As in years past, we are offering you a Special Bonus Question in which you get to predict what you think will happen in the coming year–not just to you, but to the world around you. For this year’s version of the Special Bonus Question, we have teamed up with Larry Smith’s Six-Word Memoirs, which recently published Six Words Fresh Off The Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity & Coming To America. For this bonus question, be as local or as global as you like, so long as you answer in exactly six words.
So much change. So much disruption.
When September 2019 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?
It’s really amazing to look back, specifically at last year’s questions and see exactly how things have come since then! In almost all instances, each answer of “I want to do X. I plan to do X.” has come about thanks to sheer determination on my part (and maybe a few lucky breaks). I hope to look back in a year and see where I was right when I took another major leap in my life–pushing headlong into uncharted waters of entrepreneurship! I hope to, at that point, look back to now and see that I was headed this way just as I look back to last year and see how I was putting everything into place to get here!
I’m really hoping to continue to grow from now until then (and beyond)! This is only the beginning!
What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?
One thing that I fear is becoming irrelevant to the next generation. I don’t have kids of my own, and I don’t really plan to, so I have to be content with being “Uncle Matt” to my sisters’ kids. Which, for the most part, I am. My nephews and my niece light up my world–even though I see them only maybe once a year. There’s a lot that I feel that I can teach them, lots of those odd little life lessons and so forth that they might not get from their parents. My uncle Homer was like that for me. Homer’s a kooky old codger–somewhere between Jimmy Buffet and the Dalai Lama–that I really only saw at family reunions, but he took a shine to us kids. I remember him telling old tall tales of his adventures when he was younger–bootlegging, private investigating, and a whole slew of jobs that a young boy really only encounters in adventure books and films! On top of that, he was the man who introduced me to some of the greatest (underrated at the time) minds in science: Tesla, Bucky Fuller, and Philo Farnsworth to name but a few!
I want to be The Most Interesting Man In The World to these kids. I want to be the lighthouse when they inevitably have issues that they don’t feel comfortable bringing to their parents. I want to be the man who does everything and anything and spins yarns about his adventures to these kids. I suppose that, at least for now, I just gotta do it!
Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2019?
As always, I strive to learn as much as I can about as much as I can. Picking up work from element14 Presents has been challenging in that I don’t know as much about all the different boards and programming languages as I feel like I should. I continually remind people that I’m not Ben Heck, but I also realize myself that I’m not Ben Heck in that I don’t have the decade(s) of experience that he has working with microelectronics. I have a passion for these things, and I have enough knowledge and experience to–for example–take apart a VCR and put it back together again or to rewire old gaming equipment, but I don’t have a background in design, I don’t have a robust relationship with Ki-CAD or Blender, and I don’t have a Felix or a Karen to fall back on when I need to bounce ideas around.
I started a crash course in Blender this week, and I should be somewhat up to speed very soon. At least versed enough to build the simple designs that I need for an upcoming project. The next goal will be Ki-CAD, and from there I’ll just start adding to my skills repertoire until I’m at least as functional as The Heckendorn!
How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?
I’m really playing on the professional level with this year’s answers–as in, I’m mostly concerned with my professional quality and my career development right now. By next year, I would like to have my production flow down pat. It’s been evolving since I’ve been concentrating on quality last year, and it’s received a decent shot in the arm from having worked within the element14 Presents world for a few months now.
Just keep hustling! Don’t be afraid to take a risk! Seize your opportunity. Follow your bliss!
Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?
I’ve been doing incredibly well staying on my goals for the past few years. Like, really well. I want to keep that streak going. I just celebrated dropping to part-time at my day job, and I’d like to be fully self-sufficient by next year. That’s going to be a tough job, though, as I’ve got to not only keep pushing with the video work, but also pay off a significant chunk of revolving debt. Barbie and I are working together now, throwing bales of dynamite at this mountain that we’ve accumulated, so it’s going to be a challenge. We’re primed and ready–it’s time to take charge!
Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.
Two funerals inside of a week is enough to affect anyone. Next question, please.
I dare say that I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching as of late, and I’m simultaneously terrified and optimistic about the future. Check back with me next year.
Describe an event in the world that has affected you this year. How? Why?
This has been a quieter year for “world events”–at least in my sphere. I dare say the biggest issue that has impacted me is the burgeoning US trade war with China. Components that I use in my business are getting more expensive, so I have more overhead to contend with. Thankfully, I have a corporate sponsor that is willing to front the cost of so many components, but any of my personal projects have to be set aside until I get more funding.
Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?
As I mentioned earlier, my maternal family lost two major figures this year–on the same day. It’s been a rough time, and it almost brought everyone together. Almost.
My paternal family had a similar struggle in late November 17. Granny is still hanging in there, and as verbally spry as she has been, but she’s “a tired old woman” [her words, not mine], and I fear we may not enjoy her company much longer.
Both cases have given me the swift kick in the butt that I needed to stop wasting my life working for employers that don’t care about me. It’s my time to get started. It’s my time to live my dream. It’s my time to control my destiny.
Is there something you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?
On the negative side, I wish I had spent more time with my family than I did–especially my “second family” consisting of my closest friends.
On a positive note, I am extremely proud of having pushed myself to take new chances. To follow pursuits. And to stop dedicating my life to people whose goals to not align with mine.