Taking care of myself first

When I started this website and my company, I had an idealistic vision. I would create websites and software for people who couldn’t afford it, instead giving it to them as a loan. In case the project worked, I got a share of the profit until that loan was paid off. In case it didn’t work they didn’t have to pay anything, placing the risk on of the website on me. This was the kind of business I dreamed of: sharing effort, sharing profit, sharing risk. Yet here I am, almost a year later, and my money is coming from a regular job.

This is not defeat. The dream is not dead. But, I do have to take care of myself first. The regular business didn’t get off the ground, it took all the energy from me, and I did not have anything left for extras. In fact, I did not have any energy left for the business itself either. Instead I gave up on starting my business now, I got a job, moved home, and started building up my life again. It sounds easy like this, it wasn’t, but that’s not the point.

I am writing this post with the most recent video of SmarterEveryDay in the back of my mind: why you should put your own oxygen mask on first. In this video, Destin demonstrates how you become incapable of helping yourself if you wait too long — in this case literally, due to a lack of oxygen. However, it also serves as a great metaphor for life: take care of yourself before you take care of others. Not because you deserve it more, not because you should be selfish, but because it’s the only way to be able to take care of others.

So, that’s what I’m doing. I have a job, and for the last six months I have been taking care of myself. In the meantime, when I have some time and energy left, I am building things that can make the world a little bit better. And I aim to share more and more of my time and energy with the world, but only when I can afford it. And so should you.

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