I also don't use Facebook, Twitter, or anything else along those lines... if you want to reach me, you can email me, and I'll respond when I check email once every few days, or if you're one of the very few people who has access to my phone, you can call or text me and we can chat or grab dinner. No cyberstalking or hours lost to staring at social media inanity wondering why I'm not a part of all the pretend-excitement people portray themselves as engaging in for me. Wonder if this vicarious living through people's puffed up social lives on social media isn't a big part of why the author feels so left out.
There definitely is something very relaxing about focusing on only one thing, but it only leads to long-term success if you've picked the right thing. I know entrepreneurs that worked for a decade on their companies, and then folded them up without ceremony because they'd poured their life into them and yet they were generating significantly less revenue than a day job would.
This is not sustainable no matter how much you love it. There is simply not enough time left to live healthy life - rest, exercise, be in a good relationship. Please do not do the same mistakes I made. I used to say what you say and I used to love my work. But I burned out. Love turned into hate. I had to quit - I just could not do it anymore. And I was left with severe depression, anxiety attacks, health problems and worst of all - loneliness. I did not have time for social life and now I have no love in my life, no sex, no intimacy, no meaning, nothing worth living for. I wasted few years of my youth that I will never get back and I just hope that somehow (with a lot of help from my therapist) I will be able to recover and enjoy life again... but it seems almost impossible now. I am in a really bad place right now... and I see you going there as well and loving it.
The good news for you is that your'e still breathing, so your opportunities to find love and fun exist. Be well...
Agreed, I went through the burn out too.
Got out of it by starting my work day with a 1 to 2 hour walk in the morning. It serves two purposes at once : first your body recovers gently from the hours spent sitting on a chair, second you go to sleep before midnight and can start over the next day.
I often joke that I wouldn't be doing this if I were smarter. When people say "You have to be crazy to be an entrepreneur", they're not kidding. That said, there isn't anything else I'd rather be doing.
And actually, it stretches past being an entrepreneur. The technology and information we have access to now creates opportunities that simply did not exist just 10 years ago and geography is increasingly irrelevant.
Further side note: I'm a big fan of history. I think that there's essentially this rising worldwide class of freelancers-turned tech entrepreneurs involved in a variety of "lifestyle" businesses where lifestyle = $300k+ p/year in income. In the future, this whole sector will be a lot more crowded and it will be very normal for people to have a bunch of different side businesses involving the internet. But this really is a significant historical trend and an emerging new social class I think, and I'm sure there will be a lot of debate about whether it's good or bad for society as a whole just as it has been with the move from farms to factories.
Here's an idea for a HN developer. Setup a site where entrepreneurs can hangout and chat daily. This next point is going to sound crazy, but only have the site online for 1 hour (or maybe two 1 hour sessions) a day. This way, we're not distracted to check the site on a constant basis, but it's more of a 1 hr daily meeting, where you can jump in, network, chat about your project, what you're working on, technologies, etc. Associate everyone with their related app or business, so you'll see 'Michael Gnade (IndieGameStand.com)', etc.
The main downsides for me now are the feast or famine nature of working for one's self and isolation from teams of really smart people. I've found that this is mitigated by working on side projects that are close to my heart and move me from what life is to what life can be.
So on that note, I've stopped working nights and weekends so I can dabble in those projects and spend time with friends/family. The other thing that has helped immensely is delaying most to-dos and requests until the next day. So I usually handle the previous day's email the next morning unless it's an emergency.
Also I've moved my attention up to gigs that pay at least my overtime rate. A professional in Idaho should be making at least $40k per year to meet expenses which means I charge at least $30 per hour. I'm also realizing that the real money is made by taking gigs for more than this and hiring others for their overtime rate, because I probably need to multiply my efforts by however much is needed to start a family or contribute to my parents' care in retirement. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with the added responsibility though. If someone has any thoughts/experience with that, or how they transitioned from freelancer to client, I'd love to hear it.
I think it's good to have a positive attitude, but I've been grinding for 8 years (the filling in my cookie sandwich is getting pretty thick) and maintaining a constant positive perspective is an impossibility.
I find that I increasingly crave human interaction (besides screaming children and agro SO), and really appreciate human connection more and more, when it does happen. But sometimes that human interaction comes at a cost of productivity and therein lies the rub.
My cutoff for work is supposed to be 11pm (shutdown all devices and decompress for at least 30min befor bed), but eventually things flare up - I'm up until 2am for a few weeks and forget all about my 'cutoff'. A few months later, I realize that I need a cutoff again. Vicious cycle.
Sorry, I'm rambling. I guess what I'm ultimately trying to say is that you are not alone - I think it's the price we pay, but it's always good to be smart about our approach.
My goal is to grow my income so that I can "finally do what I want", but sometimes I wonder if I'm squandering my life in a delusion.
Recently, my safety-net project suffered a catastrophic collapse out of nowhere and now I'm quickly trying to rebuild it.
Over time, an increasing amount of my energy is spent warding off the specter of self-doubt.
The Struggle is not failure, but it causes failure. Especially if you are weak. Always if you are weak."
So untrue. You are not weak if you quit ! And conversely, you are not strong if you don't quit.
Sometimes, you should quit, and it takes courage to do so: when you gave so much to your project that quitting breaks your heart.
Programmers are a different creature from other people. But enjoy.
Another option that also sounds fun is to startup a small retail company, maybe related to one of your hobbies, something that at least requires some foot traffic at a physical location. Find someone to run it and go there to manage and check on things whenever you feel the need, or better yet, grab your laptop and work on your internet startup from there.
It seems that all my ideas require you to have some extra cash and time on the side though so they're not always possible for a 1 or 2 man bootstrapped startup. If you can get to the point where you've got things running pretty smoothly with your internet company and are making decent money, these options might be something to look forward to.
> Working remotely is lonely
Both pros for me.
But to more specifically address your offering a coworking space as a solution to meeting other people. It probably comes down to personality, but I am an introvert and find it very difficult to just start talking to someone. So, it ends up a bit like being at a party full of strangers. You are pretty sure there are some cool people around, but have no idea what the first step is for locating them and then breaking the ice. There are sometimes happy hour type events, but people tend to group up with people they already know and give you the 'what do you want' look if you start the slow awkward approach. Again, there are lots of people who are good at this, I am not one of them.
To summarize, it can be a good solution or not depending on your personality. My solution is to schedule lunches with my friends and people I have met who were interesting. That lowers the burden of meeting new people at the coworking space, which can then happen a little more organically.
They are loud though - I worked in one once which was full of recruitment people who yakked on the phone all day, not nice.
I don't see the appeal. Here's a typical coworking space in Austin http://capitalfactory.com/work/coworking/ $350/month doesn't even get you a desk vs. (random Craigslist post) private office with a private bathroom http://austin.craigslist.org/off/4235555193.html walking distance from Dell. (No affiliation with either link!)
I can see "coworking" for artists/sculptors/printmakers because you have the shared gallery, shared tools, shared materials, shared Home Depot runs, guestbook/email list for the massive wine & cheese party.