How are you Jun-te on

January 2024.

A monthly newsletter of insights, hacks, and automation tools to help you balance your emotional and logical needs.
Audio Clip read by AI =>
Audio Clip read by me =>
Happy New Year Everyone!

What an interesting month:

  • I'm seeing more joggers
  • McDonald's isn't as busy ( People are generally spending less money and lots of 'deals' in food business for January )
  • A newfound passion/drive/focus with all my clients
  • And my cold plunge pool has ice on demand 🥶😂
Comparatively, to everyone, it feels like my motivation/discipline/focus has lowered. Or has everyone just gotten higher? 👀
When I started Mcdonlads, I wanted consistency. This was because I wanted to better plan for my clients and my focus time for my business as well as doing Mcdonlads.

At the beginning, Mcdonlads wanted me to do 'closing shifts.' These were 10pm to 6am. This was due to the fact that I lived in close proximity and over 18 years old. I did not favour the nights shifts as these will cause major issue in sleep patterns.

However, there were individuals who liked these hours and for complete information, Mcdonlads do pay slightly more ( 1 or 2 pounds more per hour? ) for you to do the closing shifts.

After working a few months, I asked the manager if it was possible to have 1) consistency and 2) morning shifts.

This was when opportunity arose. There's a shift for deliveries.

Deliveries is when the stock (food, boxes and sauces) arrive for the store. It comes early morning and comes every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. It comes consistently.

The downside of deliveries is that it's heavy, cold and wet if it rains. Not a fan favourite.

The upside? No customers.

This means I can arm myself with my own gear.

  • Better raincoat (access to pockets!)
  • Better shoes
  • 2 phones
  • A Torch (that I can put on my cap, if I need more light)
  • A spare glove (to make my co-worker's life easier if need be)
  • Noise cancelling headphones and backup ear phones (nothing worse than being present in McDonalds XD).
  • 2 pens (because even the managers lose their pens when they have pockets)
Another upside? There's a finish line.

My shift will be from 5 am to 12 pm.

However as long as I get deliveries inside, rotate stock, check inventory, sweep and mop, I can go home EARLY. I've been clocking out at 09:30 by not taking any breaks WIN WIN for me. (You do not get paid more for finishing fast, I do get strange looks here when I celebrate going home early).

The movements you do during deliveries:

Sledge Pull:
I honestly see it as a gym workout now. 3 times a week where I spend 3-4 hours lifting boxes/cages with good form. I do my best to ensure my form is perfect as I don't want any long term damage.

Seeing everyone in the morning and saying 'good morning' is something I am truly grateful for. It is something I terribly missed during my solo-'wantrepreneur' journey and something I'll treasure - seeing people's smiles in the morning.

Podcasts that I recently found that I'm planning to listen to every episode in existence: Acquired, Indie Hackers, Naval and if I have time Beginning Balance (again).

I do hope this is something I can continue during my lifetime. Obviously this is location-bound and only makes sense to my current living situation. Luckily, McDonalds comes readily available in other locations so if I want to make it happen - I'm sure it won't be too difficult. I do like that I have to 'move' for my new job.

Nowadays, the public seem to value 'white-collar' office jobs. However, I currently value 'movement'. Movement is something I lacked. I'm glad I get paid to move. I understand its weird to say this out loud but as someone who got ill from not moving, not once (mentally) but now twice ( gout and likely to get diabetes), let's move when we can, as it's hard to move and take action.
Exercise Update - In case anyone is curious
Given I already do my McGym and already hit my goal of "100 reps of 20kgs weighted pull ups", I decided to lighten my workout to be 45 minutes.

This includes

  • 10 Pulls up, 5 sets
  • 10 Push ups, 5 sets
  • 10 Knee raises, 5 sets
  • 10 dips, 5 sets
  • 10 squats, 5 sets
6 times a week.

It does seem like a lot but I've actually HALVED the time it takes to do the workout and halved the total number of reps I do each week.

This is to signify that exercise, more specifically, calisthenics isn't the focus for me this year compared to it being last year. If I feel motivated, I might do more but I really like how easy and simple it is.

Option A) What would 10 years of doing 50 pulls everyday look like?

Option B) What would 10 years of not doing any pulls up look like?

I like option A.

I am open to trying new movement. Books/Equipment I've ordered on different movements include flexibility, kettle bell exercises and running shoes. I don't know what I want to try yet but I like to keep my options open.
The taste of All Grass Fed Beef
After starting at Mcdonalds, I told you the amazing protein and calorie HACK.

