May 2023

May has come and gone, doesn’t time fly?

I would like to thank Duncan who has asked for an ‘audio clip’ of the newsletters. So he can listen to it whilst commuting. Thank you for improving my offering ~! ( May Newsletter Read Out – YouTube, uploaded 20:30 UK Time on 31st May).


“Nothing like a health problem to turn up the contrast dial on the rest of life” – Naval Ravikant
Some of you have asked why I’m reading so much.
A fool learns from their own mistakes but a wise man learns from the mistake of others – Probably from a wise man.
Books in my opinion are the stories, the mistakes, and the guide that other people have made. It is one of the most condensed information about a topic I have found. In fact, most youtube videos, and online courses are just chapters from books! 
However, I have a more personal reason. When I lost my mind, I lost the ability to concentrate and focus. This includes reading. To paint an image, I couldn’t complete a simple sudoku even if I was given the whole day to complete it. The fact that I knew I should be able to count and find the number seemed doable in isolation. This is the moment I realised how damaged my brain was (due to mania + meds) and the worry of not being component enough to do my software engineer and the imposter syndrome was too much to bear. This then caused fear to the sudoku which made me avoid the puzzle and other ‘hard’ tasks.
I took it for granted my ability to read, problem-solve, reason, and communicate. My words meant very little to my workplace, my family, and my ex-lover. Anything I say and do will just add to my defaming. 
If you lost the ability to walk then suddenly you could walk again. Wouldn’t you run?
Actionable advice for people going through mental health problems who can’t focus. – I was told by my doctor to read… So I watched TV with the subtitles on. Avatar: the last Airbender, One Piece, and Doctor Who. Then I played board games with my brother, Catan. Then we added more complexity by playing the expansion set of Catan: Cities and Knights. Nothing like wanting to beat your brothers and read all the rules. Then I played CS:GO again with my online friends and improved communication and focus. Then I played League with my best friend; a new game at the time for me. In tandem with that, he asked me to teach him how to code.
Ali:       “If you had to learn to code again, what would you do?”
Junte:  “Easy -> I’ll do CS50”
Ali:       “Want to do it together?”

Covid, to me, was not a time of isolation. It was a time when all my family and friends’ lives froze but because of it, they were able to spend time with me online. From there, I re-gained the confidence to re-do the sudoku. I did it and then applied for jobs. Two weeks later I got a job in London. Three months later, in London, I met and had a coffee date with now my fiancee. 

