Thinking of things from a long term perspective

Starting from college, I have built too many prototypes to count. I have been very good at getting a basic proof of concept out.  So many different projects or products, but so far I have never been successful in commercializing any of them. Sometimes I feel the number of failures is soo much that I just don’t even want to think about it.

All these 8 years, I was always been short-term minded. I had always expected to get things working in 6 months. The answer to “How much time will it take” was always 6 months. When I quit postman, I really wanted to convert one of my products to become a business. I joined Ather as software-consultant expecting myself to not stay there for more than 6 months. Why? Because I would have built a product of my own by that time. This coming Jan(2019) will mark my 3 years at Ather as a consultant. I still have not build a business.

Objectively compared to my original intentions, that looks like a failure. I have changed attitudes now. I am thinking long-term now. I think I am starting to understand what Naval Ravikanth, Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger etc mean by compounding. They are not referring to compounding in the context of money alone. Everything in your life can compound if you stop looking for short-term results. Your skills compound, your knowledge compounds, your wealth compounds(obviously), your relationship compounds. For the sake of short-term goals, I did sacrifice lots of things. I called my parents less. I spoke to my grandparents even less. I am starting to realize that I will deeply regret not calling them when they are no more.

I am starting to realize that the definition of success that I set for my projects was very never really my own. I want 1000 users to my saas product. Why? because that is how success looks like. How do I know? That is what the tech press seems to be covering. Or, that is what my friend circle seems to value.

Naval Ravikanth in one of his podcasts mentions that “Success and Happiness are at odds” or something along that lines. Success is usually defined from a global perspective. You could say being a CEO of a company means success. Having a 100 million dollar company is success.  Being happy is relative. It is possible that the person on the street could be way more happier than you are.

My new perspective on goals is certainly not unique nor is it something that I invented. Its an amalgamation of what I have learned by reading stuff from DHH & Jason Fried from Basecamp, stories of founders from Indie Hackers, Tim Ferris, Naval Ravikant etc.

The new perspective: 

  1. I don’t want to chase someone else’s definition of success. I don’t want to be in the 40 under 40.  I don’t want to be the wealthiest person. I don’t want to be popular
  2. I want to identify things that I genuinely want to compound in my life. And every year I make sure that it compounds by x%. I would like my food habits to compound. I would like my relationships with key people to compound. I would like my skills to compound. I would like my financial prudence to compound. I would like my cycling to compound. I would like to teach. I would like that to compound. These are things that I genuinely like to do. They make me happy. Some of these things will make adequately wealthy in the future as well.
  3. I want to look at things from a long enough horizon. I want to look at things from a 3 year perspective. I want to stop sacrificing unnecessary things for the sake of someone else’s definition of success.

This is what my next 3 years look like:

  1. Build a side-revenue from a product
  2. Teach people what I know (blog is part of that strategy)
  3. Get fit – Get to 10% body fat(always put this aside as this goal is not possible in 6 months)
  4. Go cycling – a lot.
  5. Re-read books that I read earlier. Compound my wisdom on a strong foundation.

The big difference

After adopting this mindset, I have noticed myself to a lot more calm and composed. I am much less affected by tunnel vision. Since I am comparing the results to my past self, I am much happier. In general, I am also happier because I am focusing on things that I like to compound. I am also more focused on what matters. I am starting to understand how basecamp works. They really don’t care about someone else’s definition of success and over a long enough time, wealth will come to you.

Redirect traffic from naked domain to www using aws s3 and cloudflare

This assumes that you already have an AWS account and a Cloudflare account.

Use case – Why bother?

You have some application server or static website running on www subdomain and you want to redirect traffic from the naked domain(eg highlyreco.com) to the www subdomain(eg www.highlyreco.com). Why? Because :

  1. When users share your domain verbally, they then to not include www. They just say – go check out highlyreco.com. When the other user tries highlyreco.com they get nothing
  2. SEO – generally you want to make sure everything is clean and all search results contain www subdomain

Configuration on AWS

1. Click create bucket from S3 console

Click on create bucket

Enter the naked domain as the bucket name and select a region.