For new readers, this was a combination of getting 2 double quarter pounders and eating as one burger. A McPound if you will. This will clock you in 100 grams of protein and only 1204 calories. I think that's pretty good since you didn't have to cook it! In my case, since I was an employee it was also cheaper. £6.60 for the whole thing!

I have looked into the beef world more and found that in the UK most beef are already 'Grass-Fed' where they eat grain only if the weather doesn't permit it. So they can't class it as 'All Grass Fed' but most beef are 'mostly grass fed' beef. Even more reasons why the McPound burger will be a good long term choice.

Saying this, I decided to venture into 100% Grass Fed Beef and see if I can get it cheaper than McDonalds.

In McDonalds, I was spending £204.60 a month (31 days).

Enter, they are an all 'grass-fed' distributor in the UK. I've set up a subscription box with only double quarter pounder burgers which comes to £90.30 every 2 weeks (including delivery).

This beef cost £6.45 per pound of meat. A whole 15p cheaper than McDonalds + the added convenience that it's already in your house. However you do have to cook it! I've overcome this hurdle by using an air fryer and setting it for 15 minutes.

So if you want the full McDonalds experience, you just need to add salt + pepper + mustard + ketchup + onions + pickles + buns. I stuck to mustard and ketchup only.

Have any of you tasted 'All grass beef'? I wished I was a little warned. It doesn't taste bad, it just tastes different.

I would compare the difference being as bipolar as Korean Pizza and Napoleon pizza. Both Pizza, different food all together.

The 'Grass Fed' beef tastes like an organ. Liver and heart taste. Whereas the 'normal' beef tastes like beef. 'Gamey' - is the right word here I think. This is not to say it's bad. I was just shocked by the difference in taste. I gave this to some of my friends to see what their opinions were.

Friend 1: "Wow, it tastes really beefy"

Friend 2: "Wow Jun-te, what is this beef? It tastes like the beef I have back home in India"

All this to say, that I don't think either one of them is good or bad. They are just different ingredients classed under the same roof. I can't even begin to imagine how strong tasting the 'All Grass Fed' beef's liver and heart will be given the quarter pounder taste.

Saying this, it is already 'minced' for me. Maybe the parts that dorset company uses is just the 'organs' that don't sell as well. Who knows. 😂

I'm continuing to buy the meat from dorset company but it is an interesting observation and wanted to share this insight in case any of you readers make the plunge to 'All Grass Fed' beef and are shocked to find out the difference.
At the time of writing, I've hit 485 subscribers on Youtube. This is due to 2 videos that I trended with.
If you are currently on 0 subscribers, how would I get there faster knowing what I know now?

1) Avoid using your name
First of all no one cares about your name but you. It hurts even me saying this 😥. Your name is your unique identifier which is also why your name is not a good choice for a brand.

Your name is a great starting point to get going on video creation but unless you're famous already it won't attract people to your channel. Your name doesn't invoke emotions except for the people that know you. Thus your subscription will be limited towards people that know you.

My brand is limited currently to people that know the word 'pragmatic' and 'automation'. Maybe even then the words are too hard so a re-branding to 'Functional Coding' or 'Easy AI' might be better. ( let me know!!! ). The answer can be wrong but for now stick with it as no one is watching.

Just keep changing and evolving as you keep learning. Start with your name to upload your first video. Then change your name to match the video topics you are making.

I personally think a face is useful in YouTube as even though no one cares about 'Jun-te Kim' there needs to be some consistency between your videos. Your face can be that consistency, for better or for worse.

2) Work on your titles

Next, you need to work out what video to make. Here we are trying to balance time, money and energy. It is expensive to work on a video and not rewarding to not get any viewers or subscribers. Which for some will kill motivation but luckily I know you guys have systems to carry on 😉. Saying this, lets still make it rewarding.

The method I'm about to share to you now doesn't guarantee your videos will be watched but you are feeling a 'gap' in the market. Because of this 'gap' you'll be able to stand out and the algorithm will like you as you are filling that 'gap'.

Enter -> VidIQ extension (

The tool allows you to search 'something' on YouTube and give some metrics on how this search query performs.
In this case the 'What is the best tool for supply and demand on youtube' term will have medium competition with a medium amount of 'traffic' coming in.