If you are going through mental health and believe me we all are. Break down the steps so that it feels stupid to do them. Then embrace the stupidity. If it works – it’s not stupid.
Stop giving a cr*p
“To try and fail is at least to learn; to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might be been” – Chester Barnard
Various feedback from my youtube video, my newsletter, and my consultations have been given. Some positive. Some negative. All useful and never hurtful. I have found various voices that also want to produce. When I then go, “Make it then”. The next response is, “What shall I write about?” or “No one will watch it”.
Fundamentally, this newsletter was originally made due to the fact that I couldn’t tell people my thought processes or what was in my mind in a timely manner. It could take about 3 hours to talk to one person about a deep topic and I’ve spent more time explaining the concept and their belief systems than the original point. Obviously, these conversations were exploratory in nature and not to get through some agenda however I found myself repeating myself over and over again. 
So when I quit my job, I made a video to explain my thought processes. This saved me a lot of time and everyone understood me quicker. This is where I learned the power of YouTube. The video was good for answering questions and specific information however it wasn’t a good brain dump for more in-depth information without considerable time investment.
So due to the fact, my fiancee didn’t want to hear about my business. ( Which is perfectly reasonable and fair ) I decided to write. I wrote about anything I had in my mind or even better –  if I had to repeat it twice. If I mentioned something twice I’ve done something wrong. This concept is called DRY in code. Don’t repeat yourself. This newsletter was now made to answer ‘How are you?’ to me and this community.
Fundamentally, I would love to hear ‘How are you?’ from the individuals reading this newsletter as well. As much as I love watching youtube channels like Ali Abdaal, Tim Ferris, and Dan Koe. I prefer you guys. To me, you guys have impacted my life far more than these individuals on youtube. You guys have a voice and messages to hear. How do I know this? You guys have left imprints via insights to me. You just chose the medium of speech. Let’s move that medium to something that can reach scale. To keep things DRY.
Results = Make a plan + showing up. That’s it. Easy to understand, hard to execute, and a lifetime to master.
Favor showing up (action) if you can’t do the first one. Plans can be bought online and copied.
As an automation fan myself. People have a belief automation only comes from code like AI. My definition of automation is, “anything that frees up my mind”.
Here’s me showcasing a form of automation: Automation isn’t just ChatGPT – YouTube
For more pragmatic advice:
Do you like ChatGPT? Do you like Google Search? Would it be awesome if you can search on Google and see the answer on ChatGPT answer on google? NOW YOU CAN!!!!
Please feel free to say thank you to my twin brother, who made me realise that something I do without thinking ( search for extension ) is not what everyone does. This is automation. <3
I would like to break down this process in a little bit more detail. 
1) I had a habit of ‘googling’ via URL or Google engine already due to my problem-solving nature as a software engineer
2) ChatGPT came out and everyone said it was cool
3) I was like – this is like Google but with context. I wonder if there is a way to add this to my existing habit
4) Proceed to find an extension and stack my existing habit.
If we can start stacking habits, we can create tools to improve our output. This only happens after showing up as we don’t know what habits you have formed. Again, this highlights the importance of action.
My point of view of employment was to automate my manager’s job. Me being the computer, I do ‘work’ so my managers don’t have to. If you can help your managers think less and create solutions, you are the CHAT-GPT for him/her and thus create value. If you are a headache to your manager and co-workers I will question if you are a ‘good fit’. By freeing up your managers and co-workers’ time, who might be getting paid more, they can actually go do the work they are paid to do. Thinking about their work.
This form of automation via labor is not my favorite. Labor is expensive and dynamic. Hell – I don’t even know if I feel like writing a newsletter tomorrow. I came to the realisation that HUGE companies’ form of automation was to always hire. Then figure out how to hire cheaper with processes. Whether by training staff and upskilling them and calling it career development. When a company is fueled by capital ( Think tech start-ups via VC ). They throw money at every problem and create a giant money pit. Sometimes having limiting resources is what creates innovation. VC is good for when you already have a system and want to accelerate your growth. Not nurture a broken system.
Here is an example of how I write my newsletter:
Step 1) If inspiration hits, write a paragraph of any points in Roam Research
Step 2) If inspiration doesn’t hit. Go back to my calendar and see what I spent my time on this week and the conversation I had with people, books, and action. Write some bullet points and see if its enough to form sentences. 
Step 3) Repeat step 1 and 2 at least once a week. Mediate/Reflect on my thoughts and emotions and just write it down and put it in writing ‘may‘s newsletter
Step 4) In the last week of the month, collect my thoughts/videos/project and compile them for the audience and write in Gmail for the final review
Step 5) Email my proof-readers for any last-minute changes no matter the state of the email
Step 6) Implement the changes that the proofreaders requested when their email comes through. ACT ON IT IMMEDIATELY
Step 7) Put on my calendar to send my newsletter on the last day of the month.
Step 8) Make a page on Roam Research for the next month’s newsletter
At the beginning of the month, I have no idea what I’ll talk about. At the end of the month, I have so much material to go off on.
By having these steps written down, I no longer forget to block an event in my calendar or where the June newsletter is in Roam. In the future I’m sure I can also automate some stuff for example, by seeing this I added a monthly calendar event to send the newsletter to the audience instead of a step in my to-do list.
If you speak English and have an internet connection. You have all the tools you need. You most likely don’t have the processes to use the tools. Start by using CHATGPT and Google and asking questions and figure out to add that to your existing systems. By doing this, you learn more and gain more tools for your tool belt in the future.
One of the reasons I quit my job was I had no processes in my personal life but only my company/university/school I was in. I definitely had habits. With free reign to use any tools I like, I created a system to produce youtube videos, produce a newsletter, meet with clients for my budgeting consultation, and keep moving the needle for my meal planning app. The 9 months I’ve been self-employed have been invaluable.
The power of your personal calendar

For employed people who are juggling personal growth and work. I now have a tool belt for advice on things I wished I knew.
1) Mind your calendar
2) Produce content online.
Fundamentally, these two acts alone are the only thing you need to juggle work and personal growth. I had to learn this by quitting my job and taking a risk. Learn without that risk. Learn from me.
In regards to Mind your calendar, people who are working know exactly when their next meeting is as they have a ‘work calender’ they manage. Depending on the individual, they also add a unit of focus works into their work calender or deadlines. However, this calendar only has your work information. Therefore, the source of truth for work is their work calendar. Thus their source of truth for their personal time is their personal calendar, right? NO.
Because work takes up the majority of people’s time. They tend to ‘mind’ their work calendar instead of their personal and thus their personal life gets put on hold.
My solution: 
Your work calendar has its own system and regulation. Don’t do anything about that. Use your own calendar and put a work calendar on there.

