Welcome to the 3 new people who joined the Onchain Letters community since my last letter!
I hope all 21 of you had an amazing last few days of 2023...Happy New Years! 🎆
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Today's letter is a bit different since it's January 1st.
I provide some thoughts from this past year as well as my mindset going into '24.
Tomorrow, I'll be back with what's happening onchain :)
After the non-stop craziness in the crypto world from the Covid crash in March of 2020 to the FTX crash in November of 2022, most of us in crypto were left feeling exhausted, drained, and confused. Even those that have been around before Ethereum claimed that this cycle's crash was even more brutal than previous ones.
I was personally all over the place this past year. It was my first true bear market where I was sitting on a portfolio in the red and confused about whether I should even be in crypto or not. In January 2023, I decided to quit my job and gave myself ~18 months to explore and experiment. I'm early into my career and realized that this would be a great time to just throw myself in the deep end and learn what it actually means to be self-employed.
Now, by no means do I regret quitting and embarking on my own journey. I learned a ton in the past 12 months not only professionally but also personally. But I would be lying if I said it wasn't rough. I could write pages about my experience so far, but if I were to sum it down to one word it would be confusion.
I felt confused about why I was in crypto. I felt confused about whether I was striving to be the next Ben Thompson or if I wanted to be a founder. I felt confused about whether I wanted to be heads down or if I wanted to be as active as possible in the community. I felt confused about what role money played in my life. I felt confused about the nomad life versus settling down in one place. And on and on.
But that confusion forced me to finally turn off Twitter (at least a little bit), sit down with a notebook, think, reflect, and be intentional. I tried a lot of different projects. I found a new internet home on Farcaster. I went on my first solo trip. I incorporated healthy habits into my routine. I got slightly better at ignoring the noise. And most importantly, I learned the importance of consistency & reliability - the ability to show up daily even when you don't feel like it.
I've realized it's essential to pick one thing and just stick to it at the start of an entrepreneur's journey. After trying a variety of ideas, I'm going to stick to writing. For me, writing is something I just keep on coming back to. I love researching, storytelling, and putting words on paper. At times, I want to rip my hair off when I can't figure out the structure of a post, but I can't expect it to be easy. Being a full time tech writer like Byrne Hobart or Lenny or Packy requires thousands of reps and a commitment to write no matter the circumstances.
So, this year, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Spend less time thinking of what to do and instead just write. I'm not sure how the future will play out and what this journey will look like. But all I know is that in the present moment, my job is going to be to show up daily, put words on paper, and hit the publish button. These few sentences from Lenny sum up my mentality going into 2024:
Along these lines, any time you have allotted for working on your newsletter that is not writing (and making your writing better) is time wasted. Many newsletter writers spend time optimizing their website, creating a brand, crafting a big strategy around their newsletter—and their growth slows.
I'm going to think of YB's Onchain Letters as my personal crypto diary. Journal entries covering things I'm learning in the space, people I think that are working on cool onchain projects, important metrics and data, etc.
Previously, I had a lot of fear about the creative process and would spend too much time strategizing what to write about, formatting, etc. But now, I'm going full Rick Rubin mode and just going to write for myself. What did I learn? What's my opinion on this? Why do I care? And my hope is that in doing so, I'll force myself to learn a lot, think deeply about what's happening, and create my own frameworks on how I view crypto.
Maybe some will agree and find value from my work. Maybe others won't and will be good sparring partners to improve my thinking.
It's going to be a crazy 12 months - the chaos is just getting started again. ETF approvals are coming up and we're only a quarter away from the next Bitcoin halving ⏰
Wishing you all an amazing 2024, let's kill it together 💪
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