This is your supply and demand curve.

If it wasn't obvious, you want to search something with 'low competition' and 'high volume'.

Let's test the video that performed the best for me, 'i3wm on windows'.
Not bad! This also explains why this video did well.

Important note: You don't have to use vidiq. Sometimes working out the 'gap' is better with intuition.

Has there been something you've been searching on Google or YouTube that you couldn't find the answer for? Did you then spend hours, months, years looking for a solution and found it? THAT IS THE VIDEO YOU SHOULD MAKE. This was my 'i3wm on windows'. I've been looking for this solution for 5 years and I finally found a solution. It just happened I also had to make a YouTube video that day due to my systems and I decided to make a video on the tool I found that solved SO MANY OF MY PROBLEMS.

It took 10 minutes to make that video and performed very well.

The VidIQ, tool gives you a way to quickly test and score and match it with your niche with videos YOU WANT TO MAKE.

If you look at my second video, 'How to disable Youtube shorts permanently' the vidiq score is good but I used vidiq to help me come up with a title that has a decent score.
With it, I was able to rank 4th on the search feature for 'disable YouTube shorts' ( via incognito mode ).

This is a shame, as I believe I have an actual solution to the YouTube shorts problem compared to the other 3 videos above me but because the competition is fierce, I'm getting saturated. This video took 4 hours as I added a bit more effort due to the sheer amount of competition but the potential for a bigger demographic. This might bear more fruit long term but as of 26th January my first video of a niche is doing better.

3) Thumbnail optimisation

So your video is now showing up on search results (google and or youtube search results) and now people have to 'click it'.

The video can now be found. Now we want people to 'click'.

How do we ensure the video clicks? The easy answer: Thumbnail.

For me, it is very simple. Make the thumbnail good in every resolution for every device. How do we test this?

Post your image here before upload: Thumbs Up – Standard

This tool will show you how your 'image' looks in every possible resolution. So you can 'see' how good it looks.

4) Make a video worthy of retention

At this point, the user has clicked on the thumbnail and seen the title and is expecting to see a video of a certain expectation. Show them the solution NOW. I showed them in 30 seconds but if you can do your elevator pitch in 5 seconds, DO IT.

In fact, for the YouTube shorts videos, I spent 80% on the intro and even then I messed up by not testing my audio -__- ( 500 subscribers to 1000 subscribers, improve audio ?!?!?!?1 )

Respect people's time, money and energy. They are tired, frustrated and starved of cat videos. Make the video shorter, make it entertaining, easy to follow and give valuable information for free.

Do the best pitch you can but also understand you have limited time/money and energy. Do what you can but understand you are limited by your systems. Which today is only your time/money/energy. With this at least you know which video is worth working on <3>
That's it, using these formula I believe you can become more 'Youtube Famous' than me.

The whole pointThe whole point of this newsletter is that you learn lessons faster than me and also don't have to risk as much as I did ( time money and or energy)

Good luck and have fun, all I ask is you share your wins with me. I'll be celebrating when I can be 'monetizable'. I'd love to know when you are too.
Pomodoro Technique
Oh no... Another productivity youtuber/blogger that is advocating the power of a timer.

I truly never saw the benefit of a Pomodoro technique. Especially for coding.

The biggest annoyance that I had was that 25 minutes was too short to do a coding session and also 5 minutes rest not very impactful.

While reading Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual the author swears by it and yet again questioning my beliefs. He however used it as a measuring device to say when is 'enough'.

Each Pomodoro is a 25 minute work session and 5 minute rest. However, he then tries to get 50 Pomodoros a week and that's it. If he gets 50 Pomodoros a week, he tries to slow down and focus on rest like playing a game of League.

As a wantrepreneur where works gets compounded, it was hard to define when it was 'enough'.

This definition of 'enough' sounded like something I was missing.

For me, I would like to get a certain number of Pomodoros but since I don't have anything to go off and 50 seems like a very high number, I decided to just measure how many 'units of work' ( Pomodoros ) I do in a given week.

I have defined a unit of work only in my solo work. So my consultations and exercise don't count. For my first week, I started on Friday (sorry) I manage to harvest 14 Pomodoros.

My definition of success for this week was to plant at least 14 Pomodoros. At the time of writing I am on my way to plant Pomodoros 26 on my little farm. The way I keep track is I just add a tomato emoji on my calendar.
I found the best activity for me during the 5 minutes was actually, laying on a bed, closing my eyes and meditating. When it came to code, I was very hungry to code my solution after the 5 minute timer was up and it almost felt like figuring out a solution in the shower and/or walk.

