that you could never have prepared yourself for? Did you stumble, or did you plan?
When were you surprised? What successes and failures were entirely unexpected, or unexpectable?
How has the web changed you? What aspects of that change to you avoid or embrace? Why?
How have you or would you change the web? With minimal consideration to the sociological impact, attending almost exclusively to your gut instinct and given the power and authority to do so: What would you forbid or demand from humanity with regard to embracing and utilizing this new medium for transmission?
Finally, what advice would you give to a person such as myself, who seeks (in the tradition of the absolute purest gonzo) to find and exploit a niche that isn’t yet identified?
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this drivel, and for considering a response to this unsolicited badgering. In your life, I wish you the best.