Day 75: A Short And Serious Reflection
Author's Note: I've finally found an apartment complex I like in LA! I've applied to it. Fingers crossed that I get approved!
Apartment talk aside, I wanted to spend a few words reflecting on myself (in a professional context.)
I'm seven days into my new job working at a VC firm. I've met all of my team members in one-on-one conversations. I have a greater understanding of what success looks like in this role.
While I'm good enough to have made it through the interview process and ultimately join the team, I'm not at the level to be a clear-cut success here.
Being realistic, I can't expect myself to be killing it from Day 1, but I realize how far I have to go until I'm exceeding the standard set for me.
Deep down, I feel like if I had worked harder on F2F while living at home here, I could have just hit the ground running when I joined the firm.
If I have to be 100% honest with myself, I didn't work hard enough on the newsletter while living at home. I could have done so much more with F2F.
I should have responded faster to founders. I should have been more aggressive in pursuing feedback from my paid subscribers. I should have been experimenting faster with the possible ideas that I've wanted to explore.
F2F could have been its own thing that I could have done full-time, had I worked hard enough and taken proper care of myself.
But I didn't. That's on me, no one else. The two main factors were that I didn't prioritize my physical health and that I wasn't able to reduce my time writing for Forbes. The first point is rather well known, and with this new job, I have no choice but to get it together or else I'll sink like a rock.
The truth is I prioritized Forbes not just over F2F, but even my own health and wellbeing. It's sad, but true.
With Forbes, my biggest struggle has been how much time should I be spending on it given how much I've accomplished already. I've been all over the place on whether I should still write or not for the platform. Somedays I've felt like walking away entirely, and others I couldn't be more grateful for having this opportunity.
I'm inconsistent, I know. If I have to be more honest here, I've come to identify a lot as being a "writer for Forbes" more than I realize. That's why it's so hard to reduce my time writing on there. It's a deeper part of my identity that I've publicly (or privately) realized.
My ambition to reach 200 Forbes stories (inadvertently) serves as a psychological cover, preventing me for recognizing how much of a crutch Forbes has been in terms of how I view myself.
If things stay the same, once I hit 200, then I'll rationalize to myself how I need to hit 250, then 300...where does it stop?
It doesn't, unless I take a moment and pause, and ask myself, "What's my reason for writing for Forbes? Is it a good one?"
Here's my answer for that question: my current reason for writing, to hit X number of stories for Forbes, is an unhealthy, and even distracting one. I am a full-time investor now. I need to figure out how to synthesize my identity as an engineer and writer with my investment role.
I get a lot of pleasure from writing - it's addicting to me in some sense. I truly feel that I've elevated my prose and my thinking from having written so much over the years.
But my reasons for professionally writing (and subsequently how much time I will spend writing for Forbes specifically) must evolve. The same conditions that led me writing professionally in the first place don't exist anymore; they've evolved. My motivation for writing has to do so also.
So I have a new reason to write. Not for achieving and exceeding vanity metrics, but for curiosity and self-development.
Curosity drives my written words because I'm exploring a new world around covering content creators. It also encourages me to stay the course in tracking startups (ones I have great professional relationships with) that are maturing from their early-stage forms into late-stage companies. I'm learning a lot going down these two avenues, so I want to stick with them.
I cannot understate how much my professional writing has transformed me into a better thinker. While I could have developed my thinking just writing personally (and I have), writing with professional standards applied just makes things more rigorous, which is great for my intellectual development.
So yeah. My answer for "Why do I still write for Forbes?" is simple and straightforward: to learn and grow. I'm mature enough to reduce and control my pace for writing on Forbes going forward so I can focus all of my time on F2F.
I know I can excel in this new VC job. F2F will play an indispensable role in getting to reach this pace.
I've learned so much already from my pursuit of 200 stories on Forbes. It's been a long road with a lot of lessons learned. As much as I wish I balanced my time better between Forbes and F2F while living at home, I think my vain pursuits have helped me realize things about myself that I wouldn't have otherwise.
My curiosity led me to Forbes.
My perseverance with Forbes birthed F2F.
My vision with F2F will bring me success in VC.