A different kind of no excuses
Yesterday morning, I woke up to a little piece of trivia: YouTube’s biggest star is now this five-year-old who makes $1 million a month in ad rev—
“Hey, wait a minute, isn’t that the kid you watch?”
“Oh yeah! That’s Ryan’s Toy Review!”
It turns out, I hear that little kid’s voice all the time because my little kid is a big fan! So it was kind of extra in-my-face hello good morning to learn that someone a fifth of my age is out-earning me by a factor of holy crap.
Do you feel that way too? Like you’re always just a little (or in this case, a lot) behind where you’re supposed to be?
When I got my first job, my boss was my age and she was later pirated by another company where, as another friend says, they “keep slapping her with money!” I read posts of people who began their online businesses and were making “five figure launches! six figure launches!” in less than a year. Please note, in US dollars, aka fifty times the Philippine Peso. I’m now at the age my parents were when they got married, were with child (me!) (although I guess in that sense, we’re even), and oh, were homeowners, no big.
2017 is going to be No Excuses 2k17.
And not because, "If they could do it, I should have been able to, too! Push na ‘to! No excuses!” That’s the part of my brain I’m trying to shush.
I’ve spent a nice big chunk of my life trying to excuse myself from where I was —
excuse: release (someone) from a duty or requirement.
— when I had the duty and requirement to honor where I am: my place in spacetime (K and I are watching Cosmos), my pace, the fact that I’m living my own version of my own life, and not a multi-millionaire preschooler’s.
This year, I’m not blaming myself for being myself. Past and present. I will no longer try to excuse myself from where I was, and where I am.
This doesn’t mean I’m not looking to move forward. Just the opposite. Like Maui, Shapeshifter, Demigod of the Wind and Sea, Hero of All said: it’s knowing where you’re going by knowing where you’ve been.
Word of the year: GROW.
Last year, I published my first book, which to me was an achievement of a different kind.
Graduating college was an achievement, but, y’know, part of the normal (privileged) trajectory of life. Getting into law school was pretty neat, but that wasn’t for myself. (I’d say leaving law school was a bigger achievement!) But deciding to write my own book and seeing it through ’til the end and beyond was something wholly mine and ownable.
And the silly thing about goals: they feel big until they’re done. In the, oh wait, it was doable? Oh wait — I did it? sense.
I’m not saying it wasn’t big because it was a huge milestone for me! I’m not amnesia-ing my sleepless nights and “WHY DID I CHOOSE TO WRITE WRITING IS SO HARD WHY DID I DO THIS I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING” moments. I’m not forgetting the imposter syndrome-y conversations I’d have with my family: “But all this is is clicking File, Save As PDF! How does that make me an author? Anybody can do that!” (To which they’d say, “Ah really, if it were that easy would you be that stressed?” Good point … )
(But also, if you’re looking to write a book, please do it! I will help you! I’ll point you towards my printer! File, Save As-in mo lang ‘yan!)
It was tough — but it’s also making me think: this thing that I thought was gargantuan and impossible and super out there and lol yeah right?
Signed, sealed, and literally delivered!
From the other side of the fence, a book seems almost tiny. But tiny like a seed. Cliché cliché, but if that was doable, so many more things feel like they are! So this year is about taking that seed and growing…
- This community
It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was hitting publish on emails to five people… because it wasn’t! Thank you for sticking around and being such wonderful pillars of support through my figure-it-out-ing and experimenting and doing. I hope to have made you laugh, even a little, along the way!
There’s a scene in Hamilton where the Hamilton, Laurens, Mulligan, and Lafayette are drinking to the impending revolution: “Tomorrow there’ll be more of us.”
Tomorrow there’ll be more of us: a generation unafraid of our principles and convictions, unafraid to call out the things that don’t make sense, raising a new generation to be better than we were, and taking a step back to realize when they’re raising us.
- This business
The dedication of my book reads,
“My dearest weirdest K, the proceeds of this book are going to your tuition. May you learn as much as you’re teaching me.”
Early last year, my son got accepted into Big Boy School. Big Boy School also came with Big Boy Tuition, something I kind of knew in the background, but was like, yeah, yeah. I’ll make it work. It wasn’t until I got the statement for the first payment did I go, oh okay, I need to make it work now. I had a bit of savings (aka time) — but that wasn’t going to last forever.
It was almost a whole year of experimentation until my site and the book became what they were. I had no idea what I was doing, and everything was for the first time. So to begin, I set a small goal: the school’s reservation fee. I hit that goal and surpassed it, squealing and dancing at every little sale notification on my phone!
That has given me the courage to step it up and goal boldly where no Mikli has goal’d before.
This year, I’m aiming to
1) have a tuition buffer of more than a year (stretch goal: two years!),
2) have untouchable savings for The Future,
3) bring my son to LegoLand and book us at the LegoLand Hotel (his special request, and something I really want to do for my family, it feels so higher up on Maslow’s hierarchy y’feel), and
4) keep this consistent.
No longer are my revenue goals looking to play catch-up to life, they’re looking to create the life I want.
What I’ll be doing to reach these goals? Stay tuned; I’m still doodling in my calendar and fixing my year!
(It’s not this clean anymore)
More things are coming your way; I’m really excited about them and can’t wait to share! Sign up here so you don’t miss it!
Mid-post P.S. What’s a nice alternative hashtag for #DearFutureKid? That’s project is coming up soon (!) but booo the hashtag is already in use.
- My mindset
I’ve spent the better part of a quarter century doing a lot of apologizing. I’m very good at it! I’m always apologizing for my body.
For achievements because, no, they’re not all mine, I mean, I had help, and this could have been more if I didn’t mess up; for things I like, because oh, it’s okay, I can like a1 in secret if everyone thinks they’re weird.
For twenty-six years, and no matter what my dress size tells you, I’ve been making myself very, very small — and being almost ashamed for whenever I went beyond that, because I didn’t deserve it, I’m not worthy. (Confidence? What confidence? You mean this Bailey’s shot glass of self-doubt?
But my mom was right. (Ugh, moms. Always right.) (Did you hear that, son? hehe)
She would tell me, “Don’t say no for other people.” Meaning, why am I preempting a refusal that might not even happen? If it’s a “no”, let it come from them, and not from you. Don’t deprive them the opportunity to say yes.
I’m going to adopt and adapt that for The Future. I won’t deprive myself the opportunity of YES GIRL, KAYANG KAYA, PWEDENG PWEDE.
So instead of un-claiming life with, “No, I can’t, ____,” or, “No, I’m not ____,” I’m changing that to, “Well, why the fuck not?”
Experiment with a new business model and earn more of my own money?
Travel with my own money?
Speak on stage?
Well, why the fuck not?
I invite you to “Well, why the fuck not?” with me too, this 2017.
This year, let’s live a life that’s bigger than imaginary boundaries, and persistent against real ones.
Here’s to creating that life, with big dreams and small steps.
Happy new year!
P.S. What book was I rambling on about? (I forgot to mention it and I don't want to edit it in the body text anymore, ha ha). It's "I Love You." "I Love Chicken Nuggets!" & Other Tales of Motherhood, or #ChickenNuggetProject for short!
Grab a free chapter! It's about boobs. Right this way.