This means your personal calendar is now your WORK + PERSONAL items. Depending on the company you might have ‘tight’ regulations for automatic syncing. It doesn’t have to be automatic syncing. As long as you check your personal calendar for your next meeting in regard to work you are golden.

This is because your personal calendar is a representation of your time including personal and work. Suddenly you can put ‘yoga class’ in your personal calendar and not forget your agenda of personal tasks. The juggling of 2 calendars and then the prioritization of the work calendar being the source of truth is what courses individuals to not make progress on both! 
Your personal calendar suddenly then becomes the compass to move your personal goals and also work. Thus, if you choose to stay late at work. You can then see that you won’t be going to the gym session you promised yourself at the beginning of the week. Is that the trade-off you are willing to make? I’ll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

When everything is accounted for and suddenly time appears (random cancellation of a meeting or running late to a meeting). That’s an opportunity. Opportunity to do something/anything if you KNOW what you wanted to do today/week instead of ‘thinking’ of what to do. A calendar should be a representation of everything you want/need to do and a tool to let you prioritize different things based on real-time information.
I personally think everyone should have a calendar. Do they? The answer is no.
Same reason that not everyone exercises and has a budget. It’s their belief that they don’t need it and have been fine without it.
But most importantly, I’m not here to preach what works for you. I can’t answer that. You have to answer that yourself. This is what worked for me. Do tell me what solutions worked for you.
My advice: Ensure your beliefs aren’t stopping you from trying. If you tried it and don’t like it today. Fine. Try again after a few years for I used to hate mushrooms and now they are gourmet. You might be missing something based on your beliefs which were created by trauma and past experiences.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid? -> Mushrooms have been a good addition to my life.
Produce Content Online

Before self-employment, very little of my work was produced online.
You can make a video on youtube today, sharing what you are grateful for and now the ‘world’ can see it. 
Don’t flatter yourself, to the world we are nothing but noise.
The other reason I quit my job was because I couldn’t see myself hitting big ever. If my goal was to make money online, I couldn’t possibly fathom doing it with my employment. Was that my employment fault? Hell no.
“You miss every shot you don’t take” – A CS:GO player

The shot in today’s day and age was to keep producing work online.

If your work is not a link away, it’s already too far away. Not everyone has the capacity to see you guys individually but I know you guys all have a voice.
Some people are afraid of what other thinks -> In essence it’ll break your status.
Some people are afraid of their work not being good enough -> Change your metrics, are you breathing and living? Doing pretty well. In the game of life, losing is death. Live.
Today, the act of hitting big only requires you to post online. Take a shot. Most of it will be missed anyway. But one might hit. I rather have 0.000001% chance than zero.

“You can buy a house but you can’t buy a home” – unknown

I’ve started to build my own family with me and my fiancee and this came back to reflect on my own family.

For the readers that don’t know, my mother and father are both entrepreneurs in their own right and have 4 beautiful children.
I have been searching for entrepreneurship mindset individuals in the void and forgot the realization that my family is the most entrepreneurship-minded individuals due to our upbringing.
I miss you all individually and hope this newsletter shares some wisdom based on the entrepreneur journey so far. I hope you can do it faster and less risk-free than me with w/e you end up working on.
In regards to producing more, here is advice for you individually since I have learned more. Feel free to argue if I’m wrong:
To my big bro: Do not be afraid to be a slave to your tools. Use tools, give up on them fast, and use anything that accelerates your output/learning. The reliance on the tool will create a risk of dependence but not using anything will create zero output. You don’t see me coding in binary, do you? I use Python cus’ it’s faster.
To my twin brother: Do not worry about the perfect tool. Make do with what you have. Once you know your processes you can iterate it then. You have limited capital, time, and energy and you are spending all your resources working out the perfect tool instead of just using what you have. I believe you have a phone to record. Make the videos you envisioned. and no, you don’t need a 360 camera for the perfect POV view.
To my sister: Your problem that you are going through is luckily not unique. This means other people in the world later in life will also encounter the problems you are going through today. Document it, share your insight, and what has worked for you. Someone later, who might want to live in San Fran, or go to America by themselves will find your insights useful. It might not be today, but it might be in 5 years. Compound that insight for them and then you’ll create an audience. Your warmth and charisma will bring people anyway but the sprinkle of insight will cause you to be invaluable. 
Code + Content is permissionless. You don’t need to ask permission. No one asked me to put my face on but there you go and there it is. Did you guys ask? No. Do I need your permission? No 🤣.
I hope you enjoyed reading this month’s newsletter as much as I wrote it.
Till next month <3

Jun-te Kim