Under “set permissions” tab in the bucket creation process, from the “Manage public permissions” choose “Grant public read access to this bucket”

2. Enable static site hosting and redirect to www subdomain

Click on the newly created bucket. Click on the properties tab and you will see the following.

Click on Static site hosting. In the dialog box that opens, choose option – “Redirect requests”. In the input boxes enter the target www domain(eg www.highlyreco.com) and the protocol.  Copy the endpoint shown in the modal. You will need to for DNS mapping. 

Configuration on Cloudflare:

1. Add a CNAME record to your naked domain

On a regular DNS router, you cant add a “CNAME record” to a naked domain. However cloudflare supports. Cloudflare internally converts that to an “A record”. It should look this when you are done. 

Thats it. Your naked domain(highlyreco.com) will now redirect to (www.highlyreco.com).

Book summary – Be so good that they cant ignore you

This book is written by Cal Newport.  I definitely recommend this book.

Summary

Rule #1 don’t follow your passion:

    Your current passion is a function of your current world view. Your current so called passion might not be the one that gives you the most fulfilment. You think it will. As you expand your world view you might discover a new something that you might be infact be more passionate about.

    Conclusion #1.- Career passions are rare.

        At the core of passion hypothesis is the assumption that we all have pre-existing passion waiting to be discovered.

    Conclusion #2 – Passion takes time

    Distinction between job, career, and a calling –
        A job is a way to pay the bills
        A career is a path towards increasingly better work
        A calling is work thats an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity.

    Conclusion #3 – Passion is a side effect of mastery

        Working right trumps working right trumps finding the right work.

Rule #2 – Be so good that they can’t ignore you

    The clarity of a craftsman.
        Eventually you are so experienced that there is a confidence that comes out – Martin explains. Its something that audience smells.
    Adopting the craftsman mindset
        There is something liberating about the craftsman mindset. It asks you to leave behind self-entered concerns about whether your job is just right and instead put your head down and plug away at getting really damn good. No one owes you a career., it argues, you need to earn it – and the process won’t be easy.
    The power of career capital
        Traits that define great work.
            * Creativity
            * Impact
            * Control
    If you want a great job, you need something of great value in return.
    He produced something of great value and in return his career got an inject of creativity, impact and control The more you read about ira about glass, the more you encounter a young man, who was driven to develop his skill until they were too valuable to be ignored.
    Glass exchanged a collection of hard won, rare and valuable skills for his fantastic job.
    Career capital theory of great work
        * The traits that define great work are rare and valuable
        * Supply and demand says that if you want these traits you need rare and valuable skills to offer in return. Think of these rare and valuable skills you can offer as your career capital
        * The craftsman mindset, with its relentless focus on becoming so good that they can’t ignore you is a strategy well suited for acquiring career capital. This is why it trumps the passion mindset if your goal is to create work you love.

Rule #3 – turn down a promotion.

    Giving people more control over what they do and how they do it increases their happiness, engagement, and sense of fulfilment.
    Control traps
        First control trap – Control that is acquired without career capital is not sustainable.
        Second control trap – You have become valuable enough to your employer that they will fight your effort to gain more autonomy.
    Avoiding control traps:
        Do what people are willing to pay for. Money is a neutral indicator of value. By aiming to make money, you are aiming to be valuable.

Rule #4 – Think small act big – or the importance of mission.

    Power of mission.
    Mission requires capital
    The details it turned out, did not work themselves out, leaving Jane penniless and still without a college degree.
    Mission requires little bets
        Great missions are transformed into great successes as the result of using small and achievable projects – little bets – to explore the concrete possibilities surrounding a compelling idea.
    Mission requires marketing
        Laws of remark ability