Furthermore, I was surprised to find I wasn't as tired during the evening. Usually after a 'hard work day' I'm too cognitively tired to do much thinking. However taking the 5 minute 'nap' sessions, I found I don't get the 5 o'clock groggy feeling. ( Sidenote: Eden said I should just do a cold plunge for 5 minutes as well if I need to wake up. 🤣 I haven't needed to do it but doing a cold plunge every 25 minutes sounds like a great way to keep me motivated/focused. 🤣 )

Another hidden benefit that I found when using this method was that starting work is easier. This is because it is only a 25 minute commitment not a 1.5 hours coding sessions which sounds more draining and daunting. From this simple fact and the fact that work is much fun/easier after you start, I've been waking up every morning, skipping my morning routine and sometimes going straight to code. ( Morning routine was originally designed to make me want to work and quieten the anxiety and dread feeling I felt ).

Having this, provided there isn't any deadlines, I don't feel guilty to go game and relax a little as I know I've done more work than last week.

If I had a bad week, I'll just start again from that week and do better than that bad week and repeat. Simple.

I love it.

The tool I use for my pomodoro timer is an app called BreakTimer | Save yourself from RSI and eye-strain

This tool detects your keyboard and mouse movement. With this information it knows if you've been on the computer for 25 minutes. If it notices you've been on your computer for 25 minutes, it kindly overlays this message on your computer and in my case tells me to meditate with a timer.
This is working beautifully.

This could only happen after I separated my work station and gaming station on to separate computers.

Again, highlighting the importance of having separate zones for your work/life. If you try to optimise for both it is very hard as it is usually a trade off. This Pomodoro timer app will be very annoying if it happened in the middle of a game but due to the fact I use my work station PC only for work, I can now optimise my 'workstation' for work.

Fear and Speed
Listening to my clients, McDonalds' co-workers and financee, I hear a lot of their problems. Problems I love hearing as it just means opportunity for growth and solutions.

After hearing about their problems and having solutions for me, I wondered what problems I was not facing.

I then realised the problem I was not facing was the speed in which I launch my business.

With my team in MealCraft and the eventual launch of my minimal viable product, it seemed everything was sunshine and rainbows. Just iterate more and we'll be able to launch.

So how often did my team iterate?

How often did my team produce?

The answer to that question was an embarrassingly low number where one iteration from my co-workers could be 1 commit every 3 weeks.

The reasons they gave were:

  • "I was ill this week"
  • "I didn't have time due to my full time job"
  • "I wasn't motivated this week"
I then realised that my team who I was relying on the marketing and product were not producing.

So much so that by the time they got to start on MealCraft that they'd forgotten what they had to do and had to refresh themselves. This would be fine if it happened daily but the cycles were roughly 3 weeks.

I then came to the realisation that my team weren't going to produce the MVP or an effective marketing strategy.

I formed this team, thinking that everyone wanted to start and own their own business. What everyone didn't realise was that it'll be work.

Work I was afraid to do on my own.

Work I didn't think I could do on my own.

Work I was already doing...

I created this team due to the fear of working on my own and the inability to make MealCraft a success on my own.

However, there was SOOOO much evidence that I was already running and managing MealCraft by myself.

I then realised that my team wasn't invested in MealCraft.

When you risk your time, money and energy, you become invested in your own product and or mission. It comes in the form of ownership and responsibilities.

Unfortunately I've set up a system where my team didn't have to risk anything. Which in turn meant they were never invested which created no work to be produced.

My fear caused a team to be built around me. A team that was not producing.

Realising this fear, I had to have a lot of difficult conversations.
As of 26th January 2024, I am officially working on MealCraft by myself 😅. I apologise to the readers who already knew I was doing that already. I'm a little blind when it comes to self-reflection.

I'm still terrified by the idea of doing it on own. Logically speaking I've been doing it already for a year. Emotionally speaking, it feels like I'm going to vomit 🤮.

Let's keep going. Let's keep swimming.
Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter.

I share, in hopes that you don't have to make the same mistakes as I did.

Good luck and have fun with whatever you are working on <3>
Much Love,


P.S. I noticed I spelt McDonalds wrong and called it McdonLADs. Gonna keep it in as it made me smile.
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